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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Israel Beats BDS in Sweden

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Efforts by Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden have paid off with the removal of a boycott of Israeli goods sold in at least three stores of a huge supermarket chain.

The COOP Forum stores in the northern city of Varberg voted nearly three months ago for the boycott, which affected products from all of Israel, not just from Judea and Samara. The chain has 644 outlets, and if the boycott had spread, it could have been a catalyst for a wider embargo in Europe on items from Israel.

Ambassador to Sweden Yitzchak Bachman swung into action immediately after the boycott was approved and went high-profile, giving interviews and arguing that the discrimination violates the concept of free trade.

He appealed to the management of the stores in Varberg, and officials issued as statement saying they oppose boycotts. The ambassador also posted online the phone numbers and e-mail address of COOP’s management, which was bombarded with protests.

It was the second recent victory for Israel. Last week, the Orange company embarrassed itself when its CEO said in Cairo that he would prefer not having anything to do with the company’s Israeli franchise.

Drowning in a sea of fierce criticism from Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Orange CEO made a 180-degree, and that was the end of the boycott that never was.

Bachman said after the latest victory over BDS:

The thing to do about boycotts is oppose them for what they are, without trying to decide whether we are right or the Palestinians are right. The support we were able to gain among Swedish citizens was essential, as the chain realized it couldn’t fight the will of the people.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Charges UN with Copying Nazi Slander of Jews [video]

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday castigated the United Nations the second day in a row for its pre-determined accusations of war crimes against Israel and drew a comparison with the Nazi regime.

In remarks with visiting Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, Prime Minister Netanyahu  and told him at the start of their meeting:

I say…to the foreign minister of….Poland, on whose soil the defamation of the Jewish people happened when the Nazis controlled Europe, the attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now. We won’t accommodate that. In those days we could do nothing. Today we can speak our mind, hold our ground. We’re going to do both.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to yesterdays report on the conduct of the IDF in last year’s counter-terror war against Hamas rocket fire on Israel from Gaza and compared it to the U.N. report to be issued today.

He told the Polish Foreign Minister:

Our official government report…demonstrates unequivocally that our military actions during that conflict were in full accordance with international law, that Israel was exercising its legitimate right of self-defense….

Hamas terrorist(s) deliberately target our civilians while deliberately hiding behind their civilians. That’s a double war crime. And I think that it under-points the fact that there is a travesty here. Because even though we’re fighting, Hamas terrorists who are committing the double war crime of targeting our civilians while hiding behind their civilians, Israel operates in accordance with the highest standards of international law.

Netanyahu said that the U.N. Human Rights Committee “pronounced guilty before the investigation even began…and appointed a person to head this committee who was being paid by the Palestinian.”

The Prime Minister added, “This committee has more resolutions against Israel than against North Korea, Syria, and Iran combined.

“This tells you of what we’re dealing with. So this campaign, these attacks against Israel, these investigations against Israel have nothing to do with human rights. They have everything to do with politically inspired attacks in a cynical effort to de-legitimize Israel using UN bodies.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Tony Blair Appointed Chairman of European Council on Tolerance

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Tony Blair, outgoing Quarter envoy to the Middle East and the former Prime Minister of Britain, has been appointed chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), an international organization based in Brussels that fights against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

He succeeds Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of Poland

Blair said after his appointment:

The work they [ECTR] are doing is crucial, because despite our best efforts to build a consensus around tolerance in Europe, we still see injustice, discrimination and hideous acts of violence on the continent.

Incidents of extremism, rising anti-Semitism and surging Nationalist forces who seek to cultivate a spirit of resentment by playing on people’s fears, threaten our European ideals of freedom, equality and a desire for peace.

Among ECTR’s ongoing projects is the Model Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, designed to introduce legal parameters of tolerance across Europe. The statue has been introduced at the European Parliament and various national parliaments across Europe.

“In his role at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, it is clear that Mr. Blair has a strong commitment to the promotion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue through practical education, which aligns very clearly with the ECTR’s mission and goals.” Dr. Kantor added. “His international reach will also allow the organization to address globally the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.”

Blair’s big name and big bucks are a magnet for influential people, and his appointment could be a two-edged sword for Israel if he tries to “balance” a campaign targeting incitement against Jews by appeasing the Palestinian Authority with charges of racism against Israel for the chutzpa to sanction organized soccer teams in Judea and Samaria.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama on V-E Day

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Video of the Day

Anti-Semitism Drives European Jews to Israel

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Anti-Semitism is the driving force behind Aliyah from Western Europe to Israel, according to Prof. Robert Wistrich, head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

“It is indisputable that the dominant factor behind Aliyah to Israel from Western Europe is anti-Semitism,” Wistrich told the Tazpit News Agency.

The Jewish Agency for Israel said in a new report that Aliyah to Israel from Western Europe in the first quarter of 2015 was unchanged from the same period last year.

However, the statistics revealed that a large increase in the number of immigrants (olim) arriving from Eastern Europe, where an unstable economic and security situation prompted more emigration. Ukrainian Aliyah alone rose by a whopping 215 percent compared to the same period last year.

“Any comparisons to the situation in Ukraine, where Aliyah is also caused by anti-Semitism, although to a smaller extent, is a false comparison,” Wistrich said.

One reaction to the Jewish Agency’s report, in some Israeli and international newspapers, declared that anti-Semitism is simply one of many factors behind Aliyah from Western Europe. Economic considerations were touted as a more influential factor.

Wistrich, however, thoroughly disagreed with that analysis. He claimed that such statements were “jumping to conclusions,” and ignored long-standing work.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Ranks 11th Happiest Nation in the World

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Pharel Williams knew what he was doing when he came to Israel to collect footage for his on-and-on “happy” music video.

The Jewish State has again found itself among the happiest nations in the world, ranking number 11 in this year’s annual World Happiness Report for the second year running.

Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the report placed Switzerland as the happiest country in the world among 156 countries surveyed in 2014.

Following closely were Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada, along with Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

The United States is not nearly as happy: America ranked at Number 15.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-murder-victim-never-made-it-to-chabad-seder-in-berlin/2015/04/08/

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