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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.

 

Latest United Nations farce supported by UK, France and Germany

The United Nations has demonstrated yet again just how unfit it is to hold that name title. Also worrying is how it has been supported in its last farce by the UK, France, Germany.

2016-05-26-16-01-14-267196083These nations, together with other EU states have voted for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that uniquely singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health.”

They further commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.

By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on China, North Korea, Libya or any other world nation.

Out of twenty-four items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item number nineteen against Israel, focused on a specific country.

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

“Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, Neuer added.

In contrast to the shocking collaboration of the UK, France and Germany, there is much to commend the principled stand taken by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea in joining Israel to oppose perpetuating a politicized agenda item.

The U.S. and Canada both took the floor today to strongly object to the anti-Israel exercise.

The vote was 107 to 8 for the resolution, with 8 abstentions and 58 absent.  The resolution calls for reports on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental,
physical and environmental health” in “the occupied Palestinian territory.”

By backing the measure, EU states effectively adopted an inflammatory report which, amongst other things, blamed the increase in Palestinian traffic accidents on the fear of “being pursued by settlers”; as well as a Syrian submission laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, yet circulated as an official UN document on the conference agenda, which alleges that “the Israeli occupation authorities” continue “to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.”

Unable to deny Israel’s medical treatment of thousands of wounded Syrians, the regime accuses Israel of a plot: healing “armed terrorists from Jabhah al-Nusrah” so that they can “resume their subversive terrorist activities directed against the country’s peaceful citizens and its infrastructure.”

The EU states could have introduced their own resolution about how Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, destroying the health rights of the Syrian people.

Last month, France and Spain voted for an Arab-sponsored UNESCO resolution that contained the wild conspiracy accusation that Israel was “planting fake Jewish graves” in Jerusalem.

With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights, the entire EU now descends into irrationalism.

By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.

This article is adapted from one published by UN Watch. Follow the link to it here.

Outcry over German university release of renowned anti-Semitism Professor

The German University of Göttingen has unleashed a firestorm of criticism from scholars, students and Jewish organsations by not extending the employment contract of Dr. Samuel Salzborn – one of the most prominent academic experts in German anti-Semitism.

“It is a scandal! It shows that critical research on right-wing radicalism/anti-Semitism is not desired in Germany,” wrote Julius Schoeps, a leading German Jewish historian and a descendant of the 18th century philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, according to The Jerusalem Post.

An open letter supported by scores of academics, student groups, and human rights NGOs was sent to the university’s administration in late April titled, “Retain the chair of Professor Salzborn.”

Dr. Samuel Salzborn
Dr. Samuel Salzborn

The letter states, “Prof. Salzborn is one of the most distinguished anti-Semitism researchers in the German-speaking area. Considering the Presidential Board’s focus on continuously being nominated as a ‘university of excellence’ (granted by a Federal research program) the decision not to extend the contract is highly inconsistent, to say the least. Prof. Salzborn is also a renowned expert on right-wing extremism, who has published many studies on the subject.”

Salzborn also has expertise in contemporary anti-Semitism – the loathing and de-legitimization of the Jewish state.

Göttingen is a major university city in the state of Lower Saxony. During the widespread outbreak of anti-Semitism, including violence, amid Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Salzborn told The New York Times, “There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism.”

“In times of PEGIDA, arsoned refugee homes, the rise of the right-wing populist party AfD, and nearly five years after the neo-Nazi terrorist group NSU was discovered (the scope and support networks of which are yet to be fully examined) the Presidential Board’s decision to not extend the contract also sends a dubious political signal,” the open letter reads.

When asked about the reasons for terminating Salzborn’s contract, a university spokesman said it does not comment on “personnel matters.”

The university was engulfed in an anti-Semitic scandal in 2008 for teaching hatred of Israelis and a wild conspiracy theory about Jews.

The professor of sports, Arnd Krüger, argued in his lecture on “Hebron and Munich: How do we communicate sports history without getting caught in [the] snare of anti-Semitism?” that the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who died at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich essentially committed suicide “for the cause of Israel.”

Krüger also said Israel had a high abortion rate compared with other industrialized nations, and that the Jewish state went to great lengths to prevent “living with disabilities.”

Ilan Mor, the then chargé d’affairs at the Israeli Embassy, said at the time, “This is the worst form of dehumanizing the State of Israel.”

The university refused to dismiss Krüger.

Salzborn has taught at the university since 2012. His contract will end in 2017.

French campaigners combine to tackle social media giants over hate content

Three French anti-racism associations have joined forces to file legal complaints against social network giants Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Youtube for failing to remove “hateful” content posted on their platforms.

French law requires websites to take down racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic material and tell authorities about it.

But French Jewish students union UEJF and anti-racism and anti-homophobia campaigners SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie said the three firms had removed only a fraction of 586 examples of hateful content the anti-racism groups had counted on their platforms between the end of March and May 10.

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Twitter removed only 4%, Youtube 7% and Facebook 34%, according to the associations.

“In light of Youtube, Twitter and Facebook’s profits and how little taxes they pay, their refusal to invest in the fight against hate is unacceptable,” UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz said in a statement.

Germany got Facebook, Google and Twitter to agree in December to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours.

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.

Labour anti-Semitism storm now encompasses party in Scotland

A Scottish Labour councillor has been suspended from the party after a series of “anti-Semitic” rants on his blog – including one in which he describes Israel as “a war criminal state”.

Councillor Terry Kelly – who represents Paisley North West on Renfrewshire Council – has been removed from the party pending an investigation.

The move comes following a series of blog posts where he rails against Zionism and backs Ken Livingstone, who was suspended from the party last week.

The 67-year-old, who served as former Scottish Labour leader and retired MSP Wendy Alexander’s election agent on three occasions, also said the criticism of Livingstone is part of a bid to have Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ousted from his role.

Councillor Kelly has also lost his place as convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board following his suspension from the Labour Party.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “The situation regarding Councillor Kelly is that he is not suspended as a councillor but, as he has been suspended by his party, he cannot serve on council boards or committees where he attended as a party representative.”

In a blog post on Saturday, April 30, Councillor Kelly wrote a blog post – titled, ‘Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingstone are anti Semites according to the Blairite rump of the Labour Party! Beam me up Scotty’.

terrykellyHe wrote: “The accusations of anti-Semitism are based on something he said about Hitler and German Zionists who conspired to relocate German Jews to Palestine this was before he started the wholesale murder of the German Jewish population.

“To accept their charge of anti-Semitism you have to also accept that opposition to Zionism and Israel means you are anti-Semitic.

“No one who is attacking Livingstone can tell us what Livingstone said that was anti-Semitic, he was referring to a ‘bona fide’ historical fact which was that Hitler and the German Zionists were in accord.”

And the councillor – who represents Paisley’s Ferguslie Park area, one of the most deprived areas in Britain – said he believed it was part of a campaign to see Corbyn removed from power.

He explained: “This is the lengths that the underhand Blairites in the Labour Party will go to in their attempts to get rid of Corbyn and they do not care how much damage to the party they do to achieve that.

“With Corbyn’s landslide support as leader I foresee a lot of deselections coming, they will be democratic deselections and I will be giving them my total support, these people are treacherous self servers who think they own the Labour Party, it’s high time they learned different.”

And in a blog post from Thursday, March 31, called ‘Is it possible still, for anyone to defend Israel?’ he called for a boycott of the country and compared events there to the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

He also called on readers to boycott Israel as part of the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.

He explained: “Not many have investments so they can’t disinvest and sanctions are done by governments but everyone can boycott!

“The Israeli Government are twisting the arms of many countries to get them to ban BDS but the truth is that no one can stop you from boycotting Israeli goods and refusing to have any contact with them, it worked with apartheid South Africa and the State of Israel is feeling the heat so ‘pile it on’.”

Rivals on Renfrewshire Council said Councillor Kelly’s conduct was proof that Labour are not fit to govern.

A spokesperson from the Renfrewshire Council SNP group said: “SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has made clear that we have a zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism or racism of any kind.

“Councillor Kelly has made clear many times on social media his support for the view of the Iranian leadership that Israel has no right to exist, this denies the voice of the Israeli peace movement and progressive voices that want a change of policy on the Palestinian question.

“Councillor Kelly was a Militant supporter in the 1980’s, and comes from the same hard left stable as Jeremy Corbyn. “Labour is simply unelectable these days, and this is proof.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Labour said: “Terry Kelly has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.”

Read more here.

Mimicking US case, German university printers hacked, churn out anti-Semitic flyers

In late March there was a disturbing series of occurrences across a number of US universities whereby their printers were deliberately hacked to spew put vile anti-Semitic flyers.

Mimicking that, printers at several universities across Germany have produced anti-Semitic leaflets on or about Hitler’s birthday this week, after hackers appeared to break into their computer systems.

2016-04-22-16-25-10--1830844955Universities in Hamburg, Lüneburg and Tübingen confirmed that printers connected to their computer networks had suddenly started churning out the leaflets, most of them on Wednesday, the anniversary of Hitler’s birth in Braunau, Austria, in 1889.

At least six other universities in Germany reported similar episodes, according to the German news agency DPA.

The leaflet produced at the University of Hamburg carried the slogan “Europe, awake!” and alluded to the mass migration that brought more than one million people, many from the Middle East, to the Continent last year. “Europe is being flooded by enemy strangers,” it read, in part.

Without naming Hitler, the leaflet referred to “the words of a former European führer” who blamed the Jews for bringing non-Europeans to the Rhineland.

Christian Matheis, a spokesman for the University of Hamburg, and Karl G. Rijkhoek, a spokesman for the University of Tübingen, said their institutions had filed formal complaints with the police and the judicial authorities after learning that their computer networks appeared to have been breached.

The leaflet printed out in Hamburg included the Twitter hashtag #dailystormer, a term also used on a website referred to in the leaflets in the United States, Mr. Matheis said. The term is an allusion to a far-right Nazi publication.

Follow this link to the original article here.

Visibility must be a price worth paying as anti-Semitism continues to thrive in Europe

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When AntiSemitismWatch launched its groundbreaking survey on the experience of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in the UK last year, it had a working premise. Namely, that their visibility would mean they were likely to have a markedly different experience in regards to anti-Semitism than the wider mainstream Jewish communities.

The results significantly bore out that theory, casting a huge shadow over the reliability of the published UK anti-Semitic hate crime figures.

Of all the respondents, 77% had witnessed or experienced anti-Semitism in the previous 12 months.

Of those, 49% had witnessed or experienced 3 or more anti-Semitic incidents (8% had witnessed or experienced 10 or more Anti-Semitic incidents in the previous 12 months).

images-3However, it would be wrong to leave the impression that vulnerability of visibility is an exclusive preserve of the ultra-Orthodox or the UK.

Just recently a Jewish student was denied a seat on a train in Berlin due to her Magen-David necklace.

Two women saw her, noticed her necklace, then put their bags on the empty seats next to them, to prevent her from sitting down.  They reaffirmed their actions through words of hate towards her.

Disgracefully, the other passengers studiously ignored what was going on and looked at the floor or window.

images-2The victim said she experiences such negative experiences whenever her Magen-David is visible, therefore,  usually choosing to hide it with a scarf.

On Wednesday we reported that Guy Muller of the Netherlands Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) explained the hazards of appearing externally Jewish in public: “If you walk around and are identifiable as a Jew, there is a higher chance that you will be attacked. We know that there are people who are attacked more than once each year.”

Famously, Zvi Ammar, the head of Marseille’s Israelite Consistory urged men to stop wearing their kippah after yet a further violent anti-Semitic attack on a Jew.

Mr Ammar called on Jews “not to wear the kippah in the street to avoid being identified as Jewish”.

“It is sad to find ourselves in this position in 2016, in a great democratic country like France,” he said.

images“But faced with an exceptional situation, we have to take exceptional measures. It causes me such pain to come to this conclusion but I do not want anyone to die in Marseille because they had a kippah on their head.”

This led to remarkable scenes of French politicians, so usually ardent in their advocacy of secularism, wearing kippot into the national parliament.

None of these are truly a surprise against the backdrop of the rocketing rates of European anti-Semitism.

Just to say it was revealed that 35% of Hungarians hold “high or moderate” anti-Semitic views.

The survey, which questioned 1,200 Hungarian citizens on their views toward Jews, was initiated by the Action and Protection Foundation, a Hungarian organization combating anti-Semitism in the country.

Twenty-three percent of respondents claimed to hold “extreme” anti-Semitic views towards Jews, while 12% claimed to hold “moderate” anti-Semitic views towards Jews. Shockingly, 31% said they do not wish to have Jewish neighbors.

Even in neighboring Poland there is a high level of anti-Semitism. A survey conducted by the National Institute for Public Opinion Research found that 37% of respondents said they “do not like Jews”.

Yet, despite all of this, does AntiSemitismWatch suggest hiding away our precious signs of our Judaism? Of course not!

Do not hide. Take sensible precautions, in the same way any community or individual should, and rally, campaign and argue the point, but never hide. When they have forced us into hiding, that is a victory, the first broken window.

It will only encourage more of the same actions. Instead, find wherever the hate is being preached and stand against it.

Stand strong our friends!