Category: News

Antisemitism Towards Jewish Guests in Swiss Hotel

Israeli Jewish tourists who chose to stay in “Aparthaus Paradies”, a hotel which is located in a small town named Arosa in Switzerland, were astonished to see antisemitic signs hanged around the hotel. One of the sighs required the Jewish guests to take a shower before entering the swimming pool.

Many Haredi Jewish families choose to stay at the hotel during their summer vacation and it’s unfortunate that this is what they had to bump into. The Jewish couple who reported about the discriminating signs said that there were no other signs directed to other religions.

Another guest who claimed that he isn’t Jewish called the sign “racism” and wrote a comment next to it- “the sign in disgusting”.

At the hotel kitchen another sign was hanged which was directed to Jews only. The sign limited the time which Jewish guests were allowed to take food out of the refrigerator because the “staff don’t like when you disturb every time”.

“We were shocked, our feeling is that Jews and especially non Jewish people who have a religious look have no reason to visit Europe, you can feel the hate” a Jewish guests said. Another Jewish couple said “It influenced our trip in a negative way, we felt unwanted, this place is called paradise but it is definitely not a paradise for Jews, it has an antisemitic scent”.

The hotel staff apologized for the offensive signs and promised to take them down: “there was no intention to hurt anyone. We are far from anything that relates to antisemitism. Most of our guests are religious Jews and we respect them and happy to host them. The sign at the kitchen was aimed to Jewish guests who used the staff fridge to store kosher food and the signs at the pool where hanged as a result of past incident. We apologize if anyone was hurt”.

 

Source: Israel Hayom

Image: Israel Hayom

By: Yael Soffer

White Supremacist Demonstration Gets Violent in Charlottesville

A climax in Charlottesville, Virginia: the extreme-right demonstration grew violent and reached its dangerous breaking-point as a 20 year old man plowed with his car into the counter demonstrators. The car attack took the life of a 32 year old woman and injured 19 others.  Two troopers of Virginia State were killed as their police helicopter crashed while responding to clashes between the protesters.

Recently, a legal battle was managed by rightist groups and the country. It evolved around the attempt to replace some historical confederation symbols and names, which some see as offensive nowadays as they commemorate slavery and violence towards the African- Americans. The nationalist resistance did not bear fruits, and Virginia, which led to war in the past and today, was to change its symbols.

“Unite the Right 2017” demonstration meant to unite all these groups, in order to show that the right is alive and kicking. Within its organizers one can find David Duke, former leader of the KKK, Richard Spencer, a Neo- Nazi activist which imprinted the term “alt-right” and Mike Enoch.

On Friday night, 11.8, hundreds marched within Virginia University grounds in Charlottesville. Protesters held fire torches and Nazi flags, in a way resembling rallies of the KKK. They shouted “blood, soil” as the Nazi slogan, “you will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us”.

On Saturday the central rally took place at the controversial “emancipation park”, whose name was to be changed due to the legal battle. In front of them gathered few groups for counter protest. After a few clashes, Virginia’s Governor Terri McAullife declared a state of emergency and marked the gathering as illegal.

Events escalated quickly as a man plowed into the counter-demonstrators’ crowd and ran over Heather Heyer to death, injuring 19 others. The youngster, James Alex Fields, 20, from Kentucky is now arrested.

The rally exposed a lot of antisemitism to the open. Firstly, the use of Nazi symbols in this context implies right away a hard issue, by either not understanding completely the Holocaust severances, or justifying it. Another horrifying homage was the men dressed all in black with army boots and helmets- like the Nazi outfit.

Protesters also carried signs that say “Goyim know!” and “Jews are Satan’s children.” Furthermore, they called “Jew, Jew, Jew” every time the Jewish mayor name, Michael Signer was reminded. Signer who stood against the demonstration reported receiving life threats.

The felon was described by his high-school teacher as one who always had extremist and Nazi views. A school friend tells that when they walked into the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Germany, on a school trip two years ago James told a classmate he was “where the magic happened.” Other classmates described him as an angry person who spoke admiringly about the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. “He would read excerpts from Mein Kampf, and listen to Nazi propaganda music at night,” the classmate told Reuters.

Many Americans were disappointed by the President’s reaction. With the beginning of violent situation, Trump tweeted: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!” After the car attack Trump faced the cameras and called: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence, on many sides.”

Today Trump gave some more unsatisfying answers about the issue in a press conference. He had a verbal fight with a reporter, in which he tried to defend the right groups, saying not all of them are white supremacists or Neo- Nazis, but they only came to protest the replacement of the confederation symbols. He also said there are good people among the rightist group, and violent among the “alt-left”.

Trump also noted that Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, yet we respect their legacy. The important difference which he did not mention was their action towards the slaves, whereas General E. Lee was violent to his slaves and Washington and Jefferson were not.

It is enough to say that David Duke, one of the rally organizers retweeted: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/ Antifa.”

On the other hand, many politicians and even republicans stand strongly against the hate actions. Hillary Clinton called the people: “We will not step backward. If this is not who we are as Americans, let’s prove it.”

Ivanka Trump reacted: “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis.

We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville.”

Sources: Forward, CNN, The Huffington Post, Twitter

Image: Getty Images

By: Roni Zedek

 

Israeli Soccer Team Attacked in Poland

As Israel tries to gain its legitimate place in the international arena, it faces more difficulties than other nationalities do. A proof to that may be found in the case that occurred on the 2nd of August, as an Israeli soccer team (Hapoel Petah Tikva) were attacked after a practice in Sochocin, Poland.

The Israeli team were playing a practice game against the local Polish club MKS Ciechanow in a field 45 miles from Warsaw, near the woods. Out of past experience, they demanded the presence of local Police on the place. Yet at the second the practice ended, the police left. A few minutes later, 25 skin headed men, some of them masked, cracked out of the woods. Seeing the players left, the men, identified first as team Legia Warsaw fans, attacked three personnel men.

The team’s store man was hurt by three men who attacked him with feasts to his face, causing a lip injury. Two other staff members were injured. Someone yelled and all of the team rushed to help; the assailants fled back to the woods, and only one was caught. The hotel manager called the police, and as they arrived, they arrested one man, familiar to the police.

Doron Galant, the team owner, reported of the event to “ONE” sports channel, and ordered his group not to leave the hotel until the flight back tomorrow. A player of the team added: “It was very scary, reminded of movies we sometimes see on TV. The players proved responsibility when they protected their friends. We returned to the hotel, but no one has any will to do anything whatsoever. By miracle it ended just in bleeding face, but it could have ended much worse. An Israeli group abroad is always a target.”

An Israeli Member-Knesset name Yoel Razbozov asked the Polish ambassador to Israel to act in order to make the Poland leadership condemn the grave case. “The violence in sports is a global problem, but it appears as this attack was antisemitic, and racism is a problem we expect your government to condemn and act against.” He concludes: “Poland and Israel have built a positive relationship in the last years, and in this spirit we expect the Polish police to find those incharge.”
Polish Government spokesman did respond, saying that “legia Warsaw fans attack players of opponent groups without connection to their ethnicity”. Even assuming this statement is correct, it does not mend the situation and only alerts to act upon this violent group.

The story was not over. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the world’s largest Jewish rights organizations, called for disciplinary measures against Legia Warsaw for the assumed connection to the case. Legia Warsaw declared that their fans had nothing to do with the attack, furthermore, they were busy on another town. Assumingly out of lack of evidence the Simon center apologized and withdrew its accusation. The case is being investigated.

It is a familiar phenomenon that sports group fans attribute to the game national meanings, as their home team represents national pride. Therefore racist chants and symbols are common in those scenes, yet it does not make it just. This case of intended violence only shows the true consequences of tolerance toward exaggerated nationalism, bordering with fascism, neo-Nazism and antisemitism. The right immediate act should include at least condemnation coming out of the Polish government and enforcement against the committing of hate crimes.

 

 

Sources: Ynet, Washington Post, radio Poland

Image: AP

By: Roni Zedek

French Jewish Community Outraged A Woman’s Murder Case Treatment

Dr. Sarah Halimi was brutally murdered by a 27 year old African Muslim man last April. The murderer broke into Halimi’s apartment, beat her brutally in the face and scull while she was sleeping and threw her off the third floor balcony while shouting “Allahy akhber”. The police, who took time to arrive to the murder scene, arrested the murderer and sent him to a psychiatric detention facility after being diagnosed as mentally unstable by their psychiatrist.

William Attal, Halimi’s sister said: “The murderer knew my sister was Jewish and was from a haredi family. He came to her apartment ready to kill… It’s terrifying”.

Four months later, the murderer already admitted for killing Halimi but it seems that the prosecutors weren’t convinced that he had antisemitic intentions while executing the crime and decided not to pursue hate crime charges against the murderer.

CRIP, the umbrella group who represents Jews in France said that they were “astonished that the antisemitic character of the murderer was omitted. The personality of the criminal, who shouted ‘Allahu akbar’, his modus operandi, and his choice of a victim he knew was Jewish affirm our thesis and certitude: This crime is incontestably antisemitic”

CRIP accused the local authorities in “covering up” the antisemitic nature of the murderer and criticized them for the time it took the police to sue the murderer.

The criminal was charged with manslaughter.

Attal said that Antisemitism in France is escalating and that French Jews live in existential fear. Halimi’s family decided to make Aliyah and they are due to arrive in Israel in August. Sarah’s dream was to move to Israel, their tragedy urged them to finally move, but unfortunately it will be without their beloved.

 

Source: Israel Hayom

Image: Israel Hayom

By: Yael Soffer

 

Inciting Demonstration in Sweden Investigated

Police in Helsinborg, a city in southern Sweden, is investigating a demonstration for alleged incitement and antisemitism. The demonstration was initiated by the Swedish- Palestinian Center in light of the recent tension in Temple Mount, Jerusalem. Last July the conflict grew violent due to Arab terror attack on 2 police officers on Temple mount, in which the officers were killed by stabbing, and the three terrorists were shot. The incident led to the disposition of metal detectors on the entrance to find weapon, which irritated the Muslim leadership due to alleged violation of sovereignty.

The Swedish center initiated the demonstration, where Jews were called the offspring of apes and pigs (as treated in the Koran) and more antisemitic chants were sung, and gone viral online. The center is spreading anti-Israel, hatred and antisemitic propaganda through social media including a Facebook account which was recently blocked. A post of this page became viral and removed after intervention by the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, who called Facebook and its users to act against it.

The ambassador Yizhak Bachman said in response: “I’m glad to see a practical proof that the combat against antisemitism, hate crimes and pure hatred online is something that often bears practical results. After less than 24 hours and countless protests, the shocking, violent, antisemitic and preaching to murder post was removed.” Furthermore he called to continue the fight against antisemitism in all its forms.

The investigation began after the Jewish community in Skåne filed a complaint against the center. The chairperson Josefin Thorell told to SVT, the Swedish news media: “We can see that there are elements in these protests that are worrying and serious because they contain anti-Semitic insults and anti-Semitic claims in combination with a violent rhetoric, in a really unfortunate way.” The police commanded to address the issue and is currently looking for evidences on the Swedish Palestinian Center activities.

 

Sources: The Local, Ynet

Image: FB

By: Roni Zedek

A Holocaust Memorial in Lyon Vandalized

Tuesday this week (8/8/2017) a part of the memorial for Holocaust victims in France, Lyon, was vandalized. President Macron condemned the act and the French interior minister echoed his condemnation.

The memorial for The Kids of Izieu consists of a plaque which explains the occasion which occurred there in 1994 and lists the names of 44 kids and 7 adults, who were deported from the area. A felon broke the plaque, tearing it off its place in the public garden.

The Izieu Kids is a general name for kids who stayed under temporary custody due to the war. They were brought to the kid’s house by Jewish and French undergrounds at 1940-1944, and were taken care of by Christian and Jewish adults, trying to maintain a normal routine as possible. As far as the district was handled by Italy the Jews were not at high risk, but it changed at 1943 as Germany took over the land. The Gestapo immediately caught the people engaged and sent them to Auschwitz and Talin. Everyone died accept one adult, which testified at court later. Klaus Barbie who commanded the forces at the time was found guilty. He was sentenced for life imprisonment for committing crimes against humanity, though he died only 4 years later due to cancer disease.

Macron, who last July stood by Netanyahu at vel d’hiv (a memorial for the 13,152 Jews deported ina 1942), took a firm stance against the act. “Shameful and cowardly act that won’t go unpunished,” he said.

Jean Levy, the head of the non-profit organization that aims to perpetuate the memory of Izieu’s kids, said they are terrified by the act but will replace the vandalized memorial.

 

Source: Israel Hayom, Times of Israel

Image: AFP Photo/Philippe Desmazes

By: Roni Zedek

 

UNRWA Staff Engage in Antisemitic Activity on Social Media

A shocking revelation was made by the NGO UN Watch, which discovered that UNRWA employees are posting inciting and antisemitic material on social media.

UNRWA are not only aware of this phenomenon, but also teach their staff how to hide these posts from organizations such as UN Watch.

[An excerpt from the UNRWA manual]:

– Practical Tip #1: “Personnel are encouraged to take advantage of privacy and other settings in order to limit their online exposure.”
– Practical Tip #2: “Facebook Privacy Settings and Audience Selector allow you to limit who can see your content.”

Among the inciting and posts supporting terror some were written by Mahannad Najem, an UNRWA teacher in Syria, who posted an image of a dog urinating on the flag of Israel. Subi al-Zaber, an UNRWA teacher based in Amman, Jordan, has an image erasing Israel from the map, as his current profile picture on Facebook, next to the words “get out of our land…get out of everything.”

Mohamed Soliman, an English teacher at UNRWA in Syria, glorified the October 2015 terrorist knife attacks against Israeli civilians using an image turning all of Israel into a Palestinian knife, with the words “Your knife is Freedom.” His profile also contains an image and quote from Hitler.

These UNRWA posts are shocking in and should be immediately removed. The fact that UNRWA employees which are racist and support terror are the ones to educate impressionable Palestinian children is wrong on many levels.

Moreover, UNRWA’s own International Staff Regulations expressly incorporate this UN “neutrality rule” for its staff, stating in Regulation 1.4 that staff must “avoid any action and in particular any kind of public pronouncement which may adversely reflect on their status or integrity, independence or impartiality which are required by that status.” In other places neutrality is defined as not taking sides in hostilities or engaging in “controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.”

It seems like this isn’t the case here, as UNRWA staff are actively engaging in supporting terror and as well as antisemitism.

Source: UN Watch

Image: Facebook/screenshot

By: Hadassah Schwarz

 

Macron Denounces Anti-Zionism as a New Form of Antisemitism

July 16th is the Memorial Day for the deportation of France’s Jewish community in 1942 by Vichy’s police forces. “Rafle du Vélodrome d’Hiver” or shortly Vel d’Hiv raid, consisted of 13,152 Jews, most of them died at the death camps later on. At the compound that gathered the victims back then, there is a monument which was built in 1994. Yet, a controversy exists at the question of whether France is responsible for the death of its Jewish citizens, or the blame rests entirely upon the Nazis.

During Memorial Day this year, France’s new President, Macron, hosted the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On the podium Macron gave a long, thoughtful speech, in which he explained why the denial and the justification of the Vel d’Hiv raid are not a solution. On the contrary, he said, a strong nation is able to face the crimes of it’s past. Macron said clearly that France is responsible for the death of those Jews, and that a new national pride cannot be built upon lies. On a precedential declaration, he called Anti-Zionism a new form of antisemitism that has to be fought against.

Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish Community leaders echoed the statement. Referring to the last tension and terror attacks in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “Your struggle is our struggle. The zealots of militant Islam, who seek to destroy you, seek to destroy us as well.” More he added on France’s part in Vel d’Hiv: “the Nazis and their collaborators… shattered the lives of thousands of Jews at Vel’ d’Hiv. It seems that the values of the French Revolution — liberty, equality, fraternity — these values were crushed brutally under the boots of antisemitism.”

The VP of the largest Jewish advocacy CRIF, Yonatan Arfi, was pleased to hear the support. “He understands what it is today, not just what it was in the past,” he said on an interview. “It’s at once from the extreme right, but also present on the extreme left and among radical Islamists. Anti-Zionism has definitely become part of anti-Semitism today, and it’s a real satisfaction to find someone before us who speaks the same language.”

Macron’s announcement is extremely important, in light of the rising explicit antisemitism in France the last years. It takes shape in attacks, threats and incitement against Jews. On top of that exists the overt Holocaust denial in the population, and also by public leaders such as the rightist party and La penne’s family.

Netanyahu visited France two years ago, after the massacre at a synagogue within a series of terror attacks in France. While comforting the mourning community at the synagogue, Netanyahu proposed them to consider immigrating to Israel. Though many saw this call illegitimate, the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel this year went up to 8,000, comparing to 5,000 the year before.

Nevertheless, there are some who opposed the presence of Netanyahu at the ceremony, in order to let the ceremony be apolitical.

Sources: Washington Post, Jpost, Franc in the US

Image: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu, Pool)

By: Roni Zedek

California Imam Asks Allah to Annihilate Jews During Sermon

A California Imam called on Allah to “annihilate” the Jews  and asked for his congregants to take part in the slaughter.

Egyptian-born Imam Ammar Shahin gave the sermon at the Islamic Center in Davis, California on Friday. He asked for Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from “the filth of the Jews.”  In a video posted to YouTube by The Middle East Media Research Institute Shahin is also seen citing an Islamic text that calls for a “Judgment Day” fight between Muslims and Jews.

“Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them,” said Shahin, who spoke in both Arabic and English during his sermon. “Oh Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds.”

Jewish groups have asked Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate Shahin.

Source: Fox News

Image: YouTube/screen capture

By: Hadassah Schwarz

 

Hungarian Prime Minister: We Failed to Protect Jews during Holocaust

As part of the attempt to elevate cooperation in the political and economic fields, Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, took a stand on this painful matter. He referred to the collaboration with the Nazi government as a mistake and a sin. Orban also promised that his government will show zero tolerance towards antisemitism, and will do everything in his power to protect the Jewish minority of his country.

The speech was said during a meeting between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his counterparts in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on the 18th of July. The meeting was designed to create an alliance, in which the European countries will show a positive stance on issues concerning Israel at various international forums. Israel is often diplomatically isolated due to inner politics and has to create loyal allies in the EU and the UN. Poland was elected to take place in the UN Security Council for the next two years. In return, Israel agreed to increased cooperation in the fields of high-tech, security and agriculture.

Netanyahu thanked Orban for his effort in combating antisemitism and said Hungary was leading the effort, and mentioned that Budapest was the birthplace of the leader of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl.

However, Orban’s party has not been kind towards Jews. Only a month prior, Orban praised the Hungarian leader, Miklos Horthy, who was a known Nazi collaborator. Orban praised Horthy, saying that Hungary owes its existence to the Nazi collaborator. Furthermore, the picture of Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire, George Soros, as part of an anti-Israel and anti-immigrant campaign.

Horthy collaborated with Hitler leading to the immediate death of over half a million Jews in Auschwitz. In 2013, a right-wing party, “Yuvik” placed a bronze torso sculpture of him in central Budapest. The act led to protests of thousands against the parties’ relation to minorities.

Nevertheless, the Israeli Foreign Minister did not make Orban’s expressions into a diplomatic disaster. Yossi Amrani, Israeli ambassador to Budapest said Israel will act to defy antisemitism and protect the Jewish communities, while seeking to cooperate with the Hungarian authorities.

Sources: Israel Hayom, Haaretz

Image: Reuters

By: Roni Zedek