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July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

Jewish Kindergarten Children Attacked in Antwerp

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Young Jewish kindergarten children traveling on the bus Sunday afternoon from the Antwerp Hayder school on their bus were attacked Sunday by a gang of Muslim teenagers, according to Jewish media in Belgium.

According to a security source quoted by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA), the children were returning from a swimming pool at the time of the attack. The driver stopped the bus and realized that the Muslim attackers were youths who lived near the swimming pool.

The gang surrounded the bus and started hurling rocks at the vehicle and its small passengers, according to the report. None of the children, about five years old and members of the Orthodox Jewish community, were physically injured in the attack.

Police opened an investigation after the teacher filed a complaint. Security personnel arrived at the scene and collected surveillance footage from the area in order to identify the attackers. No arrests have been made thus far.

Just a few weeks ago, four people were killed in a terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels. Belgian officials have yet to decide if they will assist the museum with upgraded security for the facility in the wake of the attack.

Belgian Security Shaky for Jewish Museum in Brussels

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Jewish Museum in Brussels is set to open in less than two weeks, but Belgium’s commitment to securing the facility is not clear — despite a pledge by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to strengthen Jewish communal security. Di Rupo made the statement following a meeting earlier this month in Brussels with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and local Jews.

Security at the Jewish Museum of Brussels has always been “very light,” according to museum president Philippe Blondin, who met with Israeli journalists on Tuesday. Due to the museum’s limited funding, Blondin had asked Belgian authorities directly for upgraded security, but was turned down, he said.

That is a now an even bigger problem than it was a month ago, given the events of May 24, when a terrorist calmly walked into the building, opened his bag and removed a Kalashnikov assault rifle. It took him five seconds to fire the weapon from the doorway to the museum and bloody the floor and walls of the exhibit. By the time he left, three people were dead and a fourth was mortally wounded.

Terror suspect Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, is still being held in Marseille by French police, who immediately nabbed the accused gunman as he crossed the border.

“For a Jewish museum it was, in a way, way too light,” Blondin said of the security apparatus in place at the time of the attack.

There were no security guards at the door. There were none at the entrance to the building.

But the choice had been to close the museum or to take a risk, he said. “My choice and the choice of the people before me was education, education, education.”

Blondin said police would return the keys to the front entrance today (Wednesday) but that he would like to give his traumatized staff at least one more week to meet with psychologists over the horrific attack. And of course, they still had to clean the place up, and create a memorial for the victims.

He added that he is also still hoping for some increased police protection or security assistance from the Belgian authorities — who so far have promised nothing.

Blondin noted — as has every other Jewish leader over the past year — that there has been an uptick in anti-Semitism in Europe. He added that there has been a change in attitude towards the Jews in Belgium as well. “We’ve got Judeophobia and anti-Zionism, two different things working together,” he said.

When asked by The Jewish Press, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev deferred comment on whether the Jewish State would consider assisting Belgium or the museum with additional security.

Swastika, ‘Heil Hitler’, Scrawled Outside SF Shuls

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

A swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti were scrawled outside two synagogues in San Francisco, the northern California JWeekly website reported. The website said that police are investigating the incidentas a hate crime.

The website said that on the morning of May 30, traffic sign outside Congregation Beth Israel Judea and Or Shalom Jewish Community was found tagged with “Heil Hiter” (sic) and the phrase “death to the Jews” written in French.

The synagogues are also located next door to the Brandeis Hillel Day School. which is located next door. Corey Weinstein, Or Shalom’s board president, told JWeekly that no student or parent saw the graffiti, and that it was removed before the start of Shabbat.

Jewish Teens Attacked with Tear Gas

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Two Jewish teenagers reported that they were sprayed with tear gas in an attack in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris.

The teens, who were wearing kippot, said they were attacked on Saturday night, according to a report posted Monday on the website of the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.

The attack, which was captured by a nearby security system, reportedly was perpetrated by a group of youths ages eight to 17, of “North African origin,” according to the BNVCA.

The attack comes less than a week after two Jewish teenagers told police they were chased on Shavuot eve by a hatchet-wielding man and three others in Romainville, a northeastern suburb of Paris.

Last month, BNVCA and SPCJ, the watchdog of France’s Jewish communities, documented two suspected anti-Semitic beatings of Jews in the Paris suburb of Creteil. Also last month, police received a report about three men who were filming the entrance to the local Jewish school of Creteil, Otzar Hatora.
 

Belgium Joins Jews in Fighting Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Belgium’s government will join Jewish efforts in fighting anti-Semitism, according to the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo pledged Monday following a meeting in Brussels to establish a joint commission with WJC and local Jews to “facilitate the exchange of information” on the issue.

The commitment came following a murderous attack by Islamist terrrorist Mehdi Nemmouche last week at the Brussels Jewish Museum, which left four people dead, including a couple from Tel Aviv. Two Jews were beaten and left in serious condition outside a synagogue in a Paris suburb less than 24 hours later.

The Brussels terrorist, who used a Kalashnikov assault rifle to carry out his attack, was tracked down and caught in France after having just returned from a round of fighting in Syria.

The Belgian prime minister told the WJC delegation he would help Jewish efforts to strengthen communal security, combat racism and strengthen Holocaust education. Di Rupo said he supported “closer European cooperation to fight radical movements” and said his nation would not tolerate “hate speech.”

European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor warned recently at a news conference at Tel Aviv University that unless conditions begin to change, “Normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable.”

My Encounter With Jew-Hatred

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

I was in one of those big box stores in another city, waiting for a prescription. I was wearing my cassock and vest and skufia (priest’s cap).

I had attended the New Mexico Orthodoxy clergy April meeting and stopped on my way home to fill a prescription, because it was significantly less expensive than at our home pharmacy.

Several people wheeled their carts past me and said hello or made various comments. Folks are not used to seeing clerical garb in public any more, not even on Roman Catholic priests, so people often will ask, “Oh what denomination are you?” That affords me the opportunity for the stock response, “I’m not in a denomination, I’m Orthodox,” which may or may not lead to further conversation.

She was wearing a flower print dress and a matching scarf. The cross around her neck was tasteful, not too prominent, but nevertheless was not a mere charm; she meant it as a statement. She was, I would guess, about 40. She did not ask about my “denomination.” She allowed as how she had once visited an Orthodox church in another city in the state.

In the next breath she quietly said something like, “You’ve got to be careful whom you talk to, because many people who call themselves Christians have given up the true faith.” I realized this might go rapidly downhill, so I simply agreed with her on the theory that she would wheel away at this point.

I was wrong.

She said, “You’ve got to be careful about the Jews, because you know they have taken over Hollywood and Wall Street and all the newspapers.” At this point I looked for any exit I could find, but the prescription was not yet ready.

I said, “Where do you get such slanted information?” She replied that she did not really attend a church, because most of them were bogus, but she trusted a handful of preachers she had found on YouTube. They were telling it “like it is,” including the stuff about the Jews secretly ruling everything.

I thought I would throw in a sarcastic quip about the Protocols of Zion, but I realized she would have received such a statement unblinkingly, as if it were the truth and meant I was beginning to bond with her in our secret knowledge about the state of the world.

I asked if she remembered that Jesus was a Jew and that the earliest church was and could only have been made up of Jews who followed him. She replied that the apostles Paul and Peter had argued about this, that Paul had won, and the Jews under Peter had lost, and nobody could force the Law on us anymore.

I said that Paul struggled mightily with the issue of the relationship between Jews and Christians and that he said God’s plan was to reunite us in some mysterious way at the end of time, but that for the moment we had to struggle to find our unity on the ground.

She stood upright, with a knowing look and narrowed eyes, and told me I was one of those “Christians” who had given up the faith. I heard the quotation marks in her tone of voice.

So I said in a loud voice, as the anger built within me, “These people are liars, they are leading you in the wrong direction, and you had better watch out for your soul.”

At this she hastily pushed her cart down the aisle of over-the-counter medicines and disappeared around the end cap of the next aisle. My heart was pounding. People were looking but trying not to.

I was rattled. I drove home the couple hundred miles, rolling the events over and over in my mind, looking for alternative ways I could have handled the situation. None appeared.

This incident reminded me, in a stark way, that we have not dismantled the tide of hatred for the Jews who “rule the world.” No matter how many decades it’s been since the Holocaust, an ocean of hostility persists, capable of rising to tidal levels in this one woman in a store on a sunny April afternoon. Most unnerving is that these attitudes and concepts and ideas are not at all perceived to be loony, twisted, or in any way prejudiced. They are simply perceived as the truth. And that’s that.

I look in the mirror and ask whether or not I am guilty of perpetuating these dangerous negative myths. I look away, confident that I personally am not. I have devoted a great chunk of my lifetime, energy and work to combating such nonsense. But then I remember that this teaching was not uncommon in churches for more than a millennium, and that in my own tradition pogroms often happened on Holy Thursday – when people were told the Jews killed Jesus.

On a scale of world history, it is only moments since many of us (not all) have given up the teaching of contempt. We have no choice; we have to remain vigilant. Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.

(JNS)

Neo-Nazi Parties Win Seats in 2 European Parliament Elections

Monday, May 26th, 2014

For the first time ever, neo-Nazi political parties have won seats in the Brussels-based European Parliament, according to the latest exit polls. The election took place yesterday (Sunday, May 25), just a day after three Jews were murdered and a fourth person seriously wounded in a terror attack at the city’s Jewish Museum.

Is it a surprise that one of the parties was located in Germany? But a second country also voted in neo-Nazis as well — and not so far from Israel, either.

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NDP) won one MEP (Member of the European Parliament) seat in yesterday’s European Union (EU) elections, coming in fourth with one percent of the vote in German polls. In the 1930s, Germany’s Nazi party was officially named the ‘National Socialists.’

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-EU Christian Democratic Union party won 36 percent of Germany’s vote, followed by the Social Democrats, a center-left coalition partner with 27.5 percent. But in third place was the new “Alternative for Germany” with 6.5 percent of the nation’s vote, according to The Daily Mail. And the anti-EU AfD party was reported to have won as many as six MEPs; the party has advocated for ending the country’s use of the euro as currency.

However, Germany was not the only country that flipped to the right, by a long shot.

In Greece, for the first time the extreme-right neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ party won three seats, coming in third with nine percent of the vote. The anti-EU Syriza party also took the lion’s share of the vote, with 27 percent, an ominous sign, analysts said.

“Euroscepticism,” – a relatively new term – is criticism of the European Union and opposition to the process of political European integration – belief that integration weakens the nation state – and this trend ruled the elections on Sunday, as The Daily Mail pointed out.

In Italy, the anti-EU “Five Star” (M5S) movement, headed by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, appeared to be headed for a close second place with 25 to 28 percent of the vote. First place was just a shave ahead by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi’s center left Democratic Party (PD) with 29.5 to 32.5 percent of the vote.

In France, Marine Le Pen made headline when her hardline French National Front party proved the most popular with a quarter of the vote, 11 percent ahead of the ruling Socialists. Le Pen called for new elections in France and labeled the EU Public Enemy Number One, saying it is “like the old Soviet Union – it can’t be improved.” In fact, President Francoise Hollande’s party came in third with 14.7 percent of the vote, following the center-right UMP, which garnered 20.3 percent.

In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative Party also won seats in the European Parliament for the first time, with around seven percent of the vote. However, so did far-right Sweden Democrats.

In Belgium, where election coverage competed with coverage of the terror attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, Flemish separatists were the big winners in the parliamentary elections there. But it will be months before a new government is formed.

The center-right New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) has a third of the votes in Flanders, where 60 percent of Belgian residents live and where Dutch is spoken – this, after 80 percent of the votes are counted. N-VA leader Bart De Wever said he believes the king will grant him the right to attempt to form a coalition, but it will mean finding potential French-speaking allies. Due to the Belgian system, there are effectively two elections, each with at least parties in two languages – French and Dutch. At least two from each side will be needed to form a coalition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/neo-nazi-parties-win-seats-in-2-european-parliament-elections/2014/05/26/

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