Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Tag: DENMARK

IN EUROPE, “WIDESPREAD” ANTISEMITISM & POSSIBLE CORBYN GOVERNMENT THREATEN ISRAEL AND JEWS

Corbyn to Use his Power to Harm Israel – Be Ready: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018— Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account.

Widespread Anti-Semitism in the Netherlands: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018— A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country.

The Canary in the French Mine: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018— Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents.

Rescuing The Jews Of Denmark: Rhona Lewis, Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018— In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, there is no way to go on pretending that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t alive and still presents a deadly threat to Jews

On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018

 

CORBYN TO USE HIS POWER TO HARM ISRAEL – BE READY

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2018

Imagine that in considering its responses to Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, or Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels in northern Israel, or Hamas’s rocket barrages into southern Israel, Israel was required to take British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s positions into account. How would Corbyn’s leadership of Britain – the US’s closest ally and Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe – affect Israel’s maneuver room?

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s far-from-resounding victory in the no-confidence vote her Conservative Party colleagues conducted against her, this question needs to be considered urgently. May’s victory Wednesday did not stabilize the political situation in Britain. The fact that 117 Conservative lawmakers voted to unseat her, and the fact that May felt compelled to commit not to seek reelection in 2022, showed how tenuous her grip on power is today.

Whether the government falls over the Brexit vote in March, or limps into the 2022 elections, one thing is clear enough: The Tories’ divisions work to Labour’s advantage. The weaker and more incompetent the Conservatives appear, and the more incoherent their governing ethos becomes, the stronger and more competent Corbyn and his Labour Party will look and the more compelling its message will become. As a consequence, the time has come for Israel to take a long, hard look at the implications for Israel of a Corbyn government.

Generally speaking, most of the conversations about the implications of a Corbyn government revolve around the fate of British Jewry. And this makes sense. Over the summer, pollsters found that nearly 40% of British Jews will consider emigrating if Corbyn becomes prime minister. It is certainly reasonable to assume that if and when Corbyn becomes prime minister, there will be a wave of British aliyah unprecedented in scale. And Israel must prepare for their arrival, just as it must prepare for the arrival of tens of thousands of Jews from France, Germany and Belgium.

But the prospect of mass migration of Jews out of Britain in response to Corbyn’s rise to power is but one aspect of the overall and entirely negative impact a Corbyn government will have on Israel. Britain isn’t Turkey. Britain is a global power and a key player not only in Europe, but throughout the world. It is America’s closest ally and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. With Turkey, Israel took a major hit and continues to suffer the aftershocks of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s transformation of Turkey from a key strategic ally of Israel’s into a large and rapidly expanding threat to the Jewish state. Yet for all the damage Erdogan has caused and continues to cause Israel, the hit Israel took with him is nothing compared to hits it will take from Britain if and when Corbyn forms a government.

First of all, there is the issue of Israel’s bilateral ties to Britain. Last month, Liam Fox, Britain’s secretary for international trade, visited Israel to conduct negotiations toward a post-Brexit bilateral free trade deal with Israel. Britain is Israel’s largest European trading partner. Trade between the two countries has increased massively over the past several years. Last year bilateral trade stood at $9 billion. In the first half of 2018, British exports to Israel increased 75% over the same period in 2017. All of this will be jeopardized if and when Corbyn comes to power. In a speech in 2015, Corbyn expressed support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. In his words, “I think the boycott campaign, divestment campaign, is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.”

He added, “I believe that sanctions against Israel, because of its breach of the trade agreement, are the appropriate way of promoting the peace process.” At the Labour Party conference in September, Corbyn pledged to recognize “Palestine” as soon as he forms a government. The economic hit that Israel is liable to take from reduced trade with Britain is dwarfed by the blow a Corbyn government will cast on its military and intelligence interests.

At the Labour Party conference, Labour members voted in favor of a motion to ban military sales to Israel. The measure didn’t come out of nowhere. Corbyn speaks frequently about banning such sales. This past April, shortly after the Hamas regime in Gaza initiated its operations against Israel along the border wall separating Gaza from Israel, Corbyn called for a review of British arms sales to Israel and attacked Israel’s efforts to keep the rioters from overrunning its territory as “illegal and inhuman.” He referred to the Palestinian rioters as “unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.”

He also called on the May government to support an “independent and transparent” UN investigation of the border clashes. From 2015 through 2017, UK weapons sales to Israel totaled $445 million. Much of Britain’s arms exports are not stand-alone systems. Rather, they are components in larger US platforms. For instance, 15% of the F-35 is made by British firms BAE and Rolls Royce. Components of F-16s and drones are likewise produced in Britain. Does Israel have a ready alternative supplier to replace the British if and when Corbyn takes over?

Then there is the issue of intelligence cooperation. There are contradictory indications in everything related to intelligence cooperation between Israel and Britain. On the one hand, British and Israeli intelligence officials have acknowledged close cooperation between their agencies. On the other hand, documents published by Edward Snowden exposed widespread British espionage against Israel. Israeli targets exposed by the Snowden documents include Israeli diplomatic personnel in key African countries, MASHAV-Israel’s agency for international development, Israeli scientific research centers, particularly at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and defense firms.

There is nothing surprising about Britain’s spying. Britain has traditionally had a love-hate relationship with Israel, where it cooperates with Israel at the same time it undercuts it. And yet, for all of Britain’s two-facedness, there is still a difference between an untrustworthy ally that knows your intelligence capabilities and operations and a hostile power having that information. This is doubly true in Corbyn’s case given his pronounced support and friendship for Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and Russia.

Corbyn’s most powerful adviser is his communications guru Seumas Milne. Milne, who served in the past as opinion editor at The Guardian, is ferociously anti-Israel. Among other things, Milne has argued that Israel has no right to defend itself, and that Palestinian terrorism is justified. Officials in Jerusalem see his relationship with Corbyn as a sign that if and when Corbyn rises to power, diplomatic relations between the two countries will effectively end. And ending Britain’s ties with Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. The UK is a global power. The first place his impact will be felt is among members of the British Commonwealth, particularly Australia and Canada.

In Australia’s case, this week most of the discussion relating to Australian-Israel relations revolved around the dispute brewing between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government on the one side and Australia’s foreign policy establishment on the other. Morrison and his colleagues wish to recognize that Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem. The foreign policy establishment opposes the move vociferously…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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WIDESPREAD ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE NETHERLANDS                                                                Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Dec. 19, 2018

A recent survey revealed a slew of data on Dutch Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism in their country. The study was carried out by the TV program, EenVandaag, with the assistance of the Jewish umbrella organization, CJO and the Jewish Social Organization (JMW).

Due to the fact that the interviewees were mainly selected among those who belong or are known to Jewish organizations the figures in the study are not statistically representative. Organized Jewry does not include more than 30% of those who selfidentify as Jews in the Netherlands. As far as relative data are concerned, the survey provides however important indications of the widespread anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. Mentioning the numbers found shows thus mainly the relative importance of issues.

In 2015 during his parliamentary campaign, Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberals) said that the Netherlands was an “incredibly marvelous” country. Such hyperbole is easily disproven when looking at the experiences of Jews in the Netherlands. The survey’s findings provide an unpleasant perspective on the Dutch reality. Seventy-seven percent of Jews interviewed said that antisemitic sentiment is rife in the Netherlands. When asked where these anti-Jewish sentiments appear, 82% responded “social media”.  Fifty-nine percent referred to the media, i.e., many of the Dutch TV stations and leading newspapers.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said that anti-Semitism manifests itself in the streets and 42% in politics.  Although respondents were not asked to identify which political parties promote anti-Semitism, it is evident that the prime promoter is a small Muslim party, Denk, which holds 3 seats out of 150 in the Lower House of the Parliament. In 2017, CIDI (The Center for Information and Documentation about Israel) has accused Denk of anti-Semitism in parliamentary questions and remarks.

The Dutch parliament recently voted in favor of a motion to recommend use of the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The proposal was opposed by Denk, Labor, (PvdA) and the left socialist party (SP). Furthermore also by the left liberal D66 party, which is a member of the government coalition as well as the uniquely Dutch phenomenon, The Party for the Animals.

The survey also asked participants to identify who is responsible for the anti-Jewish sentiment. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents saw education as the culprit, 71% blamed the media, and 65% believed that multiculturalism in the Netherlands is at fault. The latter can best be translated as “part of the Dutch Muslims.” The Muslim population accounts for approximately 6% of the about 17 million Dutch citizens. Forty-seven percent of respondents blamed the schools for anti-Semitism and 40% saw the political system as a culprit.

Frequent efforts are made, mainly by the Dutch left, to claim that anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism are different phenomena. After the Holocaust many people consider anti-Semitism not to be politically correct. Thus anti-Semitism often morphs into anti-Israelism, which does not carry the same stigma. Yet many claims against Israel and how the country is singled out are clear mutations of antisemitic motifs. One can easily identify anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized for acts while other nations with similar behavior are not blamed. The definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA which required approval in its Board of all the 32 member countries – including the Netherlands – states that this singling out is an explicit example of anti-Semitism.

Dutch Jews are often reluctant to publicly mention the problems of Islamization. Dutch historian Els van Diggele who spent a year interviewing people in the Palestinian territories wrote a book, We hate each other more than the Jews. Referring to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict she says: “The picture I obtained from conversations with cooperative Palestinians is greatly different from what we have been told during the past fifty years by the State News Service NOS and the major Dutch newspapers.”

The findings of the survey also show the overlap of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Respondents were asked what antisemitic experiences they have encountered. 89% answered that they have dealt with reproaches about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How can one make, if one is a honest person, such a reproach against a Dutch Jew who has never been a citizen of Israel, and who has no voting rights there? If one were to interview Italians living in the Netherlands at the time of the Berlusconi government, how many of them would have heard reproaches about what was going on in Italy? Italians abroad have voting rights in Italy but few if any at all would have been confronted in this manner. Other antisemitic experiences mentioned include: 86% heard stereotypes about Jews, 71% were subjected to nasty remarks about Jews in general, 51% experienced nasty remarks about Jews in the Second World War, 34% had been insulted because they are Jews and 11% have experienced violence because they are Jews. In the recently published study on European anti-Semitism by the Fundamental Rights Agency, the overwhelming majority of Dutch Jewish interviewees said that anti-Semitism in the country has increased in the last five years…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]     Contents

   

THE CANARY IN THE FRENCH MINE

Amir Taheri

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2018

Normally, this time of the year, the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris has a festive air with Christmas decorations and happy shoppers looking for last minute presents. This season, however, what the French like to boast about as “the most beautiful avenue in the world” looks more like a war zone. The reason is the phenomenon labeled “les gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests”, a movement that started as a protest against an increase in the price of diesel and quickly galumphed towards an all-out attack on the French political system. At first glance one might say: we have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt! Setting fire to parked cars and city dustbins, shattering shop windows and looting stores are old tactics of French protest movements, as witnessed on numerous occasions, most recently 2003 and 2005. However, the current uprising, now in its sixth week, is different from previous protests for a number of reasons.

The first is that the “yellow vests” started not in Paris but in the provinces. That in itself is quite new. Ever since it emerged as nation-state in the 14th century, France has always been a Paris-centered polity. The great revolution of 1789 started in the capital, as did its miniaturized successors in 1830 and 1848. The Paris Commune of 1871 was, as its name indicates, also a Parisian affair. The protests that led to the emergence of the Popular Front in 1936 was also the work of Parisian elites. Finally, the last great French insurrection, known as the May 1968 revolution, was also centered on the capital.

The second difference is that, unlike previous revolutionary and/or insurrectionary episodes, the “yellow vests” movement, mobilizing around 130,000 activists in 11 cities throughout the nation, has an unexpectedly small socio-political base, a fact camouflaged by the energy devoted to destructive activities. Because of its basically provincial persona, the movement reminds one of the old French tradition of rural revolts known as “jacqueries“, first launched in 1380, in which poor peasants cast themselves as bandits to fight, and rob, their feudal barons. Like historical “jacqueries,” the current “yellow vest” campaign is capable of inflicting much economic damage but is unable to offer an alternative vision of society.

The third difference is that it comes in the context of a society in which, for the first time in history, a majority of people could be regarded as privileged, at least in relative terms. A nation that had lived through almost four centuries of intermittent wars, including two world wars and half a dozen colonial wars, has been at peace for an unprecedented six decades. France today is one of the richest nations in the world with perhaps the most generous welfare system anywhere. It has the world’s shortest work week, longest annual holidays, earliest retirement age, and some of the best education and health facilities in history. The French today are better fed, better housed, better clothed and better entertained than any time in their history. They are also in better health and live a staggering 20 years longer than they did at the start of their Fifth Republic. Also worth noting is that France is perhaps the only country in the world where scores of small and medium-sized towns and cities have virtually all the facilities of a modern metropolis. Yet, opinion polls show that almost two-thirds of the French have some sympathy with the “yellow vests”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

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RESCUING THE JEWS OF DENMARK

Rhona Lewis                                                         

Jewish Press, Dec. 24, 2018

It was 1943. Inge Sulzbacher and her twin sister were five years old. Members of the Danish resistance helped them escape the Nazi round-up in Copenhagen by huddling them underdeck in a fishing boat crossing the choppy Øresund Strait to Sweden. Shulamit Kahn wasn’t quite seven. “Some memories are etched into your mind and you never forget them,” says Shulamit. The Danish resistance movement, along with many ordinary Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews. It was the largest action of collective resistance in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. And we haven’t forgotten it.

Jewish history in Denmark dates back to 1622 when King Christian IV sent a message to the leaders of the Sephardi community in Amsterdam and Hamburg inviting Jews to settle in the township of Gluckstadt. Jews who accepted this invitation began trading and manufacturing operations there. The King built the famous Round Tower, an astronomical observatory, on which the letters yud keh vav keh can be clearly seen, to show his recognition of their contributions. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Jews from Eastern Europe continued arriving and settled in Copenhagen where they enjoyed a warm welcome.

Gittel Davidson, whose father was a member of the Machzikei Hadas Shul founded in 1910, shares a memory: “During the First World War, when no lulavim were available, my grandfather paid the curators of the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens to be allowed to pick lulavim from the palms in the hot house for tropical plants,” she says.

This idyllic stability was rocked on April 9, 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded Denmark. With little choice, the Danish government surrendered and Denmark became a “model protectorate.” Model meant that some sort of quasi-cordial relationship was maintained. While Germany sent 22,000 officials to occupied France, a mere 89 officials were sent to Denmark. During the early years of the occupation, Danish officials repeatedly insisted to the German occupation authorities that there was no “Jewish problem” in Denmark.

The Germans looked the other way for several reasons. They recognized that further discussion was a possibly explosive issue, one that had the potential to destroy the “model” relationship. In addition, the Reich relied substantially on Danish agriculture, meat and butter. Despite this leeway, resistance to German rule bubbled strongly in Denmark. In the summer of 1943, when it seemed that the war was going against the Reich, members of the Danish resistance became bolder. The Germans hit back. In August, they presented the Danish government with new demands to end resistance activities. The Danish government refused to meet the new demands and resigned. That same day, the Germans took direct control of administration and declared martial law. Plans for the arrest and deportation of Danish Jewry got underway… and were foiled from the inside.

German naval attaché Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, leaked word of the planned deportation to Hans Hedtoft, chairman of the Danish Social Democratic Party. Hedtoft contacted the Danish Resistance Movement and the head of the Jewish community, C.B. Henriques. Henriques alerted the acting chief rabbi, Dr. Marcus Melchior. On September 29, erev Rosh Hashana, during Selichos, Jews were warned by Rabbi Melchior of the planned German action and urged to go into hiding immediately. The word spread. The Danish Underground and regular citizens – intellectuals, priests, policemen, doctors, blue-color workers – worked together to track down Jews and find ways to hide them. Some simply contacted friends and asked them to go through telephone books and warn those with Jewish-sounding names to go into hiding. It was a national refutation of Nazi Germany and a reaffirmation of democratic and humanistic values…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

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On Topic Links

Pop Islam: How Germany is Tackling the New Islamic Antisemitism: Daniel Rickenbacher, Fathom, Dec. 2018—Several incidents in 2018 have highlighted the problem of Islamic antisemitism in Germany. In April, a Syrian immigrant attacked a young Israeli wearing a kippa in Berlin.

Survey Showing Persistent Antisemitism in Europe a Grave Warning for Canada, B’nai Brith Says: Daniel Koren, B’nai Brith Canada, Dec. 10, 2018—A major survey of Jews in Europe has painted a harrowing account of what it’s like to be Jewish in the European Diaspora.

Anti-Semitism in Europe Today Comes Mostly from the Left: Fiamma Nirenstein, JCPA, 2018—Against all odds, after only 70 years since the Holocaust’s massacre of six million Jews, including two million children on European soil, anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise in thought, rhetoric, and deed.

Political Divisions in Germany Have Implications for the Middle East: Noah Phillips, BESA, Dec. 3, 2018—Announced in the wake of a Bavarian regional election that saw immense losses for the centrist German bloc, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned resignation in 2021 marks the conclusion of a unique era of bipartisanship in Germany.

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Norwegian summer, Israel and the Jews

[Manfred Gerstenfeld is a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, of which he has been Chairman for twelve years.]
 

Originally published in Yneet News.

 

The short Norwegian summer was this year not as quiet as usual. Some aspects of this are also relevant for Israel and the local Jewish community. Part of Norway’s problems are linked to last year’s murder of 77 people by Anders Breivik in Oslo and on the island of Utoya on 22 July.

 

The just-released conclusions of the government-appointed investigation commission are damning for Norway’s leadership. The report mentions a long list of major shortcomings among which poor protection of governmental buildings, weak police leadership and general disorganization. The ultimate responsibility for these failures lies with Labor Party Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

 

His government has been proven greatly incompetent at protecting its own citizens. Yet it is a master at criticizing Israel. In particular, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere frequently condemns the Jerusalem government and tells it how to handle infinitely more complex challenges than Norway is able to deal with. This arrogance is often shared by Norwegian media editors, NGOs, some Lutheran bishops, trade union leaders and others among the country’s cultural elite.

 

Yet it was not difficult to understand that there were structural security problems in Norway already many years ago. In my 2008 book 'Behind the Humanitarian Mask,' the Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews, I quoted the then-head of the Norwegian Army, General Robert Mood. He described his army’s capability as only being able to defend perhaps one neighborhood in Oslo, much less the entire country.

 

Besides the Breivik Commission report there were other reasons for a somewhat troubled summer. In the Netherlands, a major tank farm of the major Norwegian company Odfjell had to close. There had been leaks of flammable gases in addition to frequent security and environmental problems. When a Dutch security expert saw a picture of the actual installation, his first thought was that it was taken 30 years ago. Odfjell’s head office declared that security is taken extremely seriously, yet could not explain why the Dutch subsidiary had many failures in this field.

 

Norway’s cultural elite is fallaciously proud of its ethics. The country’s huge State Pensions’ Fund sold off shares of the Israeli company Elbit because it had manufactured components for Israel’s security fence. The latter has greatly reduced the number of Palestinian murders of Israeli civilians. A major explosion at the unethical and negligent Dutch subsidiary of Odfjell could however have endangered the surrounding population of about one million.

 

'Expect more Norwegian misconduct'

 

The leading Norwegian daily Aftenposten mentioned in an editorial that Odfjell was endangering Norway’s reputation abroad. In fact this reputation should have been downgraded long ago even if only because of the elites’ empathy with murderous and genocide promoting Palestinians and other criminals in Muslim states. Around the same time, the daily Dagbladet ran two articles detailing the corruption of Norwegian companies in dealings with dictator states.

 

A few weeks ago the University of Basel and the World Peace Academy, there suspended collaboration with Norwegian Peace scholar 'and father of Peace studies,' Johan Galtung. He had recommended the anti-Semitic forgery, the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' to an audience at Oslo University. Galtung said that one could not read this book without thinking of Goldman Sachs. He also suggested that the Jews were partly guilty of being murdered at Auschwitz. Some may wonder why no action has been taken against him in Norway. The answer is not difficult for those who are familiar with the profound hypocrisy of many among Norway’s cultural elite.

 

Much less noticeable yet noteworthy is the change in attitude of the Jewish community. For many years it played a significant role in publicly minimizing anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway. This was useful for the government. When foreigners dared to point out the obvious Norwegian hatemongering, the reaction was often: “Who knows better – the Norwegian Jews or these people who do not even live here?”

 

The whitewashing of the country’s unpleasant reality by local Jewish leaders was partly understandable after earlier experiences when they spoke out. About 10 years ago two community members who had been involved in discussing anti-Semitism publicly received bullets in their mail.

 

Yet even for the small Norwegian Jewish community, there are limits. The Center Party which is part of the government has recently come out in favor of prohibiting circumcision of boys. Ervin Kohn, the head of the Oslo Jewish community in July still said that he would rather be a Jew in Norway than in Spain and Hungary. In August Kohn said that if a 'prohibition of circumcision' law passes, there will no longer be a place for Jews in Norway. No foreign critic has ever gone this far.

 

Recently former US Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams has joined the increasing number of foreign critics of Norwegian anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. For those who are familiar with the many aberrations of the country’s cultural elite, there is only one conclusion: expect more Norwegian misconduct to arrive after the summer ends.