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Philadelphia Synagogue being vandalized on an almost monthly basis, with members increasingly anxious

On Sunday 23rd March 2017 vandalism had visited the Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, Philadelphia, USA for the third time since December 2016. A report dated 28th March 2017 on the The Coordination Forum for Counting Antisemitism website includes video footage of a rock thrown through the synagogue window.

On 9th January 2017 we reported that a rock had smashed the synagogue widows on 2nd December 2016 and 26th March 2017 during Shabbat when worshippers were likely to be in attendance and thereby at risk of being injured.

With yet another incident, this now amounts to a campaign of intimidation. After the last incident, we described how elderly attendees at the Shul were feeling anxious about leaving the building alone. Sadly, it seems that there still exists good reason for them to be worried, with the police being yet to apprehend a suspect.

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Expel professor for being a “bitter Jew” demands Goldsmiths student

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been sent a photograph of a board at Goldsmiths, University of London, which suggested that a Jewish lecturer who is an expert in antisemitism should be fired for being a “bitter Jew”.

The comment was scrawled on a suggestion board which asks: ”What do you think teaching and learning should look like in 2022?” But for one student the campus only needed one improvement. They wrote: ”No more David Hirsh, no more Zionism — a bitter Jew“ appended by a smiley face.

David Hirsh is a lecturer of Sociology at Goldsmiths, and is known for writing about antisemitism, and for highlighting the link between anti-Israel student activists and antisemitism.

Describing a lecturer as being a “bitter Jew” and calling for them to lose their job is inherently antisemitic.

Last year the Student Union of Goldsmiths reported “repeated instances” of antisemitic graffiti, including swastikas. One piece read: “Goldsmiths it’s the symbol of world Jewry!”

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German Court rules that attempt to set fire to Synagogue amounts to criticism of Israel

A Court in the German city Wuppertall upheld a previous decision that the attempt to burn a Synagogue was merely an act of protest against Israel’s actions in the 2014 Gaza War.

The attempted arson was committed by three German Palestinians during the 2014 War. They hurled Molotov cocktails through the windows of the Shul.

The court of first instance said that the acts were an attempt to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict”, and did not constitute antisemitism.

31-year-old Mohamad E., the 26 year-old Ismail A. and the 20-year-old Mohammad A. were given suspended sentences.

Wuppertal’s Synagogue was destroyed during the 1939 Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, and the new building suffered 800 Euros of damage from the attack.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this arson attack, and the alert was raised by a boy who saw the flames from his house.

Volker Beck said that the judgment was in error, saying the “attack on the synagogue was motivated by antisemitism”, asking “what do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward antisemitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming”

Mr Beck is entirely correct in his analysis. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel”. It is beyond belief that an attempt to set fire to a Synagogue has been minimised as merely “criticism of Israel” by a Court of Law. If even arson attacks against Jewish communal buildings can be passed off as just a case of political protest taken too far, then almost all antisemitism can be minimised as related to Israel in some way. This incident thus shows the urgent need for Western Governments and their institutions to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, which we have been pressuring for for a long time, and to ensure that it is understood and applied consistently.

You can read the International Definition of Antisemitism here.

 

 

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Senior Labour Activist Claims Israel has “inflicted” and “exploited” the Holocaust

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Vice Chair of the Chingford branch of the Chingford and Woodford Green Constituency Labour Party, and the founder of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, has taken to the airwaves to say that Israel has “inflicted” the Holocaust on other people and “they use and exploit” the Holocaust for political ends.

She said: “When it comes to the Holocaust, of course, there must never be any minimisation of that horror. It’s inflicted on other people in the sense that apologists for Israel use the suffering of Jews to excuse the suffering of Palestinians. I hear it all the time: ‘Oh, they’ve suffered so much, let them get on with it.’ I’m not saying that Israel is committing a Holocaust. I’m saying they use and exploit the fact of the Holocaust to justify what are, in some cases, crimes against humanity…So the mass slaughter of Jews in Europe should never be inflicted on others. That’s my view and that includes Palestinians. But for that, I’m called a self-hating Jew.”

Her statement is antisemitic according to the international definition of antisemitism which the Home Affairs Select Committee on Sunday unanimously recommended that all parties should use, in accordance with Campaign Against Antisemitism’s manifesto for fighting antisemitism in political parties.

The definition says that “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

Wimborne-Idrissi’s latest tirade came less than three weeks since she last appeard on LBC and moved a Labour MP to tears by accusing Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish Labour MP, of having staged an antisemitic incident as a means to attack Jeremy Corbyn. At the time, she claimed that Smeeth “is against Corbyn, against his whole Socialist vision”. Referring to the whitewash Chakrabarti inquiry, she added: “The Chakrabarti Commission has been undermined at every turn by people like Ruth Smeeth and Louise Ellman [another Jewish Labour MP] and others like them who have a political agenda. The question of antisemitism is being used as a weapon in a political battle.”

We are not aware of any disciplinary action having been taken against Wimborne-Idrissi, but in any case the Labour Party has refused to revealwhether it is disciplining members accused of antisemitism.

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Football fans banned for three years for Nazi salutes and mimicking escaping gas

Two Southampton FC supporters who yelled abuse, mimicked the sound of hissing gas and made Nazi salutes at Tottenham Hotspur fans have been banned from attending matches for three years.

Thomas Flynn and Michael Haydon committed the offences at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium during a match on 19th December 2015.

Flynn, 22, of Yeovil Chase, Harefield, Southampton and Haydon, 23, of White Hart Lane, Cadnam, admitted a charge each of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in what was deemed a religiously aggravated public order offence.

They were barred from attending games in Britain and abroad for three years after being convicted at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, where prosecutor Charles Nightingale had described how Flynn, Haydon and another man were seen shouting antisemitic abuse including “gas the Jews”.

Mr Nightingale said one of the Spurs fans reported: “There was a white male raising his right hand and finger below his nose and making hissing sounds imitating gas escaping.”

After a steward notified police, Haydon was arrested at the ground, while Flynn was detained nearby. The court heard that the third man was never identified.

Haydon had been drinking since that morning, said his lawyer Jane Hiatt, and admitted making hissing sounds but denied saluting and shouting abuse.

In mitigation she said of the season ticket holder, who had attended games since he was aged five: “This is very out of character and a blip. He’s horrified and ashamed.”

Nicola Attwood, for Flynn, said her client — who was sober — also admitted hissing but denied making salutes. She said: “He is disgusted with himself and that he deserves a ban and that the people would be gravely offended by his behaviour.”

Magistrate Victoria Parker sentenced them to a three-year banning order preventing them from attending games in Britain and requiring them to hand passports to police before major games abroad.

They were also handed a 12-week community order and curfew, banned from going within a mile of St Mary’s Stadium four hours before and after kick-off on matchdays, and ordered to pay £145 in costs.

She said: “This was a very serious matter and watching you during these court proceedings I think you know that and are very ashamed of what you did.”

Source: Southern Daily Echo

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London petrol station cashier reportedly tells Jewish customer “I hate you guys”

Campaign Against Antisemitism received a report that on 9th December, a Jewish man was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a petrol station in Stamford Hill, London, when he went to pay for his petrol. According to the report, as he finished paying for his petrol, the cashier said, “I hate you guys,” to which the victim responded, “What do you mean?” The cashier then allegedly answered: “I hate you and all you Jewish people.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Police Service, which has confirmed that they attended the incident and treated it as a racially or religiously aggravated incident intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress, which is an offence under the Public Order Act. However, the victim declined to give police a statement and no evidence was found to substantiate the allegation, so the police were left with no option other than to have a discussion with the alleged offender and close the case.

Shomrim, the volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, was introduced to the victim and helped him to make a statement to the police, but due to the absence of a corroborating second witness statement, police action was still not possible.

A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The police can only act when allegations are supported by evidence, including evidence from victims themselves wherever possible. Anybody who experiences antisemitism in person should first call the police, and then if it is safe to do so, they should try to capture video evidence using a smartphone and take the contact details of anyone else who witnessed the incident.”

Source: Campaign Against Antisemitism

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School inspectors find “antisemitic material” in unregistered schools in England

School inspectors in England have found three unregistered schools, operating in Birmingham, teaching from books which include “antisemitic material”. The inspectors, from Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) found that the schools’s 94 pupils were being taught according to a narrow Islam-focused curriculum.

The discovery comes after Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools In England and head of Ofsted, announced in late 2015 that school inspectors had found 15 unregistered schools in England, of which all had a Christian or Muslim faith designation.

Ofsted is setting up a task force against unregistered schools operating in England.

Sources: The Telegraph, BBC