Tag Archives: The Telegraph

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.

When you witness anti-Semitism, to intervene or not to intervene?

Angela Epstein writing in The Telegraph poses an important question over whether to intervene if you witness someone being subjected to anti-Semitic abuse? However, she does so on the basis of a real life example experienced by her own son.

“Messages prefaced with the words “nothing to worry about” are almost always guaranteed to have the opposite effect.

And so it was the other day, when a text from my eldest son, Sam, began with this classic prologue.

In this case, it read “nothing to worry about, but…. just been verbally abused by a stranger calling me a ‘f***ing Jew’ on the Tube.”

I didn’t even have time to appreciate his deferential asterisks before dialling his number in frantic panic.

It turns out that as Sam and his girlfriend travelled the Northern Line on a lunchtime train, a complete stranger who appeared to be Muslim, began screaming at him for being Jewish. He also called Sam and his “people” murderers for killing “my people”.

(Sam, though dressed in typical student jeans and sweatshirt combo, was clearly picked out since he happened to be wearing a skullcap – something, as a proud Jew, he insists on doing.)

As the rant continued, the rest of the carriage buried their heads in their free newspapers or peered in fascination at their laps. Even though the stranger alighted at the same stop as Sam and persisted with his poisonous invective.

Fortunately my 23 year old son had the good sense to deprive his attacker of the oxygen of confrontation and walked away (although the incident has been reported to the police).

Your default position on reading this may well be, well, what were the other passengers supposed to do?”

What would you do if faced with or witnessing a similar situation? Let AntiSemitismWatch know via secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

 

French Trial – Group accused of planning attacks

Fourteen members of a banned Islamic group, Forsane Alizza (“Knights of Pride”), are on trial in Paris for planning a wave of attacks against Jewish-owned stores, similar to the hostage standoff and killings that took place at the Hyper Cacher grocery store after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January.

As described by the UK Telegraph, the group was supposedly founded in 2010 to “unite young Muslims” and “stop the spread of Islamophobia.” Among its early activities was producing a video glorifying Osama bin Laden, while group leader Mohamed Achamlane was caught in a web forum issuing fulsome praise for mass murderer Mohamed Merah, whose ‘contribution’ to jihad involved shooting up a Jewish school. Achamlane described the school massacre as a “blessing from Allah” and vowed to inflict more “scars on France.”

In later online conversations, police say Achamlane claimed involvement in a 2011 firebomb attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and “discussed assassinating a French far-Right leader and kidnapping a judge.” A March 2012 raid on Achamlane’s home netted three rifles, three revolvers, “easy recipes” for homemade explosives, a much harder recipe for building a nuclear bomb, and a computer containing a file called “target.txt” listing five Hyper Cacher grocery stores, plus five more Jewish-owned businesses.

Several other members of Forsane Alizza are also facing weapons charges, and a man the Telegraph describes as a “reported sympathizer” of the group, Omar Diaby, “has since notoriously become a top recruitment sergeant of French Islamists for al-Nusra Front, the Syrian jihadist group.”

The Times of Israel adds that prosecutors say group members were undergoing physical training “in order to take part in a jihad” and used their website to call for “an Islamic caliphate in France, the application of Sharia (law) and incited Muslims to unite to prepare for civil war.”

The French government outlawed Forsane Alizza during a crackdown on radicals after Mohamed Merah’s 2012 shooting spree.

Achamlane and his lawyers maintain they were not seriously contemplating a terrorist attack. “It has not been demonstrated that any acts preparing a terrorist action had been taken. This is just assumed,” said defense lawyer Beranger Tourne. Another of the group’s lawyers portrayed their prosecution as an assault on free speech.

The court also noted that Achamlane wrote a letter to investigators from jail denouncing the Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent killings at the Hyper Cacher grocery.

Read more here.