web analytics
September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘swastika’

Philly Jewish Woman Painting Flowers Over Swastikas

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Esther Cohen-Eskin, a Jewish resident of suburban Philadelphia, a week ago, August 19 at 9:39 AM filed this on her Facebook page:

“I walked outside this morning to take out the trash, and on my can someone spray painted a swastika. We have lived here for almost 20 years. I have happily raised my kids and celebrated the openness and safety of this town. I am so saddened by this occurrence. The fact that someone, in 2016, can actually have that kind of hatred and target it at me and my family makes me angry and sad for the ignorant, absurdly uninformed, uneducated asshole that felt it necessary to express his/her thoughts in this way.

“If anyone reading this has any information on who may have done this, or any other similar experiences in the area, please let me know. It’s time to put up cameras. Today.”

But on August 19 at 4:03 PM, Cohen-Eskin wrote this:

“Early this morning or late last night someone targeted me and my family by painting a swastika on our trash can. I was mad, scared and angry, and then our fellow neighbor and one of my dearest friends said, ‘Nothing conquers hate more than love.’ So I am asking you, in this neighborhood, (and beyond if you want to share), paint something positive on your trashcan! We can, in our little way, turn this symbol of hate into something beautiful. A flower, a peace sign, an animal, a doodle… anything your imagination can come up with. The only criteria is to start with this negative symbol, the swastika, and make it positive. Tag me in the photo or PM me after you create your masterpiece. I think when we all put our positivity forward it will make the fear and anger from this action transform into something that will be beautiful.

“Thanks in advance!”

Then she went ahead and painted a big, beautiful flower on her garbage can’s swastika.

JNi.Media

UFO Religion Celebrates ‘Swastika Rehabilitation Day’

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

The Raelian movement on Shabbat, June 25, held a worldwide “Swastika Rehabilitation Day,” including flying banners over US cities, to inform people about the ancient, peaceful meaning of the swastika, and to protest attempts to link it with the Nazi atrocities.

“New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) introduced a bill to ban public displays of swastikas,” said Raelian official Thomas Kaenzig, who heads the ProSwastika Alliance. “That would infringe upon the freedoms of speech and religion guaranteed by the US Constitution.”

As you probably already know, for many Americans who are not Nazis the swastika is a sacred symbol, despite its unfortunate association with Hitler. Raelians deplore the Nazi crimes, and say Hitler unfairly besmirched a revered symbol that had existed for thousands of years.

The Raelian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrial beings, whom they call the Elohim (where did they get that one no one knows). Members of this species appeared human when having personal contacts with the descendants of the humans that they made. They previously misinformed early humanity that they were angels, cherubim, or gods.

Raelians believe that Buddha and Jesus, among others, were messengers of the Elohim. The founder of Raelism, Claude Vorilhon, now known as Rael, received the final message of the Elohim and his movement’s purpose is to inform the world about Elohim and that if humans become aware and peaceful enough, they wish to be welcomed by them.

Raelian ethics include striving for world peace, sharing, democracy, nonviolence and ample intimate relations, which is why the Raelian Church has attracted some of its priests and bishops from other religions.

The Raelians use the swastika as a symbol of peace, which has kept them from being allowed into Israel, where they wished to establish an embassy for extraterrestrials. The movement also uses the swastika embedded on a Star of David. Starting around 1991, this symbol was often replaced by a variant star and swirl symbol as a public relations move, particularly to avoid provoking Jews and Israelis.

“It’s a cherished symbol not only by Raelians, for whom it represents infinity in time, but by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains,” Kaenzig explained. “Banning a religious symbol is like banning a religion. It affronts both the members of that religion and a supposedly free society in general.”

“Previously, the swastika had only positive connotations of good luck and well-being,” Kaenzig said. “Continuing to associate it with Nazis gives them credit for it, probably the last thing their victims would have wanted. Would Senator Kaminsky also ban the Christian cross? Remember, tens of millions were murdered under that symbol in the Americas, Africa and Europe, and the Klu Klux Klan also used it.”

Kaenzig said the swastika was a Jewish symbol too, for a very long time. “It’s on old synagogues, like that in Verona, Italy, and in many Israeli sites, including the Second Temple, one of the holiest places for Jews,” he pointed out. “Nobody has asked that those symbols be removed, so why is displaying swastikas more of an issue in New York? Education is the solution, not banning. That’s what Swastika Rehabilitation Day is all about.”

The presence of swastikas in synagogue relief works in Israel is rare, and dates back to the end of the second temple era, when it was used as part of geometrical, rather than religiously inspired designs. The ancient synagogue at Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) bears one such symbol. There are many more swastikas spray-painted on synagogues by anti-Semites than inside synagogues as decoration.

According to Kaenzig, “Shapeways, a 3D printing company, is refusing to print any design incorporating a swastika… We’re asking all Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Raelians to boycott Shapeways services for banning this symbol so dear to us all.”

Shapeways is a Dutch-founded, New York-based 3D printing marketplace and service, startup company. Their users design and upload 3D printable files, and Shapeways prints the objects for them. Now they’ll be boycotted for refusing to make swastikas… It don’t sound like this dog is going to run far…

JNi.Media

Rhode Island Residents Riled About Anti-Semitic Attack on Local Synagogue

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Police in Pawtucket, Rhode Island continue to investigate a hate crime after a big red Nazi swastika was found spray-painted on the welcome sign of Congregation Ohawe Sholam.

Worshipers found the swastika on Sunday. It was painted on the sign for the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies outside their Orthodox synagogue.

A news conference was held Monday morning by city and religious leaders, who condemned the vandalism.

“It can’t be tolerated, it shouldn’t be tolerated, and it won’t be tolerated,” said Rabbi Raphie Schochet. “This symbol that’s been blotted out over here is a symbol of bigots and bullies.”

Officials immediately condemned the crime.

“The police department will go through any neighborhood video, hopefully we can catch anyone coming from or leaving the scene,” said Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King. “We’re asking neighbors, we’ll check Facebook, but what we really need is the help of the public. If you thought you saw something that looked a little bit off – please notify us.”

“The vandalism that has occurred at Congregation Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket is demonic and depressing,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

“I’m angry and disgusted,” said U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) . “This despicable act of vandalism has only one purpose – to intimidate members of our community and it won’t succeed.”

Congregation Ohawe Sholam president David Pliskin told local WPRI-TV in an interview that Holocaust survivors among the congregants found the graffiti to be a painful reminder of the past. “This is the kind of thing that makes your whole body roil inside if you’re a Jew,” he said. But for those who survived the death camps, “It’s like someone trying to stab you in the heart again.”

Ohawe Sholam is the only synagogue in Pawtucket.

Pliskin rejected claims the graffiti might have been a childish prank. “This person clearly had some knowledge,” he told WPRI. “A lot of people draw the swastika with a cross, but this person has actually done it the way it was done on the Nazi flag, with an ‘X’.” He called it a hate crime.”

Nor has it been the first.

Last October, flyers were distributed just a few blocks from the synagogue with an illustration of a hooded man bearing a rifle, captioned, “Revolution is the only solution to Jewish pollution.”

But Pliskin also said the community has been incredibly supportive. One person gave a blanket to cover the sign. Another offered money to repair it.

‘The immediate result has been an outpouring of compassion and many acts of kindness from the entire community,” Pliskin said. ‘We should be thankful there are so many good and wonderful people around us.”

The city’s Department of Public Works has taken the sign off-site and is in the process of restoring it, according to WPRI.

Hana Levi Julian

Brown University Probes ‘Violent, Threatening’ Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Graffiti

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Brown University is investigating hostile graffiti found in the Marcy House fraternity complex on Friday.

The graffiti targeted the Jewish Beta Rho Pi fraternity and the co-ed LGBTQ Zeta Delta Xi fraternity, both living in the building.

The graffiti was described by students as “violent” and “threatening,” according to Campus Reform.

Administrators offered counseling for affected students, according to the Campus Reform website.

“Students say they are not surprised by the incident, given the history of anti-Semitism at Brown,” according to the site.

A transgender advocate and writer scheduled to speak on Monday had been canceled last Wednesday. The co-sponsor of the event, Brown RISD Hillel, was targeted by an online petition that accused the group of defending “Israeli state policies of occupation and racial apartheid.”

President Christina Paxson told the Brown community in an email Friday that campus police would investigate the incident after the graffiti was found scrawled across the walls.

“While the graffiti has been removed, the impact of identity-based bias and threat is not easily wiped away … This incident impacts not only those immediately involved, but threatens our shared sense of safety and respect on campus,” officials noted in the email.

Nevertheless, when JewishPress.com checked the university’s Crime Alerts page, it carried no alert or mention of the vandalism on its list of incidents. Apparently the only crimes serious enough to rate a mention are those that involve shootings, robberies, rapes and use of date rape drugs. The most recent incident to make the list was dated December 2015.

“Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment has been allowed to fester on our campus for years now. I’m disturbed, disgusted and disappointed that Brown community members would do this, but am, sadly, not surprised,” BU student Laura Galvan told Campus Reform.

Hana Levi Julian

Police Investigating Anti-Semitic Incidents at Newton, MA School

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

About 75 parents raked the principal of the F.A. Day Middle School over the coals in Newton, Massachusetts Wednesday night after finding out about a third anti-Semitic incident at the school.

The parents – who received a letter over the weekend telling them “Burn the Jews” was again scrawled on the boys’ bathroom wall – were angry they were not informed about the first two incidents.

“My initial response to these incidents did not convey the moral outrage I felt at this violation of our core values,” Turner wrote in his letter on Feb. 25. “I apologize for not promptly and publicly notifying the school community about these unacceptable actions.”

“Hateful graffiti” was found at the school in October, followed by a second incident in January when a swastika was discovered imprinted in the snow “just off school grounds on the way to Albemarle Road,” Turner’s letter said.

Neither was reported to the parents, school administrators or the police. But on Feb. 22, photos of the vandalism were sent in an anonymous letter to city officials, Newton Police and the local Anti-Defamation League.

The response was instantaneous.

Newton Police spokesperson Lt. Bruce Apotheker said in a statement that police were “forwarded an anonymous letter” on Feb. 22 that made them aware of two anti-Semitic incidents at the school.

Both of those incidents plus the third one that followed on March 4 are being investigated as hate crimes, police said. A report by WHDH called the “hateful graffiti” a copycat of the previous incident.

Newton Mayor Setti Warren said in a statement the incidents were “very troubling.” He added that officials were launching an investigation into how they remained unreported for months.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, parents wanted to know why Principal Brian Turner decided to keep the incidents quiet.

School superintendent David Fleishman, also present, made no excuses.

Neither did Turner, who took responsibility up front. “My big mistake was not promptly and publicly communicating about these incidents with the police, the superintendent, teachers, students and parents,” Turner told the parents.

“During the last three weeks my integrity’s been questioned. Some people feel I’ve been insensitive to anti-Semitism, some people think I’ve lied and others think that my explanations about the school’s response have been defensive and disingenuous – and for all of this I apologize,” he said.

“Do you understand the damage that has been done to our children,” asked a parent quoted by the Boston Globe. “Have you asked yourself why you buried this?”

Turner acknowledged in reply that he should have gone to the police. But he added that he initially believed the words too hurtful to be repeated and publicized.

“In order to confront hate you need to mouth those words,” the parent told him.

But Rabbi Eric Gurvis of Temple Shalom defended the principal, saying that he doesn’t think “we have a school system or a community that tolerates hate.” Gurvis told the Boston Globe that many of his congregants send their children to the school. He later spoke with Turner by phone and said the principal’s heart was “broken.”

Fleishman, meanwhile, has said he will enforce a protocol requiring all hate speech to be reported to police and the school administration. He also said the Anti-Defamation League is working with the schools to educate faculty and students.

School officials are supposed to report “any incident involving an actual or suspected hate crime” to the police under the terms of the most recent memorandum of understanding between Newton Police and the School Department. Fleishman told the Newton TAB he would be initiating discussions with district leadership about how and when to publicly address such issues in the future.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Hitler Rules’ Graffiti at University of Missouri

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

University of Missouri officials expressed anger Tuesday at a flyer that proclaimed “Hitler rules” found in Gateway Hall this week.

It’s the second time this school year an anti-Semitic message was found in the building, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Last October, someone drew a swastika on a restroom wall using feces. The incident ignited racial tensions on campus during protests that led to the resignation of UM System President Tim Wolfe.

In April 2015, student Bradley Becker pleaded guilty to property damage and was sentenced to probation after being charged with a hate crime for two incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti in the Mark Twain dormitory building.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Chuck Henderson said in a statement, “Our core values – including that of Respect – must become more than words on paper or a banner.”

Missouri University Police Department Major Brian Weimer told the Tribune that he did not know when the graffiti was found or reported, but his department was investigating the incident together with the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.

Hana Levi Julian

Public Menorah Helps Dispel Darkness of Anti-Semitic Attack at New Jersey’s Rowan University Campus

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

The festival of light has dispelled the darkness caused by an anti-Semitic attack by vandals at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey last week. Chabad of Rowan University teamed up with the school’s Hillel group to light a public menorah on the university campus, distributing colorful flyers inviting students to “Light the Night!”

Multiple swastikas and other anti-Semitic markings were carved into several doors in a residence hall on the Rowan University campus on Dec. 3, university officials said, adding that the vandalism seemed “random” because none of the students living in the hall were Jewish.

Located in the southern New Jersey town of Glassboro, 18 miles southeast of Philadelphia, the university had a Jewish student population of approximately 800 in 2013, out of a total of some 13,000 at the time. Those numbers have risen with each year that followed.

“I was horrified to learn about [it],” said Rabbi Hersh Loschak, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and co-director of the Rohr Family Jewish Student Center at Chabad of Rowan University.

“I believe that it is particularly significant that this incident took place during the Chanukah season,” Loschak said. “We commemorate Chanukah by lighting an additional candle each night of the eight day holiday, increasing in light and thereby minimizing the darkness.

“We refuse to be intimidated or frightened,” he continued, “in fact, we will use this incident as a motivation to increase the light and expand our programing for Jewish students on campus,” he said.

 

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/public-menorah-helps-dispel-darkness-of-anti-semitic-attack-at-new-jerseys-rowan-university-campus/2015/12/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: