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June 2, 2014 0

Alleged Brussels Jewish Museum Shooter May Have Fought in Syria

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Mehdi Nem­mouche

The sus­pected gun­man in the May 24 attack on the Jew­ish Museum in Brus­sels, Mehdi Nem­mouche, report­edly spent about a year in Syria, where French and Bel­gian offi­cials say he may have fought with the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion for­merly asso­ci­ated with Al Qaeda.

The con­nec­tion may sub­stan­ti­ate fears that west­ern­ers fight­ing in Syria could return to attempt attacks in their home coun­tries. Nemmouche’s choice to attack a Jew­ish museum may also fur­ther demon­strate the con­nec­tion between ter­ror­ist ide­ol­ogy and anti-Semitism.

Nem­mouche was arrested in France on Fri­day. At the time of his arrest, he was in pos­ses­sion of con­sid­er­able ammu­ni­tion, includ­ing a Kalash­nikov rifle wrapped in a sheet with the ISIS sym­bol and the words “God is great.” He also had a video recorder on which he had appar­ently claimed credit for the attack and said he wanted to “kill Jews” and to “set fire to Brus­sels and fill it with blood.”

A native of France, Nen­mouche is believed to have been rad­i­cal­ized in prison and to have left for Syria only three weeks after his release in 2012. French and Bel­gian offi­cials claim there is evi­dence that he fought with ISIS while he was there.

The shoot­ing in the museum resulted in 3 deaths and 1 per­son injured. It bears resem­blance to a shoot­ing at a Jew­ish school in Toulouse, France in 2012 by Mohamed Merah. Merah, a French cit­i­zen, had spent time with extrem­ists in Afghanistan and Pak­istan before return­ing to France and per­pe­trat­ing the attack.

As many as 3,000 Euro­peans and 100 Amer­i­cans are believed tohave trav­elled to join the con­flict in Syria. This travel is only increas­ing as  groups uti­lize social media and online pro­pa­ganda to recruit followers.

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May 29, 2014 8

American Racists Embrace Gains in Europe by Far-Right Parties

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Pat Buchanan

Fig­ures rang­ing from far-right pun­dit Patrick Buchanan to white suprema­cist leader Richard Spencer of the National Pol­icy Insti­tute are embrac­ing the gains made by far-right and extrem­ist par­ties in Europe dur­ing elec­tions to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in May.

The Amer­i­cans who are salut­ing the results of the elec­tions believe that the gains by the nation­al­ist and far-right par­ties indi­cate that Euro­peans have rejected increased immi­gra­tion and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in favor of a return to tra­di­tion­al­ist val­ues. Some also argue that Euro­peans are more inter­ested in the ardent nation­al­ism and patri­o­tism exhib­ited by Russ­ian leader Vladimir Putin than in inte­gra­tion and lib­eral West­ern values.

Buchanan, who pre­dicted the results of the elec­tions in Europe in a May 23 col­umn, argued that the rise of far-right par­ties means that Euro­peans want to pre­serve their “sep­a­rate and unique eth­nic and cul­tural iden­tity.” Buchanan fur­ther asserted that the gains made by far-right par­ties sig­nal a return to “tra­di­tion­al­ism and cul­tural con­ser­vatism, rev­er­ence for the reli­gious and cul­tural his­tory and her­itage of the nation and its indige­nous peo­ple.” Buchanan has hoped for the same in the U.S. In numer­ous books and columns, he has argued that Amer­ica is being destroyed by “Third World” immi­grants and that the coun­try needs to main­tain its white Euro­pean heritage.

In his com­ments on the Euro­pean elec­tions, Matt Par­rott, a founder of the Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work, agreed with Buchanan and asserted that Euro­peans are more inter­ested in Putin’s nation­al­ism than in America’s lib­er­al­ism. He laments that white suprema­cists in Amer­ica will be “be forced to patiently wait on the side­lines” while tra­di­tion­al­ist ideals and openly nation­al­ist politi­cians come to the fore­front in the rest of the world. He sug­gests that America’s extreme right learn from the advances made by their coun­ter­parts in Europe.

In a pod­cast, Richard Spencer, the head of the white suprema­cist National Pol­icy Insti­tute, spoke with Roman Bernard of France about how anti-EU sen­ti­ment had become a “bogey­man” for far-right par­ties in Europe. They believe that anti-EU sen­ti­ment is “neg­a­tive pol­i­tics” and that Euro­peans should be focus­ing on cre­at­ing “white con­scious­ness.” White suprema­cists on both sides of the Atlantic hope that whites in Europe and Amer­ica will become “racially aware” and pro­mote their own eth­nic interests.

Anti-Semite David Duke put a dif­fer­ent spin on the Euro­pean elec­tions, which reflects his vir­u­lent anti-Jewish views. Duke asserted that Euro­pean vot­ers had rejected two ide­olo­gies that Jews allegedly force on them—immigration and globalization.

Amer­i­can white suprema­cist activists would like to see extreme-right par­ties and ide­olo­gies become more appeal­ing to the main­stream in Amer­ica. They see Europe as a model for mak­ing that hap­pen but acknowl­edge most Amer­i­cans are not inclined to accept “white nationalism.”

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May 22, 2014 2

Palestinians Welcome Pope Francis To Bethlehem With Anti-Semitism

On Sun­day, when Pope Fran­cis cel­e­brates mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, he may be con­fronted with bill­boards depict­ing Jesus being attacked by Israeli soldiers.jesus-palestinian-pope-israel

This not-so-subtle mod­ern day ver­sion of the dei­cide is trans­par­ent clas­si­cal anti-Semitism in the guise of crit­i­cism of Israel.  The posters are a prod­uct of The Pales­tin­ian Museum, which announced that at the request of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity (PA)’s Supreme Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for Church Affairs, it had pre­pared spe­cial bill­boards to dec­o­rate Manger Square which “com­bine recent media pho­tographs of the Pales­tin­ian land­scape and its peo­ple with West­ern baroque paint­ings of bib­li­cal scenes.”

The posters, some of which depict Jesus suf­fer­ing at the hands of Israeli sol­diers, will high­light “the ten­sion between the pop­u­lar image of the Holy Land and Palestine’s ongo­ing his­tory of suf­fer­ing under occu­pa­tion and oppres­sion,”  accord­ing to the Museum.

Pales­tin­ian efforts to present them­selves as the direct descen­dants of Jesus are noth­ing new.  Nor is the manip­u­la­tive and anti-Semitic com­par­i­son of Pales­tin­ian suf­fer­ing at the hands of Jews just as they claim Jews were respon­si­ble for suf­fer­ing and death of Jesus.

The mes­sage care­fully cho­sen by an offi­cial Pales­tin­ian body to pub­licly wel­come Pope Fran­cis demon­strates how deeply inter­min­gled anti-Jewish and anti-Israel atti­tudes are in the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic sphere.

At the weekly meet­ing of Israel’s cab­i­net, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu decried Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, cit­ing the ADL Global 100 Sur­vey find­ings about the high level of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While the PA reg­u­larly com­plains that incite­ment is an Israeli-manufactured excuse, there is no deny­ing that extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic mes­sag­ing appears rou­tinely in offi­cial Pales­tin­ian pub­li­ca­tions and institutions.

Ear­lier this week, the May 21st edi­tion of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, fea­tured an op-ed by one of its fre­quent writ­ers, Yahya Rabah, enti­tled “No One Believes Shy­lock,” fea­tur­ing the denial of the Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the Land of Israel, com­par­isons of Israel to the Nazis and other out­rages.   Rabah writes:

“… Israel lives on a broad and exten­sive sys­tem of laws from the British Man­date, on illu­sion­ary Torah maps, as well as on hal­lu­ci­na­tions from the Baby­lon­ian cap­tiv­ity or from the Roman, the exis­tence of nei­ther has no sin­gle evi­dence. (It also lives) on prac­tices bor­rowed from the Nazis, cur­rently imi­tated by the Israelis against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, as clearly estab­lished by a num­ber of intel­lec­tu­als, authors and his­to­ri­ans in Israel these days.”

The issue of Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, and the PA’s chronic fail­ure to pre­pare the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic for peace with Israel was on ongo­ing con­cern cited by Israeli offi­cials dur­ing the recent cycle of US-brokered peace nego­ti­a­tions.

And with these egre­gious exam­ples appear­ing almost-daily, it is cer­tain to con­tinue to alarm all those com­mit­ted to true Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.

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