Antisemitism updates

Here is another update from the antisemitism front which has unfortunately not gone away. In fact they don’t like even dead Jews as Hundreds of Jewish graves were vandalised in France:

France’s interior minister said Sunday several hundred tombs have been defaced at a Jewish cemetery in east of the country, in what he called “a despicable act”.

“The country will not tolerate this new injury which goes against the values that all French people share,” said Bernard Cazeneuve without giving further details of the incident in the town of Sarre-Union.

French President Francois Hollande views desecrated Jewish graveyard along with Jewish leaders

It is somewhat gratifying to note that the French authorities are taking this seriously as President Francois Hollande sought to reassure French Jews:

“I know some are asking if they can live in peace in their country, and ask who will protect them against those who wish them harm,” Hollande said at the ceremony in Sarres-Union in the eastern Alsace region.

“One more time, I want to give the Republic’s response – that it will protect you with all its force.”

He was speaking at a Jewish cemetery where some 300 tombs and graves were defaced and damaged last week.

“You get the impression that an army has passed through here,” said the chief rabbi of Strasbourg, Rene Gutman, as he visited the cemetery.

Five boys aged 15 to 17 have been taken into custody over the incident.

Prosecutors say there is no indication yet that they were specifically targeting the Jewish community, with one boy reportedly claiming they were unaware the cemetery was for Jews.

In a similar incident, Jewish graves vandalised in Germany over the weekend:

A Jewish cemetery in the northern German city of Oldenburg was desecrated over the weekend, the Oldenburger Online newspaper reported on Monday.

Police are investigating the incident which left swastikas splattered on the cemetery’s entrance, a wall as well as on two parked cars.

This is not the first time the burial ground was targeted in such a fashion. Right-wing extremists have vandalized the site a number of times. In a prior case, one man was successfully charged in a court of law, sentenced to two years’ probation for shooting paint-balls at a number of Jewish gravestones.

Here is the news (not) from 1942: Lithuanians fascists marched under the swastika:

Approximately 500 ultra nationalists, some bearing Nazi swastikas, marched through a Lithuanian city that during the Holocaust saw the region’s most effective massacre of Jews.

Monday’s march through Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city 60 miles from the capital of Vilnius, was the eighth annual event organized by the Lithuanian Nationalist Youth Union on Feb. 16 – one of their Baltic state’s two independence days.

As the marchers assembled at a local park, they were confronted by 20-odd protesters from the local Jewish community and anti-fascist groups who shadowed the marchers in a silent counter-demonstration.

“This march is particularly offensive because it is taking place where locals and Nazis murdered more than 10,000 Jews in one day,” said Dovid Katz, a U.S.-born Jewish scholar of Yiddish who settled in Vilnius 16 years ago and has led protests against the veneration of Nazis in the Baltic States.

Katz, editor of the website, was referring to the Kaunas massacre in October 1941, in which more Jews were killed in a single day than any other killing spree against Jews in the Baltic region.

Tomas Skorupsis, an organizer of the march from the youth movement, said the event was not anti-Semitic. Repeating a popular view in far-right circles in the Baltic nations, he added: “There are many Lithuanians who find it hard to forgive Jews who, during Communism, killed nationalist freedom fighters. But I think we should leave it in the past and look ahead.”

Riiight. So it’s not an antisemitic march but they “find it hard to forgive Jews”. I’m not sure if they’re trying to kid themselves or us.

And in news (not) from 1936: British Fascists plan a march to protest “Jewification” (!!) of Stamford Hill, a neighbourhood with a large ultra-Orthodox population in North London:

Organisers claim to be fighting against what they call the “Jewification” of the UK, and a civilian security group run by volunteers from the Hasidic Jewish community in London.

A ‘Liberate Stamford Hill’ Facebook event calls on nationalists to assemble on Clapton Common in Stamford Hill on 22 March, home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in Europe.

Members are rallying against the Shomrim security group, named after the Hebrew term for ‘guards’.  The organisation operates with the help of 80 volunteers, and focuses on London boroughs including Golders Green, Hendon and Barnet.

Its members, who receive training from the Metropolitan Police, wear uniforms complete with knife-proof vests and look out for anti-Semitic hate crimes, as well as general trouble in the neighbourhood.

Jewish “Shomrim” – community security guards in London

… The event has been organised by right-wing activist Joshua Bonehill-Paine, the self-styled “future of nationalism” …

In a post on his website entitled “An Urgent Appeal: The Jewification of Great Britain”, he attacks the Shomrim and claims “white people” in Stamford Hill are the target of abuse.

He writes: “It’s utter disbelief that the Jews of Stamford Hill have set up their own police force which enforces their own talmudic law on the streets of a White British city.”

This man sounds seriously off his meds – and his rocker. He need hospitalization, not jail. Thankfully it looks like the turnout – if it is allowed to go ahead – is likely to be pathetic:

Over 59 people have said they are attending the protest on Facebook.

But anti-fascist groups in London pledged to join together with Stamford Hill residents, community groups and other anti-fascist organisations to stop the event from taking place.

Here is something rather different. NRG in English (I didn’t know they had English-language articles) brings us journalist Zvika Klein’s shocking report of his experience from 10 hours of walking around in Paris identifiably dressed as a Jew:

PARIS – “Go f*** from the front and the back,” “Viva Palestine,” “Hey you, with the kippa, what are you doing here?” these were only a few of the remarks sent my way as I was walking through the streets of Paris wearing a tzitzit and a kippa.

Walking into a public housing neighborhood, we came across a little boy and his hijab-clad mother, who were clearly shocked to see us. “What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?” the boy asked.Walking by a school in one of Paris’ neighborhoods, a boy shouted “Viva Palestine” at me. Moments later, passing by a group of teens, one of the girls remarked, “Look at that – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a thing.”

They made it clear to us that we had better get out of there, and we took their advice. “A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching,” the bodyguard told me as we were getting into the car. “Leave this area right now.”

Is this what life is like for Paris’ Jews? Is this what a Jew goes through, day in and day out, while walking to work or using public transportation? The majority of French Jews do not flaunt their religion, as the Jewish community leaders have urged them to wear hats as they walk to and from work, or go bareheaded. But what about nighttime? Well, Jews prefers to stay inside in the evening. It is safer at home.

Here is a video of the day’s walk, compressed into 1½ minutes:

I commend Zvika Klein on his bravery and initiative although I have great concerns for his personal safety.

Back to your common-or-garden antisemitism disguised as anti-Israelism, hundreds of British “artists” – the usual suspects – signed a letter published in the Guardian (how predictable) calling for a boycott of Israel.

The letter, part of a project dubbed ‘Artists for Palestine,’ was signed by 100 of the more well-known artists on the list, including Roger Waters, Peter Kosminsky, and Jeremy McGovern.

“Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel,” the artist said in a letter. “We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government.”

“Israel’s wars are fought on the cultural front too,” it continues. “Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers.”

The artists also quoted the ‘apartheid’ misnomer.

“Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the West Bank – and those same companies tour the globe as cultural diplomats, in support of “Brand Israel”. During South African apartheid, musicians announced they weren’t going to “play Sun City,” they said.

“Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we won’t play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run masterclasses or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians.”

Brendan O’Neill slams them for their hypocrisy in an excellent rebuttal (h/t Debi Z):

A quick glance at the list of 700 Israel-boycotters reveals numerous people who have built their careers on cash from the coffers of the Iraqi-killing, Afghanistan-repressing British government. There’s Ken Loach, recipient of monies from the government-backed UK Film Council, here chiming in with all the others to say he will ‘accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding from any institutions linked to its government’. So, Ken, why are you happy to accept money from institutions linked to a government that has killed way more people in the Middle East than Israel has?

There’s Mike Leigh, who’s also been funded by the UK Film Council, and who threw a massive hissy fit in 2010 when the Film Council was wound down in its current form and reorganised. Ladies and gentlemen, the principled film-directing doyen of decent Hampsteadites, who makes angry public statements over two things: his implacable, principled refusal to take blood money from the Israeli killing machine and his fury at having his bloody money from the British killing machine taken away from him! What a guy!

Film director Peter Kosminsky is here, too, blathering on about not doing any work with Israeli government-linked institutions, yet he’s happy to sit on the Board of Directors of the British Film Institute which has been subsidised by… you guessed it: the government that bombed the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

… why is it bad to have anything to do with institutions linked to the Israeli government because of that whole Gaza thing but fine and dandy to take money from institutions linked to the British government despite the Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya thing? Are Israel’s wars somehow worse than Britain’s? Is being killed by a solider from the Jewish State somehow worse than being killed by a soldier of the British state? Is Israel more evil than Britain? Is Israel’s money bloodier than British money?

Of course O’Neill’s questions unanswerable by the BDS bigots. Bravo to Mr. O’Neill for once again exposing the boycotters’ hypocrisy.

I shall give the last word on this sorry subject (via Honest Reporting) to journalist and Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson in the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).: “We can no longer stay silent on Anti-Semitism“:

 To call out anti-Semitism, unless blood has been spilt, is a hazardous enterprise in Britain. It draws the accusation of hypersensitivity. It attracts the opprobrium of other Jews who view themselves as less hysterical, and who consider it crying wolf or an attempt to silence fair criticism of Israel. And it plays to fears that lie buried deep in the British-Jewish psyche that to complain is to be ungrateful and, worse, that its only effect will be to call attention to a minority that has thrived by cultivating near-invisibility. “Keep shtum” was my father’s advice to me when I was growing up in Manchester in the 1950s. Don’t go in fear, but don’t be too conspicuous either.

I mean those attacks upon the very legitimacy and founding principles of Israel; that rhetoric of blame that inculpates the Israeli government and army at every turn, now accusing them of massacre, now of genocide, comparing them to the Nazis, and Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto; that assumption of willful sadism, of wallowing in slaughter, no matter that there is no evidence to support the charge or a motive to explain it; and those sinister little acts of wondering—just wondering: it’s all right to wonder isn’t it?—whether, say, the Israeli Defense Force only went to help the relief effort in Haiti in order to traffic in the organs of the dead. That implicit invocation, in other words, of the ancient figure of the Jew as malign being, pitiless adversary and, of course, child-killer.

It was courageous of France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls to point to fanatic anti-Zionism with its panoply of bans and boycotts, distortions and defamations, as contributory, in its passing on of the bacilli of blame, to the lethal attacks on Jews in Paris last month. […] Could the frightening nexus of classical European anti-Semitism and Muslim Jew-hating be dissolved at last by reason? Or must a Jew in Britain still keep shtum?

It’s not only the Jews in Britain. It’s the Jews in France, Germany, Denmark, all over Europe, who on the one hand are trying to stand up bravely to antisemitism and on the other hand are trying to keep a low profile, frantically shushing Prime Minister Netanyahu when he provides the solution to all of them: come home to Israel.

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18 Responses to Antisemitism updates

  1. Debby says:

    Sadly, Anne, this was also posted on an group on fb that I’m a part of. As everyone was expressing their disgust at such behavior and the hurt it causes families who have already suffered loss, one person made the unfortunate post encouraging prayer for this kind of thing to stop. I have noticed over and over again that the mere mention of anything faith related in a fb group forum is nearly always met with someone who trashes that person. Her comment was met with a snarky remark about education is the answer not prayer and that prayer never does any good. When she defended herself, more comments were heaped onto her about leave her faith at home, a genealogy group isn’t about faith, etc. No amount of reasoning could make room for her faith. One post later a picture of a grave where three brothers drowned and were buried together was met with comments concerning drunk driving and all the people hurt by it. No snarky comments about being off subject there.

    I don’t think this hatred even for the speaking of faith is nearly as random either. Murder is simply the ultimate way to shut people up and scare the people who would speak in their defense. People of faith need to speak out their faith and be willing to be ridiculed and to stand up for each other. I know that if everyone who “thought the same” as I did was actually speaking out their faith, it would not be so easy for those who want to shut them up to do so. If even a dozen people told the two people who were attacking this woman (and later a third) had spoken out to defend her right to speak through her faith, I don’t think the two would have continued on and I think the third never would have joined in. But both Judaism and Christianity are truly the faiths of peace, and I think many do not speak out because they think it stirs up the conflict but really it stops it where it should be stopped and that’s with these thugs trying to run over anyone who doesn’t conform to their worldview.

    • anneinpt says:

      Debby I’m so sorry that your fb forum degenerated into a slanging match. Those are the dangers of social media unfortunately.

      But your larger point about standing up for each other is bang on. If Jews and Christians – and even atheists – are frightened into keeping silent, then the Islamists have won.

      • Debby says:

        I guess that is my point. It has come to a point that it’s not a simple fb digression of behavior. I really don’t think what is happening is that simple. I had already seen that “10 Hours in Paris” video. I think it’s more like that. Had he not dressed himself in a way to appear Jewish, he would not have had the same response. What is happening in these fb group forums I think is beyond teen drama but is foreshadowing a greater social blitz. For instance, I think that it foreshadows a thought process that this video man was ostensibly dressing offensively for the area he was in. I think Muslim and other anti-Jew groups are establishing “Jew free” and “Christian free” areas where instead of their hatred being the issue, Jews and Christians become the issue for being there.

        I hope you wouldn’t think I’m simply bringing some fb drama to this forum. Like I said, I don’t think these fb group rules and attitudes are random. I think that there is some social engineering going on. The idea of “trolls” is actually fairly genius, because they make Jewish and Christian responses the issue rather than the issues themselves.

        I don’t think I’m particularly talented at communicating my thoughts, so I hope these many words will manage it. 🙂

  2. ealha3 says:

    I would be willing to consider a demise of anti–Semitism when the people of Europe, as a sign of defiance wear the kippa to demonstrate their support of the Jew. But then we’d have to find a place where they have a dozen or so kippas to sell.

    • anneinpt says:

      There’s no shortage of kippot. The Jewish neighbourhoods all have Judaica shops. The question is whether European non-Jews are willing to pro-actively defend their Jewish neighbours, not just in words but in deeds.

  3. Reality says:
    see the response to the artists boycott. They shot themselves in the foot. I actually think that Israel should have a list of these people who if they ever try entering they will be refused entry, even if ISIS is knocking on their door

    • anneinpt says:

      EXCELLENT link Reality. Thank you. I especially like the response of the Ashkelon doctor at the end. Perfect!

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        Shucks, Reality beat me to it! I was planning to post that link as well.

        If you take the trouble to read just the 100 list (I haven’t, yet, clicked on to the full list), you will see that most of the names are either unknown or little known – at least to me, and we watch many films and go to much theatre here in the UK. Only about 10 names leapt out at me as being in anyway notable, and some of those I wouldn’t, already, give the time of day to, not least that charmer Caryl Churchill, writer of the antisemitic “7 Jewish Children”. I don’t know if it’s still available on the web, but when I read it, that it was/is antisemitic came across loud and clear.

        But most of the names? Must be their claim to fame. I’ve kept it to remind myself who not to pay money to support their income.

        Come to think of it, I didn’t see Mark Rylance’s name there – he of the unsuccessful “ban Habima Theatre from the Golbe” campaign. Must be too busy pretending to be important as Thomas Cromwell on UK tv.

        • Brian Goldfarb says:

          Actually, Reality, the last thing they should be is refused entry to Israel. What should happen is that they should be welcomed in, told they go where they like in Israel, talk to whoever they want to talk to (remembering that these people do not have to listen to them – it’s a free country). Then remind them that because Israel is a free country, anyone they talk to has the right of reply, unlike over there (in Gaza), or there (on the West Bank), or there (in Hezbollah country in Lebanon – or many other places in Lebanon), as well as there (in Syria), or…

          Of course, they can go to these other places and try to talk to anyone they like, and see what happens.

          Oh, and while you’re here, we (the Israeli government/security services, police, even the Ministry of Tourism) won’t be “escorting ” you – you can go where you like. Do remember that many Israelis speak excellent English: you won’t need an interpreter to (mis)translate for you.

          Go with pleasure, but you might just be surprised at the range of opinions and the varying degrees of heat with which they are expressed, by Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Bahai Israelis, to say nothing of those with no religion.

          One condition: please report what you hear with honesty, as those you speak with will be honest with you: not every Israeli loves everything here – just like Brits back in the UK.

          So we expect you to respect that.

          Why don’t we get 600 Israelis to post a letter on those lines in The Guardian addresses specifically to them.

          Bet they wouldn’t go to Israel!! They might learn things to their disadvantage.

          • anneinpt says:

            I like your idea. Can’t see it happening though for the simple reason that most of these idiots are so closed-minded that even seeing the real Israel with their own eyes won’t make them change their minds. We’ve seen this before.

          • mrzee says:

            They haven’t the slightest interest in anything that doesn’t conform to their current beliefs, so there would be no point in them going to Israel

        • anneinpt says:

          I agree – I get the strong impression these “artists” are like naughty children looking for attention, even negative. So if they’re unknown, what better way to make a name than to jump on the anti-Israel bandwagon?

  4. Pete says:

    I saw some comments from the Ukraine recently. I can’t remember which side – but when it comes to anti-Semitism, maybe there’s no difference there. the comments were truly bigoted, the prejudice is extremely strong against Jews there. this upsurge in anti-Semitism is very worrying!

    as for the desecration of the graves … despicable. the work of cowards who won’t look people in the eyes.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      Ukraine has a strong history of anti-Semitism. The Ukrainians were very willing helpers of the Nazis. Of course things have changed there in 70 years but the culture doesn’t change that much.

  5. Pete says:

    and DEBBY is correct. There is a LOT of anti-faith commentary in American discussion forums these days. Unfortunately, “education” is NOT simply the answer!! The people who are doing the persecution in Europe, the people who are shooting Jews at markets and synagogues – these are sometimes educated people. They are not all idiots. They simply have a very different mindset, and zero tolerance for anyone outside of their own religious faith.

    There only solution Debby … be STRONG and stand up for your rights. The USA has a policy of free religious expression. THAT policy exists in all public areas and cannot be overturned by narrow minded people, or narrow minded moderators. And please remind people when they jump on you – THEY are the ones who are being narrow minded.

    best wishes,
    Pete, USA

  6. Debby says:

    Thank you, Pete. I do try to reach out to these admins in the groups and try to encourage them to be careful to only moderate out those comments that are directly threatening, as no one should be subjected to threatening behavior. However, I belong to a large number of groups (mostly dealing with genealogy), and while religion and politics are not the subject matter relevant to these groups, the desecration of a cemetery is. When the desecration of that cemetery has religious and/or political associations, this is now relevant to the conversation. However, one woman’s simple statement that we needed to pray for all this to stop was even too much “religion’ for her to share (and this happens over and over again). To anyone watching the conversation, to respond to any subject by faith (unless Muslim of course) is to be ” inappropriate.’ And I say inappropriate over and over because this is the term nearly always used. I don’t even think a number of these admins realize what they’re doing. They’re simply responding to minimize conflict on their group (which is brought about by the anti Christian and anti Jewish thought police). The fact that the very next post in the group was about a stone with three drowned brothers and there was an off topic comment then a family decimated by a drunk driver, which is also technically off topic and has nothing to do with genealogy, but was not met with the same standard.

    I have never experienced shunning, but I have felt it in these groups. I’m not usually the one targeted, but there always seems to be one who is a bit more emotive about their faith who is targeted and then I get swept into the conversation defending them.

    The only group I was actually kicked out of the admin later apologized and said it was a mistake, but it didn’t take long before I realized she was a cuckoo for cocoa puffs loony that behaved poorly with christianity as her mantra. Basically, she found anyone that expressed themselves other than her narrow idea of a christian as offensive. She’d probably be the same person who attacked her Jewish neighbor that was shared in Reality’s link. Of course mentally ill people attach themselves to every faith.

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