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May 31, 2016 / 23 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

London Mayoral Candidate Sorrows Over ‘Badge of Shame’ Due to Labour Anti-Semitism

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

A Muslim candidate in the race for mayor of London is vowing to correct the anti-Semitism in the UK’s Labour Party, in which he is a member.

London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan is facing an uphill battle in his attempt to run for office partly due to anti-Semitic comments by officials from his Labour Party.

Khan told an event organized by the London Jewish Forum on Wednesday (April 6) that he knows what it is to suffer “hate crime.”

Moreover, he said, “I also know it’s unacceptable in 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It’s with sorrow that I wear that badge of shame.”

The candidate vowed to remedy the situation. “If it means members of my party, senior members of my party including members of [the ruling National Executive Committee] being trained about what anti-Semitism is, then so be it,” he declared.

“I have said at the outset I’m embarrassed and sorrowful about anti-Semitism in the party. I think the Labour leadership could have taken a tougher stance and needs to take a tougher stance,” he added.

Khan’s comments followed a firestorm aimed at Louise Ellman, a Jewish parliamentarian from the Labour Party, by party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers.

Ellman had called for Labour to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party – but Piers Corbyn called her remarks “absurd” and said, “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn backed his brother. He was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, “My brother has his point of view and I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree. We are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.”

Corby is a strong critic of Israel and a major supporter of the Palestinian Authority who has previously referred to himself as a “friend” of Hamas and Hezbollah. He lamented the assassination of Osama Bin Laden as well.

A prominent Labour Party politician recently threatened to leave if steps were not taken to deal with the party’s increasing acceptance of the anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Lord Michael Abraham Levy is a former fund raiser for Labour and a longtime friend of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Levy, who is Jewish, spent nine years as Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East.

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Semitic Threat Scrawled in Men’s Bathroom at U Buffalo

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Jewish students at the University of Buffalo were threatened this month by anti-Semitic scrawls discovered on a wall in the men’s bathroom at Capen Hall. The vandalism “threatened violence against Jewish people and used a derogatory slur,” according to the campus newspaper, The Spectrum.

In response, the university’s police force increased patrols near the Hillel of Buffalo in The Commons as a precaution, and patrolled campus locations where students were celebrating Purim last week.

The university’s Deputy Police Chief Joshua Sticht called it was an “isolated” incident, according to The Spectrum, but students say anti-Semitism on the campus has happened before, albeit less severe.

“I”ve never seen any form of anti-Semitism like that before,” Jewish Student Union (JSU) president Andrew Meyer told The Spectrum, but noted “I’ve seen swastikas in the past.” However, he added, “that is nothing compared to this.”

Meyer said what was found on the wall is “the most horrific and derogatory term” used against Jews.

It has already been removed, and photos are not available to media.

The newspaper did not print the threats nor did it publish the photos that were sent to The Spectrum. The school’s maintenance staff and the students apparently did nothing about the vandalsim for at least two weeks, according to the report, which cited grave concerns over that apathy.

Meyer pointed out that students have to raise awareness that “any form of anti-Semitism or racism is not OK and they must report anything they see immediately.” He also met with Student Life and Student Association (SA) president Minahil Khan, who said the group is working with the university police and Student Life in “any way that they might need.”

U Buffalo Hillel director Dan Metchnik called the incident “very disturbing.”

University of Buffalo spokesperson John Della Contrada said in a statement that racist and discriminatory conduct would not be tolerated.

“When acts motivated by hatred or discrimination occur, the university will respond promptly to protect the safety and well-being of the entire university community. Diversity, inclusion and mutual respect are strongly held values of our university. We are committed to upholding these values at all times.”

Hana Levi Julian

Cuban Jewish Leader Claims ‘No Anti-Semitism Here’

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Under President Raoul Castro, synagogues in Cuba do not require security and there is no anti-Semitism, according to the vice president of one of the largest of Cuba’s scattered Jewish communities, David Prinstein.

In an interview with Agencia Judia de Noticias, Prinstein claimed, “There is no type of anti-Semitic expression against Jews and synagogues” in the country.

Cuba, he said, is the only country “with a synagogue that has its doors constantly open. There is “no kind of security at all, no kind of guards,” he told the news outlet.

Most of Cuba’s 25,000 Jews fled to Miami when Fidel Castro came to power and raised his Communist government. The iron fist began to loosen in the 1990s, however, and today religious communities are again able to practice their faiths, albeit with government eyes watching closely.

Interfaith dialogue is now the rule of the day for Jews in Cuba, he said.

“We are part of a Cuban interreligious platform where we hold continuous meetings tackling topics in common and positive for all parties. This has made possible an excellent relationship with all other religious denominations,” he said. Likewise, the government’s relationship with its Jews is, he said, “excellent.”

In fact, Prinstein said everything is “excellent.”

Cuba’s 1,500 Jews can choose between the island nation’s three synagogues and two cemeteries. The government, said Prinstein, has a “very open relationship, very sincere and above all respectful.”

Hana Levi Julian

UK Jewish Peer Warns Anti-Semitism Rising in Labour Party

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Prominent British politician Lord (Michael Abraham, Baron) Levy has sounded the alarm that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party. He is threatening to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide.

The Jewish peer has been a chief fund-raiser for the party. He is a longtime friend of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, and spent nine years as Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East.

A son of observant Jewish parents, Lord Levy warned that current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is presiding over what appears to be a resurgence in the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism.

The peer warned that Corbyn must speak out against the attacks immediately if he wants to stop the bleed in Jewish Labourites who no longer have faith in the party.

Lord Levy himself has threatened to leave the party unless Corbyn publicly denounces the anti-Semitic comments made by party members.

Socialist Fight member Gerry Downing recently demanded the “Jewish problem” be addressed – and then applied for membership in Labour, and was accepted, The Telegraph reported.

Labour’s former Woking candidate Vicky Kirby was suspended after tweeting “What do you know abt Jews? They’ve got big noses and support Spurs. Lol” – and then was readmitted to the party.

Even party leader Jeremy Corbyn has no hesitation about having tea on the terrace of the House of Commons with “anti-Semites, Jew-haters,” wrote Telegraph journalist Tom Harris, who reported they encourage followers to “paint graffiti declaring: ‘Hoax gas chambers built in Hollywood.’ “ Harris points out Corbyn’s association with “and friendship of, the Hamas terrorist organization… here is an organization which, far from denying its anti-Semitism, proudly states its commitment to killing Jews in its own constitution.”

Corbyn’s attendance last year at a Labour Friends of Israel reception during a party conference was illuminating: yes, he showed up, but no, he never once spoke the word “Israel” – a perfect example of the new Semitism in action.

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, has said there is a “real problem of anti-Semitism on the far Left.” His take on the situation: “Most people in the Jewish community can’t trust Labour.”

Lord Levy told Sky News after hearing about the anti-Semitic comments spewed by his party colleagues: “Frankly it is now up to the leadership to make sure there is a clear an unequivocal message out there that anti-Semitism in any form will not be tolerated in the Labor party.

“It is for the leadership to make that absolutely clear. If they don’t make that clear then I will start to question myself and actually question my being a Labour peer and a proud member of the Labour party.”

The British peer also serves as president of Community Service Volunteers (CSV), Jewish Care, Jewish Free School (JFS) and Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB). In addition, he owns a villa in Herzliya Pituah and is a friend of former Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak.

For all that, however, Lord Levy himself has also been targeted while in the House of Lords, he admitted.

“I was told when I was taking someone into the Lords that someone on the other benches made comments at the back, saying: “Who is the Jew boy bringing into the House now?”

Hana Levi Julian

Rutgers Professor Insists Israel ‘Harvests’ Terrorist Organs

Monday, March 21st, 2016

A Rutgers University associate professor of women’s and gender studies claims Israel is stealing organs from the bodies of Arab terrorists — and she’s threatening to sue anyone who publishes a recording of the lecture at Vassar College in which she made the claim.

Professor Jasbir Puar’s February 3 lecture “was taped without my permission or that of the people who had invited me,” she said. Nevertheless, she slammed a “current Zionist strategy” of what she called “silencing and intimidation tactics” aimed at stifling the “exercise of free speech and academic freedom.”

Moreover, Puar recently canceled a scheduled lecture at Fordham University on the “biopolitics of debility in Gaza” – because the administration insisted on recording the talk and making it publicly available, according to The Tower.

For some odd reason she appears unwilling to see that her unwillingness to share her words with the rest of the world is if anything, a much greater self-censorship – one that raises deep suspicions about the legality of what she said.

In a column written in Jadaliyya, (produced by the Arab Studies Institute, ASI) Puar writes about her Feb. 3 lecture, which she said was delivered to a “welcoming and enthusiastic audience.” ASI has received funding from the Social Science Research Council, and the Open Society Institute, supported by George Soros.

The Jadaliyya publication combines local knowledge, scholarship and advocacy aimed at audiences primarily in the United States and the Middle East. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic, French, English, and Turkish.

“The fraught history of organ mining practices from both IDF soldiers and Palestinian bodies during the 1990s is well documented. During the second intifada, Palestinian bodies were held at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine for prolonged periods without explanation. Even mainstream Israeli press such as Ha’aretz have reported on the collecting of illegally obtained organs at Abu Kabir,” Puar wrote.

“In my lecture, I made clear that I was not making any empirical claims about current organ mining. Rather, I was conveying a small part of the sheer terror of life in the West Bank since the uprising began in October 2015. I can only surmise that the charges of anti-Semitism and blood libel leveled against me were intended to discredit scholarship about the deleterious effects of the occupation on Palestinian daily life.

“It is as if those engaged in trying to smear me believe that Palestinians have no right to legitimate and very human emotions of grief, anguish, and historical trauma.

“Further, the manufactured controversy surrounding my talk was no doubt intended to derail the momentum of the Vassar BDS resolution, spearheaded by Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. In the wake of this diversion, the Vassar administration threatened to withhold student activity fees from the Vassar Student Association if they voted to pass the BDS resolution—which they passed despite this threat.”

“The talk was taped without my permission or that of the people who had invited me, and the transcript was disseminated to right wing media, inciting hateful responses,” she complained.

“They are desperate to contain the popular movements of students, many of them Jewish Americans, galvanizing around BDS,” she claimed.

Hana Levi Julian

Anne Frank’s Family Annex is Now ‘Escape Bunker’ Tourist Game in Netherlands

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

“Escape bunker” tourist games have become the latest rage now, but everything has a red line.

The Anne Frank Foundation drew that line last week when an ‘escape bunker’ tourist attraction opened in the Netherlands.

The new game is based on the annex attic where young teenager Anne Frank hid with her family from the Nazis, writing about the experience in a diary that became a world-renowned account of the Jews’ desperate attempt to escape the genocide.

The so-called “bunker” is located in Valkenswaard, a town about 87 miles south of Amsterdam. It is intended to make people think that if they were smart enough, they could remain hidden from the Nazis – maybe for the duration of World War II.

It’s been slammed as insensitive, especially since the room has been recreated to appear like the apartment where Anne Frank and her family lived during the war.

Game players are locked in and are given one hour within which to escape, using creative, “out of the box” teamwork.

But the Holocaust was no game. The lives of the young teenager and her family were trivial game pieces only to the monsters who tortured and stole their lives and those of their fellow villagers and loved ones.

A pitiful remnant of the majestic Jewish world that graced Europe with its wisdom and wealth was all that remained from blood-dripped hands of the Nazis in World War II.

Anne Frank was not among them.

The foundation which manages the museum in the house that contains the attic apartment in which the Frank family hid by the side of the canal, slammed the “game,” adding it was historically wrong as well.

“It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust) to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room,” the foundation said in a statement. The bunker “creates the impression that hiding (from the Nazis) is an exciting game and if those hiding are smart enough they won’t be caught.”

An impression that is obviously, tragically, horrifically wrong, as any member of the three subsequent generations of descendants of any Holocaust survivor can tell you.

Hana Levi Julian

Newton Mayor Launches Fight Against Anti-Semitism

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The mayor and school superintendent of Newton, Massachusetts launched a new initiative to battle anti-Semitism in city schools.

The move follows a series of anti-Semitic incidents that have dogged the school system since last April.

Mayor Setti Warren and Superintendent David Fleishman together announced the new protocol in a statement to media on Friday. A civil rights consultant has also been hired to facilitate the program.

The strategy aims to prepare administrators to respond to hate speech and educate students on the significance of such language.

The most recent incident occurred at a basketball game in which fans of the visiting Catholic Memorial High School yelled a chant at Newton North High School students, “You killed Jesus! You killed Jesus!”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was immediately brought into the picture, along with Newton city police and other officials.

Three anti-Semitic incidents were already under investigation, including two at F.A. Day Middle School that inexplicably had gone unreported for months.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/newton-mayor-launches-fight-against-anti-semitism/2016/03/20/

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