Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Belgium: "Juden Scum" grafitti in a park

Via Sudinfo

Christophe Collignon, the mayor of Huy, has reported that an anti-semitic tag was found today on a small building at the Vierset park.  A Magen David was painted above the inscription "Juden Scum" - a mix of German and English words.  

Europe: Manchester bombing highlights UN and Europe hypocrisy on terror

As thousands of teens and young adults enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, Salman Abedi, a 23-year-old detonated a bomb he had strapped to his body. That he packed the bomb with nails made his goal clear: He not only wanted to kill as many innocents as possible, but maim many times more. 
The Manchester attack is terrorism, plain and simple. There is no justification nor would any self-respecting politician nor diplomat even attempt to offer one. 
But what if someone detonated a nail-packed bomb amidst a crowd of children and other civilians and both the human rights community and European diplomats said it was justified? 
That's exactly what happened 15 years ago when the United Nations Human Rights Commission, operating under the leadership of former Irish President Mary Robinson, did just that against the context of a wave of suicide bombings in Israel. 
In an April 15, 2002 vote, 40 countries — including Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Sweden — argued that Palestinians could engage "all available means, including armed struggle" to establish a Palestinian state. That U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution enshrined the right to conduct suicide bombing in international humanitarian law. After all, many academics, diplomats, and human rights activists argue that the U.N. and its human rights wings set the precedent that becomes the foundation for international humanitarian and human rights law. 
When the Human Rights Commission voted, Israel was weathering a months-long suicide bombing campaign that, at its height, saw multiple bombings of buses, cafes and other public buildings every week. Many European diplomats might have been frustrated with Israel's counter-terrorism policies and unwillingness to accept the European view of the peace process, but to channel that frustration into a resolution that legitimized deliberate targeting and murder of civilians created a precedent which went far beyond the politics of the day.

Germany: PayPal probes neo-Nazi account supportive of Holocaust denier and Hezbollah

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
PayPal launched an investigation last week into its account with a neo-Nazi organization that is pro-Hezbollah, pro-Assad and also supports a convicted Holocaust denier.
In response to a Jerusalem Post query on Twitter, the microblog’s support handle AskPayPal wrote in German: “We in no way, wish to support this [the Neo-Nazi website The Third Way (Der Dritte Weg)].” (...) 
The Third Way has also come out in support of convicted Holocaust denier Horst Mahler. Mahler served multiple sentences in Germany for Holocaust denial and other Nazi-related activities. After being released from a 10-year sentence in 2015 owing to ill health, it is believed that Mahler fled to Hungary in April and was subsequently detained there this May. 
The Third Way then wrote: “Freedom for Horst Mahler: Political Prisoner of the Federal Republic of Germany.” It is unclear if the website has used its PayPal funds to support Mahler. The website lists multiple blog posts in support of him, and on Friday, The Third Way expressed its “solidarity” with Mahler. 
Meanwhile, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has been monitoring The Third Way’s activities. According to a 2016 Bavarian intelligence report, the intelligence officials deemed the website to be spreading an antisemitic ideology. The neo-Nazis oppose asylum for refugees and foment xenophobia across Germany, according to German intelligence reports reviewed by the Post. 
The Third Way published an April 30 report on its members’ visit to Lebanon to champion Hezbollah’s war against Israel. According to the website, they met with the extremist Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon and representatives of the Assad regime in Syria. The Assad regime harbored the Austrian Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner. 
Kai Zimmermann
Also, Kai Zimmermann, a senior leader of The Third Way, visited the Hezbollah propaganda museum called Where the Land Speaks to the Heavens in the village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon, and posed next to a plaque reading, “No, Israel is not invincible.” The neo-Nazi group labeled Israel a “terror state” on its website and calls for a full-blown boycott of the Jewish state. Zimmermann did not immediately respond to a Post query about the organization’s PayPal account.
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

France: “Organized silence” surrounding antisemitic murder of pensioner by a Muslim in Paris suburb

Via The Algemeiner (Ben Cohen):

As further details emerge of the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in a Paris suburb at the hands of a Muslim assailant last month, French Jews are increasingly worried and angered by what one prominent member of the community called an “organized silence” surrounding the case. 
Dr. Sarah Halimi — a 66-year-old pensioner living in the Paris suburb of Belleville — was murdered in the early hours of April 4 by Kada Traore, a 27-year-old immigrant from Mali.  After breaking into the neighboring apartment of another Malian family at 4:25 a.m. — whose terrified inhabitants locked themselves away as they heard him recite verses from the Quran — Traore jumped over the balcony and forced his way into Halimi’s apartment. As he beat the elderly lady savagely, her screams prompted neighbors to call the police. 
Three officers arrived at 4:45 a.m. But on hearing Traore yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Shaitan!” (Arabic for ‘Satan’), they feared a terrorist attack was taking place, and called for backup. Anti-terror officers did not arrive until 5:00 a.m., by which time Halimi had been thrown by her attacker from the window of her third-floor apartment to the ground below. (...)
Shock over the barbaric nature of the murder has been compounded by the reluctance of both the media and French authorities to recognize it as an antisemitic hate crime — even after a silent march of remembrance on the Sunday after the murder was met by local youths chanting “Death to the Jews” and “We Own Kalashnikovs.” (...) 
A common theory is that the recent French election encouraged — in the phrase of Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris — an “organized silence” around the Halimi murder. 
“Such a story would benefit the Right and the National Front,” Gurfinkiel said. “Everyone is convinced this is why there has been such an organized silence around the story.”
A few days after the murder, Marine Le Pen — the leader of the far-right, anti-immigrant National Front — tweeted that Halimi’s fate made her want to “speak about Islamist antisemitism.” Le Pen was defeated by centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election on May 7. 
“The Jewish community was very careful not to be suspected of siding with Marine Le Pen,” Gurfinkiel said. He also noted that state provision of security to religious buildings and institutions means that Jewish organizations are “reluctant to raise certain questions.” 
But as more time passes in the wake of Halimi’s murder, the calls to recognize its antisemitic nature are growing. Interviewed by the Le Parisien newspaper last week, the lawyers for the Halimi family, Jean-Alex Buchinger and David Kaminsky, said in no uncertain terms that Sarah Halimi had been “targeted, tortured and killed by her assailant because she was Jewish.”
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UK: Manchester bomber cousin's antisemitic tweets: “If only Hitler was still alive these Jews would be burnt in chambers.”

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
A cousin of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi had previously posted antisemitic messages on social media and voiced his hatred for the UK. 
Abderahman Forjani, 21, was arrested last Tuesday along with his brother Abdalla,24, following the Manchester Arena atrocity on Monday night. 
But in a series of posts revealed by The Times the younger of the two brothers had earlier shown his feeling towards Jews writing: “If only Hitler was still alive –these Jews would be burnt in chambers.” 
Mr Forjani, who lives at the family home in Fallowfield, had also expressed his hatred towards his home city writing:”Manchester is my no.1 enemy I f***ing hate the s***hole.”
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Monday, May 29, 2017

UK: Corbyn attended wreath-laying ceremony for Palestinian terror chief

Via the Telegraph
Jeremy Corbyn has been condemned by his own party after admitting he attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of a Palestinian terrorist involved in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. 
Less than a year before becoming Labour leader, Mr Corbyn visited the cemetery in Tunisia where members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation are buried, including Atef Bseiso, who was directly involved in the Munich attack, prompting outrage from Jewish groups 
Labour Friends of Israel – which represents 100 Labour peers and former MPs who are currently trying to be re-elected – condemned the news, saying it was part of a “a very disturbing pattern of behaviour."
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Atef Bseiso was killed in Paris in 1992 - obviously the terrorist was allowed to visit France.  He also travelled to Germany after the Munich massacre.  Europeans being soft on terrorism.

German FM hosts Iranian official calling for Israel's destruction

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed Monday an Iranian religious leader who called for the elimination of Israel at last year’s al-Quds rally in Berlin. 
The appearance of Hamidreza Torabi, at a ministry event promoting religious peace, puts the spotlight back on Gabriel, who has been engulfed in a series of anti-Israel scandals over the years.
The Israeli Embassy in Germany told The Jerusalem Post on Friday: “Any person who incites for violence has no place in a dialogue that uses religions as a bedrock to bring peace, tolerance and understanding between people, nations and religions. Moreover, there is no doubt that a person who incites for violence against Israel and Jews in the name of God, in the city of Berlin, has no place in such a dialogue, certainly not one organized by the German government.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post: “It is incomprehensible that an event sponsored by the Foreign Ministry invites a person who called for the destruction of the State of Israel.” (...) 
According to Stop the Bomb, Gabriel invited Iran’s ambassador to Germany, Ali Majedi, and Seyed Abdolhassan Navab, president of the University of Religions and Denominations. “The university is an Islamist academy that adheres to totalitarian and antisemitic Iranian ideology,” the NGO said. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined last month to meet with Gabriel if the foreign minister went ahead with his meeting with Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. Gabriel met with the group, which uses anonymous sources to criticize Israel’s army, prompting the prime minister to pull the plug on his meeting with Germany’s top diplomat. 
Gabriel previously called Israel an “apartheid regime” and belittled the Holocaust in an April opinion piece in the Franfurter Rundschau. 
Gabriel is one of Europe’s leading advocates of boosting trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Days after world powers reached a nuclear accord with Iran’s regime in July 2015, he traveled with a delegation of leading German business leaders to Tehran.
In 2008, Gabriel’s Social Democratic Party colleague and current president of the Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (then-foreign minister), sponsored an event at the Foreign Ministry to address “common solutions” in the Middle East. Iran’s former deputy foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Ardashir Larijani, called at the event for the “Zionist project” to be “canceled” and said that Israel “has failed miserably and has only caused terrible damage to the region.” Larijani also engaged in a form of Holocaust denial at the parley.
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

France: From Ilan to Sarah Halimi: shameful France

Via Augean Stables (Richard Landes):

Sarah Halimi
French public intellectual, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, has written an open letter to Gerard Collomb, the new French Minister of the Interior about the stunning silence in the French public sphere about the terrible murder of Sarah Halimi, a doctor, who was tortured and murdered by her Muslim Arab neighbor while three armed policemen stood outside her door waiting for backup. Below is a translation of the text by André Unterberger with some changes by Richard Landes. 
An open letter to Gerard Collomb [1]: from Ilan [0] to Sarah Halimi, a shameful France - Source: ATLANTICO
Mr Minister, 
A 65-yr old Jewish lady MD, during her sleep, is attacked and atrociously tortured for more than one hour.  She lives in a modest apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, rue Vaucouleurs. The murderer,  who reached her apartment through the balcony, attacks with incredible violence, resulting in about twenty fractures all over her face and body.He then throws her, dying, out of the window, from the 3rd floor. During all this time, the police (3 men with weapons, present in the building just outside the apartment door) do nothing. The neighbours (several dozen) can hear the victim’s yells:  they do nothing either. The French media are alerted. They make no queries and do not report the murder.Her name was Sarah … Sarah Halimi. 
This atrocious scene did not happen in 1942, before or after the “Rafle du Veld’hiv” [2] but in the night from April 3rd to April 4th, 2017, in a tiny apartment close to the “Bataclan” [3]: Cries of “Allah Akbar” accompanied the scene. The next Sunday, a silent march was organised in the area. Youngsters from the nearby quarters countered it with yells of “Mort aux Juifs” or “We own kalachnikovs”. 
The Paris public prosecutor immediately pointed out that one should wait for the result of the enquiry before issuing conclusions about the nature of the crime. Who knows? An elderly Jewish lady savagely massacred by a 27-yr old Islamist with many priors (drug trafficking, assault): this could just be a dispute between neighbours… Never mind that the murderer, Kada Taore, from Mali, insulted the victim on a regular basis, and she had reported to neighbours how frightened she was by him. “We are at war”, Manuel Valls proclaimed [4]: “so that Muslims will not feel ashamed any more and Jews will not be frightened any more.” A smashing success. 
Mr Minister, you have just taken your position in a country where it is once again possible to murder Jews without eliciting much concern from our fellow Frenchmen and women. By the way, the men who have been in charge before you, both on the left and the right, preferred not to look any further than the end of the broom with which they swept the problem under the carpet. None were up to this challenge. Will you be? This Sunday May 21. on I24News [5], Sarah Halimi’s brother said with extraordinary dignity; “I have waited 7 weeks before I said anything. The absolute silence about my sister’s assassination has become intolerable.” 
A human interest story? Not even. In the advanced decadence that reigns today in the country of Dieudonné [6], for whom “the Jews are dogs” (and people laugh hysterically), it seems that a run over dog deserves more attention than a murdered Jewish woman.  (...)
As remarked by one of the lawyers of the Halimi family, William Goldnadel, “if the murderer had been blond-haired and blue-eyed, all of France would have marched in the streets: he is an islamist, so all of France hides in the woodwork.” (...)
On July 31, 2016, about 100 French Moslem intellectuals signed a letter calling for a self-reassessment of the Islam of France after the assassination of the caricaturists, that of youngsters come to  a concert, that of a pair of policemen, that of children and women attending the celebration of the National Holiday, that of a priest during the mass… Yes, this letter did not omit any of the dramas of this kind that had occurred in France… except every attack in which Jews, individually or collectively were murdered [italics RL], some of them children…  Surely this was from absent-mindedness.  Any outrage? Any objections? So few…
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Norway behind center named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who led killing of 37 civilians, including 12 children (Update)

Update via the Algemeiner: UN, Norwegian Government, Distance Themselves From Palestinian Youth Center Named for Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi

Via Palestinian Media Watch:
In another show of admiration for terrorist murderers and according to the Palestinian Authority's policy of presenting them as role models for Palestinian youth, the Palestinian NGO "Women's Technical Affairs Committee" (WTAC) has named a youth center for women after the terrorist murderer who led the most lethal attack in Israel's history.

The Dalal Mughrabi Center is a joint initiative of the NGO, the PA, the UN, and the Norwegian government! The center's name sign prominently includes the logos of:
- The PA Ministry of Local Government - UN Women- The Norwegian Representative Office to the PA 
The center, which was inaugurated last week, is named after the terrorist who in 1978 led a group of terrorists who hijacked a bus and killed 37 Israelis, among them of these 12 children:
Worse still, it is not only the name that glorifies the terrorist murderer, the purpose of the center is to educate about her murderous terror attack to youth. At the inauguration of the center, which is situated in the village of Burqa in the Nablus district, a member of the village council, explained about the center's activities: 

"Reem Hajje, a member of the village council, noted that the center will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and that it constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle."
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 15, 2017]
The Norwegian Representative Office describes its cultural activities with Palestinians on its website:

"The Norwegian Representative Office (NRO), along with Norwegian cultural institutions, are among the main cooperation partners in the culture sector in Palestine. The NRO culture program includes supporting cultural rights and increasing the capacity of the culture sector, through civil society organizations that can play the role as agents of change, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture."
[Website of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, accessed May 25, 2017]
It would seem Norway expects the WTAC to "play the role as agents of change" - but one wonders which change that might be when the new center teaches youth that a terrorist murderer is a role model for women.
UN Women is listed on WTAC's website as a "partner," and NGO Monitor has documented that UN Women is a donor of the WATC. 
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Europe: Prospects for changing Europe's anti-zionism

Via The Jerusalem Post (Gabriel Rosenberg):
Israel and its supporters in Europe are rightfully dismayed by the anti-Israel bias expressed by European leaders, media and public opinion. Many believe that this bias is irreversible as it is rooted in antisemitism, the world’s oldest prejudice. While this diagnosis is partially correct, it prevents us from effectively countering Europe’s anti-Israel bias. 
There should be no doubt that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism, as best expressed by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi: “Antisemitism is a virus that survives by mutating. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nationstate, Israel.” Another way of expressing it is that modern antisemitism “has transferred traditional antisemitism that blames Jews for ills in society, to blaming Israel for ills in the international community,” as stated by Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed editor. 
Both explanations are accurate, but there is a case to be made that even though all antisemites are anti-Zionists, not all anti-Zionists are antisemites. (...) 
The fact that anti-Zionism is significantly more prevalent in Europe than antisemitism can mostly be attributed to the anti-Israel media. For decades the media has been spoon-feeding the general population lies about Israel. 
Every European has grown up with misleading news stories about Israel killing Palestinians, stealing Palestinian land or mistreating the Palestinians in one way or another. Several generations of Europeans have been indoctrinated with a distorted image of Israel, resulting in an unwarranted hatred toward the Jewish state. (...) 
Although the influx of Muslim migrants to Europe from countries where levels of antisemitism runs as high as 90% clearly has a negative effect on the general public opinion of Israel, there are four major trends that present Israel with new and unprecedented opportunities to regain the support of at least some segments of Europe’s population. 
First of all, the mainstream media has lost much of its influence over the past few years as a result of their preference for agenda-driven instead of fact-driven journalism. Second, the emergence of social media has opened up a new path for Israel’s perspective to reach the average European. Third, the catastrophic failure of the so-called Arab Spring has helped many Europeans understand that Israel is not the reason for the chaos in the Middle East – it is a brutal region dominated by totalitarianism, extremism and violence. Fourth, as radical Islamic terrorism has reached the shores and capitals of Europe, some Europeans are beginning to understand the true cause of Islamic terrorism and therefore that it is not Israel, “the occupation” or the settlements. 
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Italy: Tariq Ramadan not welcome, 'known for his anti-Semitic views', says Jewish community leader

Via Jewish European Press:

Tarik Ramadan
"Unfortunately, Tariq Ramadan has not been able to reach Italy because of health reasons and therefore in the afternoon he will not be physically present at the presentation of the book ‘The Muslim and Agnostic’, as scheduled in the  Erickson Center  in Trento." 
With this statement, a representative of the Erickson Center of Trento  explains that the long-awaited arrival of someone who is considered one of the most influential intellectuals of Western Islam and professor at Oxford University will not be in Trento today to present the book written with Riccardo Mazzeo. 
Tariq Ramadan is a Swiss-born philosophy professor currently based in France. When speaking to Western audiences, Ramadan preaches an amicable message of unity and mutual respect. But to Arabic-speaking audiences, he vents his deep-seated hatred of the West and his endorsement of Wahhabism, the most extreme form of Islam.  (...)
His arrival in Italy  was preceded by many controversies. First Ramadan was expected in Bolzano, at the Center for Peace, but a series of criticisms and controversy convinced the organizers, on Sunday, to move the meeting to Trento. 
The mayor of Bolzano, Renzo Caramaschi,  announced that he will not  meet Ramadan in the town hall, and that he doesn’t appreciate the presence of the scholar. 
"I do appreciate alternative positions and ideas to mine  - the mayor explains - and I am  tolerant of people who do not share my  thoughts but there is also a limit to that. And in this case, Ramadan, who I know I've been greeted him in Trento for a long time without problems, is still a very controversial borderline character for me. " 
After the organizers decided  to move the meeting from Bolzano  to Trento at the headquarters of the Erickson Center, Italy’s political right parties Forza Italia, Lega da  agire and  Fratelli d'Italia protested the initiative. 
Tensions therefore already existed for the arrival of an intellectual that detractors complain of being "anti-Semitic" and as a person "far from our values" and admirers instead define "one of the greatest intellectuals in the Islamic world."
Shortly before the Mayor of Bolzano  rejected Ramadan’s presence,  the president of the Jewish community of Merano, Elisabetta Rossi Innerhofer, said: "I am shocked by the fact that Ramadan  has been invited  to Bolzano with all honor in the town hall. He has always attacked the State of Israel, he is known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist positions and  speaking in French TV in 2003 in a debate with former President Sarkozy he had defended the Islamic law which stipulates stoning for women accused of adultery. I guess he has not changed his mind since then, at least I did not hear."
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France seeks arrest of hacker who declared war on Jew-hate

Anti-semitic political website has over 8 million monthly visits

Via The Jewish Chronicle:

Gregory Chelli (Screengrab from documentary film The Patriot)
Israel is refusing to extradite a militant Zionist hacker who has declared war on antisemitism in France. 
French-born Gregory Chelli, who goes by the online moniker Ulcan, is the subject of an international arrest warrant — but Israel is not bowing to pressure from France, a stance which even prompted a visit by the French foreign minister. 
The 34-year-old is the subject of a film called The Patriot, which recently took part in the DocAviv Festival in Tel Aviv and will soon air on Israeli TV. But the French language film will not be aired in France, according to Haaretz. 
Despite facing 50 criminal charges, Mr Chelli still agreed to give the Israeli newspaper an interview from Ashdod, his home since making aliyah. 
Directed by Daniel Sivan, the film shows how Mr Chelli waged a one-man online war on the rise of antisemitism in his homeland. Born and raised in a middle class suburb of Paris, he grew up in a family without strong connections to either religion or Israel. 
All that changed about a decade ago as antisemitism grew in France and he became active in the Jewish Defence League. 
“It used to be, years ago, that antisemitism was confined to the old-style extreme-rightists whom no one thought of as a sane group. But for some years now, antisemitism has become fashionable, with different, newer explanations given for it,” Mr Chelli told Haaretz. 
Above all, there was the surging popularity of French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, inventor of the quenelle, the inverted Nazi salute. 
“Everyone whose ideology included a Jew-hating side identified with Dieudonné and expressed support, even if they came from opposite sides of the barricade.”  
With a fascination for computer programming, a young Mr Chelli taught himself to hack into websites. And so, driven by his anger over the rise of anti-Jewish hatred, he put his skills into action. He broke into Dieudonné’s official website and sent a list of his 10,000 supporters to the press — which they duly published. 
Since then he has brought down websites and exposed criminals and unacceptable behaviour by posting details of them publicly. 
“Nobody respects the Jews when they complain through the accepted channels. The police force doesn’t work, and therefore I took it upon myself to be the police force of the internet,” he said. (...) 
The Patriot will not be screened in France as film-makers were told it is illegal to show antisemitic symbols such as swastikas and quenelle salutes. 
Director Daniel Sivan told Haaretz: “A lot of the money goes to finance films that are critical of injustices the world over. They’re happy to pay for films with penetrating criticism of the Israeli occupation, for example, but they aren’t willing to see what’s happening in their own home.”

UK: Church of Scotland: There is much that is rotten in Israel going right back to its foundation

With so much hatred against Jews and Israel, even arrogantly going so far as denying its right to exist, it is not surprising that for this and other reasons European Christians are leaving their churches in droves, but leaders don't seem to have learned the lesson.

Via The Algemeiner: 
Scottish Jews have cautiously welcomed the Church of Scotland’s decision at its annual General Assembly to reject the BDS campaign targeting Israel, as well as its rebuke of Hamas over the group’s continuing denial of the Jewish state’s right to exist. 
The decisions were approved despite searing condemnations of Israel made by many speakers at the assembly. Long-regarded as a stronghold of anti-Zionist activism, the Church has come in for heavy criticism from British Jews in recent years over its uncompromising stance on Israel. But at this year’s Assembly, an amendment to a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was successfully passed that expressed the Church’s “deep concern in regard to Hamas’s continued declaration…that Israel does not have the right to exist.” 
A motion that urged “the adoption of economic measures to pressure the state of Israel to comply with international law” was also rejected by the Assembly. Arguing against the move, the Reverend Paraic Reamonn, minister of St. Andrew’s Jerusalem, stated that Church support for BDS would amount to “reckless endangerment of its institutions and activities in the Holy Land.” Reamonn did not say whether he had received specific information from the Israeli authorities to support his fear. 
In a speech to the Assembly to mark the publication of a report on the centenary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration — in which the British government expressed support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine” — Reamonn declared, “There is much that is rotten in the State of Israel, and what is fundamentally wrong goes right back to the foundation of the state.” 
However — in what some observers identified as an important shift — Reamonn appeared to back away from the Church’s previous, even more hardline positions about Israel’s alleged sole responsibility for the Palestinian refugee issue. “In truth, there are many parties to this conflict,” he said. “It’s easy to point a finger at the State of Israel as the party chiefly to blame, but in truth there is enough blame to go around.” 
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spain: Pro-Israel German author disinvited by Catalan National Movement Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP)

Via Jutta Ditfurth:
Jutta Ditfurth
The main concern of the anti-Semitic BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) is not to criticize Israel’s policies or racism in Israeli society, but to destroy the existence of Israel. In reality, it is not just about boycotting products from the occupied territories, as many people still believe. But: The only Jewish state in the world is to be demonised and delegitimised for as long as it takes to attain that actual goal: its annihilation. The BDS does not want a two-state solution, but just one state called Palestine. Only “non-Zionist” Jews will be allowed to remain in the new state; but as practically all Jews are Zionists in the eyes of the BDS, only very few Jews would be able to stay in Israel – only those who bow to the BDS and the organisations affiliated with it like FOR Palestine etc. Not only should the Palestinians who were really expelled return to the new state, but also their descendants, even if they have never lived in Israel. That would mean 5 to 6.5 million people. But Israel is only the size of the German state of Hesse and has 8.3 million inhabitants, of which 6.1 million are Jews. Israel would no longer exist. Even international law does not have an inheritable right of return. 
Current conflict: The Catalan party Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) [1] invited me to Barcelona in March 2017 to speak at their conference “International Conference: Sovereignty and Self-Determination. Political Change in the Euro-Mediterranean Region”. On 20 May I was to hold a talk at the conference and take part in a round table discussion; on 22 May I was to speak at a conference of the Fundacio Tia Salellas in the city of Girona. 
The invitation stated: We would like you as a “feminist, radical ecologist and anti-nuclear activist, and as co-founded of the Green Party and of the Ecological Left … to elucidate your experiences and positions regarding civil disobedience as a non-violent tool of social change …. We would like to combine theory, analysis and practice … It would be a great honour for us if you would take part in our international conference.” The CUP is “non homogeneous” and wishes to “learn from other people’s experiences”. 
Now I have been disinvited by email. The reasons:
1. We knew nothing about your “political positions and activities against the BDS.” … We strongly support the BDS because it opposes colonialist and racist policies. … We are against colonialism, occupation and discrimination, and the Palestinian struggle for liberation is a central and decisive issue.”
This means: Whoever criticises the BDS – i.e., does not contest Israel’s right to exist – cannot be against either racism, colonialism or discrimination. No other form of solidarity with Palestinians is possible than the adaptation of the strategy and interests of the BDS. 
2. Furthermore, the CUP wrote, a representative of the BDS campaign was invited to the round table discussion and it was not considered appropriate that an anti-BDS activist should be included. 
Obviously, one’s relationship to Israel is a dominant question for the Candidatur d’Unitat Popular. The supposed theme of discussion, my “experiences and positions as a tool of civil disobedience and non-violent social change” (invitation) combining “theory, analysis and practice (ibid.), has become subjection to the concept of the BDS. The feminist, radical-ecological and anti-nuclear positions are of no value to the CUP as soon as someone criticises the BDS. So much for the CUP’s claim to be “non-homogeneous” and to want to “learn from the experiences of others”.
[1] According to information published by the CUP, it has 10 parliamentarians in the Catalan Parliament and about 381 local councillors in Catalonia.
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Lithuania discriminated against Jews seeking passports

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
An investigation has revealed that Lithuania has discriminated against Jews who applied for passports. 
Data complied by Daniel Lutrin, a South African whose great-grandmother was Lithuanian, showed that between January 2015 and April 2016, 170 Jewish applicants (with either Israeli or Jewish South-African names) had been turned down, versus 110 non-Jewish applicants. There was an even stronger disparity between January 2016 and April 2016, with 90 Jewish and 20 non-Jewish applications rejected.  
Mr Lutrin’s allegations were seen as so incontrovertible that after he made his case, Lithuania’s parliament voted to change part of the country’s citizenship requirements to end the discrimination. 
Over 90 per cent of the South African Jewish community are Litvaks — Jews of Lithuanian origin.  
Mr Lutrin had decided to apply for a Lithuanian passport in 2012 and was told his application was in order and that a final decision would be made within a year. However, a year on he was told that there was a new requirement for citizenship, which affected anyone whose ancestors had left Lithuania between 1919 and 1940.  (...)
“Time and time again, the unsuccessful were overwhelmingly Jewish South Africans or Jewish Israelis.” 
The research compiled by Mr Lutrin was sent in May 2016 to the Lithuanian Consul General in Los Angeles by Grant Gochin, who himself spent years fighting the Lithuanian government to gain citizenship. The resultant publicity — in Lithuania, South Africa and Israel — led to the law change. The new language made it clear Jews who “withdrew” or “fled” and those who “left” were to be treated in the same way.  
Mr Lutrin has since gained a passport. He says things are now “a lot better” for Jews applying for passports.  
A spokesperson for the Lithuanian embassy said: “Since the 2016 amendment came into force, the Lithuanian authorities have made every effort to individually inform every person whose application was unsuccessful between 2010-2015 about the possibility to resubmit their application.”  
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

W. Europe: In countries with large Muslim populations, hostility toward Israel adopted by politicians seeking Muslim votes

(...)  Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations at a a festive event at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Upon his arrival in the Russian capital, Netanyahu was greeted with a red carpet and marching band. His wife, Sara, was given pink flowers. 
“We have a solid foundation of trust and understanding to rely on as we make plans for the future,” Putin said during the visit. 
Under Putin, “Jewish communities that once distanced themselves from anything Israeli to stay safe are now celebrating cultural events with Israeli flags,” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, a Jewish educational group that has been working in the former Soviet Union since 1992. 
Soviet hostility to Israel also has made Israel popular with enemies of Russia across Eastern Europe, Chesler said. The same applies to Finland, added Gideon Bolotowsky, a former leader of that country’s Jewish community. Widespread sympathy for Israel exists to this day in Finland, he added, where pro-Israel rallies organized by Christian supporters of the Jewish state typically dwarf anti-Israel events. 
“You have to remember that in comparison to other European countries, Finland has very few Muslims,” Bolotowsky noted. (According to a U.S. State Department report from 2016, Finland has 65,000 Muslims, constituting about 1 percent of the population). 
In Western European countries with larger Muslim populations, hostility toward Israel is being adopted increasingly by politicians seeking Muslim votes. 
In the Netherlands, the general elections in March saw a radical pro-Islam party win parliament representation for the first time. The party, DENK, supports a blanket boycott of the Jewish state, and its leader last year refused to shake Netanyahu’s hand during a visit to the Hague. 
And in France, the current leader of the Socialist Party, Benoit Hamon, spoke with surprising candor about the need to factor in Muslim sensibilities in devising a policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
In a 2014 interview, Hamon said that supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state was the Socialists’ “best way to recuperate our electorate in the suburbs and the neighborhoods” – code for Muslim voters — “who did not support the pro-Israeli position taken by President Francois Hollande.” 
In Sweden, Israel was popular in ’67 because it was perceived as the underdog, according to George Braun, the leader of the Jewish community of Gothenburg. 
“Then, when Israel emerged as a powerful and robust entity, the Palestinians took on that role,” he said. Additionally, “the media in Sweden have become biased against Israel.” 
Yet Braun says he does not miss the days when Israel was more popular in Sweden.“It was nice to have everyone on your side, of course,” he said, “but I prefer a heavily criticized Israel that is strong and viable than a weak and uncertain one that is universally loved.”

France: Jewish man wearing kippah says he was assaulted with hammer in Marseille

Via JTA:
A Jewish man told police in the French city of Marseille that he was assaulted on the street while wearing a kippah by a man wielding a hammer. 
The incident took place Tuesday morning approximately half a mile from the city’s Grand Synagogue, the man told police, according to a report in the online edition of the La Provence daily. 
The alleged attacker threatened the complainant with the hammer and tapped him with it without injuring him before fleeing, the Jewish man reportedly told police. He did not offer clear indications that the incident was a hate crime, according to La Provence.Tzvi Amar, president of the local office of the Consistoire, the French Jewish community’s organization responsible for religious services, in January 2016 said Jews should “remove the kippah during these troubled times” because “the preservation of life is sacrosanct.” 
Amar’s statement, which he said “turns his stomach” and is born of “grave circumstances that require extraordinary measures,” followed the stabbing of a Jewish man in Marseille that month, allegedly by a 15-year-old Muslim radical. The victim sustained minor injuries. 
In October 2015, a French man of Algerian descent stabbed a Jewish man who was returning from synagogue and assaulted two others, including a rabbi.

Germany: Berlin Social Democratic party declares BDS antisemitic

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Members of Berlin's Social Democratic Party (SPD) passed a resolution on Saturday in support of Israel, condemning the boycott,divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Jewish state. 
The SPD's 17,500 member organization declared at their convention that "they oppose the antisemitic BDS campaign" and "condemn sharply widespread anti-Zionist antisemitism." 
The resolution said the SPD Berlin "stands in solidarity with Israel, and the recognition of Israel's right to exist and self-defense are for us non-negotiable."  
The pro-Israel document was introduced by the youth organization of the SPD Berlin--Jusos--and stated they will "fight against every form of antisemitism." The SPD members committed themselves to stop every form of cooperation with associations and supporters of the BDS campaign. The vote to support the anti-BDS resolution was unanimous.
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Austria: 'Leaked nudes of Anne Frank' joke by student organisation


“Leaked nude pictures of Anne Frank” mockery
Activists of the Austrian students’ organization Aktions Gemeinschaft (AG), which is affiliated with the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna (Wien) and is closely and politically associated with the Austrian People's Party, spent their time spreading jokes about Jews and mocking the disabled in a closed Facebook group.  
In the latest edition of the Austrian news weekly "Falter", excerpts from chat conversations were published. The members of the Facebook group include staff members of the faculty, as well as candidates standing for the current elections of the Austrian Students’ Union (ÖH) Students
The representatives regularly chatted with each other in both a Whatsapp group and the aforementioned closed Facebook group which is called "Fakultätsvertretung Jus Männerkollektiv". In their chats, for example, shortly after the caption “leaked nude pictures of Anne Frank”, an illustration appears of a single rose emerging from a pile of ashes. 
Elsewhere in the chats, there is an illustration of a girl who is a member of the Hitler youth (Hitlerjugend) movement. She is holding a basket filled with swastika flags and rabbits in her hands along with the caption: “Wishing a happy Easter to all the men as well as all the chicks in this respectable group.” In addition, one may find in the comments a picture of a child with Down's Syndrome sitting in a tub with a pitchfork drawn on his arm as well as the inscription “Poseidown” and various illustrations of Hitler.
First and foremost, on visiting the group, one is struck by the many revealing photos of female students or of raves in which the assembled party appears to be largely drunk or intoxicated. 
Within the AG itself, those revelations were met with indignation: “It is absolutely outrageous that members of this organization have created a Facebook group in which posts containing such inhuman content are shared” said organization's spokesman Valentin Petritsch. 
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Europe: A 'more terror-threat conscious' EU Parliament condemns Palestinian terrorism against Israelis

The EU should stop funding NGOs which condone the use of terror against Israelis.

Via European Jewish Press:
A  pro-Israel advocacy group in Brussels welcomed the fact that in the text of the resolution on the Middle East Peace Process voted Thursday in the European Parliament "the issue of terrorist acts and Palestinian incitement to violence took precedence for the first time in an official parliamentarian position to the issue of settlements."
 In the resolution, which was the result of negotiations and a compromise between the five main political groups, the European Parliament condemned "all acts of violence, acts of terrorism against Israelis, and incitement to violence which are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution."
The parliament noted that "all parties should act effectively against violence, terrorism, hate speech and incitement, as this is critical to rebuilding confidence and to avoiding escalation that will further undermine the prospects for peace." 
MEPs also called on the Palestinian Authority forces ''to fully and timely implement effective operations to counteract the militant group’s activitiers, such as firing rockets towards Israel and stressed the "imperative need to prevent the arming of terrorist groups and their smuggling of weapons, manufacturing of rockets and building of tunnels." 
For Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA), "this time there was a discernible move away from the standard Israel bashing position towards a more mediator conscious European Parliament role in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict." 
The advocacy group’s head of institutional Relations, Teodora Coptil  said in statement: "The move, following efforts of various pro-Israel advocacy groups among which EIPA, signals a more thorough understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is in line with the Quartet report." 
Coptil added that the line that "No EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organisations or activities that incite these acts", marked a step forward in efforts to make the PA leadership accountable for hate speech and incitement in the future" which represents a fundamental plank of EIPA’s strategy.  
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Greece: Leftist columnist denounces antisemitism survey and demonizes Israel (once again)

Via Against Antisemitism:

In an article published on the news site (May 10, 2017), entitled “In bloody ink”, journalist and cartoonist Stathis (Stavropoulos) denounces attempts to incriminate criticism against Israel that present it as anti-Semitism in order to annul such political criticism.  
The article is accompanied by a cartoon which pictures free opinion killed by Israel. The article and cartoon were Stathis response to the publication of a survey on Anti-Semitism in Greece which shows high rates of anti-Semitic feelings in Greece.

Hungary: A government campaign against George Soros splits Jews

Via JTA:
Occurring in a conservative society that is still struggling with the complicity of its wartime governments in the murder of nearly half a million Jews during the Holocaust, the campaign against a Jewish billionaire has prompted warnings that Orban’s crusade against Soros is anti-Semitic. Earlier this month Frans Timmermans, a senior EU official, suggested that the Hungarian government is channeling anti-Semitic sentiment to delegitimize a powerful critic of its nationalist policies.

That view, however, is not shared by the main leaders of Hungary’s 100,000-strong Jewish community. In interviews with JTA, its leaders rejected allegations that the government is using anti-Semitic dog whistles consciously. At the same time, they warned that the campaign against Soros may embolden anti-Semites regardless of the government’s intentions.

“Orban is not anti-Semitic. His government is not anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Zoltan Radnoti, the chairman of the rabbinical council of the Mazsihisz Jewish umbrella group in Hungary. “I believe that Soros was selected as a target because he is a progressive billionaire regardless of the fact that he’s Jewish.”

Yet Orban failed to stop the anti-Soros campaign even after it appeared that the rhetoric “may have a possible anti-Semitic interpretation,” Radnoti added, saying the prime minister “should have known that this campaign of hatred and scapegoating would increase anti-Semitic feelings.”

Soros, an 86-year-old banking and investment magnate who survived the Holocaust in hiding in Budapest, is not particularly known for funding Jewish causes in Hungary — or anywhere else.


Upping the ante, Orban gave a speech last month at the European Parliament calling Soros a “financial speculator” who is now “attacking Hungary and who — despite ruining the lives of millions of European people with his financial speculations” is nonetheless “received by the EU’s top leaders.” The scathing rhetoric was followed by the appearance in Hungary of posters demonizing Soros, which are widely believed to be printed and distributed by nationalists with the government’s blessing.

And that’s a problem, according to Radnoti, because it risks awakening anti-Semitic sentiments that Radnoti believes Orban neither shares nor seeks to embolden.

“The problem is not that Soros was selected as a public enemy because he is Jewish,” Radnoti said. “The problem is that in a country like Hungary, which has a xenophobia and anti-Semitism problem, the government should have known better than to take someone who happens to be Jewish and make him a public enemy over his globalist politics. It’s not anti-Semitic, it’s just irresponsible.”

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UK: UKIP suspends candidate who justified Holocaust

Via Times of Israel:
The UK’s nationalist UKIP party has suspended a candidate for parliament after it emerged he wrote anti-Semitic remarks regularly on Twitter, including one that justified the Holocaust.

UKIP said it was investigating Paddy Singh’s actions, and “withdrawing support for his candidacy” in the June 8 general elections, according to the BBC.

The Campaign Against Antiseitism, a British watchdog, on Friday published its dossier on Paddy Singh, UKIP’s candidate for the Wiltshire North constituency in the elections.

The tweets were discovered on the Twitter account he operates for his travel agency, Hindoostan Tours, between 2014 and 2015, the group said, adding Singh admitted to writing them and apologized for publishing them.

One message read: “At times I ask myself were the Nazis right in herding the Jews into concentration camps.”

Another, from the summer of 2014, when Israel was fighting Hamas in Gaza, stated: “The Israelis are basically Nazis in mentality. The survivors of the tragic Holacast [sic] learnt from their captors.” A third read: “No hope of a ceasefire with the Nazi Jews like wild dogs on the rampage.”

Singh’s hateful tweets were not only directed against Jews. In one he called African and Chinese people “animals,” the BBC reported.

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ADL survey: Anti-Semitism down in France, UK, Germany

Via Times of Israel:

The prevalence of anti-Semitic sentiment has dropped in three European countries over surveys from 2014 and 2015, according to polls conducted this year by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL interviewed 500 people each in Germany, the United Kingdom and France by telephone, the organization said in a summary of the study it unveiled Thursday.

In the United Kingdom, 10 percent of respondents “harbor anti-Semitic attitudes,” the poll found, compared to 12 percent in 2015 and 8 percent in 2014.

In France, the figure was 14 percent compared to 17 percent in 2015 and 37 percent a year earlier.

In Germany, the figure dropped to 11 percent from 16 percent in 2015 and 27 percent in 2014.

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Germany: 6 charged for yelling anti-Semitic slurs on Munich bus

Via Times of Israel:
Six people have been charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse on passengers in a Munich city bus.

Only two passengers – a couple from Munich – attempted to intervene in the weekend incident.

According to news reports, the alleged perpetrators, all from Munich and Ebersberg and ranging in age from 18 to 33, shouted anti-Semitic insults at passengers on the bus, which reportedly was packed with some 40 passengers.

Police said that witnesses later reported the “most harmless” of the verbal abuse included “Juden raus!” – “get rid of the Jews.”

Most passengers reportedly did nothing. After one woman addressed the group and asked them to stop, they aimed their abuse at her. Police said that her boyfriend’s intervention prevented further escalation.

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Norway: Caricature equates circumcision with pedophilia

Via Ynet News:
Norway's fourth-largest newspaper has recently published a caricature depicting supporters of circumcision for Jews and Muslims as pedophiles. 
The offensive caricature appeared in The Dagbladet, the second largest tabloid in the country that has a circulation of approximately 75,000 copies a day.  The caricature depicts a man wearing a kippah (skullcap) and a bearded man standing next to him, both holding signs reading 'Yes to circumcision' and 'Religious freedom.' A third man, wearing a ratty coat, tells them: "I know what you mean. I, too, am told by an invisible man to fiddle with children's penises."

It's not the first time.  In 2013, Dagbladet carried this caricature: