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Edinburgh Shalom festival attendees met with Nazi salutes from Palestinian protestors

Attendees at the Shalom Festival, which took part over the course of the Edinburgh Festival, were met with taunts and Nazi salutes, the Jewish Chronicle has reported.

The festival was a full day celebration of Israel, which featured Jewish, Arab and other performers and, as the name suggests, was staged in the spirit of peace and co-operation. It attracted around 800 visitors.

A crowd of 150 protesters stood outside the event, shouting things such as “racist scum” and “shame on you”.

According to the JC, most of the crowd were members of Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign. They also shouted “your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood” and “boycott and isolate Israel”. The definition of antisemitism states that it is antisemitic to  use “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis”. Describing the tickets to a peace event, which features Jewish and Arab performers, as “covered in Palestinian blood” borders on blood libel, as it twists even actions taken in the spirit of peace and co-operation as evidence of Jewish, or in this case Israeli, brutality

Apparently at one point the protesters crossed the line into unambiguous antisemitism, taunting the visitors with Nazi salutes.

According to Nigel Goodrich, one of the event’s organisers, many mothers complained that their children had been called racist.

Attendee Susie Kelpie said that such a response was commonplace: “it’s vile, intimidating and quite normal for any Israeli-flavoured event in this city.”

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Holocaust denial ‘artist’ planning Edinburgh Fringe Festival performances

Alison Chabloz, a self-styled singer-songwriter who was exposed by Campaign Against Antisemitism last year, has been attempting to find venues to perform in during the Edinburgh Festival. She was reported to have performed a quenelle, a neo-Nazi gesture targeted exclusively at Jews, and for antisemitic content she had performed which denied the Holocaust.

In an article on her blog, Chabloz announced that she had approached several venues with a view to performing her Holocaust denial show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Her show, named “Tell Me More Lies”, claims to express “frustrations caused by smear campaigns waged against ‘Holocaust’ revisionists”, described by Chabloz to be “groundbreaking musical comedy interspersed with socio-political satire”.

However, much of Chabloz’s material simply mocks or outright denies the Holocaust. In one of her songs she describes Elie Wiesel’s books as “full of nonsense tales”, says of Irene Zissblat “I cannot speak Hungarian but oh boy can I lie”, and mocks Anne Frank. She employs antisemitic tropes singing “Bank notes, let’s print some more. We love to see you poor. Let’s start a war”, which play on baseless accusations that have been used to victimise Jews.  In another she sings “the Holohoax is plain to see” and claims there are attempts to “privilege one race” by stifling “freedom of speech” regarding the Holocaust. In such examples she seeks to persuade the public that the Holocaust was not a genocide perpetrated against Jews, but rather that it is a hoax perpetrated by greedy, conniving Jews against mankind. She preaches to all who will listen to her that the Holocaust was fabricated, that Jews were not massacred in their millions, and that it is in fact a ploy used by Jewish people to earn money.

She also sings “the shekel is his God”, referencing an antisemitic canard that Jews are preoccupied with money, and describes Auschwitz as a “holy temple” and “a theme park just for fools”.

She has tweeted a Rabbi asking him “when are Jews going to apologize for the ritual murder of Christian children?” Such statements are considered ‘blood libel’, erroneous and malicious accusation that Jews murder Christian children to bake matzo, which has been a common theme in the persecution of Jews in Europe.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival maintains an open-door policy and refuses to ban this brazen, Holocaust-denying antisemite from appearing.

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Edinburgh student calls Zionists “sub human”, says they should be subjected to the “worst torture”

A student at the University of Edinburgh and NUS delegate has allegedly posted horrific antisemitic incitement on his Facebook account.

The student described an Israeli footballer, Nir Bitton who plays for Celtic, as “a filthy Zionist rat”. Describing Jews in animalistic terms, particularly describing them as vermin, is a recurring antisemitic trope, and replacing the word ‘Jew’ with the word ‘Zionist’ does not make it any less antisemitic.

He also writes that “Zionists are sub human” and believes that Nir Bitton should in “a jail cell for supporting the apartheid regime”. The use of the term subhuman unambiguously and directly draws upon the terminology used by the Nazis to describe their victims, particularly Jews.

Another commenter replies “gas him”, to which the student replies that it would be “too good for him”, instead suggesting that he should be exposed “to the worst torture” – a direct act of incitement of violence towards a man whose only ‘crime’ is to have been born a Jew in Israel.

The incident has been reported to the police and is being investigated as a hate crime.

The Union of Jewish Students commented:

“We are aware of the offensive and hate-filled social media posts made by a student at the University of Edinburgh. There is no place for such reprehensible comments in society.

The matter is being dealt with by EUSA and the Police Hate Crimes Unit.

As always, any concerned students of the University of Edinburgh should feel free to be in touch with UJS.”

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SNP Activist Sidelined Over Antisemitic Posts

A dispute about antisemitism broke out after an SNP party activist had been discovered sharing offensive anti-Israel material

According to The Scotsman the dispute involves Amjed Hussain who has been pictured with Nicola Sturgeon and other leading SNP figures at the party’s manifesto launch. He also has been campaigning with Nationalist candidates and parliamentarians, but most concerning is that he is a Facebook friend of several government ministers.

Many were therefore angered by what Mr Hussain was sharing and the SNP instructed its campaign teams to ensure Mr Hussain was no longer part of the election after his online activity was discovered.

Mr Hussain shared a photo, which stated “Israel has no history – only a criminal record”. He also shared a video claiming that the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks were an operation carried out by Mossad, the Israel national intelligence agency. Another post shared by Mr Hussain linked Islamic State to Israel stated, “ISIS is the only terrorist organisation that will travel 2,000 miles to attack Brussels, but can’t travel 52 miles to attack Israel – because the dog does not bite its own tail.”

Such conspiracy theories involving the Jewish state are a form of paranoid antisemitism that is similar to the 20th Century conspiracies that Jews were behind the First World War for their own gain.

Mr Hussain is a party activist but not a Party member, yet this did not stop him campaigning with prominent politicians. In April he was campaigning with Alyn Smith MEP, Jim Eadie, the candidate for the Edinburgh Southern seat, and the Catalan foreign minister Raul Romeva.

Criticism came from the co-founder of Glasgow Friends of Israel who said, “I have seen some pretty grotesque material from him plus quite a few photographs of him with prominent people from the SNP… I find the two together quite disturbing.” Also the Conservative politician Murdo Fraser stated, “This is quite clearly antisemitic. Why the party would want to be associated with highly offensive individuals is a mystery.”
The SNP issued a response, “Mr Hussain is not an SNP member. These views are not acceptable, and certainly don’t reflect those of the SNP, and we have instructed local campaign teams to ensure this individual takes no further part in the election campaign.”

Mr Hussain seemed completely unrepentant, “I want people to have a discussion. I am questioning things.” He also claimed, “They are somebody else’s posts. I am just sharing them.”

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“Holocaust industry” poster now found at University of Glasgow

Students at the University of Glasgow have found a poster claiming that the Holocaust was a “robbery” and a “fraud” used by Jews to create a “Holocaust industry”. According to this line of thinking, the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated or entirely fabricated by Jews so that they could make financial gains, for example from war reparations.

Earlier in the week an identical poster was found at the University of Edinburgh, in what now appears to be a campaign of Holocaust denial.

Police Scotland has been informed.

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Edinburgh students find poster claiming Jews invented the Holocaust for financial gain

Students at the University of Edinburgh have found a poster claiming that the Holocaust was a “robbery” and a “fraud” used by Jews to create a “Holocaust industry”. According to this line of thinking, the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated or entirely fabricated by Jews so that they could make financial gains, for example from war reparations.

Edinburgh University Students’ Association has condemned the poster and the university has opened an investigation.

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Neo-Nazi band makes UK debut

On February 13th, Finnish band Satanic Warmasters made its UK debut in Glasgow. The band has links to neo-Nazis and has been criticised for songs like “Seig Heil” and “Gas Chamber”, which refers to “torching the Jewish creation”.

The band has performed National Socialist Black Metal, including music by Germany’s Absurd, and issued releases with Aryan Blood. One member broke parole terms upon release from prison by giving the Nazi salute.

Glasgow rock venue Audio was originally scheduled to hold the event, but backed out after Satanic Warmasters were linked to the far-right. The 200-capacity event took place at Ivory Blacks instead.

A member of the Glasgow Anti-Fascists said: “If they’re not fascists, they’re certainly fellow travelers – they have worked with racist bands, they have shared stages with them and they have released records on labels that only release racist records. Where do you draw the line? There’s plenty of black metal bands who have no connection to fascist music or will not share stages with these kinds of bands.”

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Only Jewish school in Scotland forced to hire security guard

Scotland’s only Jewish faith school is to employ a full-time security guard in response to parents’ concerns for pupils’ safety.

Police and council officials put Calderwood Lodge Primary School in Glasgow on high alert after last January’s terrorist attacks in Paris, and the school felt targeted when anti-Israel stickers began appearing on nearby lampposts.

Tim Lovatt, from the school’s parent council, said: “We held a parent forum meeting to ask for a mandate to ask the council for the security guard and there was overwhelming support to have security. You can’t protect your children enough.”

Funding for security guards at Jewish schools in England and Wales was introduced in 2010. In March prime minister David Cameron announced an extra £11m, including £7m is for guards outside more than 100 Jewish schools and £3m for protecting synagogues.

Two thirds of the antisemitic incidents recorded in Scotland last year took place in Glasgow. A recent poll suggested that 64 percent of Scottish Jews had “witnessed or experienced more antisemitism than in previous years”.

Although Calderwood Lodge is a Jewish faith school with a curriculum including Hebrew and Jewish culture, many of its 150 pupils are Muslim, Christian or have no religion.

An East Renfrewshire council spokeswoman said: “Following feedback from parents and the release of additional funding from the UK Government, it has been agreed that a security guard will be employed at Calderwood Lodge to support the school’s existing security procedures. The funding from the government is in place to support existing security measures at Jewish schools and organisations across the UK. There have not been any security threats at Calderwood Lodge or in the local community. This decision has been taken as a result of parental feedback and takes advantage of the additional funding available.”

Earlier this month it was reported that Jewish students in Scotland were afraid to reveal their Jewish identity.

Source: The National

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Celtic FC director receives “criminally racist” antisemitic abuse

Celtic FC supporters angered by their one of their club’s non-executive directors’ support of the British government’s tax credit cuts have directed antisemitic abuse at him online, it has emerged.

The Glasgow club’s fans take pride in the club’s history of supporting people in poverty, and most of the anger directed toward Ian Livingston has been expressed in political terms.

But there have also been bigoted comments posted on fans’ forums, as the Conservative peer revealed yesterday in a message on one such forum. His comments came by way of explanation after club chairman Ian Bankier mentioned there had been “criminally racist” insults to Lord Livingston, a claim that caused uproar among the fans who felt Bankier was seeking to deflect criticism.

Lord Livingston, a prominent businessman and former chief executive of BT Group, wrote: “I hope you don’t mind me posting this. As the person about whom a number of abusive comments were made, I thought you might be interested in a couple of the racist ones so you can perhaps see why the chairman was upset about them. Michael Higgins: ‘Get this Ashkenazi c**t out of our club and take that other fake Jew prick Biton with him. This is typical of their sort, infiltrating and destroying every country and establishment from within.’ Or someone under the name Ross Grant saying ‘He’s a Jew what do you expect’.

“Many others were simply abusive, not, I assume, anything to do with my religion but rather because I had a different political view.

“Actually I wasn’t in agreement with the nature of the tax credit cuts but believed that this motion was not something the unelected House of Lords should do, so voted against it.

“No doubt some will disagree but you might consider the nature of expressing your view and whether abuse is also in line with your view of Celtic’s ethos. I have always believed Celtic fans are the best in the world and a few racist postings on social media will not change that.”

The Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters’ Clubs, Celtic Trust and the Green Brigade condemned the antisemitic abuse but rejected Bankier’s description of it as “criminally racist”, and called on him to “consider his position as chairman”.


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Jewish students in Scotland “feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity”

report in today’s Herald reveals the fears of Jewish students at Scottish universities. Students have reportedly said that they were “hounded” for failing to attend lectures during Shabbat, and one student even told the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (ScoJeC): “I was told by my university that either I sit exams on Shabbat or I fail.” In another case, a Jewish student said that she no longer went to the business school or library and was worried about attending classes “due to fear of being harassed or attacked.”

In a letter voicing concerns about a new definition of academic freedom, which ScoJeC worried could make it even harder to protect Jewish students’ rights, ScoJeC wrote: “It is troubling that when the Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland has intervened with the support of ScoJeC to assist Jewish students who find themselves subject to abuse, our concerns have been dismissed by senior university staff who appear not to recognise that there have been failures.”

ScoJeC blamed much of the intimidation of Jewish students on the tenor of political discourse about Israel, writing: “We have evidence that the manner in which some academic and research staff have expressed views about the situation in the Middle East has contributed to both Jewish and Israeli students feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity at the very time in their lives when they should have the freedom to explore it. The issue is not that some academic and research staff hold views about the situation in the Middle East — that is their right. Nor is it simply that they have expressed those views in public — what concerns us greatly is the manner in which some staff have done so.”

Universities are supposed to be places of tolerance and respect, but for Jewish students across the UK university is often not the broadening experience that it should be. Any Jewish student who voices support for Israel, where half of the world’s Jews live, is liable to face a wall of extreme, unabating hatred, which is the opposite of what university should be. The victimisation of Jewish students in this way appears to allow more traditional forms of discrimination to flourish.

Source: CFCA/The Herald

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Scottish politician apologises for “accidental” antisemitic conspiracy tweet

A Member of the Scottish Parliament who shared an antisemitic image on Twitter has apologised and said that she did so “in error”.

Sandra White, the Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, re-tweeted to her 6000-plus followers a cartoon showing piglets suckling from a pig bearing a Star of David and the word “Rothschild”.

The piglets were drawn to represent countries and institutions including Britain, Israel, Al-Qaeda and Mossad.

The image originated from an account in the name of Charles Frith, a regular source of antisemitic tweets and images.

Ms White apologised on Monday. A Scottish National Party spokesman told the JC: “This tweet was re-tweeted in error and has been removed from Sandra White’s account. Sandra apologises for any offence caused.”

The tweet also included an image of Rupert Murdoch as a puppet-master, controlling politicians including David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has acknowledged the Scottish Jewish community’s concerns about antisemitism and denied in September that there was an “antisemitic culture in the Scottish Parliament”.