Tag Archives: AntiSemitismWatch

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.

 

New social media anti-Semitism fightback tactic

So what do we think about the latest anti-Semitic fightback tactic?

AntiSemitismWatch has previously reported on the rapid rise of the use of social media by anti-Semites to ‘troll’ or otherwise harass Jewish journalists, groups, politicians and others with Jewish-sounding names. The European Union just recently launched an initiative with the major social media companies to combat the problem.

Indeed, until it was removed last week, a user-generated Google Chrome extension allowed those who installed it to identify Jews and coordinate online attacks against them.

social-mediaLast week, Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for the US newspaper, The Atlantic, decided to fight back. He changed his Twitter username to (((Goldberg))), co-opting a symbol that neo-Nazis use to brand Jews on blogs, message boards, and social media. The “echoes,” as they are called, allude to the alleged sins committed by Jews that reverberate through history, according to Mic, a news site geared toward millennials that first explained the origins of the symbol.

Then, Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine, another popular troll target, encouraged his followers to put parentheses around their names as a way to “raise awareness about anti-Semitism, show solidarity with harassed Jews and mess with the Twitter Nazis.” Several journalists and other Jewish professionals followed suit.

Jonathan Weisman, a New York Times editor who changed his username to (((Jon Weisman))) over the weekend, wrote on Twitter that the campaign was a way to show “strength and fearlessness” in the face of bigotry. Weisman was the victim of a barrage of anti-Semitic abuse last month after he tweeted the link to an article in the Washington Post that was critical of Donald Trump. Weisman retweeted much of the filth — including memes of hook-nosed Jews and depictions of Trump in Nazi regalia — that came his way. “Better to have it in the open,” he wrote. “People need to choose sides.”

In Israel, where Twitter is less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a small number of journalists, including Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, joined the cause.

Many non-Jews also added the parentheses to their usernames out of solidarity. Among them was NAACP President Cornell Brooks, who tweeted on Saturday: “Founded by Jews & Blacks, the haters might as well hate mark our name [too]: (((@NAACP))).”

Yet the move has struck some Jews as unseemly, the virtual equivalent of willingly pinning a yellow “Jude” star to one’s shirt. On Sunday, the journalist Julia Ioffe tweeted that she was “really uncomfortable with people putting their own names in anti-Semitic parentheses.”

Mordechai Lightstone, a rabbi in Brooklyn who works in the Jewish social media world, said it was dangerous “if we only subvert these hateful acts and use that as the sole basis to define our identities.” A better solution, he said, would be to “channel this into positive actions expressing Jewish pride.”

AntiSemitismWatch believes any tactic people feel empowers them in fighting anti-Semitism has merit. As such, we support those who have determined it is appropriate for them. Indeed, there is something to be said for stealing the tools of anti-Semites, if nothing else other than to annoy and frustrate them! However, the fight does require more. It requires exposure of these people and groups, holding authorities and governments to account, recognition of the global nature of the problem and people dedicated to ensuring the lessons of history are not forgotten or ignored.

But do let us know what you think by using our comment section below or by emailing us at secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

Read more here.

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.

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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.

Corbyn calls it wrong over non-publication of anti-Semitism report

AntiSemitismWatch was one of the first to cover the trigger behind the anti-Semitism storm that has come to engulf the UK Labour Party. It began with the resignation of Alex Chalmers, the former co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC).

In his resignation statement Chalmers highlighted his concerns over issues related the group’s endorsement of the systemically anti-Semitic BDS movement and its acolytes like Israeli Apartheid Week , alleging there were growing anti-Semitic tendencies within the OULC, “The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting (sic.) and harassing Jewish students and inviting anti-Semitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”

The move led the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to appoint Baroness Royall as head of an inquiry into the OULC.

Corbyn - called it wrong over Royall report?
Corbyn – called it wrong over Royall report?

Considering the complete furor that has landed at his table since over anti-Semitism,  you would imagine that Corbyn would have wanted to handle Baroness Royall’s report with complete openness and transparency?  How else could he hope to try to restore the trust that has been completely eroded away for Jewish supporters of Labour and the Jewish community in general?

Unfortunately, that is not how this Labour leader thinks. Consequently, Labour is now facing a fresh row over anti-Semitism after the party failed to publish the full report. Details may not now emerge until the wider Chakrabarti Inquiry into party racism is completed in late June.

Indeed, it is now apparent that Baroness Royall wanted to publish her full report but was specifically prevented from doing so by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

Instead, only the executive summary of her report was released. Frustratingly, the summary does not make clear whether the allegations made by Chalmers about the OULC were unfounded or true.

But she recommends that Oxford University Labour Club, and all student Labour clubs, should “examine the culture of their club and take action to ensure that all those who wish to participate in meetings feel that there is a safe space in order to discuss and debate without discrimination”.

The peer made 11 formal recommendations for “immediate and sustained action”, while advising the Chakrabarti Inquiry of a further seven recommendations.

Chief among the 11 is that party expulsion for anti-Semitism should not automatically be for life – because “people may change their views” and those who have demonstrated they have reformed should be allowed to seek readmission.

The peer also urged the party to consider adopting “a definition of anti-Semitic discourse”, rule changes to allow “swifter action” to deal with allegations and a new independent disciplinary panel on Jew-hate.

A further recommendation is a new power that ensures no ‘statute of limitations’ to enable the party to expel anyone for anti-Semitic conduct committed at any time.

Training for officers of all Labour clubs in dealing with anti-Semitism, led by the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Students, is also recommended by Baroness Royall.

A “clear line of reporting” of incidents is suggested, as well as the ability for individual students to report allegations directly to the party’s national Executive Director of Governance.

Moreover, the party’s national complaints unit must also be “properly resourced so that it may deal effectively with complaints of anti-Semitism”, Baroness Royall said.

Labour should also consider adopting the ‘Macpherson Principle’ – drafted by the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s racist murder – that an ‘anti-Semitic incident’ is any incident ‘perceived’ to be so by ‘the victim or any other person’.

As if to reinforce the lack of openness and transparency, there was an acute difference in the inquiry slant focused upon by the Labour leadership and the subsequent comments by the Baroness herself.

The party chose to concentrate on the headline that the inquiry found no evidence of ‘institutional anti-Semitism’ within the OULC.

In a hint that her own conclusions had been misrepresented by the party, Baroness Royal told the Jewish Labour Movement that she shared its ‘disappointment and frustration’ that her findings of incidents of anti-Semitism were not getting enough attention.

“I am clear that in the OULC there is a cultural problem which means that Jewish students do not always feel welcome. And we have to take action to change this situation.

“Many students reported that should a Jewish student preface a remark “as a Jew …” they are likely to face ridicule and behaviour that would not be acceptable for someone saying “as a woman …” or “as an Afro-Caribbean”. This should not be tolerated. ”

Baroness Royall also made clear in a blog that “there is too often a culture of intolerance where Jews are concerned and there are clear incidents of anti-Semitism”.

Indeed, the peer stressed that any documented evidence of misconduct within the Oxford student body would be passed to party General Secretary Iain McNicol and investigated “in line with normal procedures” for disciplinary action.

Jeremy Newmark, a former spokesman for the Chief Rabbi and chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, claimed the peer had been frustrated by the NEC’s decision.

Newmark said, “There is a problem of denial of anti-Semitism in the party. Failure to publish Royall’s full findings risks contributing to that.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Simon Johnson, Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, similarly added:

“We would like to express our appreciation to Baroness Royall for her efforts. However, we regard them as incomplete and are disappointed with the NEC’s decision to suppress the release of the full inquiry.

“Organisations that do not publish full reports, particularly when they may be critical, tend to lose legitimacy in the eyes of the general public, as was the case when the media were rightly critical when FIFA tried to publish a very sanitised version of the report into the World Cup bidding procedure.”

‘Independent’ chair of Labour’s anti-Semitism inquiry is a party member

The independence of Labour’s  inquiry into anti-Semitism has been questioned after its chairman revealed that she joined the party last month.

220px-Shami_Chakrabarti_at_Humber_Mouth_-28June2007Shami Chakrabarti, the former head of Liberty, disclosed that she became the member of the party on April 29th, just hours before her role in the inquiry was announced.

She said: “It was my judgement that as a Labour supporter who had previously not been affiliated to any political party I wanted Labour Party members to trust that I am conducting this inquiry with their best interest and values at heart.”

The inquiry will take evidence from Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, and will consider also whether his description of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” is appropriate.

The inquiry will report back by July 1, and Mrs Chakrabarti said that the final conclusions will be hers alone.

She said: “I will seek to make such recommendations as I see fit for a party that seeks to set the bar for the way democrats of different races, faiths, persuasions and opinions can rub along together and disagree well.

“Even in 2016 no part of any society can be completely untouched by some form of intolerance or racism.

“The difference between a progressive political party and others is that it fights both prejudice and complacency.

“It sets a higher standard for itself and is prepared to be judged by them. It will openly look at itself in the mirror.”

AntiSemitismWatch will be submitting its own five point plan to the inquiry which we published as a means of providing a road map to the party for extracting itself out of the current mire.

Read more here.

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World Heavyweight Boxing Champion is no role model with his anti-Semitic comments

When news first broke about the anti-Semitic and other similarly nasty comments made by the world heavyweight boxing champion, Tyson Fury, in an interview posted online, AntiSemitismWatch did not necessarily feel it warranted much coverage other than a Twitter tweet. He is a man who has frankly shown himself adept at making bizarre, offensive statements before. However, the man keeps digging himself further into the mire on the subject and so, basically, deserves everything he gets.

Fury’s disturbing rant came during an interview posted onto YouTube. In comments about women, he said on: “We live in ancient times where we don’t like women to be whores, opening legs to every Tom, Dick and Harry. We don’t s**g men. We don’t s**g kids. So, if that’s draconian then yeah, I suppose I like being a draconian [sic]. They should call me Dracula Fury shouldn’t they.“

He continued: “I think it’ll be perfectly normal in the next 10 years to have sexual relationships with your animals at home, you know your pets your cats and dogs and all that. So that will be legal.”

He also made a series of disturbing comments about rape, bestiality and pedophilia.

Regarding Jews, Tyson suggested, “Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all.”

Since the understandable furor that broke out, including calls for him to be banned, Tyson has continued his rantings.

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“I see all the Zionist media outlets are on my back, because I speak the truth!

U will all see the truth soon enuf [sic], they killed my lord jesus”, he subsequently tweeted.

The obvious conflation of Zionists,  Jews and Romans is a point we suspect is completely lost on the boxer and a point too difficult for him to understand.

Nevertheless, he did try to send out some form of message to take the heat out of the situation.

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Other social media users were unsurprisingly robust in their criticism of Tyson’s behaviour.

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Boxing is often spoken about in terms of what adolescent males can learn from the ring,  in particular discipline and respect. Those at the top of the profession have a clear responsibility to act as role models to the young on behalf of the sport. The world heavyweight champion has, by implication, the greatest responsibility imaginable.

The ignorance shown by Tyson in his comments should arguably draw compassion rather than calls for him to be banned. However, his lack of any sense of appreciation of his role model status is thoroughly unforgivable.

Word of caution to Stamford Hill community – Learn from the Lakewood experience

With members of the London Stamford Hill Charedi community being priced out of the area, some are now trying to snap up houses on Canvey Island, Essex.

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The site of the former Castle View School on the Island will be transformed into a private Jewish school, Essex County Council has confirmed.

The Charedi community, is understood to have paid £1.75million for the former school building, which closed five years ago, and its attached playing fields.

Residents living around the site have started to experience members of the community knocking on their doors offering to pay above the market price for their houses, despite them not being up for sale.

AntiSemitismWatch has already taken the step of sending messages into the Stamford Hill community in an attempt that the experiences of the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, USA are considered in how the Canvey Island experiment is proceeded with.

2016-05-13-09-36-17--1070305669Toms River, a neighbouring community to Lakewood, took the step of implementing a law aimed at putting an end to what many of its residents and leaders labeled overly aggressive tactics by realtors.

Some observers suggested the measure was part of a campaign to block an increasing migration by members of the Lakewood community.

The other Toms River 'welcome' sign
The other Toms River ‘welcome’ sign

Tensions also simmered over comments made by Toms River Mayor, Thomas Kelaher. In an interview with Bloomberg News Service regarding the recent influx and his town’s reaction to it, Kelaher was quoted as saying, “It’s like an invasion. It’s the old throwback to the 1960s, when blockbusting happened in Philadelphia and Chicago with the African-American community — ‘I want to buy your house. You’ll be sorry if you don’t [sell it to me].”

In the wake of its publication, Lakewood Mayor Menashe Miller penned an open letter expressing deep offense over the use of the term “invasion,” which he said implied a takeover by a malicious group, and demanded an apology.

The intervention of AntiSemitismWatch comes after Joel Friedman, who works for the Interlink Foundation, a charity representing the community, confirmed half-a-dozen families have already bought houses on the Essex island.

One islander living near the proposed school site, who did not want to be named, told The Echo her family received a visit on Sunday afternoon from a groups of people interested in buying their home.

She said: “I was quite surprised really as they just started asking about house prices in the area, and whether we would be willing to sell ours.

“They were very polite, but it was just a bit random really. I’ve seen them knock on quite a few houses in our area over the past couple of weeks.

“I don’t think we’re ready to sell just yet, but I think it’s interesting they are so keen to move here.”

Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said he is pleased the former Castle View site is becoming a school instead of housing.

He said: “From what I am hearing quite a few houses have already been bought and they are looking to create a large community here.

“I think it’s a good thing and particularly as the rest of that school site will actually get used and it won’t become housing as set out in the local plan.

“I have to say, I am not sure why Canvey has been chosen, as it’s not the easiest place to reach.”

The former Castle View site had originally been earmarked for 50 new homes, but developers pulled out of the school due to flood concerns.

The situation in Toms River has led representatives of the Chabad Jewish Center to file a law suit in federal court against Toms River and its Zoning Board of Adjustment. The legal move came after a refusal to allow small weekly prayer services in Rabbi Moshe Gourarie’s Toms River home.

The refusal was alleged to be a civil rights violation spurred by, “A rising tide of anti-Semitism among the Toms River government and population, fearful that the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community located in adjacent Lakewood Township will extend into Toms River,” the complaint suggested.

Thomas-KelaherIt also cited the statement by Mayor Kelaher and an antiSemitic act whereby the words “Burn the Jews” were carved into playground equipment at the nearby Riverwood Park.

The complaint further cited a number of statements made in various places on social media “regarding the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox Jews describing them as “cockroaches,” “trash,” a “cult,” “he-brews and she-brews,” a “Jewish conspiracy,” “disgusting phonies,” a “joo school,” “damn jews,” “dirty,” and a “disease.”

AntiSemitismWatch comment:

“Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

 

Breaking News: Disintegration of NUS begins following Bouattia election

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.

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Malia Bouattia – will she preside over the break-up of the NUS?

Now, a majority of students at the University of Lincoln, 881 people against 804, have voted for the Lincoln SU not to be affiliated with the NUS.

A total of 1,734 votes were cast in this referendum, representing 12.6% of Lincoln SU members.

Other university student union bodies are set to consider similar moves, including those at Manchester, Oxford, Durham, York and Cambridge.

Hayley Jayne Wilkinson, University of Lincoln SU President, said: “As a group of elected officers, we no longer felt confident that the NUS represented the views of our students.

“We agreed it was necessary to ask our members themselves if they wanted to remain affiliated with the NUS. Our members have now told us through their votes in this referendum that they want to disaffiliate.

“For ULSU, our priority is our members and what they tell us matters to them in today’s rapidly changing higher education environment.

“Put simply this debate has been about what students want from the organisation that represents them nationally and, for some time, we have felt that the focus of debate within the NUS has been far removed from the issues that our students tell us are important to them every day on campus.”

Hayley Jayne, as SU President, will write to the NUS Executive Council to give notice before the 1st July. The University of Lincoln Students’ Union will then disaffiliate on the 31st December 2016.

Lincoln SU have said this will make no direct change to it students or services provided to its students.

Read more here.

United Nations again plays host to anti-Semitic rhetoric

Considering the concern over soaring anti-Semitism in Europe and further afield, you would perhaps imagine that the United Nations would be doing all it could to reassure world Jewry of its decisive and committed action to help stamp out this evil.

2016-05-09-08-52-47--1485909343Unfortunately, as AntiSemitismWatch has frequently reported,  the United Nations has shown itself an unprincipled conspirator in aiding and abetting the perpetration of anti-Semitic lies and falsehoods by freely playing host to those who engage in such behaviour.

In the latest vile example, Israel was accused on Friday in the United Nations of preparing a ‘final solution’ for Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.’

“What is Israel planning to do with the Palestinians?” asked Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez. “Do the Israelis want the Palestinians to disappear? Is Israel preparing a ‘final solution’ for the Palestinians similar to that which was perpetrated against them?”

Shockingly, Venezuela presently holds one of the hugely significant ten rotating seats on the UN Security Council.

The comparison, drawing a link between Israel and Nazi Germany, drew immediate outrage from Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

“This statement by the Venezuelan ambassador is straightforward anti-Semitism against the Jewish state,” said Danon, according to a statement by the Israeli mission to the UN. “His remarks are a direct continuation to the Palestinian representative’s statement a few days ago comparing Israel to the Nazis,” Danon said, adding the remarks were “unequivocally condemned” by the U.S., the UK and France.

In what has become the trademark reaction to those exposed for perpetrating anti-Semitic rhetoric, Ramirez subsequently apologized to the “Jewish People if they were offended by the remarks,” according to the statement.

“The Palestinians are bringing anti-Semitism into the halls of the UN and are legitimizing racists and crass language in the parliament of nations,” Danon noted.

Last month Palestinian Authority representative to the UN Riyad Mansour drew a parallel between the Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust and the Arab attackers in the current wave of terror.

imagesAntiSemitismWatch will continue to expose the dreadful reality that is the United Nations, campaigning to ensure that it returns to the core principles of its establishment in the aftermath of World War II. We shall also further hold to account those countries like the US, France and the UK, who should be leading the urgent necessary reform of the UN in order to deliver that change.