Friday, March 31, 2017

France: For 83% of the French judaism is compatible with the values of France

A survey carried out by Ipsos and published this month reveals that 83% of the French people view Judaism as being compatible with the values of French society, with only 17% believing it is not.

Catholicism comes top with 93% positive views.  Only 39% of the French view Islam as compatible with French values - a massive 61% think it is not.

Germany likes guilty Jews best

At a time when the German government is cancelling its consultations with the Israeli government and assigning full blame to Israel for the conflict with the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas is being given the royal treatment in Berlin and even received the “Hope for Peace Award.”  
(...) The recent visit to Germany by the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas revealed the strangeness of German policy toward the Middle East, especially regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. Germany, which sees itself as the guardian of democracy and protector of human rights, went out of its way to honor an Arab leader who was indeed chosen in free elections but who has not allowed any elections since 2005, is accused by his subjects of violating human rights and of corruption, has fled from making brave decisions to advance a peace agreement with Israel, is a Holocaust denier who continues to encourage violence against Jews under the cover of “resistance to the occupation,” has done nothing to stop the incitement to violence in the areas under his control, and refuses to recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel—even though such recognition is the official policy of the German government. Mahmoud Abbas symbolizes everything Germany opposes, and yet it still gives him honors generally reserved for the world’s great leaders. (...) 
The “Hope for Peace” award certainly greatly flattered Mahmoud Abbas, and perfectly fit his own self-created image as the standard bearer of true peace, in contradiction of all the facts which the judges who decided to give him the prize probably did not bother looking into. The granting of the prize was based on general impressions, not an examination of reality. Thanks to dozens of years of institutionalized anti-Israel attitudes, biased and sometimes even false media reports, and an education system that indoctrinates generations of Germans with anti-Israel propaganda, the Palestinians led by Mahmoud Abbas are seen by the German public as unfortunate victims bearing olive branches for peace, while the Israelis led by Benjamin Netanyahu (and all his predecessors from the right and the left) are considered to be cruel occupiers, murderous oppressors, and warmongers. (...) 
The official website for the prize makes no mention whatsoever of the Holocaust revisionism in the doctorate he wrote for Moscow University, or his work as a KGB agent. In accordance with the traditional German approach, Israel and its actions are the sole obstacle to peace. If in the past Germans claimed that the Jews are warmongers, today they can say that it is Israel—adding in the same breath that they, of course, are not anti-Semites. To balance out the granting of the prize to Abbas, an award was also granted to famous architect Daniel Libesekind, who designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin among other buildings. 
The awarding of the “Hope for Peace Prize” to Mahmoud Abbas granted the German unity government, in which Angela Merkel’s Conservative Union sits with the Social Democrats, a chance to demonstrate publicly sympathy for the Palestinians as an expression of the trend of distancing from Israel. Abbas met for talks with Chancellor Merkel, with the foreign minister (and until recently also the leader of the Social Democrats) Sigmar Gabriel, and with the chairman of the Bundestag, and was invited to give a speech at the primary headquarters of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is closely linked to the conservative Christian Democratic Party. 
Fatah — A “Sister Party” 
A few weeks after Chancellor Merkel decided to put off the annual consultations with the Israeli government, which were planned for this coming May, as an expression of her displeasure with the Regularization Law—which Berlin believes buries any chance of a two-state solution—Mahmoud Abbas has received a very warm embrace by both the German right and left. 
The foreign minister boasted on social media about his meeting with his “friend” Abbas, and was quick to note that Germany adheres to the two-state solution. Gabriel’s party, the Social Democrats, which has a good chance of forming a left-wing government after the general elections in September, sees Abbas’s Fatah movement as a “sister party,” despite the lack of socialist and democratic elements in Fatah, whose roots are Islamist. 
 read more

Read more at Mida (in Hebrew)

Not everybody in Germany pretends to believe in Abbas: Germany: A rare rebuke to Abbas in major newspaper

Thursday, March 30, 2017

UK: Boris Johnson decries ‘preposterous’ UN Human Rights Council over its criticism of Israel

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
Boris Johnson has spoken out against the United Nations Human Rights Council after it condemned Israel’s bombing of Hizbollah positions in the Golan Heights, calling the criticism “a profound absurdity”.
The Foreign Secretary, speaking to MPs on Tuesday, said it was “absolutely preposterous” that there should be a motion condemning Israel’s policy in the Golan Heights “when after all in that region of Syria we have seen the most appalling barbarity by the Assad regime.
“That was the point the UK government was making,” he added, a reference to a statement by the UK’s delegation to the UN on Friday which castigated the UNHRC over a motion criticising Israel for its continued “occupation” of the Golan Heights.
The UK delegation warned that there was an “unacceptable pattern of bias” in the UNHRC’s treatment of Israel, and noted that: “Israel is a population of eight million in a world of seven billion.
“Yet since its foundation, the human rights council has adopted 135 country-specific resolutions; 68 of which [have been] against Israel.
“Justice is blind and impartial. This selective focus on Israel is neither.”
read more

Europe: The EU continues to throw money down the drain on "Palestine"

Faced with mass unemployment, economic crisis, increasing poverty, immigration shambles, terrorism, political instability, political extremism, lack of trust in politicians and the media, Brexit etc, Europe should be minding its own business rather than interfering in Israeli politics and trying to undermine its sovereignty.  It should not be  throwing European citizens' "money down the drain on Palestine".  Will they ever learn?

Via Elder of Ziyon:
 From the EU-BAM webpage
The European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point – code name EUBAM Rafah – was launched on 24 November 2005, to monitor the operations of the border crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, after Israel and the Palestinian Authority concluded an Agreement on Movement and Access on 15 November 2005. The Council of the European Union welcomed the Agreement and approved that the EU should undertake the third-party role proposed. 
The operational phase of the mission began on 30 November 2005. The Rafah Crossing Point was last opened with the presence of EUBAM monitors on 9 June 2007. ... [when Hamas took over Gaza - EoZ.] Since then, the mission has remained on standby, awaiting a political solution and ready to re-engage at very short notice.
For nearly ten years, the members of the EUBAM have been doing, literally, nothing. There is nothing on the horizon to indicate that the PA will take over control of the Rafah crossings from Hamas. Egypt is more frightened of Gazans and Gaza weapons going to Egypt than Israel is of smuggled weapons into Gaza from Egypt since Egypt cracked down on smuggling.
 Yet every year their mandate is extended:
The Council ... extended the mandate of EU BAM Rafah until 30 June 2017....The mission maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point once the political and security situation allows. Natalina Cea has been Head of Mission since 1 July 2015. The mission's budget for the period between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 amounts to € 1.54 million.
€1.54 million every year to keep people on call for something that will never happen! The mission has existed for nearly 12 years, of which 10 have been doing exactly nothing. Yet they still hire new Heads of Mission.  They create useless seminars. They get together every few years with other EU officials. 
This isn't the only useless EU organization on permanent assignment in the PA. The EU police mission for the Palestinian Territories spend over €10 million a year in order to help the PA learn how to run a functioning criminal justice system since 2006. And as far as I can tell from Palestinian media, there are extraordinarily few cases that actually make it to Palestinian court, after over 10 years of EU mentoring and oversight.
read more

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Germany: A rare rebuke to Abbas in major newspaper

Via Elder of Ziyon:
As mentioned, Mahmoud Abbas was in Germany for a few days this week to have talks with Angela Merkel and to receive a "peace" award. 
An op-ed in Die Welt shows that not everyone is drinking from the "Abbas as peacemaker" Kool-Aid. 
Richard Herzinger writes for the newspaper: 
It is clear that Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) are largely incapacitated. The now 81-year old President dare not resign, because for him and his Fatah organization there is fear that the radical Islamic Hamas could prevail in elections. 
Abbas travels endlessly around the world playing for time and to get international support for his attitude of refusal towards talks with Israel. And he shows his duplicity: Speaking in the West, as now he says in Berlin, he claims that he strives for nothing but "stability" and peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel. 
Yet at his home no day passes where the official PA media and schools do not spread anti-Jewish hate propaganda, wild anti-Israeli conspiracy theories and support for the terrorist cult of martyrdom. 
Instead of getting obsessed only on the Israeli settlement policy, Berlin should tell Abbas to finally call for a massive renunciation of this glorification of violence. The threat that otherwise we would curtail the huge amounts of aid money to the PA might be helpful. 
Slowly but surely, the cult of eternal Palestinian victimhood is being dismantled. 

UK: Ken Livingstone says Nazi policy had effect of supporting Zionism

Via Guido Fawkes:
Ken Livingstone has published his defence as he prepares to face Labour’s disciplinary committee on Thursday. He says Nazi policy “had the effect of supporting Zionism” and condemns “Israel’s ethnic cleansing”.
“The 1933 Transfer Agreement is a mater of historical record. It was a plan, drafted in the summer of 1933, involving the German Economics Ministry, the German Zionist Federation and the Jewish Agency for Palestine, to allow German Jews emigrating to Palestine to retain some of the value of their property in Germany by purchasing German goods.
Understandably many Jews were critical of the Agreement from the outset, particularly because one of the principal goals of the Nazi authorities, in negotiating with the Zionist movement, was to fragment the Jewish boycott of German goods. 
Much authoritative material has been written about the Agreement and the opposition to it by Jewish people. One such source is an excellent article for the Holocaust Memorial centre at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem by the historian Professor Yf’aat Weiss. The article is called ‘The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement: A Jewish Dilemma on the Eve of the Holocaust“. Another useful examination of these issues can be found in Professor Francis R. J. Nicosia’s article ‘Zionism in National Socialist Jewish Policy in Germany, 1933-39’.” 
This agreement, between the Nazis and a section of Zionism, was not referred to in order to express hostility to Jewish people. The Transfer Agreement was a major political issue at the time as the Jewish movement to boycott German goods was a huge international campaign to turn public opinion against Nazi Germany. 
In my remarks to Vanessa Feltz, I was just pointing out the Nazi policy in relation to the Transfer Agreement had the effect of supporting Zionism. I did not say or suggest that Hitler was a Zionist. I did not make any equation of Hitler and Zionism. I neither criticised the Transfer Agreement or the section of Zionism that participated in the Agreement. I did not draw any historical parallels with the situation today anywhere, including with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. 
Any suggestion that my intention was to draw equivalence between Nazism and Zionism is entirely false. I do not believe that Zionism or the policies of Israeli governments are at all analogous to Nazism. Israeli governments have never had the aim of the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people, in the way Nazism sought the annihilation of the Jews. There is a gigantic difference between Israel’s ethnic cleansing and the Nazis’ extermination policies. 
As I have said before, my view is that the holocaust against the Jews is the greatest racial crime of the 20th Century.”
 He ain’t sorry…

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Poland: Warsaw residents burn effigy of Jewish woman

Via JTA:
A group of Warsaw residents celebrated the first day of spring by burning the effigy of a Jewish woman. 
A video from last week’s incident was removed from YouTube. A Polish prosecutor reportedly will investigate the incident, the Wporst news website reported. 
The recording featured a group called “Conscience of the Nation TV”. They burned and drowned a Jewish effigy in the Vistula river, reported to be the longest and largest river in Poland. 
The custom of drowning on the first day of spring a puppet depicting Marzanna – symbolizing winter – is a popular element of Polish folklore practiced especially in small towns. Marzanna has never been connected to any national minority living in Poland. 
The Warsaw group called its meeting last week an Antisemeeting. In the description of the video they took of the burning effigy, they wrote that the puppet symbolizes what is ugly, cold and bad. “This mug [face], this big nose, so well known in Polish history,” commented one of the participants.
The Center for Monitoring Racial and Xenophobic Behavior informed the local prosecutor’s office of the incident. 
read more

Ukraine: War hero and lawmaker speaks against "Jewish takeover"

Via JTA:
A Ukrainian lawmaker and war hero used a word usually translated as “kikes” in complaining that Jews wield excessive power in her country.

Nadiya Savchenko, a fighter jet pilot who was elected to parliament in 2014 while she was still being held as a prisoner of Russia, made the statements on Saturday during a televised interview for the 112 station and insisted they were not indicative of anti-Semitic bias.

Savchenko was asked to address criticism that in a television interview earlier this month, she failed to condemn the anti-Semitic statements of a caller with whom she seemed to agree.

During the 112 interview on Saturday, which was conducted in Ukrainian, Savchenko said, “I have nothing against Jews. I do not like ‘kikes.’” She later said Jews possess “80 percent of the power when they only account for 2 percent of the population.”

In expressing neutrality to Jews, she used the word “evreiv,” which speakers both of Ukrainian and Russian is a neutral designation. But later she used the term “zhidiv,” which in Russian is a pejorative for Jews, akin to “kike” in English.

Some Ukrainians claim the word “zhid” is the standard designation for a Jew in their language, though leaders of the Ukrainian Jewish community insist it is offensive to Jews in both languages.

In the same interview, Savchenko cited the fact that Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, is Jewish and claimed that the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, also has Jewish roots along with Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and a leader of the nation’s Orange Revolution.

The ancestries of both Proshenko and Timoshenko have been the subject of speculation in Ukraine and beyond.

During the earlier interview on March 21 for OneNews, Savchenko agreed in principle with a caller who inveighed against a “Jewish takeover of Ukraine.”

She replied: “Indeed, part of the ruling establishment in Ukraine does not possess distinctly Ukrainian blood and we need to talk about it and act.”

read more

Poland: Antisemitic graffiti on Soviet military cemetery in Warsaw

Warsaw - The Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw was desecrated with graffiti depicting Nazi insignia alongside the Jewish Star of David and Israeli flag on Monday.

read more

Monday, March 27, 2017

Germany: Pupil leaves Berlin school over antisemitic attacks

Via The Jewish Chronicle:

Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule
Classmates turn from friends to attackers after boy reveals he is Jewish  
Case illustrates long history of antisemitic harassment of Jewish pupils, particularly by Arab and Turkish children
A Jewish family in Berlin has pulled their teenage son from a state school after nearly four months of antisemitic harassment, both verbal and physical, the boy’s mother has told the JC.
Emma, who is British, said her son, Phillip (not their real names), 14, had been moved to an English language high school in Berlin.
Emma said she and her husband had originally been attracted to the school, Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule, which has a large proportion of Arab and Turkish children, by the fact it was so multicultural. 
She said it had never occurred to Phillip to deny his Jewishness, and one day he mentioned it to his classmates. 
One of them responded: “Listen, you are a cool dude but I can’t be friends with you, Jews are all murderers.” 
The verbal abuse escalated to physical violence, until earlier this month, “when he was attacked and almost strangled, and the guy pulled a toy gun on him that looked like a real gun. And the whole crowd of kids laughed. He was completely shaken.”  (...) 
The case underscores concerns that educators and parents have expressed for years in Berlin about the antisemitic harassment of Jewish pupils, particularly by Arab and Turkish children. 
Berlin’s Jewish high school receives between six and 10 applications a year from parents who want to move their children away from schools where they are being subjected to antisemitic harassment, said Aaron Eckstaedt, principal of the Moses Mendelssohn Jewish High School in Berlin.  
The requests generally are “in reaction to antisemitic statements coming overwhelmingly from Arabic or Turkish classmates,” he said, adding that “in most cases, the families complain about the relative lack of response from state schools” to the problem.  (...)
As for Phillip, he would not necessarily recommend that other children reveal their Jewishness to classmates unless it’s “a nice, quiet school.”
read more

Denmark: Copenhagen Jazz Festival rejects Israelis for "political reasons"

Copenhagen - Alon Farber, an Israeli musician got this message from the Copenhagen Jazz Festival:

Hi Alon,
For political reasons, we are not presenting artists from Israel these years, unfortunately.

read more

Ukraine: Holocaust monument desecrated in Ternopil

Via (h/t CFCA):
Vandals desecrated a Holocaust monument in Ternopil, Censor.NET reports. This was announced by Ukrainian Jewish Committee director Eduard Dolinsky on his Facebook page.

read more

Turkey: New TV series accused of anti-Semitism

Via Ynet News:
Jews in Turkey are worried by a new historical fiction that shows Jews attempting to assassinate the sultan and Herzl planning for a Jewish state extending from the Euphrates to the Nile.

A fictional Turkish television series is causing great concern in the Jewish community there with its storylines depicting Theodor Herzl intending to establish a Jewish state extending from the Euphrates to the Nile and a Jew attempting to assassinate Sultan Abdul Hamid II.
read more

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Germany: Anti-Semitism expressed by a quarter of the population

Via YNet News:
"20-25% of the German population expresses anti-Semitism when it comes to criticism of Israel," says Dr. Andreas Zick of Bielefeld University. 
Dr. Zick has been conducting surveys on xenophobia for years and the results of his latest survey are concerning." 
There is a rise in anti-Semitism, especially in the right-wing, populist movement," said Dr. Zick to Ynet. "However, we are also seeing the differences between traditional anti-Semitism, which is quite low, and modern anti-Semitism, especially with regard to criticism of Israel, which is on a big rise." 
According to Dr. Zick, "Anti-Semitism is linked to other forms of hostility. We call this group-based hostility and it is related to immigration resistence. In Germany, anti-Semitism is also connected to anti-Islamic feelings. This explains why there are so many hate crimes in Germany. In Berlin for example, we recorded 500 attacks against Jews in 2016. This can be explained by Jews not being viewed as an integral part of society, but rather as foreigners."
Based on your research, would you say Jews are in danger in Germany? "Yes, tangible danger and it comes from very different sides. There is anti-Semitism in the general population, there is modern anti-Semitism that stems from criticism of Israel and there is a lot of Muslim anti-Semitism, especially from the extreme Muslim community." (...)
Dr. Zick stressed that anti-Semitism is not likely to go away and it is wrong to think that the European right has become pro-Israel because of its hatred for Muslims. 

Germany: Mahmoud Abbas, a Holocaust denier, gets German Steiger award

Via Elder of Ziyon:
From Wikipedia: 
The Steiger Award or Der Steiger is an international award established in 2005 and presented annually by the award organization based in Bochum, Germany. The title refers to steiger (mining foreman), reflecting the qualities of responsibility, honesty, openness and hard work valued in the Ruhr region where the award is presented. The award was created by private initiative and is presented annually to individuals who are notable for accomplishments in charity, music, film, media, sports, the environment and building of the European community. 
Looking at the Steiger Award page for this year, it describes the accomplishments of those that it gives the award to. But the person that received the main award has a biography that is strikingly short of actual accomplishment.
But the person that received the main award has a biography that is strikingly short of actual accomplishment. 
 STEIGER AWARD Special award for President AbbasThe Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be honored on 03.25.2017 at the STEIGER AWARD ceremony where he is getting a special prize on hopes for peace on Saturday.

President Abbas will personally accept the award at the Zeche Hansemann in Dortmund.

Mahmoud Abbas was born 1935th He studied at the University of Damascus and a doctorate at the University of Moscow. From 1996 to 2004 he was the Secretary General of the PLO, in 2003 he became Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Since 2004 he is Chairman of the PLO, he was elected president of 2005.
So, he actually hasn't accomplished anything except to be chosen as Abbas' successor in a kleptocracy and imaginary government.
I wonder how many of the Germans behind this award are aware of Abbas' history with Holocaust denial in his thesis and subsequent book. 
Why exactly did Abbas get this award? 
With the award, the jury would like to give a clear signal in slow-moving peace process between Israel and Palestine. 
Except if that is true, and the award is more to encourage the peace process than to recognize accomplishments towards peace,  then shouldn't they have given it to Netanyahu at the same time?  
This award shows how screwed up the world is and how the West has swallowed Palestinian propaganda whole. 
Even if you don't like Netanyahu, his accomplishments as a national leader far outweigh Abbas'.  And he has proposed more peace plans and frameworks than Abbas has. And he is not a serial liar and Holocaust denier.  He doesn't encourage terror attacks nor does he reward terrorists and their families. (...)
(The irony of an antisemite receiving the award has not been lost on German bloggers, either. )
read more

This comment was posted by an EoZ reader:
While in Germany, Abu Mazen can visit the scene of his greatest "achievement"-
Abu Daoud, who planned the Munich Olympics massacre, wrote in his autobiography that funds for the operation were provided by Mahmoud Abbas:
"Though he claims he didn't know what the money was being spent for, longtime Fatah official Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack."

Also, Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, who is German, is an admirer of Mahmoud Abbas. When Abbas went to the European Parliament he applauded him for his speech and tweeted afterwards that Abbas's blood libel and his calling Israel a fascist country was "inspiring" and that he is a true partner for peace.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

France: Freemasons' boss assaulted in suspected anti-Semitic incident in Paris

Via JTA:
A leader of the Freemasons in France said he was assaulted on the street by a woman carrying a hammer who called him a Jew.
Christophe Habas, the master of the Grand Orient of France, suffered superficial wounds in the incident Wednesday night as he was walking to a metro station in the French capital, the Le Parisien daily reported Thursday. The assailant shouted “Jew” three times as she hit him with the hammer before fleeing.
The report did not say whether Habas is Jewish, but according to Le Parisien he recently returned from a trip to Israel that received considerable coverage in the media in France, where the Freemasons movement has 50,000 members. 
The Freemasons are members of societies, or lodges, who engage in secret rituals that promoters of the movement say “instill in its members a moral and ethical approach to life.” The rites include “a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge,” as the British lodge describes them on its website. They “follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.”
During the Nazi occupation of France and under the country’s pro-Nazi puppet state, Freemasonry was banned.
Partly due to its secretive characteristics Freemasonry, which became popular across Europe in the 18th century, has become the subject of many conspiracy theories, including anti-Semitic ones.
read more

During his visit to Israel, Christophe Habas was interviewed by Danielle Attelan of i24NEWS but did not discuss antisemitism in France:

Grand Orient de France: Christophe Habas en Israël

Friday, March 24, 2017

Greece: Report: Anti-Semitism in Greece today

Via Against Antisemitism:
(...) The report presents the results of two opinion surveys conducted in Greece, in June 2014 and January 2015, on the issue of antisemitism the country. After a brief discussion on the meaning and origins of the phenomenon of antisemitism, the study presents an overview of its manifestations in the Greek society, in particular politics, the Church and the media. A detailed presentation of the findings of the two surveys follows, which measure antisemitic attitudes in the Greek society and correlate them with factors such as gender, age, political opinion, education, church affiliation but also trust, cosmopolitanism, belief in conspiracy theories and victimhood. The results confirm previous studies and assumptions that antisemitism in Greece is very high (around 70%), the highest percentage in Europe. The report ends with recommendations on how the government and the Greek society as a whole should act systematically against this scourge. (...)
The report is available only in Greek here.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Belgium: Rampant anti-Israel activity on campuses has Jewish students desperate to make their voices heard

As reported (20 March) on this blog Belgium: Four universities invite Palestinian terrorist to speak as part of BDS week.

Benjamin Fischer makes an important point (see last paragraph) - in the face of so much hatred Jewish students are powerless and do not get help or sympathy.

Salah Hamouri, a frequent guest at Israel-bashing events in Belgium.
Via The Algemeiner:
The head of Europe’s Jewish students umbrella group told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that rampant anti-Israel activity on Belgian campuses has Jewish students desperate to have their voices heard. 
Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)
Benjamin Fischer, president of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), said four universities turned down appeals to cancel events featuring Palestinian terrorist Salah Hamouri, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine arrested in 2005 for plotting to assassinate Israel’s former Sephardic chief Rabbi, the late Ovadia Yosef. Despite a letter-writing campaign to university directors, spearheaded by EUJS and the Belgian Union of Jewish Students (UEJB), Hamouri was allowed to speak throughout February and March — during “Israeli Apartheid Week” — on the topic of Palestinians’ treatment in Israeli prisons at the University of Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, the Catholic University of Louvain and the Catholic University of Leuven. 
“The directors told us that it was a matter of free speech, and they would permit the programs to go forward as planned,” Fischer said, noting that EUJS “took the unusual step of asking an event to be shut down, because we thought, in this particular instance, the campuses had gone too far.” (...) 
Fischer said the trials met by Jews on Belgium campuses are not comparable to those facing their US and UK counterparts, as radical Belgian student groups — specifically the Marxist COMAC youth movement and Een Andre Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice) — reflect the extreme anti-Israel and atheistic rhetoric found regularly in public and political discourse. 
“Being a student in Belgium means that there are campuses where you have to hide your Jewish identity,” he said. “The students here aren’t less active about responding to Israeli or Jewish issues, but they don’t have the numbers or the necessary support and resources of the international anti-BDS movement.”  
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UK: Students urged to read works of Holocaust denier David Irving at LSE event

Via Jewish News:
Complaints have been made to the London School of Economics following a talk by a disgraced former UN official during which one of his supporters told students to read the works of notorious Holocaust denier David Irving.
The alleged remarks came amid protests against the presence on campus of Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine from 2008 to 2014 who has been repeatedly condemned for inflammatory actions and statements by the UK. Today’s event was held to promote Falk’s new book ‘Palestine’s Horizon: Towards a Just Peace, in which he claims Jerusalem has been “ethnically cleansed”. 
UN Watch had called for Theresa May to expel Falk from Britain after highlighting the fact that in 2012 the UK Foreign Office condemned Falk for providing the cover endorsement for Gilad Atzmon’s book “The Wandering Who” which accuses “the Jews” of being “the only people who managed to maintain and sustain a racially orientated, expansionist and genocidal national identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology”. In April 2013, the UK Mission to the UN condemned Falk after he blamed the Boston terrorist attack on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv”. 
As Monday’s event descended into chaos with pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian shouting accusations and at least two of the former removed for disruptive behaviour, post-graduate Sapan Maini-Thompson claimed Atzmon audibly claimed Jews were being removed for misbehviour, as in Germany. 
He told the Jewish News: “He said to those around him ‘the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving’ – which he repeated when challenged. He was recommending to those around him to read the works of David Irving and said Israel’s actions in the occupied territories are Hitlerian. After the event I went up to the man and aggressively called him a Nazi. I’m not hiding that.” 
read more 

Ireland: Pro-Israel speaker pulls out of conference over presence of Richard Falk

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
Alan Johnson
One of only two speakers due to argue Israel’s case at a conference questioning the existence of the Jewish state has withdrawn from the event over the appearance of an author who has endorsed a book espousing antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Professor Alan Johnson, BICOM’s senior research Fellow, confirmed he has pulled out of the conference in Cork, Ireland in protest at the organisers’ decision to bill Richard Falk as one of the keynote speakers.
In a statement, Prof Johnson, who also edits the Fathom journal, said:“I have informed the organisers of the Cork Conference that I will no longer be participating. The organisers have issued an invitation to Richard Falk to give a keynote speech. 
“I had agreed to participate in an academic conference to present a paper in defence of Israel’s right to exist. But by inviting a speaker who espouses antisemitic conspiracy theories the conference is now objectively an attempt to normalise antisemitism and I cannot attend such an event."
The Cork conference, which is titled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility” and begins on March 31, will feature some of the most outspoken critics of Israel. Speakers include anti-Zionist historian Professor llan Pappe and the University of Southampton’s Professor Oren Ben-Dor, who has blamed the Jewish mind set for provoking antisemitism.
Prof Johnson had initially believed he had a duty to attend the event in order to “defend Israel’s right to exist”.
But he told the JC he had decided to withdraw because in his view Mr Falk’s appearance “changes the character of the event”.
He cited Mr Falk’s endorsement of a book by musician and writer Gilad Atzmon, who describes himself as “a proud, self-hating Jew”, as an influencing factor.
read more

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Italian rabbi objects to Pope Francis's anti-Jewish rhetoric

Via First Things (Matthew Schmitz):
In his morning homilies, Pope Francis has been offering increasingly frequent and bitter denunciations of Catholics who oppose his push to give communion to the divorced and remarried. Sometimes he has portrayed these people as effeminate and womanish. More usually he has portrayed them as rigid legalists—as Pharisees who “sit in the chair of Moses and judge.”
Of course, his opponents don’t like to be insulted. As it turns out, the people he stereotypes in order to insult his opponents (vain, clothes-mad women; bitter, rule-obsessed Jews) don’t like it either.
In a recent letter on the return of Catholic anti-Judaism, Giuseppe Laras, a prominent Italian rabbi, objects to the homilies of Pope Francis for their promotion of false and dangerous anti-Jewish stereotypes. Laras perceives “an undercurrent—with the text a bit more manifest now—of resentment, intolerance, and annoyance on the Christian side toward Judaism; a substantial distrust of the Bible and a subsequent minimization of the Jewish biblical roots of Christianity; a more or less latent ‘Marcionism’ now presented in pseudo-scientific form, which today focuses insistently on ethics and politics.” 
Laras is aware of and grateful for recent improvements in Catholic understanding of Judaism—but he laments that these seem to be lost on Francis: (...)
(...) One need think only of the law of “an eye for an eye” recently evoked by the pope carelessly and mistakenly …
Laras says that “it is saddening . . . that those who raise objections, perplexities, concerns, and indignation … must always be Jews … and not instead in the first place authoritative Christian voices that right away and much sooner should assert themselves with a bold and frank ‘no.’”
Too many authoritative Christian voices—both bishops and theologians—have greeted Pope Francis’s anti-Jewish rhetoric with silence, smooth excuses, or applause. When will they speak out with the boldness of Rabbi Laras?
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Sweden: Jews harassed in Malmo

Via 24 Malmo:

A group of Jews were harassed in Malmo last Thursday.  A car drove slowly past them while the passengers shouted comments against the Jews and their traditional clothing.

Malmo police say they're investigating the incident as a hate crime. 

UK: Jews anti-Semitically abused at London School of Economics event with Richard Falk

Via UK Media Watch:
The LSE event last night (Monday) with antisemitic speaker Richard Falk (nominally launching his new book) was truly horrible. Several hardcore alleged anti-Semites were there.

Falk predictably championed the paper that was removed from the UN website –its removal was a sign that Israel and her supporters “no longer want to argue on substance”. He talked about the “changing dynamics of Zionist ambition” – it used to be “limited” but now all Israelis refer to “Judea and Samaria not the West Bank, to underline the Biblical claim.” They have a “sacred relationship to the land” which “doesn’t rely on international law or colonialism – unlike any other claim in the world”. “Israel’s push back has increasingly relied on playing the antisemitic card.” “A smear tactic designed to avoid proper discussion.” “It is a test of academic freedom”.


As I left the room, I held up my Israel flag. Our departure caused chaos with people complaining that silent protesters were being removed. Gilad Atzmon said “’Raus” as I left the room (it is on film though I didn’t hear it).  He was admonished by the pro-Palestinians.  Atzmon then turned around to the Jewish students at the back and said “being chucked out for causing trouble, just like you lot were in Germany”.  The pro-Israel people then went ballistic at him and asked him to repeat it – which he happily did. Security was called to people remove him – even the pro-Palestinians told him he had crossed a red line. Then (I was told – I was outside) the event descended into chaos as Security refused to remove Atzmon. It ended earlier than the 90 minutes planned. 

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Sweden: Neo-Nazis disrupt lectures by Holocaust survivors

Via Ynet News (h/t Honestly Concerned):
A neo-Nazi organization active in Sweden has been disrupting lectures from Holocaust survivors throughout the country, but the police are refusing to provide security at the locations of such talks, according to Israel’s top envoy to the Nordic country.
Ambassador Isaac Bachman, who has 29 years’ experience with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote of this situation in a diplomatic cable to the MFA in Jerusalem.

It has a clearly racist and anti-Semitic ideology, and its members make sure to plan their activities to cause the most friction and receive the highest amount of media coverage.

As one would expect from such an organization, the Nordic Resistance Movement denies the Holocaust and deems the eyewitness accounts of its few remaining survivors to be preposterous.

As part of their campaign to interrupt lectures by survivors, they went to a talk given three weeks ago by a Holocaust survivor who has lived in Sweden for decades and who frequently shares his personal experiences with the public.

Members of the organization protested outside the hall where he was speaking and distributed flyers to attendees that spread their Holocaust-denying ideology. The “informational materials” claimed that lecture being given was entirely bogus. The ensuing verbal confrontations deteriorated into a physical brawl.

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Germany: BDS events cancelled in Frankfurt and Bonn

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
After a wave of objections to a boycott-Israel event scheduled for next week in Bonn, Germany, the Jewish community there on Monday announced its delight with cancellation of the gathering and a widely criticized antisemitic talk that was to be given at it.

A separate pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference set to take place in June in Frankfurt was also canceled.
 “The Jewish community is pleased that the event was canceled,” a spokeswoman for the Bonn Jewish community told The Jerusalem Post. Nearly 1,000 members belong to the organization in the North Rhine-Westphalia city of some 311,000 people. 
The Bonn-based Pfennigsdorf Foundation planned to host a talk by former pastor Martin Breidert titled, “For Human Rights and International Law in Palestine – What Does BDS Want?” The speaker is widely viewed as antisemitic and an aggressive hater of the Jewish state. 
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Belgium: Four universities invite Palestinian terrorist to speak as part of BDS week

Salah Hamouri, a frequent guest at Israel-bashing events in Belgium.
i24NEWS reports:
The University of Antwerp in Belgium will host on Wednesday Palestinian terrorist Salah Hamouri, who will be speaking about "the issue of torture and human rights violations in Israeli Prisons."
It is important to give the whole picture.  In total four (and not only one) Belgian universities hosted the Palestinian terrorist.  The Free University of Brussels and the University of Antwerp went one step further.  They invited Charlotte Kates of Samidoun.  In December 2016, Samidoun organised in Brussels an event to pay homage to Sami Kuntar, the Hezbollah child killer 

It seems that only the students at the University of Antwerp protested.  

University of Antwerp

Salah Hamouri and Charlotte Kates of Samidoun.

The Free University of Brussels (ULB)
Salah Hamouri and Charlotte Kates of Samidoun.  

The Catholic University of Louvain (UCL, francophone)

Salah Hamouri and Alexis Deswaef, Belgian Human Rights League.

The Catholic University of Leuven (KUL, Flemish):
Salah Hamouri, hosted by Pr. Lieven De Cauter and Selwa Othman.

(...) Hamouri was arrested by Israeli authorities in March 2005. After pleading guilty, he was finally sentenced in April 2008 to half the sentence he was incurring. He was released in December 2011 under a deal with Hamas to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for nearly 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. 
Hamouri's speech at the University of Antwerp for "Israel apartheid week" was organized by the extreme left-wing group COMAC, the youth movement of the Labor Party of Belgium, and was approved by the school's director, Herman Van Goethem.
The decision to host Hamouri has caused a stir in the Belgian Jewish community, especially for the Jewish students attending the university. 
"I am very disappointed with the event, as the guest is a terrorist convicted of an assassination attempt, released before the end of his sentence,' Jessica Rosenblum, a student at the University of Antwerp, told i24NEWS. "An individual like Hamouri and the hate speech from organizations advocating the BDS movement have no place in Antwerp," she added, denouncing the use of freedom of expression in order to "delegitimize Israel."
The Association of Jewish Students at the University wrote a letter to the University director, detailing their outrage over the event, a copy of which was obtained by i24NEWS
In his reply Van Goethem defended "freedom of expression", and said that the university he runs has the right to organize evenings with a "political" theme, especially to allow those who want to express their opinion on the concept of "Apartheid linked to the concept of the Jewish state" to be heard. 
For him, Salah Hamouri's conviction for terrorism "cannot justify a refusal" to allow him to appear at the event. 
Additionally, Hamouri "served his sentence of seven years and pleaded guilty as part of an agreement to reduce his sentence," Van Goethem said. 
"Preventive censorship in the context of freedom of expression is fundamentally unacceptable," he added. "It will be an opportunity to ask critical questions and debate. I see no reason not to organize this evening."
"I sincerely hope that this debate, which I am sure will be a robust one, will facilitate a meeting of minds on a topic where, in my opinion, a far too great polarization prevails," concluded Van Goethem. (...)
"He was released as part of an exchange," André Gantman, a member of the Antwerp Municipal Council and former president of the Jewish association B'nai B'rith in Antwerp, told i24NEWS, referring to the Shalit deal. 
"The problem is not a legal but a moral one," he said, adding that "Hamouri has never expressed any regrets." 
For Gantman, the director Herman Van Goethem bears responsibility for this "inadmissible" event, effectively "allowing his university be violated a killer." 
Echoing this sentiment, student Israel supporter Jenny Aharon told i24NEWS the “dialogue” argument is misleading. For her, the problem is not confronting opposing views, but “debating with a killer.”
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Germany/Belgium: Germany MPs investigate pro-Hezbollah academic Finkelstein's talks

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal): 
In a dramatic widening of an academic antisemitism scandal at the Max Planck Institute for the promotion of lectures delivered by a pro-Hezbollah instructor, German Green Party lawmakers began a parliamentary inquiry on Friday into Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s talks. 
The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the Green Party questionnaire sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration, which includes her Education Ministry’s criticism of allegedly shoddy scholarship practiced at the Max Planck Institute in Halle.
Stefan Müller, an undersecretary of the Education Ministry, wrote that the ministry “sees with concern that in the context of a controversial academic discussion possible antisemitic theses were given a platform.” 
Müller, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said the government called on the president of the Max Planck Institute, Martin Stratmann, to clear up the alleged misconduct. Stratmann, according to Müller, has not provided answers to the Merkel administration. 
Pro-Hezbollah activist and US academic Finkelstein delivered two lectures, including one titled “Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom.” 
The talks were held in January at the Max Planck Institute branch in the city of Halle, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. 
The institute under Stratmann’s leadership has been mired in turmoil since the Halle branch of the institute allegedly lied to the public about the content of Finkelstein’s pro-Hamas talk. The US and the EU classify Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. 
Finkelstein has defended Hamas violence against the Jewish state, saying: “Now, under international law, Hamas, the Palestinians – nothing in international law debars them from using armed force to end the occupation.... For me that’s not an important question. Legally, they have the right. Morally, in my opinion, they have the right.” 
In a statement to the Post, Green Party deputy Volker Beck, who along with fellow lawmakers jump-started the parliamentary investigation into Max Planck Institute’s management, said, “The invitation [to Finkelstein] was certainly not academically kosher. And the public was lied to multiple times.” 
Beck said the institute must explain why academic Marie-Claire Foblets (*), who vigorously defended Finkelstein, “did not tell the public the truth about the topic and the form of the event, and how the entire incident was justified for a scientific institution.” Marie-Claire Foblets is the managing director at the institute’s Department of Law & Anthropology. 
Beck said the Max Planck Institute deceived the public by saying Finkelstein’s lecture was open to the public admission.
After rising criticism of the event in the media, largely in the Post, the institute changed the event to an internal workshop and barred the public from attending, according to critics.

(*) Marie-Claire Baroness Foblets is a Belgian lawyer and anthropologist and professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (LeuvenBelgium). Her research interests are interculturalism, migration and minorities. In 2004, she was awarded the Francqui Prize on Human Sciences for her research on anthropology. Since 2012 she is head of the department of Anthropology of Law at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Germany).