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>Israel News Faxx
>JN Jan. 22. 2018. Vol. 26, No. 16

Survey: 27% of European Jews Don't Feel Safe: Global Anti-Semitism Report Points to Muslim Immigrants as 'Risk Factor'

By JTA & Israel Hayom

In a survey conducted online among hundreds of respondents who identified as Jews, 27% of Europeans and 11% of Americans said they felt unsafe. The World Zionist Organization survey, which was conducted last year among a total of 1,361 respondents, 51% of those in Europe said that wearing Jewish symbols in public made them feel unsafe. In North America, that figure was 22%.

A press statement by WZO about the survey was conducted among Jews not living in Israel but it did not say how many of the 1,361 respondents were from Europe, North America and beyond. The statement also did not specify which countries in Europe the respondents on that continent came from. Nearly a third of European respondents said they had experienced or witnessed an anti-Semitic event featuring vandalism, compared to 11% worldwide.

Worldwide, most respondents who said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident also indicated that they did not report it to police. Six percent said they did not report the alleged incident out of fear their security. Thirty percent said they did not want "to make a deal of it" and 42% said they had no faith in local authorities to act on their complaint.

The influx of refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries into Europe has caused a spike in anti-Semitic backlash against Israel, a Diaspora Affairs Ministry report on global anti-Semitism stated Sunday.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett presented the report's findings at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. The ministry regularly compiles a report on worldwide anti-Semitism ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked on Saturday.

The report pointed to Muslim immigrants to Europe as "a major risk factor to the Jewish communities of western Europe," saying that over half of all immigrants in western Europe hold anti-Semitic views.

"Following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we are hearing for the first time in years calls to kill Jews, and Israeli flags are being burned in European capitals," the report said.

It also said that the mass immigration has sparked violent, anti-Semitic discourse among native-born Europeans. "Due to the crisis of the refugees and immigrants, extreme right-wing parties are making unusual strides in terms of public support. The campaigns that [far-right] parties in France, Britain, and Germany ran have accelerated the rate at which anti-Semitism seeps into political dialogue, which is expressed by a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Semitic remarks," the report said.

According to the report, 2017 saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, Britain, and France. Britain alone reported a 78% rise in the number of cases of physical violence perpetrated against Jews. According to the CST, a group devoted to protecting and advocating for Jewish communities across Britain, there were 767 reported anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2017, the highest number since it began tracking such complaints in 1984.

In Germany, a new annotated edition of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" became a bestseller, and a senior official in the far-right Alternative for Germany party was quoted calling a Holocaust memorial a "disgrace." A total of 522 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in Germany in the first nine months of 2017.

Despite France's active efforts to combat anti-Semitism, and a decline in anti-Semitic acts in 2016, France experienced a host of serious attacks in 2017, including the murder of Jewish woman Sarah Halimi in her home by a Muslim man. While the case was under investigation, kosher supermarkets in a Paris suburb were set on fire, and a Jewish girl was attacked by a Muslim immigrant.

According to figures from the French police for 2016, one out of every three race-based crimes reported was committed against Jews, although Jews comprise less than 1% of France's population. Meanwhile, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine has doubled. Dozens of Jewish memorials and graves have been vandalized, and a Jewish museum and synagogues were damaged in Odessa. In Austria, 477 anti-Semitic incidents were reported over the course of 2017.

In May 2017, the Pew Institute conducted a survey of 2,000 residents in each of the countries in eastern and central Europe. Twenty percent of respondents did not want Jews in their country, and 30% did not want Jews as neighbors. In Romania, 22% wanted to revoke the right of Jews' to hold citizenship, and 18% of Poles said the same.

"This year, five more countries adopted the new definition of anti-Semitism [used by] the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which helps pass laws, set standards, and enforce [action] in cases of anti-Semitism in these countries," said Dvir Kahana, director general of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry.

"The Diaspora Affairs Ministry will continue to work, along with the Foreign Ministry, with governments of the world [so they] adopt the updated definition of anti-Semitism and work vigorously with governments and authorities across the world to contain it," Kahana said.

Abbas to Ask EU to Recognize 'Palestine'


Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas will ask the EU to officially recognize the state of "Palestine" when he meets foreign ministers from the bloc on Monday, a senior official told AFP Sunday. Abbas will meet EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the bloc's 28 foreign ministers on the sidelines of their monthly meeting.

Riad al-Malki, the PA official in charge of foreign affairs, said Abbas will tell the EU it should take the step "as a way to respond" to President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. At the same time, Abbas will also "reiterate his commitment to the peace process" in the Middle East, Malki said in an interview with AFP in Brussels.

"Since Trump's decision has altered the rules of the game, he (Abbas) expects the European foreign ministers to come forward and collectively recognize the state of Palestine as a way to respond back to Trump's decision," Malki continued. "If the Europeans want to be a player then they have to be fair in their treatment of both parties and this should start with the recognition of the state of Palestine."

Diplomats and officials in Brussels say recognition for Palestine is not on the cards on Monday -- the EU leaves recognition in the hands of individual members -- and the best Abbas can hope for is progress towards an "association agreement" with the bloc. Malki told AFP that while the PA was "very serious" about such an agreement, they also expected to be formally recognized as a state. "One does not replace the other. Absolutely not," he stressed.

Two weeks ago, PA sources indicated that Abbas would ask EU's foreign ministers to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 territories with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. The sources claimed that such recognition by the EU would revive the internationally-backed two-state solution and help the Palestinian bid to get a full UN membership.

The PA has been mulling unilateral steps in response to Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. A PA official recently said France would be willing to recognize "Palestine", if other European countries join it in doing so. However, at a meeting last month with Abbas, French President Emmanuel Macron ruled out recognizing "Palestine" as a state unilaterally. Previously, Abbas urged Spain to recognize the "state of Palestine" in accordance with the recommendation of the local parliament.

Ben Gurion Flights Halted After Drone Enters Airspace


At about 7:20 p.m. Sunday evening, a drone was spotted hovering over the Terminal 3 building at Ben Gurion International Airport. The incident took place shortly after Vice President Mike Pence disembarked from Air Force Two.

Air Force Two landed in Ben Gurion International Airport, carrying Pence and his wife, Karen, for the couple's first visit to the Jewish state since Pence was sworn into office last January.

The two were met on the tarmac by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, his Israeli counterpart Ron Dermer, and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud), who welcomed the Vice President on behalf of the Israeli government. "I welcome you to Israel, and thank you for the important role you played in the president's declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. We very much appreciate the strong friendship between our two countries, and we are sure that you and your wife Karen will feel at home here."

The Israeli government will hold a formal welcoming ceremony for the Vice President Monday morning at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Later that day, Pence is scheduled to address the Israeli Knesset – the first senior US official to do so in a decade. In 2008, then-President George Bush spoke at the Knesset to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. Members of the predominantly Arab Joint List announced that they would boycott Pence's addressed to the Knesset.

On Tuesday, the Vice President will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and visit the Western Wall.

The Vice President, who was originally slated to visit Israel on December 18th, had planned to meet with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Following President Donald Trump's December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, however, the PA announced that Pence, as a senior figure in the Trump administration, was persona non-grata in the PA.

Because of the drone, air traffic was halted for 10 minutes as standard procedure for identifying objects above the airfield. Departures and landings resumed after suspicion of a safety or security incident was ruled out. The Airports Authority views the use of drones in the airport area as a serious offense, and emphasizes that it is strictly forbidden to fly in the airport area.

This is not the first-time drones have penetrated Israeli airport airspace. Just last month, an unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft penetrated the airspace over Ben Gurion Airport just after midnight, forcing a temporary shutdown of the airport to both departing and arriving flights

Lost 'Shtreimel' Lands Haredi Man in IDF Prison


A 22-year old Haredi father ended up in a prison cell after losing his traditional shtreimel fur hat last week in the Jerusalem Central Bus station.

After the Tiberias resident returned to collect his missing hat from the lost and found, he was greeted by two policemen, who asked the man to present identification to prove that the item was indeed his. Upon scrutinizing his identification card, police realized that he was wanted for draft dodging and promptly arrested him. The man was handed over the IDF military police, who forced him to spend the night in a holding cell. He was released the morning after, and will likely be indicted for draft dodging.

While the IDF military police attempts to arrest Haredim accused of draft dodging, it often proves challenging for them to track down a suspect in the close-knit and closed-off Haredi world. As a result, haredim with outstanding warrants for draft dodging are often arrested at traffic stops and other routine incidents after police demand to see identification.

For example, a pair of Haredi men were arrested for draft dodging in October after police pulled them over for driving dangerously. Police had ordered the men to pull over after noticing them weaving in and out of traffic near the Dead Sea. After checking their licenses, police found that the two were wanted for draft dodging, as both had refused to report to the IDF recruitment center to receive their deferments. Police arrested them immediately and handed them over to the military police.

Area Under Warsaw Ghetto Poised to be Named Protected Archeological Site


The area where the Warsaw Ghetto was located could be eligible to be listed as a protected site. The goal is to protect the remains of the ghetto, which are located underground and sometimes excavated during repairs, and are not always turned over to museums.

On the initiative of the Warsaw Monument Conservator, the representatives of the Polin Museum, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Warsaw and the Voivodship Monument Conservator met last week to discuss including the Warsaw Ghetto area in the communal record of monuments, naming it a protected archaeological site.

Before the ghetto area is added to the list of the historic monuments, a historical and archeological analysis of the area will be prepared to precisely define the protection limits. The Warsaw conservator then will apply to the provincial conservator to enter the ghetto area in the register of protected monuments. Protection will only apply to what is underground.

Inclusion in the register will allow archeological supervision during all earthworks around the former ghetto. Objects discovered by accident in recent years and related to the history of the ghetto and the lives of its residents shows the need for such protection. Despite their significant historical value, many of those objects were not turned over to museums or research institutes. The municipal record of monuments kept by the Office of the Capital Conservator of Monuments covers over 11,000 immovable objects from the Warsaw area.

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