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November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Neo-Nazi’

Greek Island Police Chief Photographed Giving Nazi Salute

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The police chief of the popular Greek tourist island of Hydra was photographed giving the Nazi salute while on a trip to Germany.

The Ethnos Sunday newspaper published the picture of Lt. Yiorgos Kagkalos, which it reported was taken in 2011 during a visit to the Nuremberg Transport Museum.

The publication follows persistent reports suggesting widespread support among the Greek police for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. It also comes in a week when the Greek Parliament is working to pass a law that would outlaw Holocaust denial and hate speech.

In the photo, Kagkalos is standing in front of a red locomotive emblazoned with the Nazi eagle and swastika. His arm is raised in the Nazi salute.

The newspaper reported that the photo had been sent anonymously to the police who investigated the incident, but ultimately did not charge Kagkalos due to lack of evidence.

Kagkalos has appealed to the administrative courts an order by police headquarters to remove him from his position, which he has held since 2011, the newspaper reported.

Skyrocketing Global Anti-Semitism Unveils Its Ugly Face

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Global anti-Semitism is doing the ‘Gaza Strip’ although it has never needed an excuse; the Cossacks predated 1948. But when the State of Israel decides to defend itself against its enemies, there is usually a spike in the number and severity of worldwide incidents since anti-Semites feel freer to unveil themselves to the world.

It’s as if they feel they are given a permit by anti-Israel media to unleash their natural hatred and perpetrate attacks in an endless ‘Day of Rage’ against the Jews.

In the old days, this would have taken the form of a pogrom; in the 21st century, incidents range from media attacks on Israel to violent attacks on Jews anywhere around the world.

Some fearful Jews in the Diaspora are blaming Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the phenomenon. “Netanyahu doesn’t ask Diaspora Jews for starting a war that is (unjustifiably) producing anti-Semitism that affects us all,” wrote M.J. Rosenberg, a writer at The Huffington Post who was formerly a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. Previously, he worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate and was a one-time Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was even the editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report, according to his media biography. None of which has stopped him from misunderstanding the cause of anti-Semitism.

If we limit ourselves to incidents that have taken place this past week:

1. Anti-Semites hurled firebombs at a synagogue in the western German city of Wuppertal in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. One arrest was made and police are searching for two more suspects, according to police spokesperson Alexander Kresta. The synagogue was undamaged. The identity of the 18-year-old male who was arrested was not released to media.

2. The 40-year-old rabbi of Gateshead, England was hospitalized after he was severely beaten by four teenage males (ages 16, 17, 18 and 19) on Rydal Street early Friday, while leaving his yeshiva in the center of the Orthodox Jewish community in Bensham. Two of the attackers were Qaiser Malik, 19 and Balawal Sultan, 18, both of Newcastle, and were brought to a judge for bail hearings. There was also an incitement tweet in connection with this case, showing a picture of a Jewish elementary school. “This Jewish school in Gateshead cheered when the bombs fell in Palestine.”

3. In Rome, the city’s historic Jewish quarter was defaced over the past several days with swastikas and flyers, reading ‘Anne Frank story teller’ on Appia Nuova Street. Other posters also have appeared in the Prati neighborhood,, depicting a Palestinian Arab hurling a rock at an IDF tank, together with a Celtic cross and the slogan, “Each Palestinian is a camerata’ – the Italian word for members of Mussolini’s facist movement. ‘Same enemy, same barricade,’ the slogan adds. The Jewish community in Rome is one of the oldest continuous Jewish settlements in the world.

4. For the second time in less than a week, the Jewish community of Miami, Florida also has been targeted. Early Monday morning, the word ‘Hamas’ was spray-painted on the pillars of Congregation Torah V’Emunah, along with a few swastikas, in northeast Miami-Dade.

5. A similar incident occurred on the Sabbath, when a family in the mostly Jewish neighborhood of Miami Beach returned home from synagogue services to find their two cars splattered with eggs and cream cheese. The words ‘Hamas’ and ‘Jew’ were scrawled on the back windows. Police in both communities are investigating, and it is unknown whether the two incidents are related.

Neo-Nazi Parties Win Seats in 2 European Parliament Elections

Monday, May 26th, 2014

For the first time ever, neo-Nazi political parties have won seats in the Brussels-based European Parliament, according to the latest exit polls. The election took place yesterday (Sunday, May 25), just a day after three Jews were murdered and a fourth person seriously wounded in a terror attack at the city’s Jewish Museum.

Is it a surprise that one of the parties was located in Germany? But a second country also voted in neo-Nazis as well — and not so far from Israel, either.

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NDP) won one MEP (Member of the European Parliament) seat in yesterday’s European Union (EU) elections, coming in fourth with one percent of the vote in German polls. In the 1930s, Germany’s Nazi party was officially named the ‘National Socialists.’

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-EU Christian Democratic Union party won 36 percent of Germany’s vote, followed by the Social Democrats, a center-left coalition partner with 27.5 percent. But in third place was the new “Alternative for Germany” with 6.5 percent of the nation’s vote, according to The Daily Mail. And the anti-EU AfD party was reported to have won as many as six MEPs; the party has advocated for ending the country’s use of the euro as currency.

However, Germany was not the only country that flipped to the right, by a long shot.

In Greece, for the first time the extreme-right neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ party won three seats, coming in third with nine percent of the vote. The anti-EU Syriza party also took the lion’s share of the vote, with 27 percent, an ominous sign, analysts said.

“Euroscepticism,” – a relatively new term – is criticism of the European Union and opposition to the process of political European integration – belief that integration weakens the nation state – and this trend ruled the elections on Sunday, as The Daily Mail pointed out.

In Italy, the anti-EU “Five Star” (M5S) movement, headed by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, appeared to be headed for a close second place with 25 to 28 percent of the vote. First place was just a shave ahead by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi’s center left Democratic Party (PD) with 29.5 to 32.5 percent of the vote.

In France, Marine Le Pen made headline when her hardline French National Front party proved the most popular with a quarter of the vote, 11 percent ahead of the ruling Socialists. Le Pen called for new elections in France and labeled the EU Public Enemy Number One, saying it is “like the old Soviet Union – it can’t be improved.” In fact, President Francoise Hollande’s party came in third with 14.7 percent of the vote, following the center-right UMP, which garnered 20.3 percent.

In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative Party also won seats in the European Parliament for the first time, with around seven percent of the vote. However, so did far-right Sweden Democrats.

In Belgium, where election coverage competed with coverage of the terror attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, Flemish separatists were the big winners in the parliamentary elections there. But it will be months before a new government is formed.

The center-right New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) has a third of the votes in Flanders, where 60 percent of Belgian residents live and where Dutch is spoken – this, after 80 percent of the votes are counted. N-VA leader Bart De Wever said he believes the king will grant him the right to attempt to form a coalition, but it will mean finding potential French-speaking allies. Due to the Belgian system, there are effectively two elections, each with at least parties in two languages – French and Dutch. At least two from each side will be needed to form a coalition.

Nazi Epithet Removes Amos Oz From Israeli Discourse

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The true shame about Amos Oz’s epithet “neo-Nazi” to describe Israeli price-tag thugs is that the essence of his comments are important food for thought. But by choosing outrageous populist rhetoric over nuanced criticism, Oz essentially relegated his concerns to the wastebasket of history.

Before rejecting Oz’s comments, it is important to note that he could be an important social voice for Israelis of every stripe. His books, from My Michael to In the Land of Israel to A Tale of Love and Darkness reveal a passion for Israeli society, and for the Land of Israel, that few contemporary writers have managed to capture. Oz’s 1950s-era Jerusalem is a quiet border town where observant and secular Jews lived together as neighbors. His writing betrays a deep, emotional connection to the city, and to the Jerusalemites with whom he shared his adolescent years.

Oz’s relationship with Jewish tradition is less obvious, but a close reading of his work in Hebrew brings to mind another of Israel’s leading writers: Nobel laureate Shai Agnon. In contrast to Agnon, Oz’s work does not obviously draw on traditional sources or Jewish history. But he is clearly influenced by Agnon, and perhaps therefore by Agnon’s close relationship with Jewish sources. In short, it is simply impossible to dismiss Amos Oz as a “self-hating” Jew or Israeli.

All of which is what makes Oz’s absurd comparison of price tag vandals to European neo-Nazis so upsetting. Self-criticism is a sign of strength, not weakness, and many of Oz’s observations about the religious-Zionist world are deserving of consideration. Yes, many religious Zionist communities have failed to excise the price taggers from their midsts (public condemnations from religious Zionist leaders notwithstanding, does anyone doubt that price taggers would be awarded aliyot [Torah honors] at most synagogues in Judea and Samaria?). It is true that the price taggers enjoy a certain measure of backing, stated or implied, from rabbinic figures in Judea and Samaria and farther afield. Religious Zionist would do well to consider those facts.

Similarly, the need to denigrate Muslims or Christians in order to validate Judaism, settlement activity or our historic connection to the Land of Israel is a sad comment on the state of Torah Judaism. Is our belief in the Torah really that shaky that we feel a need to bring down other faiths, rather than rely on the validity of ours?

Our rights to and in the Land of Israel not dependent on rejecting other groups, and it does not do our community proud to be associated with pathetic grafitti. It is rightly a point of pride that Israel is a haven for religious freedom. It should go without saying that minority groups need not be made to feel subject to attack.

These criticisms are valid, or at least are important points for discussion, in our communities. Oz is correct to ask whether a Judaism that relies on insulting others is a Judaism we want to sustain.

But his use of the epithet “Nazi” effectively reduces his views to little more than the wild ranting of a hate-filled man. By equating graffiti on a mosque wall to the gas chambers for which real neo-Nazis clamor, Oz has taken himself out of the realm of legitimate social commentator. His comments are no longer astute, concerned observations about Israeli society, but rather venomous invective directed at a subset of that society that Oz has designated as “enemy.” If the settlement community are neo-Nazis, if Judea and Samaria Israelis – rather than the price tagging minority here – are the errant weed of Israeli society, it stands to reason there can be no compromise on the uprooting of their communities and of the total neutralization of their role in society.

Stockholm School ‘Love-Bombed’ after Nazi Graffiti Attack

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal party organized a “love bombing” Monday night and pasted heart-shaped papers on the same school that was attacked by neo-Nazi vandals the night before.

Stockholm’s “Vasa Real” school was sprayed with swastikas and slogans, such as “disgusting Jews” and the number 1488 that is a symbol for white power and the Nazi Heil Hitler salute.

“We wanted the pupils at the school to be greeted by love in the morning instead of all the hate they saw on Monday,” young Liberal Bawar Esmail told The Local, Sweden’s largest English daily. “So a group of us got together and cut (out) some heart-shaped paper and put them up on the doors and in the hallways at the school,” he explained. “People passing by joined in, and everyone wrote messages for the students.”

The messages contained words such as “Love overcomes hate” and “Love comes in all shapes and colors.” Others wrote that there were 1,000 times more people lovers than haters in Sweden.

More than 800 children study at the school, which includes three high school  classes with Jewish children studying both the Swedish curriculum and Hebrew and Jewish studies.

Greek Doctor Arrested for ‘Jews Not Welcome’ Sign

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A Greek doctor who posted a “Jews Not Welcome” sign outside his office was arrested for inciting racial hatred.

The doctor, a 57-year-old neurologist from Thessaloniki, also was charged with weapons possession and pro-Nazi beliefs, according to the Greek Reporter.

The sign was written in German. The doctor, who has not been named, is a member of the Greek ultranationalist Golden Dawn party and an avowed Nazi supporter, according to reports. The party is known for its Nazi swastika-like flag and Holocaust-denying leadership.

Police found three daggers, 12 knives and pills without prescriptions at the doctor’s home. Two of the daggers were engraved with Nazi symbols.

The Jewish community of Thessaloniki was an important center of Sephardic Jewry for 450 years following the expulsion from Spain. It had a pre-World War II Jewish population of 55,000; now about 1,000 Jews live there.

Pope’s Prayers for Peace Omit Iran and Korea

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Pope Francis’ first Christmas message was full of hope for peace in war-torn Syria and South Sudan, the “often and overlooked” war-torn Central African Republic and – as if the chaos and mutual barbarity are comparable – for a “favorable” outcome” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

He made no mention of what are the widely acknowledged two biggest threats to the world’s security – the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. He also did not utter a word about neo-Nazism.

Not surprisingly, the Associated Press led off its report with the pope’s prayers for “successful Middle East negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” followed by peace in Syria and African countries. An estimated nine million Syrians – one third of the country’s population – are homeless, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been killed and wounded.

The world has not been able to do anything to stop the barbarity in Syria, but Pope Francis prayed that Jesus would “bless the land where you chose to come into the world and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.”

Speaking to a cheering crowd of 70, 000 outside the Vatican, the pope explained his idea of peace.

“True peace is not a balancing of opposing forces. It’s not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment,” he intoned.

That brings to mind “commitments” made by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in previous accords. Virtually no one has accused Israel of not living up to commitments. Israel has a list longer than the width of the country of commitments that the Palestinian Authority has not fulfilled – such as halting incitement and tearing apart the terrorist infrastructure.

He has made the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state his highest priority by announcing a visit to Israel and Bethlehem in May.

Pope Francis also called on atheists to join the effort for peace. “I invite even non-believers to desire peace,” he said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/popes-prayers-for-peace-omit-iran-and-korea/2013/12/25/

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