Category Archives: USA

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.

 

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.

images

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.

Twitter’s failure to deal with anti-Semitism leads New York Times editor to pack up

Inundated with anti-Semitic tweets and frustrated by Twitter’s initial response, New York Times editor Jon Weisman is packing up and leaving the social media platform.

Twitter - doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?
Twitter – doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?

Weisman said Wednesday — in a tweet — that he will be “moving to Facebook where at least people need to use their real names and can’t hide behind fakery to spread their hate.”

The deputy editor of the Times’ Washington bureau and a published novelist, Weisman has more than 34,000 followers and a coveted blue check mark indicating his account is verified.

But his prominence also made Weisman, who is Jewish, a frequent target of anti-Semitic trolls. Fed up, Weisman said one of the Times’ social media gurus forwarded a compendium of some of those tweets to Twitter on Monday.

In one tweet, Weisman was referred to as a “kike.” Another threatened to have him put “in the oven.”

Weisman said that Twitter responded by saying the tweets didn’t violate the company’s rules and none of the users would be suspended.

By late Wednesday morning, however, Twitter appeared to change course. The two accounts that Weisman linked to earlier in the day have since been suspended.

Weisman said that, although his complaints have clearly been heard, it is still a mystery why some users get booted and others do not.

“I started getting notifications from Twitter that accounts are being suspended as soon as I said I was quitting Twitter, so yes, somebody is listening,” Weisman told CNNMoney in an email. “Not all the accounts that I reported, however, are being blocked. I really don’t understand what is deemed acceptable and what is over the line.”

Weisman isn’t sure if he will abandon Twitter for good. The company’s actions on Wednesday suggest they don’t want to lose him.

“They seem to be trying to get me back already,” Weisman said.

Read more here.

Pathetic CUNY response to “Zionist pig” outrage

The City University of New York disciplinary committee has handed down the minimum punishment to two Brooklyn College students involved in a Students for Justice in Palestine protest. They had invaded a faculty meeting and called a Jewish faculty professor a “Zionist pig.”

CUNYThe two seniors at the university, had faced possible expulsion after their participation in the February protest where, the college president also alleged , students made anti-Semitic statements.

But on May 20, the two were found “not culpable” of most charges.

They received the minimal penalty of “admonition,” the Center for Constitutional Rights wrote in a statement .

CUNY is the university, by the way, that the New York State Senate voted to slash $485 million of its funding to “send a message” that they have not done enough to fight campus anti-Semitism.

The radical decision was all the more poignant considering the university was once frequently referred to as “the Jewish Harvard”.

State Senator Ken LaValle of Long Island, chair of the chamber’s committee on higher education, described a pattern of anti-Semitic incidents, “and these are the things that the Senate Republican conference says are intolerable and must stop.”

Mort Klein, the president of Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), praised the move to defund. The group, who sent an open letter to the University, has been at the forefront of challenging CUNY to take action.

Shocking anti-Semitic abuse faced by young US politician

A young Jewish candidate for Congress in California has been targeted with shocking anti-Semitic abuse just days prior to the state’s primary election.

Erin Schrode (photo from LinkedIn)
Erin Schrode (photo from LinkedIn)

Erin Schrode, 25, whose underdog campaign against incumbent Jared Huffman has attracted recent media attention, has been hit with the abuse on social media and text messages, she revealed in a Facebook post late Saturday night.

Personal information such as her phone number and email also were posted online.

Among the messages she has received, Schrode said, are “Everyone knows it’s TIME for America’s first evil retarded teen c— Congress kike!”; “Fire up the oven!” and “All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in.”

She called the messages “Indiscriminate hatred. Pure evil.”

Writing on Facebook, Schrode said, “I cannot and will not remain silent. I have never been much good at standing idly by in the face of injustice. I am not writing these words to spark an outpouring of sympathy, but rather to call attention to the fact that pointed, blatant hatred is rampant and on the uptick at this moment in history, particularly in the context of a fear-based election cycle. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I have spoken out time and time again when I have NOT been the one targeted. I am a citizen activist through and through – who refuses to give that shrug of inevitability.”

She added: “We must not stand silent in the face of hatred, violence, attacks, bullying, or oppression; we cannot recoil in fear; we cannot lose our sense of human dignity and respect. May we respond with a chorus of positive voices and powerful action. May we rise up and not only preach tolerance, but understanding and love.”

The FBI has been notified of the cowardly attacks made by anonymous trolls and local police have agreed to step up their visibility in her home neighbourhood.

Read more here.

70% of Stanford students oppose BDS, So why do some seek re-vote?

A poll conducted by the Stanford Review to freshmen, sophomores and juniors confirms that a significant majority of students oppose boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeted at Israel.

288 students voted in the online poll, which was released in the aftermath of allegations that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is yet again planning to hold a vote on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) from Israel after failing last year. SJP still has yet to respond to a request for comment on the matter.

stanford

Given the Senate has already voted on divestment, only to see their resolution vetoed by the administration, sources speculated to the Review that SJP and Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) were planning a campus-wide referendum. If this remains their plan, the Review’s poll suggests they have a substantial slope to climb.

69% of students (199) declared themselves in opposition to BDS, with support fairly uniform across the three classes. 65% of freshmen, 72% of sophomores and 73% of juniors were opposed to boycotts and sanctions on Israel, suggesting that those jaded by past divestment debates were less likely to support the measure than those who have not witnessed campus discussion on the issue previously.

The results will likely place pressure on SJP and SOOP to justify their rationale for bringing divestment back to campus, given the divisiveness it caused in 2015, the accusations of anti-Semitism levied against past ASSU (Associated Students of Stanford University) Senators, the increasing skepticism towards anti-Israel university movements across the Atlantic, and the fact the administration has already rejected divestment once. If anything, these data suggest that students have become more opposed to divestment after a year than they were when SOOP saw its success in the ASSU Senate.

In April 2016, Stanford senate member Gabriel Knight infamously argued it is “not anti-Semitism” to claim Jews control “the media, economy, government and other social institutions,” as well as questioning the reliability of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

After a media outcry and backlash from the ADL itself, Knight stepped down from his post.

Matthew Wigler, a Stanford sophomore who co-sponsored the anti-Semitism bill in the ASSU and organized last month’s rally after Gabriel Knight’s controversial comments, commented that the poll “demonstrates that Stanford students have an understanding of just how problematic and dangerous BDS really is.” He added that it was “reassuring” that BDS supporters constitute “a small minority of very loud students.”

 

 

 

 

‘Kill the Jew!’ 12-year-old boy brutally beaten at school in shocking hate-filled attack

New Haven, Connecticut schoolboy and his family are accusing his classmates of targeting him for physical and verbal attacks because he is Jewish, the New Haven Register reports.

Orit Avizov told a local news station that her 12-year-old was “physically attacked and verbally threatened” by one student who was yelling “kill the Jew” during the attack.

Another student “slammed his head in the locker, he got him knocked down to the ground, he started kicking him and punching him in his stomach and his ribs,” Avizov told the TV station. “This child started yelling, ‘kill the Jew, kill the Jew, kill the Jew’ while he’s attacking my son,” she said.

images-6Hamlet Hernandez, Superintendent of Schools, released a statement that does not specifically address Avizov’s claims but states the district will not tolerate bullying of any kind.

“Branford Public Schools is committed to ensuring each school maintains a safe environment for all students” Hernandez said in the statement. “The district strongly condemns inappropriate behavior toward any student, including bullying, violence and racial attacks. All claims of misconduct or prohibited behavior are investigated and addressed in a timely, thorough and judicious manner by the administration.”

Avizov told that along with several other parents they spoke about the bullying allegedly going on at Walsh Intermediate School at last week’s Board of Education meeting. She squarely blames the school’s administration for not properly addressing what they say is a pattern of bullying at the middle school.

Sore loser responds with vile anti-Semitic harassment

A bad sport enraged by the results of a youth basketball game responded by sending a barrage of vile, anti-Semitic text messages to an athletic official at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, according to the New York Daily News.

Police have opened a hate crime investigation after a female worker at the Center complained.

“I am about to put the JCC back in the concentration camp,” one text read. Another made reference to “Hitler Nation.”

Police apparently have an idea of who sent the messages, but the investigation is still ongoing.

2016-05-24-08-16-30-1567900439Ruth Lasser, a spokeswoman for the JCC, said the texts stemmed from a teen basketball league game at the organization’s Avis/South Shore center in Arden Heights, but she couldn’t say when the game took place.

“I do know that there was a dispute of some sort that came as a result of it,” she said. “The texts that followed were about some sort of unhappiness about that game.”

She called the texts “very disturbing.”

“The JCC has a long history, sports and activities that teach you not only the programs, not only the sport, but also sportsmanship,” Lasser said. “We work very hard to make sure we instill the right values, so it is disturbing.”

Another US synagogue hit by anti-Semitic graffiti

The day after AntiSemitismWatch reported the anti-Semitic attack on the Congregation Ohawe Shalom synagogue in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, another US synagogue has been hit by anti-Semitic graffiti.

The only synagogue, Temple B’nai Abrahamin, in Beverly, a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, had the words “Merry Christmas” and a dollar sign spray-painted in green on the walls.

574356bf566ed.image

Rabbi Alison Adler and temple president Alan Pierce met with Mayor Mike Cahill on Monday afternoon to discuss the incident. Adler said the temple will host a “community conversation,” moderated by the Anti-Defamation League, on June 2.

“We want to have a conversation and see what people’s thoughts and reactions and fears and concerns are in our community,” Adler said. “It points to something deeper and other trends that we see happening in the country and around the world.”

Temple officials posted a photo of the graffiti on the Temple B’nai Abraham website along with a response by Adler and Pierce.

“As far as hate crimes go, this ranks up there with ‘stupid’ rather than vile,” the response said. “But it hits home.”

Temple leadership decided to paint over the offensive graffiti, “but we are not painting over reactions or concerns,” they said.

“As stupid as the vandalism was, it is inspiring an opportunity for our TBA community to have a larger and deeper conversation,” the message said.

Pierce said the last time an incident like this took place at the temple was about 20 years ago.

“We’re going to use this as an opportunity to address this issue as well as the wider issue of intolerance,” he said.

Follow the link to the original article here.

US synagogue daubed with swastika

Rhode Island, USA – Pawtucket police are investigating after a swastika was spray painted on the sign of a local synagogue.

CjEd2I8UYAEyAidThe vandalism was discovered Sunday morning on the sign for the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies.

The president of the Congregation Ohawe Shalom, said the graffiti is considered to be a hate crime.

Local leaders say they plan to discuss the crime and anti-Semitism at a news conference Monday morning.

Congressman David Cicilline released a statement Sunday, saying:

“I’m angry and disgusted. This despicable act of vandalism has only one purpose – to intimidate members of our community and it won’t succeed.

This kind of hatred must be condemned by everyone. Such deeply offensive acts of bigotry and intolerance have no place here. Someone knows who did this, and they should come forward immediately.

My thoughts are with all the members of Congregation Ohawe Shalom today.”

Read more here.