anti-Semitism

Lithuanian Jewish Community Expresses Support for Israel under Attack by Terrorists

Lithuanian Jewish Community Expresses Support for Israel under Attack by Terrorists

The Lithuanian Jewish Community, an association of 32 organizations, staunchly condemns the unprecedented terrorist attack Saturday night by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies against the state of Israel, which was bombarded by hundreds of rockets and drones.

We express our support for our brothers and sisters in Israel and call upon the leaders of Lithuania to undertake initiatives to apply sanctions against Iran which spreads, supports and carries out in all possible ways the ideology of terrorism around the world.

“We cannot close our eyes when we see terrorism. This evil thousands of kilometers away from Lithuania has reached all our homes. We learned that fully following the October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists against Israel, after which anti-Semitism grew drastically around the world and in Lithuania as well. The past teaches us that apathy can be very expensive, at the cost of thousands and even millions of lives. Let’s not let the Holocaust happen again,” Lithuanian Jewish Community and attorney Faina Kukliansky said.

Taking into account the arising situation and the recommendations by world Jewish leaders, the Lithuanian Jewish Community has increased protection at secure locations and calls upon everyone to remain vigilant. Saturday’s events show that when we combine forces, we are able to resist even the most horrific attack by the enemy.

Communal Violence in Australia: Hamas Supporter Stabs Bishop in Sydney, Congregation Fights Back

Communal Violence in Australia: Hamas Supporter Stabs Bishop in Sydney, Congregation Fights Back

Reeling from the recent mass stabbings and mass murder in Bondi Junction, western Sydney became the target of a Hamas supporter who stabbed Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel six times as he delivered a sermon at his Christ the Good Shepherd Church in the Fairfield area.

While the Bondi Junction stabbing spree was originally believed to be an Islamist attack as well–the neighborhood is densely inhabited by Jews and is the location for Sydney’s main synagogue, it turned out the attacker there was mentally ill and targeted women.

The stabbing at the Good Shepherd was live-streamed. The bishop fell down as the attacker yelled Islamic catch-phrases, approached the podium and stabbed the surprised clergy man with a large knife.. Parishioners rushed the lectern, subdued the attacker and held him for police. The assailant lost several fingers during the subduction.

Lithuanian Makabi Rep at Future Leaders Conference

Lithuanian Makabi Rep at Future Leaders Conference

Lithuanian Makabi Athletics Club member Alanas Rynkevičius participated at the Future Leaders forum in Paris from March 28 to 31, a gathering of youth leaders from the various Maccabi organizations throughout Europe.

The forum addressed the topic of anti-Semitism. Other topics, strategies and projects were discussed including the upcoming European Maccabi youth games in London.

Jewish Australians Lodge Vilification Complaints against Anti-Semitic Islamic Preachers

Jewish Australians Lodge Vilification Complaints against Anti-Semitic Islamic Preachers

Two Islamic clerics who described Jewish Australians as “vile,” “vermin,” “monsters,” “rats” and “bloodthirsty” have had vilification complaints lodged against them. One appeared to be calling openly upon Muslims to murder Jews.

The largest body of Jewish Australians has launched a vilification complaint against Abu Ousayd, also known as Wissam Haddad, over a sermon delivered last year.

In complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry says the two “anti-Semitic sermons” delivered by western Sydney clerics Wissam Haddad and Sheikh Ahmed Zoud included “derogatory generalisations about Jewish people”.

The complaint also names Haddad’s Al Madina Dawah Centre and the trading company of Zoud’s mosque.

Discussion: Why Are Lithuanians Ashamed of Righteous Gentiles?

Discussion: Why Are Lithuanians Ashamed of Righteous Gentiles?

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the #ŽydiškiPašnekesiai discussion club will hold a discussion on the unusual topic “Why are Lithuanians ashamed of their Righteous Gentiles?” at 5:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 21.

This is a question which Lithuanian politicians, public figures, media and the Church have been avoiding for 33 years now. While the LJC has been calling for years for monuments to commemorate rescuers of Jews at appropriate locations in Vilnius, there has been little or no support for this from outside the Community. Will this ever change?

The discussion will touch upon another topic as well: what went into forming the morality of those who chose to rescue Jews from the Holocaust? After all, most Lithuanians remained passive observers.

Participants include historian Egidijus Aleksandravičius, historian and former minister of culture Darius Kuolys and LJC chairwman Faina Kukliansky. Arkadijus Vinokuras will moderate.

Time: 5:00 P.M., Thursday, March 21
Place: Bagel Shop Café, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius

The discussion will be streamed live via facebook: https://shorturl.at/cnzS3

Choral Synagogue Attacked

Choral Synagogue Attacked

Early on the morning of Sunday, March 10, a group of young people threw a stone at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius. Police were alerted, but police officers said there was no damage done, despite several broken tiles. Security cameras recorded the rock throwing incident.

Damage doesn’t have to be physical. Whether you’re a Catholic or Jew, every house of prayer is sacred. We have as much right to ask for respect towards the synagogue as Catholic and Orthodox believers do for respect to their churches and to any location where rituals are being conducted.

All material was turned over to the police. We expect the perpetrators to be identified and their actions judged.

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Vilnius Jewish Public Library

Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews Commemoration at Vilnius Jewish Public Library

The Vilnius Jerusalem of Lithuania Jewish Community and the Vilnius Jewish Public Library will hold a discussion on those who rescued Jews from the Holocaust, and what would happen if the Holocaust were repeated. The discussion happens at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 19, at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library at Gedimino prospect no. 24 in Vilnius. The discussion is intended to mark March 15, the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews, included on the official state calendar of commemorative days in 2022.

Righteous Gentiles Commemoration at Tolerance Center

Righteous Gentiles Commemoration at Tolerance Center

The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon Jewish History Museum will hold an evening of literature and music to commemorate the Righteous Gentiles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust, happening at 5:00 P.M. on March 17. The Tolerance Center is located at Naugarduko street no. 10 in Vilnius.

The first half of the program is dramatic readings of prose and poetry by Lithuanian actors Vladas Bagdonas and Dalia Michelevičiūtė with musical accompaniment by Petras Vyšniauskas on saxophone and Arkadijus Gotesmanas doing percussion.

The second part of the program includes reflections on the rescue of Jews by Lithuanian artists and public figures. Gotesmanas will talk about how his father escaped being murdered at Auschwitz. Director Gintaras Varnas, poetess, playwright and actress Daiva Čepauskaitė and teacher and writer Vytautas Toleikis will also share their thoughts in a discussion moderated by writer Donatas Puslys.

The event is intended to mark the second Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews, proclaimed an official day of commemoration by the Lithuanian parliament, to fall on March 15 every year.

UK PM Delivers Nice Speech, Fails to Protect British Jews

UK PM Delivers Nice Speech, Fails to Protect British Jews

United Kingdom prime minister Rishi Sunak alerted media to a special address Friday made outside 10 Downing Street in London.

In the speech, the PM decried the rise of extremism in Britain, talked about the fear among British Jews of being identified on the street and targeted for being Jewish, but failed to provide any specific measures to protect Britain’s Jews. For the first half of the speech the prime minister competed with a vocal protestor in the vicinity, and Sunak appeared frightened for his personal well-being.

Instead, Sunak seemed to equate the rise in violence against UK Jews with “Islamophobia,” and repeated a false statement initially propagated by his Labour opposition during the ouster of home secretary Suella Braverman.

Anti-Jew Hit List in Australia Bears Fruit: Man Kidnapped, Tortured

Anti-Jew Hit List in Australia Bears Fruit: Man Kidnapped, Tortured

Photo: Australian pro-Hamas activist Laura Allam, from X/Twitter

Following the circulation of a hit-list of around 600 Jews targeted for attacks by pro-Hamas activists in Australia, Victoria State Police are only now disclosing to the public a kidnapping, assault and robbery of a man committed on February 16. The man works for a Jewish employer and was ripped from the driver’s seat of his car, placed in another vehicle, assaulted, robbed and discarded. One of the several perpetrators was known to police and had been reported for making death threats against a female Jewish journalist and television presenter.

Prominent Pro-Hamas Activist Arrested on Kidnapping and Torture Charges

Algemeiner, February 29, 2024

Melbourne–Australian police on Monday announced the arrest of a prominent pro-Hamas advocate accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and torture of a man whose perceived offense was to work for a Jewish employer.

Melbourne resident Laura Allam was charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, illegal detention, assault and battery against the 31-year-old man, who has not been named by authorities. Working with an accomplice who has also been arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery, threats to kill, intention to cause injury, recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and assault with weapon, the 28-year-old Allam is understood to have targeted the man solely because his employer is Jewish.

Paideia Accepting Applications

Paideia Accepting Applications

The Paideia Institute for Jewish studies in Stockholm is accepting applications now for international students interested in their Jewish studies program focusing on Scripture for 2024-2025, starting next September and continuing on until May of 2025. Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree and proficiency in English.

Application can be made here: https://shorturl.at/qCE02

For more information, send an e-mail to recruitment@paideia-eu.org.

Applications must be received by April 14, 2024.

Ambassadors Ask Lithuanian PM for Police Response to Growing Anti-Semitism

Ambassadors Ask Lithuanian PM for Police Response to Growing Anti-Semitism

The ambassadors of Germany, the United States and Israel have sent a letter to the Lithuanian prime minister pointing out the alarming growth of anti-Semitic attacks in Lithuania over recent weeks and calling for an increased police presence at Jewish community buildings, schools and synagogues.

American ambassador Kara McDonald, Israeli ambassador Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein and German ambassador Cornelius Zimmerman addressed their plea to Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė, invoking shared values of tolerance and inclusion and the rejection of anti-Semitism and citing recent stone-throwing incidents at the Lithuanian Jewish Community in Vilnius and the Šiauliai Jewish Community in Šiauliai, Nazi symbols graffitied on a former synagogue in Daugai, Lithuania, and on a bridge in Vilnius and the overturning of a monument to the victims of the Druskininkai ghetto in Druskininkai, Lithuania, as examples of the rising number of incidents.

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.