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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

21 Hurt After Rampage in Germany by Assailant With Axe on Train

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

An unidentified assailant went on a rampage in Heidingsfield, Germany swinging an axe and brandishing a knife at passengers on a train late Monday night.

At least 21 people were injured in the attack on the train line between Wurzburg-Heidingsfeld and Ochsenfurt, which was closed down by police shortly after.

Three of the victims were seriously injured; one sustained minor wounds. At least 14 others suffered traumatic shock, according to a report by the BBC.

The attacker was shot and killed as he tried to flee the scene, apparently by security personnel, according to a German police spokesperson.

The attacker was described in a tweet by the ZDF national broadcaster as a 17-year-old Afghan teenager; no terror group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Hana Levi Julian

42% of French Muslim Youth Support Suicide Bombing, Young US Muslims Not Far Behind

Friday, July 15th, 2016

France has been the target of the most devastating recent terrorist attacks because, apparently, almost half of young French Muslims support suicide bombing, probably the most extreme act of terrorism (compare with the Japanese Kamikaze pilots, who represented the Japanese Empire’s final, most desperate lashing at an overpowering enemy).

But a November, 2015 Pew Poll found that while a large percentage of Muslim youths in the West support suicide bombing, and out of those the largest percentage live in France, the numbers in the US are only somewhat better.

“The higher levels of support for suicide bombing seen among young American Muslims resembles patterns found among Muslims in Europe, where Muslims also constitute a minority population,” the Pew poll concluded. “In Great Britain, France and Germany, Muslims under the age of 30 are consistently the least likely to say that suicide bombing is never justified.

“In other words, the share who think suicide bombing against civilians can ever be justified, even if rarely, is higher among those younger than 30 compared with those who are older. About a quarter (26%) of younger US Muslims say suicide bombing can at least rarely be justified, 17 percentage points higher than the proportion of Muslims ages 30 and older (9%) who share that view. The age gap is about as wide in Great Britain (18 percentage points) but somewhat narrower in Germany (12 points), France (11 points) and Spain (7 points).”

JNi.Media

EU Counter-Anti-Semitism Czar: Our Goal to Allow Jews Fear-Free Life in Europe

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The EU’s coordinator for combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, this week told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs about the European Union’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism. “The goal of all this activity is that Jews will be able to live in Europe without fear,” she said. “The fact that we have reached a situation whereby Jews send their children to schools behind barbed wire fences or send them to public schools without knowing whether they will be exposed to incitement there – this situation is unacceptable. The fact that we see security guards outside synagogues – and we have grown used to this – this is also unacceptable. But it doesn’t end there. There are security guards outside government buildings. The security situation is no longer limited to Jewish communities. We are convinced that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to combat anti-Semitism.”

Von Schnurbein said the general increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe and the “atmosphere of hatred,” particularly online, are very worrying. She said that since her appointment in December, the EU’s activity against anti-Semitism has included dialogue with the major Internet companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft — which brought about the formation of the Code of Conduct. Under the code, the online giants pledged to fund organizations that would help them monitor the situation and train people who will report any inciting content online.

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) thanked von Schnurbein for the Code of Conduct legislation, which he said would allow social media companies to “remove hate speech inciting to violence within 24 hours,” which is “a correct and important step, the fruits of which I hope we will see immediately.”

Neguise told the meeting, which was also attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, of a survey conducted ahead of the meeting among rabbis and Jewish community leaders in Europe. The survey, commissioned by the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, indicates that anti-Semitism is intensifying in Western European countries, but pointed out that the involvement of Muslim refugees in anti-Semitic incidents is marginal. The same survey showed that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe is decreasing.

“We are currently monitoring the process to see if there really is a change. We want to see a real change on the ground,” von Schnurbein said. “Today, only 13 of the 28 member states properly apply the [Code of Conduct] law . . . We are pressuring them to implement it.”

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg of the Rabbinical Center of Europe said, “You cannot on the one hand constantly try to undermine the foundations of Judaism – be it brit milah (male circumcision ritual) or kosher shechitah (slaughtering of animals for food in accordance with Jewish law) – and on the other hand talk all the time about wanting to eradicate anti-Semitism.”

Yogev Karasenty, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, said “It is not at all certain that the legislation trickles down to the ground level. There are Internet companies which declare a policy [of removing inciting content] but do not implement it.”

Yaakov Haguel, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, mentioned an EU survey conducted a few years ago which revealed that 74% of the victims of anti-Semitic attacks do not report them to the authorities. This indicates, he said, that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is significantly higher than what the official figures show.

Addressing von Schnurbein and Faaborg-Andersen, Haguel said, “These Jews are your citizens, they are European citizens, proud citizens who want to live in Europe, who want to raise their children in Europe, who pay taxes. Before legislation and enforcement and education – what kind of atmosphere is being created for your citizens there? For us, the Jewish people, it is very concerning, but you, who represent the sovereign governments of each country, are responsible for the Jewish citizens, just as you are responsible for all the other citizens.”

NGO Monitor President Gerald M. Steinberg spoke of the “new anti-Semitism” and said the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions “is directly linked to the incitement we hear about every day in Europe and the world. It is obvious that phrases such as ‘war crimes,’ ‘genocide,’ ‘violation of international law,’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’ — which are said repeatedly in reference to Israel — feed this anti-Semitism.”

Ido Daniel, Program Director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, mentioned that in 2014 the organization filed some 14,000 complaints with new media companies regarding anti-Semitic content online, and in 2015 the number of complaints to Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram rose to about 29,000. The trend is continuing in 2016, and the organization expects to file over 30,000 complaints by the end of the year, he told the committee.

“The social networks allow many people to disseminate inciting messages which are then translated into physical acts against Jews,” said Daniel, who noted that Jewish students from Brussels told him that they conceal their real last names on Facebook to avoid receiving hateful and insulting messages.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said, “History has already shown us what happens when displays of hatred and violence are not dealt with. There is terror all over the world now, and the social networks serve as a [broad platform] for this activity. This is not only Israel’s — it is the problem of entire world. Terror strikes in Brussels, Paris, Turkey and the United States. It’s a global problem.”

Rut Zach of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Antisemitism said that since von Schnurbein’s appointment “we can see concrete action against anti-Semitism in Europe,” adding that the left in Europe must take the lead on this issue. “The left is supposed to protect human rights,” she said.

Carol Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel office, presented the findings of a poll showing that one in every three Europeans holds anti-Semitic opinions. Another survey conducted by ADL after the terror attacks at the offices of the satirical weekly French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the kosher supermarket Hypercacher and the Jewish Museum in Brussels indicated a 10-20% decrease in anti-Semitism in France, Germany and Belgium.

“The awareness of the danger of violence against Jews created a sort of solidarity with the Jewish communities, and it is very important to preserve this solidarity,” Nuriel stressed. “Another conclusion is that when elected officials act – and we all remember French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s historic speech – there are results on the ground.”

Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen said, “We are all in agreement about the urgency of the battle against anti-Semitism, which is a despicable phenomenon. The EU is committed 100 percent to this fight.”

Chairman Neguise concluded the meeting by saying that the committee calls on the EU to act against anti-Semitism through legislation and education. He also urged the organizations combating the phenomenon to work together.

JNi.Media

Israeli Leftwing Hooligans Attack Pro-Azaria Rally with Tear Gas

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

A group of extreme leftwing activists who identified themselves as “Antifa,” the Antifaschistische Aktion, a militant extremist extra-parliamentary network in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and other countries, whose stated goal is to “smash fascism in all its forms,” on Wednesday night attacked a rally of twelfth-graders and a few adults who were marching in support of the medic Sergeant Elor Azaria [who is on trial for shooting a neutralized terrorist] from the Habima theater to the Kirya, where the IDF headquarters are located. Among the injured in the attack was former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari who was evacuated to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

According to a police statement, the rally was attacked near the Kirya area by “five suspects who masked their faces, as one of them sprayed the marchers with tear gas.” The five attackers were eventually apprehended.

Ben Ari told Walla that “at the Sarona plaza we were suddenly attacked by ten leftwingers. They started to yell at us, they came with a megaphone and yelled, ‘Azaria is a murderer’ and attacked us with tear gas. They poured purple paint on my clothes, something acidy, my whole body was burning. I was smashed on the head with a stick. I’m suffering dizziness now. I hope the police will know how to take care of this leftwing hooliganism.”

Ben Ari accused police of incompetence in handling the attack, saying he had alerted them well in advance of the attack, after seeing the masked men approaching. He said police ignored his warnings that a provocation was about to take place.

The Antifa group boasted on its Facebook page Wednesday night: “Fascists who arrived in Tel Aviv to demonstrate support for Elor Azaria, the murdering soldier from Hebron, were received with a traditional antifascist reception. Kahanism is fascism. The army is a murderer. Those who kicked them away did well. And it’s not the first time. It’s interesting to know when will they learn.”

Ben Ari’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Might) group released a statement saying the attack Wednesday “crossed a very serious red line. Were the case reversed (meaning if rightwingers had done the spraying) all the knights of the rule of law would have been shocked and demanded police to apply the full wrath of the law to the rioters. We will not stop acting on behalf of releasing the soldier and hooliganism will not win.”

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir on Wednesday night appealed to the Attorney General to outlaw the Antifa organization. Ben-Gvir wrote: “There is no doubt that police incompetence regarding the activities of leftwingers is encouraging them to attack and to riot. If these were [rightwing organization] Lehava activists there is no doubt they would have been held in jail until the end of the proceedings.”

Ben-Gvir added, “At a time when the Shabak is investing the bulk of its efforts in locating 15-year-olds who walk around with magic markers writing slogans, it would be appropriate to take action and to outlaw the band of thugs who attack youths wishing to march in support of IDF soldiers.”

JNi.Media

UPDATE: Swiss Air Force Escorts El Al Plane Following Bomb Threat

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

The Swiss Air Force scrambled fighter planes to escort an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv around their borders following a bomb threat against the flight.

The Swiss F-18 planes escorted the El Al flight along the French-Swiss border, according to Swiss media.

Israel radio said that German fighter planes were scrambled too.

It is unclear what the fighter planes would actually do if there was a bomb on board.

The flight is continuing on to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport without a problem. It’s expected to land between 12:32 PM to 12:40 PM Israel time. Update: The plane has landed safely at around 12:43 PM.

El Al released a statement that an anonymous threat was received, and the plane is continuing to Ben-Gurion airport as planned.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry after conferring with El Al, US airport authorities received an anonymous threat of a bomb in the kitchen of the El Al plane. The American authorities informed the Swiss authorities as the plane was then over their airspace. The Swiss then scrambled their fighters.

The El Al crew checked and did not find any bombs on board in the kitchen or elsewhere.

Update: The plane has landed safely at Ben-Gurion Airport at around 12:43 PM.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Germany to Lease 5 Israeli Cargo Drones

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Germany’s Ministry of Defense will lease from Israel Air Industries (IAI) five Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicles, in a $666 million deal. The drones will be operational in 2018. A former drone leasing deal with Germany was specifically for aerial intelligence-gathering missions. The Herons, on the other hand, are capable of carrying payloads of up to one ton.

David Israel

Report: Germany Returned Nazi-Looted Art to the Nazis who Looted It

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Germany returned Nazi-looted art to the high-ranking Nazi families who stole it rather than to the families from whom it had been taken, according to a report by the London-based Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE), which says it has recently discovered this remarkable scandal that has been covered up by Germany for decades.

The family of the late Gottlieb and Mathilde Kraus of Vienna, represented by CLAE, who are still trying to recover their 160 looted paintings, had good reason to think two of their paintings would be in the state-owned museum in Munich, the Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen (Bavarian State Paintings Collections). Records show they were handed over to Bavaria by the US government in 1952 for the purpose of restitution. To their shock, they found the paintings had instead been given by the Bavarian State in the early 1960s to Henriette Hoffmann-von Schirach, daughter of Hitler’s close friend and photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann, and wife of the notorious Gauleiter of Vienna, Baldur von Schirach. Von Schirach was condemned at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity for the deportation of 60,000 Austrian Jews.

Bavarian State Paintings Collections

Bavarian State Paintings Collections

Gottlieb Kraus (1867-1952) and his wife Mathilde Kraus (1873-1954) were prominent members of Viennese society. Gottlieb Kraus was a businessman and honorary consul for Czechoslovakia in Austria. Beginning in the early years of the 20th century, he and his wife assembled a notable art collection of over 160 paintings, and their apartment was opened as a public museum to display it in 1923.

Gottlieb and Mathilde, together with their daughter Marie, fled Vienna soon after the Nazis took power in March 1938. Their flight took them via Prague, Brussels, England and Canada, before they were eventually able to settle in Washington DC. They discovered after the war that their entire collection left in Vienna had been seized by the Nazis in 1941, some selected for Hitler’s Linz Museum. Their daughter Marie made unsuccessful efforts over decades with both Germany and Austria to find and recover their possessions, but was blocked at every turn. These efforts were continued after her death in 1997 by the several grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Gottlieb and Mathilde.

The Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE), is an international, expert and non-profit representative body which negotiates policies and procedures with governments and cultural institutions and promotes the identification of looted cultural property and the tracing of its rightful owners. It represents families from all over the world, acting on their behalf to locate and recover their looted artworks. It has been instrumental in the return to its rightful owners of over 3,500 items of looted property since it was set up in 1999. It also provides a Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945 at www.lootedart.com to fulfil Washington Principle VI which called for the creation of such a repository of information.

Anne Webber, Co-Chair of CLAE, said CLAE’s research shows that in the 1950s and 1960s Henriette Hoffmann-von Schirach recovered scores of paintings from Bavaria. It seems that Bavaria thought restitution meant restitution to the Nazis rather than to their victims.

Among the high ranking Nazi families negotiating to get back art, some of it looted, were the Goering, Hoffmann, Bormann, von Schirach, Frank and Streicher families. In many cases they negotiated directly with the Director of the Bavarian State Museums and Ministers in the Bavarian government. While their demands were dealt with promptly and efficiently and with little requirement to prove their claims of ownership, the looted families had their claims thrown out or impossible hurdles were created to prevent them recovering their artworks. The families are still experiencing the same barriers to recovery of their looted works of art today.

One of the two Old Master paintings handed over to Mrs Hoffmann-von Schirach in 1962 in exchange for the paltry sum of 300 Deutsch Marks, was sold by her the following year for 16,100 Deutsch Marks to the Catholic Cathedral Association of Xanten in Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia.

In July 2011, on behalf of the Kraus family, CLAE made a claim to Xanten for the painting, providing extensive proofs of its shocking history: looted by the Gestapo in Vienna in 1941 from the collection of Gottlieb and Mathilde Kraus; acquired in Vienna with other paintings from the Kraus collection by Heinrich Hoffman through the good offices of his son-in-law Baldur von Schirach; found by the Allies at the end of the war; returned to Bavaria by the US with the restitution obligation; and then returned to Mrs Hoffmann-von Schirach in 1962 on the flimsiest of grounds.

Despite the Cathedral of Xanten publicly proclaiming its proud ‘anti-Nazi’ past, it seems this attitude does not extend to property stolen from Jewish families. In the five years that CLAE has been trying to achieve an amicable settlement, the Cathedral Association, of which the local Bishop is part, has not once acknowledged the historical injustice perpetrated on this family or the persecution it has suffered. It has provided no documentation of any kind, nor a single proof of evidence of a good faith purchase. It has locked away the painting and only and repeatedly denied settlement of the claim on the grounds that it must have “an index linked return on its investment” of 1963. The last settlement offer by CLAE was made in September 2015 when the family stated their wish that their claim be resolved by the end of October 2015. Anne Webber said there has only been silence from Xanten in the nine months since.

CLAE’s several requests for an explanation of the post-war ‘return-sales’ to the Nazi families, made to the Bavarian State Museums, the Bavarian State government and the German Foreign Ministry, met with equal lack of success, as did its requests for documentation. CLAE was told that there were only four documents consisting of five pages in total. CLAE embarked on its own research, uncovering hundreds of pages of records and the details of this scandalous history.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-germany-returned-nazi-looted-art-to-the-nazis-who-looted-it/2016/06/28/

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