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February 26, 2015

Mein Kampf Back on German Bookshelves – The Right Way

For the first time since the end of World War II, Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, will be available for sale in Germany. The 2,000-page edition includes extensive footnotes and historic annotations deemed critical by the German Government to the book being viewed in its appropriate context.adolf-hitler-mein-kampf-book

In a January 2014 Op-Ed in the New York Daily News, Anti-Defamation League National Director, Abraham H. Fox­man pre­sciently said,” As an impor­tant his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, “Mein Kampf” must remain avail­able to the pub­lic — but not with­out the essen­tial sup­ple­men­tary texts; the intro­duc­tions and adden­dums that put Hitler’s writ­ings into con­text and explain their rel­e­vance today.”

The German Government’s hand was forced on the issue when data came out that Mein Kampf was the top downloaded political science book on Amazon in 2013.  It has been readily available on many services outside Germany, where access by German citizens cannot be prevented. Additionally, the copyright on Mein Kampf expires this December which would make it freely available all across the Internet.

Major online book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have worked with ADL over the years to place editorial reviews on Mein Kampf and other anti-Semitic works such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The International Jew to ensure that customers fully understand the authors’ background, intent, context and any issues surrounding the publications.  Recognizing that Mein Kampf will be readily available in Germany and can be an important educational tool, it is appropriate to acknowledge and support the German Government’s insistence upon providing the necessary context.

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July 21, 2014

Hate on Display: Anti-Semitism in Anti-Israel Demonstrations Across Europe

Jews attacked. Synagogues targeted. Israel demonized. These patterns of anti-Semitism were seen at many anti-Israel demonstrations around Europe this past weekend.

On Friday, a protestor in Berlin attacked an Israeli man wearing a kippah, who happened to be passing the demonstration route. The same day in Lyon, France, a protester hit a Jewish teenager in the head while yelling, “I want to kill all the Jews.” He was arrested on the spot by police. The same murderous intent was reportedly expressed in Zurich, where demonstrators chanted, “Jews into the sea!”

On Friday, in Essen, Germany, anti-Israel protesters broke off from a demonstration and headed towards a synagogue, clearly intending to attack it.   Police stopped them, arrested fourteen, and charged them with conspiracy to commit a crime.

On Saturday, in Sarcelles, France, anti-Israel protesters threw a Molotov cocktail in the direction of a synagogue, but police had kept them far enough away that the firebomb did no damage. Protesters did manage, however, to burn a kosher supermarket to the ground. The same store had been attacked with an improvised grenade in 2012.

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Synagogues in Italy and France were also targeted with anti-Israel banners. “Stop Bombing Gaza. Israel Assassins. Free Palestine” was hung on the synagogue in Vercelli, Italy, on July 18, and an “Israel Assassins” banner was placed on a synagogue in Lyon the next day.

While these banners would not be considered anti-Semitic at a demonstration, they are anti-Semitic when targeting the local Jewish community.

Comparing Israel to the Nazis is also anti-Semitic and prevalent at anti-Israel demonstrations. On Friday, “Israel=Hitler” signs were held up in Brussels. In London, it was “Well Done Israel, Hitler would be Proud.” And in Dublin, Prime Minister Netanyahu is depicted as Hitler on a sign, “Wanted: Zio Nazi”.

On Sunday in Amsterdam, one protester took demonization quite literally: “Stop Sionist [sic] Demons in Gaza.”

 

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July 16, 2014

Vitriol and Violence in European Anti-Israel Demonstrations

While a handful of violent acts have targeted Jews in Europe during the latest round of Israel-Hamas fighting, the vitriol has flowed freely. Undeniably anti-Semitic expressions have been widely reported at anti-Israel demonstrations over the past week.

“You Jews are Beasts.” So read the sign at an anti-Israel demonstration in Frankfurt, Germany.

Cries of “Death to the Jews!” were heard multiple times during a large-scale demonstration in Paris. Two groups of dozens of demonstrators broke off from the march to attack two synagogues.

anti-israel hitler rally“We are all Mohamed Merah!” was chanted at a demonstration in Nice, France, referring to the murderer of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012.

“Slaughter the Jews!” and “Khaybar, Khaybar,” the anti-Semitic slogan evoking the massacre of Jews in Arabia 1400 years ago, were repeated in Antwerp, Belgium.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” was shouted in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, less than 10 miles from the Nazi camp at Holbeckshof, where hundreds of Jews were sent.

Israeli and Nazi flags were equated on signs at a demonstration in The Hague.

As French President Francois Hollande succinctly and clearly expressed on July 14, “Anti-Semitism cannot be used because there is a conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

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