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Does Rapper 50 Cent Get a “Get Out of Racism Free Card”? April 12, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in 50 Cent, 50 cent Antisemitic, 50 cent Antisemitism, 50 cent jewish, 50 cent jews, 50 cent jews goon squad, 50 Cent Racism, 50cent, African Americans, African-American, Antisemitism, Black, Blacks, goon sqaud, ho, hoe, imus nappy, imus nappy hoes, imus nappy hos, imus racism, Imus Racist, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Racism, racism 50 cent, Racist, Racist 50 cent, rap, rapper, rapper 50 cent.
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We reported on this story earlier however, we have obtained the exclusive audio of 50 Cent’s racist comments from the radio. In light of the complete media frenzy of the racist remarks by Don Imus, there seems to be a complete media blackout of 50 Cent’s racist comments.  Raising the question does 50 Cent get a ‘get out of racism free card’?  Certainly Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have not commented about this racist instance.

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Anti-Jewish Rapper 50 Cent Labels “Je-Je-Je-Jews” the “Real Goon Squad” April 6, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in "Je-Je-Je-Jew unit", "Je-Je-Je-Jews", "Real goon squad", 50 Cent, 50 Cent anti-Jewish, 50 Cent Anti-semitic, 50 Cent Racism, 50 Cent Racist, Anti-Semitic, Antijewish, Antisemitism, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Fifty Cent anti-Jewish, Fifty Cent Racism, Fifty Cent Racist, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Miss Jones in the Morning, Racism, Racist.
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Rapper 50 Cent might be in da you-know-what for calling Jews “goons” on a radio show yesterday. On New York’s Hot 97’s “Miss Jones in the Morning” show, as the New York Daily News reports, Fitty called to weigh-in on fellow rapper Tony Yayo’s assault case. After telling the host that he didn’t think Yayo’s legal troubles would hurt “his crew,” he added, “Worry about the Je-Je-Je-Jew unit. They’re the real goon squad. When the lawyers come out, you’ll see what it is. I don’t pay nobody. I only pay the lawyers.” The rapper didn’t clarify what he meant, or if he was referring to anything in particular.

CARD {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: TMZ.com

Official anti-semitism erupts in Venezuela February 25, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionist, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hugo, Jew, Jewish, Jewish Cultural Centre, Jewish population, Jews, Racism, Racist, Religious Hatred, socialist, Venezuela anti-semitism, Venezuelan.
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Armed police raided the Jewish elementary and high school at the Jewish Cultural Centre in Caracas on 29 November 2004 implementing a court order that alleged that materials of a criminal nature, such as electronic equipment, arms and explosive devices were concealed in the building.The swoop started at 6.30 am, when school buses and parents had already started to bringing children to the school, but, after rooting through the building for three hours, the police left having found zilch. The court order, it has since been revealed, had been issued three days earlier but the police waited until Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, arrived in Teheran for a state visit to Iran.

That was two years ago, but things have only got worse in the intervening period. Indeed, since election of the left-wing populist Chavez in 1998, Venezuela has witnessed a proliferation of virulently anti-Israel and anti-Zionist propaganda, frequently entwined with nakedly anti-Jewish slogans.

The Jewish population in Venezuela numbers only around 25,000 out of a total population of close to twenty-seven million. So, why does the official media of a government that claims to be socialist, devote its energy to poisonous attacks on a very small Jewish community?
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Principal Deems Jesus Chant Offensive February 25, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Christian, Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Semitism, basketball, Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, Card, Christian, Christians, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, cultural diversity club, Dennis G. Manning, Dennis W. Price, Discriminate, Discrimination, Jesus Chant Offensive, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Norfolk Academy, sensitivity training, Sullivan, tolerant, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, We love Jesus.
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A Catholic school principal has organized sensitivity training for students who shouted “We love Jesus” during a basketball game against a school with Jewish students.

The word “Jew” also was painted on a gym wall behind the seats of Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School students attending the Feb. 2 game at Norfolk Academy, said Dennis W. Price, principal of the Virginia Beach school.

Price who also watched the game, said the rivals exchanged chants, “Then, at some point, our students were chanting, ‘We love Jesus.'”

“It was obviously in reference to the Jewish population of Norfolk Academy; that’s the only way you can take that,” he added. (more…)

U.N. Anti-Racism Panel Questions Israel February 21, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Arab, Arabs, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, holy places, Islam, Islamic, Israel, Israeli, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Muslim, Muslims, Noble Sanctuary, non-Jewish, Racism, Racist, Temple Mount, U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminat, UN, United Nations.
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A United Nations anti-racism hearing later this week could add more fuel to the debate over a hotly contested Israeli construction project that has sparked anger throughout the Muslim world. Israel’s government has also been asked to explain if it discriminates between Jewish citizens and what it calls its “Arab sector” in how it provides housing, education, public services, land rights and legal protection against acts of violence, according to a list of issues released by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The panel of 18 independent experts overseeing compliance with the United Nations’ 38-year-old anti-racism treaty has submitted questions in writing on Israel’s policy for preserving holy sites and asked the government to explain why it only grants special protection for places considered sacred by Jews.

“To date, approximately 120 places have been declared as holy sites, all of which are Jewish,” the committee said in its list of questions, written before the recent furor over a construction project in Jerusalem that some Muslims have charged could damage Islam’s holy places.

Israel – whose quadrennial review was postponed in August because of the Lebanon war – is to appear before the panel on Thursday and Friday to answer the questions, which include whether it “has set forth regulations in relation to holy sites of both the Jewish and non-Jewish population.”

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Discrimination against atheists? February 10, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in atheist, atheists, Card, Christian, Christians, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Discrimination against atheists, Jewish, Jews, Muslim, Muslims, religious groups.
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We have covered stories in the past about discrimination against Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other religious groups, but are atheists also discriminated against in today’s society?

Saudi school in London ‘racist’, former teacher claims February 6, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Christian, Apes, Christian, Christians, Colin Cook, discrimination against Jews, institutional racism, Jew, Jewish, Jews, King Fahad Academy, Monkeys, Pigs, Racism, Racist.
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A school in London that is owned, funded and run by the Saudi Arabian government teaches students that Christians are ‘pigs’ and Jews are ‘monkeys’, a former teacher has alleged in an employment tribunal claim.

The Times of London reports that Colin Cook, who taught English at King Fahad Academy for 18 years, cited Arabic teaching materials used at the school to confirm his belief that the academy was “institutionally racist”.

“The schoolbooks presently in use describe Jews as ‘monkeys’ (or apes) and Christians as ‘pigs’,” said Cook, who was dismissed from the school in December.

After speaking to senior staff about his concerns, Cook, 57, claims he was told: “This is not England, it is Saudi Arabia.”

He is taking action against the school for unfairly dismissing him and because he alleges he suffered racial discrimination for not being a Saudi.

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Unlikely source of racism spurs Jews January 28, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, ADL, ANSWER, Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Semitism, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Israel, Israel's human rights, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Jonathan Bernstein, Lebanon, Nazi, nazis, Racism, Racist, Zionism, Zionist.
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Growing complaints about Israel-bashing, plus Jews being increasingly compared to Nazis during political rallies, has spurred the Anti-Defamation League to hold its first-ever conference on how people can protect themselves against anti-Semitism — from the liberal left.

Anti-Semitism is increasingly seen and heard at liberal events, organizers say, including at anti-war rallies, at labor meetings and even on college campuses. It’s making participation uncomfortable for Jews, who have historically been Democrats.

“We heard from so many people who feel ostracized and alone and don’t really know what to do with this problem,” said Jonathan Bernstein, director of the ADL regional office in San Francisco. People shouldn’t “have to pick between being Jewish and whatever worthwhile cause.”

Sunday’s conference in San Francisco focuses on the problem and teaches coping strategies. The event, which is expected to sell out, will offer talks ranging from “Emphasizing What’s Right in Israel” to “On the Spot Responses to Hurtful Language.”

However, while hateful speech is odious, some critics say groups like ADL are muffling debate by branding almost all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic.

“It’s like saying anyone who attacks U.S. foreign policy is un-American,” said Saul Kanowitz, an activist with ANSWER, which organizes anti-war rallies. ANSWER stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

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New York: Steal the Baby Jesus, that’s OK, Kick the Menorah Go to Jail January 23, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Christian, Card, Christian, Christians, Hate Crime, Jewish, Jews, Vandalized.
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On Sunday, the New York Times ran a story about two 20-year-olds, and an 18-year-old, who were arrested for stealing statues of baby Jesus from nativity scenes over the past two years. They hit the New York-suburban communities of Suffern and Haverstraw several times in 2005 and 2006. The police said they will not charge them with committing hate crimes; each is being charged with 14 counts of petty larceny.

Also on Sunday, WNBC.com reported that a 20-year-old was arrested for kicking a menorah in the New York suburban community of St. James. He is being charged with a hate crime and could face seven years in prison. He is being charged with a felony.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented saying, “This is so interesting. The reason the menorah is allowed in New York City public schools is because the authorities have branded it a secular symbol, and the reason the crèche is barred is because the same authorities have branded it a religious symbol. Yet when a 20-year-old man vandalizes a menorah outside New York he is charged with a hate crime and may spend seven years behind bars for his felony, while three others of the same age who vandalize several crèches outside New York-over a two-year period-are given a slap on the wrist.”

Donohue concluded, “We have long maintained that hate-crime laws evince a bias of their own. This proves it.”

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: Lifesite.net

Arab Cabinet Pick Stirs ‘Zionism-Racism’ Debate January 21, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Arab, Arabs, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Esterina Tartman, Gaza, Ghaleb Majadleh, Israel, Israeli, Isreal, Jerusalem, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Knesset, Muslim, Muslims, Palestinian, Racism, Racist, Zionism, Zionism-Racism, Zionist.
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Jerusalem – When Knesset member Esterina Tartman opened her mouth on Israel Radio last week to attack the Labor Party for naming Israel’s first-ever Muslim Arab Cabinet minister, she did more than just rattle Ehud Olmert’s shaky coalition. She opened up a raging national debate on the taboo topic of where Zionism ends and racism begins.

“What [Labor leader] Amir Peretz did this morning is to swing an enormous ax at the tree called Zionism,” said Tartman, a member of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, referring to Peretz’s January 11 designation of Labor lawmaker Ghaleb Majadleh as minister of science, sports and culture. “We need to drive out and destroy this evil from our environs…. The State of Israel is a Jewish state that is supposed to be ruled by Jewish values, with a Jewish regime and Jewish sovereignty.”

Tartman’s comments sparked outrage across the political spectrum from politicians and commentators who called her views racist and compared them to the outlawed doctrines of the late Meir Kahane. “The Zionism of Herzl, Jabotinsky and Begin always advocated the integration of Arabs who are loyal to the state in all of its institutions,” said Knesset member Michael Eitan of the opposition Likud party. Eitan demanded a formal Knesset debate on Tartman’s “racist comments.” “No believer in equality and democracy can accept them being on the agenda,” Eitan said.

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Jewish youth believe Arabs dirty, uneducated January 11, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Arab, Arabs, Card, Discriminate, Discrimination, Israel, Jew, Jewish, Muslim, Muslims, Poll, Racism, Racist.
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Recent poll reveals 75 percent of Jewish students believe Arabs uneducated, uncivilized, unclean. Similar stereotypes found amongst Arab students toward Jews, but in lower percentages

A Haifa University survey investigating Arabs and Jews’ views on one another reveals disturbing results.

The poll showed that 75 percent of Jewish students believe that Arabs are uneducated people, are uncivilized and are unclean. On the other hand 25 percent of the Arab youth believe that Jews are the uneducated ones, while 57 percent of the Arab’s believe Jews are unclean. Over a third of the Jewish students taking part in the survey confirmed that they are afraid of Arabs. The poll was conducted by Dr. Haggai Kupermintz, Dr. Yigal Rosen and Harbi Hasaisi of Haifa University’s Center for Research on Peace Education.The data was presented at a bi-lingual conference held in Haifa. The study, titled “Perception of ‘the Other’ amongst Jewish and Arab Youth in Israel” included 1,600 students studying in 22 high schools around the country.

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Michael Richards “Kramer” anti-Semitic and racist? November 30, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-Semitic, Card, Discrimination, Gibson, Jew, Jewish, Racism, Racist.
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LOS ANGELES — Just when it seemed Michael Richards was about to leave the most troubling incident of his career behind, his publicist is having to explain how the comic could consider himself to be Jewish.

Last week, crisis-management expert Howard Rubenstein acknowledged Richards had shouted anti-Semitic remarks in an April standup comedy routine — well before his appearance earlier this month in which he harangued hecklers with the n-bomb. But he defended Richards’ language about Jews, saying that the comic “is Jewish. He’s not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing.”

As Rubenstein’s assertion circulated, Jewish organizations and commentators pointed out the man who played Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld has not converted to Judaism and neither of his parents are Jewish.

GIBSON TO THE RESCUE

Which makes him …

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‘Anti-Jewish’ Turkish film pulled from US theaters November 28, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in ADL, Anti-Defamation League, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Jewish, London.
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A Turkish film featuring a venal, bloodstained Jewish doctor has been withdrawn from screening in the United States.

In Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, American actor Gary Busey portrays a Jewish doctor in the American army who cuts out the organs of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison and sells them to wealthy clients in New York, London and Tel Aviv.

The film, a blockbuster hit in its native country, had been scheduled to open Friday at two theaters in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco.

In early November, however, Valley of the Wolves was quietly dropped from the theaters’ advance schedules.

Gregory Gardner of Luminous Velocity Releasing, a company involved in distributing the film in the United States, said that the Turkish producer, Pana Films, had withdrawn the movie without explanation.

Attempts to obtain further information from American or Turkish sources were unsuccessful, but a protest filed by the Anti-Defamation League may have played a role in the cancellation.

In an October 19 letter to Nabi Sensoy, Turkey’s ambassador to the US, ADL leaders expressed concern at “the incendiary anti-Jewish and anti-American themes and characters in the film” and pointed to previous inquiries about the wide availability of anti-Semitic publications in Turkey.

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Michael Richards “Kramer” apologizes on Jesse Jackson’s radio show November 27, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Black, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Jewish, nigger, Racism, Racist, White.
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NEW YORK — Comedian Michael Richards said Sunday that he did not consider himself a racist and that he was “shattered” by the comments he made to two young black men during a tirade last week at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.

Richards appeared on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s nationally syndicated radio program, “Keep Hope Alive,” as a part of a series of apologies for the incident. He said he knew his comments hurt the black community and hoped to meet with the men. He told Jackson that he had not used the language before.

“That’s why I’m shattered by it. The way this came through me was like a freight train. After it was over, when I went to look for them, they had gone. And I’ve tried to meet them, to talk to them, to get some healing,” he said.

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Anti-Semitic Remarks on CNN Slip Under Currently Elevated Racism Radar November 26, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, African-American, Anti-Semitic, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Racism, Racist.
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[Paul Mooney] [Roland Martin]

CNN’s Kyra Phillips invited comedian Paul Mooney and radio talk show host Roland Martin on to “Newsroom” Tuesday to discuss the Michael Richards (“Kramer”) issue (hat tip to NB member MyKindaSpam). During the conversation, both guests made what many would perceive as being rather anti-Semitic remarks.This was Martin’s:

Another piece is when you really examine what he said, he not only said 50 years ago we’d have you hanging upside down from a tree. Well, guess what, 50 years ago, Michael Richards would have been in some oven in Germany being baked because he’s also Jewish.

Yikes. Mooney must have felt he needed to top that, for later in the discussion, he said:

Excuse me. He’s not a Jew. He’s not a Jew…So people make that mistake. He may look it, but looks are deceiving.

Double Yikes. Now, both of these comments could easily be perceived as the same caliber of anti-Semitism that got Mel Gibson in trouble. Yet, this happened on national television four days ago when both of these folks were seemingly sober and not being arrested. And, this is likely the first most people are hearing about it.

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The war on Christmas and Christians November 22, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Christian, Card, Christian, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Islam, Jewish, School, Schools.
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While the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause forbids government from promoting religion, that same amendment’s Free Exercise Clause protects its open practice. The tension between these clauses is most evident during the “holiday season.” How government resolves that tension is often confused, contradictory and discriminatory. And while it may be the opposite in the Bible Belt, here on the coasts, perhaps motivated by sensitivity to minority faiths, the bias is often against Christians.

On May 20, 1998, Catholic League president William Donahue testified before the US Civil Rights Commission that in “Manhattan Beach, California, a public school removed a Christmas tree from school property after a rabbi objected that the tree was a religious symbol; however, the school allowed the display of a Star of David. … in Mahopac, New York, Boy Scout students were barred from selling holiday wreaths at a fundraiser, even though a wreath is a secular symbol; Hanukkah gifts, however, were allowed to be sold at the school’s own fundraiser.”

Yet government does not consistently regard Jewish symbols as secular. Donahue adds, “I confronted an attorney for New York City Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew regarding the practice of banning crèches in the schools while allowing menorahs. At first, she cited the 1989 County of Allegheny v. ACLU decision to buttress her case, but when I pointed out that that decision undermined her case– making the argument that the high court declared a menorah to be a religious symbol, not a secular one–she quickly retreated. Such ignorance strikes me as willful.”

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The Racism of “Diversity” November 15, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Asian, Black, Blacks, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Diversity, Harvard, Hispanic, Jewish, Jews, Quota, Racism, Racist, White, Whites.
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It’s time to admit that “diversity” is code for racism. If it makes you feel better, we can call it “nice” racism or “well-intentioned” racism or “racism that’s good for you.” Except that’s the rub: It’s racism that may be good for you if “you” are a diversity guru, a rich white liberal, a college administrator or one of sundry other types. But the question of whether diversity is good for “them” is a different question altogether, and much more difficult to answer.

If by “them” you mean minorities such as Jews, Chinese Americans, Indian Americans and other people of Asian descent, then the ongoing national obsession with diversity probably isn’t good. Indeed, that’s why Jian Li, a freshman at Yale, filed a civil-rights complaint against Princeton University for rejecting him. Li had nigh-upon perfect test scores and grades, yet Princeton turned him down. He’ll probably get nowhere with his complaint — he did get into Yale after all — but it shines a light on an uncomfortable reality.

“Theoretically, affirmative action is supposed to take spots away from white applicants and redistribute them to underrepresented minorities,” Li told the Daily Princetonian. “What’s happening is one segment of the minority population is losing places to another segment of minorities, namely Asians to underrepresented minorities.”

Li points to a study conducted by two Princeton academics last year which concluded that if you got rid of racial preferences in higher education, the number of whites admitted to schools would remain fairly constant. However, without racial preferences, Asians would take roughly 80 percent of the positions now allotted to Hispanic and black students.

In other words, there is a quota — though none dare call it that — keeping Asians out of elite schools in numbers disproportionate to their merit. This is the same sort of quota once used to keep Jews out of the Ivy League — not because of their lack of qualifications, but because having too many Jews would change the “feel” of, say, Harvard or Yale. Today, it’s the same thing, only we’ve given that feeling a name: diversity.

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Teacher alleges age, religious discrimination Catholic school November 15, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Age Discrimination, Card, Catholics, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Jew, Jewish.
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TRENTON — A 69-year-old Pennington woman who was fired last year from her teaching job at St. Raphael’s School has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Trenton alleging discrimination be cause she is Jewish.

Eva Kaplan also claims in the suit filed last week in Superior Court that she lost her job because of her age and that she was replaced by a younger, less qualified teacher.

Kaplan, who began teaching at the school in 1985, was accredited as a non-Catholic in catechism, the suit said.

In 2000, Kaplan switched from teaching art and became the school’s technology coordinator, the suit said. She taught computer science and also maintained the school’s computer network.

In the 2001-02 school year, Diane Kowalewski became principal at St. Raphael. Kowalewski, who is no longer at the school, could not be reached for comment.

Kaplan alleges that Kowalewski repeated a statement by Monsignor Gregory Vaughan that “all those who teach religion in the Diocese of Trenton, in addition to being faithful Catholics, must be certified catechists (teachers of religion).”

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Fighting racism in Israel November 10, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-Semitism, Arab, Arabs & Muslims, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Holocaust, Islam, Islamic, Israel, Israeli, Israelis, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Muslim, Muslims, Palestinian, Quota, Racism, Racist.
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Susan Nathan, author of “The Other Side: My Journey across the Arab/Jewish Divide,” argued that Israeli Arabs suffer from a culture of systematic discrimination and called for change in the talk “One Woman’s Attempt to Challenge Segregation and Racism” held last night.

A British-born Jew, Nathan moved to Israel to escape the discrimination she experienced in Britain. Her parents were refuges from World War II, and Nathan was raised as a minority, being the only Jew in her entire school of 400 students.

“Growing up, I always felt I was living on the outside of society,” Nathan said. “It was as if the shadow of the Holocaust was constantly hanging over my family.”

Nathan said she even experienced anti-Semitism first hand.

“When I was 16, I passed complex exams to attend a prestigious public university in Britain, only to be told that though my scores were satisfactory, I could not be admitted to attend the university because the Jewish quota had already been met,” she said.

Israel had always been ingrained within her mind as a land of safety to which she could escape in case things in Europe ever took a turn for the worse.

Once she moved to Israel, Nathan found that her new country also suffered from discrimination. However, this time, Jews, rather than being discriminated against, were the ones discriminating. she said. The Arabs of Israel suffered from severe segregation comparable to the plight during South Africa’s apartheid, she argued.

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Blog Entry: Is Borat racist? November 6, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-Semitism, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Jewish, Racism, Sexist.
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Like most of the other people who have been swept up in the avalanche of hype surrounding it, I am really looking forward to Sasha Baron Cohen’s Borat movie. Or, to give it its magnificent full title, Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan. But one thing has troubled me as I’ve visited his hilarious website and read the enormous number of news stories with no real point other than to Make Benefit Glorious Box Office Of Borat Film. I’m starting to suspect that Borat’s appeal is more than a little bit racist. Oh, I know, what a brow-wringingly politically correct objection to make. Where’s my sense of humour? It’s a joke. It’s satire. And so on.

But I think it’s problematic. It’s just that Baron Cohen is mocking an ethnic group whose feelings we don’t particularly care about. We’re used to the perception of Eastern Europe as being dour and backwards – we were fed it throughout the Cold War. Very few people have travelled there – I certainly haven’t. The Working Dog team’s excellent Molvania book also spun comedy gold out of the same vodka-soaked stereotypes.

The Kazakh government hasn’t exactly helped the country’s image with its bumbling overreaction. Rather than laughing along and then saying “that’s funny, but of course, Kazakhstan is actually nothing like that”, their actions in banning Borat from their internet space and criticising him have only made themselves look bad and given him free publicity. And the plan to release an alternative film based on Kazakh national hero Mansur, an 18th century warrior, isn’t exactly going to make the country look all 21st century and groovy.

Let’s just imagine we weren’t talking about Kazakhstan here. Let’s say someone instead had invented a comedic character called Reuben, who went around in Orthodox dress trying to screw people out of their money, drinking the blood of Christian babies (a particularly insidious myth, that one) and trying to take over the world through some kind of vast global finance conspiracy. He’d speak in a hilarious parody Yiddish accent, say “Oy vey” a lot, and otherwise make himself the fool in a way that gave non-Jews a sense of smug superiority. You can imagine the outrage a comedy character like that would create. And I certainly can’t i imagine anyone eagerly awaiting the film. But isn’t that exactly what Borat is, for Eastern Europe?

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