Thursday, April 30, 2015

UK: How EasyJet and anti-Zionism are turning British Jews into Israelis

Via Tablet Magazine:
Ties between the Jewish community in Britain and Israel have become so close that an attack on Israel is taken by many in the community as a personal affront. Sometimes these attacks have anti-Semitic motivations, often they do not: It can be difficult to tell. But anti-Semitic or not, they are attacks on Britain’s new kind of Jewish life.

“There is a growing transnationalism to Jewish communities, connecting them to Israel,” said Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola. “There is much more communication, crossover, and complexity. Twitter, Facebook, Haaretz English is creating a more intense experience of Israel for these communities. I believe that old ideas of very clear distinctions no longer hold. But this is not unique to the Jews, not in the slightest—this is globalization, and this is only how it is affecting the Jews.”

As Della Pergola suggests, much of the British Jewish community is increasingly transnational between London and Israel. Britain’s Orthodox rabbis are now mainly trained there. Roughly 5 percent of the Jews living in Britain are Israeli citizens. Almost 70 percent of British Jews now have family or a close friend living in Israel. What these statistics mean in concrete terms is this: When Israel is at war, coming under sustained bombardment by Hamas rockets, the majority of British Jews are worrying someone close to them in Israel is at risk.

The new anti-Zionism, which is becoming ever more pronounced, feels the same way that anti-Semitism does: a singling out, discrimination, them turning against us. One reason for this equivalence of feeling is that there is a very real element of anti-Semitism wrapped up in fervid anti-Zionist sentiment. But another is that in the past 50 years many British Jews have become, in part, culturally Israeli. Zionism is at the heart of their Jewish identity. Israel’s travails drive much of their political engagement. Israeli culture is a part of their daily lives.

In part, Zionism now fills a void at the heart of Anglo-Jewish identity, which has never been that well-defined. Weakened somewhat by the British class system and a desire to fit in, British Jews have never developed the same depth of culture that American Jews have; the literature, the humor, the food, New York. When Jews first came here from Russia in the late 19th century they reached back to the old country as their cultural crutch. Now most of them lean on Israel.

This transition can be summed in a single word: “We.” Many British Jews say “we” when they talk about Israel, rather than “they.” No one knows quite when this started, but given this choice of pronoun it is perhaps not entirely surprising that non-Jewish people can also say “you.” Both are identifying Jews and Israel collectively.  more

Europe: Muslim terrorism and European Jew hatred: What’s changed in 35 years?

Pro-Palestinian “protesters” in Paris hover around a swastika.
Photo: Etienne Laurent/European, Pressphoto Agency
In the book Semites & Anti-Semites, renowned author and historian Bernard Lewis introduces the work with a summary of a terror attack on a Paris synagogue in 1980. When a bomb exploded at the synagogue, it killed four people including two non-Jewish passers-by. The French Prime Minister at the time, Raymond Barre, expressed his sympathies for the victims but made an interesting statement: “They aimed at the Jews, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”

Now imagine the impact this statement would have had, if “Jews” had been replaced with something else:
“They aimed at the Muslims, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”
“They aimed at the English, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”
“They aimed at the Australians… the Italians… the Indians...”
Any of these groups would understand the implication instantly.

It was a response that made a bold statement. While he did feel sorry for what had happened, he did not see French Jews the same as the ethnic French, who were somehow more “innocent” in this tragedy.

What has changed? Now France has recognized the “State of Palestine,” which is not a State but is ruled by both a terror-supporting government and a terrorist organization, neither side willing to accept Israel as the Jewish State or to accept a Jewish presence there at all, ready to commit whatever violence they deem necessary on any Jewish civilians. France is experiencing just a taste of that same terror, yet has chosen to recognize Palestine, which is nothing short of an endorsement for this terror. [...]

As of 2014, according to Pew Research, the Muslim population of Germany was 5.8 percent, 7.5 percent of France and 4.8 percent of the UK. Now remember, the small Jewish populations in Europe. Forget percentages, and let’s look at real numbers.

In Germany, the Jewish population is around 118,000. The Muslim population? 4,760,000. In the UK, there are about 290,000 Jews but 2,960,000 Muslims.  In France, with the highest Jewish population in Western Europe, there are about 475,000 Jews but 4,710,000 Muslims [Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith. puts the figure at 7 million Muslims].

The difference is obvious- thousands of Jews; millions of Muslims. And anti-Semitism is high in each of these countries, often disguised as “anti-Zionism” through the BDS movement; the endorsement of the terror-supporting “Palestinian State;” investigations into so-called Israeli “war crimes” yet little mention of the Palestinian war crimes against both Jews and Arabs; media bias which includes an obsession with Israel and a distortion of facts, often highlighting unbalanced casualty counts without explaining the reasons why (like the use of human shields by Hamas); and so much more.

Yet there is no Jewish terrorism, while Muslim terrorism is on the rise as the Muslim populations increase.
Not much has changed since that 1980 terror attack on the Paris synagogue Bernard Lewis wrote about. The attitude is the same: “They aimed at the Jews, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.” Now they’re aiming at the Frenchmen too but still blaming the Jews. Will they ever learn?

Sweden: Pirate Party leader - Jewish doctors shouldn't be allowed to refuse to treat Muslims

Anna Troberg, leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, wrote a post this past November about freedom of religion as it relates to the workplace.  According to Troberg, people should be allowed to follow their religion, but not when it conflicts with their job.

This issue has made headlines in recent past when it comes to abortions, gay marriage or serving alcohol.  After discussing religion and bringing an example of a nurse who refuses to do abortions, Troberg asks who else should have a right not to do their job:
Should a gay emergency-room doctor be allowed to refuse to treat a skinhead who cracked his skull?  Should a racist pediatric doctor be allowed to refuse to treat children suffering from cancer who come from Somalia?  Should a Jewish orthopedic doctor be allowed to refuse to plaster a Muslim's leg?

Troberg is obviously not aware that in Israel, Jewish doctors treat terrorists even after they kill Jews.   She's also not aware that Jews value life very highly.  Why does Troberg think that a Jewish doctor wouldn't want to treat a Muslim in Sweden, just because he's Muslim?

By suggesting that there's a problem where none exists, Troberg is inciting hatred between Muslim and Jews.

Maybe somebody should remind Troberg that in Sweden, Jews suffer from Muslim antisemitism, not the other way around.

If Troberg wants actual real-life examples, here's one: A Dutch doctor refused to treat Jews, because he supported an 'anti-Jewish' sports team.

h/t LiberLeo

Finland: Finlayson ends co-operation with Kärkkäinen over "repulsive propaganda"

Background: Wiesenthal Centre to President of Finland: “Condemn Kärkkäinen Department Stores Tycoon Publisher of Antisemitic Free Newspapers as a National Danger.”

Yle reports:

The Finnish textile company announced on Friday that it would no longer work with Kärkkäinen stores owing to shop's close relationship with freesheet Magneettimedia, which has been sharply criticised for publishing anti-semitic material and unfounded health claims.

Textile company Finlayson announced on Friday that it is ending its cooperation with Kärkkäinen stores. According to Finlayson, the decision was made for ethical and value-based reasons.

"The owners of Kärkkäinen shopping centres are behind Magneettimedia’s publications, which spread hateful and narrow-minded propaganda," said Finlayson’s chief executive and co-owner Jukka Kurttila. "The decision was not a financially easy one," he added.  Kurttila did not reveal the exact sum of money at stake, but said co-operation with Kärkkäinen had been in the range of "hundreds of thousands of euros."

Finlayson, founded in 1820, will no longer deliver its products such as sheets, duvet covers, bedspreads and pillows to Kärkkäinen. Kärkkäinen's main shops are in the Finnish cities of Oulu and Lahti. Finlayson home textile products already on Kärkkäinen shop shelves will not be removed, as this would not be possible for contractual reasons.

Recently a new complaint against Magneettimedia, which is predominantly distributed in Northern and Central Ostrobothnia and the Päijät-Häme region, was filed with Oulu police citing the publication’s ethnic agitation in the form of anti-semitism.  At the end of 2013, the online and freesheet publication was convicted of incitement of ethnic hatred in the form of anti-semiticism and then-editor-in-chief Juha Kärkkäinen was ordered to pay a fine of 45,000 euros. Kärkkäinen has applied for an appeal to the highest court to overturn the ruling. More.
Look at the feet.  A sign of the devil.



UK: Lib Dem candidate accuses British Jews of mistreating Palestinian people

Via Liam Hoare:

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Peter Hirst, when asked to sign the Board of Deputies manifesto, said "How you treat the Palestinian people prevents me."

The Board of Deputies is the main representative body of British Jews.

Belarus: President pans Minsk governor for not taking Jews 'under control'

Two remarks. Europeans love to poke fun at Jews - they are much more careful with Muslims. The number of Jews living in Belarus is ridiculous: "0.14 percent of Belarus's 9.5 million population".

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko criticized on Wednesday a Jewish regional governor in Belarus for not taking the country's Jewish population "under control" as he had ordered.

In a state-of-the-nation address, Lukashenko expressed annoyance that a popular online publication, which has a Jewish director, had criticized his decree imposing a tax on people who worked fewer than 183 days a year.

Addressing the Minsk region governor Semyon Shapiro by name, Lukashenko said the head of the website, Yuri Zisser, was "not behaving correctly".

"I told you a year ago to take all the Jews of Belarus under control," said the president, a leader who often ruffles feathers with his impromptu comments.

A 2009 census said Jews made up 0.14 percent of Belarus's 9.5 million population.

Having admonished Shapiro, Lukashenko, who has ruled the small ex-Soviet country with an iron fist since 1994, then poked fun at him, crediting his religious fervor with producing a favorable rainfall in the region.  "Shapiro prayed in the synagogue. There was rain only in Minsk region. Semyon Borisovich (Shapiro) is a good guy," Lukashenko said.

Returning to the theme at the end of a three-hour summary of the economy and Belarus's international standing, he praised the Jewish population for its role in resistance to Nazi occupation during World War Two, when an estimated 800,000 local Jews died.

He went on to describe the Jews as being "white boned" meaning they did not like to do menial work. "They don't like to get their hands dirty or fight, but they did get their hands dirty with us!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sweden: Is there a connection between Swedish aid and Hamas institutions?

Tobias Petersson write @ the Jerusalem Post:

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), which falls under the aegis of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, has for several years cooperated with the Islamic Relief (IR) organization.

According to SIDA documentation, SIDA renewed its agreement with IR last year, giving the international organization more than 59 million SEK ($6.8m.) for various aid projects.

However, IR is associated not only with aid, but also with the Muslim Brotherhood and with funding terrorist organizations, and has therefore been on the United Arab Emirates’ list of terrorist-related organizations since last year. In 2006 the Israeli authorities were notified of IR’s terrorism connections, resulting in the arrest of IR’s project manager at the time, Iyaz Ali. Ali confessed that he was in contact with the Hamas and had transferred funds to organizations linked to Hamas.

Since June 19, 2014, IR has been forbidden to work in Israel, including in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said in a statement that IR was a source of funds for Hamas and that Israel had no intention of allowing it to operate and assist terrorist activity against Israel.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, IR’s activities in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip were carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations have been designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population, the ministry stated.

After the Israeli ban, IR last year commissioned an “independent investigation” of its office departments and activities in the Palestinian territories. The investigation found no evidence of links to Hamas. However, the investigation took place long after the accusations against the organization were publicized and did not cover the entire international organization. Criticism has also been leveled at IR by the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based think tank, revealing that current Islamic Relief Worldwide board members have links to anti-Semitic and Islamist movements.

In the IR’s aid project Emergency Cashfor- Work, which was funded by SIDA between 2008-2014 with over 32 million SEK ($3.69m.), internships for unemployed academics were arranged in Gaza institutions and organizations. Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), founded by Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, is one of the institutions that has benefited. To date, the university has been governed by Hamas members and activists.  More.

UK: Royal Anthropological Institute journal speaks of 'Jewish Jihad', threat from British IDF soldiers

The director of the Royal Anthropological Institute has apologised for any offence after an editorial in its journal compared the IDF to ISIS and said the Holocaust was used to justify Jewish extremism. 

Dr David Shankland was responding to complaints that a guest editorial by acclaimed American professor Laura Nader in April’s edition of Anthropology Today was “blatantly anti-Semitic”.

Nader wrote about “Jewish jihad,” comparing foreign Jews fighting in the IDF with Europeans fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She also suggested Jewish Britons returning from military service in Israel were “indoctrinated” and “a threat” but were not listed as such because Israel was a UK ally.

We apologise for any offence, it is certainly not our intention to cause distress to any persons or community,” said Shankland.

However, we have a long tradition of giving scholars and editors freedom of expression in our publications. This does not mean we agree with everything which is published… We welcome debate about any article.” 

Sweden: Jewish teacher says he gets death threats from students

Via YLE:

The article is titled "Swedish Jews suffer from hate against Israel", but the article doesn't really explain how the hatred is related to Israel and isn't just regular Muslim antisemitism.

Henry Grynfeld is a teacher in the Rosengård district of Malmö.  As a Jew he's often experienced harassment from his Muslim students.

"I was called 'Jew'.  I was threatened.  I was told things like "We'll kill all the Jews and you too".  As soon as something doesn't go the way these young people had in mind, they have an argument ready in their back-pocket, and that's that you're a Jew."

"I feel safe as long as I do not show who I am - I wouldn't run around here with a kippa or a Star of David."

YLE did not meet many people who wanted to comment on antisemitism in the neighborhood.  A few said that Muslims themselves are targeted by Islamophobia and hate-crimes.

Adam Omar, who comes from Somalia, said he knows that Jews are targeted by some Muslim people in Malmö.

"I can understand that there are those who see the conflicts in the Middle East as their starting point, but there are also Nazis and other ideologies against Jews, so absolutely - they have a reason to be afraid."

The Muslims in the city fear that all Muslims will be accused of the attacks against the city's Jews.  The Jewish community is also aware of this problem.  

Jehoshua Kaufman of the Jewish community says there is no reason to act against the Muslim community.  There are just small group who act due to attitudes which are found in the Middle East.

UK: Israel-bashers target the Jerusalem Quartet

 Daphne Anson reports:

Disrupted in full flood outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London's Southbank a few days ago, by a Sikh security guard, the thespian manqué who blares her demonisation of Israel every chance she gets, tells him arrogantly "I am talking!" and then, angrily: "The more you tell me to keep the volume down the more I'm going to shout louder"

She eventually started up again, spewing her venom against Israel and the Jerusalem Quartet, and by the end was clearly in need of a Fisherman's Friend (or three)

Italy: Pro-Palestinians groups harass Jewish Brigade at Liberation Day procession

Via Huffington Post:

Marches for the Jewish Brigade were insulted by pro-Palestinian marchers in Milan with insults such as "Zionist swine back to the pigsty", "Assassins, get out of the procession", "Get the Zionists out of the procession".

The Jewish Brigade fought for Italy during World War II.  The "Friends of Israel" association says though the Jewish Brigade always marches with Israeli flags, this time they did not do so, in order to prevent excuses for attacks.  They thank the Democratic Party which this year marched together with the Jewish Brigade.

The pro-Palestinian marched with flags which compared Zionism to Fascism.  For example, one which said "April 25 Liberation from Fascism and Zionism".

Previously, a Holocaust memorial group announced it will not participate due to continued harassment from pro-Palestinians.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

UK: Labour candidate accuses BBC of racism over “wealthy Jews” article

The Jewish Chronicle reports:

BBC has been accused of racism after an article on the Blackley and Broughton constituency in Greater Manchester referred to its “wealthy” Jewish community.  In an online profile, the BBC said the area was multi-cultural with a “Jewish community concentrated in a wealthy pocket of large detached houses”.

Labour Party candidate Graham Stringer, who is defending his seat, complained to the corporation, claiming, according to the Manchester Evening News, that the description was “a racist distortion”.  He pointed out that some members of the area’s Orthodox community suffered from some of the highest poverty levels in the country.

He compared the BBC’s characterisation of the community to the Victorian caricature of Fagin in Oliver Twist.   

“It’s a view of the Jewish community as being rich, whereas in actual fact the Chasidic Jewish community has intense poverty,”  he said. “I can’t think of another community in Manchester with as much deprivation and poverty. It isn’t fair and it’s as offensive as Charles Dickens’s caricature of Jewish people in Oliver Twist in the character of Fagin.”  More.

Russia: Stores pull Holocaust graphic novel Maus over swastika on cover

Via the Guardian:
Russian bookstores were hastily removing an award-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust from their shelves on Monday, reportedly because its cover shows a Nazi swastika.

Maus, by American artist and author Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and was published in Russian in 2013.


Maus tells the author’s personal story of the Holocaust through the memories of his father, a Polish Jew who moved to the United States. It uses animal metaphors and minimalist graphic style, portraying Jews as mice and Germans as cats.

Sweden: Neo-Nazis crash Holocaust survivor's lecture

Via The Local:
A group of neo-Nazis marched into a school and took pictures of the audience during a lecture by a Holocaust survivor in Varberg in southern Sweden.

Peder Skrivare school head Augustsson, who had organized the Monday evening lecture with Holocaust survivor and author Mietek Grocher, told how six to eight men between 25 and 30 years old walked into the lecture room half an hour into the talk on Monday evening.

“Two wore bomber jackets and one had a shaved head. They stomped in in a row, exactly the same distance from each other. They sat down at the front and one of them turned around and took pictures of the audience,” a member of the audience, who preferred to remain anonymous, told regional paper Hallands Nyheter.

Grocher, 88, continued his lecture without giving any attention to the neo-Nazi group, according to Augustsson, who alerted the police to the men's presence.


The talk was given to members of the public and was part of a series of three lectures, one of which was being held in front of school pupils on Tuesday morning.
I am used to this kind of thing, it's happened several times before. I don't feel afraid, but it's unpleasant. When I came to Sweden I never thought I would experience neo-Nazism, but here they are now,” Grocher told Hallands Nyheter.

Netherlands: Girl sentenced to community service for threatning to stab Jewish classmate

Via RTL Nieuws:

A 14 year old girl from Hillegom (Western Netherlands) was sentenced to community service for threatening a Jewish classmate.  The girl was sentenced to 50 hours, 30 of which are suspended.

The girl has sent a picture of a swastika to various classmates saying a certain classmate should be stabbed because she's Jewish.

The girl was punished both at home and at school, but the prosecution decided that this was a judicial case as well.

The Jewish victim has meanwhile changed school.

France: Police station sprayed with swastika, Jewish star


A swastika and Jewish star were sprayed on the police station in Meaux.  Additionally there were 'incomprehensible writings'.

Hungary: Holocaust memorial tree stolen


At a memorial ceremony for the  Jews of Dunakeszi and Allegro last Wedensday, participants planted a memorial tree.  The tree was now stolen.

France: More Israel-bashing at the United Nations and UNESCO

The CRIF reports:

Roger Cukierman, President of the CRIF, an umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations, complained in a letter to the Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of the hostile stance against Israel taken by the French government.

Mr. Cukierman indicated that organisations affiliated to the CRIF took a very negative view of the anti-Israel positions adopted by France at the United Nations Security Council and at UNESCO.   He stressed that while the US, Britain, Germany and Japan either oppose or abstain when resolutions hostile to Israel are voted, France is the only major democratic power to vote in favor.  

He also raised the CRIF's concern that  a terrorist such as Salah Hamouri was received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Cukierman deplored the zeal shown by the Ministry in the support of  resolutions hostile to Israel, including on religious matters like the one at UNESCO, which are particularly sensitive.

As importantly, he also stressed that  positions hostile to Israel feed anti-Zionist feelings which then lead straight to anti-Semitism. 

One wonders if France is really committed to combatting antisemitism.  As Prof. Robert Wistrich, the head of Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, told the JPost:  “You have the denial, for instance, that there is any relationship between so-called criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism but, in fact, most of what goes by the name of criticism of Israel is feeding on a daily basis the growing demonization of the Jewish state, which in turn spills over I would say almost with mathematical inevitability into some form of dislike, hostility or even loathing of Jews".

Mr Cukirman is well aware of this.  And that's why so many mainly young Jews are - and will continue - leaving France.

Monday, April 27, 2015

France: Jewish man attacked near synagogue

Via JTA:
A French Jewish man from suburban Paris area told police he was assaulted by younger Arabs outside his synagogue.

The complainant, identified as Salomon Z., 53, in a report about the incident by the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, said he was assaulted on Saturday after attending Sabbath morning services at the synagogue in the Saint-Ouen municipality, the bureau reported.

A man with an Arab appearance, whom the victim estimated was 25 years old, followed him into an alley, yelled “dirty Jew” and hit him in the face, according to the BNVCA report. Two other men, whom the victim also described as Arabs, joined the alleged aggressor and also hit the Jewish man.
Salomon Z. said the attackers wrestled him to the ground and produced a knife, telling him they were going to stab him, but fled as onlookers began to approach.

The victim suffered minor injuries to the face. “Shocked and traumatized he returned to his home,” BNVCA wrote. Salomon Z. filed a complaint with police on Sunday.  more

Belgium: Jewish nursing home in Brussels demands police/army protection

Belgian newspaper Le Soir [25-26/04/2015] reported that retirement home L'Heureux Séjour, which cares for 150 elderly Jewish residents, has complained of not being given adequate police protection. 

Olivier Pirotte, the Chief of staff  of the Mayor of Saint-Gilles, the Brussels borough where the home is located, told the newspaper that a police car is permanently stationed at a nearby kosher delicatessen and that behind the home the Jewish Social Services building receives army protection.  There are also frequent police patrols in the area.  According to Mr. Pirotte there is no cause for alarm.

Nonetheless this shows once again that physical attacks even against elderly Jews by jihadists cannot be ruled out, thus making Jewish life increasingly precarious.

Russia: Senior rabbi says Putin ouster would endanger Jews

This beggars belief...

The Jerusalem Post reports:

A senior Russian rabbi warned of grave danger to Jews if Russian President Vladimir Putin is swept from power.

Alexander Boroda, head of the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, made the warning Friday during a talk at Moscow’s 9th annual Jewish learning event organized by Limmud FSU.

“The Jews of Russia must realize the dangers inherent in the possible collapse of the Putin government, understand the rules of the game and be aware of the limitations,” Boroda said at a sessions, according to a translation provided by Limmud FSU.  More.

Is Hamas gaining traction in Europe?

Hamas is indeed most welcome in Europe and the organisers are most grateful to the Europeans for extending them such a warm welcome.  They boast:
Despite pro Israeli campaigns, 13th Palestinians in Europe Conference held in Germany. The conference started among huge participation of more than 10 thousand Palestinians who came from across Europe. [...]
Over the past 4 weeks, a huge negative campaign from pro Israeli lobby supported with some right wing media newspapers smeared the conference and circulated various allegations. The campaign called on German authorities in Berlin to cancel the event however, they were turned back. The Israeli lobby and right wing activists failed to mobilize for a set in where few dozens showed up to protest against the conference. [...]
During the previous nine years the conference was held in various European cities like London 2003, Berlin 2004, Vienna 2005, Malmo 2006, Rotterdam 2007, Copenhagen 2008, Milan 2009, Berlin 2010 and Wuppertal, Germany 2011, Kopenhagen 2012, Brüssels 2013 and Paris 2014. 

Benjamin Weinthal asks @ The Jerusalem Post whether Hamas is gaining traction in Europe:

The 13th Palestinians in Europe Conference on Saturday once again catapulted Hamas’s activities into the spotlight.  The organizers of the event – the London-based Palestinian Return Center and the Palestinian Community in Germany –have ties to Hamas, according to Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency. An estimated 3,000 people pre-registered for the event. Some 200 protesters from the “Berlin against Hamas” campaign demonstrated against the conference, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg reported on Saturday.

Dilek Kolat, a Berlin state senator from the Social Democrats who holds the Integration portfolio, attacked the conference for not distancing itself from the goal of eliminating Israel. “That is intolerable and unacceptable here in Berlin,” she said.

The conference logo shows a map of the Middle East without Israel, and the organizers call for the “right of return” of all Palestinians to Israel.

Ahead of the conference, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post, “We raised this matter with the German ambassador to the US. This is no mere academic exercise. It is about legitimizing those committed in word and deed to the destruction of world’s largest Jewish community, the over 6 million Jewish citizens of the State of Israel. Allowing this conference to go forward in Berlin at this time will further embolden anti-Israel extremists in Germany and further legitimize the demonization of Jews and all other supporters of Israel.”  [...]

The conference comes after a legal fight over removing Hamas from the European Union’s terrorist list.  In December, the EU’s General Court ruled that Hamas had been classified as a terrorist organization based on inadmissible non-expert media reports, instead of “decisions of competent authorities.”  Hamas remains on the list while an appeal is filed.  [...]

Counterterrorism officials in Europe and Israel’s government are closely watching Europe’s posture toward Hamas.  Europe’s cautious approach to Islamic terrorist organizations was on display with its reluctance to outlaw Hezbollah’s entire organization in 2013.  While the EU branded Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist entity, Europe’s foreign ministers did not outlaw Hezbollah’s political structure on the continent.

The mainstreaming of Hamas among some segments of civil society raised alarm bells. In April, soccer fans sang “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” at a match in the Netherlands. According to The Washington Post, “The shocking chants weren’t an isolated incident, however. Instead, they were the latest in a string of anti-Semitic episodes that threaten to mar European soccer.”  More.

France: Leading director holds up a mirror to anti-Semitism in France

Ilan Halimi
The acclaimed French director Alexandre Arcady has made many films over his long career, but none, he said, was as difficult to bring to the screen as “24 Days: The True Story of the Ilan Halimi Affair.”

The feature, which opens nationally in the United States on Friday, April 24, dramatizes the experiences of the French-Jewish (of Moroccan extraction) Halimi family during the three and a half weeks in early 2006 when their 23-year-old son Ilan was abducted, tortured and murdered by a suburban Paris gang fueled by anti-Semitism (27 individuals were arrested and tried in the case). [...]

With hindsight, we know that Ilan Halimi’s murder by the Gang of Barbarians, as the assailants were known, turned out — as Ruth Halimi [Ilan's mother] feared — to be a watershed moment. It was the first of a string of violent and murderous attacks on Jews in France and other European countries over the past decade.

Nonetheless, Arcady struggled to raise the funds necessary to make the film.  “It was hard to produce because the French justice system and people did not want to see it as an anti-Semitic crime,” he said of the Halimi affair.  Indeed, the film shows the police botching their efforts to save the young cellphone salesman because they are slow to realize that the Barbarians are not common criminals who would likely refrain from killing their hostage. By contrast, Ruth Halimi said she knew that as soon as the ransom demands and threats started referring to Ilan as a “Jew” that they did not regard him as a human being and would kill him.

As was made clear in “Jews & Money,” the 2013 documentary film by Lewis Cohen about the kidnapping of Ilan Halimi, it took serious persuasion before the French court would recognize anti-Semitism as an aggravating circumstance in Halimi’s murder.  “People simply did not want to be associated with this case, and that put me in a difficult position,” said Arcady.

He said that French public television refused to provide support for the project, even though its funding guidelines call for the backing of films like “24 Days.  “They told me it would just be throwing fuel onto the flames if this film was made,” Arcady said. More.

The article generated a few comments well worth paying attention to:

- “I don’t want the Jews to desert France.” but I think maybe France has deserted the Jews.
- If the government was with him, they would have supported his film being produced. If the government was with him, it would have immediately realized it was an anti-semitic act. The perpetrators looked sought out a Jew to kidnap. For whatever reason, that is a racially profiled hate crime.[...]
-  He's against alia but doesn't give a reason.
- That is exactly what the German Jews said right before they were transported to the death camps. I guess he has not learned anything from history.
- One of the questions asked from the Charlie Hebdo murders, would thse acts unify the French people, or, as time passed, just become more news and nothing more... it is obvious the French government and national media only give lip service to these acts of murder and violence by extremists, only serving their best interests in maintaining some status quo, while the cancer in their society in general gets worse.

Belgium: Israeli court jails Iranian-born Belgian for spying for Iran

The Times of Israel reports:

Ali Mansouri
(photo credit: Courtesy Shin Bet)
An Israeli court sentenced an Iranian-born Belgian to seven years in prison on Tuesday after convicting him of spying for Tehran.

Ali Mansouri was detained at Ben Gurion international airport in September 2013 carrying photographs of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and other sites, according to Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service. He had been traveling under the alias of Alex Mans. Details of his arrest were initially kept hidden under a gag order, which was eventually lifted.

Mansouri said during questioning that he was promised $1 million in exchange for his activities inside Israel, and described how he was recruited by the special operations unit of the Revolutionary Guards.  [...]

Mansouri had visited Israel several times and was under surveillance by Israeli intelligence. According to the Shin Bet, Mansouri, a businessman, was also looking to establish business interests in Israel that could serve as fronts for Iranian intelligence activities in the Jewish state.  The aim was to establish a front behind which the Revolutionary Guards could operate in Israel, against Israel, the media reported in 2013. A subsequent stage would have been to send terrorists to Israel to carry out attacks, they added.

Mansouri left Iran in 1980, lived in Turkey until 1997 and then moved to Belgium on a business visa, where in 2006 he obtained citizenship and changed his name to Alex Mans, the Shin Bet revealed. In 2007, Mansouri returned to Iran and established an international business with interests in Iran, Belgium and Turkey.  One of the companies Mansouri established was called European Folded Glass System, Channel 2 reported. The company’s amateurish website stated proudly that EFGS is “Big Company in Europe,” but was rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Alex Mans was listed as the manager, and a Belgian address and phone number were given on the site.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Germany: "No Jewish flags"

Via Walla:

Almog Cohen, an Israeli footballer playing for FC Ingolstadt 04, tweeted today that during a game in Berlin some of the fans waved an Israeli flag.  One of the security officers removed it, saying "no Jewish flags".

Update: via BZ Berlin, h/t Jann Forell.  The flag was removed by a police officer.  According to FC Ingolstadt, they were told that because of the large Palestinian community, Berlin doesn't want political statements in the arena.

Netherlands: Newspaper compares immigrants dying at sea to Holocaust


The De Limburger newspaper decided to headline its paper last Thursday with an editorial comparing the Holocaust to the recent immigrant shipwreck.  The article, written by editor Frans Stoks, was titled "Toen treinen, nu schepen" (then trains, now ships).  It was accompanied by two photos: one, an iconic photo of Settela Steinbach, a Dutch Romani girl who was gassed to death in Auschwitz.  The other was of a little girl who recently died when she tried crossing the Mediterranean.

The sub-heading said as follows: Europe leaders are talking today about the flow of refugees.  Editor Frans Stoks draws a parallel between an iconic photo from WWII and the photo of a young refugee in the Mediterranean Sea.

The article caused a storm of replies and De Limburger published some of them.

Chief Editor Huub Paulissen says they were not comparing the two (apparently 'parallel' doesn't mean what we think it means), but rather focusing on the response of a civilized society, since most Dutch do not want the Dutch navy to go help immigrants who get into trouble trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.  They hope this op-ed will cause a change in this attitude.

Following the tragedy last week, European officials described it as a genocide, massacres and 'never again'.

Italy: "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler. As a gift, one less Jew pig"


Graffiti in Rome: "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler.  As a gift, one less Jew pig".   The graffiti is talking about Rabbi Elio Toaff who recently passed away.

The graffiti was signed by the far right-wing organization Militia.   Militia have been celebrating Toaff's death.

Ukraine: Swastika on Babi Yar monument

Kiev - The monument commemorating Jewish victims of the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev was desecrated for the fourth time in recent months, possibly on Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

The perpetrators sprayed a swastika on the “Menorah” monument marking the slaughter of more than 33,000 Jews in 1941 by Nazi occupation forces and their collaborators.

UK: Lancet medical journal accused of extremist hate propaganda

This is not a one time thing.  The Lancet often publishes articles which incite hatred against Jews and Israel.

In fact, the Independent, which like all other British media also incites against Jews and Israel, is giving us an example of how to incite right here.  The article includes a clip from al-Jazeera about the sad situation of the poor Gazans.  There is no mention of Hamas attacks on Israel.  There is no mention that Israel is transferring tons of cement and other supplies into Gaza.  There is no mention that the neighborhood being shown was a Hamas stronghold from which Hamas intended to attack Israel.

I'll leave the analysis of weasel words in this article to the experts.

Via the Independent:
One of the world’s oldest and most venerable medical journals is under attack from an international group of more than 500 doctors over its coverage of the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Lancet and its editor, Richard Horton, have been targeted over what the group claims is the “grossly irresponsible misuse of [the journal] for political purposes”. The controversy was sparked by an article deemed to be critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

The protesting doctors, including five Nobel laureates as well as Lord Winston, the broadcaster and IVF pioneer, style themselves “concerned academics”, and accuse the journal of publishing “stereotypical extremist hate propaganda”. They also accuse the journal’s owner, the publishing firm Reed Elsevier, of “profiting from the publication of dishonest and malicious material that incites hatred and violence”.  

France: "Muslims pointed their hands like guns at us and called out ‘Jew, Jew!’ "

Via JTA:  
But the production crew also experienced Paris’ darker side while making the film, which has been viewed 55,000 times since being posted on YouTube on March 16.

“We spent a week in Paris and people there are scared,” producer Daniel Finkelman told the news site “I saw with my own eyes as Muslims walked by, pointed their hands like guns at us and called out ‘Jew, Jew!’ in French. It felt like Europe in the 1930s.”

Still,  Finkelman said this only adds urgency to the message that led to the video’s creation in the first place.

“We want the Jewish community of Paris to know: The world cares about you. We are here for you and we are not going to leave you,” he said.

France: The new Jewish exodus: Canada seen as safe haven for French Jews in wake of anti-Semitic attacks

Graeme Hamilton writes @ The National Post

Annual Israel march in downtown
Montreal, April 23, 2015.
When a gunman stormed into a kosher supermarket in Paris, seizing hostages and killing four people, Julien Catan felt tremors all the way to Montreal. A Paris native, he had walked the streets around the Hyper-Cacher market thousands of times. His fiancée’s mother had been shopping there 20 minutes before it was attacked. “What happened in January was a real shock, like never before,” Catan said in an interview. “I think the impact it had is very profound, and I think the Jewish community has taken a real hit.”

The murderous targeting of shoppers buying groceries before the Sabbath, two days after an attack on the journalists of Charlie Hebdo, came amid a surge in anti-Semitism that has Jews questioning how long they can remain in France. More than ever, Canada is seen as a safe haven, and leaders of Montreal’s Jewish community are only too happy to extend a welcoming hand.

It was love that brought Catan, 28, to Montreal last year when he joined his fiancée, who had moved from France five years ago to pursue her studies. But the rise of anti-Semitic hatred back home makes the Jewish couple reluctant to return as they contemplate raising a family. Among their circle of Jewish friends in France, many are planning to leave. “It was perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Catan said of the January attacks. “It will lead people who were thinking of leaving to take action.”

Like Catan, Adam Scheier was shaken by news of the January terror attacks in Paris. The senior rabbi at Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim was at an event in Nashville, and instead of returning home, he flew immediately to Paris as an expression of solidarity. “I found fear,” he said in an interview. “Parents were telling me how terrified they were to send their children to school.”

For Scheier, the sight of heavily armed soldiers guarding Jewish schools clashed with the safety felt by North America’s Jewish communities. Since his return, he has been pushing to make that North American safety available to French Jews. “I think Quebec should proactively be looking to welcome Jews from France who are looking to leave,” he said.

“This is a Jewish community that has western liberal values that are consistent with our Canadian values. This is a Jewish community that is filled with professionals, people of achievement in law, in business, medicine, sciences and the arts. This is a vibrant, dynamic community that could make a contribution to our country, and this is a community that speaks French, which is something that is very attractive for the Quebec government.”

Montreal Jewish organizations have recently created a task force in response to a steep increase in requests for information from French Jews interested in moving to Canada. Monique Lapointe, manager of immigration services for the social services agency Ometz, said her organization alone received 70 such requests in the three months since the January attacks, double what it would normally receive in a year. The task force is looking at how the community can smooth immigration from France, starting by helping potential immigrants navigate the bureaucracy and letting them know what services are available once they arrive. [...]

Whatever hurdles immigrants have to overcome, Frederic Saadoun says it is worth the trouble. He moved from Paris to Montreal with his wife and young children 10 years ago, as anti-Semitism began to rise in France. There were assaults on Jewish children, anti-Semitic graffiti near Jewish schools and advice from a rabbi not to wear Jewish symbols in public. “We preferred leaving before things got worse,” Saadoun, 46, said in an interview.

At the time, fellow Jews in France criticized him for leaving, but now the same people tell him he did the right thing. “There are not a lot of countries where you die because you are Jewish, but it happens in France,” he said citing the Hyper-Cacher attack and the 2012 assault on a Jewish school in Toulouse by an Islamist terrorist who murdered three children and a rabbi.  “There is a physical threat, but what is even more terrible — because in the end, there is little chance of dying — is to be assaulted in daily life,” he said. “My father, who lives in southern France, faces verbal and physical abuse when he leaves synagogue. That sort of thing happens every day.”  He said his son and daughter, 17 and 15, are now perfectly at ease displaying their Jewish identities in public. 

It is when they return to France to visit family that he has to warn them.“I tell them to be careful. In the métro, don’t show your Star of David. Don’t display any distinctive symbol showing you are Jewish. They no longer understand, because here they have no problem, they feel safe,” he said. “Canada is peaceful and they do not at all feel threatened as Jews. We have to teach them when they go to France how to behave as threatened Jews.”  More.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

UK: Tory council candidate: I’d never support ‘the Jew’ Miliband

  Via The Jewish News:

A Tory council candidate has said she would never support “the Jew” in an apparent reference to Ed Miliband.

Gulzabeen Afsal, who is standing in Derby, made the remarks in a Facebook exchange yesterday.

She wrote: “Just can’t take Mr Ed Miiband seriously!! DC has what it takes to be the future PM.”

When another user suggested she should show some respect “for the future PM”, Afsal replied: “Nah bro! never ever will I drop that low and support the al yahud [Arabic for Jew] lol.”   more

Greece: Coalition government MP says “World Zionist Movement” threatens the Greek nation

Against Antisemitism blog reports:
MP Stavroula Xoulidou displaying a Greek flag as a sign of protest in the Greek Parliament in 2012.
Stavroula Xoulidou, [an MP of the coalition government], has suggested in an essay that the “World Zionist Movement” threatens the Greek nation.


Statement by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (Athens, December 3, 2014):

The repeated references against the Jews and the World Zionist Movement, as revealed in a press article, made by MP Stavroula Xoulidou of the “Independent Greeks” party, represent the usual dissemination of prejudices and stereotypes that when prevailed in history they led to the persecution of the Jewish people and ultimately to the Holocaust of 6 million Jews.

The political system in our country cannot and must not tolerate such ideology that incites hatred and fanaticism in the name of any purpose, because silence over such phenomena means complicity.

Related Press clip from the daily “Ethnos” of Nov. 30, 2014:
[…] Subtitle: “She has written an essay entitled ‘Philhellenes, Greek-haters, Ant-Hellenes’ – Kissinger and the World Zionist Movement threaten our nation with total dehellenization”

“The references included in her notorious thesis entitled ‘Philhellenes, Greek-haters, Ant-Hellenes’ – in which more or less she attributes the blame for all hardships of Greece and the Greeks in contemporary history to the World Zionist Movement- are indicative of the thought and attitude of Stavroula Xoulidou.

“The anti-Greek feelings of the British and the Americans are directed by the World Zionist Movement”, she writes and adds: “For example, the Cyprus issue is inaugurated by the English-Jewish Benjamin Disraeli (son of Isaac Disraeli)…”. Again she sees the World Zionist Movement behind Attila and the Turkish invasion of the island of Cyprus. As she writes, it happened under the blessing of the Patriarch of the World Zionist Movement, the American-Jewish FM of the USA Kissinger, who is also involved in the dictatorship of Athens”. Source:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shabbat Shalom!

To all our readers, have a peaceful and restful Shabbat!

France: PM Valls sees anti-Semitism as only one of multiple hatreds

Barbara Kays writes @ The National Post:

The Jewish Mafia. The greatest
international predators.
A book by Hervé Ryssen.
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced an action plan that will make the battle against hatred into “a great national cause,” a plan that will include awareness programs and enhanced punishment for online hate speech, with stiffer prison sentences for hatred-based crimes. The superficially admirable plan springs from honest outrage on Valls’ part — but outrage that has undergone a disquieting sea change since it was first expressed.

After the Charlie Hebdo and kosher-supermarket massacres in January, you may recall, Valls delivered a passionate, widely circulated speech on anti-Semitism in France, declaring the problem of Jewish flight so serious the French Republic must be judged a failure if Jews left en masse. Then, Valls pulled no punches regarding the source of the crisis: “We are at war with terrorism, jihadism and Islamist radicalism.”

That January cri du coeur offered truths that were the gift of spontaneity. With time for second thoughts (and who knows what political pressure), the message Valls now delivers is quite different. Last week the prime minister told suburban high school students: “Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners and homophobia are increasing in an unbearable manner in our country.” He added, “French Jews should no longer be afraid of being Jewish and French Muslims should no longer be ashamed of being Muslims.

Valls’ capitulation to France’s pre-Hebdo default of moral relativism is sad to behold. Valls’ outrage now sees anti-Semitism not as a singular problem, rather as only one of multiple hatreds, and no more distressing than hatred of foreigners (who?), gays and — of course — Muslims.

The truth, which Valls understood very well in January, is that there is no hatred for any group in France equivalent to that of Jew hatred, routinely expressed in virulent hate speech, vandalism, beatings and murder. Foreigners, gays and Muslims are not fleeing France. The institutions of foreigners, gays and Muslims are not being guarded around the clock. Fifty-five per cent of hate-driven acts are not happening to foreigners, gays and Muslims, but to Jews (1% of the population). More.

UK: Prime Minister says that Jews do not fear living in Britain

David Cameron, Prime Minister:
I would be heartbroken if I ever thought that people in the Jewish community thought that Britain was no longer a safe place for them. I think we are miles and miles away from that, but I understand the concerns they have and I think we’re addressing them.

UK: University of East Anglia Union votes for BDS

Daphne Anson writes:

Norwich is the cathedral city in England's East Anglia region which has the dubious honour of being remembered in the history books as having been the scene, in the twelfth century, of the first blood libel of medieval times.  In the late twentieth century one of Britain's several "new universities" was established in Norwich, the University of East Anglia.

The students of this pleasantly situated seat of learning have evidently swallowed the blood libels in modern dress that run rampant against the little State of Israel, for their union has voted in favour of BDS.  Scroll down to the final item here to read the motion and its supporting documentation in all their Israel-demonising crap.  More.

UK: Candidate praises Hitler

Trial by Jeory blog reports

That mystery man who, we’re told, abused hapless Ahad Miah’s Facebook page by posting a salute to Hitler was also busy hacking into his Twitter account, it seems.

As a reminder, on July 15 last summer “someone” posted this image on Miah’s Facebook page:


 Miah, a Tower Hamlets First candidate in last May’s elections and a friend of several senior figures in that “party”, immediately found himself in hot water with Mayor Lutfur Rahman. I’m told he admitted to neighbours he’d been an angry man during the Gaza crisis last summer and that he may have done things he now regretted. However, he then issued a statement on Facebook to say he had no idea how that picture got there. He said someone had gained access to his account.  Not many, if anyone at all, believed him.

I didn’t realise he also had a Twitter account. Perhaps he didn’t either. A reader of this blog sent me this Tweet that Miah posted on July 17, two days after that Facebook salute.
But enough said on Miah; he’s now history and I doubt very much we’ll see him again trying to make his way in politics. The reason he popped on this blog was because he was part of a DCLG-funded weekend away in Suffolk discussing faith and “promoting integration” with the Salvation Army More.

UK: Phone store boss attacks ‘arrogant Jews’

The Jewish Chronicle reports:

The assistant manager of an EE mobile phone shop has claimed “Jewish people are very arrogant”. Daniel Reid made the comment after a staff member at his Tottenham Hale, north London, store was accused of turning away Jewish customers.

Shoppers who tried to claim a free phone charger as part of an offer were told the device was out of stock — before watching non-Jewish customers walk out with one minutes later.

Mr Reid, who strongly denied the claims, said: “There is no discrimination in our business. I am black and Christian. I am not being funny, Jewish people are very arrogant but we serve them to the best of our ability. I do find them arrogant.”

He said one customer was refused the charger last Thursday because he did not show staff a confirmation text.  But the strictly Orthodox customer, who gave his name only as Sam, said: “Of course I had the text. He told me there were no power bars. I saw something fishy going on.” More.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ukraine: Anti-Semitic Group Joins Military

A month ago the party blamed the Jews for the country's situation.

Via Arutz 7 (h/t ISCA)
Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), a Ukrainian nationalist movement, has announced that it will integrate with the country's military and its leader will advise the military chief. The group has a strong history of anti-Semitism, a reputation that its leaders say they are trying to change.

A representative of the Ukrainian Jewish community says they are still worried, though. “No doubt that when they finish with the Russians somehow, they will look for something else, the Jewish communities being a natural target going by their history.”

Germany: Woman spat on in antisemitic incident

Via Polizei Berlin (h/t JFDA):

A woman was insulted with antisemitic slurs and spat on during a dispute with her neighbor in Neukölln (Berlin).  The perpetrator is a 65-year old woman.

Italy: Graffiti against recently deceased rabbi

Rabbi Elio Toaff, former Chief Rabbi of Rome, passed away this week.  While his funeral was taking place, somebody sprayed graffiti against him.

Slogans included: "Toaff, we'll dance on your grave", "The worms are waiting, Toaff the executioner", "Toaff, one pig less", "Today Toaff, tomorrow Pacifici".  Ricardo Pacifici is the head of Rome’s Jewish community

The graffiti is signed by Militia, a right-wing organization.

UK: Amnesty rejects call to campaign against antisemitism

Amnesty founder
Peter Benenson
The sad irony is that the founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, was Jewish.

Jewish Chronicle reports:  

Amnesty International has rejected a motion to tackle the rise in antisemitic attacks in Britain at its annual conference.   The motion was tabled by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps in March who said it was defeated at the International AGM on Sunday by 468 votes to 461. 

Mr Thorpe Apps said: “It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference.” [...]

Mr Thorpe-Apps said he put forward the motion because “I recently joined and I believe passionately about human rights.

“I was aware that the organisation has been outwardly pro-Palestine in the past but it hasn’t stood up for the Jewish population and I think it would be good if they did that. I’m not Jewish myself but I’ve been appalled by what I’ve seen in the press facing the Jewish community and an organisation like Amnesty should really add their voice to that as they do with other human rights issues.” 

Mr Thorpe-Apps called on Amnesty to back the recent report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

From the 2015 Resolution proposal (PDF):

Board background note:

The rise in incidents of anti-Semitic attacks in the UK and across Europe, documented by the Community Security Trust and others, is deeply disturbing. Amnesty International condemns all manifestations of hate crime. 

Amnesty’s work to date

During the movement’s current Strategic Plan period, its strategy on hate crimes within Europe has been led from the Brussels-based European Institutions Office (EIO). This has focussed on state action to prevent and investigate hate crimes and ensure avenues of redress are available to victims. Priorities have included homophobic and transphobic hate crime, given widespread legislative gaps in Europe, as well as endemic discrimination and hate crime directed towards Europe’s Roma communities. More recently, in February 2015, the International Secretariat (IS) published a briefing on hate crime, including racist violence, in Bulgaria.

Amnesty’s existing plans

Whilst Amnesty International’s background documents have noted increased manifestations of anti-Semitism in a number of European countries, neither AIUK nor the International Secretariat have undertaken research or campaigning work specifically on anti-Semitism in the UK. This area of work is not included in AIUK’s existing plans, nor are we aware of any IS or EIO plans to do so.

UK: Guardian blames Israel for antisemitism

Teju Cole, writing in the Guardian, blames Israel for antisemitism.  (h/t Yair Rosenberg)
A neighbourhood like Sheikh Jarrah is an x-ray of Israel at the present moment: a limited view showing a single set of features, but significant to the entire body politic. The case that is being made, and that must continue to be made to all people of conscience, is that Israel’s occupation of Palestine is criminal. This case should also include the argument that the proliferation of bad laws by the legislature and courts of Israel is itself antisemitic in effect, to the extent that they fuel the ancient calumnies against Jewish people. Nothing can justify either antisemitism or the racist persecution of Arabs, and the current use of the law in Israel is a part of the grave ongoing offence to the human dignity of both Palestinians and Jews.

France: Will good intentions be enough in French anti-Semitism effort?

The initiative The Jerusalem Post reports:

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday announced the beginning of a massive national effort to combat his country’s rising levels of anti-Semitism and immediately began garnering the plaudits of Jews worldwide. [...]

The €100 million plan includes regular monitoring of racism and anti-Semitism in order to generate data; protect Jewish and Muslim houses of worship and communal institutions; and push back against discrimination.  Criminal actions with racist motives will be punished more harshly, while hate speech will be prosecutable under criminal rather than civil law. Internet hate also will get a closer look. [...]

In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, Prof. Robert Wistrich, the head of Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, said that while he believes France has made good-faith efforts in the past, unless Europeans face up to the treatment of Israel in the media and the link between Muslim immigrant populations and anti-Semitism, all the efforts being made are “no more than tinkering with the surface of things.”

“You have the denial, for instance, that there is any relationship between so-called criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism but, in fact, most of what goes by the name of criticism of Israel is feeding on a daily basis the growing demonization of the Jewish state, which in turn spills over I would say almost with mathematical inevitability into some form of dislike, hostility or even loathing of Jews,” he explained.

“Governments treat the whole Muslim issue as taboo.  They won’t touch it. They will rarely ever admit that there is such a thing as Muslim anti-Semitism, for political reasons they won’t admit it.  So we have this kind of paralyzing political correctness.  It’s very difficult to even take the first step in the right direction and that’s not going to happen.”

In a survey conducted by the ADL last year, the Middle East and North Africa were determined to harbor the highest concentration of anti-Semitic sentiment globally, with 74 percent of respondents agreeing with a list negative stereotypes about Jews. With migration from North Africa to Europe, such sentiments have not been left behind.  By the same token, many of the attacks on Jews in France and across the Continent are committed by members of Middle Eastern immigrant communities such as recent shootings at Brussels’ Jewish Museum, Denmark’s Central Synagogue and Paris’s Hyper Cacher grocery. More.