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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Belgian Group Mulls Legal Action over Anti-Semitic Twitter Joke

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

A Belgian watchdog on anti-Semitism warned it was preparing to take legal action against online propagators of a new anti-Semitic joke about the Holocaust.

The Belgian League against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, issued the threat regarding a photograph of an oven with paper money inside, bearing the caption, “The Jew trap is set.”

The photo surfaced earlier this month. One of its early disseminators was a Twitter user from Belgium using the handle Simree Dikule. The picture was re-tweeted by thousands of additional users and also posted on Facebook by a student of the Bracops Lambert high school near Brussels, the La Capitale daily reported Tuesday. The student, who was identified only as “M.,” wrote on Facebook: “It’s racist, but it’s funny.”

“This disgusting and unacceptable new joke has a double insult,” said LBCA President Joel Rubinfeld. “It alludes to the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are greedy and to the crematoria that Nazis used to burn Jews during the Holocaust.”

The tweet and the Facebook post have been removed, though it is unclear whether the users or the companies removed them.

Last year, a French court forced the California-based Twitter social network to divulge information on users who had disseminated anti-Semitic jokes. Twitter was sued by the UEJF French Jewish student union after the hashtags #unbonjuif (“a good Jew”) and #unjuifmort (“a dead Jew”) became hugely popular because they were used in what Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”

Twitter argued that, as an American company, it adhered to U.S. laws on hate speech, which are far more liberal than those of France and many other European countries.

But the French court ruled that the French blogosphere and online interaction between French residents constituted French public space, where French legislation against hate speech applies.

Jewish Man Assaulted with Taser Gun Outside Paris Synagogue

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Two unidentified men wielding a taser gun assaulted a Jewish man Monday night at a building next to a synagogue, according to the French Jewish  JSSnews.com website.

The victim was identified as K. Sassoun, a 52-year-old Israeli, and he filed a complaint for racial hate crime and assault with Paris police.

The perpetrators fled from the scene immediately after the act. Sassoun did not sustain serious physical injuries but required medical treatment after being knocked down by the taser gun, which sends electric currents that usually incapacitate targets or render them unconscious for several minutes.

One of the perpetrators was black, according to an unnamed witness who reported the incident to the National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism,  a Drancy-based not-for-profit watchdog known locally by its French acronym, BNVCA.

“The perpetrators assaulted the victim for no other reason than his clothing and appearance, which identified him as being Jewish, and the fact that he was near a Jewish place of worship,” BNVCA said in a statement.

The neighborhood used to be the center of Jewish life in Paris and is considered its historic Jewish quarter.

According to BNVCA, the assault was part of a spate of hate crimes against Jews this month.

On Saturday, a group of teenagers hurled stones at a Jewish institution in Sarcelles near Paris and shouted “death to Jews.” On Friday, BNVCA learned that a school bus full of Jewish students was pelted with stones by teenagers in Paris.

And on Sunday, several people chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a young Jewish woman near a Jewish studies center in Strasbourg. One of the chants was “Merah max” – a reference to Mohammed Merah, an Islamist who killed four Jews in Toulouse in 2012.

Earlier this month, the French Jewish community’s watchdog organization, SPCJ, released a report that counted 423 anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2013. The figure was a 31-percent decrease from the previous year, but was still higher by eight percent than the number of incidents recorded in 2011.

State Dept. Israel Report Focuses on Bedouin

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

A focus of this year’s U.S. State Department human rights report on Israel was Bedouin rights.

The report issued Thursday noted the Bedouin in its introduction, which it did not previously, and examined at length the demolition of Bedouin dwellings in 2013, a result of Israel’s relocation policies.

“While Arab communities in the country generally faced economic difficulties, the Bedouin segment of the Arab population continued to be the most disadvantaged,” the report said.

The report noted that the government demolished 413 buildings in Bedouin villages in the Negev and that another 449 homes were demolished by Bedouin seeking to avoid demolition costs levied by the government.

“Many Bedouins complained that moving to government-planned towns would require them to give up claims to land they had occupied for several generations and would separate them from their livelihood, while the government claimed it was difficult and inefficient to provide services to clusters of buildings throughout the Negev that ignored planning procedures,” the report said.

The report, as in previous years, ranked the “most significant” human rights issues facing Israel as: terrorist attacks against civilians; institutional and societal discrimination against Arabs; discrimination against women; and the treatment of asylum seekers.

The report noted an overall decline in terrorist attacks against Israelis said that Israel met international standards in areas such as prisons, arrest and detention and also that it maintained an independent judiciary and a free press.

It noted that “price tag” attacks by Jewish extremists against Arabs expanded beyond Judea and Samaria into pre-1967 Israel.

In its report on Palestinian-controlled areas, the State Department included reports of unlawful security service killings and torture and said detention conditions were “extremely bad.”

It also noted the discrepancy within Israel between prisons for Israelis and for Judea and Samaria Palestinians.

“IDF detention centers for security detainees were less likely than Israeli civilian prisons to meet international standards,” it said, and included reports of crowding and in some cases “extreme violence” against detainees.

The report included a section on anti-Semitism in Palestinian-controlled areas, citing expressions of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial by officials and outlets of both the Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian Authority and Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip.

Elsewhere in the annual human rights report, the State Department reported a decline in anti-Semitism in Ukraine in 2013, a period before the eruption of unrest in recent weeks.

In the introduction to its report on France, the State Department said, “The most significant human rights problems during the year included an increasing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents.”

France in Free Fall

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

French President François Hollande was all smiles during his three-day state visit in the United States. Now he is back home, and he does not smile anymore. He cannot escape the reality that France is in extremely bad shape.

On January 26, thousands of people marched through Paris, chanting “Jews, France does not belong to you.” Some demonstrators were members of the extreme right. Most of them belonged to the so-called “black white Arab France”: young Muslims coming from suburban slums, leftist students and urban professionals imbued with politically correct ideas. Anti-Semitism in France has become so commonplace that it is now a part of the cultural landscape. The event was called “Day of Wrath,” a truism, considering that wrath now runs rampant through French society.

On February 2, another protest took place. It brought together a different group of people: Catholic conservatives wanting to defend the traditional family and reaffirm their opposition to gay marriage.

A few weeks earlier, a rebellion against taxes on trucks using French roads mobilized crowds in Brittany’s main cities : the rebels wore red caps, the symbol of revolts in the region since an anti-tax uprising in 1675. Some of them were workers furious at factory closures, others were Breton separatists. Several toll booths and cameras designed to monitor the trucks were destroyed. Manure was dumped at official buildings.

Although no large-scale riot has occurred since last fall, every weekend, dozens of cars are burned throughout the country, and violent attacks take place daily.

In October, a report prepared by the Ministry of the Interior spoke of a “widespread and multidimensional frustration” that had not yet crystallized, but could “ignite” anytime soon and lead to “sudden eruptions of fury” or even to a “full scale uprising.”

Surveys conducted by the government were recently published in the magazine Valeurs actuelles. They ​show that “frustration” is reaching an unprecedented level, and directed at a multitude of targets such as “European construction,” “globalization,” “capitalism,” “finance,” politics in general, and even democracy, which is rejected by more than 50% of the French. They report a sense of national decline (76% of the French think the country is “terminally ill”), and a growing xenophobic hatred against Muslims, as well as against Jews. They also report a strong desire to see a “strong person” emerge who would restore “order.” Twelve percent of respondents explicitly say they want a military dictatorship.

Various economists describe France as the “new sick man of Europe,” and they have good reasons to say so. In 2013, 62,000 businesses have closed their doors, and their employees have virtually no hope of finding a new job. Growth has been close to zero for almost a decade. The number of poor now exceeds 9,000,000, more than 15% of the population. The official unemployment rate is higher than 10%, and does not include 2,200,000 beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum income (RSA) that any adult over twenty-five has the right to collect. Public spending accounts for 57% of GDP, an absolute record in the developed world. Compulsory levies are up to 46% of GDP and are the highest in Europe. Foreign investments fell 77% in 2013. The country’s debt is growing at an ever faster pace, and nothing for the moment seems able to stop a movement resembling a free fall.

On January 14, François Hollande spoke of “supply-side reforms”: while requesting that companies create jobs now, he promised to lower the costs that now preventing job creation — but not sooner than 2017.

Economic difficulties are associated with social problems : there are now over 750 “no-go zones” that police dare not enter. Officially, they are called “sensitive urban zones” but the name is not fooling anyone. Crime rates are exploding: a book published last year, France: A Clockwork Orange, explained in detail how the statistical counting rules for recorded crimes were distorted and did not reflect reality.

Anti-Semitism Spurs Increased Aliyah from France

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

A steady increase of Jews fleeing anti-Semitism and moving to Israel has prompted the Ministry of Absorption to submit for government approval a new plan to help them start new lives as “olim” [new immigrants].

In 2013, there were 3,301 new immigrants from France, the highest recorded number from that country since the year 2000.

Sofa Landver, on a visit to Paris Wednesday, told JTA that though she and her team expect mostly young immigrants, the ministry has prepared plans adapted to all ages and sectors, designed to ”erase all bureaucratic hurdles” which new arrivals are confronted with. In addition, the plan will consist of reinforcing in Paris and in other French cities the personnel who assist those interested in making aliyah.

Landver said that she will present the program in an upcoming Cabinet meeting.

”Immigrating to Israel is a decision each individual makes on his own,” emphasized the minister. ”But we consider it important to discuss our plans with the French Jewish leadership and to have their support.”

When asked whether she considered the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in France to be the prime motivation for immigration to Israel, the minister said that a community confronted with an increase in Jews leaving “reflects signs of discomfort, signs of insecurity and perhaps of anti-Semitism.”

She added, “Waves of Jews leaving their community are bound to have their reasons.”

The recurrent messages the minister and her team encountered in France were those of parents encouraging their children to build their future in Israel, rather than in their native land.

Air France Employees Performed Quenelle Salute

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Three Air France union officials “joyfully” performed the Quenelle reverse Nazi salute at a rally last November but not reported until this week by the French Liberation newspaper.

Air France management issued a statement condemning the salute, according to the European Jewish Press, which reported they were “extremely shocked” and promise ”to take appropriate actions,” whatever that means.

The quenelle was popularized by French anti-Semitic comedian, so he calls himself, Dieudonne.

David Ricatte, secretary and spokesman of the CGT-Air France Communist union, defended his performing the salute and claimed it has no racial or religious significance. He argued that it was a fashionable anti-establishment sign until it was publicized in December as anti-Semitic

“However, earlier in January, Ricatte posted on his personal Twitter account a dubbed version of the scene of Adolf Hitler in ‘Downfall’ in which Hitler is a parodied version of French Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemning the quenelle,” EJP reported.

Britain Bars Quenelle Creator Dieudonne

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, creator of the anti-Semitic quenelle gesture, was banned from entering Britain by the Home Office, British newspapers reported Monday.

Dieudonne reportedly had announced that he would visit London to support Nicolas Anelka, a French national playing for the West Bromwich Albion British soccer team, who has been charged by Britain’s Football Association for performing the quenelle after scoring a goal.

“We can confirm that Mr. Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order,” a Home Office spokeswoman told British media. “The home secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so.”

Earlier this month, Dieudonne, who has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred against Jews, was banned from performing live on stage in several French cities.

Dieudonne has said the quenelle, which is based on a Nazi salute, is not anti-Semitic but anti-establishment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/britain-bars-quenelle-creator-dieudonne/2014/02/03/

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