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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Wiesenthal’

‘Quenelle’ Salute at Toulouse School Where Jews Were Killed

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Amid a public debate in France over an allegedly anti-Semitic gesture, French media have reproduced a photo of a man performing it outside the Toulouse school where four Jews were murdered.

The photo, which was published Monday on the website of the France 3 broadcaster, shows a man wearing a shirt featuring a portrait of Yasser Arafat in front of the Ohr Torah school.

The man, whose face was digitally obscured, is holding his left palm outstretched over his right shoulder – a gesture known as quenelle, which was invented by the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’balla M’balla.

Jewish groups say that Dieudonne, who has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, designed the quenelle to emulate the Nazi salute without violating France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols to cause offense.

The picture taken outside Ohr Torah is not dated but was taken after the Muslim extremist Mohammed Merah last year killed three children and a rabbi. The institution changed its name since from Otzar HaTorah.

The photo was published a day after photos surfaced of NBA star Tony Parker, who was born in Belgium and is French by nationality, performing the salute earlier this year standing next to Dieudonne backstage at a theater in France. Photos of the salute were published in the French media.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center reportedly has called on Parker, who plays point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, to apologize for performing the salute.

“As a leading sports figure on both sides of the Atlantic, Parker has a special moral obligation to disassociate himself from a gesture that the government of France has identified as anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

Reports of the Parker salute came a day after soccer player Nicolas Anelka, a French national playing for Britain’s West Bromwich Albion soccer team, was roundly condemned for performing the salute during a match on Saturday.

Anelka defended himself on Sunday, saying that he saw a photo of President Obama performing the quenelle with rapper Jay Z and singer Beyonce. They were, in fact, performing a hip hop move in which the hand brushes off the shoulder.

Britain’s Football Association has launched an investigation of the Anelka incident.

France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, declared that his ministry would look into banning all public performances by Dieudonne, the inventor of the quenelle.

Dieudonne has been convicted several times for inciting racial hatred against Jews in films, shows and articles.

Awareness Campaign Sparks Probes of Alleged Nazi War Criminals

Monday, November 25th, 2013

At least four investigations of possible Nazi-era war criminals have been turned over to German investigators in recent months after being identified as a result of an awareness campaign by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Operation Last Chance II,” launched in 2011 and expanded Monday with a new poster campaign, has yielded hundreds of calls and emails from around the world, said Efraim Zuroff, the organization’s chief Nazi hunter.

Zuroff, based in Jerusalem, told JTA that 110 names of suspects — 81 in Germany — had been culled from nearly 300 tips. At least one tip related to a possible kapo, or camp prisoner forced to work as a guard, is under investigation in Israel.

“We are in the process of trying to find out if it is true,” Zuroff said.

Of the four active cases, two involve alleged concentration camp guards, including a male guard at Dachau and a female guard at Auschwitz; one relates to the 1944 massacre of civilians in Oradur-sur-Glane in France; and the fourth involves a man who allegedly possesses a huge collection of Nazi-era memorabilia and modern weaponry. It is not clear whether the suspect is himself a war criminal, Zuroff said.

Italian Wine Label Features Hitler

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called for a global boycott of a company producing Italian wines whose labels sport Nazi slogans and images of Adolph Hitler.

A Norwegian couple recently discovered the wines, produced by Vini Lunardelli, in the coastal Italian town of Rimini. Last summer, American Jews Matthew and Cindy Hirsch noticed the wine labels in a supermarket in the town of Garda.

“It is very shocking to us,” Hirsch said, according to Russia Today. “It makes you wonder about the sympathies of the local people.” Hirsch’s father is a Holocaust survivor, and many of her family members died in concentration camps.

“Enough is enough,” said Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier and Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper in a statement. “We first protested the marketing of ‘Führerwein’ by an Italian-based company in 1995. Now an expanded line of wines that demean, diminish and mock Hitler’s victims are promoted on a slick website.”

Mormons Apologize for Simon Wiesenthal Parents’ Posthumous Baptism

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Mormon Church leaders apologized to the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal after his parents were posthumously baptized, a controversial ritual that Mormons believe allows deceased people a way to the afterlife but offends members of many other religions.

Records indicate Simon Wiesenthal’ parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized in proxy ceremonies performed by Mormon church members at temples in Arizona and Utah in late January.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the baptismal rites, and the Church immediately apologized, saying it was the action of an individual member of church — whom they did not name — that led to the submission of the Wiesenthals’ names.

“We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names,” Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the CLDS said in a statement issued Monday. “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.”

See full article in Wed. edition

Secret Posthumous Mormon Baptism of Holocaust Victims, Jewish Leaders

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The secret posthumous baptism of key Jewish figures by the Mormon church has caused outrage in the Jewish community and led to an apology by Mormon leaders.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the Mormon church for performing baptismal rites on the parents of Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Wiesenthal’s parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, according to the Associated Press. The baptisms took place in late January at temples in Arizona and Utah.

The proxy ceremonies are believed by Mormons to allow the deceased into the afterlife by giving them the Gospel.  Names are submitted by Mormon Church members, and are then given baptisms without their presence, or the presence or even notification of their families.

After Jewish groups protested the practice of baptizing members of their faith without their consent or the consent of the families of the deceased, the Mormon Church issued a promise in 1995 not to continue the practice.

Yet records indicate Wiesenthal’s parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized in proxy ceremonies performed by Mormon church members at temples in Arizona and Utah in late January.

The Mormon Church has baptized many figures involved in the Holocaust – and not just Jewish victims, such as Anne Frank.  Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were also baptized by the Church in separate ceremonies decades apart, with Hitler being “bound” to his parents in a ceremony in 1993.

Other Jewish figures, such as the great Jewish sage and scholar Mamonides (Rambam), Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, and author Elie Wiesel have also been baptized, as well as hundreds of Holocaust victims.

“We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement by the Associated Press.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints replied with an apology in a statement issued Monday.  “We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the church led to the inappropriate submission of these names [of Wiesenthal’s parents],” Micharel Purdy, spokesman for the Church said.  “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.’’

The discovery of many posthumous baptisms has been conducted by Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who has dedicated herself to uncovering this practice and the specific individuals who have been baptized.  She also found that the family members of several US political figures – the mother of President Barack Obama and the atheist father of presidential candidate Mitt Romeny – had undergone the ritual.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/secret-posthumous-mormon-baptism-of-holocaust-victims-jewish-leaders-sparks-outrage/2012/02/15/

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