Friday, May 29, 2020

France: Lawmaker Claude Goasguen, staunch Israel supporter, dies of virus aged 75

Claude Goasguen
Via The Times of Israel:
Claude Goasguen, a Republican deputy and long-time right-wing Parisian figure, died Thursday morning of a heart attack brought on by coronavirus, his family told AFP.

In intensive care for the past 22 days because of coronavirus, the former mayor of Paris’s 16th arrondissement was said to have been in a “much better condition and was walking again,” but subsequently experienced cardiac complications and died at 9:00 a.m.

A supporter of an “uninhibited” right, Goasguen was chairman of the France-Israel parliamentary friendship group and was a long-time supporter of Israeli policies. In 2017, he called to transfer the French embassy to Jerusalem, aligning with the United States.

He repeatedly expressed his rejection of anti-Semitism and participated in numerous events held by the Parisian Jewish community.

“I am in total solidarity with Israel, my great regret is that I am not a Jew myself,” he said last year. 
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Czech Republic: Sale of calendar featuring leading Nazi figures criticised

Via EJP:

A storm has erupted in the Czech Republic over the publication and sale of a calendar of “Personalities of the Third Reich” featuring a dozen leading Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich.

The calendar is published by Naše Vojsko, which publishes materials “on military, historical and technical topics”. It is listed for sale in its website for CZK 499 (18,5 euros).

Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek called the calendar “tacky and immoral”.

The Israeli and German embassies in Prague both condemned the publication. Israeli ambassador in Prague Daniel Meron said he was “shocked and disgusted by such a calendar.’’

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Associaton (EJA) condemned the publication. ‘’Such items have no place in civil society, especially in a country that suffered so much under the nazi jackboot,’’ he said in a statement, urging the Czech government to outlaw and ban the sale of any and all Nazi memorabilia.

‘’The publisher states that there is demand for such items. We heard similar words from an auction house in Munich that was selling Nazi memorabilia in 2019. This is not an excuse,’’ said Rabbi Margolin.
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Monday, May 25, 2020

UK: Study finds 20% of Britons believe Jews behind coronavirus pandemic

Via The Algemeiner:
Almost 20% of Britons believe that “Jews” are behind the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by Oxford University revealed.

According to a university statement, the survey sought to test public attitudes toward various coronavirus conspiracy theories. One of the statements given was “Jews have created the virus to collapse the economy for financial gain.”

5.5% of those surveyed said they agreed “a little” with this statement, 6.8% “moderately” agreed, 4.6% agreed “a lot,” and 2.4% “completely” agreed. Taken together, 19.3% of all respondents agreed with the antisemitic theory to some degree.

A full 80.7% said they “do not agree” with the idea that the Jews are behind the pandemic.

The numbers were similar in regard to other conspiracy theories that blamed Muslims, Bill Gates, the World Health Organization, and politicians for the outbreak.
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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Belgium: Jordanian businessman behind delivery of millions of protection masks is a member of a bank blacklisted by Israel for funding terrorism

Via EJP:
A Jordanian businessman who signed a contract with the Belgian government [Ministry of Defence] for the delivery of 15 million protection face masks, via Luxembourg-based mailbox company Avrox, is involved in a bank blacklisted by Israel for funding terrorist activities, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported.

Hamza Talhouni is a major shareholder of Cairo Amman Bank, and his brother sits on the board of directors. The bank holds hundreds of accounts of former Palestinian detainees convicted of terrorist attacks. It was on these accounts that the money they received for their deeds ended up.

Israel views the banks as financiers of terrorism. The Israeli embassy in Belgium confirmed to the paper that Cairo Amman is on a blacklist, despite having frozen the accounts in the meantime.

The contract between the businessman and Belgium amounts to at least 40 million euros.
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A first batch is expected to arrive today (7 sur 7)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Netherlands: Jewish activist attacked in Amsterdam (video)

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe and CIDI:

Shocking images: Jewish activist Michael Jacobs was attacked on Dam Square in Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon. The umpteenth incident. When will the city of Amsterdam finally put an end to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations on Dam Square that attract anti-Semites and violent individuals?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

UK: Anti-Semitism runs deep in Britain and cuts across party lines (Labour and Conservative supporters)

Via Unherd - Matthew Sweet:
Anti-Semitism runs deep in Britain.  There is a strong native tradition in this country and it cuts across party lines.

[…] The journal Political Quarterly has just published the first academic study of Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis. Its authors are the sociologists Ben Gidley and Brendan McGeever, and the historian David Feldman — all attached to the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck University of London.

Their purpose is not juridical. They are not, like the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, investigating whether unlawful acts have been committed by the party or its employees or agents. Instead, they have crunched data on the views of Labour and Conservative supporters, and examined the language with which the arguments of the crisis were advanced, by those who believe Jeremy Corbyn to be a conscious, unconscious or perhaps semi-conscious anti-Semite, to those who regard the whole business as a smear campaign calculated to damage his electoral prospects.

Their conclusions will comfort few. Conservative voters, the data suggests, are more likely to assent to an anti-Semitic proposition than their Labour equivalents. These numbers are alarmingly large: added together, they work out as about 30% of the population. So why has Tory anti-Semitism failed to become a source of controversy? Because, Gidley and his co-authors argue, a tradition of Left-wing thinking about capitalism — the view that it is a system rigged by a powerful elite — raises questions to which anti-Semitism provides simple answers. […]

The most emphatic point made by Gidley, McGeever and Feldman is a conceptual one. They suggest that most of the participants in the crisis — from Jeremy Corbyn to Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis — are guilty of the same intellectual error. They have chosen to characterise anti-Jewish racism as a poison, a virus, a disease — a foreign pollutant that has breached the defences of a 120-year-old British institution. “Figures on all sides,” the article concludes, “conceive antisemitism as an exogenous force which contaminates and spoils the political body it inhabits.”

Rather as the 1999 McPherson Report on the murder of Stephen Lawrence rejected the “bad apple” theory in favour of the less localised and dismissable concept of institutional racism, Gidley and his co-authors want us to reject the reassuringly alien idea of the virus. “If we should use a metaphor to comprehend anti-Semitism,” they argue, “it is not virus but reservoir: a deep reservoir of stereotypes and narratives, one which is replenished over time and from which people can draw with ease.”
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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The European Union has circled back to focus on its favorite pet issue: Israel

Via Israel Hayom - Prof. Eyal Zisser:
After eradicating the coronavirus that ravaged the countries of Europe and mending the deep rifts within its ranks, the European Union has circled back to focus on its favorite pet issue: Israel.

The new government, which was barely assembled and hasn't even published a plan of action yet, is already facing EU threats of punitive action, including economic sanctions and even the suspension of diplomatic ties if Israel dares follow through with its intention to apply Israeli law in parts of Judea and Samaria.

The bureaucrats at EU headquarters in Brussels can't actually drag Europe into a war on Israel, which has close ties with many countries on the continent, such as Austria, The Czech Republic, Hungary and others. These countries all harbor animosity for the EU, which failed in the moment of truth and left them, each on their own, to contend with the quarantines, deaths and economic crises caused by the coronavirus. But several leading European countries, chief among them France, Belgium, Spain and Ireland, are determined to spearhead an anti-Israel initiative and have threatened to enact punitive measures even if the majority of EU countries don't join them.

Disagreements between friends are legitimate, but when it comes to Israel-European relations, and to be more precise, several EU countries, this isn't the case. The EU doesn't care about the Palestinians whatsoever. Its concern for international law, which it says Israel is violating, also isn't a top priority. After all, the EU is indifferent to the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, and Brussels doesn't typically care about Tibet and Western Sahara either. 
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Monday, May 18, 2020

Ukraine: Nationalists commemorate SS Galizien at gatherings at which its founder's son is an honoured guest

Otto Wächter with German settlers in Sanok in 1940. Wiki Commons.

Review by Christopher Hale @ History Today (The Exhumation of a Nazi Perpetrator):
[…] In The Ratline, Sands deepens this enquiry by pursuing a perpetrator of such crimes and laying bare in quotidian detail the life and times of SS General Otto von Wächter. Wächter was deputy to Hitler’s lawyer and Governor General of occupied Poland, Hans Frank, before becoming governor of the Galician District of German occupied Ukraine. He was also the founder of one of the ‘foreign’ divisions of the Waffen-SS, the Galizien. I wrote about the SS division and Wächter himself in Hitler’s Foreign Executioners (2011) and tried to clarify the role he and his Ukrainian recruits played in Hitler’s war of annihilation and the Holocaust. […] 
Born in 1901, Wächter was a product of the Habsburg Empire. His father was a monarchist antisemite but Otto grew up in a Vienna that was being revolutionised by Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler and others. Otto was educated in law and, in the ruins of empire, he made an early commitment to his fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party – a passion shared with his wife, Charlotte. Through their decades-long correspondence, Sands reconstructs Wächter’s rise to the Nazi elite. He was, we discover, a committed and ambitious activist, who took a leading role in the July Putsch (1934) and in the assassination of the Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss. He then tenaciously grappled the rungs of power in occupied Poland and the former lands of the Habsburg Empire. Wächter’s rise depended on his evident commitment to the movement, his bond with Frank and a proven legal and administrative proficiency that facilitated the liquidation of the enemies of the Reich in his domain. The SS Galizien, like many of the other ‘foreign’ divisions of the Waffen-SS, was primarily used to flush out real and imagined ‘partisans’, including Jews. When the ‘Galizien’ was thrown into battle, it was eviscerated by the Soviet Army. As Sands discovered, the division’s crushing defeat at Brody is still commemorated by Ukrainian nationalists at gatherings at which Horst von Wächter is an honoured guest. 
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Christopher Hale is the author of Deception: How the Nazis Tricked the Last Jews of Europe 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Europe: A pandemic of anti-Zionist signification: exploiting Gaza for ideological gain

Via Fathom - Cary Nelson:
As Gaza was acquiring its first two cases of the coronavirus in March 2020, the world’s longest hatred inevitably found local expression. […]  
The Anti-Defamation League is formally tracking anti-Semitic COVID-19 accusations internationally, documenting a number of them in its 25 March report ‘International Scapegoating of Israel and Jews for Spreading COVID-19.’[iv] In France, ‘Alain Mondino, head of a party list belonging to the far-right National Rally political party, posted a video on social media trying to link Jews to the spread of the coronavirus.’ ‘French far-right figure Henry de Lesquen spoke at a “Swiss Resistance” meeting in Aigle and said “There’s worse than coronavirus—judeovirus (Jewish virus).”’ Echoing a number of similar slanders, ‘Ivo Sasek, a Swiss Holocaust denier, posted on his organisation’s website,, an article falsely accusing Jewish American George Soros of spreading the virus.’[v] The trend is mounting across Europe: ‘In an article published on the extremist Spanish website,, the far-left Basque political party, Herritar Batasuna, wrote: ‘Today, March 14, we emphatically declare that the coronavirus is an instrument of the Third World War that has unleashed Yankee Zionist imperialism. The Anglo-Saxon capitalist and Zionist elite that is the enemy of all Humanity has taken a further step in its criminal and genocidal offensive.’ […]

It is easy to cast out far-right anti-Semitism from a zone of supposedly rational debate. Some of the more virulent anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do come from the dark web. Some spring from pervasively hostile countries like Iran. Anti-Zionist faculty members prefer to believe they are engaged in reasoned critique of Israeli policies. But coronavirus conspiracism does not establish a clear line between rational and irrational argument. At best there is a continuum along which one may place different rhetorical strategies and claims. This emerging conspiracism echoes centuries of anti-Semitism based on medical accusations. As Topor reminds us, ‘During the Black Death pandemic of the Middle Ages (1347-61) Jews were accused of “poisoning the wells.”’ Now, ‘Al Masdar, an Algerian news website recently published a report titled ‘”A Zionist organisation is behind the coronavirus and the Zionist entity (Israel) claims to have found the vaccine.”’ 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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Germany: Burning of Israeli flag leads to law to ban torching of all flags

Via The Jerusalem Post:
An antisemitic rally where an Israeli flag was torched caused German lawmakers on Thursday to pass legislation outlawing the burning of all foreign flags within the borders of the federal republic.  
The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 16-page change in German to law that imposes a criminal penalty that could lead to a three year prison term for flag burning.  
The Social Democratic Party faction wrote in the proposed law ahead of its passage “that the draft law and the coalition factions' amendment were not about restricting freedom of expression. Rather, a clear criminal law barrier should be set and a gap in criminal law should be closed. It was unbearable and unacceptable for the flag of the State of Israel to be burned in public.”  
The main triggering event for the legislation was a 2017 demonstration in Berlin, in which 2,500 people, most of whom were German Muslims, protested against US President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. The protestors torched an Israeli flag, prompting police at the time to initiate investigations into 11 people in connection with the flag burning.
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Friday, May 15, 2020

Spain: State hires group accused of anti-Semitism to ‘teach against hate’

Matisyahu: Anti-Semitism at Spanish festival was something I never experienced before

Via JTA:
A regional government in Spain hired an organization that is widely regarded as anti-Semitic to train teachers on how to combat racism. The group, BDS Pais Valencia, is scheduled to begin the training 20-day seminar on June 8, ACOM, a pro-Israeli organization in Spain, wrote in a statement Wednesday.

The online seminar was listed on the Spanish Education Ministry on April 27 under the title “Solidarity and human rights. Learning to teach against hatred and racism (Judeophobia, Islamophobia, and Palestine-Israel).”

In 2015, BDS Pais Valencia initiated what resulted in the exclusion of the American singer Matisyahu from a music festival.

Matisyahu, who is Jewish but not Israeli, was the only performer to be asked his views of Palestinian statehood by organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim, Spain. Amid an international storm of condemnations over what critics said was naked anti-Semitism, the organizers reinvited Matisyahu and apologized for their previous action, which they said was the result of pressure from BDS Pais Valencia.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Europe: MEPs express outrage over terror-linked groups being eligible for funding of NGOs

Via EJP:
Several Members of the European Parliament have expressed outrage over terror-linked groups being eligible for EU funding of NGOs. Last week, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned the EU envoy to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret to demand a "clarification" over the matter and demanded a complete overhaul of funding rules ensuring taxpayer money is spent in line with European laws and values. "We are alarmed that a senior EU diplomat stated that Palestinian NGOs that are affiliated with EU-designated terrorist groups will remain eligible to receive EU funding," wrote MEPs Lukas Mandl (Austria), Anna Michelle Asimakopouloun (Greece), Petras Auštrevičius (Lithuania), Carmen Avram , Dietmar Köster (Germany) and Alexandr Vondra (Czech Republic) in an open letter to Eu foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. 
The issue came out after the head of the European Union Office to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, wrote in a letter on 30 April 2020 to an umbrella organization of Palestinian NGOs that "it is understood that a natural person affiliated to, sympathizing with, or supporting any of the groups or entities mentioned in the EU restrictive list is not excluded from benefitting from EU-funded activities unless his/her exact name and surname (confirming his/her identity) corresponds to any of the natural persons on the EU restrictive lists."
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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Portugal to limit citizenship to descendants of expelled Jews

Via Portugal Loves Israel (FB group):
It was too good to last:

The Portuguese government is working on a proposal to limit nationality concessions to Jews descendants of Sefardis expelled from Portugal after dozens of thousands citizenships were offered in the last years. It will require 2 years of residence in Portugal starting next year. The reasons mentioned include aggressive publicity campaigns in Turkey and Israel, and big law offices building a big business out of it.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Netherlands: Syrian migrant smashed the windows of a Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam

Via EJP:
The man who smashed the windows of a Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam is a 31-year-old Syrian migrant. He was arrested on Friday after smashing the windows of the HaCarmel kosher restaurant, the second time he has done so.

Saleh Ali was subdued with pepper spray by officers after he used a metal pipe to smash the windows of the kosher restaurant while holding a lighter in the other hand which which he attempted to light an Israeli flag.

Because the restaurant was closed due to the coronavirus crisis, no one was present at the time of the destruction in the restaurant located on the Amstelveenseweg. A suspicious package was found outside the restaurant’s door early this year but ultimately it turned out to be a false alarm.

In 2017, Ali smashed HaCarmel’s windows with a wooden club while waving a Palestinian flag. He stole an Israeli flag hanging there. Police officers stood by as he vandalized the place but arrested him when he came out. The man was convicted of vandalism after 52 days behind bars while awaiting trial, but he was released without further penalty.
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Friday, May 8, 2020

France: Muslim man suspected of spitting on influential Jewish intellectual

Video posted by the attacker Mehdi Korchi:

Via JTA:
An influential French-Jewish intellectual who has criticized Islam was threatened and allegedly spat on by a young Arab man in Paris.

Eric Zemmour was walking with shopping bags in his hands on April 30 when the incident occurred, the Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Thursday, adding that a man identified as Mehdi Korchi filmed himself accosting Zemmour.

Police identified Korchi and plan to indict him for assault, Le Point reported.

Korchi, who appears to have livestreamed himself screaming at Zemmour “I’ll f*** your mother, son of a whore” while following him for minutes, explained in a later video that he had no interest in debating the right-leaning pundit. A video that seems to show him spitting at Zemmour also surfaced, though Korchi denies doing it.

Spitting on people is illegal and violates France’s emergency measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Europe: EU’s position on Hezbollah "has not changed", spokesperson tells

Via EJP:

While several European countries like Britain and The Netherlands, and now Germany, have banned Hezbollah entirely, other member states still defend Hezbollah’s legitimacy due to its political role in Lebanon. An artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s “political wing” and “military wing” that even the group itself does not recognize.

An EU spokesperson stated that the European Union’s position on Hezbollah has not changed’’ after being asked if the EU would follow the example of Germany and designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organisation and ban it on European soil.

Last week, Germany announced its decision to ban all of Hezbollah’s activities in the country as anti-terror police launched raids in several cities against institutions and individuals associated by the group. […]

Besides Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have all designated the entire Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

UK: “Jews are racist! Heil Hitler”, screams woman while trying to break down door of Jewish home

Via Antisemitism UK:
A woman has been arrested by police while screaming “Jews are racist! Heil Hitler” and trying to break down the front door of a Jewish home in Stamford Hill.
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Monday, May 4, 2020

Finland: Amnesty International board member says Israel worse hhan Hezbollah

Via The Algemeiner:
An Amnesty International board member from Finland was criticized on Monday after denouncing Germany’s decision to ban the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.

Syksy Räsänen, a Finnish physicist with a long history of anti-Israel activism — including the publication of a book called Israeli Apartheid — commented, “Germany’s ban on Hezbollah is a perfect illustration of how terrorist lists are tools of power politics.”

“Hezbollah is banned because it ‘calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist,’” he said. “Replace Israel->Palestine, and this describes most Israeli parties.”

“Admittedly, there is the difference that most Israeli parties have been implementing the elimination of Palestine, not just called for it,” he asserted.

Räsänen wrote, “Yet Likut [sic], Yesh Atid, Shas, Labour etc. are valued partners for Germany and the EU, instead of being labeled terrorists.” […]

Amnesty International’s Finland branch has run into trouble before regarding anti-Israel statements by prominent members. 
NGO Monitor reported in 2010 that its executive director, Frank Johansson, referred to Israel as a “scum state.”

Amnesty refused to take action against Johansson, who later apologized to the Israeli ambassador to Finland.
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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Finland: Lenin’s statue vandalized with anti-Jewish graffiti

A statue of Lenin has been vandalized in Kotka.  

A star of David, symbolizing Judaism, was painted on the forehead and base of the statue.

The inscription "Jewish mass murderer" was also painted on the monument.
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Friday, May 1, 2020

France: Policemen attacked for 'Palestinian cause'

Via The Times of Israel:
Suspect, identified by French media as pro-Palestinian activist Youssef T., reportedly referenced Gaza and the Islamic State during arrest 
A driver who rammed two policemen in France Monday afternoon said that he carried out the attack because of “the situation” in Palestine. 
The suspect, identified by French newspaper Le Parisien (French) as pro-Palestinian activist Youssef T., drove his black BMW into two motorcycle cops as they conducted roadside inspections in Colombes, near Paris.
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