Archive for Europe

David Cameron Pledges To Fight Antisemitism In Britain

Really, he means it this time

LONDON – In a strongly expressed comment piece in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, British Premier David Cameron described how sickened he has been by recent instances of anti-Semitism.

“The idea that the Jewish people once again feels unsafe in Europe is a truly sickening thought that strikes at the heart of everything we stand for,” he said. While the situation in the UK is significantly better than in many other countries, he said, in Britain “we, too, have seen a completely unacceptable rise in anti-Semitism.”

His message, he added, is clear. “We are going to take that spirit from the march in Paris and we are going to fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got.

“My policy is simple: zero-tolerance. No exceptions and no excuses. So let me be clear: no disagreements on politics or policy will ever be allowed to justify racism, prejudice or extremism in our society. Over generations we have built something incredible in our country: a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy – and we are not going to let anti-Semitism destroy it.”

So, here’s a question for Europe: Why now? I was in Britain last summer while there were antisemitic demonstrations calling for Jews to be gassed. Why didn’t Mr. Cameron say anything then?

Don’t get me wrong, it is well past time for European leaders to take antisemitism seriously. But I am skeptical and then some. I think that they are afraid of Muslim terrorists attacking everyone, everywhere, and somehow that has heightened awareness of Jewish fears. That and the fact that most Jews are productive members of society, so if they emigrate they take their productivity with them. But again, I’m a cynic.

– Aggie

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Damn Straight

Good point:

In a statement on Friday, [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman wrote: “I wonder if the EU will issue a condemnation to the governments of Belgium and France for the use of excessive force and call on them to negotiate with terrorists and resolve the issues around the negotiation table… interesting.”

Thanks for reading BTL.com, Avi! You sound like us.

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Terrorism Expert, Steve Emerson Says, “Europe Is Finished”

To my knowledge, Steve Emerson is the first Westerner (outside of Israel) who told us about the rising threat of Islam. He was covering a convention of some sort in Kansas City, I believe, and saw signs on the street for a talk in a hotel about Islam. He attended. It was a group advocating terror.

Since then he has been outspoken – and vilified. Here he is discussing yesterday’s attack in France:

– Aggie

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Strike While the Irony’s Hot

Scorching!

The director of BBC Television said rising anti-Semitism has made him question the long-term future for Jews in the UK.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Danny Cohen said the past year had been the most difficult for him as a Jew living in the United Kingdom.

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually,” he said in a conversation with Channel 2’s anchor Yonit Levi.

Cheer up, things could be worse. You could be French.

Cohen went on: “And you’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually. And having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about anti-Semitism in Europe.”

Cohen, who grew up and went to school in London — including to a Jewish elementary school — is a TV whiz kid. Still only 40, he was previously the controller of BBC1 TV, the youngest appointee to that post, before taking over a director of BBC Television last year.

Last month, Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who is also Jewish, decried the rise of anti-Semitism in Great Britain and called for “a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the UK.”

Miliband, the son of Holocaust refugees, cited figures from the Jewish Community Security Trust that indicate a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents. He praised Britain’s tradition of tolerance but warned that “the recent spate of incidents should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thought the scourge of anti-Semitism had been defeated and that the idea of Jewish families fearful of living here in Britain was unthinkable.”

The summer’s Israel-Hamas war saw a striking increase in anti-Semitic incidents, with more than 100 hate crimes reported in July alone — more than double the usual number. Among the reported incidents were the physical assault of a rabbi in Gateshead, attacks on synagogues and an attack by an Arab woman wearing a niqab on a Jewish boy riding his bicycle in northern London.

The irony? Read for yourself:

CAMERA: BBC.

Why do people associate antisemitism solely with the far right when the left, near and far, is absolutely awash in the muck? Jew-hatred is interwoven in their socio-political DNA.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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How Low Can Europe Go?

They plan to remove Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations.

The European Union is expected to remove Hamas from its list of terrorist groups, Western officials confirmed to The Jerusalem Post late Tuesday.

The officials said that the EU courts will accept the Islamist organization’s appeal to remove its designation as a terrorist entity.

I hope this isn’t true, but nothing coming out of Europe would surprise me.

– Aggie

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Do Not Feed the Animals!

This ought to work out well:

“Israel should insist that we discriminate, that we apply double standards, this is because you are one of us,” [Danish Ambassador Jesper] Vahr said during a panel discussion on relations between Israel and Europe.

Israelis sometimes ask why Europe applies a different standard to its neighboring countries, such as Syria, Vahr said. “Those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by,” he said.

Israel should want to be held to European standards, not Middle Eastern ones, he said.

My answer would have started by asking the Danish Ambassador how they’re handling the incessant rocket fire from Norway. I would praise their “restraint” and “proportionality” in the face of that Swedish intifada. I would criticize in the harshest terms the anti-Danish incitement they suffer from the Baltics.

Dumbass.

It was his bad fortune that he was not talking to me:

Vahr’s comments angered Caroline B. Glick, the Post’s senior contributing editor, who retorted that they were a “statement of contempt for our intelligence.”

“I consider Europe’s keen interest in the Middle East, specifically Israel, to be an obsession,” she said. “It is an obsession that Jews have seen from Europeans from the time of Jesus.”

Glick was particularly struck by Vahr’s reference to a common culture between Israel and Europe.

“We have this whole common culture, I mean really? We respect international law. You guys make it up,” she said.

In 2001, the United Nations Security Council approved a binding resolution that bars UN member states from funding or supporting terrorist organizations, Glick said.

That resolution, she said, has not stopped Europe from “funneling billions of euros into rebuilding terrorist-controlled Gaza.

“This is in contravention of binding international law that you signed onto,” she charged.

But when it comes to Israel, Europe simply invents international law, Glick said. Europe acts as if it is required by law to sanction Israel for activity over the pre-1967 lines in West Bank settlements and Jerusalem, even though there is no such binding international legislation, she said.

“There is no such binding law. You guys are funding settlements in Western Sahara.

You are funding them directly,” she said. “This is not a double standard. This is a singular standard for Israel. This is not about international law. It is about an obsessive, compulsive need to constantly pick at the Jewish state,” she said.

After receiving applause from the audience, Glick continued: “No, I do not want to be proud that you are looking at us in a different standard from our neighbors because you are not looking at our neighbors as human beings.

“What you are saying is that they are objects. The only actor in this entire region are the people they are trying to annihilate.

“The only people who are supposed to be judged for our actions, and always poorly, are the people who are doing everything possible – more than Europe, more than the US, more than anyone – in order to protect the lives of the Palestinians,” she said.

Hands off, she’s mine.

PS: Talk about disproportionate use of force! Lack of restraint! They shoulda stopped the fight after “I consider Europe’s keen interest in the Middle East, specifically Israel, to be an obsession.” He was a dead man right then.

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Judenfrei = Zionistfrei

Europe will always be a cesspool of Jew hatred

In Nazi Germany, it was all the rage to make one’s town Judenfrei. Now a new fashion is sweeping Europe: to make one’s town or city what we might call “Zionistfrei”—free of the products and culture of the Jewish state. Across the Continent, cities and towns are declaring themselves “Israel-free zones,” insulating their citizens from Israeli produce and culture. It has ugly echoes of what happened 70 years ago.

Leicester City Council in England last month voted to boycott goods made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. All services run by the council will be free of any product or technology made in any of the settlements. The motion “condemns the Government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of Palestine’s East Jerusalem and the West Bank” and resolves “to boycott any produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements.”

Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby insists that there’s nothing anti-Semitic about this erection of an Israel-deflecting force field around the city, telling the local Leicester Mercury newspaper that it’s simply about expressing dismay with “the behavior of the Israeli state.”

But Jeffrey Kaufman, former president of Leicester’s Progressive Jewish Congregation, isn’t convinced. He wants to know why, “of all the horrible things going on in the world,” the council singled out Israel for punitive treatment. “It’s blatant anti-Semitism,” he said.

Other communities in Europe have gone further than Leicester. During this summer’s Gaza conflict, the town of Kinvara in western Ireland went completely Zionistfrei. Pro-Palestinian campaigners lobbied the town’s retailers, restaurants and cafes to expunge from their premises anything produced in Israel. All the businesses agreed, meaning Kinvara is now, in the eyes of anti-Israel agitators, morally pure. It is held up as a model town by numerous European backers of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement.

Also during the Gaza conflict, the mayor of Newry in Northern Ireland wrote to all the retailers of his district asking them to provide a list of the Israeli products they stock. He then asked them to remove these products from sale—he was backed by 21 votes to three on the Newry Council.

Numerous Spanish provinces have this year been bombarded with requests to reject the “products, culture and sport” of the state of Israel. When BDS activists can’t get official backing for their desire to live Zionistfrei lives, they take things into their own hands. Three years ago in Montpellier, France, BDS activists spent an hour and a half rampaging through a shopping mall and “de-shelving” all the fruit produced in Israel.

Under pressure from campaigners to break off all links with Israel, the French city of Lille in October ripped up its twinning accord with the Israeli city of Safed. Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, was quoted in the French press saying Lille’s officials had shown a “heinous attitude toward the Israeli people.”

In 2011, the council of West Dunbartonshire in Scotland voted to boycott all Israeli products and instructed all local libraries to stop stocking books printed in the state of Israel. Why not just burn them?

More at the link. My answer is to travel to Israel frequently, to spend money on Israeli goods, and to absolutely avoid European goods. Israel makes decent wine, folks. And there are lots of opportunities to purchase Israeli fruits and vegetables. We really should openly and loudly condemn Europe and boycott Europe.

– Aggie

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Philae of Soul

You might think even a Europhobe like BTL would have a hard time finding fault with the European Space Agency’s succès fou landing on the comet.

O, ye of little faith.

Credit where it’s due: they got there. And the pictures were spectacular. But we already knew Europe made great cameras.

I’m even underwhelmed by the getting there. Scientists have already successfully rendezvoused with almost every celestial body they’ve aimed for, including asteroids and comets. If the Mayans and other ancient civilizations could predict eclipses, the movement of objects around the sun is rocket science, but only barely. It would have been a humiliation, in space exploration terms, to have missed.

But to done in by battery power—the bane of every cell phone user—seems lame to me. Fine, they thought recharging by solar power would be straightforward on a comet, and what are the odds that the lander would to rest in one of the few “shady” spots? Better than none, it turns out. The lander bounced from its intended site a few times before coming to rest where it did, and they had almost ability to move it once it landed. That’s leaving a lot to chance.

Where I think they ultimately failed was in imagination. They thought the comet would be vaguely spherical, therefore predictable.

They didn’t know it was shaped like a rubber ducky.

With cliffs, chasms, and crevasses.

Again, what are the odds? High enough, as it turned out.

The effort might also have been undone by the failure of the anchoring mechanism. You can’t very well drill into something if you have the weight of a feather. Newton’s Third Law of Motion is hardly cutting edge science. But that’s a mechanical failure. The failure I hold them responsible for is the failure to ask what’s the worst that could happen. And the failure to prepare for it. They got the easy things right (or the previously accomplished things), but when it came to what they didn’t know, they didn’t know sh*t.

Too harsh?

PS: And if the insinuation that science can get lost in its own modeling and lose sight of how things really are isn’t obvious enough to you, yes, I mean global warming.

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Belgian Waffle

A lot of European Jew-hatred today is Islamic in origin.

A lot, but not all:

The University of Liege in Belgium has established a pedagogic team to sensitize students to race issues, university officials told Belga news agency Friday, after a “game” planned for philosophy and literature students had anti-Semitic overtones.

The game, an orientation activity for freshmen planned for October 18, called the students “little Palestinians” and challenged them to “watch out for the big, mean Jew and to settle in safely and happily, if possible.”

After a pamphlet with the instruction leaked, sparking an uproar, the university’s rector, Albert Corhay, demanded the event be canceled and that organizers publicly apologize.

“We cannot accept this insult in the form of a folkloric activity,” Corhay said, in a statement. “There can be no question of hiding behind satire or humor. The nature of this activity is simply ignominious.”

The Union of Jewish Students of Belgium (UEJB) also condemned the activity.

“The student body has a tradition of humorous initiations,” it said. “Here, however, we are dealing with something else: a Manichaean and anti-Semitic vision of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“Mean Jew” Update:

Belgian Jewry has been shaken in recent months by a surge in anti-Semitism that has engulfed most of Europe.

In May, the community was rocked by an anti-Semitic terrorist attack in which an Islamist gunman, Mehdi Nemmouche, opened fire with an assault rifle in the Brussels Jewish Museum, killing four people.

And last month, visitors to a Holocaust memorial in Brussels were attacked by thugs who threw stones and bottles at them, according to media reports.

One week later, a nearby synagogue was set ablaze in yet another anti-Semitic attack.

Not to mention:

A Belgian cafe owner is under fire for broadcasting an anti-Semitic slur in his store window.

A sign in Turkish and French announced, “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances,” the Jewish Forward reports.

Anyhow, there are fewer “Mean Jews” all the time:

Anti-Semitism in Belgium is causing a Jewish exodus, a former community leader and anti-racism activist warned.

Commenting on rising levels of anti-Semitic violence and speech in Belgium, including the murder in May of four people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum of Belgium, Rubinfeld said: “There are developments that I am observing around me inside the community. An exodus of Jews is beginning.”

Last year saw the immigration to Israel of 273 Jews from Belgium, which has a Jewish population of about 40,000 people. It was the highest figure recorded in nine years.

At least for the purposes of this game, can I be a “Little Palestinian”?

Whee!

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Sharia4Belgium

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em:

Forty-six people, most of them still at large, were put on trial in Belgium on Monday for suspected membership in a propaganda group urging Belgian muslims to take part in the jihad holy war in Syria, AFP reports.

Armed police guarded the court in the northern port city of Antwerp where 16 people alleged to be part of Sharia4Belgium, including its head Fouad Belkacem, are being tried on charges of leading a terrorist organization. If convicted, they could face 20 years in prison.

The remaining 30 are being tried on charges of belonging to Sharia4Belgium.

I belong to the Oregon Chess Federation (well, I used to). Does that make me a criminal? Lighten up, Belgium.

The trial comes five months after a deadly attack on the Jewish museum in the center of Brussels, which has accompanied a resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in Europe and fears of terror strikes from foreign fighters returning from Syria.

If we jailed every anti-semite in Europe, we’d need Asia to hold them all.

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Belgian Doc Expresses Hypocratic Oath

Or is it Hypocritic Oath™? Antisemitic oath? What kind of medicine to they practice in Belgium?

ANTWERP, Belgium – A Belgian physician who refused to treat a Jewish woman with a fractured rib suggested she visit Gaza to get rid of the pain.

The physician made the remark on Wednesday while manning a medical hotline in Flanders, Belgium’s Flemish region, whose capital, Antwerp, has a sizeable Orthodox Jewish population, the local Jewish monthly Joods Actueel reported Thursday.

“I’m not coming,” the doctor reportedly told the son and hung up. When the son called again, the doctor said: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she’ll get rid of the pain.” According to Joods Actueel, the doctor confirmed the exchange, saying he had an “emotional reaction.”

Health ministry officials were looking into the incident, according to the monthly’s online edition. According to Joods Actueel, the doctor knew the patient was Jewish because of Klein’s son’s American accent.

The family called a friend, Samuel Markowitz, who is an alderman of the Antwerp district council and a volunteer paramedic. He called the doctor to confirm the exchange, and also recorded their conversation.

Hershy Taffel, Bertha Klein’s grandson, filed a complaint with police for discrimination.

“It reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago,” Taffel told Joods Actueel. “I never thought those days would once again be repeated.”

Joods Actueel editor-in-chief Michael Freilich said the incident is particularly alarming because it comes amid a string of recent incidents which involved boycotts against Jews in Belgium since the start of Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza on July 8.

Since then, an Orthodox Jewish woman was refused service at a clothes store in Antwerp, and police removed a sign in French and Turkish from a café near Liege which said dogs were allowed but Zionists and Jews were not.

Europe is so much more civilized than the US, than Israel, and than Jews everywhere, right? Right Lefties? It is long past time to boycott Europe in its entirety. (And the next European who innocently asks me for directions is either getting the wrong information or an earful and no information.)

– Aggie

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You Can’t Kill Arab Terrorists! That’s Our Job!

As long as someone’s doing it, I say:

About the crowds on Friday in Paris chanting “Palestine will overcome” and “Israel, assassin”: Where were they a few days earlier when news broke that over the previous weekend Syria’s civil war had produced 720 more dead, adding to the 150,000 others who have not had the honor of demonstrations in France?

Why did the protesters not pour into the streets when, a few days before that, the well-informed Syrian Network for Human Rights revealed that so far this year Damascus’s army, which was supposed to have destroyed its supply of chemical weapons, carried out at least 17 gas attacks around Kafrzyta, Talmanas, Atshan and elsewhere?

[I]f one were primarily concerned about the Palestinian children whose deaths are indeed an abomination—one would demand that Hamas operatives leave the hospital basements where they have buried their command centers, move the rocket launchers that they have installed in the doorways of United Nations schools, and stop threatening parents who wish to evacuate their homes when an Israeli leaflet informs them that a strike is imminent.

Moreover, if alarm about disproportion and asymmetry were the true wellspring of the protesters’ rage, would they not have had at least a passing thought for another disproportion that, not so far from Gaza, now afflicts the most wretched of the wretched, the most defenseless of all, the Christians of Mosul? Hamas’s “brothers” are offering these Iraqis the following ultimatum: Embrace Islam or die by the sword.

The truth:

The truth is that these protesters—most of them young members of the self-proclaimed “Gaza generation,” for whom the latest in chic is to sport a kaffiyeh made in Palestine—assume it is normal for Arabs to kill other Arabs.

They are also unperturbed upon learning, from the very mouth of the Hamas leadership (Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 41, No. 4), that in 2012 alone the construction of the infamous Gaza tunnels cost the lives of 160 Palestinian children who were turned into little slaves and buried in the rubble.

The oldest of these protesters also missed the chance to mobilize in favor of the 300,000 Darfurians massacred by Sudan; the 200,000 Chechens whom Putin, in his own elegant phrase, “kicked into the crapper” not so long ago; and the Bosnians who were besieged and bombarded to general indifference for three years. The truth is that for these selectively conscientious objectors, indignation arrives only when one has the opportunity to condemn a military consisting mostly of Jews.

The double standard is odious. And it has become increasingly evident across Europe in the past month. Bluntly anti-Semitic slogans have marred most European demonstrations “in support of the people of Gaza.” Residents of Frankfurt and Dortmund were horrified in mid-July to see neo-Nazi groups join hands with left-wing Islamists in a grim chant: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” The center of London was blocked on July 19 by thousands who gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Kensington to shout their hatred for Jews.

Not to mention Amsterdam, the city of Spinoza, Europe’s capital of tolerance, where in certain neighborhoods it has become practically impossible to wear a yarmulke in public without running the risk of being insulted or assaulted.

This much is fact. The author, Bernard Henri-Levi, makes the case persuasively. But there are so many other facts. The protesters were also absent as Hamass and Islamic Jihad (and suchlike jihadist gangs) shelled Israel daily, without reprisal. Contrary to what I heard on NPR this morning, Hamass is looking not merely to lift the blockade on Gaza (imposed as much by Egypt as by Israel), but to annihilate the Jewish state entirely. Their appeals for violence and genocide are ethnic and religious in nature, citing the inevitability of and necessity for Islam to triumph over “the Jews”, as willed by Allah.

And, of course, my favorite fact: there is no Palestine, and never has been. The idea of a Palestinian state came into being only when the Jews reclaimed their land and called it Israel.

One last fact. Israel will find no justice in this world, and surely not in Europe. A few righteous individuals aside, Israel must know that it can win few friends by placating the haters or trying to ingratiate itself to generations of antisemites. Europe is the past of civilization; Israel is likely to be its future.

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