Friday, February 24, 2017

Belgian anti-racism official defends Palestinian he helped convict for hate speech

Via JTA:
Jews from Belgium’s Flemish Region said they “lost all confidence” in the country’s  anti-racism authority over its lawyer’s defense of a Palestinian man whom the same lawyer helped convict for hate speech over calls to slaughter Jews. (Note: none of the Belgian French-speaking organisation (the CCLJ and the CCOJB, the latter a member of the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress) reported on the events in Antwerp, the subsequent condemnation and UNIA's attitude...)
The unusual rebuke Thursday by the Forum of Jewish Organization of Flanders came after the Jewish weekly Joods Actueel published a leaked email written by Johan Otte, a judicial expert of the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, or UNIA.
In it, Otte condemned the conviction on Tuesday for incitement to violence by a criminal tribunal in Antwerp of a man who in 2014 shouted anti-Semitic slogans during a protest rally in that city. The man, who is Belgian Palestinian, according to the media in Belgium, was given a six-month suspended sentence. Two defendants who also stood trial alongside him were acquitted. 
Otte’s rebuke, in which he called the sentence “distorted justice instead of true justice” is remarkable also because UNIA was one of two complainants who initiated the trial against the man the court convicted. The other party was the Flemish Jewish forum.
“The email clearly illustrates that UNIA’s sympathy lies with the perpetrator over his would-be victims,” the Jewish group wrote in their statement.
According to the Gazet van Antwerpen daily, the defendant, who is appealing his sentence, shouted about Khaybar – a place in modern-day Saudi Arabia where in the seventh century Muslims massacred and expelled Jews. According to Joods Actueel, the defendant also shouted about slaughtering Jews.
Joods Actueel editor-in-chief Michael Freilich said the case was the latest in a list of failures to confront anti-Semitism by the Belgian state authority for fighting racism. He added UNIA’s track record suggests “it is only paying lip service” to the fight against anti-Semitism when in reality it fails to act on this type of racism as vigorously as it confronts other forms of xenophobia.
UNIA’s press service did not reply to requests for comment by JTA and Joods Actueel.
On Friday, Liesbeth Homans, the minister in charge of equal opportuities within the government of te Flemish Region — one of three entities that make up the federal Belgian state — called for a review of UNIA’s activities in light of Joods Actueel’s report.
In 2011, a police superintendent, David Vroome, told Joods Actueel that an employee of UNIA’s predecessor said that Jews “think they can get away with everything because they have money, financial power but also because they keep triggering our guilt over the Holocaust.”

France: Muslim parliamentary assistant 'likes' anti-Semitic and negationist posts

Via L'Express:

L'Express and le Canard Enchaîné were the first newspapers to report that Yacine Chaouat, a parliamentary assistant to Senator Roger Madec (Socialist Party), had been posting jihadi propaganda on his Facebook account involving beheadings, calls to join the jihad, denigration of the kafirs (the infidels).

One of his acquaintances identified him and alerted the authorities to the "really worrying" facts.

"At the beginning, it was about 'liking' anti-Semitic and negationist posts", she said, adding that the 'likes' were followed by jihadist propaganda.

Yacine Chaouat, a former deputy to the mayor of Paris, was at the heart of a controversy in 2015 when he was appointed to the newly-formed national secretariat of the PS, because of his conviction in 2010 for domestic violence. Under pressure, he resigned.

At the time, Yacine Chaouat, denounced on Facebook, a "double penalty". "It is with sadness that I find that in today's France, as Muslims we do not have a second chance," he wrote.

Experts consistently argue that antisemitism is to be found only among the disaffected, uneducated, dispossessed young Muslims in the 'banlieues'.  This case shows how wrong and biased their arguments are.  It also shows that it never stops with the Jews!

France: Jewish brothers kidnapped, attacked with wood saw near Paris

Via i24NEWS: 
Men of 'Middle Eastern appearance' forced brothers off road in suburb outside Paris
Two French Jewish brothers were briefly abducted and abused by a group of men in a Paris suburb in an incident that ended with the brothers being beaten and attacked with a wood saw, the victims' father told i24NEWS on Thursday.
Armand Azoulay, who is a leader of the Jewish community in Bondy, located some 11 km northeastern of the center of Paris, said his sons aged 29 and 17, were forced off the road by a group of men described as having a Middle Eastern appearance. 
The attackers forced the brothers to stop their car, and one of the attackers then "grabbed my son by the throat" and took out a "wood saw" Azoulay said.  He attempted to saw off the finger of one of his sons, but did not succeed. 
"The finger has not been severed," Azoulay said, responding to an earlier rumor that his son's finger had been cut off. 
A report by the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, published a case report Thursday based on a police complaint by the victims, saying the brothers were hospitalized in a state of shock. 
The driver and a passenger in the attacking vehicle hurled anti-Semitic slogans at the brothers, including “Dirty Jews, You’re going to die!” Azoulay told i24NEWS. 
"This was an anti-Semitic attack in all its forms," ​​he stressed.French Jews have been hit with a wave of anti-Semitism in recent years, with a record 8,000 or so French Jews moving to Israel in 2015 alone, according to Israeli figures.
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

4% of Jews in Belgium and France left for Israel between 2010 and 2015

The report does not take into account the Jews who left Europe to the United States, Canada and Australia.  Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament, warned:  “According to the Jewish Agency, almost ten thousand Jews moved to Israel in 2015, including eight thousand from France alone. This was double the 2014 figure. This, sadly, is the result of a persistent climate of hatred towards Jews: their numbers fell substantially from two million in Europe in 1991 to one million four hundred thousand in 2010. Yet Europe without Jews would no longer be Europe."

Via The Guardian:
Demonstration in Brussels
Some European countries have seen an increase in the number of Jews leaving to live in Israel but the numbers fall short of an “exodus”, according to a new study.
The Institute of Jewish Policy Research compared recent trends of Jewish migration with cases of mass migration in response to persecution or major political upheavals in the past.
Jonathan Boyd, the IJPR’s executive director, said: “There is no evidence of an exodus of Jews from Europe, even though the numbers of Jews emigrating to Israel from some countries in recent years – most notably France – are unprecedented.”
Two victimes of the massacre at the
Jewish museum in Brussels perpetrated
by Mehdi Nemmouche (2014)
He added: “It is clear that Jews in parts of Europe are genuinely concerned about their future, most likely because of antisemitism, but the levels of anxiety and apprehension are nowhere near those experienced during previous periods of intense stress, like the 1930s and 1940s. Drawing those types of parallels has no basis in empirical reality.”
The IJPR looked at six countries – France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, which account for about 70% of European Jews. It concluded there had been an increase in migration, especially from France, Belgium and Italy; but in the UK, Germany and Sweden levels of migration were not unusual.
Suggesting a definition of an exodus as 30% of the Jewish population, it said 4% of Jews in Belgium and France had left for Israel between 2010 and 2015. The proportion leaving from the UK, Germany and Sweden was between 0.6% and 1.7%.
The context, said the report, was a significant demographic transformation of Europe, with an inflow of migrants from the Middle East, north Africa and south Asia, which had implications for European culture, traditions and politics. (...)
Daniel Staetsky, the author of the IJPR report, said: “European demographic and political landscapes are changing … Large segments of Jewish populations in European countries perceive antisemitism to be on the increase. There is no perfect tool to measure the prevalence and strength of antisemitic attitudes in the general public, but some phenomena can be measured by their effects.  
“Migration plays a very central role in Jewish demography, as Jews are known to move in response to a particularly acute deterioration in the political or economic situation. If Jews feel unwelcome in Europe, their movement out of Europe will serve as the first sure sign of that.” 
read more

Connected:

As Jews flee Belgium, a seder marks a family exodus

How my JTA reporting about an anti-Semitic cartoon changed my views of Belgium — for the worse


"In the Paris region, there are virtually no more Jewish pupils attending public schools"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

France: Muslim hero of the left is anti-semitic, homophobic, sexist, anti-France etc.

This has come as a terrible shock to the French people.  Countless articles and editorials have been since the story has come out about the "Mehdi Meklat case".

The cover of the leftist magazine Les Inrockuptibles, featuring France-haters Mehdi Meklat (right), and Badrou (Badroudine Saïd Abdallah), Meklat's partner on the radio (left) and former minister of Justice Christiane Taubira (center), who is so "sensitive" to discrimination and racism...
The most serious aspect in the case of Mehdi Meklat of the Bondy Blog, who posted on Twitter (under the nickname of Marcelin Deschamps before using his real name name) a spate of anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist messages while also targeting a number of personalities with vile messages which could land him in a court, is the responsibility of the media who hired, supported, promoted and praised him...

Media outlets (Mediapart, Libération's Bondy Blog, Télérama, Le Monde, Les Inrocks, France 2, France Inter ...) either did not know who Mehdi Meklat was, and their credibility is deeply flawed, or they knew and still promoted him - this raises questions about their intentions and how they conceive their role in reporting what is happening in French society.

An aggravating factor is the different standards applied by professional do-gooders and self-righteous  in the field of anti-racism and the fight against discrimination. If a young member of the far right party FN, for example, had written the incriminated tweets the condemnation would be, quite rightly, immediate - he would have been nailed to the pillory by the same media, and would certainly have found himself in court.

Bur for people like Mehdi Meklat who disseminate racist, homophobic and sexist tweets the treatment is quite different.  Excuses and praise are found in abundance.

Last week, Mehdi Meklat was a guest at the most prestigious literary programme in France (La Grande Librairie hosted by François Busnel) to speak about his book - the book is published by the prestigious Seuil.


Mehdi Meklat wrote, for instance, that he was sorry Ben Laden is dead.
"Come on let's stick a violin in Mrs Valls' arse".  Manuel Valls is the former socialist P.M. and his wife is Jewish and a musician. 
"Bring in Hitler for him to kill all the Jews." 
"You, the white people should die ASAP." 
"I will push a burning light bulb into Brigitte Bardot's arse until she spits blood." 
"I spit sputum on the lousy face of Charb and of all this from Charlie hebdo." 
"Sarkozy = the synagogue = the jews = Shalom = yes, my son = the money." 
"I won 20 dollars at the PMU (horse racing bets), but I didn't re-bet the money because I'm a Jew."
The content of Badroudine Saïd Abdallah's tweets are in the same vein and he signed some "Fuck France".  He wishes he could dress up as Ben Laden at Ground Zero on the night of Halloween.  For him, France stinks of shit, of hatred and of Le Pen...


World famous... The Washington Post and The New Yorker wrote about Mehdi Meklat and Badroudine Saïd Abdallah...  
Two millennials in France want to change narrative about Muslim communities

THE OTHER FRANCE - Are the suburbs of Paris incubators of terrorism?






Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sweden: Anti-Semitic incidents have trebled in Malmö in recent years

Via Brendan O'Neill:
The Twitterati is laughing its head off at Trump and his alt-right cheerleaders for saying there are cultural tensions in places like Malmo in Sweden. Everything is cool in Sweden, they say. 
Anti-Semitic incidents have trebled in Malmö in recent years. A chapel that serves Jews has been repeatedly desecrated. A local rabbi says he is regularly spat on and abused. The Jewish community centre was bombed. The Telegraph says more than 30 Jewish families have left the city. Should we not talk about this? Perhaps it's Islamophobic to talk about anti-Semitism? 
How easy it is for comfortable, happy, non-Jewish columnists in London and New York to say "Everything is fine in Sweden!" They are stupidly pushing more and more people towards Trump, because he appears to be the only person willing to discuss the new cultural and social tensions. The alt-right is the only beneficiary when the left engages in the Orwellian airbrushing tactic of saying "Everything's cool". It's about time the left took the problem of anti-Semitism seriously.

UK: Bristol University lecturer claims that Jews should stop 'privileging' the Holocaust


Via Telegraph:
Bristol University is investigating claims of anti-Semitism after an article by one of its lecturers emerged, in which she says Jews should stop “privileging” the Holocaust.

Dr Rebecca Gould, a reader in translation studies and comparative literature at the elite Russell Group university, has been accused of using the “language of Holocaust denial”.

(...)

The article  is titled Beyond Anti-Semitism and was published in a 2011 edition of the American radical left-wing magazine Counter Punch while Dr Gould was an assistant professor at the University of Iowa.

She claims that the Holocaust is “available to manipulation by governmental elites, aiming to promote the narrative most likely to underwrite their claims to sovereignty.”

Dr Gould goes on to say that casting the Holocaust as a “holy event” allows it to be used as a tool by the state of Israel to “whitewash its crimes”.

She adds that “Israel must find a way of not passing on the crimes the Nazis introduced into the world onto the next generation of its citizens”.

She concludes by writing that “perhaps the time has come to stop privileging the Holocaust as the central event in Jewish history”.

When contacted by The Telegraph, Dr Gould declined to retract her comments, arguing that her article was a “rallying call to action” for “people of conscience horrified by the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazi regime to stand up against all atrocities and injustices today around the world, including in the occupied Palestinian territories”. 

Denying claims of anti-Semitism Dr Gould quoted  Edward W. Said: "The task of criticism...is to make distinctions...To oppose Zionism in Palestine has never meant, and does not now mean, being anti-Semitic."
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Russia: Hostage taker refers to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion


Via Sputnik:
On Monday, a man from Moscow took his own family hostage, locking them in their own apartment. Earlier, the man had requested asylum in North Korea, China and Iran.

(...)

Before the hostage situation unfolded, the man had posted on his VK.com page, calling for help with getting in touch with embassies of China, North Korea and Iran: "Get the media attention. I don't care if I end up in jail or a funny farm <…> I need to get in contact with an embassy. <…> If you want to help me, contact the embassy of China, North Korea or Iran. Pass along my message: I will talk only when I'm on the territory of [any one of] these embassies."

The man ended his message with a peculiar advice: "Read the protocols of Zionist wisemen. I have proof!"

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UK: Antisemitic graffiti found in Kew promoting Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy myth



Via CAA:
Grossly offensive and antisemitic graffiti has been found on park benches next to Kew Pier in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.

While walking her dog on Sunday 12th February, Drorit Etzioni, a Jewish lady, spotted the antisemitic graffiti and took photos. “Bank of England” surrounded by stars of David was daubed in thick black paint on one bench and “Goyim, Holohoax, Google” on another. She was left shaken by the graffiti. A friend reported the incident to Campaign Against Antisemitism and the police on her behalf so that it can be thoroughly investigated and the graffiti removed. Kew Pier and nearby Kew Gardens are popular spots for young families and tourists.

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Germany: DİTİB claims hate speech among members against Jews, Christians not known by administration


Via TurkishMinute:
The German-based Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) has claimed that its central administration was not aware of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian messages posted by its members on Facebook, vowing to investigate them.

Deutsche Welle reported on the statement of DİTİB, an organization that has nearly 800,000 members and 900 associations connected to mosques of the Turkish congregation in Germany. The country hosts at least 3 million people of Turkish origin.

DİTİB Executive Director Nevzat Yaşar Aşıkoğlu issued a statement in Cologne describing the hate messages as provocative and said that such actions would have consequences.

Hessen radio announced on Sunday that DİTİB’s Facebook account spread hate speech against Jews and Christians in Turkish.

read more

Germany: Suspect arrested in bombing that hit Jewish migrants in 2000


Via Times of Israel:
A 50-year-old German far-right extremist suspected of carrying out a bloody bomb attack that injured 10 immigrants — six of them Jewish — in 2000 was arrested after bragging to fellow inmates about the crime, officials said Wednesday.

Dusseldorf prosecutors said the suspect, identified only as Ralf S. in line with Germany privacy laws, was arrested Tuesday in the nearby town of Ratingen, ending an almost 17-year hunt for the perpetrator.

The suspect had been a questioned by police soon after the bombing at Dusseldorf-Wehrhahn train station on July 27, 2000, but wasn’t arrested at the time due to a lack of evidence.

Prosecutors said they received a tip from a prisoner in 2014 that the man had bragged about the crime, prompting them to re-open the case and follow up 330 leads.

The victims were on their way home from a German-language class when the pipe bomb exploded. Among the wounded was a 26-year-old woman from Ukraine who suffered a miscarriage.

A few months after the attack, a Dusseldorf synagogue was firebombed, prompting fears of a wave of far-right violence. German news site Spiegel Online reported that the suspect was known for having extremist views and operated a store selling military gear near the site of the bombing.

read more

Monday, February 20, 2017

Germany: AfD politician under investigation for sharing picture ‘asking Hitler to come back’


Via Independent:
A German politician is under investigation for allegedly circulating a photo of Adolf Hitler and pleading for the Nazi leader’s return.

Elena Roon, the Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) regional chair and parliamentary candidate in Nuremberg, is accused of sharing the image with fellow members of the populist party in a WhatsApp chat.

“Missed since 1945”, the caption reportedly read. “Adolf please get in touch! Germany needs you! The German people!”

Party officials said they were treating the allegations very seriously, forming a panel to investigate Ms Roon, although it was unclear whether she would be removed as an election candidate.

In a statement, she said she didn’t want Hitler to return “under any circumstances”, admitting she posted the images but insisting she did not condone them.

“I distance myself from right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism,” Ms Roon added.

The controversy comes as the AfD moves to expel its leader in the region of Thuringia, after he provoked outrage in Germany for calling the Berlin Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame”.

read more

UK universities urged to tackle rising tide of antisemitism on campus


Via Guardian:
Universities are being urged to act swiftly to tackle antisemitism on campuses after a series of incidents in recent weeks – including Holocaust denial leaflets, fascist stickers and swastikas etched on and around campuses – which have fuelled anxiety among Jewish students.

Leading academics, student representatives and experts on antisemitism expressed concern at the widespread nature of the incidents, which have affected a number of higher education institutions across the country.

Earlier this week it emerged that a swastika and a “Rights for Whites” sign had been found at halls of residence at Exeter, which the university described after an initial investigation as “an ill-judged, deeply offensive joke”.

There have also been incidents reported at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sussex and University College London recently, which the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said indicated some level of coordination. It is thought to be part of a wider spike in hate crime targeting Jews and other minority communities.


read more

Israeli envoy raps Russia for blocking anti-Semitism definition


Via Times of Israel:
Israel’s ambassador in Moscow criticized Russia for blocking the international adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism, which he linked to a recent string of allegedly racist statements about Jews by Russian politicians.

Gary Koren made his unusual statement on anti-Semitism in Russia in an interview with Interfax, the news agency reported Wednesday. Koren singled out Russia for blocking the definition’s adoption by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental group of 57 member states.

“The OSCE has attempted to determine a text, which ought to define what can be classified as anti-Semitism and what its working definition is,” the envoy said. “We are discussing this issue with the Russian Foreign Ministry and hope that Russia will adopt this definition in the future.”
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Europe: Top European rabbi says synagogues no longer safe haven

Via The Jerusalem Post:
“Synagogues are no longer a safe haven,” a top European rabbi said Sunday at a panel discussion about the situation of Jews across the continent, held in the framework of the Munich Security Conference.

“At the back of almost every Jew’s mind is the possibility of what could happen. Sadly, in Copenhagen, Brussels and in Paris, that has become a reality,” Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said at a breakfast event he was hosting titled “Securing Jewish Communities across Europe.” 
“The Jewish community finds itself targeted from a number of directions; from the extreme Right, the extreme Left and Islamic terrorism,” he said, referring to terrorist attacks that have targeted Jews in European countries in recent years. 
The event took the form of a panel discussion featuring MK Tzipi Livni, Deputy CEO for Diplomacy of the World Jewish Congress Maram Stern, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization Dr. Peter R. Neumann and former director of Europol Jürgen Storbeck. German journalist Richard Schneider moderated the discussion. 
Stern expressed a similar sentiment to Goldschmidt, noting that while he feels comfortable walking the streets in general, when the synagogue is his destination he begins to feel uneasy. (...)
Neumann described Jews as a “priority target.” 
“They are the first ones to be targeted.
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