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Around The Jewish World

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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Jun 15, 2016

Amnesty International condemns detention of circus clown

 

JERUSALEM - Amnesty International on Monday condemned the IDF for administratively detaining a circus clown who performs for disabled children, saying the legal proceeding behind the detention was itself a “circus act”.

Muhammad Abu Saha was first detained by the IDF in December 2015 and on Monday his detention was extended for another six months by a military court in Ofer.

The IDF’s administrative detention sidesteps the right to a criminal trial and allows the presentation of secret evidence in court. However, detention can only occur if approved by a court at least once every six months.

Most of the international community is critical of Israel’s administrative detention policy. But in this particular case, due to Abu Saha’s job as a clown and the children he helps, clowns from the US, England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and a list of other countries have loudly protested the detention even more than usual.

An Amnesty spokesman said that all they had been told was that Abu Saha was accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but with no details about him being dangerous or concrete evidence to back up the claim.

The spokesman added that Abu Saha was convicted of low-grade stone throwing when he was 17 in 2009, but that the IDF presented no new evidence against him. The IDF has not responded to press inquiries about the case. – Jerusalem Post

 

Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear neo-Nazi case

 

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal in the case of a man whose will was overturned because he bequeathed his estate to a US neo-Nazi group.

Last week Thursday, the country’s highest court without explanation chose not to review two lower court rulings that blocked the transfer of Robert McCorkill’s estate, estimated at $250 000 Canadian dollars, to the National Alliance.

The appeal was filed by the Canadian Association for Free Expression.

McCorkill, a one-time chemistry professor, died in 2004 and bequeathed his valuable coin collection, ancient artefacts and investments to the white supremacist group based in West Virginia.

In 2013, his sister asked that the bequest be declared void.

The following year, a New Brunswick court invalidated the will, saying such a bequest would run counter to Canadian public policy.

The ruling said written materials of the National Alliance were “racist, white-supremacist and hate-inspired”, and that the group “stands for principles and policies… that are both illegal and contrary to public policy in Canada”.

While McCorkill’s bequest did not advocate violence, it “would unavoidably lead to violence because the NA, in its communications, both advocates and supports its use by others of like mind such as skinheads”, the court ruled.

Last July, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal upheld the decision to void McCorkill’s will.

McCorkill was recruited into the National Alliance in 1998. He later lived at the group’s compound in West Virginia, where he edited the final book written by its founder, William Pierce, author of the far-right screed The Turner Diaries.

Jewish groups warned that the infusion of funds would revitalise the moribund group.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which intervened in the case, said it would “continue working to identify legal tools to degrade the capacity of groups that spread hate propaganda against any minority”. - Canadian Jewish News

 

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemns terror attack

 

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the terror attack at a lesbian and gay nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In a statement after the mass-shooting at the Pulse club, which was carried out by self-radicalised Islamist Omar Mateen, Netanyahu said: “We are all shocked at the horrific massacre in Orlando. On behalf of the government and people of Israel, I would like to again express our condolences to the American people and the families at this especially difficult and tragic hour.”

Condemning the spike in terror attacks a week after Israel celebrated Gay Pride in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu added: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people.”

In the wake of the attack, the worst mass-shooting in US history, the Tel Aviv municipality building displayed the rainbow flag in solidarity with victims of the attack. In Jerusalem, people gathered in Zion Square with rainbow flags and placards that displayed messages of support.

David Quarrey, Britain’s ambassador to Tel Aviv, who is gay, tweeted a message of support for victims of the attack. He said his thoughts were “with the United States”. - Jewish Chronicle, London

 

Holocaust survivor and theatre producer recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

 

LONDON - Sonia Friedman, the theatre and television producer whose works have won numerous Tony awards, Olivier awards and a Bafta, has been made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Others recognised included Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who survived Auschwitz by playing in the Women's Orchestra at the camp, Neil Martin, chief executive of the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade and James Cohen, a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Friedman was made an OBE for services to the theatre after a string of award-winning productions on stage and television including The Book of Mormon, Hamlet, Shakespeare in Love and Wolf Hall.

Lasker-Wallfisch, a talented cellist who became a professional musician in Britain after the war, was appointed an MBE for her services to Holocaust education.

The survivor, who carries out most of her teaching on the Holocaust at schools and universities in Germany, said she goes “go a little bit further than telling my story. I try to make them think about anti-Semitism.” _ London Jewish Chronicle

 

Greens: We’ll speak to Palestinian group but not Zionism Victoria

 

MERLBOURNE - Greens  candidates will attend an election forum hosted by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), but not Zionism Victoria.

Stephanie Hodgins-May has pulled out of The AJN’s election forum for Melbourne Ports because she said she is “not comfortable participating in a forum that is co-hosted by an organisation that isn’t an independent newspaper”, noting that Zionism Victoria is co-hosting the event.

“I don’t believe it is appropriate and right to speak at an event co-organised by a politically active organisation,” she said referring to Zionism Victoria.

Hodgins-May agreed to attend the debate in mid-May.

On May 30 AJN editor Zeddy Lawrence told Hodgins-May during an e-mail exchange that it would be co-hosted by Zionism Victoria.

However, last week Tuesday when questioned about her appearance via Twitter, she told a journalist that it was his tweet that alerted her to Zionism Victoria’s involvement.

That prompted her withdrawal from the debate.

Quizzed by The AJN today over the e-mail notifying her on May 30, she claimed she had missed it.

Hodgins-May’s comments and withdrawal came as a shock to The AJN and the community because Greens MP Adam Bandt is attending a forum hosted by APAN next week titled, Melbourne candidate forum: Palestine and Israel: adopting a just position.

Hodgins-May said it is not “appropriate and right” to speak at an event hosted by a politically active organisation, but APAN calls for people to “spend just one minute to email candidates asking them to pledge to support Palestine” and recently held an event to “bring awareness to and influence Australia’s public policy regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict”.

APAN also supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

After being informed that Bandt would be attending a function hosted by APAN Hodgins-May claimed she would not attend the forum because she didn’t like Zionism Victoria’s stance when it comes to the United Nations.

“I was unaware when I accepted that it was also being co-hosted by an organisation that holds strong political views, including in relation to the United Nations,” she said.

“As someone who worked at the UN and holds their work in high regard, I have chosen not to participate in the now co-hosted forum.”

Zionism Victoria has urged Hodgins-May to reconsider her decision.

“The ill-informed prejudice of the candidate toward our organisation is particularly regrettable and reflects adversely on her suitability as the representative of all of the citizens of Melbourne Ports,” a statement from the organisation read. – Australian Jewish News

 

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