Belgian anti-racism official defends Palestinian he helped convict for hate speech

(JTA) – Jews from Belgium’s Flemish Region said they “lost all confidence” in the country’s anti-racism authority over its lawyer’s defence of a Palestinian man whom the lawyer helped convict for hate speech over calls to slaughter Jews.

The unusual rebuke Thursday by the Forum of Jewish Organization of Flanders came after the Jewish weekly Joods Actueel published a leaked email written by Johan Otte, a judicial expert of the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities, or UNIA, condemning Tuesday’s conviction for incitement to violence by a criminal tribunal in Antwerp. In 2014, the man shouted anti-Semitic slogans during a protest rally in that city. [Read more…]

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Report: Attackers saw off Jewish man’s finger, beat his brother near Paris

(JTA) – Two Jewish brothers said they were abducted briefly and beaten by several men in suburban Paris in an incident that ended with one brother having his finger sawed off by an assailant.

The brothers were hospitalized in what was described as a state of shock following the incident Tuesday night in Bondy. A case report published Thursday by the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, based on a police complaint by the alleged victims did not specify their medical condition. [Read more…]

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Judge drops hate crimes charges in rape and robbery of French Jewish couple

(JTA) – French prosecutors omitted any reference to hate crimes from the indictment of four men suspected of rape and robbery at a suburban Paris home they acknowledged was targeted because it belonged to Jews.

The handling judge of inquiry – a magistrate who in France is responsible for conducting the investigative hearing that precedes a criminal trial – decided against including hate crime charges in the 2014 incident in Creteil, the Le Parisien weekly reported Tuesday. [Read more…]

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J.K. Rowling helps boost Muslim campaign to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery

(JTA) – Donations tripled to a Muslim-supported crowdfunding campaign to repair a vandalized St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery after British author J.K. Rowling offered her support in a tweet.

Rowling, the author of the popular “Harry Potter” series of books, on Wednesday morning in Britain tweeted a link to an article about the campaign and posted “This is such a beautiful thing.”

The tweet has received more than 10,000 retweets and more than 30,000 likes. [Read more…]

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ADL headquarters in N.Y. hit with bomb threat

(JTA) – The national offices of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York received a bomb threat from an anonymous caller.

New York City Patch reported that the threat was called into ADL’s Manhattan headquarters at about 11:08 a.m. Wednesday, according to police. Neither the report nor the ADL said whether the building was evacuated. [Read more…]

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