Friday, July 21, 2017

Germany: Guide at Anne Frank Center in Berlin compares Jewish suffering under Nazis to Palestinians under Israel

It is yet again painfully clear that European organisations like the Anne Frank Center in Berlin are often incapable of applying proper vetting procedures when hiring staff.

  Via JTA:
The Anne Frank Center in Berlin has distanced itself from the statement of a freelance guide who compared the suffering of Jews under the Nazis to that of Palestinians under Israeli occupation today. 
At issue was a profile of Nesreen Hajjaj, a 24-year-old Berliner of Palestinian background, in the July 19 online English version of Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned news outlet. Hajjaj is one of 25 freelance guides who introduce visitors to the exhibition at the Anne Frank Zentrum Berlin. 
Hajjaj told the interviewer that “many things that happened to the Jews during the Nazi rule are happening to the Palestinians now. Jewish people were kicked out of their homes and denied an education. Today Palestinian lands and houses are being conquered,” she told the online publication. 
She said she had been called an “infidel and a hypocrite” on social media for taking the job with the center. 
Her answer to critics: “We must be open-minded toward different people, especially if you live within their societies.” 
Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Zentrum, told JTA that Hajjaj’s comment was “incorrect and painful … and does not reflect the official position of the Anne Frank Zentrum. Furthermore, the Anne Frank Zentrum distances itself from this position.”
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

UK: Is New York about to boycott Roger Waters?

It's a warning to many European BDS proponents...  
Roger Waters
Roger Waters could be prevented from playing concerts in New York State after a local Jewish lawmaker confirmed the former Pink Floyd frontman’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was in violation of local law. 
Howard Kopel, who serves as a legislator for Nassau County in Long Island, pointed out that “Local Law 3-2016 bars companies from doing business with Nassau County if they participate in economic warfare against Israel. 
“The Nassau County Attorney confirms… Roger Waters' proposed upcoming tour dates at the Nassau Coliseum are indeed in violation of Local Law 3-2016”, he wrote in a social media post. 
“Allowing Waters - who actively promotes and encourages others to withdraw from commercial relations with Israel and other ‘BDS’ activities as defined by the law - to perform at a county-owned facility …  not only violates the law, and the Coliseum Lease, but offends the sense of decency of our residents.” 
Last week the city of Miami Beach, Florida, cancelled a planned performance of local children with Mr Waters after the Greater Miami Jewish Federation accused Mr Waters of spreading “vile messages of antisemitism, anti-Zionism and hatred [which] are not welcome in our community”. 
Mr Waters has attempted to persuade other performers not to play in Israel. In the past few weeks, he has been a leading voice in the unsuccessful effort to pressurise Radiohead into cancelling their concert in Israel. 
However, Israel continues to attract some of the biggest bands and performers in the world. Last Saturday night, Guns N’ Roses played the largest concert in Israel’s history in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, with an attendance of over 62,000.

France: Another antisemitic act against the Garges-lès-Gonesse synagogue

Via BNVCA:

The BNVCA has condemned a new anti-Semitic act perpetrated once again against the Jewish community of Garges-lès-Gonesse, Val d'Oise. The head of the synagogue informed BNVCA that anti-Jewish tags were discovered on 16 July 2017 on the facade of this place of worship situated at 14 Rue JB Corot.

The perpetrators painted "Dirty Jews" followed by a star with 6 branches, Maguen David, as if the authors wanted to hang a star at this place of worship on the day of the commemoration of the Rafle of the Vel d'Hiv of 16 July 1942.

The president, exasperated by an incalculable number of attacks against the people and the property of his community since the appearance of the 'new anti-Semitism', has informed BNVCA of his wish to meet urgently with the Prefect of the department. He also hopes that the relevant departments will prune the trees surrounding the synagogue which obstruct the visibility of the video surveillance cameras that could have enabled the identification of the authors of the graffiti.

Italy: Celebration of Nazism by fans of the Hellas Verona football club

Via European Jewish Press:
Jewish leaders in Italy denounced as "a true celebration of Nazism" a chorus of Nazi chants by fans of the Hellas Verona football club earlier this month. 
During a match, at the Bentegodi stadium of Verona, a member of the far-right Forza Nuova party hailed Adolf Hitler as "sponsor" of the  team. 
The Nazi chorus at the match appeared in an online video that has been on the web of many national newspapers. (...)
The Hellas Verona team also intervened directly: "We disagree with what happened during the match. We want to point out that this was a self-managed event and not of direct control and competence of the club. We are also convinced that this is an isolated behavior, which does not represent our fans. To protect and support our club, we would like to point out how our society has carried out many actions and awareness campaigns in recent years to condemn any form of discrimination and potentially harm any constitutionally guaranteed right and as in that perspective we will always act. "
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UK: Director Mike Leigh, like Ken Loach, is happy to profit from Israel while "supporting BDS"

Via Elder of Ziyon:

British Jewish film director Mike Leigh 
Artists for Palestine released this:
Film writer and director Mike Leigh has criticised Thom Yorke and Radiohead for ignoring Palestinian suffering, two days ahead of their controversial Israel gig. Last week Radiohead front-man Yorke defended the band’s decision to play in Israel and ignore the Palestinian picket-line, arguing that music was about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘shared humanity’. Today, Oscar nominated Leigh, who is in production for his forthcoming feature film ‘Peterloo’, issued the following statement via Artists for Palestine UK –
‘On Wednesday Radiohead will perform in a Tel Aviv stadium built over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. It is a sad fact that Radiohead have failed to engage with Palestinians who have called for them not to play, and that Thom Yorke’s comments are devoid of any reference to Palestinians at all.s the lights go out in Gaza and Palestinian cancer patients die because they are denied travel permits by Israel, while a Palestinian poet in Israel lives under house arrest for a poem she wrote on Facebook, while a young circus performer from the West Bank languishes in administrative detention without charge or trial – Thom Yorke speaks loftily about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘freedom of expression’. One has to ask, freedom for whom exactly?’ 
Ah, another moral force for good and against Israel. 
Except, as Sussex Friends for Israel noted, every single one of Leigh's films created after the BDS movement was started has been released in Israel. 
Vera Drake, released in Israel on 3 February 2005. 
Happy-Go-Lucky, released in Israel 19 June 2008. 
Another Year, released in Israel 9 December 2010 under the title Od Shana. 
Mr. Turner, released in Israel 11 December 2014 under the title Mar Turner. 
This follows Ken Loach's similar hypocrisy as he scrambles to claim that his films being released in Israel over the years were all a mistake.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Netanyahu criticizes the European Union, 'the only international organization that conditions relations with Israel, which gives it technology, on political considerations'

Via European Jewish Press:
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Budapest
with his counterparts of the Visegrad group
"The European Union is the only international organization that conditions relations with Israel, which gives it technology, on political considerations. Nobody else does that," Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said at a closed meeting in Budapest with leaders of the countries of the Visegrad group, which comprises Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 
Despite the fact that it was a closed meeting, Netanyahu’s statements were accidentally transmitted to journalists covering the meeting. 
Netanyahu said: "I was in China. We have special relations with China and they don't care about the political issues. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told me, 'I have to take care of India's interests, and where will I get that? In Ramallah?' Russia does not make political conditions and neither does Africa. Only the EU makes it conditional. It's crazy. It is against Europe's interests.’’ 
"Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel because of a crazy attempt to institute political conditions." 
"Don't undermine the only country in the region that takes care of Europe's interests. Stop attacking Israel. Support Israel. Europe is dissociating itself from the biggest center of innovation in the world. It makes no sense.’’   
"I think Europe has to decide if it wants to live and thrive or if it wants to shrivel and disappear,” he said. 
"I suggest that you deliver a message to your colleagues in Europe about how to help Europe," the Israeli premier told the East European leaders.

France: Family of murdered Sarah Halimi moving to Israel

Related:  84% of French Jews consider antisemitism is a big problem

Via The Times of Israel:
Seeking justice, brother of Sarah Halimi sees ‘warning’ for French Jews in grisly slaying. In family’s first major interview, William Attal says he can ‘no longer stay silent’ over his sister’s brutal killing by a Muslim neighbor in April, fumes at police refusal to acknowledge it was an anti-Semitic crime. 
The killing of French Jew Sarah Halimi and subsequent efforts to deny its anti-Semitic motives represent a turning point for France’s Jewish community and must seen as a “warning sign” of the country’s changing attitudes towards Jews.  That is the message William Attal, Halimi’s brother, is seeking to stress to both the French community and to Jews around the world. (...) 
 “No one can deny that situation has deteriorated for the Jews,” Attal insisted, noting increasing attacks over the past decade which he says have led him to fear for the safety of the Jewish community, and his family. 
Attal sees his sister’s case as a further escalation. “First, Jews were attacked at a Jewish school,” he said, referring to the 2011 shooting of a teacher and three children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse. “Then they came into a Jewish supermarket,” he said of the 2015 assault on the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in which four Jews were murdered by radical Islamic terrorists. “Now, with my sister, they have come into a Jewish home, a direct violation of what should be a safe space.”
That fear was at times palpable — both we arranged our interview with Attal, and during the conversation itself.
Wishing to prevent drawing attention to his own home, Attal, a stout man with a short beard and a warm smile, asked to instead meet at a nearby store, but would not agree for photos to be taken at the site for fear of turning it into a target. Minutes into the hour-long conversation, this reporter was asked to remove or cover up his skullcap. Attal, who describes himself as religious, wore a baseball cap to cover his head and said he had forbidden his children from wearing skullcaps in public. (...) 
Attal, however, said he could no longer keep quiet. “I didn’t want to talk about it for a long time, but I can no longer remain silent in the face of this lack of justice. I feel like I have no choice but to tell the full story of what happened,” he said, adding that he hoped his sister’s death would act as a “warning sign” to both the French Jewish community and Jews around the world. 
Reading from both the police report and the autopsy with his voice cracking and tears in his eyes, Attal shared some of the previously unknown details of the final moments of his sister’s life. As he began to read, two of his children, aged 16 and 20, who had accompanied him to the interview, asked to step away from the table, unable to listen to the harrowing description. (...)
The family will not give up on seeking official recognition of an anti-Semitic motive to the attack, Attal said, but they will soon have to continue their fight from nearly 3,000 miles away, in Israel. 
Next month, in a direct response to the murder, both of Halimi’s daughters will be immigrating to Israel, making aliyah with the Jewish Agency, likely as part of an International Fellowship of Christians and Jews program to bring French Jews to the country. 
Attal, along with his wife and four children, will be on an IFCJ flight a month after his nieces. (The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews arranged the interview with Attal.) 
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ president, told the Times of Israel that his organization’s program, which provides new immigrants with financial aid on arrival, is aimed at helping French Jews “suffering from regular aggression and serious violence, from Muslim extremists that live in the suburbs where the Jews live as a besieged minority.” (...) 
Attal said he had planned to move to Israel before his sister’s death, but the incident sped up the process and “gave me the absolute certainty, and all of my family, that we need to do this now.”
According to Attal, his sister had also wanted to move to Israel. 
“She always dreamed of aliyah and wanted to live next to her son in Israel, but she stayed in France in order to help with her grandchildren,” he said. “Now her children are making aliyah without her and can only visit her grave in Jerusalem.”
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

United Kingdom: Those "... who froth hatred of Jews"

Via The Daily Mail (Peter Hitchens):
Like almost all suppressed reports about terrorism in London or Washington DC, the truth that is being kept from us is that great danger comes from Saudi Arabia, HQ of the most fanatical and intolerant Islamism on the market. 
Nobody really doubts that this report, if published, would say that. The pathetic scraps of the document which Ms Rudd allowed into the open last week hinted strongly at it, for those who knew where to look. 
Her statement said: ‘For a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income.’ 
Hurriedly, she added: ‘However, for the vast majority of extremist groups in the UK, overseas funding is not a significant source.’ Why ‘however’? So what? If foreign funds are significant at all, that’s what we need to know. 
Because she also said: ‘Overseas support has allowed individuals to study at institutions that teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK’s Islamic institutions. Some of these individuals have since become of extremist concern.’ 
By ‘socially conservative’ they don’t mean me. They mean those who support the forcible shrouding of women and who froth hatred of Jews. How mealy mouthed to call it ‘conservatism’. But our Government is terrified of offending the Saudis, terrified beyond reason or self-respect.
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Europe: Why economic and strategic cooperation have never been better

Via Foreign Affairs:
(...) Imports from Israel to the EU hovered steady between 2011 and 2016 at around 14.8 billion dollars—a historic high—and last year, European governments bought record levels of defense equipment from Israel. Israel’s reputation as the so-called start-up nation is much admired on the Continent, as are its energetic academic and creative exports. All of this has helped restore some of Israel’s soft power.
What’s more, for all the bluster from Israeli ministers that anti-settlement measures constitute a discriminatory boycott, the EU’s focus on settlements promises to leave most of Israel’s economy and population untouched. Less than two percent of Israel’s exports to Europe come from settlements. More important for EU members’ trade balances, Israel is an increasingly important market, with imports from the EU growing from 14 billion euros in 2006 to more than 21 billion in 2016. (...)
Even in countries where there has been a long-term decline in affections for Israel, this sentiment has not been accompanied by a broad embrace of the Palestinian cause. For many political leaders and much of the neutral public the Palestinian national movement is associated with chaos, corruption, and violent extremism, underlined by the consequences of Israel’s pullout from Gaza, which led to Hamas-rule and thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians. Although surveys in most European countries indicate more people are sympathetic to the Palestinians than with the Israelis, more still are either equivocal or indifferent.
Political leaders who have opposed Israeli policies have found their ideological positions tempered by material interests. Greece’s far-left party Syriza, for example, was deeply hostile to Israel while it was in opposition, but has deepened Greece’s economic and strategic cooperation with Israel since taking power. Greece needs trade and tourists, and covets a deal to pipe Israeli gas to European states that currently depend on Russian energy exports. It also values defense ties with Israel, thanks to its strained relations with Turkey. The interest in partnering with Israel’s military spans the continent. In November, Israel will host an air force exercise involving France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Poland. (...)
What was once a zero-sum game for European countries—in which warmer ties with Israel would harm relations with Arab states—is now a thing of the past. Israeli and European interests are aligned in shoring up Western-aligned Sunni Arab states and containing anti-Western extremist forces. Today, Israel is a rock of stability not only for Egypt and Jordan, but even for the Gulf states with which it has no formal ties. Terror attacks in European cites, searing images of Islamic State butchery, and waves of Syrian refugees pouring into Europe have made it harder to sustain the idea that Israel is the source of Middle East instability, or the poison in relations between Islam and the West. European states especially value Israeli intelligence on the threats posed by Sunni jihadist groups (and to a lesser extent, on such Shiite militant groups as Hezbollah.) Moreover, when jihadists target European cities, it bolsters the Israeli narrative that frames Palestinian violence as driven by ideological extremism, as opposed to grievance at the occupation.  
The jihadist threat is also one of the factors behind a recent populist right resurgence characterized by disenchantment with federalism and renewed nationalism. This creates some strange looking political alignments. For leading European right-wing populists, a pro-Israel stance is simultaneously a badge of opposition to Islam and an attempt to defray accusations of lingering anti-Semitism. Although the Israeli government keeps its distance from these parties, some Israeli right politicians have been ready to welcome them. Meanwhile, British officials have leaned toward some Trump administration positions on Israel: British officials vetoed a French initiative on the peace process opposed by Israel in December; in March, they “[put] the Human Rights Council on notice,” as UK Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Julian Braithwaite put it, for its disproportionate focus on Israel’s actions. 
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Italy: Anti-Semitism row over MP eyebrows jibe


Via ANSA:
An Italian MP on Wednesday denied any anti-Semitic intent after publishing a jibe on Facebook asking if a Jewish colleague had bushy eyebrows because he wanted to "cover the marks of the circumcision".

 "There was no anti-Semitism," said Massimo Corsaro, a member of a group of lawmakers close to former Puglia Governor Raffaele Fitto that broke away from Forza Italia, regarding the comment directed at Democratic Party (PD) MP Emanuele Fiano.

"I intended to call him a dickhead". Fiano is the author of bill that seeks to tighten up the law against apology for Fascism.

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French President: 'Anti-Zionism is a new form of anti-Semitism'


Via Israel Hayom:

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday denounced France's collaboration in the Holocaust, lashing out at those who negate or minimize the country's role in sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths. He also condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism and vowed to fight both.

Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a ceremony commemorating 75 years since the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, the mass arrest of 13,152 French Jews in July 1942 as part of the Nazi effort to eradicate the Jews of France.

Calling the period the darkest chapter of modern French history, Macron forcefully denounced Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism and accepted France's responsibility in the event.

"Time does its work. Archives open; the truth comes out. It's stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all. ... It is indeed France that organized [the roundup]. Not a single German [took part]," he said. "It was indeed France. And thus 13,152 people of the Jewish faith were dragged from their homes between the 16th and 17th of July, 1942, to their deaths. Among them, 4,115 children between ages of 2 and 6, whom we are especially honoring today."

Macron dismissed arguments by French far-right leaders and others that the collaborationist Vichy regime did not represent France.

"It is convenient to see the Vichy regime as born of nothingness, returned to nothingness," he said. "Yes, it's convenient, but it is false. We cannot build pride upon a lie."

Later, in a clear reference to far-right leader Marine Le Pen, Macron denounced "politicians who are prepared to reverse the truth. ... We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism, because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism."


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UK: Police and prosecutors accused of 'failing Jewish people' with rise of anti-semitic crime


Via Sunday Express:
Campaigners claim that they are failing to enforce the law, despite promises of a crackdown.

A report by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) shows there were 1,078 such hate crimes in 2016, compared to 938 in 2015 and 746 in 2014.

However, there were 105 reports of anti-semitic violence, a big fall on 2015.

But prosecutions were brought in just 15 cases in 2016, according to data obtained from 49 UK police forces.

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France: Jews fume over omission of hate crime from indictment of Jewish woman’s killer


Via JTA:
Leaders of French Jewry strongly criticized the absence of a mention of hate crime in the indictment of a Paris man who killed his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish community, used uncharacteristically harsh language in criticizing the indictment for murder filed by prosecutors Wednesday against Kobili Traore, who confessed to killing 66-year-old Sarah Halimi on April 4 and throwing her dying body from the third-story window of her apartment.

“CRIF is astonished that the anti-Semitic character of the murder was omitted,” read the statement of the organization, which over the past two weeks has presented on the homepage of its website a running meter with the number of days it took authorities to file an indictment. CRIF has accused authorities of covering up and silencing the slaying of Halimi along with mainstream media.

Traore, 27, who has no history of mental illness, initially was hospitalized in a psychiatric institution as per his insanity plea. He knew that Halimi, a physician and kindergarten teacher, was Jewish and had called her daughter “dirty Jew” in the elevator two years ago, the daughter told French Jewish media.

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Ireland: Palestinian flag to be flown over county and civic offices in south Dublin

Via Dublin Live:
The move follows the flying of the flag over City Hall after Dublin City councillors voted on it 
The Palestinian flag is set to be flown over the South Dublin County Council hall in Tallaght and civic offices in Clondalkin. 
It will fly for a month after councillors voted to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. 
The motion, tabled by Sinn Fein councillor Enda Fanning, follows the flying of the flag over City Hall after Dublin City councillors voted on it. 
Many councillors showed their support for the motion, with Fine Gael councillor Emer Higgins sharing her personal experience of her visit to the area. 
She said the move is a “signal to Israel that we think they could do better as a society”.
Fianna Fail councillor Ed O’Brien said he had reservations about the precedent that the motion would set for flying other flags, while Independent councillor Guss O’Connell said he could not support the motion. 
He said: “I don’t believe we should be flying a flag for one side or the other. This is too sectarian.”
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Ireland: Israel deplores Ireland's traditional policy towards Jerusalem

Via European Jewish Press:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland's traditional policy towards Israel, during a meeting in Jerusalem with visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. 
Netanyahu deplored that Ireland does not condemn the Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks. 
He also asked the minister why his country helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel and noted that many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict  which is the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews. 
Ireland is generally considered as one of the most critical country towards Israel within the European Union, alongside Sweden. 
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Denmark/Germany: Berlin Mayor rebuked over Iman's call to kill Jews and stone women

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
A Danish Imam convicted for inciting hate after he preached for the extermination of Jews in Berlin during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in 2014 appeared on Friday in the capital city at a radical mosque, catapulting the city's mayor Michael Müller's administration into a new round of criticism for failing to rope in Islamists who advocate lethal antisemitism. 
Sheikh Abu Bilal Ismail said in a fiery 2014 sermon at Berlin's Al-Nur mosque: “Oh, Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews, they are no challenge for you.” He added, “Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Make them suffer terribly.” 
The Lebanese-born cleric's sermon was caught on video and triggered international criticism. Ismail was slated to speak on Friday at the African mosque, but was replaced at the eleventh hour by a Syrian imam who warned about spies within the congregation.
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Spain: Judges void 2 municipal BDS motions, calling them racist

Via JTA:
Spanish judges scrapped motions favoring a boycott of Israel that were passed last year by two city councils. 
The rulings last week by separate tribunals in two of Spain’s autonomous regions bring to 20 the number of municipalities that over the past three years have either reversed their motions of support for an Israel boycott or had them nullified by the judiciary. 
In the northern region of Galicia, an administrative court in the capital of Santiago de Compostela reversed a motion passed March 31 by the city council of Teo, a town of 18,000, following a lawsuit filed by ACOM, the pro-Israel group said in a statement Tuesday. 
The administrative court in the eastern region of Valencia scrapped a motion passed in March 2016 by the local council of Catarroja, a suburb of the city of Valencia, which is Spain’s third-largest metropolis. 
As in previous rulings on petitions filed by ACOM or its affiliates — including rulings by two high courts — the administrative tribunals determined the motions in Teo and Catarroja were unconstitutional because they were discriminatory, and that they represented a breach of jurisdiction by municipalities unqualified to make foreign policy decisions. 
Last month, the Superior Tribunal of Justice of Madrid affirmed a lower court ruling from January against a 2016 resolution endorsing the boycott by the city council of the Rivas Vaciamadrid suburb. The High Court said the council’s adherence to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was “discriminatory.”
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Hungary: Soros and the Left's inversion of anti-semitism

By Evelyn Gordon:
Related:
Hungary: 'Government campaign against Soros on immigration has nothing to do with anti-Semitism'

Greece: Four men arrested for vandalizing Holocaust memorial In Kavala

Via Against Antisemitism:
Police say they have arrested four men who used hammers to smash the marble veneer on the Holocaust memorial in Kavala three months ago. 
All four men are Greek citizens, aged 40, 29, 22 and 20 years, local media have reported. 
The Kavala Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on June 7, 2015 after city officials postponed its original dedication, saying they opposed the Star of David on the memorial.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

France: Jews protest play on Mohammed Merah, responsible for the Toulouse massacre, at the prestigious Avignon theater festival

The usual justification - blaming society for having created a monster...

Via JTA:
Jewish leaders in France and relatives of the gunman who murdered four at a Jewish school in Toulouse protested the staging of a play on the killer’s life at the prestigious Avignon theater festival. 
I Love Death as You Love Life,” which premiered last week at the Festival of Avignon in southern France, details the last three hours in the life of Mohammed Merah, the Islamist who in 2012 murdered a rabbi and two of his sons along with a girl at the school. He also shot dead three French soldiers. 
Ariel Goldmann, a vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and spokesman for the SPCJ communal security unit, called the play “a disgrace and an ignominy” in a statement Wednesday that he co-authored with three other prominent community members. 
The play is an “enterprise of justification being falsely presented under the alibi of artistic expression,” Goldman added in his letter, which was co-signed by Patrick Klugman, Elie Korchia and Jacques Gauthier-Gaujoux.
 The Algerian playwright Mohamed Kacimi defended his work as “anything but a justification or rehabilitation of Merah,” but rather as “an interrogation about a monster created by society.”
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Czech Republic: Evangelical Christians successfully campaigned for recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Via Mosaic Magazine (Jürgen Bühler):
In the 21st century, evangelical Christians have come to constitute the world’s fastest-growing religious group; if current trends continue, they will outnumber Catholics and possibly even Muslims in a few decades. The movement’s growth corresponds to a shift in its center of gravity; a majority of evangelicals now come from Asia, Africa, and Latin America rather than the U.S. Given that evangelical Christianity tends to encourage a positive attitude toward Jews and the Jewish state, argues Jürgen Bühler, this change could be especially significant for Israel: 
The last few decades have seen evangelical Christianity become the religious denomination with the most rapid growth rates in the world. It is set to surpass Catholicism, and perhaps even Islam, in a few decades. The most significant growth rates, however, are not in cities like Wurttemberg, Geneva, London, Dallas, or Nashville, but places like Manila, Lagos, Beijing, and Sao Paolo. This means a dramatic change in the demographic landscape of the Christian world, in which the average Christian is no longer a white European or North American; most evangelicals today are Asian, Africans, or residents of Latin America. This has enormous significance for Israel. (...)
One factor that unites evangelicals across the world, whether in the Amazonian rainforests, the Niger delta, or in Chinese cities is a great love of Israel. . . . The rapid increase in the number of evangelicals may turn these countries into strategic allies for Israel, as they are becoming a significant part of the general population. In Brazil, between 26 and 30 percent of the citizens are evangelicals. In Guatemala, more than 40 percent. In Uganda, 37 percent. In Nigeria, 40 percent. Even in Muslim Indonesia, 12 percent of the population are evangelicals. Their number in China is estimated at around 100 million. 
Already today, this phenomenon has political and diplomatic influence that aids Israel, both at the national level and in international organizations like the UN—and this influence is set to increase in the coming years. For instance, the previous president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, ordered the state’s representatives in the UN not to support the vote on recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state, due to pressure from the evangelical community in his country. 
Even countries with a small evangelical community play a significant role in support for Israel. The International Christian Embassy in the Czech Republic, for instance, played a decisive role in promoting a decision by the country’s parliament, adopted a few weeks ago, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel—an unprecedented move in Europe. In addition, the activity of the International Christian Embassy in Muslim countries in West Africa has led to a moving-together between their governments and Israel in recent times. 
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Germany: Berlin Mayor rapped for Palestinian terrorist group fund-raising event

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller was under fire on Monday for failing to stop a local fund-raising event for the terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 
The pro-PFLP event was organized by the Democratic Committee of Palestine and reportedly took place in the publishing house of the socialist newspaper Neues Deutschland (New Germany) on Saturday. 
“The PFLP should be banned from staging events anywhere in the world,” Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. 
Zuroff, Wiesenthal Center chief Nazi-hunter, said, “The mayor should have said he found this offensive. The PFLP has murdered innocent civilians in many places.” 
The Berlin daily Tagesspiegel first reported on the planned event on Saturday, terming the PFLP “an Arab terrorist organization.” 
Requests for comment to Müller were not returned by press time. The PFLP is responsible for scores of suicide bombings in Israel as well as plane hijackings. In 2001, the PFLP assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi. 
Neues Deutschland publishing house executive director Olaf Koppe, wrote the Post by email that neither the paper nor the publishing house enabled the PFLP event. He added that he was not aware that the PFLP fund-raiser took place in the building. 
After the Post's report on the planned PFLP event, in a follow-up email to the Post on Tuesday,  Koppe wrote "such an event did not take place. And events of terror organizations or organizations that question Israel's right to exist and propagate antisemitic propaganda will also not take place here."  
He said on Monday the newspaper Neues Deutschland and publishing house are separate entities from the management events division in the building.
A spokeswoman at the Neues Deutschland building said the event management department from the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation in the building is responsible for such events. 
Jannine Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, told the Post that the “PFLP event did not take place in the rooms of the foundation,” and the foundation did not organize the PFLP fund-raiser or play a role in the participation of the PFLP event. 
“The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation does not support international terror organizations,” said Hamilton. 
Over the last month, Berlin’s mayor has been engulfed in criticism that he is soft on combating antisemitism and terrorism.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

UK: Scottish BDS in Glasgow who protest Radiohead promote Holocaust denial


Via David Collier:

There’s no antisemitism ‘ere guv’. We are just humanitarians who want to protest the Radiohead gig in Israel.

Just four days ago, on the 7th July, a few Scottish anti-Israel activists set out to protest the fact Radiohead are going to perform in Israel. As usual, this BDS activity is noisy and makes local and industry press. Here is an image of the protestors in Scotland.




Let’s play a game called “how many Holocaust deniers can you spot”? It is only a group of about twenty. The person who posted the images, Jolanta Hadzic appears to be the one in the green top. This is one of Jolanta Hadzic’s posts:



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Germany: The jihadist, anti-Semitic propaganda at Berlin's Al-Quds Day march


Via i24 News:
Hidden Jihadist propaganda is on the rise at Berlin's anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march, experts have warned after June’s event. According to a new report by an anti-Semitism watchdog, the march featured clear calls for the destruction of Israel, despite attempts by organizers to avoid being labeled as anti-Semites.

The Berlin-based Department for Research and Information on anti-Semitism (RIAS), together with the Jewish Forum for Democracy and against anti-Semitism (JFDA), found that a visible number of the participants in the march held on June 23rd, displayed signs or posters with clear references to Hezbollah or to Shiite jihad against Israel. Over 600 people took part in the annual march in the western part of Berlin's city center.

(...)

The report also highlighted a remark by the march's organizer, Jürgen Grassmann, saying that “we aren’t making a peace demonstration, rather a demonstration against Zionism and against the State of Israel.” According to the report, he also stated that “the State of Israel will be ended and we are here to accelerate the process.”

Another speaker, Christoph Hörstel from the fringe party Deutsche Mitte, cautioned participants not to dub Israel a “child murderer,” even though “it is true. This is how I'm analyzing it, how I'm writing and saying it.”

“It is clear that this is all camouflage,” argued Steinitz. “The organizers also often invite members of the Neturei Karta sect [an extremist group of Haredi Jews opposed to Zionism and the state of Israel], to give the impression that this is an inter-religious demonstration against the State of Israel.”

At the demo, Grassmann introduced the Neturei Karta speakers by saying: “These are religious Jews, they fight Zionism. […] The Jews are our brothers, but only the believing Jews. Only the Jews that are against Israel and stand up to Zionism, only these are real Jews. Those who call themselves Jews, the Zionists, are not believers.”

Grassmann also stated that “real Jews” wear sidelocks and some do not go outside fearing “getting dirty,” noted the report.

“This person actually defined what a Jew is to be, or not to be, using physical and personality characteristics,” Steinitz pointed out. “This use of centuries-old anti-Semitic imagery shows his deep rooted resentments.”
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Hungary: Jews ask PM Orban to end 'bad dream' of antisemitism

Via Jerusalem Post:
The campaign focuses on Soros, 86, a Hungarian Jew who emigrated after World War Two, made a fortune in the United States and has long been heavily involved with groups promoting liberal democratic and open-border values in post-Communist eastern Europe, a cause at odds with Orban's world view.

Billboards around Hungary and full-page ads in media across the central European country depict Soros grinning contentedly against a blue background with the inscription: "Don't let George Soros have the last laugh."

Some Soros billboards have been defaced with the words "stinking Jew" in magic marker. Around 100,000 Jews live in Hungary.

"This campaign, while not openly antisemitic, clearly has the potential to ignite uncontrolled emotions, including antisemitism," the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Congregations (Mazsihisz) said in an emailed statement.


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European Parliament President Tajani rebukes delegation for relations with Palestine for hosting relatives of convicted Palestinian terrorists

Only 17 MEPs, out of 751 MEPs,  publicly denounced the invitation to the European Parliament of relatives of two convicted Palestine terrorists!

Via European Jewish Press:

Antonio Tajani
In a rare intervention into the activities of parliamentary delegations, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, directly admonished the chairman of the parliament’s delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for offering a platform to relatives of convicted Palestinian terrorists. 
Tajani’s prompt intervention was in response to a letter addressed to him by 17 Members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum, denouncing the delegation for hosting in Strasbourg as guest speakers relatives of two convicted terrorists, Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat, under the pretext of discussing ‘’the situation of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails after the hunger strike.’’ 
Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson, who is also President of the political board of Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA), addressed the letter to the European Parliament President, reminding that Barghouti and Sa’adat are members of two organisations listed as terrorist by the European Union. 
In his letter to Sylikiotis, President Tajani called for the suspension of the meeting ‘’because of the presence of relatives of persons convicted of murder and of belonging to a terrorist organization.’’ 
He wrote that ‘’such meetings must not become a platform in support of terrorism, nor should the agenda or guests put the reputation of this institution at risk.’’ 
President Tajani underlined the importance of engaging with legitimate actors. “The European Parliament delegations should focus on relations and exchanges of views with parliamentary counterparts, in this case Palestinian Legislative Council.’’ ‘’I ask you to take these concerns into considerations,” he added in his letter.  
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Switzerland: Antisemitic banners found on several road bridges ("Kill the Jews")

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:
Unknown perpetrators displayed several slogans at the railing of a bridge over a intensively used high way. These banners showed a swastika and the German words "Juden töten". This words can be understood as either "Kill Jews" oder "Jews are murdering" - but we suggest that the first translation might be the accurate one. Read more (in German).

Another one, near Reichenburg, reads "I love Hitler".

Poland: Former priest indicted for inciting hatred against Jews

Via The Times of Israel:
Jacek Miedlar
The prosecutor’s office in the western Poland city of Wroclaw issued an indictment against former priest Jacek Miedlar for “public incitement to hatred based on religious and national differences.” 
He could face up to 2 years in prison. 
On November 11, 2016, during the Polish Independence Day, Wroclaw hosted the “March of Patriots.” According to the prosecutor’s office, Miedlar in his speech to the march, “under the guise of promoting patriotic attitudes,” publicly called for hatred against Jews and Ukrainians. 
“He used expressions intended to inspire others to feelings of contempt, strong dislike, anger, disapproval and hostility towards them [Jews and Ukrainians], imputing them hostility towards Polish people and transgressive intentions and encouraging the participants of the march to fight against them,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. 
Międlar did not plead guilty. In his statement he stated that he defended the good name of Poles, whom he said the Jews call “worms.”

Greece: Athens Holocaust memorial defaced with graffiti

Via Against Antisemitism:
“Hello, my name is thanatos [death].”

The Holocaust memorial in Athens was defaced with graffiti probably on Friday. The graffiti reads: “Hello, my name is thanatos [death].” Photos of the vandalism were posted on the Facebook Group The Jewish Heritage in Greece (see photo below).
In recent years, the monument has suffered repeated acts of vandalism.

Monday, July 10, 2017

France: President Macron praises Mahmoud Abbas's "unflinching commitment to non-violence"

In line with the famed "politique arabe de la France", newly-elected President Macron's comments about Israeli were negative, while commending  Mahmoud Abbas's "constant commitment to non-violence".  Not a word about Palestinian terrorism. Or the rewarding of terrorists.

Via I 24 News:
In a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that his government is ready to sign a peace agreement and is waiting on Israel's response. 
Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority government expressed to US President Donald Trump its willingness to work towards a peace agreement, but that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to offer a response, according to Hebrew media reports. 
The Palestinian President reaffirmed his desire to "work with Donald Trump to reach a historic peace agreement on the basis of a two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as the capital of our own independent state." 
"We are still waiting for the Israeli response," he said. 
Macron, for his part, said that he supported Trump's initiative to open dialogue between the two parties, adding that both the Israelis and Palestinians must make an effort to reach an elusive peace deal. 
"This peace realization the legitimate right of the Palestinians to have an independent state, and must also come with the security of Israel, to which France is unwaveringly committed," Macron said. 
Expressing concern about the "deteriorating situation" unfolding in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and Gaza, Macron said that the continued "absence of a political horizon feeds despair and extremism." 
He reiterated France's position that "there is no viable alternative to a two-state solution," and its condemnation of Israel's settlement building, which he noted, has reached "unprecedented levels" since the beginning of the year.
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UK: Polish coupe arrested for allegedly punching and pushing Jewish people near a synagogue

Via Antisemitism.uk:
A man and woman, both described as Polish and middle-aged, were arrested yesterday evening on Clapton Common in London after allegedly attacking Jewish people near a local synagogue. The couple, who had a dog, allegedly approached Jewish people, banging on a car, pushing two people and punching another in the face, shouting “Kurwa” (a Polish expletive) and telling them in broken English: “Dog stay here England, you Jews go away.” 
Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol was called and followed the assailants to Clapton Common where they were arrested on suspicion of common assault and racially aggravated public order offences.

UK: Roger Waters’ Jewish problem catches eye of award-winning filmmaker

Jewish people is often on full display at his concerts, which feature
visuals such as a flying pig emblazoned with a Star of David and anti-Israel rants

Via The Observer (Paul Miller):
Pink Floyd founding member and former bassist Roger Waters has spent the last decade disparaging the Jewish state. Labeled an anti-Semite by the Anti-Defamation League, Waters compares Jews to Nazi collaborators and claims Israel is a “racist apartheid regime” that practices “ethnic cleansing.” 
As the de facto international spokesman for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Waters’ contempt for Israel and the Jewish people is often on full display at his concerts, which feature visuals such as a flying pig emblazoned with a Star of David and anti-Israel rants. When big-name performers announce concerts in Israel, Waters publicly pleads with them to cancel and join the boycott. 
Waters has failed to garner support from the music industry. Nevertheless, pro-Israel advocates and anti-Semitism watchdog groups such as StandWithUs and Creative Community For Peace have never taken it lightly when the classic rock icon exhorts fans to boycott Israel. 
Waters himself is now the subject of a boycott campaign and a documentary film made by award-winning filmmaker and New York Times bestselling author Ian Halperin.Halperin’s work includes documentaries on Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. For the past two years, the investigative journalist has been making Wish You Weren’t Here, a documentary examining contemporary anti-Semitism and Waters’ efforts to make Israel a global pariah. 
“I started traveling, meeting with different leaders throughout Europe. I didn’t know how bad the problem is with contemporary anti-Semitism there,” Halperin told the Observer. “There are less than 2 million Jews left in Europe, which is very alarming—a place where Jews have long been an integral part of society and whose valuable contributions to the culture are immeasurable.” 
“During my research,” Halperin continued, “I came upon Roger Waters, and I couldn’t believe he was singling out Israel when there are so many truly egregious violators of human rights in the world. Why is he going after Israel? So, I began asking people what this guy has against Israel. To me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.” 
Halperin met with psychologists who work with Holocaust survivors and their families. He described the effect of Waters’ floating pig bearing the Star of David as “unforgiveable” for survivors, comparing it to a scene in his film where a three-year-old Palestinian girl is “brainwashed” into believing Jews are pigs. 
In preparation for the documentary, Halperin interviewed leaders in the South African anti-apartheid struggle. They found Waters’ comparison to Israel offensive and demeaning to their people’s suffering. 
“I’ve met Mandela,” said Halperin. “I’ve met all the leaders who fought to liberate South Africa. Waters doesn’t know what he’s talking about. South Africans are insulted by his claims. You can argue with some of Israel’s policies, no problem. But to call for a universal boycott of Israel is deplorable, baseless and unfounded. It’s an anti-Semitic attack.” 
The son of a Holocaust survivor, Halperin was inspired to produce this film by his childhood friend, Dr. Charles Small. (...) 
Wish You Weren’t Here features interviews and remarks by intellectuals and entertainers such as Alan Dershowitz and Howard Stern and will be released late this summer.
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Connected:

Roger Waters flies a pig balloon with a Star of David in Belgium concert (video) (update) (Elder of Zion) 

Vatican op-ed slams anti-Semitism at pig-flying musician’s concert (Times of Israel)