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May 1, 2016 / 23 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

NY City Council Jewish Caucus Battles Anti-Semitism on Campus

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

New York City Council’s 14-member Jewish Caucus is drafting a new law to fight the anti-Semitism permeating the city university’s campuses.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) last week called on officials to deal with the rise in the number of hate incidents on City University of New York (CUNY) campuses.

The ZOA last week sent a letter to CUNY demanding a probe into ‘Students for Justice in Palestine,’ which it said has engaged in “anti-Semitic and violence-inciting conduct” against Jewish students, the NY Post reported.

The NYC Council Jewish Caucus also sent a letter to CUNY Chancellor James Milliken “demand[ing] to know what comprehensive actions” and, saying it “insist[s] the chancellor inform Council members of CUNY policies for reporting hate-based campus incidents to the NYPD – and if no system exists, set one up immediately.”

Caucus chair and Council member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) told The Post,“We’re not convinced that the university is adequately tracking what is clearly a pattern of bigotry.”

The university’s chancellor ordered an independent probe into the bias claims, days later. But CUNY has done little else in response, other than issue a statement.

“Our campus-based public safety officers are trained to identify possible hate crime incidents. They refer these incidents to and work closely with the [NYPD],” the statement said.

“Further investigation may lead the police to designate an incident as a hate crime. We report any such designations publicly to a federal registry as all colleges and universities are required to do.”

The City Council Jewish Caucus is now drafting legislation to require CUNY (City University of New York) to report all bias incidents to the Council.

Brooklyn Council member Chaim Deutsch is slated to be lead sponsor on legislation.

Hana Levi Julian

Ukrainian Jews Flee To Israel Amid Anti-Semitic Attacks in War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Over 100 Ukrainian Jews fled war-torn Ukraine and arrived in Israel on Tuesday, February 23. Many Ukrainian Jews have been leaving their country of birth due to violence and frequent anti-Semitic attacks. They were assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which has been spearheading a project of bringing Jews to Israel from countries engulfed by war.

Sisters Marina and Alexandra Prokopovych, aged 17 and 15 respectively, were among the new immigrants who arrived in Israel. They had lived in the small suburb of Rakytne. Both were severely beaten at their high school in what began as a nationalistically-motivated attack, but which spilled over into overt anti-Semitism.

IFCJ Director of Communications Tali Aronsky told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the girls were called “separatists” and “Zhids” [Jews] prior to the assault because they spoke Russian instead of Ukrainian.

“The girls sustained serious injuries as a result. One suffered concussions and had to get stitches. Even the teachers joined in the beating. The father remembers similar things that happened when he was younger, but he decided that it was time to leave when it happened to his daughters,” she said.

Dmytro Prokopovych, the girls’ father, also remembers that he had switched schools three times due to his ethnicity. He himself suffered fourteen concussions from similar attacks during his childhood and he maintains that anti-Semitism is still very prevalent in post-Soviet Ukraine.

“I recently discovered that my family’s real surname is Evenbach and not Prokopovych. It was my grandfather’s surname. My father would not be admitted to university with this surname in Soviet times so he changed it to his mother’s maiden name,” Dmytro recalls.

IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein decided that efforts to rescue Jews in countries with prevailing anti-Semitism were insufficient. The IFCJ then began actively searching for Jews suffering in countries affected by war. Many of the immigrants receive additional funds since they were forced to leave behind homes that have become essentially worthless due to the conflicts.

“We don’t wait for the Ukrainians to call us up. We go to them and we also give them more support. We offer them $1,000 per family and $500 for every child in addition to what they get from the government,” Aronsky told TPS.

The new immigrants will be given guidance and career advice. Aronsky said that the organization has also reached out to other countries such as Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, and even several Arab countries and has managed to bring some 2,355 Jews to Israel. Aronsky was unable to divulge the identities of the Arab countries due to security concerns for the Jews involved.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Sanders Keeps His Judaism Silent, Israel at a Distance

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

As residents head to the polls for Super Tuesday 2016 to choose a nominee for president in 12 states, Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is fighting to stay in the race against former Secy of State Hillary Clinton.

Folks in Vermont know their U.S. Senator likes to keep his Jewish faith on the “q.t.” and they have accepted it with equanimity.

But not so the American Jewish community at large – and that fact may now be creating a backlash at the polls, when Bernie Sanders most needs the support of The Tribe.

After his February 9 win in New Hampshire – the first Jewish candidate to win a major party presidential primary – Jews outside the country have been watching his progress closely. It was more sluggish than one might expect, given the swashbuckling performance he turned in last month.

Part of the problem is while most candidates are wide open about their personal backgrounds – they have to be for transparency’s sake – Bernie Sanders has been dismissive, almost brusque, about his own Jewish faith.

And in America, faith is very much an issue. There is still plenty of anti-Semitism, which Sanders is obviously trying to avoid, but most voters prefer some belief in the One Above. Complete secularism is not popular in the United States at election time.

After all, even on the U.S. dollar it says, “In God We Trust.”

Yet Sanders works hard to evade the issue. He does not identify himself as a Jew publicly even in the “cultural” sense. In fact, in 30 years as a politician he has totally avoided the issue, colleagues say.

He was heckled in Vermont during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and was among the few senators who did not co-sponsor the Senate resolution supporting Israel in the war. It passed with a voice vote.

As a presidential candidate, Sanders said he consulted the far-left ‘J Street’ lobby and the Arab American Institute founded by Jim Zogby on Mideast Policy. Last year he was one of the first who announced they were skipping the historic address to Congress on Iran by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is skeptical about Sanders as a candidate. “He’s never really been that identified that strongly with pro-Israel advocacy,” Hoenlein said.

Coming from Hoenlein, who is more of a centrist himself, that is a whopping red flag.

Perhaps all this is not as surprising as one might think, however, given his family background and the fact that his second wife, Jane, was raised a Roman Catholic. Sanders grew up in Brooklyn as the son of immigrants; much of his father’s family was wiped out in the Holocaust. In fact, he once told still remembers the call his father received in the middle of the night, telling him a relative had arrived at a DP (displaced person’s) camp.

From that, he told Margaret Talbot at New Yorker magazine, he learned that a 1932 election had led to the murders of 50 million people. From that, perhaps he left unsaid, he also learned early on that Jews could die when identified as Jews.

His brother Larry was quoted by PBS in an interview in England where he lives, as saying that being Jewish is “very important to us. There was no problem of debate, it was just a given in our lives, just as being Americans was a given in our lives. But Bernard is not particularly religious. He doesn’t go to synagogue often. I think he probably goes to synagogue only for weddings and funerals, rather than to pray.”

Hana Levi Julian

Memo to Trump: ADL Info on Hate Groups Coming All Candidates

Monday, February 29th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump set off more than a firestorm when he claimed to have “no knowledge about” the Ku Klux Klan and its former leader, David Duke.

He also spurred the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to spring into action with its own campaign to provide informatio to every presidential candidate (including Trump) on hate groups and other extremists.

The trigger for this brouhaha began with last week’s expression of support for “The Donald” by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Dr. David Duke.

Trump disavowed the support on Friday, but in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, seemed to forget the entire affair and also disavowed any knowledge at all about David Duke or the KKK – a stumble that raised a firestorm.

“David Duke is a notorious anti-Semite and racist and his name is synonymous with bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “Duke is a perennial candidate for elected office and perhaps America’s best known racist and anti-Semite. He is a former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His message is racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American to its very core, and he’s clearly exploiting Mr. Trump’s candidacy to get publicity for himself and his hateful ideas.”

ADL’s Center on Extremism monitors and exposes extremists and hate groups.

The group said it is providing for the public at large, including the Trump campaign, information about extremists “so that all candidates can be fully aware of these individuals and have a more complete picture when determining whose endorsements they should accept or reject.”

Greenblatt said the ADL hopes it can prevent white supremacists from using the campaign to “mainstream their bigotry.

“It is imperative for elected leaders and political candidates like Mr. Trump and others in the public eye to disavow haters such as Duke and the other white supremacists who have endorsed his candidacy. By not disavowing their racism and hatred, Trump gives them and their views a degree of legitimacy. Even if it is unintentional on his part, he allows them to feel that they are reaching mainstream America with their message of intolerance.”

Hana Levi Julian

Exclusive: German Source Warns Jews in Danger as Anti-Migrant Movement Grows Violent

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

German Jewry is beginning to worry about anti-Semitism again, and according to a local source, it’s long past due time that they did.

In an exclusive interview with a peace activist from Germany, JewishPress.com learned this week that the threat to Jews in the country is rising steadily.

Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups are increasing in popularity, albeit with their initial banner raised against the flood of refugees and migrants streaming into Germany from across Europe.

The activist, a German visitor to Israel, told JewishPress.com on condition of anonymity – is that a backlash is beginning among the German population which is starting to blame its “migrant population” on “the Jews.”

It has taken a while, but Joseph Schuster, president of the country’s Central Council of Jews also expressed the community’s concern in an interview published Saturday in the Sueddeutsche Zetung.

“The political mood in our society is clearly drifting off to the right,” Schuster told the newspaper, noting rising tensions over the steady flow of migrants into the country. Although Schuster told the paper he does not believe the Jews will immediately leave en masse, he did warn that many will “consider” it.

“It must be clear to the people that come to us that anti-Semitic behavior will not be tolerated,” Schuster said. He called on the government to teach the migrants – most of whom are Muslims – to recognize the State of Israel in their cultural integration courses “because among the refugees is a significant proportion of Arab people who have grown up with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stereotypes.”

While it is true that many attacks on Jews in Europe over the past several years have been traced to Muslim immigrants, that has by no means ever been the source of anti-Semitism on the continent. Adolf Hitler was Austrian, not Syrian. Let’s not confuse the two.

According to the German source there have been weekly anti-migrant demonstrations by German native-born citizens in Leipzig for months already. On the secular New Year, when parties were going “full blast” the central downtown area was “empty, spooky, with no police coverage whatsoever because all the police were out dealing with attacks.

This New Year’s Eve, gangs of young migrant men sexually assaulted countless young women in mass attacks in Cologne and other German towns, according to France24 and myriad other international media. Last year Germany absorbed 1.1 million migrants and the nation’s citizens are reportedly livid with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy for the refugees.

“That night saw hundreds of assaults – it was the first time the media could not hide the facts about migrant violence and German violence in response,” the source said.

Riots were also been carried out by an extremist group known to international police as the neo-Nazi “football hooligans.” The group has branches throughout Europe – in Sweden as well as in Germany.

In Leipzig two weeks later they seized the opportunity to start a rampage during a march by supporters of the anti-migrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.) The local Pegida group in Leipzig is known as Legida.

“Merkel take your Muslims with you and go,” read one of the placards at a Legida protest.

Also in January, at least 250 neo-Nazis traveled by car to the Leipzig suburb of Connewitz from “all over the state of Saxony,” according to the World Socialist Web Site, which described a scene of “fascist terror.”

According to a report posted by the Peipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), the “horde of neo-Nazis” were “goose-stepping” through the district and then began a “rampage of violence” with large stones they had clearly brought with them.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran’s Holocaust Denial Film Strikes Deep Chord

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Iran’s Supreme Leader is once again working hard to incite the haters of the world against global Jewry.

On the day the United Nations marked for commemoration of the world’s worst genocide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei uploaded a three-minute, English-subtitled video denying the Holocaust to his website called “Are the Dark Ages Over?”

The film features audio of a March 2014 speech during which Khamenei claimed that “No one is European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is reality or not.

“Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened.”  Images of infamous British Holocaust denier David Irving and others are featured in the film.

In June, Iran has announced a contest for satirical cartoons relating to the Holocaust as part of the Teheran International Cartoon Biennial. The winner is to be awarded a prize of $50,000 – a sum four times that of the previous year.

Last year, Iran announced a similar Holocaust denial cartoon exhibit just days before the Al Qaeda/Da’esh terrorist attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine in Paris.

Israeli officials and Knesset members expressed their disappointment with France and Italy for inviting and hosting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – of all people – to visit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We all learned yesterday that the president of Iran, who we thought was a cruel and insensitive man who holds Holocaust denial exhibits, is actually such a sensitive person that the statues in Rome were covered in his honor, so as not to offend him,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein noted with sarcasm from the podium.

U.S. President Barack Obama was also blunt about the rising anti-Semitism around the world Wednesday in his speech at the Israel Embassy in Washington DC.

Obama declared that it would be necessary for American to take the lead in fighting the phenomenon. “We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise,” Obama said. “We cannot deny it… I’ve made sure that the United States is leading the global fight against anti-Semitism,” he said.

Ira Forman, the US State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism, told JNS.org, “We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial…and antisemitic speech,” Forman told JNS.org.

Yet in Europe, where Rouhani is being welcomed with open arms, at least some government leaders are still awake enough to warn others about what is coming.

Speaking in Brussels Wednesday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Jewish and European leaders, “It pains me that in today’s Europe Jews again fear for their lives; that they ask themselves ‘will I be safe going to a synagogue, or a Jewish job? Will my children be safe in a Jewish school… some consider leaving Europe for good because they no longer feel safe.”

It is the responsibility of Europe’s leaders to fight the “demons of anti-Semitism… intolerance” he said. “Some deny the Holocaust ever happened, they try to convince us that the pain and loss inflicted on innocent victims are illusions, are lies. What makes me angry every day is that these people are sitting in the parliament here. The Holocaust deniers are electted to the European parliament.”

At the start of January, following reports of the latest cartoon contest in Iranian media, Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-HaCohen wrote to Irina Bokova, director-general of the UN agency, to bring the issue to her attention. “It is time for UNESCO to demand accountability from the Iranian regime with regard to its malicious rhetoric, Holocaust denial and global negative activity.”

Hana Levi Julian

Firing of NBA Coach David Blatt Signals Rising Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Scratch the surface and watch the scum rise to the top.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League has issued what amounts to an Internet “flash flood alert” over an outpouring of anti-Semitism aimed at Israeli American NBA Head Coach David Blatt.

The Cleveland Cavaliers front office dismissed Blatt five days ago — a coach with a winning record — and the move brought out all the vultures, particularly those with an anti-Semitic bent.

On its blog, the ADL warned readers Tuesday of an “outpouring” of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred on social media in the wake of Blatt’s dismissal.

Anti-Semitism flooded social media after the firing of Israeli-American NBA head coach David Blatt.

Despite having led his team to victory in the Eastern Division and to the Finals, Blatt was handed his walking papers on Friday, January 22 by general manager David Griffin, backed up by owner Dan Gilbert, for being “disconnected.”

An odd thing to say about a coach who was able to get a team to come up with a 30-11 season. By the time he was fired he had reached an 83-40 game record — a 73.2% winning percentage that is the highest for a head coach at the time of his firing in major pro sports history.

Blatt is the first coach to be fired with the best record in his conference, according to ESPN. But apparently what matters more to his detractors is the fact that he is Jewish and made aliyah to Israel in 1981. Perhaps it also matters that he became one of the best coaches in history on the European continent before coming to coach in the NBA.

The ADL noted “some … personal attacks against Blatt, who holds both Israeli and American citizenship. Hostile verbal attacks on individuals for being Israeli citizens or supporters of Israel appear to have become more commonplace in recent years both online and offline as well, as some look to demonize the Jewish state in any way possible.”

The organization added that this is not the first time “such open hostility against Israelis or Jews in sports has been expressed in such an ugly fashion on social media,” citing examples going back as far as 2014 and 2013. In those cases as well, the anti-Semitism was expressed in posts on the Twitter social networking site.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-semitism-flash-flood-alert-over-firing-of-nba-coach-david-blatt/2016/01/27/

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