anti-Semitism

Efraim Zuroff Interview: It Always Starts with the Jews but Never Ends with the Jews

Efraim Zuroff Interview: It Always Starts with the Jews but Never Ends with the Jews

The Visegrad24 news website has been reporting on the conflict with Gaza live from Israel. In a recent interview they spoke with Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, about the Holocaust, justice for the victims, justice for the victims of the Hamas massacre on October 7, Israeli security failures and the problem of Islamists migrating to Western Europe and North America and open borders in general.

“It always starts with the Jews, but never ends with the Jews. Hitler wanted to launch a war to destroy the Jews and 50 million people were murdered, and not all of them Jews, far from it. This is what people have to understand: the Jews are like the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the first victims. And if they go after us, be sure that they’ll go after the Christians in Europe and everywhere else because their dream is to take over the world. That’s the problem,” Zuroff said during the interview.

British Parliamentary Speaker Kow-Tows to Hamas Mob, Faces Expulsion

British Parliamentary Speaker Kow-Tows to Hamas Mob, Faces Expulsion

The British House of Commons erupted Wednesday in a walk-out by ruling Conservative Party and Scottish National Party MPs after speaker of parliament Lindsay Hoyle allegedly broke parliamentary procedure by allowing the UK Labour Party to tack on their own amendment to a SNP resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza without letting the SNP motion go to a vote.

Hoyle apologized twice and on Thursday claimed he wanted to expand the debate to include Labour’s positions because he was afraid more British MPs would be murdered. At the time of the canceled debate Wednesday a large crowd of pro-Hamas protestors had surrounded parliament, chanting slogans and waving Palestinian flags. As of Thursday BBC and Sky News reported 61 MPs from the Conservatives and SNP had signed onto a motion calling for a  no-confidence vote on Hoyle as speaker. Holyle’s “Peace in Our Time” overture seems to have exacerbated rather than eased tensions within British society.

Full story here.

Happy Birthday to Artūras Taicas

Happy Birthday to Artūras Taicas

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes Ukmergė Jewish Community chairman Artūras Taicas a very happy birthday. We are grateful to you for your tireless energy safeguarding and protecting the memory of those who cannot protect themselves from vandals. We all wish you success, happiness, real people and sincere smiles. Mazl tov. Bis 120!

Washington State Mandatory High School Holocaust Education Bill Adds “Hamas Amendment”

Washington State Mandatory High School Holocaust Education Bill Adds “Hamas Amendment”

Legislators in Washington state have been discussing making Holocaust classes mandatory for high school students there for over five years now. The neighboring Canadian province of British Columbia and the province of Ontario announced plans to do so last year. After settling on the formula “Holocaust and genocide education,” some legislators are proposing an amendment to teach history from the perspective of Hamas as well. Seattle-based conservative radio talk-show host Jason Rantz predicts below the dispute will result in the failure to pass any relevant law at all. Foreign observers have wondered if Washington state’s far-left legislators won’t introduce another amendment to teach the Holocaust from the perspective of Nazi Germany as well.

Democrats Add “Hamas Amendment” to Holocaust Education Bill
by Jason Rantz, February 12, 2024

Washington Democrats added a so-called “Hamas amendment” to the Holocaust Education bill which will ensure anti-Semitic lessons are taught to kids.

The move was meant to appease a progressive voter base demanding Israel be labeled genocidal for its attack against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

UK Labour Withdraws 2 Candidates for Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Comments

UK Labour Withdraws 2 Candidates for Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Comments

The Labour Party of the United Kingdom has withdrawn the candidacy of two candidates standing for election in two days over anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks they made to the press.

As reported by the BBC, the Mail on Sunday published comments last week from Ali, claiming Israel had “allowed” the Hamas attack.

Ali subsequently apologized “to Jewish leaders for my inexcusable comments.”

Monday evening the Daily Mail published a fuller recording, allegedly of Ali, blaming “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” for the suspension of Andy McDonald from the Labour Party.

Yet Another Anti-Semitic Attack in Lithuania

Yet Another Anti-Semitic Attack in Lithuania

A monument to commemorate Jewish prisoners in the ghetto in Druskininkai, fabricated and erected by private donations, has been knocked over. The latest attack on Lithuanian Jews was discovered Tuesday morning.

“We receive offensive letters daily, rocks are hurled at our Community building, synagogues are being vandalized and anti-Semitic rhetoric rings out from the podium in the national parliament. This seems very much like coordinated activity. This process isn’t getting weaker, on the contrary, it’s accelerating, so we need to take the strictest measures to avert tragedy,” Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky commented.

Beginning with anti-Semitic statements MP Remigijus Žemaitaitis made last spring and continues to make on the internet and to the press and following Hamas’s terrorist attack killing over a thousand Israelis on October 7, attacks against Lithuanian Jews are growing ever-more frequent. Last week alone the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius and the Šiauliai Jewish Community in Šiauliai were attacked, Nazi and white power symbols were graffitied on a pedestrian bridge in a Vilnius suburb and stickers from an extremist group were plastered on Vilnius mass transit. Both the Choral Synagogue, the only working synagogue in Vilnius, and the Zavl shul synagogue on Gelių street in Vilnius were vandalized.

The vandalism committed on Šv. Jokūbo street in Druskininkai, the southern Lithuanian spa town on the border with Belarus, is just another link in a long chain of anti-Semitic acts. The monument in Druskininkai marks the location of the Druskininkai ghetto stood from 1941 to 1943, where around 900 Jews from the town and surrounding villages and farms were held prisoner before being murdered.

“While other countries and some people criticize Israeli policies, this has nothing at all to do with the Jews who live in Lithuania today. We are Lithuanian citizens and we expect and hope the state will insure our safety,” chairwoman Kukliansky added.

Pro-Hamas Transgender Shoots Up Hispanic Christian Congregation in Houston

Pro-Hamas Transgender Shoots Up Hispanic Christian Congregation in Houston

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, a man “living as a woman,” opened fire on an outdoor Christian congregation gathered for a Spanish-language prayer service at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Sunday. Media reported he had a pro-Palestinian slogan, “Free Palestine,” on the gun he used. Lakewood Church is a so-called mega-church located in a former sports stadium and is one of the largest churches in the United States.

“KHOU and the Houston Chronicle are reporting Moreno, who previously identified as Jeffery Escalante, had an extensive criminal history dating back to 2005, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety records search,” reported the Washington Blade, a gay publication.

Detectives estimate Moreno might have fired as many as 12 rounds during the incident which unfolded in the Lakewood Church Sunday afternoon. The shooter’s weapon was an AR-15, according to CNN and ABC News.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner disclosed that Moreno entered the church with a young child and he was dressed in a trench coat. An exchange of gunfire ensued when Moreno initiated the attack. Two off-duty law enforcement officers, present at the scene, responded with lethal force, killing Moreno. Officials Monday afternoon said the boy was Moreno’s 7-year-old son. The boy and a 50-year-old man were wounded during the shooting. The man was shot in one leg and the child was hospitalized in critical condition.

Australian “Creative Workers” Draw Up and Post Hit-List Targeting 600 Australian Jews

Australian “Creative Workers” Draw Up and Post Hit-List Targeting 600 Australian Jews

A group of pro-Palestinian activists working as what are called “creatives” in Australia have posted a hit-list containing the names and details of just under 600 Jewish Australians who support Israel. The Jews targeted are also engaged in creative and cultural work. At least two of the list-makers and spreaders have been identified; one is a well-known author and illustrator of children’s books and the recipient of hundreds of thousands of Australian dollars in grant money from government agencies.

“Nazi-like”: Hundreds of Jewish Australian artists and their families doxed by high-profile pro-Palestine activists [“dox” is a verbalized noun meaning “to release the documents on someone,” i.e., personal details and contact information, including but not limited to home addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, property records, family members, political and community affiliations, genealogies, DNA records and etc.]

A “despicably” published spreadsheet containing the names, occupations and social media profiles of almost 600 Jewish Australian artists led to death threats after it was shared by high-profile pro-Palestinian activists.

Almost 600 Jewish Australian creatives and artists, who were members in a WhatsApp group chat, had their personal details indexed into a spreadsheet with the link made public.

LJC Issues Yet Another Plea for State Protection after Choral Synagogue Vandalized

LJC Issues Yet Another Plea for State Protection after Choral Synagogue Vandalized

The Lithuanian Jewish Community has issued a press release following the latest attack on Jewish sites in Vilnius:

The attacks against Lithuanian Jews continue. Not even a week has passed since a stone hurled by a vandal broke a window at the entrance to the LJC in Vilnius, miraculously avoiding wounding anyone, and now the Choral Synagogue, an extremely important site for Litvaks in Vilnius, has been graffitied and desecrated. The Choral Synagogue is hte only working synagogue in the Lithuanian capital.

As in earlier cases, the Community has contacted the police, but our main concern is not to punish the vandals, but to protect people.

“This isn’t just any old graffiti. Besides property damage, the inscription scrawled on this religious site was an attempt to insult and debase Jews,” Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman and attorney Faina Kukliansky commented. “The investigations launched will be meaningless if someone gets hurt. Knowing the kind of brutal anti-Semitic attacks which have been taking place around the world recently, we are concerned for the children at the Sholem Aleichem Gymnasium, the toddlers at the Salvija kindergarten, our seniors arriving at the Community’s Social Center and Community events, and of course for those practicing their religion at the Choral Synagogue.”

We would like to point out that, beginning with member of parliament Remigijus Žemaitaitis’s anti-Semitic statements last year and the massacre Hamas staged in southern Israel on October 7, attacks on Lithuanian Jews have become more and more frequent. Just last week the LJC was attacked, a pedestrian bridge in the Viršuliškės neighborhood of Vilnius was graffitied with Nazi symbols and an extremist group’s symbol was placed as stickers on municipal mass transport. Now the Choral Synagogue has been attacked. What’s next?

Anti-Semitism won’t disappear by itself and the rapid and highly professional response of law enforcement, for which we are extremely grateful, won’t suffice. We need first and foremost preventative measures which put a halt to future attacks. And so yet again we are asking for help from the state. Only joint efforts can insure safety and change the ever-louder anti-Semitic narrative.

South African ForMin Claims Israel Targeting Her Family

South African ForMin Claims Israel Targeting Her Family

South African foreign affairs and cooperation minister Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor from the ruling African National Congress party claims her family members are being targeted by Israel in revenge for South Africa bringing a genocide case against Israel at the United Nations International Court of Justice. Note the ANC has traditionally maintained ties with the Palestine Liberation Organization and has consistently spoken out for Palestinians while blaming Israel and comparing it to apartheid South Africa.

Cape Town–International relations and co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor says her life might be in danger after she received threats from suspected Israeli agents.

Following these threats, she has asked police minister Bheki Cele to beef up her security.

Pandor has been vocal in condemning Israel’s war actions against Gaza, as South Africa took Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over allegations of genocide.

Pandor told journalists at the state of the nation address that she had spoken to Cele over concerns for her family’s security.

“I spoke to minister Cele because of the messages I was getting, and I felt it would be better to have extra security. What I am more concerned about is my family because in some social media messages, my children are mentioned,” said Pandor.

“The Israeli agents, the intelligence services: this is how they behave, and they seek to intimidate you, so we must not be intimidated. There is a case that is under way,” Pandor said.

Aussie Deputy Police Commish Gives Cover to Anti-Semitic Pogrom

Aussie Deputy Police Commish Gives Cover to Anti-Semitic Pogrom

Deputy police commissioner for the Australian state of New South Wales Mal Lanyon seemingly pulled a page from the Lithuanian playbook last week, providing cover for a mob hellbent on pogrom at the Sydney Opera House who chanted “gas the Jews” on October 9, before Israel initiated its self-declared war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

According to Lanyon, Strike Force Mealing, a special working group tasked with investigating possible criminal offenses at the gathering, hired an acoustics expert who reviewed audio recordings and decided the crowd was actually chanting “Where’s the Jews?” despite numerous ear-witnesses at the event and voluminous video footage which indicated they had in fact clearly chanted “Gas the Jews!”

“The expert has concluded with overwhelming certainty that the phrase chanted during that protest as recorded on the audio-visual files was ‘where’s the Jews,’ not another phrase as otherwise widely reported,” he said.

The day after the protest, NSW oremier Chris Minns had condemned the rally, describing it at “abhorrent.”

Lithuanian Parliament to Remove Immunity from Allegedly Anti-Semitic MP

Lithuanian Parliament to Remove Immunity from Allegedly Anti-Semitic MP

by Modesta Gaučaitė-Znutienė, February 12, 2024

The Lithuanian parliament has green-lighted the removal of parliamentary immunity from Remigijus Žemaitaitis for his comments allegedly belittling Jews. Žemaitaitis counters his comments were not anti-Semitic and claims the accusations are political because he decided to run for president.

The Office of Prosecutor General made the request to parliament to annul Žemaitaitis’s legal immunity because of allegedly anti-Semitic comments the MP made on facebook. The MP says this is an attempt to get rid of him ahead of the presidential election in May.

Prosecutor general Nida Grunskienė took to the podium in parliament telling lawmakers the pre-trial investigation into alleged anti-Semitic statements by Žemaitaitis was launched on May 8 last year and involves the possible sowing of discord against a national, racial, ethnic, religious or other group of people.

Discussion Club: Is Lithuanian Anti-Semitism Different from European?

Discussion Club: Is Lithuanian Anti-Semitism Different from European?

The #ŽydiškiPašnekesiai Jewish discussion club this week will address the topic of anti-Semitism in Lithuania and Europe. While there aren’t thousands marching in support of the Hamas terrorist group in Vilnius, and anti-Semitic attacks are relatively infrequent compared to some countries, there is a kind of institutionalized anti-Semitism at work in the bureaucracy, despite the periodic condemnation of anti-Semitism by the so-called political elite. Traditional Shrovetide processions continue to include caricatures of Jews, school children are still exposed to anti-Semitism from teachers and “memory wars” continue in the public space with Lithuanian Nazis glorified and Righteous Gentiles ignored. If anti-Semitism in Western Europe is largely fueled by Muslim immigrants, what’s Lithuania’s excuse?

Is there a way out of this existing labyrinth, and if so, what is it?

We’ll look for answers with historians Egidijus Aleksandravičius and Linas Venclauskas in a panel discussion in Lithuanian moderated by Arkadijus Vinokuras..

Time: 5:00 P.M., Wednesday, February 14
Place: Bagel Shop Café, Pylimo street no. 4., Vilnius

The discussion will be streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/zydubendruomene/live_videos/

Trudeau Did Invite Nazi After All

Trudeau Did Invite Nazi After All

Canadian state media outlet Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other Canadian media are reporting Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau did issue an invitation to Ukrainian Waffen-SS solider Yaroslav Hunka to attend an event on September 22, 2023, after all.

Hunka was given a standing ovation at the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa that day. Honoring the Nazi at parliament was widely seen as an insult to Canadian Jews and Holocaust survivors around the world. It also detracted from the Canadian brand as a multi-cultural oasis of tolerance in the world, and shone a light on Canada’s practice of providing haven to Nazi war criminals on the lamb from justice, including the Butcher of Kaunas, Helmut Rauca.

Speaker of parliament Anthony Rota from Trudeau’s own Liberal Party apologized for the incident and took “full responsibility,” announcing his resignation September 26 to take effect on September 27, 2023.

Interview with LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky

Interview with LJC Chairwoman Faina Kukliansky

“As the chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, I see my greatest assignment as not letting others forget we are Jews, and not letting Jews forget they are Jews,” LJC chairwoman and attorney Faina Kukliansky said in an interview Arkadijus Vinokuras conducted in Lithuanian for the Jewish discussion club #ŽydiškiPašnekesiai he founded and leads.

In the interview they discussed Community activities, money, protection of wooden and other synagogues, relations with ethnic Lithuanians, Holocaust and Righteous Gentile commemoration policies and the lack thereof, care for senior citizens including Holocaust survivors, cemetery maintenance, relations between the regional Jewish communities in Lithuania, a new kosher food outlet in Vilnius, anti-Semitism in the EU and Lithuania as well as the Lithuanian bureaucracy, the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum’s new Litvak identity museum and the future. The full interview in Lithuanian can be found below. Duration: 54:20.

LJC Requests Protection from State after Latest Act of Vandalism

LJC Requests Protection from State after Latest Act of Vandalism

Monday evening security cameras at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius recorded a person who threw a rock at the building and broke the glass above the main entrance. Police were contacted immediately.

This is yet another unprovoked anti-Semitic attack against Lithuanian citizens of Jewish descent reflecting inimical attitudes in society which perhaps have been escalated by anti-Jewish rhetoric in parliament and by propaganda from supporters of the Hamas terrorist group.

The LJC is not a political organization. We are an organization which is concerned with the social and cultural life of the Jews of Lithuania. Among our activities are infant, child and youth clubs and the Saul Kagan Social Welfare Center which takes care of our senior citizens with home-care and activities at the Community. Fortunately enough, when the act of vandalism was committed, there were no passers-by on the sidewalk outside nor people inside where the broken glass landed, and no one was physically hurt. Nonetheless, these sorts of incidents could end very badly. This is by no means the first anti-Semitic attack against Jewish communities in Lithuania. Very recently someone threw stones through the windows of the Šiauliai Jewish Community.

We have also received information concerning Nazi and White Power symbols graffitied on a pedestrian bridge in Vilnius. We contacted the police concerning this as well, since Lithuanian laws forbid the propagation of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, their ideologies and their symbols.

Just recently in January at a meeting held at the European Commission all member-states in a special working group presented progress reports on the implementation of the European Union strategy for combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life. We are sad to report this strategy is being implemented very poorly in Lithuania with an ever-growing frequency of anti-Semitic attacks. And, judging from what’s going on in other countries, this is only the beginning of a rising tide of anti-Semitism. Sadly, our state is failing to insure adequate security at important Community sites, including the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius, the LJC, the Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium in Vilnius and the Salvija kindergarten where many Jewish families send their toddlers.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community asks the appropriate and engaged public organizations for help in this, and for security from the corresponding state institutions. The situation in other countries clearly shows we are a footstep away from real human tragedy and misfortune.

Elon Musk Expresses Shock about the Holocaust

Elon Musk Expresses Shock about the Holocaust

Elon Musk expresses shock about the Holocaust after Auschwitz visit that was “incredibly moving, and deeply sad and tragic that humans could do this to humans.”

Elon Musk took a private tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland on January 22 as he defended his social platform, X, against accusations of spreading anti-Semitism.

“It was incredibly moving, and deeply sad and tragic that humans could do this to humans,” the billionaire Tesla, Inc. chief and X owner said on Monday of the site where an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

Musk was seen carrying his son on his shoulders in a photo of the tour, as he stood alongside Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the chairman of the European Jewish Association, Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev, and Ben Shapiro, a controversial conservative media pundit. Shapiro later hosted a discussion with Musk organized by the EJA in nearby Cracow.

Full story here.

Kaddish in Ponar

Kaddish in Ponar

Choral Synagogue cantor Shmuel Yaatom performed kaddish at the Ponar mass murder site outside Vilnius on International Holocaust Day last week.

Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman thanked the Israeli embassy and chargé d’affaires Erez Golan, Švenčionys Jewish Community chairman Moshe Shapiro, young people from the Sholem Aleichem school and all members of the community who turned out to pay their respects to the victims of the Holocaust at Ponar and who came to pay their respects to those who rescued Jews at the monument dedicated to their memory in Vilnius.

Situation of Lithuanian Jewish Community Presented in Brussels

Situation of Lithuanian Jewish Community Presented in Brussels

Last week the European Commission convened the fifth meeting in Brussels of a working group dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life in the European Union with Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman and attorney Faina Kukliansky representing Litvaks.

It was the first meeting of the working group since Hamas’s attacks on Israelis on October 7.

The first day of meetings discussed attacks on Jewish communities in the EU and measures taken at the national and European level to address the largest wave of anti-Semitism in Europe since the Holocaust. European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas responsible for propagating the European way of life began the meeting by reiterating the EC’s resolute pledge to insure the continuation and thriving of Jewish life in the EU.

LJC Rejects Jonava Cultural Center’s Anti-Semitic Activities

LJC Rejects Jonava Cultural Center’s Anti-Semitic Activities

The Regional History Museum of the Jonava Cultural Center in Jonava, Lithuania, posted an invitation on January 18 for the public to attend an arts workshop in the run-up to the Lithuanian holiday Užgavėnės, or Shrovetide:

“We invite you to a creative workshop for adults this January 22 at 2:00 P.M. called “Making Užgavėnės Masks!” We’ll use papier-mâché on wooden frames! … The function of having fun is the basis of this holiday, it’s essence and core! This is a day when social conventions are ignored, rules are broken and ethical and moral principles are transgressed! You can do anything, but only during this time!”

Unfortunately traditional masks made and worn on Užgavėnės include grotesque stereotypes of Jews and Roma.