Monday, August 16, 2010

Argentina: Concern over Anti-Semitic Graffiti

The Argentinean Ministry of Justice and Homeland Security is investigating the origin of this weekend's anti-Semitic graffiti at the "State of Israel" Plaza in the province of Neuquén.

Hernando Grosbaum, the Israeli Consul in Patagonia, told the newspaper "La Mañana Neuquén" that what distinguishes this painting from others that have been made in this and in other parts of the country, is that the inscription is in Arabic, which caught the attention of authorities.

The graffiti incites jihad (holy war) and is written with perfect knowledge of Arabic calligraphy as it is perfectly legible.

"It is different to write something that is intended for everyone to understand, than to write something specifically targeted at those who can understand it. That is very worrisome," said Grosbaum. "Specialists are trying to discern what it is about, to whom it is addressed and who could have written it."

The Israeli Ambassador, Daniel Gazit, told the Jewish News Agency that "this fact must be taken with utmost seriousness, especially these days, when Israel and the Palestinian Authority are closer to resume direct negotiations of peace."

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Chile: Senators Seeking to Criminalize Incitement to Racial and Religious Hatred

Chilean Senators Guido Girardi, Juan Pablo Letelier, Mariano Ruiz-Esquide, Carlos Cantero and Andrew Chadwick expressed deep concern over the spate of anti-Semitic acts that occurred in synagogues and Hebrew schools, as well as death threats against the president of the Chilean Jewish community, Gabriel Zaliasnik, and to his son of 9 years. For this reason, they announced the filing of a bill that seeks to criminalize "hate speech."
Senator Guido Girardi said, "We believe that this is not a problem just for the Jewish community, but for the entire Chilean society. We would not accept graffiti against the Catholic Church and we believe that there would be many voices against these acts, as it would also be the case within Islamic communities. Therefore, this situation is unacceptable under any circumstances", he said. For that reason, he mentioned that "we will present a bill which criminalizes the incitement to hatred and punishes those who infringe on these values and principles. We do not want to have in Chile discriminatory practices that incite hatred. Our legislation, in contrast to others, only sets fines and sanctions, but it does not define crime and punishment."

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chile: Anti-Semitic Attack

The Chilean Jewish community denounced an anti-Semitic attack in the kindergarten of the Hebrew Institute, as its facade was vandalized by unknown individuals.

Along with a swastika, the message "Juden raus" (Jews Out) was written on the wall. It had a rune-style "s", bearing similarity to the Schutzstaffel logo of Adolph Hitler's regime.

"Last night there were neo-Nazi signs gain, this time in the Children's Garden of the Hebrew Institute, #naziCh", posted Gabriel Zaliasnik, president of the Jewish Community, on Twitter.

On Monday, the lawyer himself commented in The First Coffee Cooperative about the "fervent anti-Semitism in Chile", following threats he received on the Internet.

The graffiti in the Hebrew Institute bears similarity to the Arab College case from October 2009, when the College's walls were tainted with messages such as "Palestine does not exist" and "Arab = terrorist".

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