Antisemitic Notes in Public Transportation, Germany

February 12, 2021

The EJA is disgusted at the resurgence of the ‘blood libel’ in plain daylight in Germany, with stickers and leaflets alleging Jewish involvement in Covid. We have written to the German Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, Dr Felix Klein, to use the full weight of his office and impress upon the German transport authorities the danger of such activities, to urgently undertake a full review of CCTV footage with a view to prosecuting those responsible and to implement a zero tolerance policy of punitive fines and prosecution for the publication and distribution of antisemitic literature anywhere on their networks.
 

Additional Articles

COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl
Diary March 18
Concerns about politics.
One of the prominent figures of the Jewish Netherlands, who is apparently occasionally tormented by the disease called jealousy, approached me with the comment that he had heard that I will be speaking next Sunday for the NIK on Zoom because of Pesach and expressed the hope that I would not speak about anti-Semitism again and would not have my message / lecture included with those Christians
Of course I don’t have to justify myself and I can do whatever I want, but it bothered me anyway. Because with “those Christians” professional recording equipment was available and “those Christians” were willing to make a good recording completely free of charge, I had made my NIK Hanukkah presentation with and by “those Christians”. Some years ago I had received a similar comment, from that same person, about “those Christians” I needed to have less contact with them. I understand that setup. What I did not fully understand, however, was that the same critic then went to “those Christians” to ask for financial support for his, otherwise fine, projects.
Nothing new under the sun. I remember speaking to an eminent physician some time ago. This ‘eminence’, he told me personally, was not so much down to his expertise in his field, but as a much about his political qualities. No, he was not in politics, he was referring to politics at the top of his university hospital. When I heard a little bit of that politics I immediately thought of the rabbinic world! (Just kidding, because rabbis don’t do politics!)
Because there is politics everywhere. Especially in the real and necessary democratic politics: The elections!
I haven’t been able to sleep all night. When I looked at the new composition of the House of Representatives, I was overcome with concern. I hope and pray that I misjudge it completely, but I fear it. Of course, there can be criticism of Israeli Politics, that does not have to be a sign of anti-Semitism.
But if there is only talk about Israel and not a word is mentioned about the feudal dictatorships of the countries around Israel, then I do not understand. I understand and accept that one of our prominent mayors in a speech at #MayorsAgainstAntisemtism claims that criticism of Netanyahu is allowed, as well as criticism of Rutte. But that’s not the problem. Criticism of Netanyahu is allowed, 50% of Israel criticizes him and that does not degrade them to anti-Semites. The problem is that there is almost exclusively criticism of Israel. That Israel is by far at the top of the list for UN Resolutions. The role of a mayor should be in trying to connect his townspeople, and that does not happen by importing sensitive foreign conflicts. Do I think this mayor is anti-Semitic? Absolutely not! Do I think this mayor should be allowed to criticize Netanyahu? Sure! But what I regret is that criticism of Israel unfortunately and often unintentionally leads to anti-Semitism.
How often am I not allowed to explain that I speak Dutch, although I am a Jew but not born in Israel. The superficial one-sidedness in the experience, however nuanced a mayor may present it, causes anti-Semitism here in our country. And so: if the mayor believes we should keep the Middle East problem out of the city, then criticize Israel, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, North Korea, China, on… and on…. But even better: let the mayor try to bind the various population groups within the city limits and call them to develop activities that unite together. And then, if connections and friendships have arisen, then, despite the diversity, the friendship itself can look at bottlenecks and differences of opinion that seemed unmentionable. Do you think that can succeed? Often not, but sometimes it does.
And sometimes I cherish that, because I have sometimes been able to experience this often!
And to the prominent Jewish Dutchman I would like to say: next week it is Pesach and Jews all over the world read the Hagadah, which describes the Exodus from Egypt at that time.And what do we read there about the present and now? “Because in every generation we are rebelled against us to destroy us” literally. And then the text continues and says that G-d will save us in the end. The Jewish people live and survive, but all kinds of things happen along the way. We must know, prevent and combat that, but not deny it! I hope that the new House of Representatives will want to fight that battle with us and will want to exercise vigilance.

For the first time, the European Parliament states that Hezbollah is responsible for Lebanon’s devastating political and economic crisis

A resolution owverwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament states: “Whereas Hezbollah still controls key ministries in the Lebanese Government; whereas Hezbollah has been listed as a terror organisation by several EU Member States; whereas Hezbollah has repeatedly shown its strong ideological allegiance with Iran, which is destabilising the Lebanese Government and undermining its much-needed cohesion.”

In a resolution on Lebanon adopted earlier this week, the European Parliament clearly stated that Hezbollah is responsible for the country’s devastating political and economic crisis and the repression of the 2019 popular movement.
The resolution, which was adopted with a overwhelming and cross-party support, stresses the need for full Lebanese sovereignty and laments detrimental outside interference.
The text reads: “Whereas Hezbollah still controls key ministries in the Lebanese Government; whereas Hezbollah has been listed as a terror organisation by several EU Member States; whereas Hezbollah has repeatedly shown its strong ideological allegiance with Iran, which is destabilising the Lebanese Government and undermining its much-needed cohesion.”
The resolution further threatens “the introduction of targeted sanctions for obstructing or undermining the democratic political process.”
The text was adopted with 575 yes votes, 71 no votes and 39 abstentions.
The resolution said that the European Union should still consider imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who block the progress of the new government.
Taking note of Lebanon’s formation of a government two weeks ago after more than a year of political deadlock, the European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, said EU governments cannot yet release pressure on the country.
Despite the fact that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament that the time for sanctions had passed because of the formation of a government. The EU has welcomed the announcement of the new government led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The European parliament “deeply urges Lebanese leaders to keep their promises and be a functional government”, the resolution said.
The EU agreed in June to prepare travel bans and asset freezes for Lebanese politicians accused of corruption and obstructing efforts to form a government, financial mismanagement and human rights abuses.
EU must take stand against Hezbollah, say ECR MEPs
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a center-right political group in the EU parliament, strongly welcomed the adoption of the resolution. ‘’The ECR Group endorses the European Parliament’s view that Hezbollah is responsible for Lebanon’s devastating political and economic crisis and the repression of the 2019 popular movement.”
” For the first time, MEPs have recognised the organisation’s strong ideological allegiance with Iran which acts to destabilise Lebanon,’’ it noted.
For the group, Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers said the resolution ‘’greatly challenges the left-liberal groups to come to terms with Hezbollah’s true terrorist nature and to do away with the made-up distinction between the so-called military and political wings of the organisation.’’
‘’It is a distinction that is strongly denied by Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Naim Qassem, himself who stresses that Hezbollah has one single leadership and that no distinction between wings exists,’’ Weimers added.
“This must be the European Parliament’s strongest condemnation yet of Iran and their terror proxy Hezbollah for undermining the stability of Lebanon,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute.
“European lawmakers have thus sent a clear warning to the regime in Tehran and their Shiite terror group that it is no longer business as usual. The Lebanese people deserve freedom, democracy and prosperity–neither of which will be attainable as long as Hezbollah and Iran can continue to drag the country into corruption, crime and war,” he added.

Dutch right-wing politician resigns following party’s anti-Semitism scandal

The leader of the Dutch right-wing Forum for Democracy party resigned Monday following reports that members of its youth movement had engaged in anti-Semitic behavior.
Thierry Baudet, a colorful politician who in 2018 published a nude self-portrait on Instagram, said that assuming responsibility for the anti-Semitism scandal was not the immediate reason for stepping down. Rather the trigger was demands within the party that the guilty members be kicked out before the completion of an internal disciplinary review of their actions.
The review is of members of the party’s section for young members who in a WhatsApp group shared Nazi songs. One of them called “Der Untermensch,” or “Subhuman,” a 1942 Nazi propaganda book inciting hatred of Jews and Slavs, a “masterpiece,” the Het Parool newspaper reported last week.
Some party members seek to “skip the process and throw people under the bus before we know what’s happened,” Baudet said in video he shared on social media announcing his resignation as party leader. He warned against a “trial by the media, which isn’t trustworthy.”
If the accused engaged in anti-Semitism,  he said, “they should leave the party, and my resignation will be an act of assuming responsibility for what happened.”
Forum for Democracy seeks a Dutch exit from the European Union and stricter immigration policies. It’s also consistently pro-Israel.
It won only two seats out of 150 in parliament in the 2017 elections but three of the 26 in the 2019 Dutch elections for the European Parliament.
Read More

Former French PM slams comments made by France’s Foreign Minister about sanctions against Israel

‘’These comments are extremely serious and irresponsible,” said former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls when asked about the statements made by France’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné, who threatened Israel with sanctions unless more aid starts passing into the Gaza Strip.In an interview with Radio France International (RFI) and France 24 television channel, Séjourné siad: “There must be levers of influence and there are multiple levers, going up to sanctions, to let humanitarian aid cross checkpoints.’’“France was one of the first countries to propose European Union sanctions on Israeli settlers who are committing acts of violence in the West Bank. We will continue if needed to obtain the opening of humanitarian aid,” he added.‘’I’m ashamed today of the remarks made by the head of French diplomacy,’’ Manuel Valls, who was Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016, told CNEWS channel.‘’ I always speak in moderation. I’ve exercised power and I know it’s difficult, but to put Hamas and Israel on the same footing. If Hamas returned the hostages, laid down its arms and its leaders surrendered or left, the war would end. Hamas is responsible for this war, for the attack on Israelis last October 7, and for using Palestinians as human shields, he added.‘’As for sanctions, is Israel a friendly country or not? We’re a long way from the statements made by President Macron, who was very fair the day after October 7. It’s unbearable. It’s an act of great cowardice, and we have to be careful. Because in Israel there is a debate but it is united on one objective: both to save the hostages and to put an end to the threat to Israel from the south. Threatening sanctions against a country that is on the front line against Islamism, which is also waging war against us, is highly irresponsible,’’ concluded Manuel Valls.Despite the French Foreign Minister’sb statements, a record number of trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to Israel. A total of 419 trucks were inspected before entering the Palestinian territory. This is the highest number of trucks to enter Gaza in a single day since the war began on October 7. The previous record was 322 trucks, which entered the Palestinian territory on Sunday, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), in a comment posted on X. Before the war, nearly 500 trucks entered Gaza every day, according to a humanitarian source.In February, France banned 28 Israelis from entering the European country, accusing them of attacking Arabs in Judea and Samaria.“Settlement activity is illegal under international law and must stop. Its continuation is incompatible with the creation of a viable Palestinian State,” according to a statement from Paris at the time.Last month, French President Emanuel Macron said that the forcible transfer of Gazans from Rafah ahead of a prospective Israeli military operation in the city would constitute a “war crime,” according to Agence France-Presse.In November, Macron claimed during a BBC interview that Israel was killing women and children in Gaza.“De facto—today civilians are being bombed. These babies, these women, these old people are being bombed and killed. So there is no reason for it and no legitimacy. So we do plead with Israel to stop,” the French leader said.The remarks drew condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that Macron “made a serious mistake, factually and morally” and that “the responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas-ISIS and not with Israel.”

Additional Communities
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Turkey
Schweiz
Switzerland
Sweden
Spain
Slovenia
Slovakia
Serbia
Russia