In January, AntiSemitismWatch reported that Some Hungarians had responded with anti-Semitic abuse to the news that “Son of Saul”, a film set during the Holocaust, may win this year’s Academy Award for best foreign film.
With some labelling it “Holokamu” (Holocaust con or hoax), one Holocaust-denier described it as “Science fiction!” on his Facebook page.
Well, in the best tradition of serving up an appropriate response, win an Oscar is precisely what the film went and did last night!
A group of Jewish tourists from Israel and the US visiting the grave sites of Rebbes and scholars in Easter Europe discovered in the city of Sochaczew (pronounced: Sokhatchev) in central Poland, several memorial structures as well as a few graves that were desecrated with crude graffiti. The text included the statements, “Holocaust never happened” (accompanied by a Hitler Smiling Face), and “Islamic State was here.” There was also “Islam will dominate,” and a vulgar comment about Jews. One large memorial wall called on Allah to bless Hitler.
On September 3, 1939, at the very beginning of the Invasion of Poland, Sochaczew was bombed by the Luftwaffe. German forces remained in Sochaczew until January 17, 1945, when the town was captured by the Red Army. During the war, Sochaczew lost more than 4,000 residents, all of them Jewish, and almost half of its buildings were destroyed.
The City University of New York (CUNY) is tapping prominent lawyers to conduct an independent probe into claims of anti-Semitism at a number of its campuses, The New York Post has reported.
This follows a series of incidents including a faculty meeting being invaded and a Jewish professor being called a, “Zionist pig”.
Heading the investigation are Paul Shechtman and Barbara Jones, both partners at the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, sources said.
Shechtman is a former state criminal-justice director and assistant federal prosecutor. Jones is a retired federal district judge and was chief assistant to former Manhattan DA Bob Morgenthau.
CUNY Chancellor James Milliken ordered the probe, and the system will assemble a Campus Climate Task Force to crack down on all forms of bigotry.
Accusations of anti-Jewish hostility at CUNY were laid out in a letter to school brass by the Zionist Organization of America. The ZOA called for CUNY to probe Students for Justice in Palestine, a group it says has engaged in “anti-Semitic and violence-inciting conduct” against Jewish students.
Over the last 12 months there has been an escalation in rows over historical memory related to the Second World War and the glorification of some of those with highly suspect records. They predominantly relate to Eastern European nations the most recent of which was Hungary.
Now the small town of Moletai in Lithuania has come under fire for its announcement that it intends to name a street after Jonas Zvinys, a local priest accused of organizing a gang that murdered the city’s Jews in 1941.
Lithuanian writer Ruta Vanagaite launched an investigation into Zvinys at the behest of Simon Wiesenthal Center Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, with whom she recently co-authored a book on Lithuanians and the Holocaust.
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post from Vilnius on Thursday, Vanagaite said that after searching through KGB archives she discovered that the priest indeed set up the gang in question, one of whose leaders was his own brother, who would later confess to his role in the massacre.
At Vanagaite’s urging, local news portal delfi.it investigated the matter as well, discovering that Zvinys had been awarded a colonelcy in 2002 by the office of the president at the behest of the country’s state-sponsored Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania.
Delfi asked the center about Zvinys and was referred to the president’s office and the Moletai municipality, with the local mayor, who is related to Zvinys, asking why there should be a problem in honoring him if he was already feted by the government.
“They were all throwing the ball to each other and no one wants to investigate without somebody else asking for it,” Vanagaite said. “I think it’s good because it shows that the whole system doesn’t work because there is nobody who takes responsibility to investigate without anybody asking for it and nobody asks for it.”
“The media exposure that this case has generated may serve as a deterrent to other towns interested in glorifying Holocaust collaborators”, she said.
AntiSemitismWatch has twice reported in recent times on the allegations of anti-Semitism that surfaced at Oxford University’s Labour Club following the resignation of its co-chair, Alex Chalmers. The initial surfacing of the report was followed by the announcement that the Labour Party was going investigate the claims.
One of the students believed to be implicated by the allegations, James Elliot, has now lost an election to Labour’s national executive council.
Jasmin Beckett, a psychology student at Liverpool University, was elected to the position with 49.55% of the vote, beating Elliott, a history student at Oxford, on 49.41% of the vote. Around 1% of voters spoiled their ballots, and supporters of Elliott said he lost by a margin that amounted to a single vote.
The annual conference of the Labour party’s youth wing, Young Labour, met in Scarborough this weekend to elect delegates to its committee and a representative to sit on the NEC. Delegates, however, described a “poisonous atmosphere” riven by factionalism.
Elliott was the preferred candidate of Unite and Momentum, the group established to support Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour movement. He worked as Corbyn’s youth policy adviser during the leadership campaign in September last year.
The results were announced on Saturday evening and prompted calls for a recount, which were rejected by the returning officer Stephen Donnelly, a former chair of Scottish Young Labour.
Supporters of Elliott complained that the election was being run by “a rightwing faction in Labour students”. They also accused the opposing team of mounting a smear campaign that led to the antisemitism row at Oxford.
Other delegates at the conference alleged that union officials had used bullying and intimidation to pressurise people into voting for Elliott.
A 23-year-old delegate who asked not to be named said he had been called a “Blairite c**t” because he was wearing a sticker supporting Beckett, and friends had been called “Blairite nonces”. He said: “It’s hardly the kinder, gentler politics that we’ve heard about.”
Zac Harvey, 19, a delegate from Welsh Young Labour, complained on Twitter that a Unite officer had demanded to see his ballot paper voting for Elliott, tweeting an image of a text message exchange as evidence. The image appears to show a message to Harvey that reads: “At the very least I need you to send me a picture of your Unite ballot paper with James Elliot selected.”
A Unite spokesman said there was not a shred of truth that there was “any wrongdoing by the Unite delegation co-chair who acted with propriety at all times. Claims to the contrary are deliberately misleading and malicious, intended for no other reason than to bring this union into disrepute.”
He added: “The Labour party is due to examine the Young Labour elections including some concerning allegations of a smear campaign organised by one candidate against a rival. Unite urges that a full and independent look at these elections is agreed, and we will happily cooperate fully in this process.”
Elliott and Max Shanly, a former member of Young Labour’s national committee, also understood to have been implicated in the Oxford allegations, both vehemently deny the allegations.
Italian journalist David Guetta (not to be mistaken with the French DJ) has covered Fiorentina for many years. He’s a proud Florentine, who obviously has a Jewish name.
After the match at White Hart Lane on Thursday evening, Guetta took the tube back to central London and was recognised by a group of Fiorentina fans. As Guetta explained via Firenze Viola. Those fans then started to bombard him with anti-Semitic abuse.
The supporters are said to have sung: ‘David Guetta there is a train to Mauthausen waiting for you.’
The reference was obviously to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and Guetta was left very disappointed in the behaviour of his fellow Florentines.
Guetta isn’t the only one angered, the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, has come out and slammed those responsible, and said the entire city stands in solidarity with the journalist.
Nardella said, “The incident happened toward our journalist and friend David Guetta is shameful and unacceptable. The sport is not and should not be this and Florence must strongly condemn these despicable acts which are unworthy of a civilised society.”
Guetta himself said he has found in Florence, “A form of creeping racism that can not stand.” He signed off with a challenge, “I have no special relationship with the Jewish community, but rather as a citizen I feel sick to have to deal with these people. I look proudly next chorus, so go ahead, cowards.”
The Jerusalem Post has reported that Vienna is seeking to pull the plug on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) events planned for early March in a municipal-funded building.
“We would like a cancellation,” said a spokesman for the city’s mayor, Martin Ritzmaier, when asked about the BDS activities in the city-subsidized Amerlinghaus building.
He added that the city of Vienna has contacted the management of the Amerlinghaus cultural center to urge a cancellation of the BDS activities.
“The city of Vienna rejects boycott calls against the State of Israel and the association BDS-Austria receives no funding from the city of Vienna,” said Ritzmaier. Vienna’s mayor is the Social Democrat Michael Häupl.
Vienna’s Jewish community, which has over 7,000 members, has banded together with a coalition of civil society groups fighting anti-Semitism that are slated to hold a rally against BDS-Austria events in March. The rally is titled “Against the anti-Semitic masquerade of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week.”’ The group’s website is titled “Boycott anti-Semitism.”
Stefan Schaden, a board member of the Austrian-Israeli Society, wrote: “BDS has an appalling record of perpetuating old anti-Semitic stereotypes by projecting them onto the Jewish state. Our society therefore supports the broad coalition of civil society organizations that came together to stand up against any form of anti-Semitism.”
Lisa Grösel, a spokeswoman for the Amerlinghaus, told the Post that the “cultural center is anti-fascist and anti-racist, in which there is no place for anti-Semitism.”
She said “anti-Semitism is in no way an opinion, rather a deeply racist position.”
Pressed to answer if the Amerlinghaus views BDS as anti-Semitic, Grösel refused to respond.
Samuel Laster, an Israeli-born journalist who is editor-in-chief of the Vienna-based news website The Jewish, told the Post the BDS-Austria group will “attack Israel in the Armerlinghaus in an old anti-Semitic connotation: ‘Don’t buy from Jews!’ it was called in 1938. Today in 2016 it is called: Boycott Israel.”
A Finnish academic deleted numerous posts from his Facebook page on Wednesday, after a pro-Israel blogger publicized what he called their “outright Jew hatred.”
Paavo Kinnunen, professor of biomedical engineering and computational science at Aalto University in Helsinki, removed the content a day after IsraellyCool published an entry containing numerous screenshots from Kinnunen’s page.
There were multiple posts supporting and celebrating the violence perpetrated by Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. There were dozens of anti-Israel posts, including, the blogger observed, “belief in blood libels and conspiracy theories.”
One post, for example, claimed that Sweden’s Jews have nothing to fear from Muslims but only from “Mossad jihadists” committing a terror attack and making it look as if it was done by Islamists. Another post suggested that the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States were organized by Jews, allegedly absent from the Twin Towers on that day.
Kinnunen’s posts frequently accused Israelis of harvesting the organs of Palestinians. In one, he charts the dollar amounts that different organs earn for Israel over images of what appear to be one or two dead Palestinians with long scars on their bodies; in another he posted a report called “Israel Caught Harvesting Palestinian Organs Again” below his comment, “Lucrative ziobusiness …”
Many posts equated Israel and Zionists with Nazis, and characterized Israelis and Jews as having a penchant for blood and violence. “When genocide is on the agenda,” Kunnunen wrote in one, “it is important to kill children … incl. toddlers, pregnant women …”
Others were what the blogger deemed openly antisemitic:
Jews certainly are special, more special than any other group of people. They have established the most racist religion, involving lineage to their God, giving them the promise of land, slaves, property, license to kill all non-Jews. Following these religious items described in their Talmud, which we Goyims are banned from reading, these God chosen wackos have established, by treacherous deception, the most ultrafascist “society” in today’s world …
Similar claims about the Jewish Talmud occurred frequently, including that it makes “all property of non-Jewish belongs to Jewish,” and that it permits Jews “to kill all non-Jewish.”
In another post, Kinnunen wrote: “Definition of antisemitic: Anyone, who opposes genocide & fascism, killing of children, women, unarmed.”
When The Algemeiner visited Kinnunen’s Facebook page on Thursday, it discovered that many of the posts publicized by the blogger had disappeared.
A fellow Aalto faculty member told The Algemeiner that Kinnunen’s views are his own and do not represent his department or the university and highlighted this clause in the university’s code of conduct:
Each member of the Aalto University community has a right to be treated with respect regardless of their gender, gender identity or expression thereof, age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, beliefs, opinion, political or trade union engagement, family relations, health, disability, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.
Whether Kinnunen’s writings violate this clause would depend, the colleague suggested, on
(a) whether these opinions make their way into Kinnunen’s classroom and professional work, and
(b) whether there are any Jewish students or faculty members at Aalto.
The British Holocaust denier David Irving has had his hotel reservation cancelled at the Mercure hotel in The Hague where he was to give a lecture on Thursday.
The hotel told him he was not welcome after consultation with The Hague council. Irving, who was to give a lecture entitled Hitler, Himmler and the Homosexuals, has been barred from several countries and was jailed in 2006 in Austria for denying or minimizing the Jewish genocide.
Among those protesting at Irving’s visit was the Dutch Israeli information centre CIDI which pointed out that he would be here on the day the Netherlands is commemorating the February strike of 1941. 75 years It is 75 years ago on Thursday that workers in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas went on strike in a protest against what was to be the beginning of the large-scale persecution of Jews in the Netherlands.
CIDI also called on “all owners of event halls in The Hague to offer no platform to the convict”.
The council says it cannot prevent him coming to The Hague, but only encourage venues not to give him a platform.
AntiSemitismWatch congratulates the Mercure Hotel!