A Budapest church has called off a memorial mass it was planning to hold in honor of a former Hungarian leader and Nazi ally on Saturday—International Holocaust Remembrance Day—after protests from Hungarian Jews and the World Jewish Congress.
Parliament's deputy speaker who is member of the ruling Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, had been due to speak at the event called in memory of interwar Governor Miklos Horthy.
The planned ceremony for Horthy, an admiral who led Hungary for 24 years until 1944 and handed over hundreds of thousands of Jews to the Nazis, triggered strong objections from Jewish organizations.
With the WJC declaring it a provocative measure honoring an "unabashed anti-Semite", the Budapest church which had organized the Catholic ceremony, cancelled the event on Thursday.
Amnesty International sparked outrage among the UK Jewish community after citing support for the anti-Israel BDS movement in its withdrawal from an event it had organized with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), an umbrella group of major British Jewish organizations. The event, a panel discussion on Israel and the United Nations Human Rights Council, was scheduled to take place Wednesday at Amnesty International’s London offices.
Human rights lawyer Danny Friedman was slated to chair the panel, with speakers Fred Carver of the UN Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch joining the discussion.
Amnesty withdrew from hosting the event last Friday, citing its campaign “for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements.”
“We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements,” the group stated.
A pro-Palestinian blogger and activist announced on Tuesday that she was refusing to accept an award from the cosmetics giant Revlon because of its relationship with brand ambassador Gal Gadot.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh — also known by her blog name MuslimGirl — wrote to her almost 50,000 followers on Instagram that she could not accept Revlon’s Changemaker Award, given for her efforts to combat gender inequality and stereotypes against Muslim women, due to Gadot’s involvement with the company and her support of the Israel Defense Forces.
“As much as this means to me and I would love to be there to celebrate with you, I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” she said. “Her vocal support of the Israeli Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes againstals and values.”
The partisan divide in Middle East sympathies, for Israel or the Palestinians, is now wider than at any point since 1978. Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats.
Since 2001, the share of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians has increased 29 percentage points, from 50% to 79%. Over the same period, the share of Democrats saying this has declined 11 points, from 38% to 27%.
The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 10-15 among 1,503 adults, finds that 42% say Donald Trump is “striking the right balance” in the situation in the Middle East, while 30% say he favors Israel too much (just 3% say Trump sides too much with the Palestinians; 25% do not offer an opinion).
The groups who boycotted Scarlett Johansson’s Women’s March speech in Los Angeles due to her position as spokesperson for SodaStream, an Israeli company that employs both Jews and Arabs, was both “clarifying and contemptible,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said on Twitter Sunday.
“It’s clarifying and contemptible that some boycotted LA @WomensMarch because of Scarlett Johansson’s presence based on her proud Zionism & previous support for @SodaStream, a company that employed Jews and Arabs,” he tweeted.
Greenblatt was reacting to news, reported Saturday, that a Palestinian group, Palestinian American Women’s Assn. (PAWA), was withdrawing from the march due to Johansson’s participation.
This harrowing footage shows how a group of German civilians were made to see atrocities carried out by Nazis at the end of the Second World War.
Video shows locals being taken around the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp in Weimar, Germany, just days after it had been liberated by American troops.
Emaciated piles of bodies can be seen on the backs of trucks as townsfolk, accompanied by US soldiers, walked around the camp - many in floods of tears.
Items belonging to some of the victims were laid out on display for them to see while one woman can be seen being carried away by two soldiers after collapsing.
**DISCLAIMER: THE CLIP ATTACHED IS NOT EASY TO WATCH**
US President Vice President Mike Pence speaking at the Knesset on January 22, 2018
President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Speaker Edelstein, Leader Herzog, members of the Knesset, justices of the Supreme Court, citizens of Israel it is deeply humbling for me to stand before this vibrant democracy to have the great honor to address this Knesset, the first Vice President of the United States to be afforded that privilege here in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.
And I bring greetings from a leader who has done more to bring our two great countries closer together than any President in the past 70 years -- the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
Thanks to the President’s leadership, the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel.
We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.
We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.
A British parliamentarian urged the Labour Party to adopt a zero-tolerance attitude toward anti-Zionism, which she called “the new antisemitism” in remarks made on Monday before more than 70 UK university students.
“Zionism is simply self-determination for the Jewish people in the world’s only Jewish state,” said Joan Ryan MP, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, in an event held by the advocacy group StandWithUs UK to examine the challenges Jewish and pro-Israel students face on campus.
She encouraged students to confront the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign for “demonizing and delegitimizing the only Jewish state,” noting that “inevitably” there will be an overlap “with calling out antisemitism.”
Ryan also condemned “appalling incidents of antisemitism” in her party, and called on Labour to apologize for and work to prevent such occurrences.
A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East's Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity "will vanish" from its ancient homelands in a few years' time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 -- roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities "have lost almost all of their Christian population."
Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.
Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the "vicar of Baghdad," had said that, "the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited."
Germany is rethinking its approach to combating anti-Semitism after a protest against President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital turned the anti-Jewish prejudices of some Muslim immigrants into a national issue.
In the month since immigrants burned an Israeli flag at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and chanted anti-Semitic slogans, politicians have proposed appointing a federal commissioner on hate crimes against Jews, making Auschwitz visits obligatory for newcomers and requiring German history tests in cultural integration courses.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's struggle to form a government after an inconclusive general election on Sept. 24 has held up any clear decisions on the issue.
But with Holocaust Memorial Day coming up on Jan. 27, the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, her Christian Democrats have decided to wait no longer. They want the Bundestag, the German parliament, to pass a resolution calling for migrants who promote hatred of Jews to be expelled.
"Whoever rejects Jewish life in Germany or questions Israel's right to exist can have no place in our country," their draft resolution says, adding that Germany's states should apply the current expulsion law more strictly in cases of hateful speech or acts against Jews.