Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Kidnapping plot foiled

A network plotting to kidnap and ransom members of a southern Tunisia town's Jewish community was broken up by the country's national guard, a Tunisian newspaper reported.
The network was started by a police officer who was formerly responsible for protecting the Jewish community, according to the report in Al Hacad, a Tunisian weekly. The officer was reportedly recruiting young Tunisians to take part in a kidnapping operation that aimed to force Tunisian Jews to leave the country. He had a car registered in Libya as well as firearms stockpiled.
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Demand for a Monet

The grandson of a wealthy Jewish businessman is demanding that a Swiss foundation return a Monet masterpiece that the family was forced to sell for a fraction of its value as they fled Europe during World War II, a Swiss newspaper reported Wednesday.
Juan Carlos Emden, the Chilean grandson of Max Emden who bought French master Claude Monet's "Poppy Field near Vetheuil" in the 1920s, is seeking to recover the painting from the Swiss Buehlre collection, the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) reported.
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Institutional anti-Semitism

The UK’s trade union for academics, the University and College Union, is “institutionally anti-Semitic,” a London employment tribunal heard Monday.

The claim was made on the opening day of a potentially landmark case, which partially revolves around UCU’s resolutions concerning an academic boycott of Israel.

The claimant, freelance mathematics lecturer Ronnie Fraser, is alleging that the union harassed him by creating a hostile environment for him as a Jew, which “derives from a culture and attitude which is informed by contemporary anti-Zionism. Complaints about anti-Semitism are met with either bald denials or accusations that the complainant is attempting to stifle legitimate debate. As a result of the role which the State of Israel plays in contemporary Jewish identity, the hostile environment necessarily has an adverse impact on Jewish members of the union, making them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.”
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ensuring Ukranian Jews' safety

The head of the European Jewish Association has called on the Ukrainian government to ensure the safety of the country's Jews in the wake of the election to parliament of an anti-Semitic party.
"We are not presuming of course, to interfere in internal Ukraine affairs and its voters' decisions, however we are very concerned about the safety of Ukrainian Jews and are seeking to prevent expansion of anti-Semitism in Europe," Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement.
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The vote

On June 6, Paul Ryan had a visitor in his House of Representatives’ office in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ryan was not yet the vice-presidential nominee, but was already a rising star in the Republican Party and well known in America’s capital as author of the fiscally conservative “Ryan Budget.”

Ezra Friedlander knew he had the ear of somebody important. As a non-partisan political consultant and Orthodox Jew, he wanted the Wisconsin politician to know not everyone who accepts entitlements are moochers or “professional schnorrers,” as he put it in Yiddish during an interview at his Brooklyn brownstone. Some Orthodox Jews, he explained, rely on food stamps because they spend thousands of dollars sending their five, six or seven children to religious schools rather than taxpayer-funded ones.
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Sunday, 28 October 2012


These chilling images of a young Jewish girl at Auschwitz are among thousands that have haunted a Nazi photographer all his life.
Wilhelm Brasse was forced to take photographs of frightened children and victims of gruesome medical experiments moments from their death at the extermination camp where some 1.5million people, mostly Jewish died in the Holocaust.

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Warsaw Jewish museum

The box-like glass building rises from soil marked by tragedy in the heart of Warsaw’s former Jewish district. At certain angles, its luminous facade reflects the outlines of a dark memorial to those who fought and died in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis.

Yet despite reminders of Jewish suffering all around, the modern building will soon open as a key remembrance site of a mostly upbeat Jewish story, becoming home to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a major new museum dedicated to the 1,000 years of Jewish existence in Polish lands.

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Calls for removal

Canada has joined Israel and the US in calling for the removal of the UN special investigator on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who on Thursday presented a report calling for a boycott of all companies that have dealings with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem until they adhere to international rights standards and practices.
A spokesman for Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Richard Falk’s report was “offensive and unhelpful.”
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Friday, 26 October 2012

Israeli flag provocation

A city hall request that the Israeli flag not be displayed at a street festival intended to promote diversity has Jewish community leaders wondering what “diversity” really means to some city leaders.

During planning meetings for September’s Smag Verden – Mangfoldighedsfest, a celebration of the foods and cultures of different countries, Jewish participants were warned that some would interpret the flying of the Israeli flag as a provocation.
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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bungled attempt

The three Birmingham men accused of plotting a huge terror attack in the UK discussed storming a synagogue armed with guns had they been unable to make a bomb, a court heard today.
The would-be suicide bombers made a bungled attempt to destroy blueprints for a terror attack more deadly than 7/7, the court heard.
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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Olive grove destruction

A Jewish farmer went to harvest olives Tuesday morning from an olive grove he owns in the Shilo region, but on arrival he found that the grove had been stripped of olives, and dozens of trees had been destroyed.

All that farmer Erez Ben-Saadon was left with were broken branches, cloth olive sacks with Arabic writing on them, and spilled olives on the ground.

...“It’s outrageous that next to my home in Rechelim, Arabs harvest olives without being disturbed, and yet they attack us in the media, as if we’re plotting against them, while Arab attacks and thefts targeting Jewish farmers in Samaria are met with silence,” he declared.
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New Jewish cultural center

The intended king of the Netherlands, Prince Willem-Alexander, officiated at the dedication of the new Jewish cultural quarter in Amsterdam.
Several hundred people attended the dedication ceremony on Tuesday, the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Dutch Jewish Historical Museum. The museum is one of seven Jewish institutions situated within the square kilometer that constitutes the new Jewish quarter.
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Schoolboy threatened

Two men hit and threatened a Jewish schoolboy at a Paris bus stop, according to the security unit of France’s Jewish community, SPCJ.
The two men, both in their 40s, hit the 12-year-old boy with a belt on Oct. 22 and told him to remain silent, SPCJ wrote in a statement on Wednesday. The boy was waiting for a bus to take him to school.
The attackers also hurled insults in Arabic at the boy, the report said. The incident, which SPCJ defined as "an anti-Semitic act of aggression," took place in northeast Paris, in the city's 19th arrondissement.
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Paramedic credited

Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and Police Chief Peter Brower both described the actions of Paramedic Jacob Goldmunzer as “absolutely heroic” in saving a young girl’s life on Monday afternoon. They credited him with performing life saving measures that revived a nine-year-old girl who was not breathing and did not have a pulse after being hit by a van that jumped a curb. Goldmunzer, who arrived minutes after the accident, performed triage on all five victims hit by the vehicle.
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Dragged through the gutter

The reputation of the Jewish community was dragged through the gutter at last night’s book launch of The Battle for Public Opinion in Europe: Changing Perceptions of the Palestine-Israel Conflict.
The event was staged by anti-Israel pressure group Middle East Monitor at the University of London’s Senate House.
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Swastika painted in elevator

A swastika was found painted in the elevator of a building in a Jewish section of Brooklyn Tuesday, sources said.
The graffiti was discovered in a building on Clymer St. near Wythe Ave. in South Williamsburg, the sources said.
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Killed in a car accident

One of the leading figures in British Zionist history has been killed in a car accident at the age of 97.
Jack Sklan, who had lived in Israel for nearly 40 years, was crossing King George Street not far from the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem on Shabbat morning when he was hit by a car.
Despite the best efforts of a volunteer medic from the aid group United Hatzalah – a man who interrupted a Shabbat service honouring his own forthcoming wedding – Mr Sklan's injuries were too severe.
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Monday, 22 October 2012

Film festival overlaps Jewish holidays

The Toronto International Film Festival announced its 2013 dates, Sept. 5-15, 2013, which overlap with the Jewish High Holy Days and could leave some filmmakers, agents and executives to face a tough decision - to pray or to go.
The dates for the festival, one of the fall’s premiere events, overlap with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (Sept. 4 - Sept. 6), and Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar (Sept. 13-14).

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Strong condemnation

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which monitors anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, has made a strong condemnation of Egypt's new President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, after he attended a sermon where the preacher called for the "destruction and dispersal of the Jews."
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Charges dropped

Brooklyn prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Jewish man videotaped getting pummeled by two cops at a Crown Heights synagogue.
Ehud Halevy, 21, was sleeping in the back room of the ALIYA youth center on East New York Ave. Oct. 8 when he was confronted by two police officers. After an argument about evacuating the premises — which the shirtless man refused to do — he was punched repeatedly by Officer Luis Vega.

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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Prayers of destruction

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi participated in prayers over the weekend in which the preacher urged Allah to “destroy the Jews and their supporters.”
Click here to see MEMRI clip of the President.
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Rwanda plans Tel Aviv embassy

Rwanda plans to open an Embassy in Tel Aviv within six months The Algemeiner has learned. Speaking to a small group of reporters at a press conference on Friday hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo said, “We are going to open an embassy in Tel Aviv,” in video footage seen by The Algemeiner, “I should say in the next six months.”
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Restaurant discrimination

It’s unortho-docks!
The iconic River CafĂ© on the Brooklyn waterfront in DUMBO — famous for its floating-barge dining room that offers sweeping views of lower Manhattan — discriminates against Jews dressed in religious garb by requiring them to pay a minimum of $25 per person to sit at the bar, according to one current and one former employee.
The reservationists — who stand at the entrance to the popular wedding venue and tourist destination — are instructed to use code words to alert the maitre d’ if anyone wearing a yarmulke, “religious hat” or “strings” asks to be seated at the scenic bar, the workers say.
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Professor murdered

A well-known Jewish orthopedist and professor in Lviv, Ukraine, was reportedly murdered on Saturday morning near his home by three young Muslim men, who were later captured by the police. According to the Jewish Press and ultra-Orthodox Israeli website, the perpetrators were former students of Leon Freifeld’s who had been expelled from university due to poor grades. Read full story here.

Two arrests

Police have arrested two men following the desecration of dozens of Jewish graves at a cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand last week.
A 19-year-old and 23-year-old will be charged with willful damage and are set to appear at Auckland District Court this week, police said. About 20 gravestones at the historic Symonds Street Cemetery were vandalized with anti-Semitic obscenities, including Nazi swastikas.
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Anti-Jewish violence

A wave of anti-Jewish violence has taken place in France and Sweden over the past few weeks. The difference in government response is notable, and yet there is something similarly disquieting about their actions.
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