Antisemitism

Europe hate crime up

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

A dramatic rise in antisemitic incidents in the first three months of this year was reported at a special session of the European Parliament.

The number of incidents so far in 2009 exceeds the total number of such occurrences during 2008, according to the report from the European Jewish Congress.

The report cites reaction to Israel’s operation in Gaza as a key trigger for attacks, adding that the economic crisis is reviving old antisemitic stereotypes. The same upwards trend in antisemitic incidents was evident in Canada.

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Web racists await possible extradition

By Leon Symons, April 2, 2009

The fate of two racists who were the first people in Britain to be convicted of publishing racially inflammatory material on the internet still hangs in the balance.

Simon Sheppard and Steve Whittle fled to America in the middle of their trial at Leeds Crown Court. They will know within the next three weeks whether or not an asylum court judge will return them to Britain. However, the pair have already said they will appeal if the decision goes against them. That process could involve appeals to two higher American courts and could take months before a final decision is reached.

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Three fined for Bury race attack

By James Martin, March 26, 2009

Three boys have been fined for a racially motivated attack which left a Jewish man injured and his non-Jewish friend requiring 18 stitches.

The boys, all aged 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been sentenced by a judge at Bury Youth Court.

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Café’s Israel boycott becomes PR disaster

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A café owner has apologised for displaying a sign declaring “Jews are welcome”, saying it was a bid to allay fears that his boycott of Israeli goods could be interpreted as being antisemitic.

Chris Boddington said he was open about his boycott and support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at Café Crema in New Cross, south-east London. But he realised a boycott of Israeli produce could be equated with antisemitism.

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Victory over hate at LSE

March 26, 2009

Jewish students at the London School of Economics (LSE) have celebrated a victory in their fight against antisemitism. Around 350 students voted in favour of the motion “Stop Antisemitism Now” at a union general meeting.

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Anger over offensive magazine

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Students have written and distributed a magazine littered with antisemitic jokes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

Rag to the Future was produced by Barts and the London Students’ Association, part of the University of London, for rag week, which began last Friday.

Jokes about circumcision, pork and Jewish wives were among the most offensive material.

Juliet Lewin of Hatch End, north London, complained to the students’ association after reading a copy of the magazine given to her husband by students in central London.

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LSE students win antisemitism vote

March 19, 2009

Jewish students at the London School of Economics (LSE) celebrated a victory in their fight against antisemitism.

Around 350 students voted in favour of the motion ‘Stop Anti-Semitism Now’ at a student union general meeting.

The motion will now be implemented by the LSE Students’ Union.

Ben Grabiner, who proposed the motion on behalf of the university’s Jewish students said:

“It’s a great relief to have finally got this through. Over half the people who voted were from the Jewish Society or Israel Society.

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Targeting Tube hate

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

Antisemitic incidents on the Northern Line have been a focus of a co-ordinated campaign against criminal behaviour involving Barnet and British Transport Police and Transport for London.

Sergeant Phil Briggs of the British Transport Police explained that the latest Operation Clean Sweep exercise covered stations between Golders Green and Edgware.

“The Transport Police has dealt with four [antisemitic] incidents in Barnet over the last few months including graffiti attacks and threatening behaviour,” he reported.

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Exposing hatred’s hidden face

By Nick Johnstone, March 19, 2009

Back in 2005, Israeli documentary maker Naftaly Gliksberg, an avid consumer of European news, noted another year of disturbing antisemitic outrages in France. In those 12 months alone, 504 antisemitic incidents were reported. Gliksberg, who had been following news reports of antisemitic attacks in France since 2003, when he was profoundly affected by the savage murder of Jewish Parisian DJ Sebastien Selam by an Arab neighbour, felt not enough was being done to protect French Jews.

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Ken Loach accuses Israel of ‘great crimes’

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

The maverick film director Ken Loach has attacked Israel’s action in Gaza, calling it “one of the great crimes of the last decades” and arguing that the rise in antisemitism is a direct consequence.

Speaking during a Belgian press conference at the launch of an international independent tribunal on the conflict, Mr Loach said individuals and organisations behind Operation Cast Lead would “have to pay” for their actions.

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