UEFA probes antisemitism at Maccabi Haifa game in Germany

October 8, 2021
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Tuesday it will open an investigation into the antisemitic abuse hurled at Maccabi Haifa fans during a match against Union Berlin on Thursday.
During the UEFA Conference League match, in which Haifa lost 3-0, Union Berlin supporters made antisemitic gestures and slurs towards fans and even attempted to set fire to the Israeli flag.
In addition, Berlin Police are also investigating one Union Berlin supporter who shouted “sieg heil” several times during the match, according to Firstpost.
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https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/uefa-announces-probe-into-antisemitism-at-maccabi-haifa-game-in-germany-681147

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Yom Ha’atzmaut message from Chief Rabbi Jacobs

As a rabbi, I prefer not to get involved in politics and my opinion is that a politician should not interfere with religion. But where does politics start and where do rabbinical matters end? Is euthanasia a religious matter or a political problem? And who decides how far freedom of education extends?
That difference is even more unclear in Israel, because: “Israel without Torah is like a body without soul”, one can’t separate the State of Israel from Judaism. And therefore, we see in the Knesset politicians with rabbinical opinions and rabbis as politicians.
But even the Jew who is not an Israeli resident has the conviction that he may state his opinion and interfere with Israeli political decisions because, he argues, without centuries of daily prayers in which we asked G’d to allow us to return to Jerusalem, Israel would not be today an Independent State. However, my opinion is that just as the Israeli citizen does not make statements about the Dutch Prime Minister, Rutte, we, not living in Israel, shouldn’t interfere in internal Israeli politics.
However, non-Jewish society sees us as an extension of Israel. Over and over again, I have to explain that I am Dutch and that the compliment that my Dutch is so fluent, is misplaced. You’re not going to give that compliment to the bishop or the preacher, do you? But in according with their opinion “the Jew is Israel and Israel is the Jew”.
And yet there is a heart of truth in their falsehood, for Jews know themselves interconnected by Jerusalem, our capital, where one day the Third Temple will rise when the ultimate peace will be there “for all inhabitants of Your earth.”
And until then? When Netanyahu called upon French Jews to emigrate to Israel because of anti-Semitic violence, I was pushed in front of a journalist’s microphone and was asked, “Rabbi, what do you think of Netanyahu’s call? Do you really believe that there is no place for Jews in the Netherlands anymore?” Wow, I thought, that’s a tricky one. It is not possible to request time for reflection, to say that Jews no longer belong in Europe is unwise and disagree in public with Netanyahu does not seem right. And therefore, my diplomatic, rabbinical and politically coloured answer was: Great we have got Israel for all those who must escape anti-Semitism. My parents had nowhere to go. But if and when I go on aliyah, will not be determined by fear for terrorism. I decide for myself, because I am independent, like the State of Israel!

Belgian Jews Live in ‘Permanent State of Siege,’ Says Head of Antisemitism Watchdog

Fear of antisemitic violence and the presence of armed police and soldiers outside Jewish institutions has left Belgian Jews living in a “permanent state of siege,” the head of Belgium’s main antisemitism watchdog disclosed during a wide-ranging TV interview this weekend.
“The presence of military on the street in front of Jewish sites is somewhat reassuring,” Joël Rubinfeld — president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism — told the French-language broadcaster RTBF on Sunday. “But you can imagine what kind of world we live in. Today, you go to a Jewish school and you feel like you’re coming back to Fort Knox, which is really a kind of permanent state of siege.”
Islamists based in Belgium have carried out several attacks on Jewish targets in Europe during the last decade, among them a gun attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum in May 2014 in which four people were killed. Belgium’s 42,000 Jews are also subjected to antisemitic harassment by Muslim extremists. Rubinfeld said that over “the last two or three years,” his organization had dealt with a dozen cases of Jewish school students subjected to antisemitic bullying, as well as a broader trend of Jewish parents unwilling to risk sending their children to public schools.
“This is what they call a double punishment: on the one hand, they are victims of these antisemitic acts, of bullying, or even sometimes of physical violence, and on the other hand, it is they, and not the aggressors, who have to leave their school,” Rubinfeld said.
The last fortnight, he added, had witnessed a “rush of antisemitic acts” inspired by Palestinian violence on the border between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel.
Rubinfeld reflected that it had been difficult to convince Belgian politicians that the country has a serious problem with antisemitism. 
“Already in 2008-2009, I told them: ‘If you do not do it for my children, do it for your children,’” he said.
The article was published on The Algemeiner

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Cancels Belgian TV Appearance Over ‘Anti-Semitic’ Parade Float

Dutch actor Carice van Houten has canceled an upcoming television appearance in Belgium after the country’s city of Aalst featured a parade float that UNESCO has branded “racist and anti-Semitic.”
While the Aalst Carnival was celebrated back in March, the event continues to have a present-day impact on Belgian relations after the city’s mayor, Christoph D’Haese, renounced the event’s UNESCO “World Intangible Cultural Heritage” title on Sunday.
“We have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints and Aalst will renounce its UNESCO recognition,” D’Haese announced before doubling down on the float’s legitimacy within the parade’s context. “We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. All those who support this are acting in bad faith. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire.”
As a response to the decision, van Houten – popularly known for her portrayal of Melisandre in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” – joined colleague Halina Reijn, an actor and writer, in solidarity after she nixed her scheduled appearance on the Belgian talk show “The Appointment.”
“The Appointment” presenter Phara de Aguirre revealed that Reijn – who is married to a Jewish soccer player – labeled D’Haese “an anti-Semite” and refused to appear on the show due to its decision to also host the Aalst mayor, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday.
“No Halina Reijn and Carice Van Houten as advertised,” de Aguirre wrote in a since-deleted tweet on Monday, according to the JTA. “Reijn is married to a Jewish man and doesn’t want to share a table with Aalst’s mayor.”
The notorious float made its appearance during the Aalst Carnival on March 3 and immediately drew ire from the global Jewish community for its caricatured representation of Orthodox Jews with rats on their shoulders surrounded by gold coins and money bags.
The carnival also featured individuals in Ku Klux Klan garb and others donning blackface.
Weeks after the float’s appearance, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay labeled the display “racist and anti-Semitic,” adding that the agency would remain “vigilant and uncompromising regarding such occurrences” at the carnival, which was added to the list in 2010. The motion was then tabled until UNESCO’s December committee meeting in Bogotá, Colombia.
However, a draft resolution concerning the festival’s removal became public knowledge last month.
“These acts, whether or not intentional, contradict the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals,” the committee document read.
Despite whispers about the fate of the Aalst Carnival’s standing with UNESCO, European Jewish Association President Rabbi Menachem Margolin said D’Haese and other town officials were “jumping before they were pushed” in their decision to withdraw from the list, according to a statement obtained by the JTA.
The article was published on Sputnik

New President for the Jewish State of Israel

Israel has a new President, Mr Isaac Herzog. The Herzog’s have a fine tradition of important positions in Israel: his grandfather was a Chief Rabbi of Israel, and his father, Chaim, a former President of Israel too.

We wish the 11th President of Israel lots of Mazal, lots of strength and lots of courage. Qualities that we know from our many contacts with Mr Herzog, are not in short supply where he is concerned.

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