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Saturday 20 July

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News in the world
Feast of Chanukah in Chisinau overshadowed by anti-Semitic act

The Jewish fest Chanukah which is celebrated in those days by Jews all over the world was overshadowed by an anti-Semitic act in the capital of Moldova on Sunday, as The General Director of the Jewish Congress of Moldova, the famous theater director Ilya Schatz, told RIA Novosti.

According to his words, the Chanukah (candleholder) with enlightened candles which was set on Friday with the permission of the city authorities in the European Central Park was overthrown and smashed by a crowd of up to hundred people which were yelling anti-Semitic slogans.

“This hooligan group of Christian Orthodox seemed like parishioners of an orthodox advent” said Schatz.

He explained that these people “demanded that the Jews were removed from Moldova”.

The Swiss supported the prohibition of the construction of minarets

The majority of the Swiss Cantons voted in a referendum which was held in the country in favour of the prohibition of the construction of minarets in the country, reports Tribune de Geneve referring to the results of the exit polls. The Swiss television described the first data on the approval by the inhabitants of the country of the extreme right parties’ initiative as “big surprise”.

The results of surveys on the exit of the vote show that the German-speaking Canton Lucerne supported the referendum, while the French-speaking provinces Geneva and Vaud voted against it. According to the first data, 59% of the citizens expressed their support for the initiative, reports the portal According to the Swiss law, the referendum is adopted, if the majority of the cantons and the majority of the citizens vote for it.

The initiative to hold a referendum came from the extreme rightist Swiss People’s Party which occupies the majority of the seats in the parliament. Within a period of 18 month their representatives collected the 100.000 signatures which are necessary to put the issue to a referendum.

Supporters of the prohibition argue that the towers of mosque from which Muslims traditionally call their prayers are strangers to the Swiss culture and symbolize the “political-religious aspiration to power”. Swiss Muslims themselves note the rising Islamophobia.

According to BBC News, Switzerland is home to 400.000 Muslims, meanwhile, this number comes to only four minarets.

Boston Jews expel Israeli consul

The Russian-speaking Jew community of Boston demanded the resignation of Nadav Tamir, Israeli consul of the city. Reason for this was the open letter in which the general consul of Israel criticized the policy of the Prime Minister of the Israeli government Benjamin Netanyahu. Consul Tamir wrote that the foreign policy of Netanyahu leads to confrontation with the United States. According to Tamir, the administration of Barack Obama has to struggle not only with North Korea and Iran, but also with his longtime ally Isreal.

The letter signed by Nadav Tamir, which was sent to the diplomatic missions of Israel, states that the governments of Israel and the US actually entered confrontation and this considerably reduces the support for the Jewish state among Americans.

Tamir stressed that the US is now significantly more critically towards Israel, even more than during that anti-terror operation “Cast Lead” (Gaza War) or the Second Lebanon War, reports

A number of organizations uniting Russian-speaking emigrants (the Russian-speaking Jew community of Massachusetts, “Boston for Israel”, the Jewish Russian Telegraph, the Russian mathematic school and the Boston Russian Media Group) issued a collective protest against the statement of the Israeli diplomat.

“Nadav Tamir committed an act which is intolerable for an official functionary”, says the collective statement of the representatives of the Russian-speaking communities.

However, representatives of all-American Jewish organizations categorically disagree with the point of view of the Boston Russian-speaking Jews. Representatives of major Jewish organizations in the US value Tamir as a qualified diplomat, who brilliantly managed to protect the interests of Israel in different situations. “This man has great authority” said Steve Grossman, the former head of the American-Israeli Committee on Public Affairs about Tamir.

The representatives of other Jewish organizations of Boston also support Tamir and express the hope that he will retain his post.



Memorial Day for the victims of Stalinism and Fascism introduced in Latvia

Memorial Day for the victims of Stalinism and Fascism introduced in Latvia

The Latvian Saeima approved the 23rd of August as Memorial Day for victims of Stalinism and Nazism as reports.

The new Memorial Day was approved on the proposal of the right party “Civil Union” whose representatives worked out a respective bill. At the beginning of the week, reminds the agency, members of the governing coalition discussed the proposal of the introduction of a Memorial Day for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism, supported by the initiative of the “Civil Union”.

The date was selected due to the fact that namely on the 23rd of August 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Treaty of Non-Aggression which is also called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (after the Foreign Ministers of the two countries). Enclosed to the document is a secret protocol according to which Germany and the Soviet Union as a matter of fact divide up the territory of Eastern Europe between themselves.

Thus, Latvia is the second country within the former Soviet Republics which equates the gravity of the crimes of the Soviet Union and Germany through the founding of the Memorial Day. In May 2009 a Memorial Day for the victims of Nazism and Stalinism was introduced in Estonia.

It should be noted that on the 3rd of July 2009 the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE adopted a resolution that equates the Soviet Union with Nazi-Germany. The document among other things proposes to make the 23rd of August Memorial Day for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.


The leader of an anti-racist gang was arrested in Los Angeles

In the United States the leader of a street gang which tried to control the musical hardcore scene was arrested, as Associated Press reports. Elgin Nathan James, founder of the organisation FSU (Friends Stand United), was arrested; he is accused of extortion. James and his followers tried with force to impose their view on the hardcore scene, especially pursuing supporters of right-wing radicalism.

According to the investigations Reuters is leading members of the FSU since 2004 exposed performers and listeners of hardcore punk to beatings and recorded these violent acts on video. The purpose of the gang was the control of concert places and the suppression of activities of right-wing radical groups, in particular skinhead Nazis. In the case file appears a certain popular artist from Chicago whose name is not disclosed as a victim.

The injured musician and his friends were exposed to beating and threatening by members of the FSU during their tour from the end of 2005 till the beginning of 2006. The investigation disposes of an audiotape of a telephone conversation in which James extorted five thousand dollars from the victim for stopping the persecution. It is known that the money transfer passed under the observation of FBI agents.


The grouping FSU appeared in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1990s; afterwards it received support from other states. James, who played in several hardcore groups, and his comrades belonged to the anti-racist wing of the movement “Straight Edge”. They used beating, robberies and other violent method for the fight against racism, drug trafficking and abuse of animals. In the last years James moved away from violence, moved to California and worked in the film business. If he is declared guilty, James will face a 20-years prison term.


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