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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Rise in anti-Semitic incidents concerns community leaders

Anti-Semitic incidents have increased in Greater Manchester, a new report shows.

There were 89 incidents reported to the Community Security Trust across the region in the first six months of 2010, compared to just 57 two years ago.

The figures represent a 56 per cent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the two years.

However, the numbers of incidents fell dramatically since this time last year, when anti-Jewish sentiment increased amid a number of high profile international events, like the Gaza conflict in January of that year.

The body classifies as an anti-semitic incident any malicious act aimed at Jewish people, organisations or property, where there is evidence that the act has anti-semitic motivation or content, or the victim was targeted because they are (or are believed to be) Jewish.

The CST believe the increase is down to ‘changing’ demography in Prestwich and in north Manchester - due to a more visible Jewish community and those more willing to report anti-Semitism.

Mark Gardner, CST director of communications said: "After much analysis, we believe that the relative rise of incidents in Greater Manchester is mainly due to the changing demography of the visibly Jewish community (mainly in Prestwich); and also that community’s good links with CST’s local staff and volunteers."

And Lucille Cohen, president of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, said: "I am very disturbed by the rise compared to 2008 and would hope that Bury Council’s efforts in social cohesion promote a more tolerant society."

In February, a mother and son were convicted of carrying out a series of racist attacks on Jewish people by driving past shouting abuse and spraying them with liquid

Manchester Evening News


Roma leaders condemned intolerance against their community across Europe Monday at the WWII Nazi German Auschwitz death camp where they marked 66 years since the massacre of nearly 3,000 Roma. "Roma are still the victims of intolerance, even brutal aggression and instead there is talk of the divisions and conflicts between Sinti and Roma," Roman Kwiatkowski, head of the Roma Association of Poland said at the ceremonies, as quoted by the Polish PAP news agency. Sinti are part of the Roma people, known also as gypsies, but with their own specific dialect. "To all those who say this, I answer clearly at this place: we are a single, great people, especially on this day, International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Holocaust," Kwiatkowski said. "We are deprived of our rights ... The discrimination and persecution of Sinti and Roma must forever disappear from the life of the peoples of Europe," said Romani Rose, leader of Germany's Roma and Sinti. Some 500 Roma from several countries gathered Monday at the foot of a monument commemorating the death of the last group of Roma, nearly 3,000 women, children and elderly people, who were gassed by the Nazis at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on the night of August 2-3, 1944.

Nearly all of the 23,000 Roma and Sinti imprisoned at the "Zigeunerlager" at Auschwitz-Birkenau were killed by the Nazis between 1941-44. Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of Nazi Germany's WWII death camps is located in the southern Polish town of Oswiecim, which like all of Poland was under German occupation during the Second World War. The Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said Monday it had brought together some 80 Roma and non-Roma youth activists from several European countries for four days at the former Auschwitz camp for education about the Nazi's WWII genocide against the Roma. Between 1940-45 Nazi Germany killed some 1.5 million people, including 1.2 million European Jews, at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Other victims included Poles, Roma, and Soviet prisoners of war.



Swastikas were discovered on Thursday on the frontages and windows of a dozen kosher stores in Paris, the Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) announced. “We see it as a new demonstration of anti-Semitic hatred,” the union said. A police source said four nazi swastikas were traced with a black marker on two shops, on the wall of a Jewish school and on a nearby building of the Boulevard Voltaire, in Paris’s 11th district. "I make a point of expressing my emotion and my indignation following the discovery of swastikas on frontages of the Voltaire boulevard", said the city’s mayor Bertrand Delanoe, in an official statement. "Such acts, which recall the darkest hours of our history, should not remain unpunished. In the name of Paris, I repeat my determination to fight without a break against anti-semitism, and to defend the values of tolerance and of respect which found the identity of our City," he added.

EJ Press

Staten Island Teen Christian Vazquez Attacked in Apparent Anti-Mexican Hate Crime USA

Staten Island has seen a string of recent bias attacks targeting Mexican immigrants, despite stepped up police patrols, and now the latest victim is speaking out. Eighteen-year-old Christian Vazquez, who was assaulted early Saturday morning while heading home from his job as a restaurant busboy, became a victim despite spending the past five years working with a youth anti-violence group that's trained to help others combat bias.

He admits he was terrified by his ordeal.

Vazquez says his attackers kicked and punched him to the ground leaving his eye swollen and his body covered in bruises. His assailants reportedly yelled anti-Mexican epithets during the attack, reports the New York Daily News.

Vazquez told the newspaper his main concern is bringing the perpetrators to justice so that this type of senseless violence doesn't take a life.

"What happened to me could happen to a mother, could happen to a father," he told the newspaper, "and maybe the next victim could end up dead."

Police have tracked down one of his alleged attackers, says the paper.

Ironically enough, the 15-year-old whose name has not been released is also an immigrant, from Liberia. He was being held after appearing at a hearing in Staten Island Family Court.

Vazquez's message to his attackers is bold.

"If you've got a conscience, just come out and say you did it," Vazquez said.

According to the New York Daily News, the attack on Christian Vazquez was the 11th hate crime in the borough of Staten Island since April.

CBS News