Dutch Jewish woman evicted after anti-Semitic abuse, threats by neighbor


A Dutch court reviewing a neighborly dispute ordered the eviction of a Jewish woman whose neighbor reportedly threatened to kill her and used anti-Semitic insults against her.

The court ruled in favor of the Ymere housing corporation, which asked the court to evict the woman, Gabriela Hirschberg, the AT5 television channel reported last week.

Ymere asked the court to have Hirschberg evicted in connection with her years-long quarrel with her Amsterdam apartment building neighbor.

Last year, the neighbor offered in a Facebook post to pay 10,000 euros, about $11,500, to anyone willing to kill Hirschberg. The man posted the message recently along with anti-Semitic statements.

“I have one desire in my life: To tear out this nest of devils,” he wrote in reference to Hirschberg’s apartment. Naming Hirschberg and her partner, he added, “Each head is worth 10,000 euros to me.”

The neighbor also wrote: “Anyone may come along as long as I have the pleasure of punching the lights out.” Facebook followers offered to come and help find “a final solution” to the problem — language that echoes Nazi rhetoric about Jews during the Holocaust.

The two neighbors have been in conflict since 2009, when Hirschberg complained to police about the neighbor for excessive noise, The Telegraaf reported. They have since filed multiple complaints against each other, including for the destruction of property.

Ymere sought to have Hirschberg evicted rather than her neighbor also because she at one point was over $2,000 behind on her rent, AT5 reported. The debt has since been resolved. She was selected for eviction also for subletting a room in her apartment, the report also said.

Hirschberg said she was ill, calling her eviction, which is to become effective on July 7, “inhumane.” Ymere confirmed they are aware of her illness, but said it was a chronic condition that cannot interfere with the decision to have her evicted.

Peter de Vries, a prominent journalist who covered the affair for the De Telegraaf daily, criticized the ruling as “turning reality on its head” by punishing the victim, he wrote on Twitter.

Marking 70th anniversary of Jewish massacre, Polish president slams anti-Semitism


The president of Poland strongly condemned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and xenophobia in leading the commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of a massacre of Jews after World War II.

Andrzej Sebastian Duda spoke Monday in the southeastern town of Kielce, where communist police and a mob killed 42 — nearly all Jews — on July 4, 1946.

“In a free, sovereign and independent Poland, there is no room for any form of prejudice, for racism, for xenophobia, for anti-Semitism,” Duda said, according to remarks carried by the Polish news agency PAP, The Associated Press reported.

Coming so soon after the Holocaust, the killings — spurred by a false rumor that returning Jews had attacked a local boy — sent a wave of fearful Jews out of Poland and left those remaining afraid of living in their homeland. Poland had an estimated 250,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors in a pre-World War II Jewish population of 3.5 million.

In recent months, Duda has strongly condemned anti-Semitism and xenophobia several times after sending mixed messages on matters of prejudice since the election last year that brought his coalition to power, AP reported.

A day earlier, the prime minster of Poland in a message to a Kielce commemoration said there is no place for racist violence in her country.

Andrzej Bialek, the vice president of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, which organized the commemoration, read aloud a letter from the prime minister, Beata Szydlo, to the gathering of some 200 people.

“Seventy years ago, shortly after the devastating war and the Holocaust drama, in Kielce again flowed the blood of innocent people,” the letter said.

Szydlo said there was no provocation that can be an used as an excuse for anti-religious and racist violence. She said the tragedy is still being studied by historians.

Anna Azari, the Israeli ambassador to Poland, also spoke at the ceremony, saying “We have to act together against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

Bogdan Bialek, the Karski Foundation official who organized the ceremony, spoke of a world without violence and hatred.

“We do not gather here in this place against anyone, even against those whom we think in our minds as our opponents, and perhaps – God forbid – as enemies,” Bialek said. “We gather here for us, for all people, for a better future.”

The Jan Karski Educational Foundation, named for the Polish underground fighter and righteous gentile who was among the first to report the dimensions of the Nazi genocide, promotes Catholic-Jewish interchanges and seeks to instill Karski’s example in young people.

French Jewish politician found dead with stab wounds in his home


The body of a French Jewish politician from a Paris suburb was found riddled with stab wounds in his apartment.

Alain Ghozland, 73, a municipal counsilor in Creteil, is believed to have been murdered, but police have no leads in the investigation into his death, the L’Express newspaper reported Tuesday.

Ghozland’s  body was found Tuesday morning after his brother called police because Alain Ghozland failed to show up at their synagogue, as he usually does each morning, the news channel RTL reported. Ghozland’s apartment was ransacked, possibly by the intruders, and his body showed deep lacerations that appeared to have been caused by a knife. Judicial sources said an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Creteil, about seven miles from the heart of Paris, was the site of a rape and robbery committed in December 2014 against a Jewish couple by robbers who said they were targeted because they were Jews.

Budapest street exhibition on Holocaust survivors defaced


An exhibition about Holocaust survivors was defaced in Budapest.

The incident was reported Sunday by the Hungarian Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, the Action and Protection Foundation, or TEV.

According to the report on TEV’s Facebook page, unknown individuals on Saturday splashed red paint on 14 portraits showing Holocaust survivors with the youngest members of their families.

The Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, or EMIH, set up the exhibition of 24 portraits near the Madach Theater in central Budapest to celebrate Hungarian Jewry’s continuity after the genocide that nearly wiped out the community.

In a separate incident, TEV reported that unknown individuals painted a swastika in front of a Budapest synagogue on Wesselenyi Street, located five miles northeast of the Madach Theater, shortly before April 3. The Nazi symbol was removed shortly after its discovery, TEV wrote.

Both reports followed the April 1 release of TEV’s second annual monitor of anti-Semitic attitudes in Hungary, which showed a decrease in the prevalence of such beliefs.

In the survey, conducted late last year by the Median polling company, 31 percent of the 1,200 respondents displayed what TEV defined as anti-Semitic views, compared to 38 percent in a similar survey conducted last year. The survey has a 3 percent margin of error.

Sydney Jewish board: Newspaper cartoon ‘racially vilifies’ Jews


The umbrella body of the Jewish community in Sydney, Australia, threatened to take action against a major newspaper for publishing a cartoon about Gaza that “racially vilifies” Jews.

Yair Miller, president of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, wrote to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday claiming that the cartoon by Glen Le Lievre in the July 26 edition was in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

“In our view this is racial vilification, not only in the sense of offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating Jews as a group, but also in the sense of inciting third parties to hatred of Jews,” Miller wrote.

The cartoon, published alongside a virulently anti-Israel article by columnist Mike Carlton, showed a yarmulke-wearing, hooked-nose Jew sitting in an armchair etched with a Star of David, using a remote control to detonate a collection of buildings, presumably in Gaza.

The Anti-Defamation Commission of the B’nai B’rith also lodged a formal protest against the “anti-Semitic” image.

“This is the venomous propaganda of Der Stumer recycled for a modern-day audience,” fumed commission chair Dvir Abramovich. “The cartoon portrays not just Israelis, but all Jews, as heartless, cold-blooded murderers.”

The furor comes as an Islamic leader called for a law prohibiting Australian citizens from joining the Israeli army. Samir Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, claimed that Australians who fight in Iraq and Syria face prosecution whereas those who fight for Israel do not.

“It’s hard when you say something to one side and they look and say ‘how come we’re not being treated the same’ — it’s not fair,” he told the Australian Associated Press this week.

But Dr. Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, told JTA: “The law is to prevent
Australians from going to fight for proscribed groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, etc., who are trying to undermine established states or commit terrorist acts.”