Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sweden: Figures of authority admit to having neglected anti-Semitism over the years

Judith Bergman @ Gatestone Institute:
[…] One issue that Swedish figures of authority are now admitting to having neglected over the years is anti-Semitism. Municipal managers in Malmö, for instance, Sweden's third-largest city, where immigrants constitute one-third of the population, now say that it took a long time before they "saw the extent" of the problem. Anders Rubin was school council member of the Malmö municipality from 2013 to 2018.  "Many students who have a background in the Middle East, and in several Muslim countries, have notions of Jews that are not at all compatible with democratic values," he told Sydsvenskan recently. He also confessed that the municipality had not taken the complaints of its Jewish citizens seriously. According to Sydsvenskan:
"Anders Rubin says he and the other leading Social Democrats initially underestimated the alarm from the city's Jews about a growing amount of threats and harassment. He describes it as the municipality management having had their 'guards down'."
"It was not felt that there was an established anti-Semitic attitude more than in extremely peripheral right-wing groups. I think we understood that the problem was marginal" admitted Rubin to Sydsvenskan. The newspaper also recounts how in 2009, Malmö's then-mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, responded to attacks on a Jewish demonstration by saying that Swedish Jews ought to distance themselves from Israel.

"It was only when we began to realize that in some of our immigrant groups there were ideas that were problematic, that we realized that we were forced to do something", Rubin said. He said there are probably limits to what municipal authorities can do about anti-Semitism.
"To think that we could achieve the frictionless city is a utopia. In such a diversified city as Malmö, one cannot change those types of attitudes by coming from the top and being forceful and telling people what to think. Somehow, it is extremely difficult to drive this down to a municipal political level. I think it is a complicated question, how we as representatives of the majority society should act to influence the attitudes of minorities. It easily becomes counterproductive".
Perhaps unwittingly, Rubin made a crucial point here: namely, that for years authorities swept serious problems related to migration under the rug, making them taboo and then vilifying those who dared to talk about them in public. The Linköping University report about the culture at Brå, sadly, exposed this pattern.
read more

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Germany: Journalist withdraws criticism of Israel as the first 'Corona Dictatorship'

So typical of  European unshakeable sense of superiority…

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The German Spiegel magazine journalist Christoph Sydow on Saturday walked back his description of Israel’s government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the first “Corona Dictatorship,” after he faced days of intense criticism that he spread antisemitism on the website of the news outlet.

Sydow tweeted that “If I wrote the text again today, I would not use the word ‘dictatorship’ again. I stick to the assessment that the damage that has been done to the democratic system and that may be further inflicted is immense and will have ramifications for the country.”

The Jerusalem Post was the first news organization to report on the allegations that Sydow stoked antisemitism in his article.
read more

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Germany: Jews and Israel main targets of coronavirus hate speech, antisemitism Commissioner warns

Via The Algemeiner:
Germany’s top official tasked with combating antisemitism warned on Thursday that “Jews and Israel” have become the main targets in a flurry of hate speech that is grounded in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unfortunately, it is not surprising that Jews and Israel are the main targets,” Felix Klein - the federal commissioner appointed by the German government in 2018 amidst rising antisemitism - told the Berlin news outlet Der Taggespiegel.

“Antisemitic hate speech is spreading quickly on the internet, particularly on the popular social media platforms,” Klein said. Antisemitic offenses in Germany reached a record peak in 2019, with 1,839 hate crimes targeting Jews recorded. […]

Klein remarked that no claim was too absurd for the antisemitic trolls online.

“They are talking about a Jewish takeover of the world economy, Jews profiting from a possible coronavirus vaccine, biological weapons developed by Israel, a Jewish attempt to reduce the world’s population,” Klein said. “The crudest antisemitism is paving the way.”
read more

Friday, March 27, 2020

France: Former Health Minister is a target of vicious online anti-semitism

Via Simon Wiesenthal Center:

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed disgust at the online attack against former Health Minister, Dr. Agnès Buzyn, accusing her – in the language of the medieval blood libel – of "poisoning water wells with the Coronavirus. She appears alongside the yellow star marked ‘Jude’ (‘Jew’), imposed on the Jewish population by the Nazis.”
read more

Via Conspiracy Watch:
Agnès Buzyin is poisoning a well.

Germany: Magazine stokes ‘antisemitism’ against Israel amid coronavirus

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The German news magazine Der Spiegel has been catapulted into a new alleged antisemitism scandal after falsely declaring last week that all demonstrations in Israel were outlawed.

Israeli author and expert on antisemitism, Arye Sharuz Shalicar, who was born in Germany to Jewish-Persian parents and made aliyah in 2001, tweeted: “The magazine Der Spiegel is lying! Despite the general curfew, political demonstrations are explicitly allowed in Israel. What Der Spiegel does is no longer journalism, but antisemitic agitation! When will this finally stop?”

The magazine’s article by Christoph Sydow, who has previously been accused of co-writing an antisemitic Spiegel article, claimed in his March 20 report that “demonstrations are prohibited because of the coronavirus” in Israel.

Protests on social media from Israelis and Germans prompted a correction.

Spiegel changed the headline to: “Demonstrations with more than ten participants are prohibited due to the corona crisis.”

Spiegel did not recognize its error in an editorial note at the end of the article. The magazine merely wrote “An earlier version contained a shortened sub-headline. We have made it more precise.”

There was no editorial explanation as to why Sydow reported fabricated information about the Jewish state.

Marc Neugröschel, a Germany-born Israeli, tweeted: "But why do media [outlets] like the Taz or the Spiegel need to add to the coverage of these real and serious problems with lies and half-truths to place Israel again near a dictatorship?!”
read more

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Italy: Catholic artist posts image of Jewish ritual murder on Facebook page

Giovanni Gasparro, a popular artist in Italy, has posted images of a painting of a Jewish ritual murder on his Facebook page. The title of the painting, which appears to have been produced by Gasparro during the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, is “The Martyrdom of Saint Simon of Trent, For Jewish Ritual Murder.” Images of this painting can be found on Gasparro’s Facebook page. The painting is apparently in a private collection. Gasparro has been commissioned by Catholic officials in Italy to adorn their basilicas and churches with his work.

The painting (which CAMERA will not show) depicts numerous hook-nosed Jews of varying ages looking on in glee as one of their fellows prepares to plunge a dagger into the baby’s chest. Another hook-nosed Jew holds a silver chalice in place, ready to catch the blood from the ritual murder. It is a truly horrific painting clearly intended to reawaken age-old hostilities toward the Jewish people.

CAMERA has contacted the artist himself via email asking why he would post such a horrific image during a time of plague. CAMERA has also contacted the Papal Nuncio in Washington, D.C. asking that he alert the proper officials in the Vatican about this outrage.
read more

Giovanni Gasparro writes on FB:
We are all disgusted by the horror of Auschwitz.  But what does it have to do with the Jewish ritual murders and the "Passovers of blood" performed by Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, attested by well-known scholars like Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, who remained Jewish?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

UK: WHSmith apologises for selling Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and removes the books from sale

Via Antisemitism UK:
WHSmith has apologised for selling Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and immediately removed the books from sale.

The booksellers had been offering various editions of Adolf Hitler’s tome – apparently including the “Official Nazi Translation” and the “1939” edition – on its website, along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious Czarist antisemitic tract.  
WHSmith now says that it has “strict guidelines on the books it sells, and it is against our policy to stock books which incite hatred. These books have been immediately removed from sale, and we are investigating how this has occurred with our wholesaler. We apologise sincerely for any offence caused.”
read more

Monday, March 23, 2020

Austria: Chancellor Kurz: PM Netanyahu warned me about the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis

Praise where praise is due.

Via EJP:
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a video interview with the German newspaper Bild that a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “shocked” him out his relative complacency regarding the coronavirus crisis in Europe.

“You underestimate that in Europe, wake up and do something,” Netanyahu told the Austrian leader. Even after talking to Asian heads of government, this became clear to him, Kurz said.

Last week, Austria took “very serious measures”, namely the closure of schools, restaurants and shops as well as exit restrictions. These measures would now remain in force until April 13.
read more

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Belgium: Anti-Israel grafitti daubed on Brussels headquarters of political party

Via Facebook:

Two anti-Israel tags were daubed on the building that hosts the headquarters of a political party - Défi.  "Israel colonises - Palestine is dying" and "Free Palestine".

Friday, March 20, 2020

Europe: Tens of millions of Europeans have demonic views of Israel

Manfred Gerstenfeld via BESA Center:
Thanks to an increasing number of quantitative studies, a picture of the vast extent of European demonization of Israel is finally beginning to emerge. One of the most detailed of such studies is a recent report commissioned by the Hungarian Action and Protection League and prepared by the Hungarian pollster company Inspira Ltd.

Inspira interviewed representative samples of the adult population between the ages of 18 and 75 by gender, age group, settlement size, and education in 16 European countries. Twenty-five percent of the interviewees disagree that Israel acts in legitimate self-defense against its enemies. Twenty-seven percent disagree that Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East. When 25% think of Israel’s politics, they feel they understand why some people hate Jews. Twenty-four percent think Israeli policy toward the Palestinians justifies an international boycott of Israel. The same percentage think Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians.

In today’s Western societies, the phrase “behaving like Nazis” is used to convey absolute evil, because it means either wanting to or actually attempting to commit genocide. Those familiar with the history of antisemitism recognize the ancient antisemitic hate motif in the usage of this phrase to vilify Jews. It is a motif that has played a crucial role in the persecution of Jews throughout history: the idea that the Jew personifies absolute evil. […]  
In today’s world, Israel and Jews are tarred with a new mutation of the absolute evil idea: that Israel, the Jewish state, is a Nazi regime that intends to wipe out the Palestinians. The Inspira poll provided new data on this to supplement earlier studies. While the numbers vary substantially among studies, they all translate into many tens of millions of Europeans who believe Israel fits this contemporary definition of absolute evil.
read more

- Europe: How bad is antisemitism in Europe? Survey suggests it's rampant
- Europe: Like schnitzel, anti-Semitism has become part of the cultural fabric of Europe 
- European floats depict vermin, chimneys, poison gas, bags of money

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Germany: Government bans extremist ‘Citizens of the Reich’ organization

Via The Berlin Spectator:
In cooperation with the Senate Administration in the city state of Berlin, Germany’s Ministry of the Interior just forbade the organization ‘Unified German Peoples and Tribes’ (Geeinte deutsche Völker und Stämme’) which was run by self-proclaimed ‘Citizens of the Reich’.

Rooting out extremist right-wing organizations is something the Ministry of the Interior has done for a long time. Since the latest terror attacks in Halle and Hanau, banning those groups has a higher priority. These days, right-wing extremism and terrorism pose a bigger danger than left-wing extremists. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a conservative, has said so.

Now he forbade the next organization of this kind, ‘Geeinte deutsche Völker und Stämme’. The ministry was mainly supported by Berlin’s Interior Senator Andreas Geisel and his administration. ‘Citizens of the Reich’ neither accept the Federal Republic of Germany they live in nor its institutions, laws or its police. They pretend they live in a state like Nazi Germany which was defeated by the Allies in 1945, when fascism and the Holocaust finally ended. […]

According to Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior, the group’s image of humanity was shaped by antisemitism and conspiracy theories.
read more

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Poland: Why Catholic Poles are discovering Jewish roots they don’t even have

Sarah Glazer via Air Mail News:
[...] The nation that many American Jews look upon as a Holocaust graveyard (only 10 percent of the more than three million Jews there survived) has been experiencing a highly visible, if small-scale, revival of Jewish life. But more surprisingly, young, non-Jewish Poles are becoming fascinated with Jewish culture at the same time that the country is experiencing an equally visible revival of open anti-Semitism. […]

During a recent week-long visit to Poland, the young people I met who were volunteering at Jewish community centers or considering conversion to Judaism often mentioned their disillusionment with the Catholic Church in Poland, currently the focus of a child-sex-abuse scandal, and being repulsed by anti-Semitism. But more often I heard about a nostalgia for a culture they never knew or a desire to explore a more distinctive identity than they see around them.

“There would be no Jewish revival in Poland without non-Jews,” Kaja Siczek, who coordinates Jewish teen activities at the Warsaw Jewish community center, told me. Partly this is because there just aren’t enough Jews to staff all the festivals, Jewish-holiday dinners, and Jewish community centers.  […]

“I think we’re interested in Jewish culture because Jewish people were part of Poland’s history and culture and suddenly they disappeared,” said Zuzanna Porębowicz, 34, a Montessori teacher who took a course in Hebrew in Warsaw. She said many of her contemporaries were learning Hebrew, visiting Israel, or searching for Jewish family roots. “A lot of us younger people feel that something is missing, and we are looking for that part that is missing.” […]

The fact that the history of Jews in Poland was suppressed so long under Communism has also added to its mystique. Janusz Makuch, founder of the Kraków festival, who was born in 1960 and raised under Communism, says he was shocked to learn that his hometown of Pulawy had once been one-third Jewish.

Makuch was a university student when he first met Jews in Kraków’s old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. He began to learn Hebrew and Yiddish in an informal study group that also celebrated Jewish holidays. In an interview laced with Yiddish and Hebrew, he told me that though he comes from a “half-Catholic, half-Communist” family and never converted, “I’m one of you.” (His address to a group of American Jews visiting the festival was so conversant in Jewish humor and references that he sounded like a Borscht-belt comedian.)  
“Without Jews we [in Poland] are no one. My identity is like an empty vessel,” said Makuch, who dons a kippah (Jewish skullcap) to introduce the closing concert. The festival, he said, is “building the Polish future in Kraków”—a future for Jewish and Christian Poles together.
read more

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Belgium: Catholic coronavirus top specialist is obsessive Israel-basher (Gazacaust)

Marc Van Ranst is a Belgian virologist and epidemiologist at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and the Rega Institute for Medical Research.

Van Ranst is very active on social media, particularly Twitter, where he addresses both professional and societal issues. In August 2014, he was the first person who used the term Gazacaust that created heavy reactions in the Jewish community in Belgium and abroad.
Articles @ Joods Actueel on Marc Van Ranst (in Flemish)

Monday, March 16, 2020

UK: Anti-racism charity reverses decision to appoint Ken Loach schools competition judge

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
An anti-racism charity has reversed a decision to appoint filmmaker Ken Loach as a judge on one of its competitions, saying "new information" had come to light.

In a statement published on its website on Monday, Show Racism the Red Card said: “Following new information, the Board of Trustees have decided not to endorse the Executive decision to appoint Ken Loach as a judge for the Show Racism the Red Card School Competition 2020.”

But the backtrack left Jewish groups who had previously called out SRtRC angry.

The Board of Deputies, which had previously highlighted how Mr Loach had dismissed allegations of antisemitism within Labour, called it a "u-turn".

It asked whether SRtRC would apologise to the Jewish community "for ignoring its serious concerns about antisemitism in the first place" and asked what information had prompted the decision.
read more

France: Hating Jews has become mainstream, warns writer Joann Sfar

Via Times of Israel:

ActuaLitté — Joann Sfar 
The comic artist and director tackles his fears in his latest book ‘The Last European Jew,’ a satirical novel exploring the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Europe

Watching anti-Semitism rise again across Europe, the acclaimed author Joann Sfar doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“When I was growing up in France, hating the Jews was something repugnant; now it’s almost the consensus,” said the French graphic novelist and director of the film “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.”

“Anti-Semitism has become a way of bringing together people who have nothing else in common but can unite” under that banner, said Sfar with bitter irony.

The writer of the bestselling “The Rabbi’s Cat” books decided to tackle his fears head-on with the oldest Jewish weapon of all — humor — in his new satirical novel.

“The Last European Jew” turns on the elderly Desire Abergel, who has had enough of being a Jew and wants to become an anti-Semite like everybody else. 
read more

Sunday, March 15, 2020

UK: Oxfam stops selling antisemitic books

Via Algemeiner:
A screenshot of the Oxfam webpage where antisemitic books were being sold. Photo: Screenshot.
Oxfam — a confederation of 19 independent charitable organizations that focuses on the alleviation of global poverty — removed antisemitic books from sale on its website after an Israeli diplomat drew attention to the matter on Friday, The Telegraph reported [Oxfam removes antisemitic books from sale after Israel's UK ambassador tweets condemnation].

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev tweeted a screenshot of the Oxfam website with the caption, “Why is @OxfamGB selling antisemitic literature?”

The image showed books available for sale including the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has described as “a classic in paranoid, racist literature.”
read more

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Europe: How bad is antisemitism in Europe? Survey suggests it's rampant.

Melissa Langsam Braunstein via The Federalist:
[…] When 36 percent of Portuguese respondents, along with 32 percent of Spaniards, 31 percent of Italians, and 28 percent of Belgians agree that “Jews always pursue their own interests and not the interest of the country they live in,” that’s concerning. And when 36 percent of Italians, 33 percent of Portuguese, 30 percent of Spanish, and 28 percent of Belgian respondents tell Pew pollsters they agree that “Jews always overstate how much they have suffered,” that’s a red flag. Neighbors who believe you’re exaggerating about historical suffering are unlikely to empathize over your contemporary concerns.  
For a more explicit deep-dive into this subject, consult the ADL Global 100 index of antisemitism, which added an 18-nation update in 2019. ADL’s top-line conclusion is that 24 percent of Western Europeans and 34 percent of Eastern Europeans hold antisemitic views. Those numbers are followed by extensive, substantiating details.

Hesitating to dub strangers antisemites is wise, especially based on limited information. It’s worth reading the country reports in full, if only to understand the particular form antisemitism takes in each society. However, I’d like to focus on the survey’s first question as an important sign post for this inquiry.

Respondents were asked whether “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/to the countries they live in].” Anyone answering “probably true” views Jews as “the other.” Whether through ignorance or malice, this group is primed to believe antisemitic conspiracy theories, including myths about Jews controlling financial markets, the media, and world governments, or blaming Jews for the world’s wars.

The fact that 33 percent of British respondents deemed that statement “probably true” helps explain Corbynism’s growth and the “record high total of 1,805 antisemitic incidents in the UK last year.” Also, the fact that 64 percent of Poles, 62 percent of Spaniards, 50 percent of Belgians, 49 percent of Germans, 49 percent of Austrians, and 39 percent of Russians think this statement is “probably true” speaks volumes.

It’s easier to understand Jews being widely dehumanized at public celebrations when we understand how widespread the antisemitic virus is in Europe. That knowledge necessarily informs European Jews’ decisions about how openly Jewish to be in their daily lives - for those who aren’t visibly Jewish - and whether they consider it safe to remain in their home countries.  
For those who would combat antisemitism, it also offers a window into the immense challenge ahead. Antisemitism’s European roots are centuries deep, so any curricular component would have to start long before the Holocaust.

Also worth pondering is the microscopic percentage of respondents truly familiar with Jews. That only 2 percent of Polish respondents reported interacting with Jews “very often,” while the same was true of 4 percent of respondents in Belgium and 1 percent in Spain, is instructive. Demonizing people you know only as ugly caricatures is easy. So it’s theoretically possible that person-to-person diplomacy, especially starting at early ages, could help reverse some of these conspiratorial beliefs.

But fundamentally, this is not European Jewry’s problem to fix. If things change, it will be because Europe’s non-Jewish majority decides it’s time to make their nations’ collective future brighter than their past.
read more

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Europe: Like schnitzel, anti-Semitism has become part of the cultural fabric of Europe

Ben Cohen @ JNS:
The three most common stereotypes neatly encapsulate the triangular denunciation of the Jews: They dominate the economy and financial markets; they are more loyal to the State of Israel than they are to the continent; and they talk endlessly of their suffering during the Holocaust.  
The following quotes are from Jewish citizens of various European countries, gathered during a survey earlier this year on Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism that was carried out by the European Union.  
“Anti-Semitism and racism are like the Wiener Schnitzel. They are part of the Austrian cultural heritage, just as xenophobia and ‘we are different.’ There is nothing to fight against, just suppressing the consequences has to suffice.”

“The way things are now, I experience, for example, that ‘Jew’ is a widespread cuss word in Copenhagen. As a Jew who has grown up in Denmark, I have always avoided showing/telling people I am a Jew.”

“For the past 12 years, anti-Semitism has no longer been a taboo in Germany, and so it occurs more often—verbally and physically, on German streets and in social media.”

“I can’t be discriminated against [here in Poland]if no one knows that I am a Jewish. I answer a direct question about my nationality with a lie.”

“At work and in the media and social media, anti-Semitism [in France]is a daily and unrepressed occurrence.”
There is an air of resignation that hangs over these comments - a sense that hostility towards Jews is something that must be managed, rather than defeated. The Austrian respondent quoted above wittily described anti-Semitism in his country as akin to a schnitzel, an indelible part of that country’s social and cultural fabric that can produce deadly consequences if we are not sufficiently careful. The respondents in Denmark and Poland adopted a similar stance, effectively arguing that the most efficient way of avoiding anti-Semitic harassment was not to admit to being Jewish in the first place.

As difficult as these quotes are to read, they are nonetheless in keeping with the statistical data presented in the E.U. survey of European Jews. A full of 85 percent of respondents across the continent agreed that anti-Semitism was a “problem,” with a plurality describing it as a “big problem.” As the European Union observed in the summary accompanying the report, “hundreds of respondents personally experienced an anti-Semitic physical attack in the 12 months preceding the survey. More than one in four (28%) of all respondents experienced anti-Semitic harassment at least once during that period. Those who wear, carry or display items in public that could identify them as Jewish are subject to more anti-Semitic harassment (37%) than those who do not (21%).”
read more

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Finland: Top university welcomes BDS conferences but refuses to host Israel seminar

Via European Coalition for Israel:
The European Coalition for Israel (ECI) has been denied access to a leading Finnish university with the explanation that such an educational event with a focus on Israel and Human Rights does not comply with the values and principles of the university. Having been asked for clarification of the decision, the administration refused to give a specific reason other than saying that it was a high-risk security event and that it had a political message. Despite these claims, the same university has in the past hosted several Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) events. The BDS movement has been declared to be anti-Semitic by both the German Bundestag and the Austrian Parliament, and by applying double standards to the Jewish state, also to be guilty of the new anti-Semitism today as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“Being categorically denied access to a public venue at a state-funded university poses a great threat to freedom of expression in a pluralistic and democratic society which is said to promote dialogue and diversity of opinions”, said ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell on Monday March 9th. “If the administrators are able to silence voices which they do not agree with politically, this raises the obvious question on whether the university is meeting the requirement for public funding.”

As a next step ECI will seek an audience with the rector of the university concerned, as well as raise the issue in the relevant committee within the Finnish parliament. Meanwhile, ECI together with 15 other Finnish friends of Israel organisations hosted the “Fokus Israel” main event, a panel discussion on Monday at Think Corner of the University of Helsinki, where the theme of the evening was also Israel and Human Rights.
read more

Belgium: 9 historians resign from Belgian Holocaust museum over plan to honor anti-Israel activist

Via JTA:
Half of the scientific committee of Belgium’s national Holocaust museum resigned over the institution’s plan to host an event that was to honor a promoter of boycotts against Israel.

The resignation Tuesday of nine historians from the Kazerne Dossin memorial followed an outcry over its plan from December to host the awarding of a prize by the Pax Christi Catholic aid group to Brigitte Herremans, the Belga news agency reported. Herremans has said that Israel’s supporters inflate anti-Semitism to distract from its actions and called for the European Union to sanction both the country and its citizens when they enter European soil.

The plan to host the award ceremony was canceled amid protests by Belgian Jews. Kazerne Dossin, which at first said it was merely serving as a venue for Pax Christi rather than a co-organizer, did not explain the cancellation.

The controversy showed that “Kazerne Dossin, as a memorial site, cannot become a place where the current policies of the State of Israel are placed on the agenda,” the nine historians wrote in a joint statement.
read more

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Austria: Two youths attack Jewish teen wearing Star of David ring

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Two teenagers attacked a 16-year-old Jewish boy in the Austrian city of Gratz before he was able to get away.

The victim was treated in a local hospital for cuts and bruises to his face. Police are searching for the assailants.

According to a report from the Gratz Jewish community, the victim was wearing a ring decorated with a Star of David when he was accosted March 4 on the street near a high school by the two teens, who demanded to know if he was Jewish. When he answered that he was, the boys told him to “piss off.” Then one of the boys slapped and punched him in the face while calling him a “shit Jew.”

In a statement Elie Rosen, head of the Jewish community in Gratz, said local schools need help in addressing antisemitism and should not only be teaching about the Holocaust but about the history of the Middle East conflict.

“The fact is, the word ‘Jew’ is used as an insult in schoolyards,” the statement read in part. “We have to help schools prepare to take on this problem.”
read more

Monday, March 9, 2020

Portugal: Float mocking the Holocaust at university parade (2019)

Like Belgium, Spain carnivals, in Portugal the Holocaust was also mocked and trivialised at two student festivals.

The students of the University of Coimbra held their annual celebration - Queima das Fitas (Ribbon Burning) - in May 2019.  The parade featured a Faculty of Arts and Humanities float (FLUC) trivialising the Holocaust.  It represented a train titled "Alcoholocausto".  There were protests and the students remained defiant but reluctantly removed the reference to the Holocaust.

Adriana Bebiano, an Assistant Professor with the FLUC, spoke to the organisers of the float, whose identity was not revealed. Adriana Bebiano said that some of the students involved held anti-Semitic views.

More than 70 academics criticised the float.

In 2018, History students dressed as Jews and Nazis.

read more @ Philosémitisme (in French)

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Netherlands: Little league soccer coach called a Jewish player ‘cancer Jew,’ teammates say

Via JTA:
A Dutch soccer coach is accused of calling an 11-year-old Jewish player “cancer Jew” during practice and harassing him over his religion.

The Dutch soccer association has suspended the team.

The boy, identified in an article Friday in Het Parool only as Tobias, caught the attention of the coach, who wasn’t named, last year because he wore a pendant with a Star of David, the boy told the daily. The team is the little league of the GeuzenMiddenmeer club from eastern Amsterdam.

“He asked me whether I’m an Ajax fan or a Jew,” the boy said, referencing the Amsterdam team that has many fans who use Jewish symbols as mascots. When Tobias told him he is Jewish, the coach asked: “And you’re not ashamed of it?” according to the boy.

During practice, the coach would yell to other players about Tobias: “Don’t let that Jew boy in” and “don’t let Jew boy score,” the boy said. During one match, when the players left the pitch due to rain, the coach said: “It seems like Hanukkah’s arrived,” according to the boy.
read more

Friday, March 6, 2020

Netherlands: Muslim community leader accused of writing that Hitler was Jewish in pro-Hamas email

Via JTA:
An email from 2014 bearing the signature of an influential leader of Dutch Muslims expressed support for Hamas and said that Adolf Hitler was Jewish.

The email carrying the signature of Yahia Bouyafa, chairman of the Association of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands, said that “Hamas is a legitimate and growing protest movement” against “usurpers” that used the Holocaust, “perpetrated by the Jew Hitler,” as a “pretext to steal Palestinian land,” the text read, according to an article published Sunday by De Telegraaf daily.

Bouyafa told the paper that the email was a forgery, but his Facebook page also contains references to “Hitler the Jew,” Telegraaf reported.
read more

Italy: "Liliana Segre in the ovens", grafitti with swastika in Vicenza

Via antisemitism.il:

"Liliana Segre to the ovens".  
This is the disturbing writing, accompanied by a swastika, which appeared a few days ago on the wall of a building at Cont 'Santa Lucia in Vicenza. The author used red color spray to target Senator for life, Holocaust survivor and Holocaust witness Liliana Segre.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

UK: “There’s plenty of antisemitism in England. People don’t like Jews", says Jewish actress

Via Algemeiner:
[…] The actress ["Miriam Margolyes, 78, who played the role of Professor Sprout in the “Harry Potter” movie series"], who is a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn despite allegations of antisemitism within Labour, also talked about Jew-hatred in the party, asserting, “I think that there is some antisemitism, but it is nowhere near as much as people say.”

“Corbyn handled it badly and I regret it, because he’s a good man and he’s not an antisemite,” Margolyes added. “But he should have gone, he should be out the way and let’s get on with new people.”

“And I think there’s plenty of antisemitism in England,” she noted. “People don’t like Jews. I’ve accepted that.” Margolyes said she also believed antisemitism was “widespread” in the UK’s Conservative Party, but that it was “never mentioned.”
read more

France: 687 antisemitic acts recorded in 2019 but "this is far below the reality"

Via EJP:
687 antisemitic acts were recorded in France in 2019, the Protection Service of the Jewish community (SPCJ) announced in its annual report.

Anti-Semitic acts represent 41% of racist and anti-Semitic acts committed in France in 2019. However, French Jews represent less than 1% of the national population.

According to SPCJ, a body created by Crif, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions that works with the police services, this number of anti-Semitic acts ‘’is far below the reality.’’ The number of 687 corresponds to the acts which were the subject of a complaint.

Francis Kalifat, president of Crif, has the following explanation:  "First of all, people will no longer file complaints because many people put things into perspective and say "there is worse." There are also those who think that it is useless, those who have become so used to it that they no longer do so and those who will not go to file complaints because they are afraid to do so because they know their attacker."

"It is "everyday anti-Semitism", one that does not go into the statistics, not being reported to the competent authorities," Kalifat added.

In January, the Interior Ministry noted that anti-Semitic incidents were once again on the rise (+ 27%) after the jump of + 74% recorded in 2018, compared to 2017.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bulgaria prevents annual neo-Nazi march

Via European Jewish Press:

The annual torch-lit Lukov march is named after Bulgarian Gen. Hristo Lukov,
founder of the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National Legions movement, which
supported the deportation to Treblinka of more than 11,000 Jews

The Bulgarian government has prevented an annual neo-Nazi march in Sofia, the country’s capital. The march was to take place last weekend.

The annual torch-lit Lukov march is named after Bulgarian Gen. Hristo Lukov, founder of the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National Legions movement, which supported the deportation to Treblinka of more than 11,000 Jews from territories controlled by Bulgaria in Macedonia, northern Greece and eastern Serbia.

Lukov was responsible for a Bulgarian law, based on the 1935 Nuremberg Laws in Germany, that stripped Jews of their civil rights. He was assassinated in 1943 by Communist partisans.

The Lukov demonstration usually draws thousands of neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists.

Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court prohibited the march, ruling that the far-right demonstrators could only lay wreaths at Lukov’s home.
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European floats depict vermin, chimneys, poison gas, bags of money …

Thane Rosenbaum via JNS:
The Jewish holiday of Purim, to be celebrated next week, came early in both Belgium and Spain this year—not for Jews, but for those who hate them no matter the millennium. It’s apparently impossible to resist turning an entire people into crude stereotypes and satirical objects of loathing at certain annual carnivals in Western Europe. These popular gatherings of merry-making at the expense of Jews—along with politicians, religious leaders and famous faces—date back to the Middle Ages, and occur before Ash Wednesday and Lent.

The anticipated civility of the enlightenment did nothing to draw some Europeans out from the anti-Semitic cesspool of the dark ages. […]

Imagine a Purim spiel where Jews dressed up like the KKK carrying nooses, or painted their faces yellow and carried bags of rice or clutched calculators, or showed up wearing traditional Muslim garb adorned with one added accessory—a fake, but highly visible, suicide vest? 
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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Spain: At another carnival, dancers equate Jews and Nazis alongside train and Auschwitz floats

Via JTA:

A second carnival in Spain has referenced the Holocaust with Nazi and concentration camp prisoner uniform costumes. The theme was “the same.”

The Holocaust-themed display at the Feb. 23 event in Badajos occurred amid debate on the appropriateness of festive parades apparently making light of the murder of millions of Jews and Romanis by the Nazis. That was spurred by processions the same week in Belgium and in Campo de Criptana, a town about 80 miles south of Madrid.

In Badajos, which is about 200 miles southwest of Madrid, dozens of participants marched on the main street. […]

Though the Badajos procession prompted less criticism than other events, it went further in equating Nazis and their victims. The show included a banner emblazoned with a swastika locked inside a Star of David

. There were flags bearing only the swastika and other flags with the German-language word for Jew appearing inside a Star of David. Dozens of the display’s participants danced ecstatically as they waved those symbols and others to the rhythm of the sound of a train gaining speed as onlookers cheered and applauded them. Behind them, men in prisoner uniforms pushed a float shaped like a giant train with musicians.

The group that put on the show, Los Mismos — Spanish for “the same” — is one of Badajo’s most popular and specializes in amusing juxtapositions. Their previous acts included space monkeys and astronauts and pirates who were also colonial discoverers.

Some of the Badajos show’s participants were dressed in costumes with blue and white vertical stripes, evoking the uniform of Nazi concentration camp prisoners, with a Star of David emblazoned on the backside.
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Monday, March 2, 2020

Europe: The EU has been greatly negligent in fighting antisemitism

Manfred Gerstenfeld via The Jerusalem Post:
Substantial skills in verbal acrobatics are required from the European Union ambassador to Israel. He has to justify unjustifiable behavior of the organization he represents. One aspect of that is to know how to express facts selectively when publishing articles.

The current ambassador is the Italian diplomat Emanuele Giaufret. In April 2019, Giaufret wrote an article in The Jerusalem Post titled “A brief history of EU-Israel Relations.” In the piece, he analyzed the depths of the historic, political, economic social and cultural connections between Israel and the EU. He mentioned that these are often overlooked in the discourse. Giaufret added, “Our common future is also sometimes disregarded even as Israel and the EU continue moving toward each other.”

In his description of the depth of historic connections, a very specific background issue was missing: for more than 1,000 year, antisemitism has been part of European culture. That, in particular, should have been mentioned because the EU has been so greatly negligent in fighting it. Almost 20 years since the current huge increase in antisemitism began, no uniform statistical data on antisemitic incidents in member countries are available.

Concerning political connections between Israel and the EU, Giaufret did not mention that member countries have frequently voted against Israel in the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. No similar votes exist against any other country in anywhere near such numbers. According to the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), that makes these votes antisemitic acts. The many European countries on that organization’s board supported the establishment of this definition. […]  
Recently, Giaufret got a new boss. Former socialist Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell was appointed high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy. His party rules Spain in a coalition with Europe’s most extreme Israel-hating party, Podemos. In 2018, its leader, Pablo Iglesias Turrión – now Spain’s second deputy prime minister – called Israel an illegal country.

Borrell said in an interview, “Iran wants to wipe out Israel. Nothing new about that. You have to live with it.” To understand how barbarian this is, one should imagine a Western politician in the late 1930s saying, “The Germans mistreat and heavily discriminate against the Jews. We have to live with it.”

At that time, German policy was not yet aiming for genocide of the Jews. Borrell’s statement is thus far worse in view of Iran’s intention to destroy Israel.

With such a new boss, an extreme anti-Israel inciter, Ambassador Giaufret will have to greatly upgrade his verbal acrobatics.
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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Europe: ‘Fun’ anti-semitic displays in Europe should shock Jews everywhere

Antisemitic pornography at Aalst carnival

Via New York Post:
All of a sudden nostalgia for 1930s Germany resurges across Europe, where some dismiss it as “just fun.”

Carnival marchers in the Belgian town of Aalst last week were dressed up as Jewish caricatures, as if lifted from the pages of the crude Nazi-era weekly Der Sturmer. They had long, crooked noses, Hasidic hats, rat tails — the works. Men clad in SS uniforms marched alongside, drinking beer and joking with the cheering crowds.

The grotesque display, which appeared in Aalst’s annual three-day carnival last year for the first time and repeated again last week, was described to the BBC by the town mayor’s spokesman as “our humor, just fun.” [Note: the ffirst time was in 2009, see photo below]

Men in Nazi uniforms and women in concentration camp pajamas also marched last week in another European town, Campo de Criptana in Central Spain. Oh, and music bands performed in full Nazi regalia in Croatia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a study conducted among 14,000 people in 16 European Union countries found that a quarter of all responders oppose having “too many Jews” in their country. The study, presented Monday to the European Jewish Association’s annual conference in Paris, also found 21 percent believe Jews “talk too much about the Holocaust” and exploit it for their own purposes. 
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