The 'Pink Hitler’ fashion advertisement drew anger from former anti-fascist fighters.
‘Pink Hitler’ Draws Anger
A fashion advertisement in the Italian island of Sicily picturing Adolf Hitler dressed in pink with a heart on his armband has drawn criticism from former anti-fascist fighters who claim the controversial billboard is an offense against those who fought Nazism. Former Italian resistance members have written to the mayor of Palermo, the island’s capital, expressing their anger at the prominent poster and say it “violates our democratic and constitutional principles.” Ottavio Terranova of the Italian partisans’ association demanded the immediate withdrawal of the advertisement. The advertisers said the posters, with the caption "Change Your Style. Don't Follow Your Leader,” intended to ridicule Hitler and not to diminish the seriousness of his actions. Similar posters depicting Chairman Mao are planned.
Anti-Semitism Guru Has Car Burned
The head of a French organisation that monitors anti-Semitism has described the burning of his car as an anti-Jewish attack and an act of intimidation. The car belonging to Sammy Ghozlan, president of the BNVCA, an eight-year-old group that combats attacks against Jews in France, was burnt overnight while in the driveway in the yard in front of his house in the Paris suburb of Le Blanc-Mesnil. Police have opened an arson investigation after a complaint from Ghozlan, who said he had not received threats or claims of responsibility.
Uproar at Comedian’s Geneva Date
Anti-racist groups in Switzerland were planning to protest the appearance of a controversial French comedian who is set to perform in Geneva this week. Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, an anti-Zionist of Cameroon origin accused of making a string of anti-Semitic statements about the Jews and the Holocaust, will be met by protesters angry at Switzerland’s permissive attitude to the comedian. Swiss Jewish student groups have condemned the country’s “open-door” policy towardsDieudonné, who is also due to perform in Neuchâtel as part of his tour of Switzerland.
German Bank Divests from Security Fence Supplier
Deutsche Bank has sold its shares in an Israeli defense company that supplies technology for the West Bank security fence, its CEO announced last week. Josef Ackermann did not give any reason for the German bank’s divestment from Elbit Systems, whose stock value has plummet by around 30 per cent this year. But two groups campaigning against the separation barrier described attempts to encourage investors such as Deutsche Bank to break ties with the company as a “major success.” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Pax Christi criticized the financial institution for profiting from the “violation of human rights and international law through the construction of the Israeli wall on Palestinian lands.” The Frankfurt-based bank had been one of Elbit’s largest shareholders.
Feud Over Hebron Sexual Harassment
The British-based charity Christian Aid has apologized after falsely claiming that Jewish settlers had sexually abused Palestinian schoolgirls in the city of Hebron in the West Bank. Christian Aid promotion material indicated Jews had physically sexually abused Palestinian girls, based on reports from English woman Miranda Pinch, who had visited the city and spoken to the school’s head teacher. But Finch, a practising Christian who was born Jewish, said she was only aware of verbal sexual harassment and said Christian Aid had made the error after losing the notes taken in a conversation with her. Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor attacked the charity, saying that “almost any claim is now believed or promoted by NGOs without anybody checking the details.” Christian Aid admitted to the London Jewish Chronicle that it had made a mistake, adding: “Verbal sexual harassment is clearly different from sexual abuse and we apologize for the inaccurate representation of what Ms Pinch said.”
PC Game to Help Being Peace
A new version of a computer game that teaches schoolchildren about the Middle East conflict is to be launched in British schools, after widespread success across the world. The program, Global Conflicts: Checkpoints, devised in Denmark, has already been used in 500 schools globally, the second edition of a successful game made by the same company in Copenhagen. The game puts users in the shoes of a journalist charged with interviewing different parties at a Jerusalem checkpoint, including Israeli army guards and Palestinians, and writing a story for a newspaper. “We tried to get many different perspectives and keep it balanced,” said Simon Egenfeldt, chief executive of the producer Serious Games Interactive.