Tuesday, November 12, 2019

From Ian:

Labour candidate says her song ‘From the River to the Sea’ ISN’T antisemitic
Labour’s candidate for the Conservative-held marginal seat of St Ives has defended her band’s song accused of calling for Israel’s destruction from charges of antisemitism.

Alana Bates, who is standing in next month’s general election, is a bassist in The Tribunes, a self-described “radical-political alternative rock four-piece band” formed in 2015.

The song, uploaded to Spotify in 2018, is entitled From the River to the Sea, a controversial phrase often used at anti-Israel demonstrations to call for the country’s destruction.

“With no justice, there’s no peace / troops out of the middle east / with no justice, there’s no peace / get out of the middle east,” the song states.

“Justice should not have to wait / Israel’s an apartheid state / Justice should not have to wait / Israel is a racist state,” it continues.

Later, the song calls on listeners to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, saying “ethnic cleaning and the rest, support BDS.”

Independent Cornwall councillor Tim Dwelly said the song was “repulsive racism” and called for Bates’ immediate expulsion from Labour.

Dwelly, a former member of Labour, tweeted: “Her band sings that Palestine should be ‘one state’. Israel should be ‘out of the Middle East’, is a ‘racist state’. Repulsive racism. She should be expelled by Labour immediately.”

Bates told Jewish News the song had been removed from online platforms on the advice of the Labour Party.


Lib Dem candidate apologises over tweet comparing Gaza to ‘Nazi ghettos’
A Liberal Democrat candidate has apologised over a tweet sent in 2014 comparing Gaza to “Nazi ghettos in which Jews were trapped”.

Wera Hobhouse, 59, most recently served as the Lib Dems’ climate change spokesperson. Elected to represent Bath in 2017, she is standing in next month’s general election.

She told Jewish News: “I abhor antisemitism with every fibre of my being. My mother’s brothers and sisters had to flee the Holocaust because they were Jewish, and it destroyed their families. I had an uncle imprisoned in Dachau, and a great uncle murdered because he was mentally ill.

“This was the reality for my family in Nazi Germany, and we still live with the trauma. However, I apologise unreservedly for any offence I have caused. Looking back at these tweets I realise that trying to discuss hugely serious issues via 140 characters is a mistake.”

She tweeted in 2014 that “#gaza seems to remind terribly of Nazi ghettos in which Jews were trapped during Holocaust. For what reason do we remember Holocaust?”

Another tweet sent the following year read: “‘Israel cynically using memory of the Holocaust’. ‘Never again this suffering to anybody not just Jews’ #bbcthebigquestion.”
Here’s a List of 100 Members of Congress Supporting CAIR
Ahead of the Council of American-Islamic Relations’ 25th Anniversary Gala event last Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization boasted that “120+” members of Congress had sent them letters of support.

We never saw those letters, however, thanks to Clarion reader Viola Rose, we were directed to a list of 100 members of Congress who voiced their support of CAIR in 2018. The list was published by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, along with the letters of support.
You can see the list and the letter by clicking here

The list includes Democrat presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar. Ninety-seven out of the 100 names on the list were Democrats; three were Republican.

CAIR’s gala event took place November 9, 2019, at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C., and featured Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Islamist activist and sharia-apologist Linda Sarsour.

CAIR describes itself as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” but in 2007, the U.S. government labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing the Hamas terrorist group.

In November 2014, CAIR was designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates along with a host of other Muslim Brotherhood entities.

CAIR was listed among “individuals/entities who are/were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and/or its organizations.” The Palestine Committee is a secret body set up to advance the Brotherhood/Hamas agenda in the U.S.

The FBI subsequently severed official contacts with the group, saying it “does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

Yet members of Congress – either ignorantly or intentionally — continue to endorse CAIR.



In essay on anti-Semitism, Sanders says Trump inspired synagogue shooting
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday accused US President Donald Trump of helping inspire 2018’s Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.

In the article for the left-wing magazine Jewish Currents, the Vermont Senator said he is firmly proud to be Jewish and to support Israel. He also argued that denying the right of Jews to self-determination is anti-Semitic.

Noting that part of his family had perished in the Holocaust, Sanders wrote that “I know very well where white supremacist politics leads, and what can happen when people do not speak up against it.”

He warned of statistics pointing to rising hate in the country, and blamed “a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Trump’s “own words helped inspire the worst act of antisemitic violence in American history,” he wrote, referring to the shooting a year ago at the Tree of Life synagogue building in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, accompanied by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, place stones and flowers on a memorial as they pay their respects at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 30, 2018. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

“We will confront this hatred, do exactly the opposite of what Trump is doing and embrace our differences to bring people together,” Sanders wrote.






Netanyahu: There was never a ‘real reconciliation’ between Israel and Jordan
Israel’s military might and diplomatic power, not true amity between the peoples, are the basis for Jerusalem’s peace accords with its Arab neighbors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a conference marking 25 years since the peace agreement with Jordan was signed.

As a case in point, Netanyahu revealed how in 2012, he managed to get Egypt to quickly withdraw tanks from the Sinai Peninsula that then-president Mohammed Morsi had ordered there shortly after taking office.

“When Morsi came power, almost the first action he took was to bring tens of tanks into Sinai, in a clear violation of the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel,” Netanyahu said. The March 1979 peace treaty stipulated exactly how many Egyptian tanks are allowed to be stationed in the Sinai.

“You haven’t heard this before, but I sent him [Morsi] a message, and I told him: ‘You have exactly seven days to pull them out,’” Netanyahu said. “’If you don’t pull them out, I will act immediately to get the US Congress to stop your [military] aid.’ He pulled them out.”

Since the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, which was brokered by US president Jimmy Carter, Washington has provided tens of billions of dollars to the Egyptian armed forces.
Jordan vows to respect Israeli private property rights in Naharayim enclave
Jordan will respect private property rights of Israelis in the northern Naharayim border enclave in accordance with the Hashemite Kingdom’s laws, an official source in the Jordanian Foreign Ministry told the state-run Petra news agency on Sunday.

The source made the statement on the same day that annexes in the landmark 1994 Jordan-Israel peace agreement — which had created special arrangements for Israeli farmers and their employees to work lands in Naharayim and the southern Tzofar enclave — were terminated.

For some 25 years, Jordan and Israel had implemented the annexes of the peace deal regarding Naharayim and Tzofar, which are sovereign Jordanian territories. In late 2018, however, Jordanian officials informed their Israeli counterparts of the kingdom’s intention to end them.

“Regarding Baqoura, the peace agreement recognized the private ownership of 820 dunams,” the unnamed source in the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said, referring to the Arabic name for Naharayim.

“Jordan will allow any Israeli citizen who proves his property ownership to receive an entry visa from the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv to enter the kingdom through its official border crossings,” the source added, stating that Amman “will respect the right of property ownership according to Jordanian laws.”
BBC News framing again erases internal Jordanian affairs
While the word “lease” appears twelve times in the BBC’s report, it does not appear in Annex 1b or Annex 1c of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty. Rather, the wording of those annexes made it very clear that while the two areas of land would come under Jordanian sovereignty, the land is owned by Israelis. The BBC’s explanation of that situation is as follows:
“One farmer, Eli Arazi, told Reuters his community had been growing crops there for 70 years, and described the end of the lease as “a punch in the face”.

The two enclaves are on the Israeli-Jordanian border, and have been privately owned by Israeli groups for several decades.”


Those “Israeli groups” are actually kibbutzim and moshavim – farming communities – and as the Reuters article cited by the BBC states, Jews and Israelis have owned land in the Naharayim area for the past century.
“Naharayim, which means “two rivers” in Hebrew, straddles the confluence of the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers. Israelis trace private ownership rights there to the 1920s, when the territory was part of British-mandated Palestine.

Arazi said his kibbutz, Ashdot Yaacov Meuhad, had been growing crops there for 70 years, including olives, bananas and avocados.

In the 1994 peace treaty, Jordanian sovereignty over the area was confirmed, while Israelis retained private land ownership and special provisions that allow free travel.”

Calls To Cut Aid To Israel Detrimental To U.S. Interests
More important, cutting military support for Israel would undermine U.S. interests. America needs a strong Israel to lighten our own military footprint and financial commitment in the Middle East, as the Democratic presidential candidates all claim they seek. We also need a strong Israel to help reduce threats to U.S. interests in the region.

Israel is an asset of growing importance in confronting the Middle East’s twin threatening forces: Sunni radicalism and Iran’s regional and nuclear expansionism.

With its relentless attacks in Syria, as well as increasingly in Lebanon and Iraq, the democratic Jewish state is the only actor effectively rolling back Iran and its proxies in the region. These proxies pose an existential threat not only to the Jewish state, but also to American allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. Israel is working with Egypt to fight ISIS in Sinai and the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas) in Gaza. It is working with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to protect it from external and internal enemies. The more active the Israeli military is, the less active U.S. soldiers need to be in the region.

America strategically needs a strong Israel now more than ever. Instead of threatening to cut military aid, the U.S. should now be focused on bolstering Israel’s military and deterrent capabilities. For example, accelerating delivery of weapons to Israel, replenishing and updating U.S. weapons prepositioned in Israel, undertaking more joint research and development, elevating Israel’s status for sharing military technology and intelligence with the United States, and concluding a narrowly defined mutual defense pact.

Recently, House Republicans overwhelmingly voted with Democrats to reject President Trump’s policy on Syria. Now congressional Democrats should work with Republicans to reject leading Democratic presidential candidates’ demands to cut aid to Israel, and work with President Trump to bolster Israel’s military and deterrent capabilities.
Democrats: Hell Yes We’ll Use Quid Pro Quos to Advance Our Political Agenda [Supercut]
President Trump is on the cusp of being impeached for asking Ukraine to investigate 2016 election meddling — and possibly Hunter Biden’s work with a natural gas company — as a precondition for receiving U.S. foreign aid. This, Democrats say, is a classic case of a “quid pro quo” (the Latin term for “this for that”). Whatever one thinks about the case against Trump, it’s worth asking: Is a quid pro quo automatically scandalous? After all, Democrats’ leading 2020 candidates have repeatedly pledged to use exactly this technique to advance their own political interests.




How the German Green party made Iranian antisemitism politically correct - analysis
The German Green Party was plunged into its most devastating antisemitism scandal in October, over its vice president’s mainstreaming of a senior Iranian politician who denies the Holocaust and seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.

The antisemitism scandal came as Germany’s best-selling paper, Bild, ran an extraordinary series of articles and an editorial (“Shame on the Bundestag”) exposing Green Party Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth’s zealous greeting of the speaker of Iran’s ersatz parliament, Ali Larijani.

The Green Party reaction was to hit back against Bild and other critics – without any asking of tough questions regarding whether the Party courting of Tehran over the decades has contributed to making Iranian regime-sponsored antisemitism and Holocaust denial socially and politically correct in Germany and Europe.

In a series of questions on Twitter, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, asked Roth: “Why do you, as a VP of German Parliament, meet w[ith]/ a Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating Iranian leader? Why do you, as leader of the ‘progressive’ Green Party, so joyfully chat w[ith]/ the rep[resentative]. of such a brutal Iran regime? Have you no shame?”

Roth’s open-armed embrace of Larijani, without physical contact, hit a raw nerve because just days earlier, a neo-Nazi gunman attempted to create a bloodbath in a synagogue in the German city of Halle. What unites Ali Larijani and the neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet, who murdered two people outside the Halle synagogue on October 9, is that both deny the Shoah and seek the extermination of Jews.

Larijani defended, at the 2009 Munich Security Conference, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust.

Both Larijani and Balliet are also wedded to an antisemitic worldview. Balliet believes in the “Zionist-occupied government” theory and Larijani concurs that “the Zionist regime should not be allowed to rule over Arab countries.”
Argentine Jewish Leader Urges Newly-Elected President Alberto Fernandez Not to Abandon Regional Push Against Iran, Hezbollah
A prominent leader of the Jewish community in Argentina has urged newly-elected President Alberto Fernandez to continue the policy of his predecessor in opposing the penetration of Latin America by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Lebanese terrorist proxy Hezbollah.

Speaking at a dinner last Thursday night to mark the 125th anniversary of the establishment of AMIA — the Jewish community center in the capital, Buenos Aires — the institution’s president, Ariel Eichbaum, praised the decision of Mauricio Macri, Fernandez’s immediate predecessor, for his “brave step” in adding Hezbollah to the country’s list of proscribed terrorist organizations in July this year.

“All free nations in the region must continue strengthening the work to condemn terrorism, denounce their actions and eliminate their sources of financing,” Eichbaum said.

Eichbaum also reminded Fernandez that AMIA had been directly impacted by Iranian-backed terrorism; in July 1994, an explosives-laden van driven by a Hezbollah operative smashed into the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding 300.

“The history of AMIA has left, as everyone knows, a scar that is impossible to hide,” Eichbaum said. “On July 18, 1994, fundamentalist terrorism chose us, a Jewish and Argentine institution, as a target, destroying an emblem of solidarity and of helping others, and killing 85 victims.”
Liz Cheney Calls on Pompeo to Expel Turkish Bodyguards Who Beat Americans
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Monday called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “immediately” expel the bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who beat US citizens protesting his White House visit in 2017, ahead of another visit scheduled for Wednesday.

Fifteen of the Turkish leader’s security guards were charged, with charges against 11 of them being dropped in March 2018. Two Turkish-American collaborators were sentenced to one year and a day behind bars the following month.

According to Turkish officials, US President Donald Trump apologized to Erdoğan following the charges. The White House has denied this.

“This behavior is sadly routine for President Erdoğan on Turkish soil,” wrote Cheney, chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, in a letter first reported by The Washington Examiner. “It is wrong and disturbing there, and it is an affront to American values and entirely unwelcome here. The Erdoğan regime’s use of violence against innocent civilians anywhere is inhumane, uncivilized and unacceptable.”

Protests against Erdoğan are expected to take place ahead of his visit this week to Washington, DC.
Turkey puts lecturer, students on trial for taking part in LGBT pride march
Eighteen Turkish students and a lecturer went on trial on Tuesday for taking part in a banned LGBTI Pride event at an Ankara university.

The defendants face up to three years in prison if convicted of “unlawful assembly and protest” and “refusing to disperse” in a trial deemed “farcical” by rights groups.

One of the 18 students also faces up to two years for insulting a police officer with hand gestures.

Homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkey’s history, but LGBTI individuals face regular harassment and abuse.

The pride event at the prestigious Middle East Technical University has taken place every May since 2011. But university bosses banned this year’s event and police used pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas to break it up.
In landmark ruling, EU’s top court says settlement product labeling mandatory
The European Court of Justice on Tuesday morning ruled that products made in Israeli settlements must be labeled as such, and may not be marketed as products of Israel.

The dramatic decision will likely cause already-tense relations between Jerusalem and Brussels to further deteriorate, as Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum have long rejected the European Union’s policy of distinguishing between goods made in Israel proper and those manufactured in areas that the EU does not recognize as sovereign Israeli territory.

“Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance,” the court — the EU’s highest legal instance — said in a press release.

The full text of the verdict, handed down by 15 judges in the court’s Grand Chamber, can be found here.
Top EU Courts Makes Israeli “Settlement” Product Labeling Mandatory
The EU ruling comes on a day when more than 150 rockets have landed on towns and cities across Israel. Around 24 people have been hospitalized or treated for shock. The indiscriminate rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza started after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander suspected of planning an imminent terror strike against Israel.

“This is great timing. As Israelis are holed up in bomb shelters across the country, Europe reminds us how it consistently stands on the wrong side of history,” Jerusalem Post editor-in-chie Yaakov Katz wrote on Twitter.

The Yesha Council, an umbrella organization representing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, slammed the discriminatory ruling, saying it will also impact Arabs employed by Israeli companies in the region.

“This is hypocritical decision, which stems from the lowest kind of anti-Semitism and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” the organization said in a statement.

The critics have very good reasons for questioning the motives behind the EU court ruling. The mandatory labeling policy singles out Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. China, which annexed the whole country of Tibet, or Turkey, which occupies parts of Cyprus, face no such discriminatory regime.

The Twitter-thread by George Mason University law professor Eugene Kontorovich gives us a much-needed perspective:




Congress Warns E.U. Against ‘Warning Labels’ for Jewish-Made Products
Leading lawmakers in Congress are warning the European Union that issuing a mandate that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel carry consumer warning labels could trigger American anti-boycott laws and jeopardize U.S. trade with Europe.

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) is expected to issue an opinion this week on a long-running case brought by an Israeli winery challenging a requirement that Israeli-made products be labeled as coming from "settlements" and "Israeli colonies."

The decision is expected to be issued early Tuesday and follows a recent opinion by the E.U. court's advocate general stipulating that European law requires these Jewish-made products to be labeled. Critics said the law is reminiscent of Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish products and have viewed such requirements as a win for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

Ahead of the decision, Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) petitioned E.U. ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis to raise concerns about a potential ruling in favor of the warning labels and said it could create policy tension with the United States.

Senators Benjamin Cardin (D., Md.) and Rob Portman (R., Ohio) sent a similar letter to U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer expressing concerns that the ruling holds Israel to a standard no other country is subjected to.


‘Anti-fascist’ supports MURDER of Jewish children
Yesterday I organised a BBQ in Melbourne for friends and supporters so I can meet, greet, shake their hands and thank them for all the love and support they continue to show me.

During the event, a proud Antifa comrade who I’ve exposed before showed up to “challenge” me.

Unlike when I attend their events, I gave him a warm welcome and engaged him in conversation.

WATCH & SHARE him support terrorism, even against 3-yr-old children. (h/t vwVwwVwv)


Polish PM Slams Netflix World War II Documentary: ‘Nothing Short of Rewriting History’
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki condemned Netflix for inaccuracies in a documentary it debuted about World War II, Poland’s national press agency reported on Monday.

Mateusz sent a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings accusing the film The Devil Next Door of “obfuscating historical facts,” including showcasing maps that “falsely places several German Nazi concentration camps within modern-day Poland’s borders,” according to the Polish Press Agency:

The PM said that the documentary about John Demjanjuk, a sadistic guard at the Treblinka German Nazi death camp also failed to make it clear that the camps were set up and operated by Germans.

In the letter the PM wrote: “Not only is this map incorrect but it decides viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps, and for committing the crimes therein.”

He added: “As my country did not even exist at that time as an independent state, and millions of Poles were murdered at these sites, this element of The Devil Next Door is nothing short of rewriting history. I believe that this terrible mistake has been committed unintentionally … and I am hoping that you will be able to correct it as soon as possible.”


The Holocaust Encyclopedia, run by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, provides details about the “killing center:”
Operation Reinhard (also known as Aktion Reinhard) authorities chose the site for the Treblinka killing center in a sparsely populated area near the villages of Treblinka and Malkinia. Malkinia was located on the main Warsaw-Bialystok rail line, about 50 miles northeast of Warsaw, in the Generalgouvernement (that part of German-occupied Poland not directly annexed to Germany, attached to German East Prussia, or incorporated into the German-occupied Soviet Union).
‘The Difference Now Is That We Have the State of Israel’: German Jewish Leader Describes Growing Unease With Threat from Neo-Nazis, Islamists
The head of the Jewish community in the Germany city of Halle — where a neo-Nazi terrorist attempted to gun down worshipers gathered for Yom Kippur services in the main synagogue last month — has said that discussion among German Jews concerning emigration to Israel and other countries was becoming more prevalent amid a climate of rising antisemitism.

“Slowly, one considers whether there might not also be other places on our planet where we Jews could live better,” Max Privorozki — the chairman of the Halle Jewish community — said in an interview on Saturday with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Privorozki was among the 150 people inside the synagogue on Oct. 7, when armed neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet tried to break into the synagogue, only to be prevented from doing so by its security door. Unable to gain entry, Balliat murdered two people outside the synagogue before being captured by police.

Asked whether he had previously thought that an attack such as the one on Oct. 9 was even possible, Privorozki answered, “To this extent? No.”

However, he continued, “we are observing with unease that antisemitism is becoming increasingly blatant in Germany at great speed. It is no longer embarrassing to openly present oneself as an antisemite.”

Privorozki pointed out that contemporary antisemitism in Germany “does not only come from neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists, but is also propagated by Islamists.”




Blogger apologizes for photo of rubber duck on Auschwitz train tracks
A travel blogger has apologized after posting a photo on his Instagram account of a rubber duck on the iconic tracks outside of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The blogger, who goes by the Instagram handle @atuk.apil and writes in Spanish, has taken photos of the rubber duck in front of other sites, including Buckingham Palace, the Colosseum, Red Square, and Mount Vesuvius. The account has around 3,400 followers. The image of the death camp in Poland has since been taken down.

The Auschwitz photo was posted on Wednesday and reported by Fox News over the weekend.

The Auschwitz Memorial called the blogger out in a tweet on Wednesday.

“What if someone who travels with a rubber duck & uses it as an artistic Instagram convention arrives at @AuschwitzMuseum? Is the rubber duck in front of the Gate of Death disrespectful – even unintentionally? Or is it a side effect of the visual world we should accept/ignore?” the memorial wrote on Twitter.
Thousands rally in Milan in solidarity with Holocaust survivor under police escort
About 5,000 people rallied under a pelting rain in front of the Holocaust Memorial of Milan on Monday night to express their solidarity with Auschwitz survivor and Senator for Life Liliana Segre.

The event was titled “Milan does not hate.” In videos of the rally posted by Italian media, hundreds of colorful umbrellas can be seen, protecting participants singing partisans’ songs.

The Italian daily La Repubblica reported that Segre, 89, did not attend the rally herself, but said that she was moved by the initiative.

On Thursday, Italian authorities announced that they were placing the senator under police escort after she received threats from far-right fanatics.

The Holocaust Memorial is located in the warehouses of Milan’s central station, where Nazi and fascist soldiers loaded the trains destined for the death camps, concealed from view.

Born in 1930 into a Jewish family in Milan, Segre was one of the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz from there. She was 13 years old - one of 776 Italian children under the age of 14 who were sent to the Nazi concentration camp. Only 25 survived.

The underground track used by the Nazis was rediscovered at the beginning of the 2000s and turned into a memorial.


Coming back to the castle: The improbable return of the Jews of York
Later this month, the Jewish community of York in northeast England will hold its annual interfaith service. The 40 or so local Jews who regularly attend Shabbat morning prayers will be joined by several dozen non-Jewish guests, including the local member of Parliament, the mayor and the sheriff — a representative of the Crown.

The service will be held in the large, bright, high-ceilinged room the community uses in York’s Friends Meeting House — the local building of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers.

The York Liberal Jewish community’s portable Holy Ark will hold center stage, and the weekly portion will be read from a historic Sefer Torah made available to the community by the Memorial Scrolls Trust, one of over 1,500 Torah scrolls from Czechoslovakia that were saved from the Nazis and subsequently restored.

That a small Jewish community is opening its doors to empathetic locals for a Shabbat morning service may sound unremarkable. Similar events take place routinely around the world.

But remarkable this service, in this community, in this city, most certainly is. For the name York has resonated through the centuries as the site of the most notorious pogrom against Jews in English history. In 1190, the 150 or so Jews of York, having seen several members of their community murdered by local mobs amid a series of anti-Jewish killings that were gradually spreading north from London, sought refuge in the local castle, believing that here they might enjoy royal protection. But King Richard I was on his way to the Crusades, and his sheriff and the Archbishop of York were also away. Far from being safe, the Jews found themselves besieged by a mob baying for their deaths — a crowd that included prominent locals who owed them money.




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