Thursday, August 11, 2016

  • Thursday, August 11, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here are some of the examples of antisemitism that the State Department listed in its annual Religious Freedom report.

There are small numbers of practitioners of other religions, including one Jew.

Practitioners of non-Sunni-Muslim religions, including Christians and Jews, reported they had experienced threats and intolerance and often kept a low profile as a result.

On October 16, the president’s chief of staff, speaking also as head of the National Democratic Rally at a party meeting, stated the leader of the regional Movement for Self-Determination of Kabylie (MAK) was trying to “help the Zionists” and accused him of “selling Algeria to the Jews.” In an interview responding to the chief of staff’s remarks, the MAK leader denounced the use of a “racist phrase,” which he said increased “anti-Semitism and the hatred of Jews.”

YouTube users in October created an online video, entitled Jews in the Streets of Algeria: What Will Happen? The video depicted a young man pretending to be Jewish (wearing a kippah) approaching people on the streets of Algiers; those he approached then appeared to insult, harass, or assault him. The makers of the video concluded what they termed a “social experiment” by stating “Algerians do not want to smell the odor of Jews in their country.”
Societal anti-Semitic actions included desecration of a Jewish cemetery.

For the fifth consecutive year, authorities cancelled an annual Jewish pilgrimage, including the participation of many Israeli citizens, to the shrine of 19th-century scholar Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hassira. The cancellation occurred following an administrative court decision to ban permanently the Abu Hassira festival in December 2014. The court justified its decision by stating the festival was a “violation of public order and morals” and “incompatible with the solemnity and purity of religious sites.”

The government generally failed to take action against or condemn anti-Semitic comments that appeared in both government-owned and private media. For example, on November 15, Al-Hayat satellite channel television host Iman Izz Al-Din said that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Da’esh, was a Jew. On October 27, El-Rahma television host Muhammad Khaled said “The history of the Jews has been black since the dawn of time. Nebuchadnezzar burned them, the Crusaders burned them, and even Hitler and Nazism burned them.” Then he asked his interviewee, professor of Islamic history at Cairo University Yusri Ahmad Zidan, whether “burning was the only solution for the Jews.” Zidan responded, “So it seems.”

Talk show hosts occasionally approved the killing of Jewish civilians and failed to distinguish between Jews and supporters of Israeli policies in broadcasts critical of such policies. Private Salafist media sometimes included anti-Semitic programming that glorified or denied the Holocaust, including in interviews with academics and clerics. There were reports of imams using anti-Semitic rhetoric in their sermons, including allegations that Jews were responsible for the “spilled blood” of Muslim Palestinians.

In a Facebook post on March 6, President of the Cairo Jewish Community Magda Haroun reported teenagers defiled her family’s graves at the Basateen Jewish cemetery in the south of Cairo on March 5. Haroun said as she was visiting the graves a group of teenagers shouted repeatedly, “the graves of the Jews, the sons of bitches” and then urinated on the graves.

Articles in international news media quoted Jewish community representatives as saying there continued to be government restrictions and discrimination against Jews, but little interference with Jewish religious practices

According to the Tehran Jewish Committee, five Jewish schools and two kindergartens continued to operate in Tehran, but their principals were required to be Muslim. The government reportedly continued to allow Hebrew instruction but limited the distribution of Hebrew texts, particularly nonreligious texts, making it difficult to teach the language, according to the Jewish community. Although the government did not require Jewish students to attend Saturday classes, it reportedly required Jewish schools to remain open on Saturdays, in violation of Jewish religious law, to conform to the schedule of other schools.

The law states constitutional guarantees providing for the reinstatement of citizenship to individuals who gave up their citizenship for political or sectarian reasons do not apply to Jews who emigrated and gave up their citizenship under a 1950 law.

Editorial cartoons, articles, and public statements by politicians sometimes depicted negative images of Jews and conflated anti-Israel sentiment with anti-Semitic sentiment. On November 17, Ro’ya, a private television station, hosted a journalist drawing an editorial cartoon showing an anti-Semitic stereotype and stating that Jews were the “mother of terrorism.”

The government continued to refuse to give approval to the request from the Jewish community, repeated over several years, to change its official name from the Israeli Communal Council to the Jewish Community Council.

Government officials made anti-Semitic, and in some cases anti-Christian, statements. In August Mahdzir Khalid, the minister of education and a senior leader of the ruling UMNO party, said a London-based website that reported Malaysian government corruption was part of a Jewish/Christian agenda to split the Malay Muslim community.

In October participants in a pro-Palestinian rally in Casablanca reportedly acted out a scene in which individuals in Palestinian dress pushed fake rifles into the backs of other individuals in handcuffs dressed as Hasidic Jews, and then play-acted the execution of those portraying the Jews. Local authorities later briefly detained and questioned the individuals involved in the play-acting scene, but no charges were filed.

Saudi Arabia:
The calculation of accidental death or injury compensation differs according to the religious affiliation of the plaintiff. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is entitled to receive only 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive; all other non-Muslims are entitled to receive only one-sixteenth the amount a male Muslim would receive.

Editorial cartoons continued to exhibit anti-Semitism characterized by the use of stereotypical images of Jews along with Jewish symbols, particularly at times of heightened political tension with Israel. For example, in March a cartoon showed the Star of David caging a peace dove, and in January a cartoon showed an orthodox Jew armed with a weaponized menorah riding an elephant to conquer the al-Aqsa Mosque.
In March unknown individuals damaged the grave of 18th century Jewish author and scholar Rabbi Masseoud Elfassi. Media reports speculated the vandalism was the work of looters. After the incident, President Beji Caid Essebsi increased security around the cemetery and other Jewish sites, and publicly promised a European rabbinical body he would protect the Jewish community and its institutions.
Mastermind, an anti-Semitic “documentary” film, was broadcast repeatedly on private television channels and posted on the websites of several pro-government media outlets, starting in March. An adviser to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appeared in the film, and said President Erdogan was responsible for bringing unfavorable “facts” about Jews to the public’s attention. The film paints the Jews as the country’s biggest enemy.
Anti-Semitic material continued to appear in print. Jewish leaders reported continued harassment of Jewish community members in Amran by the local population, including by throwing stones and coercion to convert to Islam. Jewish students reportedly continued to stay away from public schools due to social pressures and security concerns. Attempts by the Jewish community to establish private schools, which had been abandoned following the Houthi takeover of Sana’a in September 2014, remained halted. In October several members of the Jewish community departed Yemen, citing concerns over security and their children’s future.
There were some positive anecdotes as well, particularly in Turkey and Tunisia.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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