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October 13, 2015 / 30 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Maccabi Games in Germany Sparked Anti-Semitic Response

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The director for international relations at The Simon Wiesenthatl Center on Monday called on German Justice Minister Heiko Maas to condemn “the Jew-baiting of Maccabi athletes” at the Maccabi Games in Berlin.

In a letter to the minister, Dr. Shimon Samuels praised Maas for “welcoming the Maccabi Games to Berlin as a gift that Germany, after the Holocaust did not deserve.”

But, he pointed out, “apparently not everyone shared those sentiments” expressed by President Joachim Gauck, who had said he was “very moved” that the Games had chosen Berlin.

The athletes had encountered a number of very unpleasant experiences during their time in Germany, some of which are not at all unfamiliar to older Jews who have grown up in the Diaspora.

According to Samuels, German Muslims engaged in “anti-Semitic taunting” of the athletes at the Hotel Estrel which hosted several of the teams. In addition, there were a number of neo-Nazi threats made against the athletes on the Internet. Leftist German journalist Silke Burmester also made some rather nasty remarks on the Twitter social networking site.

“What are these Jewish sorts festivals?” she asked. “Have the Jews had their own Olympic games since ‘36?” In a separate tweet, she posted, “The Jewish sport has again arrived in Berlin. What should that be: swastika-throw?”

Samuels wrote to the minister that the games had not reached their goal, noting that the first Maccabi Games held in Prague came as a response to the exclusion of Jewish athletes from national teams.

“Maccabi’s return to Berlin, to the very stadium built for Adolf Hitler, was to have been a vindication of the united democratic Federal German Republic.

“Instead, the Jewish contestants had to be warned not to wear Stars of David or kippot for fear of violence,” he wrote.

Samuels went on to urge Maas to “vigorously condemn this Jew-baiting and take all legal measures available to apprehend those who would return us to 1936. This anti-Semitism targets Jews directly on German soil. It cannot be argued away as ‘anti-Zionism’ or ‘anti-Israelism.’

“The ironic context of Jewish sports reincarnated in Berlin that reawaken dormant phantoms is as unacceptable for Jews as for Germans.”

Iranian Anti-Israel ‘Quds Day’ Sparks Counter Protest in Berlin

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

German police were out in force to monitor hundreds of anti-Israel marchers and counter protesters in Berlin on Saturday to mark the Iranian ‘Quds Day.’ Police arrested a pro-Israel demonstrated though it is not clear why.

The Tehran-manufactured event is used to whip up Muslims around the world up into protesting the existence of Israel, just as Iran sponsors outright terrorist activity both in sovereign nations and outlawed terrorist organizations around the world as well.

Demonstrators waved flags from Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, held banners proclaiming “Freedom for Palestine,” waved signs condemning Da’esh (ISIS) and brandished large photographs of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Three members of the Jewish Neturei Karta extremists also participated in the anti-Israeli protest, marching together with Muslim clerics.

Hundreds of counter protesters were also out to make their views known as well. They waved Israeli flags and chanted pro-Israel slogans.

Protesters from the LGBT movement were also involved in the pro-Israel demonstration. The reason had to do with highlighting the difference between social acceptance of LGBT members in Israel and rejection of them in Iran and the Arab world.

One of the pro-Israeli demonstrators was arrested by German police, although the reason has not been clarified.

The Israeli Embassy is investigating the incident; a spokesperson from the embassy told reporters the counter protest had been calm and quiet.

Berlin Police Apologizing for Israeli Flag Incident

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

On Sunday, German police in Berlin made soccer fans stop waving and displaying their Israeli flags in a game between Berlin’s 1. FC Union and FC Ingolstadt.

The fans were waving it to support the Israeli soccer player Almog Cohen who plays for Ingolstadt.

Fans were told, “No Jewish Flags” and some claim the police were afraid of potential “Palestinian violence” from the Arab community that lives nearby, according to a JPost report.

On Monday, the Berlin police apologized. Klaus Kandt, Berlin’s chief of police also claimed the police officer thought the Israeli flag was being waved as a prohibited political statement.

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.

Berlin 2015: Jewish Magazines Now Arrive in Plain Paper for Safety

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

In Berlin 2015, Jewish magazines are delivered in plain paper wrapping to minimize the chance of attack.

That’s the plain, unvarnished truth, according to the British-based The Guardian newspaper, quoting the Tagesspiegel, a Berlin newspaper.

The monthly magazine that serves the city’s Jewish community, the Jüdisches Berlin made the decision this year, according to spokesman Ilan Kiesling.

“We decided to do so despite the significant additional costs to reduce the likelihood of hostility towards our more than 10,000 community members,” Kiesling said.

The magazine is published by the Jewish Community of Berlin organization. Gideon Joffe, head of the group, wrote in the latest issue, “Israelis are beaten up in Berlin solely on the grounds that they are Israeli Jews. We are not yet – I repeat, yet – at the stage where Jews are being murdered in Germany just because they are Jews. But measures have to be taken to protect the democratic rule of law.”

According to Jewish Business News, there are an estimated 20,000 Israelis living in Germany. Jewish schools, community builds and cemeteries are guarded at present by police around the clock.

Last November, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told an international conference on anti-Semitism that “hatred of Jews’ was on the rise once more in his country.

The foreign minister said Germany’s Jews were being threatened and attacked at pro-Palestinian demonstrations. He added that the counter terrorism actions by Israel against Gaza could not be used to justify anti-Semitic behavior. Slogans like, ‘Gas the Jews!’ were also used during marches in the summer and a synagogue was firebombed in Wuppertal that had been burned down during Kristallnacht in 1938, but had since been rebuilt.

“Bold and brutal anti-Semitism has shown its ugly face again,” Steinmeier told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) event.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany reported late last year that anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, as it is in other countries across Europe. Dieter Graumann, former president of the organization, said in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014, “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden.

“We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.

“We have seen… during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure, primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again,” Graumann added. “It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when they are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly.”

In 1935, an anonymous Dutch photographer drove a motorcycle across Germany to document the sentiment about Jews. He was sent by Hans Richman and Alfred Viner, two Jews who escaped the country to the Netherlands, but hoped to expose the truth about the rising Nationalist-Socialist Party.

What they found was that Germany did not want its Jews – he photographed 22 signs along the way, all with one message: ‘Jews are not wanted here.’ Photos found along the sides of the road and at village entrances and in front of houses that today are in the National Archive in Jerusalem read, “Jews are not wanted here,” and “Jews, immigrate to your own country.”

The photos were distributed all over the world, including in Palestine, but did little good. Even the newspapers in Palestine did not print the photographs. Few others bothered.

People were used to seeing anti-Semitic slogans back then, in 1935.

They’re used to seeing them now, too. Even Israelis, unbelievably, who are stupid enough to actually move to the place where it all started just 70 years ago. What’s wrong with you??

Jews, wake up! Even some of your Christian and Muslim friends understand that something is wrong. Wake up, before it’s too late – again.

Berlin Won’t Name German Companies Involved in Syria’s C-Weapons Program

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Berlin steadfastly refuses to reveal the names of German companies who helped Syria develop its chemical weapons program according to a new report published this week by Der Spiegel. The information was made available in documents that were declassified after a 30 year embargo.

The list of firms involved in the program was handed over to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition 16 months ago by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” Last year the OPCW organized and helped destroy Syria’s chemical weapons – those that were uncovered, that is – together with experts from the United Nations.

But 16 months later, Merkel has done nothing with the list, saying that publicizing the names would “significantly impair foreign policy interests and thus the welfare of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The Merkel government added that doing so would be similar to releasing “trade secrets” and therefore constitute a violation of Germany’s constitution.

According to a lengthy report in Der Spiegel, however, the government did not need the OPCW list to know that German firms were involved in the Syrian chemical weapons program.

Apparently the government-funded Institute for Contemporary History published an inventory dating back to 1984 including a government document with names of companies suspected of supplying the Syrian chemical weapons program.

The release may have been accidental; it was a memo regarding the Dec. 6, 1984 visit to a deupty section head in the German Foreign Ministry by then-Israeli Ambassador to Germany Yitzhak Ben-Ari.

The Israeli official brought with him “intelligence service findings” which showed that since the mid-1970s scientists had been working on producing chemical weapons for Syria, “disguised as agricultural and medical research.”

Included were the glass producer Schott, laboratory equipment producer Kolb, technology company Heraeus, the former Hoechst subsidiary Riedel-de-Haen, pharmaceutical company Merck and the company Gerrit van Delden.

The top secret program was being carried out in the chemistry department at the UNESCO-funded Centre d’Etudes et des Recherches Scientifiques in Damascus. A pilot facility was already built. Contracts were already signed for three production lines and Ben-Ari believed that within the year, Syria would have the capacity to produce 700 kilograms (1,543 pounds) of sarin – enough to kill several million people.

On December 12, 1984, a representative of the U.S. State Department told the German Embassy in Washington that Karl Kolb GmbH & Co. KG, from the town of Dreiech in Hesse, had delivered “chemical research and production equipment for the manufacture of large quantities of nerve gas” to Iraq.

At that time, Dictator Saddam Hussein was busy building “the most modern chemical weapons factory of its time,” disguised as a pesticide factory, according to international experts who testified in 2004, Der Spiegel reports. Though only Kolb is mentioned in the files, it turns out that a related firm, Pilot Plant GmbH, delivered four facilities at a total cost of 7.5 million Deutsche marks.

American officials were trying to pressure then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher to force Kolb to withdraw its technicians and “via pressure on the company prevent Iraq from producing C-weapons.”

Germany’s long-standing love affair with chemical weapons was notorious: the Nazis had used hydrocyanic acid, manufactured by German chemical companies, to murder inmates in the death camps during the Holocaust. Millions died, including six million Jews.

As it turns out, Kohl and Genscher did indeed promise to curb the companies and issued orders to that effect. Foreign Ministry internal memos clearly showed the “minister places high value on a complete investigation” and demanded “assurances that nothing more will be delivered” to Samarra.

NBA’ Danny Green Post ‘LOL’ Selfie at Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Friday, October 10th, 2014

San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green posted on Twitter a selfie at the Berlin Holocaust memorial along with the caption “LOL” [laughing out loud] in the tweet, “You know I had to do it one time lol #Holocaust.”

That was the funniest line since someone said that America has gotten past its racist past by choosing a black president to clean up the mess.

After Green laughed all by himself at his selfie, he started reading the complaints and quickly deleted the picture and posted apologies in four tweets:

“Yes, mistakes do happen,”

“I want to sincerely apologize for the insensitivity of my post!

“I have great respect n understanding for this country’s history n wanted to continue chronicling my experience in Berlin.

“But showed poor judgement…sorry once again.”

Poor judgment?

Did he really even judge at all? Did he even consider the insensitivity of laughing at the Holocaust memorial for 6 million Jews gassed and butchered by the Nazis?

Would it have been “poor judgment” if some white basketball player took a selfie at a memorial for Martin Luther King with a caption “LOL My dream came true. He’s dead.”?

Green later changed the caption to read, “A lot of history here, more than you could imagine…very sad/tragic things happened #holocaust #berlin.”

Indeed, sad and tragic things are happening today. People like Danny Green are LOL at memories of the Holocaust.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nba-danny-green-post-lol-selfie-at-berlin-holocaust-memorial/2014/10/10/

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