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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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Legal challenge to infamous neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin clears first legal obstacle

A lawsuit against the founder of the neo-Nazi publication the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, a far-right extremist who named the publication after the propaganda paper of the Third Reich, has cleared a major legal hurdle.

Anglin’s lawyers had challenged the US courts’ jurisdiction in the case, claiming he was not “a citizen of any state” and was not resident in the US when the alleged conduct was committed. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch dismissed this, stating that there was clear evidence that Anglin was domiciled in Ohio when the lawsuit was filed.

Tanya Gersh commenced legal action against Anglin last April, alleging that he had intentionally inflicted “emotional distress” against her, in breach of a Montana anti-intimidation law. Gersh claims that Anglin initiated what turned into a barrage of antisemitic abuse directed at her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, when he claimed that they were running an “extortion racket” against the mother of Anglin’s fellow neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. Anglin allegedly publicised the personal information of Jewish residents to his neo-Nazi following, which Gersh claims was used to incite the campaign; one of his articles allegedly urged neo-Nazis to “take action” against Gersh and other Jewish residents of Whitefish.

Gersh claims that her family received reams of threatening antisemitic messages, including her 12-year-old son.

Critics have accused Anglin of attempting to evade the lawsuit by concealing his whereabouts, which he claims he has done in response to “credible death threats”. He vacated the United States in 2010, but Gersh’s lawyers successfully proved he had maintained sufficient business, civic and family ties to the US to demonstrate that he was still domiciled there, including maintaining a postal address to receive donations. Speaking from the Bench, Magistrate Lynch said “even assuming Anglin’s statements are true, they are not sufficient to demonstrate that he lost his Ohio domicile by acquiring a new one abroad”.

David Dinielli, representing Gersh from the Southern Poverty Law Center, claimed that the decision was a clear indication that “you can run but you can’t hide” and that “traipsing around the world doesn’t mean you can escape the responsibility for the harm you caused in the U.S., even if that conduct occurred over the internet”.

Whilst the contemporary far right has attempted to re-brand itself into something more palatable, Anglin’s publication is explicitly neo-Nazi, with sections on the “Jewish question” and “race war”. Google and GoDaddy temporarily rendered the site inaccessible after Anglin mocked the victim of a neo-Nazi terrorist in a car ramming attack at Charlottesville.

Anglin’s site is currently describing Gersh and her team as “Jewish terrorists” on a bulletin pictured below.

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Canadian Jews express dismay as Imam calling for Allah to slaughter Jews and “give victory” to Jihadis faces no criminal charges

B’nai Brith Canada has expressed it shock following reports from Montreal police that Imams who allegedly made antisemitic comments, including allegedly inciting violence against Jews, would face no criminal charges.

B’nai Brith tweeted that it is “outraged that Quebec prosecutors have chosen not”, whilst adding that claims that too much time has elapsed since the alleged incident are “blatantly false”.

The complaints were made in respect of two sermons given by Wael al-Ghitawi and Sayed al-Ghitawi  at the Al-Andalous Islamic Centre in the St-Laurent borough of Montreal in 2014.

A video showed Sayed al-Ghitawi allegedly calling on Allah “to destroy the accursed Jews” and to “give victory to our brothers who engage in jihad in Palestine”, as well as calling for Jihadis to “kill them one by one” and “make their children orphans and their women widows”.

In the Mosque’s “clarification”, they stated that his his comments were referring merely to killing members of the IDF which they claimed was responsible for an ongoing “massacre” in the region.

The second complaint was made in respect of the Mosque’s Imam, Wael al-Ghitawi, who allegedly claimed that the Jews had no lineage to Ancient Israel and no claim on Modern day Israel. He allegedly describes Jews as having been cursed by Allah for having supposedly killed prophets and rejected Jesus.

B’nai Brith Canada have said that they “won’t accept” the lack of action by the police and are expected to challenge the disgraceful decision on the part of the police to abdicate their responsibility to bring antisemites to justice.

 

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Neo-Nazi finally faces trial, after 2 year delay, for threatening to massacre Jewish schoolchildren

David Lenio is finally being charged with allegedly threatening to massacre Jewish schoolchildren, after a delay of almost two years.

Lenio, a White Nationalist from Montana, is alleged to have said that he wishes to “execute 30 or more grade school students”, put “two in the head of a Rabbi or Jewish leader”, and said that the “USA needs a Hitler to rise to power”.

He is also alleged to have tweeted:

“I think every jew on the planet deserves to be killed for what kikes have done to our #dollar and cost of living Killing jews > wage #slave”

“I’m not even opposed to shooting up a random school like that sandy hoax stunt only realer, to voice my displeasure with being a wage slave”

“Let’s make national news, I david lenio know israel did 9/11 and I am so poor that I want to shoot up a kalispell Montana public school …”

Lenio appears to have been arrested in 2015, and subsequently released on a plea bargain which saw felony charges for intimidation reduced to a misdemeanour, in a manner which has been called into question.  Despite repeatedly referring to himself as a “wage slave”, Lenio appears to have been released into the custody of his wealthy investment banker father.

As a condition of this release, he was ordered not to use social media, a restriction which he has allegedly consistently breached. Despite him initially being apprehended with several weapons, there does not appear to be any evidence that he was disarmed as a condition of his release.

Fortunately, it appears that Lenio will finally come before a Judge this month to answer felony charges. The fact that it has taken this long, despite him apparently having consistently fetishised violence, particularly against Jews, is a rather worrying failure of the Justice and Security systems in the United States. This is a man who repeatedly threatened to kill Jews, against whom a case was dropped in an apparently clandestine manner, and who appeared to be heavily armed. Indeed, it seems quite miraculous that he did not carry out any of the attacks that he threatened, given that the only engagement he was forced to have with the authorities was to report where he was living if he moved. We can only hope that he finally meets with the full force of the law and that prosecutors are more proactive against bringing similar threats to justice in the future.

 

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Italian court rules that antisemitic slurs in football match are “merely sports ridicule”

Two fans of the Italian football team Lazio have been acquitted after having been accused of antisemitic abuse during a game in 2013.

During a game against Calcio Catania, Lazio fans were caught on CCTV making antisemitic chants about their rivals, Roma.

They screamed the words “yellow-red Jew”, referring to the Roma strips, among other antisemitic language. The use of the word Jew as a pejorative is clearly antisemitic, regardless of the context.

However, the Judge has acquitted the fans on the basis that the antisemitic language is acceptable based on the “historic sports antagonism between the two urban teams” and the fact that they were not playing against Roma, writing off the abuse as “merely sports ridicule”

The head of Rome’s Jewish community said “This is, without doubt, an extremely dangerous precedent for justice in this country”. Unfortunately, this may make the word “Jew” acceptable to use as an insult.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the International Definition of Antisemitism here.

 

 

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Man shouts “Jews, gas them all” and “Sieg Heil” as he is sentenced

A judge was caught up in a colourful verbal exchange with a defendant during sentencing.

John Hennigan, 50, told Judge Patricia Lynch QC that she was a “bit of a c*nt”. Judge Lynch, angered by the comments from the man who has repeatedly been involved in racist offences, told him: “You are a bit of a c*** yourself. Being offensive to me doesn’t help”.

Mr Hennigan was jailed for 18 months for insulting a black mother.

However, as he was sentenced he repeatedly banged on the glass, performed Nazi salutes and shouted “Sieg Heil”.

He also sang “Jews, gas them all” several times before being removed.

Mr Hennigan has previously been involved in many racist incidents. He was sentenced for having told a black woman that doesn’t “agree with inter-racial relationships”. This marked the ninth time he breached an ASBO designed to warn him away from racist actions.

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Austrian state prosecutor rules it is “plausible” that Holocaust survivors constituted a “plague” on residents near concentration camps

The prosecution service for the city of Graz, Austria has made a statement that far-right magazine Die Aula was justified in describing liberated prisoners from the Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp as a “plague”.

Over the summer, Die Aula wrote, “The fact that a non-negligible portion of freed prisoners became a plague on people is deemed by the judiciary to have been proven and is only disputed today by concentration camp fetishists.”

Mauthausen was one of the largest slave camp complexes in the German-controlled areas of Europe, with four main sub-camps at Mauthausen and nearby Gusen, and nearly 100 other sub-camps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. The death toll remains unknown, although most sources place it between 122,766 and 320,000 for the entire complex.

Prosecution services initiated legal proceedings against Die Aula on grounds of Holocaust denial and inciting hatred but later dropped the charges. In their statement on the decision, they wrote “It is plausible that the release of several thousand people from the Mauthausen concentration camp presented a burden to the affected areas of Austria.”

Last week, Graz was the location of an act of vandalism against a Holocaust memorial.

Sources: ReutersWikipedia