Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Poland: Far-right marches in protest at US pressure for Holocaust restitution


Via Times of Israel:
Thousands of Polish nationalists marched to the US Embassy in Warsaw Saturday, protesting that the US is putting pressure on Poland to compensate Jews whose families lost property during the Holocaust.

The protest took place amid a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic hate speech in public life in Poland and it appeared to be one of the largest anti-Jewish street demonstrations in recent times. It also comes as far-right groups are gaining in popularity, pressuring the conservative government to move further to the right.

Protesters, including far-right groups and their supporters, say the United States has no right to interfere in Polish affairs and that the US government is putting “Jewish interests” over the interests of Poland.

Poland was a major victim of Nazi Germany during World War II and those protesting say it is not fair to ask Poland to compensate Jewish victims when Poland has never received adequate compensation from Germany.

“Why should we have to pay money today when nobody gives us anything?” said 22-year-old Kamil Wencwel. “Americans only think about Jewish and not Polish interests.”

The protesters shouted “no to claims!” and “This is Poland, not Polin,” using the Hebrew word for Poland.

Rafal Pankowski, a sociologist who heads the anti-extremist group Never Again, called the march “probably the biggest openly anti-Jewish street demonstration in Europe in recent years.”

One couple wore matching T-shirts reading “death to the enemies of the fatherland,” while another man wore a shirt saying: “I will not apologize for Jedwabne” — a massacre of Jews by their Polish neighbors in 1941 under the German occupation.

Among those far-right politicians who led the march were Janusz Korwin-Mikke and Grzegorz Braun, who have joined forces in a far-right coalition standing in the elections to the European Parliament later this month. Stopping Jewish restitution claims has been one of their key priorities, along with fighting what they call pro-LGBT “propaganda.” The movement is polling well with young Polish men.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki echoed the feelings of the protesters at a campaign rally Saturday, saying that it is Poles who deserve compensation.

read more

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Netherlands: Soccer fans beat Jew and sing song praising Nazis


Via JTA:
A Jewish man was assaulted on the Netherlands’ national holiday of liberation from the Nazis by revelers who sang about gassing Jews.

The man, identified in the Dutch media only as Joram, complained to police that he was pushed around, kicked and verbally assaulted with anti-Semitic hate speech by a group of about 50 men in the Hague on May 5, a national holiday known as Liberation Day.

Joram, 35, asked men celebrating in a park near the Dutch parliament building to stop singing the offensive song, whose lyrics include: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best.”

The chanters then began pushing Joram around as police stood idly by, he told the AD news site and the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI.

The men were wearing soccer shirts of the Feyenoord club of Rotterdam. The club’s rival is Amsterdam’s Ajax team, which is widely associated with Jews.

The chant, whose use was first reported by the media in 2015, has proliferated in the Netherlands and Belgium in recent years. In some cases, fans chant it to taunt counterparts from rival teams.

Hidde van Koningsveld, the head of the pro-Israel CiJo group, last week told the Dutch media he experiences an anti-Semitic incident at least once a week in the Hague, where he works, because he wears a kippah.

read more

UK: Jewish Voice for Labour secretary Glyn Secker tells pro-Palestine rally that Jews are ‘in the gutter’


Via Jewish Chronicle:
A leading member of the fringe pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour group has been filmed by the JC issuing a chilling “warning” to Jewish leaders opposing antisemitism in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party suggesting: “You are part of the problem.”

Accusing the same “Jewish leaders” of “turning a blind eye to the extreme right”, Glyn Secker, JVL's secretary, told a Labour-backed pro-Palestinian march in central London at the weekend: “What on earth are Jews doing in the gutter?”

Dulwich and West Norwood Constituency Labour Party (CLP) member Mr Secker was loudly cheered by around 3,500 pro-Palestinian activists as he delivered his inflammatory speech at the start of the National Demonstration for Palestine in Portland Place, central London.

He said: “Here's a warning to the Jewish leadership.

“While you foment your campaign of allegations of antisemitism against Corbyn and the left to silence Israel's critics while you cry wolf, month after month, year after year in the Labour Party and remain blind to the explosion of the far-right and Islamophobia, you are not part of the solution - you are part of the problem.”

Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell had openly supported the march on which there were regular calls for the destruction of Israel, the “right of return” for “seven million Palestinian refugees” and claims by one speaker that Israel, America, Australia and India are “despicable settler colonial states.”

Three counter-demonstrators - two of whom raised an Israeli flag while another professed “love for both Israel and Palestinian - needed protection from around ten Metropolitan Police officers on Regent Street after a succession of visibly seething activists attempted to lunge at them.

(...)

When confronted later by the JC over his remarks, Mr Secker claimed not to have spoken of “Jews”.

In a statement on Twitter, JVL suggested he had directed his comments towards “these Jews” - those who had allegedly aligned themselves with the far-right. The audio recording however shows no use of the word “these”.

Mr Secker - a former member of the far-left anti-Zionist Socialist Workers Party - has previously been the subject of complaints from Jewish members of his local Labour Party about his hostile comments.

He was also a member of the Palestine Live Facebook group which was littered with antisemitic remarks.

read more




Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The European origins of the 'New York Times' antisemitic cartoon


Via Jerusalem Post:
The antisemitic cartoon that ran in the New York Times International Edition was not printed by accident. It comes in the context of historic antisemitism that is common across Western Europe and is part of more than a thousand years of anti-Jewish stereotypes and caricatures. The cartoon originally was drawn by a cartoonist who is known for his work at a Portuguese media outlet. Cartoons similar to this that have appeared in European newspapers have not led to the kind of controversy that the New York Times cartoon has.

In 2016, author Mario Vargas llosa wrote an article condemning Israel in Spain's El Pais daily. The illustrative photo showed a man dressed in a black hat of the kind worn by religious Jews, wearing a blindfold, as if he was “blind” to the suffering of Palestinians. Anti-Jewish caricatures and tropes, conflating Israel with all Jews and using images of religious Jews whenever Israel is condemned, or Jewish symbols such as the Star of David, are too often the norm in European cartoons and illustrations. Unlike with the New York Times controversy where these images, caricatures and tropes were at least questioned, they appear consistently across Europe and rarely lead to the kind of controversy that the Times cartoon has elicited.

For instance, the cartoonist behind the Times cartoon appears on a website called ‘Cartooning for Peace.’ One of the other cartoons from 2006 depicted on the website shows a foot with an American flag for pants and a Star of David as spurs. The Star of David is dripping blood. Why is it dripping blood? Why is the US depicted wearing spurs of a Jewish symbol? Next to the Star of David is another leg with an Islamic crescent. The cartoon’s symbolism appears to imply: The Jews are the US weapon against Islam.

Similarly, the current cartoon depicts a dog with a Jewish Star of David, leading the US blindly, with its president wearing a yarmulke. From the 1930s until today, very little has changed in aspects of antisemitic imagery - only that Israel is sometimes the stand-in for “the Jews,” with the same use of Jewish symbols or traditional clothing.

Read more

Monday, May 6, 2019

Portugal: Cartoonist blames ‘Jewish propaganda machine’ for condemnation of his drawing

Via Times of Israel:
Antonio Antunes denies his NY Times caricature of Netanyahu as a dog leading blind Trump is anti-Semitic, says it critiques Israel’s ‘criminal conduct in Palestine’

The Portuguese cartoonist behind the New York Times cartoon that depicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog has rejected charges of anti-Semitism, calling critics part of the “Jewish propaganda machine.”

Antonio Moreira Antunes, who draws for the Expresso newspaper published in Lisbon, told CNN Wednesday that Jews were not “above criticism.”

The calls of anti-Semitism were “made through the Jewish propaganda machine, which is, anytime there’s criticism it’s because there’s someone anti-Semitic on the other side, and that’s not the case,” Antunes told CNN.

Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories
Free Sign Up

On Monday, Antunes said the cartoon was “a critique of Israeli policy, which has a criminal conduct in Palestine at the expense of the UN, and not the Jews,” Expresso reported.

“The Star of David is an aid to identify a figure [Netanyahu] that is not very well known in Portugal,” the cartoonist explained to Expresso.

He blamed right-wing figures saying: “The Jewish right doesn’t want to be criticized, and therefore, when criticized they say ‘We are a persecuted people, we suffered a lot… this is anti-Semitism.'”

Antunes claimed he was personally hurt by the Times’ statements of apology since publishing the caricature, saying the paper should have seen his work as “a political issue and not religious.”

read more

Germany: Nazis march in Duisburg



Via JFDA:

About 200 extreme right-wingers marched in Duisburg, shouting racist, antisemitic and anti-Zionist slogans.  Some carried signs "Stop Zionism: Israel is our misfortune"



Sunday, May 5, 2019

Poland: Bishop delivers thinly veiled anti-Semitic sermon


Via Times of Israel:
Andrzej Jeż appears to refer to Jews during Easter speech, saying ‘certain nation’ plotted in 1937 to slander Catholic Church by controlling media

A Polish bishop said that “a certain nation” plotted in 1937 to divide and slander the Catholic Church by controlling the media.

Andrzej Jeż, who is the top Catholic spiritual leader in the city of Tarnow near Krakow, appeared to be referring to Jews last month in his Easter sermon, which was filmed.

The video aired Thursday in an article by the Kan public broadcaster.

“A certain nation, I can’t name it because I would be attacked from all sides immediately, said this: ‘Our natural enemy is the Catholic Church. We need to slander them and sow hatred against them, we have to create scandals about their private lives to incite hatred and ridicule against them. We must strengthen our media because then our control will be strong and secure’,” Jez said.

Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, said the remarks underscore an internal fight within the Catholic Church between supporters and opponents of that institution’s reform about 50 years ago of its anti-Semitic tenets.

“I’ve never heard anything like this said,” Schudrich told Kan. “What the bishop said goes against modern-day Catholic faith.”

read more

UK: Brighton Labour member urges party to 'march' on local synagogue to protest suspension of fellow member



Via Jewish Chronicle:
A Labour member in Brighton suggested that the local party “march to" a local Synagogue to protest against the suspension of a fellow Labour party member over alleged antisemitism, with an MP calling on the police to investigate her for "incitement".

Amanda Bishop was writing in the Brighton and Hove Labour party forum Facebook group in response to news that local council candidate Alex Braithwaite had been suspended from the party.

Miss Braithwaite was suspended two weeks ago over her posts to social media.

One such post claimed that Israel was “giving African migrants 90 days to leave the country so they don’t effect [sic] Israeli bloodline. They must leave or they will be jailed or murdered.”

Another showed a cartoon with BBC and CNN news cameras pointing at a crying Israeli child while ignoring dead Palestinian bodies.

The image’s caption accused “the media” of being “nothing more than an accessory to the police/terror state”. In another post written by Ms Braithwaite herself, she accused “IsraHell” of carrying out a “genocide” against the Palestinians.

...

Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle tweeted on Tuesday evening, after the news broke, that Ms Bishop had been suspended after he reported the comments.

Read more

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Germany: WhatsApp Has Become A Hotbed For Spreading Nazi Propaganda


Via Buzzfeed News:
German WhatsApp users are spreading far-right propaganda through the use of stickers and chain letters, and the company is doing little to nothing to stop it, despite local laws forbidding the use of Nazi imagery.

In nine WhatsApp groups that BuzzFeed News has observed since October, tens of thousands of messages have been sent among its far-right participants. Among them have been symbols glorifying the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, deeply anti-Semitic images created using WhatsApp’s “sticker” function, and messages seeking to incite violence and threats against leftists or refugees.

The groups have names like "The German Storm" and "Ku Klux Klan International.” At times, between 90 and 250 people have been members of the groups, close to the maximum size allowed by WhatsApp.

In October last year, WhatsApp introduced the so-called sticker function in Germany, which lets users choose from premade images to attach to their chats with the option to make their own. The Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism, a Berlin-based advocacy group, quickly drew attention to the surge in Nazi-themed stickers. "As soon as WhatsApp made it possible to create and use stickers, right-wing extremists flood their group chats with Nazi symbolism,” the group wrote in October, asking the platform how this could be prevented in the future.

"These anti-Semitic stickers are unacceptable and we do not want them on WhatsApp,” a WhatsApp spokesperson wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News last November. “We strongly condemn this hate. If a user receives a sticker with illegal content, we ask them to report it to WhatsApp."

But when BuzzFeed News followed up this month to ask WhatsApp how many reports of possibly illegal content it's received since then, the company declined to respond to specific questions.

Read more

Sunday, April 28, 2019

UK campus minority officer to Jewish student: Be like Israel and cease to exist

Via Times of Israel:

A student minority officer at a British university told a Jewish student to “be like Israel and cease to exist.”

Omar Chowdhury, the Black and Ethnic Minorities officer at Bristol University, in southwest England, also told Izzy Posen to “fuck off” and that “your comments are like Israeli settlements: always popping up where they are not wanted.”

Chowdhury ran for his student union position on a platform of “zero tolerance for racism,” the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.

read more

Poland: Southern Polish town burns effigy of Judas, made to look like Hasidic Jew


Via JTA:
A town in southern Poland reenacted the custom of casting judgement on Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, using a life-size effigy of a stereotypical Jew with a hooked nose and sidelocks.

The event in the town of Pruchnik, called “Judgment over Judas,” took place on Friday afternoon. On a pole on Pope John Paul II Street, the residents hung the large effigy of the Jew which bore the label “Judas 2019, traitor!”

The crowd cut the effigy down from the post, dragged it on a rope through the town, stopping at the square in front of the church and at the street crossing where the effigy was beaten 30 times. After reaching the local river, the head of the effigy was cut off and the effigy was burned.

The rite attracted a crowd of onlookers. Children were encouraged to beat the effigy. There were some anti-Semitic cries, such as “Five more hits for wanting compensation from Poland.”

The custom of the judgment over Judas has occurred at least since the eighteenth century and takes place in the days preceding Easter. In the past, it was accompanied by acts of direct violence against Jewish residents. In the years of the Polish People’s Republic, the tradition gradually disappeared.

read more

Monday, April 15, 2019

France: Man in northern France stabs neighbor because he ‘wanted to kill a Jew’


Via JTA:
A man in northern France said he stabbed his neighbor because he “wanted to kill a Jew.”

The attack, first reported on April 8, occurred in Bourdon, a commune in the Somme department in northern France, on April 5, the French-language 20 Minutes news website reported.

The victim, a 58-year-old man, was stabbed 15 times in his stomach and face. He was injured in the liver and gallbladder and underwent surgery, according to the report.

He was saved by a friend, who was with him at the time of the assault, who came between the victim and the attacker.

The attacker, 18, told witnesses that he “wanted to kill a Jew.” According to the report, the victim is not Jewish.

He was indicted for attempted murder due to race or ethnicity.

read more

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Poland: Again, an attack on the Jewish cemetery in Czestochowa


Via CFCA:
Czestochowa – In December, antisemitic inscriptions was spray-painted on the gate of the Częstochowa Jewish cemetery.

Now a vandal smash the grave of Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Justman, who died in 1920.

read more

Belgium: Man arrested after attempting to attack a Orthodox Jewish woman in Antwerp

Via KolHaolam:
ANTWERP: A Muslim man was arrested after attempting to attack a Orthodox Jewish woman in Antwerp, Belgium near Belz Shul, suspect arrested.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Russia’s richest Jew thought European anti-Semitism was a thing of the past. Now, he’s not so sure


Viktor Vekselberg @ JTA:
Last year, my hometown of Drohobych in western Ukraine witnessed the re-opening of a choral synagogue that my father Felix and I helped to rebuild. This synagogue, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, used to be the biggest in all of Eastern Galicia. The dedication ceremony was not meant to be all pomp and circumstance, and still over 5,000 people showed up that day. For Drohobych, with its population of 70,000, this is truly an astronomical figure. Many families traveled from afar to attend the dedication of the synagogue in person.

But only a few weeks later, unidentified criminals smashed the synagogue’s windows. Apparently, the fact that the town now has an active Jewish synagogue that was rebuilt with the money donated by a Russian businessperson made some unhappy.

This is just one example of a hate crime that Ukrainian Jews have witnessed over the past few months. Another Jewish synagogue was desecrated in Lviv. In Kolomyya, in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, a memorial wall at a local Jewish cemetery was defiled with graffiti depicting a man throwing the star of David into a trash can. In mid-February, swastikas appeared on the plasma screens in a Kiev shopping mall.

No wonder Jewish communities all over the world were greatly alarmed by the torchlight procession in the Ukrainian capital on New Year’s Eve.

read more