Anti-Semitism, racism, deportation in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s America: Anti-Semitism is Back, and It’s Not Going Away

10 November 2016

Donald Trump being elected President of the United States has legitimized the voice of the alt-right in this country and the anti-Semitic rhetoric that comes along with it.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Behind the anti-Semitic and racist attacks in the US

1 March 2017

The coming to power of the Trump administration has encouraged the most reactionary, racist and backward forces in American society. Nearly 100 bomb threats have been phoned in to Jewish Community Centers around the country, all of them so far hoaxes, but causing widespread fear and disruption. Two Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated, most recently Saturday night in Philadelphia, when more than 500 gravestones were displaced or broken—an effort that clearly involved a sizeable and determined effort.

Last weekend, an Indian immigrant software engineer was murdered in Kansas City, shot to death in a bar by a bigoted Navy veteran who apparently thought he was killing an Iranian, and who echoed Trump’s campaign rhetoric, shouting “get out of my country,” before opening fire. This is only the most flagrant in a wave of violence and intimidation against immigrants and Muslims, inspired by Trump’s executive orders targeting refugees and immigrant workers.

Trump gave lip service to concern over racist and anti-Semitic attacks at the beginning of his nationally televised speech to Congress Tuesday night. His crocodile tears were belied almost immediately as he returned to his main campaign theme of demonizing immigrants as criminals, drug dealers and gang members.

The president’s real attitude to the wave of anti-Semitic attacks was expressed in his remarks at the White House Tuesday to a group of state attorneys general. Trump was asked about the bomb threats and desecration of graves, and he replied, “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people—or to make others—look bad,” he told the state officials.

This was not the first time that Trump has suggested that his political opponents are staging the anti-Semitic attacks in order to embarrass his administration. Trump said much the same thing, albeit in a typically confused and rambling fashion, when asked about the attacks at his February 16 press conference. “You have some of the signs and some of that anger caused by the other side,” he claimed. “They’ll do signs and drawing that are inappropriate. It won’t be my people. It will be people on the other side to anger people like you.”

Similar claims have been promoted by far-right elements like former KKK leader and neo-Nazi David Duke, with the “people on the other side” replaced with the statement that it is Jews who are responsible for the desecrations.

Officials of Jewish groups have criticized Trump’s latest remarks, as they have a series of comments and actions that have no serious explanation except as expressions of deep-seated anti-Semitism among key officials in the Trump White House.

The most flagrant was the official White House statement commemorating worldwide observances of the Holocaust, which made no reference to the Jewish victims of Hitler’s “final solution,” an omission that White House aides said was intentional.

The ties between Trump and the foul swamp of anti-Semitism and white racism have been noted as far back as his notorious reluctance to distance himself from Duke, who fervently endorsed Trump in the Republican primaries.

Trump’s closest policy adviser, who has taken on a leading role in virtually every area is Stephen Bannon, the fascist-minded former head of Breitbart News, which has become one of the main Internet watering holes for white racist, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi elements. In his political utterances, Bannon invokes what are diplomatically described as “dog whistles” for anti-Semitism, thinly disguised tropes like his denunciation of the “corporatist, globalist media” at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

Trump himself embraced “America First” as the theme of his fascistic inaugural address, despite—or because of—the fact that the group of that name in the 1930s was headed by Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh and the slogan became identified with hostility to Jews.

The White House has repeatedly rebuffed charges of anti-Semitism by pointing to Trump’s family—his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, now a top White House aide—and to prominent Jewish members of Trump’s cabinet like Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The issue is not resolved so easily.

Trump’s promotion of anti-immigrant racism and American nationalism has a definite political logic, aligning his administration with the foulest and most retrograde tendencies in American political life. These elements flocked to the Trump campaign and were emboldened both by his election victory and his promotion of figures like Bannon, Sebastian Gorka (associated with the Hungarian neo-Nazi group, the Order of Vitéz) and Michael Anton (who has denounced Islam as a “militant faith”) to high positions in the White House.

The Trump administration has been steeped in racism and chauvinism from its first day in office. Significantly, while he was forced to make a perfunctory condemnation of anti-Semitism last week, Trump has not said a word about anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant violence. He said nothing about the massacre of five Muslims at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, carried out by an ultra-right racist and Trump admirer.

Throughout this period, the major policy initiative of the new administration has been to launch a pogrom-style onslaught against immigrants, whether Muslim refugees fleeing US bombs and missiles in the Middle East, or Mexicans and Central Americans, feeding their families by working at low-paying and arduous jobs across the United States.

The heavily publicized raids, round-ups and mass jailing of innocent people have served as a green light to every racist vigilante in America. The Trump administration is morally and political responsible for the upsurge of anti-Semitism and racism, and it must be held accountable.

The Trump administration, however, is an expression of a profound disease, and one that did not begin with the entry of Trump and Bannon into the White House. Far-right nationalism in general and anti-Semitism in particular have always been associated with social and political reaction. It is employed by the ruling class to divert popular anger and to create the ideological foundation for war.

The 1930s saw a savage rise of anti-Semitism, not only in Europe, but in the United States as well. This was also a period of racist lynchings in the south, followed during the Second World War by the mass internment of Japanese Americans ordered by the Roosevelt administration.

All of this nationalist filth is again reemerging. Similar forces are on the rise throughout Europe, with parties and organizations that promote Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, violent attacks on immigrants and the buildup of the police and military—all the trappings of a revival of the fascist forces that were responsible for the greatest crimes of the twentieth century.

In country after country, the ruling class is bringing forward the worst forms of nationalism and religious bigotry. The war policies of American imperialism in the Middle East, with the backing of NATO, have driven tens of millions of refugees to flee their homes. More than a million have made their way to Europe seeking safety and a decent future. But the policy of the Trump administration, and its co-thinkers in Europe, is to brand the victims of imperialism as “terrorists” and bar their entry.

In the final analysis, the mix of fascistic reaction thrown up by the Trump administration is a product of the crisis and breakdown of the capitalist system.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes spike in New York City: here.

03/17/2017 07:48 pm ET: Top Trump Adviser Faces Calls For Resignation After Reports Of Ties To Nazi-Aligned Group. Sebastian Gorka proudly wears a medal from a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazis during World War II: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

24 February 2017

The wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the man who was shot and killed at an Olathe bar on Wednesday night, said to reporters that “he wanted to do so much for this country” and “he did not deserve a death like this.”

WIFE OF SLAIN KANSAS INDIAN MAN: ‘DO WE BELONG HERE?’ Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, asked in a lengthy Facebook post what the U.S. government was going to do to address hate crimes. [HuffPost]

By Wasantha Rupasinghe:

Popular outcry against murder of Indian immigrant in US

1 March 2017

There is growing popular anger in both India and America at last week’s murder of an Indian immigrant in Olathe, Kansas and at US President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn the xenophobic attack.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old software engineer, was shot dead and fellow Indian immigrant Alok Madasani wounded by a man who had hurled racial slurs at them, was asked to leave Austins Bar and Grill, then returned with a shotgun. Before opening fire, the shooter shouted, “Get out of my country” and “terrorist.” Also injured in the attack was Ian Grillot, who tried to tackle the gunman.

Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old US Navy veteran, has been charged with one count of premeditated murder and two counts of attempted murder in the February 22 shooting.

Witnesses to the crime suggest that Purinton believed the men were Muslims and from Iran. Madasani, who worked with Kuchibhotla at the GPS manufacturer Garmin, told the New York Times, the shooter had asked them “what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally.”

Last week’s tragic events took place against the background of the virulent anti-immigrant campaign launched by Trump and his administration. This includes an executive order targeting immigrants and travelers from Iran and six other mainly Muslim countries, a vast expansion of the arbitrary powers of immigration police to arrest and deport immigrants, a wave of raids targeting undocumented workers and their families, and preparations for mass deportations and internment camps.

The Trump administration has baldly denied any connection between its anti-immigrant witch hunt and stoking of anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican sentiment and a sharp spike in hate crimes.

Speaking last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer curtly dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that the “rhetoric” of Trump and his administration could have “contributed in any way” to the Kansas shooting and other violent attacks targeting Muslims, Jews, and immigrants. “To suggest there’s any correlation,” Spicer claimed, “…is a bit absurd.”

But working people in both India and the US are increasingly drawing the connection, as well as noting Trump’s conspicuous silence on the Kansas killing.

No less politically revealing is the failure of Trump’s Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to condemn Kuchibhotla’s murder.

Modi has frequently boasted of his close ties to the growing Indian immigrant population in America and casts himself as the fiercest opponent of “terrorism.” Yet he has said nothing about the lethal attack targeting Indian immigrants in Olathe. India’s Prime Minister has been similarly silent on Trump’s discriminatory travel ban targeting Muslim countries, although India is home to some 175 million Muslims, making it the third-largest Muslim country in the world.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is notorious for its anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinism. However, the principal reason for Modi’s silence on both Trump’s Muslim ban and the Olathe attack is his determination not to do anything that might embarrass or antagonize the Trump administration. Under Modi, and with Indian big business’s enthusiastic support, New Delhi has dramatically expanded its military-security partnership with Washington. In the hopes of boosting their own great-power ambitions, the Indian ruling elite is recklessly transforming India into a “frontline” state in Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China. Last month, the Pentagon revealed that India is to become a service and repair hub for the US Seventh Fleet, the arm of the US Navy charged with spearheading military action against China.

Popular anger over the horrific events in Olathe and the Trump administration’s whipping up of animosity toward immigrants is, nevertheless, proving to be a political problem for India’s government. As the outcry grew in India, Pratik Mathur, the press secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, issued a statement expressing deep concern at Kuchibhotla’s killing and calling on US authorities to conduct a “speedy investigation.”

Yesterday, the Indian government hastened to deny media reports that New Delhi had issued a diplomatic demarche to the US over the lethal attack in Olathe. Indian External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay claimed prompt action by US authorities had “obviated” the need for such action. “It is important to note,” asserted Baglay, “that the US authorities are engaged with us on the larger concern regarding safety of Indians in the US, a matter which continues to receive the government’s top priority.”

In reality, the Trump administration fully intends to press forward with its anti-immigrant witch hunt, both so as to make immigrants scapegoats for the mass unemployment, falling living standards, and social deprivation produced by capitalism and to justify the buildup of the repressive apparatus of the state.

Indian immigrant workers are certain to be among the primary victims of the Trump administration’s plans to dramatically curtail the H1B Visa program under which US employers can temporarily employ high-skilled foreign workers.

The Indian government’s indifference to Kuchibhotla’s fate and eagerness to work with the Trump administration stands in marked contrast to the sentiments of working people in India and America. In both countries, there has been an outpouring of anger, much of it directed against Trump, and support for the victims and their families.

As of Monday, more than 8,000 people had contributed $1.25 million to a GoFundMe campaign, launched by a former coworker of Kuchibhotla, to raise funds for the victims of the Olathe shooting. According to the Kansas City Star, hundreds participated in a peace march there Sunday to protest the anti-immigrant attack.

Protests rallies were also held in Andhra Pradesh, the southern Indian state where Kuchibhotla grew up and his family lives. His funeral, which was held in Hyderabad yesterday, was in part a political protest, with many of the participants chanting or holding up “Down with Trump” and “Down with Racism” signs.

Unlike the Modi government, some sections of the Indian press have pointed to the connection between the shooting in Olathe and the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt. A February 27 Indian Express editorial, titled “The Cost of Hate,” said, “President Donald Trump and his political allies, who fanned the red-hot coals of white nationalist tendencies in the United States through the course of their election campaign, must answer questions raised by [Kuchibhotla’s] murder.” The Hindu said the Olathe shooting “cannot but shine a spotlight on President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant actions,” then rebuked Trump for failing to condemn it. A Times of India editorial, “Shot in Kansas: A Hyderabad engineer falls victim to festering socio-economic turmoil in America,” noted that “Indians were blamed for ‘stealing’ jobs from Americans during the Obama administration as well.”

The Indian media’s comments are indicative of their concerns that the ultra-rightwing agenda of the Trump administration will incite popular opposition to the Indo-US military-strategic alliance and disrupt the operations of India’s IT firms, whose US operations are India’s largest source of export income.

USA: Yousef Ajin, 48, a Jordanian working class immigrant who has lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 18 years, received a waiver from deportation at the conclusion of a deportation hearing Tuesday. Ajin, a maintenance worker, was arrested on January 30 following a routine check-in with his immigration officer. Ajin won wide support for his case, with over 200 people attending the protest in front of the courthouse and official statements from local politicians in Ann Arbor: here.

Hungarian Jews, Roma, LGBTQ against bigotry


This video says about itself:

10 December 2015

Holocaust survivor Eva Bock describes antisemitism in Győr, Hungary during the early 1940s.

By Cnaan Liphshiz for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 27, 2017:

Roma Join Jews To Turn Budapest Club Into Anti-Government Hub

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Although she lives in the undisputed nightlife capital of Central Europe, Andi Angelip knows of only a handful of bars here where she is truly comfortable bringing a date.

Angelip, a 19-year-old student and activist for lesbian and gay rights, said she avoids “rainbow” establishments that cater only to homosexuals. Yet in a country where violent far-right activists regularly intimidate gays and lesbians, she also avoids romantic situations in mainstream clubs.

“It’s not so comfortable to be a minority in a country whose politicians preach for discrimination on a daily basis,” she told JTA last month.

Two years ago, Angelip found at least one place where she does feel comfortable: an avant-garde Jewish community center called Aurora. Since its reopening in 2014 in a poor neighborhood of Budapest, it has become one of the city’s hippest coffee bars – and a major hub for social and opposition activists fighting the policies of Hungary’s right-wing government.

“I come here because it’s just a cool place, but also because I feel safe and comfortable here, like I belong,” said Angelip, who is not a part of Hungary’s Jewish population of approximately 100,000.

She is not the only minority rights activist who regards Aurora, a 6,500-square-foot center located in a small building in the crime-stricken 8th District, as a sanctuary from reality in Hungary. Critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government here say it is mainstreaming hate crime and Holocaust revisionism, as well as promoting censorship of the press.

Marom, the Jewish association that runs and owns Aurora as part of its outreach mission to young unaffiliated Hungarian Jews, provides office space and facilities to about a dozen non-Jewish activist groups committed to fighting these perceived trends. They include the Roma Press CenterBudapest Pride, the Migszol refugee advocacy group and the Zold Pok agency for social activism.

While Angelip and a female friend chatted over beer on a recent Monday in the Aurora bar – a cozy space with 1970s décor and music by the French protest singer Manu Chao — Marom’s staff of about 12 met in their upstairs office to review last year’s activities, including the group’s weekly Shabbat services in their small egalitarian synagogue and celebrations of Jewish holidays.

In addition to religious services, Marom also organizes educational activities in schools about the Holocaust, programs for street children, and cultural events like film screenings and experimental music concerts. It also hosts political discussions, such as a sold-out Jan. 30 debate on populism featuring László Majtényi, an outspoken critic of Orban.

“We work with non-affiliated Jews who would never go to a synagogue or even the Balint Center,” said Adam Schoenberger, the president of Marom, referring to the Jewish community center in central Budapest funded by the Joint Distribution Committee. “So we try to sneak Judaism into our programming, just to give them a taste and whet their appetite: a klezmer concert here, a Hanukkah candle lighting there.”

As Schoenberger talks to a visitor, in an adjacent room three activists from the Roma Press Center hammer out a strategy for covering the landmark trial at the European Court of Human Rights on the role of Hungarian police in allowing hundreds of rioters in 2012 to attack the home of a Roma family in the village of Devecser.

The court’s Feb. 8 ruling against the police  – one of hundreds of hate crimes against Roma, or gypsies, recorded annually in Hungary – was hailed by Amnesty International as a “drop of hope in a sea of fear.”

“Not only is the far right party, Jobbik, the third largest in parliament, but the ruling Fidesz party has drifter further and further in its negative attitudes towards Roma,” the group said.

Against this backdrop, and amid a government-led crackdown on independent media, the Roma Press Center is “the only outlet that will bring the news about assaults in the countryside to the few news portals that are still not muzzled by the government,” Schoenberger said. “We find it very important that they be a part of Aurora.”

The press center, a nongovernment organization with a shoestring budget, receives a significant discount on rent from Marom.

The cooperation with Marom revolutionized the work of the Roma center, which was founded in 1995, according to the organization’s president, Szilvia Suri.

“We were renting office space in the center before we came here,” she said. “It was more expensive but more crucially, we were isolated there, whereas at Aurora we are better connected not only to the other organizations working here, but to the many Roma people who live in the 8th District.”

The Jewish-Roma partnership at Aurora is unusual in a country where the two minorities rarely act in unison, according to Eszter Hajdu, a Hungarian filmmaker who has studied that relationship.

“While both groups encounter some xenophobia, the Roma are far more vulnerable,” Hajdu said. And while Jewish groups at times participate in educational and charitable activities to assist Roma, “I can’t say the Jewish community is the first one to offer help” to the other minority, she added. She also said that part of the problem are negative biases each group holds of the other in Hungary.

The discounts that Marom offered its partner groups last year on using Aurora facilities and utilities amounted to $25,000 — a substantial sum in a country where the average monthly salary is about half that of the United States. Marom generates 90 percent of its annual budget and receives the rest from donations by JDC, the UJA-Federation of New York, Masorti Olami and others.

Building an alliance of liberal groups would be unremarkable for a Jewish organization in most other Western countries. But in Hungary, it places Aurora squarely at the center of opposition to a government-led campaign to root out foreign-funded grassroots organizations that do not conform to the party line, and to significantly limit the work of nongovernmental groups to local funding only.

Officials from Orban’s Fidesz party have already vowed to root out the network of NGOs that receive funding from the liberal Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, who is Jewish, and have limited the work of other groups with funding from Norway. Now, most other local groups with a progressive agenda are bracing for intervention by the government.

Marom has experience with such intervention.

In 2014, Budapest officials kicked the group out of its former site in the city center on a building safety pretext. The eviction notice came two days after opposition activists used the space to plan an anti-government sit-in.

It was one of several opposition activities hosted by Marom in recent years, including in the 2013 student protests. Marom’s previous site was also the birthplace that year of the LMP Green party.

Mazsihisz, the umbrella group of Hungarian Jewish communities, has objected in recent years to perceived attempts by the government to whitewash Hungarian authorities’ complicity in the Holocaust, including by celebrating known anti-Semites. But Mazsihisz has remained nonpartisan.

And with good reason, according to Slomó Köves, a Chabad rabbi and leader of the local EMIH Jewish group, which is not part of Mazsihisz.

The government funds Jewish community life with hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, supports Israel in international forums and protects religious freedoms, Koves said. And while “it can be argued that it needs to be firmer on anti-Semitism, progress is being made there, too.” Ultimately, he argued, Hungarian Jews are safer and more secure about their future than their brethren in France.

But for Marom, which began in 1998 as an apolitical group, the penchant for opposition activism is inescapable, according to Schoenberger.

This is partly because “most unaffiliated Jews in Hungary seem to be liberal,” he said. But ultimately, “our opposition activism owes to the government’s war on core Jewish values of tikkun olam,” a Jewish concept of “repairing the world” and helping the needy, Schoenberger said.

“We did not choose to become political,” he added. “But when the government is targeting the poor, the different, the foreign – then we have no choice.”

REVEALED: Top Trump aide Gorka worked with anti-Semitic and racist groups in Hungary: here.

Anti-Semites attack Philadelphia, USA Jewish cemetery


This 23 February 2017 video from the USA is called US Muslims Raise Over $90k To Fix Desecrated Jewish Cemetery.

From Haaretz daily in Israel:

Dozens of Headstones Broken at Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia

Incident comes just under a week after similar vandalism occurred as a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.

Feb 26, 2017 8:20 PM

A Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia apparently became the victim of vandalism Sunday, when police were alerted that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of headstones had been broken and toppled over. …

The report came after a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis last week was vandalized in a similar manner, increasing concern in the Jewish community over an increase in anti-Semitic incidents that some have connected to the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump.

It was North New Jersey resident Aaron Mallin who reportedly discovered the overturned headstones, according to the report.

“It’s just very disheartening that such a thing would take place,” Mallin said. “I’m hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids. But the fact that there’s so many it leads one to think it could have been targeted.”

In a continuing surge of anti-Semitic acts and threats across the US, several hundred gravestones were toppled or damaged at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, late Saturday night. The attack came amid a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and schools and less than a week after vandals overturned some 200 headstones at Jewish cemetery in University City, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. While police initially reported that upward of 100 headstones were vandalized at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, volunteers helping clean up on Sunday stated that more than 500 grave sites had been damaged. Destruction at the cemetery was extensive, with row after row of headstones knocked over; some stones, more than a century old, were split in half: here.

How Philly’s Jewish communities are handling unprecedented attacks: here.

[Donald Trump’ s Vice President Mike] Pence Mistakes Nicaraguan Flag for Israeli in Tweets Supporting Jews: here.

The Trump administration is filled with openly anti-Semitic figures, but unholy alliances between Zionists and bigots in the West are nothing new, explains Sarah Levy: here.

United States Muslim solidarity with vandalized Jewish cemetery


This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims Organize Fundraiser For Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

22 February 2017

An anti-semitic act of vandalism is being fought with love and solidarity. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“There has been an outpouring of support around the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

“There is a concept in Jewish teaching and thought known as tikkun olam — It translates literally into ‘repairing the world,’ but what it means more broadly is that we all have an obligation to one another and to be of service,” wrote Greitens. “It is in moments like this that the world is in most need of repair, and we must do our part.”

A fundraising campaign organized by Muslim Americans — Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy — has raised more than $64,000 in support of the rebuilding efforts, more than triple the initial goal of $20,000. The funds remaining after the cemetery is restored will be contributed to repair other vandalized Jewish centers, the campaign said.

“Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America,” the campaign wrote on its fundraising landing page. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

On Wednesday, Missouri’s governor and community members will gather at the cemetery to help clean and repair the damage. As of Tuesday afternoon, the cemetery was able to reset about 50 headstones.”

Read more here.

United States anti-Semitism, Stephen Bannon and Donald Trump


This video says about itself:

21 February 2017

Anti-semitism seems to be a growing problem lately… Ana Kasparian and Ben Mankiewicz, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“As many as 200 headstones at a Jewish cemetery were toppled over the weekend here in a case that is making national headlines.

Anita Feigenbaum, executive director of the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, said officials will be cataloging the damage Tuesday and notifying relatives whose families are affected. A monument company will decide which headstones need to be replaced and which need to be reset, she said.

Feigenbaum was emotional in describing the damage she saw.

“It’s hard to even express how terrible it was,” she said Tuesday morning. “It was horrible.”

Police are investigating the vandalism, which happened sometime over the weekend. No arrests had been made, as of Tuesday. Asked whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Detective Lt. Fredrick Lemons II said police were keeping all options open….

Read more here.

By Niles Niemuth in the USA:

Mounting anti-Semitic attacks in US draw half-hearted response from Trump

22 February 2017

Some 200 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, in the suburbs of St. Louis, were damaged or overturned by vandals late Sunday or early Monday, in the most serious in a wave of anti-Semitic threats and actions this year.

Ultra-right and anti-Semitic forces have been encouraged by the inauguration of Donald Trump, and particularly his elevation of Stephen Bannon, the former CEO of Breitbart News, to a top position at the White House. Breitbart has been a leading promoter of the alt-right, the online designation of the rancid milieu of white supremacists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazis.

United States President Donald Trump, his adviser Steve Bannon, neonazis and the Ku Klux Klan, cartoon

No arrests have been made in the Missouri incident, and investigators have not yet formally determined that the attack was a hate crime rather than simple vandalism. But Karen Aroesty, St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the press the Jewish community was alarmed. “Anxiety is high,” she said. “Your loved ones are there. Your memories are there.”

Both the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the vandalism. ISNA President Azhar Azeez released a statement saying, “We encourage our members to reach out to their local synagogue and Jewish neighbors to express their solidarity and support and to generously support the rebuilding of the recently desecrated cemetery.”

The FBI has opened an investigation into a series of bomb threats that have targeted several dozen Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the United States since the beginning of the year. Eleven centers were threatened via telephone on Monday including in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Buffalo, New York; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Birmingham, Alabama

So far, all of the threats at the facilities, which provide recreational, cultural and child care services to Jews and non-Jews alike, have turned out to be hoaxes. It is still unknown who is responsible for calling in the threats.

This week’s incidents followed phoned-in bomb threats on January 9, 18 and 31. So far this year, there have been 68 bomb threats at 53 JCCs in 26 states and at one center in Canada.

Paul Goldenberg, the director of the Secure Community Network, an agency that provides security services to Jewish institutions in North America, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that it appeared to be the same caller as in the previous threats.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency released a recording at the end of last month of one of the threats that was made on January 18. In the recording, the caller chillingly threatens that a bomb is about to go off, killing a significant number of Jews.

“It’s a C-4 bomb with a lot of shrapnel, surrounded by a bag,” an electronically modulated voice states. “In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered. Their heads are going to be blown off from the shrapnel. There’s a lot of shrapnel. There’s going to be a bloodbath that’s going to take place in a short time. I think I told you enough. I must go.”

JCCs in the US have been targeted for attacks in recent years by anti-Semitic white supremacists.

In 1999, Buford O. Furrow, Jr., a member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, injured three children, a teenage counselor and one staff member when he shot up the lobby of the North Valley JCC in the Los Angeles suburb of Granada Hills.

Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller killed three people and wounded two others in 2014 when he opened fire in the parking lot of the Kansas City JCC in the suburb of Overland Park.

The Trump administration has come under increasing pressure to respond to the wave of threats. Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League in St. Louis posed the question after the cemetery vandalism. “What is the government’s position relative to rising anti-Semitism and intolerance generally, and what will the government do to put a stop to it?” she said. “We’ve been asking that for several weeks now.”

After several weeks of silence from the White House about the bomb threats, Trump shut down two Jewish journalists at his news conference last Thursday when they tried to raise the question of the bomb threats and increasing incidents of anti-Semitic threats following his election.

“Some of that anger is caused by people on the other side,” Trump remarked to one of the reporters. “It will be by people on the other side to anger people like you.”

Finally on Tuesday, during a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday morning, Trump gave an interview to MSNBC in which he made obviously rehearsed remarks—but still poorly delivered and without genuine feeling—denouncing the recent anti-Semitic threats.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump stated blithely.

Soon after Trump spoke, Stephen Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, released a statement denouncing the president’s remarks as a “Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.”

“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the public record,” Goldstein added. “Make no mistake: The Anti-Semitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.”

Goldstein was referencing the White House’s official commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day last month in which it deliberately omitted any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism and instead lamented the “innocent people” killed by the Nazis during World War II. This move was seen as clear nod to the neo-Nazi alt.right, which seeks to empty the Holocaust of its significance and instead transform it into a general tragedy in which many people died.

Later in the day Tuesday, at a regular press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the threats against Jewish community centers and skepticism over Trump’s latest remarks. He characterized Trump’s remarks Tuesday morning as “unbelievably forceful.” He was half right.

Responding specifically to the statement from the Anne Frank Center, Spicer complained, “It’s ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, it’s never good enough.”

Despite being given the opportunity, none of the journalists in the briefing room raised the fact that Trump has staffed his White House with rabid anti-Semites, most notably Trump’s senior adviser and “chief strategist” Bannon, the former CEO of the far-right Breitbart News.

Bannon has brought with him a number of other White House staffers from Breitbart, a hotbed of white nationalism and anti-Semitism. People who were in daily contact with neo-Nazis six months ago are now in daily contact with the president of the United States.

MEET THE NEW KOCH FAMILY The reclusive Mercer father-daughter duo that helped propel Trump to the White House is responsible for the hiring of Steve Bannon. [HuffPost]

Hawaii Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R) announced on Wednesday that she would be leaving the Republican Party and is seeking to join the Democratic Party instead. KITV 4 reports Fukumoto “cited racism and sexism as the core reasons why she’s leaving” during a press conference. Fukumoto was ousted by the Hawaii GOP from her position as House Minority Leader last month after she participated in the Women’s March. She said the party was “getting increasingly hostile to different opinions,” explaining she had previously been “booed for about 10 minutes straight for raising concerns about President Trump, then nominee Trump, and the way he treated women and minorities”: here.

Donald Trump and anti-Semitism


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Keeps Getting Anti-Semitism Questions, Keeps Giving Horrible Answers

16 February 2017

Trump was asked about anti-Semitism for the second day in a row. His answer was nonsense. Again. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Mr. Trump’s abominable answer to the anti-Semitism question on Wednesday drew considerable criticism in the Israeli press and elsewhere, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when a different reporter reprised it at another news conference on Thursday.

Mr. Trump ordered the reporter to sit down before the question was even finished. “No. 1: I’m the least anti-Semitic person you have ever seen in your entire life,” Mr. Trump insisted and “No. 2: Racism. The least racist person.”

Mr. Trump derided the question as “very insulting.” Then he played his ace card by invoking Mr. Netanyahu, who one day earlier awarded Mr. Trump his personal imprimatur and political cover by declaring “there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state” than the new American president.”

Read more here.

From e News Park Forest in the USA:

Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect: Mr. President, Your Too Little, Too Late Acknowledgement of #Antisemitism Today is Not Enough

February 21, 2017

NEW YORK—(ENEWSPF)—February 21, 2017. Statement of Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, on President Trump’s acknowledgment of Antisemitism today:

“The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration. His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record.

Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration. The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial. And it was only yesterday, Presidents’ Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing. When President Trump responds to Antisemitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.”