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November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘anti-zionism’

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.

Ryerson U. Student Union Passes Symbolic Vote to Join BDS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The student union of Ryerson University in Toronto voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at Israel, but the university said it will ignore the non-binding decision.

“The student union is a corporation independent of the university, we have to be clear there,” said Michael Forbes, a spokesperson for Ryerson and quoted by the Canadian National Post. “The university does not support a boycott. We don’t support divestment, nor do we support sanctions against Israel. We’ve been consistent on this point.”

Students at the University of Windsor and York University also have voted to join BDS.

The vote at Ryerson was passed amid jeers and boos at Jewish students who walked out in protest, holding as sign stating, “Hate off Campus.”

Israeli Filmmaker Amos Gitai Making Movie about AMIA Bombing

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Award-winning Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai is preparing a film about the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires.

The Brazilian production company Prana Films will produce the movie based on the 1994 bombing attack on the center that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

One venue will be the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, which shares a border with Argentina and Brazil. The terrorist Hezbollah organization is active in the city, according to intelligence sources.

Argentine actor Ricardo Darin and French actress Juliette Binoche reportedly have expressed interest in the film and have received an updated script with an expected budget of $3.5 million.

The film will be based on Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is investigating the bombing. Nisman has accused Iran of sponsoring the attack and declared unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the deadly attack.

Gitai, who has won awards for his films at the prestigious Cannes and Venice festivals, said the AMIA film “is a story about relationships, about how the attack affected the community and what is happening in Latin America with the law.”

He told the La Nacion newspaper in Paris that his partners had looked for financial support from Argentina but did not find any interest.

“I think it is because of the economic situation there,” he told an Argentine newspaper in an interview from Paris.

Gitai has written many films based on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

NY Times Feature on Anti-Zionism a Reminder of the Sulzberger Legacy

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The New York Times raised some eyebrows in the Jewish community earlier this month with a lengthy feature about four self-described religious Jews who oppose Israel. In an apparent attempt to legitimize Jewish anti-Zionism, the article stressed that Zionism “was not always the norm among American Jews” and that it was only “the persecution of European Jews [which] turned many American Jews into Zionists.”

Interestingly, one of the most famous “religious Jews” who opposed Zionism did not change his mind even after the Holocaust. That was the Times’s own publisher from 1935 to 1961, Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

Sulzberger was a devout adherent of classical Reform Judaism. In his view, Jewish identity should consist only of religious beliefs, not any sense of peoplehood, nationalism, or ethnic affiliation. He even rejected the existence of Jewish war veterans organizations on the grounds that they were examples of “Ghetto living.”

As Prof. Laurel Leff explains in her critically acclaimed book Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, Sulzberger instructed Times editors to bury news of the Nazi genocide on the back pages, and to tone down or eliminate references to the fact that the victims were Jews.

Sulzberger worried that if the Times reported what was happening to the Jews in Europe, someone might accuse it of being a “Jewish newspaper.”

As news of the Nazi atrocities moved many formerly anti-Zionist Reform rabbis and leaders to recognize the need for a Jewish state, Sulzberger pushed back. He was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of the American Council for Judaism, a group created by a handful of Reform rabbis in 1942 to oppose Zionism. The Times gave frequent and generous coverage to the activities of the tiny Council.

Even a visit to former Nazi concentration camps in 1945 did not alter Sulzberger’s anti-Zionist convictions. In a speech the following year, Sulzberger said that while he felt sorry for the Jewish survivors living in Displaced Persons camps in Europe, they were “but a minor percentage of the total of displaced persons” and therefore should not be receiving so much attention.

The Times publisher even went so far as to claim Zionism was to blame for some of the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust. He alleged, in that 1946 speech, that the refugee crisis during the war had been “a manageable, social and economic problem” until “the clamor for statehood introduced an insoluable political element” into the issue. “It is my judgment that thousands dead might now be alive” if “the Zionists” had put “less emphasis on statehood,” Sulzberger asserted.

One of the Jewish anti-Zionists profiled in the Feb. 14 New York Times article described himself as a fan of the late Judah Magnes, who advocated a binational Arab-Jewish Palestine instead of a Jewish state. Sulzberger, too, thought highly of Magnes. In June 1946, Sulzberger tried to organize a dinner at Manhattan’s Hotel Pierre to raise funds for Magnes’s work. The Times publisher invited 23 of his associates. Only three accepted. The dinner was canceled.

The increasingly isolated Sulzberger grew more and more frustrated. A pro-Zionist statement by the formerly anti-Zionist president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in early 1947 prompted Sulzberger to write to a friend, “Apparently if you are a Jew you have to contribute Jewishly, eat Jewishly, think Jewishly, part your hair Jewishly…. Gosh I’m sick!”

On another occasion, Sulzberger was horrified to see the AJC and other Jewish groups listed as affiliates of the United Jewish Appeal in an advertisement in the Times. “The only thing I miss is the Jewish Chiropractors’ Society,” he complained. “In other words, J E W is to be the common denominator for everything we do. God help us!”

Chile’s Palestine Soccer Club Leaves Map on Uniforms despite Fine

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Chile’s Palestine Football Club, after being fined for wearing uniforms on which the number one in players’ numbers in the backs of their shirts were represented by a map of Israel as Palestine, unveiled its new uniforms that now show exactly the same thing on the front of the shirt.

Inset into the players’ numbers on the backs of their uniform shirts also are small maps of Israel.

The uniforms, worn Sunday in a match against Universidad de Concepcion, replace the old uniforms

Chile’s top soccer league, the National Association of Professional Football of Chile, or ANFP, unanimously decided last week to fine the team for the old uniforms. The ANFP also ruled that the team, which wore the jerseys in three games this month, must redesign the uniforms to include numerals for player numbers.

The ANFP said it was opposed to “any form of political, religious, sexual, ethnic, social or racial discrimination.”

The decision followed a request by Patrick Kiblisky Fried, the Jewish president of Chile’s Deportivo Nublense SDAP club, which plays in the same league.

The new uniform is shown in a photo at the official Facebook page of the soccer club. In its first hours online, the post of that photo received 327 likes and 73 comments, nearly half of them wanting to buy the new shirt and also the banned one.

“The fact that the Palestinian Soccer Club chose to keep the map of Israel on their shirt, claiming all of it as Palestinian Territory, provides further proof that the ideology of the leaders of the Palestinian community of Chile is very extremist, and it is based on the denial of all connection of the Jewish People with the land of Israel,” Maximiliano Grass, director of the Chile-Israel Council, the Zionist Federation of Chile, told JTA.

“As a matter of fact, even when they cannot use the previous shirt any more, they’ve taken advantage of media coverage to sell more than 7,000 of them around the globe. With this kind of attitude, it is very unlikely that we are able to reestablish constructive dialogue with the local Palestinian community any time soon,” he added.

The club was founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants to Chile. The Palestinian community in Chile is believed to be the largest outside of the Middle East when defined by including approximately 300,000 Chileans who claim lineage to those who left Israel.

The Day Mandela Went to Shul and Preached against Aliyah

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One of the first things that Nelson Mandela did after being elected president of South Africa in 1994 was visit a synagogue and preach against aliyah at Cape Town’s Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation on the Shabbat after his election.

Here is an excerpt from JTA’s report:

“The congregants heard Mandela make an appeal from the pulpit for Jewish expatriates to return to South Africa.

“Pointedly excluding aliyah by saying he understands the Jewish community’s commitment to Israel, Mandela said, ‘We want those who left (for other countries) because of insecurity to come back and to help us to build our country.’

“He added that those who do not return should contribute their money and skills to South Africa.

“Mandela thanked the Jewish community for its contribution toward the development of South Africa and assured Jews they have nothing to fear from a government of national unity.

“He said he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, since it was a Jewish firm that gave him an apprenticeship in the early days of his law career, when discrimination was rife.

“He also said that he had befriended his Jewish defense counsel during the treason trial which led to his imprisonment in the 1950s and that he was still in contact with the lawyer.

“He stated that he recognizes the right to existence of the State of Israel, along with the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland.

“He noted that he considered it significant that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat last week signed an agreement in Cairo implementing Palestinian self-rule — the same week that South Africa elected its new leadership.

“At the reception following the service, some of the younger members of the congregation raised clenched fists in solidarity with the ANC, while the shul choir led in the singing of the country’s new national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika.”

Mandela often said Israel should be a “secure“ state, but on the other hand, his citing the Palestinian-Israel conflict as dating back to 1948 clearing showed his definition of “secure” as twisted.

He wrote Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in 1991, “You incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967…. You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established ‘normally’ and happened to occupy another country in 1967.

“Palestinians are not struggling for a ‘state’ but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.”

Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who did not refer themselves as “Palestinians,” never ”struggled” for freedom under the Ottoman Empire, under the British Mandate and under the Jordanian occupation.

It was only when Jews re-established the modern State of Israel that they “struggled,” not for freedom but rather for the annihilation of Israel.

That explains how Mandela, more blind than the blindest American Secretary of State, could proclaim that Iran had no aggressive aims towards Israel. “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution,” he one said while laying a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose idea of freedom meant a world free of Israel.

Mandela not only called Israel an “apartheid state” but also asserted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was not a terrorist group.

He publicly supported violence against Israel during a visit to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999, when he declared. “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”

Khamenei Barks, ‘Israel Is a Rabid Dog’

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Iran’s attempt to soft-pedal its nuclear program in talks in Geneva has not affected its rabid anti-Zionism, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei now calling Israel the “rabid dog” of the Middle East.

“It came from the mouth of the rabid dog of the region – Israel – that Iran is a threat to the world,” he said in a speech broadcast on the regime’s official Press TV with an English translation. “No, the fake regime Israel and its allies are the threat,” Khamenei said.

He added, “We do insist that we will not step back one iota from our rights.”

His audience responded with the blessing, “Death to America” to  back Iran’s intentions that it wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes,  such as obliterating Western culture and making the world safe for radical Islam.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/khamenei-barks-israel-is-a-rabid-dog/2013/11/20/

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