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March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

Anti-Semitism More Than Doubles in UK, Figures Show

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom has more than doubled over the past year, according to figures gathered by the Community Security Trust. (CST)

When the incidents were broken down by category, the highest spike was seen in abusive behavior, which nearly tripled since 2004, but which more than doubled from 2013 to 2014 – a total of 884 incidents last year alone.

In fact, incidents of damage and desecration nearly doubled; the number of assaults were up by 25 percent and the number of threats (92) increased by 142 percent. The highest spike was in anti-Semitic literature, which was six times higher in 2014 than in 2013.

The greatest rise in incidents recorded by the CST in its annual report occurred in London (583) and Manchester (309) in northern England. Included were 81 violent assaults. One case involved a baseball bat and a glass.

Odd, and sad: in 2013, the same organization recorded its lowest number of anti-Semitic incidents for eight years commented David Conn, a commentator for The Guardian.

Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May called the statistics “deeply concerning,” according to Reuters.

Prime Minister David Cameron had already told parliament last Wednesday, “We need to do everything we can to help this community feel safe and secure in our country… I would hate it for British Jews not to feel that they have a home here in Britain – safe, secure and a vital part of our community.”

Really? Seriously? How perfectly splendid. But perhaps Cameron should give this a teensy bit more consideration: after all, even his fellow MP Ed Miliband is being targeted. Where does it end?

British MP Ed Miliband is not excluded from being targeted on Twitter by local anti-Semites, regardless of his liberal views.  This post was uploaded quite recently.

British MP Ed Miliband is not excluded from being targeted on Twitter by local anti-Semites, regardless of his liberal views. This post was uploaded quite recently.

It is no surprise to any thinking individual that a survey last month found that 25 percent of Britain’s Jews have spent the past two years mulling the prospect of leaving the UK for good. The survey, conducted online by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, found that 56 percent of Jewish people in the UK believe anti-Semitism now “echoes the 1930s.” More to the point, 58 percent said they believe Jews have “no long-term future in Europe.”

Holocaust denial is not unusual among anti-Semites although some validate the genocide and in fact praise it, saying Hitler "didn't finish the job." In the case of this post to Twitter from the UK, it was the former.

Holocaust denial is not unusual among anti-Semites although some validate the genocide and in fact praise it, saying Hitler “didn’t finish the job.” In the case of this post to Twitter from the UK, it was the former.

As a matter of fact, students at a small Jewish elementary school in London were drilled on how to respond in case of a terror attack.

Perhaps that’s not a bad idea. Last week a far-right neo-Nazi group announced plans to hold a march under the banner, “Liberate Stamford Hill” next month to protest “Jewification of Great Britain.” Stamford Hill is an area of London that is home to the highest concentration of Orthodox Jews in the country.

The group, which also calls itself “Liberate Stamford Hill” has planned its rally for March 22 at 2pm local time in the Stamford Hill district. For obvious reasons, the CST has expressed concern.

Turkey’s President Erdogan Takes a Shot at Jewish Blessings

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took a sly swing at the Jewish faith late last week during a speech at an award ceremony organized by the country’s Roma community in Bursa.

The barb came within what started out as a positive comment — as Erdogan’s barbs often do.

In accepting the “Great Roman” award on Feb. 6, Erdogan mentioned that he grew up in Kasimpasa, a neighborhood in Istanbul that was home to many Roma as well. “I know the Roma culture,” he said, and then began condemning racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“I am addressing to those who talk about women’s rights. Why don’t you raise your voice against the Jews who thank God in their prayers that they were not created as women? Was there any other understanding, a logic as demeaning for women as this one?”

The snide remark is a deliberate misinterpretation of one of the morning blessings recited by men — and women (the women’s version states praise to God that they were created as He desired) in recognition of their different roles and responsibilities in Jewish life.

In October 2014, a Haaretz reporter commented in an article that “Turkey, once a safe haven for Jews, now outranks Iran in harboring anti-Semitic sentiment.” An unnamed security coordinator told the reporter that Jews living in Istanbul “try to keep a low profile.”

Haaretz is not a right-wing newspaper. It is a liberal, left-wing news outlet that goes out of its way to “see the other side,” sometimes to the exclusion of noticing that of its country of origin. But one of the Turkish Jews with whom the reporter spoke said, “For the Jewish people there is no life in Istanbul.” Nevertheless, she added that she feels “very Turkish” and still wants “to live here all my life if it’s possible.”

If it’s possible. Once no Jew would have questioned that. Many of the Jews who live now in Turkey are the descendants of those who came to the Ottoman Empire as refugees from Spain in 1492. Others married in after having come to the country as tourists, some from Israel. Most have now fled in fear for their lives.

It was the anti-Jewish riots in the 1930s in Turkey that prodded the first Jews to flee. Political pressures that followed frightened the Jews that remained, and slowly the flood became a steady bleed. As Turkey drew closer to Iran and a more radical Islamic attitude over the past decade, the Jews once more were threatened by those around them. The Sephardic Jewish Center in Istanbul today is secured by multiple locks and hidden other systems; one has to know where to find it and how to access it just to be able to enter its doors.

The threats were aided and abetted by then-Prime Minister, and today President Recep Tayyid Erdogan, whose anti-Semitic bordered on vitriolic during the times Israel was forced to defend herself against Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists, who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood which originated in Egypt.

The group is beloved by Erdogan, himself a man truly loved by his country and his people, who relate to him as someone from “the neighborhood.” He relates to crowds as one of the people, with a speaking style in Turkish that has a slight edge; it retains that roughness seen among those who didn’t go to Harvard.

It is what has kept him in power for so long.

That same style has also enabled Erdogan to build ties with nearly every terror group in the region and has firmed the bond between Turkey and Iran. It may dim the competition between the two for establishing a new Empire over the fragments that once were powerful Arab nations in the region.

Synagogue Arson in Germany ‘Not Anti-Semitism’ Says Judge

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Three German Palestinians convicted of arson after hurling firebombs at a synagogue in Germany were motivated by trying to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict,” according to the judge who convicted them on Thursday, Jerusalem Post journalist Benjamin Weinthal reported.

The judge in the case did not believe the men were guilty of anti-Semitism, according to outraged Green Party deputy Volker Beck, who told media he wrote to the prosecutor in the case to file a legal objection, reported.

Several days prior to the firebombing, “Free Palestine” had been sprayed in paint on to the wall of the synagogue as well.

The rebuilt synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia was undamaged in the July 29, 2014 attack, which sparked a solidarity rally outside the building that same night. Dieter Graumann, then-president of the German Central Council of Jews, condemned the attack as did Germany’s Central Council of Muslims.

The two older attackers, ages 29 and 24, were given suspended sentences of 15 months in prison – which means they served no time – and together with their 18-year-old accomplice were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

“This is a mistaken decision as far as the motives of the perpetrators are concerned,” Beck told international media in a statement. “Therefore, I have written the prosecutor and called for the filing of a legal objection.“ Burning a synagogue in Germany because of a conflict in the Middle East can be attributed only to anti-Semitism, Beck contended.

“What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming, he said.”

The original Wuppertal synagogue was burned down by Germans during the pogrom of Kristallnacht in 1938, but the echoes of the past seem to be growing louder. The German state has seen an upswing in anti-Semitism, as has the country in general.

Anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

Graumann offered a sobering comment on the situation just before leaving his post in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014: “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden. We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.

“We have seen … during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again. It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when there are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly,” he added.

Two weeks prior to the publication of Graumann’s interview, the neo-Nazi ‘Die Rechte’ party (The Right) demanded to know where all the Jews live in the city of Dortmund.

‘Die Rechte’ wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau through one of its city council members, Dennis Giemsch, seeking to know how many Jews live in the city and in which districts, and their addresses, according to a post on the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Giemsch, a full-time computer student, wrote that the information was ‘relevant for our political work.’

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia – the same state in which the torched synagogue is located – and which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party.”

The political party is the smallest of the far-right groups in Germany, but its numbers are growing, particularly among the young, according to the CFCA.

‘Shechita UK’ Says Ban Supporters Cite ‘Weak, Agenda-Led Science’

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

“Shechita UK,” a British group fighting for the right to continue to employ the Jewish ritual slaughter technique known as shechita has lashed out at the first UK political party to support a ban against the practice.

Campaign director Shimon Cohen told Britain’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper, the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) had gotten its facts wrong in choosing to support a ban on “non-stun slaughter.”

“Citing weak, agenda-led science, UKIP has become the first major political party in the UK to call for a ban on religious slaughter. This latest move is opportunistic and a disappointing shift from UKIP’s previous position, when both Mr. [Nigel] Farage and [UKIP MEP] Stuart Agnew publicly advocated their support for shechita.

“UKIP’s new assertion that ‘[mechanical] pre-stunning before religious ritual slaughter is fully compatible with all world religions’ is plain nonsense. The Jewish community does not permit any of the industrialized mechanical stunning methods used in factory slaughter.

“By joining the campaign to prioritize ‘animal welfare’ over the rights and beliefs of the UK’s faith communities UKIP has returned to the fringes of mainstream politics,” Cohen said.

Agnew, for his part, claimed that he personally opposed the ban but was overruled from within the party. “There are more votes to be gained and I expect that’s what they were looking for,” he told the newspaper. “We’ll lose the Jewish vote for sure but we might gain votes elsewhere, and that’s what they’re after, general election votes,” he said.

“This isn’t aimed at you,” he added, “it’s aimed elsewhere; it’s aimed at others. You’ve been caught in the crossfire, collateral damage. You know what I mean.”

The fact is, the ban hurts both Jews and Muslims; however, this is just another bit of nastiness in a litany of issues that are slowly making life untenable in the UK for Jews — a revelation that some citizens probably would celebrate. Last summer anti-Semitic crimes rose in Britain by 400 percent, and the trend is continuing across Europe, where radical Islam has become firmly rooted.

UK Drops Probe of BBC Reporter’s Anti-Semitism at Paris Unity March

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has condemned a decision by ‘Ofcom’ not to uphold complaints made against BBC reporter Tim Willcox over remarks he made to a French Jewish woman in Paris.

Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the communications industries in Britain.

The incident took place at the unity march in Paris, held in solidarity with the victims of radical Islamist terror attacks in the city the previous week. The woman was expressing her fears about the rise of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and particularly in France. While speaking with Willcox during his interview at the event, the BBC reporter told the woman, “Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Ofcom ruled the reporter’s remarks were “justified by the context in which they were presented.”

However, noted UK Board of Deputies of British Jews’ vice president Jonathan Arkush, “The objection to Willcox’s interview was his suggestion that French Jews could expect to be targeted by terrorists because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Ofcom seem to have missed the point entirely. Ofcom also seem to have forgotten that Willcox himself admitted he had got it wrong and apologised.”

But a bigger problem was the fact that the complaints were dropped altogether, as noted in a statement on its Facebook page by Campaign Against Anti-Semitism UK, and the regulator refused to explain why the anti-Semitism was not investigated. This does not reflect a vow by UK Communications Secretary Eric Pickles to “censure” anti-Semitism in government institutions.

“Ofcom quietly dropped the 22 complaints you submitted… in a table listing complaints that had been assessed and then not investigated at the bottom of page 58 of Ofcom Bulletin 272, the regulator confirmed that it would not be looking into 22 complaints against a breach of “Generally accepted standards” by BBC News in a broadcast on 11th January. We contacted Ofcom and they confirmed that this relates to the Willcox interview but they refused to explain why they had decided not to investigate the complaints.”

The BBC, to its credit, is conducting its own investigation into the reporter’s comments and is expected to reach a conclusion by February 23.

An Ofcom spokesperson responded to this JewishPress.com report with the following statement:

“Ofcom carefully assessed complaints about alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Tim Willcox at a Paris rally and decided not to take the issue forward for further investigation.

“While the comments clearly had the potential to cause offence, Ofcom considered a range of factors, including the live nature of this coverage and the need for an appropriate degree of freedom of expression, especially in news coverage of such a significant event.”

UNESCO Director Rejects Palestine Entry to ‘Memory of the World’ Program

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

In a surprising turn of events, the director-general of UNESCO herself, Irina Bokova has blocked the approval of a collection of posters entered to the agency’s Memory of the World program.

The 1,700-poster collection passed its initial review by an advisory board, despite inclusion of numerous posters extolling the virtues of terrorism, suicide bombings and even one praising the 1978 coastal road massacre – known as the bloodiest terror attack in the history of the reborn State of Israel.

The International Memory of the World Register was created to preserve archival holdings of “world significance and outstanding universal value.”

An international advisory board reviews nominations, which then are sent to the director-general.

For the first time, however, Irina Bokova said she would reject the collection sent by “Palestine.”

“In my capacity of Director General of UNESCO, I will oppose any such proposal for inscription,” she wrote on December 23, 2014, to Helena Asamoah-Hassan, chair of the advisory board.

She explained that a number of the posters were “totally unacceptable and run counter to the values of UNESCO and its aspirations to build peace in the minds of men and women.”

A similar response was sent to the Palestinian Authority representative to UNESCO, Elias Sanbar. Inclusion of the collection in UNESCO’s Memory of the World, said Bokova, could promote “hate and anti-Semitism.”

The World Jewish Congress had also protested the nomination, and to its CEO, Robert Singer, Bokova replied, “Some of these posters are offensive. It is my conviction that UNESCO should not associate itself with such documents whose inscription could fuel hatred and anti-Semitic perceptions.”

Some of the posters featured the universal themes of struggling for liberation and peace; there were motifs with white doves and barbed wire, for instance.

But not all of the collection is about art and not all of it was generated by Palestinians, for that matter, despite a claim of “the Palestinian poster” by Dan Walsh, owner and curator of the Palestine Poster Project Archives.

“The significance for the genre is that it’s been recognized by an international body,” Walsh said last fall, while UNESCO’s advisory board was reviewing the collection. “Up until now, the Palestine poster has sort of existed in the shadows, it hasn’t really been legitmated. The artwork – the art of the Palestinian revolution, of the Palestinian liberation struggle – has not been legitimated in the West. It’s been considered anti-Semitic, or anti-Israeli, or patently unacceptable for mainstream consumption. I think this nomination has the potential to change that.”

The collection nominated for the program was described as having been created by Palestinian and international artists “in solidarity with the quest for Palestinian self-determination,” according to the UNESCO website.

The Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters that was submitted for inclusion to the program can be viewed here.

The vast majority of the collection is comprised of posters relating to hatred of Israel and Jews, and which glorify terrorism, murder and violence. Many include pictures of weapons and some depict scenes of Israel or Jews having been destroyed.

One interesting poster was that from an ad campaign rejected by the New York City Mass Transit Authority (MTA) in 2011, which was not created by a Palestinian at all. Nor was it specific to “Palestine.”

Paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (Atlas Shrugged), the poster reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The MTA said at the time that its standards required it to reject ads that contained language that demean individuals or groups of individuals, citing Section 5.05(B)(11) of the MTA’s advertising standards handbook.

Breaking: French Soldiers Attacked While Guarding Nice Jewish Center

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

French soldiers were stabbed Tuesday while protecting a Jewish community center in the nation’s southern city of Nice. Two of the three military guards sustained wounds to the face and arm, according to international media.

The condition of the two soldiers is not known.

The attack occurred in the center of the city, outside the ‘Consistoire Insraelite de Nice’ Jewish center, French police union spokesperson Sarah Baron said.  Radio Shalom, a Jewish radio station, is also located in the building as well as another Jewish organization.

One of the attackers was captured and taken into custody, but two other terrorists are believed to have escaped.

The armed attacker carried an identity card that named him as Moussa Coulibaly, age 30, Baron said. Security sources added that Coulibaly, allegedly a Muslim, has a record of arrests for assault and theft.

Some 10,000 French troops are deployed throughout the country at present in order to protect landmarks, iconic institutions and Jewish sites from possible attacks by radical Islamic terrorists.

The move came in the wake of a three-day series of terror attacks by homegrown operatives from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who had trained abroad but returned to France to kill. (Although the name “Coulibaly” is common in France, it is worth noting that one of the ISIS operatives killed during last month’s week of terror was Amedy Coulibaly.)

The joint terror attacks were aimed at the staff of the Charlie Hebdo French satiric weekly magazine and a list of Jewish targets — all in the Paris area — including the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery. One of the listed targets, a Jewish elementary school, was miraculously bypassed when the terror cell was interrupted on the way to the attack by a traffic accident. When a policewoman approached the terrorists’ vehicle to investigate the accident, the attackers shot and killed her to avoid detection of the myriad ammunition and arms that were piled in the car.  As the sun set that Friday eve and the Jewish Sabbath began, a total of 17 people had died in the attacks and more were being treated for wounds, physical and psychological.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced two weeks after the attacks that the government would increase the country’s counter terrorist forces by 2,600 and equip its police forces with “stronger weapons.” He also said authorities would begin tracking nearly 3,000 French citizens with jihadist ties.

Earlier today seven men and a woman also were arrested in connection with an alleged plan to travel abroad to join the ISIS terror organization in Syria and Iraq.

Last week French President Francois Hollande told Jewish citizens in a speech to commemorate the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz that, “France is your homeland; your place is here.”  He vowed to defend French Jews and combat the “unbearable” rising anti-Semitism in France, saying said the country would protect “all its children and tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/breaking-french-soldiers-stabbed-while-guarding-nice-jewish-center/2015/02/03/

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