Has Ireland backed down from their shameful decision to hold a Zionistfrei Holocaust event?

As the blog Israellycool and others have recently reported, the trustees of Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland(HETI) have forbidden the master of ceremonies at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony on January 25th, 2015, from mentioning the word “Israel” or the phrase “the Jewish State”.

Here’s the letter sent to Yanky Fachler, the former master of ceremonies, from HETI chair Peter Cassells explaining that no mention of the Jewish state will be permitted by the MC at the event at Dublin’s Mansion House. 

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The dangerous mainstreaming of Max Blumenthal’s antisemitism

Anti-Israel activists who promote BDS campaigns and smear the Jewish state as uniquely evil were provided a gift when Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel was published last October.

Max-Blumenthals-Goliath-197-X-298The book, which strongly suggests parallels between Zionism and Nazism, was attacked as supremely dishonest and hateful by one well-known leftist commentator, derided as a work of fiction by another and included on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2013 list of “Top 10 Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs”.

So, we were glad to hear that Petra Marquardt Bigman just published a Research Article at The Louis D. Brandeis Center (LDB) examining Blumenthal’s book, which (as we’ve noted previously at this blog) has been praised by Jew-haters such as Gilad Atzmon and David Duke (and, of course, by Glenn Greenwald).  

The paper by Marquardt-Bigman highlights the danger posed by the mainstreaming of such hate: Blumenthal is an occasional ‘Comment is Free’ contributor, and his book was promoted at an event hosted by the mainstream “liberal” think tank New America Foundation in December.

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Blumenthal at the New America Foundation book launch

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The SS-headache of Carlos Latuff

Cross-posted by Petra Marquardt-Bigman, who blogs at The Warped Mirror‘.

Among “pro-Palestinian” activists, the cartoonist Carlos Latuff is a widely admired artist. Like most of his fans, Latuff expresses his support for the Palestinian cause with an intense hatred for Israel, which is reflected in his large output of images comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Unsurprisingly, Latuff’s achievements also include a winning entry for the 2006 Iranian “International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.”

The fact that comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany are generally regarded as antisemitic doesn’t seem to bother Latuff and his fans – quite the contrary: for them, it’s apparently just another reason for ridicule and amusement.

This flippant reaction was well illustrated when Latuff responded to his inclusion in a list of this past year’s “Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurscompiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Tweeting his “Thanks to Rabbi Marvin Hier and @simonwiesenthal for the award for my toons on #Gaza slaughter,” Latuff attached a cartoon depicting himself being “awarded” a third-place medal by Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Wiesenthal Center.

latuff-wiesenthal-ss1As you can see in the screenshot of Latuff’s cartoon above, there is an unmistakable SS-symbol next to Rabbi Hier’s head. When I noted this in a tweet, Latuff quickly responded, claiming that I was wrong and that the “bolts are cartoon representation of headache.” To support his claim, he linked to the following picture:

pic

For comparison, here is the SS-symbol:

adlSince Latuff immediately blocked me, he didn’t have to face up and respond to the evidence showing just how flimsy his “headache”-explanation looked.

After all, for somebody like Latuff who works with images, it is hardly credible to claim that he was unaware of the obvious SS-reference in this cartoon. How about this very similar “headache” in an undeniably antisemitic cartoon from 2006?

new pic

Screenshot showing part of a Russian cartoon from a report by Tom Gross on anti-Israeli and antisemitic cartoons published in the international media in the summer of 2006

It is also noteworthy that Latuff didn’t link to any of his own images to illustrate his claim that an SS-symbol look-alike was a common cartoon representation of a headache. But his claim is most severely undermined by the fact – illustrated here – that he has made it something of a specialty to work Nazi-symbolism into his cartoons relating to Israel. He now has only himself to blame if it seems that this has become second nature to him.

The remarkable story of Swedish Zionist activist Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: CiF Watch Interview

In January 2009, during the Gaza war, a small, mostly Jewish group held a peace rally in Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city (with a population of roughly 293,900, including 760 Jews).

During the peaceful march the demonstrators were attacked by a large screaming mob of Muslims and leftists who threw bottles and firecrackers at them.

The marchers were eventually evacuated to safety by the police who had seemed unable, or unwilling, to confront the attackers during the demonstration.

Ilmar Reepalu, Malmo’s mayor, stated the following during a subsequent interview, specifically addressing the January 2009 attack on Jews:

“We accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism. They are extremes that put themselves above other groups, and believe they have a lower value.”

He also criticized the Malmo’s Jewish community for its support for Israel, stating:

“I would wish for the Jewish community to denounce Israeli violations against the civilian population in Gaza. Instead it decides to hold a [pro-Israeli] demonstration in the Grand Square [of Malmö], which could send the wrong signals.” 

Reepalu also claimed that Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigrant party with its roots in the Swedish neo-Nazi movement, had “infiltrated Malmö’s Jewish community in order to turn it against Muslims.”

But beyond the violence directed at Jews during the 2009 demonstration, and the insidious remarks of the city’s mayor, reports abound that Malmo’s Jews are often harassed on their way to the main synagogue, and “Jewish children are subjected to antisemitic taunts and attacks from schoolmates.”

Fredrik Sieradzki, spokesman for the Malmo Jewish community, estimated that the already small Jewish population is shrinking by 5% a year, citing anti-Semitism as the main reason.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel advisory for Sweden, and explicitly warned Jews not to travel in southern Sweden. The statement read, in part:

“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the  [Swedish] Jewish community have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes.”

More broadly, a Swedish government study in 2006 estimated that 5% of the entire adult population, and 39% of the Muslim population, harbor strong and consistent anti-Semitic views. 

Sweden, with a population of 9 million, has about 18,000 Jews and roughly 300,000 Muslims.

Sweden has become “a center of anti-Semitism,” the president of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kantor told the Jerusalem Post in January.

Kantor said he had repeatedly contacted the office of Swedish Prime Minister Fredik Reinfeldt, but never received a reply. “It’s a conspiracy of silence. They apparently think that if they say nothing, the problem will go away but we know it persists,” Kantor said.

However, an interesting thing happened in Stockholm last week.

Jews refused to be silent.

Ynet reported that, in response to the departure of a flotilla to Gaza (‘Ship to Gaza‘, whose spokesperson, Dror Feiler, is a veteran flotilla ‘activist’ who was once honored by the terrorist group, IHH, for his ‘activism’) there was a small pro-Israel demonstration.  

One protester was holding a sign saying: “Hundreds of rockets hitting Israel from Gaza while Israel is delivering supplies to Gaza. The blockade is legal. Are ship to Gaza’s activities legal? Humanitarian?”

Among the 20 or so Swedes who turned out was a pro-Israel blogger named Annika Hernroth-Rothstein.

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: Photo by Nima Dervish

Intrigued by the courage of a few brave souls standing alone against a tide of anti-Zionism, and antisemitism, I contacted Hernroth-Rothstein, who agreed to the following interview.

Adam Levick: A fellow pro-Israel Swedish blogger named Kim Milrell said: “To blog and to tweet positively about the Jewish state means you’ll get attacked from every angle imaginable. You’ll even lose a few friends along the way.” Can you tell us about your blog, what kind of response it’s gotten by your friends and colleagues, and, broadly, how you became a pro-Israel activist?

Annika Hernroth-RothsteinMy grandparents on my mother’s side were forced to hide the fact that they were jewish. The were named Rothstein when they moved to the northwest part of Sweden in the early 40’s, a part that openly let the germans pass on their way to Norway. The antisemitism was accepted, and everywhere. So they changed their name. They hid their jewish identity, but still: my mother was bullied for her big hair and strange nose…for being a Jew…for being weird. This led to a sense of shame in our family. The jewish identity withered, and it was never spoken about – sorrow and a grief for my grandmother and for my mother. It was a piece missing in our history. When i grew up i knew that we were Jewish, but it didn’t matter to me, except when the neo-Nazis in my small coastal town told me I did not deserve to live, that I was scum, less than them. At that point, I reflected on it. and felt out-of-place, just as my mother had, with my big nose and curly hair. But that changed when I had my kids at age 22. I decided that my boys would never have to hide who they are, and never be ashamed – but be proud and know their identity. So I studied and became more observant. I learned about Judaism, started celebrating Shabbat and found my identity. And since then, I’ve been proud of being Jewish. I tell anyone who wants to listen. I wear my big hair like a crown…

I have always been a political person. It’s my passion in life. And I feel very strongly about Israel, about our right to our land and to our freedom, our right to defend that freedom and our very existence. I started my political blog TRUTHANDFICTION 4 years ago. I wrote about a lot of things, among them Israel. And every time I did write about Israel, there was a backlash. People got furious. Hateful. Emails, messages. I lost friends. Even people within my family warned me not to pursue this path of being openly pro-Israel and defiantly not tell the world that I was Jewish. 

But I did anyway. Because it made me so angry that Israel was portrayed as the devil in Swedish media. That it was so mindnumbingly one-sided. I am stubborn, and I persisted to tell the truth. I have gotten so many hateful emails, I get them every day. People call me a murderer, a Zionist whore, a bad mother and an awful human being for writing what I do. I now write as openly as I can about being Jewish, about Israel , and I have accepted the fact that I have lost “friends” through this, and will continue to. I also know that this has cost me job opportunities, that I have become persona non grata in some places because I am so openly pro-Israel. It pains me, but what scares me even more is the thought that this would keep me from writing what I write – and that people every day are silenced because of this terrible consensus-driven media and anti-Israeli society.

AL. What was the reaction by Swedes to the Aftonbladet blood libel story? Do you think many people in  your country believed Israel was capable of such a crime? And, overall, how biased is Swedish media coverage of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict?

AHRThat story, as well as many others, plays in to the narrative that Israel and Israelis are crooks and murderers. People have read these lies for so long, that they believe it. It is very one-sided, because our media has for so long been dominated by a pro-Palestinian left-wing set of ideas. It is the accepted norm, the common truth to so many in Sweden. To outsiders, this must seem absurd. I know it is to me. Jews are treated with a no smoke without fire-type attitude and most people don’t seek out the truth, they accept what is presented to them as fact. 

AL: Fredrik Sieradzki, spokesman for the Malmo Jewish community, estimated that the already small Jewish population (roughly 18,000) is shrinking by 5% a year. “Malmo is a place to move away from,” he said, citing anti-Semitism as the primary reason. Do you agree with this assessment and are reports that the bulk of antisemitism in Sweden is caused by the Muslim population accurate?

AHRI agree. Fully. I do not see the situation in Malmö changing under the current political leadership. Quite the opposite. 

AL: I noticed on Facebook that you’re reading ‘The Arab Lobby’ by Mitchell Bard. What are your thoughts on the book, and whose ideas (writer, journalist, etc.) have most influenced your views on the Middle East?

I just started reading the book last night, so I will refrain from commenting on that until I have gotten further …
I take a lot of influence from current events. And I make a point of not looking to one “leader” or source. I take in media from all over the world regarding the Middle East. Arab, Israeli, Swedish, American, French… I want to understand the world we live in. That is my goal, however pretentious and impossible. I write from the heart, sometimes too much so. It is personal, and with passion. And I thrive on taking in thoughts very different from my own. To be challenged on my views and see the “other side” as humans, not competitors for the truth. 

AL: Any final thoughts?

Finally, I would like to include the invitation to an event for Israel that I am arranging. I want the people of Israel to know that they have our support, a support that is growing every day, and that we are working tirelessly to change this situation. 

On the first Sunday of September we will gather in a joyful display of support for Israel. This is not a protest against anything; instead it is a way of highlighting all the wonderful aspects of this country that we know and love and protect its existence in a time of confusion and disinformation. Together, we will change the narrative.  Innovation, democracy, freedom and culture is what this celebration is all about.

At 1 pm we will gather in Sergels Torg, the biggest meeting place in Sweden, bring flags and signs in support of Israel. There will be speeches by myself and others on this subject as well as wonderful Israeli music and food. Let’s have a great day and celebrate!

I would like to add that this rally for Israel is organized by me, and me alone. There are no ties to religious or political organizations. This is not about politics, or religion, nor am I acting as an instrument of the Israeli state. This is my initiative, out of love and support for Israel .

Naturally, I have coordinated with the police and gotten all of the necessary permits.

Regards,
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2011 Top 10 anti-Israel and antisemitic slurs

For the last two years, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish  human rights NGO, has compiled  a list of the top ten anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs. The list continues to reflect the growing global anti-Semitism and de-legitimization of Israel coming from mainstream voices. It does not include statements by terrorist organizations, the lunatic fringe, or the government of Iran. These citings should serve as a wake-up call to those who believe that such rants are the exclusive domain of Neo-Nazis and crackpots.

Mahmoud Abbas

“I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and the birthplace of Jesus Christ peace be upon him, to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people…”

-Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his UN General Assembly address, September 23, 2011. Speaking to the world, Abbas omitted any reference to the Jewish people’s connection to the Holy Land. No reference to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, nor King David, King Solomon, or Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.   READ SOURCE…

2.  

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“I would like to see accurate statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them?…. we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed… neither Turkey nor the Muslims in the region have exerted such cruelty on Israel… Israel is inexplicably cruel, against innocent Palestinians, hiding behind the Nazi Holocaust and seeking victimhood…. Everybody knows what Israel is about.”

-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during CNN Interview with Fareed Zakaria, September  25, 2011   READ SOURCE…

3.  

Zorba The Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis

“Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists… American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.”

-Zorba The Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, winner of the International Music Council-UNESCO International  Music Prize, also told Greek TV that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic,”  February 15, 2011   READ SOURCE..

4.

John Galliano

“I love Hitler…People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed,”

   –The renowned Christian Dior fashion designer John Galliano was fired and later convicted in a French court for his anti-Semitic rants screamed at Jews in a Paris bar. Galliano later apologized.    READ SOURCE…

5.

Director Lars Von Trier

“I understand Hitler… He’s not what you would call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I’m not for the Second World War, and I’m not against Jews… I am of course, very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass… I’m very much for Speer. Albert Speer [Hitler’s Architect]… He was also maybe one of God’s best children… Okay, I’m a Nazi.”

-Director Lars Von Trier was thrown out of the Cannes Film Festival after this rant, May 18, 2011. He later apologized.  READ SOURCE…

6.  

Syrian writer Osama Al-Malouhi

“[Jews] want that sucker of Syrian blood to remain and continue to prey and suck blood. They not only want their security, but also to enjoy the sight of Syrian blood being spilled…. Asking myself why Jewish support of Bashar [Assad] increased after they saw the rivers of Syrian blood this mass-murderer spilled in Syrian towns, an old image leapt to my mind, of Jews bleeding people and using their blood to prepare matzas. Logic does not accept this, but the facts prove it.”

–Syrian writer Osama Al-Malouhi,  an opponent of President Bashar Assad, posted on an opposition website, October 26, 2011, The Middle East Media Research Institute.  READ SOURCE…

7. 

Egyptian Presidential Candidate Tawfiq Okasha

“Not all the Jews in the world are evil….The ratio is 60-40. Sixty percent are evil to varying degrees, all the way to a level that words cannot describe, while 40 percent are not evil.”

40% of ‘non-evil’  Jews there is only one in a million who is blameless and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is “one of those Jews who adhere to the Zionist ideology…one of the worst ideologies,” Al-Faraeen TV, October  31, 2011.   READ SOURCE…–Tawfiq Okasha, a presidential candidate in post-Mubarak  Egypt added that among the

#6 and #7 originally  reported  in “Praise  Arab Spring, Except for Anti-Semitism”by Jeffrey Goldberg. Bloomberg, November 28, 2011 

8.

George Saliba, Syrian Bishop

“The source that finances and incites all these international organizations…“Do the people of the opposition [today]… belong to Christianity or especially in the Arab world… are led by a single, evil organization, known as Zionism. It is behind all these movements, all these civil wars, and all these evils… Jesus Christ healed the sick among the Jews… and resurrected their dead. [How did they repay him?] “They strived to crucify him until he died…”

Do the people of the opposition [today]… to Islam? No. They are deeply rooted in Judaism and in Zionism… Any intelligent person who reads The Protocols of the Elders of Zion will see the extent of its influence on the politics of our region and the world.”

–George Saliba, Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Lebanon, Al-Dunya TV, July 24, 2011. The Middle East Media Research Institute  READ SOURCE…

9.  

Hermann Dierkes

Oppose the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust! [“Arbeit macht Frei!”] Truth makes free!”

– Hermann Dierkes, leader of the Left Party in Duisburg, Germany, April 2011.

Dierkes posted a flyer on the website with a swastika morphing into a Star of David and called for a boycott of Israeli products, labelling Israel a “rogue state” and a “warmonger.” “Arbeit macht Frei!” is inscribed on the gates of Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz and Dachau.  READ SOURCE... 

10. 

Jeremiah Wright

“The state of Israel is an illegal, genocidal place… to equate Judaism with the state of Israel is to equate Christianity with [rapper] Flavor Flav.”

Rev. Jeremiah Wright  in a speech to thousands of people, June 14, 2011, Baltimore, Maryland.  READ SOURCE…