Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

Russian Jews slam Moscow’s exclusion from Holocaust memorial project in Poland – The Times of Israel

A leader of Russian Jews called on Poland to avoid any exclusion of Russia from an international forum that is responsible for preserving for educational purposes the former Nazi death camp of Sobibor.

Mikhael Mirilashvili, the president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, issued the call Sunday, following claims by Russian officials that Poland barred Russian experts from participating in the work of the International Steering Committee on Sobibor, even though the Russians had been invited to do so by non-Polish members of the committee.

Russia is a key player in memorializing Holocaust victims, and her participation in this project is vital, said Mirilashvili, whose organization is an affiliate of the World Jewish Congress and represents Jewish communities from Ukraine to New Zealand.

Polands right-wing nationalist government has responded strongly to Russias expansionist policies in Ukraine and beyond, issuing threats and imposing sanctions on Russia.

According to Sputnik News, Russia was invited this year to join the work of the steering committee, a body set up in 2013 with commemoration representatives from Poland, Israel, Slovakia and the Netherlands in order to build a commemoration project befitting Sobibors key role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust. About 200,000 Jews were gassed at the camp in eastern Poland, as were non-Jewish Soviet prisoners. However, in July Moscow received an official message from Warsaw that the project would continue without Russias participation.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Russias exclusion was an outrageous fact of historical amnesia and her ministry intends to summon ambassadors from all the countries on the steering committee to offer clarifications.

Earlier this month, Polish Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski avoided answering a question on Polands role in the dis-invitation, telling a RIA Novosti journalist that the steering committee is an international body and that Moscow should query all members about the issue if it seeks answers. He later said about the same issue that Polish authorities did not intend to take care of monuments built in honor of the Red Army, the Sputnik news agency reported.

In 2015, Polish officials said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not welcome at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Russian troops. The Poles said no heads of state would attend in a bid to focus attention on survivors. Ultimately, however, the heads of state who attended the event included French President Francois Hollande, his German and Ukrainian counterparts, Joachim Guack and Petro Poroshenko, as well as the Dutch and Belgian premiers, Mark Rutte and Charles Michel, respectively.

According to Sputnik, at least one Israeli on the steering committee agreed to Russias exclusion. But a spokesperson for Israels foreign ministry told JTA Sunday that neither Israel nor the Israeli groups represented on the steering committee oppose Russias inclusion in the organizations work.

Avraham Greenzaid, chairman of Israels Veterans Union of World War II, said in a statement that his organization welcomes Israels positive view of Russia on the committee, and condemns any attempt to exclude Russia.

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Russian Jews slam Moscow’s exclusion from Holocaust memorial project in Poland – The Times of Israel

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Vice correspondent: Charlottesville protesters did not discuss Confederate monument, they chanted about Jews – The Hill (blog)

The Vice News reporter who followed white supremacist marching in Charlottesville said they were chanting about Jews, not the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

“Once they started marching, they didn’t talk about Robert E. Lee being a brilliant military tactician. They chanted about Jews. Like, they wanted to be menacing. It’s not an accident,” Elle Reeve told CBS News’ John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The comments were first highlighted by the Independent Journal Review.

Reeve went on to describe the groups she followed as a fringe, internet movement that has rebranded itself in recent years.

“These guys didn’t live together, hang out together. They just swarmed together online. And so this is a movement to hold physical space,” she continued.

“They’ve taken tactics from left wing organizers and show that they’re strong and they have camaraderie. And they also are focusing on what they call aesthetics. They want to look middle class, successful, good looking. They don’t want to look like the old, as they called it, white trash racist of the old times,” she said.

The events in Charlottesville have to led to a heated, nationwide debate over the future of Confederate monuments.

Statues commemorating the Confederacy have been defaced and taken down across the U.S. over the past week.

President Trump weighed in on the issue, and defended the removal of the “beautiful” historical monuments.

This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? Trump said on Tuesday.

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Vice correspondent: Charlottesville protesters did not discuss Confederate monument, they chanted about Jews – The Hill (blog)

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

The dangers of essentialising Jews and Israelis – The Guardian

Marathon runners passing Jaffa Street in the annual Jerusalem Marathon. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

Giles Fraser refers to Jews as a race and refers to Israel as a country predicated on race (In America and Israel, the outer fringe shifts ever inward, 18 August). Both claims are wrong. There are Argentinian Jews, Brazilian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Irish Jews, Mexican Jews, Korean Jews, American Jews, British Jews, Turkish Jews, and Jews of myriad ethnicities, colours, nationalities and backgrounds from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Similarly, there are Israelis of all these backgrounds and many others.

It is unfortunate that despite being aware of increasing anti-Jewish racism, Fraser has mischaracterised both Jews and Israelis in ways that essentialise them and potentially contribute to prejudice and discrimination. Noam Schimmel Visiting fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Michigan man sentenced to probation for threatening to kill children and Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) A Michigan man who used Twitter to threaten to kill children and Jews in mass shooting attacks was sentenced to two years of probation.

A judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday gave David Lenio, 29, the probation sentence after giving him credit for the four months he served in jail after his February arrest, which ended after his trial in June.

A jury in June acquitted Lenio of two felonies aggravated stalking and using a computer to commit a crime, and convicted him on the lesser charge of malicious use of telecommunications. He was released from prison on his own recognizance following the June trial.

In addition to probation, Lenio was ordered to stay away from synagogues and schools and to not use computers, Fox17 in West Michigan reported.

Lenios father said his son suffers from mental illness, Fox reported.

He was arrested in2015in Montana for making similar threats, and released to his parents in Grand Rapids with the condition that he not use social media.

The threats made on Twitter when he was in Montana included a tweet saying he wanted to execute 30 or more grade school children to exceed the number killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012.

He also posted tweets about shooting up a synagogue, and that he wanted to put two bullets in the head of a rabbi or Jewish leader, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Michigan man sentenced to probation for threatening to kill children and Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Evolution According to the ‘Alt-right’: Journalists, Blacks and Jews Among the Subhuman – Haaretz

U.S. study entitled ‘A Psychological Profile of the Alt-Right’ unveils the specifics of the race theory embraced by the movement

NEW YORK American researchers have published a working paper showing that people identifying with the alt-right consider Jews, Mexicans, blacks, Democrats, journalists, feminists and Muslims as subhumans, below homo sapiens on the evolutionary scale.

The study, entitled “A Psychological Profile of the Alt-Right,” unveils the specifics of the race theory embraced by the movement. For example, unlike other far-right groups, members of the alt-right do not rank Jews at the bottom of the racial hierarchy.

In the study, Prof. Patrick Forscher of the University of Arkansas and Prof. Nour Kteily of Northwestern University questioned 447 people who identify with the alt-right and 382 members of a control group who do not.

The study is a working paper; it has not yet been published in a scholarly journal. The initial findings were released two days before the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a man has been charged with murder for allegedly ramming his car into a crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 people.

To study the dehumanization of various social groups by the alt-right, Forscher and Kteily showed their subjects the iconic March of Progress illustration describing the five phases of human evolution, from apes to homo sapiens, and asked them to mark where various population groups fell.

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On average, those identifying with the alt-right placed whites, Republicans, Americans, Swedes and Christians at evolutions highest level of development as homo sapiens. The other groups were ranked as belonging to earlier evolutionary stages. Among the inferior groups, in descending order reflecting an alleged lack of development, were Jews, Mexicans, blacks, Democrats, journalists, feminists and Muslims.

The members of the control group ranked all the groups as homo sapiens except for Donald Trump, whose name the researchers had offered for classification by the respondents. The control group put the president one stage lower than modern humans. Both groups were also asked to rank Hillary Clinton; alt-right adherents placed Clinton at the level of Muslims, two stages below modern humans.

The researchers also studied the extremism of members of the alt-right based on aggressiveness and so-called Dark Triad traits including narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy that are associated with callous, manipulative behavior. They determined that the alt-right respondents fell into two subcategories, one that the researchers dubbed supremacist, the less extreme one populists.

Members of the supremacist group showed traits of narcissism, psychopathy and aggression, and said they had engaged in violent behavior such as threats and harassment, both in social encounters and online.

The members of the second alt-right group were more moderate; they were less aggressive and more concerned with issues such as government corruption. But both alt-right groups viewed major media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal with suspicion. They opposed Black Lives Matter and expressed concerns about discrimination against males and whites in the United States.

In the paper, Forscher and Kteily said they found some of the findings surprising and contrary to the stereotype attributed to the alt-right. For example, in questions about the social relations of the extremists whom they examined, there were no significant differences between them and the control group.

Contrary to the image of the troll hiding in his parents basement, members of the alt-right reported having close social relationships at levels similar to the control group. Also, there were no significant differences in the level of concern that alt-right members and the general population had about the state of the U.S. economy.

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Evolution According to the ‘Alt-right’: Journalists, Blacks and Jews Among the Subhuman – Haaretz

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Swiss hotelier who posted signs singling out Jews tells her side of the story – The Jerusalem Post

A chuckle tickled my throat as Ruth Thomann, a Swiss hotelier who posted signs urging her Jewish guests to shower before entering the pool, assured me that she has nothing against Jews.

To be clear, I dont find racism particularly amusing, especially not these days.

But there was something comical about how her earnest voice she was speaking in broken English with a thick Swiss-German accent contrasted with the glaringly discriminatory character of the laminated signs that she posted last week in her Paradise Apartments hotel in Arosa, near Zurich, provoking outrage in Israel and beyond.

Besides, in over a decade of reporting about Europe, I have heard more variations of this weak defense than I can remember including by people who immediately contradicted themselves. Last year alone I heard it from the professional antisemite Dieudonne Mbala Mbala and from a Belgian cartoonist who proudly accepted an award at Irans Holocaust denial and mockery festival.

The shower signs, which Israels Foreign Ministry escalated into a diplomatic incident with Switzerland, seemed to me an open-and-shut case.

But as I listened earlier this week to Thomanns passionate explanations and apology the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones, she said, near tears I realized that despite the damning evidence and anger against her, she was probably a tolerant person who, for lack of tact, was being pilloried internationally with devastating consequences for her business.

And so what began as a clear-cut expression of Europes growing antisemitism problem turned, in my mind, into a reminder of how important it is precisely during these times to judge people innocent, even of hate crimes, until proven otherwise.

In addition to the sign about the pool, Thomann also posted one instructing our Jewish guests on when they could access a hotel refrigerator. Both signs circulated on social media, where Israeli journalists found them.

You have to understand, she pleaded with me, the sign about the refrigerator goes to Jews because I kindly allowed only the Jews to keep their food in the staffs refrigerator because I know they bring their own food, she said. Her Orthodox Jewish guests needed to store their food there because of kosher issues, she explained.

My God, if I had something against Jews, I wouldnt take them as guests! she said.

Technically, excluding Jews would be illegal in Switzerland. But an antisemitic hotelier could get around it, since Orthodox Jewish tourists typically book hotels in the Alpine country through specialized travel agencies. And so in principle, all a Swiss hotel needs to do to lose its Orthodox guests would be to inform their travel agent of some imaginary deal breaker say a nocturnal pulled pork bake-off contest, or zero accommodations for storing kosher food.

So what about the shower signs, I asked.

Well, Thomann paused, searching for words. Im sorry to say but I know the hotel, and the only people who go in without taking a shower are the Jewish guests.

And how exactly does she know that, I inquired, bracing for comments on body odor.

They go in wearing their T-shirts! Thomann said, adding that the behavior drew complaints from other guests, who found it unsanitary.

I have not verified the claim about T-shirts. But in my extensive travels across Europe, and especially to places that receive many Jewish visitors, I have seen culture clashes between secular Europeans and vacationing members of insular haredi communities from Israel and beyond.

In Uman, a Ukrainian city where each year 30,000 Jews convene for a pilgrimage, many apartment owners who used to rent rooms to the visitors have stopped because of damages and fires. Last year, the Uman City Plaza hotel also adopted this policy, citing the same reason.

Before filing my story on Thomann apologizing for the signs it was shared nearly 3,000 times on Twitter I said goodbye to the hotelier, adding that I found it regrettable that some of my colleagues didnt bother to get her side of the story before reporting about the signs.

But that was only the beginning of the Swiss hotel saga.

Responding to calls by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the reservations service Booking.com dropped Thomanns hotel a painful financial blow to any business in the industry.

The Wiesenthal Centers intervention is understandable on many levels.

Especially in Europe, signs singling out Jews inevitably evoke memories of the slogans that proliferated across the continent during the Nazi occupation of most of its territory, from the laconically demeaning (No dogs and Jews allowed) to the viciously humorous.

It didnt help that in the same week as the Swiss hotel affair, news emerged that Switzerlands federal parliament was about to vote on a bill that would make it the first country in Europe to ban the import of kosher meat. (Ritual slaughter of cows was outlawed in Switzerland in 1894 in legislation that the local Jewish community to this day views as essentially antisemitic.)

Tzipi Hotovely, Israels deputy foreign minister, escalated the matter even further in a move that may be connected to her governments ongoing fight with European countries supportive of the Palestinian cause. (In June, Switzerlands foreign minister, who in the past has refused to disclose funding for anti-Israel groups, reluctantly agreed to an audit following pressure by pro-Israel lawmakers.)

Hotovely demanded the Swiss government publicly condemn Thomanns actions, which she said indicated the prevalence of anti-Semitism throughout Europe, a continent of some 750 million residents.

As is often the case when Jerusalem wades into the complicated debate about anti-Semitism in Europe, I felt that Hotovelys claim was not only overblown and cynical, but also based on ignorance of the facts of the case at hand.

But almost immediately, I had to reconsider that judgment, too.

In the latest twist of a story that began with two laminated A4 sheets of paper, a Swiss lawmaker, the Socialist Roger Deneys, came along and proved Hotovelys point. If anyone should apologize for the Swiss hotel incident, he wrote on Facebook, then it is Israel, for its excessive tolerance of ultra-Orthodox Jews who prevent peace in Palestine.

Following an outcry, Deneys deleted the remark and apologized.

After all, he said, he has nothing against Jews.

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Swiss hotelier who posted signs singling out Jews tells her side of the story – The Jerusalem Post

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One in three British Jews ‘thinking about leaving UK’ as anti-Semitism soars leaving one in six ‘feeling unwelcome’ – The Sun

Results of shock poll branded ‘deeply shameful’ by MPs as cops reveal a 45 per cent rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes in just three years

ALMOST a third of British Jews have considered leaving the country to escape the rise in hate crime, a poll reveals today.

One in six says they feel unwelcome here and two in five admit they feel forced to hide their faith in public.

AFP – Getty

Last night stunned MPs branded the findings deeply shameful and vowed urgent action to tackle the scourge of anti-semitism.

The shock survey comes just weeks after police figures revealed violent racist crime against Jews had hit a new peak.

Cops dealt with a record 1,078 anti-semitic offences last year, a rise of 45 per cent since 2014.

Three in four Jews believe recent political events have resulted in hostility towards them, according to a YouGov poll for the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

More than four in five say the Labour party harbours anti-semites in its ranks. And more than half think Crown prosecutors are partly to blame for failing in their duty to press charges against those who spread hatred.

CAA chairman Gideon Falter said: Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour party.

Without urgent change, British Jews may start to leave, as has happened elsewhere in Europe.

Reuters

Reuters

Sir Eric Pickles, chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn must shoulder some blame for failing to challenge antisemitism in his party.

He said: Our fellow citizens must never feel fear or anxiety at displacing their heritage in public. The fact that some do is deeply shameful.

Modern antisemitism has been alloweed to flourish int he left of British politics, unchallenged by the Labour leadership. This report is a wake-up call.

They cannot continue to be half-hearted in their approach. The time has come to root antisemitism out of British life.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid added: There can never be an excuse for hatred towards the Jewish community and wherever we find it we shall oppose and challenge it.

Our Hate Crime Action Plan sets out how we will tackle these crimes, boost reporting to the police and Community Security Trust and help victims rebuild their lives.

We are also providing an extra 13.4 million to protect Jewish faith schools and synagogues.

This Conservative government will always stand together with the British Jewish community to keep it safe and to defeat the scourge of antisemitism defending our British values of tolerance and respect for others.

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One in three British Jews ‘thinking about leaving UK’ as anti-Semitism soars leaving one in six ‘feeling unwelcome’ – The Sun

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Jews bullied at their Charlottesville, Va., temple – Press Herald

NORFOLK, Va. For Diane Gartner Hillman, the new reality of being Jewish in Charlottesville sunk in when she had to leave Congregation Beth Israel through the back door.

On any other Saturday, worshippers at the citys lone synagogue would have left through the front and walked without fear to their cars, parked near the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park.

But now, men wearing white shirts and khaki pants and other white supremacists carrying semi-automatic rifles were streaming past their sanctuary, taunting Beth Israel with phony Brooklyn accents and mocking old fashioned Yiddish expressions, such as oy gevalt.

We were in a different world than where we had been previously, Hillman, 69, said Friday, as a stream of people entered the synagogue, now guarded by three police officers out front and several more in the park.

We just dont know where things are going to go from here.

The presence of hundreds of white nationalists and the loss of three lives last weekend have members of the synagogue confronting new levels of anxiety and resolve.

Anti-Semitic vitriol and violence has been on the rise in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations that monitor hate groups.

But the dynamic in Charlottesville showed an intensity of bigotry rarely seen out in the open.

Writing for the website of the Union of Reform Judaism, Beth Israel President Alan Zimmerman said Nazi websites had called for the temple to be burned.

Fortunately, it was just talk but we had already deemed such an attack within the realm of possibilities, taking the precautionary step of removing our Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll, from the premises, he wrote.

Beth Israel hired an armed security guard for the first time last Saturday, and plans to increase security, according to the congregations Facebook page.

One Beth Israel member was injured by the terrorist who used his car as a weapon, but is recovering at a local medical center and is expected to do so fully, that post said.

As much as the show of hatred increased fears, it also boosted a sense of community in this normally quiet college town.

Cale Jaffe, a University of Virginia law professor, watched as the white nationalists marched past with guns, helmets and body armor, explicitly with the intent of intimidation and to create violence, and for the first time, felt anxious about walking into his synagogue, he said.

But it has crystalized for me why its so important to push through that anxiety and step inside the sanctuary, said Jaffe, 44. It made it clear thats a place I need to be.

And many people in Charlottesville who arent Jewish have come to Beth Israel to show their solidarity, Jaffe said.

What gives me hope going forward is knowing so many people in the larger Charlottesville community feel that way and are there with us.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

With Bannon Unleashed, Things May Get Worse for US Jews Before They Get Better – Haaretz

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With predictions of a liberated ‘Bannon the Barbarian’ going ‘thermonuclear’ against ‘globalists’ outside the White House, the American Jewish community may not want to celebrate his departure from the White House so quickly

The Trump administration has been exceedingly generous when it comes to giving American Jews fresh intrigue to discuss over Friday night dinner and at…

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Russian Jews slam Moscow’s exclusion from Holocaust memorial project in Poland – The Times of Israel

A leader of Russian Jews called on Poland to avoid any exclusion of Russia from an international forum that is responsible for preserving for educational purposes the former Nazi death camp of Sobibor. Mikhael Mirilashvili, the president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, issued the call Sunday, following claims by Russian officials that Poland barred Russian experts from participating in the work of the International Steering Committee on Sobibor, even though the Russians had been invited to do so by non-Polish members of the committee. Russia is a key player in memorializing Holocaust victims, and her participation in this project is vital, said Mirilashvili, whose organization is an affiliate of the World Jewish Congress and represents Jewish communities from Ukraine to New Zealand. Polands right-wing nationalist government has responded strongly to Russias expansionist policies in Ukraine and beyond, issuing threats and imposing sanctions on Russia. According to Sputnik News, Russia was invited this year to join the work of the steering committee, a body set up in 2013 with commemoration representatives from Poland, Israel, Slovakia and the Netherlands in order to build a commemoration project befitting Sobibors key role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust. About 200,000 Jews were gassed at the camp in eastern Poland, as were non-Jewish Soviet prisoners. However, in July Moscow received an official message from Warsaw that the project would continue without Russias participation. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Russias exclusion was an outrageous fact of historical amnesia and her ministry intends to summon ambassadors from all the countries on the steering committee to offer clarifications. Earlier this month, Polish Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski avoided answering a question on Polands role in the dis-invitation, telling a RIA Novosti journalist that the steering committee is an international body and that Moscow should query all members about the issue if it seeks answers. He later said about the same issue that Polish authorities did not intend to take care of monuments built in honor of the Red Army, the Sputnik news agency reported. In 2015, Polish officials said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not welcome at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Russian troops. The Poles said no heads of state would attend in a bid to focus attention on survivors. Ultimately, however, the heads of state who attended the event included French President Francois Hollande, his German and Ukrainian counterparts, Joachim Guack and Petro Poroshenko, as well as the Dutch and Belgian premiers, Mark Rutte and Charles Michel, respectively. According to Sputnik, at least one Israeli on the steering committee agreed to Russias exclusion. But a spokesperson for Israels foreign ministry told JTA Sunday that neither Israel nor the Israeli groups represented on the steering committee oppose Russias inclusion in the organizations work. Avraham Greenzaid, chairman of Israels Veterans Union of World War II, said in a statement that his organization welcomes Israels positive view of Russia on the committee, and condemns any attempt to exclude Russia.

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Vice correspondent: Charlottesville protesters did not discuss Confederate monument, they chanted about Jews – The Hill (blog)

The Vice News reporter who followed white supremacist marching in Charlottesville said they were chanting about Jews, not the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. “Once they started marching, they didn’t talk about Robert E. Lee being a brilliant military tactician. They chanted about Jews. Like, they wanted to be menacing. It’s not an accident,” Elle Reeve told CBS News’ John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The comments were first highlighted by the Independent Journal Review. Reeve went on to describe the groups she followed as a fringe, internet movement that has rebranded itself in recent years. “These guys didn’t live together, hang out together. They just swarmed together online. And so this is a movement to hold physical space,” she continued. “They’ve taken tactics from left wing organizers and show that they’re strong and they have camaraderie. And they also are focusing on what they call aesthetics. They want to look middle class, successful, good looking. They don’t want to look like the old, as they called it, white trash racist of the old times,” she said. The events in Charlottesville have to led to a heated, nationwide debate over the future of Confederate monuments. Statues commemorating the Confederacy have been defaced and taken down across the U.S. over the past week. President Trump weighed in on the issue, and defended the removal of the “beautiful” historical monuments. This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? Trump said on Tuesday.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

The dangers of essentialising Jews and Israelis – The Guardian

Marathon runners passing Jaffa Street in the annual Jerusalem Marathon. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA Giles Fraser refers to Jews as a race and refers to Israel as a country predicated on race (In America and Israel, the outer fringe shifts ever inward, 18 August). Both claims are wrong. There are Argentinian Jews, Brazilian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Irish Jews, Mexican Jews, Korean Jews, American Jews, British Jews, Turkish Jews, and Jews of myriad ethnicities, colours, nationalities and backgrounds from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Similarly, there are Israelis of all these backgrounds and many others. It is unfortunate that despite being aware of increasing anti-Jewish racism, Fraser has mischaracterised both Jews and Israelis in ways that essentialise them and potentially contribute to prejudice and discrimination. Noam Schimmel Visiting fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford Join the debate email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Read more Guardian letters click here to visit gu.com/letters

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Michigan man sentenced to probation for threatening to kill children and Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

(JTA) A Michigan man who used Twitter to threaten to kill children and Jews in mass shooting attacks was sentenced to two years of probation. A judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday gave David Lenio, 29, the probation sentence after giving him credit for the four months he served in jail after his February arrest, which ended after his trial in June. A jury in June acquitted Lenio of two felonies aggravated stalking and using a computer to commit a crime, and convicted him on the lesser charge of malicious use of telecommunications. He was released from prison on his own recognizance following the June trial. In addition to probation, Lenio was ordered to stay away from synagogues and schools and to not use computers, Fox17 in West Michigan reported. Lenios father said his son suffers from mental illness, Fox reported. He was arrested in2015in Montana for making similar threats, and released to his parents in Grand Rapids with the condition that he not use social media. The threats made on Twitter when he was in Montana included a tweet saying he wanted to execute 30 or more grade school children to exceed the number killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012. He also posted tweets about shooting up a synagogue, and that he wanted to put two bullets in the head of a rabbi or Jewish leader, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Evolution According to the ‘Alt-right’: Journalists, Blacks and Jews Among the Subhuman – Haaretz

U.S. study entitled ‘A Psychological Profile of the Alt-Right’ unveils the specifics of the race theory embraced by the movement NEW YORK American researchers have published a working paper showing that people identifying with the alt-right consider Jews, Mexicans, blacks, Democrats, journalists, feminists and Muslims as subhumans, below homo sapiens on the evolutionary scale. The study, entitled “A Psychological Profile of the Alt-Right,” unveils the specifics of the race theory embraced by the movement. For example, unlike other far-right groups, members of the alt-right do not rank Jews at the bottom of the racial hierarchy. In the study, Prof. Patrick Forscher of the University of Arkansas and Prof. Nour Kteily of Northwestern University questioned 447 people who identify with the alt-right and 382 members of a control group who do not. The study is a working paper; it has not yet been published in a scholarly journal. The initial findings were released two days before the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a man has been charged with murder for allegedly ramming his car into a crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 people. To study the dehumanization of various social groups by the alt-right, Forscher and Kteily showed their subjects the iconic March of Progress illustration describing the five phases of human evolution, from apes to homo sapiens, and asked them to mark where various population groups fell. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. On average, those identifying with the alt-right placed whites, Republicans, Americans, Swedes and Christians at evolutions highest level of development as homo sapiens. The other groups were ranked as belonging to earlier evolutionary stages. Among the inferior groups, in descending order reflecting an alleged lack of development, were Jews, Mexicans, blacks, Democrats, journalists, feminists and Muslims. The members of the control group ranked all the groups as homo sapiens except for Donald Trump, whose name the researchers had offered for classification by the respondents. The control group put the president one stage lower than modern humans. Both groups were also asked to rank Hillary Clinton; alt-right adherents placed Clinton at the level of Muslims, two stages below modern humans. The researchers also studied the extremism of members of the alt-right based on aggressiveness and so-called Dark Triad traits including narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy that are associated with callous, manipulative behavior. They determined that the alt-right respondents fell into two subcategories, one that the researchers dubbed supremacist, the less extreme one populists. Members of the supremacist group showed traits of narcissism, psychopathy and aggression, and said they had engaged in violent behavior such as threats and harassment, both in social encounters and online. The members of the second alt-right group were more moderate; they were less aggressive and more concerned with issues such as government corruption. But both alt-right groups viewed major media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal with suspicion. They opposed Black Lives Matter and expressed concerns about discrimination against males and whites in the United States. In the paper, Forscher and Kteily said they found some of the findings surprising and contrary to the stereotype attributed to the alt-right. For example, in questions about the social relations of the extremists whom they examined, there were no significant differences between them and the control group. Contrary to the image of the troll hiding in his parents basement, members of the alt-right reported having close social relationships at levels similar to the control group. Also, there were no significant differences in the level of concern that alt-right members and the general population had about the state of the U.S. economy. Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Swiss hotelier who posted signs singling out Jews tells her side of the story – The Jerusalem Post

A chuckle tickled my throat as Ruth Thomann, a Swiss hotelier who posted signs urging her Jewish guests to shower before entering the pool, assured me that she has nothing against Jews. To be clear, I dont find racism particularly amusing, especially not these days. But there was something comical about how her earnest voice she was speaking in broken English with a thick Swiss-German accent contrasted with the glaringly discriminatory character of the laminated signs that she posted last week in her Paradise Apartments hotel in Arosa, near Zurich, provoking outrage in Israel and beyond. Besides, in over a decade of reporting about Europe, I have heard more variations of this weak defense than I can remember including by people who immediately contradicted themselves. Last year alone I heard it from the professional antisemite Dieudonne Mbala Mbala and from a Belgian cartoonist who proudly accepted an award at Irans Holocaust denial and mockery festival. The shower signs, which Israels Foreign Ministry escalated into a diplomatic incident with Switzerland, seemed to me an open-and-shut case. But as I listened earlier this week to Thomanns passionate explanations and apology the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones, she said, near tears I realized that despite the damning evidence and anger against her, she was probably a tolerant person who, for lack of tact, was being pilloried internationally with devastating consequences for her business. And so what began as a clear-cut expression of Europes growing antisemitism problem turned, in my mind, into a reminder of how important it is precisely during these times to judge people innocent, even of hate crimes, until proven otherwise. In addition to the sign about the pool, Thomann also posted one instructing our Jewish guests on when they could access a hotel refrigerator. Both signs circulated on social media, where Israeli journalists found them. You have to understand, she pleaded with me, the sign about the refrigerator goes to Jews because I kindly allowed only the Jews to keep their food in the staffs refrigerator because I know they bring their own food, she said. Her Orthodox Jewish guests needed to store their food there because of kosher issues, she explained. My God, if I had something against Jews, I wouldnt take them as guests! she said. Technically, excluding Jews would be illegal in Switzerland. But an antisemitic hotelier could get around it, since Orthodox Jewish tourists typically book hotels in the Alpine country through specialized travel agencies. And so in principle, all a Swiss hotel needs to do to lose its Orthodox guests would be to inform their travel agent of some imaginary deal breaker say a nocturnal pulled pork bake-off contest, or zero accommodations for storing kosher food. So what about the shower signs, I asked. Well, Thomann paused, searching for words. Im sorry to say but I know the hotel, and the only people who go in without taking a shower are the Jewish guests. And how exactly does she know that, I inquired, bracing for comments on body odor. They go in wearing their T-shirts! Thomann said, adding that the behavior drew complaints from other guests, who found it unsanitary. I have not verified the claim about T-shirts. But in my extensive travels across Europe, and especially to places that receive many Jewish visitors, I have seen culture clashes between secular Europeans and vacationing members of insular haredi communities from Israel and beyond. In Uman, a Ukrainian city where each year 30,000 Jews convene for a pilgrimage, many apartment owners who used to rent rooms to the visitors have stopped because of damages and fires. Last year, the Uman City Plaza hotel also adopted this policy, citing the same reason. Before filing my story on Thomann apologizing for the signs it was shared nearly 3,000 times on Twitter I said goodbye to the hotelier, adding that I found it regrettable that some of my colleagues didnt bother to get her side of the story before reporting about the signs. But that was only the beginning of the Swiss hotel saga. Responding to calls by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the reservations service Booking.com dropped Thomanns hotel a painful financial blow to any business in the industry. The Wiesenthal Centers intervention is understandable on many levels. Especially in Europe, signs singling out Jews inevitably evoke memories of the slogans that proliferated across the continent during the Nazi occupation of most of its territory, from the laconically demeaning (No dogs and Jews allowed) to the viciously humorous. It didnt help that in the same week as the Swiss hotel affair, news emerged that Switzerlands federal parliament was about to vote on a bill that would make it the first country in Europe to ban the import of kosher meat. (Ritual slaughter of cows was outlawed in Switzerland in 1894 in legislation that the local Jewish community to this day views as essentially antisemitic.) Tzipi Hotovely, Israels deputy foreign minister, escalated the matter even further in a move that may be connected to her governments ongoing fight with European countries supportive of the Palestinian cause. (In June, Switzerlands foreign minister, who in the past has refused to disclose funding for anti-Israel groups, reluctantly agreed to an audit following pressure by pro-Israel lawmakers.) Hotovely demanded the Swiss government publicly condemn Thomanns actions, which she said indicated the prevalence of anti-Semitism throughout Europe, a continent of some 750 million residents. As is often the case when Jerusalem wades into the complicated debate about anti-Semitism in Europe, I felt that Hotovelys claim was not only overblown and cynical, but also based on ignorance of the facts of the case at hand. But almost immediately, I had to reconsider that judgment, too. In the latest twist of a story that began with two laminated A4 sheets of paper, a Swiss lawmaker, the Socialist Roger Deneys, came along and proved Hotovelys point. If anyone should apologize for the Swiss hotel incident, he wrote on Facebook, then it is Israel, for its excessive tolerance of ultra-Orthodox Jews who prevent peace in Palestine. Following an outcry, Deneys deleted the remark and apologized. After all, he said, he has nothing against Jews. Share on facebook

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

One in three British Jews ‘thinking about leaving UK’ as anti-Semitism soars leaving one in six ‘feeling unwelcome’ – The Sun

Results of shock poll branded ‘deeply shameful’ by MPs as cops reveal a 45 per cent rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes in just three years ALMOST a third of British Jews have considered leaving the country to escape the rise in hate crime, a poll reveals today. One in six says they feel unwelcome here and two in five admit they feel forced to hide their faith in public. AFP – Getty Last night stunned MPs branded the findings deeply shameful and vowed urgent action to tackle the scourge of anti-semitism. The shock survey comes just weeks after police figures revealed violent racist crime against Jews had hit a new peak. Cops dealt with a record 1,078 anti-semitic offences last year, a rise of 45 per cent since 2014. Three in four Jews believe recent political events have resulted in hostility towards them, according to a YouGov poll for the Campaign Against Antisemitism. More than four in five say the Labour party harbours anti-semites in its ranks. And more than half think Crown prosecutors are partly to blame for failing in their duty to press charges against those who spread hatred. CAA chairman Gideon Falter said: Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour party. Without urgent change, British Jews may start to leave, as has happened elsewhere in Europe. Reuters Reuters Sir Eric Pickles, chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn must shoulder some blame for failing to challenge antisemitism in his party. He said: Our fellow citizens must never feel fear or anxiety at displacing their heritage in public. The fact that some do is deeply shameful. Modern antisemitism has been alloweed to flourish int he left of British politics, unchallenged by the Labour leadership. This report is a wake-up call. They cannot continue to be half-hearted in their approach. The time has come to root antisemitism out of British life. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid added: There can never be an excuse for hatred towards the Jewish community and wherever we find it we shall oppose and challenge it. Our Hate Crime Action Plan sets out how we will tackle these crimes, boost reporting to the police and Community Security Trust and help victims rebuild their lives. We are also providing an extra 13.4 million to protect Jewish faith schools and synagogues. This Conservative government will always stand together with the British Jewish community to keep it safe and to defeat the scourge of antisemitism defending our British values of tolerance and respect for others.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

Jews bullied at their Charlottesville, Va., temple – Press Herald

NORFOLK, Va. For Diane Gartner Hillman, the new reality of being Jewish in Charlottesville sunk in when she had to leave Congregation Beth Israel through the back door. On any other Saturday, worshippers at the citys lone synagogue would have left through the front and walked without fear to their cars, parked near the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park. But now, men wearing white shirts and khaki pants and other white supremacists carrying semi-automatic rifles were streaming past their sanctuary, taunting Beth Israel with phony Brooklyn accents and mocking old fashioned Yiddish expressions, such as oy gevalt. We were in a different world than where we had been previously, Hillman, 69, said Friday, as a stream of people entered the synagogue, now guarded by three police officers out front and several more in the park. We just dont know where things are going to go from here. The presence of hundreds of white nationalists and the loss of three lives last weekend have members of the synagogue confronting new levels of anxiety and resolve. Anti-Semitic vitriol and violence has been on the rise in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations that monitor hate groups. But the dynamic in Charlottesville showed an intensity of bigotry rarely seen out in the open. Writing for the website of the Union of Reform Judaism, Beth Israel President Alan Zimmerman said Nazi websites had called for the temple to be burned. Fortunately, it was just talk but we had already deemed such an attack within the realm of possibilities, taking the precautionary step of removing our Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll, from the premises, he wrote. Beth Israel hired an armed security guard for the first time last Saturday, and plans to increase security, according to the congregations Facebook page. One Beth Israel member was injured by the terrorist who used his car as a weapon, but is recovering at a local medical center and is expected to do so fully, that post said. As much as the show of hatred increased fears, it also boosted a sense of community in this normally quiet college town. Cale Jaffe, a University of Virginia law professor, watched as the white nationalists marched past with guns, helmets and body armor, explicitly with the intent of intimidation and to create violence, and for the first time, felt anxious about walking into his synagogue, he said. But it has crystalized for me why its so important to push through that anxiety and step inside the sanctuary, said Jaffe, 44. It made it clear thats a place I need to be. And many people in Charlottesville who arent Jewish have come to Beth Israel to show their solidarity, Jaffe said. What gives me hope going forward is knowing so many people in the larger Charlottesville community feel that way and are there with us.

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed

With Bannon Unleashed, Things May Get Worse for US Jews Before They Get Better – Haaretz

Home > U.S. News With predictions of a liberated ‘Bannon the Barbarian’ going ‘thermonuclear’ against ‘globalists’ outside the White House, the American Jewish community may not want to celebrate his departure from the White House so quickly The Trump administration has been exceedingly generous when it comes to giving American Jews fresh intrigue to discuss over Friday night dinner and at… Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Jews  Comments Closed


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