Tag Archive for Europe Jews

As Europe Burns, Former French Minister: Germany Took Our Jews & Gave Us Arabs


A former French minister Patrick Devedjian quickly tried to back-step after stirring up controversy when he sarcastically said Germany left his country with Arabs.

By Ben Ariel, Canada


A former French minister stirred up controversy on Friday after saying Germany “took our Jews and gave us Arabs”.

The comments by Patrick Devedjian came as France began taking some of the thousands of refugees arriving in Germany and were taken sensitively in light of the refugee crisis in Europe.

Riots broke out when unregistered refugees tried to leave Lesbos on board a ferry – EPA

Devedjian, who served in the governments of presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, made the remark at a press conference, but quickly tried to backtrack on social media, according to the AFP news agency. Continue Reading »

Jewish exodus could trigger economic crisis in Europe

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, the European Jewish Congress head says continent’s spike in violent anti-Semitism has every Jewish family considering whether to “leave or stay,” so European authorities will need to “deliver some real gestures” to keep them.

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Survey: Over 50% of Poland’s teens search anti-Semitic &/or pro-Hitler websites

The University Center for Research on Prejudice conducted a survey also found that 14% of the survey participant confirmed that racist hate-speech was common in Poland.


Over half of Poland’s young people access anti-Semitic Internet sites that praise Hitler and Nazism, the Fox News website reported, citing a Warsaw University study.

Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, October 2014

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, October 2014 – Photo: Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The results of the survey were presented to the Polish parliament earlier this month, reviving attention to hate speech legislation and sparking concern among members of the small remaining Polish Jewish community.

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Meet Holland’s Red Light District 71 yr-old Jewish Twin Prostitutes

Martine & Louise Fokkens, now retired after 50 years working in the trade, are local celebrities in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

By Cnaan Liphshiz


JTA – Like many Jewish grandmothers, Martine and Louise Fokkens enjoy talking about their grandchildren in language laced with Yiddish.

Martine, left, and Louise Fokkens in Amsterdam in 2010.

Martine, left, and Louise Fokkens in Amsterdam in 2010. – Photo: Aspekt Publishers

At 71, the twins from Amsterdam also paint, think often about the Holocaust and attend synagogue on Jewish holidays.

But the Fokkens are not like most Jewish grandmothers.

For one thing, they recently retired after 50 years of working as prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

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Israel to sign a visa-waiver program with Belarus

Israeli Ambassador Yosef Shagal announced the signing with internationally ostracized Belarus on Friday, to 700 participants at the Limmud FSU conference in Vitebsk.



Jerusalem and Minsk are set to sign a visa-waiver program, Israel’s ambassador to the internationally ostracized former Soviet republic of Belarus said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, right.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, right, and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, center back, enter a hall to attend a meeting – Photo: AP

Ambassador Yosef Shagal announced the signing on Friday to 700 participants at the Limmud FSU conference in Vitebsk, the former Soviet country’s third-largest city. The Limmud conference is an educational and cultural gathering.

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Poles who saved Jews during Holocaust honored with new Warsaw memorial

The new memorial monument, which will be erected in the Warsaw Ghetto, will be entirely financed by Jews in Israel & from other countries.



Organizers have announced a design competition for a memorial in Warsaw to Poles who saved Jews during World War II.

Warsaw Ghetto

In this 1943 photo, a group of Polish Jews are led away for deportation by German SS soldiers during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto by German troops after an uprising in the Jewish quarter. – Photo: AP

Polish-born Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Sigmund Rolat, of the Remembrance and Future Foundation, announced the competition at a news conference in Warsaw on Monday.

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Paris synagogue firebombed as pro-Palestine mob chant ‘death to the Jews’

Anti-Semitic violence rises throughout Western Europe as Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza intensifies.



A firebomb was hurled at a synagogue near Paris, part of a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe coinciding with Israel’s assault on Hamas in Gaza.

Anti-Israel protest

Demonstrators protesting in Paris to denounce the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, July 11, 2014. – Photo: AFP

The firebomb went off Friday night at the entrance to the synagogue of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a northeastern suburb of the French capital, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. No one was hurt and the fire resulted in minor damage, Le Monde reported.

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Holocaust memorial in Athens desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti

The graffiti included threats that a synagogue in Athens would be destroyed.



Anti-Semitic graffiti has been scrawled on the Holocaust memorial in Athens, including threats against the Jewish community.

Holocaust memorial in Athens, Greece.

Holocaust memorial in Athens, Greece. – Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Police have opened an investigation into Friday’s vandalism, according to Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

The graffiti included a purported quote from the Talmud saying that Jews who convert should be put to death, and threats that the synagogue in Athens would be destroyed.

“Regretfully, 70 years after the end of World War II, which left millions of victims of bigotry, racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism behind, there are people beyond redemption aiming at terrorizing us by molesting the memory of our brothers, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Jewish community, issued Monday.

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70 yeas later French town accepts credit for saving over 1,000 Jews

The French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and its neighbors finally agreed to a memorial for saving over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

By Moshe Gilad



The tranquility of the place is deceptive. The center of the small town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, in the heart of France, looks almost deserted. Green hills surround the town. Few cars drive down the main street that goes through it. On one side of the street is an old stone building, the church.

The memorial museum in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.

The memorial museum in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. – Photo: The Le Chambon-sur-Lignon museum

Across the street, on the brick wall of a building, is a sign with a line in Hebrew: “The memory of the righteous shall be everlasting.”

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Lost Mikvehs discovered in the Netherlands when forgotten after the Holocaust

Mikvehs were covered up & only exposed recently when members of the Jewish community in Groningen chanced upon blueprints of the building.



A Dutch Jewish organization rediscovered two ritual baths that had been forgotten after the Holocaust.

Groningen Folkingedwarsstraat synagogue

Groningen Folkingedwarsstraat synagogue – Photo: Google Street View

In reporting about the find Friday, the Crescas Jewish education institute wrote on its website that large parts of the 19th-century ritual baths, or mikvehs, were unearthed last week at a Jewish community building in the northern city of Groningen.

“The mikvehs are an exciting find,” Crescas wrote. “They are remarkably well-preserved. The marble of one of the baths was partially damaged during renovations.”

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French Jewish Immigration at All Time High

Numbers show 854 French immigrants arrived in Israel during January & February, more than 3 times the number arriving in the same 2-month period last year.



A record number of Jewish immigrants from France poured into Israel in the first few months of the year, according to figures released by the Jewish Agency Sunday.

French Jewish youth

About 1,000 French high school students are in Israel on a program known as Bac Bleu Blanc (“Blue White Seniors”). Some are expected to join a growing number of French Jews making aliyah. – Photo: JAFI

The figures show that 854 French immigrants arrived in Israel in January and February – more than three times the number arriving in the same two-month period the previous year.

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Ukrainian Jewish leader reports national protests puts Jewish community ‘on high alert’

Oleksandr Feldman, president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee says, ‘To a considerable degree, the Ukrainian Jewish community supports promoting a path toward merger into the EU … but it is important to adopt a neutral & comprehensive position,’ 




Widespread protests in Ukraine have prompted the country’s Jewish communities to up security arrangements, a community leader from Kiev has said.

Students wave Ukrainian and European Union flags

Students wave Ukrainian and European Union flags as they shout slogans during a rally of the opposition in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on December 5, 2013.- Photo: AFP

“Now that streets across Ukraine are full of civilians, the community’s safety is becoming our primary concern,” Oleksandr Feldman, a Ukrainian lawmaker and president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote in statement published Wednesday by the Israeli Ma’ariv daily. Continue Reading »

Hundreds of ancient Jewish tombstones discovered in Vienna

Community leaders says trove of Jewish tombstones date back to 16th century.

Vienna city officials estimate up to 800 headstones.

Vienna’s Jewish community says a historically important trove of hundreds of ancient Jewish tombstones have been recently unearthed, including some dating back to the 16th century.

Tombstones at a small Jewish Cemetery in Vienna, Austria, July 10, 2013.

Tombstones at a small Jewish Cemetery in Vienna, Austria, July 10, 2013. – Photo: AP

Senior Jewish community official Raimund Fastenbauer said Wednesday that the headstones have “high historical value.” He describes their significance as comparable to that of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Prague, the oldest known graveyard of its kind and one of the Czech capital’s most visited tourist sites. Continue Reading »

26% of European Jews were targeted by anti-Semites last year

Israel, sensing antisemitism will only worsen, Knesset recommends easing absorption of threatened Jewish communities

By Yossi Aloni


One-in-four European Jews (26 percent) experienced anti-Semitic harassment at least once over the past 12 months, and one-in-three (34 percent) were targeted in the last five years.

1-in-4 European Jews targeted by anti-Semites – Photo courtesy of Israel Today

Five percent of the victims reported that their property had been destroyed because they are Jewish, and seven percent suffered physical injury or were threatened with physical harm.

Forty-to-fifty percent of Jews in France, Belgium and Hungary said they are considering emigration because they now feel unsafe. Continue Reading »

French Jewish Students lodge new complaint over Twitter’s anti-Semitism

The suit filed concerns tweets which still appear on Twitter, which call for killing Jews & praising the Holocaust.





A French Jewish group which last month sued Twitter for hosting anti-Semitic content has lodged a fresh complaint against the company and accused it of lying.

Twitter logo.

Photo by Twitter


The latest complaint by the Union of Jewish Students of France, or UEJF, was filed on April 12 with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office against Twitter President and Director Dick Costolo. UEJF and another group, J’ACCUSE, said in the complaint that Costolo was “responsible for racial defamation and publicly inciting to discrimination, hate or violence toward Jews.” Continue Reading »