Sunday, May 31, 2015

Belgium: Belgocontrol employee wants a pogrom (in response to Israeli request for US aid)

Last year we reported the story of a Belgocontrol employee Johan Vercarre who posted insults against Jews ('dirty Jews') on the Facebook site of Knack, a supposedly respectable Belgian magazine.  The insults remained online for close to a month, until the Belgocontrol chief was contacted directly.

But the thing about antisemites is that trivial insults can easily turn to death threats.

And so Johan Vercarre is at it again.  This time, in response to an article about Israel requesting more US aid, his response is: Organize a little pogrom, then?

My previous post was about a Belgian Muslim who posted that he wants to kill all Israeli Jews.  This made headlines and he might be dismissed from his job.

Once again, it is important to note: You do not need to be Muslim to want to kill Jews, and you don't need to be a Muslim in order to 'confuse' between Jews and Israelis.  Antisemitism is equal-opportunity and accepts people of all faiths, races, backgrounds, genders, political and sexual orientations.

Maybe it's time Belgocontrol do something about their employee?

Belgium: Municipal employee wishes he could kill all Jews in Israel

Via Le Soir:

A municipal guard / traffic warden for Molenbeek (Brussels) posted antisemitic comments on Facebook.  The mayor is looking into firing him.

Mohamed N., posting as "Bebeto Gladiateur", joined a discussion about a Turkish-origin MP who was expelled from his party for refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but insisted on talking about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict:  "Jews means dirty.. if I was there in Israel, frankly, I would do the same to the Jews and shoot them down one by one as they do to the Palestinians".

Mohamed N., who meanwhile deleted his account, says it had been hacked.   According to Le Soir, this is not the first time he posted antisemitic comments.  In July 2014 he posted a quote attributed to Mohammed, "the Jews are your enemies, but you will vanquish them".

Russia: Filmmaker claims government allows neo-Nazis to operate

Via Times of Israel (h/t Anti-Racism Network):
While Antonevicz explained that the neo-Nazi scene consisted of many organizations, some of them in conflict with one another, they had some things in common.

“They all hate the Jews,” he said wryly.


One masked neo-Nazi tells Antonevicz during an interview that “Even if you cut a black in line, that’s already good, that warms your heart. And if I come to him and murder him, I’m not doing it for myself but for everyone: I’m cleaning trash from the streets.”

During another conversation held by a group of activists over dinner, a woman argues that one shouldn’t spray paint swastikas on Jewish graves, as doing so sullies the holiness of the Nazi symbol.

“It demeans the swastika, your own symbol, it’s stupid,” she says.


The filmmaker said he later realized that he was not just dealing with isolated extremist cells, but that there were far greater forces at play: the Russian government was entirely aware of the neo-Nazis’ activities, he alleged, and chooses to allow them to operate to a certain degree, for its own interests.

“When (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel comes to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and asks him ‘Why are you acting like a madman?’ he can always point to the right and say ‘Angela, it’s either me or them, which do you prefer?'”

Belgium: Academics call for all-out boycott of Israel (and only Israel)

Anti-Israel Campaign by
Pierre Galand Association
Belgo-Palestinienne Wallonie-Bruxelles)
Coincidental with the commemoration of the first anniversary of the shooting at the Brussels Jewish museum a number of Belgian scholars are calling for the academic boycott of Israel.  The petition has been issued in French, Flemish and English and was published by at least two newspapers, Le Soir and De Standaard.

If a counter-petition denouncing the call for the boycott of Israel were issued, it is fair to assume that, given the intimidation against those who dare to speak out in favour of Israel, nobody would sign it...  that is why you will never see one in Europe. It is highly unlikely that the signatories, many of them Catholics, will put their names to a petition against the persecution and slaughter of Christians in the Arab world.

Sadly,  two of the petitioners (Anya Topolski and Nadia Fadil) had been invited by the Jewish museum to lecture twice on antisemitism...

Two names stand out, both from the Catholic University of Louvain: Olivier De Schutter, a lawyer turned "hunger expert" for the United Nations, and Jean Bricmont who believes that the Holocaust is a lucrative business. 

BACBI: Statement of Principles

We, Belgian academics and intellectuals, support the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). We call upon our colleagues in the Belgian academic community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, by applying the following:

1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint project with Israeli institutions and research entities;

2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions, not of individual Israeli academics, at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to those institutions;

3. Promote divestment and disinvestment by international academic institutions from Israel and multinational corporations that are instrumental in the systematic violations of international law committed by the state of Israel; More.


A long-standing Belgian tradition:

The above image featured until recently on the website of the influential Belgian-Palestinian Association (Brussels-Wallonia), headed by Israel-basher Pierre Galand of the Free Université of Brussels. Poster created by Oxfam Belgium and withdrawn by Oxfam International following a worldwide campaign led by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Germany: Party lifts requirement for Muslim students to visit concentration camps

Via Jerusalem Post:
The governing Christian Social Union party in Bavaria’s state government sparked a row over excluding Muslim students and other immigrant pupils from visiting concentration camps as part of Holocaust educational programs.

“There are a lot of children from Muslim families who do not have a connection to our past,” said CSU politician Klaus Steiner in the parliamentary debate justifying the exclusion, according to a May article in the paper Main Post. We have to approach this topic carefully with these children, Steiner added.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, called for an obligatory educational visit to a concentration camp for all German students. The Haifa-born Schuster is a practicing physician in Bavaria.

Opposition politicians sharply criticized the CSU, which is also Merkel’s coalition partner in the Federal government, for seeking to exclude certain ethnic and religious groups from participating in the full Holocaust educational program. more

France: Three Jew-hate incidents 'every day'

Via Jewish Chronicle:
A hate crimes watchdog has revealed that there has been an average of around three antisemitic incidents a day in France since the supermarket murders in Paris earlier this year.

In addition, the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l'Antisemitisme (BNVCA) believes that there are even more antisemitic crimes than it has recorded because French Jews are reporting hate incidents "less and less".
BNVCA director Danielle Ferra said that Jews are now feel that talking to police about a hate attack is a waste of time. "If the perpetrators get arrested they are released again and just continue with the attacks, and if they go to prison, they become Islamist extremists. We don't know what to do," she said.

Since the Paris killings, BNVCA has registered 22 complaints of physical violence, 72 online incidents and around 60 accounts of verbal abuse and threats.

The figures indicate that antisemitic crime in France has risen even beyond the increase seen in 2014.  more

Hungary: Jobbik blames 'Israeli pressure' for mandatory Holocaust class

The introduction of a mandatory class on the history of the Holocaust is “counterproductive, professionally flawed and a dangerous precedent”, the far-right Jobbik party said. Earlier this week, Péter Pázmány Catholic University said it would introduce a mandatory class on the history of the Holocaust from September. Gergely Farkas, the head of Jobbik’s youth arm, said in a statement that it was “likely” the university was acting on “pressure from Israel”. Farkas said the announcement had “caused a stir” at the university, adding that it was possible “the university could lose a number of applicants in the near future”.  more

Holland: Utrecht soccer club to be penalized for anti-Semitic chants

Via Volkskrant and Bad News from the Netherlands blog:

The Dutch football association, KNVB, intends to heavily penalize the Utrecht Soccer Club for anti-Semitic chants which were sung during a game against Ajax in April.  

Supporters of Utrecht sang, “My father was with the commandos, my mother was with the SS, together they burned Jews, because they burn best.” 
The soccer club claims it did not know what was sung and has apologized for its supporters.

European Anti-Semitism 'Has Reached Critical Mass,' Expert Warns

From Arutz Sheva:
Anti-Semitism has reached "critical mass" in Europe, and stands at its worst levels globally since the 1930s, a senior anti-hate campaigner has warned.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva at the 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism on Wednesday, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said that although anti-Semitism was not yet at the same levels as it was immediately prior to the holocaust, Jews are certainly being subjected to the worst levels of hatred since then.

"It's not like the thirties, but it's the worst its been since the 30s," Foxman said.

Explaining his alarming analysis, Foxman noted the growing numbers of deadly attacks against Jews, particularly in Europe, which - combined with other violent attacks - represents a wave of Jew-hatred unprecedented since the end of the Second World War.

"We're living in an era where again anti-Semitism presents a clear and present danger to Jews in various communities.

"It's global in its nature, and it's endangering the lives of Jews - not just where they live or their livelihoods - and it has a dimension of terrorism, jihadism."

Foxman, a veteran campaigner who has been part of the struggle against anti-Semitism since the 1960s, said contemporary anti-Semitism is a combination of "both the old and the new," pointing to the confluence of the far-right, the far-left and political Islam.

That alliance is also greatly helped by the internet, he added, which enables anti-Semites to spread their message and reach previously unreachable audiences anonymously and with frightening effectiveness.

The subject of online anti-Semitism has figured prominently at the Forum this year, which is co-sponsored by the foreign ministry and ministry for diaspora affairs.

"Anti-Semitism has reached a critical mass. It's not a drip-drip anymore," Foxman warned.

"When Jews are killed in Europe today because they are Jews, for me that's a critical mass. If you can be killed in the streets of Europe if you're identifiably Jewish that's as critical as it can be."  more

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cyprus: Man arrested suspected of planning attack on Israeli interests

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Israeli security sources are closely monitoring the arrest and investigation of a Lebanese citizen in Larnaca, Cyprus, who is suspected of being a Hezbollah operative caught in possession of a massive quantity of explosive material.

Cypriot police suspect a man arrested on Wednesday was planning an attack on Israeli interests on the island after they found almost two tons of ammonium nitrate in his basement, newspapers on the island reported on Friday.

The 26-year-old man is Lebanese-born and has a Canadian passport. He was detained by police after authorities discovered the stockpile.

Security sources in Israel assess that the apartment in which the suspect was captured was a Cyprus-based explosive material storeroom that belonged to Hezbollah, and which was supposed to constitute an outlet for carrying out a large-scale series of terror attacks across Europe against Jewish, Israeli, and Western targets. More.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Belgium: Jewish family receives anonymous hate mail


A Jewish family in Sint-Genesius-Rode (Brussels suburb) received an anonymous letter with a swastika calling them "dirty Jews".  The typewritten paper was folded up and put in their mailbox without an envelope.

The family is now considering that in the future they might have to leave somewhere where they won't be threatened.

Meanwhile, Chouna Lomponda, spokesperson for the Jewish Museum, says that two days after the memorial ceremony she got a message on her Facebook telling her to stop speaking for the Jews as it could be dangerous for her.  She was convinced by her colleagues to report it ot the police.

Belgium: Are Belgium’s Jews any safer now?

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Belgian Jews marked the first anniversary of a shooting attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum, which left four people dead, and many are asking if the community is any safer today.  [...]

Both France and Belgium have deployed large numbers of troops to guard Jewish sites across their respective countries and have called for zero tolerance for hate crimes.  However, there is a sense that such efforts can only go so far.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post not long before his death last week, Hebrew University anti-Semitism expert Prof. Robert Wistrich said he believed another attack was inevitable.

Troops can only stayed deployed for so long and “once they go we will have another violent incident,” he said. “The fundamental causes have not changed in any way and that will surely happen.  We can say with near certainty it will happen again there.”  [...]

A third of Jews polled in 2013 by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights admitted to refraining from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, with 23% saying they avoided attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues. Following last year’s attack in Brussels one community leader there told the Post that while European Jews are “more doubtful” about their future than they were 20 years ago, “we are watchful [but] we don’t live in fear.”

However, speaking to the Post a year later, some Belgian Jews indicated that they are indeed uneasy, despite the beefed up security surrounding them.

Given the difficulty in preventing attacks by lone gunmen, the intensification of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments among Muslim immigrants and a relatively small but significant and increasing number of returning European jihadis who fought in the Middle East, it is likely that further attacks will occur despite all efforts to prevent them.

UK: Anti-Zionist Jew to speak at anti-Jewish march

Via HOPE Not Hate:
Here's a conundrum for the Nazi movement in this country. One of the speakers at the neo-Nazi rally proposed for Golders Green next month, is refusing to come because he does not want to share a platform with a Jew!

Yes, little Jack 'Jackboot' Renshaw, will not come because one of the speakers is Jewish! Oh yes, he also does not want to share a platform with Eddie Stampton because even Jack thinks he is a police grass, and he knows like everybody else on the far-right, that Stampton deals drugs to white kids.

Yes, there will be a Jewish speaker at the neo-Nazi anti-Jewish rally in Golders Green. Even though Melissa Caldwell/Cordwell says she is an "Anti-Zionist", as opposed to a Jew-hater, isn't it nice to see the Nazis finally stuck with one of those sorts of people, and not the ultra left for a change?

What happens now is a mystery. Do his fellow Nazis pull him up on his Antisemitism? Does Ms Cordwell report him to the Board of Deputies?

For once in my life, I am in wholehearted agreement with Renshaw. No one should share a platform with a self-hating, Holocaust denying Jew. Even if they say they are "anti-Zionist."  more

Belgium: Catholic professor sees something fishy in timing of FIFA scandal revelations

Jean Bricmont is a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.  He is an indefatigable and consumate anti-Zionist - some have declared that his writings are antisemitic.  He furiously and obsessively attacks Israel and the US on Facebook - his knowlege about what he belives to be the evils of Zionists and those who are not anti-Zionists must be unparalled even by European standards.

As soon as the FIFA scandal was made public, he linked to an article by Israel-basher Jonathan Cook Arrests by US as FIFA mulls giving Israel boot:

"Doubtless, none of this was designed to have – or will have – the slightest effect on FIFA officials as they contemplate whether to infuriate Israel and the US by booting Israel out of world soccer. - [...] Anyone who doubts how seriously Israel is taking the threat of being ousted from FIFA and how actively its supporters are working behind the scenes at the world body should read the comments of Avi Luzon, Israel’s representative to UEFA, European football’s governing body. [...]"

Echoing Cook, Bricmont asks whether it is pure coincidence that corruption charges that have been around for twenty years are only made public today.

Turkey: Sephardic Jews feel bigotry’s sting and a pull back to Spain

Via The New York Times:
"We miss you"
For Rafi, a local newspaper’s anti-Semitic crossword puzzle was the final affront. He knew he had to leave Turkey.
“There are many reasons to leave: a lack of work opportunities, growing polarization within society and oppressive leadership. But the hatred toward our community has been the tipping point for me,” said Rafi, 25, a graphic designer based in Istanbul, who provided only his first name out of fear of harassment by Turkish nationalists. “There is no future here.”

Rafi is one of thousands of Sephardic Jews in Turkey who trace their ancestry to Spain and are now applying for Spanish citizenship in anticipation of a parliamentary bill expected to pass this month in Madrid that would grant nationality to the Jews who were expelled in 1492, during the Inquisition.

Most are seeking visa-free travel within Europe and an opportunity to escape what they see as rising anti-Semitism in Turkey. But many are taken with the idea of reversing the trek their ancestors took centuries ago as they escaped persecution in Spain and settled in the more tolerant environs of the Ottoman Empire.

Anti-Jewish sentiment is not uncommon in the Turkish news media, but the implications of the crossword puzzle sent shock waves across Turkey. It featured an image of Adolf Hitler with the slogan, “We are longing for you.”

“Jews are attacked all over the world, but last year the level of hate speech in Turkey reached an unnerving level,” Rafi said.  More.

Netherlands: Surge in 'suspicious activity' next to Jewish institutions

Via De Telegraaf:

The BLEW, the Jewish security organization in the Netherlands, says it sees a surge of 'suspicious activity' by Jewish institutions, such as synagogues, schools, community centers etc.  That is, people who move about suspiciously next to Jewish institutions without reason, which might indicate intelligence gathering before an attack.

Following attacks in other countries, Dutch authorities placed armed police in front of Jewish institutions, but the BLEW says that is not enough  - police agents must be trained to deal with terror attacks and armed appropriately.  That way they'll be able to protect both themselves and the Jewish community in case of attack.

Germany: Court rejects appeal of man who shouted ‘Death to Zionists’ at protest

The Algemeiner reports:

A German court rejected the appeal of a man who shouted “death to Zionists” during a rally in the town of Essen, a German blog reported on Tuesday.

The original, groundbreaking ruling was handed down against German Turk Taylan Can (24) in January for incitement to hatred against a segment of the population.

Judge Gauri Sastry said Can’s use of the word “Zionist” at a protest against Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip was a “code for Jew,” and therefore counted as incitement against an ethnic minority.

The protest where Can shouted the slogans was held in July 2014, during the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Protesters at the rally were also seen giving Nazi salutes. According to German newspaper Die Welt, at least 49 criminal complaints were filed, though 45 were later dismissed by police. The report also said that the anti-Israel demonstrators attacked members of a counter-protest.

Can argued at the Essen court in January that while his hatred toward Zionists was real, it was not explicitly directed against Jews, a claim which the court ultimately denied.

The German law for incitement against a segment against the population is often used in conjunction with cases concerning Holocaust denial.

Finland: Israel is Banned from Events Funded by the EU and the Red Cross

Via Arutz Sheva (H/T Elder of Ziyon):
This is what happened in Helsinki, where the Jewish National Fund has been banned from participating to the Maailma Kylässä, the World Village, the festival organized by the multicultural organization Kepa, which includes three hundred different NGOs and is funded by the European Union and the Red Cross.
The Israelis first received an invitation to participate, only to find Israel being banned because of the “existence of question marks about the legitimacy of its activities”.
The Israeli embassy in Finland protested to the government of Helsinki about the ouster of the Jewish National Fund, only to be told that “it is a private event on which the Foreign Ministry has no authority”, when in fact the World Village is funded by the Finnish Foreign Ministry (17 million euro over two years), as well as by Brussels - the European Union. The Israeli ambassador in Helsinki, Dan Ashbel, said “that this approach is what led to the Holocaust”.
At the World Village of 2014, the Palestine Forum distributed - and was allowed to distribute - maps of the Middle East from which the Jewish State was absent. A year later, they have been able to erase Israel from the family of nations.
Doctor Goebbels would have been proud of them.
More about the "festival" @ Tundra Taboids.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sweden: Jew harassed in school, police do nothing

This story encapsulates the difficulties of Jews in Europe.

A young Jew was attacked in school.  He reported it to the police, who did nothing.  He asked his school to bring in an antisemitism activist.  The idea was rejected.  In fact, the school seems to imply that the best solution is to pretend he's not Jewish.

It's easy to say 'Muslims are the problem', but it's the non-Muslim Europeans who tolerate, justify and quite often encourage this antisemitism.

Via CBC:
Even so, a few months ago, Lunderquist's 19-year-old son Jonathan Vaknine - the only Jew in a school of 1,600 - was swarmed in the hallway, sworn at and pushed around by young men asking 'Are you Jewish?'

Harassment of young Jews in Malmö is not unusual, but the difference is that Vaknine reported it to the police and gave them the name of one of the attackers. It was three months before the police called Vaknine for a statement, and the named youth was not interviewed.

A few weeks after the swarming, Swedish television aired an hour long documentary on anti-Semitism in Malmö. A Swedish journalist put on a kippa, sat at an outdoor café and wandered into Rosengaard. He was called a Jewish Satan, and people threw eggs at him from their apartments.

Siavosh Derakhti was part of that documentary, and "it lit a fire in me," Vaknine says. He contacted Derakhti, who agreed to come to the boy's school to speak.

Derakhti has been awarded Sweden's first Raoul Wallenberg medal, named after the renegade Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews in World War II. He is a national figure, but the principal of Vaknine's school turned him down. 

The school authorities did emphasize their concern for Vaknine's safety, but the student says he told them, "Safe is not enough. That is not the issue. If I hide who I am and hide my identity, of course no one will know I'm a Jew and they will not do anything. But if I am going with kippa, with things that show that I'm a Jew, I'm not sure I would be safe."

Poland: New President Denounces Holocaust Apology

Via Artuz 7:
Andrzej Duda wins after criticizing outgoing president for recognizing Polish complicity in murder of Jews.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski responded to exit polls by conceding defeat on Sunday, after having lost to his right-wing opponent Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice party by a margin of 53% to 47%.

Notably, Duda recently criticized Komorowski for apologizing over Poland's complicit role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, saying the apology was an "attempt to destroy Poland’s good name."

UK: Anti-Zionism on campus (video)

British pro-Israel student (SOAS, University of London):
Even though I'm not Jewish, I have been called 'Jewish scum' in the corridors of my university, I've been spat at, I've had, you know, money jokes made at me, so a lot of not nice things really.

Any political party with this much antisemitism would be booed off the public stage.  But when it comes to anti-Zionism, they're an acceptable part of European discourse.

For French-Jewish intellectual Jacques Attali there is no antisemitism in France

The Haaretz interviewed Jacques Attali in 2009.  Six years on, Attali is still considered to be some sort of an omniscient oracle in France.
The fixer - French-Jewish intellectual Jacques Attali - once the all-powerful advisor to Francois Mitterrand - reveals how he aims to save the world.

Jacques Attali is fed up with talking about anti-Semitism in France. "There are more important things to discuss than my view on a nonexistent problem," he told me last week in an interview conducted in the headquarters of his consulting firm. Attali, an economist and a prolific writer who has a weekly column in a number of media outlets, was the most important adviser to perhaps the most important French president, Francois Mitterrand. Nowadays he is president of the world's largest nongovernmental organization (NGO) for microcredit. Attali is an Algerian-born Jew who moved to France with his family when he was 12. Next week he will take part in the Second Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow, in Jerusalem.

He asserts that all the talk about anti-Semitism in France is dangerous - if not altogether organized -propaganda by Israel. 

Is there no problem of anti-Semitism in France?
"Zero! None whatsoever. It's a lie. It's a pure lie. Not true. There are some well-known anti-Semites, but it is not a problem at the national level." 

There is a trend among French Jews to immigrate to Israel, and many of them say it's due to an anti-Semitic atmosphere.
"I think it is not true. I think it is propaganda, Israeli propaganda." 

But don't the numbers prove it?
"[...] For the past decade, Israelis have engaged in some kind of wishful thinking that the situation in France is a disaster and that people are immigrating to Israel. It is very dangerous propaganda, to make people believe that the situation in France is terrible. It's ridiculous! I am an example of the fact that it is not true. I came from nothing and I advanced - worldwide but also in France. France has the most modern Jewish community and the most modern Arab and Muslim community. It is absolutely crucial for there to be success in relations between Jews and Arabs in France. It's crucial to Israel and to the whole world for the two communities to get along. These relations are of strategic importance: if they cannot live in harmony here, they cannot live in harmony anywhere."  [...]

Don't you think there is a problem of anti-Semitism among the Muslim community in France?
"Absolutely not. They are absolutely adamant to avoid it, wherever and whenever. Of course they are against the Israeli policy in the territories. Of course you can't say there is no problem at all. You can always find crazy people in every part of society. But it's not a political problem; it is not growing, and in fact it does not exist. If you look at the numbers you cannot prove it." [...]

"Look," Attali interrupts, "I am not here to defend France. I am here to tell you my opinion: bullshit, peanuts, lies. This is not what you and I should be talking about. I am disappointed. We should talk about larger issues. There are more important things to discuss than my views on a nonexistent problem. You are an Israeli journalist and all your questions are about that." 

These are only some of the questions.
"But it is a problem which does not exist. I say very bluntly: I am disappointed to be talking about a caricature of France. And I am not here to defend France." 

Ilan Halimi's mother told me the reason her son was killed was because no one believed there is anti-Semitism in the suburbs.
"I respect her, and I do not want to comment on what she said in grief." More.

UK: Police need help proving that rally against Jews is indeed antisemitic

It took me five seconds of googling to find this, but apparently British police can't be bothered.  

Via Jewish Chronicle:
A north London police chief has called on the Jewish community to provide evidence that a planned extremist rally in Golders Green will be antisemitic so he can stop it.
Barnet borough commander Adrian Usher said that if it could be proved that the rally was “motivated by antisemitism, then that is clearly against the law and we will take robust action.” 
He was responding to calls from the community that the rally, promoted by far-right group New Dawn as an attack on “Jewish privilege”, should be banned. It is due to take place on July 4, a Shabbat .   more

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Europe: A bunch of 'eminent' and arrogant old timers want to punish Israel

Benjamin Weinthal writes @ Jerusalem Post  

Responding to a group calling itself the European Eminent Persons Group on Middle East issues (EEPG),which urged the EU to take unilateral actions against the Jewish state for the stagnate peace process, Israeli experts leveled sharp criticism.

In an email to the Jerusalem Post on Friday, Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg , the president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, wrote, “Far from being a peace proposal, this is a re-statement of standard European mythology, which is based entirely on and reinforces the Palestinian narrative of unending conflict. This approach patronizes Palestinians, treating them like children incapable of moral behavior or of taking responsibility for their actions, while legitimate Israel security concerns are erased. As a result, Israelis and Palestinians alike do not take the EU seriously.”

Steinberg added “Many of the signatories made a bad situation worse while they held official positions. For example, Mary Robinson presided over the disastrous 2001 UN ‘Durban Conference’ which launched the Palestinian BDS and lawfare processes. And as the EU's foreign policy czar, Javier Solana was repeatedly manipulated and exploited by [Yasser] Arafat. Under Solana, the EU secretly began to channels millions of Euros to anti-peace NGOs -- a policy that continues to cause major damage.” Robinson and Solana signed the letter along with a group of former European diplomats and politicians from Germany, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Austria.

The EEPG wrote that the EU should support in the UN Security Council “ a resolution that either calls for new negotiations and sets a mandatory deadline for the completion of an agreement to establish a two-state solution; or creates a greater equivalence between the Israeli and Palestinian parties, including through recognition of a Palestinian state and strong support for Palestine accession to international treaties and organizations.”

The group called for” EU-wide introduction of guidelines for correct labelling of settlement products, to be complemented by tougher measures to contain settlement expansion and steps to operationalize the EU’s policy of non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 borders across the full range of EU-Israeli relations.”

Ambassador Shimon Stein, who served as Israel’s Ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2007, said by email to the Post, The letter from "a bunch of arrogant old timers is irrelevant. Their letter together with other initiatives should be seen as a harbinger. If the Netanyahu government will not become pro active ,and if the status quo will continue then do expect such initiative to mount.There is a need for a process initiated by Israel in coordination with the US. Bottom line expect ‘eminents ‘ and others to feel the vacuum."

Steinberg said , “Vice President Mogherini would be well-advised to learn from the total failure of European policy in the Middle East under this group. The EU needs a new policy on the Middle East and Israel -- one that is based on reality rather than myth. Rather than reinforcing Palestinian rejectionism, the EU must begin by examining the implications of the chaos and terror from ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and the disintegration of Syria, Iraq and Libya.” More.

Members of the self-styled European Eminent Persons Group:
 - Hubert Védrine, Foreign Minister of France (1997- 2002), Co-Chair of the EEPG
- Wolfgang Ischinger, Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany (1998- 2001) and current Chairman of the Munich Security Conference , Co- Chair of the EEPG
- Jeremy Greenstock, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the UN (1998- 2003), Co- Chair of the EEPG
- Andreas van Agt, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1977- 1982)
- Frans Andriessen , Vice- President of the European Commission (1985- 1993)
- Laurens Jan Brinkhorst , Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands (2005- 2006)
- Hans van den Broek, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands (1982- 1993) and EU Commissioner for External Relations (1993- 1999)
- John Bruton, Prime Minister of Ireland (1994- 1997)
- Roland Dumas, Foreign Minister of France (1988- 1993) and President of the Constitutional Council (1995- 2000)
- Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations (2004- 2009) and Foreign Minister of Austria (2000- 2004)
- Elisabeth Guigou, French Minister of European Affairs (1990- 1993) and Minister of Justice of France (1997- 2000)
- Lena Hjelm-Wallén, Swedish Foreign Minister (1994- 1998) and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden (1995- 2002)
- Miguel Moratinos, Foreign Minister of Spain (2004- 2010) and EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process (1996- 2003)
- Teresa Patrício de Gouveia, Foreign Minister of Portugal (2003- 2004)
- Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag (2005- 2013) and Secretary- General of the CDU (2000)
- Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990- 1997) and UN Commissioner for Human Rights (1997
- 2002) - Michel Rocard, Prime Minister of France (1988- 1991)
- Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (1999- 2009) and NATO Secretary- General (1995- 1999)
- Peter Sutherland, EU Commissioner for Competition (1985- 1989) and Director- General of the World Trade Organization (1993- 1995)

Norway: Many Muslims in Norway hate Jews

Norway, Israel and the Jews blog reports:
A survey among 500 Muslim youths about their relationship with the Jews and the State of Israel was carried out recently in Bærum.  The youth center Marie Plathe sponsored the survey. The center has long worked with youngsters who are in the process of becoming radicalized.

The figures from the study are not yet fully analyzed, but preliminary results, according to manager Ikhlaque Chan, show that Muslim youths lack knowledge about Jews, Judaism and Israel. Several also have trouble distinguishing between Judaism as a religion and Israeli politics.

No-one reported having had negative experiences with Jews and no-one said they dislike Jews.

However respondents said  that they use the term “Jew” as an insult. Several also believe that there is an American-Jewish conspiracy against Muslims.  More.

Germany: Car vandalized for having "I Love Israel" sticker

Via BILD (h/t JFDA):

A car with a sticker "I love Israel" had two of its tires slashed in Berlin.

Police assume this is an antisemitic crime.

Netherlands: History textbook teaches about murderous Jews, forgets to mention Arab terrorism

Picture from 2000 in order to illustrate evil Jews of 1948 (YNET)

Via JTA:
Israel’s embassy in Holland condemned the appearance of anti-Israel statements in a textbook on history for high school students.

The embassy’s statement on Tuesday about the book “Geschiedeniswerkplaats,” or “History Workplace,” by the Noordhoff Uitgevers followed complaints by members of the country’s Jewish community.

About the establishment of the State of Israel, the book states that David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared statehood after “Jewish militias carried out murders in Arab villages, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and settled in refugee camp across the border.”

The book fails to mention Arab atrocities against pre-state Israel’s Jewish population or the invasion of several Arab armies into Israeli territory after its declaration of independence with the stated intention of destroying it.

Hungary: "Dirty Jews, it's a shame Hitler didn't finish the job"

Via YNet (h/t CFCA):

A resident of Budapest was arrested after he harassed and threatened two Jews who were speaking Hebrew.

The two, Israeli consul Moti Rave and his son, were standing outside a restaurant and were speaking Hebrew.  The man overhead them and cursed them "Dirty Jews, it's a shame Hitler didn't finish the job."  He repeated that several times until Rave asked him to stop or he'll call the police.  At that the man said "If I had a gun I'd shoot you.".

France: Far-Rightist investigated for antisemitic comments against Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld

European Jewish Congress reports:
A French court has opened an investigation into remarks on Facebook by far-Right polemicist Alain Soral attacking Serge and Beate Klarsfeld.

The Klarsfelds have documented the history of the Shoah in France and exposed those who collaborated with the Nazis.  They recently received Germany’s Order of Merit.
Last week, Soral posted an extract of a press article about the award with the comment «Look what happens when you don’t complete the job».

The remark drew a number of responses, one of which described “the job” as “thye extermination of the Jews”.  Soral recently received a 10,000 euro fine for making a quenelle gesture at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.

Serge Klarsfeld (born 17 September 1935) and Beate Klarsfeld (née Künzel, born 13 February 1939) are activists known for documenting the Holocaust to establish the record and enable prosecution of war criminals. Since the 1960s, they are famous Nazi hunters, and did notable efforts to commemorate the Jewish victims from France of the Occupation, and for their support of Israel. (More on Wikipedia)
Alain Soral performing a "quenelle" at the Berlin Holocaust memorial.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Poland: Youth sentenced to jail after harassing Jewish worshippers

Via Artuz 7:

Three youth were sentenced to six months in jail and a fined for attacking Jewish worshipers in Lelów (Lelov).

About a year ago the youth harassed a group of Hassidic Jews.  The youth, who were drunk, shouted antisemitic slurs and curses at them.  Later they vandalized the memorial for Rabbi Dovid of Lelov.

Austria: Israeli flag 'hurts people's feelings' - man told to either take it down, or move out

Via Sebestyén Fiumei@Facebook (h/t Watch Project):

A man living in the Jewish district of Vienna hung up an Israeli flag which he got at the Nadav Guedj Eurovision concert.

He was told by the administrator of the building that the flag 'hurt the feelings of a neighbor in the building'.

Following that, the primary renter told him to take down the flag.  When he objected, he was told to either take it down or move out.

Germany: Jews in Frankfurt reject religious panel for hatred of Israel

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Jewish community of Frankfurt rejected a re-affiliation with the Council of Religions in the city because of anti-Israel comments from the group’s Muslim members.

“The conflict has been smoldering since last summer,” when the Frankfurt Jewish community pulled the plug on its council membership, the Frankfurter Rundschau daily reported on Wednesday.

Leo Latasch, head of social affairs for the Jewish community, told the newspaper he sees no foundation for continued work in the council.

The Rundschau wrote that “after anti-Semitic statements at a pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Frankfurt,” the Islamic Religious Community of Hesse state, of which Frankfurt is the largest city, said the debate over Jew-hatred should not be used to distract attention from the “war crimes of the Israeli government.”

Ünal Kaymakci from the Islamic Religious Community accused Israel on Facebook of “state terrorism.”

Sacha Stawski, a member of the Frankfurt Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post the community “acted exactly right and it is sad that the members of other religious communities have not clearly positioned themselves in favor of the Jewish community.

“Politics has in fact no role in this council and the polarization definitively did not come from the Jewish community, which has since then intensively sought dialogue,” said Stawski, who heads the media watchdog organization Honestly Concerned, which monitors anti-Semitism in the German media.   more

Israel: Synagogue, Bnei Akiva Branch Ransacked in Nazareth Illit

In recent years I've seen several articles about Christian Arabs from Nazareth moving to Nazareth-Illit, due to harassment by their Muslim neighbors.  

Via Arutz 7:
A branch of the Bnei Akiva religious-Zionist youth movement in Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) was ransacked and its synagogue defiled this week, in a suspected act of nationalistic vandalism by local Muslims.

Prayer books and other holy books in the synagogue were were desecrated and burned. In addition, Israel flags were defiled, equipment cabinets were overturned, fluorescent lights were broken and paint was spilled in every direction.

Sources in Bnei Akiva said that the branch has been in operation for 40 years, and that one of its main goals is to strengthen Jewish pride in the city.

The branch is located in the city's northern neighborhood, which has seen large scale encroachment by Arabs. In recent years, the branch has suffered repeated harassment by Arabs, who often show up at the location – sometimes pestering the Jewish youths.

Spain: BDS Protest Targets Radical Leftist Singer Noa

BDS is not about "criticizing Israeli policies".  If it were, they wouldn't be calling to boycott Israeli artists who agree with them.

BDS is about wiping Israel off the map.  They hate any Israeli Jew, no matter what they think.

Via Arutz 7 (h/t ISCA):
In an ironic turn of events, the radical leftist Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, known abroad as Noa, who has been accused of delegitimizing Israel on the world stage, on Sunday announced protesters in Spain had called to boycott her.

Her Facebook post announcing the incident included pictures, showing the protesters with signs calling to boycott Israel and Nini, as well as a picture distributed by boycotters that had a large red "X" through her face.

"We're in Spain, we had a wonderful performance this evening, but the protest calling to boycott us and Israel was very troubling," wrote the leftist singer. "It was hard to get over it but we succeeded, and the Spanish non-Jewish crowd which filled the hall gave us a lot of support and love."

She added, "it's important that you see these pictures. Unfortunately this happens a lot."

Turkey: Mall Scraps Plans for Jewish, Christian Prayer Rooms After ‘Attacks’

Via Algemeiner:
A recently opened furniture mall in western Turkey scrapped plans to open separate prayer rooms for Jews and Christians over a series of “intolerant attacks,” Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Haluk Ozbek, founder of the Mobiliyum AVM furniture emporium in the Inegol district about 155 miles south of Istanbul, said original plans sought to make the mall a global attraction.

“But we have been subject to ugly and incomprehensible attacks” over the inclusion of Christian and Jewish worship rooms, in addition to the mosque that was constructed.  more

UK: Channel 4 journalist is obsessed with the Israel-Palestine conflict

The great and the good in Europe were always obsessed by the Jews, now they are obsessed with the Jews and Israel.  Nothing has changed. He is obviously not obsessed by the plight of the Roma people in Europe.

The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow has said he is obsessed with the Israel-Palestine conflict because “I see people like me doing horrible things to other people”.

Speaking at a panel discussion following a performance of Palestinian play The Siege, Mr Snow, who chaired the debate, labelled the conflict a “primeval war”. He said: “I shouldn’t say anything as the chair but I will. I think one of the reasons there is an obsession is because people like us are engaged in this. By that I mean, I’m almost making a racial observation, not about Judaism, but about Europeans and Americans, white people in fact, and the conflict feels horribly like our own conflicts from our own colonial pasts. We think we must be able to resolve this. We managed to get through, they must be able to get through, and we can sort it out.

Oddly enough I don’t think it is the fact that they are Jews, it’s the fact that they are like us. When you see an Israeli squaddie you feel a certain sense of sympathy – a sense of ‘there but for the grace of god go I’.

“I may be naïve but I don’t think it’s the fact that it’s Jews, I think it’s the fact that they are people like us, developed Europeans, engaged in a primeval war and therefore we want to do something about it because we’re convinced, as we’ve come through primeval war, that somehow we can bring them through too and then they’ll see it the way we see our own past.

I’ve often wondered why I am so obsessed with it – and I’m so obsessed with it because I think I see people like me doing horrible things to other people.”

Mr Snow was responding to an observation by JC features writer Josh Glancy, who was one of the panellists, that many in the Jewish community feel there is too much of a focus on Israel in the media, which is not always legitimate. More.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Germany: "Jews' nest" graffiti

Nagold - Unknown vandals had sprayed the inscription  "Jews’ nest in Swabia (Judennest Schwaben)” between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning on the wall surrounding kindergarten  in Hohen street.

The target was a Christian Evangelical kindergarten.

UK: Antisemitism prompts Scottish Jews to leave the country

The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Initial findings released this week from the nationwide survey ‘What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland’ showed that a majority of the 6,000-strong community blamed the Gaza conflict for rising antisemitism, with 60 per cent saying the war had “negatively affected” them.  The full study will be published in full during the summer.

Unlike the last report in 2012, several participants were thinking for the first time about abandoning Scotland, while SCoJeC also discovered that “many more people” actively hide their Judaism to avoid discrimination.
One response, held up as typical by the body, said that “the conflation of the Israeli and Jewish identities within mainstream Scottish society has created a sense of collective accountability; that the Scottish Jewish community is somehow partly complicit and hence accountable for Israeli responses”.

Paul Morron, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, agreed that this conflation was “dangerous,” adding that the findings formed “a warning that the nature of the anti-Israel case and the extremity of some of the language used is having an adverse effect on the confidence of some Jews.” More.

Holland: Restaurant says it erased Israel from map for culinary reasons

JTA reports:

Dutch restaurant owners cited their gastronomical focus in explaining why they had replaced Israel with Palestine in a map of the Middle East they had printed.

The owners of Le Souq, a restaurant based in Rotterdam that specializes in food from the Middle East, offered the explanation after a local politician criticized their removal of Israel and replacement with Palestine in the restaurant’s signature placemat, which features a map of the Middle East.

“A new country in the Middle East? In Rotterdam’s market hall they are straightforward about Israel’s position. Bizarre,” Jan Hutten, a regional chairman of the center-right Christian Democratic Appeal party, wrote on Twitter earlier this week. He also included a picture of the controversial placemat.

In response, the owners of the Le Souq restaurant that had the placemat printed, wrote in a statement that they “only deal with the tastes of the Middle East.” Among those tastes, owner Nadia Afkir told the Algemeen Dagblad daily Wednesday, “is the ancient Palestinian kitchen, the producer of the delicious maglubi and the kunefe dishes that we are passionate about.”  More.

UK: Self-proclaimed Nazi says Ukip has been 'taken over by Jews'

Jack Sen says he sees himself as a National Socialist.  

Via the Mirror (h/t HOPE Not Hate):
A failed Ukip general election candidate who was suspended from the party just days before the election has launched an astonishing anti-semitic attack on the the party, claiming it has been hijacked by "Jewish interest groups".

Jack Sen, who stood for the party in Lancashire West and won 6,000 votes, was suspended from the party after making anti-semitic comments on Twitter.

In a speech to far-right group the London Forum, he claimed he'd been suspended after a complaint was made by a prominent Jewish member of Ukip.


In his speech he said: ""I know the way I think and it might be anti-Semitic, I'm not sure."

Berlin: Antisemites target Holocaust Memorial (again)

Via Berlin Police (h/t JFDA):

A group of five young men were found by police as they urinated on the Holocaust memorial in Berlin and shouted antisemitic slogans.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach

To all our readers - have a peaceful Shabbat and an enjoyable Shavuot.

Obama: History of European antisemitism shows us that leaders were more interested in survival than murdering Jews

The Nazis risked their entire war effort in order to murder more Jews.   That should be one of the lessons of the Holocaust.

Obama seems to be unaware of it and shows here a complete misunderstanding of the antisemitic mindset.   This is not just an issue of attacking 'the other'.  Antisemites believes murdering off the Jews is integral to living.  That is is actually part of 'being interested in survival'.

Via Jeffrey Goldber @ The Atlantic (h/t Noah Pollak):
Goldberg: Stay with Iran for one more moment. I just want you to help me square something. So you’ve argued, quite eloquently in fact, that the Iranian regime has at its highest levels been infected by a kind of anti-Semitic worldview. You talked about that with Tom [Friedman]. “Venomous anti-Semitism” I think is the term that you used. You have argued—not that it even needs arguing—but you’ve argued that people who subscribe to an anti-Semitic worldview, who explain the world through the prism of anti-Semitic ideology, are not rational, are not built for success, are not grounded in a reality that you and I might understand. And yet, you’ve also argued that the regime in Tehran—a regime you’ve described as anti-Semitic, among other problems that they have—is practical, and is responsive to incentive, and shows signs of rationality. So I don’t understand how these things fit together in your mind.

Obama: Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country—

Goldberg: And they make irrational decisions—

Obama: They may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we’ve been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That’s what the sanctions represent. That’s what the military option I’ve made clear I preserve represents. And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear program.

Obama clearly states the difference between 'anti-Zionism' (denying the Jews the right to their  homeland) and 'criticizing Israel'.

Goldberg: On this question, which is an American campus question, and which is a European question as well: Hollande’s government [in France]—Manuel Valls, the prime minister—David Cameron [in the U.K.] … we were talking about the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. And I know that you’ve talked about this with Jewish organizations, with some of your Jewish friends—how you define the differences and the similarities between these two concepts.

Obama: You know, I think a good baseline is: Do you think that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people, and are you aware of the particular circumstances of Jewish history that might prompt that need and desire? And if your answer is no, if your notion is somehow that that history doesn’t matter, then that’s a problem, in my mind. If, on the other hand, you acknowledge the justness of the Jewish homeland, you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism—that it’s not just something in the past, but it is current—if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology. If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.

But you should be able to say to Israel, we disagree with you on this particular policy. We disagree with you on settlements. We think that checkpoints are a genuine problem. We disagree with you on a Jewish-nationalist law that would potentially undermine the rights of Arab citizens. And to me, that is entirely consistent with being supportive of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Now for someone in Israel, including the prime minister, to disagree with those policy positions—that’s OK too. And we can have a debate, and we can have an argument. But you can’t equate people of good will who are concerned about those issues with somebody who is hostile towards Israel. And you know, I actually believe that most American Jews, most Jews around the world, and most Jews in Israel recognize as much. And that’s part of the reason why I do still have broad-based support among American Jews. It’s not because they dislike Israel, it’s not because they aren’t worried about Iran having a nuclear weapon or what Hezbollah is doing in Lebanon. It’s because I think they recognize, having looked at my history and having seen the actions of my administration, that I’ve got Israel’s back, but there are values that I share with them that may be at stake if we’re not able to find a better path forward than what feels like a potential dead-end right now.  more

Europe: Israel is the only violator of health rights in the world

h/t UN Watch

I cannot explain how much something like this disgusts me.   European leaders can talk till they're blue in the face about how much they care about their Jewish communities and how much they'll fight antisemitism, but when the only Jewish state is singled out over and over and over again in the United Nations, they don't just sit back and watch - they eagerly join in.

Yesterday, the UN condemned Israel (and only Israel) for violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan and Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Maybe Israel should offer those Syrians and Palestinians a humanity corridor to flee to Syria, where the situation is obviously much better, as nobody in the UN thought to condemn them.

No European country had the moral courage to vote against this travesty.  

The following European countries joined such health-rights champions as Afghanistan and Iran in condemning Israel:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Armenia abstained, Andorra and San Marino were absent.

In Europe an Israeli felt singled out and afraid of declaring her Judaism

Penina Graubart writes @ Times of Israel:

In February I left Israel for the first time since October to meet up with friends in Amsterdam and England. Prior to leaving for my European adventures I spoke with my Abba on the phone and he told me to be safe and careful. Advice he never really gave before I moved to Israel, but with the recent anti-semitic and violent events in Europe, it seemed fitting.

Israel is constantly facing violent threats and actions, but how come I felt safer in Israel than I did when I travelled to Europe? In Israel I am in a community. I am around fellow Jews, we are all in the same boat. There is some comfort in knowing that those around you are all the same and are equally exposed to the same danger for being the same religion. In Europe I felt singled out.

I was the only Jew in my group of friends I was travelling with. I did not wear my magen david, when people asked where I lived I said America, I did not mention that I currently live in Israel. Then one of the people I was with let it slip to a bartender that I was Jewish. He proceeded to reference typical Jewish stereotypes and slander Israel. I got increasingly offended and finally had to leave the bar. He was not merely making a jab at my people, but by delegitimizing Israel, he was threatening the right to my existence, the right to my life.

Why am I afraid of declaring my Judaism? I should be able to proclaim it proudly and boldly from the plazas, where my grandparents generation was being sent away to slaughtered. Why do I still feel silenced, merely 70 years after the worst atrocities imaginable happened to my people?  More.

Croatia: Wiesenthal Centre urges end to Nazi allies pensions

Via AFP:
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday urged Croatia to stop paying pensions to people who served in the country's World War II Nazi-allied armed forces, labelling the policy an insult to their victims.

"In view of the horrendous war crimes committed in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH)... such a policy is inherently mistaken," the centre's chief Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said in a letter to Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

Paying pensions to members of the WWII Ustasha armed forces is a "horrific insult to the victims, their families and all Croatians with a sense of morality and integrity," Zuroff stressed in a Wiesenthal Center statement quoting from his letter.

The Nazi-allied Ustasha authorities persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croatians.

Croatia is currently paying around 10,000 such pensions, to those still living or their spouses, which costs the European Union member around 50 million euros ($56 million) yearly, according to estimates.

Christianity survives in Judea and Samaria because Jews are willing to die for Jerusalem. How many Christians are willing to die for Jerusalem?

J.P. Goldman (Spengler) writes @ Pajamas Media:
While the government of Egypt stands siege against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Palestine branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, namely Hamas, got a boost from the Vatican May 13 when the Vatican announced that it would recognize a Palestinian State. Although the titular president of the Palestine Authority Mahmoud Abbas sat in the Vatican garden with Pope Francis for the announcement, Hamas has a margin of support over Abbas’ feckless Fatah party of 2:1 by most estimates. Abbas is in the eleventh year of a five-year term, and cannot call elections because Hamas would win. He holds office because the Israeli Army props him up in power against the radical majority.  [...]
Judging from the opinion polls, a State of Palestine today would have a Hamas majority of about two-thirds, with substantial representation from elements of ISIS. Why would the Vatican wish this plague upon itself? If a Palestnian State rules the Old City of Jerusalem, the Christian holy sites will be razed by Muslim radicals, just as they were in Iraq. Christianity survives in Judea and Samaria because Jews are willing to die for Jerusalem. How many Christians are willing to die for Jerusalem? The Vatican should ponder this question.

There are two answers. The first is that for the most part, Arab Christians are Arabs first and Christians second, just as French and German Christians in 1914 were French and Germans first, and Christians second.  The leadership of the Arab churches in confession with Rome has always tried to prove its loyalty tot he Arab cause by taking an especially vociferous stand against Israel, for example, during the 2010 Synod of Middle East Bishops. I reviewed the sad history of Levantine Christianity in a 2009 essay for Asia Times. It is impossible to exaggerate the anguish of a Church on the verge of extinction in his historic cradle.

The second answer lies in the peculiar theology of Pope Francis himself, who has a pronounced millennarian streak, as I wrote in this space last year. [...]  Francis is a pope for people who want the warm feeling of Catholicism without its obligations, and that is what makes him so popular.

It is one thing to forgive one’s enemies, and quite another to encourage them. That is what Pope Francis has done by recognizing the fiction of a Palestinian State. When the pope visited the Holy Land last year I warned, “ear that the Church, the founding institution of the West, its pillar and mainstay, has lost its moorings. The State of Israel will do quite well without it; it was founded in 1947 against the opposition of the Church then immeasurably more influential, and does not require the blessing of the Church to flourish today. But Bergoglio’s behavior in the Holy Land bespeaks a dilution of the Church’s self-understanding and a deviation from its mission.”

Benedict XVI emphasized God’s particular love for Israel; Francis hopes that all will be saved. Except for the good offices of the Egyptian Army and the Israel Defense Force, his hope will be vain where Middle Eastern Christians are concerned.  More.