Tag: Netherlands

Polish nationalist lawmaker defends receiving medal from Hezbollah leader

(JTA) — A Polish right-wing lawmaker defended his meeting in Lebanon with leaders of Hezbollah, who gave him a medal.

Paweł Skutecki of the anti-establishment Kukiz’15 party met on Monday with Mohammad Raad, the head of the parliamentary faction representing the Shiite militia in the Lebanese lower house.

Dismissing critics who said Hezbollah was a terrorist group with an anti-Semitic agenda, Skutecki said of Raad, “He is a respected lawmaker, head of the Hezbollah group, with whom the world’s most important leaders meet.” Skutecki said the critics were “puppets of puppets operated by puppeteers.”

Klaudia Klimek, a political activist…

Polish president signs bill on Holocaust rhetoric, drawing rebuke from US

(JTA) – Polish President Andrzej Duda signed and finalized a law limiting rhetoric about the Holocaust, leading to a rebuke from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The United States is “disappointed,” Tillerson said Tuesday, following Duda’s final approval of a law introduced on Jan. 26 in the Polish parliament. It prescribes up to six years in prison to anyone who blames the Polish state or nation for crimes the law says were perpetrated exclusively by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The “enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry,” Reuters reported  Tillerson as…

Israeli team to compete in the Giro d’Italia cycling race

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has been named one of four wild card teams to participate in the prestigious Giro d’Italia cycling race.

The first three stages of the three-week bike race will be held in Israel starting in Jerusalem on May 4.

The four wild card teams were announced Monday. Thirty teams will participate in the race.

The wild card invitations are offered to teams that do not generally race at the Grand Tour level. This is Israel’s first professional cycling team, though only five of the 24 riders are Israeli.

This year’s race is the first time that any…

Amsterdam synagogue, Jewish hospice targeted in vandalism incidents

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Police in the Netherlands are investigating vandalism at a synagogue and a hospice for people dying of terminal diseases.

The incident at the Immanuel Hospice occurred on Jan. 2, the AT5 television channel reported Wednesday. A man wearing a sports jacket dislodged and stole two security cameras in the early hours of the morning.

The synagogue incident occurred on Dec. 31 at Chabad Central Amsterdam, the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad newspaper reported Friday. Unidentified individuals hurled bricks at one of the building’s windows in what a police spokesman told the weekly was an incident “with all the signs of a…

Netherlands, Belgium pledge new funds to UN Palestinian relief agency following US cutbacks

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Netherlands and Belgium pledged a total of $38 million for the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinians following U.S. funding cuts of $110 million.

Belgium’s government pledged $23.3 million in extra funding for UNRWA and the Dutch government said it would fast-track another $15 million in funding.

The United States announced its cuts on Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that a $45 million payment pledged for the UNRWA food aid program would not go through for the time being. Earlier this week, the U.S. said it would freeze $65 million pledged to the…