Sunday, February 16, 2020

Spain: Trivialising the Holocaust to advance a completely unrelated political agenda

Trivialising the Holocaust in Europe to make an unrelated political point…

Via AJC Transatlantic Institute:
Dear Clara Ponsatí, amid a debate on antisemitism in the European Parliament, you chose to trivialize the Holocaust and instrumentalize the genocide of six million Jews to advance a completely unrelated political agenda. Please retract this unacceptable remark.
Spanish Member of the European Parliament Clara Ponsatí in her first speech at the European Parliament argued that Spanish "intolerance" against the Jews inspired Adolf Hitler to perpetrate the Holocaust. Ponsati added that Spain has now replaced the Jews with the Catalans with its intolerance. Ponsatí's intervention took place during a debate against anti-Semitism, racism and hate in Europe.

More detail @ e-notícies (in Spanish)

Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) still camaigning against Israel

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
NGOs with terrorist ties were involved in the posting on Wednesday of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s blacklist of 112 companies with ties to Israeli settlements released on Wednesday, according to an Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs examination. […]

Finally, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) signed the November 2018 letter to Bachelet calling for the blacklist’s publication.

In April 2018, U.S. authorities announced that NPA—an NGO that conducts humanitarian activities and had been receiving American Government funding for years - was fined $2 million by the United States following an investigation that found that between 2012 and 2016, the NPA transferred funds for Gazan youth-empowerment projects, in which Hamas and PFLP operatives took part.

The investigation also revealed that the NPA provided various services to Iran between 2001 and 2008. Following these findings, it was determined that the organization’s reports to the U.S. Agency for International Development in these contexts were found to be false.  
“This is another disgraceful decision by the Human Rights Council, which proves once again the U.N.’s consistent anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred,” said Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan. “The UNHRC, which consists of tyrannical states and despot regimes, proves once again that it is a rotten institution that makes delusional decisions which have no connection to actual human rights.” 
read more

NGO Monitor report on Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Sweden: Two reality TV show participants make anti-Jewish statements

Via The Times of Israel:
Two contestants were kicked off a Swedish reality show after having a conversation in which one said she hates Jews, while a third who remains has previously expressed support for neo-Nazi ideas on social media. The comments, made during a live airing of the popular show “Big Brother,” drew a swift response from the network airing the show, as well as wide media coverage in Sweden.

Jewish community leaders also responded with concern, noting a rise in anti-Semitism across the Scandinavian country. […]

On Thursday, Kim Kamal, 21, could be heard complaining to fellow contestant Isabel Pereira, 24, about his former boss. Then he said, “She was a Jew, so I get it.”

“I hate Jews,” Pereira responded with a laugh.

Pereira was asked to leave the show shortly after she made the comments, while Kamal was told to do so the following day. Pereira later apologized for the comments in an Instagram post.

The fact that three out of the 13 participants of the popular reality TV show’s contestants this year have been involved in controversies around anti-Semitism prompted a leading Swedish columnist to ask whether attacking Jews has become a fashionable way to “stir the pot.”

Kristofer Ahlström, a columnist in Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s biggest newspapers, said that in the 1990s, Swedish TV shows would bring on certain types of opinionated people, such as “a loudmouthed feminist” or “a vegan,” in order to create controversial conversations that would draw viewers.
read more

Friday, February 14, 2020

Ukraine: Escaping anti-Semitism, 184 immigrants arrived in Israel on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Diaspora Ministry published its report on anti-Semitism in 2019. According to the report, Ukraine was one of the countries in the former Soviet Union that had actually seen a decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents overall. Nevertheless, anti-Semitic sentiment in Ukraine is still far from being eradicated. In fact, Ukraine saw an increase in the use of anti-Semitic rhetoric during the second half of 2019.

A significant number of the olim also said they felt threatened and were attacked on a frequent basis because of their Jewish identity. For the Shopotinsky family of four, moving from the city of Kryvyi Rih to Israel was a decision they made without any doubts or reservations. Alexander, the family’s father and husband, said: “I have always been proud of my Judaism. Despite the mocking and scorn I received from every angle, I did not change my family name. They would harass me and call me various insults attacking my Jewish identity. All of these challenges made it clear to me that there was no way I and my wife Victoria (35) would allow our children, Sergey (13) and Elizabetha (7) to grow up with similar, unfortunate experiences. It was therefore critical for us to bring our family to Israel where our children can live openly as Jews and be proud of their Judaism.” The Shopotinsky family plans to settle in the city of Haifa where the couple seeks to find work and adapt to life in Israel. […]  
Of the 184 olim from Ukraine that landed on Monday, 31 are children under eighteen, with the youngest being a one-year-old baby. The oldest oleh (new immigrant) is an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor. The city of Haifa is absorbing 20 olim, the largest portion of olim, followed by Netanya with 16 olim, Nahariya with 14 olim, Bat Yam and Acre each receiving 12 as well as Rishon LeZion and Kiryat Yam both of which are taking in 11 olim.
read more

France: The most dangerous place to be a Jew in Europe today is France

Judith Miller via City Journal:
Anti-Semitism, toujours - A new report highlights the dangers confronted by French Jews.

The most dangerous place to be a Jew in Europe today is France—that’s the conclusion of an as-yet unpublished, two-year report on anti-Semitism in 11 European countries, conducted by former NYPD commissioner Raymond W. Kelly for Ronald S. Lauder, the former U.S. Ambassador to Austria.

Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, has donated heavily to efforts combatting anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. He asked Kelly, New York’s longest-serving police commissioner, to assess the growth of the anti-Semitism sweeping Europe and suggest practical ways to strengthen the security of Jewish communities and institutions.

Though the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe has been widely noted and condemned, Kelly’s report concludes that the threat to France’s 450,000 Jews—the world’s third-largest community, after Israel and the U.S.—is the most “acute.” Attacks and threats against French Jews surged 74 percent from 2017 to 2018, the report finds, and preliminary data for the first half of 2019 indicate “further intensification,” with another 75 percent increase last year. Moreover, the official estimates of some 500 attacks and anti-Semitic acts per year are “notoriously under reported,” according to the study, which contends that “no responsible individuals or even government representatives place much credence in these numbers.”  
Kelly and two additional investigators, David Cohen and Mitchell D. Silber, both former senior NYPD counterterrorism officials, blame the French government for failing to respond to the almost-constant violence against and harassment of French Jews. Government funds to the Jewish community total just $3.7 million a year—“about one-fifth of what British Jews receive from their government, though France’s Jewish population is roughly double that of Britain.” […]

While the report doesn’t urge Jews to emigrate, it suggests a bleak future for those who remain, given the projected population growth among French Muslims. The French Muslim population now stands at some 6 million, and a recent Pew study projects a 50 percent increase in their numbers by 2050, even with no additional immigration. […]

Overall, however, the report seems pessimistic. “Radical Islam is universally seen in France as a physical threat,” Kelly and his team conclude. “And this more violence-prone anti-Semitism is certain to worsen.”
read more

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Germany can’t stop loving Iran but should stop courting the country that denies the Holocaust

Matthias Küntzel via Tablet Magazine:
Last week, Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, mistakenly congratulated the Iranian regime on the 41st anniversary of the Khomenist revolution that established the Islamic Republic of Iran. On Feb. 7, the president announced that this year he would not send a congratulatory telegram to Iran’s rulers. But Steinmeier’s change of heart was too late—according to the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel, a congratulatory telegram had already been sent by the Federal President’s Office to the German Embassy in Tehran and then forwarded to the Iranian authorities due to a “breakdown” in the communication system.

The contradiction between the delivery of the official congratulations and the German president’s public attempt to disavow the substance of its message revealed the Janus-headed nature of Germany’s relationship to Iran. If there is any country that might be expected to distance itself from Iran, it is Germany because of its history and its special relationship with Israel. But the opposite is the case. Germany of all European countries is also the weakest link in the chain when it comes to renewed sanctions. Why? […]

Back in the 1990s, when the Clinton administration launched a major diplomatic campaign against the threat of an Iranian bomb, this fact was not just puzzling, but a serious bone of contention. In 1995, President Bill Clinton prohibited all American firms from trading with Iran—an effort at sanctions that was systematically undermined by intensified German exports to Iran. Hossain Mousavian, Iran’s ambassador to Germany at that time, mischievously recorded the great delight this caused in Tehran: “Iranian decision-makers were well aware in the 1990s of Germany’s significant role in breaking the economic chains with which the United States had surrounded Iran. … Iran viewed its dialogue and relations with Germany as an important means toward the circumvention of the anti-Iranian policies of the United States.”

In September 2004, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer from the Green Party confirmed Mousavian’s assessment in a speech disseminated by the German government: “We Europeans have constantly advised our Iranian partners in their own well-founded interest to view us as their protective shield.” Europe as the shield between Iran and America: Not to protect the United States from the Islamists, but the Islamists from the United States. Such a metaphor could only occur to someone who sees America as the adversary and the Khomenist revolution as meriting protection. [..]

On Jan. 15, 2020, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas explained how he sees this difference in the Bundestag: “We rely on reasonable diplomacy instead of maximum pressure” like the United States does. Maas forgot to add that Germany has no other choice. Germany is an economic superpower but a military dwarf. As soon as there is a threat of military action, Germany is no longer relevant. Maas, however, presents this shortcoming as a moral triumph: The Iran nuclear deal is held up as the best example of the correctness of the German insistence that changes can only be achieved through dialogue. Little thought, however, is given to what exactly 40 years of “dialogue with Tehran” have actually achieved. […] 
Instead of clinging to the failed JCPOA, whose provisions will soon expire anyway, Germany should use the end of this deal as an opportunity to fundamentally change its policy on Iran. Its current relationship is not based on a rational consideration of interests, but on nostalgia, illusion, and disregard for Israel’s survival interests. It is time to finally support those who are rising up against the Iranian terrorist regime instead of the butchers in the regime. It is necessary to use severe sanctions to force the regime to abandon its nuclear weapons ambition, so as to avoid the alternative of war. Finally, the need for the country that was responsible for the Holocaust yesterday to stop courting the country that denies the Holocaust today is long overdue.
read more

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

UK: Peter Hitchens calls Yasser Arafat an "awful old antisemite"

Peter Hitchens column @ Mail on Sunday:
Pointless 'peace plans' that fuel violence

Whatever happened to Middle East peace? Some sort of deal between Israel and the local Arabs was, for decades, the vital goal of diplomacy.

US presidents were obliged to try to achieve it. Both sides were repeatedly dragged to summits where they were forced to shake hands and smile at each other while clenching their teeth.

I was once present at one of these horrible staged occasions, on the White House lawn in September 1993, when a smiling Bill Clinton compelled Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin and that awful old antisemite Yasser Arafat (who once said ‘I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews’) to pretend to be friends.

That particular episode ended with the murder of Yitzhak Rabin by an ultra-Zionist fanatic and with a renewed wave of organised Arab violence on the West Bank of the Jordan.

In fact, this has been the outcome of almost all such efforts: more division, more violence, more barriers, more checkpoints.
read more

Europe: EU-Israel Association Council has not met since 2012

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
Spanish MEP asks EU leadership to re-establish meeting of EU-Israel Association Council which has not convened since 2012.  
"Israel has been a strategic ally of the European Union, even before the signature in 1995 of the association agreement between the two, though unfortunately the association council, which this agreement envisions, has not held a formal meeting since 2012," wrote Antonio López-Istúriz White in his questions to the EU leaders.

He regretted that "some Member States are fixed on blocking the celebration of these meetings, as a way of boycotting Israel due to the country´s policy vis-a-vis to Palestine."

The EU-Israel Association Council, the main ministerial body governing the EU-Israel Association Council, has not met since 2012 due to disagreements over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite intense bilateral cooperation in several sectors such as trade, technology, science, security, culture, education… Several European Commissioners have visited Israel.

The Association Council was originally created in the framework of the 2000 EU-Israel Association Council to be convened every year. Generally, it is held at Foreign Minister level.

But no EU-Israel ministerial meeting since eight years while since then the EU has convened Association Councils with Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt almost yearly.

This is why the Chairman of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel, Spanish MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White has addressed questions to both the EU Council President Charles Michel and EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on this issue, urging the re-establishment of the EU-Israel Association Council under the new EU leadership.
read more

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Europe: Islamic University of Gaza has project partnerships with 130 European universities and research centers located in 21 EU countries

Note: For Portugal alone, five universities are associated with the Islamic University of Gaza: Universidade do Minho (coordinator), Universidade do Algarve, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Universidade do Porto and Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (JAMIES project).

Via Gatestone Institute:
Palestinian musicians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip are facing death threats after a Muslim scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Sliman al-Farra, published a fatwa (a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar) prohibiting a local band from performing.

Farra works for Islamic University of Gaza, a member of four regional and international associations of higher education, and has project partnerships with more than 130 European universities and research centers located in 21 EU countries.

Published on November 23, 2019, the fatwa targets Sol Band, a Palestinian music group established in the Gaza Strip eight years ago:
"The music group Sol Band, which has been roaming the streets of the Gaza Strip, has been violating God's sanctities by promoting tabarruj (women dressing up immodestly in violation of Islamic teachings) and the mixing of the sexes... Their actions weaken the young men and encourage sinners. Indulging it leads to great corruption and evil and results in behavioral and intellectual deviation among young people. It is not permissible to promote or meet with them or listen to their songs, even if they are patriotic."
[…] The campaign of incitement against Sol Band did not surprise many Palestinians, particularly those living in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The only songs Hamas and its followers want are those that promote hate and violence.

One Hamas song, released in 2017, is titled "Zionist, You Will Perish in Gaza."

Another Hamas song threatens to eat Jews alive. "I will eat you alive, tastes best without salt, Zionist – Yes, yes, you." The lyrics and rhythmic beat are accompanied by animation, in which rockets are being fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

A recent Hamas song includes many images of violence and actual terror attacks. Among the scenes showed during the rendition are stabbings, car-ramming attacks and explosions. The lyrics include the following statements:
"Where are you, O rebel; wrap the explosive belt around [your waist]; blow up the Zionists, don't fear; scatter the enemies' body parts, make the skulls fly in the sky."
The members of Sol Band did not call for "scattering the body parts" of Jews, and that is probably the main reason why they are being targeted by Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip. The musicians would have been welcomed by Hamas had they called on Palestinians to "make the skulls of (Jews) fly in the sky." This is the only type of song that the Muslim extremists are willing to tolerate.

What is disturbing, however, is the silence of the international community, specifically the EU partners of Islamic University in Gaza, where Farra serves as a lecturer. Do the Europeans working with the university condone threats against musicians?

Or are the Europeans ignoring Farra's fatwa because it was issued by a Muslim against Muslims? The EU countries and educational institutions are most likely ignoring such threats because they were not made by Israel.

Had Sol Band been threatened by Israel, the Europeans and other international human rights organizations would have issued immediate statements condemning Israel.

The silence of the international community emboldens Hamas and scholars such as Farra, and allows them to continue their repressive measures against Palestinians. It also allows Hamas and terror groups to continue calling for blowing up the skulls of Jews and eating them alive.
read more

Europe: 55% of Israelis see the EU as Israel’s "enemy"

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Last October, the EU Delegation to Israel published an unusual tender, worth €285,000, soliciting the assistance of local public relations companies in order to “change the negative image” of Europe in Israel.

The proposal cites an EU-commissioned survey which demonstrates the extent of Israeli public mistrust of Europe. According to the survey, 55% see the EU as Israel’s “enemy,” while only 18% identify it as a “friend.” According to the Israeli news outlet ICE, the results of the survey reaffirm negative perceptions toward EU member states on a number of fronts, including their funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), claims that the EU supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign directly or indirectly, and even accusations that it “supports terror entities indirectly.”

These attitudes, apparently held by many Israelis, did not emerge suddenly. The EU is completely out of sync with Israelis on the issues that strike the deepest emotional chords, and is seen as tone deaf, at best, in appreciating the Israeli perspective.

Even if the public learns about the EU’s investment in cutting-edge scientific research at Israeli universities, they will not soon forget about how Europe flirts with BDS with product labeling or treating the anti-Israel movement as merely free speech.

Israelis see that the EU engages selectively with a narrow ideological group of civil society, such as B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence. They hear the repeated condemnations of Israeli policy concerning Area C of the West Bank, as if this is the major issue on the EU’s agenda.

Then there is EU and European funding for organizations that delegitimize Israel, including those that have ties to groups which the EU itself designates as terrorist entities. Two months after the European tender proposal, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced it had uncovered a 50-person terrorist network operated in the West Bank by one of these groups, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The statement named several leading PFLP figures, several who currently or previously worked for European-funded NGOs in financial roles.

Samer Arbid, suspected of having commanded a PFLP terrorist cell that murdered a 17-year old Israeli girl in August 2019, worked as the accountant of the PFLP-affiliated NGO Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) at the time of his arrest. UAWC is funded directly and indirectly by the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Norway. Arbid previously worked as an accountant for the PFLP-tied NGO Addameer, funded by Norway, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and the German Heinrich Böll Foundation. 
read more

Monday, February 10, 2020

Ireland: Will Sinn Féin’s ascent hurt Israel-Ireland relations?

Via The Jerusalem Post:
With Sinn Féin, the political arm of the former Irish Republican Army, surging in exit polls in Saturday’s election, there is a real possibility that the next government of Ireland could take anti-Israel steps in the near future.

Sinn Féin, which has long held anti-Israel positions, reached 22.3% of the vote for the Daíl, Ireland’s lower house of parliament, the highest share of the national vote it has ever received, according to exit polls. […]

“Fine Gael, which has been in power since 2011, has been friendlier to Israel than Fianna Fáil or, for that matter, Sinn Féin, of course, which has been known to be extremely anti-Israel and very close to the Palestinian delegation in Ireland,” said Daniela Traub, Israel’s former deputy ambassador to Ireland. […]

Still, Irish journalist Michael Fitzgerald said: “You never lose votes for being anti-Israel here. Just about every party supports anti-Israel measures.”

There are two issues on the agenda when it comes to Israel and Ireland: the “Occupied Territories Bill” and possible recognition of a Palestinian state.

Both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil said ahead of the election they support the bill to criminalize doing business with Israelis from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. They also said they would recognize a Palestinian state. Both are popular positions shared by almost every party running.

If the “Occupied Territories Bill” becomes law, it could fine merchants in Ireland that sell products from the West Bank, Golan Heights or east Jerusalem for up to €250,000 or sentence them to up to five years in jail.

Sinn Féin’s election platform said it will “ban goods from Israel’s illegal colonial settlements in Palestine from entering the Irish market by implementing the Occupied Territories Bill.”
read more

France: Muslim anti-Semitism, Islamism, terror and "internal alyah"

Via Harry's Place - Cross-posted from Karl Pfeifer at  The German version was published @ Jüdische Allgemeiner (Frankreich "Die Täter sind tabu")

Georges Bensoussan’s Moroccan-Jewish family was forced to emigrate to France. As a historian, he has specialized in the Jewish history of Europe. He has also studied anti-Semitism among Muslim immigrant children for more than 20 years. He documented France’s "lost areas" [territoires perdus de la République] – the suburbs, the migrant social centers and the aggressive Islamism that exists there. Many politicians and the media remain in denial about these subjects…

Mr. Bensoussan, for some time now, when reading and listening to French media, there is a feeling that a new postmodern language is in vogue. How has this happened?

There is a new language aimed at obscuring reality behind words that mean the exact opposite of what they are saying. The new language wants the listener to doubt his own opinions and so be persuaded that the perceptions of the party, the organization, the elite – that this new „public opinion“ – is really just common sense. […]

There is also the new term "racisé". What does it mean?

Anti-racists propagate the idea of "racized" or to racialize so reviving and reshaping the old concepts of race and new life. As a result, racism has been energized in new ways. As far as anti-Semitism is concerned, people believe that it is now tolerant and compassionate to reject Jews in the cause of anti-racism. This leads to the paradox of ostracizing the State of Israel, as a "lesson from the Shoah" (can one speak of a lesson in relation to this catastrophe?). This really means that the Jews should be expelled from humanity again. […]
Could the next upheaval be more violent than the last two?

Politicians are aware that the next upheaval could turn into an uprising. You would no longer be dealing just with Molotov cocktails, but with weapons of war. The widespread illegal trade in weapons is well known, it takes place alongside the drug business. The political class and the security services are aware of this-the resulting uncertainty does not encourage openness, but instead, denial. […]
How do the Jews who live in the suburbs, react to anti-social Muslim neighbors?

With what is called the "inner alyah".

Does that mean they leave the problematic neighborhoods and move away to other parts of the city or regions?

Yes, they are safer there. For example, 80 percent of Jews have left the Department with the most problems – Seine-Saint-Denis in the north of Paris – during the past ten years.

So their first reaction is moving away – not necessarily abroad, but to quieter areas?

For example, in Paris, in recent years, the 17th arrondissement in the northwest of the city has become France’s most important Jewish quarter with 40,000 inhabitants, with a variety of kosher grocery stores, butchers and restaurants.

Would the next step be emigration to another country?

Between 2000 and 2018, 52,000 Jews departed for Israel, and we do not know how many emigrated to Québec in French-speaking Canada. Nobody denies the cause, which is anti-Semitism. However, the anti-Semites themselves are untouchable. The dead Jews are honored so that the living can be better forgotten. It is a pathetic display of defeat, combining denial and cowardice.
read more


-   France: Leading Jewish scholar Georges Bensoussan prosecuted for speaking out against Muslim antisemitism 
-   France: A double whammy for the Jews of France 
-   France: 67% of French people indifferent to Jews leaving France

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Europe: Our European enemy

Via Victor Rosenthal @ Abu Yehuda:
Our state is tiny, in size and population. The Nations didn’t want it to exist at all, and when they couldn’t stop it they did their best to keep it small. There aren’t so many Jews in the world, anyway; millennia of oppression and murder have kept our numbers down, and today there are millions who are “Jewish by extraction” but are assimilated enough to other cultures to be lost forever to the Jewish people.

In all the world there are fewer than 15 million Jews, in Israel fewer than 7 million. But there are forces arrayed against us that are unique in their scope and viciousness. […]

What’s true for Jews goes triple for their state. I won’t repeat the depressing statistics about the number of UN resolutions condemning Israel that pass every year, and the fact that it is consistently attacked there for crimes that it did not commit while countries that do engage in murder, aggression, and oppression are never mentioned. […]

After the war there was a general revulsion in what was left of the countries that had participated in the biggest pogrom in history, as well as an understanding on the part of the Jewish remnant that our state had to be established regardless of the cost, which prevailed against the resistance – imagine, after all that! – the resistance from Britain and the Arabs.

But the antisemitism of Europe didn’t go away, although it was pushed under cover by the embarrassment of its involvement in the pogrom of pogroms.  […] And while there is still enough revulsion left to prevent them from repeating their attempt to liquidate our people, it hasn’t stopped them from paying to create the conditions for others to do it for them.

So we have European powers, particularly Germany (of all nations) and the hyper-civilized Scandinavian countries, the ones who abhor physical violence and have made the expression of racist sentiments illegal, spending millions of Euros of their citizens’ taxes on enterprises designed to weaken the Jewish state and set the stage for its destruction by Arabs or Iranians who aren’t squeamish about direct action with guns and bombs to accomplish the goal desired – but never said out loud in public – in Brussels, Berlin, and Stockholm.

European money keeps numerous international and Israeli organizations afloat, usually ostensibly in defense of human rights, but practically focusing on the rights and national aspirations of one particular group, the Palestinian Arabs. If you ask an honest Palestinian, he will tell you that he aspires, above all else, to violently kick the Jews out of all of the Land of Israel, in which he believes they have no right to live (except as a dhimmi minority), and certainly no right to have a sovereign state.

The Europeans, realizing that this aspiration smells uncomfortably like the 1940s, insist that what they want is only to divide Israel along the 1949 armistice line and set up a Palestinian Arab state in the eastern part. Then this state will live happily alongside Israel, with its 9-mile wide waist, and the “Middle Eastern Conflict” will be over. This is called the “two-state solution,” but of course won’t solve anything except the difficulties the Arabs have today in hitting Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport from their territory with the cheapest and simplest of mortars. […]

For example – and this is just one of countless similar examples – the European Union has granted more than half a million dollars (500,000 Euros) to an Israeli NGO whose objective is to change the attitude of Russian-speaking Israelis, who have always leaned politically right – for obvious reasons – and who have opposed the creation of a Palestinian state. The EU says that the grant is intended to
… promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and potential shifts in public opinion among the Russian-speaking community by building confidence and trust in the two-state solution among a population that has traditionally rejected and been omitted from the process, as well as to deconstruct a negative view of the Palestinian narrative.
It should be obvious that the political attitudes of Russian-speaking Israelis are nobody’s business but Israel’s. But this item provides a window into the overall program of the EU and individual European countries, which work on numerous levels to bring about the partition of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.

This and other manipulative programs, including financial support for international and Israeli NGOs that propagandize, support BDS, and engage in lawfare against Israel, complement the EU’s investment in building infrastructure for Palestinians in Area C, the part of Judea and Samaria that according to the Oslo accords is under Israeli civil control. These building projects, done without permits or permission, are intended to create facts on the ground that will make it more difficult for Israel to retain control of these areas in any future deal. At the same time, international pressure on Israel to not build in the territories, even inside existing settlements that will certainly end up as part of Israel, has been effective. Despite news reports that “1000 new homes have been approved” and so forth, very few buildings have actually been constructed. And illegal Palestinian settlements have not been removed.

Make no mistake – the Palestinian leadership has no interest in a state in the territories except as a stepping stone to the replacement of Israel by an Arab state, and the death or dispersal of about half of the Jewish people. They say it themselves over and over.

Are officials in the EU and individual countries that support this project so stupid or blind and deaf as to fail to understand that? Do they not know that the funds that they provide to the Palestinian Authority are used to pay terrorists? Do they not see that UNRWA, of which they are now the prime funder, educates Palestinian children to hate?

I don’t believe it.
read  more

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Belgium is outraged by Israel’s criticism of Belgium’s invitation of terror-linked NGO official at the UN Security Council

Belgium's outrageous systematic campaign to demonize Israel at the United Nations

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
[…] Israel’s ambassador to Belgium, Emmanuel Nahshon, was summoned to the Belgian foreign ministry Friday morning following "harsh" comments made on social media about the invitation addressed by Belgium to an NGO official suspected of links to a terror group to speak at a session of the United Nations Security Council.

"We are very surprised, astonished and even outraged by the comments made in articles but mainly on social media on this issue," a Belgian foreign ministry spokesperson told the European Jewish Press (EJP). "We have summoned the Ambassador of Israel this morning to express this astonishment because he retweeted certain tweets while he has as Ambassador the official capacity of representing the State of Israel in Belgium." 
"We expressed our very clear disagreement with that both on substance and form," the spoksperson, Arnaud Gaspart, said.

On Thursday, the Belgian chargé d’affaires in Israel Pascal Buffin was summoned to the Israeli foreign ministry for a reprimand over moves the country has made as a member of the UN Security Council, in particular the fact that Belgium, which is presiding over the United Nations Security Council since February, has invited Brad Parker, a senior official of the NGO Defense for Children – Palestine (DCI-P) to brief the council’s members.

DCI-P, which calls itself an organization defending the human rights of Palestinian children and alleges Israel is committing war crimes, supports the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. […]

"Belgium is continuing to adopt an anti-Israel line in the UN, but must know that it will have a price. Israel’s denigrators will enter a battle they weren’t looking for," he added.

"Belgium has positioned itself as one of the Security Council member states most hostile toward Israel," the Israeli foreign minuistry spokesperson Lior Hayat said.

In a tweet, the Israeli ambassador to Belgium wrote "unfortunately Belgium has chosen to invite terror supporters to a Security Council debate. This is extremely disappointing and we will express our outrage in the strongest terms."

Contacted by European Jewish Press, the Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesperson explained that the reason behind the invitation made to Parker to speak at the Security Council was the fact that Belgium currently chairs the New York task force on children in armed conflicts, which is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council.
read more

Friday, February 7, 2020

Belgium's outrageous systematic campaign to demonize Israel at the United Nations

Via The Times of Israel:
Israel is angry at Belgium for what Jerusalem says is a systematic campaign to demonize the Jewish state at the United Nations, including by hosting a “radical” pro-Palestinian activist next week at the Security Council.

In February, Belgium holds the rotating presidency of the council and is using this privilege to invite speakers who, according to fuming Jerusalem officials, hold an extreme anti-Israel bias. They were especially outraged about Brussels inviting Brad Parker, a senior official for a nonprofit called Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), to speak at the council’s session.

“Belgium has positioned itself as one of the Security Council member states most hostile toward Israel,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat told The Times of Israel on Thursday. “Inviting a one-sided radical activist such as Mr. Parker to brief the Security Council is yet another negative record.”

Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon on Thursday took to Twitter to express regret at Brussels inviting “terror supporters” to the Security Council. “This is extremely disappointing and we will express our outrage in the strongest possible terms.” 
read more

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Belgium: Despite condemnations, carnival is expected to display again antisemitic puppets

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):

The city of Aalst in Belgium is located only 51 km from the Kaserne Dossin in Mechelen, the transit camp from where more than 25,000 Jews and Roma were deported from 1942 to 1944 on 28 transports to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Only 1,219 Jews survived. A Holocaust Museum in Mechelen recounts these tragic events.

Aalst is famous for its infamous annual traditional carnival which almost every year displays antisemitic floats. Last year, Jewish groups, but also the European Commission, condemned the carnival’s racist and antisemitic caricatures on display, including a float featuring two giant puppets of Orthodox Jews with hooked noses and rats sitting on money bags.

Caricatures which shocked the Jewish community as they were reminiscent of Nazi period propaganda.

In December, UNESCO, the Paris-based United Nations agency for education and culture, decided to remove the carnival from its ”World Cultural Heritage” list.

It said in a statement that it "stands by its founding principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect among peoples and condemns all forms of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia."

Despite this decision and overall condemnation, organisers of the 2020 carnival edition released at the end of last year dozens of ribbons depicting Jews in a stereotypical fashion with a hat, ringlets, a hooked nose and golden teeth. They also made fun of UNESCO.

One month after ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, the Aalst carnival procession which will take place on 23 February is expected to display again the puppets dressed as Jews with hooked noses. The Forum of Jewish Organizations said it is submitting a new complaint to the European Commission in advance and is hoping to prevent the procession.
read more

EU statement against Trump peace plan blocked by several countries

Via European Jewish Press (EJP):
At least six European member states on Tuesday opposed a push by E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for a joint resolution by the 27 members states of the E.U. Foreign Affairs Council criticizing the Trump peace plan and warning Israel against annexing parts of the West Bank.  
Italy, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and at least two other unnamed nations opposed the resolution following intense lobbying efforts by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, according to Israeli media reports. Israel reportedly argued that the proposed resolution was one-sided and encouraged the Palestinians to avoid negotiations.  
Apparently outraged by the failure, Borrell issued his own independent statement on Tuesday, warning that the European Union is committed to a two-state solution featuring “an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable state of Palestine,” and that the US deal “departs from these internationally agreed parameters.”  
“Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” he added.  
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat took to Twitter to criticize the E.U. foreign policy chief’s “threatening language towards Israel.”  
“The fact that the High Rep of the EU, Josep Borrel [sic], chose to use threatening language towards Israel, so shortly after he assumed office & only hours after his meetings in Iran, is regrettable &, to say the least, odd,” said Haiat. “Pursuing such policies & conduct is the best way to ensure that the EU’s role in any process will be minimized.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Portugal: Antisemitic cartoonist wins, then loses, prize in France

Elder of Ziyon's reader Nara posted this comment about antisemitism in Portugal:
I know the outcome in Portugal. This cartoonist will be hailed as an hero of free speech and everyone here will stand by his side (this was what happened when cartoonist Antonio of the New York Times was condemned). Israel hatred is mainstream in Portugal (dominated for decades by a sociological left wing). If you want to learn something about Israel you have to read foreign press but you need to be previously interested in the issue to do such research. Otherwise, you will only know the hardcore anti-Israeli tale: that in the Middle East there is an oppressed people called "Palestinians" who are being put in ghettos and then randomly killed by Jews by no reason except sadism. When Eurovision was held in Tel Aviv, several well-known Portuguese artists signed a letter asking for a boycott. This letter made very serious accusations against Israel, namely that the Nation State Law established the superiority of the "Jewish race" over other races, and that in Gaza people were being killed by Israeli soldiers with impunity. The letter made no explanation of these killings and no mention of Hamas. I suppose that this letter was more extreme than other BDS letters in other countries. Because here nobody cares. In fact, nobody refuted these claims. Publicly showing support for Israel is rare. The Jewish community is very very tiny [about 600 people]. The Sephardi Jews who applied for Portuguese nationality also do not stay here, they just use the law in order to gain access to Europe.

Via Elder of Zion:
The artist for the grotesque, antisemitic cartoon shown above is Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo. He has a history of such antisemitic cartoons; he also entered in Holocaust cartoon contests from Iran.

Gargalo received an award entitled "Prix Plumes libres pour la démocratie" from the magazine "Courrier International" and the City of Strasbourg last November.

Gargalo has quite an oeuvre.

Published on 2 December @ Sábado magazine and on Gargalo's twitter account.

Even an Israeli winning Eurovision was too much for him to stomach. Because all Israeli Jews are evil and they must not win international competitions.
Yeah, he's an antisemite.

The president of B'nai Brith France, Phillipe Meyer reacted by calling the award an "aberration, provocation, infamy." As soon as this was publicized last week there were other strong condemnations.

Finally, the magazine and City of Strasbourg withdrew the reward, calling the Nazi cartoon above "heinous" and saying that had they known about the cartoons, they would never have awarded the prize.

Monday, February 3, 2020

France: Attack against a young Jewish man wearing a kippah (Jews are rich)

Via BNVCA (French National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism):

 A new antisemitic attack was perpetrated in the Paris metro against a Jew wearing a kippah.

The victim, aged 25, was at the Jaurès underground station on February 2 at midnight.  He was approached by four men described as of North African origin, aged between 30 and 40.

They tried to rob him and then asked for cigarettes. One of the thugs told him that he could buy him cigarettes because the Jews have got money.

One of the attackers pinned the victim against the wall.  Luckily passengers came to his rescue by freeing him and by stopping the perpetrators from boarding the train.

As the BNVCA rightly points out: "Once a again the old cliché of the Jew and money poisons certain minds".

read more (in French)

By way of example, the "elite' Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo, who works for the Portuguese mainstream media, drew this portrait of the Jew carrying bags of money.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Portugal: Btsalmo demands firing of mainstream magazine cartoonist after antisemitic cartoon

Portuguese magazine Sábado posted this cartoon by Vasco Gargalo representing the crucifixion on a Jewish Magen David (and not on a Christian cross) of a black controversial politician Joacine Katar Moreira (by the way, her party, Livre, removed its political confidence from Katar Moreira).  Is the magazine Sábado implying that Israel treats its black citizens like this - putting them to death in this vile and cruel way ?  Interestingly, there wasn't a single protest in Portugal with regard to Gargalo's antisemitic drawings.  A quick look at his Twitter account shows his utter detestation and disgust of Israel and its Jewish citizens.

Via Judean Rose:

Btsalmo, a human rights organization based in Israel, has written to the editor of Sabado Magazine, demanding the dismissal of cartoonist Vasco Gargalo for his cartoon of a “Palestinian” Holocaust.

The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shoving a PA flag-draped coffin into an oven bearing the infamous slogan from the gates of Auschwitz, Arbeit Macht Frei, “work will set you free.”

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Portugal: Conservative politician called saviour of Jews a 'loan shark' of the Jews and praised Salazar (update)


Abel Matos Santos resigned from the CDS-PP executive committee
At issue are the statements that Abel Matos Santos made, from 2012 to 2015, in various publications on the social network Facebook, with praise for Salazar and PIDE. Portugal’s consul in Bordeaux, Aristides Sousa Mendes, also called the “loan shark of the Jews”, who helped save thousands of Jews during World War II.
Calling Aristides de Sousa Mendes a corrupt loan shark for the Jews is revolting.  When died in 1954, he was so poor that he was buried in a Franciscan habit because he did not own a proper suit.

Via Time 24 News:
The CDS “cannot be conniving” with the statements of its leader Abel Matos Santos about Aristides Sousa Mendes, writes this Thursday in a statement to the Israeli Community of Lisbon (CIL).  
It is a reaction to the positions of the member of the centrist executive committee and a former candidate for the leadership of the party, who on social media called the “Jewish loan shark” to the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, which saved 30,000 lives from the Nazi Holocaust. It is with “amazement and surprise” that CIL reacts to the words of Matos Santos, that Expresso reported on Wednesday.  
Its content, considers this Jewish organization in Portugal, is “offensive to the memory of one of the greatest diplomats in Portugal, the consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Justo entre Nações”. The statement is signed by CIL President José Oulman Carp.  
During World War II, Sousa Mendes disobeyed Salazar’s orders to allow 30,000 Jews to pass through Portugal, issuing visas and allowing them to escape the concentration and extermination camps. He claimed to have done it as an “act of conscience”.  
He ended up demoted by the dictator, but he was one of the first people recognized as Just Among Nations by Yad Vashem, an organization that preserves the memory of the victims of the Shoah, based in Jerusalem. Thus considered in 1966, he is one of four Portuguese distinguished with the title, alongside the also diplomat Carlos Sampayo Garrido (2010), Father Joaquim Carreira (2014) and José Brito-Mendes, of Portuguese origin but listed as French for being emigrant.
read more 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ukraine: Senior economist says Ukrainians let Jews ‘dominate’ them

Via JTA:
A senior economist in Ukraine said the country’s leaders secretly are serving Israel.

Local Jews said Joseph Sytnik, a department head at the Lviv Polytechnic University, was espousing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Sytnik penned the text on Tuesday and posted the essay on Facebook alongside photographs of Israel visits by Ukraine’s current president, Vlodymyr Zelensky, and previous prime minister, Vldymyr Groysman, who are Jewish, and former president Petro Proshenko, who is not. Each of the men was shown wearing a kippah.

Back home, Sytnik wrote, Ukrainian politicians are “sinners, advancing slavery and self-destruction.”

But “at the Western Wall in Jerusalem they take off their Ukrainian masks for a moment, refuse their roles, which they perform spectacular in Ukraine and become real. For in that place they have a drop of conscience, faith, sense of duty and responsibility for their roots, there they feel fear for their sins, there they are truly afraid of their God and the law.
read more

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Finland: Turku synagogue vandalised on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Via Yle:
Turku Synagogue was vandalised overnight Sunday, according to a report in local paper Åbo Underrättelser (in Swedish, subscription-only).

On Monday morning, the synagogue's front door, steps and walls were found to have been splattered with a large amount of red paint.

The chair of the Jewish congregational supervisory board, Harry Serlo, told Yle that he was informed about the vandalism as he was headed on vacation, saying that the matter would be reported to police.

Newspaper Turun Sanomat reported that the paint looked like it had been thrown onto the synagogue with paint-filled balloons (in Finnish).
read more

Germany: Israel's flag flown on smokestack in Germany to insult Holocaust

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Unknown antisemites raised an Israeli flag on a 40-meter high smokestack in the eastern German city of Leipzig on Monday – the day the international community commemorated the liberation of Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Bild reporter Markus Langer first reported on the outbreak of antisemitism, terming it a "disgusting provocation."
read more

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Germany: Foreign minister warns of ‘massive exodus of Jews’

Via Jewish News:
Germany’s foreign minister has called for strengthened efforts against anti-Semitism to ward off the possibility that many Jews may decide to leave the country.

Heiko Maas said in an article for the weekly Der Spiegel newspaper that German politicians must do more “but there is one thing they can’t do: replace solidarity in everyday life”. […]

Mr Maas said anti-Semitism has become part of everyday life now for Jews in Germany and “it doesn’t surprise me that nearly every second Jew in Germany has thought about leaving the country”.

“We must urgently take countermeasures so that such thoughts don’t turn into bitter reality and it doesn’t come to a massive exodus of Jews from Germany,” he wrote.

“That people of Jewish faith no longer feel at home here is a real nightmare – and a disgrace, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.”
read more

UK: Labour frontbencher took six months to remove anti-Semitic posts from his Facebook despite saying he was 'mortified' by them

Via The Telegraph:
Labour frontbencher who claimed that he was "mortified" to discover he had "accidentally" shared anti-Semitic posts failed to remove the remarks from his Facebook page for another six months after his apology.  
Afzal Khan, the shadow immigration minister, who said he was "sincerely sorry" for sharing a post in 2015 which referred to an "Israel-British-Swiss- Rothschilds crime syndicate" and "mass murdering Rothschilds Israeli mafia criminal liars", only removed the post from his Facebook page yesterday afternoon [24 January], after being asked by The Telegraph why it remained. Campaigners had alleged that Mr Khan's failure to remove the remarks called into question the sincerity of Mr Khan's apology.
read more

Monday, January 27, 2020

Belgium: Jews let down by discredited anti-discrimination agency UNIA

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Belgian police will open an online hotline for reporting antisemitic and racist incidents, and some Jews hope it will replace the country’s discredited anti-discrimination agency.

Michael Freilich, a Jewish member of Belgian parliament, announced the hotline’s opening Wednesday.

Going in person to a police station is intimidating for many victims, and Belgian Jews no longer trust UNIA, the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, and its hotline, Freilich is quoted as saying.

Recently, the right-leaning government of the Flemish Region — one of Belgium’s three states — pulled out of UNIA to set up its own anti-racism body.

In 2017, the Region’s Forum of Jewish Organizations said they “lost all confidence” in UNIA over its lawyer’s defense of a Palestinian man accused of hate speech for calls to slaughter Jews at an anti-Israel rally. The same UNIA lawyer later helped convict the Palestinian.

In an email leaked in 2017, the lawyer, Johan Otte, called the Palestinian’s guilty verdict “distorted justice instead of true justice,” even though UNIA was one of two complainants who had initiated the trial. […]

In 2011, a police superintendent, David Vroome, told the media that an employee of a predecessor of UNIA said that Jews “think they can get away with everything because they have money, financial power but also because they keep triggering our guilt over the Holocaust.”

The predecessor group defended the employee and accused the officer of a “dishonest account.”
read more

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Belgium: New Antisemitism scandal as daily paper accuses ‘Zionists’ of ‘playing Holocaust card"

Note: De Standaard is a right leaning (Catholic) daily paper - Dyab Abu Jahjah was a columnist for De Standaard for many years. Israel-bashing is widespread in Belgium at all levels of society. As Ben Cohen points out that: "The ADL study additionally noted that “in Europe, support for Israel boycotts was found to be highest in Belgium, where 18 percent said they supported BDS [the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ campaign against Israel.]”

Via The Algemeiner

One of Belgian’s leading newspapers was excoriated by Israel’s ambassador in Brussels this week for publishing an opinion piece that amounted to what he called “cheap, distorted and devious antisemitism and anti-Israel drivel.”  
The offending article — in the mass-circulation Flemish-language daily de Standaard — was authored by a Belgian journalist, Johan Depoortere. Titled “How the Zionists ‘Discovered’ the Holocaust,” the article’s appearance was timed to coincide with the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Illustrated with a photo of the followers of Neturei Karta — a miniscule group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who are bitterly opposed to the Zionist movement and shunned by the Jewish mainstream — Depoortere’s piece began with the observation that the millions of Jews exterminated by the Nazis cannot “protest if they are used to justify another injustice: a regime [Israel] that has imposed discrimination and apartheid in law.”

Several of the historical claims made by Depoortere in the article did not stand up under scrutiny. For example, he protested “[T]hat a people [the Palestinians] who did not participate in the massacre of European Jews by the Nazis have to pay the price for that crime or are accused of antisemitism,” with no mention of the alliance forged by the wartime Palestinian Arab leader, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and the Nazi regime. […]  
Emmanuel Nahshon — Israel’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg — remarked on Twitter on Thursday that he had encountered the article while attending the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem.

“Shame on you @destandaard!” Nahshon declared.

The controversy over Depoortere’s piece comes only a few months after another Flemish newspaper, De Morgen, published a viciously antisemitic article by its columnist Dimitri Verhulst in which he commented that “being Jewish is not a religion, no God would give creatures such an ugly nose.”

About 35,000 Jews live in Belgium.
read more

Friday, January 24, 2020

Germany: Reporter blames Israel for misusing Holocaust remembrance

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A German journalist for the publically-funded broadcaster ARD is under fire for writing a commentary that will be welcomed by right-wing extremists, because it condemns the behavior of Israel and Russia as unworthy during the remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz, a prominent German Jewish leader alleged.

The commentary of the journalist, Sabine Müller, on Thursday triggered outrage on social media. The German Green Party’s member of the European Parliament Sergey Lagodinsky wrote on Twitter: “Not serious… Incredible chutzpah. There is so much weirdness in this commentary.”[…]

The Bild journalist Filipp Piatov termed Müller’s commentary “bad style” and as someone who has forgotten her history.

Müller wrote that “What was unworthy, however, was how Israel and Russia partially seized this commemoration day. How they celebrated their own political and memorial private party before the official event – with new verbal attacks against Poland and demonstratively lengthy bilateral talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and [Russian] President Vladimir Putin.”

In contrast to her criticism of the “egoism” of Netanyahu and Putin, she wrote that Steinmeier “lived up to the expectations of the first speech by a German head of state in Yad Vashem and, as a representative of the country of the perpetrators, delivered an impressively sensitive and clear speech – in English, mind you. A speech about German guilt and responsibility.”

Müller omitted the criticism that Steinmeier has faced in the German media for contributing to making antisemitism respectable, according to the Bild paper. In February 2019, Steinmeier sent a congratulatory telegram to Iran's mullah regime in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in the name of federal republic's citizens.

He wrote “Congratulations on the occasion of the national holiday, also in the name of my compatriots."
read more

U.K.: BBC’s Correspondent links the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians

Via Antisemitism UK:
Orla Guerin, the BBC’s International Correspondent, has appallingly used a primetime segment on the BBC’s flagship News at Ten programme to link the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

In a story ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, directly after interviewing a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered by Nazi Germany, Ms Guerin showed images of young Israelis who were performing their military service entering Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. Ms Guerin narrated in the background, saying: “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
read more

Thursday, January 23, 2020

France: Is St Anne basilica compound used as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel?

"An Open Letter to Emmanuel Macron, President of France" by Dexter Van Zile  @ The Times of Israel:
[…] Yusef Daher, runs the Jerusalem Inter Church Center (JICC) whose office is located in St. Anne’s compound. While he’s there, Daher enjoys the protection of French sovereignty, which you so ardently defended.

In the past, Daher has portrayed legitimate Israeli security measures at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as a huge act of oppression against Christians worldwide. For example, Daher has unfairly portrayed Israeli efforts to prevent a stampede outside the church as an evil act against Christians in Jerusalem. […]

I don’t mean to add to your headaches, but given that you just defended French sovereignty over St. Anne’s in the Old City of Jerusalem, I feel compelled to ask you some questions about how France administers the property. The central issue is this: Why does France allow its sovereign territory in Jerusalem to be used by the JICC, which is led by Daher, as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel? If you pardon the expression, that doesn’t seem ... kosher.

I raised this question with the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2018 and no one got back to me.

I even asked officials from the White Fathers, the Catholic religious order that operates St. Anne’s. They were pretty tight-lipped, but the one thing they did say is that St. Anne’s Monastery enjoys diplomatic protection, “just like an embassy.”

So, here is the relevant text of an email that I sent to the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an email sent, interestingly enough, on June 6, 2018:
I am currently writing an article about an organization called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI is an institution of the World Council of Churches (WCC) that sends activists into Israel and the West Bank. The organization has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism from a number of institutions and commentators in Israel and elsewhere for its tendency to promote anti-Israel propaganda both in the Holy Land and in the home country of EAPPI activists.

EAPPI is closely affiliated with another WCC institution — the Jerusalem Interchurch Center — whose general secretary, a Palestinian Christian by the name of Yusef Daher, has posted ugly anti-Israel propaganda on his Facebook page.

I write to you because EAPPI is currently headquartered in the Church of St. Anne’s, a basilica located in Jerusalem’s Old City. The church, which is currently operated by the White Fathers, an order of Catholic missionaries, is located on French property given to France by the Ottoman Empire in the 1850s. The Ottoman Empire gave France the property out of gratitude for assistance given during the Crimean War. I also believe that the JICC is located in the same property. (I was at the property on Sunday, June 3, 2018 and saw that a French flag flies over the property.)

I am currently asking both the World Council of Churches and the White Fathers questions about the presence of the EAPPI and the JICC on the property of the Basilica, but I also need some information from the French government. My questions are: 
1. Is the property in question sovereign French territory? (If yes, does this confer any special diplomatic protection to the operations of the EAPPI and JICC?) I ask this question, because the language I see in articles indicates that the property is “owned” by the French government, but “entrusted” to the White Fathers.

2. Am I correct in my belief that the JICC is also headquartered in St. Anne’s?

3. Who made the decision to allow EAPPI and JICC to put their headquarters on the property?

4. Did the French Government or anyone in the French diplomatic corps agree to allowing EAPPI and JICC to put their offices on the property or was this decision made exclusively by the White Fathers?

5. Is anyone in the French government or diplomatic corps concerned about the use of French property to house organizations that promote anti-Zionist propaganda. [Sic]

6. What would happen if the shoe were on the other foot and Israeli-owned property in France was used to de-legitimize France? (I know that this is a challenging question, but it seems like a reasonable one to ask.)
I don’t mean to be a nudge, Mr. President, but in light of your ardent defense of French sovereignty over St. Anne’s, these questions seem perfectly reasonable to ask. 
I hear tell that lot of Jews are leaving France and it just doesn’t seem right to help make their lives more difficult in their new home.
read more

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

UK: Reaction to a letter to The Times by senior politicians calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state

Mark Pickles, writer and artist:
Here is a piece in reaction to a letter to The Times by over 20 senior and deluded British politicians calling for the immediate recognition of a Palestinian state, oblivious to the realities on the ground:
Yesterday, 20th January 2020, twenty-odd British political worthies of the left and right –and of both chambers – wrote a short letter to The Times titled, “The Time is Right to Recognise Palestine”. (I’ve put a screenshot of the letter after the footnote references.) The “time is now”, we are told, to “best serve the cause of peace”. We are told that “Israel’s actions are pushing a two-state solution beyond reach”.

The signatories of the letter finish by telling us they want “equal rights for peoples in two states”.

The two-state solution is beyond reach – through no fault of Israel – regardless of the fact that two-states remains the official foreign-policy position of the UK Government. The two-state solution was emphasised by Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary, who on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017 wrote his “vision for Middle East peace”. Prime Minister Johnson’s piece is still on, where you will see that it is not visionary at all, but the same old British broken-record stuck on “two-state solution”, oblivious to the realities. [i]
read more

France: Antisemitism means Jews ‘do not lead the same life’ as others, says top expert

67% of French people indifferent to Jews leaving France

Via The Algemeiner:
One of France’s leading political scientists bluntly asserted on Tuesday that rising antisemitism meant that the country’s Jews “do not lead the same existence” as their fellow citizens.

“We do not lead the same life when we are not Jewish,” Prof. Dominique Reynié — who teaches at the prestigious Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris — told national broadcaster RTL in an interview on Tuesday.

Reynié was commenting on a new study published on Tuesday which revealed that three-quarters of the French population — Jews and non-Jews alike — recognized that antisemitism was “a problem that affects of all of society.”

The survey — conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Fondapol, a liberal political think tank based in Paris — showed that 67 percent of Jewish respondents felt that there were high levels of antisemitism in France, compared with 47 percent of the general population who felt the same. [...]

It found that “70 percent of French Jews say they have been victims of at least one antisemitic incident in their lifetime, 64 percent have suffered antisemitic verbal abuse at least once.”

A further “23 percent have been targets of physical violence on at least one occasion, with 10 percent saying they were attacked several times.”

As a result, French Jews were increasingly wary of disclosing their identities in public.

The roughest edge of French antisemitism was being experienced by the community’s youth, the poll found.

“The youngest Jews, ages 18-24, are on the ‘front line’ more than older cohorts in confronting antisemitism,” the survey observed. “84 percent of them have suffered at last one antisemitic act, compared with 70 percent of all respondents; 79 percent had suffered verbal abuse, compared with 64 percent of all respondents, and 39 percent faced an act of physical aggression, compared with 23 percent of the full Jewish sample.”

The workplace has also become a focus of concern for French Jews. A full 46 percent had experienced verbal antisemitic abuse while at work — a statistic the AJC called “disturbing.”
read more

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Germany: Jewish government worker was subjected to anti-Semitic harassment

Via JTA:
A Jewish man working as a driver for the German Chancellery in Berlin has reported being subjected to anti-Semitic harassment.

An unnamed source told the daily Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the man, who comes from Lebanon and worked in the Chancellery’s motor pool, reported that several colleagues have insulted and bullied him since early 2019, calling him “Jewish pig” and “Kanake,” a word referring to migrants from primarily Muslim countries or southern Europe.

The employee, who was not a driver for Chancellor Angela Merkel, reported the incidents to the federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner in the Ministry of the Interior, Felix Klein, the Bild reported.

While confirming basic details, a government spokesperson told Bild that no further comment could be provided in the confidential matter. The employee reportedly now works in a new location, away from his former colleagues. There was no information available on the identity of the colleagues.
read more

Monday, January 20, 2020

Europe: What a strange idea for Israel to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism

Shmuel Trigano @ Israel Hayom:
What a strange idea it was for President Reuven Rivlin to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. Despite the political importance of the event, the entire endeavor reflects the degree to which Israelis are deluding themselves in relation to the Old Continent. The notion that the memory of the Holocaust needs to be refreshed in order to fight modern anti-Semitism is pointless, as Israel itself is now accused of turning the Holocaust and its memory into a tool with which to achieve its goals, while the anti-Zionists alter its "lesson" to benefit the Palestinian cause – by equating it to the Nakba (the Palestinian national "catastrophe" caused by Israel's creation).

It is a strategic mistake to view the anti-Semitism of our time as an extension of the anti-Semitism of 30 years ago. To be sure, it still exists among the classical far-right; but is blossoming primarily in the form of anti-Zionism within Muslim and far-left post-colonialist circles. The deeper problem is turning the "lessons of the Holocaust" into the moral basis for fighting anti-Semitism. As an explanation, it favors victimhood over the political: Jewish suffering is put on display as a call to end hatred, instead of presenting Israel's status as a sovereign country as a counterweight to the new anti-Zionistic anti-Semitism. When the justification for Israel's existence is predicated on the memory of victimhood, Europe can view the state as a type of humanitarian tent for Jews, and less as a sovereign country. Consequently, Israel is not permitted, in the eyes of Europe, to realize its legitimate right to self-defense. The moment the Israeli soldier ceases being the emaciated extermination camp survivor, he morphs into a monster in the eyes of the Europeans.

European recognition of Israel is based, therefore, on feelings of guilt toward the Jews – implying that the same guilt applies to the Palestinians. Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism – which is the main source of modern anti-Semitism – in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. Isn't it only natural, therefore, that some of the participants of the Yad Vashem will visit Ramallah immediately after it ends? The reliance on the Holocaust in this regard means strengthening even further the myths that breed the new anti-Semitism – Nakba, occupation, original sin.
read more

Germany: Anti-war activists disinvite Jewish councilor, sparking antisemitism row (update)

Update: the conference has been cancelled 

Via The Jerusalem Post:
“Peace activists are boycotting not only Israel, but also Jews in Germany,” a Jewish member of Munich City Council has told German media website Taz after he was disinvited from addressing an anti-war event.

Marian Offman was due to give the opening greeting at the annual Munich Peace Conference at the city's Old Town Hall in February in his capacity as a representative of the city, but just before Christmas the SDP council member received an email from organizers telling him that he was not welcome.

The reason? Event organizer Thomas Rödl accused Offman of having "aggressively and polarizingly dealt with political groups and events that critically assess the policies of the government of Israel" in the past, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"I was completely perplexed," Offman told Taz. "As far as I know there has never been anything like this."

Rödl was referring to Offman's opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been labelled antisemitic by a resolution in the Bundestag that was passed by members of parties from across the political spectrum. In a letter sent to Munich city officials last month, Rödl said that if Offman were allowed to speak, the topic of BDS “would dominate the event in the Old City Hall, which is not the subject of our program.”
read more

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Finland: MP singles out Israel for blame, a double standard that amounts to anti-Semitism

Via YLE:
The World Jewish Congress, an international federation of Jewish communities and organisations, has criticised Finnish MP Anna Kontula's attempt to demonstrate against the blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza. [Left Alliance MP held in Israel over unauthorised attempt to enter Gaza]

The congress accused Kontula of holding Israel "fully to blame" for the humanitarian and economic consequences of the blockade, thus ignoring Egypt's role in Gaza. This singling out of Israel is, according to the congress, a double standard that amounts to an expression of anti-Semitism.

"Holding Israel to a double standard not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is never legitimate, and in fact constitutes an expression of antisemitism," the congress said in a press release.

In a Facebook post written in Finnish, the Jewish Community of Helsinki has also questioned Kontula's actions.

"By criticizing only the Israeli embargo on Gaza, and without any criticism of or action against a similar embargo by Egypt, the MP is, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition, quite likely guilty of anti-Semitism," the community wrote. 
read more

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Netherlands: Kosher restaurant in Amsterdam targeted with fake bomb (4th incident in 2 years)

Via EJP:
Explosives experts checked out the box,
which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out. 
In 2017, the restaurant was already targeted when a Palestinian man waving a Palestinia flag smashed the main window, stealing the Israeli flag hanging there. According to the owner, Sami Bar-On, this is the fourth incident in two years.

A kosher restaurant in Amsterdam has been targeted with a fake bomb.

The suspicious package left outside the HaCarmel restaurant sparked a major security scare but it did not contain explosives, police confirmed.

The Amstelveenseweg, the street where tne restaurant is located, was sealed off and locals urged to leave the area while explosives experts checked out the box, which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out.

It had been placed by the main door of the kosher eatery, which was not open at the time.
read more