Tag Archives: president

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.

Repeat desecration of French synagogue

The President of CRIF, the representative umbrella body of the French Jewish community, has strongly condemned the discovery of anti-Semitic tags on the front of the synagogue in Verdun and on the Rabbi’s house.

55957_detail_tags antisémites verdun

Swastikas and the inscription ” white power ” were daubed on the synagogue during the weekend, nearly two months after a first desecration, said Jean-Claude Levy, president of the Jewish community in this city of eastern France.

” It’s the police who informed me. I went there and saw swastikas on the wall of the synagogue as well as the inscription ‘white power’’, he explained.

” The vandalism of a place of worship is unacceptable. I strongly condemn the anti-Semitic tags on the Verdun synagogue, ” said CRIF President Francis Kalifat on his Twitter account.

The president of the Jewish community of Verdun has asked to secure the synagogue to prevent such incidents from recurring. “The only solution we have is to secure the place. We will do everything to protect it. I’ll contact the Jewish Central Consistory of France,” Levy said.

Follow this link to the original article here.

Pathetic CUNY response to “Zionist pig” outrage

The City University of New York disciplinary committee has handed down the minimum punishment to two Brooklyn College students involved in a Students for Justice in Palestine protest. They had invaded a faculty meeting and called a Jewish faculty professor a “Zionist pig.”

CUNYThe two seniors at the university, had faced possible expulsion after their participation in the February protest where, the college president also alleged , students made anti-Semitic statements.

But on May 20, the two were found “not culpable” of most charges.

They received the minimal penalty of “admonition,” the Center for Constitutional Rights wrote in a statement .

CUNY is the university, by the way, that the New York State Senate voted to slash $485 million of its funding to “send a message” that they have not done enough to fight campus anti-Semitism.

The radical decision was all the more poignant considering the university was once frequently referred to as “the Jewish Harvard”.

State Senator Ken LaValle of Long Island, chair of the chamber’s committee on higher education, described a pattern of anti-Semitic incidents, “and these are the things that the Senate Republican conference says are intolerable and must stop.”

Mort Klein, the president of Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), praised the move to defund. The group, who sent an open letter to the University, has been at the forefront of challenging CUNY to take action.

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.

President gives a Je Suis Charlie speech on HMD

On Holocaust Memorial Day, US President Barack Obama spoke at a ceremony held by the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Faced with the scourge of rising anti-Semitism, he called for individuals of every faith and creed to challenge it out of solidarity with the Jewish people.

220px-Je_suis_Charlie.svg“We are all Jews, because anti-Semitism is a distillation, an expression of an evil that runs through so much of human history, and if we do not answer that, we do not answer any other form of evil,” Obama said.

The event, devoted to posthumously honoring non-Jewish Holocaust heroes, the so-called “Righteous Gentiles”, represented the first time a sitting American president has spoken at the Israeli Embassy.

It was organized by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust remembrance and educational organization.

The leader was introduced by Steven Spielberg, the Academy Award-winning director of the Holocaust-themed film Schindler’s List, as well as the founder of a Holocaust history foundation.

“Too often, especially in times of change, especially in times of anxiety and uncertainty, we are too willing to give in to a base desire to find someone else, someone different, to blame for our struggles,” Obama further stated. “So here tonight we must confront the reality that around the world anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it.”

Je Suis Charlie Mr President.

Je Suis Juives Mr President.

The Curious Case of the new Polish President

Is it the case that the Jewish people have lost a good friend in the out-going Polish President, Bronislaw Komorowski? More importantly, how should they consider the election of the right-wing candidate Andrzej Duda?

Notably, Duda recently criticized Komorowski for apologizing over Poland’s complicit role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, saying the apology was an “attempt to destroy Poland’s good name.”

While Polish Jews have generally enjoyed good conditions of late and the outgoing government being seen as largely favorable towards Israel, the Jewish issue did play a role in the presidential elections.

During a debate last week between Komorowski and Duda, the former defended his past apologies over Polish complicity in the Holocaust. He particularly noted the massacre in Jedwabne in 1941, where Polish farmers murdered their Jewish neighbors, burning dozens alive inside a barn.

The issue has proven sensitive to Poles, who claim that by revealing such incidents, including those in Jedwabne, Wasosz and various other locations, historians have sought to cast Poland as a nation of perpetrators instead of a nation of victims to the Nazis.

During the debate, Komorwski said, “the nation of victims was also the nation of perpetrators.”

But as noted, Duda, Poland’s new president, slammed the apology, saying the attempt to come to grips with Poland’s role in the Holocaust harmed the state’s reputation.

However, Duda’s victory was not just the outcome of issues revolving around the Jews and historical ramifications from the Holocaust.

Komorwski’s Civic Platform party has brought Poland great economic growth over the course of eight years in power, greater integrating the state in the European Union.

It has also seen numerous corruption scandals, however, with much of the economic growth not reaching the lower economic classes who still suffer from low wages and meager job opportunities.

Read more here.

ASW reviews ‘We Stand Together’ London event

coollogo_com-23172872AntiSemitismWatch felt it right and appropriate to have a presence at the London launch of the ‘We Stand Together’ campaign today. The ‘We Stand Together’ Campaign is being led by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and police forces across the UK are being asked to come together to promote its message.

ASW17The London launch was hosted at the impressive Regent’s Park Mosque and the chair for the launch was Commander Mak Chishty of the Metropolitan Police.

What was also impressive was range and depth of the speakers and guests at the event. The Jewish community was represented across the spectrum; Reform, Orthodox, Chassidic, Board of Deputies and Jewish Police Association.

With the theme of the event being to ‘celebrate our difference, against hatred and intolerance, to build a safer and stronger UK’ speakers said:

Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, of  The London Central Mosque Trust
Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, of The London Central Mosque Trust

Dr Ahmed Al-Dubayan, Director General ICC said, “Hate has no part of any religion on earth.”

Vivien Wineman, President of Board of Deputies, said hate was, “not acceptable to the mainstream of our communities.”

Pastor Nims Obunge, said, “A religion that teaches hate is not a religion” and “we must refuse to be imprisoned by fear and terror.”

Fiyaz Mughal, Director of Tell Mama, said, “We need to tackle extremism”, “all of us have a challenge”  to “stand together.”

IMG-20150309-WA0000While Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence speaking on behalf of the Chief Rabbi reminded us that, “If you destroy a life you destroy an entire world.”

In all there were some robust and beautiful words said, words that carried the right sentiment and expressed the strength of communities standing, supporting and working together. The event also concluded with all those present signing a giant ‘We Stand Together’ pledge board.2015-03-08 15.28.58

ASWs review concludes by saying that the real challenge, however, is to ensure that the momentum generated by the event is maintained. It must deliver measurable benefits in terms of challenging those that seek to promote hate as well as responding swiftly and decisively at critically important times and events. 

Simon Wiesenthal Center says…

The famous Simon Wiesenthal Center has said it fears the recent attacks against Jews in Copenhagen and Paris could be the start of a “pan-European epidemic” as it called for a Europe-wide conference against Antisemitism.

The prominent Jewish rights group said the recent shootings in Copenhagen followed the same pattern as the Islamist attacks in Paris last month, and were directed at “freedom of expression activists, police and Jewish institutions.”

“Paris and Copenhagen are bound to be precedents for a pan-European epidemic. Condemnation is insufficient,” the group said in the statement, addressed to European Council President Donald Tusk.

It called on Tusk to organize a conference to “combat anti-Semitism on every front.”

Read full report here.