World Jewish Congress President speaks out and makes his point… well

The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University on Tuesday honored World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder with the prestigious Guardian of Zion Award for his efforts in the perpetuation and strengthening of Jerusalem.

Ronald S Lauder - speech strikes the right note
Ronald S Lauder – speech strikes the right note

In his acceptance speech, Lauder outlined the challenges facing the Jewish world today and spoke about his vision for contending with contemporary anti-Semitism. “Over the last 20 years, and for the first time since the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is acceptable again,” Lauder said. “Unlike the anti-Semitism of the past, today it comes not just from the Far-Right, but increasingly it comes from the Far-Left. And the new target for this age-old hatred is not the ‘International Jew,’ as Henry Ford called us. Today, it is the Jewish state of Israel, which is constantly vilified throughout the media, on the internet, at the United Nations, and on almost every college campus.”

Lauder went on to say: “Let’s make one thing crystal-clear right now. When someone says they are not anti-Jewish, they are only anti-Israel, that is a lie. When you hold the only Jewish nation to a different standard than any other country, when you make up lies about the only Jewish nation, its past and its present, and when you want the only Jewish nation on earth to disappear, that makes you an anti-Semite. Pure and simple.”

The WJC president expressed disappointment in the United Nations’ resolve at contending with these issues, saying international body was losing legitimacy as it allowed anti-Jewish sentiment to undermine it.

Lauder said that for Jews today, “our destiny is in our own hands.”

The World Jewish Congress had come a long way since its founding in 1936, Lauder said, from the days when it had to turn to the world for help. But now, he pointed out, “the era of the quiet Jew is over.”

Lauder said the WJC was working to engage young Jewish leaders, including the flagship WJC-Jewish Diplomatic Corps program, a group of more than 200 young professionals who assist the WJC in its diplomatic and outreach endeavors as emissaries in their respected countries around the world. “I intend to make our young people, proud of their heritage again. I want them to have the same pride that we had when we were younger.”

Lauder also discussed the WJC’s efforts in combating attacks on Israel in the legal realm and on campuses, and proposed to enhance Jewish public relations efforts, “so that we, not our enemies will define who we are.”

He ended his speech with a plea: “This is the job before us now. We have to help our children and our grandchildren dust off their hearts, we have to help them re-discover that Jewish flame inside them. This isn’t just important for Jews, it’s important for everyone, Jews and gentiles, because for over 5,000 years, that flame has been lighting the entire world.”

The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies was established at Bar-Ilan University in 1995 by US Jewish community leaders Ingeborg Hanna and Ira Leon Rennert as an expression of their heartfelt commitment to the preservation and advancement of Jerusalem’s unique heritage. Integrating studies on the history, archaeology, geography, demography, economy and sociology of Jerusalem, the Rennert Center has become the foremost academic center in the international academic community studying aspects of Jerusalem’s past and present.

This is the 20th year the Rennert Center is conferring the Guardian of Zion Award. Last year’s award was bestowed upon former US Senator Joe Lieberman. Additional recipients have included Jonathan Sacks, James S. Snyder, Dore Gold, Malcolm Hoenlein, Caroline Glick, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, William Safire, Arthur Cohn, Charles Krauthammer, Cynthia Ozick, A.M. Rosenthal, Herman Wouk and Elie Wiesel.

Follow this link to the original article here.

Italian newspaper derided for giving away free copies of ‘Mein Kampf’

When “Mein Kampf” fell into the public domain on January 1 this year, enabling it to be freely printed, often those that choose to do so justified it as the publication of a historical document. The merits of that argument were undoubtedly dubious although the German edition, published for the first time since World War II, included critical annotations by historians.

However, on Saturday, a right-wing Italian newspaper was giving away free copies of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic manifesto in a move which, unsurprisingly, has sparked both shock and condemnation.

“Know it in order to reject it” was the weak justification given by conservative tabloid Il Giornale. Known for its right-wing position, notably over the question of immigration, Il Giornale has a circulation of around 200,000.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi quickly denounced the initiative on Twitter, writing: “I find it sordid that an Italian daily is giving away Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. I embrace the Jewish community with affection. #neveragain”

Il Giornale

It was also denounced by Italy’s 30,000-strong Jewish community,  “It is a vile act, light years away from any in-depth learning or study about the Holocaust,” said Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, describing the initiative as “indecent.”

The paper said the text was being freely distributed alongside the first of a series of eight history books on the Nazi Third Reich.

For 70 years, the German state of Bavaria which was handed copyright of the book in 1945, refused to allow it to be republished out of respect for the victims of the Nazis and to prevent incitement of hatred.

Anti-Semitic Dutch soccer chant makes its way to school

“Together we’ll burn Jews, because Jews burn the best.”

This is the vile anti-Semitic soccer chant often heard during matches connected to Amsterdam’s Ajax football team. Their players and supporters are often dubbed “Jews” because of the historic Jewish presence in the city, which is sometimes colloquially called “Mokum” after the Yiddish word for “place.”

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However, high school pupils of Elde College in the town of Schijndel, 70 miles southeast of Amsterdam decided to repeat the chant during their recent graduation gala ceremony, the Brabants Dagblad daily reported on Wednesday.

The student body and organizing committee of the Elde College gala expressed their sincere apologies for the incident, but Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the guilty parties “must be prosecuted for hate speech.”

Jacobs referenced the incident during his speech earlier this week in Vught, at a ceremony for Jewish Holocaust victims at a former Nazi internment camp. “Only six years ago, we were profoundly shocked when two young men screamed ‘Heil Hitler’ during a commemoration ceremony at Vught,” he said. “But today, this wouldn’t be so shocking anymore. It is happening all the time in the Netherlands, and we must face this change with honesty, and combat it with education and severe punishments for violators.”

The Chief Rabbi’s own home in Amersfoort has been attacked five times in recent years, especially during periods of unrest in Israel.

Fox Sports reporter fired over racist comments

Emily Austen, a Fox Sports Reporter, was fired Friday after making insensitive remarks about Mexican, Jewish and Chinese people.

foxAusten’s troubles stemmed from an appearance on social media video where she disparaged Mexican and Chinese people after being asked about a high school valedictorian who used Twitter to brag about being an undocumented citizen.

“I didn’t even know Mexicans were that smart. …That’s f***ed up,” Austen said. “I didn’t mean it like that. You see, you guys know that the Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class.”

After that the reporter added some anti-Semitic remarks when talking about her work experience as a bar worker in Florida.

“The way I used to talk to the Jews in Boca. I just didn’t care,” she said. “They would complain and b***h about everything. I gave a guy, delivered his beer, and he was complaining to me that there was too much head. I knew that he was a stingy a** and he wasn’t going to give me a tip.”

Early Friday, Fox Sports sent out a statement regarding Austen.

“We were made aware that Emily Austen appeared in a social media video unaffiliated with FOX Sports in which she made insensitive and derogatory comments. She was not speaking on behalf of Fox Sports, nor do we condone any of the statements she made in the video,” Steve Tello, the network’s senior vice president, said. “Emily has been advised that her comments were unacceptable, and she is not scheduled to appear on any upcoming Fox Sports Florida or Fox Sports Sun broadcasts.”

The writing may have been on the wall even before the statement. At the end of the video show, host Dan Katz joked, “we might have to hire you because you’re gonna get fired.”

Read more here.

 

Jewish war memorial in Belfast attacked

Police say they are treating a Belfast arson attack on a memorial recognising the contribution of Jewish soldiers in the World Wars as a hate crime.

The memorial relates the history of Colonel John Henry Patterson, from Co Westmeath, who had a distinguished war record and notably led the Zion Mule Corps, dubbed “the first Jewish fighting force in nearly two millennia” who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War.

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It also incorporates a panel highlighting Patterson’s links to the Jewish state and a quotation from Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing him as “the godfather of the Israeli Army”.

Speaking to UTV, Pastor Paul Burns, from the Adullam Christian Fellowship, Belfast, said he was saddened by the attack, which he believed was anti-Semitic.

Pastor Burns, who has Jewish heritage, said it was particularly upsetting, coinciding with a deadly attack in a Tel Aviv market, that left four Israelis dead.

He said Belfast’s small Jewish community had been “deeply hurt, deeply alarmed” by the incident.

William Humphrey, a DUP MLA for the area said the attack was “clearly designed to raise tensions,” coming as it did, on the back of several instances of vandalism of a war memorial in Woodvale Park.

He said the memorial was “welcomed in the community, in Shankill, but also by the Jewish community as it showed the historic links between Belfast and Israel”.

Mr Humphrey called for calm and said those behind the attacks “need to take a long look at themselves,” as “those whom the memorial commemorates have done a great service to freedom and democracy”.

Read more here.

Desmond Tutu joins Belgium in nominating murderer for Nobel Peace Prize

South African archbishop and prominent anti-Israel campaigner Desmond Tutu has joined politicians in Belgium in nominating imprisoned Palestinian arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu tabled the nomination in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Monday in which he hailed the convicted murderer a symbol of the “struggle for freedom, [which] constitutes a clear signal of support for the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination.”

tutuTutu is a longtime anti-Israel activist, and is a member of the “International High Level Committee of the Campaign for the freedom of Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners.”

Barghouti is the former leader of the Tanzim armed wing of Fatah and was convicted in Israel of being the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, another Fatah terror group.

He was convicted in 2004 on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in and held responsible for four other terror attacks.

In his letter, Tutu characterized Barghouti’s actions as fighting “for freedom and peace,” and – even more ironically – hailed the mass-murderer as “an active advocate and defender of democracy and human rights, include women’s rights, and of pluralism, both religious and political, in a region and a world that desperately needs such advocates.”

Barghouti received his support in Belgium from both the Senate and House of Representatives who penned a letter to the Nobel nominating committee praising him as a peace activist and key to future talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

While Tutu and others attempt to manipulate and distort the true character of Barghouti, the victims and countless grieving relatives of his attacks are the only ones with the legitimacy to be heard.

Canada Post stops delivery of crude anti-Semitic newspaper

Canada’s post office says it will no longer deliver a crude Toronto-area newspaper that repeatedly denied the Holocaust, praised Adolf Hitler and derided Jews, Muslims, women and the LGBT community.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote, who oversees Canada Post, issued an order on June 6 against the future delivery of Your Ward News, a free, low-budget newspaper sent to 350,000 homes in the east end of Toronto. The publication claims an online readership of over 1 million.

The publication has been the subject of complaints for years, the Canadian Jewish News reported. B’nai Brith Canada said it has received “literally hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who have felt victimized by the content in this publication.”

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The newspaper has defended itself as satire protected by free speech.

Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said her group was pleased to see that the government “has taken appropriate steps to protect Canadians from this kind of hate propaganda.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs also hailed Canada Post’s move.

“Freedom of speech – a core Canadian value – is cheapened and corroded when it is cynically used by extremists to justify the dissemination of hate,” said CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel. “The fact that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has supported efforts to ban the delivery of Your Ward News reflects a broad consensus about the nature of the racist propaganda featured in this newsletter.”

Your Ward News editor James Sears has filed a request for a review of Canada Post’s decision. An appeal would consist of a panel appointed by the minister. He called the Canada Post move an “Orwellian order”.

“We’re just a satirical, offensive newspaper,” Sears told CBC News. “It has been found multiple times by Canada Post lawyers that we’re not breaking any hate-speech laws.”

Sears is a former Toronto medical doctor who was stripped of his license in 1992 after a court found him guilty of sexually assaulting female patients.

US Woman, punished for observing Passover, sues ex- employer

“It takes some chutzpah for the government to punish a Jewish woman for celebrating Passover,” said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at Becket. “That didn’t work out so well for Pharaoh.”

Susan Abeles worked for the MWAA for 26 years and each year was given approved time off to observe Passover in accordance with her Orthodox Jewish beliefs. In 2013, Ms. Abeles followed the same procedure, giving ample notice and several reminders about her upcoming time off. However, when she returned to work, her superiors accused her of failing to follow proper protocol for obtaining leave. Eventually they forced her into early retirement.

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MWAA claims that even though it was specifically created by Congress and exercises powers Congress gave it, MWAA has nothing to do with the federal government. At the same time MWAA says it is not subject to state laws either. That would lead to the absurd and frightening result that MWAA is a law until itself.

Unsurprisingly, Becket and the American Jewish Committee argue that MWAA is not above the law.

Passover is observed for eight days, and Jewish religious law prohibits work during the first two and last two days. Millions of Orthodox Jews like Ms. Abeles have observed Passover for thousands of years, yet the MWAA’s policy is to simply ignore this important religious holiday.

“This case is just one more example of the rampant antisemitism that Orthodox Jews face every day,” said Rassbach. “In recent years there has been a concerted effort to keep the Orthodox out of certain neighborhoods, out of certain schools, and out of certain jobs. The Fourth Circuit [Court of Appeals] can send a strong message in favor of interreligious understanding by recognizing MWAA’s duty to provide reasonable accommodations to believers.”

Read more here.

Another nail in the coffin for NUS

On 20th April, AntiSemitismWatch predicted the break-up of the National Union of Students following the controversial election of Malia Bouattia as its president. We suggested it was the only viable option left for those disillusioned by the continued direction of the organisation.

Loughborough University is the latest to announce it has ditched the NUS in protest at its divisive policies and president.

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This comes ahead of decisions by three more major institutions.

Students voted in favour of quitting at the end of May, with 54% demanding to leave. Ratification was confirmed by the trustees of the students’ union, who announced last night they would act on the referendum result and leave.

A tide of revulsion at the NUS was prompted by the election of president-elect Malia Bouattia, who famously refused to condemn ISIS and has been widely accused of anti-Semitism.

York, Nottingham and Durham universities are voting on the NUS now, and will return decisions on whether to disaffiliate later this week.

Newcastle, Hull and Lincoln have already voted to quit the NUS, starving it of vital revenue raised by a levy on the student population.

According to the Guido Fawkes blog, Loughborough’s departure will cost the NUS £3million in lost fees.

Recalling the pogrom against Iraqi Jews on the evening of mass terror attack in Tel Aviv

This Wednesday evening, four people have died following a mass terrorist shooting in the centre of Tel Aviv.

Up to six others have been injured in the attack, which took place at a popular open-air food market.

A police commander said two Palestinian gunmen from the West Bank were behind the “harsh terror attack”, and both were “neutralised” at the scene.

Local reports suggest one of the gunmen had been disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

One of the alleged attackers was arrested, and a doctor has told Sky News that the other suspect is in a stable condition after being taken to hospital for treatment.

Only the bravery of security guards at the market managed to avert a bigger disaster by stopping the attackers from going inside.

 

This news came in as we were preparing an article recalling the 75 years since the Farhud, the two-day pogrom that befell the Jews of Baghdad, in June 1941.

When the Farhud—which means, in Arabic, “violent dispossession”—erupted, there were around 90,000 Jews still living in the Iraqi capital, the main component of a vibrant community descended from the sages who, 27 centuries earlier, had made the land once known as Babylon the intellectual and spiritual center of Judaism.

A monument in Ramat Gan, Israel, serves as a memorial for the Iraqi Jews killed during the Farhud (Arabic for ‘violent dispossession’) in June 1941.
A monument in Ramat Gan, Israel, serves as a memorial for the Iraqi Jews killed during the Farhud (Arabic for ‘violent dispossession’) in June 1941.

By the time the violent mob stood down, at the end of the festival of Shavuot, nearly 200 Jews lay dead, with hundreds more wounded, raped, and beaten. Hundreds of homes and businesses were burned to the ground.

As the smoke cleared over a scene more familiar in countries like Russia, Poland, and Germany, the Jewish community came to the realization that it had no future in Iraq. Within a decade, almost the entire community had been chased out, joining a total of 850,000 Jews from elsewhere in the Arab world summarily dispossessed from their homes and livelihoods.

AntiSemitismWatch comment: The poignancy of yet another unprovoked terrorist attack on Jews, 75 years on from the Farhud, should be clear to all. If you want to do something, pray for all those affected by tonight’s outrage, share the story of the Farhud and stay strong.

Click here to read more about the Farhud.