Monday, April 30, 2018

Is Germany capable of protecting Its Jews?

Via The Atlantic (James Kirchick):
For understandable reasons, Europeans are much more comfortable condemning the familiar anti-Semitism of the far right than the sort expressed by migrants entering Europe as the victims of war and economic deprivation. Nowhere is this issue more fraught than in Germany.

To a degree unmatched by any other nation, Germany has confronted its horrific past with commendable honesty. After World War II, Germany assumed responsibility for its crimes and obliged itself both to protect Jewish life and to offer sanctuary to those escaping violent conflict and political persecution. But the recent intake of so many migrants from places where anti-Semitism is rife has produced an uncomfortable tension between these two commitments.

That tension was laid bare recently when a video shot on a Berlin street went viral. It depicted a young man wearing a kippa, or Jewish skullcap, being assaulted by a Syrian asylum-seeker. German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the incident as a “disgrace.” This week, thousands of Germans of different faith groups donned kippa in several cities and marched in solidarity with the Jewish community. Some Muslim women wore kippot over their hijabs. It was an admirable display. But if Germany—the country leading the rest of Europe—is serious about addressing anti-Semitism, it will need to make the safety of its Jewish communities a higher priority when considering future migrant inflows.

For the plain fact is that most of the migrants who have come (and continue to come) to Europe hail from Muslim-majority countries that long ago expelled their once-vibrant Jewish populations, where anti-Semitism figures prominently in state propaganda, and where belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is widespread. To take just one obvious incongruity between Germany and the migrants it is accepting: Holocaust denial, a crime punishable by prison in Germany, is pervasive across the Muslim and Arab Middle East. Of course, it would be wrong to presume that every Syrian refugee holds the anti-Semitic attitudes of the country’s former defense minister, who published a book repeating the ancient blood libel about Jews killing gentile children to bake matzos for Passover. But it is equally misguided to deny that many have been profoundly influenced by the anti-Semitic environments in which they were raised.
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France: The grand theorist of Holocaust denial, Robert Faurisson

Via Tablet (Paul Berman):
On April 12, just now, Robert Faurisson suffered one more minor legal defeat in a French court, which is good news, in a small way, for the world, and, in a bigger way, for the newspaper Le Monde. The court ruling means that, in France, you can denounce Faurisson as a “professional liar” and a “falsifier of history.” And you do not have to worry about a defamation suit—which is good news for Le Monde because, back in 1978, the editors made the insane error of judging Faurisson to be a man-with-an-idea-worth-debating, and they welcomed him into their pages. Faurisson is of course the theoretician of Holocaust denial. He contributed to Le Monde an “ideas” piece titled “The Debate Over the ‘Gas Chambers,’ ” with the extra quotation marks signifying his belief that Nazi gas chambers are a Zionist lie. And Le Monde has needed, ever since, to make the point over and again that publishing his article was a big mistake, and Faurisson is, in fact, a professional liar and a falsifier of history. The judicial ruling reinforces the point yet again. It is good. We should applaud. But it is sobering to reflect that, 40 years later, the point does need reinforcement, and Faurisson, who is a minor screwball, has had major successes in different corners of the world. And falsification of history turns out to be a factor in history.

The provenance of Faurisson’s ideas is altogether curious. He derived them principally from a sad-sack leftwing pacifist in France named Paul Rassinier, whose misfortune during World War II was to be arrested and tortured by the Germans, which permanently ruined his health. He was jailed in two camps, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, where conditions were bad. He was beaten by the SS. When he emerged, though, he explained and re-explained at book length that, even if conditions in the camps were less than good, neither were they especially terrible, and Germany’s conduct during the war was no worse than any other country’s. Germany ought not to be demonized. And the truly evil people in the camps were the Communist prisoners. And the Jews were responsible for the war.

I have sometimes wondered if Rassinier’s impulse to deny or downplay his own experience wasn’t, in some respect, normal—a pitiable but human impulse to cope with an experience of extreme suffering by denying that anything extreme has happened. But then, if Rassinier’s impulse was normal, wouldn’t there be other examples of people responding to catastrophic suffering in the same way? It is hard to find other examples, though. The literature of the German camps, the literature of the Soviet gulag, and the 19th century American literature of “slave narratives” (by slaves who escaped to the free states and recounted their experiences)—the several literatures of horrendous suffering under extreme social conditions—do not seem to contain a place for fantasists like Rassinier.
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Germany: Merkel’s antisemitism envoy ‘not surprised’ Jews want to leave

Via Guardian:   
A newly appointed special envoy tasked by the German government with tackling the country’s rising wave of antisemitism has said he is not surprised that, following a series of high-profile race hate attacks, Jews are considering leaving Germany.

Felix Klein, who is due to take up his post this week, said he plans to launch a nationwide register to chart all crimes against the country’s estimated 100,000-strong Jewish community, saying antisemitic attitudes were mainstream in German society.

“It is quite understandable that those who are scared for the safety of their children would consider leaving Germany,” he said at his first discussion with journalists in Berlin. “I hear this from my own Jewish friends. But we must do everything to avoid that.”

Klein said that he hoped to gain a better overview of what was fuelling such antisemitism and to “tackle it like a surgeon”.
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UK: Prospective Labour councillor bows out of local elections over anti-Semitic tweet

Via Sun:  
A PROSPECTIVE Labour councillor who caused outrage with an anti-Semitic tweet has resigned from the party days before local elections.

Claire Udy has apologised for the 2013 post: “Got a barely used travel system for baby that’s worth over £500 for £100 today also. Not even a Jew. Amazing.”

She cited lack of support from her local party as her reason for leaving.

Ms Udy will now stand as an independent in Portsmouth, Hants.    

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Polish prime minister under fire for Holocaust remarks

Via New Europe:
During a recent conference in Germany, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has come under fire for controversial comments that he made while speaking at a conference in Germany where he accused the Jews of being one the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

The Polish government later attempted to clarify Morawiecki‘s remarks, saying Warsaw was in no way denying the Holocaust or hinting at the possibility that Jewish victims were responsible for atrocities committed that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews during World War II.

The Israeli response to Morawiecki’s comments was swift, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoning his Polish counterpart to express his disgust.

Poland has come under fire for the introduction of a law that makes it illegal to accuse the country of being complicit in the Holocaust or referring to Nazi concentration camps as “Polish death camps”.

Morawiecki was asked at Munich Security Conference on April 21 whether he expected a backlash for telling a story about his mother who survived the Holocaust and told him that some Poles had collaborated with the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s secret police.

 “Of course it’s not going to be punishable, not going to be seen as criminal, to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian, not only German perpetrators,” Morawiecki replied.

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Germany: Gov't company fires employee for 'antisemitic' social media posts

Via Jerusalem Post:
The German Corporation for International Cooperation said on Friday that it had fired one employee and disciplined two additional workers in response to scores of allegations of antisemitic Facebook posts by the company's staff, including at their location in Jordan, which were first revealed by The Jerusalem Post.

"Meetings were held with the eight employees whose posts had been criticized to clarify each specific case, and the outcome was carefully considered on an individual basis. As a result, there has been a dismissal, a written warning and a reprimand," said the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in a statement.


The GIZ headquarters is located in the West German city of Bonn and it describes itself as a "federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions."

Mohammed al-Mutawakel, who is currently a project manager at GIZ's headquarters in Bonn and was previously a project manager in Jordan, compared Israel to the Nazi movement. He posted an Israeli flag on Facebook and replaced the Star of David with a swastika. “I hate Israel,” he wrote. GIZ declined to disclose to the Post if al-Mutawakel had been fired and would not provide the name of the other disciplined employees.

Ulrich Nitschke, a senior GIZ employee in the Middle East, praised, according to the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, the nomination of the BDS movement for the Nobel Peace Prize. The BDS movement advocates boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

Tobias Thiel, who heads GIZ's Strengthening Reform Initiatives project, said Israel does not have the right to defend itself and shared articles that Israel committed a “deliberate massacre” in the Gaza Strip.

Prior to the GIZ decision to discipline employees, the whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, said GIZ's workplace culture is saturated with antisemitism. The source told the Post that Rudolf Rogg, who oversees the corporation's Middle East department, has “three Facebook accounts with anti-Israeli agitation.”

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Germany: Only three showed up for antisemitism demonstration in Berlin’s hip Neukölln neighborhood

Via Matthew Karnitschnig (POLITICO Chief Europe Correspondent):
Only three people showed up for this #antisemitism demonstration in Berlin’s hip Neukölln neighborhood. It ended after 15 minutes when someone snatched the protestors’ Israeli flag and threw it in the gutter.
read more @ BZ-Berlin (in German)

Germany: A mere 2,000 people in Berlin protested against anti-Semitism

Benjamin Weinthal: "Internalize this: a mere 2,000 people in Berlin protested below against anti-Semitism. Many of the protestors were Jews. There are 3.7 million people in Berlin. Lessons of the Holocaust?"

Matthew Karnitschnig (POLITICO Chief Europe Correspondent): "By comparison, somewhere between 150,000 and 250,000 people turned out to protest the TTIP trade deal in 2015."

Via The Jerusalem Post (Jeremy Sharon):
Jews and non-Jews staged kippa-wearing solidarity marches in German cities on Wednesday evening in response to an assault last week by a Syrian refugee of Palestinian descent against a man wearing a kippa.

The man assaulted was actually an Arab Israeli who was testing whether wearing a kippa in Berlin would lead to an antisemitic attack.

In Berlin, more than 2,000 people participated in the kippa march, a police spokesman said, while rallies were also held in Cologne, Erfurt, Magdeburg and Potsdam.

Kippot were handed out at the Berlin rally, and numerous German politicians attended to show their support for the Jewish community, including Mayor Michael Müller and senior Christian Democratic Union politician Volker Kauder, who both wore kippot for the event.
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The attack:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Europe: To be Jewish -at least visibly Jewish- in Europe is to live on borrowed time

Via The New York Times (Bret Stephens):
Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew.  
The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”

It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of Maas or other European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.

There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized. There’s a limit, also, to trying to cure bigotry with earnest appeals to tolerance. The German government is mulling a proposal to require recent arrivals in the country to tour Nazi concentration camps as a way of engendering a feeling of empathy for Jews. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, to the virulent anti-Semite, Buchenwald is a source of inspiration, not shame.

All this comes to mind as Israel this week marks (in the Hebrew calendar) the 70th anniversary of its independence. There are many reasons to celebrate the date, many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile.

But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers, least of all French or German politicians. Theodor Herzl saw this with the Dreyfus Affair and founded modern Zionism. Post-Hitler Europe still has far to fall when it comes to its attitudes toward Jews, but the trend is clear. The question is the pace.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Germany: Berlin Jews Organize ‘Wear a Kippah’ Demonstration in Response to anti-Semitic Assault

Via Haaretz:
The Berlin Jewish community is organizing a demonstration against anti-Semitism in response to an attack on an Israeli man wearing a yarmulke, and is urging participants to wear a kippah.

A broad coalition from interfaith, political, academic and pro-Israel circles is backing the “Berlin wears a kippah” protest set for Wednesday evening in front of the Jewish community center in the former West Berlin.


Last week, a young Syrian man assaulted his kippah-wearing victim with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi”, in public in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.
The victim, Adam Armoush, 21, filmed part of the incident and posted it online. He later told the German news media that he is a non-Jewish Israeli from Haifa and that he had donned the kippah to prove to another friend that Berlin is not as anti-Semitic as rumor would have it

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Netherlands: newspaper slammed for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon on Gaza protests

Via Times of Israel:
A newspaper in the Netherlands has come under fire for publishing a cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier shooting masses of Palestinians on the Gaza border in celebration of the Jewish state’s 70th Independence Day, which was marked on Thursday.

The cartoon, published in Volkskrant, a major Dutch paper, depicts an IDF soldier wearing sunglasses and adorned with a Star of David on his back. Having put a frightened-looking unarmed Palestinian against a wall, he fires a barrage of bullets to spell out “Happy birthday to me” — passing across the Palestinian’s chest along the way.

Bodies of what seems to be other protesters lie nearby, next to what could be seen as a pile of bodies of slaughtered demonstrators who participated in the weekly “March of Return” mass rallies organized by Hamas, the terror group which runs the Gaza Strip.

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France: Muslim community blasts anti-Semitism letter as attack on Islam

Via The Local:
A French manifesto calling for certain passages of the Koran to be removed on the grounds of rising anti-Semitism sparked anger Monday from Muslims who said their religion was being unfairly "put on trial".
The open letter published Sunday in the Parisien newspaper blamed "Islamist radicalisation" for what it said was "quiet ethnic purging" in the Paris region, with abuse forcing Jewish families to move out.
After a series of high-profile attacks on Jews, Muslim leaders contacted by AFP acknowledged that anti-Semitism was a problem in France.
But they charged that the nearly 300 signatories, who included ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former prime minister Manuel Valls, were blaming a whole religion for the actions of an extremist minority.
"The only thing we can agree on is that we must all unite against anti-Semitism," said Ahmet Ogras, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith umbrella group.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Germany: Merkel denounces the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin

Via The Daily Mail: 
Angela Merkel has denounced the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin in Germany.  
The German Chancellor made the remarks in an interview with Israeli television on Sunday after an alleged anti-Semitic attack in Berlin on Tuesday provoked uproar. 
According the German tabloid Bild, the main alleged perpetrator, who surrendered to police, is a Syrian refugee who lived in a centre for migrants near Berlin.  
'We have a new phenomenon, as we have many refugees among whom there are, for example, people of Arab origin who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country,' Merkel told the private Channel 10 network.  
In the interview, Merkel said the German government had appointed a commissioner to fight against anti-Semitism. 'The fact that no nursery, no school, no synagogue can be left without police protection dismays us,' she said.
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France: Anti-Semitism is now so profound that Jews are victims of “ethnic purging”

Via The Spectator (Gavin Mortimer)
Why should France tolerate Islamic intolerance? 
[...] Why has the refusal of France to grant a passport to an Algerian woman who declined to shake the hand of a state official at her citizenship ceremony because of her “religious beliefs” made the BBC website? Picked up by other news’ outlets, including the New York Times, it’s not unreasonable to infer that the subtext is: there go the French again, discriminating against Muslims. If it’s not the burka or the burkini, it’s a handshake.

But why would any western country welcome a woman who shuns one of its oldest and most courteous customs? If she finds shaking hands with a man beyond the pale, one is entitled to suspect she may not look too favourably on gays and Jews. Anti-Semitism is now so profound in France that on Sunday 250 well-known figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy and Manuel Valls, signed a letter warning that the country’s Jews are victims of “ethnic purging” at the hands of “radical Islamists”.
read more 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

France: 300 personalities denounce a "quiet ethnic purging" of Jews

Via I 24 News/AFP:
'French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,' says manifesto

More than 300 French dignitaries and stars [many of whom are Jewish] have signed a manifesto denouncing a "new anti-Semitism" marked by "Islamist radicalization" after a string of killings of Jews, to be published in Le Figaro newspaper Sunday.

The country's half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.

"We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it's too late. Before France is no longer France," reads the manifesto co-signed by politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu. The signatories condemned what they called a "quiet ethnic purging" driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighborhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter.

"In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated -- and some tortured -- by radical Islamists because they were Jewish," the declaration said.
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Friday, April 20, 2018

France: Wife of French ambassador in Senegal tells Israeli ambassador's wife not to attend event for wives of diplomats

Via The Jerusalem Post:

Jeanne Hirschson, wife of Israel's Ambassador to Senegal Paul Hirschson, was asked by the wife of the French ambassador in Senegal not to attend a meeting for diplomatic spouses, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

The club of diplomatic spouses includes women and men who are married to diplomats now serving in Senegal, and is led by Marieme Faye Sall, wife of Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Up until a month ago, Miss Hirschson was so active in the club of diplomatic spouses she served as the vice president of the club.

In protest against her work in the club, Arab spouses quit, and the membership dropped to half of what it used to be.
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Europe: EU High Representative Mogherini says Jerusalem is "our common Holy City" for Europeans and Arabs - but not for Jews

With leaders and elites like this one, no wonder euroscepticism is growing in Europe.

Via Elder of Ziyon:
"As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem." 
Those were the words of EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini during the opening session of 29th Summit of the League of Arab States on Sunday. 
Not only is the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is not only non-existent, but any claim the Jews have to their capital is less important than that of Europe. 
(You know - the continent the Crusaders came from, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims. ) 
Mogherini's outrageous statements to the Arab league didn't end there. 
"And you know, you can always count on us Europeans to reiterate our belief that the only viable solution is the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine."
Meaning that the EU will solidly and always be against the idea of Israeli and Jewish rights to Jerusalem. That the EU places a higher priority on Palestinian rights in Jerusalem than to Jewish rights in any part of the city. 
"The Arab League has a unique role to play here. The Arab Peace Initiative is still, in our eyes, the essential building block towards peace. The King of Jordan is the custodian of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem."
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Germany: Jewish teen said beaten by Muslim man in anti-Semitic attack in Berlin

Via The Times of Israel:
A kippah-wearing Jewish teenager was reportedly hospitalized in recent days after being assaulted in Berlin by a Muslim man in an apparent anti-Semitic attack.

A video of the incident, which was posted to Facebook and shared by a Jewish advocacy group, shows an apparently Muslim attacker whipping the teen with his belt while calling out, “Yahudi,” or “Jew” in Arabic, before he is stopped by a passerby.

The incident took place at the Helmholtzplatz, a public park in the Prenzlauer Berg part of Berlin. 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sweden: Former PM Carld Bildt relativizes current anti-Semitism with odd and inaccurate historical arguments

Via Politico (Paulina Neuding, editor-in-chief of the online magazine Kvartal)
Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos. (...)

In March, Labor Market Minister Ylva Johansson appeared on the BBC, where she claimed that the number of reported rapes and sexual harassment cases “is going down and going down and going down.” In fact, the opposite is true, which Johansson later admitted in an apology.

Similarly, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, former Prime Minister Carl Bildt described the country’s immigration policy as a success story. He did not elaborate on violent crime. After repeated attacks against Jewish institutions in December — including the firebombing of a synagogue in Gothenburg — Bildt took to the same paper to claim that anti-Semitism is not a major problem in Sweden.

“Historically, in Sweden it was the Catholics that were seen as the dangerous threat that had to be fought and restricted,” Bildt claimed, seemingly unaware that the laws he cited also applied to Jews. Intermarriage was illegal and hostility was based on ideas of Jews as racially inferior. Bildt’s attempt to relativize current anti-Semitism with odd and inaccurate historical arguments reflects how nervously Swedish elites react to negative headlines about their country.
read more

Read also:
Sweden: Son of Holocaust survivor explains why he left Sweden to Israel
Sweden: Former PM Carl Bildt says Israel pushing US into region-wide war with Iran

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sweden: Son of Holocaust survivor explains why he left Sweden to Israel

Via The Times of Israel (Stefan Shaul Lindmark):
Madam Foreign Minister! I’m here now. You know, in Israel. Just like I said I would be. I wrote to you two years ago, you may remember. And I told you about the people who built the state of Israel; the survivors of the Holocaust, the Jews expelled from the Arab world and Iran, and who were robbed of all of their possessions, the Ethiopian Jews who walked through the deserts of death, the Soviet Jews who fled from the anti-Semitism and all the other Jews who have moved here to live together with the Jews who have lived here for generations.

Madam Foreign Minister, now I am one of them – I, the son of a survivor from the Holocaust. I, who have lived all my life in Sweden and have served the country as a soldier, as an ambulance nurse, as a therapist and above all as, a lecturer of the Holocaust and its consequences. I have left a Sweden that is no longer the country I have known my whole life. Sweden, a country that has changed further over the years since I wrote to you – and the change is not for the better.

Madam Foreign Minister, I’m leaving Sweden where violence, gangs fight for territory, power and “respect”, shootings, rape and especially gang rapes have become the norm – my Sweden which is now a country where anti-Semitism is dramatically increasing even further, a country whose government suffers from at severe case of megalomania and believes itself to be morally superior to any other country in the entire world. (...)  
Madam Foreign Minister, since I last wrote to you Sweden has adapted to hearing people screaming in the streets that “Jews are the offspring of monkeys and pigs” and “shoot the Jews”. Without ramification. Petrol bombs have been thrown against my synagogue and against the chapel in Malmö. The Jewish community center pays 53% of its budget, based on their members’ fees, on its own security. But you don’t want to see this, you did not want to hear the warning signs, you who habitually will blame Israel like you always do – my Israel – to be the cause of all evil in the world. And then you wonder why the Swedish Jews leave. In the Jewish Chronicle you claim not to understand why Jews want to leave to Sweden in order to move to a life “behind walls”.  
But Mrs Foreign Minister, if the interview was made on the Jewish community’s premises, you had to cross the high fences, the walls and security controls in order to enter. The fences and walls that make the Jews safe in Sweden. There are plenty of people in Sweden who want to kill us. So what is the fundamental difference between the fences and walls of Jewish institutions in Sweden and fences and walls against those who want to kill and hurt people in Israel? Who can we trust? Not those who are aiding and abetting. Not those who make hollow promises. Not those who lay the blame on the victims and coddle and defend the perpetrators. The history of experience has taught us that we can only trust ourselves against those who want to kill us.
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Germany: Rappers who call for “another Holocaust” win top music award

Via Jewish News:
A German-Jewish leader condemned a music award given to two popular rappers as a “devastating” example of the normalcy of anti-Semitism in today’s society.

Kollegah and Bang won the top Echo Music Award in the hip-hop category for an album whose lyrics boast of physiques “more defined that those of Auschwitz inmates” and call for “another Holocaust; let’s grab the Molotov” cocktails.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Bavaria, was one of numerous public figures in Germany who criticised the award. The ceremony took place in Berlin on 12 April, which also was the annual Holocaust and Ghetto Uprising Remembrance Day.

The album, whose title in English is  “Young, Brutal, Good Looking 3,” won the best of Hip-Hop/Urban, National award.


When Focus magazine asked the artists how they viewed the criticism, they responded by joking about their failure to work out before the ceremony.

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UK: Israel to blame for rise in antisemitism, left wing veteran Tariq Ali declares

Via Jewish Chronicle:
The veteran left-wing activist Tariq Ali has insisted the Israeli government was to blame for the recent rise in antisemitism.

In a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally outside Downing Street in response to the violence on the border of Gaza, he attacked what he claimed was a “vile and grotesque” campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Describing Mr Corbyn as his “old friend and comrade”, Mr Ali – who founded the Stop The War movement – said that he wanted to begin his remarks by speaking about “antisemitism that we are told has swept the Labour Party, that we are told is a big problem for the left.”

He accepted there was prejudice against Muslim, Jew and gay people, but added: “If you were to ask me what is a bigger problem in Europe and north America – is it antisemitism, or is it Islamophobia?

“The answer is very clear, it is Islamophobia.”

Mr Ali said the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn were “disgusting” but were targeted at him because he broke the mould on attitudes to Britain’s foreign policy and was an anti-war politician.

“I predict this vile, grotesque campaign charging him of being soft on antisemitism will collapse. It’s already on the retreat. People don’t believe it.”

On Israel, Mr Ali said: “Many people deep down in their hearts may be scared to say it in public given the strange atmosphere that exists, but it needs to be said.

“The purveyors of antisemitism today, those who have encouraged antisemitism are the Israeli government.

“Killing Palestinians the way that they do it, targeting children as they have done; this is what produces a crude form of antisemitism.

“And the support given to this by right-wing Zionist organisations in Europe and America doesn’t help challenging antisemitism either.”

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ireland: Capital's city council endorses boycott and mayor seems to endorse Palestinian mufti who met Hitler

He is the sort of person so many Europeans pick to represent them...

Via The Times of Israel:
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday rebuked the Irish ambassador to Israel, days after the Dublin City Council passed two anti-Israel resolutions and the city’s mayor attended a conference in Ramallah that appeared to praise the Palestinian mufti Amin al-Husseini, who in 1941 met with Adolf Hitler.

The ministry said its deputy director-general for European Affairs, Rodica Radian Gordon, expressed to Ambassador Alison Kelly her “astonishment and deep disappointment” over the fact that Dublin’s Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha had chosen to participate in a “blatantly anti-Israel event.”

“This is particularly disturbing in light of the event’s timing, in the week in which Israel observes Holocaust Remembrance Day,” the ministry said in a statement. “The government of Israel expects a public and official Irish response to the conduct of the city council of Ireland’s capital in general, and of its head in specific, which are conducting a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the State of Israel.” (...)

Earlier this week, Dublin’s city council passed two resolutions endorsing the anti-Israel boycott movement and calling on the national government to expel the Israeli ambassador.

As a result of those votes, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Tuesday that he would bar Mac Donncha from entering Israel on his way to to a conference on the status of Jerusalem in Ramallah, at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.
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Belgium: Holocaust denier sentenced to 6 months in prison

Via European Jewish Press:

Belgian Holocaust denier Siegfried Verbeke was sentenced to six months in prison after a criminal court in Mechelen found him guilty for proclaiming negationist theories.

The 74-year-old Verbele has been already sentenced several times for negationism in Begium and in sourrounding countries.

This time he sent a DVD to the Holocaust Museum in which he dismissed the historical facts about killing Jews in gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau as ‘’unbelievable.’’

He was given the maxium sentence of six months in prison and a hefty fine of eight thousand euros. The judge did not at any point follow the defense of Verbeke’s counsel, who said that there was no question of any spread of Holocaust denial since the museum staff had not looked at the contents of the DVD.

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Greek Jews call for the abolition of the 'burning of the Judas'

Via Against antisemitism – Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό:

The ‘burning of the Judas’ in the village of Tolo, on the Peloponnese peninsula
(Easter 2018). Screenshot via YouTube

Announcement by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece:
During the Easter holidays, various customs take place in our country. One of these is the “burning of the effigy of Judas”, which takes place in some areas of the country. This custom perpetuates stereotyped perceptions against the Jews. It is significant that the custom has almost been eliminated in the rest of Europe.

In the past, we, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, have repeatedly proceeded with representations to competent bodies in order to stop the custom in our country. The fact that the Church of Greece, with its Synodic Circulars of 1891, 1910 and 1918, demanded that “these customs are expressly forbidden” is of particular significance.

We believe that this custom not only offends the Greek Jewish community but also affects every effort towards the understanding and respect of common values ​​that characterise Judaism and Christianity. 
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Germany: Paper claims Jews took Arab land to create Israel

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
An Israeli diplomat in Berlin reprimanded leading weekly Die Zeit for the cover story of its current issue, which argues that Jews from across the globe “settled Arab lands” to build the State of Israel. “ 
@zeitonline friendly,reminder: Jews have been living in this land since the time of King David, King Solomon and Jesus,” embassy spokeswoman Adi Farjon tweeted on Thursday.

The article’s headline, “Israel at 70: Why is There No Quiet in This Country?” triggered outrage over the omission of historical facts. The paper asserted that “Jews from across the world settled Arab lands and simply created facts out of which the State of Israel grew.”

Responding to the omissions in the article, the Anne Frank Educational Center wrote on its Twitter feed that the “historical background of the founding of Israel is not mentioned [nor] centuries-old antisemitism & the Shoah.”

The Frankfurt-based organization added: “Why did Die Zeit not write that since Israel’s creation in 1948 its existence has been threatened?” 
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Holland: Anne Frank museum banned Orthodox Jewish employee from wearing his skullcap at work

Via The Daily Mail:
A Jewish employee at Anne Frank House could not believe his ears when his bosses banned him from wearing a skullcap at work.

Barry Vingerling turned up for work on his first day at the museum in Amsterdam and was told to take off his 'yarmulke'.

Anne Frank House is a writer's house and museum dedicated to a famous Jewish teenager who wrote a diary as she hid from the Nazis in World War II.

The 25-year-old was told wearing the skullcap might endanger the neutrality of the foundation which runs the museum and 'influence its work combating antisemitism'.

Mr Vingerling did not don a skullcap for his interview but hoped to wear it at work to meet his requirement as an Orthodox Jew to keep his head covered.

The Dutchman was told the brimless cap, also known as a kippah, was banned by the Anne Frank House as employees were not allowed to wear Jewish symbols.

The museum told Mr Vingerling he had to apply for formal permission to wear a yarmulke at the Anne Frank Foundation. (...) The board of the Anne Frank Foundation finally concluded, after more than six months of discussions, that Mr Vingerling could wear his yarmulke.

He said he was happy to hear he could finally wear his skullcap but still did not understand why the Anne Frank Foundation had made an issue out of it for so long.

'I work in the house of Anne Frank, who had to hide because of her identity. In that same house I should hide my identity?' he said.
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Poland: Officials prevent award to author accused of anti-Semitism

Via The Times of Israel:
Polish officials have intervened to prevent an author accused of anti-Semitism from receiving an award at a Polish diplomatic outpost in the United States.

A private US-based Polish organization had planned to give awards at the Polish consulate in New York next week to three people. One, Polish author Ewa Kurek, has claimed that Jews had fun in the ghettos during the German occupation of Poland during World War II. 
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Germany: Diplomat appointed as antisemitism Commissioner

Via European Jewish Press:
Dr. Felix Klein
German diplomat Felix Klein has been appointed as the country’s first anti-Semitism Commissioner. He will take over his newly created post in the next few days, ‘Welt am Sonnatg’ newspaper reported citing government sources.

Klein had been proposed by the Central Council of Jews and other Jewish organizations for the office. Born in Darmstadt in 1968, Klein was is currently the Special Representative of the German Foreign Office for Relations with Jewish Organizations and Anti-Semitism Issues.

In this capacity, he is the main contact of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international Jewish organizations and coordinates the foreign policy measures of the federal government in the fight against anti-Semitism.

The World Jewish Congress welcomed the German government’s appointment of Dr. Felix Klein.

“Already a leader in Europe in the fight against anti-Semitism, Germany has taken another praiseworthy step in addressing the need for a dedicated and expert individual to protect the well-being of the country’s Jewish community, and Dr. Felix Klein is without a doubt the best choice for the position,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.

Dr. Klein played a pivotal role in Germany’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism, drawing wide attention to the very real threats experienced by Jewish communities across Europe, to the dangers of far-right extremism, and to the importance of preserving the memory of the Holocaust,” he said.
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Russia: Israeli man beaten to death in suspected anti-Semitic attack

Via Times of Israel:
A Russian-born Israeli man died Monday night of severe injuries he sustained after being attacked on a St. Petersburg street several days ago in what authorities are investigating as a suspected anti-Semitic attack.

The Russian-language outlet Fontanka reported Tuesday that Mikhail Verevskoy, 27, had suffered traumatic brain injuries and fractured ribs and facial bones, as well as internal injuries.

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said a suspect, Ahmed Kharsha, 36, was arrested and released on bail. Kharsha was forbidden from leaving the city. Russian authorities investigating the attack have not ruled out an anti-Semitic motive, the report said.

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Verevskoy is survived by his wife, who is in a local maternity ward where she is due to give birth.

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UK: Labour Party scandal 'emboldened' antisemitic attackers, report finds

Via Telegraph:
Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party is partly to blame for a rise in antisemitic attacks in the UK, a report has said.

The Kantor Center, based at Tel Aviv University, said that the "unprecendented publicity regarding controversies about alleged and actual antisemitism in the Labour Party" is likely to have "emboldened offenders".

There was a three per cent rise in antisemitic incidents of all types recorded by the Community Security Trust, from 1,346 to 1,382.

While abuse on social media fell by 15 per cent the number of antisemitic assaults recorded by the CST rose by 34 per cent to 145.

Alongside hard-right antisemitic activity there has also been a "rise in leftist antisemitism" which "supports radical Muslim anti-Israeli attitudes expressed in antisemitic terms such as in the BDS and Antifa movements, and certainly in the UK Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn," it said.

"The recent strengthening of the extreme right in a number of European countries was accompanied by slogans and symbols which remind, not only the Jewish population, of the 1930s, despite the significant differences between the two periods," the report added.

It said British Jews were "losing their traditional political home, because of the change the Labour party has undergone, to which they feel they cannot be partners".

"Jews regard the present stances of the Labour Party as no less than betrayal," it added.

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In eastern Europe, when Nazis killed Jews, a ‘carnival atmosphere’ prevailed

Via Times of Israel:
In contrast to the relatively secretive death camps, the Einsatzgruppen massacres were “an attraction” for many communities, according to Desbois. In some localities, the Holocaust unfolded with “carnival” or quasi-religious undertones, such as the organizing of bloody, Passion-like marches through town, or forcing Jews to perform on the edge of mass graves.

“The Germans in the Eastern territories could not be unaware that the gawkers who rushed to see the Jews murdered, sometimes up to the graves’ edge, crossed themselves over and over,” wrote Desbois. “Consciously or not, they organized a tableau vivant, a living picture, of an inverted representation of the Stations of the Cross.”


In a chapter called “The Sanitizer,” Desbois explained how the SS murder squads engaged local communities in “cleaning up” after each massacre. Before Jewish homes and belongings could be pillaged, efforts were made to erase evidence that thousands of people had been murdered.

“The personal bathtubs ripped out of Jewish houses became anonymous tubs for transporting the lime to the mass graves where the Jews had been murdered,” wrote Desbois. “For a few days, the entire village seems to have been transformed into a human slaughterhouse. A slaughterhouse needing to be sanitized after a crime.”

According to Desbois, his investigations yielded many “grave fillers,” but few people who admit to transporting Jews to execution sites in trucks or wagons. For those in town who did not witness the massacres for themselves, evidence of what took place was visible on the streets for days.

“It took a village-wide effort to get the Jewish furniture out of the houses and into the schoolyard where it was sold,” wrote Desbois. “Not only was the sale of Jewish goods not hidden or discreet, camouflaged, but it took place in broad daylight at the center of Soviet life. …In the place where everyone went to make daily purchases, the possessions of murdered Jews were sold shamelessly at auction.”

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Hungary: Armed guards protect Jewish restaurants in France and Belgium but not in Budapest

Frank Furedi @ Spiked:
[...] If you listened only to Western media, you would think Hungary had become the heartland of fascism. In numerous media outlets it was darkly suggested that the re-election of Orban would constitute a threat akin to Hitler gaining power in the 1930s. Lurid headlines warned of the imminent collapse of Hungary into authoritarian rule. Canadian Michael Ignatieff, the president and rector of Budapest’s Western-financed Central European University (CEU), warned that the election would determine whether ‘Hungary consolidates itself as a democracy or whether it aligns with Putin and the ascendant authoritarians of the 21st century’.

When I talk to a couple of Western students from the CEU, it is clear that they believe Ignatieff’s warning. They warn me about the unprecedented prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment in Budapest. They don’t believe me when I point out that if you understand Hungarian, you will find that such sentiments are probably weaker in Budapest than they are in Paris or many other Western European cities. When I tell them that I have seen armed guards protecting Jewish restaurants in France and Belgium but not in Budapest, they look uncomfortable and change the subject.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Austria: Holocaust denier Gerd Honsik has died

Via The Times of Israel:
Gerd Honsik, an Austrian author who was considered a leading ideologue in Europe’s neo-Nazi movement, has died at 76.

The Austria Press Agency reported Honsik died Saturday at his home in Hungary. APA cited “multiple independent sources” in its report Monday. (...)

He published a book titled “Hitler Innocent?” in which he attempted to justify some of the Third Reich’s crimes during World War II. He evaded most of his prison sentences over the years by fleeing Austria and living in other European countries, including Spain. He was arrested in 2007 in Malaga and extradited to Austria for a 1992 conviction, after Madrid had refused to hand him in for 15 years because Holocaust denial wasn’t illegal in that country.

During trial, Honsik claimed he merely “rejected the textbook wisdom that demonizes National Socialism” and said he denies the existence of the gas chambers only when he “didn’t verify” the facts himself. Honsik, who sometimes used the pseudonym Endsik — alluding to the Nazi quest for final victory or “Endsieg”— was last released in 2011 having served a prison term in Spain for claiming that the Holocaust was a fabrication.
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Poland: Senior Politician in Antisemitic Rant: ‘The Jews Are Not Humans, They Are Animals!’

Via Algemeiner:
The growing trend of antisemitic outbursts among leading Polish politicians and public figures reached new heights this week, when a close ally of the country’s deputy prime minister took to social media to denounce Jews as “animals.”

“Żydzi to nie ludzie to zwierzęta!” – “The Jews are not humans, they are animals!” – an enraged Kazimierz Plotkowski posted on Twitter on Wednesday. The tweet was later deleted, after being captured by several screenshots shared online.

Plotkowski, a successful businessman, is a co-founder and former regional leader of the Polska Razem (“Poland Together”) Party of deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, and an adviser to the Polish government on energy and mining. The party was founded by Gowin, an outspoken social conservative, in 2013 after he was dismissed from the post of Justice Minister in the previous government.

Following his Twitter outburst, Plotkowski told Polish news outlet NaTemat that he was responding to an unspecified “article” in which Poles were depicted as “pigs who robbed Jews in the ghetto.” However, his original tweet was posted after the museum at the Auschwitz concentration camp announced that it was replacing a small exhibition about a group of Poles executed by the Nazis in 1943 with another about resistance in the camp. Several influential Poles, including historian Adam Cyra, have protested that the decision demeans the suffering of Poles under the Nazis. A spokesperson for the museum told the PAP Polish news agency this week that the new exhibit would show the central role played by Polish inmates in building a resistance movement inside Auschwitz.

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Lithuania: A Holocaust exposé angered nationalists. Now lawmakers want to ban critical scholarship

Via JTA:
The Lithuanian parliament is preparing to vote on a government-sponsored bill that would ban selling material that “distorts historical facts” about the nation.

The bill, which Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius submitted Monday, is widely seen as a response to the controversy in Lithuania around the publication of a 2016 book about the Holocaust titled “Our People.” Viewed by some nationalists as an insult to the Lithuanian nation, it is also credited with breaking some taboos in Lithuanian society about collaboration during World War II.

The bill, which according to the Delfi news agency is an amendment to the Law on Consumer Protection, provoked passionate condemnations in Lithuania and beyond by critics who said it curtails freedom of speech and debate about the genocide, in which 90 percent of Lithuanian Jews were killed, mostly by other Lithuanians.

Whereas several Eastern European countries have laws that limit free speech about the Holocaust, including Poland, Ukraine and Latvia, the bill targeting the sale of critical books “would be, if passed into law, one of the most blatant and harshest of them all,” said Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff, who co-authored “Our People” with Rūta Vanagaite, a best-selling novelist.

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France: Primary school tagged with swastika in Paris

Via I 24 News:
"Stinking Jew" and swastika 
An antisemitic tag was painted on a Jewish primary school located in the affluent 16th arrondissement of Paris.

France: Jewish Student Group Hit With Vandalism: 'Death to Israel', 'Vive La Palestine'

Via Haaretz:
Vandals have scrawled anti-Israel graffiti and ransacked the offices of a Jewish student group at a Paris university, on the same day that marches are being held around France to protest anti-Semitism.

Sacha Ghozlan, president of the French Jewish Students Union, told Le Monde that that the damage was inflicted Wednesday at the group's facilities at the University of Paris' Pantheon-Sorbonne campus.

“A cabinet was thrown on the ground and there were inscriptions such as ‘Death to Israel,’ ‘Viva Arafat’ on the wall,” Gozlan told the French paper. A tweet from the scene also showed "Zionist local racist anti-goy" and "Palestine will win" were written as well.

He said it came as far-left student protesters were blocking parts of the campus in a protest movement, but said it is unclear who was behind the incident. 

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Belgium: Brussels University to honor British filmmaker Ken Loach despite protest from Jewish groups

Via European Jewish Press:
The Brussels Free University (ULB) has decided to honor British film director Ken Loach despite protests by Belgian Jewish organisations citing his “obsessive hatred of Israel.”

The Jewish organisations, which include the David Susskind Jewish Community Center (CCLJ), the Union of Belgian Jewish Deportees and the Union of Jewish Students, accuse Loach of being unable to denounce anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. They point to an ambiguous response he gave in an interview last September on the Holocaust.

Asked in a BBC interview if Holocaust denial was acceptable, Loach said: “History is for all of us to discuss. All history is our common heritage to discuss and analyze. The founding of the State of Israel, for example, based on ethnic cleansing, is there for us to discuss.”

He later clarified his comments saying that the Holocaust was “as real a historical event as World War II itself and not to be challenged.”

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German diplomats defend Kuwait Airways’ 'no Israelis allowed' policy

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
German diplomats have said accusations of antisemitism against Kuwait Airways for its practice of refusing Israeli passengers are exaggerated, triggering sharp criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a German lawyer who sued the airline.

The statement defending state-owned Kuwait Airways was first reported by the Düsseldorf-based business daily Handelsblatt on Monday.

A court in Frankfurt ruled in November that Kuwait Airways was within its rights to refuse service to an Israeli citizen. The Israeli in the lawsuit had booked a flight on Kuwait Airways from Frankfurt to Bangkok.

Katharina Ziegler, a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, declined to comment on the record in response to a query from The Jerusalem Post addressed to Heiko Maas, the new foreign minister. Maas has promised improved German-Israel relations after the anti-Israel policies of his predecessor, Sigmar Gabriel. Germany’s Foreign Ministry is widely viewed as one of the harshest critics of the Jewish state within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. The US- and EU-designated terrorist entity Hamas praised Gabriel in January for terming Israel an “apartheid regime.”
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Saturday, April 7, 2018

German-Jewish teen says fleeing Berlin for Israel over schoolyard antisemitism

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
15-year-old German-Jewish student Liam Rückert told the BZ daily on Friday that he plans to relocate to Israel to continue his education due to what he said was rampant Muslim-animated hatred of Jews in the Berlin public school system.

"I want to go to a boarding school like my brother in Israel. I already visited him and he is doing well there," Rückert said. His mother Billy is from Israel and taught her sons Hebrew.

In 2016, a student of Arab origin said during a discussion of the Middle East conflict in Rückert's class: "If there is a Jewish student in the class, I would kill him." According to the BZ article, students of Polish and Arab descent have targeted Liam with insults such as "shitty Israeli" and "shitty Jew." The Berlin school barred Liam from changing classes at the school named Jungfernheide. The school has the highest number of migrants in the city, with 62.1 % of the students having an immigrant background.

"I could previously trust my Arab friend Hussein," said Rückert, adding that the two boys "both had a secret: that I am a Jew and that he is gay." Rückert said he has anxiety to return to the school and declines to attend a required meeting every Friday because of the psychological pressure, the BZ wrote. Rückert is currently involved in an internship outside of the school.

Billy said the teachers sought to play down the antisemitic attacks. "We received no support from the school," said Billy on a German TV talk show.

The BZ wrote that antisemitic attacks in Berlin schools are a daily occurrence. Last week, the father of a German Jewish girl said his daughter was "accosted by Muslim students because she does not believe in Allah."

Josef Schuster, the president of the roughly-100,000 member Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in late March that "if Jewish students can no longer go to school without fear of antisemitic abuse, there's something wrong in this country." It is unclear if the rise of antisemitism in Germany, where 40% of the population hold modern antisemitic views - according to a government-commissioned study last year - will lead to a wave of aliyah.
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

French historian: 60 000 Jews have left France in last ten years and Europe will empty itself of its Jews

Le Monde has interviewed Marc Knobel, CRIF's historian and director of studies, in the wake of the murder of Mireille Knoll, 85 (Jews Are Being Murdered in Paris. Again.):
"How do you see the future?

I do not know what to think anymore. I will stay in this country anyway, but I feel that many people will be leaving. In fact, 60,000 have left France in the space of ten years out of a community of around 500,000. I think the trend will not stop. People are afraid for their children and now for their parents too. All the conditions are right, once the bewilderment subsides, for them to say to themselves that they have nothing to do here. The number of people leaving France will grow. In other European countries too, where the situation is also tense, even if there have been no killings [of Jews] - and that's not a small difference. Europe will empty itself of its Jews."
(Google translation)

read more in French

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Germany: Israeli author David Ranan spent a year speaking to Muslims about anti-Semitism

Via Spiegel:
Israeli author David Ranan spent a year speaking to Muslims in Germany about anti-Semitism, with the goal of understanding prejudices and their root causes. He has transformed his findings into a book that draws surprising conclusions about the extent of the problem. (...)

In practically every conversation, he had to listen to descriptions of stereotypes and conspiracy theories about Jews. And yet the book Ranan has written is anything but an alarmist tome on Muslim anti-Semitism. (...)

Organ Theft and Other Conspiracy Theories

Ranan conducted lengthy conversations with his interview partners. About half were women, and most had completed high school or studied at college. "I didn't want to interview any hormonal 15-year-old boys who had seen the previous night how Israel is bombing Gaza and were repeating mindless slogans."

But that didn't stop him from hearing some disturbing opinions. Two 21-year-old students, for instance, were obsessed with figuring out where they could shop in good conscience.

"But many brands belong to you! I have heard that Aldi belongs to a Jew -- … but it's only something I heard -- I don't know for sure."

"Starbucks, I heard,… but that doesn't keep me from going to Starbucks and getting a coffee or from going to Aldi." "But there are surely people who don't go shopping there anymore! Rossmann, the drugstore DM, that's also supposed to be Jewish:…"

"Where do I know that from? It's same way that people say there are German nationalists. We don't know any, but we know they exist."

There are a number of patterns to be found in the transcripts. For example, most had read something about a supposed Jewish global conspiracy or heard about it from friends or family. A female engineer who grew up in a Turkish family in Germany said, "People talk about it, that the world is governed by some families, about 120 families. They are Jewish and that they control the government, more or less. All these diseases, bacteria, that are being spread everywhere in the world here, supposedly also come from there, that means the whole system in the world! I do think that Jews very, very much manipulate the world and also control it."

The people he spoke with seldom referred to the Koran or religious questions. For most of them, the Middle East was much more important.

One of the stories they told Ranan mirrored the plot of the Iranian TV show "Zahra's Blue Eyes," in which a leading Israeli politician has a Palestinian girl kidnapped to have her blue eyes transplanted into his blind son. The Palestinian territories' ambassador to the United States, Riyad Mansour, made a similar claim in 2015. He wrote to the UN secretary-general that Israel was organ-harvesting Palestinians who had been killed and that "bodies were returned with missing corneas and other organs."

One of Ranan's interview subjects was firmly convinced that organ theft was really happening. He said he had received reports from his own family. "Do you really think that my parents, my aunt and uncle, who experienced this, my mother-in-law, all of my relatives, do you really think they are lying to me?" he asked. He even claimed to have personally seen people who had had "their innards cut out."
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Monday, April 2, 2018

France: "I have no idea how we’re going to fight this cancer of anti-Semitism" says French Jewish intellectual

Via The Atlantic:
(...) Last Friday, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, was stabbed 11 times and set alight by a neighbor and a homeless man. This time, authorities immediately, perhaps even prematurely, called it an anti-Semitic attack. Gérard Collomb, France’s interior minister, said this week that before killing Knoll, one of the two men arrested for the murder had told the other, “She is a Jew, she must have money.”  
Last week, before Knoll’s death, I had met with Elisabeth Badinter, one of France’s most influential intellectuals and old-school feminists, and had asked her what she thought could be done to stop anti-Semitism, radicalization, terrorist attacks, everything we’re seeing in France today. “To be very frank with you, I don’t know, and I’m worried,” she told me. Her blue eyes were piercing, her composure formidable. She weighs in on French public life only selectively, and had given an interview last September decrying what she saw as a media silence around Sarah Halimi’s death.

“I think that the more immigrants who arrive in Europe from Muslim countries, the more difficult it will be,” Badinter continued. Integration will be difficult, and they’ll be unhappy, she said. “And who does one immediately point the finger at? Americans and Israelis, with this radical conflation between Israeli citizens and diaspora Jews, which they see as the same. So I have to confess that one, I have no idea how we’re going to fight this cancer of anti-Semitism. And two, I’m worried.”

She’s not alone.
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