Tuesday, January 31, 2017

EU Parliament President concerned over Europe's shrinking Jewish population

It has now been recognized that the Jewish population in Europe is shrinking.  France: Majority indifferent to Jews leaving France.

Via European Parliament:

Parliament President Antonio Tajani 
To honour the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day, MEPs held a ceremony in the Parliament on Wednesday together with representatives from Jewish communities in Europe and other dignitaries.  
Referring to the Holocaust as "the worst tragedy in European history", Parliament President Antonio Tajani said: “Remembering is not only an act of commemoration. It is a crucial process if we want to avoid repeating the same errors.” 
Tajani expressed concerns over Europe's shrinking Jewish population and the persistence of crimes against Jews.  
He added: "Remembering the terrible mistakes of the past gives us the possibility to remind ourselves that Europe has always been able to draw lessons from history for a future based on freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity."
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Monday, January 30, 2017

France: Socialist primary winner had backing of prominent anti-Semites

The issue of the importance of the Muslim opposed to the much less important Jewish vote is not new in France - it was advocated 15 years ago by Pascal Boniface.  Pascal Bruckner wrote
"When the political scientist Pascal Boniface, in a note to the leaders of the Socialist Party in April 2001, advised them, as a matter of simple electoral calculation, to abandon the Jewish vote (500,000 in France) for the Muslim vote (five million), he very honestly spilled the beans." 
Via JTA:
A left-wing politician in France who was endorsed by the founders of the country’s Anti-Zionist Party handily defeated Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the Socialist presidential primaries.
Benoit Hamon, who supports dramatically expanding welfare payments and has called for his party to support Palestinian causes to increase its appeal to Muslim voters, beat his hard-line challenger Sunday with 58 percent of the vote in the second and final round of the balloting.
Last week, the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala and the far-right author Alain Soral — who along with founding the  Anti-Zionist Party both have multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred against Jews – endorsed Hamon publicly. Hamon disavowed Soral and Dieudonne.
Soral wrote on his website that voting for Hamon was necessary to “knock Valls out of the race” because he is “a candidate who swore allegiance to the CRIF and to Israel be it through policy, media exposure, judicial means or by deploying the police.” CRIF is the umbrella group of French Jewish communities.
Soral and Dieudonne cited Valls’ commitment to defending Jews against anti-Semitic violence. Valls is married to Anne Gravoin, a Jewish musician. In 2011 he said his marriage connected him “in an eternal way” to Israel and the Jewish people. He is also the only French prime minister who has said publicly that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. (...)
Hamon in a televised interview last month called the establishment of a Palestinian state the “best way of ensuring Israel is not attacked by its neighbors.” But in a 2014 interview, he said that supporting the establishment of such a state was the Socialist Party’s “best way to recuperate our electorate in the suburbs and the neighborhoods” – code for Muslim voters — “who did not support the pro-Israeli position taken by President François Hollande.”
Hamon had criticized Valls, too, for “giving in to Israel.”
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UK: Outrage as Jewish students at SOAS told they can’t define anti-Semitism

Via Jewish News:
Jewish students’ campaign to define what they find “anti-Semitic” hit a brick wall at a Union General Meeting at SOAS University in London this week, with Jewish representatives blasting the “outrageous” comments made.

SOAS Students’ Union, which supports a boycott of Israel, debated the ‘Jewish Equality Act,’ a motion proposed by economics undergraduate Avrahum Sanger, one of less than 40 Jewish students at the university.

His requests were mainly met, such as kosher sandwiches in cafes, easier access to multi-faith prayers rooms and rescheduled activities around Shabbat and Jewish holiday. However the Union took issue exception to his additional request that Jewish students be able to define what is anti-Semitic.

The clause in question read: “Jewish students should be given the right to self-determination and be able to define what constitutes hatred against their group, like all other minority groups.”


Elsewhere, during another debate about the invitation of speakers to campus, one student singled out any “organisation that has any affiliation or any links to a Zionist or Netanyahu or to a Zionist ideology,” adding: “There will not be any tolerance of such organisations to host an event or speak on any topic regardless.”

UJS campaigns manager Josh Nagli said: “The disgraceful comments regarding Zionist speakers will bring back dreadful memories of Jewish students’ experiences on campus in the 1970s when the banning of Zionist speakers led to Jewish Societies being banned.”

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Belgians who chanted about Jewish massacre indicted

Via JTA:
Three men were indicted in Belgium for chanting in Arabic at an anti-Israel rally about a site where Muslims are believed to have massacred Jews centuries ago.
Two organizers of the Antwerp rally in July 2014 and a participant had cried out “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” the Gazet van Antwerp reported Tuesday about their indictment this week. The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
The Forum of Jewish Organization of Flanders filed a complaint against the men based on videos showing them chanting the slogan at the rally.
The defendants, identified only as Youssef R., Suhail A. and Marc D.Q., are denying the chant was incitement to hatred. The verdict is expected next month.
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Swiss government denies requests for public information about funding of framework distributing 56% of its budget to BDS advocacies

Via European Jewish Press:
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the country’s foreign ministry, has denied requests from a Swiss resident and from NGO Monitor research institute to provide public information about Swiss government funding to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the IHL Secretariat), a Ramallah-based framework that distributes 56% of its budget to NGOs that advocate for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaigns against Israel. 
The FDFA claimed in his response that disclosure of the documents "might harm Swiss interests regarding foreign policy and international relations." 
NGO Monitor has since submitted an appeal to the FDFA, citing the Swiss Federal Act on Freedom of Information in the Administration (Freedom of Information Act, FoIA). 
The IHL Secretariat is an intermediary framework that distributes funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including to many active in BDS campaigns, and is managed by the Institute of Law at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm in Sweden. IHL is a funding scheme of the Swiss, Danish, Swedish and Dutch governments. 
According to the contract between the Swiss Confederation (represented by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acting through the Swiss Cooperation Gaza & West Bank office) and NIRAS, the Swiss contribution to the IHL Secretariat amounts to CHF 3 million between December 12, 2013 and September 30, 2017. (...)
According to NGO Monitor, NGOs receiving "core-funding" from the Secretariat include BADIL, Al-Haq, Addameer, and MIFTAH, which are at the forefront of BDS and lawfare campaigns. 
"The central question is why are audits of government financial contributions to a 'human rights' framework subject to such secrecy?" continued Sacks ( Shaun Sacks, Senior Researcher at NGO Monitor's Europe Desk). 
"Those most affected by the funding, including Israelis, Palestinians, and Swiss taxpayers should be able to see how these crucial decisions are made, and how this money is being spent," he said.
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Germany: Muslim students protest Holocaust remembrance, school supports 'criticism'

Via Jerusalem Post:
Muslim students of Arab and Turkish origin protested participation in an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event in Germany, while their high school’s administration showed understanding for their criticism of Israel.

“Some Muslims students said they would not participate in the event,” said Florian Beer, a teacher at the school in the city of Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Der Westen newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Holocaust remembrance event was part of a global commemoration in which participants take selfie photographs along with a sign saying “I Remember“ or “We Remember.“ A blackboard at the school was defaced with the sentence: “F*** Israel, free Palestine.” The school was not able to identify the perpetrator.


The Weiterbildungskolleg Emscher-Lippe school, where the protest unfolded, has 500 students, 40% of whom have a migrant background.

School director Günter Jahn told Der Westen it was good that there was student opposition to the remembrance event. “It is important that there is criticism. That is the basis for a discussion.” He added that in certain communities, criticism of Israel is demanded.

The school is located in the northern part of the Ruhr region and Gelsenkirchen’s population in 2015 was roughly 260,000.

Some of the students allowed themselves to be photographed with the remembrance signs but declined to permit the photographs to be displayed on the Internet. A number of students, according to Der Westen, asked, “Why always the Jews?” The students added there are, after all, other problems in world.

Beer said the school likes to be provocative because there are always events at the school that leave an “aftertaste of antisemitism.” He added that representatives from the World Jewish Congress have been invited to come speak at the school.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

France: Vile sexual antisemitic drawing of Manuel Valls at presidential primary polling station

Antisemitic drawing found on the door of a polling station at today's second round of the socialist presidential primary.  It depicts candidate and former P.M. Manuel Valls whose wife is Jewish and the inscriptions reads "Valls a star is born".

Via Facebook

"Valls a star is born"

German courts expose the mechanism by which opposition to Israel is indistinguishable from opposition to Jews

Via The Weekly Standard (by Joseph Bottum):

On January 13, 2017, a German regional court ruled that a lower court had been correct to find no anti-Semitism in the attempt by a group of Muslim men to burn down a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal. 
The failed firebombing attack had occurred in 2014, during the Israeli conflict with Hamas in Gaza. In 2015 the lower court found that the men had intended their actions as a protest against Israel—with the result that the adults in the group deserved to have their sentences suspended, freeing them from jail time. And now, after review by a superior court, the German legal system has affirmed that German synagogues are legitimate targets of protest against Israel. 
Remember this moment, for the German courts have exposed the mechanism by which opposition to Israel proves indistinguishable from opposition to Jews. (...)
To see the logic at play, suppose that three white men had attacked a traditionally black church in Birmingham, Alabama, scrawling graffiti and trying to set the church on fire. Caught and convicted, they were sentenced to a year in jail—with the jail time suspended. Yes, the judge explained, they had been unlawfully violent and thus deserved to be convicted. But he suspended their sentences because their purpose in attacking the African-American church had not been to harm Americans but to protest the failure of the Nigerian government to halt the kidnapping of schoolgirls by the radical African militia Boko Haram.  (...)
Black citizens of the United States are never taken as symbolic representatives of African governments. For that matter, imagine the outcry if a judge condoned violence against the places of worship of native citizens who happened to be Muslim—because a distant government was doing something objectionable. (...)
What the German courts have revealed, however, is not so much the psychology as the logic by which anti-Semitism has returned to the West. A strong case can be made that modern anti-Zionism was always a subterfuge, born from an anti-Semitism trying to disguise itself. But now even the need to wear that mask seems gone. The German Muslims who attacked the Wuppertal synagogue in 2014 took Germany's Jews as representatives of Israel, and in 2017 the German courts agreed, simply as a matter of law. 
Think about that for a moment. Once non-Israeli Jews have been legally recognized as symbols of Israel, not even a ray of daylight can slip between opposition to Israel and opposition to Jews. (...)
Once and for all, anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism. German courts have told us so. 
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Norway: Media doesn't forget to explain that Trump's son-in-law is Jewish

Via The Local (h/t CFCA):
Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has apologized for a formulation used when describing Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
On January 12th, Aftenposten wrote in an article about Kushner that “the Jew Kushner reportedly pushed for David M. Friedman as the new ambassador to Israel”.
The Norwegian Jewish society Det Mosaiske Trossamfund (DMT) took offence to the wording and asked the newspaper to issue an apology.

“It is anti-Semitic when Aftenposten journalists believe that Kushner’s Jewish identity explains why he allegedly pushed to get Friedman as ambassador. This is a coarse generalization based on the myth that Jews have a different loyalty. The accusation that Jews have a different loyalty is an accusation that is hundreds of years old,” DMT head Ervin Kohn told Norwegian news source Minerva.

Aftenposten news editor, Tove Tveøy Strøm–Gundersen told the same source that the newspaper has sent an apology to the Jewish community.

“This is a term that has also been used in an anti-Semitic context. It was not our intention to create that kind of negative association. We've discussed this internally and concluded that it is right to apologize for the choice of wording,” she said.

Strøm–Gundersen added however that Aftenposten did not conclude that Kushner’s lobbying on behalf of Friedman was because he is Jewish but rather that his religion “is not uninteresting information for our readers”.

“When [conservative American politician] Rick Santorum fights for stricter abortion laws, we inform readers that he is a Catholic. When Donald Trump chooses to use his son-in-law as a player in the Middle East - and when one of the issues Kushner is reported as having been directly involved in was the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador - then it is natural to mention that he is an Orthodox Jew,”  she said.

While Aftenposten issued an apology, rival newspaper Dagbladet said it saw no reason to regret its choice of wording in an article on Kushner in which the headline asked “what experience does he have besides being a Jew and married into the family?”
“It’s important to look at the context in which Jared Kushner’s religious affiliation was mentioned. Trump himself has made a number out of the fact that Kushner is Jewish, in part to position him as a friend to Israel, and has already set his Middle East policy high on his agenda,” Dagbladet editor Hilde Schjerve told Minerva.

“It has also been controversial that Trump has appointed his own son-in-law as responsible for the Middle East because Kushner lacks political experience and has previously given money to Israeli settlements - something that has helped to cast doubt on his ability to mediate peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Schjerve added.

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Poland: Famous author blames Jews for anti-government protests


Warsaw - Marcin Wolski, well-known in Poland satirist, publicly accused Jews who, according to his words "are behind anti-government protests".

The Jewish community send complaint to National Council on TV and Radio program by Wolski: "Behind the Vision".

The Jewish community also send to Mr. Wolski an instruction what antisemitism is, and a box of matza, because satirist compared "holy wafer" with matza, telling that this year during Xmass the matza was eaten instead of holy wafer.

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Norway: Documentary about antisemitism

It's a common misconception that Jews in Europe suffer mainly or mostly from Muslims. As this documentary show, that is far from the truth.  Jews suffer from antisemitism from all directions, and the worst part is that antisemitism is not even seen as a problem.

TV 2 Norway investigate Norwegian anti-Semitism. The word "Jew" is a common insult in many communities in Norway. What role does the neo-Nazis’, muslim immigrations and the - BDS (boycott Israel) movement play – if any? And: Can old prejudices be joked away?

Program: Vårt lille land, TV 2 Norway (Our little country. Everybody has a story) Sendt 27. November 2016.

Austrian man jailed for selling pro-Hitler songs online

Via Times of Israel:

An Austrian court has convicted a man under the country’s anti-Nazi law and sentenced him to prison for selling recorded songs with titles such as “Adolf Hitler Lives” and displaying Nazi tattoos.

Austria prohibits praise or propagation of Nazi ideology. The 38-year old was tried and sentenced to 33 months in prison Tuesday in the Upper Austrian city of Steyr.

He denied wrongdoing, saying his ideology reflected the fact that “I back my nation.”

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Lithuania: Teacher fired for helping students with Holocaust film

Via Jerusalem Post (h/t Honestly Concerned):
 It’s not every day that Lithuanian high school students block the entrance to their school to keep out their principal and demand the return to work of a beloved teacher who, in their opinion, was unfairly dismissed. In fact, as far as I could determine, the action taken recently by students at the Laisves (freedom) Gymnasium (high school) in Naujoji Vilnia, a suburb of the capital, Vilnius (Vilna), is unprecedented since Lithuania regained its independence in 1990.

So what prompted this unusual case of student insubordination, which garnered headlines in the largest of the Baltic republics? At this point, we must differentiate between the official version of the story and what appears to be the real reason for the events which took place at the high school several weeks ago. According to the principal, the teacher in question, Marius Janulevicius, who teaches Lithuanian language and literature, had spoken harshly to one of the school’s female cleaning staff, which prompted his immediate dismissal. Such a step might seem unduly harsh, but the real reason for his dismissal apparently had nothing to do with that incident. It was because of an unusual, and unprecedented, film project undertaken by Andzej Davlevic, Dominykas Versalovicius and Deividas Svencionis, three of the school’s pupils, with the encouragement and tutelage of Janulevicius. The film, The Forgotten, commemorates the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

These same students had originally approached their history teacher with the idea for the film, but she strongly discouraged them, suggesting it would be far better to deal with historical tragedies which had befallen Lithuanians.

“Don’t deal with the fate of the Jews,” was her unequivocal message. But the three boys were determined to deal with the Holocaust and were able to carry out the project in their free time, with the enthusiastic help of Janulevicius.

The film was produced and put online (but has still not been screened at the school), and once it became public knowledge the reprisal from the school came very swiftly – once an excuse presented itself to fire Janulevicius. The authorities, however, did not anticipate the reaction of the students, who rallied to his defense, barricading the school and locking the principal in her office.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Belgium: Anti-Israel newly appointed minister is the son of Dieudonné's lawyer

Following the Publifin political scandal which led the Flemish daily De Morgen to qualify the Walloon politicians involved as pure 'Walloon mafia', the Socialist Walloon Minister for Local Authorities, Paul Furlan, had to resign.  He was replaced by a pro-BDS politician, Pierre-Yves Dermagne.

In 2016 a Belgian economic delegation was slated to visit Israel.  Together with a few other Brussels and Walloon MPs, Pierre-Yves Dermagne asked for the visit to be cancelled.  Le Vif reported that a collaborator (himself very anti-Israel) of the Socialist party president Elio Di Rupo had complained that Dermagne could have expressed his opposition privately and not embarrass the party by going public about it.

Pierre-Yves Dermagne is the son Jean-Marie Dermagne, a rabid anti-Israel lawyer and 'human rights activist' who peddles on his FB account conspirationist theories.  He was Dieudonné's lawyer and accuses Israel of being "the master of the world".   Jean-Marie Dermagne re-posted this conspirationist and anti-semitic meme (see explanation here).

“There are only 9 countries in the world without a Rothschild Central Bank: Russia, China, Iceland, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Hungary. Isn’t it funny that we are always at war with these countries?”

Another example of Dermagne's hatred of Israel as reported on this blog:
A Belgian delegation headed by a socialist MP Gwenaelle Grovonius was barred from entering Gaza.  Obviously it's big news on Belgian media.
This caused an indignant Jean-Marie Dermagne to post the following message on Facebook: "Yet another affront.  This justifies the breaking of relations (between Belgium and Israel).  Israel is the master of the world". 

Jean-Marie Dermargne is a lawyer, a former president of the Bar of Dinant, a member of the Human Rights League, a vice president of the Union of lawyers for democracy (Syndicat des avocats pour la démocratie), director of Sirde /UCL/ LLN (Catholic University of Louvain).  

During a  debate on Belgian State TV he was presented as Dieudonné's lawyer - at the end of the show, Dieudonné and his wife sent a note refuting the claim and demanding that Dermargne stop saying that he is their lawyer - they named their two official Belgian lawyers. It seems that Dermagne used to be their lawyer but no longer, but he didn't see fit to say so...  

In 2009, Jean-Marie Dermagne wrote a pro-Dieudonné article entitled Does Dieudonné fornicate with the devil?  By the way, neither he nor his son the minister is on record condemning Belgian government high level official visits to countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Iran...

Unsurprisingly 74% of the Belgian population feel that their elites have let them down.

UK: David Icke’s disciples tell us what antisemitism really is, and why their hero is not an antisemite

Via CAA:
Earlier this week we asked Manchester City Council to impose a fine and licence conditions on the O2 Apollo theatre for providing a platform to antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, who delivered a twelve-hour sermon on his world view, including his notorious segment on the supposed conspiracy he calls “Rothschild Zionism”. We asked witnesses to the performance to e-mail us, and interestingly Icke’s associates urged his disciples to contact us. We have received numerous e-mails from Icke’s devotees unanimously reassuring us that Icke is no antisemite, and his message is one of love and compassion.

We decided to publish extracts below, unedited save for the grammar and spelling.

While their comments are patently risible, they are also highly dangerous. They illustrate how easy it is for a demagogue like Icke to convince people that age-old antisemitic conspiracy myths are real. Icke passionately warns his followers that the “Rothschild Zionists” have the world in their grip, and that even the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion should be heeded. It is perhaps unsurprising that people who are willing to pay up to £80 to be lectured for twelve hours straight by Icke are susceptible to his views. It is, nonetheless, extremely alarming. He preys on ordinary people who are suggestible, and persuades them that he is revealing a hidden truth, and that they cannot trust anybody else to be honest with them. Like a cult leader, he “wakes them up” from the “dreamworld” they were living in before they met him.

Take David Wright for example. He resoundingly endorsed Icke’s philosemitic credentials, telling us: “Just because he believes a Jewish elite run the world doesn’t make him an antisemite.” In a separate e-mail, he assured us that: “David Icke is nothing like an antisemite,” reinforcing the point with a link to David Icke’s “Rothschild Zionism” speech.
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As anti-Semitic tides rise, Diaspora turns to Israel for help

Israel invests a lot of money and manpower in fighting antisemitism worldwide.

Via Times of Israel:
 Leaders of Jewish communities across Europe called on Israel Monday to help them tackle the rising threat of terrorism and anti-Semitism, saying that the Jewish state can provide vital security assistance against potential attacks.

Speaking at the European Jewish Association’s annual Jewish Leaders Conference here in the Belgian capital, community leaders spoke of how growing anti-Semitic sentiment caused by both far-right political gains and left-wing anti-Zionist activists have led to an increasing number of attacks and other incidents across Europe.

Philippe Markiewicz, chairman of the Consistoire of Belgium, an umbrella group of Jewish organizations in the country, said that European communities could stand to benefit form Israel’s experience in combating terrorism.

“I think that Israel can help Europe a lot to fight against terrorism because Israel has a long experience of the subject,” Markiewicz said. “It’s very important that Israel give help to European countries to fight against this terrorism.”
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Germany: Antisemitic illustration in schoolbook

Via Arutz 7:
A schoolbook publisher has apologized for using an anti-Semitic illustration in a text about the euro crisis.

The book will not be removed from German schools' bookshelves, however.

Based in Berlin, the Klett-Verlag publisher told Vice magazine blogger Philipp Frohn that the "regrettable mistake" would be corrected in a future edition, which will not come out for several years.

At issue is an image in the firm's textbook about politics, called "Impulses 2." It depicts the euro as a Pacman-like chomping mouth about to devour Europe superimposed over a symbol with the words "Rothschild Bank."

The notion that the Jewish banking family is controlling the world for its own selfish purposes "is a classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that the Nazis made good use of," Frohn wrote.

"The message to pupils ... is clear: The driving force behind the whole nasty affair is a bank. A Jewish bank," he added.

The book credits the notorious American illustrator David Dees, whose work the New York-based Anti-Defamation League called "anti-Semitic and conspiratorial" in a 2008 report. The ADL noted that Dees, on his own website, said he hoped his images would "wake others up about the onslaught of the elite's power hungry world government plan of domination."

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UK: National Action member was allegedly caught with a viable homemade bomb and Nazi flags, court hears

Via CAA:

Leeds Crown Court has heard that a 17-year-old prepared a viable homemade bomb in preparation for an “all-out race war”. The defendant is allegedly a member of National Action, a violent neo-Nazi group which recruits teenage children and university students. The Home Secretary designated National Action a proscribed terrorist organisation last month after a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson told the jury that the teenage defendant made a viable bomb using fireworks after seeking out instructions on the internet. He said that the defendant often wore a business suit, but beneath his respectable veneer he was an unabashed neo-Nazi who allegedly sent friends racist Snapchat messages, leading to police being alerted to what he was preparing.

When police entered his bedroom they found it festooned with Nazi flags including the swastika and the emblem of Hitler’s Waffen SS. His laptop screensaver was an image of a Nazi eagle over a Swastika and Hitler’s famous slogan: “Ein volk, ein reich, ein führer” (one people, one nation, one führer). Police found the bomb in a drawer.

According to the prosecution, police found that after he became involved with National Action, the defendant had written online: “Focusing on making homemade weapons [guns] and explosives, as well as amassing a collection of knives. We don’t have any right to bears arms, so the resistance has to learn to construct its own weapons.” He began attending National Action rallies and participating in sticker campaigns to spread their message, the prosecutor said. In early June, he wrote to a friend on Facebook Messenger: “The IRA is where we get most of our techniques from. We follow them religiously, the way they operated in an urban environment. The way they blended into the population. Urban guerrilla warfare is what we need to learn.” He also posted: “I wish the Nazis had won the war. I wish I could have lived back then and fought alongside the British free Korps, and had the privilege of praising the Führer. Hail Hitler!”

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

UK: The sands of antisemitism are shifting in the UK

Via Israelly Cool (by David Collier):

This week, Goldsmiths University of London placed a large suggestion board seeking ideas for improvements from students. Professor David Hirsh arrived on campus to see that one of the suggestions was to remove him. The comment read “no more David Hirsh, no more Zionism — a bitter Jew appended by a smiley face. This not even the first but rather ” the third openly antisemitic piece of graffiti at goldsmiths in a year.”
The university responded they “condemn this action – this is an unacceptable attack on a member of Goldsmiths staff.”
This though is nonsense. Goldsmiths proudly provide an environment in which the breeding swamp of antisemitism flourishes. I have been to several anti-Israel events there and felt the hatred myself. You cannot create an environment so hostile and refuse to accept the responsibility when the sewer spills over. Even their rugby team has an emblem on their shirt that has obliterated Israel. What did they expect?
Just a few weeks before this, my daughter came home distraught, because the local bus stop had been vandalised with horrific antisemitic graffiti. How do you deal with a fourteen-year-old who phones in tears because somebody has abused her so anonymously? Why should we even have to deal with this question?
Just two weeks ago, my wife lost income as a direct result of her identity. We are aware that the cancellation of an assignment, was down to the realisation on the part of the client that my wife had been educated in Israel. For a Muslim Councillor in a nearby town, that was an unacceptable connection to make.
Today, the editor of the UK’s Jewish Chronicle Stephen Pollard, went to a local coffee shop (in Tottenham Court Road) for a sandwich. He heard a discussion on a nearby table. Two girls were talking about Israel. The conversation swiftly switched to Jews.
“She’s Jewish and she’s like really annoying – you know, rich like the rest of the them and keeps going to f***ing Israel for holidays.” The response: – “”Ugh. Hate them”.
This week, there have also been a spate of attacks against Jewish homes across North West London. In one attack, in the early hours of Saturday morning, a brick was thrown through the window of a Jewish home. A group of Jews were pelted with eggs while walking home from Shabbat dinner.  Another property was daubed with swastikas.
Last week on a different campus in London, there is footage from an event promoting the boycott of Israel. Jewish students on their own campus were accused of being enemy aliens, of being ‘briefed’ and sent by the Israeli embassy. 
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France: Synagogue receives death threats


Metz – an anonymous antisemitic letter with death threats was sent to the synagogue of Metz. The letter reads: "Swastika, Dirty Jew, we will all kill you etc ... etc ...".

European officials accuse Israel of ‘systematic unlawful killings’ in Gaza

Via Times of Israel:

A European inter-governmental group accused Israel of engaging in “apparently systematic unlawful killings” of Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone areas between the Gaza Strip and Israel over the past several years, and of exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, also known as PACE, voted on Tuesday in favor of a resolution, based on an internal report on the humanitarian situation in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave, which charges Israel with “excessive and intentional force without justification against Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone, including against farmers, journalists, medical crews and peaceful protesters, [which] runs blatantly counter to human rights principles and the international law-enforcement standards.”

“Cases of the deliberate fatal shooting of individuals who posed no imminent danger to life amounts to an appalling pattern of apparently systematic unlawful killings,” read the report, which was composed by Eva-Lena Jansson, a Swedish politician from the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and presented on January 4 to the assembly, made up of 324 parliamentarians from 47 countries.

The report cites a Palestinian NGO which is said to have “documented the killing of 136 Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli live fire in the buffer zone, including 20 children,” since 2010.

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Germany busts alleged far-right plot to attack Jews, refugees

Via Times of Israel:

German authorities on Wednesday carried out dawn raids against far-right suspects accused of plotting attacks on Jews, refugees and police, federal prosecutors said.

Police swooped on 12 homes and other sites in six states “as part of a federal investigation on suspicion of forming a right-wing extremist organization,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Six suspects, “connected primarily via social media,” are accused of founding the group “and in early 2016 beginning plans for armed attacks against police officers as representatives of the state, asylum seekers and members of the Jewish community.”

Another seven people are believed to have offered assistance to the group, including acquiring weapons.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

France: Majority indifferent to Jews leaving France

Via Véronique Chemla:

Véronique Chemla has analyzed the findings of the second part of a survey commissioned by the Fondation du Judaïsme (FJF) and carried out by the polling firm IPSOS. The report looks at 'the evolution of the relation towards the other in the French society'.   Véronique Chemla is critical of the way the questions were formulated and of the findings.

Noteworthy is the fact that only one third of the French worry about Jews leaving France, 60% are unconcerned and 7% rejoice at the prospect of their departure.

- 51% of the French consider that Jews have valid reasons to be afraid of living in France, 16 points up compared to a 2014 survey.

- The French are well aware that Jews are leaving - 26% of respondents qualify the departures as "massive" or "important", 8 points up from 2014. 

- The departures are perceived as being caused by anti-Semitism - 70% think that Jews who emigrate to Israel (and other countries) do so because they fear a rise in anti-Semitism (29 points up from  2014). 

- These departures do not bother a majority of the French and some are happy about it: 60% feel that the fact that Jews are leaving is neither a good nor a bad thing, 33% that it is a bad thing and 7% a good thing.

More on this subject - first part of the survey (2016) -  Poll: Most Frenchmen believe Jews responsible for rise in anti-semitic
Fully 60 percent of Frenchmen believe that Jews bear at least some responsibility for recent rises in anti-Semitism, according to a new poll by the Ipsos market research firm.

According to French media reports, the 18-month study, which was sponsored by the Fondation du judaïsme français, also found that 56% of Frenchmen believe that Jews have a “lot of power” and are richer than average while more than 40% said that Jews are “a little too present in the media.”
... 51% des Français considèrent désormais que les juifs ont « des raisons d’avoir des craintes de vivre en France », un chiffre en hausse de 16 points par rapport à 2014. De même, le départ de Français juifs pour l’étranger est un phénomène beaucoup mieux appréhendé qu’il y a deux ans (26% le jugent « massif » ou « important », +8 points), et il est désormais fréquemment perçu comme lié à la montée de l’antisémitisme : 70% des Français pensent que les juifs qui émigrent en Israël le font « par crainte de la montée de l’antisémitisme » (+29 points). Pour autant, ces départs laissent la majorité des Français indifférente : 60% jugent que ces départs ne sont « ni d’une bonne, ni d’une mauvaise chose », 33% « une mauvaise chose », 7% « une bonne chose ». 

UK: Racist football fans filmed shouting anti-Semitic chants on tram

Via Metro:
Fans were caught on camera singing vile racist chants on a tram ahead of Manchester City’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

The abuse, which included lines such as ‘You’re getting gassed in the morning, gassed in the morning’, was filmed by a shocked passenger.
Paedophile who became first dead person to be convicted ‘was victim of witch hunt’

One man can be heard shouting sickening anti-Semetic jibes, including ‘F*** off you f***ing y***. F***ing gas isn’t good enough for ya.’

The incident took place on a tram to the Ethiad stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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Spanish courts deal double blow to BDS movement

Via Jerusalem Post:

ACOM, an Israel lobby group that works to combat BDS in Spain, dealt a double blow to the boycott movement this past week after garnering two legal victories in municipalities in Madrid and Barcelona.

A Madrid court ruled against the City Council of Rivas Vaciamadrid, a town of some 80,000 inhabitants in Madrid, annulling a decision to boycott Israel.

In May 2016, the council adopted a BDS resolution not to sign “any political, commercial, agricultural, educational, cultural, sporting or security agreement or contract with Israeli institutions, companies and organizations, nor with bodies, companies and organizations that are involved, collaborate or in any way capitalize on the violation of international law and human rights in the Palestinian territories or in the occupied Golan.”

According to ACOM, the municipality declared itself a “free space of Israeli apartheid.”

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Ukraine says Russian secret services spread anti-Semitic sentiments in Ukraine

Via Kyiv Post:
Secret services of the Russian Federation are spreading anti-Semitic sentiments in Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada deputy Anton Herashchenko said, speaking during a live interview broadcast by the Kyiv-based 112.ua TV channel in Kyiv on Jan. 23 evening.

“You probably remember the news in November that a pig’s head was left on the tombstone of Tsadik, who is revered by Jews, in Uman. There was also the news that anti-Semitic graffiti appeared in Chernivtsi during the visit of Israel’s Knesset speaker. Anti-Semitic books were also distributed in November and December of last year. I can say that these incidents are not coincidental. They are part of a concerted effort by Russian special forces to sow anti-Semitic sentiments in Ukraine,” Herashchenko said.
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Italy: Vandals deface new Milan ‘stumbling stone’ Holocaust memorial

Via JTA:       
Vandals defaced one of the “stumbling stone” Holocaust memorials unveiled last week in Milan, covering it with black paint.

The vandalism was discovered Saturday by Ornella Coen, the daughter of Dante Coen, the person commemorated by the plaque, who was deported to Auschwitz and then killed at Buchenwald on April 4, 1945.

“Stumbling stones,” or “stolpersteine,” are individual commemorative cobblestones placed in front of the houses of people who were deported during the Holocaust. Placing them is an ongoing memorial and art project by the German artist Gunter Deming, who installs each one — nearly 60,000 in various countries since the mid-1990s.

The defaced stone was one of the first six stumbling stones to be installed in Milan, during  a ceremony on Jan. 19. It is believed to have been defaced the next day.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

UK: Baroness Tonge spreads anti-semitic fake news

Via Jewish News :
Baroness Jenny Tonge is under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards. Initially she was under investigation on two counts: alleged failure to act on personal honour and alleged breach of rules on House facilities. However the first charge has been dropped. It needs to be taken up again because she has posted an anti-Semitic article on her Facebook page.

Tonge posted a piece of fake news. Not just fake – anti-semitic. It claims that at a recent conference, Israel’s President Rivlin said:

“The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment … the Israeli Holocaust against the Palestinians is worse than the Nazis I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse? I think that ‘Holocaust’ against Palestinians is worse than Nazis.”

The article is bylined AWD News. AWD News mostly publishes far right wing conspiracies.

When Jewish News did its investigation of hate sites last May, AWD News was named as one of the 23 sites listed.

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EU Funding to NGOs Active in Anti-Israel BDS Campaigns

Via NGO Monitor:

Executive Summary

  • Twenty-nine out of 100 EU grants administered through EU regional funding programs designated for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza funnel funds to organizations that actively promote BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) – totaling €16.7 million out of €67.1 million (roughly 25%).
  • Forty-two out of 180 EU grantees in total support BDS – through participation in activities and events, signing of petitions and initiatives, and/or membership in explicit BDS platforms.
  • A number of organizations were funded through more than one EU grant, sometimes as part of the same program (“Double Dipping”).
  • The EU expressly opposes BDS. When confronted by evidence of funding for NGOs with agendas or values that contradict EU policy, the EU’s recurring response is that it “funds projects submitted by NGOs, in line with [the] EU’s fundamental principles and values, but not NGOs themselves.”
  • A grant titled “Performing Arts: A Pathway Towards Self Expression and Democracy” amply demonstrates this flawed logic. In 2014, during their participation in the EU’s Cultural Programme, all twelve beneficiaries of this grant initiated a group statement calling for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel.
  • Nine BDS-supporting organizations were the recipients of the EU’s Partnership for Peace Program- a program designated for joint projects involving Israeli as well as Palestinian organizations, meant to “build trust and understanding between societies in the region.”
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Anti-Semitism Spikes in Poland—Linked to Rise in Islamophobia

Via Forward:
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Poland, a country with almost no Jews.

A new national study conducted by the Center for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw finds a significant increase in negative attitudes toward Jews since 2014. The research, covering the years 2014-2016, shows that anti-Semitic hate speech is becoming increasingly acceptable and enjoys a growing popularity on the Internet and on Polish television.

The study took actual examples of anti-Semitic statements found in different media and asked respondents if they found these statements offensive. In all cases, the statements were found to be less offensive in 2016 than in 2014. The difference was most pronounced among young people.
For instance, a statement referring to Jews as scumbags was found offensive to 43 percent of young people in 2016, as compared to 66 percent in 2014. The statement was offensive to 69 percent of older people in 2016, as compared to 78 percent in 2014.

The study offers as an explanation that young Poles are accustomed to anti-Semitic statements on the Internet. In the last two years, the percentage of young people with Internet contact increased from 58 percent to 74 percent.

Poland’s organized Jewish community of 10,000 is only 0.1 percent of the Polish population of 38.2 million. More than 80 percent of Poles say they have never met a Jew. Yet, according to the study’s findings, Poles are increasingly unwilling to accept Jews as co-workers, neighbors, or a member of their family.

More than half of Poles – 55.98 percent – would not accept a Jew as a family member, a jump from 45.53 percent in 2014. A third of Poles – 32.20 percent – would not accept a Jew as a neighbor, an increase from 26.70 percent in 2014. And 15.1 percent would not accept a Jew as a co-worker, up from 10 percent in 2014.

The study notes that a sharp rise in Islamophobia has been accompanied by a distancing from other ethnic groups, including Jews.

“The more people are anti-Muslim, the more they’re anti-Semitic,” said Michal Bilewicz, the Center’s director. “They portray George Soros as the embodiment of the Jewish conspiracy that’s helping to finance the influx of Muslims that poses a threat to Christian civilization in Europe.”

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Russia: Duma’s Deputy Speaker speaks against Jews

Via Jewish Press:
The Russian Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) on Tuesday accused the Duma’s Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy of undermining international peace and called on the Parliament to rebuke him for his statements concerning the handing over of St. Petersburg’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church, Interfax reported.

Tolstoy told a press conference that “the people who are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who pulled down our temples, and jumped out from the Pale of Settlement to the revolver in 1917, and today are working in very respectable places – on the radio, in the legislatures, continue the work of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.”

“We usually hear such statements from irresponsible instigators of anti-Semitic campaigns,” the FJC stated. “When we hear this from the mouth of the State Duma deputy speaker at an official press conference, it directly undermines inter-ethnic peace in the country and stirs up tension.”

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Belgium: Brussels airport bombers targeted Americans, Jews

Via I24 News:
Still from CCTV footage showing Najim Laachraoui (left), Ibrahim El Bakraoui (centre), and Mohamed Abrini(right)
Probe finds indication US, Russian and Israeli check-in counters, Hasidic travelers were targeted
The Islamic State suicide bombers who attacked Brussels airport last year targeted passengers traveling to the United States and also Jewish people, several sources told AFP. 
The Belgian-led investigation believes a check-in counter for an American carrier was one of the targets in the March 22, 2016 attacks, the sources said on condition of anonymity. 
They also suspect that travelers to Israel may have been in the crosshairs, and that airport security camera footage shows one bomber apparently pursuing Hasidic Jews seconds before one of the blasts. 
Islamic State (IS) bombers Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui killed 16 people at Zaventem airport. Around an hour later Bakraoui's brother Khalid attacked a metro station near EU headquarters, killing another 16. (...)
 Sources close to the investigation added that camera footage never released to the public showed that Laachraoui had been standing among some 60 high school students before deciding to pursue two Orthodox Jews.
"The attacker seemed to rush towards two Orthodox Jews," one of the sources said. "He really, clearly wanted to kill a Jew." 
A US government source said separately that Lachraoui was targeting a Hasidic Jew. Hasidic men are easily recognizable because they wear dark suits over white shirts, have long beards, hats and curly sidelocks. 
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Monday, January 23, 2017

UK: Piers Corbyn tweets Jewish conspirators will force Trump into war 'just like they did to Hitler'

Via Campaign Against Antisemitism:
Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, Piers Corbyn, a climate forecaster and fervent supporter of his brother, has issued his latest long-term prediction on Twitter: that Jewish conspirators and the Royal Family will force Donald Trump into war, just like they did to Hitler.
Piers Corbyn retweeted @whiteknight0011, a notorious neo-Nazi who declared that “They will force Trump in to war What do you think happened to Hitler? Bilderberg CIA IMF Banker Gangsters They are the problem” along with four images.
One shows Lord Jacob Rothschild, the Jewish banker and philanthropist, against the background of a Nazi flag, claiming that he controls the world. A second shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a puppeteer controlling ISIS through Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, orchestrating the war in Syria and Paris attacks as Lord Rothschild and the Queen look on approvingly. A third image shows the faces of supposed Jewish conspirators who run the world to society’s detriment, proclaiming: “Know your enemy”. The last image shows a family photo of the Royal Family, claiming that they are in cahoots with these Jewish conspirators in committing “the worst genocides, invasions and theft in all history.”
Piers and Jeremy have a long history of political solidarity. Piers has boasted of the family’s anti-racist credentials, but the mask is slipping. The man who now broadcasts that the Jews were responsible for the Second World War, is the same that claimed a Jewish conspiracy against his brother: when Jewish MP Louise Ellman complained of antisemitic attacks against her, Piers Corbyn accused her of using it as a cover for political attack, tweeting: “ABSURD! JC+ All #Corbyns are committed #AntiNazi. #Zionists cant cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine”. Brother Jeremy’s response: “He’s not wrong”.
The apple does not fall far from the tree in the Corbyn household. Jeremy Corbyn has not publicly repudiated his brother, nor any number of individuals in the Labour Party attacking the Jewish community. We would like to think it is time to start, but have long realised that any pretence that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is ‘anti-racist’ are now history.
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UK: The hateful whispers that make me want to move from London to Tel Aviv

Simon Wilder @ The Spectator:
The referendum result didn’t make me decide to leave, but it was a penny on the scales. This no longer feels like home. I may spend too much time on Twitter, but the things people say about Jews and Israel there make me tremble. They feel safe in their hatred, and, scarier still, probably are.

There’s a train of thought among right-thinking people in London at the moment that Israel is culpable; that it is responsible for all the ills of the Palestinians, all the woes of the Middle East. If it weren’t for Israel, they say, the world would be a better place. If you go to a dinner party you can hear things that wouldn’t have sounded unfamiliar in 1930s Germany. They say they’re just ‘anti-Zionist’ but to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Semitic. No one is anti- any other country. No one questions, say, Iran’s right to exist.

I’ve voted Labour in the past, but these days people in the Labour party all too often say things about Jews having big noses, or controlling the media, or somehow engineering the attack on the World Trade Center. Israel is behind Isis, they say. At demonstrations people hold up placards that say Hitler was right. Those words, exactly. Much of Labour barely raises an eyebrow.
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Poland: President Duda says Jews are safer in Poland than in Western Europe, denies responsibility for Holocaust crimes

Read also Professor Deborah Lipstadt's article on the subject of Poland v. German antisemitism: An enduring myth: "The Poles were worse than the Nazis"

Via European Jewish Press:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and his wife, Sara, host Polish President Andrzej Duda (second from right) and his wife, Agata Kornhauser, at the president's residence in Jerusalem. Picture from GPO
Jews are safer in Poland than in Western Europe. Unlike in France or other parts of Western Europe, Jews can freely walk around openly wearing religious garb, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Thursday in Jerusalem where he was on a state visit to Israel. 
He spoke at a forum in Jerusalem jointly organized by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, and the Polish Institute of International Affairs. 
Duda said: “I say it loud and clear here and in Poland: We also have painful memories but it was not we who invaded Poland in 1939, it was not we who planned the Holocaust, and it was not we who built the death camps on our own territory.” At the same time, Duda denied his country’s collective guilt for the atrocities of the Holocaust, saying Poles also suffered under the Nazi regime. 
Asked by ICFR Board member and distinguished Israeli scholar Shlomo Avineri whether Poland was not resorting to legislative measures to stifle academic discourse, particularly where research on Poland's wartime history was concerned, the president answered: 
"Historical truth is as it is. It is not always pleasant, and that is true for the Polish nation as well."We do not want to prosecute those who are conducting scholarly research but rather those who, in the wider world, promulgate lies defaming my country, my compatriots and me," he added, referring to a bill currently under discussion in Poland. He said no final decision about the law had been taken yet. 
President Duda defended recently passed legislation that criminalizes the use of the phrase “Polish death camps” in reference to Nazi extermination camps in occupied Poland. He said the world should not refer to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Sobibór or Chełmno as Polish concentration camps. 
“They were not Polish camps. This absurd name refers only to geography,” he said. 
“How would you feel if a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv was called ‘an Israeli attack’? How would the Japanese feel if the Hiroshima atomic bomb was referred to as ‘a Japanese nuclear attack’? It is a historical distortion.”
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German Court Rejects Effort to Ban Neo-Nazi Party

Via New York Times:
Germany’s highest court rejected on Tuesday an attempt to ban the National Democratic Party, the country’s oldest far-right political organization, finding that it did not pose a danger to democracy even though its principles violate the Constitution.

The ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court came after years of deliberation and at a time of soul-searching in the country, where another right-wing party, Alternative for Germany, is poised to win representation in Parliament in national elections this year.

Although the National Democratic Party “pursues aims contrary to the Constitution,” there was a lack of “concrete supporting evidence” that the neo-Nazi party would be able to successfully achieve its goals and to pose a genuine threat, said Andreas Vosskuhle, the president of the court.

“That a party has aims that run contrary to the Constitution is not sufficient grounds for banning a party,” he said.

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UK: SOAS students 'scared to wear the star of David and speak Hebrew’

Via Evening Standard:
A proudly-progressive stance is part of SOAS’s draw. Russell Brand and political activists are among its current student body, alongside more typical students (one on SOAS steps was debating the merits of cigarettes versus spliffs when I visited), while Jemima Khan received her MA there in 2003. The school is diverse: its 5,900 students hail from 133 countries, and it likes to celebrate this diversity.

But according to Avrahum Sanger, president of SOAS’s Jewish Society (JSoc), there is a minority that doesn’t feel able to express itself. He believes there is an anti-Semitic sickness in the heart of Bloomsbury.

“Some students tell me they are too scared to wear the star of David, or speak Hebrew, and Israeli students don’t want to attend Jewish events because they’re afraid of being singled out,” he tells me. “Even I feel uneasy when I go into the student union. And yet someone from the student union...” — he wouldn’t be drawn on who — “...told me that the anti-racism officers didn’t have a mandate to address anti-Semitism as it wasn’t in their manifesto. Anyway, the only form of anti-Semitism people think of here is Hitler.” 

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