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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1 this year, enabling it to be freely printed, often those that choose to do so justified it as the publication of a historical document.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”
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.
Israel on Monday issued a “severe” warning to its citizens to avoid visiting Tunisia where hundreds of Jewish pilgrims will be celebrating the religious Lag BaOmer festival later this month.
There is a severe travel warning for Tunisia (high concrete threat),” the Counter-Terrorism Bureau said in a statement released by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Terrorist elements, especially those affiliated with Global Jihad, continue to operate in Tunisia and commit attacks; therefore, there is a high threat level against Jewish targets,” said the statement.
“It is recommended that visits to Tunisia be avoided,” it added.
But the 2014 edition of Lag BaOmer in the Tunisian holiday island of Djerba took place without incident, despite a similar warning from Israel.
This year the festival — during which pilgrims visit the tombs of revered Rabbis as well as the famed El Ghriba synagogue — will take place May 25-26.
Djerba is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Arab world.
But the number of pilgrims visiting El Ghriba have fallen sharply since a 2002 suicide bombing claimed by Al-Qaeda that killed 21 people.
Prior to the attack, the celebrations in Djerba would attract almost 8,000 people each year, including from France, Israel, Italy and Britain.
Follow the link to the original article here.
Italy’s football governing body has punished the country’s top team, Juventus, for its fans shouting anti-Semitic chants.
The punishment consists of an order to close a section of the club’s stadium in Turin. However, the sanction will only be enforced if there is a repeat of the behaviour. The Curva Sud section represents about a quarter of the stadium.
According to the chant’s chorus, for which Juventus has been punished in the past, people from Florence, where the team’s chief rival is based, are “not Italian” but “a bunch of Jews.”
AntiSemitismWatch has previously reported on other instances of anti-Semitism linked to Italian football. The most recent episode focused o Italian football journalist David Guetta. Described as a proud Florentine, with an obviously Italian Jewish name.
After a European cup match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Guetta took the tube back to central London and was recognised by a group of Fiorentina fans. Those fans then started to bombard him with anti-Semitic abuse. (Read the report here.)
Vicenza, Italy – In an act of the most unspeakable and disgraceful anti-Semitism, a swastika and other hateful graffiti has been daubed on the name plate of the Anne Frank middle school.
The outer wall of the school was defaced with seriously offensive remarks as well as the anti-Semitic graffiti explained the school’s deputy head, Alessandra Mantiero.
After targeting the Anne Frank school, the offenders turned their attention to the elementary school in Via Lorenzoni. With the same spray paint they soiled school bell and a plaque. They also toppled some pot plants in the children’s garden and even tried to start a fire.
The school had only recently hosted a Holocaust Day of Remembrance talk.
A school governor, Claudio Molon, said, “I am very disappointed. These were gestures dictated by ignorance expressed in acts of vandalism. The contempt demonstrated of the school is augmented by the contempt for a name that is synonymous with persecution, Anne Frank. ”
The hateful inscriptions have been covered and soon will be deleted. Barbara Gasparella, president of the school’s Parents Committee agreed, “It’s a very serious act. We are in solidarity with the teachers. We have scheduled a meeting of the parents’ committee and certainly we will address this issue. ”
Follow this link to the original Italian article.
It is a time of unprecedented dialogue, commentary and discussion in the modern era. The rise of Anti-Semitism in its violent and non-violent forms has rightly attracted the attention of many of the world’s leaders, their governments, community representatives and the media. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of their respective responses has been supportive of the community and condemning of the hate mungerers and terrorists. The question AntiSemitismWatch.com asks is whether fine words are any longer sufficient?
Just this morning we reported on President Obama’s ‘Je Suis Juives’ or ‘we are all Jewish’ speech at yesterday’s Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Washington. These are very powerful words indeed, worthy of praise. They display a strong sense of support, unity and understanding. However, this is the same President who has just agreed a nuclear deal with Iran removing all sanctions against the regime.
In almost the same breath, Iran launched its state sponsored anti-Semitic Holocaust denial cartoon competition. The organisers of the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, scheduled for this June, have offered a stomach churning first-place prize money of $50,000, more than quadruple last year’s $12,000.
“Anybody can see that Iran’s anti-Semitic cartoon contest is meant to incite hatred, which is often the motivator of violence and terrorism. The world should condemn this appalling contest as vehemently as we do,” said Consul Daniel Agranov of the Houston-based Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest United States.
Even Ira Forman, the US State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism, said it’s critical that the US speak out against any type of government-sponsored anti-Semitism.
“We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial…and anti-Semitic speech,” Forman said.
Ken Jacobson, the Anti-Defamation League’s deputy national director, told JNS.org that Iran’s Holocaust denial is “not per se about the Holocaust. It’s about vicious anti-Semitism [going on] in the world. It’s an attack on the Jewish people, and it’s a threat.”
“What’s different this year — and most alarming — is that policy makers in the US and Europe view the Iranian regime as a stabilizing force in the imploding Middle East. This is a horrific mistake,” Charles A. Small, executive director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy told JNS.org. “Western governments, led by the US, are legitimizing a genocidal anti-Semitic regime, and this is dangerous and can only lead to problems for all of us, not just for Jews.”
Ayaollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, also marked Holocaust Memorial Day by publishing a Holocaust denying video on his official website.
While nations around the world remembered the millions of people who were killed in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, the hardline leader questioned whether the Holocaust “is a reality or not”.
Khamenei’s website promotes the video with a banner across its homepage, featuring a montage of images, including one of Adolf Hitler.
Simultaneously, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani tours Italy and France attempting to drum up trade and diplomatic links after the signing of the billions of dollars worth sanction lifting nuclear deal.
At the same time, Italian Ambassador to Israel, Francesco Maria Talo, said in commemoration of HMD 2016 that as a Nazi ally Italy “was in the middle of the war [and] has a special responsibility” to commemorate the genocide of the Jews.”
“We have to work every day” to remember, he asserted, adding that while some Italians worked to save Jews, others did not, and “it is especially important to remember what was done to participate in the persecution…. We have more responsibility and we need to do more.”
His fine rhetoric was shared by Pope Francis who just recently visited the main synagogue in Rome.
“The violence of man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of this name, in particular the three great monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam),” he said in what appeared to be a reference to attacks by Islamist militants.
“The Shoah teaches us that we need the maximum vigilance in order to intervene quickly in defence of human dignity and peace,” Pope Francis said, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.
While in France after the recent terrorist attacks aimed at Jews we had the sight of non-Jewish politicians lining up to wear kippot. This after a French Jewish community leader suggested that to safeguard themselves Jewish men should not wear them in public.
Michael Oren MK, a former ambassador to the US, asked: “How can Europe respect the memory of the Holocaust, while on the same exact day it hosts the leader of the Iranian regime, which denies that the Holocaust even happened? “Israel welcomes Europe’s commitment to fighting anti-Semitism,” he added, “but its recent actions, such as labeling products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights….. raise doubts about this commitment.”
Meanwhile, Moshe Kantor, the newly elected President of the European Jewish Congress warned European leaders, “We need more that just ceremony and commemoration. When anti-Semitism is on the rise, when Jews are once again fleeing Europe.
‘When a murderous Islamic extremist ideology is threatening our existence, we need action as well as words.
‘It is time for our leaders to commit to a robust, unified and coordinated approach to tackling anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism.
‘We must all stand against hate refuse to allow history to repeat itself, making ‘never again’ a reality.’
Fine words Mr Kantor, fine words.
AntiSemitismWatch.coms suggest to all these speakers of fine words that if you really want to see action that makes a difference, go visit your local Shomrim!
London Mayor Boris Johnson has signed on to Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism, an AJC (American Jewish Committee) initiative calling on local leaders across Europe to publicly address and take concrete actions against rising anti-Semitism.
“However it manifests itself, anti-Semitism is totally unacceptable and can never be justified,” said Mayor Johnson. “In London we have a large and visible Jewish population, which makes a massive contribution to our city’s success, and as mayor I take this issue very seriously.
“We are working closely with the Jewish community and the police to tackle the problem and it is important for mayors to stand shoulder to shoulder to condemn and challenge anti-Semitism, which, like all forms of religious or racial discrimination, has no place in our cities.”
Johnson is the first mayor in the United Kingdom to join the campaign of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization. Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism was launched in the United States in July, and expanded to Europe in the fall. To date, more than 30 European mayors and 309 mayors and municipal leaders from 47 states across the U.S. have signed the statement.
“Mayor Johnson’s leadership in unequivocally confronting the anti-Semitism scourge is admirable, and reinforces Britain’s democratic values,” said AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris. “Anti-Semitism is a cancer that, left unchecked, will metastasize and threaten to destroy the democratic and pluralistic nature of Europe, a portent that Mayor Johnson so clearly recognizes.”
To date, mayors in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania have signed on to the Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism statement.
The statement calls upon “mayors, municipal leaders and other officials in Europe to join us in affirming that anti-Semitism is not compatible with fundamental democratic values.” It emphasizes that “in a world of global communications where anti-Semitic ideas can and do spread quickly, the impact of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe does not stop at Europe’s borders.”
The Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism statement affirms a core set of principles, including the condemnation of anti-Jewish hatred in all forms; rejection of the notion that anti-Semitic acts may ever be justified by one’s view on the actions or existence of the State of Israel; a declaration that anti-Semitism and any prejudices due to religious differences are inconsistent with core democratic values; and the belief that the promotion of mutual understanding and respect among all citizens is essential to good governance and democratic life.
The statement pledges a commitment to working within and across European and American communities to advance the values of respectful coexistence, and to affirm that anti-Semitism is incompatible with fundamental democratic values.
Follow the link to the original article here.
ASW previously reported that in response to the rising tide of Antisemitism, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for mass immigration into the country particularly from Europe. This solicitation was reinforced by a $46 million plan to facilitate the absorption.
ASW further posted that no doubt taking their cue from the Prime Minister, Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed that the Jews of Europe had been “abandoned” making a mass Jewish migration “inevitable”.
Interestingly, Aliyah (Jewish immigration into Israel) figures just released suggest that such a move is already underway. 2014 saw more immigrants arrive in Israel than at any other time in the last 10 years, a 32% increase on 2013.
More telling is that for the first time France tops the list of countries of origin since the establishment of the State.
Other European countries with increase rates of Aliyah are:
– United Kingdom, 20% increase
– Italy, 50% increase
– Russia, 100% increase from 2013
– Ukraine, immigration has tripled since the start of the conflict.
Aliyah from Latin America and from the USA remained stable.
The Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver, expects another immigration record for the current year: “We expect that some 10,000 new immigrants will come from France alone next year, and we will surpass 30,000 immigrants from around the world.”
While some European Jewish community leaders have loudly and robustly criticized Netanyahu’s approach, the real question, in light of the above news, is whether they are the ones out of touch with the reality of the strength of community feeling and reaction to the growth of Antisemitism?
Have you made Aliyah or thinking about doing so? Let us know your story.