Suggestive questions in anti-semitic research

According to research by Jonkers-Verwey Institute and Anne Frank Foundation 12% of young Muslims in the Netherlands hold negative views on Jews. However, according to political corresponden Joost de Vries, some critique on the methods of the researchers seems legitimate.

It was for the respondents for example not possible to bring in some nuances in their answers. To the question what they think of Jews, they could only answer ‘positive’, ‘neural’ and ‘not so positive’. Apparently 12% chose the last answer. But ‘not so positive’ says in itself nothing about what the respondents really think and to claim that they hold discriminatory or even anti-semitic views seems premature.

 © ANP
© ANP

Majority of French believe that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are increasing

According to a recent Odoxa survey for The Parisien, the majority of French believe that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are increasing in France. Responding to the question: “Are you under the impression that within the last several years ‘anti-Semitism has increased?’” 68% of respondents answered affirmatively. Seventy-one percent believed that “within the last several years Islamophobia has increased.” The Parisien specified “that phobia signifies fear, so literally ‘fear of Islam,’ while anti-Semitism signifies hostility toward Jews.”

Those on the left were more likely to agree (84%, in contrast with 75% on the right, that Islamophobia has increased, while 75%, in contrast with 66% on the right, believed that anti-Semitism has increased.) “However the French are divided concerning the State’s role in organizing Islam,” stated the journal. To the question: “Should the State take measures to reform the ‘Islam the France,’ or should Muslims decide the organization of their religion for themselves?” 51% of respondents agreed with the first solution, while 48% preferred the second. The online survey took place from February 26-27 and gathered a sample of 1,003 people age 18 and over.

Dutch Jewish-Muslim walk of solidarity in Amsterdam

The Dutch Jewish and Muslim communities have deceived upon a joint march for solidarity in Amsterdam as a symbol against hatred. Jews and Muslims will walk together from the synagogue at the Jonas Daniël Meijerplein until the Al Kabir mosque at Weesperzijde. At both houses of worship a ceremony of laying down flowers will be held.

By means of the march for solidarity the participants are resisting against aggression against synagogues and mosques, antisemitism and Muslim hatred, and are pleading for peace, respect, love, and friendship.

The dialogue organization

The dialogue organization Salaam-Shalom - brought into existence last year with the goal of bringing together Jews and Muslims - organizes the march together with the liberal Jewish community and the Al Kabir Mosque. According to the organizers non-Jews and non-Muslims are also welcome.
The dialogue organization Salaam-Shalom – brought into existence last year with the goal of bringing together Jews and Muslims – organizes the march together with the liberal Jewish community and the Al Kabir Mosque. According to the organizers non-Jews and non-Muslims are also welcome.

– brought into existence last year with the goal of bringing together Jews and Muslims – organizes the march together with the liberal Jewish community and the Al Kabir Mosque. According to the organizers non-Jews and non-Muslims are also welcome.

Dutch civil society organizations organize “Manifest Against Islamophobia”

Recently a meeting was organized in the Nelson Mandela Centre in Amsterdam by various civil society organizations under the title “Joining Powers Against Islamophobia.” Among the organizers where the Collective Against Islamophobia and Discrimination (CTID) and the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Migration and Development (EMCEMO).

Among other things the meeting resulted in the establishment of a “Manifest Against Islamophobia.” Organizations and individuals can sign the manifest. Th initiative made a powerful statement against all forms of discrimination stating that “The government and politics should strive for a solidary society in which every citizen is valued and protected: gays, Jews, women, men, old or young, regardless of skin color, religion or ethnic background. A solidary society which in the most forceful manner takes a stand against homophobia, antisemitism, islamophobia, or any other form of discrimination.”

To read the full manifest see the following link:

http://www.republiekallochtonie.nl/manifest-tegen-islamofobie

Report: French less racist, Muslims increasingly anti-Semitic [PDF Download]

voiture-juif-3090065-jpg_2712795_480x209
Racist acts in France in 2014 were down 5% from 2013. In contrast, anti-Semitic acts doubled in 2014. There were 851 acts reported in 2014 compared to 423 in 2013, a 101% increase, and were all committed by Muslims.                 (Photo: Dreuz.info)

Racist acts in France in 2014 were down 5% from 2013. In contrast, anti-Semitic acts doubled in 2014. There were 851 acts reported in 2014 compared to 423 in 2013, a 101% increase, and were all committed by Muslims.

Half of violent acts in 2014 were committed by Muslims and were directed at Jews. France’s Jewish population is less than 1% of the total population, which means that less than 1% of the population were the targets of half of France’s violent acts.

[Download Report Here]

Video of Lotfi S. appears online after attack

Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews. (Photo: anp)
Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews. (Photo: anp)

Last week it became clear that Lotfi S. from Amsterdam is responsible for a suicide attack in Fallujah, Iraq. Now a video of him appeared online, wherein he speaks about his so-called martyrs-act. He calls it an effective weapon and calls upon others to follow his example. ‘Don’t stay behind’. In the video, Sultan B. appears next to Lotfi S. He died in a previous suicide attack in Baghdad, Iraq.

Lotfi S. previously appeared in the news demonstrating in the city of The Hague, supporting IS and calling for violent attacks against Jews.

Jews and Muslims gather in Amsterdam to reflect on Paris attacks

“We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam."
“We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam.” (Photo: ANP)

Last Tuesday about a hundred people joined to reflect on the attacks in Paris. Lody van de Kamp, member of the initiative Salaam-Shalom arranged the meeting. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan held a speech, during which people all held up the peace-sign with their fingers. The Mayor said: “We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam.”

Via a Skype connection a rabbi and a member from a mosque in Paris joined the meeting and could see how Muslims and Jews in Amsterdam are in solidarity with the French people. The Rabbi hopes to see more of these initiatives in European cities.

According to deputy prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher the meeting is a sign from people who refuse to see each other as enemies. He further stated that the Netherlands remains a country where people are allowed to believe what they want, were they can wear signs of their religion such as a headscarf. And democracy is not to be defended with weapons, but with words and courage. Youth should be protected against those who try to seduce them to participate in a jihad.

In Rotterdam there was a similar meeting between Muslims, Jews and Humanists.

Nadine Morano, member of the UMP, confuses Islamic State with the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine

Nadine Morano is opposed to France’s recognition of the Palestinian state, as proposed by socialist deputies in the National Assembly. On November 28 she

French politician Nadine Morano confuses Islamic Jihad and Islamic State.
French politician Nadine Morano confuses Islamic Jihad and Islamic State.

expressed her sentiments about the proposal. She said, “who decapitates westerners? Those that are members of the Islamic jihad, Hamas’s partners. It’s the Jews that are beheading people today? It’s the Jews that decapitated Hervé Gourdel?” Her statement clearly confuses the Islamic State and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (JIP).

The Islamic State wants to establish a caliphate in its occupied territory. The JIP aims to eradicate Israel in order to establish a Palestinian state on the Israel’s current territory. Those who decapitated Hervé Gourdel “were members of the Islamic State.” Its members regularly threaten Western countries that are aiding Iraq’s government in overthrowing the Islamic State. ISIL has executed five hostages in the last three months. Gourdel was killed in September in Algeria by the group Djound Al-Khalifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate,) a group affiliated with ISIL.

Guided by History, a Jew Tries to Unite Two Faiths Divided by War in Gaza

August 9, 2014

NEWARK, Del. — Shortly after the latest cease-fire expired in Gaza on Friday, Jacob Bender gingerly climbed the steps of the mimbar, the pulpit at the Islamic Society of Delaware here. A Jew in a mosque, his hands palpably quivering but his reedy voice steady, he read some brief comments to close the afternoon’s worship service, called Juma’a.

Mr. Bender offered both hope and censure, twinned: Muslims and Jews could still be “partners for peace and justice,” he said. Israel and Hamas bore shared responsibility for the current carnage, he added, and more hatred would lead to more violence, while love would lead to reconciliation.

After he finished those words, he intoned the Judaic funeral prayer, El Malei Rachamim, adapting its English translation to remember the victims in Gaza. He closed the prayer by saying “amen,” and the several hundred men and women replied in kind. Then, unbidden, they joined in sustained applause.

It was an emblematic moment for an unusual man. For the past 10 months, Mr. Bender has served as executive director for the chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Philadelphia — the first non-Muslim to ever hold such a high-ranking position within CAIR, as the council is commonly known.

Much of Mr. Bender’s day-to-day work involves domestic issues — a Muslim pupil bullied in his school, a local mosque vandalized, a Muslim security guard forced to remove her hijab while being photographed for a gun permit. Yet the Middle East conflict is not merely the proverbial elephant in the room, but a stomping herd of them.

In the Jewish religious community, Mr. Bender’s fierce critique of Israel has found willing listeners only among the left-leaning fringe, primarily the small Reconstructionist and Renewal movements. The moderate mainstream, while less vituperative than the online antagonists in criticizing Mr. Bender, has treated him as a pariah.

A Militant Jewish Group Confronts Pro-Palestinian Protesters in France

August 6, 2014

Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators rampaged through the Jewish quarter of this northern suburb of Paris in July, some chanting, “Death to Jews.” As the rioters attacked a funeral home and set fire to a pharmacy, a band of young Jews formed a human shield in front of the city’s main synagogue, brandishing motorcycle helmets as weapons.

Foot soldiers of a French offshoot of the Jewish Defense League, a far-right Zionist group that advocates muscular self-defense in the face of violence and anti-Semitism, they faced off with the crowd as protesters clashed with riot police officers.

“If it wasn’t for those boys, this whole neighborhood would have been burned and turned into hell,” said Fortunée Fitoussi, a cashier at Boulangerie Nathanya, a popular bakery in a large Jewish neighborhood of kosher grocery stores and blocky apartment buildings in Sarcelles often called Little Jerusalem.

But while some Jews embraced members of the group as heroes, it also added a volatile element to France’s sometimes violent street protests as the Gaza war fueled tensions, especially between Muslims and Jews, in a climate of growing anti-Semitism in France and elsewhere in Europe.

The group models itself loosely on the Jewish Defense League in the United States, an organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was assassinated in 1990, and whose Kach party was banned in Israel as racist. The American group has been listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a terrorist organization. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, warned in July against “excesses” of the French League, prompting speculation that he was considering banning the group.

The French news media has characterized the French League as a dangerous vigilante group, though experts say it is small, disorganized and less militant than its American counterpart.

Founded in France in 2003 by former members of Betar, the youth movement linked to the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the French League has roughly 400 members. They are predominantly young Sephardic men from working-class suburbs, some trained in krav maga, a hand-to-hand martial art used by the Israeli military. Critics accuse the group of advocating violence and racism, noting a past entry on the League’s Facebook page that referred to Arabs as “rats.”

“They are dangerous, violent and anti-republican,” said Sihem Souid, a human rights activist whom the League has lambasted on its website and accused of encouraging anti-Semitism. Ms. Souid, who works for a victims’ organization attached to the Justice Ministry, vehemently denies the accusation and has called for the group to be banned.

In a rare interview, one of the group’s senior officials, a burly 62-year-old former law enforcement official who declined to give his full name but called himself Eliahou, summarized the French League’s philosophy: “I would rather be a mean Jew than a dead Jew.”

Eliahou said the League had no qualms about harassing people wearing kaffiyehs, the black-and-white scarf that is a symbol of Palestinian resistance, on the Rue des Rosiers, a street lined with Judaica shops and falafel joints in central Paris. “This is our neighborhood,” he explained. “Our aim is to annoy people who hate Israel and are anti-Semites.”

Eliahou said anti-Semitic violence was swelling the group’s ranks, with 10 recruits joining every day, while donations had poured in from as far away as Canada. Though his claims were not possible to verify, the group’s members are being embraced across Jewish neighborhoods in the French capital as gutsy, if hotheaded, protectors, residents said.

During another attack in July at a synagogue in an eastern district of Paris, on the Rue de la Roquette, several witnesses, including Jean-Yves Camus, director of the Observatory of Political Radicalism at the Jean Jaurès Foundation in Paris, credited the League with helping to fend off up to 150 pro-Palestinian demonstrators as congregation members cowered inside.

Several congregation members who were there said demonstrators, some wielding metal bars and bats, had tried to scale the walls while League members forced them back by tossing tables and chairs. Palestinian groups accused the League of provoking the attack by taunting demonstrators and throwing projectiles.

Mr. Camus said he had studied the group extensively and concluded that it was capable of fighting but did not resemble its American counterpart, a serious terrorist organization.

Still, members have gained reputations as provocateurs. Bernard Ravenel, a member of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, said that in 2004, half a dozen masked members of the League tried to break down the door to the group’s headquarters to disrupt a conference. Eliahou denied that the attack took place.

In 2012, the French Jewish Union for Peace demanded that the group be disbanded, accusing it of making threats. Members have also interrupted a reading in Paris organized for Jacob Cohen, a writer critical of Israel, heckling him as a “collaborator.”

That year, a member of the League sprayed Houria Bouteldja, a French-Algerian activist, with red paint as she stood near a museum devoted to Arab culture.

Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, dismissed the League as marginal. The Protection Service of the Jewish Community, a security body that works closely with the police, is highly effective, he said, and hundreds of officers from the French security services have been deployed in recent weeks to maintain order. But he dismissed claims by pro-Palestinian groups and the French news media that the League had provoked recent anti-Semitic attacks.

“We don’t know the League, and we don’t want to know it, and I am sad that youths feel attracted to this organization,” he said. “But I understand when youths say that we are faced with a pogrom and need to defend ourselves.”

Law enforcement officials said some League members had criminal records. A leading member of the Protection Service, who asked that his name not be used, citing security concerns, said members did not have adequate training, were overly aggressive and were giving Jews a bad name.

But Chantal Haziot, owner of a Judaica shop in the Jewish quarter of the Marais, expressed a more common refrain heard these days: “People are afraid, and, like them or not, I am happy they’re there.”