At least four police cars and 20 Metropolitan police officers arrived at London University to protect 25 Jewish students who were attacked by a 100 strong mob of anti-Israeli activists on Thursday evening. The mob had been whipped up in advance by emails citing inflammatory media reports about Israel.
This dispatch mainly contains items concerning anti-Israel or anti-Semitic incidents from Britain and France in recent days.
1. British politician suspended by party after Jews blamed for the Holocaust in parliamentary meeting
2. Tory MP: Britain needs to apologize to Israel and the Jews for allowing this “outrageous” parliamentary event
3. Palestinian lobby group paid for Corbyn and Tonge to meet Assad in Syria
4. AmEx withdraws sponsorship from Roger Waters following his hate remarks
5. Police called in to protect Jews at London university event
6. Jean-Marie Le Pen loses parliamentary immunity for calling for Jews to be gassed
7. Intern at French Consulate convicted of hate crime over anti-Semitic remarks
8. French politician apologizes for anti-Hillary “Zionist” remarks
9. Deputy Speaker of Austrian Parliament meets Holocaust denier Larijani in Tehran
10. Outrage after Jewish MP’s post criticizing Nazis taken down by Facebook
11. Maajid Nawaz: when anti-Zionism becomes anti-Semitism
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
BRITISH POLITICIAN SUSPENDED BY PARTY AFTER JEWS BLAMED FOR THE HOLOCAUST IN PARLIAMENT
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a former medical doctor and formerly a trustee of the charity Christian Aid, who was made a baroness and appointed to the British House of Lords by the center-left British Liberal Democratic Party leader even after she had made many other anti-Semitic comments, some under the cloak of “anti-Zionism”, has finally been suspended by the party. This follows remarks at an event she organized and chaired in the House of Lords on Wednesday in which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust and Israel was compared to Islamic State.
“The meeting hosted on Wednesday by Baroness Tonge in the House of Lords, a former Liberal Democrat MP, provoked concern about the level of anti-Semitic discourse entering mainstream British politics,” The Times of London reported.
An audience member (believed to be from the ultra-orthodox self-hating Jewish sect Neturei Karta admired by Baroness Tonge) was applauded after he said at the meeting that Hitler only decided to kill the Jews after he was provoked by anti-German protests led by a rabbi in Manhattan. The speaker claimed that Rabbi Stephen Wise, whom he described as a heretic, said in 1905 that there were “six million bleeding and suffering reasons to justify Zionism”. He urged the audience to note the number.
This quotation is one of many fabricated or totally out of context remarks regularly used by Holocaust deniers to suggest that the figure of six million Jews later killed by the Nazis was a myth.
Another audience member suggested that the “Zionist movement” had power over the British parliament comparable to the power wielded internationally by Jews described in the [infamous Tsarist forgery beloved by Hitler] the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Another audience member was applauded after saying: “If anybody is anti-Semitic, it’s Israelis themselves.”
Lady Tonge made no attempt to challenge the provocative comments.
Lady Tonge, who had already resigned the Lib Dem whip in 2012 after claiming that the state of Israel was “not going to be there for ever”, resigned from the party on Thursday following her suspension from the Lib Dems.
CONSERVATIVE MP: BRITAIN NEEDS TO APOLOGIZE TO ISRAEL AND THE JEWS FOR ALLOWING THIS “OUTRAGEOUS” EVENT IN PARLIAMENT
Conservative MP David Davies has called in the House of Commons for a formal debate “on the use to which these premises may be put following reports that outrageously a member of the House of Lords presided over an event at which Israel was compared to Islamic State, and the Jews were even blamed for their own genocide”.
Davies said Britain needed to apologize to the state of Israel and the Jewish people following this “outrageous” event.
Conservative Cabinet minister David Lidington said he was “genuinely horrified” that the event was allowed to be held in the British Parliament.
In 2004, when Tonge was an MP, she was sacked from the frontbench leadership team by then party leader Charles Kennedy after she suggested that she would become a suicide bomber in order to kill Israelis. She was made a peer the following year.
Last month, the current Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, was questioned by the home affairs select committee as part of its investigation into British anti-Semitism over Tonge’s continued membership of the party.
Earlier this month, the committee published a report on anti-Semitism, which called on all political parties to tackle what it described as a “pernicious form of hate”.
Tonge is expected to be a keynote speaker at a mass rally to be held by left-wing activists in Trafalgar Square on the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2 next year.
Following her suspension from the Lib Dems on Thursday, Tonge wrote on Facebook: “I am at last free of being told what I must and must not say on the issue of Palestine, lest it offends the Israel lobby here, who like to control us, as they do in the USA.”
In the past Tonge has written letters to The Guardian criticizing me, for example, the top letter here.
PALESTINIAN LOBBY GROUP PAID FOR CORBYN AND TONGE TO MEET ASSAD IN SYRIA
The Times of London reveals today that the British Opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn accepted a free trip to meet President Assad of Syria funded by the Palestinian lobbyists who co-organized with Jenny Tonge the event this week at which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust.
Corbyn’s hosts were the British-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), and Baroness Tonge accompanied Corbyn on the PRC trip to Syria in 2009.
The Times reports: “Mr Corbyn used the visit to allege that ‘once again the Israeli tail wags the US dog,’ an allegation popular with conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites.”
Speakers at another PRC event in 2013 included Corbyn and the Rev Stephen Sizer, a Church of England clergyman who had suggested Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks.
The PRC told The Times last night: “We condemn and don’t tolerate any form of anti-Semitism.”
AMERICAN EXPRESS WITHDRAWS SPONSORSHIP FROM ROGER WATERS FOLLOWING HIS HATE REMARKS
The New York Post reported on Thursday that British rock star Roger Waters, whose anti-Israel activism all too often spills over into outright anti-Semitic comments, has had millions of dollars of sponsorship withdrawn by American Express.
The credit card company withdrew a $4-million sponsorship of Waters’ 2017 tour in North America following Water’s renewed hate speech against Israel.
Waters, the 69-year-old co-founder of the iconic band Pink Floyd, has in the past used pig-shaped balloons emblazoned with Jewish Stars of David at his concerts, while criticizing Israel.
At one such concert in Belgium in 2013 (a country where many thousands of Jews were murdered), under his “Jewish pig” balloon, he wore a long black leather jacket with a red-and-white arm band, which concert goers said was reminiscent of a Nazi uniform.
Item 9 here.
“The Jewish lobby is extraordinarily powerful in the music industry and they are trying to stop my freedom of expressing,” he alleged, following criticism of his anti-Semitism.
POLICE CALLED IN TO PROTECT JEWS AT LONDON UNIVERSITY EVENT
Over 20 police officers were called on Thursday to protect the audience at a talk by an Israeli student at University College London, after screaming anti-Israeli demonstrators trapped attendees in the room where the talk was being held and threatened them with violence.
The anti-Israel students, who had organized in advance through social media and email, hurled abuse at the speaker, a former education director of StandWithUs. Two female Jewish attendees of the talk were assaulted by the protesters.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews demanded that the university’s provost hold a “credible rigorous enquiry” about how Jews were allowed to be attacked on campus this way.
The Union of Jewish Students said in a statement that “the fact that a significant police presence was required to keep students safe on campus is completely unacceptable and steps must be taken to ensure that this level of intimidation aimed at Jewish students must never happen again.”
In January, students at nearby King’s College London faced assault charges after violently disrupting a talk by Israeli peace campaigner Ami Ayalon.
JEAN-MARIE LE PEN LOSES PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY FOR CALLING FOR JEWS TO BE GASSED
The European Parliament has taken the relatively rare step of voting to lift the immunity of a politician for anti-Semitism.
The Parliament voted on Tuesday to strip parliamentary immunity from French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen over charges of inciting racial hatred against Jews.
The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament stressed that parliamentary immunity “does not allow for slandering, libeling, inciting hatred or pronouncing statements attacking a person’s honor”.
In a filmed interview that he had posted on the National Front website, Le Pen said that the French Jewish singer Patrick Bruel should “be sent to the oven.”
His comment was criticized by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who plans to run next year for French president.
In the past Le Pen called Nazi gas chambers an unimportant “detail of history.”
Separately, this week the European Parliament amended a draft report on renewing and normalizing relations with Iran to include a rebuke to the Rouhani regime for its continued Holocaust denial and repeated calls to destroy Israel.
INTERN AT FRENCH CONSULATE CONVICTED OF HATE CRIME OVER ANTI-SEMITIC FACEBOOK REMARKS
In further signs that France is finally trying to clamp down on anti-Semitism, a French court has convicted a university student from Kuwait of incitement to hatred following her anti-Semitic invective on social media.
The High Court of Paris convicted Amira Jumaa, 21, on Wednesday. Last year, Jumaa lost her internship at the French Consulate in New York and was suspended from the prestigious Sciences Po University in Paris for writing racist Facebook posts about Jews, who she called “scums and rats” that needed to be dealt with.
FRENCH POLITICIAN APOLOGIZES FOR ANTI-HILLARY “ZIONIST” REMARKS
French center-right politician Jean Frederic Poisson has apologized for an article published last week by the Nice Matin newspaper in which he said that Hillary Clinton was a danger to Europe because of her “submission to Zionist lobbies”. Poisson is a National Assembly lawmaker for the Christian Democratic Party.
DEPUTY SPEAKER OF AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENT MEETS HOLOCAUST DENIER LARIJANI IN TEHRAN
Karlheinz Kopf, a high-ranking politician from Austria’s conservative OVP visited Teheran last week, where he embraced the speaker of IranianParliament Ali Larijani, who declared the reality of the Holocaust to be an “open question” and called Israel a “cancer”.
Kopf, who is the Deputy Speaker of the Austrian Parliament Speaker also paid tribute to the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council and former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a so-called “moderate” (according to the New York Times) who repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map.
OUTRAGE AFTER JEWISH MP’S POST CRITICIZING GLORIFICATION OF NAZIS TAKEN DOWN BY FACEBOOK
Campaigners against anti-Semitism have angrily criticized Facebook after it removed posts earlier this week by a Jewish member of the Ukrainian parliament, Oleksandr Feldman, and by others, in which they criticized Ukraine’s increasing lionization of Holocaust perpetrators.
“I don’t understand what's going on,” Feldman said. “Is it censorship by Facebook or denial of the Holocaust or the work of anti-Semites?”
Feldman criticized the widespread praise in Ukraine for the notorious wartime Ukrainian Nazi group, the OUN which helped murder hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.
Feldman had reposted a Facebook post by a human rights activist that asked why the Ukrainian government (which receives significant funding from the US and EU) was memorializing Ukrainian wartime Nazi OUN leaders at a new sign erected at the Babi Yar ravine (the site of the single biggest massacre of Jews during the Holocaust) as well as a similar sign at the Kiev municipal building
Recently, Ukraine has named streets in several cities throughout the country in honor of the pro-Nazi wartime Ukrainian leader Stepan Bandera. On Wednesday, Ukrainian media reported the cabinet approved construction of a monument to pre-war Ukrainian leader Symon Petliura, whose forces were responsible for a series of pogroms across Ukraine in 1919 and 1920 in which tens of thousands of Jews were killed and others fled to Britain and America.
“Facebook’s removal of these posts criticizing the current glorification of Ukrainian wartime Nazi leaders is absolutely outrageous,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office.
Earlier this month an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who was severely beaten while waiting for train in Ukraine, was airlifted to Israel for medical treatment in serious condition. He was dressed in traditional Jewish ultra-orthodox black suit and hat but police said it was not clear if anti-Semitism was the motive for the attack.
MAAJID NAWAZ: WHEN ANTI-ZIONISM BECOMES ANTI-SEMITISM
On a more positive note, Maajid Nawaz, the former British radical Islamist turned human rights promoter, who is a friend of mine and a subscriber to this email list, raised important points about Israel and anti-Semitism on his show on the London radio station LBC this week.
You can hear them here.
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