Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has announced plans to visit Britain in early November.
No Action Against ‘Anti-Semitic’ Politician
The President of the European Commission has said he will not sanction a high-ranking Belgian politician accused of anti-Semitism after comments about the Jewish lobby in Washington. José Manuel Barroso said he would not take action against Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, who said the Jewish influence on American policy was “the best organised lobby [in Washington].” Maurice Sosnowski, head of the CCOJB, the Belgian Jews’ representative organisation, called on Barroso to fire De Gucht immediately and said the Commissioner was “inciting hatred.”
Uproar over Polish Ghetto Re-Enactment
Plans for children to take part in a re-enactment of the liquidation of the Bedzin Jewish ghetto in Poland have been scrapped following complaints from Jewish groups, the London Daily Telegraph reported. Young children were set to participate in the depiction of the ghetto’s destruction in 1943 of the ghetto in the southern Polish city, from which its 30,000 Jews were taken to Nazi camps. Most died in Auschwitz. Jaroslaw Szczepanksi, president of the Polish branch of international organisation B'nai B'rith, said: “Re-enacting battles or the march of armies is one thing but it is completely different re-enacting mass murder.” Philosophy professor Jan Hartman, also a member of B'nai B'rith, said the idea was “extremely risky and morally ambiguous.” But event organiser Adam Szydlowski said there would be no “harrowing scenes” such as executions and said the project aimed to “teach the history of our city.” He also said he had support from Israeli groups.
Poll Shows Spain’s Anti-Jewish Feeling
Over a third of Spanish people have an “unfavorable opinion” of Jews, according to a new survey. The DYM Institute, which carried out the telephone poll of 1,012 Spaniards, blamed the result on an “incorrect association” of Jews with Israeli policies and said Israel was the most-cited reason for the views. The result found that 34.6 percent had a negative view of Jews, compared with 48 percent who held a positive opinion. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos rejected the claim that the survey shows Spanish public opinion to by anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli but said anti-Semitism was “still present in our society to a totally unacceptable degree.”
Irving: Auschwitz Given ‘Disney’ Feel
David Irving, the historian jailed in Austria in 2006 for denying the Holocaust, has accused Polish authorities of creating a “Disney” atmosphere at the Auschwitz death camp. Irving said they were “tasteless” for their marketing of the camp museum and construction of “fake” watchtowers, telling the London Daily Mail: “'I have been a historian for 40 years, I know a fake when I see it, when you look at old photographs of Auschwitz, those towers aren't on the photographs.” He said the authorities were also neglecting sites of other atrocities that were in less “marketable” locations that “don't have a Holiday Inn down the road.” Irving’s comments were in response to criticism of his plans to run a tour of Polish death camps.
Banker Resigns of ‘Jewish Gene’ Slur
A member of the board of the German Federal Bank has resigned after saying he thought all Jews shared the same gene. A statement from the bank said the parties would split at the end of this month. The Bundesbank was unable to fire Thilo Sarrazin and required the German President to make such a decision. The bank thanked the banker, who is also a Social Democrat politician, for his work. He had told German newspaper Die Welt that “all Jews share a particular gene” which “differentiate[s] them from others,” in an interview about his controversial book Deutschland schafft sich ab (‘Germany abolishes itself’), in which Germany’s woes are blamed on its Muslim population.
Netanyahu to Visit UK
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has announced plans to visit Britain in early November, according to the London Jewish Chronicle. The Likud leader will meet with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and will speak at the annual dinner of Israel lobby group BICOM on 1 November. Other details of the trip have not been released and there are no current plans for further meetings within the Jewish community