Headlines 30 April, 2010
MUSLIM PLEA TO REPORT HATE CRIME (uk)
28/4/2010- Muslims in Dorset are being offered a new way to report hate crime without dealing directly with police officers. Victims can now log incidents with their local council, the Dorset Race Equality Council or through the force's website. Police said they can offer help to cultures which may think going to the authorities was "the last thing" to do. Officers spoke to members of the Muslim community at a special event in Bournemouth last weekend. The event was designed to bring together public services and voluntary agencies with local people, police said.
Low level abuse
Teri Roberts, Dorset Police diversity development manager, said: "People should not be frightened to come to us to report crime, no matter how small. "We realise that in some countries and cultures going to the local police force may be the last thing you would do - but here we need to understand the issues affecting you so that we can work together to solve them." Adnan Chaudry, chief officer of the Dorset Race Equality Council, said: "Often people may experience something that might be seen as a low level abuse and they may think, is it worth reporting it? "But it's important that they do, so we can start mapping where these incidents take place and improve our understanding of the problems."
© BBC News
CRIMES AGAINST JEWS INCREASE IN MONTREAL(Canada)
29/4/2010- A rash of crimes against the Jewish community in two Montreal neighborhoods has included swastikas painted on private homes and robberies. The Outrement suburb and Côte des Neiges district of Montreal are home to a large number of Chasidim. In Otremount, swastikas were painted on three properties last week, the Jewish Tribune reported. Last month, a synagogue was broken into and two swastikas were drawn in the sanctuary. Prayer shawls and prayer books were thrown on the floor. In Côte des Neiges, at least three people easily identifed as Jews, including a 12-year-old boy and a pregnant woman, were robbed, the newspaper reported. The community will present its complaints and concerns at special meetings in early May set up by area police, according to the Tribune. "This police station has bent over backwards for the Jewish community," Lionel Perez, an Orthodox Jew who was elected for the first time last November as a city councillor for Côte des Neiges/Darlington, told the Jewish Tribune. "People need to be reminded of that.” There has been a major increase in reported incidents of vandalism and swastikas to the office of B’nai Brith Canada’s Quebec Region, director Heidi Oppen told the Jewish Tribune.
© JTA News
GRAVESTONES DESECRATED IN UKRAINE
30/4/2010- Vandals painted antisemitic slogans on 26 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Ternopil, Ukraine, according to an April 19 report by the Ukrainian Jewish web site http://jewish.kiev.ua. The cemetery, where several thousand Jews are laid to rest, has not been in use since 1940. So far, there have been no arrests in connection with the crime.
TWELVE HEADSTONES DESTROYED AT JEWISH CEMETERY IN OSIJEK (Croatia)
27/4/2010- The police are investigating the destruction of twelve headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Osijek in eastern Croatia. The secretary of the Jewish community Drago Kohn said that this is the first time that something like this has happened in Osijek, but that they are doubtful that the destruction is the result of vandalism. "On Saturday one of our members visited the graveyard and seven headstones in the same row were destroyed. We think it is impossible that age or weather has done this." Most of the graves at the cemetery date back to the 19th or the first part of 20th century. The cemetery is rarely used for funerals today. Osijek's public firm Ukop (Burial) that is responsible for the city's cemeteries pledged their support for the restitution of the headstones, the Croatian daily Jutarnji List reports.
© The Croation Times
ATTACK ON ROMANI CHILDREN FROM A HOMELESS SHELTER (Czech Rep.)
27/4/2010- At around 6 PM on 20 April 2010 in the town of Husinec, a group of children was playing by the fish pond. Two men approached the children and told them to remove a stone they had allegedly thrown into the pond. When the children did not obey, one of the men grabbed a 13-year-old girl, threw her into the pond, and allegedly repeatedly pushed her head down under the water. The other children wanted to help her, but the other man prevented them from doing so. The attackers fled before a police patrol drove up. The girl’s mother has filed criminal charges; police are investigating the case as one of rioting. This is not the first time that children from the homeless shelter in Husinec have been assaulted. Last August a resident of a small village nearby shot an air pistol at them. Before that, a youth attacked some of the children, kicking them brutally. Eva Dvoøáková, director of the homeless shelter, has now decided to publicize the case. She refuses to accept the idea that her clients will continually be attacked just because they are socially vulnerable. Dvoøáková says the attack at the fish pond endangered the life of the victim, a Romani girl. Had water gotten into her lungs, she could have died. The local daily paper described the story of the most recent attack as follows: “A 13-year-old girl and three boys went for a walk by the fish pond, where two men from Husinec were also walking their horses. A two-year-old boy threw a stone into the pond from the embankment. This evidently enraged one of the men so much that he threw the girl into the pond. He then repeatedly pushed her head under water.”
Witnesses say the man yelled “black pigs” at the children. He was evidently under the influence of alcohol. Fortunately, another man was taking his dog for a walk near the scene of the crime and saved the girl’s life. The dog barked, startling the attacker. The girl managed to escape at that moment and ran home, where she told her mother what had happened. Her mother reported the case to the director of the shelter and to the police. “The girl was so shaken she could not go to school for the next three days,” Eva Dvoøáková told the news server Romea. “Our people work, they behave themselves,” she said in defense of her clients. In her view the attack was not a display of racism, but of xenophobia. The shelter houses both Romani and “non-Romani” children, and Dvoøáková believes this was an attack on “the shelter children”: “Our children know how to say hello, how to say thank you, we teach them proper behavior. If they’re naughty, it’s the same as any other child who is naughty. They are children - no one has any right whatsoever to attack them.” The assaulted girl and her parents have given their testimonies to the police. Štìpánka Valentová, spokesperson for the Czech Police in Prachatice, is allegedly not authorized to provide any more information about the case. She would only confirm the details of the previous attack: On 23 April 2009, a man from the nearby village of PodivÃn attacked children from the shelter. Witnesses said he drove up in front of the shelter and swore at the adults and children there, saying he would beat them up and shoot them. As proof of his intention he fired several shots from a weapon. Police said it was a starter pistol and posed no threat to anyone. However, the children’s nerves were shaken by the shocking experience. Many of them justifiably feared for their lives.
“He yelled at them that they were ‘black Gypsy pigs’, that he would eliminate them, shoot them all, that this was just the beginning and that there was more to come. We have white citizens living here too, not just Roma. I am really afraid for my people, mainly for the small children and also for us employees. Police officers confirmed to the shelter residents that they know this man and that he shot at someone in the past,” Dvoøáková told the Mediafax press agency. Dvoøáková said the man returned to the facility the very next day and threatened a female shelter resident on the street, saying he would beat them all up, shoot them, and throw a Molotov cocktail into the building. “The lady saw a weapon in his bag – the pistol he had used on the weekend. He didn’t shoot the second time around, but our people, mainly the children, were frightened all over again and are truly shaken by this,” the director said. Police confiscated the perpetrator’s weapon and classified the incident as a misdemeanor against civil co-existence, eventually re-classifying it as the offense of rioting. The perpetrator had been in trouble with the law before. The director said his case was eventually handled by the town’s misdemeanor commission. Shortly thereafter, a local boy from Husinec kicked several of the small children from the shelter so brutally they had to be hospitalized. Police spokesperson Valentová said the perpetrator was less than 15 years old at the time of the crime. Dvoøáková said the court eventually sentenced him to a suspended prison sentence and was supposed to have transferred him to a diagnostic institute.
The Rybka shelter
The Rybka Shelter in Husinec is a non-profit facility operated by a civic association of the same name. The facility is exceptional in that it is the only one in the country that accommodates entire families with children. Around 45 people, including children, live there because their situations have become too oppressive. The shelter residents are from the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia. The facility is sponsored by the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation, the Rotary Club of Hluboká nad Vltavou, and Bavarian Count Leopold Deym of Munich. At the end of last July, the Count invited the shelter children to vacation for a week at his chateau in Dražíèe, South Bohemia. “These days there are very few people who keep their word, and I am very glad the Count is truly noble, not just in origin, but by nature, because he truly kept his promise and invited the children to his chateau,” Dvoøáková said. A rich cultural program was prepared for 15 children and three adults. During their stay at the chateau they visited the “Western village” at Jerotice, the chateau in Bechynì, and the museum in Týn nad Vltavou. In previous years “some of our children vacationed at a camp at Lake Lipno organized for them by the South Bohemian Water Rescuers,” Dvoøáková said. Count Deym lives part of the time in Bavaria and part of the time in the Czech Republic. He organizes seminars and small-scale European Youth Days at his South Bohemian chateau. He is dedicated to assisting problem youth and the socially disadvantaged.
Headlines 23 April, 2010
FAR-RIGHT SUSPECTED IN ATTACK ON RYAZAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (Russia)
17/4/2010- Men screaming racist rhetoric attacked a prominent human rights activist in Ryazan, Russia according to an April 10, 2010 report posted on the opposition web site Kasparov.ru. Pyotr Ivanov, who works for the NGOs "Memorial" and the Ryazan Human Rights School, was assaulted on April 10 by three men who aggressively asked him, "Are you Russian or not?!" At least one of the assailants had a shaven head. A passing police patrol scared off the attackers, but so far police have detained no suspects.
SCHOOL VANDALISM, FLAG BURNINGS STRIKE KIEV (Ukraine)
21/4/2010- A Jewish school in Kiev was vandalized, apparently by members of a local neo-Nazi group. Vandals broke into the school building Tuesday night, spray-painting swastikas and slogans such as "Death to Jews" and "Death to Israel" on the walls, Chabad.info reported Wednesday. The name of a known neo-Nazi group also was painted on the wall, according to the report. The school is run by the local Chabad organization. Meanwhile, during an April 15 rally in Kiev, members of a far-right group burned Israeli, Russian and Polish flags. The flag burning took place during a gathering of the Patriots of Ukraine, which regularly holds racist and anti-Semitic demonstrations, according to the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union, citing a Ukrainian Jewish news Web site. The gathering was held to mark the 242nd anniversary of an uprising by Ukrainian Cossacks against Polish landowners. Police reportedly detained two of the demonstrators, who were charged with disobeying police. The demonstrators were not charged with a hate crime for the flag burning, according to UCSJ.
© JTA News
HATE CRIME INCIDENTS SHOW SPIKE (Canada)
20/4/2010- There were 88 hate crimes and incidents in Hamilton last year -- the largest spike since 2005, according to a police board report released yesterday. The findings show the black community is the most targeted. And the study's researchers have no idea why. "It's as clear as muddy water right now," said Detective Brian Ritchie, who presented the report to the Hamilton Police Services Board. "It certainly begs the response to find out why," adding he hopes to be able to make sense of the results. In 2008, Hamilton had 33 hate crimes, which include serious offences such as assault. It also had 36 hate incidents, such as graffiti. While hate crimes went down in 2009 to 23, incidents spiked to 65. Last year marked the first time the total has approached 2005's tally of 96 hate crimes and incidents, according to the study. Ritchie said he suspects the black community is targeted more because it outnumbers other minority groups in Hamilton. But that may not be the case, said Lloyd Turner, the Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association's program co-ordinator. He said he's not so sure the city's black community is larger than other communities in Hamilton. Turner suggested the police board should restructure the way it does studies because other groups, such as those of European descent, can be even larger than African ones. As for hate-related crimes, "I don't think Hamilton is worse than anywhere else," he added. After the black community, sexual orientation was targeted second, followed by the Jewish community. Ritchie also said he expects to see an increase in reported hate crimes and incidents after city police begin public education on hate crimes.
© The Hamilton Spectator
Headlines 16 April, 2010
KADARE CANCELS GREEK VISIT AFTER RACIST CHANTS (Albania/Greece)
16/4/2010- Renowned Albanian writer Ismail Kadare has canceled a visit to Greece in the wake of racist chants against Albanians sung during a military parade in Athens at the end of March, local media reported on Thursday. Kadare was scheduled to hold a speech on April 19 at the Megaro Mousikis University in Athens. In a letter to the university Kadare wrote that, although he was a great admirer of Greek literature and culture, he does not find any trace of such culture in the recent military parade. “Being aware of the recent events in Athens expressing racism against Albanians I am canceling my visit to your country,” Kadare is cited as writing by local broadcaster Top-Channel TV. “You know very well my admiration for Greek literature and culture, but I believe that in this climate that lacks civility, my visit would be premature,” Kadare adds. Video footage taken on March 25 at a military parade in Athens appeared on the internet, and showed soldiers of the Greek army shouting racist slogans against Greece’s neighbours: Albanians and Macedonians. “They are Skopians, they are Albanians, we will make new clothes out of their skins,” and “You do not become a Greek, you are born one,” and “We’re going to spill your blood, Albanian pig” were some of the chants that could be heard from the footage. The Greek ambassadors to Skopje and Tirana apologised for the incident. Greek media reported that the officers who were shouting the racist slogans were part of the Greek coast guard special forces unit. The head of the unit has been suspended and the army has launched an investigation to determine exactly who was involved in the incident. Greece has a large Albanian community living and working within its borders. Although bilateral political relations are good, the issue of Greece's reluctance to recognise the expulsion of the Albanian Cham minority from Greece at the end of World War Two is still an open issue. Ismail Kadare was born in 1936 in the southern town of Gjirokastra, near the Greek border. He first studied at the University of Tirana in Albania, and later at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. During half a century of Stalinist rule in Albania his works attacked totalitarianism and the doctrines of socialist realism with subtle allegories. A perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature, his novels and essays have been translated into more than 40 languages and he has been awarded with the Booker International Prize for literature and the Prince of Asturias Prize, among others.
© Balkan Insight
KYRGYZSTAN'S JEWISH COMMUNITY ALARMED AFTER RIOTS
13/4/2010- Arieh Reichman, Kyrgyzstan's chief rabbi, shook his head as he presented a vodka bottle filled with flammable liquid that was thrown at the Muslim country's sole synagogue during violent riots last week. He said it was the first act of violence against the country's tiny Jewish community, apparently triggered by the chaos and violence that ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on April 7. "It's the first time in the history of our community here that we see such clear signs of anti-Semitism," he told Reuters outside the synagogue, a simple one-story building in Bishkek. "Kyrgyzstan has always been hospitable. During Soviet times and under its later leaders, it has always been tolerant. So what is happening right now is very alarming." Reichman said attackers tried to set the synagogue on fire and pelted it with molotov cocktails. Holding up one that did not explode, he could not say who he thought the attackers were.
There have been few cases of anti-Semitism in Kyrgyzstan's post-Soviet history and the country's 1,500-strong Jewish community has coexisted peacefully in the capital Bishkek with its predominantly Muslim population. Bishkek residents have themselves been puzzled and linked the sudden acts of anti-Semitism to some people's aversion to the business partners of Bakiyev's son, Maxim. At least one of them is Jewish. Anti-Semitic posters have sprung up around the capital, they said. One poster that appeared outside the presidential White House after the night of fighting stated: "Dirty Jews and all those like Maxim Bakiyev have no place in Kyrgyzstan." Reichman said the community had appealed for protection to the self-proclaimed government led by Roza Otunbayeva. But not all Bishkek residents agreed violence was an issue.
"This is wrong," said Yerlan, a Kyrgyz man who lives near the synagogue. "We have never seen ... any attacks on the synagogue or any negative feelings toward the Jewish community." Mark Levin, executive director of the National Conference of Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) in Washington, said he was concerned. "There have been isolated incidents of violence against Jews in Bishkek, and while there does not appear to be an organized effort to undermine the Jewish community there, the locals will be very concerned until there is a formal government," he told Reuters by telephone.
EU SEES UPSWING IN ANTISEMITIC ATTACKS, REPORT SAYS
12/4/2010- The number of antisemitic incidents mushroomed in many western EU countries in 2009 due to an organised anti-Gaza war campaign, a new study says. Incidents in the UK jumped 69 percent to 924, while the number of violent attacks tripled. Incidents went up by 75 percent to 832 in France. Sharp upward trends also took hold of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and Spain. The figures, published at the weekend, were compiled by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at the Tel Aviv University in Israel. Looking at the number of violent incidents in absolute terms, the UK and France lead the EU league table, followed by Germany, Belgium and Austria. Relatively high numbers are also seen in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. The vast majority of incidents concern vandalism of Jewish sites or chanting antisemitic slogans at rallies. But some are more disturbing.
In January in Odense, Denmark, a young Danish-Palestinian man shot and wounded two Israelis manning a Dead Sea products stall. In March in Brussels, a man of North African origin attacked three orthodox Jews in the street with a steel bar while shouting "Allah Akbar" (meaning "God is great"). The Stephen Roth Institute linked the upswing to Israel's assault on Gaza in early 2009, which saw Israeli soldiers kill 1,400 Palestinians in actions later dubbed war crimes by a UN report. The institute said the rise was due to an organised campaign by far-left parties and Muslim communities, funded by "oil money" rather than due to a spontaneous reaction, although the report does not provide evidence for this accusation. "The intensity and nature of the wave that began in January 2009 testified to pre-planned mobilisation among radicals from the left and among Muslim immigrant communities," it said.
It cited one Jewish victim in the Netherlands as saying: "When an Israeli military operation dominates the headlines, I am the first to notice it on the streets ...the verbal abuse hurled at me." The study also accused politicians and officials from some European countries of contributing to the negative atmosphere by adopting a "leitmotif" in 2009 that Israeli crimes against Palestinians are comparable to Nazi crimes against Jews in World War II. In one case, Trine Lilleng, a diplomat at Norway's embassy in Saudi Arabia, circulated an mail entitled "Holocaust survivors" about the victims of Israel's assault on Gaza. The institute said that antisemitic incidents are less common in former Communist and Soviet EU countries because they tend to have small Muslim communities, less popular sympathy toward Arab causes and different historical sensibilities:
"Historical issues relating to memory of the war and the Holocaust, along with revisionism, are central to the public discourse and have a considerable impact on antisemitism."
© The EUobserver
TOP ANTI-RACISM JUDGE SHOT DEAD IN MOSCOW (Russia)
12/4/2010- A top judge from Moscow's city court who had tried high-profile racist murder cases was shot dead Monday as he left his apartment in the Russian capital, investigators said. "Unknown assailants shot the federal judge of the Moscow city court, Eduard Chuvashov, on the third-floor landing in the first entrance of building 24 on Strelbishchensky Street," the investigative committee said in a statement. "He died on the spot from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. The attackers fled the scene." Investigators were working at the crime scene and hunting for the man who pulled the trigger in the apparent contract-style killing, the committee said. The crime was likely to have been related to Chuvashov's work, it added. His court dealt with "difficult criminal cases", a spokeswoman for Moscow's court, Anna Usacheva, said on the Echo of Moscow radio. "To the court and colleagues... He was kindhearted, compassionate man and the highest of professionals," she said, mourning Chuvashov's death. The 47-year-old judge had presided over at least two cases of hate crimes perpetrated by ultra-nationalist groups last year and afterwards threats against him were posted on several radical websites, said Galina Kozhevnikova of the Sova Centre, a rights group that tracks racist crimes. "They published his picture and extracts of audio tapes from court cases, profiling him as a danger to all Russians," she told AFP. Just last week Chuvashov jailed three ultra-nationalists for a race-motivated murders, Usacheva said. In February he sentenced members of a skinhead group called the White Wolves to up to 23 years in jail for murders motivated by ethnic hatred. The nine young gang members were found guilty of the murders of six people, most of whom were migrant workers from Central Asia, knifed and clubbed to death. But Chuvashov had recently heard a number of other high-profile cases.
His courtroom was again in the media during a case against an agent of the federal drug control service, Alexander Bulbov, who was accused of embezzling 3.2 million dollars and released on bail in November 2009, RIA Novosti reported. Based on surveillance videos from the building, authorities have profiled the judge's killer as a young man of Slavic appearance, aged between 25 and 30, a police source was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. The suspect wore jeans, a black shirt and black cap that hid his face, he said, adding early evidence indicates he was a professional hired gunman. "Chuvashov's neighbours heard the claps, which indicates a silencer was used," the source said. The gunman also seemed to act without frenzy, firing a "control" shot to ensure Chuvashov was dead, and stooping to collect the spent gun shells before fleeing the crime scene, the police source added. Chuvashov's killing comes just over a year after the murder by right-wing extremists of a top lawyer who was also active in the fight against racism. Two Russian nationalists were arrested and charged with the killing in January 2009 of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova as they emerged from a news conference. Russia's FSB security services said the two had been part of an extreme nationalist group, which was amassing weapons and had committed a racist murder.
NEO-NAZIS SENTENCED WITHOUT POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE FOR ATTACK ON ROMANI MAN (Czech Rep.)
12/4/2010- On 8 April the Regional Court in Prague sentenced brothers OndÅej and Jakub Neuman to sentences without the possibility of parole for brutally attacking a Romani man in Beroun last year. The verdict, which has yet to take effect, sentenced OndÅej Neuman to four years in prison for attacking the man with a garden hoe, while Jakub Neuman was sentenced to one year in prison, according to Mediafax. Jakub Neuman, who is 27, will serve his sentence in a minimum security prison. His 24-year-old brother will serve in a maximum security prison. The conflict occurred last February in Beroun. At 1 AM, a small group of young people, including the two brothers, were trying to convince another youth they had met on the street to go the pub with them. Even though the youth had previously been friends with the brothers, he refused their invitation out of fear. Mediafax reports that the youth testified in court, “I had been told they wanted to beat me up.” At that moment, a 30-year-old Romani man passed by and asked the youth whether everything was all right. The question irritated the younger brother, who responded with insults like “What do you want, nigger?” and “Get out of here, scum”. The Romani man fled, but the younger brother caught up to him in the middle of the street and punched him in the face. The Romani man punched him back and fled again, but the brothers followed him home. A garden hoe was leaning against the gate, which the older brother grabbed and used to repeatedly strike the Romani man in the head. The brothers then left, shouting racist slogans and the Nazi salute. Police found the suspects through a mobile phone that was dropped at the scene of the incident and contained videos with fascist topics. A search in the younger brother’s home turned up other material with military and Nazi content. The younger brother did not hide the fact from the court that he was also in contact with the neo-Nazi “Autonomous Nationalists” movement.
ABSURD SENTENCE IN TREVISO: IT IS NOT RACIST TO SAY 'NEGRO DI MERDA' -SHITTY NIGGER- (Italy)
10/4/2010- After the verdict issued by the Court of Cassation earlier this year (where, when sentencing the culprit of attacks on centres of Islamic culture the judges claimed “racism is not part of the traditions of the Italian people”) the Court of Treviso has now issued another disturbing sentence. Judges sentenced an Italian shopkeeper to pay 250 euros in damages after he kicked a Senagalese customer out of his shop in 2006 while shouting “shitty nigger” and other insults. However they failed to apply the aggravating circumstance of racist motivation. In the next 50 days the reasons for this incredible verdict will be made public, a verdict that has no precedent in the European Union, thus making it a disturbing legal landmark.
© The EveryOne Group
POLICE ISSUE WEB WARNING FOLLOWING HATE CRIME ATTACK (uk)
Police have issued a warning about meeting people through internet chat rooms after a man was attacked in Leicestershire.
16/4/2010- Police have issued a warning about meeting people through internet chat rooms after a man was attacked in Leicestershire. The 50-year-old victim had arranged to meet a man at a park in Burbage on Sunday evening after initially meeting him via an internet chat room for gay men, the Peterborough Telegraph reported. But when he got to the park in Colts Close he was approached by four men who demanded he hand over his money. The victim was then hit a number of times until he told his assailants he did not have any cash, police said. He had suffered injuries to his face and head and was taken by ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary for treatment. After the attack it was discovered that his car had been damaged and the front driver’s side window smashed. Leicestershire Police said they believe the man was set up by the suspects via the chat line for gay men that he had been using and that he was targeted because of his sexual preference. Officers hope to interview the occupants of two cars in the nearby car park after the attack who asked the victim if he was OK before driving off. Detective Constable Pete Watson said: “It is appalling to think that this man was purposely targeted because of his sexual orientation and we want the suspects to know that it is not something that we will tolerate.” He added: “We are determined to find the four men responsible and are appealing to members of the public for their help in finding and identifying them.”
© The Pink Paper
RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN SCOTLAND (uk)
Anti-Semitism is rising in Scotland and hate crimes have tripled in one year, a new study has claimed.
10/4/2010- Attacks ranging from verbal abuse to vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries have coincided with events in the Middle East, says the report written by two Scots academics, due to be published in the journal of the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs next week. The document accuses the Scottish Trades Union Congress of bias after the STUC called for sanctions against Israel last year. The study was compiled by Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities and former head of the philosophy department at Glasgow University, and Kenneth Collins, chairman of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre and visiting professor at the medical faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They wrote: “There has been historically little anti-Semitism in Scotland, and in particular good relations with the churches. Recently there has been a significant increase, much of it associated with events in the Middle East. “Specifically, the Scottish trade union movement has pursued a policy of boycotting Israel despite a dialogue with the Jewish community aimed at understanding both sides of the conflict.” It is claimed that in 2008, 10 out of 541 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the UK (1.8%) occurred in Scotland.
However, in 2009 this increased to 30, according to the Community Security Trust, a charity that “represents British Jewry to police, government and media on anti-Semitism and security”. The authors continued: “Events in the Middle East, often accompanied by popular conflation of Israelis and Jews, have a habit of leading to outbreaks of anti-Semitic activity. “These include anti-Semitic daubing at synagogues and cemeteries as well as threats and verbal abuse.” The study claims some Jews in Scotland believe community relations are deteriorating after the STUC opted to boycott Israel last year. The authors said: “The report of the STUC delegation [to Palestine] itself showed considerable bias in the way information was presented and their decisions were made. In fact, subsequent reports indicated that the STUC had already decided on a boycott and divestment policy and their visit was intended to confirm the decision.” David Moxham, deputy secretary of the STUC, said yesterday: “The study is a very partial account. It is out of context and attempts to show that we have approached this in a biased fashion. We are biased to the extent that we don’t consider the situation in the Middle East to be a conflict between equal partners. We do think that Israel does have an enormous responsibility to change its activities, as does the international community.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There is no excuse for any form of hate crime; it is simply not acceptable and it will not be tolerated. That is why Scotland has tough legislation to prosecute those who carry out crimes based on discrimination. Only by working together can we all prosper in an equal, modern Scotland.” The document describes a long-standing Jewish community in Scotland which numbered 18,000 in the 1950s but is now around 10,000, largely due to emigration. About half live in the Glasgow suburb of East Renfrewshire. A further 1,119 Jews are living in Glasgow itself and 790 in Edinburgh. The study said the Jewish community in Scotland is more aged than wider Scottish society, and some 2.5% live in a medical or care establishment – the highest proportion of all religious groups in Scotland. Around 30% of Jews were of pensionable age, compared to 19% of the general population, and the study said: “In line with historical Jewish employment patterns, 27% of those working were self-employed, compared to a national proportion of 11%. Jews had higher educational qualifications, and more than twice the proportion of Jews were in higher managerial and professional occupations than in the wider community.”
© The Herald Scotland
ANTI-SEMITISM STIRS AS HUNGARY GOES TO POLLS
11/4/2010- Rabbi Shmuel Raskin and his 50 guests were celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover last weekend when two stones smashed though the double-glazed windows of his home in the centre of Budapest. Police said they had probably been fired from a sling. The group continued with its ceremonies, but in silence and behind closed shutters. The incident was one of a series of hate attacks in Hungary amid an atmosphere of heightened racial tension in the run-up to today’s general election. During a recent speech by Gabor Demszky, the mayor of Budapest, a mob chanted “Jewish pigs” and “To the concentration camps”. Election posters have been smeared with yellow Stars of David and anti-Semitic slogans. Budapest rabbis describe racial epithets being shouted as they walk their children to school, slogans such as “Jews go to Israel” are daubed in the streets, accompanied by swastikas, while cars bear stickers with the slogan “Jew-free car”. Critics connect the abuse to the rise of the extreme right-wing Jobbik party, which has been accused of anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The increase in violent attacks on minorities — a dozen Roma (gypsies) have been gunned down in recent years — has coincided with the emergence of Jobbik, which won 15% support in the European elections held in 2009. Opinion polls suggest that it will attract between 13% and 20% today. Although the centre-right Fidesz opposition party of Viktor Orban, the former prime minister, is expected to win a landslide victory, Jobbik, led by Gabor Vona, a 31-year-old former history teacher, could become the second-largest party following a populist campaign dominated by attacks on corruption and “Roma crime”.
The party denies accusations of neo-Nazism but Gordon Bajnai, the caretaker prime minister, warned that the “monster” was at the door and threatening to “crush” Hungarian democracy. Jobbik is linked to a paramilitary blackshirt group, the Hungarian Guard, which was banned in 2008 but has resurfaced at election rallies. Robert Fröhlich, chief rabbi at the Dohany Street synagogue, said to be the largest in Europe, complained about Nazi salutes. “Insulting Jews on the street is nothing new here, but now it’s done more brazenly,” he said. The country has been hit hard by the recession and had to be bailed out by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Unemployment is above 11% and inflation is almost 6%. The rise of anti-Semitism has gone hand in hand with a renaissance of Jewish culture in Budapest as the old ghetto has been transformed into the city’s most vibrant district, filled with trendy shops, hotels, bars and galleries. Observers have suggested that the increased confidence and visibility of the Jewish population has created a backlash among other Hungarians. Adam Schonberger, a Jewish community leader, complained that successive governments had failed to tackle the issue of minorities in education and political debate. “The government must declare that Hungary is a country of mixed ethnic and cultural traditions and not a home to one single nation,” he said. More than 500,000 Hungarian Jews died in the Holocaust and 100,000 still live in the country. Between 8% and 10% of Hungary’s 10m inhabitants are Roma. Krisztian Szabados, head of the Political Capital Institute, a think thank, said racism had been “swept under the carpet” for decades. “Jobbik have simply delivered extremism to an electorate that demands it. No mainstream party has seriously tackled the antagonism towards minorities that has been here for decades.”
© The Times Online
Headlines 9 April, 2010
ANTI-RACISM ACTIVIST'S HOUSE FIREBOMBED (Canada)
No one injured, but victim blames neo-Nazi groups
9/4/2010- Two weeks after anti-racism activists counter-protested a rumoured neo-Nazi gathering in the Lower Mainland, somebody has firebombed the Abbotsford home of one of the lead counter-protesters. Maitland Cassia's home was attacked early in the morning of April 5, while he was asleep. A neighbour heard the blast and woke him up and together they put out the blaze before anyone was hurt. A police report says damage was limited to a basement doorway area, but that the fire had the potential to create much greater property damage which could have resulted in loss of life. Few other details have emerged about the attack, but the report notes the fire was set remotely through the use of a fuse several feet in length. The RCMP bomb squad was called in to investigate, and the attack is now a priority for the Abbotsford Police Department's Major Crime Unit. According to Facebook, a neo-Nazi rally was planned for March 21, beginning at Braid SkyTrain station. A number of anti-racism groups held a counter-protest at the same site, including Cassia's Anti-Racism Action group. The neo-Nazi rally never materialised but neo-Nazi 'scouts' attended the counter-protest and took pictures and video, some of which has since appeared on neo-Nazi websites. According to reports, Cassia believes the attack on his home was neo-Nazi retaliation for the protest. Cassia could not be reached for comment. Abbotsford Police Const Ian MacDonald says there is no pattern of neo-Nazi activity in the city and that none of the other protesters has been attacked. "We aren't immune from people posting things to the internet," says MacDonald. "There are fringe groups that will post any number of things to the internet, but none of those we have surveyed indicate that Abbotsford is a hotbed or target of this activity. "I know that some people have made that link, and we are going to treat that seriously and investigate that," he adds.
HATE CRIMES UNIT PROBES ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI ON OTTAWA CAMPUS (Canada)
7/4/2010- The Ottawa police hate crimes unit is investigating after anti-Semitic graffiti was found in a campus washroom at Carleton University. The university's campus safety department called police early last month after the graffiti was discovered. Messages such as "Nuke Israel" and a swastika were inscribed in a men's bathroom stall. University officials treated the vandalism as a hate crime and turned the matter over to Ottawa police. Police have no suspects in the incident and says this type of crime is difficult to solve unless there is a witness. The graffiti was discovered during this year's instalment of Israeli Apartheid Week, but police noted a graffiti saying "White Power" suggested the perpetrators' view could fall into the realm of neo-Nazi rather than those typically associated with the pro-Palestinian movement. The police investigation comes after two Carleton students said they escaped an anti-Semitic attack outside a Gatineau bar.
© The Montreal Gazette
CALLS FOR CONDEMNATION OF NEO-NAZI ATTACK (Slovenia)
8/4/2010- The NGOs, civil initiatives and youth sections of coalition SocDems, Zares and LibDems associated in the campaign "For All Families" called on Thursday for a public condemnation of the attack of a group of neo-nazis on a student in the lobby of the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts (FF) on Tuesday. The campaign - which was set up in support for the new family law bill, which allows gay adoptions and is currently in parliamentary procedure - called on all who oppose the ideas of neo-nazism and neo-fascism to condemn all hate-based movements and actions. According to the campaign, organised forms of neo-nazism and neo-fascism are on the rise in Slovenia, with extreme rightist groups under false pretense of patriotism spreading hatred and intolerance based on nationality, race or creed. The lack of public condemnation of acts of violence, like Tuesday's attack on the 29-year-old, give extremists courage for new forms of hostility.
© The Slovenian Press Agency
ANOTHER MOLOTOV COCKTAIL FOUND IN ROMA HOUSE (Czech Rep.)
8/4/2010- Another Molotov cocktail was found Thursday in a house in which Czech Romanies have been living and the local police said the liquid seems to be the same as that used in two cocktails thrown by unknown persons into another Roma house in Opava on Saturday night. None of the three Molotov cocktails burnt and nobody was injured. Sona Bradacova, spokeswoman for the regional police, said the police have been investigating the case. Nobody lived in the flat in which the bottle was found today and the windows of the room were permanently opened, she said. The incident was reported to the police by one of the house's residents. At night on March 14, unknown perpetrators threw a Molotov cocktail into a Romany house in Ostrava, which is the centre of the north Moravian region. The Molotov cocktail then fell into a room where a teenage girl was sleeping but it did not break. The girl woke up and managed to extinguish the burning wick and the carpet that had caught fire. The police investigate the case as an attempted murder.
The most serious arson attack afflicted a Romani family in Vítkov near Opava April 2009 when three Molotov cocktails burnt the house down. Three people were injured. A baby girl suffered burns on 80 percent of her body yet doctors succeeded in saving her life. The police caught the perpetrators, all right-wing extremists from north Moravia. Charged with an attempted racially-motivated murder of several people, their trial will start at the Ostrava court on May 11. They face up to 15 years in prison, but even life imprisonment, if found guilty. Kumar Vishwanathan, an activist working with the Romani community in the region, said previously that no such attack should be underestimated. He said much will depend on the court verdict in the forthcoming trial of four right-wing radicals suspected of the arson attack in Vitkov.
© The Prague Daily Monitor
POLICE INVESTIGATE LATEST ATTACK AGAINST ROMANIES (Czech Rep.)
At the weekend, two Molotov cocktails (containing a liquid that is yet to be identified by the police) were thrown into the doorway of a block of flats inhabited by Romany families in the north Moravian town of Opava. The incident, which is being investigated as a threat to public safety, comes just a few weeks after a similar attack on a Romany family in Ostrava. Sarah Borufka reports.
6/4/2010- Late on Saturday night, two bottles containing an unknown substance were thrown into the doorway of a block of flats inhabited by Romany families in Opava, north Moravia. The bottles failed to catch fire and didn’t cause any damage. The police are investigating the incident as a threat to public safety. A similar attack took place only three weeks ago, in the nearby city of Ostrava. Unknown perpetrators threw a Molotov cocktail into the room of a fourteen-year-old Romany girl who was woken by the noise and was able to extinguish the fire before it could spread. Though nobody was injured in both recent cases, Czech Romanies says they feel at high risk from neo-Nazi violence. Last year, the worst arson attack on a Romany family in Vítkov shocked the country: the family’s two-year-old daughter Natálka suffered burns on eighty percent of her body. With the trial of the Vítkov attack perpetrators coming up in May, Kumar Vishwanathan, a social worker and Romany rights activist, is hoping for the court to send a clear signal. “I think it’s really necessary for the courts to make it clear that such brutal attacks with Molotov cocktails are not welcome in this country, that it is a grave crime and that it will be punished very severely. We are hoping that the court will send a clear signal and will be bold enough not to downplay the significance of this attack.”
Before last year’s highly publicized attack in Vítkov, arson attacks did not receive as much attention as they do now, says Mr. Vishwanathan. “Such arson attacks have been happening here for the past ten years. I think there is a greater sensitivity to this issue now, both from the Roma community and the Czech public and institutions and the media. So what used to hardly be reported on in the past, because nobody was really injured, now it’s being dealt with and people are giving it the necessary attention and in the past, it used to be ignored or the victims themselves didn’t even report it. It’s a serious issue, especially in the northern Moravia region.” Earlier this year the extremist far-right Workers’ Party was banned by the Supreme Administrative Court; many people believe this at least is a step in the right direction when it comes to combating such violence. Miroslav Brož is an expert on extremism. “I think with the dissolution of the Workers’ Party, the Czech state has demonstrated that it is willing to fight against extremism, and I’d rather use the word neo-Nazism to be precise, and that it does not have a place in our society. And I think that the development has been that to a certain extent, neo-Nazi activities have been on the decline. If you think back to late 2008 and early 2009, neo-Nazis held marches through Czech towns every weekend.”
© Radio Prague
ISLAMOPHOBIA ON THE RISE AFTER MOSCOW METRO ATTACKS (Russia)
Muslim girls attacked because they wear the veil. Others beaten and forced to get off the subway. Anti-Russian and pro-Islamic graffiti. Islamophobia suits Caucasian irredentism, but the central government too.
6/4/2010- After the suicide bombings in Moscow, attributed to two female suicide bombers from the North Caucasus, religious leaders and Muslim intellectuals have sought to distance terrorism from Islam. "As a matter of justice, because terrorism has no religion ever" as some say, but also for the well-founded fear that in the wake of the massacre in the metro the community is being overwhelmed by a veritable wave of xenophobic attacks, as some episodes in the news already indicate. The greatest risk is that Islamophobia, which has been creeping into Russian society, is being exploited for political purposes by those who aspire to an independent Caucasus, but also by those who aim to implement a political agenda aimed at repression and the strengthening of central power. Several Internet sites dealing with religious information, such as Portalcredo.ru denounce the dangers of the authorities "ambiguity”: "On one side pointing the finger at Islamic terrorism, on the other claiming that Islam has nothing to do with violence". While attacks continue in Ingushetia and Dagestan and the investigators dig into the lives of the two "black widows" responsible for the deaths of 40 people in Moscow, two women have already been attacked and beaten by unknown groups after the March 29 bombings. Their crime was they wore a veil or had a dark complexion, a characteristic that is associated immediately with the Caucasian population. Nargiza, 17, has been forced to leave the city: the daughter of an Armenian mother, she was attacked in the street. "They pulled her hair, tore her clothes and bruised her face," says Galina Kozhevnikova of the Sova Centre in Moscow, which deals with racially motivated crimes. A similar incident occurred, according to Radio Echo of Moscow in the afternoon the same day when, on the capital’s Metro, two Muslim girls wearing headscarves were beaten and forced off the train by a group of men and women. According to witnesses, no one reacted or called the police. The fear is that, as reported in local blogs and websites, it is now rare to see veiled women outside the borders of the Russian Federation republics with a Muslim majority.
Beyond the natural condemnation of the Moscow bombings, the Islamic community in Russia is pondering the cause of the massacre. For Ruslan Kurbanov, from the Institute of Oriental Studies, the Moscow suicide bombers are "a provocation to increase anti-Muslim hysteria and give new impetus to the process of destroying the social, cultural and political life of Russian society and of distancing the Caucasus from the rest of the Federation". According to Gaidar Jemal, president of the Islamic Committee of Russia, the fact that blame was immediately placed at the door of "Chechen separatism, which no longer exists, shows a renewed intention to demonize Caucasian Islam as a whole ... Maybe to justify an enhanced Central power, similar to what happened in the aftermath of Beslan in 2003”. Yesterday, reports of graffiti such as "Allah Akbar" and "Death to Russia" appearing on the walls of the Planernaya stop in Moscow Metro, rekindled Muslims’ suspicion that the wave of Islamophobia is being exploited for political purposes. The news appears to fit ad hoc: it comes from an anonymous witness and police say it is difficult to identify those behind the graffiti because of "the absence of cameras on site”. Hard to believe, not even a week after the bombs. Interpretations aside, the line on which all agree is well expressed by Berdijev Ismail, President of the Coordinating Centre of Muslims of Northern Caucasus: "The important thing now is to stay united and not panic".
© Asian News
JEWISH TOMBSTONES DESECRATED IN SLOVAKIA
Out of hundreds of tombstones in Zvolen's Jewish cemetery, repeated desecrations left only 50. 'Whoever did this never met a Jew in his life,' says son of former resident
4/4/2010- Despite the fact that no Jews have resided in the Slovakian town of Zvolen since the days of the Holocaust, it appears anti-Semitism hasn't left the region. A Jewish cemetery in the area was recently desecrated when unknown individuals broke into its gates and spray-painted hate slogans on the site's walls and tombstones. Eyal Bloch, whose father grew up in Zvolen and escaped the town when World War II broke out, saw pictures of the desecration. He told Ynet that the town's cemetery contains the graves of the majority of the local Jewish community, which originally consisted of 700 members who died during the Holocaust. Only 10 survivors originally from Zvolen currently live in Israel, in addition to Bloch's father, who fought as a partisan in its nearby forests. Bloch noted that over the years the townsmen stole dozens of tombstones from the cemetery, which makes it harder for Jews arriving in the region to trace the burial spots of their relatives. "My father warned me over the years not to deal with what's going on in the cemetery since the population there is very anti-Semitic. When I showed him the photos he was horrified. " Over the years family members of Jews who originated in Zvolen tried to commemorate their loved ones whose tombs have been removed by installing a plaque with their names on the cemetery's wall. "Whoever did this never met a Jew in his life and it really hurts," Bloch said.
'Local authorities to blame'
He also noted that he installed locks on the gate two years ago, which have now been ripped out. The cemetery was declared a heritage site by the Zvolen Municipality, according to Bloch. Bloch blamed Slovakian authorities for failure to punish the perpetrators. "I turned to the embassy in Israel as well as the Israeli embassy there and filed a complaint with local police. I highly doubt they'll do anything." He further noted that in the past there were 500 tombstones in the cemetery and now only 50 remain due to repeated desecrations. He is scheduled to visit Zvolen on Wednesday in order to find ways of solving the matter with local authorities.
© Ynet News
GAY ACTIVIST FOUND DEAD IN OKLAHOMA APARTMENT (usa)
5/4/2010- A prominent gay activist was found dead in his Okla. apartment just two days after he filed a brutality complaint against the Tulsa Police Department, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported. Keith Kimmel made headlines in February when he fought the state for the right to own a license plate reading: "IM GAY." Kimmel sued Okla. after the state's Tax Commission denied his license plate request. Kimmel recently filed a formal complaint with police after a scuffle outside a night club, a friend told MyFoxPhoenix.com. Kimmel alleged that officers "dragged [him] around the parking lot on [his] stomach" and "hit [his] head on the door frame several times," a friend was quoted by the site. "Whether or not his death was a direct result of the beating he received from the Tulsa Police Department Friday night.. it was still a hate crime." said friend Kerri Logsdon. Investigators are awaiting a medical examiner's office to determine the exact cause of Kimmel's death.
© Fox News
TURKEY'S GAYS, TRANSSEXUALS DECRY INCREASING HOMOPHOBIA
4/4/2010- When Turkey's family affairs minister recently described homosexuality as a curable disease, she was roundly criticized for discrimination and flouting human rights. But for activists her remarks only underscore what they say is increasing prejudice, discrimination and violence -- even from police -- against homosexuals and transgender people in this Muslim-majority country stuck between its conservative roots and flourishing modernism. A total of 45 gays and transgender people were killed over three years in "hate murders", said Demet Demir, a transsexual and leading activist from Istanbul-LGBTT, a civic body promoting homosexual rights. "In February alone, five people were killed. In Antalya (southern Turkey), a transsexual friend was brutally murdered; her throat was slit. "In Istanbul, another was stabbed to death. Three young men... killed her for money, but she only had 70 liras (46 dollars, 34 euros) and a gold chain," Demir said, adding that three gay men had also been killed in Anatolia. The violence comes against a backdrop of clashing values in this secular democracy that is vying to join the European Union. Unlike other Muslim countries, same-sex relationships have never been criminalised in Turkey. Prostitution and sex change operations are legal. Several gay and transgender bars have flourished in major cities such as Istanbul, while a transsexual singer and homosexuals figure among the country's top celebrities. There are also several associations fighting for gay and transgender rights that organize regular conferences, parades and demonstrations. But at the same time, traditional Islamic values hold sway over large sections of this macho society, which frowns upon displays of femininity.
Discrimination is rife: transgender people are forced to work in the sex sector as nobody will employ them while homosexuals feel they have to hide their sexual identity so as not to risk losing their jobs. Last year, for example, a football referee came out on television, only to see his refereeing licence revoked. The Turkish army classifies homosexuality as a "disease" while police are notoriously harsh against transsexuals. "Just yesterday, police raided the flat where we meet our clients, breaking down the door," Ece, a 43-year-old transsexual, said. "They arrested everyone and beat one of the girls with a truncheon. She had to have three stitches to her head," she added. Although the Islamist-rooted government has enacted a series of rights reforms to boost the country's EU bid since it came to power in 2002, it has turned a blind eye to homosexual rights. In March, Family Affairs and Women's Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf declared in a newspaper interview that she believed homosexuality was a "biological disorder, a disease." "I think it should be treated," she said, attracting a storm of anger and enhancing fears that Islam is taking a more prominent place under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). According to Demir, the violence against homosexuals and her kind has its roots in a "rise in nationalism, Islamic values, poverty, and unemployment in the past seven or eight years". "In such a climate, homosexuals and transsexuals are easy targets. Assailants think that nobody will ask questions and that they won't risk heavy penalties if they kill a transsexual," she said.
Ece, who has been working in the sex sector for 22 years, said she felt compelled to take precautions to minimize risks to her life: making sure she is not alone when meeting clients and never seeking work along motorways. "In the flats where the girls work, there are always housekeepers and cleaning ladies... We are never really alone with the client," she explained. "If there is ever any aggression against one of us, we all intervene. If there is a fight, we all join it." In a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in February, several non-governmental organizations called for the government to ensure security for gay and transgender people. They pointed out that eight transsexuals had been killed between November 2008 and February this year. Ece said the authorities share responsibility in those crimes. "When a minister makes such declarations, when the police break down your door and beat you up with a truncheon... there will always be people who think that we are evil creatures," she said. "They will think they have a right to eliminate you, make you disappear." Firat Soyle, a lawyer for Lambda Istanbul, a gay rights group, said the government needed to ban discrimination on sexual orientation. "In the Turkish legal system, there is no reference to homosexuality, neither penalisation nor positive discrimination. But this legal vacuum is always used against homosexuals," he said.
RACISM MOTIVATION IN MURDER ATTACK (Ireland)
3/4/2010- A teenage boy stabbed to death may have been attacked following a row sparked by racist jibes, it was disclosed. Toyosi Shittabey, 15, was taken to hospital after the attack in Tyrrelstown, north-west Dublin, shortly after 7pm on Friday but died a short time later. Two brothers, aged in their 20s and 30s, were arrested shortly after the killing which happened at Boulevard Mount Eustace. The teenager was of Nigerian descent but had been living in Ireland for some years. A garda spokesman said: “I don’t think anyone went out there to kill anyone. But things got out of hand and then someone was killed. “This is certainly an incident which we are addressing from the point of view of is it racist based.” Detectives believe an altercation took place outside a house at Mount Garrett Rise. A short time later, around 150 yards away, Toyosi was stabbed in the chest. He was taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown but died around an hour later. Gardai sealed off the area and forensic officers combed the crime scene. Officers say they are concerned about tensions in the area and the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office is working in the locality.
Two men in court over Tyrrelstown death
4/4/2010- Two men appeared in court this afternoon charged in connection with the death of a teenager in West Dublin on Friday night. Paul Barry, 38, of 120 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, was charged with the manslaughter of 15-year-old Toyosi Shitabbey. He has been remanded to Cloverhill Prison until 10.30am on Tuesday morning. Michael Barry, 23, of 19 Pigeonhouse Road, Dublin 4, was charged under Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act with possession of a hockey stick. He was released on bail on condition that he sign on at Irishtown Garda Station every day and surrender his passport and any other travel documents. He has also been directed to stay away from the Tyrelstown area of Dublin. The Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Kemafo Nonyerem Chickwe, attended a memorial service for Toyosi Shitabbey in Tyrrelstown today. She said she was encouraged by the overwhelming solidarity shown by all the nationalities in the community. Around 300 people attended the memorial, which was held at Boulevard Mount Eustace, at the spot were Toyosi Shittabey was stabbed. Prayers were said by the Parish Pastor Dare Adetuberu, from the Kingdom Connections, Redeemed Christian Church of God. A meeting is due to be held at Hartstown Community School at 1pm tomorrow to discuss the incident. A candlelit vigil is also planned for tomorrow evening in Tyrrelstown.
© RTE News
Headlines 2 April, 2010
BERLIN JEWS ALARMED BY SPATE OF ANTISEMITIC ATTACKS (Germany)
29/3/2010- Germany's Jewish community on Monday warned of an "alarming" rise in anti-Semitic violence by Arab and Turkish immigrants after Berlin police reported two unrelated attacks against Jews at the weekend. "There's an urgent need to fight the roots of anti-Semitism, especially coming from young Turks and Arabs, and to effectively counter it," the Jewish Community in Berlin said in a statement. "That the violence from the immigrant community is being increasingly aimed at Jews or people they assume are Jews is alarming," it added. A sensitive issue in Germany because of its Nazi past, even relatively minor reports of anti-Semitic violence make the news. Police reported at the weekend that two women and a man were beaten, struck on the head with beer bottles and insulted by a gang of immigrants in an underground station. Local media reports said the three were first asked if they were Jewish. The attack started after they said yes. Police said they were searching for the assailants. In a separate incident, a 61-year-old German was detained after shouting anti-Semitic slogans at two 10-year-old girls at a train station. He threatened to beat a 28-year-old man who tried to protect them with a beer bottle. He was detained and faces charges of inciting racial hatred and attempted bodily harm.
MOSQUE IN VEENENDAAL PLASTERED WITH RACIST SLURS (Netherlands)
30/3/2010- A mosque in Veenendaal has been plastered with racist graffiti. A window was also shattered, police told on Tuesday. Two weeks ago the Nasser mosque also was targetted by vandals. At that occasion pig trotter were put in front of the entrance and the walls were sprayed with graffiti. The mosque has filed a complaint of vandalism. The police is investigating.
© ANP (Netherlands national news agency)
BUDAPEST SEDER STONED; NONE INJURED (Hungary)
Chabad rabbi’s house by Great Synagogue attacked twice.
31/3/2010- Sparking fears that rising far-right political sentiment in Hungary may be intensifying, the home of a Chabad rabbi in Budapest was bombarded with rocks on Tuesday night as a number of people gathered there for the second Pesach seder. According to Eran El-Bar, a Jewish Agency representative in Hungary who was present at the seder meal, guests at Rabbi Shmuel Raskin's table were stunned when the stones began smashing into the windows ofthe home around 11pm, just as the festive dinner was drawing to a close. "The incident was alarming for some of those present," El-Bar told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, "although a decision was made to continue with the seder nonetheless." "But nearly a half-hour later," he continued, "another rock smashed into the window. It was then that we decided to call the police." Hungarian police arrived at the home and even stationed a number of officers outside the home, El-Bar said. However, around midnight, another projectile slammed into the window – this time smashing a hole through the double-plated glass. "The final incident was something stronger than just a rock being thrown," El-Bar said. "It seemed to come from some sort of primitive weapon, like a slingshot." "It's a miracle that no one was hurt," he added. Although no suspects were apprehended, El-Bar refuted previously-reported claims that police had responded to the incident nonchalantly. "They responded to the scene," he said. "There wasn't any gunfire, and I think the police acted as was expected of them." El-Bar also said that he wished to stress the positive aspects of the holiday's observance in Hungary. "This was one unfortunate incident," he said. "But it shouldn't overshadow the fact that hundreds of young people took part in Pesach seders throughoutBudapest, including one at my home, and one that was held at the Jewish Community Center. All of those events took place without any incident whatsoever, and I think overall, that this was a positive Pesach."
However, the attack on Rabbi Raskin's home also comes at a time when fervent, far right-wing sentiment is building in Hungary, against the backdrop of national elections there later this month. Hungary's 100,000-strong Jewish community, most of which resides in Budapest, has been put on edge by the sharp spike in support for the far-right Jobbik party amongst Hungarians. Under slogans like "Hungary belongs to Hungarians," Jobbik, whose formal name is the Movement for a Better Hungary, has employed fierce, populist rhetoric in its election campaign, and is expected to make significant gains when Hungarians go to the polls on April 11. While the prime target of Jobbik's anti-foreigner platform has been the Roma, Hungary's Gypsy minority, the party has also expressed its resentment of "foreign speculators", including Israel, which party officials have openly declared are trying to control the country. Moreover, Jobbik has been able to capitalize on widespread dissatisfaction with the ruling socialist party, and is expected to gain enough votes to enter the Hungarian Parliament for the first time, after this month's elections. While El-Bar downplayed the role of the far-right's pre-election ascension with regards to Tuesday night's attack, he did acknowledge that the streets of Budapest were awash with right-wing propaganda, and that stark, nationalist sentiments there had already begun to materialize in other ways. "There are taxis here that specifically cater to the right-wing parties and their supporters," El-Bar said. "They only pick up those who identify themselves as right-wingers or conservatives." "Still," he added, "I think it is important to mention that this is not necessarily anti-Semitic sentiment, and that Jewish life is continuing to thrive in Budapest and other locations in Hungary."
© The Jerusalem Post