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May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘antisemitism’

Israeli Reporter Describes Personal Experience with Anti-Semitism in Paris

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Israel’s Channel 10 television correspondent Miri Michaeli Schwartz has been harassed in the past in Europe because she is a Jew, but for some reason this time it felt different, and she wrote about the experience in a post on Facebook.

It was surprising to find her first-person narrative there, because so few journalists are ever really willing to discuss what happens behind the scenes. It’s not considered “good form,” especially when one is trying to be objective in reporting. But this is no longer only about objective reporting: it’s also about sharing the personal details of what the experience can FEEL like from the victim’s perspective, in a manner most others are incapable of describing it. It is fortunate that she has done so, for this story must be told.

“I was not going to upload this video; you can’t really understand exactly what happened in this short clip,” Schwartz begins, explaining why she uploaded a very brief video on to Facebook, showing her fending off a hostile pro-Palestinian attacker. “But after the report that was published yesterday presenting the problem of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe, I got some questions from viewers and friends who claimed that the media (and I, as part of it) exacerbated the situation.

“So yes, if you walk through the streets of Paris you may not feel anything,” she continues. “But if you’ll wear a yarmulke, or a necklace with a Star of David, or hold a microphone that reads in Hebrew, “Channel 10,” there are reasonable grounds to believe that sooner or later, you will realize the reality is worse than what the report showcased,” she goes on. “These comments I’m talking about are not being taken into consideration in reports, no one reports them. It happens here, every day and everywhere and it happened to me.

“This was not the first time these type of comments were directed at me as I stood in the street in one of the capitals of Europe and reported. Usually it’s something to do with Israel.

“This time I went Eurostar (the train from London to central Paris) on my way from the Alps to report on the crash of the German Wings flight, just b efore reporting this happened. What you see here was just the beginning, the man whose face you can not see in the video sees Hebrew writing on the microphone and informs his friends. They started to harass me.

“What happened next was much more stressful: they surrounded me,” she continues. “Four or five men and began to swear at me, the word “Jew” was repeated. My hands are shaking three weeks after, when I think of the things they said. I stood in the street, I did not bother anyone and I got curses, threatening gestures and actual threats. I looked around, the street was crowded with people who paid attention to what happened, viewing from the sidelines. A person who filmed what happened [with a] smartphone, but no one came to my aid. I felt threatened when I ran (yes, the right word) to the train station; there were soldiers. Only then they left me.

“Anti-Semitism in central Paris, just because my microphone had Hebrew writing on it.

“So no, no we aren’t exaggerating when we say anti-Semitism is real. That’s the reality. Now we have to fight it.”

Earlier this year, a series of terror attacks by Da’esh (ISIS) and Al Qaeda were aimed at the Charlie Hebdo satiric magazine and numerous Jewish targets, including a Jewish school and a kosher grocery. At least 17 people were killed and more were wounded in the week-long blood bath. In 2012, an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse, murdering a rabbi and three young children.

Liberman Suggests EU Print ‘Made in the West Bank’ Label on Yellow Star

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Published in Jewish Business News by Ilan Shavit Speaking to Israel Radio, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested the EU print its warning labels of products made in the West Bank on a background of a Yellow Star.

The Hebrew term for the item is “Tlai Tzahov,” or yellow patch.

Sixteen European Union (EU) foreign ministers have signed a letter calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief to label Israeli products made beyond the 1949 armistice line as “Made in the West Bank.”

In the letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, the foreign ministers said that the proposal would help consumers from being “misled by false information.”

“European consumers must indeed have confidence in knowing the origin of goods they are purchasing,” the ministers wrote. “Green Line Israel and Palestinian producers will benefit from this.”

The initiative was led by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and was supported by ministers from the U.K., France, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Luxembourg, Finland, and Austria.

EU ministers from a number of strong Israeli allies, mainly in Eastern Europe—including Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Cypress, Romania—did not sign the letter.

The letter cites a previous one advocating the same labeling measure that was sent to Mogherini’s predecessor, Catherine Ashton, in 2013. At the time, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Ashton to put the initiative on hold while he pursued peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Lieberman told Israel Radio repairing Israel’s relations with the U.S. should be the prime goal of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s next government, because only the U.S. will be able to quash economic boycotts against the Jewish State.

Lieberman questioned the sincerity of the EU, which, while thousands are being slaughtered in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, makes no mention of those crimes against humanity, but find ample times to attack Israeli commerce.

Netanyahu is meeting on Friday with his two most loyal coalition partners, Lieberman and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett. Both have expressed some apprehension at the manner with which the PM has been treating them in the coalition talks, as compared with other potential partners, i.e. the Haredi parties.

Terror Plot to Bomb Jewish Bookstore Foiled in Spain

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Seven suspected Islamist terrorists have been arrested and detained in Spain in connection with a plot to bomb a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.

According to a report posted by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, the would-be terrorists were among 11 people arrested last Wednesday in a sting operation.

Spanish authorities have been investigating reports of a plot to attack a number of Jewish sites, officials said. It is not clear whether a specific terrorist group was behind the plot or not — and if so, which one it was.

All seven were placed under formal investigation – a step short of arraignment on charges – and are being held pending trial.

The investigating magistrate said Friday the group had planned to target a number of synagogues, the Catalan parliament, police forces and public shops in the Catalonia region, according to the report he received from prosecutors.

More than 30 people have been arrested so far this year in a crackdown on terror networks by Spain since a week-long series of terror attacks in Paris by Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked operatives this past January left 17 dead.

Six of the seven suspects being held in Catalonia are suspected of belonging to a terror group with a profile similar to that of ISIS (also known as Da’esh, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.) The seventh member of the cell is additionally suspected of aiding the terror group and possessing weapons and explosives.

A detainee described as the cell’s founder told members he had been “about to attack a Jewish bookshop in Barcelona,” the magistrate said in the report. According to the plot described therein, the terrorist leader suggested attackers hide in a van armed with hand grenades and guns. Synagogues, police forces and the Catalan parliament were suggested as good targets and a bank branch manager was suggested as a kidnap hostage.

Among the items discovered during a search by security officials were 25 empty bags that contained traces of chemicals that could be used to make explosives, according to the report.

Three people who were initially detained were granted a conditional release. A fourth is reportedly a minor and has been sentenced to six months in a youth reform center.

Israeli Murder Victim ‘Never Made It’ to Chabad Seder in Berlin

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Berlin had already arranged for a place to sleep, and a place at the seder table.

But the 22-year-old Israeli man never arrived.

That Friday night, there was a lot of excitement and chaos as usual in managing a public seder. It wasn’t until early Sunday morning that Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, community rabbi of Berlin and the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Education Center found out why the young man didn’t show up.

Teichtal told the Associated Press, “A man in his early 20s came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep, and didn’t have anything to eat… We arranged everything for him,” Teichtal continued, “but then he didn’t show up again.”

A fellow rabbi had indeed arranged for the young man to sleep at a community center, located near the Alexanderplatz public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin.

The location is less than a mile from where the young man’s body was found by passersby early Sunday morning, in a ruined Franciscan monastery in the central Alexanderplatz area next to a well-used exit from a subway station.

Identification was difficult to establish due to “massive injuries to his head” and severe injuries to the body, police said. But when they found a passport in the back pocket of the victim’s sweatpants, police contacted the Israeli Embassy.

Berlin police have also told journalists that three people so far have come forward and provided information in the case.

The Israel Embassy said in a statement that its Consul, Eyal Siso, received confirmation of the victim’s identity, but declined to release the details at the request of the victim’s family.

Anti-Semitism — and Israeli Immigration — Rising in Germany Between 20,000 to 30,000 Israelis have moved to Berlin over the past few years, despite the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in general and also in Germany.

Berlin is known for its vibrant Jewish community, which has grown with the influx of Jews from Israel and elsewhere around the world.

But in 2013, there were 1,275 anti-Semitic offenses recorded in Germany, including 1,218 perpetrated by members of the extreme Right. Thirty-one incidents were attributed to foreigners, and 26 were carried out by others, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.

The number and frequency of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe is rising, in Germany as well.

Anti-Semitic Incidents Grow in 2015 In March 2015 alone, there were seven reported anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, among the many others reported elsewhere as well. Following are brief descriptions of what happened just last month in Germany:

In Offenbach, Germany, a Turkish soccer club published an ad in Turkish that included the slogan, “Don’t give your money to Jewish insurance company Allianz.” The club has since renounced the ad.

Also in March, the gate to the Jewish cemetery in the German community of Osterburg was destroyed. Vandals broke the locks so the gate cannot be closed, with a swastika carved into the metal on a Star of David. The wall was also cracked. Vehicle marks are visible on the road as well.

The same day, German neo-Nazis in “The Right” political group sent one-way flight boarding passes to Jewish organizations as a means of joining the international discussion about the security of European Jewry.

Also that day: In Murnau am Staffelsee, a vandal sprayed a swastika and the words “Arbeit macht frei” (the famous death camp slogan ‘Work sets one free”) on the ceiling of the recess hall at the city high school.

In Stralsund, an obscene form of grafitti was found scrawled on the “Haus der Gewerkschaften” (Unions House) and aimed at a picture of a Star of David. Below, the symbol for Anarchist was scrawled as well, but in different handwriting.

No Insurance Available for Jewish Kindergartens in Belgium!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

A Belgian insurance company has refused to insure a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels.

The company claimed the risk of a terror attack on the European Jewish Association-run institution was too high.

EJA General Director Rabbi Menachem Margolin called on all European governments and heads of European Union institutions to provide security to all Jewish institutions that would satisfy insurance companies, and establish an alternative insurance mechanism that would secure any institution that might fall victim to anti-Semitic attacks.

“It is truly a scandal,” Rabbi Margolin said. “First and foremost, not enough is being done in order to secure Jewish institutions throughout Europe, despite our repeated requests and warnings, and then insurance companies are using the security situation as an excuse in order not to insure kindergartens.

“This is the bizarre and cynical reality facing Jewish communities across Europe,” he said.

In January, government agents killed two suspects in what they said was a developing “Belgian Charlie Hebdo” situation. Counter terror raids took place around the country as police raided an apartment in the eastern city of Verviers, 70 miles from Brussels. The operation was part of an investigation into returning homegrown jihadists who had traveled to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS, or Daesh – in Syria.

In France alone, anti-Semitic attacks doubled last year to nearly 1,000 incidents, and this year a massive terror attack led to an unprecedented worldwide unity march that brought millions together around the world.

In January, an outraged French President Francois Hollande told Jewish citizens “France is your homeland” in what appeared to be a response to remarks by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu days earlier at the Great Synagogue of Paris, following the unity march.

In a speech to mark 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camps Hollande said France would combat the “unbearable” rise of anti-Semitism and protect “all its children and tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration… How in 2015 can we accept that we need armed soldiers to protect the Jews of France?” he demanded.

Hollande vowed to continue protection at Jewish institutions such as synagogues, schools, community centers and business and so far has kept his word, but the vow has come at a price. At least one soldier himself accidentally hit the trigger while playing with his own assault rifle. Miraculously no one was hurt.

In the UK as well, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has doubled over the past year, according to figures from the Community Security Trust (CST), which has recorded statistics on anti-Semitism in Britain since 1984.

In that nation as well, Prime Minister David Cameron told the parliament in January, “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.”

Anti-Semitic Thugs Attack Stamford Hill Synagogue, Worshipers in London

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

A gang of around 20 young men in the Stamford Hill section of London stormed a synagogue in the neighborhood late Saturday night. The gang yelled obscenities and threats, beat worshipers and vandalized property according to IsraelHatzolah’s official Twitter account.

British police told media in a curt statement they were treating the incident as an anti-Semitic incident due to “a remark” made by one of a group of drunken men who tried to break into the synagogue after leaving a nearby party just after 1 am local time. Six were arrested, police confirmed, on charges of assault and disturbing public order.

The police statement hardly describes the siege that was underway before help arrived.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND SOME VIOLENCE. USE DISCRETION IN VIEWING.

One member of the Ahavat Torah congregation who witnessed the attack said the mob shouted “We will kill you!” He also said they physically assaulted the worshipers inside the synagogue and tore apart prayer books.

One Jewish man was beaten about the face and had a tooth knocked out after he tried to apprehend one of the attackers on his own and haul him off to police, having spotted the scene while passing by.

Police said they have increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the community – but if so, none were around when this attack took place.

A new Campaign Against Anti-Semitism hotline is about to be launched in response to the sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain over the past two years. Prime Minister David Cameron was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner for the nation’s Community Security Trust (CST) last week. The organization monitors anti-Semitic activity in the country. In his speech, Cameron announced a series of financial measures totaling more than 11 million British pounds Sterling to support Jewish community security across the country.

“At a time when once again the Jewish communities of Europe feel vulnerable and when anti-Semitism is at record levels here in Britain I will not stand idly by,” Cameron vowed. “I will not turn a blind eye to the threats that the community faces. If the Jewish community does not feel secure then our whole national fabric is diminished… We are going to fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got,” he promised.

Jewish Cemetery Desecrated in France

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Hundred of Jewish tombstones have been desecrated in a cemetery in Brumath, near Strasbourg, according to French government officials.

Swastikas and antisemitic slogans were painted on the headstones.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-cemetery-desecrated-in-france/2015/02/15/

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