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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘antisemitism’

Shilling for Shalom: Israel Hiring Students to Defend It Online

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Israel is looking to hire university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks, while not identifying themselves as pros, officials in Jerusalem told the AP.

The prime minister’s office said that students on Israeli university campuses would receive full or partial scholarships to go after antisemitism and calls to boycott Israel online. The students would work off talking points provided by government officials.

“This is a groundbreaking project aimed at strengthening Israeli national diplomacy and adapting it to changes in information consumption,” the PM statement said.

An Israeli official said that scholarship recipients would decide for themselves if they wish to identify themselves as part of a government program.

“Everyone who believes in the cause, and wants to join, can join,” he told AP. The budget is expected to be around 3/4 million dollars, and the Israeli student association will be doing the hiring.

Jew Attacked in Old City’s Jewish Quarter

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

On Thursday evening, three Arabs attacked a young Jewish man in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The three attackers ran, but were eventually found and captured by a Border Police unit.

During Ramadan, Arab attacks on Jews always increase inside the Old City.

Europeans Bring Back ‘Kauf Nicht bei Juden!’

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Benjamin Weinthal writes (subscription):

The left-liberal German Green party finally forced the hand of the conservative Merkel administration to explicitly declare—what before had been an open secret—its support for product labels covering export goods from the occupied territories in the West Bank and Golan Heights.

Germany’s Green Party unleashed a firestorm of criticism in May over its parliamentary initiative to label Israeli exports to Europe and the Federal Republic. Critics in Germany and the United Kingdom argued that the Green Party push was an eerie reminder of the Hitler movement’s “Kauf nicht bei Juden!” [Do not buy from Jews!] boycott action and a modernized form of the yellow star.

Dr. Emily Haber, a state secretary in the German Foreign Ministry, conveyed the new position of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in a letter to the Green Party: “The label ‘Made in Israel’ is, according to the opinion of the federal government, only allowed for products from within the borders of Israeli state territory before 1967.”

The measure is an unashamedly provocative anti-Israel move by the largely pro-Israel Merkel administration. It will blur the lines between an all-encompassing boycott of Israeli merchandise and demarcation of settlement products. In short, the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement will push the punitive label action down the slippery slope of blocking access to all Israeli goods.

canned-food1

Apparently, a decision about how to label products made beyond the Green Line hasn’t been made yet. The yellow star is probably not in the running, but it should be. It is impossible any longer to hide the ugly hate-based double standard applied to the world’s only Jewish state by the international Left, of which Greens are representative:

In 1983, the Green Party put out a “Green Calendar” with the headline “Israel, the gang of murderers” and called for a “boycott of goods from Israel.” In an article last month in the German daily Die Welt entitled ‘The long tradition of Green Anti-Zionism,” the Green Party’s history of blaming Israel for the Middle East’s problems was highlighted. A year after the notorious “Green Calendar” was published, Green party politicians launched a fact-finding mission in the Middle East with visits to Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and the occupied West Bank. The delegation prepared a final document ahead of the trip declaring Israel “totally responsible for the emerging blood bath in the Middle East, when Israel does not decisively change its policies.”

A mere seven years later, a leading Green deputy, Hans-Christian Ströbele, who still serves in the Bundestag, justified the later Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s rocket attacks on the Jewish state during the First Gulf War in 1991 as a “logical, almost compelling consequence of Israel’s politics.”

Another telling example of the Greens’ disparate treatment toward Israel is that they have shown no comprehensive and systematic effort to push Germany’s government to similarly label products from Turkish occupied North Cyprus. In fact, the E.U. has showed no appetite for product labeling from territorial conflicts spanning the globe: Gibraltar, the Falklands, Western Sahara, Tibet, Kashmir, the Russian-held regions of Georgia, Armenian-held regions of Azerbaijan, North Cyprus, and Kosovo. Israeli products remain the notable exception subject to EU consumer protection.

The EU continues to hide its official Jew-hatred behind logically indefensible statements that the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria is illegal, but its double standard betrays its true motivation.

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Was the Holocaust Punishment for Sin?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

For so many people religion is practiced out of a sense superstition. Like a furry rabbit’s foot, it wards off evil spirits. Fulfilling the word of God keeps you from experiencing bad things. So what happens when you’re religious and those bad things happen anyway? It must be because you sinned.

I continue to be amazed at how many people see God as “the great blackmailer in the sky,” a term I first heard from the atheist Oxford philosopher Jonathan Glover in a debate I moderated between him and my friend Dennis Prager. God threatens us with death and suffering unless we follow His will. Insofar as I have recently published a full length book refuting this idea, both Biblically and logically, I will not here address it, other than to focus on the most insidious permutation thereof. And that is the belief that the Holocaust was punishment for Jewish sin.

No doubt you’ve heard this argument before. It’s straightforward and it goes like this. The Jews of Germany didn’t want to be Jewish any more. They wanted to be more German than the Germans. They changed their names. They assimilated. They married out. The reform movement, which started in Germany in about 1820, expunged all mention of Zion and Jerusalem from its prayer book. Germany and Berlin were the new promised land. In short, the Jews of Germany abandoned God. Worse, they thought they could get away with it. So God decided to teach them a lesson. Just try and forget Me. Here, have a few gas chambers. Let’s see how independent you feel when you’re incarcerated behind barbed wire? Let’s see how much you love Germany when they collectively slaughter your children.

I’ve heard many variations on this theme. One is that it wasn’t assimilation and attachment to Germany that brought the Holocaust, but the exact opposite. The Jews were punished for secular Zionism and an attempt to return to the ancient homeland without divine assistance. Another variation, which I heard just recently and supposedly exists on a tape from one of the great Jewish scholars of the 20th century, was that the only way the Jews would ever give up their deep, emotional attachment to the great Torah centers of Europe, like Lithuania, was to see their neighbors shoot their own parents.

Whatever the variation on this theme of the Holocaust as punishment, let’s be clear. These theories are ignorant, repulsive, and wrong. Ignorant because no human being knows the mind of God. Repulsive because they take six million innocent martyrs – including 1.5 million children – and turn them into culprits responsible for their own deaths. Wrong because they ignore the most basic fact of all, which is this: the majority of German Jews survived Hitler, even though, of course, huge numbers perished.

In 1933 there were 522,000 Jews living in the Reich. By 1939 and the start of the Second World War, 304,000 had emigrated. Beginning in January 1933, when Hitler came to office in a torch lit parade down Unter den Linden, the Jews of Germany knew that they were in the hands of a monster. Almost immediately Jews were beaten in the streets, their businesses boycotted, their Synagogues attacked. By September, 1935 the Nuremberg race laws were enacted. By November 1938 the horrors of Kristallnacht defined the growing Nazi tyranny. And throughout, the Jews of Germany tried to get out. They knew they were otherwise doomed. And while the nations of the world closed so many doors to them, the majority managed to escape.

The people who did not escape were, among so many other millions, the Hassidim and ultra-religious Jews of Poland who had no idea that Hitler had signed a secret pact with Stalin to partition Poland. They had no inkling of Hitler’s plan to invade via blitzkrieg on 1 September, 1939 and that they would be caught in his web.

Are we to believe that these Jews who were devout and pious, with deeply sounding Jewish names, who observed the minutiae of Jewish law pertaining to kosher and the Sabbath and prayed thrice daily for the Jewish return to Zion were punished with extinction while the “sinful” culprits of German Jewry mostly survived? And what of the more than one million children who were gassed and cremated who were utterly innocent of every sin?

Faces of Israel: Mazal Elijah, Immigrant from Iraq

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Mazal Elijah and her family had a very difficult life. As members of the Baghdad Jewish community, Mazal’s mother endured much suffering during what is known as the “Farhud Pogrom” or just “Farhud” in Baghdad, June 1941. Within 24 hours of the start of the pogrom, 250 people died. Mazal claimed that some Arabs were decent and tried to save Jews from the Farhud, yet other Arabs behaved horribly and sought to do the same to the Jews of Iraq as Hitler did to the Jews in Europe, yet they were fortunately stopped by the British. Thus, upon getting married around that period of time, her husband was drafted into the army, thus forcing her to move in with her parents so that she wouldn’t get killed. Eventually, he managed to escape from the army, yet for a while things were very uncertain.

After the Farhud, there was a period of calm, yet right before Israel became a state, things became unbearable for the Jewish community in Iraq. “It was impossible for children to play outside for there was a fear that the children would be kidnapped,” Mazal conveyed. “The Arabs hit Jews and there was no police to report it to for the police were corrupted. You could not report abuse to the police.” In Iraq, there were no social rights for Jews. According to Mazal, “All of the Arabs were against the Jews. Jews became like trash.”

Mazal

Yet as if all of this were not bad enough, Mazal asserted that whenever there were weddings or bar mitzvahs in Iraq, one had to bribe the Iraqi Police in order to ensure the event went ahead peacefully. Otherwise, Arabs would show up and start abusing Jews at the event. Mazal asserted that during this period of time, right around Israel’s independence, continuous massacres against Jews occurred in Iraq and during these massacres, Arabs broke into Jews homes, stole whatever they wanted, and then flooded the homes, so that Jews would not be able to live in them anymore. Furthermore, Iraqi Jewish women traditionally would make preserved foods so that certain types of vegetables would be available in the winter months. The Arab thieves would eat up all of the preserves that the Iraqi Jewish women worked very hard to prepare, thus leaving Iraqi Jewish families with nothing.

The situation was especially dire for Iraqi Jewish women. Mazal asserted that rapes occurred all of the time and that if an Arab barged into your home and demanded to marry your daughter, it was impossible to refuse him. Iraqi Jewish women were forced to wear the face veil for their own protection. Pretty Iraqi Jewish girls were hidden by their families, so that Arabs would not demand to marry them. Women could not leave the home without an escort and they weren’t allowed to work, except to sew, knit or do beauty jobs for women. It was not even possible for Iraqi Jewish women to go out for a movie.

Yet as if that were not bad enough, sanitary conditions were horrible, as was the medical care. As a result, Mazal’s mother lost 14 children in Iraq due to these atrocious health conditions. She only managed to bring her four living children to Israel. Yet, even the children who lived didn’t have an easy life. Children’s dolls and games didn’t exist in Iraq during that period of time.

Mazal2

However, despite all of these atrocious living conditions, Mazal’s family hesitated to leave because they had many belongings that they didn’t want to part with. For this reason, they didn’t cross the border with Iran and from there go to Israel illegally, like other Iraqi Jewish families did. In the end, they left only when they were expelled from the country. Mazal and her family arrived in Israel without any clothes or food. The Israeli authorities provided them with food, yet her family struggled to eat it because the food given to them seemed too foreign and strange. For example, European-style tea was not dark enough for Iraqi Jews and thus originally they thought it was urine, implying undrinkable. Hot dogs seemed bizarre and not kosher as well.

Yet food was not the only problem. For their first three years in Israel, Mazal and her family lived in a tent instead of a house. This meant that for three years Mazal and her family were exposed to atrocious weather conditions. Sometimes the wind would blow the tent over. When her family was finally given a better place to live, it was a hut without a solid foundation. There were also no paved roads around where she grew up. Another child would be born in that hut under those conditions.

Antisemitism Is Rampant in Europe, Pass the Matzo

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

My job as employee of the Jewish Press Online includes going over stories put out by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (I’m also in charge of maintaining the office telegraph, which gets tricky on humid days, don’t ask). This morning, as I was going through those motions, I realized there was a common denominator to almost all the news items on display:

Three men believed to be linked to Mohamed Merah were arrested in southern France.

A major survey among Belgian teenagers indicated antisemitism was seven times more prevalent among Muslim youths than in non-Muslim teenagers.

The Greek Golden Dawn party has called for a boycott of Estee Lauder cosmetic products after World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder urged Greece to ban the neo-Nazi group.

A local authority in Switzerland has fired an employee who sent the Israeli embassy an email expressing joy about the death of Jews in a terrorist attack.

A Polish court has ordered a psychiatric examination of a man accused of planning to blow up the country’s parliament building because of “xenophobic, anti-Semitic ideas.”

That’s just since 3 PM Wednesday!

Now, it’s possible that it only looks to us, outsiders, as if Europe is in a 1939 time zone. It’s possible that Jews inside Europe are not nearly as concerned, because they don’t experience antisemitism directly. But that’s not what I hear in shul from French Jews who come to Netanya to vacation and to check out alternative housing while they’re here.

So, if this is 1939, why are we so blasé about it? How come Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t going to the UN to warn the world about it, the way he did the Iranian bomb? Seriously, folks, Europe is a place that can garble up Jews at a rate of thousands every day if we dare look away.

I have to say, if we’ve become desensitized to the signs of an approaching holocaust then we might as well be zombies, we might as well be dead.

And buy a lot of Estee Lauder products, if only to make up for the sales in Greek Nazi stores…

Congressional Republicans: European Jews Facing ‘Volatile Synergy of Hate’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Representative Chris Smith, chair of the House human rights subcommittee, said that while Jews faced the threat of violent attacks from some Islamists they were also struggling against rising anti-Semitism “among European social-democratic and leftist parties,” The Daily Telegraph’s Raf Sanchez reported.

The House human rights subcommittee pointed to the rise of neo-Nazi-like parties in the Ukraine, Greece and Hungary, adding that the efforts on the part of Western European states to ban circumcision and kosher slaughtering can also be counted as targeting Jewish communities.

“I think the secularists and the Islamists create a very volatile and potent synergy of hate,” Smith told the hearing, saying that European anti-Semitism is often masked as criticism of Israel.

Witnesses of several religious groups from Europe and the U.S. told the committee that European Jews are more vulnerable than their American counterparts to prejudiced policies by their governments.

Rabbi Andrew Baker, of the American Jewish Committee, said that some Dutch Jews feel unable to protest against laws banning kosher slaughter in Holland for fear of provoking a backlash.

“Some of them told us: ‘We fear that Dutch citizens are more disposed to animal rights than principles of the Jewish faith,’” Rabbi Baker said.

“The secularists give no quarter or understanding and even less respect for people of faith and it manifests even more strongly against Jews,” Smith told The Daily Telegraph.

Some of the European witnesses called on the U.S. government to crack down on antisemitic websites hosted on American servers, but members of Congress warned that free speech provisions in the Constitution limited what could be done.

Zuhdi Jasser, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, applauded the doctrine of “muscular liberalism” that British Prime Minister David Cameron laid out in 2011.

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Parliament, was also praised for sacking a Liberal Democrat peer who suggested that the state of Israel could not continue to exist in its current form.

Earlier in February, the ADL published the following list of Global Anti-Semitism: Selected Incidents Around the World in 2013:

France

February 5, 2013 – Toulouse – A woman with a history of aggression toward Jews threatened a 16 year-old boy wearing a kippah with a knife. The incident occurred close to the Jewish school, where three children and a rabbi were murdered by Mohammed Merah, an Islamic radical terrorist.

Februrary 4, 2013 – Marseille – A 20-year-old Jewish man wearing a Star of David pendant was mugged and robbed twice outside Marseille’s main train station. Two men on a scooter tore the chain off his neck and called him a “dirty Jew.” Moments later, another group of young men approached the victim and hurled anti-Semitic insults before stealing an MP3 player and 100 Euros. They also reportedly hit the victim.

January 3, 2013 – Toulouse – Anti-Semitic slogans, including a swastika alongside the words “SS” and “get the f*** out”, were graffitied on a local chapter of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society. The incident occurred less the a year after a terrorist killed a rabbi and three students at a Jewish school in the city.

Paraguay

January 14, 2013 – Asunción – Graffiti’s of Nazi symbols were found in a neighborhood.

Romania

February 8, 2013 – Timisoara – Vandals spray-painted “death to Jews” and a swastika on the wall of the city’s Jewish cemetery.

Russia

February 18, 2013 – Ulyanovsk – Vandals damaged a Menorah lamp near a building belonging to the local Jewish community.

MP May Face Disciplinary Action over Israel Remarks

Monday, January 28th, 2013

David Ward, a Liberal Democrat Member of the British Parliament, will find out today if he will be disciplined after comments comparing “atrocities” committed by “the Jews” with Nazi concentration camps caused outrage, the London Evening Standard reported.

“I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza,” he wrote on his website ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day.

He was condemned by his party, which received a formal complaint from the Holocaust Educational Trust. The complaint is under consideration by chief whip Alistair Carmichael.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, wrote: “I am deeply saddened that at this somber time, when we remember those who were murdered by the Nazis, Mr. Ward has deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust causing deep pain and offence – these comments are sickening and unacceptable and have no place in British politics.”

A Lib Dem spokesman said: “This is a matter we take extremely seriously. The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable.”

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “We are outraged and shocked at these offensive comments about Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the suggestion that Jews should have learned a lesson from the experience.

“For an MP to have made such comments on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day is even more distasteful, and we welcome the fact that the Liberal Democrats have sought to disassociate the party from David Ward’s comments.”

Ward appeared on television to defend his comments and reinforce his point, but on Sunday he changed his tune, writing on his website that he “never for a moment intended to criticize or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or as a people of faith, and apologize sincerely for the unintended offence which my words caused.”

But he insisted that he would “continue to make criticisms of actions in Palestine in the strongest possible terms for as long as Israel continues to oppress the Palestinian people.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mp-may-face-disciplinary-action-over-israel-remarks/2013/01/28/

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