September 22, 2020
"Why this hatred of the Jew" asked the father of one of the murdered Kosher Market victims today at the terror trial in Paris. The father of Yohan Cohen, who was murdered, broke down in grief before the courtroom. For background about the trial, see my article in the National Post - https://nationalpost.com/opinion/avi-benlolo-anti-semitism-suppression-of-freedom-converged-in-horrific-charlie-hebdo-kosher-market-attacks
In a report released today in Germany, the Department for Research and Information on Anti-semitism Berlin, documented 410 incidents during the first half of 2020. This included six physical attacks, 25 cases of property damage, so threats, 58 examples of propaganda and 301 examples of malicious behaviour like the Nazi Salute. A national report in May saw a 13% increase in anti-semitic hate crimes or 2,032 - attributed to the far right.
Today, at the UN's opening session of the General Assembly today, Israel's Ambassador Gilad Erdan walked out of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech to the UN, accusing him of antisemitism. Erdogan is said to have stated, “The occupation and oppression of Palestine is a bleeding wound of humanity”. No doubt, this will place further tension and pressure on Israel-Turkey relations. Meanwhile Iran's president Rouhani, mocked the US for losing out on the "snapback" sanctions against Iran - while US President Trump returned the favour by saying the US has imposed crippling sanctions and calling Iran a state sponsor of terror.
UN General Assembly set to resume today with President Trump and Putin taking the stage alongside China and Iran. With the world in turmoil, their message should be one of reconciliation and putting humanity first. The world must address Covid-19 and hot conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa. Iran must be held to account for sponsoring terrorism and continuing its illegal nuclear aspirations.
Honduras reportedly said to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of the year. President Juan Hernandez announced that he spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu about a strategic relationship. Israel will also open a diplomatic office in the Honduran capital.
The Genesis Prize dubbed the "Jewish Nobel" has selected final candidates for the $1 million prize. The seven current candidates — Marc Benioff, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gal Gadot, Elena Kagan, Jonathan Sacks, Steven Spielberg, and Barbra Streisand — were selected from more than 4,000 nominations submitted by approximately 45,000 individuals around the world.
Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Read my editorial in the Algemeiner.com published today about her commitment and dedication to Judaism as a bedrock for her social justice work. https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/09/22/remembering-ruth-bader-ginsburg-a-jewish-icon/
Sudan reportedly will discuss the removal of their country from a US list of state sponsors of terror with US officials. This appears to be a condition for discussion on peace ties with Israel and the country's ability to access foreign loans due to its economic crisis.
A Dubai based writer with AP (Aya Batrawy) reported warming views from Saudi Arabia's clerics. According to the article, the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, "delivered a state backed sermon on the importance of dialogue in international relations and kindness to non-Muslims, specifically mentioning Jews".
It's disheartening to continuously see Nazi themed items on various online selling platforms. One student took one retailer to task recently by starting a campaign to have them remove Nazi themed uniforms as Halloween Costumes from their online stores, report The Jewish News. It appears as we draw more distance from the Holocaust and more ignorance prevails, that this will become ever more prevalent.
In Vancouver Canada hate crime charges were laid today against a woman who attacked a young teenager wearing a headscarf. In a statement, I said, "everyone has a right to practice their faith freely and without intimidation. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians from discrimination as do our hate crime laws".
George Deek, Israel's Ambassador to Azerbaijan said he "met the acting Ambassador of the UAE - the first meeting between Israel and Emirati Ambassadors in Baku - and the first anywhere to be held in Arabic".