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Elie Wiesel’s house defaced with antisemitic graffiti calling him a “Jewish Nazi”

The childhood home of the late Nobel Peace Prize winning Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has been vandalized with antisemitic graffiti.

The house in Sighetu Marmatiei, which now operates as a museum, was Wiesel’s childhood home before his family were deported to Auschwitz, where all but Wiesel were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. He later became famed as a novelist and an advocate for peace, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The home was made into a museum in 2002.

The house was vandalized with graffiti reading “Paedophile. Jewish Nazi who is in hell with Hitler”. The police are investigating the vandalism.

 

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Israeli students targeted in attempted bombing in Poland

Israeli students visiting  Janusz Korczak’s orphanage in Warsaw were targeted with an explosive device on Wednesday.

Students from the Arad’s Ort School, who visit Poland annually, were targeted from an adjacent building, but thankfully no students or staff were injured.

The Israeli Ministry of Education released a statement:

“During the students’ visit…an explosion was heard. Apparently, an explosive was thrown from a nearby window. The students did not suffer any harm, but there is no question that it was thrown intentionally.”

“The security detail accompanying the students evacuated the group from the site, and Polish police began investigating the event. After the students were evacuated, their trip continued as scheduled.”

It seems almost miraculous that none of the attachment were hurt in what is a deeply shocking incident, doubtless owing in part to the security guard’s swift and calm response.

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Jewish couple in Belgium afraid to leave house after antisemitic harassment and death threats

A Jewish woman named Nicole, 43, and her husband, have been left afraid to leave their house after persistent antisemitic harassment.

Nicole and her husband have lived in Marchienne-au-Pont for two and a half years, the last two months of which has seen them ensure antisemitic harassment, including death threats, damage to their home, verbal abuse and physical aggression.

Recently a Star of David was painted onto their door. The couple also appears to have been sent large amounts of hate mail.

“A few people have discovered that we are Jews. Since then we have been threatened with death” she said. Their treatment highlights the increasingly hostile environment that many Jews are subjected to across mainland Europe.

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Danish Imam facing criminal charges for allegedly calling for Muslims to “slay the Jews” to bring on Judgement Day

Imam Mundhir Abdallah is facing charges over 2017 comments when he allegedly called on Muslims to “slay the Jews” to bring on Judgement Day.

“Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them” the Imam allegedly said in a video uploaded to Facebook and YouTube.

Imam Abdallah’s Masjid Al-Faruq mosque has previously been linked to Islamic extremism.

Public prosecutor Eva Ronne said “these are serious statements and I think it’s right for the court to now have an opportunity to assess the case,” she said. “It has always been illegal to accept killings of a certain group of people, but it’s new for us to target hate preachers”.

He could face up to three years in prison.

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Three Jews physically attacked outside Kosher restaurant in Vienna

A 24-year-old man of Turkish origin has allegedly physically assaulted three Jews outside a kosher restaurant in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district.

Witnesses have said that the alleged assailant jumped the victims, pushing one to the ground before raining down blows on them.

One victim, Daniel, told Heute “I had just walked out of the synagogue and I had my kippah and Tefillin [phylacteries] on, so I was easily recognizable as a Jew. He came at me from behind while I was on my phone and didn’t see him. He jumped me from behind”

The victims were lightly injured, but have expressed how glad they are that the attacker was not armed.

The attacker left the scene and proceeded to attack a bystander, before he was eventually subdued and apprehended by police.

 

 

 

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Switzerland: Jewish family chased by knife-wielding man shouting antisemitic abuse

An Orthodox family in Zurich, Switzerland, have been left shaken after a man chased them with a knife whilst shouting antisemitic abuse at them.

The attack place in Zurich’s 3rd district on Saturday evening. The man started towards the family with the knife and followed them after they fled.

According to the father, the man had approached him in a playground and became aggressive. He look his family home, only to emerge to the man waiting for them with a knife.

A neighbour was able to subdue the attacker until the police arrived. However, the attacker was released after only a day.

Astonishingly, the police have claimed that the “man did not pose a real danger to them, since he was too far away” despite the fact that he had followed them to their home.

The police also said that there is “no clear motive behind the incident, as he is neither a Nazi, nor an Islamist”.

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Palestinian attacks Jewish professor in Germany before police allegedly beat the victim

A 20-year-old Palestinian male has allegedly attacked a 50-year-old Jewish Israeli professor in the German city of Bonn in an antisemitic attack.

The assailtant allegedly knocked the kippah of the professor’s head before shouting “no Jew in Germany”.

Astonishingly, the attack took place in front of police. When the victim called out for help, the police allegedly jumped in and punched him in the face.

Ursula Brohl-Sowa, Bonn’s police chief, described the incident as a “horrible and regrettable misunderstanding”, but this will be little comfort to the victim, who has since left the city. Antisemitic violence has seen a steep increase across Germany in recent months.

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10 arrested in Berlin after alleged antisemitic beating of Syrian Jew outside nightclub

A group of Syrians and Germans have been arrested in Berlin after an alleged attack on a Syrian Jew outside of a nightclub.

The 25-year-old victim asked one of the group for a cigarette. However, one of the assailants noticed his Magen David necklace and started verbally abusing him. The verbal abuse quickly escalated and the group allegedly beat the Jewish man.

The victim ran away but lost his footing and was punched and kicked on the ground by the group. Passers by thankfully intervened in the attack and the police were alerted.

The group were detained and subsequently released pending further investigations.

After yet another violent antisemitic attack on the streets of Germany’s capital, the city’s Jews will be worrying yet again about their long-term future, as antisemitism in politics with the rise of AfD, in the fringes of the Palestine movement and on the streets seems to be spiralling out of control.

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Three men of Arab origin jailed over Swedish Synagogue firebomb attack, but none will serve more than 2 years

Three Palestinian and Syrian migrants have been jailed following an arson attack on a Gothenburg Synagogue which Everyday Antisemitism reported on in October, following a protest against Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The men were convicted in Gothenburg District Court on Monday. Two of the men were handed 2 year sentences, whereas the youngest was sentenced to 15 months. The three are between 19 and 24 years of age. One has had an asylum application rejected and will be deported after his jail sentence.

The Judge said that the trio acted with “the clear goal of threatening, harming, and violating members of the synagogue and the Jewish community more generally”. However, the sentences for what essentially amounts to a terrorist attack on Jews in Sweden, seem far too short given the severity and malice of the crime.

The attack was participated in by up to 20 people, though as far as we can tell no other charges have been brought.

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Belgian TV station unable to find a single Jew to agree to wear a yarmulke in public in light of rise in antisemitic attacks

Ms Natasha Mann, a reporter for the Belgian broadcaster RTBF was preparing a report on antisemitism in Belgium. As part of the report, Ms Mann wanted to have a visual of a Jewish volunteer being seen in Brussels wearing a yarmulke. However, for fear of being attacked, she was unable to find any volunteers from the Jewish community.

The reluctance for Jews publicly identify as such is not new. For the last ten years, many observant Jews in Brussels have been wearing caps or hats to avoid being seen publicly as Jews. This reluctance has come because of a steady rise in antisemitic incidents over the last decade, not just in Belgium, but as a rising trend sweeping across Europe. This was confirmed by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, who recognized that “we’ve seen an increase in antisemitic incidents all across Europe.” The Belgian Prime Minister’s resolve to quash antisemitism remains resolute: “our solidarity in the fight against antisemitism is uncompromised and unequivocal.”

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister’s words do not echo the sentiments felt amongst the Jewish community in Belgium. After three weeks of looking for a Jewish volunteer to be part of the report, Ms Mann had to give up. The reason being that the Jewish community is so afraid of vocal antisemites that not even the community leaders were willing to participate.

Ms Mann contacted several Rabbis. However, after finding out which neighbourhood she wanted the project to take place in, they declined. Joel Rubinfield, the president of the Belgian league against antisemitism, agreed to do the story, but only if he were escorted by a security officer; due to logistical issues this did not happen. The story ran without the visual Mann wanted: a dark reminder of how fearful the Jewish community in Belgium is today.

The tragic situation currently facing the Jewish community in Belgium was perhaps most aptly summarised by an anonymous Jewish individual, who Ms Mann had asked to volunteer for the visual. He said he was sick of being harassed for being a Jew; Ms Mann asked him, “Do you complain to police when you hear antisemitic insults?”, to which he responded: “Do you complain to police when men whistle at you in the street?” sadly highlighting how common and trivialized these attacks have become in Belgian society.

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Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Netherlands Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Antisemitic incidents double in the Netherlands, mirroring international trend of increasingly hostile atmosphere for Jews

A Dutch Prosecution Service report published in April shows antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands doubled in 2017 compared to 2016, indicating a five year high “despite a scant Jewish population”. The antisemitic incidents include “intimidation, assault, incitement to violence, and vandalism”, are mostly linked to football and in particular the Amsterdam Ajax team who are called ‘Jews’ by fans and rivals alike. Late last year, Everyday Antisemitism documented a series of incidents of the far right’s prevalence in European football, and we suggested a series of simple measures that could help challenge antisemitism and far right extremism in football.

The Algemeiner cited Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism,  saying to the French broadcaster RTBF last Sunday; “The presence of military on the street in front of Jewish sites is somewhat reassuring, but you can imagine what kind of world we live in. Today, you go to a Jewish school and you feel like you’re coming back to Fort Knox, which is really a kind of permanent state of siege.” Rubinfeld claimed “a rush of antisemitic attacks in the last fortnight” was inspired by Palestinian violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza border with Israel.

A recent report by Tel Aviv University found that worldwide there has been a rise in antisemitism , of normalizing and mainstreaming antisemitism at levels unseen since the Second World War, and a drop by 9 per cent in violent attacks on Jews in 2017 but that those attacks were more brazen. Furthermore, the drop in violent attacks is because of a step-up in security measures, whilst most antisemitic incidents go unreported due to a fear of reprisal or disinterested authorities.

The report carried out by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry is released annually on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust memorial day. It mentions a ‘toxic triangle’ of antisemitism from an increase in the extreme right, radical Islamism, and anti-Zionist discourse on the left using antisemitic expressions. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Congress is quoted as saying; “the religious dimension of classic, traditional antisemitism has returned, and the term ‘Jew’ has become an insult”. Kantor, referring to the resurgence of antisemitic tropes, says that ideas of “the Jew as exploiter, the Jew as killer, the Jew as banker” have once again become the norm – “it is like we have regressed 100 years”.

 

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Polish magazine asks “just how strong is the Jewish lobby?” on its front cover

Right wing Polish magazine Do Rzeczy has published an antisemitic issue which features the question “just how strong is the Jewish lobby?” on its front cover.

The weekly right wing magazine was founded in 2013 and represents Christian conservatism in the country.

The article pits the mysterious “Jewish lobby” against Poland, asking “can the Polish government handle it?”. Poland is currently governed by the far right Law and Justice Party, a party infested with antisemitism from the top all the way down to the grassroots.

Pitting the “Jewish lobby” against Poland’s national government is a repetition of the classic antisemitic canard in which conniving Jews seek to undermine national interests. It has its modern roots in antisemitic conspiracy theories such as the infamous hoax the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but such ideas were also a mainstay of Nazi propaganda.

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Turkish newspaper read by thousands of people publishes series of antisemitic cartoons

MEMRI have exposed a series of antisemitic cartoon that was published by Turkish newspaper Yeni Asya.

The cartoons, which is the work of İbrahim Özdabak, were made in response to calls in France to censor some antisemitic passages of the Quran. France has a growing antisemitism problem, which is often driven by Islamic extremism and which has increasingly spilled over into serious antisemitic violence in recent years. 

The cartoons have been produced since 2005, but were all reprinted by the newspaper last month in an edition that sold over 11,000 copies.

One cartoon shows a caricature of a religious Jew, covered in blood and flanked by missiles captioned “remove the verses about us from the Quran”. Another shows the UN as a puppet attached to a Magen David.

One shows another antisemitic caricature portrayed as Nero, playing a harp as the Islamic world burns.

Several compare Israel to Nazi Germany, including equating Gaza with the Holocaust.

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Palestinian advocacy group calls representative body of Dutch Jews a “pro-occupation lobby”

Jan Keulen, director of The Rights Forum, a Dutch pro-Palestinian advocacy group that was founded by PM Dries van Agt, has made a disgraceful antisemitic statement about the mainstream representative body of the Dutch Jewish community.

The Central Jewish Board had previously made a complaint about antisemitic social media post. Keulen referred to the complaint as a “political smear campaign”, a classic antisemitic canard which paints Jewish complaints of antisemitism as disingenuous and portrays Jews as manipulative and dissembling.

She then said that the “cat is out of the bag”, claiming the Jewish group was a “a pro-occupation lobby that will not rest until the definition of antisemitism is stretched and politicized”.

Despite her disgraceful comments, several of the comments that the Central Jewish Board complained of didn’t even make any reference to Israel. One of the comments complained of read “not so strange that the Jews throughout the centuries were stigmatized as thieves and cheats”, whereas others bordered on blood libel.

Little better can be expected from the Rights Forum, however. Van Agt who founded the group, who is the PM of the country, is on record saying that his party is “is good for the Palestinians despite the strong Jewish lobby” present in it.

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Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Ukraine Vandalism Verbal Abuse Violence Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Antisemitic incidents in Ukraine double in a year, nationalists claim it is a Russian plot

According to research from the World Jewish Congress, antisemitic incidents in Ukraine doubled over the course of the last year.

The WJC said that it recorded at least 130 antisemitic incidents in the country in the last year, twice what was recorded in the preceding 12 month period. The incidents range from vandalism to far-right marches and verbal abuse to physical violence. The country is home to around 350,000 Jews.

Some domestic forces in Ukraine have dismissed the report, even suggesting it is a Kremlin plot to portray all Ukrainians as fascists. Across Ukraine, there has reportedly been a backlash against the report, particularly from nationalists, who are a growing political force in the country. Unfortunately, unless people are able to swallow their pride and acknowledge that antisemitism is a growing problem, there will be little chance of defeating it. Ukraine, which does not have clearly-defined hate crime legislation, often sees racially and religiously motivated incidents investigated as mere hooliganism.

Everyday Antisemitism has recently covered several incidents in Ukraine, including an attempted arson attack on a Synagogue, a General calling to “destroy” Jews, a “national hero” peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories and saying she doesn’t like “k*kes”, as well as a swastika being carved into the chest of a Jewish activist – falling just within the catchment period of the report, a fact demonstrating that those detracting from the claims in the report by indicating that there have been no violent incidents are clearly incorrect.

This sadly fits a general trend, which has seen antisemitic crime rising across Europe and beyond.

The majority of the incidents are never reported in the English language or outside Ukraine.

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Lazio fans taunt Roma with chants about Anne Frank mere months after the club promised action on antisemitism

Fewer than sixth months after the club’s establishment promised action on antisemitism, Lazio fans have yet again invoked the Holocaust in a match with local rivals Roma.

Lazio fans chanted “Anne Frank is from Roma” at the Roma squad, a match on Sunday shortly after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day.

Roma, who have a reputation as being both a left wing and a Jewish club, often finds itself the target of antisemitic abuse. In November, we wrote about the prevalence of antisemitism across European football, making key, tried-and-tested policy suggestions that could be used to combat it, and expressed hope that similar progress to that which has been seen in the UK could also be seen across mainland Europe. We wrote following hundreds of Lazio ultras, hooligans closely associated with the far right, congregated outside the stadium to perform Nazi salutes, with antisemitic stickers being posted around the stadium. Whilst there have been a handful of arrests for those incidents, the response was largely performative and short lived, with little genuine sign that there have been consistent efforts to identify and punish antisemites.

Italian football clubs are responsible, under Italian domestic law, for the misbehaviour of their fans, and Lazio was fined around 50 thousand Euros in January for the incidents last year, an amount which is a drop in the ocean for a club who is able to pay several players more than this amount each week.

This incident confirms that the events of last year were not an isolated anomaly, but part of a growing and obvious problem in European football. In our previous article, we detailed how British football laws were developed to help counter the far right, which was increasingly using football terraces as a recruiting tool. In order to prevent their national sport becoming a hotbed of antisemitic and racist extremists, Italy must meet this threat with strict laws and strict enforcement of those laws.

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Jewish teen beaten with belt in antisemitic attack in Berlin, catches attacker on camera to “give police something to go on”

A Jewish teen has been injured after being beaten by an Arab man on the streets of Berlin.

The victim is called Adam Armush and was interviewed after the incident, saying that “it happened right here, next to my home, when I was on my way to the train station with my friend” before commenting “I’m surprised something like this happened to me. I’m still in shock”.

He said that he and his friend emerged from his house in kippot and three men crossed the road and “started cursing us from over there…when they kept cursing us, my friend asked them to stop cursing, and that got them angry. So one of them ran at me. I immediately felt it was important to film, because I didn’t think we could catch him before police arrived. I wanted to give police something to go on”.

Armush, who was identifiably Jewish as he was wearing a kippah, managed to capture some of the incident on camera, but was lightly injured and required treatment in a hospital.

The attacker shouts “Jew” in Arabic as he repeatedly strikes the Jewish teen with his belt.

The attack was broken up by a bystander, who also appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, who pushed the attacker away and told a bystander to call the police.

The video can be seen below, but only a censored version has been made available to the public.

 

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Poland blocks award ceremony for antisemitic writer in unexpected move

The Polish government has intervened to prevent an antisemitic author from receiving an award at a consular event in the United States.

A private charity was due to award Ewa Kurek a prize at the Polish consulate in the US. The event was reportedly not a government initiative, but the government has prevented it taking place, according to Andrzej Pawluszek, an advisor to the Polish PM.

Kurek has said that Jews “had fun” in the ghettoes during the Holocaust, a view that is grossly offensive and antisemitic, which either amounts to Holocaust denial or to making light of the Holocaust.

Matthew Tyrmand, a right wing journalist who was also due to be recognised at the event, has expressed relief that it was blocked, writing that “nobody wanted to be in a room with her, including me”.

Whilst the Polish government has drawn justified, fierce criticism for the controversial Holocaust law and increasing antisemitism in the country, including within the ruling Law and Justice Party’s own ranks, they are to be commended for intervening here.

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Europe engaged in “war over memory” as the far right attempt to memorialise fascism and downplay the Holocaust

The village of Antrodoco, Italy abuts the forested Mount Giano, whose 20,000 trees spell DUX, in tribute to “Il Duce”, the title used for Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1925 until his death in 1945. Italians are divided over the fate of this forest, and other reminders of the country’s fascist past, debating if this forest and other fascist monuments should be restored or razed. Some far-right and extremist groups see these monuments as important national symbols, and in February, activists from the neo-fascist party Casapound hiked the mountain to replace 2,000 trees. Similarly, in 2013, the mayor of Brescia tried to restore a fascist monument to the centre of town but failed.

Antrodoco tends to vote centre-right, but in this year’s elections, nearly half the town voted for the far-right populist Anti-Immigration League. The party ended up as the largest one in the country’s current right-wing ruling coalition. This was partially the result of far-right groups successfully mainstreaming anti-migrant, nationalist, and xenophobic sentiment leading up to the election, an effort that relies heavily on symbols both past and present.

The fate of war-time monuments is something of a bellwether for Europe, and the increased debate over them shows a deep fracturing in how societies approach institutional memory. In Poland, the government, dominated by the populist right-wing Law and Justice Party, made it illegal to incriminate Poland or assign it culpability of any sort for the Holocaust (often dubbed the “Holocaust law.”) The government is trying to get the POLIN museum to change an exhibit on the Jedwabne pogrom, and at a Polish university, leaflets were distributed that blamed the Jews for the Holocaust. Poland has also attempted to rename the Majdanek memorial, and director of the museum at Auschwitz is facing threats.

One particular monument to Soviet soldiers in Bulgaria has been vandalized many times over the years. Harking to its Soviet history, and in anger over the vandalism of a Soviet monument with antisemitic graffiti, Russia angered many when it claimed to have saved Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust, a statement that was seen as ignorant and ahistorical by many Bulgarians. Other memorials in honour of Jewish Bulgarians in WWII have also been defaced with references to Palestine and Hamas.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovakia, have taken to removing Communist-era monuments, including those referencing World War II, altogether, sometimes to the great dismay of others, including ethnic Russians and the Russian state. Russia demanded punishment of the vandals after they desecrated a Soviet WWII memorial in Vienna.

In Greece, monuments to the Greek Jews who died in the Holocaust have also been defaced. One in Athens was defaced with right-wing extremist slogans in 2017, along with the smashing of monuments in Arta and Kavala soon after the community held a memorial for its previous Jewish community. This year, a memorial in Thessaloniki was defaced twice – once with far-right slogans, and once with Palestine-related slogans.

The result is a continent engaged in a war over memory, played out in public via desecration of physical monuments. In this resurgence of extremist identity-based politics, the motivation behind such destruction is not always about antisemitism, but often includes deeply felt tribalist instincts orthogonal to antisemitism: nationalism, pride, and resentment. This is not a mere revision of narrative in deference to nuance or recently learned facts; this is a contest to own historical memory itself, an issue of no little import when entire sections of society seek to re-write history for their own ends.

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Israeli man beaten to death in Russia, survived by heavily pregnant wife

Mikhail Verevskoy, a 27-year-old Russian-Israeli, has succumbed to his injuries five days after a savage beating he received on a street in St Petersburg.

Verevskoy suffered traumatic brain injuries, broken ribs and facial bones, and internal injuries in what the police believe may be an antisemitic attack.

36-year-old Ahmed Kharsha was arrested and subsequently released on bail in connection with the attack, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs have said.

Verevsky was born in Russia, where he studied civil engineering before making Aliyah in 2010 and serving in the IDF. He returned to Russia in 2012 and became active in a local Synagogue. He is survived by his wife who is heavily pregnant and expected to give birth shortly.

The Israeli Embassy have offered his family assistance, but have said they are waiting for the conclusion of the Russian police investigation before commenting further.

If the investigation shows that this was indeed an antisemitic attack, it will be the second antisemitic murder in Europe in just over a week, following the apparent antisemitic murder of a Holocaust survivor in Paris.

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Millions of Poles don’t accept Jews, Muslims and Roma as their fellow citizens

A Pew Research poll of Poland has shown shocking levels of antisemitism and Xenophobia.

The poll asked people whether they would accept Jews, Muslims and Roma as members of their family, as neighbours, or as citizens.

When asked about who they would accept as a member of their family, 30% would not accept Jews, 55% would not accept Muslims, and 49% would not accept Roma.

When asked about who they would accept as neighbours, 20% would not accept Jews, 43% would not accept Muslims and 38% would not accept Roma.

When asked about who they would accept as citizens, 18% would not accept Jews, 41% would not accept Muslims and 30% would not accept Roma.

These figures show that there is clearly an profound problem with Xenophobia in Polish society, with a sizeable minority of the population holding extreme prejudices, not even accepting Jews, Muslims and Roma as citizens.

They also show that whilst Jews clearly face a lot of antisemitism in Poland, and this is deeply concerning, the fact that other minority groups appear to face more widespread negative attitudes from native Poles should not be ignored. This fact is not entirely surprising, given the brand of far-right antisemitism in Poland.

Disturbingly, the results in Poland have been mirrored elsewhere: 23% of Lithuanians, 22% of Romanians, 14% of Hungarians, 19% of Czechs and 16% of Greeks would not accept Jews as fellow citizens.

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Trend continues of German Jewish students being bullied out of state schools

Yet another Jewish student at a Berlin school has been left traumatised after antisemitic bullying.

A primary school student at the Paul-Simmel-Grundschule was told by a classmate that she should be beaten and killed after she revealed the fact that she is Jewish, her father said.

“Our daughter was accosted by Muslim students because she does not believe in Allah” he said, before describing how she was surrounded by a group of Muslim students who chanted “Jew” at her.

These incidents reportedly form a pattern of antisemitic bullying which has seen her threatened on several previous occasions.

Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said “if Jewish students can no longer go to school without fear of antisemitic abuse, there’s something wrong in this country”.

Last July we reported that teachers in Germany are increasingly concerned about antisemitism from Muslim students creating a hostile environment in schools. We also reported on several disturbing incidents of antisemitism, including a Jewish boy who was forced out of his school following 4 months of persistent antisemitic bullying. The antisemitism in German state schools has led to an explosion in applications to specialist Jewish schools, which provide a safe haven from the bullying, at least within school hours.

Writing in July, we warned that “unless the German government takes serious steps to ensuring that schools are tackling antisemitism, and giving assurances to teachers and parents that all complaints of antisemitism are taken seriously, regardless of the source, then the situation will be dire for Jewish students in the country”, emphasising that “action must be taken quickly before confidence is lost in the school system’s ability to protect Jewish students”. Whilst no such action has been forthcoming, finally German politicians seem to be ready to act on the national disgrace of widespread antisemitic bullying in schools. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is currently on a state visit to Israel, condemned this latest incident, writing “when a child is threatened by antisemitism, it is both a shame and unbearable. We must stand against every form of antisemitism”.

The German Police Union has now demanded that it be provided with information on these incidents. Rainer Wendt, the Union’s head, has voiced concerns that the incidents are not being properly recorded, indicating a problem of a scale beyond what we have been able to report.

Only time will tell whether any meaningful action will be taken.

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Holocaust survivor found stabbed to death in burning apartment in what appears to be antisemitic murder

An 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor has been found dead in her apartment in Paris, having been stabbed 11 times and her apartment having been set ablaze.

The attack took place in her apartment in  Avenue Philippe Auguste.

National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism have confirmed that suicide has been ruled out and that a suspect is being questioned in relation to what is almost certainly an antisemitic attack.

An attack of this nature is yet another escalation in what is becoming an intolerable situation for Jews in the French capital. That such a fate could befall a Holocaust survivor in twenty-first century Europe is an indictment of contemporary French society, where antisemitism has become an accepted part of life for the Jews who have decided to remain in the country.  If what is suspected about the motives of this attack are confirmed, it will verify what many have known for some time now; France has become inhospitable to Jewish life.

Last year, Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi was beaten by her Islamist neighbour and thrown off the balcony in her own home to her death three stories below. The authorities had initially refused to label the attack antisemitic, despite reports that she had been subject to verbal antisemitic abuse by her assailant prior to the incident. The matter is awaiting trial and will be prosecuted as a hate crime.

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Hundreds march with former SS officers in Latvia, one arrested

Police have arrested a Latvian man for displaying a poster of Nazi soldiers murdering Jews. The man displayed the poster during an annual march held by the remnants of two SS Divisions who formed the Latvian Division during WW2, euphemistically termed the “Remembrance Day of the Latvian Legionnaires”.

Latvian Nazis formed the 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS and the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS. Latvia is the only country that still publicly honours those who contributed to the Nazi war effort and the Holocaust.

The march has gained popularity this year, with ultra-nationalist Latvians looking to Nazism in the context of growing tensions with Russia.

Protesters from Latvia Without Fascism staged a demonstration against the march, in which hundreds of Latvians marched with a handful of Nazi soldiers, with locals lining the streets to offer former Nazi soldiers flowers. Aleksejs Saripovs of Latvia Without Fascism said that “it’s a disgrace that this is happening in Europe. The European Union needs to pressure Latvia into abandoning this shameful event, but so far there is total silence”.

Advocates for the march have peddled historical inaccuracies about the divisions, including asserting that they were not involved in the perpetration of the Holocaust. In reality, they assisted in the extermination of 70,000 of Latvia’s Jews.

 

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Swiss neo-Nazi jailed for two years for assaulting Orthodox Jew

A Swiss neo-Nazi has been jailed for 2 years for attacking an Orthodox Jew in Zurich.

The 30-year-old was sentenced yesterday, after attacking the man in 2015. He was also fined 1000 Francs.

The neo-Nazi thug had performed a Nazi salute and verbally abused the Orthodox Jewish man before spitting on him and attacking him.

He has a previous conviction for a similar attack, for which he served 12 of an original 30 months..

There has been a notable increase in antisemitic incidents in Switzerland in recent years, and antisemitic attitudes appear to be relatively common in the country according to ADL research.

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500 far right extremists march in Berlin and are addressed by mainstream German politicians

A far-right contingent of 500 extremists have marched in Berlin under the slogan “No to the Great Coalition”. The march was organised by a group called “We are for Germany”, who have frequently held marches in which racist activity has occurred.

Attendees at the march shouted “National Socialism Now” and “Glory and Honour to the German Nation”, quite explicitly the language of Nazism. As well as those from explicitly far-right movements, the march was also attended by members of Alternative for Germany (AfD), a right wing populist party that is increasingly showing itself up as a far right movement. AfD is in the ascendancy in German politics, and polling places them either 2nd or 3rd in the country.

Alexander Kurth, a neo-Nazi from Saxony, spoke alongside  Utta Nürnberger and Roland Ulbrich, both members of AfD.

Multiple attendees allegedly performed Nazi salutes and shouted “Heil Hitler”. Explicit displays of Nazi imagery and expressions of support for Nazism are a criminal offence in Germany. Other attendees displayed antisemitic cartoons, including one with an antisemitic caricature of a Jew which said “goyim know”, an antisemitic internet meme that originated on the far right. The meme is used to imply that there is a Jewish conspiracy that Jews are attempting to cover up.

There was also widespread harassment and abuse of journalists at the march.

Footage of the march can be viewed here.

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Paris: 14-year-old Jewish boy beaten by gang who stole his kippah after leaving Synagogue on Purim

In yet another violent antisemitic incident in the French capital, a 14-year-old Jewish boy has been subjected to a harrowing antisemitic attack in Paris.

The victim was leaving his Synagogue on Purim, a holiday during which Jews celebrate the events depicted in Megillat Esther, in which Jews in the Persian empire survived an attempt to exterminate them.

The victim has said he was surrounded by a group of youths who beat him, including hitting him with a tree branch, breaking his glasses, before stealing his Kippah and running off. They reportedly shouted antisemitic insults as they carried out the attack.

Four youths have been detained by the police, who have confirmed that they believe the attack to be antisemitic in nature.

To read about some recent antisemitic incidents in France, click here,

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Prominent Polish Priest says Jews bend truth to “whatever serves Israel’s interests”

Henryk Zielinski, a Polish Priest who is the editor-in-chief of Idziemy, a weekly Catholic publication, has claimed that Jews bend truth to “whatever serves Israel’s interests” or whatever is beneficial to them in an interview.

The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland filed a complaint about the comments on Monday. Zielinski said that Jews have a “completely different system of values, a different concept of truth. For us, the truth corresponds to facts. For the Jew, truth means something that conforms to his understanding of what’s beneficial. If a Jew is religious, then truth means something God wants.”

He then continued to say that for secular Jews “the truth is subjective or whatever serves Israel’s interests”.

According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” is antisemitic. Moreover, accusing Jews of twisting the truth to fit whatever is “beneficial” to them has strong undertones of antisemitic canards that paint Jews as dissembling, untrustworthy and rootless. This is particularly striking because Zielinski draws a dichotomy between Poles, who he says believe “truth corresponds to facts”, and Jews, for whom he seems to think truth can mean anything that suits a particular agenda.

Michał Karnowski, who was conducting the interview, did not challenge the comments.

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Suspected antisemitic acid attack on Jewish baby in France

The 14-month-old daughter of a Rabbi in Lyon was rushed to hospital after acid was left in her pram.

The incident occurred on Monday. The baby was taken into hospital after her grandmother noticed burns on her body. She has suffered burns on her back and thighs, but is not thought to be in any danger.

The acid is thought to have been placed in the pram when it was left in a communal part of the grandmother’s apartment block. The acid appears to have been left in the inside of the pram whilst it was empty.

The police are considering the possibility that this was an antisemitic attack. A police spokesman said: “we take this case very seriously. But, for now, it is still unclear whether this case is an act of antisemitism, a neighborhood quarrel or gratuitous damage committed by thugs”.

The Rabbi alerted the police, who have taken the pram in as evidence.

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Graffiti calling to shoot “Zionists” in Berlin

Graffiti explicitly calling for violence against “Zionists” has been reported in  Karl-Marx-Strasse in Berlin.

The graffiti, which was discovered late last month, calls for “9mm for Zionists”.

It also shows a hammer and sickle, as well as the words “youth resistance” and “youth ahead”.

Calling for violence against “Zionists”, whilst also being clearly irresponsible in the context of rising antisemitism, when violence is called for against “Zionists”, it is usually a thinly-veiled stand-in for “Jews”.

The graffiti was crossed out by passers-by.

Whilst the far right is propelling an explosion in antisemitism in Germany, there is also a growing problem of antisemitism from the far left and Islamists. Last year a resurgent far right led to four antisemitic crimes per day in Germany.

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Polish PM faces criticism for claiming there were “Jewish perpetrators” of Holocaust when defending controversial Holocaust law

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has attracted ire from commentators around the globe for his claim that there were “Jewish perpetrators” of the Holocaust yesterday.

Morawiecki, of Poland’s ruling far-right Law and Justice party, a growing number of senior members of which have now made antisemitic comments, was fielding questions at the Munich Security Conference.

Ronen Bergman, an Israeli journalist, described how his mother’s family escaped from the Nazis after overhearing Polish neighbours discussing how they would report the family’s whereabouts to the Nazis. Bergman continued “If I understand correctly, after this law is legislated, I will be considered a criminal in your country for saying this”.

Morawiecki claimed, somewhat disingenuously, that claims of Polish perpetration would not be punished, saying that he acknowledged “as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian perpetrators – not only German perpetrators”.

Claiming that there were “Jewish perpetrators” of the Holocaust, particularly claiming so alongside German perpetrators, is an outrageous attempt to downplay the fact that the Holocaust was an attempt to exterminate the entirety of the European Jewry. Whilst some Jews were involved in administering the ghettos, their position is one of academic controversy, and many acted out of a sense of necessity, often not knowing the extent of the Nazi’s plans. Invoking this to defend a law which has serious implications for study and debate about the Holocaust is unconscionable, particularly from the leader of a blatantly antisemitic party that is yet to discipline scores of members who have openly voiced antisemitic ideas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described his statement as “outrageous” saying that “there is a problem here of a misunderstanding of history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people. I plan to talk to him soon”.

Avi Gabbay, the chairman of the Zionist Union, accused Morawiecki of speaking in the same terms of a Holocaust denier, saying that “the blood of millions of Jews cries out from Polish soil about the distortion of history and the escape from guilt. Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles took an active part in their murder. The government of Israel must be the voice of the millions of those murdered and strongly condemn the words of the Polish prime minister.”

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Resurgent far right led to 4 antisemitic crimes per day in Germany in 2017

Police recorded 1453 antisemitic crimes in Germany in 2017, a figure amounting to around 4 each day.

According to the police the vast majority of these crimes came from members of the far right, a fact that is unsurprising. Despite the fact that Jews face antisemitism from the far left and Islamists as well as the far right, Germany is experiencing a troubling resurgence of the far right, a group that is unrepentant and militant in its hatred of Jews, with far right individuals often centring their world view around antisemitism.

The crimes include 32 acts of violence, 160 cases of property damage and 898 cases of antisemitic incitement.

In 1377 cases, 95% of the crimes, the police determined that the far right was responsible.

Despite commentary from abroad often suggesting that immigration is directly responsible for antisemitism in Germany, only 33% of offenders were foreign-born and only 25 cases were “religiously motivated”, amongst which Islamist crimes are included.

The author of the report believes that the majority of antisemitic crimes go unreported, which paints a deeply disturbing picture of the extent of antisemitism in contemporary Germany.

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Adviser to Polish President says Jews “fighting to keep the monopoly on the Holocaust”, blaming Jews for “collaboration”

Andrzej Zybertowicz, professor of Sociology at Nicolaus Copernicus University who also serves as an adviser to the Polish President, is the latest Polish official to make grossly antisemitic comments.

He said that Jewish opposition to Poland’s controversial new Holocaust law was based on “feeling of shame at the passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust”.

He described Israeli opposition to the law as “anti-Polish”, claiming that Jews  are”clearly fighting to keep the monopoly on the Holocaust”.

Accusing Jews of using or manipulating the Holocaust is antisemitic according to the International Definition of Antisemitism.

He also claimed that “Many Jews engaged in denunciation, collaboration during the war. I think Israel has still not worked it through”. Whilst many Jews were forced by the Nazis to assist their captors, his suggestions are clearly an attempt to shift blame for the Holocaust onto Jewish victims, which is deeply ironic given the passage of the law makes discussion of Polish collaboration an at-best legally precarious activity.

The passage of the law has already triggered a wave of antisemitism in Poland, and other senior figures in the ruling Law and Justice party, which is increasingly appearing to be an outright antisemitic and far right party, have already used it as an opportunity to frame their blatant antisemitism.

 

 

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Politicians from Poland’s ruling party yet again openly express their antisemitism following Holocaust bill

Opposition from Jewish groups around the world to Poland’s controversial new Holocaust law, which criminalises any mention of Polish involvement in the Holocaust, has led to further outbursts of antisemitism, this time from various officials of the country’s far right Law and Justice Party. Last week we reported that the law’s passage had led to a spike in antisemitism.

Beata Mazurek, a spokeswoman for Law and Justice, tweeted a quote from a Catholic Priest saying that Jewish opposition to the bill “made it hard for me to look at Jews with sympathy and kindness”.

Jerzy Czerwinski, a Law and Justice party senator, said that the opposition was based on a “hidden agenda”, a comment made against the background of various commentators claiming that Jewish organisations wanted to extract money from Poland. After all, we know that Jewish circles, including American, but mostly the state of Israel, are trying to get restitution of property or at least compensation”, he continued.

A politician from the party has previously claimed that the antisemitic hoax the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a factual document. A lawmaker for the party wrote “I wonder why there are so many Jews among those performing abortions, despite the Holocaust”, in a claim eerily close to blood libel. A banner at one of the parties rallies demanded the “immediate liquidation of masonic Jewish life in Poland”. Another march organised by the party was  attended by thousands shouting white supremacists slogans, including calling for a “Jew-free Poland”.

 

 

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Muslim man arrested in Belgium for allegedly trying to run Jewish father and son over

The Jewish Community of Antwerp in Belgium have revealed that a man of Muslim origin has been arrested for allegedly trying to run over a Jewish father and son with his car.

The group released CCTV footage of the alleged antisemitic crime.

The incident is shown from two angles, the second of which clearly shows that the car was on course to hit the son before his father pulled him out the way.

A man has been arrested using the footage of the incident, and is to be charged with attempted homicide.

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Wave of antisemitism in Poland following passage of controversial Holocaust bill

The passage of the controversial law that criminalises suggestions of Polish complicity in the Holocaust has been followed by a wave of antisemitism in Poland, a country which already is amongst the most antisemitic in Europe.

The Israeli Embassy has reported that it has been sent a large number of antisemitic messages, issuing a statement in which they said “in the last few days we could not help ut notice a wave of antisemitic statements, reading the Embassy through all channels of communication”.

The Embassy has also voiced concerns of growing antisemitism throughout Polish society, including antisemitic statements made in the media, following the passage of the law.

The Embassy stated its support for the spirit of the law, emphasising that concentration camps in Poland should be referred to as “German Nazi camps”. However, the outpouring of antisemitism demonstrates ingrained problems in Polish society. The governing party of Poland, Law and Justice, have faced a string of controversies involving antisemitic members.

A few days ago barriers were put up around the Embassy following security concerns.

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Bulgarian far right set to honour Nazi collaborator for third year running despite nominal “ban”

Groups of Bulgarian neo-Nazis, skinheads, “patriots” and others on the far right are preparing for an annual march in honour of a Nazi collaborator.

Hristo Lukov was a Bulgarian nationalist who directly cooperated and allied himself with the Nazis.

A march is due to take place on February 17th in Sofia, the country’s capital. The march has taken place annually for 15 years, but for the last 2 years it was nominally “banned” by the authorities. Despite this ban, the march still took place both years and no action was taken to prevent it, or to punish those responsible for illegally organising it.

If the Bulgarian government is serious about taking action against antisemitism and far right activities, they must actually enforce this ban and ensure that extremist views are not given a free platform on the streets of their capital.

In previous years the march has been accompanied with Nazi graffiti being plastered on local buildings, and Nazi books including Mein Kampf were on sale openly on the streets.

Newspapers and online publications that have covered the controversy surrounding the march have reportedly received abusive and threatening mail.

 

 

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8-year-old Jewish boy attacked near Paris

An 8-year-old Jewish boy was attacked in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles yesterday, in what President Macron has decried as an antisemitic attack.

Two assailants, who according to the victim were around 15 years of age, attacked the boy whenhe was on his way to after-school tutoring. The victim was wearing a kippah when he was attacked.

Local prosecutors have told the press that they are treating the crime as antisemitic.

President Macron wrote on his Twitter account “An 8-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippa. Every time a citizen is attacked because of his age, his appearance or his religion, the whole country is being attacked” before continuing “And it is the whole country that stands, especially today, alongside the French Jews to fight each of these despicable acts, with them and for them”.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb described the attack as “cowardly aggression…contrary to our most fundamental values”.

Sarcelles is nicknamed “Little Jerusalem” for its high Jewish population, but antisemitic crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in the area are disturbingly common.

Three weeks ago, a 10-year-old Jewish girl had her face slashed in Paris.

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Austrian man accused of shouting “Sieg Heil” and performing Nazi salute at Rabbi

A 49-year-old Austrian man has been arrested for allegedly shouting “Sieg Heil” and performing a Nazi salute, both of which he directed at a Rabbi.

The man is also accused of shouting “Mein Volk, Mein Reich, mein Fuhrer”, a motto of the Nazi regime.

The Rabbi was visiting the town of Ebensee for Holocaust Memorial Day. Ebensee has a memorial for the victims of the camp to which his family members were deported.

Austria has strict laws on expressing support for Nazism. However, concerns of antisemitism and far-right extremism have been growing with the ascendancy of the far-right Freedom Party into government, albeit as a junior partner in coalition.

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Survey: 51% of European Jews feel unsafe wearing Jewish symbols in public, 27% feel generally unsafe

A troubling international survey of Jews has highlighted the worrying effect that antisemitism is having on Jewish communities in Europe.

A survey conducted by the World Zionist Organisation showed that many respondents felt unsafe as Jews, particularly in Europe. 51% of European Jews said they felt unsafe displaying Jewish symbols in public, whereas 27% responded that they felt unsafe generally.  A third had witnessed an act of antisemitic vandalism.

The answers whilst troubling, do not surprise us in the slightest. We have watched as antisemitism in many European countries has spiralled out of control, with authorities often out of their depth when dealing with antisemitic crime.

Outside of Europe, the picture is less worrying, although it still leaves serious cause for concern. In America, 22% of Jews said they felt unsafe displaying Jewish symbols in public and 11% said they felt generally unsafe. These figures, whilst not as bad as those in Europe, are still unacceptably high for a developed country in the 21st century.

The survey also highlights the importance of reporting incidents to the authorities. The majority of those who said they had been the victim of or witnessed an antisemitic incident did not report it. 6% said they feared for their safety if they complained to the police, whereas 30% said they did not want to make a big deal out of it. 42% said they lacked faith in the authorities to deal with it appropriately. Such scepticism of the authorities is not entirely unwarranted. In the UK, Campaign Against Antisemitism was forced to take the Crown Prosecution Service to Judicial Review, whereas court proceedings across the continent have demonstrated an abject failure in dealing with antisemitism, including a German court that ruled that firebombing a Synagogue was not antisemitic. Nonetheless, when an incident is not reported, it is often the case that no action or investigation will take place.

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15-year-old Jewish girl’s face slashed in antisemitic attack in Paris

A 15-year-old Jewish Parisian girl was attacked on 10 January during her school lunch break. The victim was wearing the uniform of her private Jewish school, Merkaz-Hatorah, when the assailant assaulted her with a knife. The victim sustained cuts to her face.

Whilst the victim was able to walk home, she arrived “bleeding and shocked”, her mother told Le Parisien. The assault came days after a suspected torching of two kosher shops near Paris, echoing the harrowing comments that the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had made in last month in December: “In our country, antisemitism is alive… it is well-rooted, and it is alive.”

Francois Pupponi, a lawmaker in the lower house of France’s parliament, denounced the assault, branding it “a heinous antisemitic attack.” The assailant ran away after the assault, and the victim was not able to see his face. In a statement produced on Friday, Pupponi commented, “I have no doubt the perpetrators of this attack had antisemitic motives.” He went on to explain that this is because, “In Sarcelles, everybody knows who is a practicing Jew according to the way they dress…when she is wearing clothes favoured by many women from the Jewish community, then there is no room for doubt.”

The assailant remains unidentified, and the police investigation is still ongoing.

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Suspected arson at Kosher supermarket in Paris on anniversary of antisemitic terror attack

A Kosher supermarket in Paris was hit by what police suspect to be an arson attack, three years to the day after a terrorist attack at a Kosher supermarket in which four were killed.

Promo & Destock store in Créteil suffered extensive damage to the shop front and interior in the fire.

Last week the store was reportedly vandalized with Swastika graffiti.

Whilst police say they do not have a motive for the attack, the preceding Swastika graffiti and the significance of the date on which the fire was started indicate a clear possibility that this is an antisemitic incident.

The area has a substantial Jewish population. Local community leader Albert Elharrar told the media “there’s a link between the graffiti and the fire. It’s clear that they came for no other reason but to attack a kosher shop on the day of the commemorations”.

 

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Canadian alleged Holocaust denier, formerly senior Green Party figure, arrested in Germany

Monika Schaefer, a Canadian-German alleged Holocaust denier, has been arrested in Germany following complaints from B’nai Brith.

Schaefer was formerly a senior member of the Green Party in Canada, but was removed from the Party when her Holocaust denial was exposed, a story covered by Everyday Antisemitism in 2016. She has described the Holocaust as the “six million lie” and “the biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history”.

In a YouTube video she apologised to her mother, who was a German who lived through the Third Reich. Schaefer claimed that being told about the Holocaust amounted to her having been “indoctrinated”.

Schaefer was reportedly arrested in Munich during the recess of the trial of alleged Holocaust denial Sylvia Stolz. Holocaust denial is a criminal offence in Germany.

Both B’nai Brith and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have praised German police for taking action against Schaefer.

 

 

 

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French tax system deliberately employs “extreme discrimination” against Jews, says expert

French tax expert and leading Advocate Itay Bracha has expressed his dismay over new French tax measures designed to subject French Jews, both those residing domestically and those emigrating to Israel, to a disproportionate level of scrutiny. Bracha has stated he knows of no similar regime anywhere else in the world.

The new department already employs 20 Hebrew-speaking staff and is in the process of hiring more.

Ostensibly US tax authorities have a similar department, but whilst the purpose of the US department is to regulate movements of capital between the US and Israel, the French department has been established with the primary aim of subjecting Jews to a greater level of scrutiny for tax offences than non-Jews.

Bracha described the department as constituting “extreme discrimination”, commenting:

“I know of no similar department to the one founded in France, and certainly not with that number of employees. There is a special department in the US because of the need for direct communication with the authorities in Israel, and taking into account the volume of trade between Israel and the US, but the main purpose is absolutely not to catch tax evaders.” Bracha added, “Such a department, which constitutes extreme discrimination against Jews in France, does violence to equality between different citizens. Establishing such a department is an unacceptable statement by the authorities in France, and puts the Jewish community in a very unflattering spotlight”.

A European nation subjecting Jews to extra legal scrutiny comes with worrying connotations, not only being eerily evocative of the centuries of legal persecution of Jews in Europe, but in that it seems to evoke antisemitic canards about Jews being conniving and miserly with money. The tacit expression of these sentiments is bad enough, but their writing into national tax policy in breach of the basic principles upon which western nations are founded is unconscionable. This comes at a time when French Jews are perpetually failed by their government by its impotence against rising antisemitism, which has been driving French Jews out of the country at an alarming rate. This visits upon French Jews the double indignity of being gradually pushed from their homes by escalating antisemitism whilst they are subjected to disproportionate scrutiny from their government.

 

 

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Antisemitic rant outside Israeli restaurant in Berlin goes viral: “you can all go to the gas chamber”

A 60-year-old man has been caught on camera making antisemitic comments in a shocking rant outside an Israeli restaurant in Berlin. The man is currently under investigation for inciting hate and resisting arrest.

The video quickly went viral, accumulating over 600,000 views on the day it was posted. The six-minute video depicts the man accosting Mr Yorai Feinberg, the owner of the Israeli restaurant.

Sadly, Mr Feinburg is no stranger to hate speech, revealing in an interview to German news that he receives about two pieces of hate mail per month – a shockingly high figure, and yet a statistic by no means atypical according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which shows an alarming number of individuals hold antisemitic views in Germany.

“This guy saw my menorah in the window and suddenly started shouting,” Mr Feinburg told the Spiegel online.

The video shows the man initially trying to wave the camera away, but goes on to tell Mr Feinberg that Jews do not belong in Israel or Germany, stating, “nobody wants you people.” He went on to say “Everything’s about money with you… you will have to pay up in five or ten years. And your whole family, your whole clan here”, an antisemitic allegation relating to Jews and business, a view that the ADL shows some 33% of the German population shares.

The man goes on to say, “What did you all want here after 1945? After 6 million of you were killed. What do you still want here?”, Mr Feinberg who had been trying calmly to neutralize the situation, is then shown to wave down a passing police car. In response to this the man says, “no one will protect you…you can all go to the gas chamber. Either go back (to where you came from) or off to the bloody gas chamber. No one wants you.” It is unclear from the video whether the man was under the influence of alcohol or any other substance at the time.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, made it clear to the Juedische Allgemeine newspaper that this incident is a clear reflection of a growing trend: “this disgusting attack brings home the point that anti-Semitism has reached the mainstream of society, where it is expressed openly and bluntly.” He went on to state that many Jews now worry about whether it is indeed safe for them to live in Germany.

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Anti-Israel protesters in Austria chant “slaughter the Jews”

In the latest of a series of incidents of serious antisemitism at anti-Israel protests, open incitement to violence has been caught on film at a protest in Austria.

Footage that shows protesters chanting “slaughter the Jews” has just been brought to our attention.

The protest took place on Friday afternoon, following Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A page called “BDS Austria” also shared a video in which the same chants were clearly audible.

Protesters in New York have also called for violence against Jews in the past week, and in Sweden chants of “we are going to shoot the Jews” could be heard in a protest that was followed by a disgraceful fire bomb attack on a Synagogue.

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Chapel at Jewish cemetery firebombed in Sweden, the second attack of its kind in a week

Swedish Police have announced that they are investigating an arson attack at a Jewish chapel at a cemetery in Malmo.

The attack took place on Monday, but has only just come to our attention.

Two firebombs were thrown at the building, but appear to have caused little damage. From an image of the exterior of the building, it appears that they bounced off the wall and burned out on the ground in front of the chapel.

Earlier this week we were among the first English language sources to report a similar incident in the city, where 20 masked men attacked a Synagogue in Malmo with firebombs, leaving those inside, who were attending a youth event, to take refuge terrified in the building’s basement.

After yet another terrifying escalation of antisemitic violence in Sweden, and in Malmo in particular, we restate our calls for enhanced police protection for Jewish communities in the city, where Jews are subject to the constant threat of antisemitic violence.

 

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Swedish state TV claims that the “Jewish lobby” caused Trump to move embassy

Sweden’s primary state broadcaster has been forced to apologise after claiming that “the Jewish lobby” was responsible for Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On its report on Wednesday immediately following the announcement, the broadcaster claimed that the “Jewish lobby in the US is incredibly strong” and it “has championed this issue for a long time”.

One persistent antisemitic image is the antisemitic canard of Jewish “control” over things such as political affairs, attributing to a faceless and monolithic “Jewish lobby” a disproportionate amount of power.

Charlotta Friborg, executive editor and publisher of SVT News, said “it was an unfortunate choice of words that immediately was corrected”. However, it is not merely “unfortunate” when one unambigiously uses the language of antisemitic conspiracy theorists, but a clear and direct manifestation of antisemitism.

Sadly, such comments being sanctioned and parroted by state television will do nothing to help Jews in the country, who already face growing antisemitism from both the far right, the far left and from Islamists.

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Swedish state TV claims that the “Jewish lobby” caused Trump to move embassy

Sweden’s primary state broadcaster has been forced to apologise after claiming that “the Jewish lobby” was responsible for Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On its report on Wednesday immediately following the announcement, the broadcaster claimed that the “Jewish lobby in the US is incredibly strong” and it “has championed this issue for a long time”.

One persistent antisemitic image is the antisemitic canard of Jewish “control” over things such as political affairs, attributing to a faceless and monolithic “Jewish lobby” a disproportionate amount of power.

Charlotta Friborg, executive editor and publisher of SVT News, said “it was an unfortunate choice of words that immediately was corrected”. However, it is not merely “unfortunate” when one unambigiously uses the language of antisemitic conspiracy theorists, but a clear and direct manifestation of antisemitism.

Sadly, such comments being sanctioned and parroted by state television will do nothing to help Jews in the country, who already face growing antisemitism from both the far right, the far left and from Islamists.

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“We are going to shoot the Jews” chanted at anti-Israel protest in Sweden

On Friday night protesters congregated in Malmö, Sweden, purportedly to voice their opposition to Donald Trump’s relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Around 200 people attended the protest.

Among other things, protesters allegedly chanted “we want our freedom back and we are going to shoot the Jews”.

Calle Persson, a communications officer for the police, said “we take this kind of thing seriously in general. It could be an incitement for people to commit crimes”. However, it has not been disclosed if any arrests were made on the scene. If no arrests were made at a protest where people were allowed to call to “shoot the Jews”, the police response will seem tepid at best.

This incident is yet another example of the antisemitism in Sweden that is spiralling out of control, but it also demonstrates the antisemitism that is increasingly tolerated in the anti-Israel movement. As tensions in the Middle East escalate, unfortunately we are likely to see antisemites targeting Jews in the diaspora.

Protesters again congregated in the same place yesterday, where they were heard chanting “the Jews should remember that the army of Muhammed will return”, words that were repeated at a demonstration in London, too, where no arrests were made. These are symptoms of the thinly-veiled Islamist antisemitism being dressed up as acceptable political discourse within anti-Israel movements.

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20 masked men attack Gothenburg Synagogue with firebombs

A Jewish community in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been left in shock after around 20 masked men attacked their Synagogue yesterday night at around 10pm.

The Synagogue had been hosting a social event for Jewish students. When the Police arrived, the attendees had taken refuge in the Synagogue’s basement.

A spokesman for the local police said that “there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”. Thankfully, the building itself did not catch fire and nobody was seriously hurt.

Despite the shocking nature of the incident, the police do not seem to have any leads. In an online statement they commented that they “do not know much more than there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”.

Whilst the identity of the attackers is unknown, some have speculated that the attack could be linked to a march against Donald Trump’s policy on Jerusalem which took place earlier that day. Nonetheless, it could also easily be an attack from the far right.

Such an attack essentially amounts to terrorism against Jews in Europe. Unfortunately, with antisemitism reaching terrifying levels in some parts of Sweden, escalations of violence such as this are increasingly unsurprising. Thankfully the Synagogue was protected by its security staff who alerted the police and kept attendees safe, but this incident highlights the important of sufficient security being provided to Jewish communities.

 

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Palestinian man arrested after smashing windows of Amsterdam Kosher restaurant

A Palestinian man has been arrested in Amsterdam after he allegedly smashed the windows of a Kosher restaurant, before storming in and making off with the owner’s Israeli flag.

The incident occurs following Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The man carried a Palestinian flag and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he smashed the windows. with a metal rod, astonishingly as police officers apparently looked on.

The owner’s son commented “No one has ever seen anything like that. We are all worried. It happens sometimes that people spit inside [the restaurant] but we’ve never seen anything like this”.

Unfortunately, rising tensions between Israel and Palestinians often leads to antisemitic acts being directed against Jews in the diaspora. This means that authorities across the world will need to be increasingly vigilant as antisemites use tensions as an excuse to target Jews and Jewish institutions.

 

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Travelling Auschwitz exhibition’s opening marred by over 100 antisemitic social media posts

Over 100 antisemitic social media messages have been reported to Spanish authorities after a travelling exhibition was targeted by antisemites ahead of its opening.

The exhibition, which features over 600 objects from Auschwitz, including a freight carriage used to transport captives to the camp, is being organised by Musealia, a Spanish company. Musealia’s director, Luis Ferreiro, was inspired to launch the exhibition after reading “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankel, an Auschwitz survivor. Mr Ferreiro said “If I had been a movie director, I would have made a film; if I had been an author, I would have written about it, but I am part of a family exhibition company, and we have invested a lot in the conservation of these objects, their transportation and expensive production ”.

Commenting on the scores of antisemitic social media messages the exhibition attracted, he commented that “people use the anonymity of social media to launch negationist and hate-filled messages. This shows us that there are still people who need to know this story”.

Musealia have organised the exhibition in conjunction with the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. It started in Madrid this month, and will travel to 7 European cities and 7 American cities in the coming 7 years. School groups and children attend free.

Robert Jan van Pelt, the exhibition’s chief curator, is unsurprised by the antisemitism it has prompted. He commented: “I have spent 30 years working in this area and Auschwitz attracts deniers. What we are doing with this exhibition is establishing the facts and putting solid evidence on display”. Sadly, we must agree with him – this story is entirely unsurprising, as experience tells us that any Jewish issues coming into the public eye risk being met with floods of antisemitism.

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Polish “artists” display video showing a naked game of tag filmed in actual Nazi gas chamber

Several Jewish groups, including the Organisation of Holocaust Survivors in Israel and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, have written to the Polish President to demand an explanation as to why a lewd video was allowed to be filmed inside a former Nazi gas chamber.

The video was filmed by a group of artists and displayed in 2015, drawing criticism from Jewish groups. Whilst it depicted a game of tag in a gas chamber, the shooting location was not disclosed, and many assumed it was done in a studio. After an investigation, it was discovered that the video was filmed in the actual gas chambers of Stutthof concentration camp. The gas chambers were added in 1943, and 65,000 people were killed in the camp, including 28,000 Jews.

The joint statement reads:

“At the time, no comment or word of critique was heard from Polish official sources regarding the video, neither from the Prime Minister’s office, nor from any official/ government representative- not Poland’s Ministry of Culture or Foreign Ministry, or from Krakow’s city mayor”

“Extensive research recently revealed that the site where the video was filmed is the gas chamber at the Stutthof concentration camp, and it is this discovery which prompted the demand for clarifications from the Polish leaders and the administration of the Stutthof concentration camp site (and museum)”

The letter demands information as to whether the artists were able to “obtain permission from the Stutthof administrators to make this video, what rules exist for proper conduct at the site, how these are enforced”.

In 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow appeared to be dishonest when questioned by Jewish groups, removing the exhibition as they reassured the Jewish community, before immediately reinstating it. Astonishingly, the exhibition to which it belonged was originally sponsored by the Israeli embassy, who condemned it and withdrew their support once the nature of the display became apparent.

The filming of a video by a group of “artists” in gas chambers, a location that epitomises the sheer evil of the Nazi death machine, displays a manifest, brazen disregard for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, both Jewish and non-Jewish.  The pressing questions that have been asked in this letter remain unanswered, and steps must immediately be taken to ensure that the memory of those who were murdered by the Nazis is not desecrated further.

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Hard right German MP accused of making antisemitic videos for extremist group over 2 year period

Peter Felser, a member of the Bundestag for the hard right party “Alternative for Germany” (AfD), is facing accusations of being responsible for producing extremist material, some of which has been banned by a German court.

Felser is the owner of wk&f Kommunikation, a production company that between 2001 and 2003 made several campaign videos for an extreme right party called the Republikaner, a party that has been monitored by the authorities for its extremist activities.

One video was banned by a Court for “endorsing, denying or downplaying the Holocaust”, whilst another was described as “clearly of antisemitic character”.

Felser has expressed his regret and stated “indeed, they could be understood as a denial of the Holocaust”. However, this apparent contrition offers little comfort. AfD has faced a string of antisemitism scandals. One of their candidates appeared to face little-to-no action from the Party despite having shared an image of Hitler captioned “Missed since 1945 … Adolf, please get in touch! Germany needs you! The German people!” in a private Whatsapp group. Another infamously described a Holocaust memorial as a “monument of shame”. A member of the Party’s board also promoted a slew of antisemitic conspiracy theories. There is little to suggest that the antisemitism present at the top of the Party isn’t also common amongst its rank and file members, with antisemitic material sometimes being displayed by members at its events, such as here.

The prevalence of antisemitism within AfD’s political establishment casts an unfavourable light on Felser’s business activities. Worse still is the fact that the arrangement wk&f Kommunikation had with the Republikaner was clearly an ongoing business relationship, not just a one-off transaction. The nature of the work clearly required wk&f Kommunikation staff to become familiar with the sort of organisation they were working with, as they were producing content for them. This means that in a business owned by Felser, at best, there were those who thought it acceptable to profit off antisemitism.

Unfortunately, Felser simply expressing his regret leaves a lot to be desired, and leaves many questions to be answered about the nature and extent of his personal dealings with these far-right extremists. At a time when Germany experiences increasing antisemitism and a political culture that many Jews perceive as drifting worryingly to the right, the prevalence of antisemitism in a Party that recently polled over 12% in Federal elections will only contribute further to a growing sense of unease among the country’s Jews.

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Paedophile Priest told victim his crimes were an “old Jewish ritual”

Mauro Inzoli, a Catholic Priest recently convicted of child sex offences, claimed that his abhorrent crimes were merely an “old Jewish ritual”.

Inzoli, who was condemned by Pope Francis, as found guilty of eight counts of sexual abuse of children aged 12 to 16 years old between 2004 and 2008. He molested children during confession, away on camps, and even at hospital.

He told one victim that his actions “referred to a sort of ‘baptism of the testicles’ which he said was a Jewish ritual found in the Old Testament as a sign of affection between father and son”. None such ritual exists in Jewish practice.

Inzoli was sentenced to five years in jail, and has been defrocked by Pope Francis, meaning he will not be able to serve as a Priest in any capacity. He was also ordered to pay damages to his victims.

Whilst this is not necessarily an antisemitic incident, the fact that Inzoli used the Jewish religion as a way of targeting his victims is utterly horrifying, and deserves remarking upon by Jewish sources.

 

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Jewish mother and son assaulted by Muslim women in France

A Jewish woman and her son who were shopping in a town near Toulouse, France, have allegedly been attacked by three Muslim women.

The incident occurred in Carcassonne, about 50km outside the city of Toulouse, and is being reported as an antisemitic incident.

One of the assailants allegedly saw the woman’s Star of David pendant and her and her two younger friends attacked the pair.

Eyewitnesses believe that the assailants, a veiled older woman and two younger women, could be a mother and her daughters.

 

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Polish hotel owned by far-right extremist displays sign refusing entry to Jews

A hotel in Cesarzowice, Poland, is being investigated by local authorities after a picture emerged of a sign reading “Entry forbidden to Jews, Commies, and all thieves and traitors of Poland”.

The hotel is reportedly owned by far right extremist  Piotr Rybak, who was convicted of burning an effigy of a Jew in 2015 and is currently facing jail for having allegedly violated his parole conditions by shouting an antisemitic chant at an Independence Day rally which was organised by far right groups, many attendees of which called for a “Jew free Poland” and a “White Europe”. He is currently under partial house arrest for incitement, having finally being convicted for burning the effigy in 2015, narrowly missing out on jail time.

The Anti-Defamation League have called on Polish prosecutors to take appropriate action against him.

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Czech politician says that Jews, homosexuals and Roma should be gassed

Jaroslav Staník, the secretary of the far right Freedom and Direct Democracy party, has called for Jews and Roma to be gassed.

Stanik exclaimed “Jews, gays and Roma should be gassed” in Parliament, causing a confrontation with other parties. This occurred in a private restaurant that is part of the Parliament complex and which is not accessible to the public.

One eyewitness, Marek Černoch, claims that Stanik said that Jewish and Roma babies should be shot, commenting that he “demanded that all homosexuals, Roma, and Jews should be shot immediately after they have been born. He also verbally attacked the women that were present with gross insults”.

His calls to gas Jews, homosexuals and Roma have been confirmed by several eyewitnesses.

Stanik is reportedly a close ally of the party leader,  Tomio Okamura.

The far right party holds 22 out of 200 seats in the country’s lower house.

Such comments obviously represent some of the worst verbal displays of antisemitism we see in contemporary Europe, a fact made all the more disturbing by the fact that they originate from an elected official. We will report on any action taken against Stanik, either by the authorities or by his own party.

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Polish far right rally 60,000 for Independence Day, with marchers chanting “Jews out of Poland” and calling for a “White Europe”

Poland’s independence day has been marred by a huge White Nationalist rally, in which 60,000 Poles took to the streets to join a march organised by far right groups.

The parade marked 99 years of Polish independence.

“Thousands” of the marchers reportedly called for a “Jew free” Poland, in one of the most stark displays of antisemitism in Europe for years. Whilst the official slogan of the march was “We Want God”, many marchers were heard chanting, “White Europe”,  “Pure Poland, Jew free Poland,” and “Jews out of Poland,” and “Refugees get out”.

Whilst in Britain far-right Marches are often outnumbered by anti-Fascist protesters, the contingent who turned up to oppose the 60,000 of the far right march numbered only around 2000.

One participant of the march defended those attending, yet still admitted that 30% could be from the far right.

The march was organised by White Nationalist groups, yet it attracted a large number of members of the governing Law and Justice Party. There have been several antisemitic incidents within the party, including the promotion of a Minister who claimed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be a factual document. In 2015, a banner at one of the party’s marches read “We demand the immediate liquidation of masonic Jewish life in Poland. It threatens Poles”.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry called upon the Polish government to take action against those responsible for organising the parade. In August we reported that Polish Jews have found themselves at a recent “low point” due to escalating antisemitism in the country.

Despite the blatant displays of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s interior minister, said that “independence day…was safe” and described the march as a “beautiful sight”.

 

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With “hundreds” of fans performing Nazi salutes, it’s time to take firm action against antisemitism in European football

The far-right has long seen European football as a recruiting ground. In Britain, informants and even players have claimed that neo-Nazi groups often infiltrated groups of football fans. Similarly, fears have previously been raised about neo-Nazi elements establishing themselves in various countries, including Germany, Spain, and a myriad of other European countries.

These troubling links between the politics of the far- right and European football should cause us to pause and reflect on the “Jewish” character that many European football clubs have assumed in their rivalries. Famously, Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League has been known as the “Yid Army” for decades. Whilst Tottenham has always had a significant Jewish supporter base, the epithet “Yid” is used both by non-Jewish supporters, and by non-Jewish supporters of opposing teams, who often use it as an insult.

Opposition to the use of the term is often dismissed as over-sensitivity. Many Tottenham Hotspur fans view the term as affectionate, and opponents often see derogatory use of it as solely attached to the club, with antisemitic intent absent. Yet, many matches between Tottenham and other London clubs will be marked by hissing noises from the stands – an attempt to mimic the sound of the gas chambers, as well as multiple puerile chants clearly targeting Jews. The extent of these chants is well documented, examples can be read about here and here. This antisemitism has even previously escalated into a stabbing.

Several recent incidents on the continent illustrate just how deeply ingrained this antisemitism has become in what is referred to by its fans as the “beautiful game”. Last week, Lazio fans plastered images of Anne Frank in a Roma jersey around the stadium that the two rivals share, and the BBC reports that antisemitic slogans such as “Roma fans are Jews” were also found in the stadium. Whilst Roma is not a club that has a reputation as an ostensibly “Jewish” team, like Spurs and Ajax are, it does have a large Jewish following, something almost certainly not lost on many Lazio fans, who have previously used the Holocaust to taunt their rivals before; in 1998, Lazio fans flew a banner reading “Auschwitz is Your Homeland. The Ovens are Your Homes”. The Italian Football Federation have announced that a hearing is to be held, which Lazio representatives will have to attend.

The reaction to the Anne Frank stickers was fierce, but time will tell if there is any bite behind the bark. Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s President, called the stickers “inhumane”, and “an insult and a threat”. Anxious to salvage the club’s reputation, Lazio President Claudio Lotito visited a local Synagogue, yet a local news source claims that a recording shows him mocking the visit, which he allegedly treated as a mere charade.

One initiative taken that was taken following these disgraceful scenes was that Lazio appeared in t-shirts bearing Anne Frank’s face to display their opposition to the Antisemitism of their fans. Across Serie A, extracts from Anne Frank’s diary and Primo Levi’s “If This Is A Man” were read at matches, followed by a minute of applause. Yet across Serie A, sections of fans ignored the displays, or worse. Hundreds of Juventus fans allegedly turned their backs and sang the Italian National Anthem. Worse still, 500 Lazio fans outside the Stadium sang Nazi songs and performed Nazi salutes during the ceremony. Crotone fans also reportedly sang their club’s songs as the reading was taking place. Many of the fans taking part in these despicable displays are thought to be “ultras”, a word used for football hooligans in Italy.

There are growing calls to permanently ban those involved with such displays of antisemitism. The police have already identified 16 individuals suspected of being involved with the Lazio incidents.

These events could easily lead one to the impression that efforts to combat antisemitism in football is futile. The response – involving police investigations, a genuine effort to increase awareness, widespread, unequivocal condemnation from political and sporting leaders, and attempts to build bridges with the Jewish community – was thorough and generally appeared to be carried out in good faith. Yet if this is followed up with prosecutions and stadium bans, the authorities will be in a position to demonstrate the antisemitism in football is completely unacceptable and will meet strict sanctions, something which is yet to be achieved on a widespread basis in London derbies involving Tottenham. In order to seriously tackle this problem, football fans need to acknowledge the uncomfortable fact that racism and antisemitism are still disturbingly common in Europe. The language of antisemitism does not stand in isolation, but is a continuation of the antisemitism prevalent in society at large. Until this is recognised, and perpetrators are consistently identified and sanctioned, antisemitism will always enjoy a safe refuge in the hearts of European societies – their national sport.

English football once had a far more pronounced problem with racism, far- right extremism and hooliganism. Groups such as the National Front determinedly sought to recruit football fans, producing a magazine, The Bulldog, which devoted pages to covering the sport. The Bulldog was freely distributed in many football stadia in the country. After the Heysel football tragedy, a crowd crush in Belgium at a match between Liverpool and Juventus, leaflets for the far-right British National Party were found in the terraces, according to Christos Kassimeris, a prominent academic writing on racism in football. Many of these activities seem to coincide with the decline of the far-right as a political force following the advent of the Thatcher government, as many of its target supporters were drawn towards mainstream conservatism, which had been repackaged to have a greater appeal to sections of the white working class. The Bulldog was founded in 1981 and the Heysel tragedy was in 1985. Senior National Front figures such as Martin Wingfield and Martin Webster both publicly stated that various factions of the National Front targeted football fans in their recruitment according to Anthony King in The European Ritual. Christos Kassimeris and others have suggested that the decline in political support for the National Front caused them to increase their activities, dropping previous pretence of having a broad economic program, and instead focusing on populism capitalising on racist sentiment.

Whilst in Britain, huge progress has been made in reducing racism and far-right activity in football grounds, 50% of match-goers witnessed racism since 2010, down from 61% between 2000 and 2009, and 67% between 1990 and 1999. Football fans can face criminal sanction in the UK under several statutes: individual racist expressions can be charged under the Public Order Act 1986 for using “obscene or foul language at football grounds”. Repeated racist chanting, but only by grounds of supporters, became a criminal offence under section 3 of the Football (Offences) Act. It was only with the passage of the Football (Crime and Disorder) Act 1999 that individuals were caught under a specific offence, but only if they repeatedly chanted racist slurs. The changes in the criminal law, though not perfect, have led to a decline in overt racism in English football. Concurrently, efforts within football have made a clear difference. The Kick It Out campaign was born out of cooperation between groups including the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and the Football Supporters Association (FSA). The Kick It Out initiative established a set of guidelines, including preventing the circulation of far- right materials in stadia. Whilst some far-right material has been distributed in the last 20 years, and racist chanting still happens, both are in a clear decline. All of these measures, however, require good-will from prosecutors, clubs and the majority of fans, to have serious impact. Increased fines for clubs, bans for players and supporters, and perhaps most potently, point deductions, can help create incentives to stamp out overt displays of racism. If, however, we are presented with the reality of extremists once again targeting football fans, bans of those who are known to be associated with far right groups outside of football may be prudent. The fact that 500 Lazio fans congregated outside the ground to perform Nazi salutes and chant Nazi slogans strongly suggests that these individuals had already previously been banned for their behaviour, but in order to ensure they are not able to poison the wider footballing environment, measures such as those often taken in the UK – such as banning them from being within a certain distance of a football ground within a certain time period of a match – would go a long way, as would seeking an understanding from bars popular with supporters that they will be refused entry, something currently achieved with police cooperation from bars in towns with trouble-prone nightlife.

 

Only time will tell whether there is any serious prospect of reducing the influence of the apparent deeply ingrained antisemitism from, at least, hundreds of Italian football fans. However, in the UK, where Tottenham supporters’ groups stubbornly refuse to recognise the antisemitism of their use of the word “yid”, and where there are frequent displays of virulent antisemitism from opposition fans, there are also lessons to be learned. Where one group of fans uses this slur “in appreciation”, shortly after, outright antisemitic abuse comes as a reaction. The actions of those who engage in outright antisemitic abuse at football matches is obviously totally unacceptable. However, the fact that football fans abuse their own clubs’ reputations by using these epithets as a badge of honour has to be recognised as something that is taking the high amounts of emotion that are present at sporting events, and allowing this to be dumped on Jews by opposing fans. The result is a culture that is still, despite all the progress in cleaning up European, and particularly British, football since the “bad old days”, still can be fundamentally unwelcoming to Jews, where sntisemitism goes largely unpunished.”

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Paris Jewish family saved from “antisemitic” arson attack by loyal family dog

Members of a Paris Jewish family perhaps owe their lives to their vigilant dog, who saved them from an arson attack.

The family was awoken by barking in the night. When they investigated, they discovered that their front door had been set ablaze. They discovered their apartment rapidly filling with smoke.

Police say that someone had doused the door with a highly flammable liquid. The family have said they suspect a neighbour who has made antisemitic and extremist comments.

Last week the family had their car torched.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism commented that “the incident confirms BNVCA’s observation that antisemitic acts that began as targeting property belonging to Jews (synagogues, schools, community centers) or as assaults on people on the street have evolved into attacks on Jews inside their own homes”.

If further investigation confirms that this attack did have an antisemitic motive, which given the current circumstances in Paris and the targeted nature of the attack would not be surprising, it will indeed represent yet another escalation in the French capital which looks increasingly dire for the country’s Jewish community.

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Turkish “satire” shows a caricature of a Jew drinking blood, controlling world politics

Sumac, a satirical newspaper supportive of the Turkish government, has published a piece of blatantly antisemitic propaganda portraying an Orthodox Jew drinking blood and controlling world affairs.

The cartoon shows a caricature of an ultra-Orthodox Jew drinking from a teacup with the European Union flag and with the NATO symbol on his shoes. He sits opposite Donald Trump, portrayed as Caligula.

This is a classic example of an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Such conspiracy theories often portray Jews as manipulating world affairs and being “behind the scenes” of world politics. The use of conspiracy theories is commonly used to incite hatred and violence against Jewish individuals.

The two are being served what appears to be blood by Golen, a former preacher who is exiled in the USA due to his alleged involvement in the Turkish coup.

Portraying Jews as drinking blood is known as blood libel, a defamatory accusation against Jews that dates back to the Middle Ages, when Jews were accused of killing Christian children to bake matzo. It has been used to incite countless pogroms against Jews.

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Dutch football fans mock the Holocaust on Twitter using image of child victims

Fans of the Dutch football team Feyenoord have used their rivalry with Ajax as an opportunity to mock victims of the Holocaust.

A Dutch caption placed over an image of two Holocaust-era Jewish children wearing the Nazi yellow star reads “when 020 had one star”. The number is a reference to the postal code of Ajax.

Ajax has, like Tottenham Hotspur in London, a reputation of being a “Jewish” club. In the past, rival fans have been heard chanting antisemitic slogans and songs, including “Hamas Hamas, Jews to the gas”. The Antisemitism got so bad that many Jewish fans stopped attending games.

The image shows Avram (5) and Emanuel Rosenthal (2), who were both murdered by the Nazis a matter of weeks after the photograph was taken.

Another image shared on Twitter shows a warning label on a packet of cigarettes which has been made to read “smoking will kill you, so free packs for any Ajax Jew”.

Ronny Naftaniel, the executive vice chair of CEJI, described his “shock” at seeing the image, saying ““Feyenoord supporters, for once leave Jews alone if you must taunt Ajax”.

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German Left Party local chair calls his party leader a “sneaky Jew” on social media

Mekan Kolasinac, the Chairman of the German Left Party in the City of Saarlouis, has called an MP from his own party a “sneaky Jew” on Facebook.

Kolasinac called the head of the federal party,  Bernd Riexinger, a “sneaky Jew”. Describing Jews with pejoratives such as “sneaky” ties in with long-standing antisemitic canards; antisemites often accuse Jews of being duplicitous and manipulative, pulling the strings behind events. Kolasinac’s comment is not just an off-hand insult, but an expression of an insidious form of antisemitism.

Kolasinac admitted making the comment, but said that he regretted having done so, addressing his “Jewish friends” in the statement.

The Left Party is a populist left wing party that often takes an anti-Israel stance. In 2010, neo-Nazis praised members of the party, including MPs, who refused to stand for Shimon Peres. At least one MP from the Left Party, Christine Buchhloz, has supported terrorist organisations Hamas and Hezbollah as organs of “legitimate resistance”.

The post can be viewed below.

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Sustained assault on 10 year old Jewish girl at her school: an indication of a wider malaise in French society?

At the beginning of October 2017, a ten year old Jewish girl was verbally abused and beaten up so badly by her classmates, for several days in a row, because she was Jewish, that she sustained injuries to her ribs and abdomen and had to be hospitalised.

The girl is French and attended a school in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, where most of her classmates were Muslim.

The girl’s mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said, One of the schoolboys, named Ishmael, beat her after saying ‘I do not love you because you are Jewish.’ The boy also told her: not to pronounce his name Ishmael, for it is the name of a prophet.”

The mother reported the incident to France’s antisemitism watchdog, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA). Paris’s Local Education Authority confirmed to the BNVCA that they would take the incident seriously, and would transfer the girl to a school of her choice.

According to an account on 6th October 2017 by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the child’s mother added that the family had suffered a psychological shock and needed help. She said that her daughter had nightmares and was constantly afraid of being assaulted.

The CUFI article sets out what looks to be a pattern for the persecution of Jews in France:

  • An increasing number of Jewish families are moving their children from public (state) schools because of growing antisemitism from Muslims in state schools

  • In 1970 only 7,000 French children attended Jewish schools. Today, there are 35,000 Jewish children in Jewish schools in France. In addition, 35,000 Jewish children attend private Christian schools

We also learn that 40,000 French Jews have emigrated to Israel since 2006, and the exodus peaked after the attacks on Charlie Ebdo and Hyper Cacher supermarket. Approximately 10% to 35% had returned to France subsequently but it is believed that the attacks on French Jews since 2006 had acted as a catalyst.

It is suggested that there are parallels between the plight of French Jews and Jews in the UK as regards authorities’ apparent inability, (and what looks to be unwillingness in certain cases in the UK), to act to the full extent to protect their Jewish citizens from attack and punish the perpetrators of such attacks to the full extent of the law. Campaign Against Antisemitism’s latest research has shown that attacks on Jews and Jewish establishments are increasing but prosecutions are falling, and where perpetrators are prosecuted, the sentences handed down are so lenient as almost to be laughable.

At a micro level, the French 10 year old has had to leave the school whose staff had so consummately failed to keep her safe. Just last week, Everyday Antisemitism reported on a mob attack on a group of Jews who were leaving their Synagogue, the latest in a long line of examples of serious antisemitic violence. At a macro level, Jewish emigration from France is increasing, ostensibly for the same reason. Somehow, hatred of Jews has become acceptable in France and the UK to the extent that those whom Jews rely on to keep them safe seem to be almost incapable of doing so, therefore Jews are leaving.

What lessons can be learned from these events before it is too late?

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Synagogue goers in Paris reportedly attacked by mob of Muslim youths

Several members of a Synagogue in  Garges-les-Gonesse, a Paris suburb, have reportedly been attacked by a mob of around 20 Muslim youths.

The mob apparently were shouting “screw the Jews” and “Allahu Akbar”, as well as various antisemitic slurs.

At least one was armed, with eyewitnesses claiming that one used tear gas.

Several attempted to climb the wall to gain entry to the Synagogue itself.

The attackers were reportedly aged around 15 and above. The four Jews who were attacked managed to alert the police who arrived quickly, but not before the assailants had scattered, leaving them badly shaken up. The attackers are yet to be apprehended or identified.

This is yet another shocking example of the escalating antisemitism in France. Several major incidents that we have covered can be viewed here. These include the allegedly antisemitic murder of a French Jew by her Muslim neighbour, a French champion of “co-existence” calling on Hitler to “kill the Jews”, and a Jewish man having his finger sawn off by antisemitic attackers. There are also many incidents of vandalism, including “hundreds” of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery being destroyed or damaged, attempted arson of Synagogues, and many incidents which go unreported.

 

 

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50 arrested as neo-Nazis march on Yom Kippur in climate of increasing antisemitism from Left and Right

Swedish society has had a major problem which hardly ever makes the news abroad, in the shape of the rising antisemitism increasingly evident from all sections of society.  In September this year, in an article reminiscent of Campaign Against Antisemitism’s recent UK study which found that 1 in 3 of the Jews polled had considered leaving Britain because of antisemitism, Arutz Sheva reported that in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city with a population of 300,000 barely 500 Jews remain today of more than 2,000 who lived there in the 1970s.  The rest had left either for Stockholm or for Israel.  The European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights reveals that a third of the Jews of the Old Continent have stopped wearing religious symbols because of fear of attacks. From Denmark to Germany Jews are warned not to wear the Jewish kippah.  Elsewhere we read of chants in Arabic of “Death to the Jews!”  Malmo, however, seems to believe that it can deal with the problem by talking about it and argues that this is becoming successful. However, while the number of reported antisemitic hate crimes has decreased recently, Frederick Sieradzki, chair of Malmo’s Jewish community thinks that that does not tell the whole story.

“If you look at the raw statistics it can look like things are improving, but it can also be just that registered crimes are down,” he said.  And then, perhaps unwittingly, Sieradzki names the fundamental problem which faces Jews everywhere in the west, that antisemitism is becoming so normalised and embedded into the discourse that far too often it is not recognised for what it is:

“If you don’t feel like something has happened, why would you report it? That’s a problem.”

In Sweden as elsewhere in Europe, left wing antisemitism is also emerging and strengthening. In 2015 events in Umea, where a 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht was commemorated to which no Jews were invited, evidenced not only that the organisers were totally insensitive to the impact of such a decision but also a growing trend of at least minimising the importance to Swedish Jews of commemoration of the Holocaust.  Jews were not invited, according to one Jan Hägglund, a local lawmaker and member of the local (left-leaning) Workers’ Party [better known as the Social Democratic Workers’ Party (SAP), Sweden’s largest party], because the rally could “be perceived as unwelcoming or unsafe situation for them.” According to [the centrist Swedish newspaper] Norrköping Tidningar, previous rallies have included Palestinian flags and banners where the Star of David was equated with the Nazi swastika. (The reader may be forgiven for wondering at least why such displays were permitted in the first place at these events if it was believed that they would lead to Jews feeling unsafe at them).

Perhaps as a result of similar thoughtlessness and failure to apprehend or assess their impact, there are also much more recent signs of the emergence in Sweden of far right antisemitism, see here and here .   The last is particularly egregious. For all its laid-back attitude to such insult to others, it should beggar belief that Swedish officialdom should permit a Nazi rally to march past Gothenburg’s synagogue on the holiest day of the Jewish year. Following the outrage from Jewish community leaders, a court in Gothenberg  rerouted the planned neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur farther away from its synagogue.

The Gothenburg administrative court ruling concerning the 30th September march by the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement overrode the suggested route by police. The court also shortened the route, so that the Yom Kippur worshippers will not now have to encounter the neo-Nazis.

When the march went ahead, it was marked by violence between neo-Nazis and the police. Clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters led to 50 arrests, with what reports portray as quite serious clashes between the two and police, with projectiles being thrown and fireworks being ignited. Around 600 neo-Nazis marched in black body armour in a pseudo-military display of intimidation.

On our initial report on the NRM, we uncovered several explicitly neo-Nazi beliefs which are clearly directly inspired by Hitler. Similarly, the tactic of large public marches with militaristic iconography is reminiscent of early Fascism.

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French Judge finally allows antisemitic motive onto charge sheet for brutal murder of Jewish woman

The Judge conducting the hearing into the murder of Sarah Halimi has finally accepted that antisemitic motives for the attack should be added to the charge sheet.

Halimi was allegedly thrown from her apartment in April by her neighbour, who had reportedly been heard calling her a “dirty Jew”. During the investigation into her death, French Jewish groups accused the authorities of having covered up the antisemitic nature of the attack, claiming that she was “butchered for the sole and only reason that she was Jewish”.

After extensive pressure from French Jewish groups, the Judge accepted that antisemitic motives should be added to the charge sheet yesterday.

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German authorities refuse to classify attacks on Synagogue as antisemitic as Rabbi claims antisemitism is routinely downplayed

The city of Ulm, in the state of Baden-Wurtenberg, in southwestern Germany, is on the banks of the Danube. In World War II The Jews of Ulm, around 500 people, were first discriminated against and later persecuted, and their synagogue was torn down after Kristallnacht in November 1938. Baden Wurtenburg now has some 2,800 Jews who belong to the community, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

The New Synagogue in Ulm, dedicated in 2012, is a magnificent building, On 26 August and 2 September 2017, the synagogue was attacked. One or more perpetrators kicked at the building’s facade and later rammed it with a metal post, breaking through the outer wall. According to reports, repairs will cost several thousand dollars.

This alone is unconscionable. Incomprehensible however is the reaction of the local police:

On 12 September, an Ulm police spokesman said that antisemitism was “not out of the question,” but added that investigators were looking into all possibilities and that there were no suspects. This in spite of the fact that an image of a possible perpetrator carrying an object resembling a metal post was publicised on 11 September, along with a telephone number for potential witnesses to call. The photograph, which also shows two people with the man, was got from a security video camera. The police report also notes that “investigators are aware that the perpetrator and his companions were seen by witnesses shortly before and after” the incidents.

Rabbi Schneur Trebnik told the Juedische Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s Jewish weekly, that authorities routinely play down reports of antisemitic incidents, and that community members are fearful of being recognized as Jewish on the streets. (This is reminiscent of the findings of CAA’s recent Antisemitism Barometer in which 39% of the British Jews polled replied that they concealed their Judaism in public). Rabbi Trebnik said that In this case, local Jews are upset that no one who saw the attack in progress called police.

This reluctance to act against vandalism perpetrated on the New Shul in Ulm  is worrisome to say the least, but the German police’s attitude in this case seems to form part of a pattern which is depressingly familiar. In 2016, a German appeals court declined to question a lower court over its verdict that three Palestinian men who tried to set a Wuppertal synagogue on fire in 2014 were not guilty of antisemitism. The defendants had claimed they were motivated by anger at Israel and not by antisemitism and they were believed. The lower court had found that while the targeting of a synagogue was serious circumstantial evidence, it could not conclude that the act was committed out of antisemitic motives. This is ludicrous, given the ease with which the PA, Hamas et al conflate “Jews” and “Zionism”, and an obsessive negative focus on Israel can argued to evidence antisemitism regardless of the circumstances (See reference in the EUMC working definition below).

To add to the confusion, in another case in 2016 a court in Essen upheld a verdict that anti-Israel chantings of “death and hate to Zionists” at a 2014 demonstration were tantamount to antisemitism.

That confusion could easily be have been clarified by the guidance in the EUMC’s working definition of antisemitism, which includes:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”

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German Jew harassed by man asking “Can we set him on fire?”

A Jewish man in Aachen, Germany, was on his way home from prayer services at his synagogue when two men in the street began to make loud comments about his appearance.

The Jewish man was wearing a hat and suit, which the two allegedly drunk men repeatedly commented on, saying “But, oh well, look at this one – a Jew”. One of the men turned to the other and asked “Can we set him on fire? Can we set him on fire?” several times, his friend responded that he had “no idea” and told his companion to continue walking.

Though other people were present to witness this incident, nobody attempted to stop the two men.

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Jewish family beaten, tied up and robbed in their own house in antsemitic attack in Paris

Members of a prominent Parisian Jewish family were brutally beaten and held hostage in their own home on Thursday.

Three attackers allegedly broke into the house of Victor Pinto and his family, shouting “you are Jewish, you have money”.

Pinto is the President of the Siona group, which represents Sephardi Jews.

The attackers cut through the window bars of the house before cutting off the electricity in the house. They then tied up Pinto’s son and beat his wife.

Pinto was finally able to contact the police on Friday morning, whereupon the attackers fled.

The attackers are reportedly three black men in their 20s and 30s. They made off with jewellery, cash and credit cards.

The Pinto family were taken to hospital for treatment, but are unsurprisingly “extremely traumatised”.

The National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism called the attack “manifestly antisemitic”, a characterisation with which we would have to agree. This is not a mere robbery “gone wrong” as such attacks are sometimes dubbed. Instead, the family were subjected to a prolonged and violent ordeal, and were clearly identified as Jewish beforehand. They were subjected to antisemitic abuse and reportedly “threatened with death” as they were “violently beaten”.

Whilst an incident as shocking as this can unfortunately happen anywhere, it is likely to serve only to deepen the feeling that Jews are becoming unwelcome in France, and in Paris in particular, with antisemitism spiralling out of control. We await the response of the police, particularly after French Jewish groups recently claimed the authorities “whitewashed” the antisemitic character of the murder of a Jewish woman.

 

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Haredi man allegedly attacked by recent convert to Islam in Antwerp who hurled antisemitic abuse at him

Shomrim have confirmed that there is an investigation into an alleged antisemitic assault in Antwerp.

A Haredi man was walking home from his Synagogue after the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night when he was accosted by a man who is reportedly a recent convert to Islam.

The assailant allegedly hurled antisemitic abuse at him and punched him in the face, leaving him requiring medical treatment.

The police arrived promptly and arrested the man, who is now under investigation.

Jewish institutions in Antwerp require extra police protection due to the high probability of antisemitic attacks. The image for this article, showing a Haredi man cycling in Antwerp as an armed guard watches on, was not taken on Shabbat.

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Antisemitic graffiti in Birmingham, UK, claims that Jews are “starving” people with “their food prices”

Antisemitic graffiti has been found on Moseley Road in Birmingham, on the junction with Edward Road.

The graffiti reads “Jews r starving us with their food prices”.

Whilst instances of antisemitic graffiti are unfortunately very common, and often seem quite insignificant, this is a particularly nasty antisemitic sentiment. Not only is it is a clear expression of long-standing antisemitic canards which accuse Jews of controlling international business, it is also vaguely reminiscent of blood libel in portraying such a conspiracy as being directed towards “starving” non-Jews.

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Berlin Mayor refuses to stop fundraiser for Palestinian terrorists at Socialist Newspaper’s offices

According to the Berlin daily, Der Tagesspiegel, a fundraiser for the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was held on July 11 in Berlin. The Mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller, who has been publicly accused of being soft on antisemitism and terrorism, ignited a firestorm for allowing the fundraiser to proceed.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Director of Nazi War Crime Research, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Israel told the Jerusalem Post:”PFLP should be banned from staging events anywhere in the world.”

Zuroff also stated: “The Mayor should have said he found this offensive. The PFLP has murdered innocent civilians in many places.” The military wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, takes pride in launching Sumud rockets from the Gaza strip, which are aimed at the Israeli town of Sderot.

The Democratic Committee for Palestine reportedly held the fundraiser in the publishing house of the socialist newspaper, Neus Deutschland (New Germany).

The PFLP, who supports the destruction of Israel, is known for suicide bombings, plane hijackings, and targeted murders. And one of those tragic murders included the 2001 assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zee’evi.

But this is not the first fundraiser in Germany for the PFLP. At the University of Hamburg, a guest professor from South Africa, BDS supporter, Farid Esack, invited his “comrade”, the PFLP terrorist, Leila Khaled, to a fundraiser for the PFLP in 2015. Khaled is the world’s first female plane hijacker.

Not surprisingly, Esack’s actions were widely condemned. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, in an article in the Jerusalem Post said: “A person who is sponsoring an unrepentant terrorist is hardly a person who should be educating German students.” And Zuroff, who added that “BDS is antisemitism” certainly has the support of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democratic party declared BDS to be antisemitic at a party congress in 2016.

But just like BDS, fundraisers for terrorists in Germany are not banned. However, making a Nazi salute is banned. And, on August 4, two unnamed male tourists from China found out about this law the hard way, when they were arrested by Berlin police for snapping cellphone photos of each other giving Nazi salutes, in front of the Reichstag, the seat of the lower house of the German Parliament.

Obviously, saluting Hitler is abhorrent behavior, and it is understandable why the German government, given the horrors of Germany’s past, are happy to set this limit on free speech, and punish those who celebrate, even symbolically, Hitler’s barbaric regime.

But reason also dictates that raising money for terrorists, so that they can buy weapons and kill innocent people, is clearly a greater threat to the 82 million people living in Germany than a raised arm.

However, given the tragic terrorist attacks that Germany has suffered, officials, to their credit, do not whitewash the potential terrorist threats that the country is still facing. The BfV, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, released its annual report in 2016. Tragically, the document reveals that Radical Islam is alive and well.

The numbers: There are 24,400 Islamists, 10,OOO Salafists, Sunni Muslims who believe that the German Constitution must be replaced by sharia law, and 10,000 members of the Turkish Islamist Milliu Gorus.

In addition, there are 680 potential Islamist threats influenced by Salafist ideology.

BvF also confirmed that hundreds of “jihadists” entered the country when one million migrants entered Germany during the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

According to Hans-Georg Maassen, who heads the BfV, “we must expect further attacks by individuals or terrorist groups.”

Maasen explained:”Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing BfV and we see it as one of the biggest security threats facing the internal security of Germany”.

But there is progress. Maassen told reporters that Germany has “dramatically stepped up its efforts to combat Islamist militancy, with a record number of arrests, prosecutions, and departures over the past year”, Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizere told the press.

But that statement leads to this question: Since Germany’s commitment to defeat terrorism is beyond dispute, why is it legal to raise money for terrorists? And what does that mean for German Jews?.

The answer, which has existed for thousands of years is, of course, antisemitism. Daniel Killy told the Jerusalem Post that Germany’s Jews are faced with antisemitism that is caused by “a combination of extreme right wing forces, deteriorating security, and [Germany’s] welcoming of refugees brought up in cultures ‘steeped in hatred’ for Jews”.

Of the 118,000 Jews in Germany, 2,500 of them live in the city of Hamburg, where Killy is the leader of the Jewish community.

“We no longer feel safe here,” Killy stated.

All eyes on Germany.

 

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Spanish “solidarity” marchers blame Israel for Barcelona terror attack

RTVE, the Spanish National broadcaster, has reported that a march took place following the Barcelona terrorist attack, in which marchers showed their solidarity and defiance against terrorism.

However, as is the standard fare whenever there is a terrorist attack, there is always somebody waiting to blame Israel.  Several people were pictured marching with a large banner that said “Israeli Secret Intelligence Service” (ISIS), used to suggest that ISIS is being controlled by the Israeli government.

This is a classic antisemitic conspiracy theory; according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Furthermore, according to the Definition, “antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong””. Such responses are incredibly common whenever there is a terrorist attack, showing that whenever something goes wrong, the Jews will provide antisemites with an easy scapegoat.

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American tourist performs Nazi salute in Germany, is beaten by passer-by in response

A 41-year-old American tourist has been beaten up by a passer-by after performing a Nazi salute in the German city of Dresden.

The man was leaving a bar, and was reportedly extremely inebriated, when he performed the Nazi salute.

A passer-by took offence to this and beat him, injuring him lightly.

Displays of Nazi imagery or gestures are illegal under German law, and the man is now under investigation by the police. Whilst a fine is the most common outcome for a first offence, if convicted he could potentially serve time in jail.

Last week, two Chinese tourists were arrested and fined for performing Nazi salutes outside the Reichstag, before being allowed to leave the country with their tour group.

 

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Swedish anti-Israel protestors chant antisemitic Quran verse, as event organisers claim it was just criticism of Israel

A march organised by the Swedish-Palestinian Centre in Helsingborg descended into blatant antisemitism, as marchers allegedly chanted a classic Islamic antisemitic tirade.

Anti-Israel marchers allegedly used the phrase “sons of apes and pigs” in connection with Jewish individuals.

The phrase is derived from an infamous antisemitic Sura, which describes Allah turning Jews into apes and pigs. Whilst the traditional interpretations of these verses were generally less unfavourable to Jews, the phrase has become a mainstay of Islamic antisemitism.

The Jewish Community of Northwest Skåne (Judiska Församlingen i Nordvästra Skåne)  has launched an investigation into the event, and has submitted a complaint to the police. They have claimed that this rhetoric was directed against Jewish individuals, with their chair Josefin Thorell commenting:

“We can see that there are elements in these protests that are worrying and serious because they contain antisemitic insults and antisemitic claims in combination with a violent rhetoric, in a really unfortunate way”

However, the event organisers have claimed that the chant was simply directed against the Israeli state. Regardless of whether this is the case, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Furthermore, the fact that reports indicate that the chants were in fact directed against counter-protesters, who happened to be Jewish, makes a mockery of the claim that this was mere criticism of Israel; instead, the alleged comments clearly would involve the use of inherently antisemitic rhetoric against Jews for their beliefs.

A further investigation into the organisers found that they had previously posted antisemitic content on Facebook, including claiming that Jews would leave Israel “half naked, without anything”, eventually leading to their page being shut down by Facebook.

The police have since launched an investigation.

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Holocaust denying ex-monk calls upon nationalists to destroy Holocaust memorial in Greece, calls Jews “dogs”

Father Kleomenis, an excommunicated monk, uploaded a video of himself in the city of Larissa, Greece, making various antisemitic comments, including denying the holocaust and asking “patriotic organisations” to transport a bulldozer so as to destroy a Holocaust memorial.

In the video, one can hear Kleomenis saying: “six million we read here! Fairy tales…. Shit on their faces, Hitler merely exterminated 600,000”. He can then be heard shouting, “Damn your filthy monuments!”.

He describes the Jewish community as being full of “Jew-ism (sic), curses and anathema”, calling Jews “dogs” and “Jew-dog worms”. He proceeds to smash an egg on the monument.

He then tells nationalists to “rise up” and destroy the monument.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece released a statement, in which it was stated that the monument was the first of its kind erected in Greece, and went on to condemn the situation stating, “Shame and indignation is what is felt when one realises what occurred in Larissa.”

On the same day flyers containing antisemitic content were scattered around the memorial and in the plaza of the Jewish Martyrs of Larissa as a result of which the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece has asked the relevant authorities that the author be detained and “brought to justice.”

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Worshippers spat at, verbally abused after leaving Nuremberg Synagogue

Three worshippers outside the Nuremberg Synagogue were spat at on Friday after leaving the Kabbalat Shabbat service.

At least one of the victims was recognisably Jewish as he was still wearing his Kippah. However, the three were only a few metres from the entrance of the Synagogue.

They were spat at from a residential building, and some verbal abuse was shouted. At least two of them were hit.

The perpetrator is yet to be apprehended, despite the incident having taken place from a residential building.

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Study shows German teachers concerned that radical Islam is leading to growing antisemitism in schools

A small study into the impact of Salafism, an ideology within Sunni Islam that has often been identified as a source of radicalism, upon schools in Berlin, has found that the ideology may be leading to increased antisemitism and homophobia.

The research from American Jewish Committee, which surveyed a small number of teachers, found that many were concerned about increasing amounts of antisemitic abuse, with the word “Jew” being frequently used as an insult.  However, it is important to note that the study only asks the teachers whether they have perceived an increase in antisemitism

The word “Jew” is not just being used to refer to Jewish students, but is reportedly being turned into a catch-all slur used to target women, homosexuals and secular Muslims.

Deidre Berger of the AJC said that the research illustrated that the problem was no longer limited to a few incidents. Several months ago, we reported that a Jewish boy was forced out of his Berlin school following several months of antisemitic bullying, and we suggested at the time that the evidence pointed to a growing and widespread problem of antisemitism in German schools.

Ahmad Mansour, a Psychologist, said that the problem was not limited to just the use of the word Jew, saying “it’s also about conspiracy theories and about an interpretation of Islam in which all Jews are considered enemies”.  Others have claimed that Antisemitism is extremely prevalent within Salafism.

Unless the German government takes serious steps to ensuring that schools are tackling antisemitism, and giving assurances to teachers and parents that all complaints of antisemitism are taken seriously, regardless of the source, then the situation will be dire for Jewish students in the country. With many parents already withdrawing their children and placing them in Jewish schools, action must be taken quickly before confidence is lost in the school system’s ability to protect Jewish students.

 

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Ukrainian neo-Nazi youths embarrassed as they are made to clean Swastika graffiti in front of crowd of dozens

Three young people in the Ukrainian city of Lviv were caught by a passerby painting Swastika graffiti on a Jewish monument in Struibriskia Street.

The passerby apprehended and detained the youths until the police arrived. The police then made them remove the graffiti in front of a crowd of dozens that had formed, who watched them remove it.

The image released of the young men, as well as their alleged actions, show that they are most probably neo-Nazi skinheads, with all with shaved heads, and at least one in a polo shirt, military-style clothing and black boots.

What is most encouraging is that in Ukraine, a country which has seen a disturbing increase in antisemitism in recent years, someone was willing to stand up to these three, with the crowd seemingly revelling in them being made to clean up their handiwork.

The three were subsequently arrested.

Sadly on the night of  June 20th, there was a further incident of vandalism on a local Synagogue, with the perpetrators being captured on CCTV.

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Czech Nationalists “blame the Jews” for country’s problems, as rising far-right party stands Holocaust denier in regional elections

The Olanška Hotel in Prague hosted a conference on 3 July named “Are you safe, Czech Republic?”, organized by the  far right “Safety, Responsibility, Solidarity” movement (Bezpečnost Odpovědnost Solidarita).

Anti-immigration, BOS has ties to the Order of the Nation party, which has growing support in the poorest regions and a presence on Facebook as Rad Naroda. About 150 people attended the conference, former army personnel present among them. Although anti-Muslim and anti-immigration activities are on the BOS agenda, there were cries of  “We blame the Jews, we had a bad experience with the Jews here. Why do they bring them over here? We want the Czechs only over here.” This was reported in the Czech online daily newspaper Aktualne.cz.

Standing for Rad Naroda in this year’s regional elections is former actor and Holocaust denier Jiří Maria Sieber, whose CV includes baiting Roma people resident in the Czech Republic

Headquarters of Rad Naroda are located in a Prague villa, which belongs to the Russian Embassy. Joseph Zickler, leader of the nationalist party, says this is merely coincidental.

 

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Neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action active in Feltham, London

Stickers from the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation National Action have been spotted in Feltham.

National Action was officially proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, following pressure from Campaign Against Antisemitism. This means that under the Terrorism Act, it is illegal to recruit for, be a member of or express support for the group, which includes displaying its symbols.

The stickers say “White Zone”, and feature an image of a man with his face covered performing a Nazi salute. National Action has previously declared areas of Liverpool to be “Nazi-controlled zones“.

The stickers were found outside Burger King and Pizza Hut in Feltham, but it is unknown whether there are others. An image of one of the stickers was released in a Facebook group, to near-universal condemnation of the neo-Nazi activity from local residents, though one suggested that they were put there by “people you’d least expect”, implying that this was a kind of “false flag” by people who are opposed to the group.

It is not currently known whether this indicates a growing presence of National Action in the area, but it appears to mirror tactics used in areas such as Liverpool where they eventually became quite prominent.

The police have been notified.

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Attempted arson attack At Ukrainian Synagogue follows threatening Antisemitic graffiti

A firebomb was hurled at a Synagogue in the Ukrainian City of Lviv, according to reports from the local media.

The firebomb was thrown at the Synagogue on June 30th. It missed the window and burned out on the exterior of the building, lightly damaging the exterior, but thankfully not harming the interior of the building or anyone inside it.

The firebomb attack follows antisemitic graffiti appearing on another building belonging to the local Jewish community. This graffiti read “down with Jewish power” and “remember July 1st”, a reference to a large pogrom in Kielce, Poland, in 1946. July 1st was the date when a Polish boy went missing in Kielce, something that was later blamed on the small Jewish community, a group of around 200 Holocaust survivors, around 40 of whom were then murdered.

Whilst it is often easy to write off antisemitic graffiti, which is remarkably common, an incident such as this demonstrates how antisemitic graffiti is a warning that more serious incidents are possible as antisemitism is allowed to flourish. Thankfully nobody was hurt in these incidents, but with antisemitism steadily on the increase in the Ukraine, with far-right ultra-Nationalist groups growing, the risk of further serious incidents appears to be very high.

 

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French ultra-Nationalist arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate Macron wanted to kill “Blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals”

Last week, an individual who described himself as a, “right-wing nationalist” was arrested on charges relating to an alleged planned assassination of President Emmanuel Macaron during the Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 14th.

The suspect was reported convicted in 2016 of inciting terrorism.

RMC, a French radio station reported that the individual who is a resident of Argenteuil, a small town near to Paris was charged with terrorist offences. The individual in question was traced based on inflammatory comments made on an online chat he had participated in. The man described himself as a ‘nationalist’, and a proponent of extreme right ideology now commonly described as the “alt-right”.

In RMC’s report, it is stated that the detainee had used the online chat room to express his desire to obtain an AK 47. He was reported to the authorities by other online users. When the police arrived to arrest him, he allegedly threatened them with a knife.

The radio station further reported that during his interrogation, the detainee admitted to wanting to kill, “Blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals” in a shocking confession of blatant racism and anti-Semitism. Police sources confirmed the radio’s statement, affirming that “His plot was vague, but he made it clear that he wanted to attack minorities.” It is speculated that the individual was inspired by previous mass shootings, such as the Columbine High School massacre, a tragic event which took place in 1999.

Allegedly the detainee described himself as “mentally unstable”, although this has yet to be confirmed by a medical body.

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Youths arrested for desecrating “hundreds” of tombs in historic Jewish cemetery in France

Five youths were arrested in Alsacia for the desecration of hundreds of tombs in the Jewish cemetery of Sarre-Union, France.

The youths, understood to be between the ages of 15 and 17, allegedly destroyed or damaged 250 out of the 400 tombs found in the cemetery, many of which were constructed in the 18th century. In the majority of cases, the tombstones were knocked to the floor, several of which were broken in the process. Additionally, they wrecked a monument raised at the entrance of the cemetery, dedicated to the remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Those who were arrested had no prior convictions, and the police took to investigating,
“what on earth was going through their minds” to commit such a crime.

The five youths allegedly carried out the antisemitic act during the week. However, it wasn’t until the weekend that the desecration of the cemetery was discovered. The group, even the younger members, face a possible sentence of six years in prison.

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French Jewish groups suggest that police “covered up” antisemitic motive of Sarah Halimi’s murder

An umbrella organisation of Jewish Communities in France has suggested that the Police “covered up” the antisemitic nature of Sarah Halini’s murder.

Halini was allegedly thrown to her death after having been beaten by her neighbour in April. Witnesses heard the alleged attacker shout “Allahu Ackbar” before she was killed, and Halini’s daughter claims that the man,  Kobili Traore, a 27-year-old neighbour, had called her a “dirty Jew” in the past.

A statement from the group asked “the murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” – using a term used to refer to the protection of accomplices by the Mafia – “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?”

The President of the group, Francis Kalifat, has previously commented that “there is evidence that this is a textbook case of an anti-Semitic murder but it is being covered up by an ‘omerta’ and this heinous crime has not been recognized for what it is”. He continued to say that Halini was “butchered for the sole and only reason that she was Jewish”. It is extremely worrying that the police has appeared unwilling to explore the possibility that this was an antisemitic attack, and has seemingly refused to engage openly with a very concerned Jewish community.

There is also growing concern that Halini’s death could have been prevented by the police, who arrived on the scene long before Halini was allegedly pushed to her death, yet refused to enter the building without a specialist team. There were, according to the family, “at least” thirty minutes when the police were present, Halini was being “tortured” by her attacker, and the police failed to act.

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Police interrupt man allegedly attempting to set French Synagogue ablaze

Police in Epinay Sur Seine, a suburb of Paris, have allegedly caught a man who was in the process of setting a Synagogue on fire.

The alleged attempted arson occurred on the 24th of June. The suspect had pushed several bins against the Synagogue and had lit them on fire, but was interrupted by the police.

The Synagogue and adjacent buildings were damaged by the flames, but not severely.

Representatives from the Jewish community have praised the Police for their swift action, but unfortunately this is just another example of the increasing antisemitism in France.

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Germany: statues of Jewish sporting heroes who were persecuted by the Nazis destroyed

Police in Frankfurt have launched an investigation after commemorative statues of two Jewish sporting heroes were destroyed in successive nights over the past weekend.

Statues of Lilli Henoch and Walther Bensemann, two German-Jewish sporting heroes in the 1930s who were persecuted by the Nazis, were removed from their pedestals and destroyed with “extreme violence”, according to Fritz Backhaus of the city’s Jewish museum.

Lilli Henoch, a track and field athlete, was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 in Riga Ghetto, Latvia. Walter Bensemann, a footballer, escaped to Switzerland following Hitler’s rise to power, where he died in 1934.

The statues were erected in multiple cities in Germany to commemorate Jewish athletes who were persecuted by the Nazis from 1933 onwards.

The police say they have no leads, but the fact that these figures were targeted strongly suggests that this is indeed an antisemitic incident.

 

 

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Graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews desecrated in Germany

Several graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews were desecrated between Wednesday and Thursday last week in Südwestkirchhof, Stahnsdorf, Germany.

Among the graves desecrated was the family grave of Joachim Gottschalk, who famously refused to be separated from his Jewish wife and their son by the Nazi government. The family committed suicide in 1941 after a campaign of intimidation by the Nazis. Slurs were apparently written on the grave site.

A commemorative plaque to resistance fighters who fought against the Nazis was also destroyed. As well as this, a plaque commemorating the resistance fighter Richard Huttig, who was executed by the Nazis, was damaged.

Decorations on a grave of a Jewish family were also damaged.

Despite the damaged graves being clearly linked, being obvious targets for antisemites and neo-Nazis, the administrators of the cemetery are not treating it as an antisemitic incident and the police have refused to say whether they will do so or not. If this is, as we suspect, the result of neo-Nazi activity, it represents not only one example of resurgent far-right extremism, but also an example of the growing prominence of WWII-era-style Nazism and ultra-Nationalism, not based purely on racism and antisemitism, but instead with a genuine reverence for Nazi politics and Nazi figures and collaborators. This ideology has been increasingly visible in Europe.

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Italian MP bemoans “Zionist influence” on Press, calls Zionism “synonymous with racism”

Manlio Di Stefano, the 36-year-old head of the Five Star Movement’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has made antisemitic comments about “Zionist influence” on the media.

Di Stefano posted the comments on his Facebook page, protesting Italy’s vote in favour of Israel at UNESCO.

The Five Star Movement is a populist and anti-establish political party in Italy.

Di Stefano claimed that in supporting Israel, Italy “became a partner of the damage that  Israel is causing to ancient monuments that UNESCO cannot protect because of the Israeli occupation and the blockade of Gaza that UNESCO has asked to remove”. He continued to say that Zionism is “synonymous with racism”. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” is antisemitic.

In his comments, he then listed the names of several Jewish journalists, citing them as being sources of “Zionist Influence in Italian Media”. The idea of “Zionists” influencing the media is an unapologetic use of a common antisemitic canard of Jews controlling the media, which is common in antisemitic conspiracy theories. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, it is antisemitic to use “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis”. However, beyond this, the targeting of individual Jewish journalists, as opposed to the general statement, is somewhat more insidious and more worrying, and provides an illustration of how the harbouring antisemitic views spills over into direct attacks against individual Jews.

Parliamentary sources have reportedly confirmed that this incident is likely to spoil Di Stefano’s chances of securing a more senior position.

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Hague politician calls group of Israeli students “future child killers”

Abdoe Khoulani, a politician in an Islamic Interest Party in the Hague, Netherlands, has attracted criticism for antisemitic comments made about Israeli students.

The students were visiting another Party’s Parliamentary faction. Reacting to the visit on his Facebook, Khoulani described the students as “future child killers and Zionist terrorists in the making”.

Whilst he insisted that the accusations of antisemitism made towards him were “defamatory” and that he was merely “talking about Zionism”, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Clearly, accusing Israeli students of being future child killers constitutes a barely-updated modern form of blood libel and is inherently antisemitic.

The CJO, a federation of Jewish communal bodies in the country, described Khoulani as a “man of criminal opinions” and condemned his post.

Khoulani is also facing legal action for politician Anneke Brons over misogynistic comments he allegedly made about her.

 

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Jewish students in Austria seeking legal action against student leaders who mocked Holocaust

Benjamin Hess, President of the Union of Jewish Austrian University Students, the main representative group for Jewish students in Austria, has revealed that the organisation will be seeking legal action after two secret groups were revealed to have contained worrying antisemitic rhetoric.

The Facebook group “FVJUS Men’s Collective” and the Whatsapp group “Badass warlords” both contained antisemitism. They included pictures of a pile of ashes captioned “Leaked Anne Frank nudes!” and a picture of Hitler with the caption “Hey. I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s your number…So Auschwitz, maybe?”

There is also a picture of Hitler with the caption “you can’t be racist if there is no other race”, clearly making light of the attempts to exterminate non-“Aryans”.

A gallery of some of the content, which also includes misogynistic and Islamophobic rhetoric, can be viewed here.

Benjamin Hess said that the content should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.

Most worryingly, many of the group’s participants were student leaders, notably student leaders of the Conservative Austrian People’s Party at the University of Vienna, where Hess is a student. The CAPP are a centre-right party in Austria, but many of the nation’s future leaders will come through the ranks of the University of Vienna.

Following student elections, Hess said that he was “shocked” that the people in question had not lost their seats as a result of their bigoted discourse. Despite a demonstration involving 200 people, the University of Vienna seems to have taken no serious action against the culprits. It is however very encouraging to see people turn out to show solidarity with Jewish students.

Hess commented that “this scandal goes beyond just the students, because it is known that participation in the students’ union and the Conservative student party is the first step to a larger career. These people go on to be the country’s leaders”.

Whilst the content in the group may have been made without malicious intent, it demonstrates a lack of concern for rising antisemitism and the experiences of Jewish and other minority students. More worrying is the failure of the University to take disciplinary action and the re-election of the students involved, both of which communicate to all involved that antisemitism is an acceptable part of academic life.

 

 

 

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UK: “Appalling” antisemitic graffiti found in alleyway in Cheltenham

Antisemitic graffiti has been discovered in an alleyway in Cheltenham.

The graffiti was reported two days ago, and includes two swastikas as well as an offensive phrase which appears to be something like “F*ck the Jews”, but the first word has been censored. It thus could conceivably be considerably worse (i.e. an instance of incitement).

Gloucestershire Live commented that the fact that sexual innuendo was found near to the antisemitic graffiti perhaps indicated that the graffiti was the “work of young people, who may not fully understand their extreme offence”. However, the fact that they are clearly aware enough to associate the Swastika with the hatred of Jews perhaps indicates otherwise.

The Community Security Trust also commented:

“In context, this may well be something between youths, but it is still troubling as to why someone should want to use a swastika, which is a notorious racist hate symbol.”

“Those using the swastika must at least know the basics of what it means, otherwise why else would they use it?”

The chairman of Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation, Jenny Silverstone, also commented on the incident, saying:

“The police in Gloucestershire are very supportive and we have every confidence in them to deal with this and every confidence that the people of Cheltenham will reject such messages of hate.”

“It is dispiriting that this continues. It never quite goes away and it’s hard to tell you how it makes me feel when you see or hear about this. But there are so many good people around that it’s them I have to turn to raise my spirits”

Last year, we reported that a 59-year-old resident of Cheltenham was flying the Nazi and confederate flags in his garden, despite insisting that he is not racist.

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Ukrainian General calls to “destroy” Jews, saying “go to hell K*kes”

Vasily Vovk, a retired general in Ukraine who still holds a senior rank in the security services, has posted a particular virulent antisemitic rant on his Facebook, which has since been deleted.

He wrote that Ukrainian Jews “aren’t Ukrainians and I will destroy you”. He also threatened to “destroy” a senior Jewish lawmaker.

“I’m telling you one more time – go to hell, zhidi [kikes], the Ukrainian people have had it to here with you” he continued.

He also said that “Ukraine must be governed by Ukrainian”.

These represent some of the most ugly antisemitic attitudes imaginable. Not only is him singling out a Ukrainian lawmaker alongside Jews an indication that he believes that Jews have been wielding influence over politics, as well as his statement that Ukrainians “have had it to here with you”, but also his statement that Jews aren’t Ukrainians is reminiscent of both the worst of medieval persecutions, and of Nazism.

We have been at the forefront of documenting the rising antisemitism in Ukraine, which has involved a revival of ultra-Nationalism which reveres many figures who collaborated with the Nazis, attacks upon Jews, Jewish religious sites, and those who defend the rights of Jews, and pressure from nationalists resulting in criminal proceedings being brought against a Jewish war hero who killed Nazis.

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Danish Imam: “fight the Jews and kill them” to bring on “Judgement day”

Jewish communal leaders have filed a complaint after a Copenhagen Imam allegedly suggested that Muslims should “kill” Jews in a video.

Imam Mundhir Abdallah, who preaches in Norrebro, Copenhagen, allegedly claimed that “Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them”, quoting a Hadith. The statement was made in Arabic and was translated by MEMRI. He went on to quote the infamous statement about Jews hiding behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees calling out to Muslims that there is a Jew behind them so that they can be slaughtered.

He also spoke of “liberating” Al-Aqsa Mosque from the “filth of the Zionists” and spoke of a Caliphate waging war against the “Jewish”, not “Zionist”, “entity”.

Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, a communal head of the Jewish communities in Denmark, has called on police to open a criminal investigation for incitement, saying “we fear that weak and easily-influenced persons could interpret this kind of preaching as an appeal to visit acts of violence or terror on Jews”. However, reaching such a meaning seems not to require a strained interpretation at all. Instead, this comes across as the Imam calling the murder of Jews a religious duty, and indeed glorifying it.

 

 

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Holocaust memorial desecrated with Nazi imagery in Ukraine amidst rising antisemitism

A Holocaust memorial in Chernivtsi, in the South-West of Ukraine, was desecrated last night.

A post on Facebook shows an image of the memorial with the numbers 14/88. These are a code for the 14 words, a neo-Nazi mantra about preserving the Aryan race, and “Heil Hitler”.

There is also a Swastika and the SS logo.

Everyday Antisemitism has been documenting a resurgence of antisemitism in Ukraine, driven by Nationalist groups which have glorified Nazi collaborators, attempted to prosecute elderly Jewish war heroes and physically attacking Jews and those who defend them in the streets. Last month, far-right extremists chanted “Jews out” as they celebrated the birthday of a Nazi collaborator.

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Berlin’s March For Science sees Holocaust deniers and antisemitic conspiracy theorists march unchallenged

RIAS (Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism) Incident Report Central Berlin, 22nd April 2017.

Blatant Antisemitism, Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists on Berlin’s March for Science

On Saturday, April 22, several thousand people participated in the “March for Science Berlin”. A group of four people displayed placards and distributed antisemitic leaflets concerning Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories. For example, on one flier, the German World War II debts and the Holocaust are questioned along with conspiracy theories about climate change and the September 11 suicide attacks. Jews were also targeted as having a financial influence over Hollywood, the press, pornography and the internet. There were depictions of the alleged power of “Bilderberg” and other groups are referred to within the fliers as “evidence-based facts – free from any ideology!”. One of the group of four was known to have already carried a quotation on a placard from the right-wing extremist Horst Mahler, at a peace demonstration in October last year: “The history of the Holocaust is a story full of lies”. Further, a known regular antisemite, Usama Z., attended the demonstration and regularly displays conspiracy-theory placards with antisemitic content.

Image may contain: 3 people

The above placard reads: We want evidence-based science-based opinion-forming!
This applies in particular to the following subjects: Earth and human history; War crimes of World Wars 1 and 2; The Legal status of the FRG; (Federal Republic of Germany), Holocaust;
Climate change; 9/11; Terrorism; Power structures; The Press. There are no alternatives to facts!

Image may contain: 6 people

The above placard reads: We want a factual analysis of the contents of so-called conspiracy theories, instead of a general defamation of so-called conspiracy theorists!
There are no alternatives to the facts!

A non-profit Berlin-based organisation, “The Golden Tin-Foil Hat”, (GTFH), was also present at the march. This organisation regularly attends such gatherings, distributing leaflets and offering help and advice in countering Holocaust denial, extremism, conspiracy theories and sects. They challenged the March for Science organisers on the GTFH facebook page. The March for Science organisers stated that antisemitism was a matter for the police not them, to which the GTFH asked why then were only GTFH members challenged by March for Science (MfS) stewards and not the blatant peddlers of antisemitism and conspiracy theories? The conversation continued such that MfS agreed to be more vigilant and the GTFH team offered to act in an advisory capacity at future marches.

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Greek Orthodox Bishop spreads myth of Jewish world domination after being withdrawn from Jerusalem visit

Bishop Seraphim, a Greek Orthodox Bishop, has used his position to spout antisemitic conspiracy theories and declare his religion’s opposition to “Zionist” world domination.

Angered by a decision to replace him with another bishop on a trip to Israel for the Easter Festival of the Holy Fire.

Seraphim proceeded to blame Israel for blocking his visit and then pontificated about the evils of Zionism.

He said that Orthodox Christianity stood against Zionism, “especially against the wing of Zionism that seeks world domination”.

He accused other Christian denominations of being pro-Jewish, and accused Jews of using freemasonry to infiltrate governments.

He also quoted from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, from which many antisemitic myths around alleged Jewish attempts at world domination originate. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is Antisemitic, although it seems like he also spoke directly and unequivocally about Jews, too.

He is facing a lawsuit for his statements from the Greek Helsinki Monitor.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece released the following statement:

“Once again, we are not surprised with the new delirium of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Piraeus, Seraphim, published on the official webpage of the Archdiocese of Piraeus,” the community said in a statement. “Despite his earnest efforts to dismantle the accusations of antisemitism, in his lengthy writings he refers to antisemitism as anti-Zionism, using well known antisemitic stereotypes, conspiracy theories and traditional Jew-hating attitudes, in order to be characterised not as antisemite but as anti-Zionist.”

“We believe that his statements are not compatible with the status of an official of the Greek Orthodox Church, a Church that evokes love and solidarity, neither with the status of a state official who is obliged to remain loyal to the Constitution and the laws of the Greek State”

“We are certain that His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos (patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church) will agree that the hate campaign against the Jewish people is incompatible with the principles and the history of the Greek Orthodox Church.”

“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece kindly asks His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos and the Hierarchs of the Church of Greece to isolate the extreme racist and antisemitic views circulating within the Church, which poison Greek society and undermine the harmonious co-existence of all Greek citizens, regardless of gender, skin colour or religion”

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“There is a Jew here” – threatening note, Swastika left at home of Israeli dignitary in Italy

Major correction: the graffiti pictured was of a more serious nature than we had originally appreciated. It translates to – “be a patriot, kill a Jew”. This is thus not just an instance of intimidation, but of incitement to violence. The oversight was due to a lack of a translator and having to rely on an intermediate source.

Luigi De Santis, an honourary Israeli consul in the Italian City of Bari, has reported threatening antisemitic vandalism at his house in the city.

The words “There is a Jew here, too” were scrawled on his property, on what appears to be a front door. A Swastika is worked into the message.

Another note said “Jewish also here” with a crucifix.

He apparently found a similar note in his post a few days ago.

These persistent incidents amount to antisemitic harassment, and the use of a cross and a Swastika to target a Jew is an example of the most stark and obvious Christian-European Antisemitism which is often incorrectly written off as no longer existing.

The language used appears quite threatening, as if to remind De Santis that the vandal knows where he lives and knows that he is Jewish.

The police are investigating.

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Anti-Zionist attempts to set pro-Israel campaigner on fire in Berlin

The Berlin Police are conducting a manhunt after a pro-Israel marcher faced an attempt to set her on fire early this week at a march to commemorate Israeli soldiers who have been killed in combat, and terror victims.

The attack happened when the woman, a German-Israeli citizen, was wearing an Israel flag over her shoulders. The assailant allegedly attempted to set the flag ablaze, but given that the victim was wearing the flag, this is more than just a case of property damage or arson, themselves criminal acts, and is instead a clear attempted act of violence.

Despite the attack, the woman wishes to continue pro-Israel activism.

A physical attack on a person for merely displaying the Israeli flag, the flag of the country where half of the world’s Jews live, is clearly antisemitic, as it is a case of “applying double standards” to the State of Israel that are not applied to any other nation.

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Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Sweden on May Day to “regain power from the… Zionist elite”

Several hundred members of the neo-Nazi group “Nordic Resistance Movement” were allowed to march through the Swedish town of Falun on May Day.

May Day is an ancient European festival which was selected as the “International Workers Day” in the Second International, and has ever since been associated with Left-Wing Politics. However, the neo-Nazi group were allowed to march in a formal manner through the streets, with police looking on. They were opposed by anti-Fascist protesters.

Karl-Erik Pettersson, a local social Democrat, said it “is horrendous and a threat to our democracy that a party that does not stand for the equal rights of all people is given an opportunity to be seen on this day meant for the labour movement. But our parade will be bigger than ever”.

The group is explicitly antisemitic and neo-Nazi. One of its leaders ended a speech calling on “nordic” people to rise up, and proceeded to shout “Hail Victory”.

The group has as its stated aims regaining “power from the global Zionist elite”, the forced deportation of all non-Europeans and to “racially assess” all those who came to Sweden after 1975. They claim that the “Jewish owned media” is responsible for immigration and that “Jewish racism” has been a constant since the Biblical era. A whole section of their manifesto is devoted to “Zionists”, and describes Jews as controlling world finance, describes Jews as “parasites” – borrowing, unsurprisingly, directly from Nazi propaganda, and vows to “topple” this “world order” which is portrayed as almost exclusively Jewish. They also identify “Zionism” with a “decadent” system, which is a variant on a common antisemitic canard that Jews attempt to turn cultures towards decadence and away from traditional values. Throughout the manifesto, Jews are portrayed as the roots of all the “problems” identified by the group, such as the dominance of finance, immigration, a decadent culture, and the mass media.

Ironically, this blatant neo-Nazi propaganda is interrupted at one point to proclaim that “not all Jews are Zionists and…there are Jews who stand against the Zionist endeavour for power”, which shows that even neo-Nazis who advocating racial screening in order to deport those who are not racially “pure” enough for them think they can cover their antisemitism if they purport to merely be attacking “Zionists”. Despite this, throughout their manifesto, the group employs some of the most recognisable antisemitic stereotypes from Nazi propaganda.

They also support a pan-Nordic nation, in which the Scandinavia countries form a single entity. This is of course disturbingly similar to Hitler’s aim of all Germanic people’s being united under his rule. They also wish to limit citizenship to people for whom either “both parents are Nordic citizens or if one parent is a Nordic citizen…the other is of a closely related race”.

The fact that hundreds of these people were able to march, opposed only by a few anti-Fascist protesters, through a Swedish town on May Day is extremely disturbing. Throughout their material, they present themselves as anti-establishment, purporting to oppose the dominance of financial services, supporting environmental regulations, opposing inherited power and wealth, including Monarchy, and other policies which, whilst they may not have necessarily been opposed to Nazis or other Fascists, appear to have been emphasised by the NRM to attempt to appeal to left-leaning youths who are disaffected with aspects of contemporary political life. An appearance on May Day is not merely an attempt to intimidate Jews and non-Whites, but also an attempt to legitimise their views to a left-wing audience, which is increasingly happy to engage in antisemitic discourse itself.

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Ukraine moves to prosecute 94-year-old Jewish war hero for allegedly killing Nazi collaborator in 1952

Colonel Boris Steckler, a 94-year-old Jewish man who served in the Soviet Army, has been told by Ukrainian authorities that he should expect to face trial for a murder he is accused of committing in 1952.

Steckler was assigned the task of tracking down Nazis and Nazi collaborators in the post-War period. In 1952 he was involved in a confrontation with Ukrainian Nationalists groups who had cooperated with the Nazis, including having helped to round up Jews to be sent to the concentration camps. During the fighting, Neil Hasiewicz, a judge and propagandist, was killed.

Steckler had previous fought against the Nazis in the Second World War, when he was injured in action. He has appeared in public ceremonies celebrating the defeat of Nazism, but Ukrainian ultra-Nationalists, who have frequently glorified Nazi collaborators and increasingly so in recent years, filed a complaint against Steckler for the assassination, which he does not deny. Unusually, this complaint appears to have been pursued.

Alex Tantzer, a Ukrainian Jew whose family was murdered by the Nazis, commented:“I do not know whether this is anti-Semitism or not. In Ukraine, there are occasional complaints from nationalist organizations, and it’s a shame that the authorities take it seriously … It’s a shame that the government in Ukraine does not stop these horrific things. Now when we celebrate victory over Nazi Germany, we are persecuting this Jew who fought against Nazis”.

The prosecution of a Jewish War Hero who killed an acknowledged Nazi collaborator does appear to indicate a resurgence of antisemitism, particularly when it has been initiated by Nationalist groups who have no problem glorifying figures who murdered, or helped the Nazi to murder, Jews. In January, Ukrainian Nationalists chanted “Jews out” at a rally which memorialised a Nazi collaborator, and last August a street in Kiev was renamed to honour a Nazi collaborator who told his followers to “destroy” Jews.

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10 Jewish gravestones smashed in Bucharest in “premeditated act” coinciding with Holocaust remembrance

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania have reported that ten Jewish tombstones have been smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest.

The group are describing the incident as a “premeditated act”, which appears to have been timed to coincide with Yom HaShoah, the day in the Jewish calendar dedicated to commemorating the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was discovered yesterday and apparently occurred on Monday.

Despite between 150,000 and 250,000 Romanian Jews being deported to concentration camps within a two year period between 1942 and 1944, many Romanians continued to deny or downplay the country’s role in the extermination of European Jews. Today, only 6,000 Jews remain in the country.

The police are investigating several teenagers in connection with the incident.

 

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Berlin: Antisemitic attack in railway station

Berlin Morgenpost have reported an antisemitic incident at a railway station.

A 38-year old woman threw a glass bottle at a group in the Berlin Ostbahnhof train station.  One of the group approached her and she called him a ‘dirty Jew’.

The woman was swiftly apprehended by police and is facing criminal charges for incitement to hatred and causing bodily harm.

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Ukrainian national hero says she doesn’t “like ‘k*kes'”, suggests that a Jewish elite runs the country

Nadiya Savchenko was Ukraine’s first female combat pilot, a 2009 graduate of the Air Force University in Kharkiv. In 2014 she was captured by pro-Russian separatists whilst serving in eastern Ukraine, after having volunteered to fight in the conflict in the Donbas region that followed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

In protest, Savchenko went on hunger strike for 83 days and, in May 2016, was released in a prisoner exchange. She was awarded the Hero of the Ukraine medal and has been feted as Ukraine’s Joan of Arc , yet vilified by others, “a killing machine in a skirt”.

Nadiya Savchenko, although a controversial figure, is clearly brave and stoic in the face of aggression and her experiences; she is a formidable opponent. She has impressed in interviews, displaying a steely determination, as she does in this interview with Kirsty Wark for Newsnight. Further, her family were labelled Kulaks and her mother’s family had suffered under Stalin’s Holodomor, the enforced famine of 1932-33, which resulted in death by starvation for c.3million Ukrainians.

Against this full and chequered past, it is all the more disappointing that Savchenko embroiled herself in accusations of antisemitism. As a Ukrainian Parliamentarian, in an interview on the Ukrainian 112 station radio, she seemed to agree with a caller’s remarks who had spoken of a “Jewish takeover of the Ukraine”, but has denied being antisemitic. She said “I have nothing against Jews. I do not like ‘kikes’.” and further said Jews possess “80 percent of the power when they only account for 2 percent of the population.”

She first used the term  “evreiv,” which for speakers of both Ukrainian and Russian is a neutral designation for Jew. However, later she used the term “zhidiv,” which in Russian is a pejorative for Jews, akin to “kike” in English.

It also seemed important to her to mention the supposed Jewish roots of Volodymyr Groysman, (Ukraine’s Prime Minister); Petro Poroshenko, (Ukraine’s President) and Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and a leader of the nation’s Orange Revolution.

In her radio interview, she replied to the caller, “Indeed, part of the ruling establishment in Ukraine does not possess distinctly Ukrainian blood and we need to talk about it and act.” What does “act” mean? With the often tragic history and current day trials of Ukraine’s Jewry, talking is one matter, what she means by “act” is another. From someone with a reputation for forthrightness, it’s not unreasonable for Jewry to interpret this as veiled and threatening.

Despite Savchenko’s denials, it appears that pejoratives and insinuation are so entrenched within her use of language that the tone of antisemitism is not even recognised by her as such. The comments about various politicians, and the fact that this is even a source of speculation to begin with, reeks of antisemitic conspiracy theories and demonstrates an underlying antisemitic sentiment.

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Antisemitic thugs attempt to carve swastika into Ukrainian activist’s chest

Last month three attackers set upon Ludmila Daschizkia in a street in Uman, Ukraine, removed a piece of her clothing, and attempted to carve a Swastika into her chest in a shocking antisemitic attack.

Dashizkia is an activist who is well known in Ukraine for her support of Breslov Hasidim who come to visit Rabbi Nachman’s grave in the city, which last year we reported had been desecrated with a pig’s head and blood by antisemites.

Dashizkia managed to escape with only minor injuries, but the attackers, if caught, may only have to pay a fine.

She commented: “I do not know who it was, but it’s an act of intimidation. It could be that the attackers were local neo-Nazis, but I’m not sure about it … Someone might have wanted to provoke an anti-Semitic scandal. I told the police, but I’m afraid they will not find the attackers”.

The wounds she received before her escape are picture below. It seems quite clear that it was an attempt to carve a swastika into her chest.

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Tunisian arrested in Italy after waving knife at police and screaming “you are Jews. I will kill you all”.

A Tunisian man has been arrested in Bologna, Italy, after it was alleged that he shouted antisemitic threats at police and injured two of them.

Passers by had called the police after the man shouted curses in Arabic. The police arrived and found him sat on the steps of a Church. The 30-year-old Tunisian man, when apprehended by police, brandished a knife and screamed “you are Jews. I will kill you all”.

He was handcuffed, but allegedly still managed to injure two of the police officers, causing injuries that will keep them away from their duties for several days. He was allegedly arrested with an illegal substance on his person.

Bologna is home to a small, historic Jewish community. It is fortunate that this man was apprehended by police officers who were capable of detaining him before he was able to carry out any direct attacks on Jewish residents of the city.

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Swedish Jewish Community Centre closes after threats from neo-Nazis

A Jewish community centre in Umea, Sweden, has closed following a campaign of intimidation by neo-Nazis, including swastika graffiti on its walls including the wording  “we know where you live”.

The Judisk Föreningen, or Jewish Association, in Umea has been the victim of persistent threatening emails, calls and graffiti from a local neo-Nazi group called Nordfront. The graffiti that finally triggered the closure is clearly a veiled threat, particularly in a City with as few as 50 Jewish residents.

In September 2015, the Swedish anti-Fascist organisation named Expo claimed that there was a rise in Neo-Nazism in Sweden. RT adds that there is a “similar trend” occurring in other countries and cites incidents since then which had occurred  in Paris, France, also London and Birmingham, in the UK. We have frequently commented on the rising Antisemitism in Sweden, and whilst this is often attributed to radical Islam, it is always worth noting that the threat to Jews comes not just from one sector of society, but from many, with observable problems from certain radical strains of Islam, the far left, and the far right.

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Paris Jewish woman found dead after allegedly being thrown from her own balcony by Arab neighbour

Paris police have opened a murder investigation after a 66-year-old Charedi woman in Paris was found dead on the street on Monday night in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

Lucy Halimi was allegedly thrown from the balcony of her third-story apartment following an argument with her neighbour, a 27-year-old Arab, who has since been arrested by police. He has apparently been transferred to psychiatric services. Witnesses apparently heard the suspect screaming that he was going to kill her shortly before her death.

Some news sources have claimed that the man was heard shouting “Allahu Ackbar”, but it is not known if these reports are reliable. If so, this incident looks like far more than an argument between neighbours that went wrong. However, the true motive is not currently known. However, given the increasingly troubling situation for Jews in France, it would be foolish not to consider antisemitism to be a genuine possibility.

Two French Jewish organisations released a joint statement saying that they “will do their best to shed light on this very sad event and to support the family. We will keep you informed”.

We wish Halimi’s family a long life and offer our most sincere condolences.

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Man posing with antisemitic posters around Berlin

On their website, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA) state they have received 31 messages about a man displaying antisemitic posters in public places including mostly the Neukolln and Mitte districts of Berlin, Germany.

One of the banners says “The Zionists rule the world, not Trump, not Merkel”.

Their article dated 29 March 2017 includes a photo of the man who advertises his Facebook page on one of the posters as “USAMA Z”, and whereupon he allegedly denies the Holocaust and references antisemitic hoax, the Protocols of  The Elders of Zion. According to the International Definition of Antisemitism the man’s behaviour is antisemitic in that his posters use “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism  to characterise Israel or Israelis”.

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Germany: Jewish boy forced out of school after 4 months of antisemitic bullying, violent attacks

A British-Jewish family in Berlin has been forced to pull their 14-year-old son out of his school after he was subjected to months of antisemitic bullying.

The boy was sent to Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule, a school they were attracted to initially because of its diverse pupils, many of whom are from an Arab or Turkish background. However, when the son mentioned he was Jewish, one pupil said to him “Listen, you are a cool dude but I can’t be friends with you, Jews are all murderers”.

The mother said that verbal abuse quickly escalated into physical violence, and this month “he was attacked and almost strangled, and the guy pulled a toy gun on him that looked like a real gun. And the whole crowd of kids laughed. He was completely shaken”.

The mother had approached the Headteacher of the school, asking whether he could bring in an organisation to educate the children about antisemitism, as well as other forms of xenophobia and racism, but despite him appearing open to the idea, no action was taken. The mother’s parents are Holocaust survivors who have spoken at the school.

There have been indications for over a decade that antisemitism was driving Jewish students out of state schools and to Jewish schools, with Deidre Berger suggesting in 2015 that more and more Jewish students were attending Jewish schools for fear of antisemitism and in 2006, Der Spiegel running a report on Jewish schoolchildren who had been pushed out of secular schools by antisemitism.

According to the JC, the Moses Mendelssohn Jewish High School in Berlin receives 6 to 10 applications each year from Jewish students who have similarly been forced out of other schools by antisemitism, indicating a huge problem in the city’s schools. Aaron Eckstaedt, the school’s headteacher, says that parents are often concerned with the lack of formal response from those schools, and that the complaints are often centred around students of an Arab or Turkish background.

It is not known whether these incidents are being investigated by the police.

 

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Warsaw residents mark beginning of Spring by burning effigy of Jewish woman

Footage has emerged of a group of Warsaw residents apparently celebrating the beginning of Spring by burning an effigy of a Jewish woman.

The burning was held by a group called Conscience of the Nation TV. Though burning an effigy representing the Winter is a tradition in the country, this one was particularly made to look like a Jew, with one of the participants saying that the “mug” (face) and “nose” were “so well known in Polish history”, apparently referring to the presence of so many Jews in Poland throughout its history up to the Holocaust, which almost completely destroyed the Polish Jewry.

The group holding the event apparently held an “antisemeeting” last month, which further indicates that this is a sinister, antisemitic incident. The group appears to be a Nationalist group, and this could point to them appropriating a local custom for their antisemitic ideology.

The Center for Monitoring Racial and Xenophobic Behavior reported the event to local prosecutors, commenting that “during the Second World War, one of four Warsaw residents died because they were Jewish. By imitating the Nazis today you have to be either a complete idiot or the last pig. But certainly not a patriot”

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“A Monument of Shame”? German far-right leader belittles Holocaust memorial

Alternativ für Deutschland’s alternative take on Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial.

Björn Höcke, the leader of anti-immigration AfD in the eastern German state of Thuringia, said that German history was being made “appalling and laughable.” Höcke added: “These stupid politics of coming to grips with the past cripple us – we need nothing other than a 180-degree reversal on the politics of remembrance.”

 

Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial.

The Holocaust(hólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”), meaning to completely consume by fire, is the most profound genocidal event etched in modern European history. So profound in the European experience, The Holocaust has become the conduit by which we remember and try to understand genocides and mass murders across the globe; encapsulated in World Holocaust Memorial Day.  Understanding goes far beyond trying to shame various groups. It is about what can happen to humanity at its worse, even somewhere like Germany which was considered one of the most civilised nations on earth.

Björn Höcke, may well be reflecting the anger and helplessness felt by individuals who are overwhelmed when confronted by the enormity of genocide and their reaction to some people’s attempts to blame and shame others, who were not present in 1938-45 and can do nothing to change or rectify what has happened.

It is incumbent on us all to commemorate, but not wallow; to act and prevent, not shame and blame; to listen more and speak less; to not make a new generation bear the unbearable. However, Björn Höcke is neither right to start with, and diminish, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, nor to reinforce a message which is not the true intent of memorialisation. Indeed, for Jews in particular, commemorating those who were murdered in the Holocaust and understanding the Holocaust as an event in our national memory is a moral imperative. Speaking of attempts to memorialise the Holocaust as a campaign of shame belittles the experiences and memories of the Jewish people, and makes this moral imperative out to be a cynical tool of manipulation, an insinuation which is inherently antisemitic.

Josef Schuster,, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany commented: “It is deeply outrageous and completely unacceptable to describe the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as Björn Höcke did as a ‘monument of shame. With these antisemitic and extremely misanthropic remarks, the AfD is showing its true face. I would not have believed that it was possible for a politician in Germany to say such things 70 years after the Shoah“.

 

Please note that this speech was made in January 2017.

 

 

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French freemason beaten by hammer-wielding attacker shouting “Jew! Jew! Jew!”

Christophe Habas, a senior Freemason in France, was beaten by a woman in Paris as he walked to a metro station.

The woman allegedly shouted “Jew!” repeatedly as she beat him with a hammer, before fleeing.

Habas was fortunately not badly injured, but clearly an attack with a hammer could have led to serious injury, meaning that he had a lucky escape.

It isn’t known if Habas is Jewish, but Freemasons often feature in antisemitic conspiracy theories, and were also killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Antisemitic conspiracies from the far left, the far right and from Islamists often mention freemasons and Jews in the same breath.

Habas has apparently recently returned from a trip to Israel, which received media attention in France where there are over 50,000 freemasons.

Francis Kalifat, the president of the French Jewish group the CRIF remarked: “this assault reminds us that we need to fight with uncompromising firmness against antisemitic discourse, and all other forms of hate and exclusion”.

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Sweden: antisemitic abuse shouted at Jews from car in Malmo

A group of Jews were harassed in Malmo last Thursday.

A car drove slowly past them while the passengers shouted antisemitic abuse at the group of Jews and their Haredi attire.

Malmo police say they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime.

They are also investigating a Swastika which was carved on the door of a Jewish man in the city.

The situation in Malmo is increasingly bad for Jews, with the authorities seemingly unwilling to take serious action to prevent further attacks against Jews in the City.

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Fascist graffiti found at University of Birmingham bar

Fascist graffiti has been found outside the toilets of Beorma Bar, a student bar in Birmingham.

The graffiti has been attributed to the neo-Nazi group National Action, which was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the Government following action by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The graffiti targeted various ethnic and sexual minorities, as well as the disabled.

The graffiti said “PURE WHITES ONLY” and “NO BLACKS, NO CRIPS, NO FAGS” under the National Action logo and flanked by a Swastika.

Graffiti saying “‘Lock up all CRAZY PSYCHOS + subhumans” was also found during Holocaust Memorial Week in January and another was found referring to “dirty faggots”.

President of the Guild of Students, Ellie Keiller, said that they were “horrified” and that they “stand, with students, fundamentally in opposition to the rhetoric of the graffiti and against all forms of hate and discrimination”.

The guild later released a further statement, saying “We would like to reassure students that we are doing all we can in response to these incidents, including immediately reporting all cases to both police and campus security and working with them to identify those involved. Further to this, we urge anyone with any information regarding these incidents to come forward”

Apparently in previous incidents, the police have simply recorded the graffiti which has then been painted over. No arrests appear to have been reported.

The University of Birmingham has the largest Jewish Society in the United Kingdom

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Dutch Muslims call Jews “cancer” at protest

Dutch Muslims called Jews “cancer” in a chant at a protest in Rotterdam.

They congregated at the Turkish embassy to protest against the decision to refuse to admit a Turkish Minister to the country. Having heard a rumour that  Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya had been arrested, they began to chant “cancer Jews” and “cancer Wilders”. The rumours themselves were false.

Geert Wilders is a hard right figure in Dutch politics with a hardline anti-Islam stance. Blaming Jews for a political figure being arrested is itself antisemitic, but describing Jews as a “cancer” is explicitly so, and is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda which often compared Jews to a disease.

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Holocaust memorial destroyed overnight in Odessa, police attribute it to “old age”

A Holocaust memorial in Savra in Odessa, Ukraine, has been totally destroyed overnight.

Paul Kozlenko, director of the Holocaust museum in Odessa, said “villains and moral monsters continue to mock the memory of Holocaust victims”, saying that the memorial, which is in a Jewish cemetery, was “completely destroyed”.

The police are saying that this was not a deliberate act of vandalism, but are instead attributing it to “old age and natural causes”. However, it seems far from plausible that the memorial, which is pictured before its destruction below, could be destroyed so totally in such a brief period of time without it being an intentional act. Unfortunately, it appears that the police have decided that this is simply not something they wish to investigate. Given that we report on dozens of desecrations of Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries, which are among the most common instances of antisemitism, it is profoundly irresponsible not to treat this as suspicious from the outset.

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French “coexistence” champion tweeted “bring on Hitler to kill the Jews”