Hamas condemns UN for teaching children that the Holocaust happened

From Reuters

Hamas condemned the United Nations Sunday, saying it planned to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust — but the U.N. agency which runs schools in the enclave would not confirm any change.

Branding the Nazi genocide of the Jews “a lie invented by the Zionists,” the Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip wrote in an open letter to a senior U.N. official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in U.N. schools.

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which educates some 200,000 refugee children in Gaza, said the Holocaust was not on its current curriculum. He would not comment on Hamas’s statement that it was about to change.

Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948, a move that left half the Arab population of then British-ruled Palestine as refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included a chapter on the Holocaust.

In an open letter to local UNRWA chief John Ging, the movement’s Popular Committees for Refugees said: “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said: “There is no mention of the Holocaust in the current syllabus.” Asked if UNRWA planned to change that, he declined to comment.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, run by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, teachers said there was no official guidance on teaching about the Holocaust.

Israelis are angered by denial of the Holocaust among some in the Middle East, notably lately by leaders in Iran, who provide support for Hamas. Abbas, who has engaged in negotiation with Israel, has had to distance himself from his own 1980s doctoral thesis, which cast doubt on the scale of the Holocaust.

Hamas’s official spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said he did not want to discuss the history of the Holocaust but said:

“Regardless of the controversy, we oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.”

From Reuters

(Editing by Erika Solomon and Alastair Macdonald)

Hizb ut Tahrir: “purify the earth of Jewish filth”

On the CST blog Dave Rich flags Hizb ut Tahrir’s rallying cry issued from a Birmingham-based web site:

“O Muslim Armies! Teach the Jews a lesson after which they will need no further lessons

March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth.”

(Via Harry’s Place.)

In 2007 I read that Hizb ut Tahrir were the fastest-growing political party in parts of the West Bank. I’m not sure if that is still the case. I hope not.

Montreal Jews face rise in antisemitic incidents

Via Bob, James Martin has a piece in Ha’aretz, :

Montreal Jews fear ‘gang atmosphere’ amid rise in anti-Semitic incidents

Quebec is the latest region to fall prey to Canada’s growing anti-Semitism, registering the largest rise in incidents in a city over the course of the year – 373 incidents in 2009, compared to 245 in 2008.

Many in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community say they are afraid to leave their homes, due to the “gang atmosphere” that has taken over their neighborhood amid renewed anti-Semitic activity.

The Chabad community in the city’s Côte des Neiges district has experienced a number of violent incidences against it over the past few weeks, including the mugging of a visibly pregnant woman.

In addition, swastikas have been sprayed in at least three locations in the Montreal suburb of Outremont – home to a large segment of Hasidic Jews who wear traditional garb.

According to B’nai Brith Canada, which compiles the country’s figures on anti-Semitic incidents, reports of vandalism targeting Jewish schools, synagogues and businesses have accelerated rate in the last month.

“Some community members now reportedly think twice before they leave their homes. The ongoing fear and intimidation suffered by our community is an unacceptable situation in a free and democratic society like Quebec,” a spokesperson for the Quebec branch of B’nai Brith said.

“There have also been and anti Semitic slurs in educational and workplace settings and web-based hate activity is also on the increase,” the spokesperson added.

In March, the Ahavas Yisroel Viznitz synagogue in Outremont was broken into and two swastikas were drawn inside the synagogue. Vandals also threw prayer shawls and holy books onto the floor.

The rabbi of the synagogue met with police following that incident, but the perpetrators have still not been found.

Rabbi Mendel Marasow, executive director of Beth Rivkah Academy in Côte des Neiges, told a local paper. “I live in the area and if I compare the situation now to five years ago there is a serious problem.

“There is a gang atmosphere, with tough individuals walking the streets. It is uncomfortable and unsafe out there. Is it anti Semitic? Listen, all I can say is that Jews make good targets.”

One local Jewish café owner who had a swastika painted on the sidewalk in front of his business said he was worried about the “media attention” being given to anti-Semitic incidents.

“The Jewish community in Outremont has been getting a lot of media attention,” he told the Jewish Tribune. “I don’t want to see these incidents get too much publicity because it is only going to stir things up more. I did not even report this. Someone else did.”

Quebec is the latest region to fall prey to Canada’s growing anti-Semitism, registering the largest rise in incidents in a city over the course of the year – 373 incidents in 2009, compared to 245 in 2008. The province holds 90,000 Jews – around a quarter of Canada’s Jewish community.

In total, 1,264 incidents were reported in Canada throughout 2009, representing a 12% increase over the 1,135 cases in 2008, and a more than five-fold increase in incidents over the past decade. Last year there were 884 cases of harassment, 348 of vandalism and a doubling from 2008 in the incidents of violence to 32.

.
The anti-Semitic daubing seen in Montreal is nothing new in Canada. Calgary, Toronto, Oshawa, Woodstock, and Barrie have recently seen anti Semitic incidents including swastikas and slogans, such as “Kill Jews” and “six million more,” spray-painted on Jewish community property, community centers, Holocaust memorials, Jewish-owned residential property and vehicles.

B’nai Brith’s audit into anti Semitic incidents identified “anti-Israel agitators” fuelled by opposition to Operation Cast Lead as the trigger for the spike in attacks.

“Anti-Israel agitators, far-left-wing groups, and more recently Islamists, have latched onto Nazi motifs and age old anti-Jewish stereotypes, in an attempt to bolster their campaigns against the Jewish State, while the far-right-wing camp has eagerly embraced anti-Israel propaganda to give an updated appearance to its traditional hate material.”

According to Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada, “Anti Semitism is a serious and ongoing problem here in Canada. We have encountered everything from harassment and vandalism to physical assaults on individuals. “
B’nai Birth’s community Anti-Hate Hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to provide assistance and consultation but the organization is apprehensive about whether they are investigated as hate crimes.
“We hope that the law enforcement officials across the nation investigate these crimes as hate-crimes from the outset – hesitation to designate as a hate crime is simply unacceptable. We also urge that these crimes are treated seriously, and that proper resources are dedicated to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice,” said Dimant.

Although vandalism causes on-going fear in the street, the theme of anti-Israel agitation has reached boiling point, particularly on Campuses. This came to a head three weeks ago after an alleged machete attack on pro-Israel students. Two Ottawa students, both well-known for their pro-Israel views, were assaulted when they left a local lounge in the early hours of the morning, by a large group of anti-Israel agitators, one of whom was wielding a machete.

The Jewish student, who along with his friend was called numerous derogatory and anti Semitic slurs during the assault, was a local organizer of B’nai Brith’s recent Imagine With Us pro-Israel campus initiative – an initiative which was banned by York University, a university which last year saw Jewish Hillel students verbally abused by an anti-Israel group while trying to convene a press conference.
Actions like this are leading to calls for a ban on anti-Israel campaigns on campus, such as those witnessed during Israel Apartheid Week.

Far right discourse

Gerald Kauffman: Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the rest.

The Britons Publishing Society , publishers of The Protocols : To protect the birthright of Britons and to eradicate Alien influence from our politics and industries. (quoted in “Very Deeply Dyed in Black” by Graham Macklin).

Jenny Tonge : The pro-Israeli Lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a certain grip on our party.

Nicky Davison 19, was accused of co-founding the “Aryan Strike Force”, an online far-Right movement that aimed to bring “total victory” by toppling a Government they claimed had been “taken over by the Jews”.

Martin Linton : There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

Anti-Ciganism and Anti-Semitism

This is a guest post by Karl Pfeifer. Karl has translated an article from www.galamus.hu/.

Not yet rotten to the core.

By Julia Lévai on the Hungarian blog galamus

Translated by Karl Pfeifer

People adapt themselves to circumstances. Sooner or later everyone is forming a strategy on how do deal with today’s continuous anti-Semitism and anti-Ciganizm.

Somebody opens his mouth and you do not want to believe your ears. That’s what started about seventeen years ago. You’re shocked and try somehow to get things straightened out. When you succeed you’re calm and in times like these you have a good one or two-liner ready for any eventuality. And sometimes you can even shame the foul-mouthed fellow and leave him perplexed and speechless.

Say you go to the coffeehouse and see a table where they’ve made anti-Semitic remarks for quiet a time. The people look so cheerful and happy that you’d almost like to be part of them. They might even push out a chair with a spontaneous inviting move.

So you interrupt and state calmly: Please be so kind to stop the anti-Semitic remarks, this is a public space and we’re in Europe.

Until now this trick has just failed once. When somebody asked me, pointing to the cover of a magazine: “Is this journalist a Jew?” – I asked reflexively whether he was registering Jews, to which he menacingly replied “yes”, which is the conviction of a man who has just found his vocation. I was at a loss for words. He won. But that’s the only exception to the rule.

However now we seem to have entered the phase of apathy.

It happened in the changing room of a swimming pool – now shared between men and women, with little cubicles for the ultimate change of clothes. There is always a slightly frivolous atmosphere. A woman in a bikini feels naked amid men with scarves and overcoats. While I redid my eye-make-up I saw about seven-eight men getting undressed and chatting at both ends of a long bench. They could have come from the same place of work; they could have been an organized group.

I received some appreciative looks for the make up of my left eye, but more exciting was the amusing short man who talked to them. A story about himself in the supermarket where he could not pay for the goods.

- They have stolen my whole wallet. With money, credit card with everything from here from my side-pocket. Now it has some compartments.

He does not need to change his underpants for he has already put the swimming trunks at home.

“-” In the supermarket?”

– “No, on the tram. They could have taken it out of the inner compartment. They are very well trained. Dirty gypsies.”

He just puts away his swimming cap and his towel and he starts to put things into the closet.

- “Have you seen them?

- Nope! I would have served them well me if I had seen them. These damn gypsies should be shot into the Danube like the Jews at the time. Then we would have order here“.

The communication of an almost naked man with moles in the warm, always steamy and snug dressing room.

This is not just everyday anti-Semitism and not just everyday anti-Ciganism, this is something very different, something I can’t classify. While it is true that you can make anti-Semitic, anti-Gypsy remarks openly and with impunity, the direct wish to kill is shocking.

I have no one- or two liners to deal with it. The best I could muster in such situations was a “stop it!” but what should the man stop? His wish to kill? But I feel as ridiculously dumb standing there.

Interestingly all the others are silent too. Nobody is curious what happened to his full shopping-basked, how he solved the problem of payment.

The storyteller has finished with his dressing and goes to the pool. He stands up with some difficulty, he has a stick with him.

“Kiss your hand, see you again“, he greets me in passing. Then walks past the dressing-room attendant.

A young boy who sighs deeply, and then says to the short fellow and to nobody in particular: “And the time has come” – the slogan of the Fidesz-party that just won the election.

Our country is not yet rotten to the core.

The Article was published on April 14, 2010

Tentacles, Jewish millionaires, Der Sturmer & The Protocols

Mark Gardner at the CST blog.

The front page of this week’s Jewish Chronicle reports that Martin Linton MP and Gerald Kaufman MP had both allegedly made very worrying remarks at a public meeting in the House of Commons. (This story was originally broken on Richard Millett’s blog and was subsequently part covered here at CST blog.)

Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine was quoted as having said

There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

Kaufman, who is Jewish and a stern critic of Israel was quoted as having said

Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the rest

The Jewish Chronicle quoted me as having stated on behalf of CST

Anybody who understands antisemitism will recognise just how ugly and objectionable these quotes are, with their imagery of Jewish control and money power. Ask the average voter who had made these comments, and they would most likely answer that it was the BNP, not a pair of Labour MPs.

Linton has reportedly said that he does not recognise the “tentacles” comment. Kaufman has declined to comment.

Upon reflection, if either Linton or Kaufman did say these things, then I can only conclude that either they do not understand antisemitism and the imagery that surrounds it, or they underestimate how offensive many people will find their alleged comments to be.

I have four easy lessons for them.

1. A very small experiment. Swap each other’s reported quotes around and see how they sound:

There are right-wing Jewish millionaires in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

And

Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, long tentacles of Israel own the rest

2. The lead article from the July 1933 issue of Der Sturmer. It can (and should) be read in full here.

Near the beginning it explains the respective roles of the main players in the Jewish conspiracy

All the leading Jews of the world will come together. The leading rabbis (they are the political leaders of World Jewry) and the Jewish millionaires and billionaires, the bank and stock exchange leaders, the heads of trusts and major Jews in commerce.

Soon, it stresses the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

…We declare that these so-called “prophecies” are insidious and vile criminal goals. They flow from hatred and a lust for murder, from the lust for non-Jewish money and property. They come from criminal Jewish brains. The people who peacefully go about their work do not deserve to be exterminated. The Jewish people that has such awful and murderous thoughts deserves extermination.

The so-called “Zionist Protocols” are as vile and murderous as these Jewish “prophecies.”

It concludes with this

…He has been uncovered, his criminal plans have been discovered, and a battle is coming like the world has never seen. World Jewry faces Adolf Hitler. World Jewry faces Germany. The Jews will fight without pity. We must also fight without pity against Pan-Jewry. The Jewish people is the people of the Devil. It is a people of criminals and murderers. The Jewish people must be exterminated from the face of the earth.

3. Wikipedia. (Not the world’s most reliable source, but pretty much on the money with this one.) In the section entitled Accusations of plotting to control the world, on the page entitled Antisemitic canard

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is widely considered to be the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature.[24]

Included in this canard is not only written text that seeks to accuse Jews of trying to control the world, but also graphic imagery depicting Jews, or their supporters, as trying to control the world. Examples of this imagery include Nazi cartoons that depict Jews as octopuses, encircling the globe.[25] A more recent example is the 2001 re-printing of Henry Ford’s anti-semitic text, The International Jew in Egypt, with the same octopus imagery on the front cover.[26]

4. In case they still don’t get it, here are a couple of covers of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

How easily anti-Zionism slid into antisemitism

This short piece by David Osler is interesting – I wish it was longer and I’d urge commenters not to demand too much of a piece this brief.

These days he aligns his support of secular democracy with being “on balance an anti-Zionist”, though he doesn’t believe that Zionism is necessarily racist. But in the ’80s, while he was in the IMG, he helped kicked the Jewish Society out of his university. This is how easily anti-Zionism slid into antisemitism:

“My attitude had very much been shaped by the war in Lebanon three years earlier, especially the Sabra and Shatila massacre. So I saw things in black and white.

Zionism, I then believed, was a form of racism. Self-evidently, no student union should permit a racist student group to function under its auspices. Ipso facto, City Poly JSoc had to go.”

He now regrets his part in this as a “gross mistake” while noting that higher up the food chain of his movement there may have been a coordinated hostility to Jewish Societies.

No less problematic an ideology than Zionism is held to be, almost everything about contemporary anti-Zionism needs examining along with the Zionism anti-Zionists confront us with. We should insist.

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