One of Norway’s biggest banks, DNB, has withdrawn their Visa credit card, after a Norwegian-Israeli friendship society complained that the card featured a hook-nosed Jew, gleefully laughing against a backdrop of gold coins.
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1. Hungarian TV “told not to broadcast images of refugee children”
2. Norwegian bank apologizes for issuing anti-Semitic credit card
3. Spanish broadcaster removes “Jewish Satanism” show from its website
4. Swiss Foreign Ministry says sorry for cartoon of birds defecating on Netanyahu
5. Luxembourg’s biggest supermarket chain stops selling Israeli products
6. Chinese conglomerate ignores BDS protests, buys majority stake in Ahava
7. Two injured as Jewish football team attacked in Berlin
8. Man arrested for attack on Paris synagogue
9. Visitors complain about “cool down” showers at Auschwitz
10. Prince Albert of Monaco apologizes for his country’s deportation of Jews
11. Jewish cafe re-opens in Shanghai
12. Labour’s Corbyn criticized for supporting Palestinians who bombed Jewish charity
13. Iran bars Daniel Barenboim from concert over Israeli citizenship
14. ISIS-affiliated terrorists fire rocket at Israel but hit Gaza
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
HUNGARIAN TV “TOLD NOT TO BROADCAST IMAGES OF REFUGEE CHILDREN”
There are a number of items below connected to anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism (and its modern offshoot extreme, anti-Israelism) isn’t only a Jewish problem. The failure to properly acknowledge and confront such prejudices by many Europeans (with notable exceptions among them, German Chancellor Angela Merkel) is symptomatic of the wider racism we are now seeing directed against refugees in Europe. Even when thousands are dying at sea and dozens in trucks and tunnels, few Europeans seem to care too much.
The media in many countries are downplaying what is going on. See for example: Hungarian TV “told not to broadcast images of refugee children”
In the Czech Republic, there is a deep unease among Jewish and other groups after police inked numbered tattoos on the forearms of refugees last week.
Last weekend, the British paper the Financial Times devoted considerable space to “asylum seekers” in Israel – where no one has been killed or injured – while given scant coverage to the deaths of 71 adults and children in a lorry in Austria, or the hundreds who died last week in the Mediterranean.
The Syrians are not “migrants” as papers such as The Independent call them. They are refugees fleeing hideous barrel bombs, chemical weapons, rape and beheadings.
It is worth looking at these pictures.
This is Europe in the summer of 2015, but European street protests continue mostly to be directed at Israel.
(Among previous recent dispatches concerning refugees, please see here.)
NORWEGIAN BANK APOLOGIZES FOR ISSUING ANTI-SEMITIC CREDIT CARD
One of Norway’s biggest banks, DNB, has withdrawn their Visa credit card (pictured above) after a Norwegian-Israeli friendship society complained that the card featured a hook-nosed Jew, gleefully laughing against a backdrop of gold coins. The image is reminiscent of the anti-Semitism in Norway during the pro-Nazi Quisling era.
The bank claimed they hadn’t chosen the design themselves but the image was the result of customers being allowed to choose and upload their own card designs, a policy the bank says they are now reviewing. The bank has apologized for the anti-Semitic card.
SPANISH BROADCASTER REMOVES “JEWISH SATANISM” SHOW FROM ITS WEBSITE
Spanish state radio broadcaster RTVE has apologized for airing a 30-minute program accusing Jews of worshiping Satan and trying to undermine the world.
Even after critics complained, the program remained on the RTVE website until a few days ago.
The program, titled “From the Inferno – The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult,” was based on a notoriously anti-Semitic book written by a group of Catholic priests in 1962, called the “Plot Against the Church”.
Critics said the program contained “a full half-hour of unadulterated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories”.
The controversy comes days after an international outcry over the disinvitation of the American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu from a music festival in Spain over his refusal to denounce Israel.
SWISS FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS SORRY FOR CARTOON OF BIRDS DEFECATING ON NETANYAHU
The Swiss Foreign Ministry has apologized to Israel after the Swiss ambassador to Iran put on display a cartoon (above) in which two doves defecate on the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ambassador Giulio Haas displayed the image on a large screen last Thursday while addressing hundreds of Swiss and Iranian businesspeople at a conference in Zurich promoting renewed trade ties between the two countries.
The Reuters news agency reported that the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs said it “regrets the use of this cartoon. Ambassador Haas did not intend to insult anybody with the cartoon. If that is the case, however, he regrets it and seeks the pardon of everyone who could have felt insulted.”
Many Jews felt the “apology” was less than fully sincere.
Even more shocking than the cartoon, according to observers, was the content of his speech, in which Haas lavished praise on the regime in Teheran.
LUXEMBOURG’S BIGGEST SUPERMARKET CHAIN STOPS SELLING ISRAELI PRODUCTS
Cactus, the largest supermarket chain in Luxembourg, has stopped selling Israeli products. This follows months of sometimes rowdy protests at their stores by anti-Israel activists – the same people who don’t come out and protest when thousands of refugees die trying to reach the safety of Europe.
A Cactus spokesman said that the relatively small profits generated from the limited range of Israeli fruit and vegetable on sale was no longer worth the disturbance and cost of paying security guards to protect customers.
CHINESE CONGLOMERATE IGNORES BDS PROTESTS, BUYS MAJORITY STAKE IN AHAVA
While the Luxembourg case is being touted as a victory by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, the Israeli economy continues to thrive in many ways.
Yesterday China’s largest privately owned business conglomerate, Fosun International, bought a majority stake in Israel’s Ahava Dead Sea skincare and cosmetics company for $76.5 million.
Ahava, which has long been a target of the BDS movement (with sometimes violent protests affecting its British outlets, for example), is expected to make a major breakthrough into the Chinese cosmetics markets.
Among other recent dispatches on BDS: Dilemma for Israel boycotters as scientists make HIV breakthrough (& The Palestinian case against BDS)
TWO INJURED AS JEWISH FOOTBALL TEAM ATTACKED IN BERLIN
Two players were injured in a brawl on Sunday in Berlin during a football (soccer) match between BFC Meteor and a newly formed Jewish team, TuS Makkabi III. The fight erupted after anti-Semitic slurs, such as “Jewish pigs” and “dirty Jews,” were directed at the Jewish players.
The referee abandoned the match 10 minutes into the second half after the police were called. Four people were arrested for causing bodily harm.
The Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, which has two members of staff on the Makkabi team, called on the Berlin Football Association to take action, noting that there were increasing incidents of anti-Semitism at German football games.
Investigators in Bulgaria say that anti-Semitism may be behind the mass food poisoning of Israel’s Maccabi Petah Tikva youth soccer team at a hotel in Sofia last month.
Following the poisoning, members of the team suffered from stomachaches, diarrhea, vomiting and some even fainted. Several were hospitalized.
Shortly before the poisoning the team had sung traditional Shabbat songs in the hotel at a Friday evening dinner, apparently infuriating some hotel workers.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTACK ON PARIS SYNAGOGUE
French troops guarding a synagogue and Jewish school have arrested a man who threw rocks at them on Thursday in the Paris suburb of Auvervilliers.
The troops were posted outside the school after the murder of four Jews in January at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in eastern Paris, one of a wave of violent assaults on French Jews.
Following that attack, the French government ordered 10,000 soldiers and police to guard hundreds of Jewish schools, synagogues and community centers throughout France.
In spite of this, attacks on individual Jews have continued and a record number of French Jews are in the process of emigrating to the relative safety of Israel this year.
VISITORS COMPLAIN ABOUT “COOL DOWN” SHOWERS AT AUSCHWITZ
The Polish authorities at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp have been criticized for installing showers at the entrance to the site, where over a million Jews were exterminated in gas chambers disguised as showers.
The authorities defended their actions in a Facebook post, saying they had merely wanted to let visitors cool off while wandering around the camp in the summer heatwave Poland has been experiencing.
More than 100,000 others, including non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and anti-Nazi resistance fighters, also died at Auschwitz.
PRINCE ALBERT OF MONACO APOLOGIZES FOR HIS COUNTRY’S DEPORTATION OF JEWS
In a speech on Thursday, Prince Albert II of Monaco asked Jews to forgive his country for its round up and deportation to Nazi death camps of its small Jewish population 73 years ago. Prince Albert unveiled a monument carved with the names of the 66 deported Jews. They were rounded up on the night of Aug. 27-28, 1942. Only nine survived.
The Prince added that he was deeply sorry that it had taken the government 73 years to apologize.
A palace official told the Associated Press that this was the first public acknowledgement of Monaco’s complicity in the Holocaust. The official compared it to French President Jacques Chirac’s landmark 1997 speech admitting for the first time the complicity of the French state in the Holocaust, in rounding up tens of thousands of French Jews and handing them over to the Nazis, while stealing their property.
JEWISH CAFE RE-OPENS IN SHANGHAI
Shanghai’s White Horse Cafe – famous as a popular meeting place for Jewish refugees during World War II – has reopened.
Ron Klinger, 74, the grandson of the café’s co-founder, who grew up in the cafe, said in a speech at the reopening that “The White Horse was like cafe, bar and nightclub. It was very popular, a place of refuge for Jews who had escaped the Nazis.”
The cafe is located next to the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Shanghai was one of the few cities in the world that allowed Jews to take refuge and about 20,000 Jews lived there during the Holocaust.
Yesterday, Israel also released this one-minute video thanking the people of Shanghai. It features survivors and their children and grandchildren.
You can watch it here.
(More, here, in Chinese.)
LABOUR’S CORBYN CRITICIZED FOR SUPPORTING PALESTINIANS WHO BOMBED JEWISH CHARITY
In the latest of a long line of controversies involving Jews, it has emerged that Jeremy Corbyn – the clear favorite to become leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party next week – was a key activist in the campaign for the release of two terrorists jailed for their involvement in the car bombing of a Jewish charity and of the Israeli embassy in London.
Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami were convicted for their roles in the 1994 bombings at the charity’s office in Balfour House, and at the Israeli embassy. The pair were sentenced to 20 years in prison but were released in 2008.
Corbyn repeatedly campaigned for their release, claiming that there had been “a miscarriage of justice”. But Crown prosecutors said evidence linking them to the car bombs was “overwhelming”.
(Among past dispatches on Corbyn, see here.)
IRAN BARS DANIEL BARENBOIM FROM CONCERT OVER ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP
Internationally renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim has been banned by the Iranian authorities from accompanying his Berlin orchestra for a performance in Tehran because he is Israeli.
Iranian culture ministry spokesman Hossein Noushabadi said the Berlin orchestra was welcome, but they would have to find a replacement conductor and Barenboim would be banned.
Barenboim, an Argentinean-born Jew who has long campaigned for Palestinian statehood, also holds Palestinian citizenship as well as an Israeli one.
“Our investigation revealed that the conductor has nationality and identity dependent to Israel, was raised in Israel and his parents also lived in Israel,” Noushabadi said (in poor English).
ISIS-AFFILIATED TERRORISTS FIRE ROCKET AT ISRAEL BUT HIT GAZA
Terrorists in Gaza who have affiliated themselves with the Islamic State yesterday fired two rockets from Gaza in the direction of the Israeli city of Ashkelon, but it fell short and exploded in Gaza. One hit a house, injuring a number of Palestinians.
The rocket was fired at Israel’s civilian population just hours before two million Israeli children began the new Israeli school year. An Islamic faction affiliated with the Islamic State operating out of Gaza claimed responsibility.
I mention this item because hardly any international media reported on it. During last year’s war many Palestinians were killed and injured by rockets fired from Gaza that fell short and landed in Gaza.
[Notes above by Tom Gross]