Leeds, Anti-Semitic thief sent to prison

According to The Yorkshire Evening Post, a career burglar who targeted the home of an elderly man while out on bail for violent disorder has been jailed.

Five days before the break-in, Tobias Binns, 35, punched a man after he had been ejected by door staff at the Bier Keller in Leeds city centre.

He managed to get back inside the premises and punched a member of door staff when he was challenged. Police were called and Binns made foul-mouthed Anti-Semitic comments towards one of the officers. He was also found in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Binns was sentenced to three-and-a-half years over the break-in  and his behaviour during a disturbance at the Bier Keller.

Leeds Crown Court heard Binns has a long criminal record. It is his twelfth conviction for domestic burglary.

Binns broke into the home of the 77-year-old victim by smashing a patio door on May 7 this year.

He stole £100 in cash and two bottles of port worth £50. He was spotted in CCTV footage approaching the property and was arrested a short time later. Police officers found him in possession of a screwdriver.

Binns, of Scott Hall Avenue, Leeds, pleaded guilty to burglary, religiously aggravated assault, common assault and possession of cannabis.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Binns committed the offence to fund a drinking binge.  He said his client had been struggling to cope with the death of his father. He added: “He just hit the bottle.”

Judge Jacqueline Davies said: “I am told that you have been affected by the death of your father. I’m afraid that is something that happens to everybody in their lives but they do not all behave like that.”


Anti-Semitic threats received

A Jewish family from Belgium and a French university director received Anti-Semitic threats, according to reports in French-language media.

The family from Rhode-Saint-Genese near Brussels received on Tuesday a letter with a swastika and the words “dirty Jews.” The mother, identified only as Anne in an article published by La Capitale, said she did not know who might have sent the letter.

Joel Rubinfeld, Founder of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism.
Joel Rubinfeld,
Founder of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism.

The family filed a complaint with police and contacted Joel Rubinfeld, founder of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism.

The family received the letter two days after a commemoration held on the one-year anniversary of the murder of four people, allegedly by an Islamist who is on trial and is denying his involvement in the attack, at the Jewish Museum of Belgium.

The museum’s spokesperson, Chouna Lomponda, a Belgian woman of African descent, also received a threat Tuesday on Facebook, she told La Capitale. “Stop showing and talking for Jews. It could be dangerous for you,” the text read.

In France, the director of the Technical University Institution, or IUT, in Saint-Denis near Paris, who has received multiple death threats this year, is believed to have been targeted anew by unknown individuals who sent five of his colleagues text massages reading: “You too will fall. You work for Jews.”

In addition to the messages to the colleagues of Samuel Mayol, a Star of David was painted on the door of an office of a teacher at the institution, the Le Figaro daily reported Thursday.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, on Wednesday condemned the incident in a statement and praised France’s education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, for also condemning it and classifying it as anti-Semitic.

Read the original article here.

UK – Shomer Shabbat Woman Wins Employment Tribunal for Discrimination

A Jewish woman has won £16,000 damages from a car rental firm after it rejected her job application because of her being Shomer Shabbat (whereby her religion prevents her from working on the Sabbath).

Aurelie Fhima sent her CV to Manchester-based Travel Jigsaw and secured an interview. But her application was turned down after revealing she observes Shabbat.

Bosses at Travel Jigsaw sent her a letter after the interview which said: “After careful consideration we cannot offer you a position at this time. We are still looking for people who are flexible enough to work Saturdays.”

Ms Fhima, 23, from Salford, asked the firm to review its decision and, when it refused, launched legal action – claiming indirect discrimination on grounds of religion.

Employment tribunal judges found in her favour – awarding almost £8,000 for loss of earnings, £7,500 for injury to feelings and £1,200 in fees.

Kevin McKenna, head of employment at Kuits Solicitors who were acting on Ms Fhima’s behalf, said: “This case serves as an important reminder to employers of the obligations they have to job applicants – not just their employees.”

“It also shows that many large employers still fail to understand the law surrounding discrimination.”

A spokesman for the business said: “The company is extremely disappointed with the judgement in this case that was brought by an unsuccessful job applicant, and in the way in which the case was presented to the tribunal.”

“Travel Jigsaw employs an extremely diverse workforce with colleagues representing 65 nationalities.”

Read the original article here.

Jeremiah Duggan case. Update

Back on 12th March 2015, AntiSemitismWatch.com covered the inspirational fight for justice being waged by the mother of Jeremiah Duggan, a 22 year old Harrow student who died in suspicious circumstances in Germany in 2003.

In the latest development, The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called on foreign secretary Philip Hammond to intervene as a “matter of urgency” to ensure a new independent investigation into Jeremiah Duggan’s death in Germany.

The board criticised the “failure of the authorities” to deal with the Jewish student’s death in Wiesbaden in 2003 with the “thoroughness that such a serious incident deserves” and said that “serious questions remain to be answered”.

It comes as Jeremiah’s mother Erica Duggan called on British police to step in and work with the German authorities in a bid to find answers.

A British coroner ruled last week the 22-year-old’s death was not suicide following a new UK inquest, overturning the official findings of the authorities in Wiesbaden following his death.

Jeremiah, from Golders Green, had been attending a youth conference at the Schiller Institute in Wiesbaden, the think-tank of anti-Semitic far-right wing organisation LaRouche, in the days before he died.

The German high court ordered prosecutors to reopen the case in 2012 but Jeremiah’s family have no confidence in the new investigation which is being handled by the same police officer who carried out the original police reports.

Jonathan Arkush, president-elect of the Board of Deputies, said: “In light of this latest inquest we call on the foreign secretary to raise this case immediately at the highest levels with the Germany authorities and to ensure that a full and proper independent investigation is launched as a matter of urgency into the incident itself, the behaviour of the Schiller Institute and the failure of the authorities to address Mr Duggan’s death with the thoroughness that such a serious incident deserves.”

The Institute of Race Relations said there had been a “manifest failure” by the German authorities to support the Duggan family.

Director Liz Fekete said: “Why is it that an organisation like LaRouche was not considered an organisation that you would be concerned and worried by. That inability to take the family’s concerns about LaRouche seriously is equivalent to a downplaying of anti-Semitism and therefore an aspect of institutionalised racism.”

Ms Duggan called on the British police “to do what they should have done ages ago and present to German police the evidence that Jeremiah’s death was not suicide and to find out what led to his death”.

“I will not be giving up trying to get justice for Jeremiah and I will be exploring other ways to do it,” she said. “I would like to feel that Jeremiah’s legacy would be to raise awareness of the dangers and threats of extremist groups.”

A foreign and commonwealth office spokesman said: “We are in contact with the German authorities on this case at a senior level. We will continue to raise Jeremiah’s case where appropriate.”

The link to the original article will appear here shortly.

Shocking situation in Sweden

The Rabbi of the Malmö Synagogue in Sweden said AntiSemitism is threatening the survival of the city’s already dwindling Jewish population, Canada’s CBC Radio reported on Monday.

Rabbi Shneur Kesselman said,  “AntiSemitism here in Malmö today is threatening the existence of a minority.”

The rabbi said he has been spat upon and cursed in different languages, and most recently, a bottle thrown from a passing car narrowly missed his head.

The Jewish community in Malmö has gone down 50 percent to about 1,000 Jews in the past 10 years.

There have been 137 AntiSemitic incidents reported to authorities in Malmö in the past two years. The AntiSemitism prompted The Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles to issue a travel advisory to Jews in 2010 suggesting they do not visit to Malmö. The center reissued the warning in 2014.

A few months ago, Jonathan Vaknine, 19 — the only Jew in his school of 1,600 students — was swarmed in the hallway at school, cursed at and pushed around by young men asking, “Are you Jewish?” Vaknine reported the incident to the police and named one of the attackers but it was three months before the police called Vaknine for a statement. The named attacker was never interviewed.

School authorities expressed concern for Vaknine’s safety, but he told them, “Safe is not enough.”

“That is not the issue,” he said. “If I hide who I am and hide my identity, of course no one will know I’m a Jew and they will not do anything. But if I am going with kippa, with things that show that I’m a Jew, I’m not sure I would be safe.”

coollogo_com-23172872AntiSemitismWatch.com says
that the damning indictment of the situation Rabbi Kesselman describes must act as a wake up call to all Jewish leaders as well as the Swedish government. It must form part of the thinking of Jewish groups further afield because it provides a warning of what can happen if incidents are left unchecked. Only by understanding the wider global context of AntiSemitism can we properly start to understand and challenge this evil. Only by moving away from navel gazing in just our own back yard can progress be made.

Read more on this article here.



Even sport cannot escape Anti-Semitism

Competing in the World Masters Judo Tournament held this weekend in Rabat, Morocco, Israel’s Judo team was reportedly greeted by audience members with chants of “We will murder you” and “You’re not wanted here, go home.”

That was the icing on the anti-Semitic cake for the traveling Israeli Judo competitors. Upon arrival in Morocco, the Israeli team reportedly had their passports confiscated and were held in a small room without food, water or even chairs for nearly nine hours.

In addition, the Israeli flag was absent from the venue where the event took place, while the flags of all other participating countries were represented. And the Israeli flag was a no-show on the tournament’s official website, which also lacked any mention of Israel’s participation in the official Judo event.

The Israeli team’s inhumane detention at the airport was at first justified by the Moroccan authorities by citing what they claimed was the delegation’s alleged lack of visas. However, Israel’s Ynetnews website reported the Moroccans changed their story, saying a gun had been found in the luggage of one of the contestants.

The team, which spent much of their time lying uncomfortably on the floor, was only released from the holding room after Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponti asked Marius Vizer, the president of the International Judo Federation’s executive committee, to intervene.

According to reports, Vizer threatened to cancel the entire competition unless the Israeli team was released. That dictate apparently worked. The airport authorities released the team and provided guards from the Moroccan king’s security unit.

Notably absent from the sports venue where the event took place was the Israeli flag. A Judo Federation board member reportedly asked that all flags be removed from the facility.

Spectators reportedly booed each Israeli athlete, and held Palestinian flags while hurling insults at the athletes.

Yarden Gerbi Member of the Israeli Judo team.
Yarden Gerbi
Member of the Israeli Judo team.

Yarden Gerbi, an Israeli Judo participant, wrote on her Facebook page that “what happened in Morocco is a shame.”

“As an Israeli I feel ashamed to wait 8 hours at the airport, I feel ashamed to hear the crowed [sic] boo me and my teammates and want us to lose — and why? Because we are Israelis.”

Gerbi stressed that “We came for sports, pure sport, not politics. It’s an embarrassment for Morocco and the organization.”

Read more here.



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.

You MUST read how Electronicintifada.net present ‘facts’

Electronicintifada.net describes how it has, “won awards and earned widespread recognition for publishing original, high-quality news and analysis, and first-person accounts and reviews.” With such fanfare you would perhaps imagine that providing balance would be an important aspect of their work. In light of AntiSemitismWatch.com’s assessment of one of their latest blogs, balance is an area they should quickly revisit and review.


Under its headline banner ‘False claims of anti-Semitism climb on US campuses’, the reader is left with an immediate impression that claims of any increase in Anti-Semitism on US campuses is a false one.

However, the opening paragraph quickly identifies the real focus of their ire. “Sixty false allegations of anti-Semitism have been recorded against students or faculty in the US since January “based solely on speech critical of Israeli policy,” according to a study by lawyers.” (Referencing a report by the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support.)

Yet nowhere in their post does Electronicintifada.net make mention of the avalanche of Anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism that has surfaced on US campuses in the last few months, including:

Sanford University is investigating a series of hate-fueled graffiti, including swastikas, found at student housing units and a fraternity house on campus. (Reported April 27th 2015)

Northwestern University in Evanston, Illanois, also suffered recent attacks, with swastikas found in a campus library in April 2015 and one scratched into a student’s car in January 2014. (Reported 18th May 2015)

In Nashville, Tennessee, in March 2015, Vanderbilt University’s Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) chapter was vandalized; swastikas spray-painted in the basement and elevator of the fraternity house. (Reported 18th May 2015)

Tufts University is investigating after swastikas were found spray-painted onto students’ cars on campus. School officials said the swastikas were found on several cars at a fraternity house on campus on Packard Avenue. This is the fourth anti-Semitic incident at the university in less than two years. (Reported 29th March 2015)

The president of Northeastern University sent a letter out to students after anti-Semitic graffiti was found in a dormitory. (Reported 29th March 2015)

A Jewish student, Rachel Beyda, was quizzed by members of UCLA’s (University of California, Los Angeles) student government about whether her Jewish identity presented a ‘conflict of interest’ in her application to join. They questioned her ability to make unbiased decisions on cases in which the Jewish community had a vested interest while being active in Jewish organisations on campus. (Reported 1st March 2015)

In New York City’s, John Jay College of Criminal Justice there was the scene of swastikas and Antisemitic slurs, accompanied by racist and homophobic graffiti discovered. (Reported 1st March 2015)

The Amcha Intiative at the University of California, led by the estimable Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer in the UC system, has compiled a “Swastika Tracker” which gives “a partial list of incidents where swastikas were found on U. S. campuses.” Swastikas have been display on at least 14 campuses so far this year including:

The University of Missouri
Framingham State University
Farleigh Dickinson
SUNY Purchase College
George Washington University
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Cleveland State University

(Reported 15th May 2015)

Similarly, ElectronicIntifada.net fails to apparently understand the clear link between elements of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Anti-Semitic activity.

At Berkeley, Prof. Ron Hassner explained, “These repeated votes (BDS) have had one effect only; a deterioration on of the campus climate leading to outbursts of anger and even violence.”

“At divestment meetings on my campus,” Hassner reports, “BDS opponents have accused Israelis of putting rats in the vaginas of Palestinian women, stealing Palestinian organs and positioning the water in Gaza. You’ll recognize these as classic anti-Semitic tropes from 19th-century Polish blood libels, for example.” (Reported 21st May 2015)

This is not the first expose AntiSemitismWatch.com has made regarding the selective reporting of ElectronicIntifada.net. Earlier this month we reported on how they chose to portray the assault on two young Jewish males by a mob of up to 40 people associated with the BDS movement in France.

We fear this latest matter will not be the last time we are needed to shine the light on such reporting tactics.

Jewish community resort to hiring private security protection

Orthodox Jewish communities in Chicago, USA, feel so besieged that they have resorted to paying for security forces that the police cannot or will not provide.

After a series of attacks and Anti-Semitic threats, Jewish families in West Rogers Park region have lined up their own security force of off-duty Chicago police officers to patrol the neighborhood.

The armed officers set up outside Jewish institutions and use personal cars to drive through the area during the weekly Sabbath as well as Yom Tovs.

Resident David Kamish, 41, organised the patrols and collects $25 a month from more than 25 families to pay the officers. .

Read more here.

Holocaust memorial cancelled because of Star of David

Kavala, Greece:

According to the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KISE), the city of Kavala has decided to cancel the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the 1,484 Jews of the community who were murdered in the Holocaust. However, this decision hides a wider Anti-Semitic concern.

The mayor of Kavala, Dimitra Tsanaka, has apparently objected to the Star of David engraved on the monument and she asked for its removal before the monument could be officially presented. She was supported in this decision by the majority of the municipal council.

The shocking decision was immediately condemned by both Jewish groups and the Greek central government.

KISE attacked the decision as “unacceptable, immoral and insulting,”

“There are no words to express adequately our shock and dismay at the news,” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“How can it be that the eternal symbol of the Jewish people – the very symbol that the Nazis required Jews to wear in the death camps and ghettos of Europe during the Second World War – is deemed unfit for public display in Kavala? What gall for the Jewish community to be asked to remove the Star of David as a condition for allowing the monument to be displayed!” he said.

Giorgos Kalatzis, the Greek Education Ministry general secretary also decried the mayor’s decision, noting that Kavala risked being the first Greek city to turn down a monument raised for its own citizens.

“As an Orthodox Christian, I feel deeply insulted by this issue, because it would be as if someone asked us to erase or modify for ‘aesthetic reasons’ the symbol of the cross on the tombs of our grandfathers executed by the Germans,” he was quoted as saying.

Many in Kavala also objected to the decision which was damaging to the reputation of the city.

About 100 people including 4 sisters from Israel whose parents had come from Kavala and Komotini and who had been killed in the concentration camps, marched through the city of Kavala today condemning the cancellation of the memorial unveiling ceremony. Some wore symbolic yellow stars of David during the silent protest.

The group marched on the town hall where they were met by the mayor.

According to Kavala-Portal, Tsanaka reportedly apologized for the incident which she attributed to a ‘huge misunderstanding’. She provided assurances that the memorial would be installed as planned on a date that would be decided on together with KISE – likely to be on June 7th.

However while Tsanaka admitted having made mistakes – it is notable that she did not acknowledge that one of those had been requesting the removal of the Star of David from the memorial. “Perhaps” she said, “I was wrong to trust so much the deputy mayor of culture, Michalis Lychounas, who took on entirely planning the event and the memorial. That was my mistake.”

But Mr Lychounas himself, in an article written about the incident in the Kathimerini newspaper, indicates that there was something perhaps deeper behind the disgraceful episode. After describing the many delays in actually succeeding in getting the memorial ready (it was actually first approved by the municipality in 2004 but was plagued with foot-dragging and interminable delays), Lychounas writes that:

“The preparations with all relevant organs continued with the goal of a celebration of memory, but also of the future, until the cries of horror were heard: “The symbols of Lucifer (Star of David), indifference over our dead (make a memorial for the Greeks killed of Asia Minor), a global Zionist conspiracy, freemasonry, the new order of things which seeks to destroy the nation and hysteria over supposed protests” were the arguments…The bitter truth is that there remains a segment of the Greek population which has powerful anti-Semitic feelings based on ignorance and prejudice and the education system does not do enough to eliminate the phenomenon.”

Read more here.