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UK: How Some Wikipedia Editors Tried—and Failed—To Erase The Labour Party’s Anti-Semitism Problem

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:30 AM PST

Via Tablet Magazine (h/t glykosymoritis)
Lansman was likely referring to leftist activists on the ground who have attacked the party's nascent efforts to expunge anti-Semites as a "witch hunt." But he might as well have been referring to activists on the internet, who have been quietly attempting to erase traces of the party's Jewish problem from Wikipedia.

Last month, these enterprising editors attempted to delete the entire "Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party" page from the online encyclopedia. The ensuing debate over the prospect can be read here. The initial advocate for deletion called the entry "an attack page" that "lacks notability," as though an outpouring of prejudice that caused nearly half of the Labour party's own sitting politicians to denounce it was simply a slander served up by shadowy (presumably Jewish) smear artists. Other similarly inclined editors asserted that there should be no "Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party" page given that there was no parallel "Anti-Semitism in the Conservative Party" page, as though the solution to incomplete documentation of hate is to suppress that which has already been documented.

To be sure, like many Wikipedia pages, this one could surely have used more citations, research, and polish. But that was clearly not what its critics had in mind. They did not want to remedy the page's deficiencies, but to eliminate it entirely. Ultimately, the facts of the case won out, and no consensus was reached to delete the page. It remained published but in limbo.

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UK: A century after the Balfour Declaration, is the UK on Israel’s side?

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:10 AM PST

Via Mosaic Magazine:
Britain's Conservative prime minister Theresa May led her country in celebrating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration at a commemorative dinner in November, but Jeremy Corbyn, the notoriously hard-left and anti-Israel leader of the Labor party, declined to attend. Although Labor's shadow foreign secretary did attend, she publicly asserted her disapproval of the occasion and said that the "most important way" for Britain to mark the anniversary would have been "to recognize Palestine." Indeed, Simon Gordon writes, anti-Zionism has become an increasingly powerful force in British politics—especially, but not exclusively, on the left:
Less than a week after the Balfour centenary, a diplomatic scandal involving senior Israeli officials precipitated the resignation of Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel. One of the most outspoken supporters of Israel in the cabinet, Patel had [allegedly] been meeting Israeli ministers, including Benjamin Netanyahu, behind the foreign secretary's back, while formally on vacation. ... But the official version of events was soon called into question. The Jewish Chronicle, citing sources in Downing Street, reported that Patel's unofficial diplomacy in Israel took place with the consent of the prime minister, who had asked her not to disclose the meetings. The truth of the matter remains unclear. But would a breach of diplomatic protocol involving another country have provoked the same response?
If this was the stance of a relatively Israel-friendly Tory government, what of Labor?
A win for Corbyn, the most left-wing Labor leader in more than 30 years, would radically reverse Britain's approach to the Middle East. Nor has Labor changed its spots overnight. Since Tony Blair's resignation in 2007—in part precipitated by his defense of Israel's 2006 campaign in Lebanon—the party has continually moved to the left in both domestic and foreign policy. ...

In contrast to [the Conservative former prime minister David] Cameron, [the former Labor leader Edward] Miliband condemned the IDF during Operation Protective Edge [in Gaza]. Two months later, he whipped Labor MPs to back a nonbinding parliamentary motion on the unilateral recognition of Palestine. Whether or not Corbyn makes it to 10 Downing Street, its next Labor occupant is likely to be far less friendly toward Israel than any prime minister since ... the early 1970s.
read more at Jewish Review of Books

Germany: 4th-tier club highlighting anti-Semitism in soccer

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:19 AM PST

Via AP:
Despite being threatened with exclusion from Germany's northeast regional league, Babelsberg is refusing to pay a fine in a case that has turned a spotlight on anti-Semitism in German soccer.

Babelsberg is refusing to pay a 7,000-euro ($8,500) fine imposed by the Northeast German Soccer Federation (NOFV) after its fans chanted "Nazi pigs out" at Energie Cottbus supporters during a fourth-tier league game between the sides last April.

The club says its fans were reacting to right-wing chants from mostly masked Cottbus supporters, including, "Ticks, gypsies and Jews," and "Work sets you free" - a reference to Nazi concentration camps. Cottbus fans also performed Nazi salutes, as can be seen in a video circulated by the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism.

While both clubs were fined for the trouble, which included the use of pyrotechnics by both sides and attempts to storm the pitch from Cottbus supporters, Babelsberg was particularly aggrieved that the NOFV made no mention of the Cottbus fans' chanting in its report, focusing only on the home supporters' response.

The NOFV said on Monday it was unaware of any right-wing chanting or Hitler salutes when it made its initial judgment. It was to hold a press conference on the matter on Thursday.

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Portugal/EU: Another Israel-bashing pro-BDS event at the European Parliament

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 02:01 AM PST

Portuguese European Parliamentarian Ana Gomes (member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) is organising yet another Israel-bashing event at the European Parliament on February 28.  Seeing how these people spend their time, efforts and taxpayers' money, no wonder euroscepticism is progressing at great speed in European countries.

Guests are Omar Barghouti, President of BDS - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, the Foreign Minister of Palestine and Tom Moerenhout, OIES-Saudi Aramco Fellow.

The Transatlantic Institute writes:
Dear : Has it now become acceptable to host speakers in the European Parliament who promote the total economic, academic & cultural boycott of & who oppose the 2-state-solution? We hope not.

Belgium: Antwerp police say alleged car-ramming attempt on Jewish father and son was not a hate crime

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:05 AM PST

Via JTA:

A Belgian watchdog group on anti-Semitism said the near ramming of a Jewish father and son in Antwerp was a racist attack, but police said the suspect was inebriated and was charged merely with reckless driving.

In a statement Monday, the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, said its lawyers have initiated a criminal court case against the driver who on Saturday narrowly missed with his car the father and son while they were walking on the sidewalk. In Belgium, third parties in certain alleged offenses can sue defendants, who are then often exposed to criminal proceedings.

The father and son were dressed in Hasidic garb.

"The act appeared premeditated and the motivation, in the absence of any other explanation, should be seen as anti-Semitic," the statement read, adding that the case "is immediately reminiscent of car-ramming terrorist attacks recorded in Barcelona, Berlin, Jerusalem, London, New York, Nice and Stockholm." (...)

The incident in Antwerp is one of several recent cases in which Jewish groups and authorities in Western Europe disagreed on the role of anti-Semitism in the actions of alleged perpetrators of violence, including in Amsterdam and Paris.
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