Governments must open eyes to hate crimes

The hateful murder of Special Police Officer Stephen Johns as he guarded the entrance to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was a troubling reminder that anti-Semitism still thrives in the United States. But the reminder should not stop there: Anti-Semitic and other violent hate crimes know no boundaries and are on the rise, from Washington to Europe and beyond.

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Gary Kamiya Is Off Today

The Devil, strike that, the culture made me do it!

Gary Kamiya strikes out today with his piece on cop killer Richard Poplawski.

The sub-headline asks "amid the deafening din of the right wing's anti-government rhetoric, how extreme is he?"

Kamiya should have stopped at the editor's sub-headline in his 1,100-word piece.

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What is Going on in Turkey?

(cross posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

In recent years, Turkey has been regarded as being a moderate nation in the Middle East with regard to both Israel and the West.  Israel and Turkey's 'special' relationship has gone even further with both countries forging close security ties and Turkey even seeking to develop a role as a mediator between Israel and its enemies.

But now it would appear that an outpouring of grassroots anger over Israel's Gaza operation has rocked that special relationship and there are some alarming signs in its wake.  

For context, Turkey abolished Islamic Law some 80 years ago, and has been proud of its secular tradition, but now, a large and growing group is calling for its return. Anti-Semitic sentiment was recently fueled when its 'moderate' Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared: "Allah's punishment for Israel's inhumane actions will lead to its destruction."

The week-end before, some people wrote, "We will kill you" on the door of one of the biggest synagogues in Izmir resulted in the closing down of synagogues. Near Istanbul University, a group put a huge poster on the door of a shop owned by a Jew: "Do not buy from here, since this shop is owned by a Jew." A group put posters on his wall saying that: "Jews and Armenians are not allowed but dogs are allowed." Some young people are even threatening others with violence if they are seen as pro-Israel in social networking websites such as Facebook and Hi5.

As of late, Turkish society has exploded with an influx of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric, this included billboards being posted with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish expressions. Private firms are also posting anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish statements on their Websites. Bardak, a Turkish company which manufactures custom coffee mugs for Toshiba, HSBC, Cargill, Acer and Canon, has a phrase across its front page: "JEWS YOU ARE GOING TO PAY EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE COMMITTING."

Some Turkish commentators have said Erdogan's rhetoric smacked of anti-Semitism, but the prime minister rejected the accusation.

"Neither myself, nor my government, nor anyone from my party has ever given any premium to anti-Semitism," he said. "I am a leader who has said anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity."

Whatever Erdogan's intentions are or your opinion is on the conflict in the Middle East - those signs have to give you the chills, chills, chills.

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Gannett: Neo-NAZI Cards Not "Offensive," Say Police

Update III: Fond du Lac Police Captain Steve Thiry: "Obviously, people were offended," or we would not have investigated the incident. The Fond du Lac Reporter's lede gets knocked down, as do efforts to pooh-pooh the incident.

Update: SPLC Maps 12 Racist Groups in Wisconsin

I read with disappointment this morning's report in the Fond du Lac Reporter (Gannett Company) on the neo-NAZIs leaving their business cards on the car windows of several participants of a Hispanic-Latino event last week.

The "Aryan Wear" group's cards asks if the car-owners had "had enough diversity?"

The card is pictured at: ml.

The lede in the Reporter piece by Sharon Roznik reads: "Fond du Lac police said the content of anti-diversity cards left on the car windows of several participants of last Thursday's 'HOLA!' event is neither threatening, nor blatantly offensive racially."

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Neo-NAZI Acts in Wisconsin

A social diversity event held last night at the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Public Library entitled "¡Hola! Hispanic and Latino Experiences in Fond du Lac (Wisconsin)" was marred by cards left on the car windows of several participants by a neo-NAZI "Aryan Wear" group asking if the car-owners had "had enough diversity?".

The card is pictured at: aryan-group-acts-at-fond-du-lac.html , and was obtained by e-mail from Ken Hall, director of the Fond du Lac, WI Public Library.

Fond du Lac Police are interested in and actively investigating the incident, according to a police official contacted by phone this morning.

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