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Germany: Diplomat appointed as antisemitism Commissioner

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 11:30 AM PDT


Via European Jewish Press:
Dr. Felix Klein
German diplomat Felix Klein has been appointed as the country's first anti-Semitism Commissioner. He will take over his newly created post in the next few days, 'Welt am Sonnatg' newspaper reported citing government sources.

Klein had been proposed by the Central Council of Jews and other Jewish organizations for the office. Born in Darmstadt in 1968, Klein was is currently the Special Representative of the German Foreign Office for Relations with Jewish Organizations and Anti-Semitism Issues.

In this capacity, he is the main contact of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international Jewish organizations and coordinates the foreign policy measures of the federal government in the fight against anti-Semitism.

The World Jewish Congress welcomed the German government's appointment of Dr. Felix Klein.

"Already a leader in Europe in the fight against anti-Semitism, Germany has taken another praiseworthy step in addressing the need for a dedicated and expert individual to protect the well-being of the country's Jewish community, and Dr. Felix Klein is without a doubt the best choice for the position," said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.

"Dr. Klein played a pivotal role in Germany's efforts to combat anti-Semitism, drawing wide attention to the very real threats experienced by Jewish communities across Europe, to the dangers of far-right extremism, and to the importance of preserving the memory of the Holocaust," he said.
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Russia: Israeli man beaten to death in suspected anti-Semitic attack

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 05:00 AM PDT

Via Times of Israel:
A Russian-born Israeli man died Monday night of severe injuries he sustained after being attacked on a St. Petersburg street several days ago in what authorities are investigating as a suspected anti-Semitic attack.

The Russian-language outlet Fontanka reported Tuesday that Mikhail Verevskoy, 27, had suffered traumatic brain injuries and fractured ribs and facial bones, as well as internal injuries.

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said a suspect, Ahmed Kharsha, 36, was arrested and released on bail. Kharsha was forbidden from leaving the city. Russian authorities investigating the attack have not ruled out an anti-Semitic motive, the report said.

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Verevskoy is survived by his wife, who is in a local maternity ward where she is due to give birth.

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UK: Labour Party scandal 'emboldened' antisemitic attackers, report finds

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:00 AM PDT

Via Telegraph:
Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party is partly to blame for a rise in antisemitic attacks in the UK, a report has said.

The Kantor Center, based at Tel Aviv University, said that the "unprecendented publicity regarding controversies about alleged and actual antisemitism in the Labour Party" is likely to have "emboldened offenders".

There was a three per cent rise in antisemitic incidents of all types recorded by the Community Security Trust, from 1,346 to 1,382.

While abuse on social media fell by 15 per cent the number of antisemitic assaults recorded by the CST rose by 34 per cent to 145.

Alongside hard-right antisemitic activity there has also been a "rise in leftist antisemitism" which "supports radical Muslim anti-Israeli attitudes expressed in antisemitic terms such as in the BDS and Antifa movements, and certainly in the UK Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn," it said.

"The recent strengthening of the extreme right in a number of European countries was accompanied by slogans and symbols which remind, not only the Jewish population, of the 1930s, despite the significant differences between the two periods," the report added.

It said British Jews were "losing their traditional political home, because of the change the Labour party has undergone, to which they feel they cannot be partners".

"Jews regard the present stances of the Labour Party as no less than betrayal," it added.

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In eastern Europe, when Nazis killed Jews, a ‘carnival atmosphere’ prevailed

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 03:01 AM PDT


Via Times of Israel:
In contrast to the relatively secretive death camps, the Einsatzgruppen massacres were "an attraction" for many communities, according to Desbois. In some localities, the Holocaust unfolded with "carnival" or quasi-religious undertones, such as the organizing of bloody, Passion-like marches through town, or forcing Jews to perform on the edge of mass graves.

"The Germans in the Eastern territories could not be unaware that the gawkers who rushed to see the Jews murdered, sometimes up to the graves' edge, crossed themselves over and over," wrote Desbois. "Consciously or not, they organized a tableau vivant, a living picture, of an inverted representation of the Stations of the Cross."

(...)

In a chapter called "The Sanitizer," Desbois explained how the SS murder squads engaged local communities in "cleaning up" after each massacre. Before Jewish homes and belongings could be pillaged, efforts were made to erase evidence that thousands of people had been murdered.

"The personal bathtubs ripped out of Jewish houses became anonymous tubs for transporting the lime to the mass graves where the Jews had been murdered," wrote Desbois. "For a few days, the entire village seems to have been transformed into a human slaughterhouse. A slaughterhouse needing to be sanitized after a crime."

According to Desbois, his investigations yielded many "grave fillers," but few people who admit to transporting Jews to execution sites in trucks or wagons. For those in town who did not witness the massacres for themselves, evidence of what took place was visible on the streets for days.

"It took a village-wide effort to get the Jewish furniture out of the houses and into the schoolyard where it was sold," wrote Desbois. "Not only was the sale of Jewish goods not hidden or discreet, camouflaged, but it took place in broad daylight at the center of Soviet life. …In the place where everyone went to make daily purchases, the possessions of murdered Jews were sold shamelessly at auction."

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Hungary: Armed guards protect Jewish restaurants in France and Belgium but not in Budapest

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 11:40 PM PDT


Frank Furedi @ Spiked:
[...] If you listened only to Western media, you would think Hungary had become the heartland of fascism. In numerous media outlets it was darkly suggested that the re-election of Orban would constitute a threat akin to Hitler gaining power in the 1930s. Lurid headlines warned of the imminent collapse of Hungary into authoritarian rule. Canadian Michael Ignatieff, the president and rector of Budapest's Western-financed Central European University (CEU), warned that the election would determine whether 'Hungary consolidates itself as a democracy or whether it aligns with Putin and the ascendant authoritarians of the 21st century'.

When I talk to a couple of Western students from the CEU, it is clear that they believe Ignatieff's warning. They warn me about the unprecedented prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment in Budapest. They don't believe me when I point out that if you understand Hungarian, you will find that such sentiments are probably weaker in Budapest than they are in Paris or many other Western European cities. When I tell them that I have seen armed guards protecting Jewish restaurants in France and Belgium but not in Budapest, they look uncomfortable and change the subject.
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