Thursday, July 31, 2008

Antisemitism in UK rises 

British Jewish watchdog: Anti-Semitic incidents in U.K. up 9% in 2008

By Haaretz Service
Thu., July 31, 2008 Tamuz 28, 5768

The first six months of 2008 have seen a 9 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom compared to the same period last year, according to a U.K. organization for the defense of British Jewry.

The Community Security Trust (CST) stated in a press release that it recorded 266 anti-Semitic incidents during the first half of 2008. It recorded 244 such cases in the corresponding period in 2007.

According to the organization, the rise was based in smaller Jewish communities beyond the main centers of London and Manchester, and as such may reflect improved reporting from those areas.

CST spokesperson Mark Gardner said: "These figures reflect the fact that
Anti-Semitism can affect British Jews in the smallest communities as well as the largest."

There was also a significant increase in the number of reported incidents involving students, both on and off campus, the organization stated.

However, the CST did note that the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults has fallen by 24 per cent compared to the first six months of 2007, from 54 to 42 incidents.

Gardner added that, "The rise in anti-Semitic incidents affecting Jewish students is of particular concern and we will work with the Union of Jewish Students, university authorities and the government to tackle what is clearly a growing problem."


Jewish trust: Anti-Semitic attacks in U.K. soared during Lebanon war

By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent

LONDON - The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Great Britain has risen sharply since the start of the Lebanon war, according to an organization dedicated to the safety of Britain's Jewish community.

According to Mark Gardner, spokesman of the Community Security Trust, there were over 90 incidents of anti-Semitism in Britain during July, including attacks on Jewish-owned stores, hate mail sent to representatives of the Jewish community and verbal and physical attacks on Jews in public. Over the past few years, the monthly average has been 10 to 30 such attacks.

The British report is merely the latest in a series of reports documenting an increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe in the past two months.

On Thursday, an all-party parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism in Britain will publish a report that is expected to declare anti-Semitism a serious problem and call on the government to fight it. Committee Chair Denis MacShane MP said in Saturday's London Times that the CST's figures "confirm the evidence given to us that anti-Semitic attacks are a very real problem."

Gardner told The Times that the July incidents "were more dispersed than usual," noting that "it is usually a small number [of people] responsible for a large number of attacks, but these were very widespread across the country and included graffiti attacks on synagogues in Edinburgh and Glasgow."

Hate mail sent to senior Jewish figures blamed them for the deaths of Lebanese children in Beirut, Gardner told The Times.

The public debate in Britain over the Israel Defense Forces' operations in Lebanon during the war was heated. It included mass antiwar demonstrations, political denunciations of Israel's "disproportionate use of force" and attempts to prevent the transfer of American weapons to Israel via Scottish airports.

Last week, Lord Janner was attacked in the House of Lords by fellow peer Lord Bramall during an argument over Israeli actions in Lebanon. "The number of anti-Semitic attacks reflects the mood music around Jews and Israel," Gardner told The Times.

The past two months have brought a steep increase in reported incidents of anti-Semitism around the world. The Australian Jewish Council reported a fivefold increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the country. Synagogues in Italy and Norway have been defaced and vandalized in recent weeks, and a monitoring organization in the Netherlands reported a "steep rise" in the number of anti-Semitic incidents there.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 21, 2008

France: Two Arabs and a black man from a Muslim gang arrested and charged with assault 

Arab Primary Suspect in Assault on French Jew

By Arnon Yaffeh, Paris
Dei'ah veDibur: Information and Insight
14 Tammuz 5768 - July 17, 2008

Two Arabs and a black man from a Muslim gang were arrested and charged with assaulting Rudy Ilan Haddad, 17, in Paris' 19th arrondissement. The first brought before the police lineup was a hulking skinhead who was identified as a career soldier in the French military. Fouad O., 26, was brought before the investigating judge as the primary suspect who allegedly struck Ilan Haddad on the head with a metal rod as he was on his way to the shul. The Arab soldier continued hitting the victim even after he lost consciousness, nearly killing him.

Last week policemen raided his parents' apartment, but didn't find him there. Later armed policemen arrested him while sleeping in his quarters at a French Air Force base, where he serves as a technician.

The fact that this time the French police made a concerted effort to arrest a suburban Arab who attacked a Jew indicates a change in government policy. Previously the government would try to downplay the severity of violent attacks against Jews. Still, the press is depicting the assault as a fight between Muslim and Jewish gangs.

According to reports President Sarkozy himself ordered the three arrested. The judge charged Fouad with "attempted murder and collective violence with antisemitic overtones under aggravated circumstances," as the charge sheet reads, and ordered his arrest for interrogation. The antisemitism she noted makes the charges more severe. His parents claimed he lived on the violent fringes of society until he enlisted in the military as a technician.

Another Muslim, referred to as Sekou M., is facing the same charges. He admits he was present when the group of Arabs and Africans attacked Haddad, but claims he stood off to the side and was not among the three assailants. The police reported he has a criminal record. The third suspect, a 27-year-old from Mali, was accused of injuring another Jew on that same Shabbos with a machete. Despite being charged with excessive violence he was released immediately. The judge rejected the prosecutor's request to keep him in custody as a menace. She also released four other suspects following their arrests for interrogation.

Despite the grave-sounding charges the assailants won't rot in jail for years pending trial, as is common in France, sometimes even in the case of light charges. But not for assaulting Jews. Five other Arabs charged with attempted murder were released one day after their arrest and were back on the streets. Judges don't stand up to the pressure, taking pity on the assailants and releasing them from custody.

The background and ages of the three suspects disprove reporters' claim the attack was part of a turf battle between local gangs, since the suspects are already several years past adolescence. Still, journalists insist on referring to them as "youths."

The victim, Rudy Haddad, was discharged from the hospital. His mother reports he suffers from memory loss and headaches. She accused the press of disseminating false reports. Her son was making his way to the synagogue alone when he was attacked and does not belong to a gang, not even Beitar. He had never been involved in gang fights. "It's not enough that they almost killed my son, but now they're also defaming him and tainting his reputation," she told a Jewish radio station.

Labels: , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Add things to your sidebar here. Use the format:
  • Link Text
  • +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -->