Category: News

Two Antisemitic Incidents Shock Australia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k123y1n5Hc

A Rabbi in Melbourne was forced to defend himself from a man screaming “go back to Israel” and “swear to Allah” outside a synagogue yesterday. The enraged man cornered the orthodox Jew and then slapped him outside the Adass Synagogue in Elsternwick. A a video was then posted to the IDF Training Facebook page in Israel. In the clip, an agitated man can be seen screaming at the Jewish man to “go back to Israel.” “I am from Australia,” the Jewish man responded.

In an additional incident, a man tried to grab a Jewish man around the neck, and was then tackled by a group of onlookers in religious dress. The group calmly restrained the attacker until police arrived later. Witnesses say the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or substances. The man was charged and will appear in court on January 19, according to reports.

By: Michael Schwartz

Men Sentenced to Life in Prison over Antisemitic Attacks

Anthony Graziano and Aakash Dalal were only 19 when they committed antisemitic crimes in the Jewish community of New Jersey. Last year they were convicted of terrorizing Jewish communities, in July they were each sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The two men committed several attacks; they firebombed two synagogues, threw Molotov cocktails into a rabbi’s home, fired in a rabbi’s family bedroom while he and his family were sleeping, and spray painted antisemitic graffiti on two synagogue walls.

Their case was defined as state anti-terrorism, with the ruling charging a minimum of 30 years in prison. However, Graziano and Dalal were each sentenced to an additional five years.

Brian Sinclair, the assistant prosecutor said: “They were partners in hate, partners in intimidation and ultimately in crime.”

Graziano apologized for his deeds: “The way I chose to express myself with violence was wrong. The hatred I had for the Jewish faith was unacceptable. I hope the Jewish community can find peace after tragedy.” Dalal did not comment on the sentencing.

This case adds to the numerous antisemitic attacks that represent a troubling rise in violence toward Jews in the U.S., and in New Jersey in particular, according to the Anti Defamation League.

Source: Israel Hayom

Image: AP

By: Yael Soffer

Notorious David Duke Tweets Antisemitic Content Once Again

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair Netanyahu posted on social media a meme he found online with obvious antisemitic undertones. The meme suggests that Jewish billionaire George Soros controls the world, and implies that Soros was behind accusations that his mother, Sara purchased prepared meals with public funds. This meme is linked directly to the most antesemitic sites.

David Duke, a notorious white supremacist and alt-right group leader shared a link to the post and wrote: “Netanyahu’s son posts a meme suggesting (((Soros))) is controlling the world,” using the triple parentheses that some antisemites utilize to signify an individual’s Jewishness. Duke is also famous for being a well-known holocaust denier. Many antisemitic websites have shared and picked up on this meme as well.

The cartoon shows Jewish Hungarian-American millionaire, George Soros depicted as dangling a fishing rod with planet Earth on the hook as his bait. This captures the attention of a reptilian-like figure that in turn, dangles a fishing rod with the occult symbol of a triangle containing a square with a circle, which attracts a character that is meant to be a Freemason, or a Illuminati member. That person holds up a fishing rod with cash on its hook, which catches the attention of former prime minister Ehud Barak. Barak dangles  a fishing rod with a ballot for Eretz Hadasha, a political party that sought to rid Israeli politics of corruption and was headed by Eldad Yaniv. Yaniv is presented as being drawn to the ballot held by Barak, and is dangling a fishing rod of his own – this one with a tray full of food. To this new bait, a new character is attracted, Meni Naftali, the former caretaker of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, gazes at it intently. The image is titled “The Food Chain.”

The original version of the cartoon is different, showing an antisemitic drawing of a Jew dangling the globe, then the lizard and Freemason, who dangles money in front of another antisemitic symbol of a Jew, who finally hangs a hamburger before a character apparently representing Americans.

 

Source: Facebook

Image: NPR

By: Hadassah Schwarz

Billy Joel Wears a Yellow Star of David

In his last concert at Madison Square Garden on August 21, Billy Joel wore a yellow star of David badge on his jacket. He has done so due to his daughter and ex-wife, who convinced him to take a stand after the Charlottesville events. It seems as though racism and antisemitism have raised their heads in the United States again.

Joel is a famous and successful musician in America and around the world. Joel is of Jewish origin. His father’s family escaped Germany at 1939, while his mother’s family left England. Joel testifies he avoids mixing politics with his career, but he claims his daughter led him to act.

His ex-wife also tweeted poetically in the caption of his picture: “And on the day of the Solar Eclipse a yellow star appeared on the jacket of another kind of star with a clinched fist that seemed to be gripping painful, no excruciating, memories of loved ones who wore that star to their death, May that star also remind you today of the gold stars pinned to the jackets of soldiers for their bravery and valor for fighting an evil so hideous even the gold stars in the sky were afraid to shine. Thank you, Billy for reminding people what was …so it may never ever be again.”

 

Source: CNN

Image: Getty Images

By: Roni Zedek

Boston Holocaust Memorial Shattered Again

Two months after the previous incident, two people were arrested for allegedly damaging a Holocaust Memorial in Boston once again.

James Isaac was caught for throwing a stone on the memorial and breaking part of the glass. He was released after trial.

The second hit occurred the following week. A young man threw a stone, and was caught by an off-duty city firefighter and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and held until the police arrived. The suspect was seen on Monday night by witnesses throwing a rock on the monument’s glass. The mayor of Malden condemned the act. The suspect received an order to stay away from the memorial, as well as comply with mental health authorities and and return to court in two months time.

Police commissioner, William B. Evans said:  “Clearly, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our city. In light of the recent events and unrest in Charlottesville, it’s sad to see a young person choose to engage in such senseless and shameful behavior.”

Authorities managed to catch another felon, who damaged flowers at the memorial. They caught him due to a witness’s photos of the ruined memorial. Said Bouzit, 37 was taken into custody on vandalism charges, and received a bail of $5,000.

The reactions to this event combined with the Charlottesville riots continue to worry many. Nazi ideology “was a precursor to the eventual murderous policy,” Israel’s official Holocaust memorial warned. Two days after the event, 300 people gathered at the place to express support. The vigil was organized by IfNotNow Boston, a Jewish group who protested against white supremacy, antisemitism and Islamophobia.

 

Sources: NY times, The Boston Globe

Image: picture by ADL new England, twitter

By: Roni Zedek

 

Garments with Yellow Star of David Sold in Canada

An alert costumer happened to notice and report a bad fashion choice by the Italian Miu Miu company, a subsidiary of Prada. The store Holt Renfrew in the Yorkdale shopping mall sold jean jackets, shirts and skirts in black and white, with a yellow Star of David attached with the word “John.”

The shape, position, color and word starting with J are too similar to the dress code forced on Jews by the Nazi regime. The timing as well is insensitive, considering the latest events in Charlottesville, Virgina where Neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered waving Nazi flags and chanting antisemitic slurs. Also noted was the use of the Swastika on T-shirts by KA designers, who used Hitler references.

Nicole Plener, vice president of marketing for Holt Renfrew said in a statement: “It was brought to our attention today that a garment being sold at Holt Renfrew caused offence. Based on customer feedback we have removed the garment from store windows and floors. We apologize for any upset that this may have caused and want to reassure customers that this was not our intention.”

However, the company did not rush to immediately remove the product from shelves. They agreed only once the World Zionist Congress askedPrada to remove the garments.

WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said: “The World Jewish Congress commends Miu Miu and its parent company Prada on its swift attention and action to the concerns we raised regarding the use of the yellow star on its clothing items. At this critical time, when anti-Semitism and bigotry are rearing their heads in the public sphere, we must continue to exercise caution and show sensitivity in every sphere and sector.”

Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Miu Miu, Preia Narendra reacted  “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It was not Miu Miu’s intent in any way to make any political or religious statement, and we apologize for any offence that may have been taken. Kindly note that effective immediately these items will be removed from the collection.”

Yellow badges were used to symbol the difference between different religions since the Middle Ages, and was used to mark out Jews in the diaspora, both in Christian and Islamic areas. In 1939, the Nazi government forced Jews to wear the yellow star. Since then, it has been seen as a provocation.

 

Source: The Toronto Sun

Image: Liz Braun, Toronto Sun

By: Roni Zedek

 

Internet Company GoDaddy Blocks “The Daily Stormer” Domain

The GoDaddy server has decided to end the service to one of the largest Neo Nazi websites, The Daily Stormer. The site provided The Daily Stormer a domain name for four years, but after last week’s post GoDaddy decided to block it.

The white supremacist site mocked a woman who was killed at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last week. The 32-year-old woman was run over by a white supremacist. GoDaddy said that the neo-Nazi site had been given “24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service.”

According to Reuters, less than 24 hours later, The Daily Stormer registered with Goggle Domains, Alphabet Inc, but its application was revoked again a few hours later.

In light of the white-supremicist website’s celebration of the attack, email newsletter service providers Sendgrid and SaaS suite provider Zoho said they terminated their contact with The Daily Stormer’s account.

Tucows, a Canadian internet company decided to disclose the domain registration information of Andrew Anglin, founder of The Daily Stormer as Anglin did not follow the terms and service.

Social networks are struggling to find a balance between the free speech and incitement. Facebook for example, allows users to organize protests and rallies until it becomes a threat to the public or it contains a hate factor. Airbnb blocked accounts that were associated with the Charlottesville rally and a provider of a voice chat platform Discord closed accounts associated with far right organizations.

Source: The Daily Beast, Techcrunch, Reuters

Image: Mike Blake

By: Yael Soffer

Antisemitism Towards Jewish Guests at Swiss Hotel

Israeli Jewish tourists who stayed at “Aparthaus Paradies,” a hotel located in the small town of Arosa, Switzerland were astonished to see antisemitic signs hung around the hotel. One of the signs required the Jewish guests to take a shower before entering the swimming pool.

Many Jewish families chose to stay at the hotel during their summer vacation. The Jewish couple who reported 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 “racist” and wrote a comment next to it “this sign in disgusting.”

At the hotel’s kitchen another sign was hung, which was again 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 [it] when [Jews] disturb [us].”

“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” one Jewish guest said. Another 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 hung 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, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia: An extreme-right demonstration grew violent and reached its dangerous breaking-point as a 20 year old man plowed 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 argued over by alt-right groups. It evolved around the attempt to replace historical confederation symbols and names, which some see as offensive since they commemorate slavery and violence towards African-Americans. The nationalist resistance did not succeed, and  Virgini was forced to remove these symbols.

“Unite the Right 2017” demonstration was meant to unite all extremist-right groups, in order to show that the alt-right is still alive. Some of its organizers include David Duke, former leader of the KKK, and Richard Spencer, a Neo-Nazi activist who coined the term “alt-right,” as well as Mike Enoch.

On Friday night, August 11, hundreds marched on Virginia University grounds in Charlottesville. Protesters held fire torches and Nazi flags, 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 ongoing legal battle. In front, 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 youth, James Alex Fields, 20, from Kentucky was arrested.

The rally held a lot of antisemitic symbolism. First, the use of Nazi symbols in this context implied severely justifying the Holocaust. Another horrifying homage was men dressed in black with army boots and helmets, similiar to Nazis. 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 reported receiving life threats.

The felon who ran over Hayes was described by his high-school teacher as one who always held extremist and Nazi views. A school friend mentioned that on a school field trip to the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Germany Fields 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, U.S. President Donald 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 both sides.”

Trump gave tried to defend the alt-right groups, saying not all of them were white supremacists or Neo- Nazis, and cited they 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 legacies.

David Duke, who helped organizer the rally re-tweeted: “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, politicians unanimously condemned the riots in Charlottesville. 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 place in the international arena, it faces more difficulties than other nationalities do. 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 45 miles from Warsaw, and requested police protection for the match. When the practice ended, police promptly left. Afew minutes later, 25 skin-headed [Neo-Nazi] men some masked attacked three players.

One player was injured after three attackers punched him in the face, causing his lip to bleed. In addition, two other players were injured. After calling for help, the attackers fled to the woods and only one was caught by police.

Doron Galant, the team’s owner, ordered his group not to leave the hotel until the flight back tjhe following day. A player added: “It was very scary, and reminded me of movies we sometimes see on TV. 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 Knesset Member Yoel Razbozov asked the Polish ambassador to Israel to urge the Polish leadership to 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 concludesd: “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.”

A Polish Government spokesman did respond, saying that “Legia Warsaw fans attack players of opponent groups without connection to their ethnicity.” Leaders were upset as they did not believe the statement addresses the antisemitic nature of the attack.

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. They declared that their fans had nothing to do with the attack. 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, however unjust they may be. However, this case of intended violence only shows the true consequences of tolerance toward exaggerated nationalism, which borders with neo-Nazism and antisemitism.

Sources: Ynet, Washington Post, radio Poland

Image: AP

By: Roni Zedek