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1 this year, enabling it to be freely printed, often those that choose to do so justified it as the publication of a historical document.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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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 Hungary, organises 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Babi 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.
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.
Unfortunately, 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.
AntiSemitismWatch 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.
UPDATE: Following yesterday’s comprehensive coverage of the fallout over Labour’s Naz Shah and her Facebook posts, the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn has finally bowed to pressure and suspended her from the party.
Yet the decision came just hours after he appeared to have accepted an apology without imposing a punishment.
Ms Shah had a second meeting with Mr Corbyn this afternoon after which Labour said she would be suspended with ‘mutual agreement’.
A Labour spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the General Secretary.
‘Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed.’
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Shah today made her fourth apology saying: ‘I fully acknowledge I have made mistakes and I wholeheartedly apologise to this House for the words I used before I became a member.
‘I accept and understand the words I used caused upset and hurt to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that.
‘Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop.’
ORIGINAL POST: Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, today resigned from the shadow cabinet over her now well publicised Facebook post that called for relocation of Israel to the US to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Shah stepped down as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, over the remarks she made two years ago.
Shah has since apologised, saying: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.
“This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”
In a second statement, she added: “I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict.
“But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise.”
Shah won her parliamentary seat in 2015 from George Galloway following an acrimonious election campaign that at times became very personal. Indeed, Shah referred to it as, “One of the most vile and personalised election campaigns ever seen in Great Britain”.
One particular spat centred on Shah’s claims about being forced into a violent and sexually abusive marriage aged 15.
This was disputed by Galloway telling her she had “only a passing acquaintance with the truth”. Galloway said: “You claimed – and gullible journalists believed you – that you were subject to a forced marriage at the age of 15. But you were not 15, you were 16 and a half. I have your nikah [marriage certificate] in my pocket.”
Shah at one point suggested she would sue Galloway over the issue.
However, it has been the series of messages on social media for which she has paid today’s price. She had said that the “solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, with the additional comment “problem solved”.
Alongside the post, Shah added a smiley-face emoji and suggested she would lobby the prime minister to adopt the plan.
More recently Shah threw her opinion into the ring over the controversial election of Malia Bouattia as the new president of the National Union of Students. Shah shared a tweet warmly congratulating Bouattia on her victory.
Bouattia’s election, amid allegations by some of anti-Semitism, has taken some university student unions to the brink of disafilliation.
The Labour party confirmed that Shah had stepped down as Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid backbench assistant.
The original post was publicised by the Guido Fawkes political website.
Naz Shah conclude her apology with a suggestion she would be,”Seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”
However, her troubles are almost certain to continue with other MPs questioning whether Shah should continue as a parliamentarian.
Her Labour colleague John Mann told Guido Fawkes that, “The last person to propose a forced repatriation of this kind was Adolf Eichmann on August 15 in 1940 (the Madagascar plan).”
Shah, is also a member of the House of Commons home affairs select committee which is conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. In the circumstances it is inconceivable that she will be able to continue in that role.
It followed the shocking story of a teacher being sacked because of her Israeli-Jewish background. The headteacher advised her, “It won’t be easy for you here. Most of the Swedish students are racists. They hate everybody, but especially the Jews, so it’s very possible you’ll ‘get it’ from both the Swedish and the Arab students.” He suggested she find a different job, far from any school.
Out report generated huge interest and debate. Significantly, however, although given ample opportunity to respond with words of reassurance or action, we never received a reply from any Swedish government official. The silence was truly deafening.
In the latest twist, perversely supporting the view of the headteacher, five boys in southern Sweden have been charged with inciting racial hatred after they were found raising their arms in what appeared to be a Nazi salute while posing for a school yearbook photo.
Some 120 pupils around the age of 15 and their teachers at the Korsavad school in Simrishamn had posed for a picture together for their yearbook last autumn, reported regional newspaper Ystads Allehanda on Thursday.
But when the photographer later processed the pictures he discovered that a number of pupils appeared to be doing Nazi salutes in at least one of the photographs.
He contacted principal Pia Svensson who pulled the picture from the yearbook and contacted the boys’ parents.
After speaking to the pupils the school decided to report the incident to the police.
The boys have denied any criminal offence, however the prosecutor argues that they had been “in mutual agreement to express contempt for a group of people” by making the gesture.
Just earlier this week another Swedish town was hit with the scandal of a Nazi flag being hoisted at its town hall building.
Residents were shocked to see the flag, understood to have been a Nazi swastika banner, flying from one of the official flagpoles next to Vetlanda town hall in southern Sweden in the morning.
The local authority reported that a security guard had discovered it at around 6am and that it had been taken down shortly thereafter.
Vetlanda council issued a statement saying, “We take this very seriously. Vetlanda should be an open and welcoming council and these types of symbols are completely unacceptable to us. We’re reporting it to the police.”
It was not known by the afternoon who had hoisted the flag, but it was believed to have been intended to mark the birthday of German dictator Adolf Hitler, who was born on April 20th 1889. Last year a Nazi flag was raised at the Njudung school in Vetlanda on the same date.
“[This] is a clear assault on our open democracy and our fundamental values,” said the council executive committee’s chairman Henrik Tvarnö of the Social Democrat party and deputy chairman Jan Johansson of local party Vetlanda Framåtanda in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, residents took to social media to voice their disgust after a picture purporting to be of the flag at the town hall was posted on Facebook.
“What a horrible affront to all people who have fallen victim to this dreadful ideology. Awful that the echo of history does not reach all residents in our little town,” commented one user under the picture, which was posted in the group ‘You know you’re from Vetlanda when‘.
“Hope whoever has it now burns it,” wrote another one after it was removed.
Police meanwhile said they had launched an investigation into incitement of racial hatred.
Demonstrators protesting the allocation of land to the Jewish community in the Russian city of Perm have demanded the outlawing of the Chabad movement. The rationale behind the protest is exceptionally questionable with distinct anti-Semitic elements.
On Saturday, the protesters showed up with signs reading “Chabad out” and “liberate us Russians from Chabad.” One protester held a placard that read “Chabad settlement is over the line: 1547,” an apparent reference to the decision that year by Ivan the Terrible, a grand prince of Moscow, to ban Jews from entering or living in his kingdom because they “bring about great evil.”
More than 100 people attended the rally near the area that municipal authorities in Perm, which is located 870 miles east of Moscow, designated for transfer without charge to the local Jewish community that is headed by a Chabad rabbi.
They additionally sang a song titled “Holy War,” a patriotic nationalist tune widely identified with Russia’s fight against Nazi Germany.
Unrest around the Jewish community of Perm has been brewing for years amid accusations made in 2013 that the local Jewish community made unauthorized use of a local theatre. That same year anti-Semites tried to set fire to the local synagogue. No-one has ever been brought to justice for the crime.
Yet participants insisted they are protesting against Chabad specifically and not against Jews in general, the Russian news site Ura reported.
However, Boruch Gorin, a senior Chabad figure and aide to one of Russia’s two Chief Rabbis, Berel Lazar, said the 2013 campaign against Chabad in Perm was a thin disguise for anti-Semitism.
In Russia, Chabad is the largest Jewish movement with a presence in over 100 cities.
Separately, Putin on Tuesday said that “Russian Jewish organizations are making a substantial contribution in the cause of domestic political stability in Russia, for which we are very grateful” during a meeting in Moscow with Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.
ONE of the candidates bidding to become West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has been labelled “unfit for office” after sharing conspiracy theories about Israel, terrorism and police corruption.
Independent candidate Andy Flynn, is one of four men battling to become the region’s police commissioner in the May 5 elections.
His rivals say they have been stunned by his posts on Israel and Muslims, and his view that the police force is riddled with corruption and packed with “self-serving freemasons”.
On his Facebook page, he has also shared images from others of German chancellor Angela Merkel dressed in a Nazi-style uniform.
In one post, he claims the Islamic terrorist attacks, such those in Paris and Brussels, are in fact organised by Israel.
He states: “Israel is the sworn enemy of Islam, yet there are no ISIS attacks on Israel, and Israel has a history of staging terrorist attacks to incite hatred between Christians and Muslims.”
He also asks: “Was Marxism invented by a Jew to destroy Western society?”
Another post he shared stated: “Boycott Moslem (sic) take aways. You don’t know what they are doing to your food.”
Labour candidate David Jamieson, a former Government minister, said: “Flynn’s views are revolting. In more than 45 years of public life I can’t recall ever seeing such hateful things written by a candidate standing for election.”
Mr Flynn has paid the £5,000 deposit to secure the nomination. In a field of just four candidates, he could secure the five per cent vote needed to get his money back.
Flynn told the Birmingham Mail, “Posts on my Facebook page are for my friends and family, and are therefore personal and not part of my election campaign.
“I have not made any comments about Muslim food, In fact, I often enjoy Asian food. My views on Marxism are not relevant to my standing for election. However, I do believe that Marxism and what it represents are a danger to our freedoms.”
The dragging on of the internal investigation into the conduct of an Orberlin College assistant professor accused of posting anti-Semitic material on social media has tested the patience of her colleagues into action.
Now the majority of the faculty of the college have signed a statement condemning the anti-Semitic conduct of Joy Karega.
“Bigotry has no place on the Oberlin campus (or anywhere),” reads the statement, with 174 signatories across the arts and sciences. “It sullies the values of equality and mutual support that are embedded in our institutional DNA as the first coeducational college and the first to admit students of all races as a matter of policy.”
When the posts came to light, reads the statement, “many of us on the Oberlin faculty initially thought it prudent to wait for our administration to come forward with a response grounded in careful deliberation and due process. It has now become clear that these complex discussions are going to take a while longer.”
In light of the timeline, “as well as the profound, ongoing questions and concerns of our students, their families, our alums, prospective students, their families and the many people around the country who look to Oberlin, the time has finally come for us to go on record, and especially to reassure our students.”
This latest development follows on from a strongly worded statement released by the trustees of the college in early March and reported on by AntiSemitismWatch. The trustees said, “These postings are anti-Semitic and abhorrent. We deplore anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. They have no place at Oberlin.
These grave issues must be considered expeditiously. In consultation with President Marvin Krislov, the Board has asked the administration and faculty to challenge the assertion that there is any justification for these repugnant postings and to report back to the Board.”
In late February, news broke on the posts Karega had left on Facebook in 2014-15. For example, Karega shared an image of an ISIS fighter taking off a mask of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Another posted image recalled Nazi-era anti-Jewish propaganda, showing Jacob Rothschild, a member of a well-known Jewish banking family, staring down the words, “We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government.”
On Friday, the deans of Oberlin’s College of Arts and Sciences and conservatory said in a statement that “conversations have begun within the governing bodies and are moving as expeditiously as possible. As this is a confidential personnel matter, we cannot provide further specifics.”