President Obama Addresses Anti-Semitism At Synagogue Speech

President Obama addressed anti-Semitism during an address at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington.

“Anti-Semitism is, and always will be, a threat to broader human values to which we all must aspire,” Obama said.  “And when we allow anti-Semitism to take root, then our souls are destroyed, and it will spread.”

The President reasserted America’s support for Israel.

“It would be a moral failing on the part of the US government and the American people, it would be a moral failing on my part if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly not just on behalf of Israel’s right to exist, but its right to thrive and prosper,” Obama asserted.

The President added that it’s because of his belief in Israel’s right to exist that he has to be critical of some of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

“I must object,” he said to applause in the Conservative synagogue. “Papering over hard questions,” he said, is “not a measure of true friendship.”

Although the President admitted “The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners.”

The President gave a glancing mention to his Iran nuclear negotiations which he called “necessary”.

“The deal that we already reached with Iran has already halted or rolled back parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Now we’re seeking a comprehensive solution,” he said, adding that “I will not accept a bad deal.  As I pointed out in my most recent article with Jeff Goldberg, this deal will have my name on it, so nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise.”

President Obama To Speak At Synagogue

President Obama will be delivering a speech from the pulpit of Congregation Adas Israel in Washington as part of a worldwide event against anti-Semitism.

The speech, which is part of Jewish American Heritage Month, will focus on contributions of Jews to American society according to White House sources.

The White House has been working with the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice over a “solidarity Sabbath” where two dozen governments will taking a stand against the worldwide rise of anti-Semitism.

“We’ve been working with the White House for a considerable period of time, and to their credit, I don’t think there’s any doubt that this administration takes the rise of anti-Semitism very, very seriously,” said Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation and chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The event will include French officials on social media while the American ambassador hosts a Paris event, the president of Romania is attending a service, the Spanish government is hosting a lunch event and Greece is launching an educational program.

Jewish Mother, Teen Attacked Near Paris

A Jewish mother was one of two victims of anti-Semitic attacks in the Paris area.

The woman was injured by three African women who attacked because the Jewish woman complained about their children throwing a soccer ball at her daughter.

As the trio of women were attacking the Jewish woman, witnesses say they were shouting anti-Semitic slogans and comments.  One witness said the assailants yelled “Hitler didn’t finish the job” and “that Jews were a filthy race.”

One of the women said the victim needed more beatings.

The woman was treated in a hospital for her injuries and required several days of recovery.

“Increasingly, banal conflicts involving Jews degenerate into anti-Semitic incidents and assaults,”  the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism wrote in a statement, which urged police to “get to the bottom of what happened.”

The BNVCA also reported that a 16-year-old Jewish boy was attacked by four men of Middle Eastern descent.  He was struck in the face and had his phone stolen from him while a fifth man told the gang of four to “break” the victim of the assault.

The boy required emergency eye surgery at Rothschild Hospital.

Jewish Student Senate Candidate Faces Anti-Semitic Questions

A group at Stanford University is coming under fire after a Jewish students who was seeking their endorsement for her student senate campaign was given an anti-Semitic question.

Molly Horwitz, during an interview with the school’s Students of Color Coalition, was asked if her strong Jewish identity would influence the way she voted on issues related to Israel.

Horwitz, who was born in Paraguay, had already submitted to the group an application where she had to explain reconciling her identity both as a Latina and a Jew.  She told the Anti-Defamation league and Stanford officials that she felt the questioning of her Jewish identity was “over the line.”

“It is not OK that they brought my Jewish identity into this and implied it might impact my decision-making ability,” Horwitz said in an email to the J. weekly. “I interpreted the question as anti-Semitic.”

Horwitz wrote an op-ed in the Stanford Daily asking for an apology from the group and admitted the question completely rattled her.

“The rest of the interview was a blur to me. I barely kept it together. As soon as I left the interview room I began shaking and hyperventilating. I replayed the incident over and over in my mind.”

The SOCC claims that the question was not a “litmus test” and that religious identity had nothing to do with the question.  The group refused to endorse Horwitz.

“We’ve seen this now on a number of campuses … [Jewish students] feeling like their Jewish identity is being called into question in terms of their ability to serve on various student bodies and to be impartial representatives,” said Vlad Khaykin, associate regional director of the ADL’s San Francisco-based Central Pacific Region.

European Anti-Semitism Surged In 2014

A new report shows that anti-Semitism rose 38 percent across Europe in 2014 although the crime levels have not reached the peaks of 2009.

The report from the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry of Tel Aviv University recorded 766 official incidents of anti-Semitic violence or activity compared to 554 in 2013.

The conflict in Gaza was seen as a driving factor in the increase of anti-Semitism.

“Many streets in our European cities have become hunting grounds for Jews, and some Jews are now forced to avoid community institutions and synagogues as a result,” said European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor. “Some are choosing to leave the continent, many are afraid to walk the streets and even more are retreating behind high walls and barbed wire. This has become the new reality of Jewish life in Europe.”

Attacks on synagogues saw a whopping 70 percent increase over the previous year and arson attacks on Jews tripled.  France remained at the top of the list for violent anti-Semitic acts with 164, which is 23 more than the previous year.

Anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled in Germany and England saw a jump from 95 incidents in 2013 to 141 in 2014.

“We need a pan-EU body that will coordinate intelligence efforts between member state and the sharing of such information, assist with legislation changes to enable the member states to address this challenge with proper tools and deal with training and security measures in the protection of Jewish institutions by the authorities.” Kantor said. “The current system is failing to deal with this problem or to prevent the next attack.”

Jewish Cemetery In Poland Defaced In Anti-Semitic Attack

Anti-Semitic vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery near the site of “Bloody Wednesday” where Jewish men were gathered in the town square of Olkusz, Poland and beaten in 1940.

The vandals painted pentagrams on the tombstones they knocked over and destroyed.   They also painted the Polish name of Pope John Paul II on some stones.

“Bloody Wednesday” took place in Olkusz on July 31, 1940.  Soldiers went through the town gathering the Jewish men to bring to the town’s square.  The men were then severely beaten by the soldiers and residents of the town.

One of the most offensive moments was captured in photographs of the incident when Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Hagerman is forced to stand barefoot standing over six Jewish men who were forced to lay on the ground in front of Nazi troops.  Hagerman was forced to wear a prayer shawl that the soldiers had urinated upon moments earlier.

Hagerman was killed in Majdanek in 1942.  The rest of the town’s Jews were shipped to Auschwitz in 1942 where most were killed.

Anti-Semitic Incidents In U.S. Jump 21 Percent

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League shows that anti-Semitic attacks in the United States jumped 21 percent in the last year.

The shocking statistics counter a ten year decline in attacks on Jews.

Abraham Foxman of the ADL says that “The United States still continues to be unique in history” when it comes to being a safe place for Jews.  However, the rise in incidents raises concern because 40 percent of the world’s Jews live in the U.S.

“It’s still different here than anywhere else, but don’t take anything for granted, and be concerned,” Foxman said.

The ADL researchers say that the rise is likely connected to the 50-day war where Islamic terrorists were attacking Israel.  Some of the incidents that were quoted in the report include vandals painting “Jews are killing innocent children” on a gate of a Jewish summer camp and spray painting “God Bless Gaza” on a synagogue in Massachusetts.

2014 also included a fatal shooting outside a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas by an avowed anti-Semite.

300 Jewish Graves Desecrated In France

A Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, France was vandalized over the weekend with more than 300 graves defaced by at least 5 teenagers.

Police say that five teens between 15 and 17 are in custody after the youngest of the group turned themselves into authorities and admitted the crime.  The teen is denying there was an anti-Semitic motive despite their targeting a Jewish cemetery.

In addition to knocking over or destroying over 300 tombstones, the teens destroyed a monument to Holocaust victims.

While the youngest perpetrator claims there was no anti-Semitic motive to the crime, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the actions “a vile, anti-Semitic act, and insult to the memory of the dead.”

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the actions of the teens were an “odious act against religious freedom and intolerance.”

UC Davis Chancellor Makes Strong Statement Against Hate

In the wake of the news report that a Jewish fraternity at the University of California Davis was vandalized by swastikas after a vote by the Student Senate to support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Here is the letter from Chancellor Linda Katehi:

Dear UC Davis Campus Community:

This morning students at a UC Davis Jewish fraternity discovered despicable and hateful graffiti on their walls, including a large red swastika that appeared to be spray-painted on the exterior of the house.

This kind of behavior is not only repugnant and a gross violation of the values our university holds dear, it is unacceptable and must not be tolerated on our campus or anywhere else.

No matter what religious, political or personal beliefs we hold, as members of a university community we have an obligation to treat each other with respect and dignity, even when we disagree.

Nothing rivals a swastika as a more potent or offensive symbol of hatred and violence toward our Jewish community members, but this odious symbol is an affront to us all. As campus leaders, we are saddened and outraged that this occurred in our community.

As our Principles of Community demonstrate, UC Davis is built on a foundation of tolerance and inclusion, and when those principles are violated in such a reprehensible manner, we have all been violated.

We have requested that the police investigate this act of vandalism as a hate crime. We appeal to every member of our UC Davis community to denounce any and all such acts of bigotry and intimidation. We must instead demonstrate to the world that no matter what issue or debate we engage in, we are a community committed to mutual respect and tolerance. No single act such as this will ever define us, but we must define ourselves as a university community that has no tolerance for prejudice or such an abhorrent symbol and the history of hatred it evokes and extends.

Sincerely,

Linda P.B. Katehi

Chancellor

 

Ralph J. Hexter

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

 

Adela de la Torre

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

“Hamas & Sharia Law Have Taken Over UC Davis”

Anti-Semitism is on the rise at the University of California Davis as one Islamist is claiming victory at forcing Sharia law on the campus.

Jewish students were threatened and harassed as they were speaking out against a student government resolution to divest from Israel as part of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The anti-Semites waved Palestinian flags in the face of the Jewish students before the 8-2 vote in favor of the anti-Semitic movement.

The pro-terrorists in the audience yelled “Allahu Akbar!” following the vote.  The vote was pushed by the pro-Hamas terrorist organization Students for Justice in Palestine.

Immediately after the vote, swastikas were spray painted on a Jewish fraternity’s home.

The celebration among Islamists on campus was loud and immediate.  Azka Fayyaz, who is a member of the University of California Davis student senate, posted on Facebook following the vote: “Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis.”