World Briefs 3-27-12

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Play about Jewish refugees in China premiers in Shanghai

Thirty-thousand Jews who hid in China during World War II will have their story told in a new play now premiering in Shanghai. It will also premiere in New York this spring.

“North Bank Suzhou Creek is the Chinese version of 'Schindler's List,” said Jefferey Sichel, one of the play’s directors, according to the Israel National News. Directors wanted to highlight that the Chinese gave shelter to so many Jews, a fact not widely known.

Wang Jiajian, who plays a Chinese resistance fighter, said he can relate to the Jewish people because both they and the Chinese had to fight oppressors. “Our hearts understand each other, the way we think and the obstacles we face are very similar.”

—JointMedia News Service

Turkish shampoo commercial uses footage of Hitler

A Turkish TV commercial for cosmetics that features footage of Adolph Hitler is drawing outrage worldwide after reportedly continuing to air on the country’s state television network.

In the commercial, according to Spiegel International, black and white footage of the Nazi German leader is shown but dubbed with a voice screaming in Turkish: “Why are you using woman's shampoo if you're not wearing a woman's dress? Now there's the hundred percent men's shampoo Biomen. A real man uses Biomen.”

This is not the first time that Middle Eastern countries have used Nazi imagery and allusions in advertising. This year a Dubai gym advertised fitness classes using an image of the Auschwitz death camp with the caption “Kiss your calories goodbye.”

—JointMedia News Service

French police investigate gunman’s brother

Click photo to download. Caption: Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the shooter responsible for the deaths of three schoolchildren and a rabbi, has been handed terrorism and murder charges for allegedly assisting his brother. Credit: EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO Abdelkader Merah, brother of Mohammed Merah, who killed three school children and a rabbi at a Jewish school last week, has been handed preliminary terrorism and murder charges. While investigators looking in to last week’s attacks believe Merah helped his brother prepare and plan for them, he denies any role, and according to his lawyer, feels “like a scapegoat,” the Associated Press reported.

“No one knew anything” about what Mohamed was plotting, lawyer Anne-Sophie Laguens told reporters in Paris on Sunday. She also said that Abdelkader did not approve of his brother’s attacks, commenting, “He was never proud of those actions.”

Bernard Squarcini, head of the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, also concluded on Saturday that the attacks had been improvised. Merah had been planning to kill another soldier (he had killed three soldiers prior to the attack on the Jewish school), but arrived late and changed his target.

Investigators are also trying to determine whether Merah acted alone or as part of a network. “Police inquiries have produced grave and matching pointers that suggest his participation as accomplice in crimes relating to a terrorist enterprise is plausible,” the Paris public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

JointMedia News Service

French anti-Semites honor Toulouse killer

Several French Muslim students held a moment of silence for Toulouse killer Muhammad Merah and paid homage to him through a Facebook page. More French Muslims blamed Israel for exploiting the murders.

Muslims weren’t the only ones to excuse Merah, an al Qaeda terrorist who died after a standoff with police. Some French media referred to the killer as a “child” and a victim of economic hardship. One teacher in Rouen also staged a moment of silence, and although most of the students left the classroom in protest, at least one said Merah’s victims—three Jewish children and a rabbi—“deserved” it, Israel National News reported.

—JointMedia News Service 

Best-selling book tells Muslims to beat women

A book advising Muslim men how to “discipline” their wives has sold out in a Canadian bookstore.

A Gift for a Muslim Couple calls on Muslim men to restrain wives “with strength or even beat her.”

The book—which the Toronto Sun reported sold out in an unnamed store—calls for the beating of women with hands and with sticks, and gives men permission to pull their wives by the ear. Women are referred to as “stupid and slow sometimes.”

“It is inciting men to hit women… the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten,” said Tarek Fatah, a moderate Arab political activist and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, according to Israel National News.

—JointMedia News Service

Jewish cemetery in Poland vandalized

Click photo to download. Caption: A recently restored Polish Jewish cemetery has been vandalized, in a manner similar to this cemetery outside Minsk, Belarus. Credit: EPA/STRINGER .Anti-Semitic vandals recently desecrated a Jewish cemetery in Poland, painting swastikas as well as other offensive words and symbols on tombstones.

The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland said the perpetrators wrote “This is Poland, not Israel’’ on a sign at the cemetery in the Eastern Poland town of Wysokie Mazowieckie, according to the Associated Press.

The town has been trying to preserve its Jewish heritage and only restored the cemetery six years ago. The cemetery was not yet fully fenced.

—JointMedia News Service

Bosnian-Muslim Neo-Nazi group vilifies Jews

A new Bosnian Neo-Nazi group, the Bosanski Pokret Nacionalnog Ponosa (Bosnian National Pride Movement), is increasingly championing anti-Semitism in the country. Ninety-five percent of its members are Muslim.

“The Jews have immense influence throughout the world—in [the domains of] politics, economy, culture, and religion,” the group writes on its website. “Freedom of speech is granted to a handful of ‘privileged’ politicians, journalists and functionaries that are puppets of the Zionist mechanism.”

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), this group reveres the alliance between Muslims and Nazis during World War II. Bosnia now bans Neo-Nazi groups, as do many other European nations in the wake of the Holocaust.

—JointMedia News Service

Libyans accuse UK journalists of spying for Israel

Two British journalists are back in the UK after being held captive by Libyan militia Misrata Brigade and accused of spying for Israel, the BBC reported.

The Libyans mistook the journalists’ language for Hebrew. As a result, Gareth Montgomery-Johnson and Nicholas Davies-Jones were held in Tripoli last month. They were eventually handed over to Libya’s interior ministry and were released after apologizing for their actions.

—JointMedia News Service

U.S. releases $88.6 million for Hamas-controlled Gaza —and Europeans urge more

Click photo to download. Caption: Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere has called for $1 billion in aid for the PA in 2012. Credit: Johannes Jansson/norden.org.As the U.S. released $88.6 million in aid to the Palestinians for “assistance and recovery in Hamas-controlled Gaza,” according to Reuters, international donors met in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss more financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. 

During the meeting, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called “to ensure the contribution of $1 billion in assistance [to the PA] in 2012,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

Meeting participants also urged that Israel “ensure monthly transfers to the PA in a predictable manner.” The PA praised the meeting and called for the immediate transfer of funds.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on March 26, 2012 and filed under Briefs, World.