Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ukraine: Senior economist says Ukrainians let Jews ‘dominate’ them

Via JTA:
A senior economist in Ukraine said the country’s leaders secretly are serving Israel.

Local Jews said Joseph Sytnik, a department head at the Lviv Polytechnic University, was espousing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Sytnik penned the text on Tuesday and posted the essay on Facebook alongside photographs of Israel visits by Ukraine’s current president, Vlodymyr Zelensky, and previous prime minister, Vldymyr Groysman, who are Jewish, and former president Petro Proshenko, who is not. Each of the men was shown wearing a kippah.

Back home, Sytnik wrote, Ukrainian politicians are “sinners, advancing slavery and self-destruction.”

But “at the Western Wall in Jerusalem they take off their Ukrainian masks for a moment, refuse their roles, which they perform spectacular in Ukraine and become real. For in that place they have a drop of conscience, faith, sense of duty and responsibility for their roots, there they feel fear for their sins, there they are truly afraid of their God and the law.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Finland: Turku synagogue vandalised on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Via Yle:
Turku Synagogue was vandalised overnight Sunday, according to a report in local paper Åbo Underrättelser (in Swedish, subscription-only).

On Monday morning, the synagogue's front door, steps and walls were found to have been splattered with a large amount of red paint.

The chair of the Jewish congregational supervisory board, Harry Serlo, told Yle that he was informed about the vandalism as he was headed on vacation, saying that the matter would be reported to police.

Newspaper Turun Sanomat reported that the paint looked like it had been thrown onto the synagogue with paint-filled balloons (in Finnish).
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Germany: Israel's flag flown on smokestack in Germany to insult Holocaust

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Unknown antisemites raised an Israeli flag on a 40-meter high smokestack in the eastern German city of Leipzig on Monday – the day the international community commemorated the liberation of Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Bild reporter Markus Langer first reported on the outbreak of antisemitism, terming it a "disgusting provocation."
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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Germany: Foreign minister warns of ‘massive exodus of Jews’

Via Jewish News:
Germany’s foreign minister has called for strengthened efforts against anti-Semitism to ward off the possibility that many Jews may decide to leave the country.

Heiko Maas said in an article for the weekly Der Spiegel newspaper that German politicians must do more “but there is one thing they can’t do: replace solidarity in everyday life”. […]

Mr Maas said anti-Semitism has become part of everyday life now for Jews in Germany and “it doesn’t surprise me that nearly every second Jew in Germany has thought about leaving the country”.

“We must urgently take countermeasures so that such thoughts don’t turn into bitter reality and it doesn’t come to a massive exodus of Jews from Germany,” he wrote.

“That people of Jewish faith no longer feel at home here is a real nightmare – and a disgrace, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.”
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UK: Labour frontbencher took six months to remove anti-Semitic posts from his Facebook despite saying he was 'mortified' by them

Via The Telegraph:
Labour frontbencher who claimed that he was "mortified" to discover he had "accidentally" shared anti-Semitic posts failed to remove the remarks from his Facebook page for another six months after his apology.  
Afzal Khan, the shadow immigration minister, who said he was "sincerely sorry" for sharing a post in 2015 which referred to an "Israel-British-Swiss- Rothschilds crime syndicate" and "mass murdering Rothschilds Israeli mafia criminal liars", only removed the post from his Facebook page yesterday afternoon [24 January], after being asked by The Telegraph why it remained. Campaigners had alleged that Mr Khan's failure to remove the remarks called into question the sincerity of Mr Khan's apology.
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Monday, January 27, 2020

Belgium: Jews let down by discredited anti-discrimination agency UNIA

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Belgian police will open an online hotline for reporting antisemitic and racist incidents, and some Jews hope it will replace the country’s discredited anti-discrimination agency.

Michael Freilich, a Jewish member of Belgian parliament, announced the hotline’s opening Wednesday.

Going in person to a police station is intimidating for many victims, and Belgian Jews no longer trust UNIA, the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, and its hotline, Freilich is quoted as saying.

Recently, the right-leaning government of the Flemish Region — one of Belgium’s three states — pulled out of UNIA to set up its own anti-racism body.

In 2017, the Region’s Forum of Jewish Organizations said they “lost all confidence” in UNIA over its lawyer’s defense of a Palestinian man accused of hate speech for calls to slaughter Jews at an anti-Israel rally. The same UNIA lawyer later helped convict the Palestinian.

In an email leaked in 2017, the lawyer, Johan Otte, called the Palestinian’s guilty verdict “distorted justice instead of true justice,” even though UNIA was one of two complainants who had initiated the trial. […]

In 2011, a police superintendent, David Vroome, told the media that an employee of a predecessor of UNIA said that Jews “think they can get away with everything because they have money, financial power but also because they keep triggering our guilt over the Holocaust.”

The predecessor group defended the employee and accused the officer of a “dishonest account.”
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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Belgium: New Antisemitism scandal as daily paper accuses ‘Zionists’ of ‘playing Holocaust card"

Note: De Standaard is a right leaning (Catholic) daily paper - Dyab Abu Jahjah was a columnist for De Standaard for many years. Israel-bashing is widespread in Belgium at all levels of society. As Ben Cohen points out that: "The ADL study additionally noted that “in Europe, support for Israel boycotts was found to be highest in Belgium, where 18 percent said they supported BDS [the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ campaign against Israel.]”

Via The Algemeiner

One of Belgian’s leading newspapers was excoriated by Israel’s ambassador in Brussels this week for publishing an opinion piece that amounted to what he called “cheap, distorted and devious antisemitism and anti-Israel drivel.”  
The offending article — in the mass-circulation Flemish-language daily de Standaard — was authored by a Belgian journalist, Johan Depoortere. Titled “How the Zionists ‘Discovered’ the Holocaust,” the article’s appearance was timed to coincide with the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Illustrated with a photo of the followers of Neturei Karta — a miniscule group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who are bitterly opposed to the Zionist movement and shunned by the Jewish mainstream — Depoortere’s piece began with the observation that the millions of Jews exterminated by the Nazis cannot “protest if they are used to justify another injustice: a regime [Israel] that has imposed discrimination and apartheid in law.”

Several of the historical claims made by Depoortere in the article did not stand up under scrutiny. For example, he protested “[T]hat a people [the Palestinians] who did not participate in the massacre of European Jews by the Nazis have to pay the price for that crime or are accused of antisemitism,” with no mention of the alliance forged by the wartime Palestinian Arab leader, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and the Nazi regime. […]  
Emmanuel Nahshon — Israel’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg — remarked on Twitter on Thursday that he had encountered the article while attending the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem.

“Shame on you @destandaard!” Nahshon declared.

The controversy over Depoortere’s piece comes only a few months after another Flemish newspaper, De Morgen, published a viciously antisemitic article by its columnist Dimitri Verhulst in which he commented that “being Jewish is not a religion, no God would give creatures such an ugly nose.”

About 35,000 Jews live in Belgium.
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Friday, January 24, 2020

Germany: Reporter blames Israel for misusing Holocaust remembrance

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A German journalist for the publically-funded broadcaster ARD is under fire for writing a commentary that will be welcomed by right-wing extremists, because it condemns the behavior of Israel and Russia as unworthy during the remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz, a prominent German Jewish leader alleged.

The commentary of the journalist, Sabine Müller, on Thursday triggered outrage on social media. The German Green Party’s member of the European Parliament Sergey Lagodinsky wrote on Twitter: “Not serious… Incredible chutzpah. There is so much weirdness in this commentary.”[…]

The Bild journalist Filipp Piatov termed Müller’s commentary “bad style” and as someone who has forgotten her history.

Müller wrote that “What was unworthy, however, was how Israel and Russia partially seized this commemoration day. How they celebrated their own political and memorial private party before the official event – with new verbal attacks against Poland and demonstratively lengthy bilateral talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and [Russian] President Vladimir Putin.”

In contrast to her criticism of the “egoism” of Netanyahu and Putin, she wrote that Steinmeier “lived up to the expectations of the first speech by a German head of state in Yad Vashem and, as a representative of the country of the perpetrators, delivered an impressively sensitive and clear speech – in English, mind you. A speech about German guilt and responsibility.”

Müller omitted the criticism that Steinmeier has faced in the German media for contributing to making antisemitism respectable, according to the Bild paper. In February 2019, Steinmeier sent a congratulatory telegram to Iran's mullah regime in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in the name of federal republic's citizens.

He wrote “Congratulations on the occasion of the national holiday, also in the name of my compatriots."
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U.K.: BBC’s Correspondent links the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians

Via Antisemitism UK:
Orla Guerin, the BBC’s International Correspondent, has appallingly used a primetime segment on the BBC’s flagship News at Ten programme to link the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

In a story ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, directly after interviewing a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered by Nazi Germany, Ms Guerin showed images of young Israelis who were performing their military service entering Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. Ms Guerin narrated in the background, saying: “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

France: Is St Anne basilica compound used as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel?

"An Open Letter to Emmanuel Macron, President of France" by Dexter Van Zile  @ The Times of Israel:
[…] Yusef Daher, runs the Jerusalem Inter Church Center (JICC) whose office is located in St. Anne’s compound. While he’s there, Daher enjoys the protection of French sovereignty, which you so ardently defended.

In the past, Daher has portrayed legitimate Israeli security measures at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as a huge act of oppression against Christians worldwide. For example, Daher has unfairly portrayed Israeli efforts to prevent a stampede outside the church as an evil act against Christians in Jerusalem. […]

I don’t mean to add to your headaches, but given that you just defended French sovereignty over St. Anne’s in the Old City of Jerusalem, I feel compelled to ask you some questions about how France administers the property. The central issue is this: Why does France allow its sovereign territory in Jerusalem to be used by the JICC, which is led by Daher, as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel? If you pardon the expression, that doesn’t seem ... kosher.

I raised this question with the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2018 and no one got back to me.

I even asked officials from the White Fathers, the Catholic religious order that operates St. Anne’s. They were pretty tight-lipped, but the one thing they did say is that St. Anne’s Monastery enjoys diplomatic protection, “just like an embassy.”

So, here is the relevant text of an email that I sent to the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an email sent, interestingly enough, on June 6, 2018:
I am currently writing an article about an organization called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI is an institution of the World Council of Churches (WCC) that sends activists into Israel and the West Bank. The organization has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism from a number of institutions and commentators in Israel and elsewhere for its tendency to promote anti-Israel propaganda both in the Holy Land and in the home country of EAPPI activists.

EAPPI is closely affiliated with another WCC institution — the Jerusalem Interchurch Center — whose general secretary, a Palestinian Christian by the name of Yusef Daher, has posted ugly anti-Israel propaganda on his Facebook page.

I write to you because EAPPI is currently headquartered in the Church of St. Anne’s, a basilica located in Jerusalem’s Old City. The church, which is currently operated by the White Fathers, an order of Catholic missionaries, is located on French property given to France by the Ottoman Empire in the 1850s. The Ottoman Empire gave France the property out of gratitude for assistance given during the Crimean War. I also believe that the JICC is located in the same property. (I was at the property on Sunday, June 3, 2018 and saw that a French flag flies over the property.)

I am currently asking both the World Council of Churches and the White Fathers questions about the presence of the EAPPI and the JICC on the property of the Basilica, but I also need some information from the French government. My questions are: 
1. Is the property in question sovereign French territory? (If yes, does this confer any special diplomatic protection to the operations of the EAPPI and JICC?) I ask this question, because the language I see in articles indicates that the property is “owned” by the French government, but “entrusted” to the White Fathers.

2. Am I correct in my belief that the JICC is also headquartered in St. Anne’s?

3. Who made the decision to allow EAPPI and JICC to put their headquarters on the property?

4. Did the French Government or anyone in the French diplomatic corps agree to allowing EAPPI and JICC to put their offices on the property or was this decision made exclusively by the White Fathers?

5. Is anyone in the French government or diplomatic corps concerned about the use of French property to house organizations that promote anti-Zionist propaganda. [Sic]

6. What would happen if the shoe were on the other foot and Israeli-owned property in France was used to de-legitimize France? (I know that this is a challenging question, but it seems like a reasonable one to ask.)
I don’t mean to be a nudge, Mr. President, but in light of your ardent defense of French sovereignty over St. Anne’s, these questions seem perfectly reasonable to ask. 
I hear tell that lot of Jews are leaving France and it just doesn’t seem right to help make their lives more difficult in their new home.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

UK: Reaction to a letter to The Times by senior politicians calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state

Mark Pickles, writer and artist:
Here is a piece in reaction to a letter to The Times by over 20 senior and deluded British politicians calling for the immediate recognition of a Palestinian state, oblivious to the realities on the ground:
Yesterday, 20th January 2020, twenty-odd British political worthies of the left and right –and of both chambers – wrote a short letter to The Times titled, “The Time is Right to Recognise Palestine”. (I’ve put a screenshot of the letter after the footnote references.) The “time is now”, we are told, to “best serve the cause of peace”. We are told that “Israel’s actions are pushing a two-state solution beyond reach”.

The signatories of the letter finish by telling us they want “equal rights for peoples in two states”.

The two-state solution is beyond reach – through no fault of Israel – regardless of the fact that two-states remains the official foreign-policy position of the UK Government. The two-state solution was emphasised by Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary, who on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017 wrote his “vision for Middle East peace”. Prime Minister Johnson’s piece is still on, where you will see that it is not visionary at all, but the same old British broken-record stuck on “two-state solution”, oblivious to the realities. [i]
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France: Antisemitism means Jews ‘do not lead the same life’ as others, says top expert

67% of French people indifferent to Jews leaving France

Via The Algemeiner:
One of France’s leading political scientists bluntly asserted on Tuesday that rising antisemitism meant that the country’s Jews “do not lead the same existence” as their fellow citizens.

“We do not lead the same life when we are not Jewish,” Prof. Dominique Reynié — who teaches at the prestigious Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris — told national broadcaster RTL in an interview on Tuesday.

Reynié was commenting on a new study published on Tuesday which revealed that three-quarters of the French population — Jews and non-Jews alike — recognized that antisemitism was “a problem that affects of all of society.”

The survey — conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Fondapol, a liberal political think tank based in Paris — showed that 67 percent of Jewish respondents felt that there were high levels of antisemitism in France, compared with 47 percent of the general population who felt the same. [...]

It found that “70 percent of French Jews say they have been victims of at least one antisemitic incident in their lifetime, 64 percent have suffered antisemitic verbal abuse at least once.”

A further “23 percent have been targets of physical violence on at least one occasion, with 10 percent saying they were attacked several times.”

As a result, French Jews were increasingly wary of disclosing their identities in public.

The roughest edge of French antisemitism was being experienced by the community’s youth, the poll found.

“The youngest Jews, ages 18-24, are on the ‘front line’ more than older cohorts in confronting antisemitism,” the survey observed. “84 percent of them have suffered at last one antisemitic act, compared with 70 percent of all respondents; 79 percent had suffered verbal abuse, compared with 64 percent of all respondents, and 39 percent faced an act of physical aggression, compared with 23 percent of the full Jewish sample.”

The workplace has also become a focus of concern for French Jews. A full 46 percent had experienced verbal antisemitic abuse while at work — a statistic the AJC called “disturbing.”
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Germany: Jewish government worker was subjected to anti-Semitic harassment

Via JTA:
A Jewish man working as a driver for the German Chancellery in Berlin has reported being subjected to anti-Semitic harassment.

An unnamed source told the daily Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the man, who comes from Lebanon and worked in the Chancellery’s motor pool, reported that several colleagues have insulted and bullied him since early 2019, calling him “Jewish pig” and “Kanake,” a word referring to migrants from primarily Muslim countries or southern Europe.

The employee, who was not a driver for Chancellor Angela Merkel, reported the incidents to the federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner in the Ministry of the Interior, Felix Klein, the Bild reported.

While confirming basic details, a government spokesperson told Bild that no further comment could be provided in the confidential matter. The employee reportedly now works in a new location, away from his former colleagues. There was no information available on the identity of the colleagues.
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Monday, January 20, 2020

Europe: What a strange idea for Israel to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism

Shmuel Trigano @ Israel Hayom:
What a strange idea it was for President Reuven Rivlin to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. Despite the political importance of the event, the entire endeavor reflects the degree to which Israelis are deluding themselves in relation to the Old Continent. The notion that the memory of the Holocaust needs to be refreshed in order to fight modern anti-Semitism is pointless, as Israel itself is now accused of turning the Holocaust and its memory into a tool with which to achieve its goals, while the anti-Zionists alter its "lesson" to benefit the Palestinian cause – by equating it to the Nakba (the Palestinian national "catastrophe" caused by Israel's creation).

It is a strategic mistake to view the anti-Semitism of our time as an extension of the anti-Semitism of 30 years ago. To be sure, it still exists among the classical far-right; but is blossoming primarily in the form of anti-Zionism within Muslim and far-left post-colonialist circles. The deeper problem is turning the "lessons of the Holocaust" into the moral basis for fighting anti-Semitism. As an explanation, it favors victimhood over the political: Jewish suffering is put on display as a call to end hatred, instead of presenting Israel's status as a sovereign country as a counterweight to the new anti-Zionistic anti-Semitism. When the justification for Israel's existence is predicated on the memory of victimhood, Europe can view the state as a type of humanitarian tent for Jews, and less as a sovereign country. Consequently, Israel is not permitted, in the eyes of Europe, to realize its legitimate right to self-defense. The moment the Israeli soldier ceases being the emaciated extermination camp survivor, he morphs into a monster in the eyes of the Europeans.

European recognition of Israel is based, therefore, on feelings of guilt toward the Jews – implying that the same guilt applies to the Palestinians. Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism – which is the main source of modern anti-Semitism – in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. Isn't it only natural, therefore, that some of the participants of the Yad Vashem will visit Ramallah immediately after it ends? The reliance on the Holocaust in this regard means strengthening even further the myths that breed the new anti-Semitism – Nakba, occupation, original sin.
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Germany: Anti-war activists disinvite Jewish councilor, sparking antisemitism row (update)

Update: the conference has been cancelled 

Via The Jerusalem Post:
“Peace activists are boycotting not only Israel, but also Jews in Germany,” a Jewish member of Munich City Council has told German media website Taz after he was disinvited from addressing an anti-war event.

Marian Offman was due to give the opening greeting at the annual Munich Peace Conference at the city's Old Town Hall in February in his capacity as a representative of the city, but just before Christmas the SDP council member received an email from organizers telling him that he was not welcome.

The reason? Event organizer Thomas Rödl accused Offman of having "aggressively and polarizingly dealt with political groups and events that critically assess the policies of the government of Israel" in the past, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"I was completely perplexed," Offman told Taz. "As far as I know there has never been anything like this."

Rödl was referring to Offman's opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been labelled antisemitic by a resolution in the Bundestag that was passed by members of parties from across the political spectrum. In a letter sent to Munich city officials last month, Rödl said that if Offman were allowed to speak, the topic of BDS “would dominate the event in the Old City Hall, which is not the subject of our program.”
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Finland: MP singles out Israel for blame, a double standard that amounts to anti-Semitism

Via YLE:
The World Jewish Congress, an international federation of Jewish communities and organisations, has criticised Finnish MP Anna Kontula's attempt to demonstrate against the blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza. [Left Alliance MP held in Israel over unauthorised attempt to enter Gaza]

The congress accused Kontula of holding Israel "fully to blame" for the humanitarian and economic consequences of the blockade, thus ignoring Egypt's role in Gaza. This singling out of Israel is, according to the congress, a double standard that amounts to an expression of anti-Semitism.

"Holding Israel to a double standard not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is never legitimate, and in fact constitutes an expression of antisemitism," the congress said in a press release.

In a Facebook post written in Finnish, the Jewish Community of Helsinki has also questioned Kontula's actions.

"By criticizing only the Israeli embargo on Gaza, and without any criticism of or action against a similar embargo by Egypt, the MP is, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition, quite likely guilty of anti-Semitism," the community wrote. 
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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Netherlands: Kosher restaurant in Amsterdam targeted with fake bomb (4th incident in 2 years)

Via EJP:
Explosives experts checked out the box,
which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out. 
In 2017, the restaurant was already targeted when a Palestinian man waving a Palestinia flag smashed the main window, stealing the Israeli flag hanging there. According to the owner, Sami Bar-On, this is the fourth incident in two years.

A kosher restaurant in Amsterdam has been targeted with a fake bomb.

The suspicious package left outside the HaCarmel restaurant sparked a major security scare but it did not contain explosives, police confirmed.

The Amstelveenseweg, the street where tne restaurant is located, was sealed off and locals urged to leave the area while explosives experts checked out the box, which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out.

It had been placed by the main door of the kosher eatery, which was not open at the time.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

France: Model says Lebanese designer dropped her from Paris show because she’s Israeli

Via The Times of Israel:
Maison Rabih Kayrouz evades answering when asked if he canceled Arbel Kynan’s appearance after hearing that she lives in Tel Aviv

An Israeli fashion model said that she was denied a job offer from a Lebanon-born French designer because of her nationality.

Arbel Kynan told At magazine in Israel earlier this week that Maison Rabih Kayrouz canceled a gig that had been lined up for her at Paris Fashion Week on January 20 in Paris. She would have modeled the designer’s clothes in the haute couture part of the show.

Kynan said her agent received an email that her invitation was canceled and that it informed her that the reason was because she is Israeli.

Kynan had told employees of Kayrouz’s fashion house during a photo shoot for the show that she’s living in Tel Aviv.

“An hour ago I got an email from my agency telling me the client is Lebanese and isn’t interested in having me take part in the show because I live in Tel Aviv, Israel,” Kynan wrote on Instagram on Monday. “That’s literally what the email said.” 
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Europe: The Palestinians and Europe's secret agenda

Khaled Abu Toameh @ Gatestone Institute:
- The foreign media and human rights organizations seem quite uninterested in Palestinians who are arrested or tortured to death by PA security forces. After all, they have not been arrested by Israel for security-related offences.

- The European Union is said to be pressuring the Palestinians to hold long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections. It is not clear, however, how the Palestinians would hold new elections at a time when the PA and Hamas are busy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip locking up their political opponents.

- The "political arrests" are yet another indication of human rights violations perpetrated by Palestinian leaders against their own people. Inexplicably, though, the EU appears unfazed by them. Instead of pressuring the PA and Hamas to hold elections -- that in any case neither side seeks, as it would almost certainly hand a further victory to the terrorist group Hamas -- it would be better for the EU to encourage Palestinian leaders, as a first step towards holding free elections, at least to cease and desist making political arrests.

- Failing to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for their human rights violations casts serious doubt on the EU's desire to hold new elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and their deeper, seemingly malign desires for the region as a whole.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Portugal: Death of a Jew-hater (José Saramago, 2010)

Following yesterday's post on Portugal: Political Israel-bashing opera performed at the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), let's be reminded of one of greatest Portuguese writer's hatred of Jews and Israel.  It is worth remembering that not many Jews live in Portugal (less than 1,000).

As David Frum points out, before 1998, the year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Portuguese writer José Saramago did not make his obnoxious views on Israel and the Jews known - had he done so, he knew he would probably not get the Nobel Prize.

David Frum @ National Post:
Jose Saramago, Nobel laureate in literature and anti-Semite, died Friday aged 87 [2010].

Saramago won his prize in 1998. He put his new global fame to the service of a new cause: denunciations of Israel. But unlike other European anti-Zionists, Saramago explicitly connected his dislike of Israel to his feelings about Jews.

In a speech in Brazil on Oct. 13, 2003, Saramago reportedly unburdened himself of this thought about the world’s Jews: “Living under the shadows of the Holocaust and expecting to be forgiven for anything they do on behalf of what they have suffered seems abusive to me. They didn’t learn anything from he suffering of their parents and grandparents.”

It was Judaism itself that Saramago blamed for everything he disliked in Israel. He wrote in the Spanish newspaper El Pais on April 21, 2002:
“[C]ontaminated by the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’ that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God … the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner. Israel seizes hold of the terrible words of God in Deuteronomy: ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will be repaid.’”
A few weeks previous, Saramago had visited Ramallah. The visit occurred shortly after the Passover 2002 suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel that killed 30 people and wounded 140 more. Saramago expressed no grief for these murdered innocents. Instead, he toured areas damaged during fighting between Israeli and Palestinian armed forces and pronounced to a Portuguese radio interviewer: “[I]n Palestine, there is a crime which we can stop. We may compare it with what happened at Auschwitz.”

Most European critics of Israel try to draw some kind of line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. The line may be half-hearted and unconvincing, but still — they try. Saramago ignored such niceties. He followed the example of Middle Eastern anti-Zionists: He hated Israel, he hated the Jews who lived there and he did not scruple to express his hatred bluntly.

In 2006, Saramago joined a group of other writers in a statement denouncing Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon: Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Canada’s Naomi Klein. They accused Israel of plotting the “liquidation of the Palestinian nation.”
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Saramago wrote in the Madrid newspaper El Pais (as translated by Paul Berman in The Forward):
"Intoxicated mentally by the messianic dream of a Greater Israel which will finally achieve the expansionist dreams of the most radical Zionism; contaminated by the monstrous and rooted 'certitude' that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God and that, consequently, all the actions of an obsessive, psychological and pathologically exclusivist racism are justified; educated and trained in the idea that any suffering that has been inflicted, or is being inflicted, or will be inflicted on everyone else, especially the Palestinians, will always be inferior to that which they themselves suffered in the Holocaust, the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner."

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Portugal: Political Israel-bashing opera performed at the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon)

A political Israel-bashing opera, The Sleeping Thousand, will be performed on 16 January at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The Gulbenkian Foundation indicates that the opera was commissioned/supported/sponsored by the European commission and several European institutions: "Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. A Festival d’Aix-en-Provence production in association with Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation [Portugal], Helsinqui Festival, La Monnaie/De Munt [Belgium], Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel [Belgium] and IRCAM-Centre Pompidou [France]. With the support of enoa and Creative Europe Programme of the European Union."

More via AFP/France 24 (2019):
It features an Israeli prime minister, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, a hit squad and a Shin Beth spy chief. But this is not another story on the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict but an opera unusually with a libretto in Hebrew, the official language of Israel.

"The Sleeping Thousand", an opera by Israeli composer Adam Maor with the libretto by Yonatan Levy, was premiered at the prestigious Aix-en-Provence opera festival in southern France this month.

"This opera speaks of oppression and above all, its impact on the oppressor," Maor told AFP. [...]

Maor is hugely critical of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians and spent two years behind bars for refusing to do his compulsory military service in protest at the "immorality of the occupation" of the Palestinian territories.

In the opera, which inhabits a world between science fiction and fantasy, a thousand Palestinian prisoners begin a hunger strike generating widespread media interest.

The Israeli government decides to sedate them "so that the world can move on to something else".

"It works very well until the day when the Israelis start having nightmares and wake up in the night speaking Arabic," explained Maor, 36.

One day, the government concludes that the Palestinians were seeking to sabotage Israeli dreams.

"They are tunnelling into the world of Jewish dreams and carrying out terror attacks!" declares an aide to the prime minister in the opera.

The prime minister then decides to send in the aide as a spy in Palestinian garb to kill them.

The different characters, all of them Israelis, are taken on by four singers. And at the back of the stage are the "sleeping" Palestinians, all played by volunteers lying on beds.

Referring to his own stint in jail, Maor said: "I chose to go to prison, whereas they (the Palestinians) didn't."

Thousands of Palestinians are held by Israel, some without charge under so-called administrative detention orders. They often go on hunger strike to highlight their plight.

Israel insists such detentions are necessary to punish criminals who carried out or planned violent acts, and ensure the Jewish state's security. [...]

Maor's family originally came from Damascus, where many Syrian Jews lived before leaving in the years before Israel's creation in 1948. But he is not sure he will ever be able to see his opera performed in Israel itself, complaining about the "the government's growing pressure on dissenting artists" under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Spain: New deputy prime minister hosted antisemitic TV debate

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
One of Spain’s four new deputy prime ministers, Pablo Iglesias, hosted a TV talkshow about the “power of the Zionist lobby” in which guests voiced antisemitic conspiracy theories and used anti-Jewish tropes.

In a video of Fort Apache, broadcast in April 2018 by the Iran-funded HispanTV, Mr Iglesias can be seen nodding and smiling as panel members hold forth about how Wall Street is “practically in the hands of Jews”, and the “huge” media power of the pro-Israel lobby which “determines” US foreign policy.

The leader of the far-left party Unidas Podemos ('Together We Can'), who was made deputy prime minister for “social rights” in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s coalition government on Thursday, says at the start of the show, “Today we are talking about the power of the Zionist lobby over American politics”.

In her own introductory comments, journalist Teresa Aranguren, a self-described Middle East specialist and “defender of the Palestinian cause”, claims, "The pro-Israel lobby has the power to configure US policies from the inside, to the point where one can ask whether it directs American policy, rather than the other way around".

Another panel member, Carlos Enrique Bayo, a journalist for Spanish news website Público, says: “This lobby obviously has enormous media and communications power – but it also has huge economic power… big financial institutions on Wall Street are practically in the hands of Jews".

Liliana Córdova, co-founder of Red Internacional Judía Antisionista, states: "In this lobby you have foundations, like the Anti-Defamation League, which have fabulous amounts of money.”

Manolo Monereo, a former Podemos parliamentarian, says: “It’s more than a lobby… It has so much influence that it can determine North America’s international policy, concretely in the Middle East.” 
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UK: Anti-Semitism election row was stoked by Israel, Labour report says

Via The Telegraph:
Labour's overseas members have been accused of "conspiracy mongering" after compiling a report that claimed the party's anti-Semitism row was "stoked by Israel's government".

Charles James, author of a report which has been seen by The Telegraph entitled "General Election Part Two: Why didn't we win?", wrote: "Many of us believe that the row about anti-Semitism has been stoked by the government of Israel and its helpers in the UK."

Citing a 2017 documentary produced by Al Jazeera, which explored the relationship between the Israel lobby and British politics, Mr James, who is secretary of the 3,500-strong group, wrote that the "government of Israel is putting significant efforts and finances into influencing British politics, including the Labour Party".

He said the motive was to "prevent the election of a Labour government that will recognise a Palestinian state".

The report also questioned how there could be anti-Semitism within the Labour Party when Ed and David Miliband, who are both Jewish, ran to be leader in 2010.
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Monday, January 13, 2020

Ukraine: Anti-Semitic mob attack near Jewish holy site

Via I 24 News:
At least four people were hospitalized after an angry mob of at least 30 people armed with sticks and knives attacked Jewish pilgrims Friday night in Ukraine's town of Uman.

The incident was reported by head of Ukraine's Jewish Committee Eduard Dolinsky in a Facebook post on Sunday.

According to local media reports, the pogrom-style attack began with a minor strife between a Jew and one of the local residents. The situation escalated as the Uman resident called in his friends to stage violent attacks on Jews, as reported.

According to the witness accounts cited by the outlets, the police arrived on the scene but did little to protect the victims as the mob raged through the town, specifically seeking out Jews.
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Germany will ban burning of Israeli and other state flags (update)

Update: Germany's Left Party blocks ban on burning of Israeli flag - The party claimed that a ban would contravene free speech.

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The German government is slated to outlaw the burning of Israel’s flag along with flags of all nations on Wednesday in response to a series of anti-Israel demonstrations in 2017. 
German media outlets reported on Sunday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition parties are expected to introduce a law that would forbid the torching of foreign national flags. A draft of the new law exists. 
In December 2017, Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff called for a change of the law in the Federal Republic to prohibit the burning of the Israeli flag.
“It is anti-democratic and in the case of Israel it can even be very antisemitic,” said Issacharoff.
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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Germany: Five kids commit sexual and antisemitic assault against man in Berli

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A group of adolescents sexually assaulted and uttered antisemitic slurs at a 68-year-old man in the Berlin district of Moabit on Tuesday. It was the second violent antisemitic assault since Monday.

The police wrote that a group of kids between the ages of 12 and 15 called the man “Jew” a number times and “two of the perpetrators grabbed him between his legs.” The attack took place on the Putlitz Bridge close to the site of a Holocaust memorial for the deportation of more than 32,000 Jews to extermination camps during World War II. It is unclear if the victim was Jewish.
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UK: Banksy’s vaunted anti-racism and humanitarianism are absent from his view of Israeli citizens

Alexander Adams @ The Critic (Banksy and the triumph of banality - How the shallow culture warrior hoodwinked a generation)
On October 2019, Banksy’s 2009 painting of Devolved Parliament (showing the House of Commons populated by chimpanzees) sold for a record-setting £9.9 million at auction. Banksy has reached the level of Blue Chip Moderns and Old Masters in auction rooms, books of his art are in museum bookshops worldwide and his street paintings are beloved by ordinary people and tastemakers. For anyone who has looked at his art with a sharp critical eye, the question is: how did such banality hoodwink so many people? […]

Another Banksy trope is irreverent children with paints. For him, children are embodiments of the free spirit of humanity and act as truth-speakers. His children represent hope by undermining authority, disrupting adults’ consumerist assumptions and dissolving walls - specifically the security wall separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories, of which more later. Some pieces are outright jokes, with fake trapdoors painted on the walkways of bridges and walls designated “authorized graffiti area”. Later, more elaborate, pranks included a fake ATM spewing £10 notes with Princess Diana’s image and a telephone box mangled and impaled by a pickaxe. (This latter sold at a charity auction for $605,000.) […]

Banksy deals in clichés of the progressive left. Policemen are thuggish goons or inept clowns serving repressive governments. Graffitists are individualists battling conformity. Old people are bitter conservatives and closet bigots. Children are enlightened seers of truth. Consumerism is deadening; capitalism is exploitation; authority is control. Classic fine art is stuffy and out of touch. With such adolescent attitudes, Banksy’s satire could hardly be anything other than stale. Painting attack helicopters over an English pastoral scene and portraying a Monet pond filled with dumped shopping trolleys is schoolboy stuff.  […]

Yet however rebellious Banksy is depicted, his outlook is locked in unexamined assumptions of his teenage years. Consider his work on the wall around the Palestinian Territories. One interpretation of the West Bank Wall is that it is an aggressive imposition upon the Arab population of Israel, which deprives them of free movement and humiliates them. (“The most politically unjust structure in the world today,” according to the artist.) Another interpretation is that it was a necessary security measure that has curbed the wave of terrorist suicide bombings and knifings of Israelis.

Banksy’s trope of children who represent innocents seeking freedom appears in one image of a girl carried over the wall by a bunch of balloons. Fair enough - but what about the Israeli girls who had to live in daily fear of rocket attacks on their schools, but who are now provided with a little more security by this despised wall? Banksy’s vaunted anti-racism and humanitarianism seems strikingly absent from his view of Israeli citizens.
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Alexander Adams is a British artist and writer. His book Culture War: Art, Identity Politics and Cultural Entryism is published by Societas.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

France: Politician alleges that if Education Minister had "said no kippah on school trips, he would no longer be a Minister"

During the TV show" Balance ton poste" hosted by Cyril Hanouna, the ex-spokesperson for the far-left party France Unbowed (France Insoumise), Raquel Garrido, alleged that if the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, had "said no kippah on school trips, he would no longer be a minister".

Her remark is understood to be a clear reference to a "powerful Jewish lobby", a popular conspiracy theory.

The show was about the Charlie Hebdo attacks five years ago. The guests were asked about wearing the Muslim headscarf in France.

Details about this @ i 24 News in French

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Netherlands: Rally protesting Soleimani killing includes caricature blaming Jews

Via The Times of Israel:
Participants at a protest rally in the Netherlands against the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani waved anti-Semitic posters, a local watchdog group told police.

At the demonstration Tuesday in front of the American Embassy in Wassenaar near the Hague, two women were photographed holding up a poster titled “the makers of terrorism,” which featured a caricature of two men, one wearing an American flag and another dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, standing on the shoulders of a scarecrow labeled “terrorism.” 
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Germany: Assailant punches and hurls antisemitic insult at man in Berlin

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A violent antisemitic attack took place on a subway train in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district on Monday.

“An entering passenger boarded and punched him in the face with his fist and antisemitically insulted him,” Berlin police said in a statement.

It remains unclear whether the victim was Jewish.

“The injured party, who was traveling with two family members, has filed a complaint with the Berlin police over the Internet,” the police said. “A commissioner of state protection at the State Criminal Police Office has taken over further investigations.”

In December, three teenage students taunted a fellow 14-year-old pupil with antisemitic insults while they strangled him, Berlin police said. The student survived the assault, The Jerusalem Post reported.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ukraine: Dorm of Jewish student vandalized with anti-Semitic inscriptions and Bible stolen

Via European Jewish Press:
At Kharkiv’s V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine, the dorm of a Jewish student, identified only as “Vladislav,” was vandalized with anti-Semitic etchings, including “Ave Satan,” swastikas and far-right symbols on a wall. Vladislav’s Bible was stolen by the perpetrators, reported the website

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several umbrella Jewish community groups, reportedly filed a criminal complaint with law enforcement.
V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Picture by Wikimedia Commons.

Read more (also about France and Greece: Anti-Semitic vandalism strikes Jewish sites in France, Greece and Ukraine)

France: Jewish cemetery vandalized

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Significant damage was inflicted to the gravestones.

About a dozen graves were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in southwest France.

The vandalism took place over the weekend in the Jewish cemetery of Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques area.

The damage was discovered on Sunday by Déborah Loupien-Suares, the president of the Jewish community of Bayonne and Biarritz, who was visiting the graves of her grandparents.

She tweeted that she was “angry and indignant” after seeing the desecration of the cemetery and called for those responsible to be punished.
Read more

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Ukraine: Jews need serious help—and nobody is listening

Via Mosaic Magazine:
In early 2014, political disruption in Ukraine devolved into unrest, a Russian invasion of the country, and a war that is still not over. Yet today, almost six years later—and despite a phone call between the U.S. president and his Ukrainian counterpart that dominated the American news cycle for weeks - even those who closely follow international events remain, for the most part, in the dark about Ukraine’s overall present situation, its history- or, in particular, the condition of its Jews.

That’s reason enough to appreciate Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews, a recent book by the journalist Sam Sokol. Based largely on the author’s prolific firsthand reporting for the Jerusalem Post between late 2013 and 2016, the book is so far the only one on the “Donbass War” to tackle the subject encapsulated in its subtitle: “Anti-Semitism, Propaganda, and the Displacement of Ukrainian Jewry.”

When Sokol’s story begins in 2013, Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian president and Putin ally, had pulled back from signing an association agreement with the European Union. Protesters came out en masse to Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (“Independence Square”), and things soon spiraled out of control. By late February 2014, military-police actions to quell the demonstrations had resulted in more than 100 dead. Within a week, Yanukovych was gone; the protesters seemed to have won. But Russia was not about to relinquish its grip on a territory that had been in its sphere of influence since the 17th century.

From the moment the protests began, Ukraine’s Jews - numbering anywhere between 70,000 and 350,000 (the gap reflecting the difference of opinion between Israeli demographers and local Jewish leaders) - feared how the unrest would affect them. Even by European standards, their country had an ugly history of anti-Semitism, and its national movement had for centuries been intertwined with a special antipathy toward Jews.

Stepan Bandera
These concerns seemed justified when, in the midst of the Maidan protests, anti-Semitic Ukrainian nationalist symbols appeared, speakers called on Ukrainians “not to give in to the Jews,” and a crowd of 15,000 marched to celebrate the birthday of Stepan Bandera, who during World War II had led a paramilitary group that, siding with the Nazis against Soviets and Poles, assisted in the extermination of Jews. Later on, two synagogues would be firebombed and a handful of visibly Orthodox Jews near a Kiev synagogue would be brutally assaulted.

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Ukraine: Thousands of far-right Ukrainians honour Nazi-linked nationalist Stepan Bandera in march through Kyiv

Via ITV:
Some 2,000 far-right Ukrainians have honoured a Nazi-linked, World War II nationalist by marching through the streets of Kyiv on what would have been his 111th birthday.

Stepan Bandera, the former leader of a Ukrainian nationalist movement which sided with the Nazis during part of WWII, is regarded as a hero by far-right supporters.

To commemorate his birthday, supporters of Ukraine's nationalist party Svoboda held torches and waved flags as they marched through Kyiv.
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Lithuania: Ruling party drafting bill exonerating nation from Holocaust crimes

Via Jewish News:
A committee of the Lithuanian parliament is drafting legislation declaring that neither the Baltic nation nor its leaders participated in the Holocaust, a lawmaker working on the bill said.

Arūnas Gumuliauskas, chairman of the Freedom Fights and State Historical Memory Commission at the Seimas, said this at a conference last month, the news site reported on Dec. 28.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Eastern Europe director, Efraim Zuroff, protested the planned legislation, calling it an “outrage” and the “final stage of a long attempt to whitewash massive complicity by Lithuanians” in the murder of more than 95 percent of about 250,000 Jews who had lived in Lithuania when the Nazis invaded in 1941.

The bill will be titled “The Lithuanian state, which was occupied in 1940-1990, did not participate in the Holocaust,” according to Gumuliauskas. He is a member of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union party.

“The Lithuanian state did not participate in the Holocaust because it was occupied, just as the Lithuanian nation could not participate in the Holocaust because it was enslaved,” Gumuliauskas was quoted as saying at the conference. “But individual representatives are obviously involved and it is up to the court to decide.”

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Monday, January 6, 2020

UK: Boy, 13, punched in anti-Semitic attack on London bus

Via BBC:
A 13-year-old boy was punched in the stomach and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse on a bus.

He was attacked while travelling towards Stamford Hill, north London, at about 11:45 GMT on Sunday, a neighbourhood watch group said.

The Met confirmed it had received a report of anti-Semitic abuse and an assault taking place on a bus in the Stamford Hill area.

A spokesman said no arrests had been made and inquiries were continuing.

The tweet posted by the Shomrim group said a male hit the boy, who was Jewish, and shouted: "You stupid Jews think you own the world."
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France: Thousands protest decision to not prosecute Jewish woman’s killer

Via Times of Israel:
Several thousand people, many of them Jews, rallied in several cities in France to protest a court’s ruling not to try a Muslim man who confessed to killing his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah.

Republique Square in Paris became crowded with protesters over the ruling last month on the fate of Kobili Traore, a 29-year-old Muslim. He brutally killed Sarah Halimi in 2017.

Reaffirming an earlier ruling, the Paris Appeals Court last month asserted that Traore killed Halimi because she was Jewish but cited psychiatric evaluations saying his consumption of marijuana before the incident gave him a “delirious episode” that made him not legally responsible for his actions.

Several thousand Jews marched in Marseille in protest of the ruling, which leaders of French Jewry, including the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, have suggested was designed to avoid scrutiny of Muslim anti-Semitism.

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Belgium: Prominent lawyer warns world against Israel war-mongering

Jean-Marie Dermagne is a prominent Belgian lawyer and considered to be a staunch defender of human rights.  He firmly believes that Israel is the 'master of the world'. His disgust for Israeli Jews is such that he has once again accused Israel to be the war-mongering master of the world and that President Donald Trump and former US Presidents are mere Israel armed puppets. He is a member of the Belgian establishment (i.e. elites). His son Pierre-Yves Dermagne is a Socialist minister (Belgium: Anti-Israel newly appointed minister is the son of Dieudonné's lawyer). Jean-Marie Dermagne was the Belgian lawyer of French antisemitic comedian Dieudonné and peddles all sorts of anti-semitic theories.

Jean-Marie Dermagne is genuinely afraid of Israeli Jews and of the power of the Jews (namely, the Rothchilds).  Yet again he has taken upon himself to warn the world that Israeli Jews are the "masters of the world".

2016: "israel is the master of the world"

2019: "The true masters of the world are the israelis.  Trump who is a sinister bragger is (like his predecessors) their armed puppet  They [the Israelis] are the ones who shoot" (note: written in appallingly bad French).

This message was posted by Dermagne on Facebook has been deleted.

It prompted the Belgian League Against Antisemitism to issue a statement calling for action.  Readers of this blog, don't hold your breath - too many people in Belgium believe that he is right.  Nothing will be done.

Google translation from the French:
The Belgian League Against Antisemitism (LBCA) denounces the anti-Semitic message posted by Jean-Marie Dermagne on Facebook this Saturday, January 4, 2020.

In the aftermath of the elimination of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the American army, the lawyer, former president of the bar, and director of research at the Catholic University of Louvain reacted on his Facebook wall in these terms: "The real masters of the world, these are the Israelis. Trump, the sinister bragger, is (like his predecessors) only their armed puppet. They're the ones who shoot. ”

The designation of all "Israelis" as "true masters of the world" and war-mongers constitutes incitement to hatred against a group of people on the grounds of their nationality, which constitutes a criminal offense punishable under Article 20 , 3o, of the anti-racism law.

This resuscitation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is characteristic of the mutation of the anti-Semitic virus which, yesterday, accused the Jews of being the masters of the world and the planetary puppeteer, role that Jean-Marie Dermagne attributes today to the citizens of Jewish state.

Already in 2016, he had relayed on his Facebook wall a conspiracy theory claiming the stranglehold of the Rothschild Bank on all the central banks of the planet, with the exception of nine of them.

The LBCA calls on the League for Human Rights, of which Jean-Marie Dermagne is one of the lawyers, and the UCL, where he is a researcher, to denounce these anti-Semitic and conspiratorial remarks, to disown the author, and to cease all collaboration with him. The LBCA assesses the follow-up to these violations of the law against racism and xenophobia which, moreover, fall under the operational definition of anti-Semitism of the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust (IHRA) - organization intergovernmental grouping 34 member states including Belgium.

"Unsurprisingly, there are only nine countries left that do not have a Rothschild-owned Central Bank: Russia, China, Iceland, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Hungary."

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Germany: Jewish pianist Igor Levit receives death threats

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Direct threats are not the only problem, Levit said, noting a recent incident in which a journalist asked him if “Israel is my homeland, because after all I’m a Jew.”  
Pianist Igor Levit says he has received death threats and is warning about an increase in hate crimes in Germany.

The Russian-born musician, 32, whose family immigrated to Germany in 1995, said he received an email in mid-November threatening an assassination attempt against him at a concert in southern Germany.

His spokeswoman told the German media that Levit informed the police and then played the concert under tight security.

In an essay for the Sunday edition of the Tagesspiegel newspaper, Levit wrote that the threat was “loud and clear.” The email’s author said he would silence this “Jewish pig” in front of his audience.
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UK: Conservative Party Councillor in antisemitism mess for a second time

Via Antisemitism UK:
Sol Wielkopolski, a Conservative Party Councillor on Cumbria County Council, has caught himself out a second time over antisemitism.

Cllr Wielkopolski reportedly tweeted a complaint that when he began a search with the letters “Ju”, Google suggested searching for “Judaism just another cult” followed by “Junkers 88”. The Junkers 88 was a Nazi-era military aircraft that flew for the Luftwaffe. In reality these were not Google’s suggestions, but searches from Cllr Wielkopolski’s own search history.

Cllr Wielkopolski’s tweet is now ‘protected’ and can only be seen by his confirmed followers.

In a previous blunder, Cllr Wielkopolski tweeted on 5th August 2019: “Why is Corbyn inciting hatred of the wealthy? I guess it’s consistent with his hatred of Jews. The wealthy pay far more tax and create more jobs than his tribe, so should be celebrated and cherished, not derided. Wealth should be a protected characteristic.” By doing so, Cllr Wielkopolski repeated a deeply-entrenched antisemitic stereotype and myth about Jews and money. The negative stereotype that Jews are wealthy is one of the oldest antisemitic conspiracy theories.
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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Italy: Youths hurl punches, anti-Semitic invective in Venice attack: "Anne Frank ended up in the oven"

The youths shouted: "Anne Frank ended up in the oven" ("Anna Frank sei finita nel forno.")

Via Times of Israel:
Venice’s mayor said Wednesday police were investigating an attack with possible anti-Semitic characteristics in which youths punched a left-wing Italian politician in the city’s St. Mark’s Square.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted Wednesday that fascist-like incidents like the one that happened on New Year’s Eve “won’t be tolerated” in Venice.

Arturo Scotto, a former lawmaker, was walking with his wife Tuesday night when eight youths yelled out, “Duce! Duce!” a reference to Italy’s World War II fascist leader Benito Mussolini. The youths then punched Scotto in the nose.

Scotto told Italian state TV that a young man who tried to help him was also beaten up. He said the youths also shouted disparaging remarks about Anne Frank, a young Jewish woman who perished in a Nazi death camp. 
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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Belgium: Support of PFLP linked NGOs

Note: Belgian newspaper L'Echo published an article on the NGO Monitor report.  It states that a source close to DGCD (the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation) stressed, unsurprisingly, that this case and the NGO Monitor report should be viewed with "caution".  Obviously they know better!  Or don't care!

Via NGO Monitor:
In 2015-2018, the Belgium government (Directorate-General for Development Cooperation; DGD) provided €109.08 million in aid to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Of this, approximately €18.9 million (17.2%) was provided to “NGOs and Civil Society.”

According to DGD, “recognized [Belgian] NGOs” provide funding to local NGOs through “co-financing programmes,” where DGD provides up to 85% of the total grant.

In the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, many Belgian-funded NGOs promote delegitimization and anti-Israel narratives, including promoting lawfare and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns. Some of these groups also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.

Palestinian NGO Staff Arrested as Part of PFLP-Terror Cell

On December 19, 2019, the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) announced it had uncovered a 50-person PFLP terror network operating in the West Bank. The Shabak published pictures of weapons and bomb making materials confiscated during these raids.

Among those arrested were individuals allegedly responsible for the August 23, 2019 bombing attack in which 17-year-old Rina Shnerb was murdered, and her father and brother were injured.
Large PFLP terror network exposed in Judea and Samaria
The Shabak statement named multiple leading PFLP figures, several of whom currently or previously worked in senior positions for Palestinian NGOs. Critically, these included NGO accountants and financial directors, responsible for handling grants from foreign governments. Some of these NGOs receive funding from Belgium. For example:

- Samer Arbid (UAWC): According to Israeli security officials, on August 23, 2019, Samer Arbid commanded a PFLP terror cell that carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother. According to the Shabak, Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device. (See below for details of Belgian funding).

- Walid Hanatsheh (HWC): Alleged leader of PFLP “military” operations, who commanded Arbid. According to an Israeli media report, Hanatsheh bankrolled the August 23 bombing. (See below for details of Belgian funding).

- Abdul Razeq Farraj (UAWC): According to his indictment, authorized the August 23, 2019 bombing. (See below for details of Belgian funding).

- Itiraf Hajaj (Rimawi) (Bisan): According to the Shabak, responsible for PFLP clandestine operations. (See below for details of Belgian funding).
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Belgium: Jewish lawmaker takes heat for lighting menorah near Parliament nativity scene

Via JTA:
A video by the only Orthodox Jewish lawmaker in the Belgium Federal Parliament lighting candles there on Hanukkah near a nativity scene is provoking angry reactions, including from members of his own party.

Michael Freilich is seen walking through Parliament with a menorah as he passes multiple Christmas trees and other holiday symbols.

Then he lights the menorah in a smaller room with a Christmas tree and nativity scene, which celebrates the birth of Jesus, in the background.

Two local politicians representing Freilich’s center-right N-VA party complained that his actions go against the separation of religion and state. […]

Freilich told the media that he did not pray while lighting the candles in the video, meaning the action was an expression of his tradition and not an act of worship.

“If we allow Christmas trees and a nativity scene, the menorah is as similar a cultural Jewish heritage item and should not be banned,” Freilich told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
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Germany: Jewish cemetery vandalized, suspects investigated

Via DW:
Vandals overturned more than 40 gravestones and sprayed some with blue paint at a Jewish cemetery in a small town in western Germany on Sunday night, police said on Monday.

A witness reported that two people in dark, hooded clothes were carrying out the act of vandalism in the town Geilenkirchen, police in Aachen said. The witness immediately called police, who arrested two men, aged 21 and 33, in the vicinity of the crime.

"When they were searched, the officers found balaclava and blue color aerosols," police said.

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Greece: Newly renovated synagogue vandalized with antisemitic graffiti

Via Jerusalem Post:
A newly renovated historic synagogue in Greece was vandalized with what the country’s Jewish umbrella organization called “abusive slogans of antisemitic hatred.”
“Jewish snakes out” was among the slogans painted in bright blue on an outside wall of the synagogue in Trikala, a city in northern Greece that once was home to one of the country’s oldest Jewish communities.

The vandalism has caused “outrage and deep sadness,” the Central Jewish Council of Greece, or KIS, said in a statement.

“We are reminded that the snake’s egg continues to hatch in our society, and that the fight against antisemitism must be continuous and vigilance uninterrupted,” it said.

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