National Front racist Le Pen welcome, Holocaust survivor unwelcome at Oxford Union


This video from England says about itself:

“She’s not welcome”: Oxford Union Marine Le Pen protest

6 February 2015

VERSA report from the Marine Le Pen protest outside the Oxford Union. Interviews with key protesters, including the Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Holocaust survivor barred as Le Pen speaks at SU

Saturday 7th February 2015

A HOLOCAUST survivor was barred from an Oxford University Students Union debate in which French fascist Marine Le Pen was allowed to exercise her “freedom of speech” on Thursday night.

Just a child when the nazis occupied France in 1940, Colette Levy, from France, was sent into hiding by her parents, who were later killed in the Holocaust.

Prior to the debate Ms Levy addressed hundreds of students and other anti-fascists demonstrating against French National Front leader Ms Le Pen’s presence at the union debating society.

“I am here because of my history,” she told the crowd.

“My father was killed in a concentration camp, most likely Auschwitz and we know Marine Le Pen represents a fascist movement. It’s shameful.”

Ms Levy “was effectively denied the benefit of freedom of speech that was given to Le Pen,” said Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett.

“A number of demonstrators got into the meeting and disrupted it but were evicted by police. They too were denied the benefit of freedom of speech.”

Ms Le Pen was forced to slink into the building through a rear door as around 400 protesters vociferously made their feelings known.

Mr Bennett said that the National Front had been able to rise in France because the party had been given a platform to spread its racism and fascism.

“In Britain, from the days of Cable Street in the 1930s, anti-fascists have had a tradition of No Platform for fascists,” he added.

By Chris Marsden in Britain:

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen addresses Oxford Union

7 February 2015

The Oxford Union (OU) has become the latest major institution to take its place in the international campaign to legitimise the French neo-fascist party, the National Front (FN).

Party leader Marine Le Pen addressed the OU, Oxford University’s independent debating society, Thursday, despite widespread opposition. The aim of the OU in inviting her to England was to lend academic prestige to Le Pen’s claim to have shed the fascistic legacy of her father’s party—what she calls its “de-demonisation.”

Jean Marie Le Pen is still the party’s “honorary chairman.”

See also here.

Holocaust commemoration in Auschwitz


This video says about itself:

Behind the Scenes of Auschwitz Instagram video

27 January 2015

Steven Spielberg on ‎Auschwitz 70th Anniversary: “During this time of remembrance, efforts like these are vital to raising awareness of the Holocaust among young people and the importance of fighting prejudice and intolerance wherever it occurs.

As part of our partnership with the Shoah Foundation to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we made a video for Instagram about our visit to the camp.

Although the video is only 15 seconds long, it was meticulously crafted and edited. Using only an iPhone, our team captured striking images of the camp, recreating frame by frame some of the historic photos of Auschwitz that have become part of the public imagination.

”The video tells the story of one of the camp’s survivors, Roman Kent. It begins with a picture of Kent in his youth, and goes on to show the camp through “his eyes.” It ends with images of him now, 70 years later.

By Ben Chacko:

They lost their lives – we must honour them

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Holocaust survivors pay tribute to airbrushed out Soviet liberators 70 years after the Red Army freed Auschwitz

THREE hundred Auschwitz survivors returned to the nazis’ largest death camp yesterday to mark 70 years since its liberation by the Red Army.

Politicians from around the world marked Holocaust Memorial Day in memory of the six million Jews who were slaughtered by the nazi regime alongside Roma, gay and disabled people, Polish and Soviet prisoners of war and others.

But campaigners warned that fascism was once again on the rise in Europe — increasingly backed by the same Western states who sent representatives to Auschwitz yesterday.

French President Francois Hollande made an emotional plea for Jews to regard France as their homeland — but said nothing of his Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s public call for all French Roma to be deported.

And Britain was represented at the ceremony by Eric Pickles, who was condemned by the High Court this month for illegally discriminating against Roma and travellers.

Camp survivors expressed dismay at Poland’s decision not to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin when it was the Soviet Union that freed them seven decades ago.

Eighty-one-year-old Paula Lebovics remembered being a starving 11-year-old who was hugged and rocked by a Russian soldier “with tears in his eyes” as Soviet troops uncovered the horrific complex, where over a million Jews were gassed to death.

“Putin should be here,” she said. “They were our liberators.”

Fellow survivor Eva Mozes Kor agreed, saying that she had no sympathy with Mr Putin’s politics but “from a moral and historical perspective he should be here.”

Munich resident Natan Grossmann, another Auschwitz survivor, said: “They put their lives on the line to free us. They lost their lives and we should honour them.”

The failure to invite the Russian leader follows a concerted effort to rewrite the history of the second world war and as the European Union backs fascist militias in Ukraine.

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna sparked outrage when he claimed “the Ukrainians” liberated the camp in a bid to minimise Russia’s role.

Ukraine’s current government has armed and deployed openly neonazi units like the Azov battalion, which claims to be on a “crusade of the white races” against “semite-led subhumanity,” in an attempt to crush the anti-fascist resistance forces in the country’s east. …

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk — who has previously referred to Russians as “subhuman” — claimed in Germany earlier this month that Russia had “invaded Ukraine and Germany” in the second world war, while the far-right parties of the Euromaidan movement openly revere nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists murdered thousands of Jews and Poles during the Holocaust. …

A spokesman for anti-racist group Hope Not Hate told the Star: “Seventy years on from the liberation of Auschwitz and the horrendous images of the dead and dying in the camps seem hard to erase.

“Our recent report State of Hate revealed that organised far-right groups in the UK are having a hard time of things at the moment, suffering splits, defections and losing electoral support to Ukip.

“That said, the conditions have been fertile for populist and racist parties for some time, so it is wise we remain vigilant to that threat.”

On Tuesday, a public ceremony was held at Auschwitz to mark the 70th anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation by elements of the Soviet Union’s Red Army on January 27, 1945. The very name of this Nazi death camp in southern Poland is synonymous with the greatest crimes and horrors of the 20th century, a byword for capitalist barbarism in its most extreme form: here.

Britain: David Cameron paid tribute yesterday to Soviet troops and civilians who helped defeat the nazis after a Tory MP called for their sacrifice to be remembered by Britain. David Tredinnick recalled at Prime Minister’s questions how the British army freed 60,000 inmates from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. But, almost 70 years to the day since the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp, the Bosworth MP added that Mr Cameron should recognise their effort: here.

The rape and sexual abuse of Jewish women during the Holocaust have been long overlooked. But when researchers probed, stories began to emerge as if they were old photographic film waiting for the right chemicals: here.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops, German President Joachim Gauck made a commemorative speech on Tuesday in parliament. The sermonizing tone of the former East German clergyman was difficult to bear. But even worse was the cynicism with which Gauck used the Holocaust memorial day to legitimise the reemergence of German militarism: here.

John Pilger: New threats of war and fascism: here.

Stop anti-Semitism


This video from Pennsylvania in the USA says about itself:

Penn Students Confront Westboro‘s Hate

Hundreds of Penn students turned out Monday to protest a campus demonstration by members of the anti-gay, anti-Semitic Westboro Baptist Church. PW’s Joel Mathis was there to capture the scene.

Editorial of daily The Morning Star in Britain:

No place for anti-semitism

Monday 19th January 2015

Anti-semitism is known as “the oldest hatred” for good reason.

For 2,000 years, Jewish people have been the targets of hatred, prejudice and discrimination in different parts of the world, in different types of society and for different reasons.

It is rooted in fear of the unknown and hostility to those perceived as “outsiders.”

But in the case of anti-semitism, this has been given a genocidal twist by the ideological conviction that Jews are the enemies of Christianity, nationhood, racial purity, socialism or — today — the oppressed people of Palestine.

These and other vile calumnies have been used by the power-hungry and the deluded to identify a convenient scapegoat, deceiving the ignorant and downtrodden to the benefit of a particular leader or movement.

Home Secretary Theresa May was right to declare that Britain must redouble its efforts to wipe out anti-semitism in her address at yesterday’s service to commemorate the four people recently murdered at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Her urgent call for more protection for Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and other targets of anti-semitism, alongside greater efforts to combat it through education and on the internet, stands in sharp contrast to government complacency hitherto.

As late as December 29 last year, the Department for Communities and Local Government was trumpeting that its own report “highlights the great strides that Britain has made in fighting anti-semitism.”

Since then, however, a YouGov opinion poll and a survey commissioned by the Campaign Against Anti-semitism have revealed that anti-Jewish prejudice remains widespread among the general population while a substantial minority of Britain’s Jews fear for their future here.

The questions for Theresa May, Local Government Minister Eric Pickles and their colleagues must now therefore be: what additional resources are this Tory-led government prepared to plough into the police, broadcasting and education services to turn fine words into buttered parsnips?

In order to step up the drive against anti-semitism it will also be important to foster unity between all those forces that can potentially be mobilised in support.

Churches have a special responsibility to disown those in their ranks — sometimes in the past at the highest level — who have poisoned the minds of Christians against Jews and Muslims.

Politicians and parties which profess patriotism must take every opportunity to make clear that their notion of nationality is inclusive, not least by highlighting the disproportionately positive contribution that Jewish citizens have made to social, economic, cultural and democratic progress in Britain and its component nations.

Trade unions and the left — much of which has a proud record of combating anti-semitism here and overseas in the 20th century — must continue to expose the pernicious myths that most Jews are especially greedy and wealthy, are bad employers or engaged in some Jewish-led global banking conspiracy.

That, as Engels echoed more than a century ago, is the “socialism of fools.”

There also needs to be sharper clarity as to what constitutes anti-semitism and what does not.

Attacking, criticising or making special demands on people because they are Jewish is anti-semitism.

Attacking or criticising Jewish people or institutions in the sincere belief that they are wrong is not.

Condemning Israeli state policies, or the actions of Israeli governments, is not in itself anti-semitic.

At the same time, Jewish sensitivities about the conditions in which Israel was founded should be understood and appreciated.

Many Jews around the world support the human and national rights of the Palestinian people.

The fight against anti-semitism should not become the pretext for denying those rights.

The struggle for justice and democracy against oppression and dictatorship is indivisible. That, too, must be remembered on Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

French president receives fascist fuehrer at palace


This video says about itself:

Le Pen’s National Front accused of backing Holocaust denier for office in Paris

15 March 2014

France’s far-right National Front party has placed a Holocaust denier on its list of candidates for the municipal elections in Paris. The candidate, Pierre Panet, has said he “shares the analysis” of Roger Garaudy, a convicted Holocaust denier but that he doesn’t elaborate on his views because it is illegal in France.

For decades, presidents of France did not receive Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the racist National Front party, at the presidential palace.

In 2007, ‘center right’ President Nicolas Sarkozy broke ranks in this with his predecessors, by receiving Jean-Marie Le Pen at the Elysée palace.

And now, President Hollande makes things worse, inviting Marine Le Pen, appointed by her father as his successor, to the Elysée. Hollande did not have the excuse for this that Ms Le Pen is a member of parliament; she is not.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Le Pen at the Elysée Presidential Palace

10 January 2015

French President François Hollande’s decision to invite Marine Le Pen, the leader of the neo-fascist National Front (FN), to the Elysée Presidential Palace to discuss the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo</em> marks a turning point in French politics with far-reaching consequences.

A party closely associated since its foundation in 1972 with the worst crimes of European fascism in the 20th century is being elevated to the status of a legitimate, even indispensable component of French political life.

Leaving the Elysée yesterday morning, Le Pen said that Hollande had promised to launch a national “debate” on Islamic fundamentalism. This presages an escalation of the campaign to vilify France’s five million Muslims. Already on Thursday, Le Pen called for reinstating the death penalty, which France abolished in 1981, in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) is also promoting the FN, pressing for it to join the “rally for national unity” called for Sunday by Hollande’s Socialist Party (PS) and the UMP. After UMP leader and former president Nicolas Sarkozy met with Hollande on Thursday, the UMP’s political committee echoed Le Pen’s demands that the FN be allowed to participate.

“It is a unanimous decision: it is unacceptable for the National Front to be excluded from a march for national unity,” declared Laurent Wauquiez, the general secretary of the UMP.

The implications of Wauquiez’s statements are staggering. For decades, the FN was treated as a pariah on the national stage by both the UMP and the PS. It was understood to be the descendant of the fascist Vichy regime, which ruled France in collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II, and of the Secret Armed Organization (OAS), the most fanatical defenders of French colonial rule in Algeria. It was widely hated for its thuggish attacks on workers and students in France and its defense of criminal methods, including torture and terror bombings, in the 1954-1962 Algerian war.

The FN’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, began his political career after World War II by selling the fascist Action Française’s newspaper and overseeing the torture of Algerian independence fighters as a paratroop lieutenant. He relied on a broad cadre of former Nazi and Vichy collaborationists inside the FN, including figures such as Roland Gaucher, a convicted collaborationist who served during World War II as the youth leader of Vichy Labor Minister Marcel Déat’s National Popular Rally.

Due to Le Pen’s apologetics for fascism and mass murder, including his trivialization of the Holocaust as a “detail” of history, the ruling elite initially elected not to include the FN in mainstream politics. …

The current turn to promoting the FN is a sign of a deep crisis of capitalist rule in Europe. Beset by economic slump, international conflicts and rising class tensions for which it sees no solution, the European bourgeoisie is turning toward fascistic methods of rule. It is seizing on the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo to legitimize the FN and fascism and proceed as far as possible with the erection of a police state.

The FN’s fortunes have skyrocketed particularly since the PS presidential election victory in 2012. In part, the FN benefited from the replacement of Jean-Marie Le Pen by his daughter Marine, whose studied silence on the crimes of fascism facilitated the media’s attempts to market her to the public. Above all, it has relied on the discrediting of the PS, with Hollande becoming France’s most unpopular president since World War II.

In a seamless transition from his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, Hollande has adopted wholesale the austerity agenda of the European Union, devastating working-class living standards. He has also maintained Sarkozy’s alignment with the reckless NATO war drive, led by Washington, against Muslim countries across the Middle East and Africa.

France’s political equilibrium has been decisively shattered. The immigrant working class is totally alienated from the political establishment, opening the door for the most disoriented and backward sections of immigrant youth to be attracted to Al Qaeda.

On the other hand, broad sections of the French population and working class, enraged by the increasingly desperate social situation created by PS austerity measures, have concluded that Marine Le Pen is the best alternative available to them.

Under these conditions, the entire French ruling class has begun to play with Le Pen, much as the German bourgeoisie played with Adolf Hitler before Marshal Paul von Hindenburg handed power to Hitler in 1933. Leading strategists of the French bourgeoisie are coming to view violent conflict with France’s Muslim population as inevitable.

Journalist Eric Zemmour, who has extensive ties to far-right and pseudo-left circles, told Italy’s Corriere della Sera last month that a situation where there are “Muslims in the French people” will “lead us to chaos and civil war.” Asked if he proposed to deport millions of Muslims from France, Zemmour replied that this was “unrealistic” for now, but added, “History is surprising.”

Two days after terrorists struck Paris, Europe’s far-right and anti-immigrant parties jumped on the bandwagon yesterday to press home their divisive message that European Muslims are dangerous: here.

The two-day manhunt and military-police mobilization around Paris ended Friday afternoon in twin shootouts in which three Islamist gunmen and four hostages were killed: here.

Francois Hollande is not a popular president. No matter how hard the “socialist” leader tries to impress, there never seems to be a solid constituency that backs him. He attempted to mask his initial lack of experience in foreign affairs with a war in Mali, after his country enthusiastically took on Libya. While he succeeded at launching wars, he failed at managing their consequences as the latest attacks in Paris have demonstrated: here.