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Group of Jews threatened by axe-wielding man over Rosh Hashana

Reposted from the main Campaign Against Antisemitism page.

A group of Jews walking in Manchester near a synagogue in Prestwich were reportedly threatened by a man wielding an axe and shouting antisemitic abuse. The incident is said to have taken place on Monday at 13:30 near a synagogue.

According to the Manchester Evening News, a man in a vehicle brandished an axe at the group whilst making antisemitic threats. A 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence and possession of an offensive weapon. He has been bailed until 31st October.

Sergeant Steve Wightman-Love, of Greater Manchester Police, told the Manchester Evening News: “This incident remains under investigation and officers in the case are continuing to make enquiries. However, I wish to remind everyone that we take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously.”

We will be following the case with interest.

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Corbyn ally criticises Holocaust Memorial Day, suggests Jewish schools don’t need guards

Jackie Walker, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn from the hard left group ‘Momentum’ has sparked outrage after criticising Holocaust Memorial Day at a “training session” at Labour Party Conference on antisemitism.

Walker attracted jeers from others in the room when she said of Holocaust Memorial Day “wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced Holocaust?”

Several in the audience pointed out that HMD does indeed commemorate all genocides, to which she responded “in practice it is not circulated and advertised as such”.

She also stated that she was yet to find a definition of antisemitism she could “work with”.

Finally, she suggested that security measures at Jewish schools are unnecessary:

“I was a bit concerned… at your suggestions that the Jewish community is under such threat that they have to use security in all its buildings”, she said.

“I have a grandson, he is a year old. There is security in his nursery and every school has security now. It’s not because I’m frightened or his parents are frightened that he is going to be attacked.”

Jeremy Newmark, chair of Jewish Labour Movement, reacted to Walker’s comments:

“To denigrate security provision at Jewish schools, make false claims about the universality of National Holocaust Memorial Day and to challenge recognised definitions of anti-Semitism is provocative, offensive and a stark example of the problem facing the Labour party today.”

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust Karen Pollock also reacted:

“The Holocaust was a defining episode in history where 6 million men women and children were brutally murdered simply for being Jewish, the very epitome of man’s inhumanity to man.

“Whilst Holocaust Memorial Day rightly and proudly commemorates the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, one has to wonder why Ms Walker takes issue with commemorating the mass extermination of Jews in its own right. The deliberate use of term ‘HolocaustS’ – plural – undermines and belittles the distinct nature of the tragedy itself, ignores that genocides are the result of diverse and unique factors, and also deprives the Jewish community of their collective memory.”

Finally, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust have stated that they are “are extremely shocked and saddened that Jackie Walker has questioned the aims and basis of Holocaust Memorial Day, a day when people of all backgrounds come together to remember the Holocaust, all victims of Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides which have taken place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Commemoration of the Holocaust should be a universal responsibility and does not prevent or undermine commemoration of other genocides.

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Flyers at Labour Conference demand expulsion of Jewish Labour Movement

Flyers distributed at the Labour Party Conference have called for the expulsion of the Jewish Labour Movement from the Party. The flyers charge that the Jewish affiliate of the Labour Party is using trumped up accusations of antisemitism as a cynical ploy to attack Jeremy Corbyn, motivated by an overriding loyalty to “a foreign power, Israel.” The flyers end a call for the Jewish Labour Movement to be expelled from the Party.

According to the definition of antisemitism, it is antisemitic to allege that Jews are engaged in a conspiracy to subvert political processes, and to accuse Jews of an overriding loyalty to Israel which causes them to act against the interests of their countrymen.

The flyer was circulated by a group calling itself the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, whose UK chapter is primarily engaged in trying to stop the UK Jewish Film Festival from taking place, according to its website.

The Jewish Labour Movement has also held an event against antisemitism in a pub next to the Labour Party Conference at which Baroness Shami Chakrabarti was invited to speak.


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Labour Party Conference delegate rants about “Jewish plot” against Corbyn

A delegate to the Labour Party Conference has allegedly ranted about a “Jewish plot” to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

“Delegates” are sent to represent each constituency Labour party at the party’s annual conference, which is in Liverpool this year.

The man approached the Labour Friends of Israel stand at the conference, spoke for two minutes and then asked “but wasn’t there a Jewish plot to oust Jeremy Corbyn?”

He then continued “But it was organised by Jewish MPs, wasn’t it? And that Jewish millionaire took Corbyn to court”

He went on to speculate “But Kezia Dugdale in Scotland. She organised it and she’s Jewish”, before going on to say “That Eagle, Angela, who ran against Corbyn. Her husband is Jewish, isn’t he?”

Accusing Jews of operating a “plot” to oust Corbyn is antisemitic in two key ways. Firstly, it plays on the antisemitic canard of Jews manipulating political events for their own benefit. Secondly, it attempts to deny Jews of the ability of stand up for themselves by portraying their attempts to do so as political manipulation. The Campaign Against Antisemitism’s disciplinary complaint to the Labour Party about Jeremy Corbyn’s recent ad which appears discusses the issues surrounding this in greater detail.


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Greater Manchester Police apologises for tweeting pictures of “likely lads” in full Nazi uniform

Greater Manchester Police has apologised after tweeting pictures of two men, described as the “likely lads”, wearing full SS Uniform.

Shulem Stern, a supervisor with Shomrim, alerted us to the tweet, as well as tweeting the Greater Manchester Police twitter, who removed the tweet as a result.

The tweet jokingly suggested that the two men were attempting to “invade” from Yorkshire.

The sight of the local police jokingly referring to the SS, an organisation that was involved in the rounding up of Jews, enforcing racial policy and the running of concentration camps, is potentially very worrying to Manchester’s large Jewish community.

This is not the first time that Greater Manchester Police has suffered a lapse in judgement regarding the issue of antisemitism. In March, we reported that an officer in the force was allowed to keep his job after posting an antisemitic image on Facebook

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Jewish cemetery in Manchester vandalised overnight

Fourteen headstones were smashed at the Blackley Jewish cemetery in Charlestown, north-east Manchester, on Wednesday night. Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry from Greater Manchester Police issued a statement describing the vandalism as “a sickening act of antisemitism which we are taking very seriously.” He said that the attack appeared to be “deliberate and targeted” with “clear racial motivation”. The vandals appear to have climbed over the perimeter wall and broken gravestones at random around the cemetery. Chaudry promised to “do everything we can to find out who is responsible and bring the full force of the law down on them” and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

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UK Labour Party refuses to discipline MEP over “Nazi” tweet

Investigators from Campaign Against Antisemitism have discovered an antisemitic tweet by British Labour politician Afzal Khan. On 2nd August 2014, Khan tweeted a link to an article from which he quoted, “The Israeli Government are [sic] acting like Nazi’s [sic] in Gaza.”

Archived version

Khan is a Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North West and sits on various European Parliament committees including the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee and the Security and Defence Committee, of which he is Vice Chair.

According to the definition of antisemitism that was first adopted by the European Union itself, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

His use of the Nazi slur is surprising given Khan’s prominence in interfaith dialogue work. He is co-founder of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester and was awarded a CBE for his community and interfaith work in 2008.

However the Labour Party has declined to investigate or discipline Khan, instead issuing a short statement: “These views are not shared by the Labour Party and Afzal Khan MEP has been reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour representative.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has responded critically, saying: “This is yet another signal sent to the Jewish community that the Labour Party is not taking its antisemitism problem seriously. We have seen repeated signs that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party operates a zero tolerance policy against racism, but only when convenient. When it costs the party politically, antisemites go unpunished, whether it’s Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, or now Afzal Khan MEP. Suspending Khan would cost Labour politically in the European Parliament, so presumably that is why he has been reminded not to be antisemitic instead of being suspended and investigated.”

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Greater Manchester Police officer keeps job after Hitler post

Police constable Shahid Shah has won a fight to keep his job after being caught out posting an image of the Israeli Prime Minister superimposed on Adolf Hitler. “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is explicitly specified as antisemitic according to the definition of antisemitism used by the UK College of Policing.

Shah apologised and admitted that he had breached professional standards, but his lawyer, Julian King, successfully argued that he should merely receive a formal written warning and take part in diversity and social media training.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Shah posted the image during a debate on Facebook in a private group for police officers. The image superimposed an image of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu on a picture of Hitler pointing at a map with Nazi colleagues. The debate apparently turned antisemitic, with one officer commenting to ask whether the “execution of six million Jews is OK too?”

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan told the disciplinary hearing: “He did cause offence to members of the Jewish community, failed to show initially that he accepted what he had done was wrong and showed he had failed to learn lessons from a previous warning about what he had posted on Facebook.” The hearing also heard that Shah “only apologised when he was interviewed” about the post.

Shah responded: “If this has caused people upset, I’m sorry. It was never my intention to offend, only to prompt debate about the situation in Gaza. I saw innocent women and children being killed and wounded and I wanted people to think long and hard about the situation.”

Shah’s lawyer told the hearing that the Professional Standards Branch of Greater Manchester Police had initially recommended the PC should face misconduct rather rather gross misconduct proceedings, which would have meant that he could not be dismissed, however Assistant Chief Constable Shewan overruled the decision and instigated gross misconduct proceedings which could result in dismissal.

The chair of the hearing panel said that Shah had made an “early admission, apologised in his interview and accepted it was an error of judgment.”

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North West Infidels clash with anti-fascism group in Liverpool

A march and protest by North West Infidels, along with Polish fascists and young neo-Nazi group National Action took place this weekend in Liverpool City Centre. Over 500 people from anti-fascist groups dirsupted the march.

Fascists gathered near St George’s Square joined by Polish Nazis, and then moved into the square where the Nazis were allowed to hold their protest. Only after several hours were they finally marched out by the police to the station to board a train to Manchester.

The fascists threw projectiles including firecrackers at passersby and defaced buildings by painting swastikas on them.

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“Nazi” and swastikas drawn on tram seats in Manchester, UK

A Metrolink tram in Manchester, UK, had to be taken out of service for cleaning after a passenger discovered that an unknown vandal had drawn swastikas and the word “Nazi” on a seat. An investigation is under way and the motive is believed to be antisemitic.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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Neo-Nazi jailed in UK for “anti-Jewification” incitement is still sending bizarre antisemitic letters from prison

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, a neo-Nazi jailed in the UK for inciting “anti-Jewification” demonstrations in areas with large Jewish populations is still sending antisemitic letters from prison. According to Western Gazette, Bonehill-Paine sent a letter in an envelope decorated with antisemitic cartoons, including a drawing of Adolf Hitler saluting, and a Star of David next to a crude depiction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is commonly believed by antisemitic conspiracy theorists that Jews organised the 9/11 terrorist atrocity.

Bonehill-Paine was given a three year and four month sentence following his trial in December and had only been expected to serve half under sentencing guidelines which reward good behaviour in prison, but this incident could set him back. The letters, send from prisons in Wandsworth and Manchester, describe the young facist’s absurd ambition to become a politician, write books and pursue his neo-Nazi agenda by “legal means” upon his release.

A Prison Service spokesperson told Western Gazette: “We are investigating this unacceptable incident and have put measures in place to ensure this offender’s mail is monitored by prison staff. Additionally, we will also take disciplinary action against the prisoner, which could see him being stripped of his privileges and being referred to the police for investigation.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has already referred the latest incident to the Metropolitan Police Service.

Source: Western Gazette

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Large crowd of Dutch fans in Manchester sing “If you don’t jump you’re a Jew”

Video has emerged of a large crowd of Dutch fans of PSV Eindhoven jumping up and down whilst chanting “If you don’t jump you’re a Jew”. The incident took place outside the Crown & Anchor pub in Manchester prior to a match between PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United. It appears that Greater Manchester Police took no action.

Sources: MirrorIrish News

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Charity trustee who made a video claiming “f***ing Jews” track Samsung smartphones and posted it on charity’s Facebook page allowed to stay on

A trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust has been allowed to continue to run the charity by the Charity Commission, despite having made a home video with instructions to stop the “f***ing Jews” from “tracking every photo” on Samsung smartphones, which he posted on the charity’s Facebook page.

Following Campaign Against Antisemitism’s complaint to the Charity Commission, the Commission visited the Ghulam Mustafa Trust and established that it was indeed a trustee who had made and posted the video. In spite of the vile antisemitic myth proposed in the video, that Jews use secret microchips in Samsung smartphones to track users’ photographs, the Charity Commission merely demanded that the video be removed from Facebook and that the charity improve its bureaucracy by:

  • Adopting a social media policy;
  • Reviewing and removing any other offensive social media postings; and
  • Adopting a code of conduct for the charity’s trustees.

Nick Britnell, writing on behalf of the Charity Commission in an e-mail to the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, said: “The Commission did establish that the video had been made by one of the trustees of the Charity… The Commission assessed the content of the video as ‘wholly unacceptable’”. Yet the Commission did not remove the trustee from his position on the charity, instead opting only to impose “remedial regulatory action”.

The Charity Commission will be amongst the beneficiaries of tough new counter-extremism powers proposed by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary, but Campaign Against Antisemitism has expressed concern that even existing powers are not being implemented. David Cameron has spoken about how “ideas based on conspiracy that Jews exercise malevolent power” contribute towards dangerous extremism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has referred the Charity Commission’s decision to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which has jurisdiction in this matter and is also discussing the incident with the police.

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Anti-Conservative protesters tell Jews to “get back to Auschwitz”

Jewish delegates to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester have reportedly been subjected to antisemitic abuse by anti-Conservative protesters. Stephen Woods, Chairman of the Conservative Sale East and Wythenshawe Association, told the Jewish News: “The abuse we had to endure was despicable, with a number of protestors screaming ‘Jewish Tory scum, get back to Auschwitz.’ I have never heard such vile language. The whole incident left us all shaken up.” The Conservative Party is also known as the “Tory” party.

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Four Jewish boys badly beaten in antisemitic attack in Manchester, teenager knocked unconscious

Four Jewish boys aged 17, 18, 18 and 20 have reportedly been badly beaten in an antisemitic attack at a tram stop in Manchester. The four Jewish boys were approached by three thugs who started verbally and physically assaulting them on Saturday night at around 23:30. The worst affected was the youngest boy, who was knocked unconscious and has been hospitalised with suspected bleeding to his brain.

Greater Manchester Police are treating the incident as an antisemitic hate crime and seeking suspects for grievous bodily harm with intent. Forensics teams remained at the site until Monday morning.

Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.