Russian officials struck a defiant note Monday after Western leaders threatened to further punish Moscow for escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists that rocket shelling Saturday in the city of Mariupol, which left at least 30 people dead, was a tragedy that was being manipulated to “whip up anti-Russian hysteria” in the West.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news agencies that Ukraine was responsible for the “barbarous shelling” and said that the crisis could only be resolved if there was “firm political will on the part of Kiev.”
The Russian economy has been hit hard by Western sanctions and plummeting oil prices, and the ruble has already lost about half its value in the past year.
Alexis Tsipras, the leftist political maverick who swept to power on Sunday in Greece in a popular rebellion, formed a new coalition government on Monday with a right-wing fringe party that will charge immediately into the task of reversing wrenching austerity policies and negotiating with European leaders to reduce Greece’s debt burden.
Panos Kammenos, the leader of the coalition partner, Independent Greeks, told reporters shortly after meeting with Mr. Tsipras on Monday morning that the two had formed a new government. The Independent Greeks, who won 4.7 percent of the national vote, have often taken a hard line against austerity and might push for tough terms in any debt talks.
It was not immediately clear how the power would be shared, but Mr. Tsipras planned to go to the Greek presidential compound in the early afternoon to formally receive the mandate to form a government.
Not sure what to say besides crazy antisemitic conspiracy theorists are crazy.
ATHENS, Greece — A politician from the main opposition party in Greece caused an uproar after posting an anti-Semitic rant on his Facebook page accusing the Greek prime minister of heading a Jewish conspiracy.
Theodoros Karypidis, the left-wing Syriza Party’s candidate for governor of Western Macedonia, said Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was at the head of a Jewish plot to visit “a new Hanukkah against the Greeks.” […]
H/T to @Gus_802 for bringing this story to my attention via a RT.
Note: This article is from last year, a fact that I overlooked until late last night and have just now gotten a chance to address. The candidate who went on the antisemitic rant was dropped by Syrzia a few days later. Please see the update timestamped 1/26/15 9:53:29 am for more info.
It appears the party in the article above, Syriza, has won in the national elections.
ATHENS — Greece rejected the punishing economics of austerity on Sunday and sent a warning signal to the rest of Europe as the left-wing Syriza party won a decisive victory in national elections, positioning its tough-talking leader, Alexis Tsipras, to become the next prime minister.
With 60 percent of the vote counted, Syriza had 36 percent, almost eight points ahead of the governing center-right New Democracy Party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who had conceded defeat. The only uncertainty was whether Syriza would muster an outright parliamentary majority or if it would have to form a coalition. […]
This is obviously not good news for Jews living in Greece.
Additionally, while trying to find out what Greece’s Jewish population is, I came across another antisemitic story form this month, this one coming from a right-wing politician.
ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — A Greek government official has been forced to clarify that Greek Jews do pay taxes and have the same obligations as every citizen.
“Greek citizens of Jewish faith pay their tax normally like all Greeks and do not enjoy any exemption or extra burden because of their religion,” said Giorgos Kalantzis, the Education Ministry’s general secretary for religion.
Last month, right-wing politician Panos Kammenos said in a television interview that Jews don’t pay taxes. […]
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece also has a whole slew of recent stories on antisemitism at their website.
Last but not least, goddamnedfrank provided me with a link to the ADL Global 100 Survey, which is an index of antisemitism. Here’s the info for Greece—as you can see, the index, at 69%, is quite high. Higher even than Iran (56%), believe it or not. There’s also a PDF of the report’s Executive Summary available for download:
H/T to Skandal for providing population stats in the comments.
re: #4 Skandal
As of 2012, the Jewish population of Greece was 4,500. 0.04% of the total population. According to Jewish Population of the World
When I posted the original article I didn’t realize was nearly a year old. For the record, Syriza dropped Karypidis after receiving widespread condemnation:
The left-wing Syriza party said that after weighing “all the facts,” Theodoros Karypidis would no longer be its candidate for governor of Western Macedonia in upcoming local elections.
A new candidate will be chosen soon, said the terse statement released Monday from the party’s political secretariat. It did not include a condemnation of Karypidis’ statements. […]
Just 70 people showed up to take part in an anti-Islam Pegida march in Oslo on Monday, with the group far outnumbered by counter-demonstrators.
Pegida organizer Max Hermansen had to fight to make himself heard as he addressed supporters outside City Hall.
Some 200 counter-demonstrators lined up nearbycarrying anti-Islamophobia banners and shouting: “No support for Breivik’s prayers” and “No racists on our streets”.
“I’m here to show that nobody can be judged on the basis of their skin colour or religion,” said Linda, 23, who did not want to give her surname.
Demonstrators from the Norwegian Centre against Racism and far-left groups Blitz and Rødt marched from Youngstorget to the Parliament, while Nye SOS Rasisme’s followers walked from the National Theatre to City Hall.
Pegida’s Hermansen spoke of death threats made by Islamists against organizers in the movement’s home city Dresden.
“It’s clear that we’re not getting the freedom of speech we desire. In Oslo we were prevented from walking a four-kilometre circuit and instead had to walk around City Hall three times.”
Hermansen had hoped to gather 250-400 supporters for the march.
A large police presence was in place at City Hall to keep the demonstrations apart.
This will be disappointing news for Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, as they have failed in their efforts to penetrate Norwegian society with their hate.
If only Denmark would follow suit and realize the errors of their ways.
What will it take for other European nations to wake up to the right-wing threat?
(Reuters) - The Malian grocery worker hailed as a hero for saving hostages’ lives when an Islamist militant attacked a kosher supermarket in Paris this month was made a French citizen on Tuesday.
Lassana Bathily, 24, was joined by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Prime Minister Manuel Valls in a packed naturalisation ceremony.
“I am so happy to get dual nationality,” said a smiling Bathily, who also received a medal for his actions. “Long live freedom, long live solidarity, long live France.”
Bathily, who arrived in France from Mali in 2006 and received his working papers five years later, has been credited with saving many lives in the Jan. 9 attack that killed four people at the kosher store in eastern Paris. Previous militant attacks that week killed 13 others, most of them at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper.
Hailed by Cazeneuve and Valls as a model of decency and Republican values, Bathily tried for years to obtain French nationality and was even turned down in 2011 before he was handed his passport by Valls.
The inventory worker was in a storage room in the rear of the market when Amedy Coulibaly, the Islamist militant later killed by police, burst into the store.
“When I heard the gunshots I saw a lot of people running … saying ‘Help, help, they’re here, the killers, they’ve come into the store!’” Bathily told BFM-TV in an interview last week.
Bathily, who had worked at the store for four years, ushered the panicked shoppers into a cold storage room where they waited out the attack. He said he tried to convince the others to escape by an elevator, but they were concerned its noise would alert Coulibaly to their presence.
Courting that risk himself, Bathily fled the store and was promptly handcuffed by police, who interrogated him for an hour and a half, he said.
Give him Israeli citizenship too, like Sandra Samuel.
We may have to retrieve the Enlightenment, as much as religion, from its fundamentalists. If Enlightenment is “man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity”, then this “task”, and “obligation” as Kant defined it, is never fulfilled; it has to be continually renewed by every generation in ever-changing social and political conditions.
Ukrainian government forces say they recaptured most of Donetsk’s airport today after intense fighting over the strategically important site that’s been a focus of combat since the conflict began last year.
“Our forces managed to almost completely clear the territory of the airport,” Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in Kiev, adding that retaking the wrecked facility had been “a massive operation.” Donetsk rebels said heavy fighting was taking place but didn’t mention the airport’s status in a posting on their website.
Four Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 32 were wounded in the past 24 hours, Lysenko said. He said the advance of troops at the airport doesn’t violate the Minsk truce deal because Ukrainian forces cleared rebels from their side of the disengagement line.
BERLIN — A German newspaper has apologized for mistakenly publishing a fake Charlie Hebdo cover that featured an anti-Semitic cartoon on its front page the day after the French publication was attacked last week.
The daily Berliner Zeitung featured four real Charlie Hebdo covers on its front page Jan. 8, along with a fake one depicting what appears to be an Orthodox Jew making a quip about the Holocaust. The cover carried the name “Charlo Hebdo” — one of the clues it was a fake.
The Berliner Zeitung said Thursday it “failed to recognize that one of the cartoons was a fake” and offered its “profoundest personal apologies for this highly regrettable mistake.”
It said it had posted a correction in Friday’s paper acknowledging that it mistakenly printed an anti-Semitic cartoon.
Screenshot of the fake cartoon is here. It will probably show up soon on Glenn Greenwald’s Twitter feed (if it hasn’t already)
Long lines are forming at newsstands in France as the new copy of Charlie Hebdo hits newsstands. Some vendors say they sold out quickly. (Jan. 14)
Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn Wednesday around Paris, with some scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical paper fronting the Prophet Muhammad. In a city still shaken after deadly Islamic terror attacks, authorities said 54 people had been detained for defending or glorifying terrorism.
The arrests are part of a broader French crackdown that includes a government push for tougher anti-terrorism measures after the attacks, the worst in France in decades.
Dieudonne, a controversial comic with a large following in France, was among those detained. Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said some of those detained have already been convicted — a display of French justice that was notably rapid.