December 13, 2019

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03/04 Links Pt2: Fatah: Jews deserved the Holocaust because of “who they are”; Amnesty complains about the situation it helped create; Virginia Democrats Elect Their First Islamist Anti-Semite

From Ian:

PMW: Holocaust explained by Fatah: Jews deserved to be killed because of “who they are”
On Facebook, Fatah posted the three photos above from World War II together with a story it presented as authentic. According to the version posted by Fatah, Jews willingly and eagerly agreed to bury Russian civilians alive in order to save their own lives. Seeing this, a Nazi soldier proclaimed to the Russians:
“I just wanted you to know who the Jews are and why we are killing them!”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 27, 2019]

Fatah presented the story as an authentic quote from the purported memoirs of a Russian civilian:
“One of the Russian prisoners in World War II wrote in his memoirs: ‘In 1941 the Germans made us dig deep pits in the ground. When we finished doing what they wanted, they brought a group of Jews, threw them into the pits, and ordered us to bury them. We refused to carry out this atrocious act. So the Germans ordered to throw us in instead of the Jews, and ordered them to bury us. The Jews began to pour dirt on us without hesitation. The dirt almost covered us, but the Germans stopped them and took us out. We were surprised when the German commander shouted at us: “I just wanted you to know who the Jews are and why we are killing them!”‘”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 27, 2019]

Fatah chose to post the text without comment. It did not condemn this story for portraying Jews as evil, selfish, and ungrateful. Nor did it distance itself from the Nazi commander’s justification of the murder of Jews in the Holocaust based on the antisemitic libel that Jews are defined by these character traits.

New York Times Op-Ed Writer Faults Paper’s Israel News Coverage

How bad is New York Times coverage of Israel?

So bad that not even one of the newspaper’s contributing opinion writers appears to believe it.

For the second time this year, New York Times “contributing opinion writer” Matti Friedman has used the Times‘ own op-ed pages to not-so-subtly throw shade on the Times news coverage of Israel. “Contributing opinion writer” is a lofty title the Times uses for people who aren’t quite weekly columnists but are nonetheless frequent and formally affiliated op-ed writers for the paper.

The last time Friedman made this move was back in January, when he wrote a column basically endorsing a criticism I had made of a big investigative project by the Times that accused Israel of “possibly a war crime.”

Friedman made essentially the same move in Sunday’s Times, with a column criticizing the idea that the West Bank settlers are to blame for all of Israel’s problems. That theory had been advanced by New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Halbfinger, whose byline was also atop the “possibly a war crime” investigation.

The war against antisemitism must be conducted on social media

The recent surge of antisemitism is frightening. The World Zionist Organization [WZO] recently compiled data that reveals a sharp increase in the amount and level of hatred directed towards the Jewish people.

In the United States there was a 57% increase of antisemitic incidents in 2018. Berlin police reported that violent cases of antisemitism have tripled. In France, a 69% increase of antisemitic incidents was recorded.

Over half of the Jews in France – 58% – said they are afraid of becoming the target of abuse due to their identity. Nearly half the Jews in Germany – 47% – reported similar concerns and in Belgium the numbers – at 41% – are only a bit lower.

One cause of the increasing number of antisemitic incidents is the increasing role that social media play in our lives. The social networks have become weapons which fuel antisemitism around the world.

In the past, antisemitism was based on religious and Christian dogma, especially the influence of the Catholic Church. Modern-day studies suggest that antisemitism is motivated by other causes, foremost of which is the prominent roles that Jews enjoy throughout the world, and what is seen as their dominant influence and wealth. In the past, the Jews in Europe were viewed as inferior and were mostly restricted from prominent roles in public arenas.

Another reason for modern-day antisemitism is the festering hatred on the European continent for foreigners due to the hordes of refugees and immigrants in recent years. It’s interesting to note that these refugees and immigrants are currently the most dangerous and central threat to Jewish communities in Europe.

George Soros-Linked Money Used To Promote BDS Movement Against Israel

Money tied to George Soros, a liberal billionaire who uses his wealth to support a number of Democratic and progressive causes, funded the creation of a database that singles out business investment in Israel.

The EIRIS Foundation, a charity organization that focuses on investment research, received donations totaling nearly $300,000 from Soros’ Open Society Foundations to build a “Business in Occupied Lands” database, according to financial reports from the U.K. Charity Commission between 2015 to 2017.

The database is advertised as a way to help companies practice better corporate social responsibility, i.e., ethical business investing. However, the information from the database only focuses on two areas: Crimea and Israel, which the EIRIS Foundation simply refers to as “Palestine.” Despite claiming the Business in Occupied Lands project to be an “objective” collection of information on corporate operations in Israel, the EIRIS Foundation frames the region as “illegally administered.”

While a growing number of companies across the world are implementing corporate social responsibility into their business practices in an effort to promote justice, experts point out that more partisan-driven actors have weaponized corporate social responsibility to reach political goals. Namely, it has been used to boost the BDS movement, a global campaign that seeks the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” of Israel and Israeli-linked businesses.

“In addition to being promoted by groups affiliated with the BDS movement, elements of the Foreign Boycott Campaign have recently been adopted by [corporate social responsibility] advisors and companies that employ CSR programs. As a result, the Foreign Boycott Campaign represents the intersection of several strains of discrimination with CSR,” Marc Greedorfer writes in an upcoming law review article. (h/t MtTB)

Amnesty International complains about the situation it helped create

Amnesty International has issued a statement demanding the release of Ms. Hajar Harb, a Palestinian journalist imprisoned by Hamas. Or to put it another way: Amnesty International is complaining about a situation that it helped to create.

Back in the mid-1970s —almost 50 years ago! — Amnesty International joined the international leftwing crusade against Israel, and it hasn’t let up since. Employing its arsenal of reports, press releases, delegations and the like, Amnesty has promoted the Palestinian cause in the guise of fighting for human rights. Most often this involves pretending that young Palestinian terrorists are innocent children, and then denouncing Israel for allegedly mistreating them.

Israelis are a pretty tough bunch, but everybody’s human. The constant barrage of criticism and pressure from the international news media and foreign governments—pressure that was incited and exacerbated in no small part by groups such as Amnesty International—undermined Israeli leaders’ morale, weakened the public’s resolve, and eventually helped bring about the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2006.

Of course, Amnesty and its fellow Israel-bashers were delighted by the Israeli surrender of Gaza. The critics had been claiming for years that Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians was the whole problem. They insisted that once Israel pulled out of Gaza, everything would be fine.

“The Palestinian Arabs, after all, are basically just like us,” Amnesty et al insisted. “Palestinian moms and dads just want what’s best for their kids.” Give them their own state and they’ll be happy and peaceful. Without the “occupation,” they will build a tolerant, peaceful, democratic society. Just like ours.

Exclusive: Leading Jewish Groups Demand Anti-Semitic Omar Be Removed From Foreign Affairs Committee

A group of leading Jewish organizations petitioned the House of Representative’s top Democrats on Monday, demanding that Rep. Ilan Omar (D., Minn.) be removed from her position on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee in light of her numerous anti-Semitic remarks and ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Jewish people, according to a copy of a letter exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Omar, who has been singled out multiple times in her short career on Congress due to several anti-Semitic comments, continued to double down on her belief that pro-Israel members of Congress are more loyal to Israel than America on Sunday.

In yet another tweet alleging that those who support Israel are not loyal to America—an age old anti-Semitic canard that has earned Omar rebukes from Democrats and Republicans—Omar made clear she will not support the historic U.S.-Israel as a member of Congress.

Omar’s continued use of anti-Semitic smears has now led a group of leading Jewish organizations to take action. They sent a letter early Monday to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elliot Engel asking them to immediately strip Omar of her seat on the committee, which plays a key role in supporting the U.S-Israel military alliance.

“In light of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent anti-Semitic tweets, statements, and address before Islamic Relief USA on Saturday, February 23rd, we, the undersigned organizations, request that you immediately remove her as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” the groups wrote.

The organizations praised both Pelosi and Engel for being swift in their earlier denunciations of Omar’s smears against Jews and Israel advocacy groups.

Omar Doubles Down On Anti-Semitism, Accuses Jewish Congresswoman Of Wanting Her To Have Dual Loyalty To Israel

Embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) ignited another firestorm on Sunday when she made anti-Semitic comments to a Jewish member of Congress, accusing the congresswoman of wanting her to have dual loyalties to Israel.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who is Jewish and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, condemned Omar on Friday for anti-Semitic remarks she made last week, calling her comments “vile,” “anti-Semitic,” “outrageous,” and “deeply hurtful.”

On Sunday, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who is also Jewish, also called out Omar for her anti-Semitic remarks from last week, tweeting: “Lawmakers must be able to debate w/o prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.”

Omar responded: “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!”

UKMW prompts Indy to correct article on Ilhan Omar tweet

A Feb. 14 article at the Independent on reactions to antisemitic tweets by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar devoted several paragraphs on the fringe Jewish group IfNotNow’s defence of Omar, whilst omitting any reference to the near universal criticism by large mainstream US Jewish groups.

We tweeted the Indy journalist, Sarah Harvard, to complain that this omission significantly misleads readers by both obfuscating widespread Jewish criticism and falsely suggesting that IfNotNow represents a large section of American Jewish opinion.

Asked If She Denounces Maduro Regime in Venezuela, Ocasio-Cortez Attacks Elliott Abrams

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) didn’t respond directly to a question Monday about whether to denounce the autocratic Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela, but she took it as an opportunity to attack U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams.

At a press conference for her new congressional office’s opening in Queens, a reporter inquired about the situation unfolding in Venezuela. The country’s economy has collapsed under Maduro socialism, leading to food and medicine shortages and violent crackdowns against protests by his government.

“As a democratic socialist, I’m wondering what are your thoughts on the Venezuelan crisis happening right now and if you would denounce the Maduro regime?” a reporter asked.

Ocasio-Cortez said it was a “complex issue” and important to approach the humanitarian crisis there “very carefully.”

“I think it’s important that any solution that we have centers the Venezuelan people and centers the democracy of Venezuelan people first,” she said. “I am very concerned about U.S. interventionism in Venezuela, and I oppose it, especially when we talk about a figure like U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams here. He’s pled guilty to several crimes related to Iran-Contra.”

Tlaib Compares Omar to ‘Civil Rights Icons’ After Latest Anti-Semitism Controversy

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) praised colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for her “real courage” while being targeted like past “civil rights icons” in light of yet another controversy over her anti-Semitic rhetoric.

After Omar took to Twitter for a lengthy thread that continued to conflate criticism of her anti-Israel rhetoric with being forced to profess loyalty to the Jewish state, Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, spoke out on her behalf.

“@IlhanMN’s strength inspires me and so many,” Tlaib wrote on Sunday. “She is being targeted just like many civil rights icons before us who spoke out about oppressive policies. As she uplifts my Sity and other Palestinians in the name of justice and peace, she shows us real courage.”

Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, are often heralded as leaders among the freshman class of House Democrats pushing the party to the left. They both support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has condemned as anti-Semitic for singling out Israel.

Virginia Democrats Elect Their First Islamist Anti-Semite

While Virginia Democrats were debating whether to oust Governor Northam for wearing blackface, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax over alleged rape and Attorney General Mark Herring for also wearing blackface, a much more blatant example of contemporary bigotry by a Virginia Democrat had come to light.

It received virtually no coverage by the media.

Ibraheem Samirah, running in a special election for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, had his social media history exposed. Aside from the usual rants about Israel, Samirah had posted that the Jews had stolen his grandfather’s land and “washed off as the Promised Land for Jews only (using the Torah and Zionist ideology, a 3000 yo religious book and a 100 yo Jew-only philosophy.)”

Samirah’s hatred for Israel wasn’t news. The Jordanian Muslim BDS activist had co-founded a chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (a misnamed pro-terrorist hate group that is neither peaceful nor Jewish), had served as a spokesman for Students for Justice in Palestine, a hate group whose chapters had been involved in numerous anti-Semitic incidents ranging from hate speech to acts of violence, and had spoken at an American Muslims for Palestine conference: an organization accused of supporting Hamas.

But in his 2014 Facebook post, Ibraheem Samirah had trafficked in blatant anti-Semitism, attacking not only Israel, but Judaism and Jews. And had received a pass for his anti-Semitism from Virginia Dems.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Token Antizionist Jews Call Zionist Muslims Tokenism (satire)

Jews who oppose the manifestation of Jewish sovereignty in the ancient Jewish homeland, who represent a small percentage of Jews worldwide, but who hold a prominent place in public campaigns against Israel to lend Jewish legitimacy to anti-Israel efforts, lambasted the phenomenon of amplifying the small percentage of Muslims who support Israel, calling such amplification a dishonest representation of what Muslims believe and support.

A group of activists from If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other movements touting their nominal Jewishness while denouncing support for the world’s only Jewish State, deemed the use of Muslim voices in pro-Israel rhetoric “tokenism,” in which the minority voice appears to carry the same weight as the much more numerous majority attitude among the demographic, and compared it to pro-slavery African-Americans or pro-Trump undocumented immigrants. Jews active in If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other anti-Zionist movements represent no more than 5% of all Jews, according to demographic researchers.

“We condemn efforts to present the opinions of Zionist Muslims as anything more than tokenism,” declared G. Willigers, chapter head of Jewish Voice for Peace at several institutions of higher learning in the San Francisco Bay area. “It in no way reflects the opinions of the Muslim world at large, and we cannot allow Zionist propagandists to thus create the impression that support for Israel is in any way a legitimate Muslim position. This organization, which brings together progressive Jews by the dozens to combat the sinister machinations of millions of Zionist settler colonialists, will call out such tokenism wherever it occurs.”

MP Joan Ryan reveals death threats since leaving Labour over ‘culture of antisemitism’

Joan Ryan, the MP who quit Labour last month over the party’s “culture of antisemitism”, has called the police after receiving two death threats in the wake of her departure.

Ms Ryan became the eighth Labour MP to quit the party last month and has since had to report two threats made against her – one of which was hand delivered to her office in parliament.

The chair of Labour Friends of Israel received an unstamped handwritten note to her Commons office, which branded her a “****-sucking, Jewish c*** who defected to Israel”.

It said she should be raped and “set on fire”, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Another letter sent to her constituency office in Enfield North said: “Stop telling lies about Jeremy Corbyn – he is a decent man, you lying Jew whore. You need to be shoved right back in the ovens.”

Ms Ryan said she also reported the registration number of a black car that was parked near her constituency office with three men inside.

The MP said she feared they were deliberately keeping her under surveillance.

Ms Ryan, 63, is not Jewish but said Labour had “become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism,” under Jeremy Corbyn when she left.

Jewish Labour Movement May End Century-Long Affiliation With UK Labour Party Over Antisemitism

The Jewish Labour Movement may end its nearly century-long affiliation with the UK Labour party due to Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism in its ranks.

The venerable organization has been connected to the Labour party for 99 years. Its roots lie on the Zionist left, and it began as a branch of the movement that eventually created the Israeli Labor party, which ruled the Jewish state for the first 30 years of its existence.

Sky News quoted the Jewish Labour Movement’s national secretary, Peter Mason, as saying at a London Labour conference, “It’s been a year since the Jewish community stood outside Parliament Square protesting enough was enough. It’s been a year since the Jewish community laid down six key tests to judge the party against their action in tackling antisemitism. And it’s been a year since we set the Jewish Labour Movement 19 key tests.”

“None of those have been met,” he stated, “and instead we have experienced a summer of hell in which the Labour party took upon itself the decision to redefine antisemitism and has failed.”

Diane Abbott allows passing of motion that rejects allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour

The motion read: “This CLP notes with increasing alarm the acceptance of the ‘fact’ that the Labour Party is ‘institutionally antisemitic’ by not only the media, but the right wing of the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party].

“It is distracting people’s attention away from the calamitous consequences of the Tory government’s continuing austerity and its disastrous handling of the Brexit issue as it nears the 29 March deadline.

“It is a scandal that we are allowing ourselves to be branded as a racist party. Furthermore, we call upon the NEC [National Executive Committee] to release a statement firmly rejecting the accusation that Labour is in any way ‘institutionally racist’, making it clear that Labour and its current leader have a proud record of fighting racism and will continue to do so.”

The motion also called on the NEC to “immediately implement trigger ballot procedures” in all Labour-held constituencies, “in order to allow the party membership to decide who should represent them in Parliament”.

NGOs and Politicians Continue to Push the BDS Agenda

In February, the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry released a report demonstrating that leading BDS groups are staffed by current and former members of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. These organizations include Addameer, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan, and Al-Haq, which regularly support BDS in international legal and “human rights” contexts, and receive financial support from the European Union.

BDS supporters framed the report as an exaggeration that slandered the movement and its Palestinian partners. Overall, the report received limited press attention, despite the detailed information provided on the abuse of NGOs by terror organizations. This suggests that the BDS movement has achieved a level of acceptance within the information ecosystem that is tantamount to impunity. A social media researcher who discovered that bots from hijacked accounts were generating tweet storms supporting BDS revealed one reason for this normalization — sheer volume.

Another development that showed the leading role of non-governmental organizations in pushing BDS was the campaign by Amnesty International alleging “the Israeli government has political and ideological reasons for developing a tourism industry in occupied East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.” The Amnesty report alleged further that Israel used archaeology “to make the link between the modern State of Israel and its Jewish history explicit,” and went on to accuse travel companies of complicity in “human rights violations” for listing sites and accommodations in places including Jerusalem.

The Amnesty campaign against tourism in Israel follows on the Human Rights Watch-instigated decision by Airbnb to de-list Israeli-owned properties in communities across the “Green Line” — but that went even further by denying Jewish connections to Jerusalem and other sites. Human Rights Watch’s devolution into a BDS support group has long been evident, but the vehemence of its current position is partially the function of its director’s obsession with Israel, along with those of key staff members who originated in the BDS movement. The ACLU has followed a similar trajectory in allowing its antipathy towards Israel to shape its policy regarding anti-BDS legislation.

Erdan calls countries to halt funding for BDS groups with terrorist ties

Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan called on interior, internal security and justice ministers across the world to halt funding to NGOs that push for boycotting Israel in a letter on Monday.

“It is unthinkable that terrorists who present themselves as human rights activists are going around to European parliaments’ receiving legitimacy and funding from them,” Erdan wrote in a letter to 10 countries. “I urge my counterparts to put an end to the fraud stemming from BDS.”

Erdan is basing his claims off of two reports published by the Strategic Affairs Ministry in 2019. One of the reports detailed the €5 million in annual funding the European Union distributes to organizations which promote boycotting Israel. The second report asserts “100 links” shared between terrorist groups, such as Hamas, and 13 BDS supporting NGOs. This report is titled “Terrorists in Suits.”

“I urge you to examine the activities of the boycott organizations operating in your country and ensure that they do not advance the radical agenda of the terrorist organizations to which they are connected, and halt any activities or public funding they receive,” Erdan said.

York University Investigates ‘Jews Run This Uni’ Tweet, Though Concerns Over ‘Violent’ Campus Mural Erasing Israel Remain

York University in Toronto is investigating an antisemitic tweet shared by an individual who may be a student at the school, a prominent Jewish advocacy group said, though concerns remain over a campus mural that critics say is offensive to the Jewish community and legitimizes violence.

According to a screenshot captured by B’nai Brith Canada, a user identified as Abdul Rafay Iqbal wrote in a Tweet on Wednesday, “Jews run this uni…. they here for the money not the students.”

Iqbal — whose username has since changed, and whose affiliation with York University could not be immediately confirmed — was responding to a statement from the school’s official Twitter account, notifying the campus community that classes will resume following an inclement weather watch.

B’nai Brith Canada denounced the since-deleted comment as “blatantly antisemitic” in a tweet on Thursday, saying it reached out to the school’s president, Rhonda Lenton, and its Center for Human Rights to call for disciplinary action. York University’s official Twitter account likewise called the tweet “antisemitic,” adding that it was reported both to the social media network and “York colleagues.”

B’nai Brith Canada Welcomes Cancellation of ‘Hateful and Antisemitic’ TV Program

B’nai Brith Canada has welcomed the cancellation of a television show it said presented “hateful” content.

“Thanks to roughly 1,000 Canadians who signed B’nai Brith’s petition demanding that the program be cancelled, Muslim Perspectives, starring radical imam Zafar Bangash, will no longer be able to poison the minds of impressionable viewers with antisemitic conspiracy theories,” a B’nai Brith statement noted on Sunday.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn expressed gratitude to ZoomerMedia and Vision TV for promptly responding to the petition regarding the show, which was run by the Islamic Society of York Region (ISYR).

CAMERA Arabic Prompts Reuters Correction on Palestinian Refugees

CAMERA Arabic last week prompted correction of a Reuters report which in Arabic inaccurately characterized all Arabs who left Israel in 1948 as having been expelled, ignoring that the vast majority fled, often at the urging of their own leaders.

Reuters’ Feb. 22 Arabic article (“Palestinian boy killed by Israeli gunfire during protest against Gaza border”) had originally stated that the protests “call for the right of the Palestinians to return to the lands from which their fathers were expelled in 1948” (CAMERA’s translation.) The original Arabic states:

It only uses the termطُرد (“were expelled/exiled/removed”). In contrast, the English version of the same article also rightly notes those who fled, stating that Gaza border protests “call for the right of return to lands from which their ancestors fled or were forced to flee in 1948.”

Recent Reuters Arabic reports have accurately noted that Arabs either fled or were expelled in 1948. Two reports from January refer to “their [the Palestinians’] homes, from which their fathers and forefathers were expelled, or from which they fled.”

AP Corrects No Ban on Hajj Pilgrims from Gaza

Gazans have traveled consistently to Mecca for the hajj since 2014. This is the first time in five years that Egypt has allowed Gazans to cross for the umra pilgrimage. Both pilgrimages are to Mecca, but the umra, unlike the hajj, can be carried out at any time of the year. The Gazan in the picture was leaving for the umra journey.

In response to communication from CAMERA, AP promptly corrected the captions. The corrected captions commendably make clear:
CORRECTION: IT IS THE UMRA, OR MINOR PILGRIMAGE, NOT THE HAJJ – A relative kisses a Palestinian Muslim pilgrim while waiting for a bus to the Rafah border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, en route to the holy city of Mecca, for the umrah, or minor pilgrimage, in Gaza City, Saturday, March 2, 2019. Gazan residents resumed the umrah pilgrimage, that can be undertaken at any time of the year, after nearly five years of an Egyptian ban.

Swastikas left at former synagogue, kindergarten in eastern France

Vandals scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on a former synagogue and left a swastika in front of a kindergarten in eastern France, the latest in a string of incidents that have caused nationwide concern.

Swastikas were discovered Monday on the door and facade of a building in the town of Mommenheim that formerly held a synagogue and has Hebrew lettering etched above its doorway.

The building now houses a sports facility.

In nearby Strasbourg, a piece of cardboard with an anti-Semitic message and a swastika was left in front of the staff entrance of a public kindergarten.

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said he was “stunned” by the resurgence of anti-Semitic acts in the area.

“Not a day goes by without there being an anti-Semitic act,” he said.

California high school students make swastika out of beer cups

Posted photos show students from two southern California high schools offering the “heil Hitler” salute over a swastika made out of beer cups.

The students and alumni from Newport Harbor High School and Costa Mesa High School posted photos on Snapchat of what appears to be a drinking game at an off-campus party, CBS LA reported.

The people in the photo are current students or recent graduates, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District officials sent a letter to parents on Sunday.

“We were recently made aware of social media postings involving some students who created inappropriate anti-Semitic symbols, and possible underage drinking,” the letter said. “While these actions did not occur on any school campus or school function, we condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all their forms.”

“We remain focused on educating students on all aspects of life’s challenges and are committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices, and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large,” the district also said.

Items belonging to Oskar Schindler up for auction

A range of personal items once belonging to Oskar Schindler – the German who saved more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust – will be up for auction this week.

The items include a wristwatch, compass, medal, pens and a business card that were once owned by the businessman, who died in 1974.

The items are set to be sold in auction this Wednesday by the Boston-based RR Auction. The items are being sold as one lot, and online bidding began at $2,500, but as of Monday stood at $23,000.

The story of Schindler was made most famous by Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List, which recounted how the businessman protected the Jewish workers at his factory and saved them from being murdered by the Nazis.

The lot includes a Longines wristwatch, two fountain pens in a case marked from 1957, a wooden business card listing Schindler as living in Frankfurt, a compass and a Sudetenland Medal dated 1938. The medal was awarded to Schindler for his work aiding the Nazis in their occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Israeli network HOT signs distribution deal with Viacom

Israeli TV provider HOT announced on Monday that it had signed distribution and production deals with a range of international media platforms.

Four original Israeli series will be added soon to Viacom’s British streaming service, My5, which is linked to Channel 5. Those include the vampire show Juda, which was picked up by Hulu in the US last month; Miguel, which won an award at Canneseries last year; the family drama Mekimi and the crime series Sirens. This move marks the first foreign-language program acquisition for My5. HOT said on Monday that the shows will begin appearing on the platform at some point later this month.

“HOT is taking a significant step forward in bringing its Israeli content to the global stage,” said Tal Granot, CEO of HOT. “Soon HOT’s original productions will be available to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. This is a move that creates tremendous opportunities for the entire Israeli media industry and is a vote of confidence in Israeli production.”

James Tatam, the vice president of commercial, digital and operations at Channel 5, said that: “Israel has produced some of the most compelling original drama in recent years, so we’re excited to have partnered with HOT for our first ever foreign-language offering on My5.”

Danish banker chief extols virtues of Israeli economy

“We were not hurt by the financial crisis of 2008 because we acted according to the philosophy of Ayn Rand – we are not dealing with matters that are of no real value. Not all the means of making money are legitimate,” says Lars Christensen, co-founder of the Danish Saxo Bank to Israel Hayom.

I met Christensen at the annual Ayn Rand Institute conference in Prague.

The institute’s first annual conference held outside the United States, it was attended by 400 students from around the world, and more than 30 students from Israel.

Christensen is a member of the institute and one of the lecturers at the conference.

“Israel is a wonderful place for entrepreneurship and innovation and I love Israel and invest in companies in Israel,” he tells me.

After I ask him about the regulatory environment in Denmark, he takes air and his face turns grim: “It’s going downhill. In one of the last meetings of the bank’s board, we discovered that all the members of the board no longer live in Denmark and I, myself, live in Switzerland. The constantly changing regulation and new laws are hurting business.”

“How many banks are there in Denmark?” I ask and he surprises with the reply. “Something like 100.” It turns out that, until recently, there were very lax rules for creating banks in the country and many investment houses received licenses for banking activity.

Israeli rhythmic gymnast bags three golds in Spanish competition

Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram won three gold medals Sunday at the Grand Prix Marbella in Spain, scooping up top honors in the hoop, clubs, and ribbons competitions.

Ashram, 19, began her winning streak by taking first place in the hoop contest with a score of 21.050. Fellow Israeli Nicol Voronkov came fifth in that discipline with a score of 18.850.

Next, Ashram scored 21.650 in the clubs contest, equal to the score of Arina Averina, the European all-round champion of last year. However, Ashram scored more points for execution of her routine, even though it was technically easier than that of her rival, and so took first place.

In the ribbon competition Ashram scored 20.7, completing her trio of medals.

In September Ashram won the silver medal in the individual all-around final at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

It was Ashram’s third medal of the competition, after she nabbed a bronze in the rope final and a silver in the hoop final.

The athlete’s string of accomplishments make her a favorite to win a medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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