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Report: Nearly half of British Jews will not display signs of Judaism publicly

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This story was first published by The Dark Wire Investigation Foundation

A new survey has found that 44% of British Jews avoid visible displays of their Judaism, such as a kippa or Star of David, due to fear of antisemitism, reveals a survey conducted by the Campaign against Antisemitism and Kings College London.

Nine out of ten participants in the survey said media bias against Israel was fueling antisemitism in the UK and 78% believed politicians weren’t doing enough to protect the Jewish community.

Compared to last year’s numbers, more UK Jews were optimistic about their future than last year, with 57% saying they feel welcome in Britain and 18% saying they feel somewhat or very unwelcome.

The study gave participants statements to agree or disagree with.

Among the other statements were:

“I am just as open to having Jewish friends as I am to having friends from other sections of British society.”

“Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews.”

“Jewish people talk about the Holocaust just to further their political agenda.”

“Jewish people chase money more than other people do.”

“I am comfortable spending time with people who openly support Israel.”

“Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.”

“Israel can get away with anything because its supporters control the media.”

12% of those surveyed showed “entrenched antisemitic views” by agreeing with four or more of the statements. 55% of people did not agree with any statement and 45% agreed with one or more. Participants agreed the most with “Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews.” This statement was affirmed by 23% of respondents.

Chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, Gideon Falter said, “Britain’s Jews are back from the brink. This study starkly shows that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn dealt a crushing blow to Jews’ confidence in their very future in this country, and that our community is now beginning to recover.”

Corbyn served as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020. He was suspended in Nov 2020 for antisemitic remarks.

New Labour chief Keir Starmer was elected in April 2020 and vowed to root out antisemitism in Labour that allegedly “flourished” under Corbyn.

“But scars remain,” Falter continued. “Notwithstanding the relief felt by so many, our data shows that nearly half of those who normally wear outwards symbols of their Judaism now feel they have to hide it.”

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China

REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent

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China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.

But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”

The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients.  According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”

Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.

The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.

Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.

The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”

Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.

Conclusion

According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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