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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitic’

Rachel Frenkel to UNHRC: ‘Doesn’t Every Child Have the Right to Come Home Safely?’

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Rachel Frenkel, mother of one of three Israeli teens kidnapped by Arab terrorists on June 12, appealed for international assistance on Tuesday, speaking directly to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Switzerland.

Frenkel, who is a U.S. citizen and whose son Naftali, 16, was kidnapped June 12 as he hitchhiked home from Gush Etzion, was flown from Israel by ‘UN Watch’ to testify in Geneva before the agency.

The UN Watch nonprofit organization monitors United Nations activity.

Frenkel’s son was kidnapped together with another 16 year old, Gilad Sha’ar, and 19 year old Eyal Yifrach. The mothers of all three boys appeared before the committee, although only Frenkel spoke.

Frenkel thanked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for last week condemning the abduction of her son and his friends. She also thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross for stating publicly that it is against international law to take hostages.

She described her son for the committee members as a boy who “loves to play guitar and basketball,” and told them that he had texted her to say that he was “on his way home, and then he was gone. It is every mother’s nightmare.

“Much more could be done,” she added. “That is why we three mothers have come today, to make sure the world is doing everything it can to bring back our boys.”

She noted that it is “wrong to take innocent children, and use them as instruments in a struggle.

“Doesn’t every child have the right to come home from school safely?” she asked.

“We just want them back home in their beds… we just want to hug them again.”

French Police Search for Merah Fan over Quenelle Photos

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

French police are searching for an unidentified man who performed an anti-Semitic gesture at three locales connected to the murder of Jews.

A photo of the suspect surfaced last week online in which he performed the quenelle, a quasi-Nazi salute, in front of the Toulouse school where the Muslim extremist Mohammed Merah murdered four Jews in 2012.

The same man was seen performing the quenelle outside the former residence of Merah, who was killed during a shootout with French police, according to research done by the French Jewish news site JSSnews.com. He also posed while performing the quenelle near a monument commemorating the Holocaust in Paris.

The quenelle is the name given to the gesture of placing one’s left palm on one’s right shoulder by its inventor, comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has been convicted several times for inciting hatred against Jews and who is facing an eighth trial for suggesting a French Jewish journalist belonged in a gas chamber.

It is widely seen as echoing the Nazi salute but is too vague to violate France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols. In recent months, the quenelle’s popularity has soared in France, with several celebrities performing it on national media.

On Tuesday, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls – who last week said he would seek a ban on public performances by Dieudonne — indicated for the first time he may also seek a ban on the gesture, which he said is a form of incitement to hatred despite claims that it is merely anti-establishment rather than anti-Semitic.

Self-Acclaimed ‘Satanist’ Jailed for 4 Years for Defacing Torah

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A Tennessee court Monday sentenced self-acclaimed anti-Semitic and anti-Christian Satanists Justin Baker to four years in prison for defacing a Torah scroll and prayer books in Memphis last January.

Baker pleaded guilty on December 9 to damaging and defiling holy Jewish items of the Margolin Hebrew Academy. Judge Roy Morgan Jr, sentenced Baker to the maximum amount of time in jail for each charge, but all of the sentences will be served concurrently, the Jackson, Tennessee Sun reported.

“I think that’s just so very obvious from what’s been presented today as to why these individuals were victimized in this case,” Morgan said in court. “It’s quite clear that for thousands of years people have been attacked around the world and persecuted for their religious beliefs, whatever that belief is, and the nature of the crime here is clearly a direct, intentional attack on what’s guaranteed as a freedom in this country, freedom of religion.”

Baker vandalized the Torch scroll and marked on it phrases, such “Gentiles Win” and “Hail Satan.”

His Facebook and MySpace pages were full of hate statements and Baker’s interest in Satanism and violence.

“Currently in Iraq. Like metal and Muy Thai. I’m a father to a little boy, a husband to a sexy wife. I like working out and eating everything. Dedicated spiritual Satanist. Anti-Jew, Christian, and drama. If you fit the above, don’t send me a request,” he wrote. A screenshot of the pages was read by the prosecution in the courtroom.

One posting read, “Satanic priest, one with a darkness and loving it I also have a little thing with blood lust. And I live for music and Satan. I like to make bombs and blow up (expletive) that doesn’t belong to me. I also practice ninjutsu and beat the hell out of (expletive) that also don’t belong to me. And singing in my strange (expletive) band. I know I can’t spell for (expletive).”

Baker’s wife Jordan, who also said she is a Satanist, testified, “He’s a really good father and husband. He done a very (good) job taking care of us, and his boys are his entire world and he would do anything for those kids.”

Baker’s defense lawyers claimed he suffered mental problems, anxiety and loss of memory, but Judge Morgan didn’t buy it and said Baker should be held fully responsible for his crimes.

The court also ordered him to up to $89.999 in restitution costs.

Baker still faces sentencing in March for charges of damaging religious property.

Man Threatened to Tattoo Swastika on Women’s Forehead

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Police have charged a man with assault and threatening to tattoo a swastika on the forehead of a woman, the Doylestown, Pennsylvania Intelligencer reported.

The woman was crying in her hotel room when police arrived after having been alerted of a disturbance. She said that 33-year-old Clinten Lawrence McClain assaulted her, threatened to kill her and forced her head into a position so that a tattoo machine could be paced on her forehead, where he threatened to place a swastika.

Kanye West Wants to Take Back ‘Ignorant Compliment’ about Jews

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Rapper Kanye West told a Chicago radio station that he wants to take back the “ignorant compliment” he made about Jews  last month during an interview on the New York City radio station WWPR-FM. West said, “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”

In an interview last week with the Chicago radio station B96, West said, “I thought that I was giving a compliment, but it came off more ignorant. When I said this comment about Jews having money and blacks not having money, I think it was, like, a ‘ignorant compliment.’ ”

He added, “I don’t know how being told that you have money is, like, an insult.”

The original comments had raised the ire of the Anti-Defamation League, while Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan defended West and said he should not apologize.

Nothing Legitimate about Antisemitic Slur

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Former British foreign secretary Jack Straw is pleading innocent. Called out for comments made during a Round Table Global Diplomatic Forum held at the House of Commons last week, Straw insists that there’s nothing anti-Semitic about raising points that he says are merely matters of genuine concern.

As the Times of Israel reported, former Labor Party Knesset member Einat Wilf, who took part in the debate, described Straw’s presentation in the following manner:

Wilf participated in the debate and posted some of what she said were Straw’s comments on her Facebook page, saying she nearly fell off her chair when she heard them: “Listing the greatest obstacles to peace, he said ‘unlimited’ funds available to Jewish organizations and AIPAC in the US are used to control and divert American policy in the region and that Germany’s ‘obsession’ with defending Israel were the problem. I guess he neglected to mention Jewish control of the media….”

The British politician is right when he says criticizing Israel’s policies is not anti-Semitic. But, like many others who want to bash Israel without being branded as Jew-haters, he crossed a very important line when he injected traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish money and insidious attempts to control the policy discussion into the question of how best to advance the cause of peace.

That’s why someone like Wilf, who opposes the Netanyahu government, was so outraged. In doing so, he not only demonstrated ignorance of how American politics works as well as insensitivity to Israel’s position, but also showed the way disagreements with the Jewish state quickly morph into conspiracy theories that are thinly veiled new versions of traditional myths about Jews.

While Straw is neither the first nor the last member of Parliament or prominent Briton to play this game, the fact that someone who was a former foreign minister would not only feel free to vent this nasty stuff, but also think there’s nothing wrong with it, tells you all you need to know about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.

As for Straw’s charges, they are easily dismissed. Contrary to the Walt-Mearsheimer “Israel Lobby” conspiracy theory thesis, the vast, wall-to-wall bipartisan coalition that supports the Jewish state is a function of American public opinion, not Jewish money.

As frustrating as it may be for Israel’s critics, support for Zionism is baked into the DNA of American politics and is primarily the function of religious attitudes as well as the shared values of democracy that unite the U.S. and Israel.

Other lobbies (oil interests, pharmaceuticals, et al) have far more money. Hard as it is for some people to accept, the reason why American politicians back Israel’s democratically elected government is because opposing them is bad politics as well as bad policy.

Making such accusations is offensive rather than just wrong because, as Straw knows very well, talking about Jewish money buying government policy is straight out of the anti-Semitic playbook of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The purpose of such claims is not to argue that Israel’s supporters are misguided so much as that they are illegitimate.

That Straw is similarly frustrated with German refusals to try and hammer the Israelis is equally appalling. Germany’s government has, contrary to Straw’s comment, often been highly critical of Israel, but if officials in Berlin have some sensitivity to Israel’s position as a small, besieged nation it is because they understand that the underlying factor that drives hostility to Zionism is the same anti-Semitism that drove the Holocaust.

But the main point to be gleaned from this story is the way Straw has illustrated just how mainstream anti-Semitic attitudes have become in contemporary Britain. It is entirely possible that Straw thinks himself free from prejudice. But that is only possible because in the intellectual and political circles in which he and other members of the European elite move, these ideas have gone mainstream rather than being kept on the margins as they are in the United States.

The ease with which Western European politicians invoke these tired clichés about Jewish power and money is a reflection of the way attitudes have changed in the last generation as the memory of the Holocaust fades and people feel empowered to revive old hate. Chalk it up to the prejudices of intellectuals, especially on the left, as well as to the growing influence of Muslim immigrants who have brought the Jew-hatred of their home countries with them.

Straw may not be alone in not liking the Netanyahu government, but he can’t get out off the hook for the anti-Semitic rationale for his views that he put forward. The pity is, he’s speaking for all too many Europeans when he speaks in this manner.

Kosher Slaughter Ban Shows Poland Has a Jewish Problem

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, has a Jewish problem.

In a painful affront to the Jewish community, it recently defeated a government initiative to reinstate the legality of kosher slaughter of animals. This prompted Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, to threaten resignation and triggered sharp criticism of the Sejm from Jewish communities in Poland and around the world.

What happens in Poland regarding Jews has special significance because of the Holocaust. More than 90 percent of the country’s three and a half million Jews were killed during the Nazi occupation. Poland began legislating against kosher slaughter in 1936, and once the Germans occupied the country three years later, the practice was banned entirely.

Since the fall of the communist regime in 1989, however, Jewish life in Poland has undergone a remarkable, and previously unimaginable, renaissance. Full recognition of the rights of Jews to practice their faith – including kosher slaughter – was enshrined in an agreement the government signed with the Jewish community in 2004.

Indeed, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, addressing an overflow crowd at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum in Washington several weeks ago, declared it was his country’s responsibility to ensure “that today’s Jewish community in Poland is safe, welcome and respected.”

He honored Poland’s Jewish community “not just for how it died, but for how it lives, and how it is coming back to life.”

When legislation was adopted a few years ago mandating the use of electronic stunning equipment before an animal is killed – a practice prohibited under Jewish law –the Jewish community was granted an administrative exemption. In January, however, a court ruled the exemption unconstitutional. Alleged violations of animal rights trumped age-old Jewish religious practice.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government framed legislation to override the court decision. What should have been a fairly easy corrective measure was instead defeated on July 12 by a vote of 222 to 178, leaving in place the judicial ban.

Thirty-eight Sejm members representing Tusk’s ruling Civic Platform party joined with the opposition in voting to outlaw ritual slaughter. In Poland, this was viewed as a major victory for animal rights advocates, as their views prevailed against the nation’s farmers and meatpackers, who had developed a lively business exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim countries.

Jews, however, see matters quite differently. From their perspective, the Sejm’s action stigmatizing kosher slaughter as inhumane blatantly contradicts Foreign Minister Sikorski’s pledge to make Jews “safe, welcome and respected.” They point out that kosher slaughter, whereby the animal is rendered immediately unconscious by severing the carotid artery, is humane, and that the continued legality of hunting in Poland, which results in far greater and more indiscriminate pain to animals, suggests there may in fact be another, unstated reason for outlawing kosher slaughter: anti-Semitism.

In the wake of the Sejm vote, pejorative comments about Jews in some of the Polish media and online give some credence to these fears.

Unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident. The situation for European Jews looks even grimmer in a broader context. Just a few months ago, a similar scenario unfolded in Germany when a court banned ritual circumcision, another fundamental element of the Jewish religion, on the grounds that it mutilated children without their consent. There, too, anti-Semitic motivation was not hard to discern in certain quarters amid the talk about physiological and psychological harm.

Fortunately, Chancellor Angela Merkel navigated a bill through the German parliament overruling the court and reestablishing the religious freedom of Jews to continue an age-old tradition of their faith. Whether Poland will successfully follow her example and push through a law guaranteeing the right to kosher slaughter remains to be seen.

Such attacks on Jewish religious practice, in fact, constitute just one front in a wider struggle over the future of Jewish life in Europe. Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, increasing by 30 percent between 2011 and 2012. In France, there was an astounding 58 percent jump over that same period, including the targeted murder last year of four Jews, three of them small children, in Toulouse.

Vocally anti-Semitic political parties are represented in the Greek and Hungarian parliaments and are gaining power on the local and regional levels in other countries. Public opinion polls show alarmingly high levels of anti-Semitic attitudes. Demonization of Israel in the media and among some intelligentsia is often indistinguishable from Jew-baiting. No wonder that opinion surveys point to a striking number of European Jews contemplating emigration.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/kosher-slaughter-ban-shows-poland-has-a-jewish-problem/2013/08/14/

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