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TOPIC: anti semitism


Why They're Calling The Mob Attack Of An Israeli Airplane In Dagestan A "Pogrom"

Evoking the anti-Semitic mobs of the 19th century around Russia and Eastern Europe, several hundred young men descended on an airplane on the tarmac of an airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan. It is part of a series of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli attacks in the Muslim-majority region since the war in Gaza began.

What happened at an airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan is being described by some in the Russian press as a modern-day "pogrom," after an anti-Israeli mob stormed an airport in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Sunday night.

A crowd broke into the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, eventually getting past security and onto the airfield to prevent the arrival of what had been described as “refugees from Israel.” Information that they were supposedly going to be settled in Dagestan had been disseminated via local Telegram channels. Russian officials reported Monday that at least 60 people have been arrested.

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The attacks have been described by several Russian news outlets as a "pogrom" (‘погром’), a Russian word to describe violent, organized attacks against a particular ethnic group. The term first gained international recognition in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — eventually adopted into other languages — when pogroms were used to describe a series of violent anti-Jewish riots and attacks that occurred across the Russian Empire and later in other parts of Eastern Europe.

Thus the brazen mob attack Sunday night in Dagestan, in the Caucus region of southern Russia, has a frightening historical precedent, though with now modern characteristics. One key difference is the source of the anti-Semitism appears to be coming in this Muslim-majority region in reaction to the conflict in the Middle East. Also, the mob formed thanks to social media, with information circulating that “refugees from Israel” would arrive on a regular Red Wings flight from Tel Aviv, protesters began gathering at Makhachkala airport around 7 p.m. local time.

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Final Auschwitz Survivors Return To Poland To Bear Witness

Ephroim “Johnny” Jablon's entire family was gassed to death. At 94, he can't forget the smells and so many other details of the camps. Such memories are dying away.

AUSCHWITZ — Jan Rothbaum remembers the day he lost his family like it was yesterday. It only took a few minutes for the SS commando to drag his father Schulem, his mother Dora and his brothers Roman and Joseph out of their apartment in Krakow, Poland, one October day in 1942. Jan resisted, striking one of the SS troops, who then beat him unconscious. The SS apparently assumed Rothbaum was dead and left him lying on the floor. When he came to, the rest of his family was gone.

Later, Rothbaum was also captured by the Germans. He managed to survive a year in the Plaszow concentration camp, near Krakow, thanks to his skills as a carpenter. In early 1944, he was transferred to Auschwitz. Seventy-five years later, Rothbaum, now a Canadian citizen who goes by the name of Ephroim "Johnny" Jablon, is standing inside Block 27, where he finds his family's entries in the "Book of Names' of murdered Jewish victims. All his relatives were gassed to death in Belzec extermination camp. "There are lots of other names of my relatives in this book," Jablon says slowly. "I lost sixteen aunts and uncles, and more than 20 cousins. No one survived except me."

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Anti-Semitism In America: Rising Hate Speech Turns To Terror

This is what they had long been fearing. As the threats increased, as the online abuse grew increasingly vicious, as the defacing of synagogues and community centers with swastikas became more commonplace, the possibility of a violent attack loomed over America's Jewish communities.

On Saturday, the worst of those fears was made real as a gunman stormed a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing at least 11 of its members and injuring many more, reportedly shouting "All Jews must die" during his rampage. It is the worst single attack on American Jews in the history of the country. And it is one that many who have been monitoring anti-Semitic activity in the United States have been dreading.

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Holocaust Rhymes And Lamborghinis, A Jewish Rapper Breaks Taboos In Germany

SpongeBOZZ's new album quickly shot up the German hip-hop charts, but his irreverence is telling, part of a growing trend to treat World War II as distant history.


Watching the music video for SpongeBOZZ's latest single "Yellow Bar Mitzvah," it is not immediately clear what is really going on.

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Verena Mayer and Thorsten Schmitz

A Modern Tale Of Anti-Semitism In A Berlin School

Paul is 14 years old. For months, he was assaulted and bullied by his classmates, and finally had to leave the school. Anti-Semitism lives on in Germany — but it's changing.

BERLIN — Paul has started taking karate classes. Once a week he practices striking, blocking, kicking. He says he wants to be able to defend himself if he is attacked. Never again will he be a victim or have to fear for his life.

Paul sits in his family's kitchen in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg. The apartment has a rustic air with parquet floors, high ceilings, and art on the walls. Holding his backpack with his sports gear on his lap, Paul fidgets in the chair. He has to go to practice soon.

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Alan Posener

Populists v. Elites: Lessons From Germany, Past And Present


BERLIN — The rise of populists has given way to an alarming reaction among so-called elites. Many of them are blaming themselves for not having considered those who have been "left behind," for not having paid attention to the needs of common people.

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Terror in Europe
Marion Van Renterghem

From Shoah To Jihad, Some French Jews Still Choose To Hide

In a middle-class home in southern France live a survivor of World War II, her daughter and granddaughters. All three generations are Jewish, but both past and recent history dictate a certain reticence of their identity.

MONTPELLIER — We aren't in a "sensitive urban area," nor in Ramallah, Cairo, Tehran, or even a ghetto in the Parisian suburbs. We are not living in the early 20th century. Instead, we are here with a quiet middle-class family living in the center of Montpellier, a dynamic and well-off city in southern France.

There's Rose, 82, the grandmother. Her daughter Valérie, 52. And Valérie's daughters Lila and Laura, respectively aged 17 and 10. Only Rose is willing to use her real name. "Since I'll soon be gone, it doesn't matter anymore," she says. The others prefer to use pseudonyms.

Rose and Valérie are sitting together on the couch. "I find you say too often that you're Jewish," Rose says. "It's like you're wearing it as a banner."

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Jacques Schuster

Once Again, Everything Is At Stake For Europe And Her Jews

The latest deadly anti-Semitic terror attack happened to come in a city that once heroically saved most of its Jewish citizens from the Nazis. What's the lesson for today?

BERLIN — The Islamist terror continues, but rest assured that we will defeat it. But first, we must dispense with our indifference towards anti-Semitism. Democracy in Europe is at stake.

When Denmark fell under the power of the infamous Swastika of Nazi Germany in April 1940, Germans sought to cleanse the small country of its Jewish population just as it had done elsewhere in German-occupied Europe. And just as in France, Belgium and Poland, these Jews were to be branded before their deportation.

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Terror in Europe
Julie Conti

Charlie Hebdo, Jews And Muslims: A Double Standard For Freedom Of Speech?

In France, the sacrosanct freedom of speech is cited over the offensive images of Islam's prophet Muhammad. But the same standards have not always applied to anti-Semitism.

PARIS — The first reactions after last week’s killings in Paris were horror and indignation. But even as the "Je suis Charlie" campaign took social media by storm, in France and abroad, dissenting voices soon started to emerge. Among those were people outraged at the way that freedom of speech was now being celebrated for Charlie Hebdo, and its controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures, while just a year ago, for example, French comedian Dieudonné saw his show banned by a state-appointed court after a media uproar over accusations that the show contained anti-Semitic elements.

There is a perceptible temptation to shrug off these people’s unease in favor of the show of solidarity that has moved the nation. But there are growing numbers of people ready to denounce a two-tier approach to freedom of speech.

"I’m deeply convinced that freedom of speech cannot be a concept of a variable geometry," says François Burgat, research leader at the Institute of Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim World at Aix-en-Provence. "In France, we insist a lot on the universality of our values, but we have a recurring difficulty to apply them as such."

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Leonardo Martinelli

In Paris, So Much At Stake At Europe's Oldest Jewish School

In the socially and religiously mixed neighborhood in northern Paris, security precautions at Lucien de Hirsch Lycée are high, but they were even before last week's attacks.

PARIS — To get inside the Lucien de Hirsch Lycée in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, you have to swipe your finger through a finger sensor. After a camera inspects you, the heavy security door swings open. Now, you're blocked into a space with dark glass and a voice asks for your name and the reason for your visit to what happens to be the oldest Jewish school in Europe.

Once through, you suddenly hear the bursts of laughter and the other normal sounds of children playing.

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Zafer Åženocak*

Islam And Modernity, History Running Backward From Cairo To Berlin


BERLIN There are photographs of Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul, taken in the 1960s, that show elegantly dressed women sitting in street cafés. There are similar photos from the period shot in Ankara, Cairo, Damascus and Karachi.

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Julia Smirnova

As Anarchy Rules In Eastern Ukraine, Roma And Jews Targeted

In Sloviansk, masked men storm homes of Roma families and agitators blame the Jews.

SLOVIANSK — Pavel is picking up shards of glass in front of his house in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk. The windows are broken. There are bullet holes in the heavy metal door. He and his wife Natalia no longer dare spend the night here. Most of their eight children, 10 grandchildren and other relatives who lived in neighboring houses in this Roma community are gone.

Last Friday after dark, a dozen men came to their houses. Some of them were wearing camouflage uniforms, others civilian clothing and masks, recalls Pavel, who fears giving us his last name.

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