European countries to Israel: Compensate us for demolished West Bank structures

(JTA) – Eight European countries for the first time have called on Israel to compensate them for demolishing West Bank mobile structures and infrastructures that they provided.

Belgium reportedly is leading the effort, Haaretz reported, citing a senior European diplomat. The other countries are France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark. [Read more…]

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Anti-Semitic incidents at British synagogue, Rome and Paris schools, and Holoicaust monument in Germany

(JTA) – Anti-Semitic graffiti was daubed on a sign of a synagogue in northern England and, in three separate incidents, outside schools in Rome and near Paris and on a Holocaust memorial monument in Germany.

Earlier this week visitors to the Etz Chaim synagogue in Leeds discovered a swastika and the word “kikes” spray-painted on a sign affixed to the synagogue’s perimeter fence, the Jewish News of London reported Wednesday. [Read more…]

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Killing of Paris Jewish woman was anti-Semitic hate crime, prosecutors acknowledge

PARIS (JTA) – Prosecutors investigating the April slaying of a Jewish woman by her neighbour said for the first time that her killing was an anti-Semitic hate crime.

The characterization by prosecutors Wednesday in the death of Sarah Halimi followed months of lobbying and protest by French Jews, who were outraged by the absence of aggravated circumstances in the indictment against Traore Kobili. The 27-year-old Muslim man confessed to the killing and was heard shouting about Allah and calling Halimi “Satan” shortly before throwing her out the window of her three-story apartment. [Read more…]

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French teens get suspended sentences for vandalizing Jewish gravestones

(JTA) – A juvenile court in northeastern France suspended the prison sentences of five teenagers who vandalized a Jewish cemetery and damaged a Holocaust memorial.

The defendants, who were 15 to 17 in February 2015 when the vandalism occurred, were sentenced last week to eight to 18 months in prison for toppling and breaking some 300 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, located in the Bas-Rhin region in Alsace. The cemetery is still in use.  [Read more…]

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French interior minister condemns anti-Semitic attack on Jewish leader and family

(JTA) – France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb condemned an anti-Semitic attack in which a French Jewish leader and his family were assaulted in their home.

The statement issued over the weekend by Collomb’s office reiterated the French government’s determination ‘’to do everything to combat every form of racism and anti-Semitism, which have no place in the French Republic.” [Read more…]

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French judge orders schools to reinstate no-pork option lunches for Jewish, Muslim students

(JTA) – A French court ruled that schools should provide an alternative to lunches containing pork for Muslim and Jewish students.

The decision on Monday came after a Muslim organization sued the local authority at Chalon-sur-Saône in Burgundy, about 180 miles from Paris in east-central France, challenging its decision in 2015 to stop providing a no-pork alternative in its school cafeterias. [Read more…]

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Cops warn Paris-area farmers: Sheep and chickens may be stolen ahead of Jewish, Muslim holiday

(JTA) – A municipality in suburban Paris warned farmers of an elevated risk of theft of sheep and fowl ahead of the Muslim and Jewish holidays of Eid al-Adha and Yom Kippur, respectively.

The warning, which provoked angry reactions on the part of communal leaders who saw it as discriminatory, came in a letter sent earlier this month by a branch of the police department of Hauts-de-Seine, an area comprising several suburbs east of the French capital, the Le Parisien Weekly reported last week. [Read more…]

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Following attack, French Jewish leader calls for ‘immediate eradication’ of terrorism

(JTA) – Following the death of a pedestrian in what appeared to be a vehicular terrorist attack in Marseille, a leader of the local Jewish community called for the “immediate eradication” of terrorism.

Bruno Benjamin, the president of the local branch of the CRIF umbrella of Jewish communities, wrote the message Monday on Twitter shortly after police arrested a man they suspect is connected to the slaying of one woman and the serious injury of another in a car-ramming attack that morning.  [Read more…]

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Knife-wielding motorist in France suspected of threatening to ‘kill the Jew’ in front of his family

(JTA) – A motorist with a knife threatened to “kill the Jew” after nearly hitting the man and his family in Cannes, according to a French anti-Semitism watchdog.

The victim, identified by the Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism as B. Olivier, said the suspect assaulted him on Thursday morning while he was trying to cross a road with his wife and baby in the southern French city, the watchdog known as BNVCA said in a report Monday on the incident. Olivier reportedly said the man, who appeared to be of European heritage, failed to stop his car at the pedestrian crossing. [Read more…]

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