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The Last Word: Propagation of Poison

The Last Word: Propagation of Poison Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Israel    

In a march through Sydney streets which I had the misfortune to encounter, I saw children waving banners which both accused Jews of being as bad as Nazis and implying the Nazis were not so bad after all, observed Greens and Labor Party activists associating with placards and slogans supporting Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, witnessed a Christian clergyman and self-described Jews walking in front of placards asserting that Islam will one day triumph over all non-believers and heard vocal calls for an existential battle which would end Jews once and for all.

Essay: Crimea and the West Bank

Essay: Crimea and the West Bank Author: Eugene Kontorovich Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians, Russia    

US Secretary of State John Kerry spent the past few months shuttling between his two major foreign-policy concerns - Russia's control over Crimea and Israel's control over the West Bank - entirely unaware that he was engaged in a world-historical irony. Both these situations turn on identical international-law principles. Indeed, the failure of the United States to apply these principles consistently has led to the long-standing failure of its Middle East initiatives, while inadvertently opening the door for Russian aggression.

The legal principle that explains why Crimea was and remains under Ukraine's sovereignty also validates Israel's presence in the West Bank.

Sweden: Surveying Antisemitic Attitudes

Sweden: Surveying Antisemitic Attitudes Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Updates    

The recent survey on worldwide antisemitism conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) labelled Sweden as one of the world's least antisemitic countries and as the least antisemitic country in Europe, with just 4% or those surveyed classified as having "antisemitic attitudes."

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A short guide to the far-right parties elected to the European Parliament

A short guide to the far-right parties elected to the European Parliament Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Far Right, Updates    

Far-right parties have made significant gains in the European Parliament election, including those with neo-Nazi affiliations. The election results came in on May 25, one day after the tragic shooting at a Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed four people, suspected to be a terrorist attack. Both have shaken but not surprised Jewish communities across Europe.

Pope Francis in Israel and PA/ Far-right makes big gains in EU

Pope Francis in Israel and PA/ Far-right makes big gains in EU Categories: Europe, Interfaith Dialogue, Israel, Updates    

Today's Update features commentary on two significant events of the past few days - Pope Francis' important, but somewhat controversial,  three-day visit to Israel (here's the text of Pope Francis' speech on arrival in Israel) the Palestinian territories and Gaza, and the major gains in European elections by parties of the far-right, including France's Front National, to Greece's Golden Dawn, Hungary's Jobbik, and others.

Why the Brussels shooting came as no surprise to the Belgian Jewish community

Why the Brussels shooting came as no surprise to the Belgian Jewish community Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, International Security, Updates    

The world was stunned on Saturday, May 24, as news poured in of a deadly attack at The Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. A lone gunman stormed into the museum in the city centre and began shooting. Security camera footage and witness concur that the gunman picked out his victims with calm and focus, aiming specifically for the neck and face. The gunmen used an AK-47 to murder two museum staff members, Alexandre Strens and a French female volunteer whose name has not yet been released, and Israeli tourists Miri and Emanuel Riva. Miri, 53, and Emanuel, 54, have two teenage daughters in Israel.

Statement: Deadly antisemitic attack in Belgium

Statement: Deadly antisemitic attack in Belgium Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council mourns the victims of the murderous attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on the weekend and joins prayers for the full and speedy recovery of the wounded.

"Our first thoughts are with the victims and their families and we hope that effective actions by authorities in Belgium and across Europe will prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such vile, violent action," Jeremy Jones AM, AIJAC Director of International and of Community Affairs, said today.

Updates

Europa Europa: Pop-up Politics Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, United Kingdom    

Europeans go to the polls in May to elect 751 members of the European Parliament for the next five years. Expect surprises. Not that the European Parliament carries much clout; clout is reserved for the army of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels and the sprinkling of political appointees.

The surprises will come from the pop-up political parties which are, first and foremost, opposed to the stifling embrace of the EU and which long for a return to the days when the European Project aimed to be simply a tariff-free trading bloc, without the accretions of monetary and political union, along with the slew of regulations and directives that now flow from Brussels.

Europa Europa: The OXFAM Incident

Europa Europa: The OXFAM Incident Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Anti-Zionism, Europe    

After all the gossip and speculation it's time to come clean: Scarlett Johansson and I are more than just good friends. Much more. Yes, we have shared moments of intimacy - not, alas, together, or even at the same time. But we are both alumni of Oxfam, that billion-dollar arbiter of humanitarian aid, political profundity and universal morality. It doesn't matter that we graduated almost half a century apart. It doesn't even matter that we've never actually met. Or that she doesn't know I exist. We have both experienced an "Oxfam Incident".

"Anti-Establishment" French marchers call for “Jews out of France”

"Anti-Establishment" French marchers call for “Jews out of France” Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Asia, Europe, Updates    

On January 26 protesters marched in Paris chanting "Jews out of France".  Many of the protesters can be seen giving the "quenelle", an inverted Nazi salute invented and popularised by the comedian/ political activist Dieudonne M'bala M'bala who has been convicted several times for inciting antisemitism.  The march raises serious concerns about the popularisation of antisemitism in France by Dieudonne.

Europa Europa: Going Swedish?

Europa Europa: Going Swedish? Author: Douglas Davis Categories: America, Europe, International Security, Iran    

From Israel to Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the myriad Gulf statelets, the perception that Washington has thrown in its lot with the Iranian-led Shia world - Syria and Hezbollah, plus Iraq - is unmistakable. That might not have been Obama's intention, but in such matters, perception trumps intention.

"As we go forward," said Obama shortly after the outline of an interim nuclear deal was agreed with Iran in Geneva, "the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitments to our friends and allies - particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions."

Few, it seems, were listening.

Is the EU inadvertently encouraging Israeli settlements?

Is the EU inadvertently encouraging Israeli settlements? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Europe, Israel, Updates    

As Australia shifts its UN vote on Israeli settlements to one more befitting of its longstanding support for a negotiated two-state solution, the EU appears to be going in the opposite direction. In addition to undermining the EU's support for peace talks, this may even be inadvertently encouraging Israel to purposefully send Israeli citizens and businesses into the West Bank...

Scribblings: The Arab States and Palestinian "return" Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Middle East, Palestinians    

As is widely known, most Arab states have not exactly been welcoming to the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants. Virtually all Arab states deny Palestinians citizenship even when they are born on their territory - Jordan being the one major exception. There are often additional restrictions that keep Palestinians from building a normal life even after living in a country for generations - restrictions on holding many jobs, on accessing the national education and health systems, on owning land and even where they can live. Lebanon is the worst offender in this regard, but not the only one.

The Last Word: Blood Libel and Mass Murder

The Last Word: Blood Libel and Mass Murder Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe    

In 1911, Mendel Beilis was arrested and charged with murdering a Christian child for the purpose of using the boy's blood in Jewish religious rituals.

Mendel Beilis fought the absurd allegation and, in 1913, one of the most important societal trials of the 20th century took place in the main courthouse of Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine.

It was not just Mendel on trial - but Judaism and the entire Jewish people.

Europa Europa: Democracy-dreaming Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Middle East    

In November 1947, two years after saving Europe from totalitarianism and two years after being booted out of office, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons he had concluded that, "democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried".

The military leaders who toppled Egypt's democratically elected Mohammed Morsi last month might have been better acquainted with another Churchillian sound-bite: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

The unpalatable reality, which Churchill would have grasped more swiftly than Europe's current crop of political leaders, is that the zeitgeist of the Middle East has almost nothing to do with democracy.

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban Categories: Europe, Lebanon, Terrorism, Updates    

On Monday, the European Union agreed, after months of debate and negotiation, to ban the "military wing" of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah (Australia, of course, similarly bans only Hezbollah's "External Security Organisation"). This Update focuses on the background and implications of this decision - as well as the wisdom of banning only the "military wing", rather than the whole organisation.

Soccer Championship gives Israel chance to show off diversity and multiculturalism

Soccer Championship gives Israel chance to show off diversity and multiculturalism Author: Jeni Willenzik Categories: Europe, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Palestinians    

Over the past two weeks, Israel hosted the UEFA Under-21 Soccer Championships, one of Israel's biggest sporting events in history. In spite of protests and accusations before the event, Israel rose to the challenge, displaying the Jewish state's demonstrated ability to bring together people of various races, religions, and nationalities.

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Europa Europa: Riding the Tiger Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Terrorism    

Did the leaders of the European Union rise up in their wrath to condemn Hezbollah for taking - and plotting to take - Israeli lives on European territory? Did they, like the United States and others, declare Hezbollah to be an illegal terrorist organisation? Like hell they did.

The End of Syria?

The End of Syria? Author: Emanuele Ottolenghi Categories: Europe, Syria    

Could this tide be stemmed in Syria? Early on in the crisis, it could have been, at a high price, had we had a dog in the fight, or one that we wanted to claim as our own. But the West decided, as in the former Yugoslavia for three long years, to sit this one out. The new order will thus not be created by idealists intervening. Ethnic cleansing will eventually draw the new borders as Syria falls apart.

Iran's antisemitic partnerships

Iran's antisemitic partnerships Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Iran, Updates    

Iran finds it hard to make friends these days. And now, another "blow"- Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, one of Iran strongest allies in the global arena, passed away.

Interestingly, the Iranians have formed an unholy alliance with none other than the Hungarian ultra-nationalist rising power - the Jobbik party.

Hamas' housing demolitions met with deafening silence

Hamas' housing demolitions met with deafening silence Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, NGOs, Palestinians, United Nations, Updates    

Are NGOs imposing a double standard when it comes the demolition of Palestinian houses?

That is the question that Elliott Abrams asked Wednesday on his blog on the Council of Foreign Relations' website.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian news website Ma'an reported that Hamas was moving ahead with plans to demolish 75 homes belonging to the Abu Amrah clan in the al-Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza. The Hamas government claims the homes were built illegally. The family is protesting the move, and resisting relocation.

Updates
Burgas findings reveal Australian involved and puts EU under pressure to ban Hezbollah

Burgas findings reveal Australian involved and puts EU under pressure to ban Hezbollah Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Europe, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Following Bulgaria's findings that Hezbollah was involved in the 18 July 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas that killed six people - five Israeli tourists and a local Bulgarian bus driver, the European Union (EU) is now under increasing pressure to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

Providing an update on its findings into the investigation of the bus bombing, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said: "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects..." and that "the two suspects with Canadian and Australian passports had been living in Lebanon, one since 2006 and the other since 2010."

An Australian Hezbollah terrorist? No great surprise

An Australian Hezbollah terrorist? No great surprise Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

Revelations by Bulgarian investigators that one of the suspects in last July's terrorist bombing of a bus carrying an Israeli tour group near the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria last July was both a Hezbollah operative and an Australian national should unfortunately not come as any great surprise.

Those who have closely followed the operations of Iran's terror proxy in southeast Asia and Australasia in recent years know that its presence in the region is substantial, and that Australia is regularly listed as one of the countries in which Hezbollah operates.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Misused and Abused

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Misused and Abused Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Egypt, Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Updates    

Increasingly January 27, ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day' is being misused and abused. This year was no exception with three prominent cases: Gerald Scarfe's cartoon in the Sunday Times; former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's comments praising Italy's former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who was allied with Hitler's Nazi Germany; and most concerning were the outrageous comments made by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi who chose January 27 to deny the Holocaust.

The Last Word: A Sad Conversation

The Last Word: A Sad Conversation Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes    

In an age of readily accessible documents and analyses, there is simply no excuse for anyone to not know about the Nazis' intentions, the attempted genocide of Jewry, and the bravery of those who opposed them.

The second subject of the tribute was Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat based in Budapest during the Nazi occupation, who at great risk to (and eventual cost of) his own liberty and life, acted as a human being in a time when inhumanity was seemingly all powerful.

Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War?

Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War? Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Europe, Lebanon, Updates    

This Update contains two pieces from leading intellectuals dealing with the rise of "new" forms of antisemitism - forms where anti-Zionism is mixed with antisemitic beliefs and tropes - with a special focus on Europe. In addition, it includes a piece re-considering conventional wisdom on where Lebanon is heading in the wake of the assassination of intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan two weeks ago.

The Last Word: Reflections from The Pit

The Last Word: Reflections from The Pit Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes    

On October 21, on a cold and drizzly day, I was in central Belarus, speaking at the commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the liquidation of the Minsk Ghetto.

The venue, known as Yamma ("The Pit"), features a dramatic landscape of installations which bear eternal witness to the brutality and evil of the Nazi regime.

Speakers addressed a large audience, braving biting winds to honour the dead. They included men and women who had shown tremendous courage to stand up to both Nazism and the attempts by the Soviets to destroy any remnants of Jewish community life.

Antisemitism in France still trending upward

Antisemitism in France still trending upward Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

The last two months have seen a wave of disturbing antisemitic attacks in France, including a grenade exploding in a kosher store. French antisemitism is even sweeping the ‘Twitter-sphere', where this week's top trending words on French language tweets was the hashtag #unbonjuif, which in English means "a good Jew". This led thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde called "a competition of anti-Semitic jokes."  Meanwhile, DNA from the grenade attack led French police to conduct raids across France which uncovered a dangerous terror network of home grown radical Islamists with bomb making material and weapons that were planning their next attack.

Europa Europa: A Square of Shame

Europa Europa: A Square of Shame Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes    

France has had a difficult time coming to terms with its wartime role in the destruction of Europe's Jews. For years, successive French presidents attended the annual July 16 memorial ceremony at the site of the Vélodrome d'Hiver, a cycling arena in Paris, where the Jews were assembled before being shipped to Auschwitz. The presidents attended, but they remained silent, acknowledging the tragedy but refusing to accept French responsibility.

Forty years later, new revelations on the Munich massacre

Forty years later, new revelations on the Munich massacre Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

Today marks forty years since the Munich massacre - when eleven Israeli Olympic athletes, coaches and officials, as well as a German police officer, were killed at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. This tragedy has recently been given renewed attention following the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) defiance of an international campaign to hold a minute's silence to remember those killed at this year's London Olympic's opening and closing ceremonies.

Four decades later and the many unanswered questions about the attack has fuelled rumours, criticism and conspiracy theories.  Now Germany and Israel have recently released once classified documents that shed new light on some of these questions.

Antisemitism going up, not down, in France following Toulouse attack

Antisemitism going up, not down, in France following Toulouse attack Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

France's Jewish communities are deeply concerned by the rise in antisemitic incidents since last March's deadly shootings of a seven-year-old girl, and a Rabbi and his two children at the entrance to a Jewish school in Toulouse by radical Islamist Mohammed Merah.

One might expect that following the Toulouse attack, condemned by all political leaders and societal elites, it would inspire greater reflection and tolerance towards Jews. However the opposite appears to be occurring. Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris Shmuel Trigano said, "There is a before - and after-Merah... Despite the widespread condemnation of the killings, there was, among certain people in France, a desire to see this type of violence continue."

Continued IOC refusal to remember Munich darkens tomorrow’s Olympic Opening Ceremony

Continued IOC refusal to remember Munich darkens tomorrow’s Olympic Opening Ceremony Author: Andrea Nadel Categories: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Despite calls from the victims' families and world leaders across the globe, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will reportedly not honour the memory of the 11 Israeli Olympians and one West German police officer murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich at the opening ceremony for the London games tomorrow.

The Last Word: Of Walls and Words

The Last Word: Of Walls and Words Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Europe, Palestinians    

From the tastefully placed pavement plaques to the grand museums, from the confronting and disorientating Holocaust Memorial to the larger than life-sized photographs of citizens fleeing Communist dictatorship, Berlin is a city steeped in memory.

It is also a lively, vibrant locus of arts and anarchic extravagance. In a way, the east of the city, which I visited this June, feels as if it is consciously contradictory and self-mocking - acknowledging the cruelty which has emanated from, and engulfed, the metropolis.

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Europa Europa: Catherine the Not-so-Great

Europa Europa: Catherine the Not-so-Great Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, International Security, Iran    

When Catherine Ashton arrived in Israel last month she was carrying an outsized bundle of political baggage. The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, who is leading the international talks with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, had ostensibly made the journey to assuage Israeli doubts about the effectiveness of the talks (and to avoid public ridicule).

After a bout of negotiations in April between Iranian officials and the P5+1 group - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany - she spoke enthusiastically about creating a "constructive dialogue". In fact, the only tangible progress was an agreement to set the date (May 23) for their next meeting. Ashton's mission to persuade the Israelis that the Iranians were not making monkeys of her negotiators, as they had with earlier European interlocutors, was not crowned with success.

Iran really, not rhetorically, wants to destroy Israel,  Supreme Leader told Spanish PM

Iran really, not rhetorically, wants to destroy Israel, Supreme Leader told Spanish PM Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Iran, Israel, Updates    

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed that the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei unequivocally expressed to him, personally, his intention to destroy Israel, not politically but militarily and via Iranian military action.

Aznar told a crowd in Jerusalem on May 16: "In a private discussion we held in Tehran in October of 2000, Ali Khamenei told me that Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth."

The former Spanish Prime Minister also said that Khamenei told him "Iran's war against the United States and Israel is inevitable."

Will France's new government take a laissez-faire approach to Iran?

Will France's new government take a laissez-faire approach to Iran? Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, International Jewry, Iran, Updates    

The election of French Socialist party leader Francois Hollande to his country's presidency on Sunday - a victory over Nicolas Sarkozy which had been expected following his strong showing in the first round of voting on April 22 - is certain to impact French foreign policy regarding Iran, as well as Israel.

Sarkozy had been seen as one of Europe's most strident opponents to Iran's nuclear program. According to Hollande's advisers, as well as many analysts, France is unlikely to continue in its role as a spearhead for European action on Iran under its new government.

Far right Golden Dawn party enters Greece’s Parliament

Far right Golden Dawn party enters Greece’s Parliament Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Far Right, Updates    

Greek elections were held on May 6, and the main parties saw their support plunge in favour of extreme parties on the left and right, leaving no party with a clear majority to govern.

As a previous AIJAC post anticipated, the far-right Greek party Golden Dawn, often described as ‘Neo-Nazi', gained representation in parliament for the first time in Greek history, winning approximately 7 percent of the country's popular vote. Golden Dawn will apparently have 21 parliament seats out of 300.

 

Updates
Greek extremists turn up in Australia

Greek extremists turn up in Australia Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Far Right, Updates    

Greece is another European country that has recently seen the mainstreaming of the far-right and a resurgence of antisemitic rhetoric (see my earlier post on Hungary here).

Previous AIJAC blog posts have discussed how the far right LAOS political party in Greece, which has an antisemitic track record, last year secured ministerial positions in a unity coalition, and now these ministers are joining Greece's mainstream conservative party ‘New Democracy', in the lead up to an election scheduled for May 6.

There is also another example of this worrying trend, the Greek far-right nationalist, neo-Nazi group ‘Chrsi Avgi' known in English as the ‘Golden Dawn', which could enter Greek parliament at the upcoming election...

Hungary revisits blood libel conspiracy

Hungary revisits blood libel conspiracy Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Updates    

Far-right political parties appear to be making a comeback in Europe, especially in Hungary and in Greece.

In Hungary, the radical nationalist party commonly known as Jobbik - (‘The Movement for a Better Hungary'), has been growing in power and popularity and is considered by many scholars to be fascist and antisemitic.

These concerns were reinforced when on April 3, Deputy leader of Jobbik, Zsolt Barath made a speech in Budapest Parliament that revisited the Tiszaszlar Blood Libel Claim.

Jihadism, Antisemitism and the truth about the Toulouse murders

Jihadism, Antisemitism and the truth about the Toulouse murders Author: Tzvi Fleischer & Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Media/ Academia, Op-eds    

When is a hate crime not a hate crime? Apparently, when a self-proclaimed "Islamic warrior" seeks out an obscure Jewish school, and shoots dead a teacher and three small children simply for being Jews - at least according to some reactions to the massacre that occurred in Toulouse, France on 19 March.

Toulouse gunman lone wolf?

Toulouse gunman lone wolf? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

Following the tragic shootings in Toulouse last week that resulted in the deaths of a Rabbi, three children and three soldiers by a Frenchman of Algerian dissent Mohammed Merah, many in the media have been quick to paint Merah as a ‘lone wolf' and his actions as an isolated incident, the actions of one crazed individual, with no wider implications.

There has also been little media discussion/reflection on the dangers of antisemitism and the growth of jidhadi networks operating in the West including the indoctrination that can occur in prisons - where petty criminal Merah reportedly converted to radical Islamic beliefs.

Europa Europa: Keeping the Faith Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians    

The "Israel Apartheid Week" festival continues to excite students on campuses across Europe (forget those pesky events in Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Iran). But while Apartheid Week has come and gone for another year, the BDS campaign - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions - plods relentlessly on. Why has the Jewish state, the only liberal democracy in the region, become the obsessive focus of vilification, demonisation and delegitimisation? Why is it considered so uniquely evil - a "racist, genocidal state," in the words of one of the leading Israel Apartheid Week celebrants in London?

Toulouse school's decision to cut security may have implications on Australia

Toulouse school's decision to cut security may have implications on Australia Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Media/ Academia, Terrorism, Updates    

In this post last month, I argued that the Jewish community in Australia does have the unfortunate need for security at Jewish schools, which remain a target for terrorists, a statement that I later affirmed after the Toulouse attacks. This was to rebut statements made by former Australian Jewish News editor Dan Goldberg, reported in The Age in January - well before the attack in Toulouse - suggesting that the money could be better spent elsewhere:

[Former AJN editor Dan] Goldberg suggested the rising costs of security were helping push up education fees so that ever more money would be spent on protecting ever fewer children...

Road to Toulouse paved with incitement

Road to Toulouse paved with incitement Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

The massacre of three students and a teacher (and father of two of the children) at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France has understandably prompted condemnations and statements of outrage from world leaders, diplomats and pundits that have followed similar anti-Semitic atrocities in the past.

Some analysts, however, have discerned a troubling equivocation in some of these responses. By failing to acknowledge the underlying antisemitism and anti-Israel incitement that fuelled the attack, the commentators said, a festering hatred is allowed to persist, and the next attack is only a matter of time.

The Aftermath of Toulouse

The Aftermath of Toulouse Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Palestinians, Updates    

With the self-confessed murderer, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origins named Mohamed Merah, now having been killed by French police, this Update looks at the aftermath of the horrific shootings of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, earlier this week. (Some chilling details of the murderers actions at the Ozer HaTorah school, as revealed on security camera footage, are here.)

On Toulouse shootings, Sydney Morning Herald editorial writers fail to read their own coverage

On Toulouse shootings, Sydney Morning Herald editorial writers fail to read their own coverage Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Islamic Extremism, Media/ Academia, Terrorism, Updates    

The Sydney Morning Herald editorialised this morning on the possible identity of the Toulouse shooter and pondered what group he may have been affiliated to. Curiously, these questions seem to have been answered just three pages earlier.

...As to whether he [the shooter] is a deranged loner or a fanatical terrorist acting for some group is unclear.  While this week's school attack was an atrocity against Jews, anti-Semitism alone does not seem to account for last week's murders in which the paratrooper victims were dark-skinned, hailing from either Muslim North Africa or the West Indies. One notion is that the gunman thought he was striking a blow for the Palestinian cause - French paratroops have served in Afghanistan...

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Far Right, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

Last month, I wrote in defence of the security concerns of Australia's Jewish community. With a heavy heart, I must note that these concerns have been unfortunately vindicated once again. Last night, a shooting attack outside Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse, killed much-loved schoolteacher Yonatan Sandler, as well as his two sons -- Aryeh, age five, and Gavriel, age four -- as well as Miriam Monsonego, age seven. Another boy was injured.

According to the chilling AFP report, a masked gunman dismounted from a Yamaha scooter and began shooting, hitting Sandler as he tried in vain to sheild his sons. The shooter then chased after Miriam as she ran into the school, grabbing her and killing her at close range...

The other concern about Greece: Antisemitism

The other concern about Greece: Antisemitism Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Updates    

Greece has been repeatedly in the headlines in recent months for one simple reason - because of that small country's massive debt crisis and the huge implications it has for the wider European Union. But there's another reason that the world should be paying attention to Greece.  In Greece, antisemitism seems increasingly to be entering into the mainstream. Some speculate that the recent resurgence is linked to the Greek debt crisis that began in 2009.

AIJAC has previously written a blog post on the far right LAOS political party, which has an antisemitic track record and last year secured ministerial positions in the unity coalition.  Now two senior members of LAOS, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis are joining Greece's mainstream conservative party ‘New Democracy', which is ahead in the polls in the lead up to parliamentary elections scheduled for April...

Europa Europa: Eyes Wide Shut Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians    

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas swung through Europe in January he was feted by European leaders for pursuing the two-state formula, while obloquy was, as usual, heaped on Israel - if not for settlements then for roadblocks or water or the wall or the tunnel or the occupation or, most recently, for being niggardly about handing out citizenship on demand to Palestinians... the list goes on.

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US and EU place tougher sanctions on Iran

US and EU place tougher sanctions on Iran Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: America, Europe, Iran, Updates    

Following the Iranian ‘mob' attack on the British embassy, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have recalled their ambassadors temporarily from Iran. The UK immediately closed its embassy in Iran and ordered Iran's dipxlomatic staff to leave London.

A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels condemned the attack on the British embassy, and announced new economic and travel sanctions on Iran to deter its nuclear program.  The sanctions will freeze the assets of 143 companies and ban 37 Iranian nationals described as "directly involved in Iran's nuclear activities" from entering the EU.  However, the EU did not follow Britain, Canada and the US which severed all dealings with Iran's Central Bank.  France has also been urging collective EU action to follow the British example and also to stop oil imports from Iran.

The US Congress also seems poised to push stronger action on Iran. On December 1, the US Senate unanimously approved tougher sanctions against Iran, voting to penalise foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank - the main conduit for its oil revenues...

Understanding the attack on the British Embassy in Teheran

Understanding the attack on the British Embassy in Teheran Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Europe, Iran, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Updates    

Following increasing threats of sanctions over the Iranian nuclear program, as was being progressively reported in the Guardian's liveblog, the UK embassy in Iran was stormed last night (Australia time) by a group of supposed "students". The British government has unequivocally held the Iranian regime responsible.

Even though France has been the strongest European champion of the new round of sanctions, as British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue noted in a 2008 article, the British hold a special place in Iranian paranoia...

Europa Europa: The Party is Over Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Saudi Arabia    

Europe is peering into the abyss.

And the crisis is far from over. Indeed, it is likely to intensify in 2012 as financial contagion spreads from Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy to France, which holds large quantities of Italian debt, and then to Britain, which is exposed to substantial French debt. Italy, whose debt approaches A$3 trillion, has pushed realistic hopes of rescue beyond reach.

Just as dangerous, the financial crisis is accompanied by social and political upheaval. Already, two European governments - Papandreou's Greece and Berlusconi's Italy - have been swept away on tides of unsustainable debt. Their places have been taken by unelected technocrats. More heads may roll. More unelected governments may be on the way.

 

EU Funding of Israeli NGOs: More than for all the rest of the Middle East

EU Funding of Israeli NGOs: More than for all the rest of the Middle East Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Israel, NGOs, Updates    

Following up on the post Tuesday concerning controversial Israeli proposals to limit or tax foreign government funding to "political' Non-Governmental Organisations in Israel, a Jerusalem Post editorial on the subject has an interesting fact that may help explain why some Israelis are so concerned about the issue:

...European governments spend more on left-wing NGOs operating in Israel - between $75 million and $100m. a year - than their total contributions to nonprofit human rights groups in other Middle East countries, according to NGO Monitor.

Updates
An antisemitic Trojan horse in Greece?

An antisemitic Trojan horse in Greece? Author: Allon Lee Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Updates    

The old saying to "never waste a good crisis" takes on a worrying meaning in Greece as the LàOS party with an antisemitic track record wins a major breakthrough for the far right by securing ministerial positions in the new unity coalition.

And with everyone focussing on the potential implications of the Greek debt crisis for Europe and the world economy, no one seems to have noticed.

Is limiting foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs "undemocratic"?

Is limiting foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs "undemocratic"? Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Israel, NGOs, Updates    

There has been some controversy in Israel over a proposal coming out of Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislation which would limit or tax the ability of foreign governments or international bodies like the UN to fund Israeli NGOs...

American law professor David Bernstein has an excellent post challenging the idea that such a law (and it is by no means clear that such a law can get through the Knesset, Israel's parliament, or what its provisions would be if it did) would be undemocratic...

AIJAC UPDATE - The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria

AIJAC UPDATE - The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Iran, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria, Turkey, United Nations, Updates    

Today's Update looks at Syria, Iran and Turkey against the backdrop of the veto by China and Russia of sanctions by the UN Security Council against the Assad regime in Damascus for its ongoing violent crackdown against anti-government protesters. The resolution was supported by nine members but, significantly, Lebanon, which occupies a temporary seat on the Security Council, abstained from the vote, as did South Africa, India and Brazil. After the vote the EU indicated it intended passing its own sanctions against Syria. Meanwhile Turkey's PM Recep Erdogan continues to use the Syria issue and relentlessly attacks Israel for his own regional ambitions. We offer a number of articles that reveal the changing dynamics in the Middle East that are are not receiving sufficient attention in Australia and elsewhere.

Iran's Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracies becoming "stale"

Iran's Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracies becoming "stale" Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Europe, Iran, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

In an amusing slip up captured by Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch, Dr Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been photographed sitting behind the Israeli desk. As Lynch notes, Iran rejects Israel's existence to such an extent that Iranian representatives are not permitted to utter the word "Israel" and rather refer to the "Zionist entity", making the photo (above) sadly ironic.

In fact, Iran seems to have been making the headlines a little over the last two days. Continuing the trend of leaving the important issues to the last minute, Iran's nuclear program is again on the agenda while the world's leaders are still gathered in New York. Graham Allison argues in today's Washington Post that the US should take-up the offer Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made at the beginning of last month to stop enriching uranium in exchange for being sold pre-enriched uranium...

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Europa Europa: Turkish Delight Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Turkey    

It is hard to remain unmoved by acts of blatant cynicism. Not those small, nasty gestures of crass stupidity that seek to advance a particular vested interest, but grand acts of faux-statecraft that leave the observer unsure whether to laugh or cry. Last month's antics of Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offered a textbook example.

Europe and the UN resolution on a Palestinian State Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians, United Nations, Updates    

The European Union (EU) is divided on how they will vote on the upcoming UN resolution to recognise an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

This weekend, European foreign ministers are set to meet in Poland (the current president of the EU) in a final effort to find a unanimous position on the Palestinian UN resolution. However, it is clear that there are stark differences between the 27 members of the EU.

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A stunt that should make you smile

A stunt that should make you smile Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Far Right, Updates    

Here's a good news story it would be difficult not to smile at.

At a neo-Nazi concert in Germany, organisers were anonymously given souvenir t-shirts sporting the slogan "hardcore rebels" with a skull and nationalist flags. The t-shirts were given out to the 250 attendees at the concert in Gera.

However, when the t-shirts were washed, the original slogan and images disappeared. In its place appeared "If your t-shirt can do it, you can do it too - we'll help you get away from right-wing extremism" and contact information for a group called Exit, which helps neo-Nazis escape from the far-right scene...

 

London Riots: Iran champions Human Rights while British Antisemitism Rears Ugly Head

London Riots: Iran champions Human Rights while British Antisemitism Rears Ugly Head Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Iran, United Kingdom    

As violent riots spread throughout Britain, with hordes of young men robbing and looting everything in sight, an unexpected champion has emerged for Britain's aggrieved underclass. A call for Britain to restrain violence against their own people has come from none other than the Iranian Foreign Ministry. As reported by Iran's state-controlled Press TV:

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged the British government to order the police to stop their violent confrontation with the people, IRNA reported in the early hours of Tuesday...

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Scribblings: The Significance of the Oslo Terrorist Attack Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Terrorism    

A horrific event, like the July 22 mass-murder of 76 people in Oslo, Norway by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, inevitably calls forth huge amounts of commentary attempting to explain how it could have happened and what it means. Some of what is said is insightful, useful, knowledgeable, comforting andor thought-provoking. But, inevitably, some is also questionable, misleading, self-serving, ill-informed, foolish, morally dubious and/or just plain ugly. Having read much of what is being said about this sickening crime, I wanted to call attention to some common themes I have seen - especially those exemplifying the latter kind of commentary.

The Last Word: Malice and analysis

The Last Word: Malice and analysis Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Terrorism    

A few days before this article was written, it is doubtful many, if any, readers were familiar with the name Anders Behring Breivik.

Perhaps some of my international colleagues who research and attempt to understand the various personalities that participate in the shadowy world of European extremism may have stumbled upon his rantings and rationalisations, but the dispassionate mass murderer had not been flagged as a person of any influence or likely impact, even though he had reportedly been on a Norwegian government watch list since March.

Now he is notorious - as a callous mass murderer.

 

Can the PA (or Europe) Afford Palestinian Independence?

Can the PA (or Europe) Afford Palestinian Independence? Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Europe, Israel, Jordan, Middle East, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, United Nations, Updates    

The Palestinian Authority (PA) "is broke", and according to a recent New York Times article, "the immediate cause of the crisis is the failure of foreign - especially Arab - donors to fulfill promises of aid." According to AP, Arab donations have decreased dramatically over the past couple years, as "in 2009, the Arab countries gave $462 million, a contribution that dropped to $287 million in 2010 and $78.5 million this year."

The predicament has led even the usually optimistic PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to declare that "this is, without doubt, the worst financial crisis the Palestinian Authority has ever faced", noting that there could not be a worse time for this, with the PA's planned unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) coming up at the United Nations in September.

More than 150,000 state employees, whose salaries support a million people, had their wages cut in half this month. Palestinian banks have lent the government more than $1 billion and do not want to lend more. Some ministries have temporarily lost electricity because they have not paid their bills. Last week, the government ordered a reduction in the price of bread, leading to bakery strikes. Garbage is piling up.

On the Oslo attacks: Neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists share a worldview

On the Oslo attacks: Neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists share a worldview Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel's leaders certainly know where Israel sits with regard to the horrific massacre that took place in Oslo over the weekend. Both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have expressed their sorrow over the tragic events and expressed Israel's empathy with the Norwegian people, given the terrorist attacks that Israel is all too used to facing. As The Jerusalem Post reports:

After sending a message of condolence to King Harald V of Norway on Saturday, President Shimon Peres on Sunday followed up with a phone call to the King to personally voice his own and the nation's condolences...

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US belatedly condemns Syria as Assad flaunts Western concerns

US belatedly condemns Syria as Assad flaunts Western concerns Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Europe, Syria, Turkey, Updates    

This blog has been following the baffling hesitation that the West has been showing towards making criticisms of the Assad regime in Syria, despite intense crackdowns on civilian protestors, noting how Syria is interpreting this hesitation as a free pass to continue brutalising its civilians.

After months of ongoing strife within the country, the US and French ambassadors both made the decision on Friday to visit the besieged city of Hama, a rebel stronghold on which Syrian troops have been mounting a vicious assault over the last few days. As The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday...

Europe's Israel obsession/Egypt's culture of hate Categories: Anti-Zionism, Egypt, Europe, Updates    

Today's Update looks at the worrying phenomenon of European efforts and involvement in a range of anti-Israel activities and movements, including the second Gaza flotilla. First up, University of Paris Professor Guy Milliere writes on the efforts of Britain and European countries and citizenry to support boycotts of Israel, fund NGOs that work to delegitimise Israel, and are encouraging the Palestinian push to have the United Nations Security Council recognise a State of Palestine on 1967 borders. Milliere argues that Israel's positive story clashes with the resentment filled British/European psyche that has become warped by moral relativism.

More flotilla capers

More flotilla capers Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Europe, Israel, Updates    

Proving that the flotilla organisers are nothing if not persistent, the Canadian flotilla ship, the Tahrir, which had been prevented from leaving a harbour in Crete to sail for Gaza, issued the following press statement last night:

With the support of Greek civil society and people from all around the world the Tahrir is casting off from Greece today...."

Shortly afterwards, however, this news item was making headlines:

Greek-Israeli Relations at historic high

Greek-Israeli Relations at historic high Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Europe, Israel, Turkey, Updates    

In a sign of growing ties, the Israeli and Greek air forces have held a fourteen-day cooperative drill at Greece's Larisa Air Base. Joint drill participants included several elite Israeli squadrons, the IDF's top rescue unit, and their equivalents in the Greek military.

The exercise took place as Greece has been working to stop the second Gaza flotilla from leaving its ports for Gaza. As reported in a recent post by Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz, Greek authorities arrested the captain of one boat several days ago for failing to ensure that the boat had proper safety equipment. More recently, the Greeks proposed a compromise, accepted by the Israeli government, which would involve the Greek government transporting the flotilla's aid to Gaza under UN supervision.

Updates
Flotilla activists drop all pretence of "humanitarian" mission, declare victory and plan to test Israeli airport security

Flotilla activists drop all pretence of "humanitarian" mission, declare victory and plan to test Israeli airport security Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Europe, Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Updates    

As AIJAC has been reporting, the planned flotilla to Gaza has been facing a number of obstacles in recent weeks. In the wake of the Greek decision over the weekend to prevent any vessels planning on sailing to Gaza from leaving Greek ports, the flotilla organisers appear to be looking to shift tack, dropping all pretences that they may have had of bringing any humanitarian aid to Gaza.

While it will not revoke the order preventing the ships from leaving, the Greek Government has offered to transfer all humanitarian aid that was on board the flotilla to Gaza through other means; this offer was accepted by the Israeli Government but the flotilla organisers rejected it outright, opting instead to try and pressure the Greek Government into reversing its policy. Similarly, Israeli authorities offered last year to...

Time for another look at banning Hizb-ut-Tahrir?

Time for another look at banning Hizb-ut-Tahrir? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Updates    

Concerns about the operations in Australia of radical Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir's (HT) should be renewed yet again following a conference hosted by the group on July 3, at Lidcombe, which drew about 1000 people. The fundamentalist group called for the establishment of a caliphate stretching from the Middle East to Indonesia.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that at the conference, Muslims in Australia were urged to join the uprisings that have toppled regimes across the Middle East, to renounce moderate forms of the religion and to reject democracy.

Jones in high-level dialogue in Bosnia

Jones in high-level dialogue in Bosnia Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry, Media Releases    

Jeremy Jones, Director of International and Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, was in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo for a series of high-level discussions last week. The visit, organised as a result of Jones hosting leading Bosnian religious and political figures for meetings in Australia over the past few years, was designed to strengthen the ties between Bosnians and Jews as well as Bosnia and Australia.

Europa Europa: The Which Blair Project? Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians, United Kingdom    

Tony Blair is a rare exception to the European rule. He has genuine boots-on-the-ground knowledge of Israel and the Palestinian areas - the West Bank in particular - and he has the political courage to reach beyond the clapped-out political cliches. He has sympathy for both sides, but his concern for the Palestinians is not uncritical. Rather, it is realistic and practical.

Europa Europa: Terrorists before Citizens Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Under cross-examination, Hamza declared that Jews control the British Foreign Office, the media and the money supply in Britain and the US. In sentencing Hamza, the trial judge said he had "helped to create an atmosphere in which to kill has become regarded by some as not only a legitimate course but a moral and religious duty in pursuit of perceived justice." Hamza is due for parole next year.

Changing Mood Music in Britain Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, United Kingdom    

With the Conservatives dominant in the new ruling configuration, there are signs that the relations with Israel might be rebalanced. For although there are no evident differences in policy between the major parties, there are certainly differences in atmospherics. That is what Israeli diplomats are detecting and that is what they are fervently hoping for.

Europa Europa: Benign Neglect Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Islamic Extremism    

Jews straddle the fault line of Europe's engagement with Islam, and the level of antisemitism has become a critical barometer of Europe's fate. So while the fall of the antisemitic taboo is bad news for Jews, it also measures the effect of Europe's loss of certainty in its values, traditions, institutions and identity.

Europa Europa: European "Soft power" Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel    

The European Union presents a virtually seamless front when it comes to censuring Israel. True, there are murmurings of dissent from some of the weaker, newer members which are still emerging from the Soviet shadow, but they are swiftly whipped into line by the more muscular states of "Old Europe".

Europa Europa: Blowing Hot and Cold Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel    

Israel's 60th birthday produced a treasure trove of gifts from Europe. There was excited talk about the prospect of a strategic dialogue and more excitement about a business dialogue.

AIR

Europa Europa: Antisemitism without Antisemites Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Islamic Extremism    

Rowan Laxton was watching news of Israeli military activity in Gaza on television while working out on an exercise bike at his central London gym. What happened next unnerved fellow gym patrons: "F-ing Israelis. F-ing Jews," he screamed repeatedly, interspersing his rant with demands for Israeli troops to be "wiped off the face of the earth."

Australia to have representative on peak international dialogue group Categories: Australasia, Europe, Interfaith Dialogue, International Jewry, Media Releases    

The International Jewish Committee on Inter-Religious Consultation (IJCIC), a coalition of major international Jewish organisations representing world Jewry to other religions, is to have direct Australian input. "I am pleased to announce the inclusion of Jeremy Jones, the Director of International & Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, as part of the delegation of the American Jewish Committee to IJCIC," Mark Leibler, AIJAC's national chairman said this week.

Updates

Rome and Jerusalem Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry, Israel    

The papacy of Pius XII represented a low point in the history of Catholic-Jewish relations, but several years after it ended, a theological rapprochement between Catholicism and Judaism ensued, eventually producing a political honeymoon between the Holy See and the Jewish state.

Europa Europa: Of Church, Mosque and State Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

The fact that Islamic courts are now functioning in Britain with full judicial authority should not have come as such a surprise. No less than the Archbishop of Canterbury - the highest-ranking member of the Anglican Church - had publicly conceded earlier this year that the establishment of Sharia law in Britain "seems unavoidable".

Alexander Downer speech to American Jewish Committee upon receiving the Ramer Award for Excellence in Diplomacy, Washington D.C. Categories: America, Australasia, Europe, International Jewry, Israel, Speeches    

The Australian and American Jewish communities have a lot in common. In both cases Jews have found in our countries the peace and tolerance which was denied them over the centuries in Europe and the Middle East: but they have not only found freedom and tolerance in Australia and America, they have contributed mightily to our two societies.

Europa Europa: The French Connection Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Israel    

The French have given the world savoir faire and joi de vivre. But right now, as far as Israel is concerned, it's d?ja vu all over again. France and Israel were best buddies for almost 20 years after the Jewish state was founded in 1948. The French provided Israel with arms, planes, patrol boats and, whisper it not, a nuclear reactor.

Europa Europa: Ethnic Cleansers Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

If politicians are unable to think beyond the next election, it is not surprising that even their best intentions often produce unintended consequences. And, more often than not, those consequences serve only to exacerbate the problem.

The Sounds of Hate Author: Allon Lee Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Islamic Extremism, Op-eds    

The concern over controversial Croatian rock musician Marko Perkovic’s upcoming Australian tour may surprise some but it is understandable because of the serious allegations surrounding him. Overseas reports claim Perkovic, 42, is openly sympathetic to the World War Two Nazi-collaborationist Ustashe regime, which sent thousands of Jews, gypsies and Serbs to their deaths.

Europa Europa: Blaired Vision Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East    

The tectonic plates are shifting in the Middle East. Shi'ites are challenging Sunnis; Saudis are squaring up to Iranians; Iraq is drifting inexorably towards fragmentation; Lebanon is sliding back into Syria's clutches; the Palestinians are in violent free-fall; major players in the region - galvanised by Teheran - are scrambling to acquire nuclear capability; and radical Islamism is casting a sinister pall over the entire scene.

AIR Updates

AMIA Revisited Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Europe, International Jewry, Iran, Terrorism    

On November 9, there was an extraordinary development in an 11-year old case of terrorist mass murder. Argentina finally identified and named the Lebanese Hezbollah member, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, allegedly responsible for the suicide bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in July 1994.

The Legacy of Londonistan Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

Five years ago, at the time of 9/11, British intelligence agents were identifying 250 "primary"? terrorist suspects a year in Britain. Two years later, the figure had doubled to 500. Last month, the head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, said her intelligence agency was currently monitoring 1,600 suspects...

AIR

Crossing Over Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Europe, International Jewry, Israel    

After almost six decades of exclusion and discrimination, it looks like Israel's ambulance service and humanitarian organisation, the Magen David Adom (MDA), meaning Red Star of David, will finally be able to join the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Smoke Signals Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

Night after night, we have witnessed shocking scenes of violence and wanton vandalism in French cities. Hundreds upon hundreds of vehicles set on fire, institutions such as libraries and gymnasiums attacked and destroyed, urban populations afraid to venture out into the streets.

Killing Fields Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Islamic Extremism    

To Jewish people, Kishinev, the capital of the modern, post-Soviet Republic of Moldova, will forever be linked with the horrific events of just over a century ago. In a nearby town, a Christian child'?s murderers, relatives of the victim, claimed that Jews had performed the evil deed as part of ritual practices.

Fighting Faiths Author: External author Categories: Europe, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East    

If there is one thing that everybody knows about the Crusades, it is that they were a Bad Thing. Even in the eyes of most Christians, let alone others, the Crusades were a crime against humanity, one for which apologies are due, especially to Muslims.

Updates

Blind Spot Author: External author Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

The responses of senior British officials following the London bombings last week are highly revealing. They contain within them clues to a decades-long failure of political judgment. This failure allowed the forces which produced the bombing to grow and proliferate on British soil, freely, under the noses of the authorities.

Last Chance for Justice Author: Leon Kofmansky Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry    

Over sixty years after the murder of Jewish teenager Peter Balazs in Budapest, the last of the accused has finally been arrested. If Australian courts find a Hungarian extradition request in order, Perth resident Charles Zentai will stand in the dock, accused of committing the murder along with two accomplices (the other two were brought to justice shortly after the end of World War II).

Native Sons Author: External author Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

The July suicide bombings in London �� some or all of whose perpetrators were Muslims born and reared in Britain �� are likely to produce in the United Kingdom the same intellectual reflection on Muslim identity in Europe that is already underway in nearby countries. The French began this reflection in earnest ten years ago, after bomb-happy, lyc�©e-educated, French-born Islamic holy warriors terrorised France.

Hamas Delusion Author: External author Categories: Europe, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians    

The wishful thinking that has long characterised European diplomacy in the Middle East has made one of its periodic ocean crossings and regained a foothold in Washington. Reflecting their eagerness to see "progress" in relations between Palestinians and Israelis, some American officials have adopted the myth of Hamas moderation.

Cordoba Days Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism    

During Soviet times, the story was told of a young man who opted to become a futurologist rather than meet his family'?s expectations of becoming a historian. His argument was that, under Communism, it was not too hard to predict the future but it was almost impossible to predict the past.

Old Wine, New Bottles Author: External author Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Israel    

I find it shameful that in France, the France of "Liberty, equality, fraternity," synagogues are torched, Jews are terrorised, and their cemeteries profaned ... that in Holland and Germany and Denmark youngsters show off the kaffiyeh like the vanguard of Mussolini displayed the stick and Fascist emblem ... that in almost every European university, Palestinian students take over and nurture antisemitism. - Oriana Fallaci

Remembrance Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Europe, International Jewry    

When plans were underway for the first visit to Australia by Pope John Paul II, in 1986, the Vatican made an unprecedented offer to the Australian Jewish community. During the Sydney leg of the visit, time would be specifically allocated for dialogue between the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Pontiff, with formal presentations to be made by each party. From the viewpoint of 2005, it might seem surprising that, less than two decades ago, there was as much apprehension as enthusiasm from Australian Jewry.

Books: War and Peace Prize Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: Anti-Zionism, Europe, International Jewry, Media/ Academia, Palestinians    

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists urges the media to "diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrong doing." And if this rule pertains to the hurly burly world of journalism, one would think that it might apply with redoubled force in the more slowly-moving realm of academia. Think again: at least where Drs. Philip Mendes and Geoffrey Brahm Levey are concerned. This ethical lapse surfaces in a new anthology that is co-edited by Levey and Mendes. Entitled Jews and Australian Politics, the book features a chapter jointly written by the editors that strongly criticises AIJAC over its actions during the Hanan Ashrawi controversy.

60 years on Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, International Jewry    

In the last week in January, the Australian media gave considerable coverage to the Shoah, the Nazi Genocide, as the world marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops.