Category: News

Police Investigate Antisemitic Demonstration in Sweden

Police in Helsinborg, Sweden are investigating a demonstration for alleged incitement and antisemitism. The demonstration was initiated by the Swedish-Palestinian Center in light of the recent tension on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In July, the conflict grew particularly violent due to increased terror attack on  police officers near or on the Temple Mount. The incident led the Israeli government to dispose of metal detectors at the site.

During the demonstration, Jews were called the offspring of apes and pigs, and antisemitic chants were spouted, some going online. The center is spreading antisemitic hatred and propaganda through social media, it holds a Facebook account which was recently blocked. One post went viral and was later removed after intervention by the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, due to its violent nature.

The Israeli Ambassador to Sweden 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 forms.

The investigation began after the Jewish community in Skåne filed a complaint against the center. Chairperson Josefin Thorell told SVT News: “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 are addressing the issue, and searching for evidence on the center’s activities.

 

Sources: The Local, Ynet

Image: FB

By: Roni Zedek

Holocaust Memorial Vandalized in France

In early August, a part of the memorial for Holocaust victims in Lyon, France was vandalized. President Emmanuel Macron condemned the act, the French interior minister echoed his condemnation.

The memorial for the “Children of Izieu” contains a plaque commemorating the 44 children and 7 adults, who were cruelly deported. A felon broke the plaque, tearing it off its podium in the public garden.

The “Izieu Children” is a synonym for children who remained under temporary custody due to the war. They were brought to the childrens’ house by Jewish and French undergrounds groups between 1940-1944, and were cared for by Christian and Jewish adults, who tried to maintain a normal facade. The Gestapo later caught many of the people, and sent them to the Auschwitz and Talin concentration camps. Everyone died except one adult, who testified at court later. Klaus Barbie who commanded the forces at the time was found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for committing crimes against humanity, alhough he died four years later.

Macron, who last July stood by Netanyahu at vel d’hiv (a memorial for the 13,152 Jews deported in 1942), took a firm stance against the act, calling it a “shameful and cowardly” and that “it will not go  unpunished.”

Jean Levy, head of the non-profit organization that aims to perpetuate the memory of the Izieu Children, said they are disturbed by the vandalism, but will repair the damaged memorial.

Source: Israel Hayom, Times of Israel

Image: AFP Photo/Philippe Desmazes

By: Roni Zedek

 

Bank of Japan Board Member Praises Hitler’s Economic Policies

Yutaka Harada, a board member of the Japanese Central Bank praised Adolf Hitler ‘s economic decisions recently. Harada noted that these decisions also enabled the Nazi dictator to do “horrible” things to the world.

Harada said Hitler took “wonderful” fiscal and monetary stimulus steps, leading to World War II, enabling him to execute the Holocaust. Additionally, he cited that he world did not react fast enough to the Great Depression and to [economist] Keynes’ proposals to fight it, with this behavior aiding Hitler to become very powerful.

“Because Hitler had taken appropriate fiscal and monetary policy steps, tragedy resulted. What I’m saying is that someone should have taken appropriate fiscal and monetary policy steps before Hitler did” Harada said.

Although Japan was an ally of Germany and Italy during World War II, Holocaust denial and Neo-Nazi movements are not common in Japan. Evidence for supporting the Nazi regime were very rare while public figures who were part of the Axis powers had some controversial comments.

The Central Bank of Japan apalogized for Harada’s comment.

 

Source: Israel Hayom

Image: Reuters

By: Yael Soffer

 

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

The 16th of July marks Memorial Day for the deportation of France’s Jewish community in 1942 by Vichy’s police forces. “Rafle du Vélodrome d’Hiver” or in short Vel d’Hiv raid deported 13,152 Jews, most of whom later died at death camps. A monument was later established at the site. However, controversy still looms over whether France is responsible for the death of its Jewish citizens, or the Nazis.

During Memorial Day this year, France’s new President Emmanuel Macron hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Macron gave a thoughtful speech in which he explained why simply denying and later admitting France’s role in the Vel d’Hiv raid are not a solution. On the contrary, a strong nation is able to face the crimes of it’s past. Macron clearly stated that France is responsible for the death of those Jews, and that a new national pride cannot be built upon lies. He also called Anti-Zionism a new form of antisemitism.

Benjamin Netanyahu and many Jewish Community leaders echoed the statement. Referring to the lasest tensions and terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Netanyahu added: “Your struggle is our struggle. The zealots of militant Islam, who seek to destroy you, seek to destroy us as well.” 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. “Once [it was] from the extreme right, but also [is] 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 attacks, threats and incites hate against Jews. Additionally, there remains heavy Holocaust denial in the larger population, and also is supported by public leaders such as the Nationalist party of Marie La Penne.

 

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

 

Antisemitism at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A a depiction equalizing a Star of Davif to a swastika was found at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel for the second time this year. It was spotted by a student on theMount Scopus campus, in the men’s restroom by the central library for Humanities and Social Science.

The shocking act was related to previous outlandish behavior at the university and the administration’s reaction towards these horrendous acts.
“The Hebrew University stands for pluralism and the freedom of speech within obedience to the laws of the institute, the state and human dignity. The institute sees the incident stringently, and shows zero tolerance towards any expression of incitement within its borders.” The message from the official university board read.

The message has not satisfied many. No action has been taken in order to find the accused and punish them accordingly. Furthermore, these actions are often backed by administrative staff who defend the offensive in the name of “free speech.”

Dudi Eltsufin, the director of “Im Tirzu,” a nationalist Zionist Movement on Israeli campuses, said on an interview to Israeli army radio: “It’s unthinkable that this wild incitement will proceed. It starts with waving the pictures of murderers of Israelis, continues with professors that compare the state of Israel to the Nazi party and now goes up to the next level. It’s time that this phenomenon will be gone from the university. The heads of the university have to wake up before it will be too late.”

Previously, Palestinian students held up signs with pictures of convicted murderers and called to kill Zionists in a third intifada. A month later, Ofer Ksif, a Professor of Political Science compared rules that exist in Israel to rules that were perpetrated by the Third Reich.

 

Sources: Reshet, Im Tirtzu Facebook page

Image: Reshet, Im Tirtzu Facebook page

By: Roni Zedek

British Royal Couple Visit Stutthoff Concentration Camp

Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess took a guided tour at the Stutthof concentration camp, Poland. The tour guides were Holocaust survivors from the camp, who moved to England when the war ended. At the end of the tour, the couple described some of their impressions, mentioning the emotional effect and the message they took from the experience.

The Stutthof camp was the first to be built in Germany and the last to be liberated. Jews were imprisoned alongside political prisoners, such as the Polish intelligentsia. Through the first five years of its existence it hosted 110,000 inhabitants. 65,000 of them died due to the hard conditions in the camp or killing by the Nazis, 28,000 of them were Jews.

Five Holocaust survivors met with Prince William and Princess Catherine during the tour. Facing the traumatic memories, Manfred Goldberg returned to the camp for the first time. He spent more than eight months as a worker at the camp when he was 14, where he met his good friend, Zigi Shipper. Goldberg noted: “In 1946 when I was a youngster I was admitted to England, I didn’t dream I would ever have the privilege of shaking the hand of a future King of this country.”

Apparently the visit at the camp meant a lot for the  royal couple. In the visitor book Kate wrote: “This shattering visit has reminded us of the horrendous murder of six million Jews, drawn from across the whole of Europe, who died in the abominable Holocaust. It is, too, a terrible reminder of the cost of war. And the fact that Poland alone lost millions of its people, who were the victims of a most brutal occupation. All of us have an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that we learn the lessons and that the horror of what happened is never forgotten and never repeated.”

Beyond the immense impression the visit had on the royal couple, it also was heavily symbolic on the political level. Antisemitism and Holocaust denial are present and alive in Britain, and felt everyday by Jews. According to the CFCA, most Jewish students feel uncomfortable with the NUS (National Union of Students) attitude towards Jews and their response to antisemitic complaints. Two thirds also reported that they feel targeted because of their religion. Jewish adults who answered the survey believe antisemitism to be prevalent in all political parties to some extent.

The tour resonated strongly with the British Jewish community, and sent a strong message of solidarity.

Sources: BBC, Israel Hayom, CFCA

Image: AP

By Roni Zedek

Secretary of State Called to Nominate a Special Envoy on Antisemitism

Since President Donald Trump was elected to the presidency last January, the position for the Special Envoy aimed to monitor and combat Antisemitism was not yet filled.

Dozens of lawmakers and religious leaders in the U.S. urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to nominate an envoy, after reports indicated the position would be left empty in July and might be eliminated in the future.

The Special Envoy is aimed to monitor antisemitic incidents, document the cases in State departments abroad and represents and advises international organizations. The envoy combats Antisemitism and incitement.  The Special Envoy helped to define the State Department’s working definition of Antisemitism. The position was firstly created under the Global antisemitic Review act of 2004.

The position is very important especially “in the fight against this terrible hate that is on the rise in the world” said Chris Smith, a U.S. representative, who helped in the position. “It is vital that one senior law enforcement official has the mandate to lead effort across the government to anticipate, prevent and respond to threats and attacks – especially violent ones – against the American Jewish community,” Smith said.

Hannah Rosenthal was the Special Envoy from 2009 to 2012, she said that the envoy’s role helped American diplomats to fight offensive acts and speech, especially with the working definition of Antisemitism.

The elimination of the position was originally part of the Trump administration’s plan to cut federal spendings. According to Bloomberg, the Special Envoy dedicated to fighting Antisemitism is not the only position that is questioned, also positions dedicated to climate change and Muslim communities.

As reported, Tillerson questioned the need for a Special Envoy. To his words, the State Department wants to make sure whether the Special Envoy weakened the attention to Antisemitism. He argued that all diplomats should feel responsible for combating Antisemitism, and when one is tasked for the position, it removes the responsibility from others, leading to the fact that diplomats avoid dealing with the issue.

The ADL contradicted his arguments and cited “concerns about Antisemitism do not always make it on to the agenda of diplomatic meeting, especially when many other legitimate and pressing issues require attention. By contrast, when the Special Envoy meets with foreign officials, Antisemitism is the agenda.”

Source: JTA, Ynet News.

Image: Reuters

By: Yael Soffer