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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

Lord Parry Mitchell Resigns ‘As A Jew and Zionist’ from Corbyn-led Labour Party

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Lord Parry Mitchell, a Peer of the Realm, has resigned from the Labour Party as he vowed to do last month, should Jeremy Corbyn win re-election as leader of the party.

The veteran Labourite is a member of the House of Lords and a former frontbencher under Ed Miliband.

Writing in The Jewish News, Mitchell explained his resignation:

“The party that I joined with such high hopes in 1994 with the onset of New Labour is no more – it has had its day: time and politics move on. That party has now left me and its leadership espouses politics and attitudes that I am totally at odds with: we are no longer compatible and it’s time to move on…

abour under Jeremy Corbyn is not the Labour I joined. Today the political thrust is far away from what I believe in and what I stand for. I am pro-business, pro-NATO, pro-EU, pro-America and of course pro-Israel. Corbyn and his pals are 180 degrees opposed: they are hard left socialist – they hate business and they loathe America and Israel. His praetorian guard, the Momentum movement, is almost Stalinist in its desire to humiliate, vilify and harass non-believers. For middle of the road MPs, deselection is their weapon of choice…

Corbyn stood by when a Momentum thug hurled a tirade of invective against Ruth Smeeth MP, so abusive that she left in tears. It was masterful inaction, Corbyn who should have protected her, joked with a colleague and did nothing…

After a gut wrenching summer my choice is now clear. How can I, a Jew and a Zionist, remain in a party where the leadership is so clearly hostile to Israel (even to its very existence) and which also flirts with antisemitism? In the end it was an easy decision, but that makes it none the less painful.”

Hana Levi Julian

Huge Majority of Europe’s Jews Say They’re Staying Home for the Holy Days

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

A survey conducted last week by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) shows that a huge percentage of Europe’s Jews are afraid to leave their homes and attend High Holy Day services this year.

Despite the increased security arrangements around Jewish institutions in Europe, 70 percent of Europe’s Jews do not intend to visit synagogues on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The survey was conducted on September 12-15, 2016 among a representative sample of 700 capital cities and communities in the periphery throughout Europe, from Britain in the west to Ukraine in the east.

The findings showed that more that 50 percent of Jewish communities across the continent reported a decline in the number of active members of the Jewish community, as a direct result of an increase of anti-Semitism.

Only about 11 percent of communities across Europe reported an increase in members, and 39 percent of the communities reported that there was no change in the number of registered community members. EJA and RCE General Director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that 75 percent of the communities reported an increased vigilance by various governments to the dangers faced by Jews in light of the growing Anti-Semitism since last year’s High Holidays.

The vast majority of community leaders also reported having to increase security and policing measures around Jewish schools, synagogues and other affiliated institutions of the community. “The challenge for most of the Jewish communities has doubled in recent months,” noted Rabbi Margolin.

“On one hand, violence against Jews increased significantly — against individuals, institutions and communities (among other reasons by immigrants and Muslim refugees). On the other hand, as a result of the refugee crisis, there is an actual increase in the power of the far right across the continent as well. “Currently the focus of the extreme right and their activity is focused on Islam, but testimonies of rabbis and community leaders show a great deal of concern about the growing of nationalism and xenophobia (hatred of foreigners)” warns Rabbi Margolin. The rabbi also called for the European Union and governments across the continent to increase educational efforts and the fight against anti-Semitism as part of the curriculum in schools.

“Counter terrorism is of course an important measure to save lives – but not enough to solve the problem from the root. As long as there will not be an educational effort focused on the elimination of anti-Semitism, the problem will continue,” he warned.

Hana Levi Julian

UN Special Envoy ‘Disturbed’ by Spike in Violence, Warns Israel and Palestinian Authority Alike

Monday, September 19th, 2016

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nicolay Mladenov has called on Israelis and Arabs from the Palestinian Authority to “preserve calm” and “avoid escalation” in the recent wave of terror.

Unsurprisingly, Mladenov has drawn a moral equivalency between the attackers and the attackees.

“I reiterate the United Nations position that there can be no justification for terrorism and violence,” Mladenov stated. “I call upon authorities on both sides to take measures to preserve calm and avoid escalation, especially during the upcoming period of the Jewish High Holy Days.”

He added that he was “disturbed by the recent violence over the past week,” as well he might be. Certainly, most Israelis are: more than a couple of Israeli police officers are in hospitals with stab wounds, including a few women.

Mladenov drew a parallel between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without noting that if Israelis were not being attacked, Israeli defense forces would have no reason to respond in kind.

True, there is no justification for terrorism and violence. Absolutely correct. But what do the Israelis have to do with it? This is another case of pointing the knife in the wrong direction, especially with the approach of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. Even a Jew has the right to life; self-defense is a G-d given privilege that no one can take away, including the United Nations.

Hana Levi Julian

Suspected Car Bomb Outside Marseille Synagogue ‘Had No Detonator’

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

A suspected car bomb was discovered during the Sabbath outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille on Saturday.

Two gas cylinders were found in a car parked outside the Bar Yohaye synagogue in the fourth district, according to numerous posts on social media.

Dozens of worshipers were praying the shacharit morning service when the car was spotted, at approximately 11 am.

Bomb squad sappers were immediately called to the site.

But Bouches-du-Rhône region Police Commissioner Laurent Nuñez told media no trigger mechanism was found, and the car was not stolen.

French police have been on high alert since an ISIS-inspired attempt a week ago, however, to blow up the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Authorities said seven gas canisters were found inside an abandoned Peugeot vehicle with no license plate outside the Paris cathedral. Forensics experts tracked down suspects via DNA found at the site.

Three women have since been arrested in connection with the attempted terror attack a week ago in Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

211 New Immigrants Flee to Israel From War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

With the increase of hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border in recent weeks, 211 new immigrants from Ukraine landed Tuesday at Ben Gurion Airport.

Most came from the embattled regions in the eastern part of Ukraine, arriving on the 19th flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) since hostilities broke out between the two countries.

“There has been a significant increase in calls from potential Olim to the IFCJ representatives in Ukraine and we are doing everything to give them the best possible service so that they can begin new and secure lives in Israel, which was and still is the home for any person who is part of the Jewish people,” noted Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ president.

Approximately 4,000 immigrants have fled to Israel from Ukraine on flights sponsored by the organization since December 2014. Among those who arrived Tuesday were 37 children who are to begin their studies in Israeli schools in two days, including nine in the first grade.

Natalia S. arrived in Israel with her mother and son, and said that she was forced to leave the city of Marinka in the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine after the extensive bombing in the city that began in April 2014. The building where her family lived was bombed and some of their neighbors were killed.

Natalia explained that her family’s Jewishness was kept secret by her grandmother who had survived the Holocaust, while her husband, Natalia’s grandfather, was in a concentration camp. As a result, she says, “we knew we had Jewish roots but did not have the documents to prove it.”

According to Natalia, during one of the family’s visits to the Holocaust Museum an employee at the site advised her about which archive to search in order to find documents that would prove their Jewish roots.

“Because of the advice we were given, we went later to the archive and found my grandmother’s documents. In the documents, we read that she had changed her name and her father’s name, from “Alia” and “Avraham” to “Lisa” and “Peter,” she said. Natalia, her mother, and her son are planning to settle in Akko. Among Tuesday’s group of new olim there were seven babies, including two who were only six months old. The oldest person on the flight was age 82, and the average age of the group was 34. The preferred destination for the immigrants was Haifa, where 42 of the new arrivals elected to settle.

Most of the olim came from the Dniepropetrovsk region, which has become one of the preferred destinations for refugees escaping the embattled areas in Eastern Ukraine because of its proximity and the fact that it is still in Ukrainian hands.

The IFCJ assists the Olim to Israel with special grants of $1,000 for each adult oleh and $500 for each child, in addition to financing the flight to Israel. This support is provided by the organization in addition to the standard basket of benefits each immigrant receives from the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption. The organization also arranges the absorption of the new immigrant families with the various local authorities prior to their arrival in Israel, recruiting locals to accompany the new olim as they seek housing and employment and settle in to their new surroundings.

Hana Levi Julian

Swedish Zionist Federation Assembles Pro-Israel Rally

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

by Ilana Messika
The Zionist Federation in Sweden organized its fifth annual rally on Sunday under the theme of “Taking Back Zionism” in order to attempt to re-acquaint the Swedish public with the original Zionist concept, so as to confront the term’s misappropriation by the media and state institutions.

“The main goal of the rally is to create a safe forum for Jews and non-Jews alike to safely declare their pro-Zionist sentiments,” Swedish Zionist Federation Director Saskia Pantell told Tazpit Press Service.

“The objective is also to re-educate the Swedish population about the meaning of Zionism as the basic human right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland. As such, being a Zionist is not confined solely to the Jewish population, but to all political and religious streams,” she added.

“The meaning of Zionism has been distorted; in Sweden it tends to symbolize right-wing extremists,” Jewish Swedish Student Union Chairwoman Nina Tojzner explained to TPS.

“Jewish youth need Israel as a safe haven to secure the future of the Swedish Jewish community due to the direction that anti-Semitism is taking in our country,” elaborated Tojzner. “We have to be able to support Israel openly without fear of harassment.”

In a paper published in June 2016, Swedish scholars Lars Dencik and Karl Marosi noted a significant discrepancy between figures recorded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2013 and a survey of Swedish Jews conducted that year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights (FRA).

The ADL claimed that four percent of the population in Sweden exhibited classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, while the FRA survey showed that 60 percent of Swedish Jews considered anti-Semitism to be a fairly-to-very big problem in their country.

The paper, published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, attributed the disparity to the fact that the criteria the ADL used to record anti-Semitism did not take into account what is now called “new anti-Semitism,” expressed in the form of opposition to Israel and the demonization of Zionism.

“I believe anti-Zionism is the new form of anti-Semitism and thus the institutional disdain for Zionism is actually an extension of classic Swedish anti-Semitism under the guise of political correctness,” Pantell declared.

“For example, most cases of hate crimes do not even make it to trial because they are dismissed beforehand as expressions of ‘anti-Zionism’ rather than expressions of anti-Semitism,” said Pantell. “As such, Jews in Sweden are afraid to express their Jewishness and their Zionism in public.”

Israeli-Swedish relations have been especially strained since Sweden became the first EU member in Western Europe to officially recognize a Palestinian Authority state in October 2014, and since Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström recently declared the Israel-PA conflict to be a causal factor in the Paris terror attacks of November 2015.

“The Swedish media and governmental institutions are decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-BDS and we have already received death and bomb threats that have attempted to disrupt the rallies,” noted Pantell.

“However, this is our fifth rally and there has been a noticeable amelioration in the attitude of the Swedish collective towards Zionism,” Pantell claimed. “It is especially noticeable this year through the participation of Ebba Busch Thor, a member of the Christian Democrats Party in the Swedish parliament.”

A number of Israeli political figures attended the rally, such as the Israeli Ambassador to Stockholm Isaac Bachman and Yesh Atid party chairman MK Yair Lapid. Lapid had also been involved in the March 2016 pro-Israel rally outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva as part of his efforts against the BDS movement.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Crown Heights Jews Remember: Prayers for Yankel Rosenbaum, z’l, Hope for Peace

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Exactly 25 years after a young Australian Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinic student was stabbed to death on a Brooklyn street for the crime of being Jewish, his brother, Professor Norman Rosenbaum returns to the site to recite prayers marking the attack.

Rosenbaum is to attend private memorial prayers at the scene of the attack on his brother, Yankel Rosenbaum, at 10 am Friday (Aug. 19) at Brooklyn Avenue and President Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Earlier this week the professor reunited with Carmel Cato ahead of the event to denounce violence of all forms, and to discuss healing between the two communities.

Cato’s son Gavin, 7, was struck and killed in 1991 while fixing his bike, by a car driven by a Jewish man that careened on to the sidewalk after being hit by a bus. His cousin Angela, also 7, was injured but survived.

The accident sparked three days of rioting in Crown Heights, between August 19-21. In less than an hour, mobs roamed through the streets, egged on by screaming anti-Semites who coined the battle cry, ‘No Justice, No Peace.’

Yankel Rosenbaum was the first casualty; an Italian man who was mistaken because he “looked like a Jew” was hauled out of his car next and beaten within an inch of his life. A bearded family man was chased down the street and into his apartment building, up the stairs and trapped against a wall, where he too was beaten by a mob, because he was a Jew. Gangs roamed the streets of Crown Heights for three days, until finally police were allowed to rein in the chaos.

But those who lived in the neighborhood have never forgotten the rage and fear that gripped the streets. Leaders of every community in the neighborhood were summoned to the office of then-Borough President Howard Golden to form what later became the Crown Heights Coalition, led by Rabbi Shea Hecht and Dr. Edison O. Jackson. The group spent 10 years reaching out to all members of all communities in the neighborhood, sharing each others’ culture codes and building bridges where lines of communication didn’t exist.

The effort paid off with increased funding for community projects and a new look for the neighborhood, community leaders more committed to mutual efforts where city hall is concerned and better cooperation with the NYPD.

“Things aren’t perfect,” said Chana L., a Jewish Crown Heights resident who spoke with JewishPress.com late Thursday night, “but the situation is better than it was. Our hope is to build on that and keep improving from there.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/crown-heights-jews-remember-prayers-for-yankel-rosenbaum-zl-hope-for-peace/2016/08/19/

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