Thursday, April 30, 2020

Germany bans Hezbollah’s activities, police raid mosque organisations in several cities

Via EJP:
Germany has decided to ban all activities of Hezbollah on German soil as the country’s authorities have classified the Lebanese Shiite group as a terrorist organization.

Raids took place in several German federal states concurrently, a spokesperson for German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Thursday. He said that even in times of crisis, the “rule of law is able to act.”

The police raids are focused on four mosque associations in Berlin, Dortmund, Bremen and Münster accused of belonging to Hezbollah. German Foreign Minister Heiko Haas said that Hzebollah denies Israel’s right to exist, threatens with violence and terror and massively upgrades its rocket arsenal.”

His Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz praised Germany’s move. I applaud the German govt for the decision to designate Hezbollah a terror organization. In my conversations with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, he promised to help and I thank him,” Katz tweeted. “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and must be treated as such.”

The minister called on other European countries and the EU to do the same. In 2013, the EU banned Hezbollah’s military wing but not its political work in Europe. The UK designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in February last year.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

UK: Top public health expert compared 'Zionists' to Nazis

Top public health expert's attacks on Ellman and 'Zionist' Berger

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
A public health expert at the centre of criticism of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has a long history of making inflammatory statements, comparing "Zionists" to Nazis and wrote that "Jews" should reflect on the actions of the Israeli military, the JC can reveal.

Professor John Ashton, a former regional director of public health for north-west England, appeared on BBC Panorama on Monday to discuss the findings of an investigation into the failure to stockpile personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff.

But aside from offering his advice over health issues, Professor Ashton, who has been a long-time member of the Labour Party, regularly posts on social media on issues involving Israel and Zionism. In one tweet he suggested it was, "Time to isolate Zionists and all religious fundamentalists whatever colour of black."

An analysis of social media posts made by the former President of the Faculty of Public Health from 2012 until 2018 shows that he has frequently equated Zionism with Nazism.

Writing in November 2012 in response to Israeli military actions in Gaza, he stated: "Sickening to see Zionists behave like Nazis."

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

UK: “Typical Jewish behaviour”, says landlord to owner of Edinburgh’s Bross Bagels after she asks for rent relief during COVID-19 crisis

Via Antisemitism UK:
A landlord reportedly told the owner of the Bross Bagels shops in Edinburgh that she was displaying “typical Jewish behaviour” when she asked for rent relief during the COVID-19 crisis.

Rent relief has been widely introduced as the pandemic causes enormous financial difficulty to countless businesses and individuals.

The owner of the chain explained that when she tried to arrange alternative rent payments with the landlord for the three months (during which the pandemic was expected to affect businesses most acutely), as she had done with the landlords of the other stores, the landlord disputed whether the relief was necessary. But when she texted back to him that she preferred to continue their exchange in writing rather than over the telephone so that she could make their exchange available to her solicitor, her landlord responded that this was “typical Jewish behaviour”.

The landlord was apparently in Turkey for medical treatment when the lockdown was imposed, leaving him stranded. Without regard to the merits or otherwise of the claim for rent relief, the insulting reference to the Jewish ethnicity of the owner is totally unacceptable.
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Monday, April 27, 2020

Spain: MEP suggests to his country’s PM ‘to follow the example of Israel in the formation of a coalition government’

MEP Antonio López-Istúriz

Via EJP:
"The only part of the statement that I do agree with is that we must now focus and cooperate in the fight against coronavirus," said Spanish Member of the European Parliament Antonio López-Istúriz, who chairs the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel, in a reaction to Thursday’s statement by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on the announcement earlier this year of an agreement to form a new government in Israel. […]

In his statement, Borrell said: "The European Union takes note of the political agreement that could pave the way for the formation of a Government in Israel. The European Union is willing to closely cooperate with the new Government on fighting the coronavirus. Technical cooperation is ongoing and will be strengthened on all aspects of the pandemic. The health of our citizens and addressing the economic consequences of the coronavirus are our shared paramount priority."

In the second part of the statement, the EU foreign chief added: "The European Union’s position on the status of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 remains unchanged. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the European Union does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank." […] 
"High Representative Borrell should spend some time convincing the Prime Minister of Spain to follow the example of Israel on the formation of a Government coalition between responsible political forces," commented Antonio López-Istúriz.

The Spanish MEP is also Secretary-General of the Europe People’s Party, the largest political group in the European Parliament.
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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Germany: Drugstore chain shows ad with Palestinian antisemitic conspiracy rapper

Via The Jerusalem Post:
German and Israeli Jews say they will no longer shop at Rossmann

The giant German drug store chain Rossmann sponsored an advertisement with a rapper who has advocated an antisemitic conspiracy theory against Israelis during the jihadi plane attacks on 9/11 in New York City.

Rossmann is the second largest retail drugstore in Germany, with a total of 4,088 stores and 56,200 employees.

The German rapper Wasiem Taha, who is of Palestinian origin, circulated on social media a statement that “On September 11, 2001, 4,000 Israelis did not show up for work at the World Trade Center.” A caption under the statement and a picture of a passenger plane about to strike a WTC tower reads “More facts about Islam.”

Taha wrote above the social media post: “Weird, isn’t it.”

Taha fantasized in a song a number of years about a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv with a bomb belt. The popular Rossmann video advertisement targets a young audience and addresses the post-coronavirus climate: “Clubfeeling 2020. So that we all celebrate after corona.”
read more

Friday, April 24, 2020

UK: Coronavirus-related anti-Semitism in Lancet medical journal

Via Fathom:
‘Close and unprecedented’ was how the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA) described Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in its first ‘COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report’ on 24 March. This has not stopped antisemites and anti-Zionists the world over trying to exploit the pandemic to demonise the Jewish people and Israel. Cary Nelson examines the phenomenon, focusing on a recent letter published in the medical journal The Lancet before being withdrawn. […]  
The Jews distribute the virus, then control the cure; they want us under their power. 
Such views actually underlie a letter that recently appeared in a distinguished biomedical journal, The Lancet. While the publication was withdrawn by the journal’s editors shortly after being distributed, it is worth analysing the letter’s arguments because they are both unique and representative. What is unique, first, is that such a letter made its way into a major medical journal, and, second, that the journal’s editors did the right thing and removed the letter from their website after receiving several complaints (including one from me that made a number of the points raised here) detailing what was inaccurate or biased in the letter. But the letter is unfortunately also representative of what are likely to be an increasing number of publications by academics, journalists, and activists taking advantage of a world crisis to denounce Israel for any spread of the virus in Gaza and the West Bank. 
In their 26 March letter in the The Lancet, titled ‘Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: the case of the Gaza Strip,’ David Mills and three coauthors join a small but counterproductive effort to weaponise the serious concern that Gaza could succumb to the COVID-19 pandemic by using it to comprehensively delegitimise the Jewish state.[ix] Following the pattern modelled for years in the international BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement, they make no realistic suggestions about how to improve Gaza’s fragile, decaying infrastructure and instead concentrate on demonising Israel. Nor do they hold Hamas leaders responsible for their indifference to the general health and welfare of Gazans, the iron and cement smuggled from Egypt used for attack tunnels not building hospitals.
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Thursday, April 23, 2020

EU says annexation of parts of the West Bank ‘will not be left unanswered’

Via EJP:
The Netanyahu-Gantz agreement sets a date of July 1 from which the process to annex parts of the West Bank, as envisioned in the Trump administration’s peace plan, can begin.

Under the Trump plan, Israel can expect to receive the United States’ support for the application of Israeli sovereignty over all settlements in the territory as well as the Jordan Valley, which lies along the border with Jordan. […]

"We see annexation as not in line with international law and a breach of international law and as it was stressed several times, if this proceeds, it will not be left unanswered," said Peter Stano, the EU foreign affairs spokesperson, as he responded questions from journalists during the daily EU Commission press briefing on the new Israeli government.

He declared: "We noticed of course that an agreement was made on the future coalition government and we are looking forward to working with this government once in the office. There are still necessary procedures to make this happen. So at this stage we won’t go into speculations."

He then referred to questions about the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank, which is foreseen in the coalition agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’ Blue and White parties, by saying: "The position of the EU has not changed. I would refer you to the latest statements by High Representative (Josep Borrell) or by the EU on the issue of annexation. We see annexation as not in line with international law and a breach of international law and as it was stressed several times indeed if this proceeds, it will not be left unanswered."
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Germany: Anti-Israel activists disrupt Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial in Berlin

Via the Jerusalem Post:
Anti-Israel activists disrupted a Zoom meeting by the Israeli Embassy in Berlin commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day by posting pictures of Hitler and shouting antisemitic slogans, according to Israel's Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff.

The event, which hosted Holocaust survivor Zvi Herschel, was suspended and reconvened shortly afterwards without the activists.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Denmark: Bible Society’s translation omits dozens of references to Israel

Via The Times of Israel/JTA:
The Danish Bible Society has omitted dozens of references to Israel from translations of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Defending the deletions, the society said they prevent confusion with the modern-day country.

The omissions occurred in a project titled “Bible 2020” that was published earlier this year under the society’s supervision, the 24NYT news site reported Sunday. It’s the first translation into Danish in more than 20 years.

Jan Frost, a Bible enthusiast and supporter of Israel from Denmark, drew the media’s attention to the omissions on YouTube and other social networks. He counted 59 omissions out of 60 references to Israel in the Greek origin for New Testament texts. References to “the People of Israel” were replaced with “Jews,” while “Land of Israel” became “the land of Jews.”

In other places, references to Israel were translated as referencing all readers or all of humanity.

The Song of Ascents from the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible, a popular Shabbat hymn for Jews, originally states that “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” In the new translation, Israel is replaced by the word “us.”

A Bible Society representative told Frost that the decision was made to avoid confusing the Land of Israel with the State of Israel. However, the names of other countries from that time that still exist, such as Egypt, have not been changed.
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Germany: Murder charges filed against synagogue attack suspect

Via The Times of Israel:
German prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged the suspect in last year’s botched attack on a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle with murder and attempted murder, among other offenses.

The German man in his late 20s attempted to attack a synagogue on October 9, which was Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day. He later killed two people. The attack stoked concern about anti-Semitism and far-right violence in Germany. 
read more

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ukraine: Firebombing damages Jewish center

Via JTA:
A firebombing slightly damaged a Jewish community center in southern Ukraine.

Kherson police are investigating the early Monday morning attack, in which someone set fire to a bottle of flammable liquid and dropped it on the threshold of the building, Interfax reported. The liquid did not completely catch fire, however, according to Interfax.

The Chabad emissary in Kherson, Rabbi Yossi Wolff, told, a news website geared for the worldwide English-speaking emissary community, that the front door of the building caught fire.

Security cameras filmed the attack, according to the report.
read more

Monday, April 20, 2020

Europe: The EU continues to support organizations with strong ties to terror

Via Arutz Sheva:
The EU can hardly claim it is not aware of terrorist ties in organizations it supports, such as War on Want, if even PayPal stopped the cash-flow to this dangerous group by refusing to serve it.

[…] One of the organizations supported by the European Union is War on Want. This entity, which describes itself as an anti-poverty charity based in London, is in fact part of a web of organizations that maintain steep anti-Israel sentiments as well as ties to terrorist organizations.

NGO Monitor, a research institute that conducts independent analysis on NGOs, described War on Want as the “leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions,) movement.”

BDS has long been known for its radical anti-Israel views. A report aptly names “Terrorists in Suits” found over 100 links between Hamas and BDS. The leading BDS committee includes a coalition of 28 Palestinian entities such as Hamas, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Islamic Jihad.

BDS is not the only dangerous organization connected to War on Want. They are also tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization labeled as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.

In addition, one of War on Want’s main funders is Interpal, a group that is not only designated a terrorist organisation by countries such as the United states, Canada and Australia , but was described by the US Department of the Treasury as “a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to HAMAS.”
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Sunday, April 19, 2020

UK: Politician promotes revolting antisemitic lie

Via On The Dark Side:

Jenny Tonge [British House of Lords lawmaker] has promoted an article by Ramzy Baroud alleging that IDF soldiers and settlers ‘are working extra hard to spit at as many Palestinians, their cars, doorknobs, and so on, as possible’ in order to spread Covid-19. 
There is no evidence for this
Tonge calls Baroud ‘a well respected writer’. 
Well respected by whom, Jenny? 
You only have to look at Baroud’s website to see that he buys into and propagates all the antisemitic lies about Israel. See the video of his talk at the University of Turin in Italy marking this year’s ‘Apartheid Week’ (it was delivered by Skype due to the Corona outbreak). 
He appears to support terrorism, he compares Zionism to Nazism, he says that Zionism equals racism and he says that it’s a prelude to genocide.
read more


UK lawmakers: Baroness must apologize for saying Israel lobby behind Corbyn loss

UK: Financial Times more anti-Israel than Arab media

Via Elder of Ziyon:
Here was an absurd headline from the Financial Times last week (The Arab medics battling coronavirus in Israel’s segregated society):
The article's bias is truly insane:
Arabs make up only a fifth of Israel’s population, but represent half the country’s pharmacists, a quarter of its nurses and just under a fifth of its doctors, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Some of the nation’s largest hospitals have Arab doctors heading major departments, and the country’s leading virologist is Arab. […]

In Kafra Qara, an Arab town south of Haifa with so many medical professionals that residents call it the city of doctors, Jameel Mohsen was more critical.

As an Arab, other jobs are closed off to us, so we became doctors,” he said, peeling off layers of protective equipment after setting up a Covid-19 ward at the Hillel Yeffe Medical Center, where he is head of infectious diseases.
If anyone can find any minority group complaining that they are over-represented in the medical professions as evidence of discrimination, I'd love to see it.

Of course, there are no professions in Israel where Arabs are not allowed. There are lots of Arab police officers. There are many Arab engineers and programmers and research scientists. Once, the acting president of Israel was a Druze Arab.

While FT claims that the over-representation of Arabs in the health sector somehow shows how Israel is discriminatory, Gulf365 has a very good article for its Arabic-speaking audience about how Arab doctors are essential in battling the coronavirus in Israel. The article bullet points are:
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Estonia: 13-year-old boy led alleged neo-Nazi plot to bomb synanogues

Via Ynet:
He called himself "Commander" online. He was a leader of an international neo-Nazi group linked to plots to attack a Las Vegas synagogue and detonate a car bomb at a major U.S. news network. He was 13 years old.

The boy who led Feuerkrieg Division lived in Estonia and apparently cut ties with the group after authorities in that tiny Baltic state confronted him earlier this year, according to police and an Estonian newspaper report. […]

A report published Wednesday by the weekly Estonian newspaper Eesti Ekspress said Estonian security officials had investigated a case involving a 13-year-old boy who allegedly was running Feuerkrieg Division operations out of a small town in the country. The newspaper said the group has a "decentralized structure," and the Estonian teen cannot be considered the organization's actual leader but was certainly one of its key figures.
Feuerkrieg Division post on social media shows members training
(Photo: Feuerkrieg Division Facebook account)
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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Germany: New record of antisemitic crimes in Saxony

The number of antisemitic crimes in Saxony reached a new high last year. A total of 156 such offenses became known in 2019, according to the state government's answers to parliamentary questions from the left-wing parliamentary group in the state parliament.

The left-wing politician Kerstin Köditz said on Wednesday in Dresden that the number of cases in Saxony had been growing significantly for years: 138 antisemitic acts were reported in 2018, compared to 118 in 2017. A low was reached in 2012 with 51 cases. Köditz asks the figures from the state government every month.

The crimes are reportedly primarily incitement (72) and the use of signs of unconstitutional organizations (42). There were also insults and threats (8) and two physical injuries, said the MP. Most of the actions occurred in Dresden (30), Leipzig (22) and Chemnitz (17). The districts of Görlitz (16), Mittelachsen (13), Bautzen and Leipzig (11 each) follow.
read more

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Germany: Cultural festival director urged to be fired for BDS antisemitism

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Uwe Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism in Germany, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the director of the Ruhrtriennale music and cultural festival should be dismissed for providing a platform for Israel-related antisemitism.

"Once again, the director of the Ruhrtriennale Stefanie Carp sets an anti-Israel accent and stages the defamation of the Jewish state in the guise of freedom of art and expression,” said Becker.

He added that ”Obviously Ms. Carp not only has a problem with Israel but also deliberately provides a large platform for Israel-related antisemitism. Once again, she is abusing the framework of a publicly funded festival for antisemitic enemy images toward Israel.”

Becker, who is also president of the pro-Israel NGO, the German-Israel friendship society, said “Ms. Carp should be discharged from her duties and Prof. Achille Mbembe should be disinvited from the event."

Becker’s statement is the first call for Carp’s dismissal in a widening anti-Israel scandal involving her no holds barred defense of Mbembe, who has been accused of antisemitism and trivializing the Holocaust.

Mbembe signed a petition supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.
read more

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

UK: Shock internal report into anti-Semitism in the Labour party says it was so rife that some members were borderline neo-Nazis

Via Daily Mail:
Anti-Semitism was so rife within Labour that some members’ views were like those of neo-Nazis, a damning internal report found.

Investigators said prejudice against Jews became common within the party.

And they revealed former leader Jeremy Corbyn did little to help discipline offenders until two years ago.

The report highlighted ‘a litany of mistakes and missed opportunities’ amid strained relations between Mr Corbyn’s office and Labour HQ.

But it said a better approach to anti-Semitism complaints had since been established.

Nearly 900 members have been investigated or suspended for anti-Jewish hate in the past three years with 63 expelled.

The report, leaked to the Daily Mail, added: ‘The events which led to this investigation, including the party becoming host to a small number of members holding views which were unarguably hostile to Jewish people and in some cases frankly neo-Nazi in their nature, are deeply disturbing.

‘This has caused great pain to the Jewish community. The party must take all possible steps to repair this damage, and apologise for failing to take action sooner.’
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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Romania: Senior priest accused of likening Jews to virus in Easter greeting

Via The Times of Israel/JTA:
A senior priest in the Catholic Church of Romania on Thursday appeared to liken Jews to a virus, in a filmed Easter greeting.

The reference was part of the message, sent out to national television stations, by Father Francisc Dobos, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bucharest.

The disciples of Jesus, he said, reading from the Christian Bible, “feared the Jews, and here in the bracket we should read: feared the virus.” 
read more

Monday, April 13, 2020

UK: Did pharmacy publication’s Gaza story steal from antisemitic site?

Via The Algemeiner (Adam Levick):
Last week, we posted about a grossly misleading article at the London-based site, blaming Israel for Gaza’s COVID-19 healthcare problems. describes itself as a leading portal for pharmaceutical professionals “with pharma news, pharma events, and pharma service company listings.”

Their “report” on Gaza reads like a hatchet job you’d expect from an anti-Israel propaganda site, certainly not at a pharmaceutical industry publication. Following our post, we tweeted that the article was retracted by editors without explanation — and their tweet was deleted.

However, it turns out that they simply republished it with a different url, slightly different headline, and some largely superficial textual alternations.

Though the headline was changed from “Israeli blockade has made COVID-19 a ‘death sentence’ in Gaza” to “Palestinians fear Israeli-Egyptian blockade may be a ‘death sentence’ for COVID-19 patients in Gaza,” some new sources added, and a few paragraphs re-arranged, the new piece doesn’t represent a substantive departure from the original.

But, upon further analysis, we’ve concluded that the article(s) share a curious degree of overlap with a piece published at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), a virulently anti-Israel publication that often peddles antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories.

CAMERA has written that WRMEA brands Israel’s defenders “fifth columnists,” “Israel-firsters,” “viruses,” “bacteria,” “cancer,” and an “alien intrusion” operating “against the interests of the United States.” The White House, the State Department, Congress, and the media have been characterized by WRMEA as “Israeli-occupied territory.” The ADL reported that WRMEA “frequently serves as an apologist for Muslim American groups advocating antisemitism and support for terrorism.”
The WRMEA article, “Gaza on the Ground,” by Mohammed Omer (a former Electronic Intifada contributor), was published in their May print edition, but was online by April 5 at the latest — a day before the Pharamfile piece. […] 
One last note:

It looks like the journalist who wrote the Pharmafile pieces, Conor Kavanagh, is a hardcore Jeremy Corbyn fan. See the YouTube channel he highlights on his Twitter profile,
See this video where he defends Jeremy Corbyn, and this one where he “debunks” the “Hysteria around the British Anti-Semitism Row.”
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

UK: Pharmaceutical site smears Israel on Gaza COVID-19 infections

Via The Algemeiner (Adam Levick):
The London-based describes itself as “a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, and pharma service company listings.” But it also occasionally veers into politics — at least when political decisions are seen as impacting public health or medical policy, particularly of late with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent piece on Gaza shows that they are not above sacrificing facts, history, and empirical evidence to advance a desired narrative:
Israeli blockade has made COVID-19 a “death sentence” in Gaza
— Pharmafocus (@Pharmafocus) April 6, 2020
The headline alone is astonishing, echoing the narrative of radical anti-Israel groups like IfNotNow in suggesting that, though there has only been one reported COVID-19 death in Gaza, blame for any such fatalities that may occur as a result of the virus should “lay squarely with the Israeli government.”
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Friday, April 10, 2020

Sweden: Dozens or perhaps hundreds of molotov cocktails thrown into synagogues, Jewish community centers, funeral chapels

Devorah Goldman on Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein @ American Interest:
[…] Rothstein has observed similar problems in her home country of Sweden, where religious observance has declined for decades among both Jews and the general population. According to the Swedish government, only 8 percent of its citizens regularly attend religious services, and Sweden was ranked the second-least religious country in the world by Gallup in 2015. But on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Swedish synagogues are packed, and the king and queen attend special services to honor the victims. To Rothstein, this emphasis on the Holocaust has replaced religious life for too many Jews. It also obscures government failures to protect its citizens from current anti-Semitic attacks. 
Given Sweden’s history, prioritizing Holocaust commemoration makes some sense. During and after World War II, thousands of Jewish refugees sought shelter in Sweden, and this influx dramatically reshaped its previously tiny Jewish community. Sweden’s Jewish population doubled in size between 1945 and 1970, and it now stands at somewhere between 13 and 15 thousand. The inherited trauma of the Holocaust formed the Jewish identity of many of the refugees’ descendants, even as their commitment to Jewish practice waned. 
At the same time Sweden’s Jews have drifted from tradition, disturbing incidents of anti-Semitism in Sweden have increased. Over the last decade or so, attackers have thrown dozens or perhaps hundreds of molotov cocktails into synagogues, Jewish community centers, and funeral chapels. In 2017, a Jewish youth club was holding its annual party at the Gothenburg synagogue when three men began throwing homemade bombs through the windows. (Rothstein reports that no one died and that a large fire was successfully put out.) That same year, a Jewish community center in Umea was shut down due to repeated death threats against its director. The Nordic Resistance Movement, which registered as an official political party in 2015 and whose stated goal is to rid Sweden of its Jews, has gained in popularity in recent years and appears to be behind many large and small anti-Semitic provocations. 
Rothstein further argues that anti-Semitism in Sweden has taken more subtle forms. Kosher slaughter is prohibited, and there have been repeated attempts to ban circumcision and the importation of kosher meat. These trends have influenced the Jewish community, which counts fewer committed Jews in each successive generation. In considering the future for Sweden’s Jews, Rothstein reflects on the relationship between their Jewish identity and their approach to the Holocaust, and concludes that remembrance devoid of responsibility for future Jewish life seems empty. She’d like the government to do more to protect Swedish Jews from anti-Semitism, and for Jews to invest more in everyday communal and religious obligations.
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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Germany: As coronavirus spreads in Germany, so does antisemitism

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Germany has seen an increase of antisemitism along with the rise in coronavirus cases, the country’s antisemitism commissioner said.

“There are direct links between the current spread of the coronavirus and that of antisemitism,” Felix Klein said Tuesday in Berlin, the AFP news agency reported. “In recent weeks, right-wing radicals have increasingly tried to leverage the coronavirus crisis for their own ends.”

Klein described one current pandemic conspiracy theory which states that the coronavirus is a failed bioweapon set loose by the Mossad, Israel’s secret service.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Germany: Antisemitic tags at underground station in Berlin

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:
At the metro station Tempelhof of the city of Berlin antisemitic slurs have been daubed over historic posters. They said "Jew free zone" and "Free Palestine" alongside a swastika.
Read more @ Register Verlin (in German)

Monday, April 6, 2020

Italy: Bishop condemns antisemitic painting

An influential Bishop in Italy has weighed in on the controversy surrounding a painting produced by an Italian artist, Giovanni Gasparro. The painting, which Gasparro produced in late 2019 and early 2020 is titled “The Martyrdom of St. Simon of Trento for Jewish Ritual Murder.”

Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico, who serves as president of the Episcopal Commission of the Italian Episcopal Conference for ecumenism and dialogue, denounced the painting as “a sad demonstration of how much the human mind chases old stereotypes.” (The Bishop’s denunciation of Gasparro’s antisemitic painting was published in Chiesa, an influential Catholic newspaper in Italy.)

The painting depicts a blood libel based on debunked accusations leveled at the Jewish community living in Trent in 1475. Fifteen Jews were the victims of judicially sanctioned murder as a result of this libel. Most of the victims confessed under torture.

Sadly, Gasparro, who posted images of his painting on his Facebook page on March 25, 2020, is a well-known painter in Italy and has done a substantial work for Catholic places of worship in that country, which makes Bishop Spreafico’s robust condemnation particularly compelling.

The Bishop’s condemnation demonstrates that Gasparro didn’t just offend Jewish sensibilities in a naked attempt to attract attention, but crossed a line regarding Church teachings by promoting a blood libel that had been repudiated by the Church after the passage of Nostra Aetate by the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) in 1965. Nostra Aetate rejected the notion that the Jewish people are collectively responsible for the death of Jesus and condemned antisemitism in all its forms.
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Sunday, April 5, 2020

France: Coronavirus and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

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

Via JTA:
[…] In recent weeks, a caricature of Agnès Buzyn, France’s previous health minister who is Jewish, pouring poison into a well — a depiction of one of the most prevalent theories that led to pogroms during the Black Death plague — has made the rounds on French social media. It’s been shared tens of thousands of times.

Another viral image superimposes Buzyn’s face on the “happy merchant” anti-Semitic caricature, which shows a grinning Jewish man rubbing his palms together.

Then there’s a widely shared video accusing Buzyn and her husband, Yves Levy, also Jewish, of withholding chloroquine — an anti-malarial drug being touted as a possible coronavirus antidote by some, including President Donald Trump, but whose effectivity against the coronavirus is unproven — from the French public for financial gain. It garnered 170,000 views on YouTube before being deleted. Alain Soral, a Holocaust denier with multiple convictions for inciting hatred against Jews, said in a video he posted on YouTube that the virus is being used by “the luminary community, which we are forbidden to name” that “wants to cash in on the backs of the French to weaken French people by the sheer weight of the death toll.”

The statement, which echoes similar allegations made against Jews during the Middle Ages, was unusual for Soral, who likes to cloak his hate speech in academic language and pseudo-rational constructions that he delivers dispassionately.

But to Knobel, the historian, the video’s reach was even more surprising. Its 406,000 views [416 295 views today] made it the second-most popular video on Soral’s YouTube channel, Kontre Kulture, which he launched eight years ago. 
Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the anti-Semitic French comedian and a friend of Soral, has aired similar theories on his YouTube channel, which has hundreds of videos. His
first post about the virus received 410,000 views — his highest number of clicks in more than six months. Mainstream French media has taken notice of the anti-Semitic chatter around Buzyn, including the Voici news site and France Inter public radio, which said the pandemic was “triggering a wave of anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
read more

Friday, April 3, 2020

Germany: Conspiracy audiobook reveals the "tricks" of the "almighty Rothschilds"

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:

The online audiobook store Audible spreads openly antisemitic German book called "The Rothschilds. A family rules the world." [Die Rothschilds: Eine Familie beherrscht die Welt] The book is written by German right wing author and journalist Tilman Knechtel. Already in the synopsis of the book, which is used to advertise the book on Audible, Knechtel evokes the classic antisemitic imagery of the Rothschilds holding the whole "globe" in control with "octopus tentacles". The cover of the book shows a dark hooded faceless figure who threateningly poses a dagger over the globe. The monstrous figure represents the Rothschilds, Jews. Knechtel's other works include a book that claims that the Rockefellers are controlling every aspect of life in the U.S.A. and another that tackles the "lying left leaning press" which according to the author seeks to plunge the world into a "socialst world order". The audiobook is read by German actor Markus Böker.

A quick Audible search of other books Böker has read for Audible shows that Böker has already read other right wing leaning conspiracy books, among them one called "Media Nazi. How to silence your critics" by Gereon Breuer. The book decries right wingers being shunned by mainstream media. (As an example German author Eva Herman who made news for praising Hitler's family policies.)

See for yourself:
Book presentation (Google translation from the German]:
"[…] Discover the tricks and strategies of the Rothschild family, their organizations, their banks, their agents. Learn about the true origins of Nazism, Communism, and Zionism. Find out the Rothschilds' direct influence on political heavyweights from the English royal family to American presidents. Find out how it can be possible that the fate of the world can be centrally controlled by a single family. This work will not only open your eyes, but will open them wide.  
This audio book opens up hundreds of contexts that the mainstream media want to keep secret from you. Identifying the real enemies of humanity that make war, enslavement, oppression and impoverishment possible is the goal of this audio book. Get to know the almighty Rothschilds!"

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Germany: US historian: Berlin antisemitism center ignores Israel-related antisemitism

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The prominent American historian, Dr. Jeffrey Herf, sharply criticized the Berlin Center for Antisemitism Research (ZfA) for failing to address radical left-wing, communist and Islamic Jew-hatred.

Herf, one of the world’s leading experts on antisemitism, wrote on Thursday in the German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that: "The Center for Antisemitism Research in Berlin has been noteworthy in recent decades for standing outside this scholarly consensus due to its reluctance to address the Communist/radical leftist, as well as the Islamist strains of antisemitism."

He added that, "Scholars at the Center for Antisemitism Research, despite being located within a short distance from the key archives of the former DDR [German Democratic Republic], did not write an archivally based history of the East German diplomatic and military assault on the Jewish state. I did. No amount of theoretical gymnastics can avoid the simple truth that those in the Soviet bloc, including the DDR, who used force and falsehoods to attack and defame the State of Israel with the hope of destroying, wrote a chapter in the longer history of antisemitism."

In 2016, Cambridge University published the distinguished historian Herf’s monumental work: Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967–1989.

The highly acclaimed book was published in German by Wallstein Publisher in September 2019.

Three Faces of Antisemitism: A Response to Stephanie Schüler-Springorum, was the title of Herf’s FAZ article. Schüler-Springorum is the director of the controversial antisemitism center. Herf teaches German history at the University of Maryland.

The scandal-plagued ZfA has faced intense criticism over the years for employing a researcher who worked for an organization that promoted an Iranian regime-sponsored rally calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.
read more

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

France: Magazine associates Jews with a deadly disease

Via Info Equitable.

The slander associating the Jews with a deadly disease has a long history. It is amazing to find it relayed in 2020 by a mainstream French magazine.

It was to Rym Najjar, a civil servant at the Palestinian Ministry of the Economy, that Le Nouvel Observateur entrusted the task of reporting on how her fellow citizens are faring during the Coronavirus epidemic. Rather than describing the "daily life of her family", as announced in the introduction to the series, she lashed out: "We now have two enemies: the Israeli occupation and the coronavirus. Both are enemies of humanity. "

"Doesn't the deeply anti-Semitic nature of this assertion strike you?", asks Info Equitable

read the report (in French)