Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Europe: To be Jewish -at least visibly Jewish- in Europe is to live on borrowed time


Via The New York Times (Bret Stephens):
Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew.  
The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”

It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of Maas or other European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.

There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized. There’s a limit, also, to trying to cure bigotry with earnest appeals to tolerance. The German government is mulling a proposal to require recent arrivals in the country to tour Nazi concentration camps as a way of engendering a feeling of empathy for Jews. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, to the virulent anti-Semite, Buchenwald is a source of inspiration, not shame.

All this comes to mind as Israel this week marks (in the Hebrew calendar) the 70th anniversary of its independence. There are many reasons to celebrate the date, many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile.

But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers, least of all French or German politicians. Theodor Herzl saw this with the Dreyfus Affair and founded modern Zionism. Post-Hitler Europe still has far to fall when it comes to its attitudes toward Jews, but the trend is clear. The question is the pace.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Germany: Berlin Jews Organize ‘Wear a Kippah’ Demonstration in Response to anti-Semitic Assault

Via Haaretz:
The Berlin Jewish community is organizing a demonstration against anti-Semitism in response to an attack on an Israeli man wearing a yarmulke, and is urging participants to wear a kippah.

A broad coalition from interfaith, political, academic and pro-Israel circles is backing the “Berlin wears a kippah” protest set for Wednesday evening in front of the Jewish community center in the former West Berlin.

(...)

Last week, a young Syrian man assaulted his kippah-wearing victim with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi”, in public in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.
The victim, Adam Armoush, 21, filmed part of the incident and posted it online. He later told the German news media that he is a non-Jewish Israeli from Haifa and that he had donned the kippah to prove to another friend that Berlin is not as anti-Semitic as rumor would have it

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Netherlands: newspaper slammed for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon on Gaza protests



Via Times of Israel:
A newspaper in the Netherlands has come under fire for publishing a cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier shooting masses of Palestinians on the Gaza border in celebration of the Jewish state’s 70th Independence Day, which was marked on Thursday.

The cartoon, published in Volkskrant, a major Dutch paper, depicts an IDF soldier wearing sunglasses and adorned with a Star of David on his back. Having put a frightened-looking unarmed Palestinian against a wall, he fires a barrage of bullets to spell out “Happy birthday to me” — passing across the Palestinian’s chest along the way.

Bodies of what seems to be other protesters lie nearby, next to what could be seen as a pile of bodies of slaughtered demonstrators who participated in the weekly “March of Return” mass rallies organized by Hamas, the terror group which runs the Gaza Strip.

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France: Muslim community blasts anti-Semitism letter as attack on Islam


Via The Local:
A French manifesto calling for certain passages of the Koran to be removed on the grounds of rising anti-Semitism sparked anger Monday from Muslims who said their religion was being unfairly "put on trial".
The open letter published Sunday in the Parisien newspaper blamed "Islamist radicalisation" for what it said was "quiet ethnic purging" in the Paris region, with abuse forcing Jewish families to move out.
  
After a series of high-profile attacks on Jews, Muslim leaders contacted by AFP acknowledged that anti-Semitism was a problem in France.
  
But they charged that the nearly 300 signatories, who included ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former prime minister Manuel Valls, were blaming a whole religion for the actions of an extremist minority.
  
"The only thing we can agree on is that we must all unite against anti-Semitism," said Ahmet Ogras, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith umbrella group.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Germany: Merkel denounces the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin


Via The Daily Mail: 
Angela Merkel has denounced the emergence of 'another form of anti-Semitism' from refugees of Arab origin in Germany.  
The German Chancellor made the remarks in an interview with Israeli television on Sunday after an alleged anti-Semitic attack in Berlin on Tuesday provoked uproar. 
According the German tabloid Bild, the main alleged perpetrator, who surrendered to police, is a Syrian refugee who lived in a centre for migrants near Berlin.  
'We have a new phenomenon, as we have many refugees among whom there are, for example, people of Arab origin who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country,' Merkel told the private Channel 10 network.  
In the interview, Merkel said the German government had appointed a commissioner to fight against anti-Semitism. 'The fact that no nursery, no school, no synagogue can be left without police protection dismays us,' she said.
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France: Anti-Semitism is now so profound that Jews are victims of “ethnic purging”


Via The Spectator (Gavin Mortimer)
Why should France tolerate Islamic intolerance? 
[...] Why has the refusal of France to grant a passport to an Algerian woman who declined to shake the hand of a state official at her citizenship ceremony because of her “religious beliefs” made the BBC website? Picked up by other news’ outlets, including the New York Times, it’s not unreasonable to infer that the subtext is: there go the French again, discriminating against Muslims. If it’s not the burka or the burkini, it’s a handshake.

But why would any western country welcome a woman who shuns one of its oldest and most courteous customs? If she finds shaking hands with a man beyond the pale, one is entitled to suspect she may not look too favourably on gays and Jews. Anti-Semitism is now so profound in France that on Sunday 250 well-known figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy and Manuel Valls, signed a letter warning that the country’s Jews are victims of “ethnic purging” at the hands of “radical Islamists”.
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

France: 300 personalities denounce a "quiet ethnic purging" of Jews


Via I 24 News/AFP:
'French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,' says manifesto

More than 300 French dignitaries and stars [many of whom are Jewish] have signed a manifesto denouncing a "new anti-Semitism" marked by "Islamist radicalization" after a string of killings of Jews, to be published in Le Figaro newspaper Sunday.

The country's half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.

"We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it's too late. Before France is no longer France," reads the manifesto co-signed by politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu. The signatories condemned what they called a "quiet ethnic purging" driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighborhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter.

"In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated -- and some tortured -- by radical Islamists because they were Jewish," the declaration said.
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Friday, April 20, 2018

France: Wife of French ambassador in Senegal tells Israeli ambassador's wife not to attend event for wives of diplomats


Via The Jerusalem Post:


Jeanne Hirschson, wife of Israel's Ambassador to Senegal Paul Hirschson, was asked by the wife of the French ambassador in Senegal not to attend a meeting for diplomatic spouses, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

The club of diplomatic spouses includes women and men who are married to diplomats now serving in Senegal, and is led by Marieme Faye Sall, wife of Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Up until a month ago, Miss Hirschson was so active in the club of diplomatic spouses she served as the vice president of the club.

In protest against her work in the club, Arab spouses quit, and the membership dropped to half of what it used to be.
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Europe: EU High Representative Mogherini says Jerusalem is "our common Holy City" for Europeans and Arabs - but not for Jews


With leaders and elites like this one, no wonder euroscepticism is growing in Europe.

Via Elder of Ziyon:
"As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem." 
Those were the words of EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini during the opening session of 29th Summit of the League of Arab States on Sunday. 
Not only is the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is not only non-existent, but any claim the Jews have to their capital is less important than that of Europe. 
(You know - the continent the Crusaders came from, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims. ) 
Mogherini's outrageous statements to the Arab league didn't end there. 
"And you know, you can always count on us Europeans to reiterate our belief that the only viable solution is the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine."
Meaning that the EU will solidly and always be against the idea of Israeli and Jewish rights to Jerusalem. That the EU places a higher priority on Palestinian rights in Jerusalem than to Jewish rights in any part of the city. 
"The Arab League has a unique role to play here. The Arab Peace Initiative is still, in our eyes, the essential building block towards peace. The King of Jordan is the custodian of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem."
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Germany: Jewish teen said beaten by Muslim man in anti-Semitic attack in Berlin


Via The Times of Israel:
A kippah-wearing Jewish teenager was reportedly hospitalized in recent days after being assaulted in Berlin by a Muslim man in an apparent anti-Semitic attack.

A video of the incident, which was posted to Facebook and shared by a Jewish advocacy group, shows an apparently Muslim attacker whipping the teen with his belt while calling out, “Yahudi,” or “Jew” in Arabic, before he is stopped by a passerby.

The incident took place at the Helmholtzplatz, a public park in the Prenzlauer Berg part of Berlin. 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sweden: Former PM Carld Bildt relativizes current anti-Semitism with odd and inaccurate historical arguments


Via Politico (Paulina Neuding, editor-in-chief of the online magazine Kvartal)
Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos. (...)

In March, Labor Market Minister Ylva Johansson appeared on the BBC, where she claimed that the number of reported rapes and sexual harassment cases “is going down and going down and going down.” In fact, the opposite is true, which Johansson later admitted in an apology.

Similarly, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, former Prime Minister Carl Bildt described the country’s immigration policy as a success story. He did not elaborate on violent crime. After repeated attacks against Jewish institutions in December — including the firebombing of a synagogue in Gothenburg — Bildt took to the same paper to claim that anti-Semitism is not a major problem in Sweden.

“Historically, in Sweden it was the Catholics that were seen as the dangerous threat that had to be fought and restricted,” Bildt claimed, seemingly unaware that the laws he cited also applied to Jews. Intermarriage was illegal and hostility was based on ideas of Jews as racially inferior. Bildt’s attempt to relativize current anti-Semitism with odd and inaccurate historical arguments reflects how nervously Swedish elites react to negative headlines about their country.
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Read also:
Sweden: Son of Holocaust survivor explains why he left Sweden to Israel
Sweden: Former PM Carl Bildt says Israel pushing US into region-wide war with Iran

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sweden: Son of Holocaust survivor explains why he left Sweden to Israel


Via The Times of Israel (Stefan Shaul Lindmark):
Madam Foreign Minister! I’m here now. You know, in Israel. Just like I said I would be. I wrote to you two years ago, you may remember. And I told you about the people who built the state of Israel; the survivors of the Holocaust, the Jews expelled from the Arab world and Iran, and who were robbed of all of their possessions, the Ethiopian Jews who walked through the deserts of death, the Soviet Jews who fled from the anti-Semitism and all the other Jews who have moved here to live together with the Jews who have lived here for generations.

Madam Foreign Minister, now I am one of them – I, the son of a survivor from the Holocaust. I, who have lived all my life in Sweden and have served the country as a soldier, as an ambulance nurse, as a therapist and above all as, a lecturer of the Holocaust and its consequences. I have left a Sweden that is no longer the country I have known my whole life. Sweden, a country that has changed further over the years since I wrote to you – and the change is not for the better.

Madam Foreign Minister, I’m leaving Sweden where violence, gangs fight for territory, power and “respect”, shootings, rape and especially gang rapes have become the norm – my Sweden which is now a country where anti-Semitism is dramatically increasing even further, a country whose government suffers from at severe case of megalomania and believes itself to be morally superior to any other country in the entire world. (...)  
Madam Foreign Minister, since I last wrote to you Sweden has adapted to hearing people screaming in the streets that “Jews are the offspring of monkeys and pigs” and “shoot the Jews”. Without ramification. Petrol bombs have been thrown against my synagogue and against the chapel in Malmö. The Jewish community center pays 53% of its budget, based on their members’ fees, on its own security. But you don’t want to see this, you did not want to hear the warning signs, you who habitually will blame Israel like you always do – my Israel – to be the cause of all evil in the world. And then you wonder why the Swedish Jews leave. In the Jewish Chronicle you claim not to understand why Jews want to leave to Sweden in order to move to a life “behind walls”.  
But Mrs Foreign Minister, if the interview was made on the Jewish community’s premises, you had to cross the high fences, the walls and security controls in order to enter. The fences and walls that make the Jews safe in Sweden. There are plenty of people in Sweden who want to kill us. So what is the fundamental difference between the fences and walls of Jewish institutions in Sweden and fences and walls against those who want to kill and hurt people in Israel? Who can we trust? Not those who are aiding and abetting. Not those who make hollow promises. Not those who lay the blame on the victims and coddle and defend the perpetrators. The history of experience has taught us that we can only trust ourselves against those who want to kill us.
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Germany: Rappers who call for “another Holocaust” win top music award

Via Jewish News:
A German-Jewish leader condemned a music award given to two popular rappers as a “devastating” example of the normalcy of anti-Semitism in today’s society.

Kollegah and Bang won the top Echo Music Award in the hip-hop category for an album whose lyrics boast of physiques “more defined that those of Auschwitz inmates” and call for “another Holocaust; let’s grab the Molotov” cocktails.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Bavaria, was one of numerous public figures in Germany who criticised the award. The ceremony took place in Berlin on 12 April, which also was the annual Holocaust and Ghetto Uprising Remembrance Day.

The album, whose title in English is  “Young, Brutal, Good Looking 3,” won the best of Hip-Hop/Urban, National award.

(...)

When Focus magazine asked the artists how they viewed the criticism, they responded by joking about their failure to work out before the ceremony.

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UK: Israel to blame for rise in antisemitism, left wing veteran Tariq Ali declares

Via Jewish Chronicle:
The veteran left-wing activist Tariq Ali has insisted the Israeli government was to blame for the recent rise in antisemitism.

In a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally outside Downing Street in response to the violence on the border of Gaza, he attacked what he claimed was a “vile and grotesque” campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Describing Mr Corbyn as his “old friend and comrade”, Mr Ali – who founded the Stop The War movement – said that he wanted to begin his remarks by speaking about “antisemitism that we are told has swept the Labour Party, that we are told is a big problem for the left.”

He accepted there was prejudice against Muslim, Jew and gay people, but added: “If you were to ask me what is a bigger problem in Europe and north America – is it antisemitism, or is it Islamophobia?

“The answer is very clear, it is Islamophobia.”

Mr Ali said the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn were “disgusting” but were targeted at him because he broke the mould on attitudes to Britain’s foreign policy and was an anti-war politician.

“I predict this vile, grotesque campaign charging him of being soft on antisemitism will collapse. It’s already on the retreat. People don’t believe it.”

On Israel, Mr Ali said: “Many people deep down in their hearts may be scared to say it in public given the strange atmosphere that exists, but it needs to be said.

“The purveyors of antisemitism today, those who have encouraged antisemitism are the Israeli government.

“Killing Palestinians the way that they do it, targeting children as they have done; this is what produces a crude form of antisemitism.

“And the support given to this by right-wing Zionist organisations in Europe and America doesn’t help challenging antisemitism either.”

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ireland: Capital's city council endorses boycott and mayor seems to endorse Palestinian mufti who met Hitler

He is the sort of person so many Europeans pick to represent them...

Via The Times of Israel:
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday rebuked the Irish ambassador to Israel, days after the Dublin City Council passed two anti-Israel resolutions and the city’s mayor attended a conference in Ramallah that appeared to praise the Palestinian mufti Amin al-Husseini, who in 1941 met with Adolf Hitler.

The ministry said its deputy director-general for European Affairs, Rodica Radian Gordon, expressed to Ambassador Alison Kelly her “astonishment and deep disappointment” over the fact that Dublin’s Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha had chosen to participate in a “blatantly anti-Israel event.”

“This is particularly disturbing in light of the event’s timing, in the week in which Israel observes Holocaust Remembrance Day,” the ministry said in a statement. “The government of Israel expects a public and official Irish response to the conduct of the city council of Ireland’s capital in general, and of its head in specific, which are conducting a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the State of Israel.” (...)

Earlier this week, Dublin’s city council passed two resolutions endorsing the anti-Israel boycott movement and calling on the national government to expel the Israeli ambassador.

As a result of those votes, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Tuesday that he would bar Mac Donncha from entering Israel on his way to to a conference on the status of Jerusalem in Ramallah, at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.
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