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Germany: Jews left alone

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The Central Council of Jews lamented the lack of support from the civil society in light of the recent anti-Semitic slogans at rallies against Israel. "Why is there no wave of solidarity with us the Jews in the face of the wave of anti-Semitism?" asked chairman Dieter Graumann in comments published Thursday by the "Rheinische Post". The churches and the political elites should have stand up so the Jewish citizens would not feel they were left alone.


Hundreds of Jews had already asked the Central Council whether to stay here or pack their bags. "We are concerned," Graumann said. "When we here in German streets that Jews should be gassed, burned, or be slaughtered, then this has certainly has nothing to do with Gaza and Israeli politics."


Graumann was reacting to a variety of anti-Semitic remarks that were voiced in recent weeks at demonstrations against the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Many of them included immigrants from Turkish and Arab roots.

Anti-semitism now in Europe reminds 1930s

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In Italy, Germany and France, anti-Semitism is gaining momentum in the streets, fueled by the current Israeli offensive against Palestinians in Gaza. The entire political class has already repudiated these manifestations.


We are not in 1933, perhaps the only common element between the 1930s and today is the severe economic crisis experienced by the European peoples that destroyed the hopes and confused ideas. Maybe this is the reason that in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Britain, spurred by the current serious conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, anti-Semitism is gaining more and more supporters.


In almost all European cities there were demonstrations for Palestine these days, and there was no shortage in outbursts of anti-Semitic slogans and chants. In some cities like Toulouse, in France, there was even a person who tried to make a violent attack. Synagogues become the target of serious attacks. Yesterday, the German police reported that three people threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal. To avoid further escalation, anti-Jewish slogans in the German demonstrations were banned.


This week in Rome, dozens of anti-Semitic graffiti appeared in windows and shutters of Jewish business owners. "Death to the Jews", "Anne Frank told lies", "Zionists Out", "Israel murderer" and many more slurs were accompanied with swastikas, Celtic crosses (a symbol of the far right) and flyers plastered all sides.


The voice of the Italian political world this time was immediate: "The graffiti appeared in different areas of the city are a disgrace and an insult to all Romans. I want to express my solidarity with the Jewish community. Rome wants and should be the capital of dialogue and peace and not barbaric land, "said Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino, the Democratic Party.


According to the spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Rome, Amit Zarouk, what has happened in the Italian capital is the sign of a "dangerous form of anti-Semitism."

Germany: Jews in danger

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The former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch , thinks Jewish citizens are living in danger. After a fire bomb attack on the synagogue in Wuppertal, she advised all Jews in Germany, "not to make themselves recognizable as Jews". The risk of being a target of an attack, is otherwise too great, she told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper. The "unbridled Jew-baiting" had "reached a new level in Germany," according to Knobloch.


On Tuesday night, three men threw several Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Wuppertal. The attack, according to investigators, did not hurt anybody. A suspected 18-year-old was detained by the police while the other two suspects were able to flee. In other countries, there were also attacks on Jewish institutions. In Rome for instance, anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas were drawn on dozens of Jewish businesses.

Switzerland: Facebook users not shy of making anti-Jewish comments under real names

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The Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism has submitted in the Zurich cantonal police criminal charges against seven people that called on Facebook to hatred and violence against Jews, the "NZZ am Sonntag" reported. "Racist and anti-Semitic statements of this kind are found otherwise only in anonymously authored blogs and reader comments," says managing director Leila Feit. What is shocking is that some people today apparently no longer shy away from making publicly racist remarks by their own name.


Several Facebook users in Switzerland had called in advance for the demonstration on July 18, using phrases like making a genocide of the Jews. For instance, a user called on a page that promoted the rally on to move the Jews into a "Jewish quarter" and there to commit acts of violence.


Given the confrontation in the Middle East anti-jewish sentiment is piling up. A lot of Internet users let their anger run wild - apparently without being aware of possible criminal consequences. Sabine Simkhovitch-Dreyfus, Vice-President of the Federal Commission against Racism, says she considers this development dangerous. Especially young people might get the impression that everything on the Internet is permitted. "It seems that many would take their own statements seriously. Sometimes, however, this lead to further (actions). "


The worst cases would be pursued. Suspected cases can be reported via the website of the Swiss Coordination Unit for Cybercrime Control (Kobik).


According to reports, the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) has complained against six people at the Zurich prosecutor. It is connected "particularly to aggressive and discriminatory comments expressed or extremely explicit threats," SIG-President Herbert Winter told the newspaper.

Yad Vashem expresses concern

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Yad Vashem, Israel's institution established in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, published a press release saying it is “deeply alarmed” by the recent escalation of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews in the world.


According to the statement, the physical and verbal violence against Jews intended as a response to events in Gaza, is plain and simple anti-Semitism, which could be compared to the one from the Holocaust time.


It also notes that “virulent hatred is finding various expressions, ranging from attacks on synagogues in France and physical attacks against Jews, to calls such as “Jews to the Gas” in Germany, to the use of swastikas at anti-Israel demonstrations, and antisemitic caricatures in newspapers and social media”.


Yad Vashem in Jerusalem that houses a museum and several institutions dedicated to the dissemination, study and memory of the Holocaust, says it was “gravely concerned by the demagogic abuse of Holocaust imagery and language which distorts the past as well as the current reality for political purposes. Exploiting these terms from the Holocaust, in order to incite and inflame hatred, desecrates the memory of the Holocaust.”


The director of the institution, Avner Shalev, called “governments of the democracies around the world, particularly in Europe, to take immediate steps, using the legal and moral tools at their disposal, to protect Jewish citizens in their countries, and combat the expressions of antisemitism which we are witnessing in recent weeks.”


Belgium: Cafe bans Jews

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Displays of anti-Semitism continue to spread in various European countries in Europe due to the two weeks conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Now, a cafe in the village of Saint-Nicolas-Ans in the province of Liege in Belgium, made a sign with Turkish characters in which welcomes dogs, but not Jews "under any circumstances".


Besides the message that prohibits entry to Jewish people, one can see an Israeli flag with red stripes and a kaffiyeh and other Palestinian flag. When the message was translated into French, the word "Jew" was exchanged for "Zionist."


The mayor of the town of Saint-Nicolas-Ans ordered the authorities to remove this ad immediately, after the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism (LBCA) denounced the cafe and its owner. However, the association seeks to take more serious action in the matter.


Belgium is not the first country where signs of anti-Semitism are shown. The foreign ministers of Italy, Spain and France have condemned similar incidents.


Merkel vows to fight antisemitism

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has condemned the anti-Semitic slogans at rallies in German cities held against Israel's Gaza offensive.


Such remarks were an "attack on freedom and tolerance, and the attempt to undermine our free and democratic basic order" she was quoted as saying on Wednesday. "This can not and will not be accepted."


At pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Berlin, Frankfurt and other cities slogans like "Jew, Jew, cowardly pigs - and come out to fight alone" were chanted. It is feared that there will be further abuse in the next few days in already authorized rallies. The police announced tougher action.


Merkel also insured: "We will continue to advocate for the safety of our Jewish citizens." She added: "The security authorities are taking every attack on Jewish institutions and against individuals very seriously. Anti-Semitic crimes are consistently pursued with all legal means."

Anti-Jewish sentiment growing in Germany

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In many German cities, demonstrations against Israel have turned into vocal anti-Jewish protests. "We are witnessing an explosion of violent hatred against Jews," said Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. He urged politicians for stronger action.


The focus of the demonstrations started against the Israeli government's action against the people of Gaza. So far, there are 600 dead, many of them civilians.Now, the protests include anti-Jewish chants and hate-slogans against Israel - no matter whether in Essen, Göttingen and Berlin. "Zionists are fascists", "child murderer Israel" or "Down with Israel" was chanted.


In Berlin, police and prosecutors investigate whether the slogans were ethnically and therefore punishable. In addition, the police had to protect Jews from attacks.


On Saturday, a Jewish couple got massive threats when they moved near a pro-Palestinian demonstration. The man was identified as a Jew because of his Kippa. "Nazi murderer Israel", "fucking Jews, we'll get you!", shouted the crowd.


In Essen, eight people participating in the "peace demonstration for the Middle East" were arrested. Many participants chanted slogans against Israel. Later, 200 demonstrators attacked a pro-Israel rally; using bottles.

Berlin: Will police arrest Imam after hate sermon against Jews?

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An-Nur (Light) Mosque in Berlin had invited a very special guest preacher on the occasion of the recent Friday prayer. The Danish Imam Abu Bilal Ismail is known as a preacher with a simple primitive worldview. His reputation was demonstrated once again during his sermon last Friday: "... O God, destroy the Zionist Jews…kill them to the last," he said in Arabic to faithful crowd.


Abu Bilal's words revolve around the current Gaza conflict. "The Zionist Jews," he referred to as "child killers that make women widows" and those "who attack Gaza with everything they have." God would "bring the earth under their feet to the quake."


"Such a call would be as sedition under Section 130 of the Criminal Code (Criminal Code, note) to condemn, "says Burkard Dregger (CDU), Member of the Berlin House of Representatives and Speaker for integration policy. "I have therefore filed a complaint with the Berlin police."

Erdogan party "longs for Hitler"

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Turkish prime minister has made recently several antisemitic statements, saying among others that "Israeli crimes in Gaza are more barbaric of Hitler's". It seems the Turkish leader has special sympathy to the Nazi dictator. An indication of this can be found in his party's newspaper Yeni Akit, which published today the image of Adolf Hitler as the centerpiece for its daily word game, and the phrase “We long for you” [Seni arıyoruz] as the answer for the puzzle.

Shocking anti-Jewish demo in Berlin

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During this protest, held Saturday in Berlin, demonstrators chant: "Jew, Jew, you cowardly bastard, come out and fight alone!"


See the video of this protest here


Is there a future for Jews in Europe?

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A month after the fatal shootings at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, the head of the Belgian Jewish community has warned that European Jews should prepare for further attacks.

"I think every Jewish community in the world today has to be prepared for one type or another of such incident," said Dr. Maurice Sosnowski, community leader of 40,000 people. "From what I've heard from all kinds of terrorism experts, this event will probably will happen about five times in Europe in the next two years, so that means everyone has to be prepared."

Four people, including an Israeli couple, were killed in the May 24 shooting outside the museum. A week later, a Frenchman of Algerian roots, with reported links to radical Islamic groups, was arrested in connection with the attack.


Following the attack, Sosnowski said he had demanded that the government help fund security costs in buildings and institutions that may be attacked in the future because of their ties to the Jewish community. This includes 50 buildings in Antwerp and 30 in Brussels, the two main centers of the local Jewish community. Now the Belgium government is investigating how much it is going to cost. It is important to note that in several European countries, these costs are covered up by the government.


Although in recent months there has been a rise in the number of Belgian Jews making aliyah to Israel, Sosnowski said that, in absolute terms, the numbers were insignificant, i.e. relatively a small number. He said the increase was not necessarily linked to increased anti-Semitism or to the attack of last month, but rather the crisis of the economy.


When asked if he felt that the Jews have a future in Europe, he said, "If there is no future for the Jewish people in Europe, there is no future for democratic societies in Europe. It is not only a question of the future of the Jews, but the future of all societies around the world. "

International press focus on "new" antisemitism in France

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The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Guardian have been looking at the resurgence of anti-Semitism in France.


Dieudonné , Jean-Marie Le Pen , Mehdi Nemmouche , Mohammed Merah , Youssouf Fofana. What do they have in common? American and English newspapers have published for several days stories on the "new antisemitism" that grows in France. The New York Times stressed the rapidly rising number of Jewish emigrants who left France for Israel . The daily quoted Taieb Nizard, a 32 year old woman, mother of two children who explained: "I love France and this is my country, but I am disgusted. In Israel there is an army that will protect us. Here, I do not see a future for my children . "


"The French anxiety illustrates the general anxiety of European Jews who fear for their safety and their future," told the New York Daily Cwajgenbaum Serge, a French who is the Secretary General of the European Jewish Congress in Brussels. " If this situation continues, there will be an acceleration of Europe departures," he adds.

According to the Washington Post, the success of antisemitic is reflected by Dieudonné who made this as his trademark, his main message over the years and formed a political movement which is a symptom of a much wider problem of French society. The "new antisemitism" is the result of the convergence of four key factors. Namely, the classical search for a scapegoat in times of economic crisis, the growing strength of the far-right nationalist, the deterioration of relations between blacks and Jews and growing tensions with the growing Muslim population in Europe. But in Western Europe, "no nation has seen deteriorating climate for Jews like France ."


Anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic acts had not disappeared in Europe since the end of World War II. There were two waves especially in the 1980s and early 2000s which were related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it was movements affecting a negligible part of the population.


Now, it is a French, Mehdi Nemmouche , who is the main suspect in the killing in May at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. This is the most violent anti-Semitic act since in 2012, when Mohammed Merah , another French, shot three children in a Jewish school in Toulouse. France, which has the largest Jewish community in Europe has seen anti-Semitic acts increased by 40% during the first three months of the year to reach 140. Three weeks ago, two young Jews who came out of a synagogue in Créteil were beaten . An almost regular news item.


A recent study by the American Jewish organization – the Anti-Defamation League - suggests that France now has the highest percentage of population in Western Europe with anti-Semitic prejudice: 37% against 8% in Great Britain, 20% in Italy and 27% in Germany. "For the Jewish leaders, this is related to the radicalization of young French Muslim population and the constant attacks by the French media on Israeli policy towards the Palestinians , "wrote the Washington Post.


But the daily also acknowledges that the situation is more complex than that. Anti-Semitism has become more socially acceptable and Dieudonné and Jean-Marie Le Pen helped to illustrate this.

Paris synagogues under threat

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Two men pointed what was looked like firearms at police stationed outside a Paris synagogue last Saturday. This is one of several anti-Semitic incidents that have happened lately in or near the French capital.


The episode occurred outside the synagogue on Julien Lacroix Street in eastern Paris, according to a report posted on Sunday on the website of the National League for Vigilance Against anti-Semitism.


According to the report, two men on motorcycles moved toward the police officers when one of them took out what appeared to be a handgun, pointed it at one of the police officers and shouted at him “bang bang.” His partner did the same with what looked like an AK-47 rifle before escaping. The synagogue was empty at the time.


Also Saturday, various objects including a knife, large stones, sticks and studded boards were found in the interior yard of a synagogue in Garges les Gonesses, a northern suburb of Paris. The projectiles reached the back yard where children were playing at the time. Apparently, the objects were thrown down at the synagogue from apartments around the place of worship, BNVCA wrote. The synagogue was not damaged and no one was hurt. A report was filed with the police.


New exhibition on life of Jews in Westphalia

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Westphalian Jews and their neighbors are the focus of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Westphalia in Dorsten. The large special exhibition to be held from 26 October 2014, will look at how Jewish families in 19th and 20th century lived in the rural and urban communities in the region and how the neighborhood was shattered by Nazism.

"We want to see the issue tracking out wide. Because in many Westphalian villages Jews were very much involved in associations," says museum director Dr. Norbert Reichling from the findings of the research "History" project, whose standing behind this exhibition.

The exhibition is financed in part by the FO Cultural Foundation as the Jewish Museum of Westphalia required external financial support to implement the comprehensive project.

Anti-Semitic incidents around the world

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Last week, there were incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti in Canada, France and the United States, and there were attacks on Jewish institutions in Romania.


Following are the details:


- Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. "No-Jews" phrase and a swastika with red spray were found in seven locations around the area of Quadra Street and Tolmie Avenue.

- Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France. Anti-Semitic phases were found painted on the outside wall of the Aubervillers school, belonging to the Jewish community.

- Sofia, Bulgaria. The words "Death to the Jews" and a swastika were written on the bulletin board of the Central Synagogue in the city. Thanks to the recordings of security cameras, four people aged 19 and 20 years old were arrested in connection with this act.

- San Francisco, California, United States. A swastika and other anti-Semitic phrases, including "Heil Hitler" in black ink were sprayed on a poster that marked the shared leadership of the Congregation Beth Israel Judea and Or Shalom Jewish community.

- Sighisoara, Romania. A firebomb was thrown at an ancient synagogue in the city, causing minor damage.

- Chicago, USA. A fair-skinned man, 1.80 m. in height and 70 kg weight began shouting "kill the Jews" showing a swastika during a "kosher" festival organized in the "Anshei Emet" synagogue. Some witnesses said he was wearing a black cap with a swastika on his back, and a balaclava for skiing that completely covered his face.

- Ploiesti, Romania. Strangers threw stones at the windows of the local synagogue, destroying them.


Lebanese Columnist: Israel - reason for anti-Semitism

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The Lebanese Columnist Jihad Al-Khazen continues his attack on Israel and the Jews. The Columnist, who is a regular writer in the popular al Hayat daily, said in the past that the "Jewish Religion Is a Fairy Tale".


And on June 13, 2014 he published an article accusing Israel for the reason of the world's anti-Semitic sentiment.


In his article he refers to a worldwide survey on anti-Semitism and says that if he was asked he would answer positively for the question: Are the Jews in America determine the US policy towards the Middle East region.


He also mentions the huge influence of the Jews on the international business and media but claims it is for their skills and thus he doesn't consider this claim to be anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitic body established in Morocco

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A group of Moroccan Berbers created an organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and strengthening cultural ties with Israel.


The Moroccan Observatory of anti Semitism, founded last week, is led by the Berber activist minority rights, Omar Louzi, with two other Berbers according to an article published Thursday in the online edition of the Moroccan newspaper Ya Biladi.


According to Louzi, the idea is to stop anti-Semitic attacks in mosques and elsewhere against the Jews and their culture.


Louzi plans to organize trips to Israel for Moroccans in order for them to visit their holy places, particularly in Jerusalem.


The initiative comes amid heated debates in Morocco regarding their relatively friendly relations with Israel. Last year, the five leading political parties in the kingdom, including the Islamist party in power, jointly organized two bills to prohibit trade with Israeli companies.


French imams gather at the Jewish Museum in Brussels

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French imams gathered Monday for hours with members of the Belgian League against anti-Semitism at the Jewish Museum in Brussels to salute the memory of the victims of the May 24's shooting attack, according to La Libre Belgique .


That day, Mehdi Nemmouche, a Franco-Algerian 29 who has been radicalized in prison, killed four people in the building. Strong symbolic moment of the gathering: a prayer during which the representatives of the two communities held hands before a minute's silence, then enlighted candles for the victims.


Hassan Chalghoumi, imam of Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis) went to Brussels with his colleagues from the Conference of the Imams of France . This man is regularly the target of harsh criticism by Islamists on the internet mainly for his stance against the burqa and against the pro-Palestinian demonstrations and his friendly relations with the Jewish community. "We need the majority of Muslims to break their silence and say that we have nothing to do with this type of individual," said Hassan Chalghoumi. "I also encourage parents to interact more with young people. If I am here, it is also to show that the Muslim community supports the bereaved families. Because we are all victims. Do not associate Islam with the mentally ill (attacker). He chose himself this way. "


The initiative of French imams particularly affected Philippe Blondin, president of the Jewish Museum in Brussels: "It is (...) a beautiful gesture of openness. I welcome them with a lot of emotion. "


The alleged killer at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Mehdi Nemmouche, was arrested May 30 at the bus station of Marseille's Saint-Charles, while on a bus from Amsterdam via Brussels.


Paris police fail to stop attacks on Jews

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Another case of anti-Semitism in France: two young Jews were attacked two days ago. The event took place, Saturday, when 15 teenagers of African origin attacked two 17 year old Jews with kippah on their heads. According to the Israeli daily Maariv, they were sprayed with tear gas.


The representative of the commission to combat anti-Semitism in France reported the event. According to reports, the local mayor visited the site of the attack with the police. Victims of the attack filed a complaint after being discharged from hospital.


The chairman of the Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism, Sami Gozlan, asked the authorities to do everything possible to find those aggressors.


In recent months there have been several cases of anti-Semitic attacks in France; just less than a month ago a Jewish woman was attacked by a man in his fifties in a bus stop in Paris, two Jewish brothers reportedly dressed in “traditional” clothes have been attacked near a synagogue also in the Paris area, and a Jewish man was verbally assaulted while walking to the subway in Paris.

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