Monday, December 9, 2019

UK: The Labour Party’s problem with Jews (a nasty new strain of anti-Semitism)

Frank Furedi @ Spiked:
Hatred for Israel and identity politics have given rise to a nasty new strain of anti-Semitism.  
[…] If you want to see how the insidious culture of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party works, just watch the video in which the Tory health secretary Matt Hancock raises the problem of left anti-Semitism at an election hustings. No sooner does Hancock mention the need to rid British politics of anti-Semitism than a group of Labour activists erupts in fury. They jeer at him and insult him and try to shut him down. The spontaneous animosity with which they respond to his suggestion that anti-Semitism is a bad thing exposes the depth of the problem in the Labour Party.  
The problem is not that thousands of Labour members go around calling Jews ‘subhuman’. It is that far too many of them pretend they didn’t hear an anti-Semitic insult or that left-wing anti-Semitism isn’t that big a problem. In essence, they acquiesce to the creation of a climate in which telling a Jewish comrade to go home and count his money is unlikely to be called out. They may not utter such crude comments themselves, but they are silent collaborators to the open anti-Semites who do. […]  
Since hatred for Israel has become a foundational viewpoint of 21st-century leftism, it is not surprising that left institutions have attracted anti-Semites. What has happened is that, gradually, anti-Zionism has strayed into the territory of anti-Semitism, to the point where it seems to have become okay for Labour Party members to make jokes about greedy Jews.  
There is a distinction between criticism of Israel and prejudice against Jewish people. In recent years, however, this distinction has been significantly eroded. Some people have embraced the anti-Israeli cause as a way of expressing their attitude towards Jews. This is particularly pronounced among sections of the Muslim community, who refer to Israel and Jews interchangeably when they condemn Zionism. Given the electoral weight of this community, Labour activists have chosen to look the other way when they hear such sentiments.  
One key point that tends to be overlooked in discussions of anti-Semitism is the role of the politics of identity. In an era when identitarian entrepreneurs enjoy great influence over Western culture, anti-Semitism is frequently written off on the basis that other minority groups suffer worse hatred than Jews do. 
Read more

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

UK/Spain: Penguin rebuts charge of antisemitism against author Pedro Baños

Via Guardian:
Penguin has undertaken a “thorough” review of one of its books, Spanish colonel Pedro Baños’s How They Rule the World, after allegations of antisemitism were made against its author. The publisher concluded that while Baños’s views are “robust”, they are not antisemitic.

How They Rule the World, which promises to reveal “the 22 secret strategies of global power”, was published by Penguin Random House imprint Ebury Press in April. Author Jeremy Duns began drawing attention to the book after he spotted links between the title and the cover, which bears an image of octopus tentacles. The octopus has long been associated with antisemitism; Hitler refers in Mein Kampf to the octopus of the supposed Jewish conspiracy for world conquest, and it was a frequently used symbol in Nazi-era propaganda.

Comparing the Spanish language edition of How They Rule the World with the English text, Duns found a section about the Rothschild family, a banking dynasty subject to many antisemitic conspiracy theories, which does not appear in the English translation. The Spanish edition contains three references to the Rothschilds, none of which appear in the English, including a section that compares their wealth with other rich families, and concludes: “It is clear that [the Rothschilds’] economic power is gigantic. As is their ability to influence in all senses, an aspect that, when considering their traditional distance from the media spotlight, has led to multiple speculations about their capacity to intervene in key global decisions.”

Baños is described by Ebury Press as “one of Europe’s top specialists in geopolitics, terrorism and intelligence”. A colonel in the Spanish army, he was previously the chief of counter-intelligence and security for the European Army Corps. In interviews with Spanish media, Baños has called the Rothschilds dominant and likened them to the Illuminati. On Spanish TV, he also once accused Israel of being behind the assassination of John F Kennedy.

Duns accused Penguin of having knowingly published “a Spanish antisemitic conspiracy theorist … because to cover it up they’ve removed passages about the Rothschilds. I think you’ll agree this is a pretty serious problem we’re facing. As usual, it’s about fact-checking, research, due diligence, and not doing them.”

Penguin said it was aware of the “serious concerns” raised about How They Rule the World, telling the Guardian that they had prompted it to take a close look at both the book and the author.

read more

Monday, June 17, 2019

Germany accused of mislabeling anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims as 'far right'

Via JTA:
The annual al-Quds Day march in Berlin is often cited as a prime example of the rise of so-called new anti-Semitism in Europe: hatred of Jews in connection with Israel, often by people from Muslim societies.

Despite attempts by organizers in recent years to suppress some expressions of anti-Semitism, the march by hundreds of participants features frequent calls about killing Israelis, Zionist conspiracies and chants of “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Flags of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are on display, and imams regularly preach anti-Semitic verses from the Quran to the crowd in Farsi and Arabic.

“Under the guise of ‘Israel criticism,’ they use classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, identifying Israel as having ‘Jewish characteristics’: ‘domineering,’ ‘greedy’ or a ‘child killer,'” sociologist Imke Kummer observed about the marchers.

(Iran launched al-Quds Day in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel, and international events of support have followed. Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.)

Such agitation is seen worldwide. To many, it’s especially troubling on streets where the persecution of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators was so brutal that it moved whole societies in Europe to vow “Never again.”

Curiously, however, some of the incidents documented at the Quds Day march in Berlin have been classified by authorities as forms of far-right anti-Semitism, independent watchdog groups have discovered.

Critics say the march example and other mislabeled incidents are facilitating attempts to politicize anti-Semitism and complicating the apparently losing battle to solve it.

“It means we can’t really use the official statistics on anti-Semitism in Germany,” Daniel Poensgen, a researcher at the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism, or RIAS, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Germany’s Interior Ministry did not respond to JTA’s request for comment.

read more

Thursday, June 13, 2019

France: Anti-Semitic graffiti found at home of Muslim victim of Toulouse Jewish school killer

Via JTA:
The home of the Muslim mother of a victim of the jihadist killer Mohammed Merah from Toulouse was sprayed with anti-Semitic threats.

Latifa Ibn Ziaten, whose son, Imad, was murdered in 2012, discovered the graffiti Monday, she wrote on Twitter. One graffiti, written in misspelled French, read: “Jew, soon dead.” Another said: “Your time is coming soon, dirty Jew.” Ibn Ziaten, who has traveled to Israel in the framework of her activism against anti-Semitism and hatred, spoke at a convention of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jews of her indignation when she hears young Muslims speak of Merah as a martyr.A third read: “Long live Merah.”

Latrfa Ibn Ziaten has campaigned with French Jews against anti-Semitism.

read more

pics @

Belgium: Iraqi man with kippah and knives stopped at entrance to Antwerp synagogue

Via Times of Israel:
A non-Jewish Arab man wearing a kippah and carrying several concealed knives was intercepted by guards as he attempted to enter an Antwerp synagogue.

The 34-year-old Iraqi citizen was questioned by guards when he tried to enter the Romi Goldmuntz Synagoge in the Belgian city on Monday, during the holiday of Shavuot, the Joodse Actueel newspaper reported Tuesday. The man said he spoke neither Hebrew nor Yiddish but insisted he was a member of the city’s Jewish community, the report said, citing police sources.

The guards — members of the community’s Shmira security service — had approached the man with some suspicion because they saw him arrive on a bicycle, a means of transportation that few observant Jews in Antwerp use on Jewish holidays.

The man did speak good Flemish, the report said. The guards called police, who detained the man for questioning.

“He came in wearing a hat and a kippah and pretended to be Jewish, but it was immediately clear to us he did not belong to the Jewish community,” one guard, who was not named, told Joods Actueel.

Attempts to gain access to synagogues, which are restricted to worshipers for security reasons, are common in Antwerp. But such attempts by men carrying knives are extremely rare.

Still, the incident may not have been an attempted attack, Joods Actueel wrote. The knives he carried were small, not much larger than the blade of a pocket knife, and the man seemed not entirely focused, the report said.

read more

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Netherlands: Soccer fans beat Jew and sing song praising Nazis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

read more

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Monday, May 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

Germany: Nazis march in Duisburg


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

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Poland: Bishop delivers thinly veiled anti-Semitic sermon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Read more

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Germany: WhatsApp Has Become A Hotbed For Spreading Nazi Propaganda

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Sunday, April 28, 2019

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

Via Times of Israel:

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

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

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

read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

Monday, April 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

Thursday, March 28, 2019

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

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

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

read more

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

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

read more

Germany: Anti-Semitism 'deeply rooted' in German society: public prosecutor

Via The Local:
More than 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism remains entrenched in German society, Berlin's top legal expert on the matter says, admitting victims sometimes struggle to obtain justice.

"Anti-Semitism has always been here," said Claudia Vanoni, who is in charge of prosecuting cases targeting Jews.

"But I think that recently, it has again become louder, more aggressive and flagrant," she told AFP in an interview.

Last September, following a spate of such crimes, the Berlin authorities created the post of anti-Semitism commissioner, appointing Vanoni to the role.

read more

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Estonia: Police looking into verbal attack on head of Jewish Congregation

Several Estonian news portals have reported that Rabbi Shmuel Kot, head of the Estonian Jewish Congregation, was verbally attacked on his way to the Tallinn Synagogue on Saturday. According to a friend of Rabbi Kot, who wrote about the incident on social media, an Estonian-speaking man shouted antisemitic slurs at the rabbi and his family. The police are investigating the incident.

The reason why Rabbi Kot had not reported the incident right away is that his belief forbids the use of a telephone on shabbat. The incident has since been reported to the police, who are looking into the matter.
read more

Friday, March 15, 2019

Germany: Frankfurt’s mayor blasts Anne Frank NGO for comparing ISIS terrorists to Jews

Via Jerusalem Post:
The ballooning scandal over the Anne Frank center’s comparison between Jews who were stripped of their citizenship by the Nazi regime and the German government’s plan to revoke the citizenship of Islamic State terrorists sparked criticism from Frankfurt’s mayor on Wednesday.


The Center published a thread of five tweets on March 6 in which parallels were apparently drawn between persecuted German Jews who were forced into statelessness and Islamic State terrorists who could lose their citizenship under a German government plan.


The Center’s director, the Israeli-born Dr. Meron Mendel, refused to delete the Tweets. Mendel declined to say who wrote the controversial Tweets.

The Center told the Post on Twitter “No, we did not compare or equate Jewish holocaust victims to IS terrorists. And we made that very clear after some misinterpreted our tweet in that way. In no way did we defend jihadists. This is simply not true.”

read more

Poland: Right-wing newspaper’s front page teaches ‘how to recognize a Jew’

Via Times of Israel:
A right-wing newspaper with national distribution in Poland ran on its front page an article that instructs readers on “how to recognize a Jew.”

The Polish-language weekly, Tylko Polska, or “Only Poland,” lists on its front page “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities.”

The text also reads: “How to defeat them? This cannot go on!”
The page also features a headline reading, “Attack on Poland at a conference in Paris.” The reference is to a Holocaust studies conference last month during which Polish nationalists complained that speakers were anti-Polish. That article features a picture of Jan Gross, a Polish-Jewish Princeton University scholar of Polish complicity in the Holocaust and a frequent target of nationalist attacks.

Only Poland is published by Leszek Bubl, a fringe nationalist political candidate and sometime musician who has sung about “rabid” rabbis. The paper was spotted Wednesday at the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, as part of this week’s packet of periodicals.

Michał Kamiński, a conservative lawmaker, protested the article and its presence at the Sejm, Polsat news reported.

read more

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Norway prosecutor: Rapper’s ‘F**king Jews’ slur could be criticism of Israel

Via Times of Israel:
A Norwegian rapper who cursed Jews while performing at an event in Oslo promoting multiculturalism will not be charged with hate speech because his words may have been criticism of Israel, prosecutors said.

Kaveh Kholardi said “f***ing Jews” on stage at an event last year for which he was hired by the city.

Tor-Aksel Busch, Norway’s director of public prosecutions — a title equivalent to attorney general – rejected legal action last week, the news site reported Sunday.

Pro-Israel activists had filed a police complaint but it was dismissed. Busch rejected their appeal, explaining that whereas what Kholardi said “seems to be targeting Jews, it can however also be said to express dissatisfaction with the policies of the State of Israel.”

At the concert, the rapper wished Muslims a happy Eid al-Fitr holiday and acknowledged Christian listeners. He did not mention Israel.

On June 10, 2018, five days before the concert, Kholardi wrote on Twitter “f***ing Jews are so corrupt.”

read more

UK: Leicestershire councillor faces anti-Semitic abuse in letters

Via BBC:
A man said he is "disappointed" police did not investigate anti-Semitic abuse he received for displaying an Israeli flag at his micro-pub.

Councillor Michael Wyatt got letters and messages online after putting up the flag as part of a gin festival in Coalville, Leicestershire.

He said the abuse started five months ago and "got pretty scary".

Leicestershire Police said the case was "not further progressed" after being reported but would now be investigated.

Liberal Democrat Mr Wyatt, who is not Jewish, displayed the flags at Bitter & Twisted to reflect worldwide gins he was selling.

He said letters demanded he take the Israeli flag down "because it was offensive".

He was also sent threatening messages on Facebook and abused in the pub.

"It started with letters about Jewish people, then saying I was a Hamas supporter and making comments about me defending Palestinians," he said.

"It's a nice town and I don't expect to see material like that through my post."
read more

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Belgium: I spoke to the creators of the anti-Semitic carnival float. They’re not sorry.

Via JTA:
I had hoped to introduce some nuance to what was condemned universally as crass racism. Were the creators aware that they were trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes? Did they get carried away in the aesthetics of the float without really considering the content? Was there a level of irony or parody an outsider couldn’t understand?

But rather than offering real explanations, or even expressing any regret for the fallout or trying to acknowledge where it came from, Soleme doubled down. The 52-year-old father of three, who works for the Aalst Police Department, said he thought the float was funny and cited the support of his mayor.

“Mayor Christoph D’Haese totally has our backs, he told us we’ve done nothing wrong,” Soleme told me. D’Haese even told the group that his office would cover any fine imposed by the authorities, Selome said.

D’Haese defended the Vismooil’n group, saying on Tuesday that its float was not intended to offend and that “such things should be allowed at the Aalst Carnaval.” The event was added in 2010 to UNESCO’s list of events that contribute to the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

Filip de Vidts, a technician and the secretary of Vismooil’n, even referred me to D’Haese for a reaction. Treasurer Johan de Plecker, who works for the Education Ministry, did not reply to my request for an interview.

As for Soleme, he has “absolutely no regrets” about participating in the display.

“I think the people who are offended are living in the past, of the Holocaust, but this was about the present,” he said. “There was never any intention to insult anyone. It was a celebration of humor.”

The Jewish theme, he said, was “because we weren’t sure we’d be doing a 2020 tour [because of rising costs]. So that would mean we’d be taking a sabbatical, and it went on from there.”
read more

France: 'Vandalized' synagogue memorial - an accident

Via Israel National News:
Damage to a memorial marking the site of Strasbourg's Old Synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, was caused accidentally by a motorist and was not an act of anti-Semitism, a French police source has said.

The incident last weekend sparked outrage, with Strasbourg deputy mayor Alain Fontanel describing it as an "act of vandalism" and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemning "another shocking anti-Semitic incident".

A police probe using surveillance cameras revealed that a 31-year-old man reversed into the memorial after leaving a nearby nightclub with friends, the source told AFP on Thursday.

"At this stage, no anti-Semitic nature has been detected," the source said, adding the driver has been summoned to court in June over hit and run charges. 

read more

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

UK: "In my personal experience, anti-Semitic sentiments are usually conveyed with a wink and a nod"

Frank Furedi @ Spiked:
There is a spiral of silence surrounding anti-Semitism today. Statements signalling negative views towards Jews are almost always coupled with the phrase, ‘I am not anti-Semitic’. In my personal experience, anti-Semitic sentiments are usually conveyed with a wink and a nod. For example, recently I was having a drink with a well-known English public figure after a panel discussion. Suddenly, he got animated by ‘those people who work at Goldman Sachs’. When I pretended not to understand and asked, ‘What do you mean by those people’, he looked away in embarrassment. His reaction spoke to a growing phenomenon – the anti-Semitism of bad faith.

Monday, March 11, 2019

France: Synagogue memorial stone vandalised in antisemitic attack (update: it was a car accident)

Update: turns out this was an accident

Via Independent:
A memorial stone marking the site of a former synagogue destroyed by the Nazis has been vandalised in Strasbourg.

Officials said the heavy memorial stone was discovered moved from its base in the French city on Saturday morning.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries denounced the incident as “a new antisemitic act”.

French officials in the region said that antisemitism “undermines the values of the republic”.

The monument commemorates a synagogue built in 1898 that was set on fire and razed to the ground by the Nazis in 1940.
read more

Belgium: Antisemitic carnival float had puppets of smiling Jews, sacks of money and a rat

Via Independent:

A carnival parade which featured Jewish caricatures standing amid piles of money has been compared to Nazi antisemitic propaganda and provoked fierce criticism in Belgium.

One float in the city of Aalst’s annual feast on Sunday was decorated with two huge figures of men with large sideburns, crooked noses and wearing shtreimels, a fur hat worn by some Orthodox Jews. One had a rat on his shoulder.

It was followed by several trucks on which dozens of dancing people wore similar outfits.

“The caricatures, like those of Der Stürmer, of Jews with a crooked nose and suitcases, are typical of the Nazism of 1939,” a spokesperson for Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations said. ”This has no place in 2019, carnival or not. The Jewish community naturally accepts humour is very important in a society, but there are limits that cannot be exceeded.”

read more

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

UK: Labour deputy flags tweets by party members accusing Jews of murdering kids

Via Times of Israel:
Lawmakers in Britain’s Labour opposition party have reportedly flagged social media posts from members accusing Jews of murdering children and questioning whether Jewish parliamentarians have “human blood.”

MP Tom Watson, the deputy chief of Labour, said he received 50 complaints of anti-Semitism last week from Labour colleagues, and called on leader Jeremy Corbyn to personally take them before the party’s top governing body.

According to a Sunday report in the Guardian, the complaints received by Watson included a number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter by Labour members, such as one alleging “Jews murder people and children.”
“Wonder why Jewish people are hated wherever they’ve settled over last 2000 years. Their double dealing, back stabbing, cheating chilling coldness has always only one outcome. I wonder what the average period of time is before people fed up with the anti-social Jews kick em out,” read one of the tweets, according to the report.

Another tweet said Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was an “illegitimate Rothschild,” the Jewish banking family at the center of numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, while another questioned whether Jewish officials in Labour have “human blood.”

“Their hearts and brains totally devoid of humanity,” the Twitter post reportedly said.

read more

Monday, February 25, 2019

Poland: Antisemitic signs on buildings in Warsaw

At the beginning of the week, huge signs were hung on the walls of several residential buildings in Warsaw with the inscription “These buildings will soon be returned to the Jews to meet their demands.”

read more

France: Rise in antisemitic attacks, Yellow Vests leader voices support for anti-Zionism

Via Jerusalem Post:
Only a few days after the Macron said he would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, also stating that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, the country saw a rise in antisemitic incidents lately.

It seems that Macron's words created the opposite effect in France, and the Bureau for the War on Antisemitism called the rise in incidents as "frightening." Among other incidents, graffiti were found condemning Jews in various parts of the country.


A 17-year-old riding a bicycle in a suburb north of Paris, was attacked by three unknown assailants who called him "dirty Jew", broke his wrist and robbed his cell phone, all for wearing a kippah.

A 51-year-old woman was attacked near her home in Garez-les-Gons by two men with knives. The two called out to her, "Jewish whore, we'll burn all of you."

In another incident, people inscribed "dirty Jew" on the nameplate of a Jewish doctor on the facade of a dental clinic in Paris whereas they did not touch the label of his colleague a non-Jewish doctor.

There were also reports of Jews in the country receiving death threats by phone and mail, sometimes accompanied by swastikas.

Jerome Rodriguez, one of the prominent leaders of the yellow vests movement in France, who lost his eye from a rubber bullet fired by the police, told Maariv that his movement was not antisemitic. (...)  According to Rodriguez, he did not take part in a demonstration against antisemitism because he was "busy visiting his movement's checkpoints in various parts of the country." However, he added that if he had time, he would prefer to participate in a demonstration organized by an anti-Zionist organization that supports boycotting Israel".

read more

UK: Spate of antisemitic attacks in Stamford Hill probed by police

Via Jewish News:
There has been a spate of alleged antisemitic attacks in Stamford Hill in the past week, with reports of bricks thrown in the windows of Jewish homes and a family subjected to abuse on Shabbat. 

The Met Police received reports a man was allegedly punched by one of four women who apprehended him and shouted antisemitic abuse at around 11.40am last Saturday.

According to the neighbourhood watch group Stamford Hill Shomrim, the man was leaving Shul with his family when he was allegedly punched and called a “germ on society”.

However, the Met Police said they closed the case after the victim failed to attend an appointment.

The victim, who did not wish to be named, told Jewish News: “My family witnessed it, and they are still in shock.

“My son woke up last night crying about it and was all traumatised.

“I was trying to calm him down as best as possible and trying my best to speak to him about it. It’s not an easy thing to explain.”

The father said he did not attend the meeting because of a lack of faith in the system. “The punishment is always minor when it comes to antisemitism,” he added.

On Wednesday, a man walked into a clothing shop in Clapton Common at around 1.30pm and shouted antisemitic abuse at a shop assistant.

The Met Police said the incident took place after the man asked whether the shop assistant wanted the windows cleaned and disputed the price they had agreed on.

Shomrim added the suspect had allegedly shouted: “Hitler should have called [ed. killed] all the Jews”. 

read more

Sunday, February 24, 2019

France declares anti-Zionism a form of antisemitism in crackdown on racism against Jewish people

Via Independent:
Emmanuel Macron has declared anti-Zionism a form of antisemitism as he ramps up France’s crackdown on racism against Jewish people.

Speaking at the 34th annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, Mr Macron said a surge in antisemitic attacks in his country had not been seen since World War Two.

He promised a new law to tackle hate speech on the internet and said France would adopt the definition of antisemitism set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The IHRA definition does not use the phrase "anti-Zionism" but does say denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination "e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour," is antisemitic.


Mr Macron's words were well received from the World Jewish Congress which said: "This is just the beginning of a long road ahead. Adopting this definition of anti-Semitism must be followed by concrete steps to encode into law and ensure that this is enforced."

The IHRA definition is not legally binding but does serve as an international guideline.

Germany and Britain adopted the definition in texts in 2016, though the European Union adopted a softer tone, calling the IHRA definition a "guidance tool" amid concern from some member states that it could make criticism of Israeli policy, particularly with regards to Palestinians, difficult.

read more

Germany: foundation under fire for awarding prize to antisemitic BDS group

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Central Council of Jews in Germany and American Jewish organizations blasted the Roland Röhl Foundation for its decision to award in March a peace prize to a BDS group which is widely considered to be antisemitic.
The group is called Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East and is an energetic supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets the Jewish state.

The nearly 100,000 member Central Council of Jews in Germany classified Jewish Voice as an “antisemitic association,” according to a German DPA wire service report.

Dr. Josef Schuster, the president of the council, wrote a letter last week the city of Göttingen’s Mayor Rolf-Georg Köhler urging him to take a stand against the antisemitism prevalent in the group.

“The association is an active supporter of events of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel,” wrote Schuster, adding “I certainly do not have to explain which historical precursors have had boycotts against Jewish institutions or Jews in Germany, and what associations are created with such actions.”

Schuster was referring to Hitler movement to boycott Jewish businesses – a nascent phase in the Holocaust. Köhler, who is a member of the foundation’s board, announced on Wednesday that the city will not participate in the award ceremony this year, according to a report in the daily paper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten by the journalists Thoralf Cleven and Ansgar Nehls.

In response to Schuster’s criticism, the mayor called for the slated March 9 event to be suspended until the antisemitic allegation could be clarified.
read more

UK: Students at Oxford call for provision that would prohibit kosher meat

Via Jerusalem Post:
A student association at Oxford University passed a non-binding motion to effectively ban all kosher meat.
The Junior Common Room, a student government association at Oxford’s Somerville College, called on the college to only serve meat that has been stunned before being killed, according to the BBC. That requirement would exclude kosher meat, which cannot be stunned before slaughter.

A spokesman for the college said the college is looking into the request, but will also be expanding its kosher and halal meat offerings.

read more

Friday, February 22, 2019

Bulgaria: 2,000 torch-wielding nationalists march through Sofia to honor pro-Nazi general

Via Times of Israel:
Thousands of far-right activists held a torch-lit march through Bulgarian capital Sofia Saturday to honor a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.

The annual Lukov March, staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union, attracted some 2,000 dark-clad supporters who walked through downtown Sofia holding torches and Bulgarian flags and chanting nationalist slogans. A number of far-right activists from other countries also took part in the march.

It came despite strong condemnation by human rights groups, political parties and foreign embassies. The city mayor had banned the rally but organizers won a court order overturning the ban.
read more

France: TV cuts Facebook live feed from Jewish cemetery after anti-Semitic abuse

Via euronews:
A French TV channel said on Wednesday it had been forced to cut short a live Facebook broadcast from a desecrated Jewish cemetery in eastern France because of an onslaught of anti-Semitic commentary.

Separately, two swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were found painted in red on a monument at a different cemetery near Lyon.


France 3 television said it went live from the first cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim on Tuesday as President Emmanuel Macron was visiting to pay his respects after more than 90 graves were vandalised with swastikas and anti-Semitic abuse.

But as it broadcast footage online to its more than 1.3 million Facebook followers, the feed was inundated with anti-Semitic commentary and abuse.

"We are talking about explicit death threats, comments that were openly anti-Semitic and racist, including "Heil Hitler", "dirty Jew" or "dirty Jews", comments that were addressed at Emmanuel Macron and representatives of the Jewish community," the channel said in a statement explaining its decision.

"Within minutes, the number of vile and illegal comments had gone well beyond our capacity to moderate them," it explained, adding that it would have taken 10 or 20 staff to handle the onslaught. "We refuse to traffic in hatred."

read more

Ukraine: Anti-Semitic images painted on memorial to desecrated Jewish cemetery

Via JTA:
Unidentified individuals painted anti-Semitic cartoons on a memorial wall in Ukraine that was made of ancient Jewish headstones destroyed by Soviet authorities.

The graffiti found this week in the western city of Kolomyya show a man tossing a Star of David in the trash. The memorial wall commemorates one of three Jewish cemeteries that existed there before they were razed and plundered.

Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, on Tuesday wrote on Facebook that the act was typical of a recent spate of anti-Semitic vandalism in Ukraine.
read more

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Poland: Amid tensions over the Holocaust, Jewish cemeteries vandalized

Two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in Poland amid a fresh diplomatic crisis between that country and Israel over complicity in the Holocaust.

In the city of Świdnica, a suburb of Wroclaw in southwestern Poland, at least 15 headstones were smashed last week at the local Jewish cemetery. Other headstones were painted with black graffiti, including one of a pentagram – a symbol associated with Satanism.

Local police are investigating possible anti-Semitic motives, the website Wmeritum reported.

The cemetery had seen previous incidents, Monika Krawczyk, chairwoman-elect of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“The evil comes back,” she added.

Separately, in Wroclaw the words “Jesus is King” were written on the fence of another Jewish cemetery on Feb. 13. Several locals showed up earlier this week to paint over the slogan, Gazeta Wroclawska reported Sunday.
read more

Bulgaria: Synagogue in Sofia vandalized by stone-throwing incident

From Jerusalem Post:
The Great Prayer Hall of the Central Synagogue in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, was subjected to an attack in which stones were thrown through the temple windows by "unidentified assailants" on Saturday witnesses said, according to The Algemeiner.

Bulgaria and the its capital are no strangers to antisemitism and have even been subjected to other attacks over recent weeks, including graffiti depicting swastikas and an antisemitic slogan covering a monument meant to memorialize those who fell victim to the ruling Communist regime in Bulgaria during World War II.

read more

France: Teens fire air rifle at synagogue in Paris on Friday, injuring one

Via Jerusalem Post:
Two teenagers fired shots from an air rifle at a synagogue in Paris on Friday night, lightly injuring a Jewish man in the leg, French media reported on Tuesday.

According to the Le Parisien newspaper, the attack was staged against a synagogue in the Sarcelles suburb of Paris from an apartment facing the building.
Police searched the apartment and confiscated a 4.5mm calibre rifle, while the teenagers themselves were arrested on Saturday. The state prosecutor believes that the attack was carried out for antisemitic motives.

The president of the Jewish community of Sarcelles was quoted as saying, however, that he believed the attack was not antisemitic, adding that it was carried out due to “stupidity” and that the teenagers would have shot anyone. But he said he was still concerned about antisemitism in the suburb.

read more

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Ukraine: Mall displays Nazi swastika on staircase

Via Jerusalem Post:

A shopping mall in Ukraine that is located on a street named for a collaborator with the Nazis decorated a staircase with a large swastika.

Images and footage from inside the Horodok shopping mall on Kiev’s Bandera Avenue surfaced Monday on Facebook.
They show shoppers climbing up and down the staircase, whose middle-section stairs feature a large swastika locked in a white rhombus encircled by red, similar to Nazi Germany’s flag. The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

The street used to be Called Moscow Avenue. It was named for Bandera in 2016 despite protests by some Jewish community leaders and Ukrainian Poles, whose community also suffered war crimes by Bandera’s troops.

read more

France: 80 graves vandalised at Jewish cemetery in eastern France

Via Local:
Swastikas and anti-Semitic tags were found daubed over 80 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France on Tuesday on the day of nationwide marches against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

The damage was discovered on Tuesday morning at a cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close to the border with Germany in the Alsace region, a statement from the regional security office said.

read more

UK: Seven Labour MPs resign citing ‘institutional’, ‘sickening’ antisemitism

Via Jewish Chronicle:
Seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party citing institutional antisemitism as among the main reasons for their departure.

At a press conference in London, Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger said she was "embarrassed and ashamed" to be a member of the Labour Party which she said was "institutionally antisemitic" and had "a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation". Ms Berger has long been a target for antisemitic Labour activists who have plied her with abuse and death threats.

The other MPs to speak cited antisemitism as their reason for leaving but added several other reasons, primary among which was Labour’s direction over Brexit.

The second MP to speak, Chris Leslie, who represents Nottingham East, said: "It has not been an easy decision for any of us" adding that the party had been "hijacked by the machine politics of the extreme left".

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes said: "I am sickened that Labour is now a racist, antisemitic party" and "furious that the Labour leadership is complicit in this".

read more

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Norway: Newspaper apologizes for using phrase ‘Jewish question’

Via Jerusalem Post:
Editor in chief said the print headline was an editing error and the words "should never have been used"

Norway's largest print newspaper apologized this week for running an article about Israel and antisemitism that used the phrase "the Jewish question" in the headline.

That phrase has a long history of being used to demean, dehumanize and stigmatize Jewish people, both before and during the Holocaust.
Espen Egil Hansen, the editor in chief of Aftenposten, issued a lengthy apology for the original article - which ran in the newspaper last week. In a full page commentary in Monday's newspaper, Hansen apologized for the original article, which was headlined in print: "The Jewish question splits the left on both sides of the Atlantic." The article examined accusations of antisemitism against figures including US Rep. Ilhan Omar and UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Hansen took full responsibility for the unfortunate wording.

read more

Germany: Anti-Semitic acts reach 10-year peak, police data shows

Via EuroNews:
Anti-Semitic offences rose by almost 10% in Germany last year, according to preliminary data released by police on Wednesday.

Some 1,646 anti-Semitic acts were reported in 2018, according to police, marking their highest level in the past decade. Sixty-two of these acts were violent, wounding 43 people.

The preliminary figures were released at the request of Die Linke left-wing party, and the final study will be published in May.


In Germany, one of the reasons behind the current jump of antisemitic acts is the rising popularity of the far-right AFD party, said Carsten Nickel, Managing Director of the think tank Teneo.

Since the 2015 migration crisis, Germany has seen a resurgence of far-right sentiment tainted with antisemitism which was impossible just 10 year ago due to German history, Carsten told Euronews.

The far-right's political strategy has been to blame migrants, which come predominantly from Muslim countries, for the resurgence of anti-Jewish hatred in Germany. "Muslim immigration might be part of the story, but I don't think that's the only story," Carsten said.

read more

UK: Bringing up antisemitism ‘is upsetting Labour staff’

Via Times:
Labour’s general secretary has warned MPs that public criticism of the way antisemitism allegations have been handled is “distressing” for party staff.

Jennie Formby, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, said that the party had received nearly 700 complaints linked to antisemitic abuse by party members since April last year and had expelled 12 people.

Dame Margaret Hodge, the MP for Barking, disputed this, saying that she alone had made complaints about 200 members. Ms Formby said this was not correct, claiming that Dame Margaret’s complaints related to 111 individuals, 20 of whom were Labour members.
read more

Sunday, February 17, 2019

UK: Survey of left-wing Twitter accounts shows nearly a fifth promote or engage in antisemitism

Via Jewish Chronicle:
A survey of thousands of left-wing social media accounts by Hope Not Hate found that nearly a fifth promote or engage in antisemitism.

The anti-fascist group’s “State of Hate 2019” report into racism — to be published on Monday — analysed 27,000 Twitter profiles that follow a selection of UK-based left-wing accounts which “regularly spread antisemitic ideas”.

Of the 27,000 accounts, the charity found up to 5,000 of them — just under 19 per cent — have expressed antisemitic ideas twice or more on social media.

Some of the accounts posted over 100 tweets that could be clearly identified as antisemitic, featuring tropes such as Jewish control of the media or banking system. 

Hope Not Hate described the results as “worrying” and said urgent action needed to be taken against social media accounts disseminating antisemitic ideas.

read more

France: Jewish Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut Attacked by Yellow Vest Protesters in Paris

Via Haaretz:
French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was the target of an anti-Semitic attack Saturday night, French media outlets reported.

The philosopher, whose writing focuses on the ideas of tradition and identitary violence (including Jewish identity and anti-Semitism), was assaulted by Yellow Vest protesters who have taken to France's streets in recent months to demonstrate the country's rising fuel prices.

In videos that documented the incident, protesters can be heard yelling: "Dirty Jew" and "you're a hater, you're going to die, you're going to hell," while others called on the thinker to "go home" and "return to Tel Aviv."

In a different clip demonstrators can be heard screaming anti-Semitic profanities such as "dirty Zionist shit." 

read more

Other insults hurled at Finkielkraut:
"France is ours!"
"Dirty race!"
"The people will punish you!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Netherlands: Textbook omits Jewish connection to Jerusalem

Via Times of Israel:
A Dutch publisher that previously created school textbooks accusing Israelis of ethnic cleansing has released a new volume omitting Jerusalem’s significance to Jews.

The omission occurred in a textbook about social issues titled “Plein M” by Nordhoff Publishers for preparatory middle-level applied education level schools, including public schools. It states Jerusalem is holy to Muslims and Christians, but does not mention its holiness to Jews.

It also states that Jews and Christians were “mostly treated well” by Arabs throughout history. It does not mention capital taxes and many pogroms perpetrated against Jews in Arab countries before and during the flight of at least 800,000 Jews from those countries in the 20th century. Today, there are fewer than 7,000 Jews living in Arab countries.

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

Likoed Nederland, a pro-Israel group, called the book a form of “historical falsification” in a statement Sunday, adding it “reads like Palestinian propaganda.”

read more

France: Outrage as swastikas, 'Jews' scrawled on Jewish symbols

Via France24:
A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts in France.

Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.

After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.

On Monday, municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for a annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honour had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.

The police are investigating the incident, which the French government's special representative on racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as "ignominious".

It is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts and attacks that have raised fears of a new wave of anti-Jewish violence in a country that is home to Europe's biggest Jewish population.

In two separate incidents in the past two days, swastikas were drawn on Paris postboxes containing portraits of late Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and the word Juden (German for Jews) was sprayed on the window of a bagel bakery in the capital.
read more

UK: London’s Jewish Housing Association Defeats Discrimination Challenge

Via Hamodia:
A ruling issued by the Divisional Court of the High Court of Justice in London, made public on Tuesday, has upheld the right of an Orthodox Jewish Housing Association to allocate housing exclusively to Jewish families.

Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA) was founded to serve the U.K.’s Orthodox Jewish community and builds, part-owns and manages properties in London, Salford and Canvey Island.

The claimants against AIHA, who are not Jewish, had wanted to be allocated a home in AIHA’s new Aviv development in Stamford Hill, but were not given the chance to bid. The claim against Hackney London Borough Council and AIHA, challenged AIHA’s policy of allocating its social housing properties on the basis that they precluded any persons who are not members of the Orthodox Jewish community from becoming tenants. The claimants applied for a Judicial Review of the case.

Following a detailed investigation of the social housing market, and the specific characteristics of Hackney’s Orthodox Jewish Community, including anti-Semitism and religious needs, the Divisional Court ruled that AIHA’s policy was lawful and found against the application for Judicial Review, concluding that AIHA served a specific need and tried to do so with access to only 1 percent of Hackney’s social housing stock

In what is potentially a landmark ruling, the court recognized that Orthodox Jewish community members’ way of life requires them to live close by each other as a community – to the extent that many prefer to live in unsuitable properties rather than to move away from their community.

It also sadly acknowledged widespread and increasing overt anti-Semitism in society and prejudice, including in the private rental sector, specifically against Orthodox Jews, due to their higher visibility as Jewish.

read more

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Germany: Frankfurt city hall poster campaign calls for solidarity with Jewish community

Via Jerusalem Post:
Posters issued by the municipal authority of Frankfurt bearing words of support for the city’s Jewish community have been plastered across the metropolis this week in an act of solidarity with Frankfurt’s Jews.

The posters, titled “Together in Frankfurt” and bearing an image of a man wearing a kippah with a design of the Frankfurt skyline on it, were hung as an initiative to highlight the contribution of Jews to the city and as a statement against antisemitism, which recent studies have found is still prevalent in Europe.

“Jewish life is an ancient tradition in Frankfurt and is an inseparable part of the city’s identity,” reads the text of the poster, and goes on to describe the contribution of the Jewish community to the city’s culture and status as a financial center.

Noting the “wounds” caused by “the Holocaust and the terrible era of the Nazis,” the municipality said that “Today we are able to be happy that Jewish life has returned and has an established and important status in our city.”

The poster asserts that “Antisemitism is not only a problem for Jewish society, it is a problem for all of society and therefore the obligation is on our shoulders, every day, to strengthen cooperation and to stand strong and determined against any phenomenon or sign of antisemitic discrimination and racism.”

read more

UK: Antisemitic incidents at record high for third year in a row

Via Guardian:

Jewish community leaders and politicians have condemned a third successive year with a record number of antisemitic incidents.
Last year, 1,652 incidents, a 16% increase on 2017, were logged by the Community Security Trust, which has monitored antisemitism for 35 years and provides security to the UK Jewish community.

The CST said the spread of incidents throughout the year, with more than 100 a month, indicated a general atmosphere of intolerance and prejudice. However, there were also spikes related to events in Gaza and the argument over antisemitism in the Labour party.

The biggest number of incidents were in April and May (151 and 182 respectively), when scores of Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured in protests at the border fence between Gaza and Israel. May was the highest monthly total recorded since August 2014, when there was a major conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

In total, there were 173 incidents recorded that explicitly showed anti-Israel motivation alongside antisemitism, the CST said.

It also recorded 148 incidents over the year that were explicitly related to arguments over alleged antisemitism in Labour, with 49 in August when there was significant media and political attention on the issue.

read more

Monday, February 11, 2019

Denmark: Copenhagen mayor awards BDS activists for their courage

Via Mondoweiss:

The award was presented to BDS activists Ronnie Barkan, Majed Abusalama and Stavit Sinai (known as “Humboldt 3”) by Copenhagen’s Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, Ninna Hedeager Olsen, at a ceremony in Copenhagen’s City Hall Thursday. It stated that

    Mr. Barkan and his colleagues have worked tirelessly to reveal the Apartheid-like nature of the Israeli regime and its systematic violation of international law. By doing so, the Copenhagen Courageous laureates have sown the seeds for a peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians based on truth and justice.

(Full statement here).
read more

Germany: Passerby severely injured trying to stop assault on Jewish man

Via Times of Israel:
A man who tried to prevent a suspected anti-Semitic assault at a German train station was severely beaten by the alleged culprit.

The incident unfolded on Jan. 23 at the train station of Langen, a southern suburb of Frankfurt. An inebriated 27-year-old German citizen of Cameroonian descent accosted verbally and then shoved to the ground a much older man who was dressed like an Orthodox Jew, the Hessenschau newspaper reported Tuesday.

The older man got up and boarded a train unscathed, but a passerby who intervened ended up being injured much more seriously by the alleged aggressor, the paper reported. The 48-year-old victim was pummeled repeatedly and severely injured on his face and hands, the report said. 
read more

Hungary: Magazine publishes anti-Semitic image of Jewish leader on cover

Via JTA:
A Hungarian Jewish leader was pictured on the cover of a pro-government magazine surrounded by images of money.

The image of Andras Heisler, head of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, or Mazsihisz, the country’s largest Jewish group, was published late last week on the front page of the Figyelo weekly.

The magazine accuses Heisler and Mazsihisz of accounting irregularities in connection with a state-funded synagogue renovation project in Budapest including a Jewish museum, according to the AFP news service. Mazsihisz denies the allegation.

The cover image “revives centuries-old stereotypes against our community,” the group said in a statement published on its website.

“The appearance on a front cover of such incitement against a religious leader without any factual basis is unprecedented,” the statement said, calling it “deliberate character assassination.”

The cover was published about a day after the Hungarian government pledged to spend $1.7 million every year on projects to combat anti-Semitism in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe, according to the AFP.
read more

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Finland: Soldiers Participated in Mass Murders of Jews During World War II, Report Finds

Via Haaretz:
A report released Friday by the National Archives of Finland found that Finnish soldiers participated in mass murders of Jews, foreign civilians, and Russian prisoners of war during World War II.

The report concluded that 1,408 Finns volunteered in the Nazis’ Fifth SS Panzer Division (Wiking), and participated in massacres in Ukraine and the Caucasus between 1941 and 1943.

It’s hard to determine how many Jews and other people were murdered with the participation of Finnish soldiers, the report said, but the figure probably totals around 10,000 people. The massacres took place in dozens of cities, including Hrymailiv, Ozerna, Skalat, Tarnopol, Zboriv, Zolochiv, and Krivichi, mostly in the summer of 1941.

The study was initiated following a request by Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who has exposed hundreds of war criminals over the years. A year ago, Zuroff wrote to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and asked that Finland carry out in-depth research on the subject in light of new findings about the involvement of Finnish soldiers in the murder of Ukrainian Jews.

Zuroff acknowledged that this would be a painful step for Finland, but argued that it is "the only way to courageously face the mistakes of the past and to prevent such crimes in the future." 
read more

France: Paris bagel shop window vandalized by Yellow Vest protesters

Via Kann News:

A Jewish bagel shop's window was vandalized by Yellow Vest protesters.  The word "Juden" was graffitied on the Bagelstein shop window

Iceland: Local Icon Makes Anti-Semitic Remarks Regarding Eurovision, Takes It Back And Apologises

Via Reykjavik Grapevine:
Musician and Eurovision enthusiast Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, who is currently pressing for Iceland to withdraw from Eurovision this year on account of it being held in Tel Aviv, made some decidedly anti-Semitic remarks on national broadcasting radio yesterday. Hours later, he posted a lengthy apology.

Thousands of Icelanders currently support boycotting Eurovision as it takes place in Israel this year; support for Eurovision, it is argued, expresses tacit support for the Israeli government’s policies regarding the Palestinian people. While Iceland ultimately decided to participate, the debate is far from over, and Páll Óskar has been amongst the most vocal supporters of a boycott.

However, when speaking with radio station Rás 1 yesterday, he made remarks regarding Jewish people as a whole that crossed the line from criticism of the Israeli government into more sweeping generalisations.

The reason why the rest of Europe has been virtually silent is that Jews have woven themselves into the fabric of Europe in a very sly way for a very long time. It is not at all hip and cool to be pro-Palestine in Britain,” he said, saying at the interview’s conclusion: “The tragedy is that Jews learned nothing from the Holocaust. Instead, they have taken up the exact same policy of their worst enemy.”

The remarks were met with sharp criticism from many Icelanders, and hours later, Páll Óskar posted an apology and retraction.

“I admit unreservedly that I put the Israeli government, the Israeli military and the Jewish people under the same hat,” he wrote. “I made judgements and generalisations about Jewish people. … I take full responsibility for these words, take back my remarks about Jewish people, they are wrong and hurtful. I will take responsibility in actions, from this point forward, and will never again speak ill of the Jewish people, wherever in the world they may live.”

read more

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Netherlands: Jew harassed in Amsterdam town square, hours after Holocaust memorial ceremony

Via WNL:

Michael Jacobs, a pro-Israel activist, often stands in Dam Square protesting against pro-Palestinian demonstrations.  This often leads to clashes.

On Sunday, a few hours after a Holocaust memorial ceremony, he again stood to protest a pro-Palestinian protest, and harassed by a young man who cursed Jews and yelled at him repeatedly "aren't you ashamed of being Jewish?". 

YouTube removed the clip documenting of the incident, for "violating YouTube's Terms of Service".

Italy: Woman attacked in Rome

Rome – “Today in Rome: I’m standing in front of Feltrinelli, waiting for a person, a guy with a   swastika on his arm, approach to me and spitt in my face, I was so shocked that I did not even react. He probably did it because I had a canvas bag from the Yiddish course in Tel Aviv, proof of antisemitism .

read more

Monday, January 28, 2019

France: Court Sentences Antisemite Alain Soral to One-Year Prison Term for Incitement

Via Algemeiner (h/t glykosymoritis):
One of France’s most vocal antisemites, Alain Soral, was sentenced to a year in prison by a criminal court in Paris on Thursday, after he was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in an article that described Jews as “manipulative, domineering and hateful.”
 The offending article was published last March on Soral’s playfully-titled Égalité et Réconciliation (“Equality and Reconciliation”) website — an online home for antisemitic, extreme nationalist and anti-capitalist activists and writers.
 Following the announcement of Soral’s sentence, the French Union of Jewish Students (EUJF) tweeted, “Justice has put a new stop on this little propagandist of hatred.”
Originally a communist, the Swiss-born Soral crossed to the far-right National Front (FN) before carving out his own path in 2007. A purveyor of conspiracy theories about “Jewish” and “Zionist” power, Soral has for several years worked closely with Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, an antisemitic propagandist who presents himself as a comedian.

read more

Poland: Far-right group leads anti-Semitic protest at Auschwitz during commemoration ceremony

Via Independent:
Far-right Polish nationalists organised an anti-Semitic protest during a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Auschwitz.

The small group of hardline activists held their demonstration inside the former concentration camp at the same time as the official Holocaust commemorations on Sunday.

The 50 protestors from the Polish Independence Movement were led by Piotr Rybak, who was once jailed for burning an effigy of a Jew.

Mr Rybak told reporters they were there to oppose the official – and historically accurate – narrative that millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis with the active collaboration of some Poles.

"It's time to fight against Jewry and free Poland from them,” Mr Rybak said, a Polish newspaper reported.

read more

Greece: Jewish cemetery memorial in Thessaloniki targeted, again

Via ekathimerini:
A monument on the campus of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University (AUT) which commemorates a Jewish cemetery destroyed by the Nazis was targeted again by vandals on Friday.

The perpetrators smashed the marble commemorative signs placed in the old cemetary which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1942.

This is the third time the monument has been targeted. In July 2018, vandals twice daubed paint and painted a cross on the monument.

read more

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Italy: Focus on racist and anti-Semitic chants is a 'psychosis', say Lazio

Via France24:
Lazio blasted as "a psychosis focusing on either a minority or non-existent incidents" after racist and anti-Semitic chants overshadowed the team's 4-1 Italian Cup win over Novara at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The chanting early in the first half was heard in Lazio's North End and was aimed at the club's bitter city rivals AS Roma, with taunts of "Yellow, red and Jewish" and "This Roma that looks like Africa".

It also targeted police who had clashed with fans on Wednesday at Piazza della Liberta in the capital when celebrations to mark the club's 119th anniversary turned violent.

Eight police were injured and four supporters arrested.

"I am here to talk about the racist and anti-Semitic chants that are supposed to have happened," club spokesman Arturo Diaconale told a press conference after the game.

"I am one of the 98 percent of people in the stadium who didn't hear them.

"The club naturally condemns any racist or anti-Semitic chants, but we have to consider the dimensions of the phenomenon.

"I think it's a form of psychosis focusing on either a minority or non-existent incidents.

"I read about chants as if the entire stadium had participated. We mustn't turn this into a mass panic over nothing. I invite our colleagues in the media to give the right degree of consideration to incidents that would normally be ignored," added Diaconale.

read more