Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Austria's election winner Sebastian Kurz has a warm place in his heart for Israel

 Via Israel Hayom:
Sebastian Kurz
(...) Less than 24 hours after Kurz's sweeping win, as he began preparing for his new job as the youngest world leader, he granted Israel Hayom an exclusive interview, making a point of showing he has a warm place in his heart for the Jewish state
Kurz made it clear that denouncing anti-Semitism would be a "clear precondition" for his future coalition partners, including his most likely partner, the far-right Freedom Party of Austria. (...)
Kurz also said he supports the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which was negotiated in his country's capital, Vienna. He stressed that "we cannot be naive" about the Islamic republic's conduct. 
Q. Congratulations on your victory and thank you for finding the time to answer our questions on such a busy day. How does it feel to become the youngest chancellor in Austria's history?
"I'm glad and overwhelmed by the good electoral results for our political movement, the new People's Party. We have achieved historic success. The voters have conferred a very large responsibility on us and I would be honored to serve the Austrian citizens as the head of the next government." 
Q. Does being so young make it easier for you to take responsibility for Austria's history during World War II?
"My visits to Yad Vashem [Israel's Holocaust memorial], as well as my many meetings with Holocaust survivors, were deeply moving for me. I have always been very clear that we – and that very much includes the new Austrian generation – shall never forget the Holocaust and the atrocities committed during World War II. Austria has to face up to its own history, and that includes the dark sides of it. Let me be very clear: A Europe without Jews is not Europe anymore. I am therefore very glad that we have a vibrant – small, but very vibrant - Jewish community in Austria. Also, Austria enjoys excellent relations with the State of Israel – this is a fact that is very important for me." 
Q. During the campaign, your close contacts with the Austrian Jewish community and Israel were used by certain sides to try to harm your chances of winning. Was that anti-Semitic?
"I cannot speak for other parties. But the election results clearly show that Austrians do not reward any kind of smear campaigns or dirty campaigning tricks. Let me also be clear that we must continue to pursue a policy of zero tolerance for any form of anti-Semitism in Austria as well as in Europe." 
Q. The campaign was shadowed by the "Silberstein scandal," in which Israeli adviser Tal Silberstein was accused of misconduct by promoting allegedly racist propaganda. Will this affair influence future contacts between Austria and Israel?
"No, it will not. It is of the utmost importance for me that Austria and Israel continue to intensify our already close bilateral relations. I am glad that during my time as foreign minister our bilateral relations have further improved and grown ever stronger. Let me just give you one figure here: Our bilateral trade grew by 32.5% during the first half of 2017 – that tells you something about the growing strength of our relationship. Also, we have put a focus and an intensified exchange between our young generations. (A new Working Holiday Program that I have signed with PM Netanyahu allows for young Israelis and Austrians for the first time to work in each other's country – and this opportunity is taken up with great enthusiasm.) If I become the next chancellor of Austria, I will strive to further intensify our close bilateral relations."
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Europe: Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky: MEPs who invited Leila Khaled must be sanctioned

Related:
Europe: Huge success for terrorist Leila Khaled at the European Parliament

Via European Jewish Press:
Tomas Zedchovsky, a Czech Member of the European Parliament from the European People’s Party (EPP), was the first to be alerted by the presence of a terrorist in the building of the parliament in Brussels. He called on European Parliament President  Antonio Tajani  to investigate whether the EU’s anti-terror rules had been breached by the two Spanish MEPs from the European United Left group who invited Leila Khaled.

"Not only did she (Khaled) hijack airplanes from European cities, but she never faced justice. This terrorist only walks free here because other terrorists hijacked even more Europeans in exchange for her release,"  he noted.

"President Tajani, who was very surprised when he learned of the presence of Leila Khaled (it was not announced until the last minute), promised us that this will quickly be investigated," Zdechovsky told European Jewish Press in an interview.

According to the Czech MEP, President Tajani can impose various sanctions on the two Spanish MEPs, even a suspension. ''We must avoid this will happen again,'' he said.

"I am a peaceful person and I support every time a peaceful solution between Israel and Palestinians. But we cannot give a democratic word in the European parliament to such people who have been fighting with guns against democracy. I will never bring here to the European Parliament radical people, like the PKK or any Palestinian terror group," he said.

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Germany: BDS protest against Israeli band

Via Watch Antisemitism in Europe:

On Saturday evening, supporters of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (#BDS) protested in front of the venue Kulturbahnhof Jena. Reason for the anti-Israel protest was a concert by the Israeli band Kutiman Orchestra. BDS recalls the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Twitter photo

Monday, October 16, 2017

France: Former PM Valls accused of proximity with Israeli far right

Via The Irish Times:
Mélenchon [a former Socialist minister and now leader of the far-left France Unbowed, France Insoumise] clashed with the former prime minister Manuel Valls, after the weekly Canard enchaîné reported that Mélenchon called Valls a Nazi. “I did not say and I do not think that Valls is a Nazi,” Mélenchon tweeted. “He’s a political loser.”

Mélenchon accused Valls of supporting the Israeli extreme right, while Valls accused Mélenchon of using “Islamo-leftist rhetoric” and complacency towards anti-Semitism. 
Valls, now deputy for the Essonne department south of Paris, chairs a commission on independence for the overseas territory of New Caledonia. Mélenchon withdrew from the commission, citing Valls’s “proximity to the ethnic theses of the Israeli extreme right”. He referred to a photograph of Valls with Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli minister of justice and a member of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party. 
Valls called Mélenchon’s statement “ignoble and outrageous”. Mélenchon replied that “Valls’s gang are completely integrated in the fachosphère and its propaganda.” Valls thanked politicians who supported him under the hashtag  #I’mFromValls’sGang#. 
The name-calling culminated with Vall’s interview on Europe 1 radio station. “When I go to Israel, I meet everyone,” he said, referring to the photograph with Shaked. “But when they publish this photo and say I’m the friend of the Israeli extreme right, they want to send one message: that Manuel Valls is the friend of the Jews. They’re forgetting the new anti-Semitism. That’s where there is complacency... or they realise it, which is even more serious.”
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UK: Swastika and ‘Kikes’ spray painted at synagogue

Via Times of Israel:
An anti-Semitic slur and a swastika were spray painted overnight Tuesday-Wednesday on a sign outside the Etz Chaim synagogue in the city of Leeds, England, according to local police.

Authorities were treating the act of vandalism as a hate crime and police increased the number of patrols in the area in response, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

Witnesses said racist slogans were found scribbled on a sidewalk near the Jewish house of worship as well, according to the BBC.

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UK: Bus passenger swore at Rabbi and accused him of “murdering Muslims”


Via CAA:
A rabbi from north London’s orthodox charedi Jewish community has been subjected to a barrage of antisemitic abuse while travelling through Stamford Hill on the 253 bus service. At 20:40 on Wednesday evening, a middle-aged man of Middle Eastern appearance boarded the bus, sat immediately behind him and began to swear at him under his breath. When, on arrival at the stop outside the Shell petrol station in Upper Clapton Road, the rabbi stood up to leave the bus, his abuser shouted at him, “Why are you killing all the Muslims? You are a murderer!” The rabbi declined the bus driver’s offer to call the police, as he was on his way to officiate at a ceremony. However, the next day, he made contact with the police himself. Clearly still angry and upset, he told us: “He was clearly antisemitic. He has no right to say these things to a person in a public place.”

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

UK: UK: Pensioner fined £250 for antisemitic mail campaign against 'Zionist Jews'

Via CAA:
James Evans, a 70-year-old pensioner from Worcester, has been fined for harassing Worcester MP Robin Walker after writing him over 150 letters which included references to “Zionist Jews” being a “death cult” and claims that they will “get us all killed in the Third World War.” He also said the Jews were “not a race.” Mr Evans was fined £250, despite him refusing to express remorse and the fact that this is his third conviction for a similar offence.

Mr Evans wrote over 150 letters to Mr Walker between 1st August and 25th November last year. Mr Evans, who represented himself, had previously admitted racially aggravated harassment against Mr Walker when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court to be sentenced.

It is Mr Evans’ third conviction for similar offences, one of which led to a restraining order preventing him from contacting staff at BBC Hereford and Worcester after he sent them 70 offensive letters. It was a restraining order he later breached.

Mr Walter even contacted Mr Evans in an attempt to stop the letters being sent, but he continued to send and hand deliver letters, sometimes several times a day.

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Op-Ed: Why my antisemitism antenna keeps twitching


Ivor Gaber @ TheJC:
Let me begin with a declaration of interest so that readers know, as they say, where I am coming from.

I am Jewish by birth and an atheist by belief. I was one of the original signatories to the declaration of Jews for Justice for the Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices, so I can hardly be described as a friend of the current Israeli Government or any of its immediate predecessors.

But why, at every Labour conference I have attended as a journalist and observer, does my trusty antisemitism antenna almost always start twitching?

I am no Jewish snowflake. I have sat in meeting after meeting where platform speakers have made legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government - both this one and Labour's before, and have offered, in the main, thoughtful insights into the origins of the state of Israel and of the whole Zionist mission.

But then, as soon as the discussion is opened to the audience, my discomfort begins.

Take Jeremy Corbyn's closing conference speech at this year’s conference for example. In the section on foreign affairs he spoke about the Saudi onslaught on Yemen, the oppression of the Rohingyas and the death toll in the Congo. Each reference received polite applause. Then he mentioned Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and the polite applause exploded into yelps of agreement and a standing ovation.

Why?

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Austria: Students reject 'antisemitic' boycott Israel campaign

Via Jerusalem Post:

The Austrian National Union of Students passed on Friday a motion against BDS, saying that the boycott movement targeting Israel is antisemitic, and that its demands recall the Nazis’ economic war against Jewish businesses.

It is believed to be the first time an Austrian national student union has passed such a resolution.

The Austrian Jewish students group announced on its Facebook page: “We are very happy to announce that the Austrian Students Union is the first national student union to officially pass a resolution denouncing BDS and also passing a version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA definition of antisemitism. The resolution states BDS to be an antisemitic campaign and calls not to give it any space or supporting funds.

“This has been a big step in the fight against antisemitism, and we are very happy that after our lobbying effort almost all factions have supported the motion.

“A special thanks to the GRAS Greens and Alternative Students and their continuing support in the fight against all antisemitism.”
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Europe: Despite underdevelopment of Palestinian institutions and civil society, Europe 'must' fund them

Via Besa Center (Dr. Asaf Romirowsky):

A consistent Palestinian strategy for seeking statehood while blaming Israel for its absence has been codified through the narrative of “occupation.” The anniversary of the 1967 war brought this to the forefront in endless accusations regarding the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank. There is even an assertion that Gaza is still “occupied.”

Occupation is a Palestinian tool to avoid negotiations, since “no tactical brilliance in negotiations, no amount of expert preparation, no perfect alignment of the stars can overcome that obstacle.” Nor is progress in Palestinian economics, institution-building, or civil society possible, because –  as Nabeel Kassis, Palestinian Minister for Finance, put it – “Development under occupation is a charade.” Even the Palestinian Authority’s own repression and crackdown on freedom of the press is, according to Hanan Ashrawi, caused “of course [by] the Israeli occupation.” And despite the palpable underdevelopment of Palestinian institutions and civil society, Europe must keep funding them, since “Preparedness for several possible scenarios with a long-term focus on functioning institutions is what is required from the EU and other donors in Palestine.”
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spain: Terrorism charges filed with Court over Palestinian hijacker

Related:
Europe: Huge success for terrorist Leila Khaled at European Parliament

Via The Algemeiner:
The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit legal-focused think tank, recently submitted a criminal complaint to the National Court of Spain, accusing convicted hijacker Leila Khaled, a member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of “public exaltation” of terrorism and financing terrorism. 
The complaint was submitted in collaboration with the Jewish community of Ibiza, Spain. It details how Khaled used her position in the PFLP to “trivialize the Holocaust, compare Israel to Nazi Germany and advocate for indiscriminate violence against civilians,” the group said in a statement. Additionally, The Lawfare Project has applied for a European warrant for the arrest of Khaled and for her inclusion in the European Union (EU) and Interpol criminal databases. 
Khaled, 73, participated in two hijackings; one in 1969 of a TWA flight and the other in 1970 of an El Al plane. 
Recently, she was permitted to address the European Parliament at an event called “The role of women in the Palestinian resistance.” The Lawfare Project asserts that Khaled used that platform to “praise extremist violence and demonize Jews.” 
“Seeing an infamous terrorist leader welcomed at universities, municipal halls, and even the European Parliament, all while praising violence against civilians, is both despicable and unacceptable,” said Ignacio Wenley Palacios, The Lawfare Project attorney who filed the charges. “Public exaltation and defense of terrorist acts is a serious crime in our country, and we are determined to advance criminal charges on behalf of the victims who are unable to defend themselves.”
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Denmark: For the first time troops guard synagogue and Israeli embassy for Yom Kippur

Via The Times of Israel:
The Danish military deployed troops in Copenhagen on Friday to guard the city’s synagogue and the Israeli embassy, hours ahead of the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.
The deployment was the first by troops in the Danish capital since the Second World War. 
The synagogue and the Israeli embassy have been under police protection since two deadly attacks in 2015. 
“This is the first time they are used in this type of situation, so it’s unique,” Copenhagen police spokesman Rasmus Bernt Skovsgaard said. 
Danish police have protected Jewish institutions in the country since Omar El-Hussein, a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin who swore allegiance to the Islamic State group, opened fire outside the synagogue, killing one Jewish man and wounding two police officers in 2015. 
Hours earlier, El-Hussein attacked a cultural centre hosting a free speech and Islam forum attended by the controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who faced death threats for penning a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad. 
A filmmaker, Finn Norgaard, was killed in that attack. Police later killed El-Hussein.
The soldiers, who will be deployed until March 2018, are “well-trained and equipped to carry out this type of mission,” Lieutenant Colonel Steen Dalsgaard of the Danish army told AFP. 
Police will continue to guard the Jewish museum and the school.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

UK: Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist ran stall at Labour conference

Related:
Corbyn gave tour of Parliament to anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist

Via Guido Fawkes:
A Labour member who shared anti-Semitic conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11, ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo attack was allowed to host an exhibition stall inside the party’s conference last month, Guido can reveal. Tapash Abu Shaim was seen manning the Palestine Solidarity Campaign desk inside the conference centre secure zone. Shaim was given a pass despite his social media activities being reported to the party in August and concerns being raised last year over his attendance at Labour conference 2016.

Shaim’s promotion of anti-Semitic conspiracies on social media has been well documented. In the wake of the January 2015 Paris terror attack he posted: “US politician Jack Lindblad claims Charlie Hebdo killings were ‘by US and Mossad’ to keep Israel’s Netanyahu in power”. 
In another post he labelled terror group Daesh “ISIS = International Solidarity for Israeli Sentiment”. He shared yet another which read: “confirmed ISIS is a Mossad united state of IsraHELL creation”.


Shaim has also shared articles claiming 9/11 was a “Tel-Aviv based outside job”. He suggested the tragedy was: “a deluge of false flag terrorism.” 


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Ukraine: Anti-Semitic vandals caught by police

Via Arutz Sheva 7:
Ukrainian Police have arrested an anti-Semitic gang responsible for a long string of attacks against Jewish worshippers at the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman. Thousands of Breslov hasidim and others visit Uman for the High Holidays every year. 
The gang, which called themselves 'Torpedo', had been receiving instruction from a manager in Russia, who paid them money per attack in an attempt to stir up anti-Jewish sentiment in Ukraine. 
The gang was responsible for throwing a grenade at Jews in September, which injured a 13-year-old boy. 
In 2016, the gang had thrown a pig’s head and red paint into Rabbi Nachman's grave. Photograph close-ups of the pig’s head showed a swastika carved into the animal’s forehead. The attackers also sprayed tear gas and shouted anti-Semitic epithets during the assault, which left Jewish visitors to the tomb shaken.
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

France medical brain drain: why are so many doctors leaving for Israel?

Via The Jerusalem Post:
Michel Alimi says he was shopping at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket just a couple of hours before  an Islamist struck on January 9, 2015, shooting four Jews dead and holding 16 hostage before being killed by French police. Now, he, his wife and one of his daughters are moving to Israel.

The 62-year-old general practitioner says the attack, coming after other bloody instances of anti-Jewish violence by French Muslims, has sparked a wave of departures to Israel, including about 50 families from his own neighborhood of Saint-Mandé, on the edge of Paris. (...)

But it’s not just the dangers of Paris life that have motivated hundreds of Jewish medical professionals to join thousands of other French Jews in moving to Israel. It’s also a slew of recent rule changes by Israeli authorities that will make the transition easier for people like him and daughter Aurelia, a 33-year-old pediatrician who specializes in pediatric oncology, who are preparing, or considering, aliya, according to Israeli officials in France and Israel.

France is recognized as having among the highest standards of medical care in the world, and there are thousands of Jewish doctors there, including many who have held prominent positions. André Lichwitz was Charles de Gaulle’s personal physician and Prof. Pierre Aboulker performed the French president’s prostate operation.

Dr. José Aboulker, a relative of Pierre, was a World War II hero who infiltrated Nazi occupied France as a secret agent and later headed the emergency medical unit that followed de Gaulle when he was targeted for assassination. (...)

Yet, immigration by French-trained medical professionals to Israel has long been problematic because of difficulties in getting their credentials recognized. Many French Jewish doctors have long alleged that the hurdles were placed by organizations of Israeli doctors to discourage competition.

Israeli officials say this is no longer a problem.

Ariel Kandel, former head of the Jewish Agency in France, is now director general of Qualita, a Jerusalem-based group aimed at smoothing the arrival in Israel for French Jews. (...)

Official Israeli figures show that 1,166 French medical professionals have made aliya since 2012. Among them are 340 doctors, as well as dentists, pharmacists, optometrists and other medical and paramedical specialists. The only countries from which more medical professionals arrived during the same period were Russia with 1,776 and strife-torn Ukraine with 1,186. By comparison, the United States, which has the Diaspora’s largest community, contributed 668 medical professionals. 
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