‘Hot cop’ from Hurricane Irma selfie suspended over anti-Semitic Facebook posts

A Florida police officer has been suspended with pay after complaints that he posted anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook page.

A selfie of police officer Michael Hamill and two other Gainesville, Florida, police officers was posted on the department’s Facebook page, showing the officers helping the community in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The photo posted a week ago received at least 181,000 comments, one calling the officers “hunkapotumuses,” and some 517,000 likes and 276,000 shares, the Gainesville Sun reported.

But after the photo became popular on social media, several people sent screen shots of anti-Semitic posts by Hamill from 2011 and 2013, years before he joined the police force in 2016.

A post from April 2013 read: “Who knew that reading jewish jokes before I go to bed would not only make me feel better about myself but also help me to sleep better as well. Here is one for everybody, “What’s the difference between boy scouts and jews?” Anybody know? Well it is because “Boy scouts come back from their camps.”

A post from 2011 said: “so I find it funny that people will talk about how our government needs to do something about our economy and in reality it’s YOU who needs to stop taking advantage of our system and get a life and do something with your life. Gotta love reality when it hits you in the face. Stupid people annoy me. Put them in an oven and deal with them the Hitler way. Haha.”

The Gainesville police said in a statement posted on its website: “Several citizens have brought information to our attention regarding complaints against Officer Michael Hamill. GPD takes these allegations extremely seriously. GPD is reviewing the allegations and will do so in accordance to Florida law and department policy.”

“Under Florida Law, complaint information is confidential until an investigation is concluded. The Gainesville Police Department prides itself with our philosophy and mission of compassion, inclusion, and respect and will fully review the matter,” the statement concluded.


Soccer star tells Chelsea fans to stop anti-Semitic chant


LONDON — Alvaro Morata wants Chelsea soccer fans to call a halt to chanting a song in his honor which includes anti-Semitic language.

The 24-year-old Spanish international striker — hoping to add to his three goals against Arsenal on Sunday — told the Daily Mail it did not set a good example to young children attending matches.

Chelsea have said they will take the “strongest possible action” against any of their supporters who used the anti-Semitic language which attracted attention in the 2-1 win at Leicester last Saturday.

The song describes supporters of rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who have traditional links to the Jewish community, as “Yids.”

“It’s clearly a sensitive issue,” said Morata in what was his first interview with an English newspaper since signing from Real Madrid for a reported 80 million euros ($92.2 million).

“There are many ways to enjoy yourself at a game and to cheer on your team or your favorite players.

“But I am clear. I am against any songs that will offend people on the basis of religion or race. We need to cut it out.

“Football is only a sport, let’s use it as a positive vehicle.

“It’s not just that but kids who follow us and who want to be like us one day and we need to set the best example to them in the stands.

“By all means, cheer me on, sing my name, sing songs about Chelsea but let’s avoid this chant. The fans have been extremely welcoming to me and hopefully we can move forwards together now.”

Attacks on German synagogue ‘may have been anti-Semitic,’ police say

Weeks after two attacks on a synagogue in Germany, police in the city of Ulm say the motive may have been anti-Semitic.
State security officials are investigating incidents on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 in which one or more perpetrators kicked at the facade of the New Synagogue and later rammed it with a metal post, breaking through the outer wall. According to reports, repairs will cost several thousand dollars.

On Tuesday, an Ulm police spokesman said that anti-Semitism was not out of the question, but added that investigators were looking into all possibilities. There are no suspects.

Rabbi Schneur Trebnik told the Juedische Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s Jewish weekly, that authorities routinely play down reports of anti-Semitic incidents, and that community members are fearful of being recognized as Jewish on the streets.

In this case, he said, local Jews are upset that no one who saw the attack in progress called police.

An image of a possible perpetrator carrying an object resembling a metal post was publicized Sept. 11, along with a telephone number for potential witnesses to call. The photo, which also shows two people with the man, was gleaned from a security video camera.

The police report notes that “investigators are aware that the perpetrator and his companions were seen by witnesses shortly before and after” the incidents.

The New Synagogue, which was dedicated in 2012, is part of the Jewish Community of Württemberg. The state has some 2,800 Jews who belong to the community, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, deputy director of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, criticized local authorities for failing to categorize the case as anti-Semitic.

The question of whether such attacks on Jewish property should be termed anti-Semitic remains controversial.

Last year, a German appeals court declined to question a lower court over its verdict that three Palestinian men who tried to set a Wuppertal synagogue on fire in 2014 were not guilty of anti-Semitism. The defendants had claimed they were motivated by anger at Israel and not by anti-Semitism.

The lower court had found that while the targeting of a synagogue was serious circumstantial evidence, it could not conclude that the act was committed out of anti-Semitic motives.

But in another case in 2016, a court in Essen upheld a verdict that anti-Israel chantings of “death and hate to Zionists” at a 2014 demonstration were tantamount to anti-Semitism.

New York man arrested for sending anti-Semitic email to Jewish official

A Westchester County, New York, man was arrested for allegedly sending an anti-Semitic email to a town supervisor who had been pushing to remove a monument to Confederate soldiers in a private cemetery.

Timothy Goetze of White Plains was arrested on Wednesday and charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime. Police did not say what was in the letter but said it targeted Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who is Jewish.

Feiner had supported the removal of the monument in Mount Hope Cemetery in Hastings, New York, but at the beginning of the month he reconsidered, saying the obelisk-shaped monument was a symbol of reconciliation rather than of the Confederacy or white supremacy, the Journal News reported.

“While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, this was clearly a case where that line was crossed,” Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney said of Goetze’s letter in a statement. “We want to send a message that such hate filled threats will be fully investigated and those responsible will be brought to justice.”

This isn’t the first time Feiner was on the receiving end of alleged anti-Semitic invective. In 2014, a local fire chief apologized after colleagues deposed in an age-discrimination lawsuit said the chief often used anti-Semitic language to refer to Feiner.

Greenburgh, a mostly affluent suburb of New York City, includes six independent villages and a sizable Jewish population.

British Muslims twice as likely to espouse anti-Semitic views, survey suggests

(JTA) — In a survey of 5,466 British adults, the prevalence of anti-Semitic views among Muslim respondents was two to four times higher than in any other segment of the population.

The results are part of a report titled “Anti-Semitism in contemporary Great Britain” that the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research published Monday based on face-to-face interviews and online questioners conducted earlier this year and in 2016 with help from the Community Security Trust, or CST.

“The prevalence of negativity towards Jews and Israel is, on average, twice as high among Muslims than the general population,” states the 85-page report, which includes data from interviews with 995 self-identified Muslims of varying degrees of observance, as well as 529 respondents from the far left and 355 from the far right.

Whereas nearly 80 percent of Christian respondents agreed with the statement that “a British Jew is just as British as any other British person,” only 61 percent of Muslims and 59 percent of the Muslims who described themselves as religious concurred.

Among Muslims, 28 percent agreed with the assertion that “Jews think they are better than other people,” compared to 13 percent in the general population. Among Muslims, 14 percent said the Holocaust was exaggerated compared to 4 percent in the general population and 8 percent said the Holocaust is a myth compared to only 1 percent in the larger group.

Overall, however, about 70 percent of the respondents indicated that they have a favorable opinion of Jews and do not entertain any anti-Semitic ideas or views at all, according to the survey, the authors of a report about its conclusions wrote.

The survey also revealed a strong correlation between the prevalence of anti-Semitic opinions and opinions hostile to Israel: Of those who do not hold any attitudes hostile to the Jewish state, 86 percent do not hold any anti-Semitic attitudes either. But among those holding a large number of anti-Israel attitudes, only 26 percent do not hold any anti-Semitic attitudes.

Asked about Israel, half of respondents said they were either neutral or had nothing to say, and 17 percent reported having favorable views about the country. A third of respondents said they had unfavorable attitudes toward Israel.

Israel emerged in the poll as more popular than Russia (52 percent unfavorable), Iran and Syria, but less than the United States (21 percent unfavorable views) and Germany (10 percent.)

The report’s author, Daniel Staetsky of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, said the report’s “strength of analysis owes a great deal to the size of the data set and the detail that it provides, but also, importantly, to our determination to let realistic and very specific concerns about anti-Semitism, held by Jews and non-Jews, inform the line of inquiry.”



The Anti-Defamation League on Sunday condemned Yair Netanyahu for posting a meme with antisemitic connotations, which white supremacists have celebrated.

The organization’s Israel branch tweeted a statement in Hebrew saying that the image “contained clear antisemitic elements. The danger of antisemitic discourse should not be downplayed.”

Yair, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara’s 26-year-old son, posted the controversial image Saturday night on his Facebook page.

The post features Hungarian-Jewish billionaire George Soros dangling the world in front of a reptilian, who is likewise dangling an alchemy symbol in front of an Illuminati figure. The illuminati figure then dangles money in front of former prime minister Ehud Barak.

Outspoken Netanyahu critics Eldad Yaniv and Meni Naftali are featured after Barak, tempted with a political party ballot and a tray of food respectively. The caption reads “the food chain.”

Meni Naftali, the Netanyahus’ former house manager, is expected to testify against Sara Netanyahu should she be indicted in the “Prime Minister’s Residence Affairs” case by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

Yair Netanyahu’s Facebook post (screenshot)Yair Netanyahu’s Facebook post (screenshot)

All the figures in the meme, except the reptilian, are holding their hands in a similar fashion to “the Happy Merchant,” an antisemitic meme that gained prominence in alt-right and neo-Nazi forums after it was first posted on 4chan, an online imageboard. The Happy Merchant depicts a Jewish male figure with a large hooked nose rubbing his hands together and usually includes an antisemitic caption about money or world control.

The reptilian as an all-powerful creature was popularized by English writer and conspiracy theorist David Icke. According to Icke, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids came from the Draco constellation in order to lead a conspiracy against humanity as part of the New World Order. Icke believes in the validity of the antisemitic document Protocols of the Elders of Zion and he has been accused of using lizards as a code for Jews. In response, Icke has claimed that it is the exact opposite — that the “Jews” in the Protocols are not real Jews, rather they are true lizard-people.

The Daily Stormer published a reaction article to Yair’s meme titled “Netanyahu’s Son Posts Awesome Meme Blaming the Jews for Bringing Down His Jew Father,” in which Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi site’s founder and editor, referred to the young Netanyahu as “a total bro” and wrote “Next he’s going call for gassings.”

Yair’s post also gained attention from David Duke, the notorious former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke on Saturday tweeted the image with the caption: Netanyahu’s son posts a meme suggesting (((Soros))) is controlling the world: “Meme rife with anti-Semitic themes.” The triple parentheses is referred to as the “echo” and is used by the alt-right to denote someone of Jewish heritage or background.

Israeli politicians were quick to respond to the social media firestorm.

On Twitter, Ehud Barak asked, “Is this what the boy hears at home? Is it genetics or his very own mental illness? No matter, at any rate, we should pay for his mental therapist and not his security detail and personal driver.”

Yair quickly posted a Facebook post in retaliation claiming that Ehud Barak “reeks of whiskey” and that “he needs a geriatric evaluation.”

Labor leader Isaac Herzog responded to the Tweet by stating, “Every Jew should feel revulsion and shame this cartoon, [in the style of] the pages of [Nazi newspaper] Der Stürmer, that came out of the home of the prime minister and embraced by antisemites. Delete it, apologize, speak out against it.”

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara defended Netanyahu on Sunday, telling Israeli radio that he’s “just a kid playing on Facebook.” Kara further said that Yair may have been “driven crazy” by the criminal allegations being leveled at his parents and that if his parents were being attacked, he would do the same.

Yair Netanyahu is not a stranger to social media controversies. In July, he attacked Molad, a progressive think tank, and Ariel Olmert, the son of former prime minister Ehud Olmert. In a Facebook post in response to Molad’s post titled “Five things you did not know about Yair Netanyahu,” Yair accused the organization of trying to destroy Israel and Ariel Olmert of having a homosexual relationship with a Palestinian.

“There are a few problems with this story. The first is that it’s made-up lies. I like women and share my life with a female partner and my daughter,” Olmert said in response. “The bigger problem is the racism and homophobia dripping from this story… And for dessert, you decided to claim that we, my imaginary friend and I, harmed national security. Good for you.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to respond to the allegations surrounding his son’s Facebook post.

French minister slams ‘anti-Semitic’ attack on Jewish family

France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb condemned an anti-Semitic attack in which a French Jewish leader and his family were assaulted in their home.

The statement issued over the weekend by Collomb’s office reiterated the French government’s determination “to do everything to combat every form of racism and anti-Semitism, which have no place in the French Republic.”

Collomb’s statement expressed his “indignation’’ about the attack, which took place Thursday night, and said that “according to initial indications, the motivation for this cowardly act seems to be directly related to the religion of the victim.”

“Everything will be done to identify and arrest those who carried out this foul attack,” the statement also said.

In the attack, three men, two of whom were wearing masks, broke into the home of Roger Pinto, the president of Siona, a group that represents Sephardic Jews — descendants of the Jewish people who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula in the 15th century during a period of Catholic zeal. The attackers beat Pinto’s son and wife in the home in the northeastern suburb of Livry Gargan, the Dreuz news website reported Sunday.

One of the attackers said, “You Jews have money,” according to the family members.

The Pintos were taken to hospital for treatment. They suffered some minor injuries and were deeply traumatized, the report said.

The incident, one of several cases in France in recent years in which criminals apparently singled out Jews based on the belief that they have money, provoked passionate condemnations from the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism. Both groups said the incident was an anti-Semitic attack.

The European Jewish Congress called on French authorities “to firmly root out societal anti-Semitism and its passive acceptance.”

“We appreciated the important words of the French Government in trying to make Jews feel safe in their country,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC, said in a statement. “However, it doesn’t appear that much has changed on the ground for French Jews who are still regularly attacked.”

Chelsea calls on fans to stop anti-Semitic chant about new player

LEICESTER, UK — Chelsea were forced to plead with their fans to ditch an anti-Semitic song about the club’s striker Alvaro Morata after they sang the offensive chant during a 2-1 win at Leicester City on Saturday.

Morata scored his third goal for Chelsea since his club record move from Real Madrid to open the scoring.

But the adulation for the Spain star turned ugly as Chelsea’s travelling fans unveiled a song aimed at their hated London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who have traditionally attracted support from London’s Jewish communities.

“Alvaro, Alvaro. He comes from Madrid. He hates the f****** Yids,” sang Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked about the song and its anti-Semitic content at the post-match press conference but head of communications and public affairs Steve Atkins quickly stepped in.

“I don’t think Antonio was aware of the song so if I can just speak on behalf of the club,” Atkins said.

“The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course. But the language in that song is not acceptable at all.

“We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

It is not the first time Chelsea fans have been caught making offensive chants in recent years.

Videos appeared on social media of some supporters singing anti-Semitic songs ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham in April.

Chelsea fans also pushed a black commuter off a Metro train in Paris in February 2015 ahead of a Champions League tie.

Jewish family beaten, robbed in ‘anti-Semitic’ home invasion near Paris

Three members of a prominent French Jewish family were kidnapped, tied up, brutally beaten and robbed on Thursday night in their home in the suburb of Livry-Gargan northeast of Paris, French authorities said Sunday.

According to the National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), three individuals broke into the house Roger Pinto, the president of the Siona group representing Sephardic Jews, by cutting through the home’s window bars. They then cut off the electricity in the house, tied up Pinto’s son, and held and beat his wife. It was only on Friday morning, several hours later, that Pinto managed to discretely contact police, causing the intruders to flee.

According to the BNVCA report, the unidentified attackers told their victims, “You are Jewish, you have money.”

The assailants, black men in their 20s or 30s, according to the victims’ description, took jewelry, cash and credit cards.

The Pintos were taken to hospital for treatment. They suffered some minor injuries but were deeply traumatized, the report said.

The BNVCA called the attack “manifestly anti-Semitic” and “premeditated,” and said the family was “threatened with death” and “violently beaten.”

In a statement on Sunday, CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish organizations, said it “powerfully condemns the very violent and anti-Semitic aggression.”

“After the atrocious murder of Sarah Halimi in her home, this new attack must bring the authorities in our country to a heightened vigilance and deterrence-inducing steps,” he added.“This odious act is proof, if we needed any, that the Jews of France are especially threatened in the street, and even more disturbingly, within their very homes,” CRIF President Francis Kalifat said.

The Jewish groups were joined by France’s interior minister Gérard Collomb, who said the initial findings suggested “the motivation for this cowardly act seems directly related to the religion of the victims.”Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jew, was killed by her Muslim neighbor in April in Paris. Prosecutors dropped the anti-Semitic accusation from his indictment, drawing fierce condemnation from the Jewish community.

“Everything will be done to identify” and arrest the perpetrators, he added in a statement.

The Union of Jewish Students of France also condemned Thursday’s attack, lamenting “the insecurity of French Jews.”

Israel’s ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, offered her own “support to the Jewish family in Livry-Gargan” and “strongly condemn[ed] this anti-Semitic attack” in a tweet Sunday.

The incident is one of several cases in France in recent years in which criminals singled out Jews out of the apparent belief that they have money.

In 2014, three men broke into the home of a Jewish family in Creteil near Paris. One of them raped a young woman there while another guarded her boyfriend, whom they took prisoner, and a third went with the couple’s credit card to extract cash from an ATM machine. They too allegedly said they targeted the couple because the victims are Jewish.

Occurring amid a major increase in anti-Semitic violence in France accompanying Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza that year, the Creteil incident echoed for many the traumatic murder and torture in 2006 of Ilan Halimi, a Jewish phone salesman who was abducted by a gang led by a career criminal with a history of targeting mostly Jewish victims.

Some French Jews regard the 2006 Halimi murder as the turning point in the emergence of a wave of violence against Jews in France and Belgium, in which more than 12 people have died since 2012 in at least three jihadist attacks on Jewish targets.

PM’s son removes anti-Semitic cartoon post, but offers no apology

Amid widespread criticism, Yair Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, on Sunday removed a controversial meme he had posted on his Facebook page that included anti-Semitic themes.

The cartoon, posted Friday on Yair Netanyahu’s private Facebook profile, featured references to Jewish billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, the Illuminati and some sort of lizard creature.

It takes aim at his parents’ critics, including former prime minister Ehud Barak, lawyer and Labor party activist Eldad Yaniv, and Menny Naftali, a former caretaker at the Prime Minister’s Residence, who is at the heart of allegations of wrongdoing over which Sara Netanyahu, Yair’s mother, is facing indictment.

Yair Netanyahu posted the graphic with the caption: “Food chain.”

The young Netanyahu took the post down on Sunday more than 24 hours after it sparked an outcry from Israeli and US Jewish leaders. As of Sunday night, he had offered no apology nor expressed remorse.

There was no comment from the prime minister either. Asked directly about the post by reporters at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said briskly that “this is not a press conference.”

The Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday took Yair Netanyahu to task over the meme, even as leading white supremacists celebrated his use of the image.

“The cartoon that Yair Netanyahu posted contains blatantly anti-Semitic elements,” the ADL tweeted in Hebrew. “The dangers inherent in anti-Semitic discourse should not be taken lightly.”

Netanyahu’s Friday post has been shared by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and other anti-Semites.

Leading US neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer welcomed the younger Netanyahu as one of their own on Saturday, praising him for using the image.

In an article titled “Netanyahu’s Son Posts Awesome Meme Blaming the Jews for Bringing Down His Jew Father,” the website wrote, “Yair Netanyahu is a total bro.”

“Next he’s going [sic] call for gassings,” the website added.

“Welcome to the club, Yair — absolutely amazing, wow, just wow,” Duke, the former KKK leader, tweeted as well as sharing media reports about the meme.

Israel’s Channel 2 news said Sunday night that “senior US Jewish leaders close to Netanyahu” were demanding an apology from Yair Netanyahu over the incident. It quoted them saying they were “shocked and appalled at the notion that the son of Prime Minister Netanyahu would post a cartoon of an anti-Semitic nature. It is understandable that a son would want to defend his father during a difficult period, but what he did is unacceptable.”

The unnamed leaders urged the prime minister’s son not only to remove the cartoon from his Facebook page, but also to “dissociate himself from the embrace of the extreme right. It is the prime minister’s obligation to ensure that his son takes responsibility and apologizes,” the reported said.

Political leaders in Israel have also lashed Yair Netanyahu for the cartoon.

The opposition Labor Party’s chairman, Avi Gabbay, told Army Radio the post “crossed every line imaginable,” saying it was a “very sad” day for Israel and the Jewish people when the prime minister’s son posts a cartoon that the leader of the Ku Klux Klan can endorse.

Barak, one of the meme’s targets, wondered on Twitter whether Yair Netanyahu, who enjoys a state-funded driver and bodyguard while living at the prime minister’s official residence, absorbed his ideology at home.

“What is it, genetics or a spontaneous mental illness? It doesn’t matter. In any case, we ought to pay for him to have a psychiatrist, not a bodyguard and a chauffeur,” Barak tweeted.

Yair Netanyahu responded by calling Barak a drunk who needed geriatric care. Earlier, he accused the Haaretz daily of being anti-Semitic, after it reported on the cartoon.

The 26-year-old Netanyahu has drawn criticism for living a life of privilege at taxpayers’ expense and for his crude social media posts.

The Netanyahu family is facing a slew of corruption allegations. The prime minister has been questioned about his ties to executives in media, international business and Hollywood. His associates have been engulfed in a probe relating to a possible conflict of interest involving the $2 billion purchase of German submarines. Israel’s attorney general has said he intends to indict the prime minister’s wife, Sara, for fraud over her bloated household expenses.

Yair Netanyahu, who has reportedly taken a leading role in his father’s aggressive social media platform, has also been drawn into the scandals.

Australian billionaire James Packer has reportedly lavished Yair with gifts that included extended stays at luxury hotels in Tel Aviv, New York and Aspen, Colorado, as well as the use of his private jet and dozens of tickets for concerts by Packer’s former fiancee, Mariah Carey.

Police are trying to determine whether these constitute bribes, since Packer is reportedly seeking Israeli residency status for tax purposes.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media. He has resisted increasingly vocal calls for him to step down.

At the opening of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu declined to respond to questions about his son’s social media posts, saying, “This isn’t a press conference.”