Tag Archives: holocaust

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.

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.

Amsterdam to pay its Jewish community millions for Holocaust survivor taxes

The city of Amsterdam will give its Jewish community $11 million as compensation for taxes imposed on Holocaust survivors who returned home to the Dutch capital following World War II.

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Upon their return, according to an article in The Telegraph on Monday, the survivors were made to pay a tax because their homes were left empty during the Holocaust. They also had to pay back taxes for the years they had been taken away from the city, as well as insurance fees.

The taxes were discovered by a student in 2013, and that year, Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said the city should “put it right,” according to The Telegraph. On Friday, the city said it would pay the $11 million — an estimate of the total taxes paid by survivors following the war.

“Amsterdam has 5 million to 10 million euros in its coffers that it doesn’t want, and we have no right to it, so we want to give it back to the Jewish community to be used for important projects,” a spokesman for the mayor said, according to the Telegraph. “Finding the individual people or their relatives would be very costly and complex, and that is not the idea.”

The city has suggested the money be put toward a Holocaust memorial monument or community programs.

Special Report: Rise of far right in Europe being overlooked

Western mainstream media had been fully geared up to cover the expected victory of the far right presidential candidate, Norbert Hofer, in the recent Austrian election. The win of the Green party candidate, Alexander Van der Bellen, robbed them of the opportunity to cover what they had been predicting as the first European post-Second World War far right head of state election victory.

Norbert Hofer
Norbert Hofer

Yet, the rise of far right European parties and candidates into the established international realpolitik, rather than their traditional fringe position, is something that has been and is being fundamentally overlooked.

In France, the far-right National Front won 6.8 million votes in regional elections in 2015 – its largest ever popular endorsement.

The far-right Jobbik party who polled third in Hungaryorganises patrols by an unarmed but uniformed “Hungarian Guard” in Roma (Gypsy) neighbourhoods.

In Denmark, the government relies on the support of the nationalist Danish People’s Party and has the toughest immigration rules in Europe.

While, the leader of the nationalist Finns Party is the foreign minister of Finland, after it joined a coalition government last year.

Andrzej Duda
Andrzej Duda

Less than a year after Poland elected Andrzej Duda, a previously little-known right-wing politician as president, Warsaw’s nationalist government moved to strip a leading Jewish Holocaust scholar of a national honour for asserting simply what the previous Polish presidential incumbent, Bronislaw Komorowski, acknowledged. Namely, that Poland was in part responsible for Nazi war crimes against its Jewish population during World War II.

Perhaps one of most shocking situations currently exists in Croatia. During World War II, Croatia was ruled by the Ustashi, an axis-aligned regime that was every bit as bad as the Nazis. The Ustashi killed over 600,000 people, 500,000 of which were Serbs. The Ustashi-ruled Independent State of Croatia had a population of around 6.3 million, meaning the Ustashi killed around one in 10 of its own people. Eighty percent of the nation’s Jews were murdered.

Ustashi
Ustashi – axis-aligned regime during World War II, every bit as bad as the Nazis.

Now the Ustashi are making a comeback. It has now penetrated cabinet ministers and the mainstream media. Ognjen Kraus, the leader of Croatia’s Jewish communities, said that the government “is simply not doing anything” and that it “does not want to.”

The nation’s new right-wing coalition that came to power at the start of the year is responsible for much of this change. As part of that coalition, Zlatko Hasanbegović became Croatia’s culture minister in January. He was once a member of a small far-right, pro-Ustashi party.

Ustashi supporters in modern Croatia
Ustashi supporters in modern Croatia

Since taking office, Hasanbegović has cut funds for progressive groups and independent media and has endorsed a revisionist documentary film that denies the scale of the crimes committed by Croatia during its alliance with Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

Reporters Without Borders, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Serb and Jewish groups in the region have all condemned the new government.

The government’s tolerance of such a man as a minister in government is creating a climate of fear throughout the country.

Croatian soccer fans frequently chant Nazi-era slogans during games with only indirect criticism from the government. During one game with Israel, fans were heard to shout, “We Croats! Ustashi! Ustashi!”

Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s office in Israel and Eastern Europe, warned that Croatia is “a country where manifestations of fascism and anti-Semitism are very common, especially in the local soccer stadiums, but not easily identifiable by those ignorant of the country’s World War II and Holocaust history.”

In the UK much of the media coverage of anti-Semitic issues has focused attention to the political left following the storm that has engulfed the Labour Party. Equally, many in the western media, following mass immigration stories and terrorist outrages, have, unsurprisingly, concentrated on radical Islamist matters and any associated anti-Semitism. Yet, if world history, our history, tells us one thing, we cannot afford to ignore or overlook the rise of the far right. If the mainstream media will not do it we shall have to do it for ourselves.

French politician probed for ‘no dogs and Jews allowed’ Twitter account

City prosecutors in southern France are investigating a local politician for his Twitter account, which was marked “forbidden to dogs and Jews” and featured tweets mocking and denying the Holocaust.

The Montpelier prosecutors were notified Monday by municipal officials about the account, which belongs to Djamel Boumaaz, a former member of France’s far-right National Front party, the Liberation daily reported.

Djamel BoumaazBoumaaz, a Muslim who quit the party last year over what he termed anti-Muslim sentiments by party leader Marine Le Pen, said someone had hacked his account and posted the tweets, the news site Infos H24 reported.

According to Liberation, the profile of the account, which was shut down Monday, read: “Forbidden to dogs and to Jews.”

A tweet posted Sunday featured a black-and-white picture of corpses along with the text: “OK, let’s make up besides I have a heap of Jewish friends.”

Another tweet read: “My son has nightmares from your Holocaust. I told him not to be afraid of imaginary things.”

A known associate of Holocaust denier Alain Soral and anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, Boumaaz was second on the National Front list for the municipal elections in Montpelier in 2014.

Gilles Clavreul, France’s inter-ministerial delegate for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, tweeted that he contacted Twitter’s French office demanding the closure of Boumaaz’s account for hate speech, which is illegal in France.

Read more here.

 

 

London man has suffered 30 anti-Semitic attacks in three years

Yisro’el Shalom, 52, is a Londoner, widower, and former comedian of Jewish descent. According to Shalom, he has been the target of anti-Semitic attacks for years — 30 attacks in three years, to be precise.

Shalom used to live in Newham, east London, where he reportedly suffered numerous attacks including getting beaten up and having swastikas spray-painted over his home.

“After the graffiti attack I only ever went out for Shabbat to the synagogue,” Shalom recalled, according to the Daily Express. ” … All my doors and windows were double-locked and I spent four months ordering food online, and just walking from room to room.”

Shalom was even forced to wear a stab-proof vest and put a metal gate and iron bars over his home to protect himself.

“I couldn’t even put music on because I needed to hear if anybody was trying to get into the house,” Shalom said.

Shalom has since moved to Finchley, a less hostile part of London. But he fears he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since the spate of attacks.

“When you see these things, we are at the beginning of what we said ‘never again’ to 70 years ago,” he said, referring to the common declaration among Jews in reference to the Holocaust, the Daily Express reports.

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No warm welcome experienced by Yisro’el Shalom

London’s Metropolitan Police said the number of anti-Semitic crimes reported in Newham — Shalom’s former neighbourhood, where the attacks took place — have doubled since 2015.

“We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders,” a spokesman for the Met Police said.

Unfortunately, that assurance comes too little, too late for Shalom.

“I’m supposed to be able to walk down any damn street that I want in this country,” he said, “but sadly that’s just not how it is.”

Sadiq Kahn’s visit to Yom Hashoah event sparks anti-Semitic vitriol and Holocaust denial – Perhaps Labour may start to understand now

The decision by the newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan, to attend a Yom Hashoah commemoration event as his first public engagement was met with anger by some Twitter users, who responded with virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments as well as Holocaust denial.

After the event, Khan tweeted, “So important to reflect, remember and educate about the 6 million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust.”

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As of Monday evening, the post had been widely ‘liked’ and shared. However, there were other responses which were not so kind and included blatant Holocaust denial, including a comment that “much of the so-called ‘holocaust’ has been faked, including the post-1945 Auschwitz construction,” suggesting that much of the Auschwitz site was built after World War II.

Others responded with the usual anti-Semitic conflation between supporting Israel and the “Jewish lobby”.

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While another Twitter user was more blatant in their hatred, despicably suggesting on Yom Hashoah, “Like who cares about Jewish suffering!”.

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Another commentator wrote, “Have you plucked that figure of 6 [million] out of thin air? What was the total population of Jews in 1940? Don’t distort history. Max 1 [million].”

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Khan received a warm welcome from London’s Jewish community at the end of Sunday’s Yom Hashoah ceremony, which brought together thousands from London’s Jewish community, including more than 150 Holocaust survivors and a combined choir from five Jewish elementary schools.

Now it has happened to one of their own, perhaps Labour will now start to properly comprehend the reality of anti-Semitism in society and, therefore, take the necessary action to address it within their own party?

Let us know what you think by commenting below or emailing us via secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

 

Election of Jewish Prime Minister doesn’t immune Ukraine from anti-Semitism

They may have elected Volodymyr B. Groysman as their first Jewish Prime Minister but that doesn’t immune Ukraine from the evil of anti-Semitism.

The mayor of Kiev has now tasked authorities to identify a group of people who were filmed burning an Israeli flag at the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial.

images-1Babi Yar is a ravine near Kiev where between 100,000 and 150,000 of Jews were massacred by the Nazis throughout the Holocaust.

The flag-burning incident is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents targeting the memorial and took place on the occasion of Israel’s national remembrance day for the Holocaust, Yom HaShoah.

“It is intolerable to brutalize the memory of the victims. Especially at the place that which is globally known as one of the symbols of a terrible crime of fascism, at Babi Yar, where tens of thousands of people of different nationalities, the majority of them Jewish, were killed,” Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement.