British lawmaker Lord Ahmed killed a Slovak man and blamed the Jews when he was sentenced
* Senior Guardian journalist responds to Lord Ahmed outburst against Jews, with a Jew-baiting Tweet against Times journalist
* Calls to sack Greece’s new ministerial adviser who justified Auschwitz
* Iran and Hungarian neo-Fascist party form anti-Semitic alliance
This dispatch contains a number of items relating to European countries. You can comment on it here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. Please also press “Like” on that page.
1. French mayor defends honoring Palestinian murderer of Israeli government minister
2. British lawmaker suspended after suggesting a “Jewish conspiracy” runs Britain
3. “Reward for the capture of Barack Obama”
4. Senior Guardian journalist responds to Ahmed outburst with a Jew-baiting Tweet against Times journalist
5. Norway admits its charitable aid went to Palestinian terrorists
6. Calls by Greek Jews to sack ministerial adviser who justified Nazi crimes
7. Iran and Hungarian party form anti-Semitic alliance
8. French students urge Twitter to release the names of users posting anti-Semitic tweets
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
FRENCH MAYOR DEFENDS HONORING OF PALESTINIAN MURDERER OF ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MINISTER
A French mayor whose municipality last month honored the Palestinian terrorist who murdered an Israeli cabinet minister, has defended the move following criticism by Jewish organizations, and instead accused his critics of “hatred”.
Dominique Lesparre, the mayor of the Paris suburb of Bezons, said in a statement sent to the press on Wednesday, that his municipality’s vote last month to name Majdi Al-Rimawi an honorary resident of Bezons was part of a “tradition of peace, solidarity and cooperation with the Palestinian people.”
Rimawi, a member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has admitted and boasted of his role in the 2001 assassination in a Jerusalem hotel of Israel’s minister of tourism, Rehavam Ze’evi. Rimawi is now serving a life sentence in Israel.
The CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and the European Jewish Congress condemned the decision. EJC President Moshe Kantor called the move “outrageous and horrific.”
Lesparre called Kantor’s reaction “hateful,” adding: “It strengthens our resolve to defend the noble and just Palestinian cause.”
BRITISH LAWMAKER SUSPENDED AFTER SUGGESTING A ‘JEWISH CONSPIRACY’ RUNS BRITAIN
Lord Ahmed, a leading Muslim member of the British upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, has been suspended after the Times of London reported yesterday that he claimed he had been handed a jail sentence for killing a Slovak man, because of pressure on the courts from Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels”. (In fact, almost no major media in Britain is owned by Jews.)
The British Labour Party yesterday suspended Ahmed “pending an investigation”.
In 1998 the Pakistani-born businessman Lord Ahmed was appointed by then Prime Minister Tony Blair as the first male Muslim member of the House of Lords.
Ahmed made his claims in a TV interview broadcast in Pakistan. The Times reported that had Lord Ahmed made the claims in the UK, he might have faced prosecution for incitement to racial hatred under the Public Order Act 1986. A spokesman for the Labour Party said the party “does not tolerate any sort of racism or anti-Semitism. We are suspending Lord Ahmed pending an investigation.”
Although Ahmed claimed that “the Jews” were responsible for what he said was a harsh sentence, in fact he only had to serve 16 days in jail after Martyn Gombar, a 28-year-old Slovakian was killed on Christmas Day in 2007 after his stationary car was hit by Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar. Ahmed was sending text messages as he drove at 70mph shortly before he hit the Slovak man, and was given this short prison sentence for dangerous driving. None of the judges involved were Jewish.
Ahmed, claiming that the judges were biased against him as a Muslim, was in fact treated very lightly when one compares his sentence to that handed down earlier this week to another former (non-Muslim) British lawmaker Chris Huhne and his former wife Vicky Pryce, who each received a prison term of 8 months for switching points when Huhne was caught speeding, when no one was injured or killed by them.
“REWARD FOR THE CAPTURE OF BARACK OBAMA”
Lord Ahmed has long made outrageous and inaccurate comments about Israel, such as the lie that people in Gaza are “starving”.
Last year, Ahmed was also suspended by the Labour party for a short time after it was reported that he offered a 10 million pound ($15m.) bounty for the capture of President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush for “war crimes”. The peer denied having made the comments, published in a Pakistani newspaper, and was reinstated after an investigation by Labour.
In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch at the House of Lords for a Swedish anti-Semite called Jöran Jermas who writes under the pen name Israel Shamir (presumably in an effort to fool people that he is an Israeli-born Jew). Jermas said at the Lords, under Ahmed’s watchful eye, that: “All the political parties are Zionist-infiltrated… Your newspapers belong to Zionists… In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble – and that is Jewish supremacy drive… The Jews like an Empire… This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance… Simple minds call it ‘treacherous behavior’, but it is actually love of Empire per se.”
On his website, which Ahmed is likely to have read, Jermas tells readers that: “Jews asked God to kill, destroy, humiliate, exterminate, defame, starve, impale Christians, to usher in Divine Vengeance and to cover God’s mantle with blood of goyim… The Ashkenazi Jews believed that spilt Jewish blood has a magic effect of calling down Divine Vengeance on the heads of the Gentiles… The picture of Jews slaughtering children for cultic reasons exerted huge impact on the Christian peoples of Europe.”
At least Labour has suspended Lord Ahmed. The other main leftist party in Britain, the Liberal Democrats, who are the junior partner in David Cameron’s ruling coalition government, have not even suspended their MP David Ward who “celebrated” International Holocaust Memorial Day in January by claiming “the Jews” were responsible for the ills of the Middle East, and have not properly learned the lesson they “were taught in the Holocaust”.
The British Labour party has in recent years expelled other British politicians who helped stoke anti-Semitism, such as George Galloway.
SENIOR GUARDIAN JOURNALIST RESPONDS TO AHMED OUTBURST WITH A JEW-BAITING TWEET AGAINST TIMES JOURNALIST
Yesterday on Twitter, as news of Ahmed’s suspension was reported, the veteran Guardian journalist Michael White attacked Daniel Finkelstein, one of the only senior journalists who happen to be Jewish at The Times of London, with what has been described as a “Jew-baiting tweet”.
Noting that Finkelstein was Jewish, White immediately engaged in a completely irrelevant attack on Finkelstein (who had tweeted that he was surprised that The Times Lord Ahmed story was not being reported on the BBC morning news yesterday), by attacking Finkelstein over the topic of Israeli settlements. Daniel Finkelstein (who is a subscriber to this email list) is not an Israeli, nor a specialist writer on Israel or defender of Israeli settlement expansion. And his comments on Lord Ahmed’s killing of a Slovak man had nothing to do with Israel.
When asked to apologize during the course of yesterday, Michael White, the associate editor of The Guardian, renewed his attacks on Finkelstein and others who came to Finkelstein’s defense.
In 2011, The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, Chris Elliott, acknowledged (or at least partly acknowledged) that The Guardian had a problem with anti-Semitism, as I noted in this article.
NORWAY ADMITS ITS CHARITABLE AID WENT TO PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS
Norway’s foreign minister Espen Barth Eide admitted on Monday that the Palestinian Authority had “misled the Norwegian government” and provided it with “incorrect information” when it had previously claimed that the money donated by Norway to supposedly aid Palestinian development projects had been used instead to pay rewards to Palestinians convicted of terror attacks in which Israeli adults, children and babies were maimed and murdered.
The Norwegian daily Dagen reported that successive Norwegian governments have long claimed that Norwegian aid did not go to Palestinians responsible for terrorist activities, but that Norway’s foreign ministry had now “received new information that revealed major differences to what we have assumed, according to earlier information we received from the Palestinian Authority.”
For over a decade, the Palestinian Authority has pledged monthly payments to Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israelis and even increased payments by as much as 300 percent in 2011.
Eide said the ministry was waiting for clarifications from Ramallah and may review its aid payments to the Palestinian Authority.
Norwegian aid to the Palestinian Authority came under public scrutiny in last month following a documentary by the Scandinavian country’s NRK public TV network showing that aid also went to inciting hate against Israel and Jews.
Norway has contributed more than $50 million a year to the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli government together with groups such as NGO-Monitor and Palestinian Media Watch have long claimed that aid money from many Western governments was used by the Palestinian Authority to pay for and incite violence against Jews.
CALLS BY GREEK JEWS TO SACK MINISTERIAL ADVISER WHO JUSTIFIED NAZI CRIMES
Greece’s remaining small Jewish community has called for the sacking of Ioannis Kotoulas, who works as the advisor to the country’s deputy interior minister, after it was revealed on Tuesday that he has repeatedly justified the crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.
Greece was one of the country’s most devastated by the Holocaust. Over 90 percent of Greece’s 80,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their Greek collaborators.
The Greek newspaper ‘Avgi’ on Tuesday brought to light a book written by Kotoulas called “The Rise of the Third Reich” in which he refers to Nazism as “a great revolution,” as well as a magazine article in which he says concentration camps are “a normal and established practice of all warring sides.”
Since September last year, Kotoulas has served as an adviser at the Interior Ministry on Greece’s citizenship law.
The leader of Greek Jewry said his “shameless justification of the Nazi concentration camps and of the German bombardments of Greek cities during the war were an insult to the memory of the victims of the German occupation and of the Holocaust.”
IRAN AND HUNGARIAN PARTY FORM ANTI-SEMITIC ALLIANCE
The neo-Fascist Hungarian political party Jobbik has found common ground with Iran in their shared anti-Semitism. Jobbik is now the third-largest party in parliament in Budapest, having increased its share of the popular vote eightfold in recent years.
As Jobbik intensifies its anti-Israel propaganda, blaming Israel for Hungary’s economic woes, it is strengthening its ties with Iran.
In the Jobbik stronghold of Tiszavasvari in eastern Hungary, the mayor, Erik Fulop, one of five Jobbik politicians elected to run a Hungarian town, has twinned the town with the Iranian city of Ardabil, and put up signs in Hungarian and Farsi. Another Jobbik mayor, Juhasz Oszkar of Gyogyospata, also twinned with an Iranian municipality.
Jobbik’s leader, Gabor Vona, has in recent months hosted a number of Iranian delegations in Tiszavasvari and other Jobbik-controlled towns.
Ferenc Szlazsanszky, a writer for the Hungarian weekly Hetek, says that the “driving force” behind Jobbik’s pro-Iranian stance is Marton Gyongyosi, the party’s foreign policy chief, who last November called for the registration of all Hungarian Jews, citing their potential as a security risk to Hungarian independence. (The last time such registration was done, was in the Nazi era.)
Gyongyosi has recently said he will be conducting a Hungarian lecture tour on the “Zionist threat to world peace.” Anti-Jewish and anti-Israel articles now make up about one third of the content on the party’s English-language website.
Gyongyosi last year told the London Jewish Chronicle that it was time to “get over” the Holocaust.
FRENCH STUDENTS URGE TWITTER TO RELEASE THE NAMES OF USERS POSTING ANTI-SEMITIC TWEETS
Twitter has been asked to reveal the names of the individuals who have posted a recent a flurry of anti-Semitic tweets, including:
* “A good Jew is a dead Jew.”
* “A good Jew is a gassed Jew.”
* “How many Jews can fit in a Volkswagen? Two in the back, two in the front and 100 in the ashtray.”
Tens of thousands of anti-Semitic comments have circulated on Twitter over the past year from anonymous accounts based in France and Mexico, attached to the hashtags #UnBonJuif, or “A good Jew” and #EsDeJudios, or “It’s Jewish to …”
Hate speech on the Web is not new, of course, but these anti-Semitic tweets have in recent months become so popular that they are now trending topics on twitter alongside such subjects as Justin Bieber or the choice of the new Pope.
After the hashtag #UnBonJuif reached the top three on Twitter’s trending topics list in France last fall, the Union of French Jewish Students complained directly to the San Francisco-based social networking company, asking for the names of Twitter users promoting the anti-Semitic hashtag. When Twitter failed to do so, the students took their case to a French court and won.
The French court took the case seriously because of a surge of violent anti-Semitic attacks in France, including the murder of a teacher and three young children at a Jewish school in Toulouse last year, as well as a spate of other attacks in neighboring Belgium.
Yet Twitter has until now refused to release the names so that the culprits can be prosecuted under France’s race hate laws.
[Notes above by Tom Gross]