Category: Articles

The Avengers- Fighting Antisemitism Together

Have you ever felt alone in your never-ending war against the bad guys? Fighting antisemitism is a harsh task, and as such it demands ones full devotion. Between all the ugly tweets, videos and countless images of swastikas and broken monuments, we should remember that we are not alone in this battle. Getting to know the organizations and institutions that are standing alongside us, can help us maximize our abilities and be a gate for new corporations in the muddy struggle for justice.

Captain America- Anti Defamation league (http://www.adl.org/)

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” ADL fights antisemitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. The league not only collects data about Anti- Semitic incidents, but it also promotes counter activities and actions against those incidents. The league’s website is very helpful, mainly due to its rich reports and data. In addition, the league encourages donations from citizens who wish to contribute to the fight against antisemitism.

Iron Man- They Can’t (http://www.theycant.com/)

Established in 2013, the organization is based on a simple idea- monitoring Hateful and Anti-Semitic content online, reporting them to the “internet authorities” and thus helping the web “clean” itself from those contents (sounds familiar?). The organization is based in Jerusalem, and it’s completely founded by supporters and members. So far their struggle has been very productive- with over 43,000 videos removed from YouTube as of 2016.

Dr. Banner– the Vidal Sasson international center for the study of antisemitism (http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/indexheb.htm)

The center was established In order to developed scientific tools to understand the phenomena of antisemitism. It focuses on studying the history of hate towards Jews and the relationships between Jews and non-Jews. In addition, the center is offering sponsoring projects in a variety of disciplines, such as history, political science, psychology, sociology, economics, literature, and the arts.

Hawkeye– FAST: Fighting antisemitism Together (http://fightingantisemitism.ca/)

Canada is home to delicious maple syrup, the legendary Wayne Gretzky and this organization- which declared itself “a home for non-Jewish Canadian business and community leaders who came together to speak out against antisemitism and to fund education and other projects that encourage other non-Jews to speak out.” The project is active mainly in Canada’s high Education System, in which it operates both online and on field programs to fight antisemitism.

 

 

 

How Have Universities Become a Lodestone for Anti-Semitic Activity?

When picturing universities we usually think of green lawns, a rich intellectual environment and the sweet-sour smell of a few dozen students with hangovers gathered together in a classroom. The open minded attitude of the high education system contributed to some of the most remarkable inventions and ideas ever from Penicillin to philosophy. From mapping the skies to digging into the deep secrets of the earth (and to the minds of many unfortunate students), universities are considered an open-box of creativity and free-thought. However, this open-minded attitude has negative sides. When ideas however horrible or awful they may be are not condemned in the name of Academic freedom, disaster may result.In recent years Anti-Semitism is just one of those ideas, and it seems that with time it only becomes more popular and acceptable around the academic world.

Much is heard of Anti-Semitic incidents taken place in universities. How much exactly? A survey published in February 2015 by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law found that 54% of the participants had been subject to or witnessed Anti-Semitism on their campus in the United States. This problem is not apparent in the U.S. alone and has shown common in other places like Australia, France and Great Britain, where proof of Anti-Semitic activity in campuses is accumulating. In Great Britain for example, there have been over 30 acts of intimidation reported against Jewish students in the past 5 years alone.

It seems that the main reason for Anti-Semitism today is a twisted variation of Anti-Israel criticism. This kind of criticism is often directed towards Israeli Foreign Policy and most specifically IDF soldiers stationed in the West Bank, and other accusations which concern the occupation of the Palestinians and a supposedly apartheid policy towards them. The BDS movement is probably the most familiar one among these organizations, and it publicly calls to boycott Israeli products and Israeli personas. However the BDS movement is also contributing to the rise of hatred towards Jews. Surveys show that Anti-Israel activity contributes directly to incidents of Anti-Semitism on college campuses.

This kind of atmosphere has a permanent effect on Jewish students who choose to enter in the system of higher education. In Canada a former Israeli student named Shelley Yachaev eitnessed the anti-Israel propaganda at York University evolve over the four years she had been there. Yachaeve said “I don’t walk  anywhere in York (anymore) where I trust the fact I can speak freely”. One man’s academic freedom has proven another’s nightmare.

Even in this poisoned environment, positive acts can be found. In York University, Jewish students along with non-Jewish students have pledged to tackle anti-Semitism together.

“[We wish to] reassure students who are concerned about anti-Semitism, raising awareness about the points of contact, [and showing how] students can use tools to raise specific concerns and ensure that Jewish staff and students of all nationalities feel welcome at York University,” a York University personnel was quoted as saying.

Anti-Semitic Restaurant in The Ukraine

A restaurant in The Ukraine is using Anti-Semitic stigmas while serving food to its clients. Although the restaurant is built right next to the ruins of an ancient synagogue destroyed by the Nazis during WWII (and being named after the synagogue!), the restaurant is knowingly offensive towards Jews.

The menu doesn’t show prices because “it’s Jewish tradition to haggle“. Pig is not served, but the “kind” waiter will serve it to you if you are willing to “pay some more money”.  The owner insists that the language used in the restaurant is done with humor, and that he shares great respect towards Jews and their traditions.

Although it is offensive, the restaurant is very popular in The Ukraine. It’s rated 5 stars in Facebook, and the restaurant gets good reviews. It is odd though, that the costumers fail to see the wrongness in their plate, maybe the discount offered (according to Facebook) is blinding them.

B’Chol Dor VaDor- Every Generation

Winter 1953. Preparations for the annihilation of Soviet Union Jewry were peaking. According to Stalin’s orders, elaborated lists of all three million Jews who lived beyond the “Iron Curtain” were made, every worker’s union was required to make a list and send it to the local Government officials. The highlight of Stalin’s anti-Jewish propaganda was the notorious “Doctors’ plot” (or “Doctors’ Case) in which nine Jewish doctors, citizens of the Soviet Union, were falsely accused of plotting to kill government personal. By Stalin’s design, the trial was supposed to result in “spontaneous” Pogroms against Jews all around the Soviet Union. To “protect” the Jews from the pogroms, the Soviet Government was planning to send the Jews to Siberia, so half would die violently on the trains by angry mobs while the rest would freeze to death in the inhumane roofless shelters that were especially pre-made for the Jewish guests in the Siberian Steppe.

Petrified, Soviet Jews were awaiting the storm, hiding in their homes, expecting the pogroms to begin.

But then, on the very same day of Purim 1953, Joseph Stalin died.

The Soviet Regime managed to hide Stalin’s death from the public eye for two days before being forced to come out with an official announcement about the sun setting on the unions’ communist regime. But the date, the very same day of Purim, now that was a thing of notice to Jewish believers.

Interestingly enough, it seems like rulers and dictators of large States, Kingdoms and Empires are unaware of the ancient Talmudic principle: “Dina D’Malchuta Dina”, loosely translated into “the law of the kingdom is the law”. In other words, one must obey the rule and law of the “Malchut”- whatever law of the State, Kingdom or Empire the Jews are a part of (Nedarim 28a, Gittin 10b, Bava Kama 113b, Bava Batra 54b). Despite this principle, it seems like every generation is cursed with a ruler, typically a dictator, who views the Jews as an obstacle, a challenge, a “problem” to “deal with”. As the reason for hostile attention remains unknown just as the roots of antisemitism, it is worth pointing out that overall, the Jews have had an overwhelmingly positive influence on the countries, states and kingdoms they have been a part of in almost every category of statehood and government, while not being persecuted.

In England, Jews were not mistreated from the time of the establishment of the Jewish community in London in the 11th century. The kingdom benefited from the Jewish economic and political involvement, up until they were stripped from their rights piece by piece in the second half of the 13th century. The mass exile of the English Jews at the end of the 13th century had resulted in a quick escalation of the economic stability in the kingdom. Granted, many different factors led to the worsened state of England at the time. But while keeping in mind what followed the mass exile of the Jews in other places, the results are nothing short of mind boggling. In ancient Egypt, Persia and Rome and later on in England, Spain and France and up until modern times in Germany, Poland, Morocco and Russia, every time the Jews were mistreated and eventually expelled, things have worsened and gone downhill.

In my opinion, it is “Dina D’Malchut” that enables Jews to become a big part of society while away from their homeland. The understanding that ‘being a part of’ is the better way to go, has made Jews into an adaptive, resourceful and beneficial ally to those who are wise enough to welcome them as a full partner of the local law and culture. Yet, many, Stalin included, failed to recognize that very obvious outcome and chose to treat Jews as a “problem”. Between the two Jewish holidays, Purim and Passover, that commemorate the miracles that helped the Jews survive those rulers and dictators that sought to annihilate the Jews, it seems fitting to note that luckily, Stalin and his like, have failed miserably and will continue to do so as long as the Jewish people stay united and are able to combine their allegiance to the local law, together with loyalty to their own culture, religion and identity.

Written by: Daniel Levy

Greeks warn the Jews of the arrival of a “Greek Hitler”

According to Greek news site, Vice Greece around 4,000 people protested in Athens earlier this week in protest of the arrival of Greek bio metric cards, which will be issued in the coming weeks and include a microchip carrying the holder’s personal identification number. The rally was organized by a Greek Orthodox radical group, who claim to be followers of the “Old Calendar” and the protesters included members of the Nazi “Golden Dawn” party.

Abbot Methodios from the Esfigmenou monastery addressed the demonstrators accusing the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Greek politicians for trying to destroy the Orthodox traditions and deliver their country to the Jews.

The abbot claimed that the Greek citizens don’t need “Jewish money” in order to survive and threatened them with an arrival of a “new” Hitler:

“If the Jews are complaining that Hitler came and killed them [at this moment some protesters scream: LIES!], they should be careful this time, because a Greek Hitler might come. They should be very careful!”

The abbot’s anti-Semitic declarations were applauded by his supporters.

by Chirelle Chekroune

Source: http://antisemitism.org.il/article/103562/excommunicated-orthodox-abbot-warns-jews-coming-%E2%80%9Cgreek-hitler%E2%80%9D

NYPD Investigates Anti-Semitic Notes

As of recent, yet another anti-Semitic incident has occurred in East Harlem, New York. Police officials are investigating a series of terrifying anti-Semitic notes left in an apartment building, including one which reads “American Holocaust: You are a dead Jew,” sources said.

Around a month ago a similar note was faxed to officials in the city, which read: “Hassidic and Orthodox Jews are a severe danger to civilized society.” The letter further went on to say that when Jews recite the Talmud, they “siphon away life from the goyim [non-Jews] and transfer it to themselves and their family”.

An NGO which tracks hate attacks said it has documented about a dozen of these attacks specifically, which have targeted the Jewish community who reside in the Five Boroughs neighborhood of East Harlem since around September.

The Jewish presence in the State of New York expressed deep concern over the increase of anti-Semitic incidents in the city.

By: Inbal Zlotnik

Getting ‘that’ bird back into the cage

With over 500 million users, almost 10 years after launching, Twitter is without a doubt the Queen of social networks. Although, apparently, growing popularity and almost limitless exposure has its drawbacks. It seems that Twitter’s ability to control the tweets posted by their users gets weaker by the day.

When you wander inside a forest of odium, don’t be surprised when you’ll reach the highest trees in it- the trees of xenophobia and antisemitism. Twitter is no different in that regard.  Mean, hateful and offensive tweets are as common as donuts on Hanukah. You don’t need to spend hours in front of the screen to find these antisemitic tweets. In fact, just googling the words “Antisemitic Tweets” would send you to a website dedicated especially for the meanest, most racist Tweets out there. The website claims that its purpose, is to expose Anti-Semitism on the popular social network. Some of these Anti- Semetic Tweets Are extremely shocking. For example, a man named “Master Mind” tweeted on November 4th 2011, “f**k Jews and their banks n I don’t care who knows”.

Not only anonymous users such as Master Mind (I’m sure his Anonymity will soon vanish, how can the world resist such talent?) use Twitter as a mechanism of hate. During the republican debate last September, Ann Coulter, a well-known political commentator, was upset by the ongoing discussion about Israel, and thought it was going on for too long. In response, she Tweeted: “How many F**king Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Later on, Coulter advocated herself, claiming that her criticism was not pointed against Jews, but rather against the Republican candidates.

This seemingly lack of control, over the Social network is criticized by many. Most recently, by Jewish London Mayoral Candidate, Zac Goldsmith. Goldsmith attacked the company, accusing it of being at the center of a Jewish conspiracy. He pointed to such rhetoric as heralding a rising trend of antisemitism across Europe. Goldsmith warned that Europe is being flushed by an Anti- Semitic virtual wave. He pointed out the connection between the physical attacks against multiple Jewish sites in France, Belgium and Denmark over the last year, and the Social Network.

Twitter clearly mentions, in their official policies that one shouldn’t “… publish or post threats of violence against others or promote violence against others”. It seems that perhaps a company as big as Twitter can’t totally control the people using its software. Luckily, Twitter is not alone in its struggle against hate.

 

Written By: Atar David

 

 

High School Students Join Fight Against Online Antisemitism

Israeli high school students have joined the ISCA program, lowering the average age of those combating antisemitism on the internet.  The initiative, advanced by the Rishon LeZiyon municipality, will act as a pilot to integrate more teenagers in the project, and allow for more people to act against the vile hate speech circulating online.

The concept was born following the May 2015 Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism, where groups from all over the world came together to think of ways to more effectively move and stop antisemitic content from being published on various online platforms. Representatives of the municipality who were present at the discussion suggested creating a framework for the city’s educational institutions to join the fight against offensive content.

As a first step, a select group of high school volunteers will work together under the guidance of university students, monitoring and reporting antisemtic posts on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In the future, the municipality hopes more students and more schools will take part in the project, which is both educational and contributes to society. The municipality hopes the initiative will act as a beacon for other cities and councils in Israel, harnessing the youth’s technical know-how and passion toward making the internet a safer, less offensive place.

Turkish media encourage hatred against Jews

Turkish newspapers targeted the Jewish demographic 130 times between May and August this year, according to the “Monitoring Hate Speech in the Media” report, which was released on Monday by the Hrant Dink Foundation.

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