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Miami Beach resident accused of plotting to burn down condo to “kill all the Jews”

Mr Walter Stopler, aged 72 was arrested by police in Miami on Thursday 12th July, after h he allegedly tried to burn down his condominium building in order to “kill all the Jews” according to the police report. Mr Stopler now reportedly faces charges of attempted arson and attempted murder.

Mr Stopler, angry after having recently been served eviction notice, allegedly told another resident that he planned to pour gasoline down the drain line of the building, ignite it and then padlock the building’s fire hoses to stop firefighters from extinguishing the flames.

Miami Beach police officer Ernesto Rodriguez stated that officers received a credible tip that Mr Stopler was planning to burn down The Pavilion residences on Collins Avenue. When the police arrived, they found Mr Stopler in the parking garage of the building, with two plastic containers filled with fuel in a shopping cart. A further eight plastic containing fuel were found in a garbage chute dumpster.

Investigators found that the gasoline had been poured down the chute from the 15th floor – the floor on which Mr Stopler resided. Upon being found with the gasoline, Mr Stopler told the police that “I bought the gas to make a small BBQ”, according to the arrest affidavit.

A storage room was later found by detectives holding 27 additional containers filled with various substances such as gasoline, sulphur powder and potassium nitrate.

The state attorney’s office is to decide whether to pursue further charges against Mr Stopler of a hate crime.

 

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Belgian TV station unable to find a single Jew to agree to wear a yarmulke in public in light of rise in antisemitic attacks

Ms Natasha Mann, a reporter for the Belgian broadcaster RTBF was preparing a report on antisemitism in Belgium. As part of the report, Ms Mann wanted to have a visual of a Jewish volunteer being seen in Brussels wearing a yarmulke. However, for fear of being attacked, she was unable to find any volunteers from the Jewish community.

The reluctance for Jews publicly identify as such is not new. For the last ten years, many observant Jews in Brussels have been wearing caps or hats to avoid being seen publicly as Jews. This reluctance has come because of a steady rise in antisemitic incidents over the last decade, not just in Belgium, but as a rising trend sweeping across Europe. This was confirmed by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, who recognized that “we’ve seen an increase in antisemitic incidents all across Europe.” The Belgian Prime Minister’s resolve to quash antisemitism remains resolute: “our solidarity in the fight against antisemitism is uncompromised and unequivocal.”

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister’s words do not echo the sentiments felt amongst the Jewish community in Belgium. After three weeks of looking for a Jewish volunteer to be part of the report, Ms Mann had to give up. The reason being that the Jewish community is so afraid of vocal antisemites that not even the community leaders were willing to participate.

Ms Mann contacted several Rabbis. However, after finding out which neighbourhood she wanted the project to take place in, they declined. Joel Rubinfield, the president of the Belgian league against antisemitism, agreed to do the story, but only if he were escorted by a security officer; due to logistical issues this did not happen. The story ran without the visual Mann wanted: a dark reminder of how fearful the Jewish community in Belgium is today.

The tragic situation currently facing the Jewish community in Belgium was perhaps most aptly summarised by an anonymous Jewish individual, who Ms Mann had asked to volunteer for the visual. He said he was sick of being harassed for being a Jew; Ms Mann asked him, “Do you complain to police when you hear antisemitic insults?”, to which he responded: “Do you complain to police when men whistle at you in the street?” sadly highlighting how common and trivialized these attacks have become in Belgian society.

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15-year-old Jewish girl’s face slashed in antisemitic attack in Paris

A 15-year-old Jewish Parisian girl was attacked on 10 January during her school lunch break. The victim was wearing the uniform of her private Jewish school, Merkaz-Hatorah, when the assailant assaulted her with a knife. The victim sustained cuts to her face.

Whilst the victim was able to walk home, she arrived “bleeding and shocked”, her mother told Le Parisien. The assault came days after a suspected torching of two kosher shops near Paris, echoing the harrowing comments that the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had made in last month in December: “In our country, antisemitism is alive… it is well-rooted, and it is alive.”

Francois Pupponi, a lawmaker in the lower house of France’s parliament, denounced the assault, branding it “a heinous antisemitic attack.” The assailant ran away after the assault, and the victim was not able to see his face. In a statement produced on Friday, Pupponi commented, “I have no doubt the perpetrators of this attack had antisemitic motives.” He went on to explain that this is because, “In Sarcelles, everybody knows who is a practicing Jew according to the way they dress…when she is wearing clothes favoured by many women from the Jewish community, then there is no room for doubt.”

The assailant remains unidentified, and the police investigation is still ongoing.

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Antisemitic rant outside Israeli restaurant in Berlin goes viral: “you can all go to the gas chamber”

A 60-year-old man has been caught on camera making antisemitic comments in a shocking rant outside an Israeli restaurant in Berlin. The man is currently under investigation for inciting hate and resisting arrest.

The video quickly went viral, accumulating over 600,000 views on the day it was posted. The six-minute video depicts the man accosting Mr Yorai Feinberg, the owner of the Israeli restaurant.

Sadly, Mr Feinburg is no stranger to hate speech, revealing in an interview to German news that he receives about two pieces of hate mail per month – a shockingly high figure, and yet a statistic by no means atypical according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which shows an alarming number of individuals hold antisemitic views in Germany.

“This guy saw my menorah in the window and suddenly started shouting,” Mr Feinburg told the Spiegel online.

The video shows the man initially trying to wave the camera away, but goes on to tell Mr Feinberg that Jews do not belong in Israel or Germany, stating, “nobody wants you people.” He went on to say “Everything’s about money with you… you will have to pay up in five or ten years. And your whole family, your whole clan here”, an antisemitic allegation relating to Jews and business, a view that the ADL shows some 33% of the German population shares.

The man goes on to say, “What did you all want here after 1945? After 6 million of you were killed. What do you still want here?”, Mr Feinberg who had been trying calmly to neutralize the situation, is then shown to wave down a passing police car. In response to this the man says, “no one will protect you…you can all go to the gas chamber. Either go back (to where you came from) or off to the bloody gas chamber. No one wants you.” It is unclear from the video whether the man was under the influence of alcohol or any other substance at the time.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, made it clear to the Juedische Allgemeine newspaper that this incident is a clear reflection of a growing trend: “this disgusting attack brings home the point that anti-Semitism has reached the mainstream of society, where it is expressed openly and bluntly.” He went on to state that many Jews now worry about whether it is indeed safe for them to live in Germany.

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Report raises concerns of refugee antisemitism in Germany, as some express support for Hitler during Saschensenhausen visit

A report from the Washington Post has highlighted the difficulty that Germany is facing in accommodating new refugees and immigrants, with some seemingly harbouring antisemitic sentiments.

The report follows a refugee who toured around Saschensenhausen, a concentration camp which by the beginning of 1945 held 11,100 Jews. The response made by the refugee was ignorant and less than sympathetic; he stated, “Maybe the Jews want to keep these places going so they can be seen as victims forever.” Such views pose a moral quandary for Germany, whose nation was rebuilt following the Holocaust, on a bedrock of principles that, at least nominally, includes acknowledgement of and responsibility to the Jewish people. The mass migration into Germany from countries such as Syria and Libya has increasingly been perceived as threatening this, with many inhabitants of Muslim-majority countries harbouring antisemitic views.

Germany has several initiatives to provide “sensitivity training” to help these new arrivals acclimatise. Unfortunately, even after visits to sites of historical significance like Saschensenhausen, some antisemitic views remain largely unchanged: “The Arabs think what Hitler did was a good thing, because he freed them from the Jews”, commented the one refugee. Another participant put the matter even more bluntly, “In some ways, we think of the Jews just like the Nazis did”. Whilst by the end of the program, both individuals had been pushed into softening their views somewhat, though the Washington Post says that they did so only barely, they still declared “We are definitely still against the Zionists”.

These comments provide a small illustration of the risk that newcomers could bring with them virulent antisemitism. We have previously noted that increased antisemitism is already being noticed in schools, with some teachers concerned about radical Islam and antisemitism, and some indication that Jewish students are being pushed out public schools. Between Islamist antisemitism and the parallel phenomenon of rising far right Antisemitism, Germany seems to be becoming less hospitable towards Jews once again.

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New Jersey Erev debate sparks concerns that lawfare is being used to target religious Jews, as vandalism and online abuse escalate

Residents of Mahwah, a town in New Jersey have raised concerns about an Orthodox Jewish community just across the New York border which plans to expand. More than 200 people gathered to support the removal of an eruv last month. The opposition to the expansion was met with criticism, the concerns of which lie with antisemitism.

The town of Mahwah is reconsidering implementing a new law which limits its parks and playgrounds to New Jersey residents alone.  The law was initially proposed when residents complained that cars with New York license plates were being parked near the border.

However, the county’s prosecutor ordered the police not to enforce it after Mahwah’s police chief suspected that people reporting the violations were targeting Jews.

Rabbi Moses Witriol, a frequent liaison between Mahwah’s police force and the Hasidic  community found the move perplexing, “What’s your real target and agenda here?” questioning the motives of the council members who were for implementation. “It’s a park for kids to play. Are we going to differentiate between which kids can play?” Additionally, an eruv marking in the same area was also vandalised the week before; with some targeting the Jewish community with antisemitic posts in an online petition protesting against the Erev.

Some signatories to the petition described Jews as thinking they “can do whatever the hell they want”, imploring residents to “keep them out”. Another called Jews “things”. Another signatory wrote “they are clearly trying to annex land like they’ve been doing in Occupied Palestine. Look up the satanic verses of the Talmud and tell me what you see”. Multiple people described Hasidic Jews as detracting from the “quality” of the community, or “taking over illegally” in other areas. These are all blatantly antisemitic comments, and of the 1200 people who have signed it, most seem to be expressing views which see religious Jews as little more than pests who must be kept out.

The eruv dispute arose contemporaneously with the park ordinance issue; deepening Jewish concerns that this may be an antisemitic incident. Supporters of the measure however say they are being unfairly depicted as antisemitic; their interests simply lie in the wellbeing of their town.

The Mahwah Council President Rob Hermansen issued a statement saying Mahwah residents began complaining earlier in the year about vehicles from New York occupying parking lots at Winter Pond, a recreational area close to the town’s train station. He went on to say that the ordinance was to curb the number of people from outside the town using parks, not to target Jews.

Mr Hermansen made further assurances, stating that “the principle behind this ordinance is very simple, in Mahwah, Mahwah residents come first.” He also condemned the anti-Semitic comments made online, and the town is now looking to release a second ordinance that clarifies how the ban might be enforced.

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Antisemitic sign calling to “End ZOG”, a neo-Nazi term, removed from LA Freeway

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has removed an anti-Semitic sign from the 101 freeway, just north of the Cahuenga exit in Los Angeles. On 25th July, ADL were notified from a series of reports from community members that vandals had placed a sign reading “END ZOG” with a Star of David in place of the ‘O’ on the freeway.

‘ZOG’, short for ‘Zionist Occupied Government, is a known anti-Semitic trope of white supremacist origin. The conspiracy theory claims that “Jewish agents” secretly control the governments of Western states. One of the term’s earliest appearances can be traced to 1976, in an article named “Welcome to ZOG-World”, attributed to an American neo-Nazi named Eric Thomson, though it is of course an incarnation of much more established antisemitic conspiracy theories.

According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.

The ADL were immediately in touch with local authorities, and the sign was hastily taken down. The ADL Regional Director commented, “The sign appearing on the freeway represents a hateful message, which is especially concerning given the recent increases in visibility of extremist ideologies such as the ‘Alt-Right’ and groups such as Vanguard America”.

The sign is littered with far right imagery, which is not at all surprising given the fact that the term is one used widely by neo-Nazis.

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Bondi council, Australia, bans construction of new Synagogue due to terrorism fears

A local council has banned the construction of a synagogue in Bondi, Australia. It was alleged that the place of worship could be a terrorist target. Jewish religious leaders have responded to the shock move, stating that the council has caved in to Islamic extremism and created a dangerous precedent.

The decision, which has left the longstanding resident Jewish population shocked, was upheld in court this week in light of the recent alleged airline terror threat.

The Land and Environment Court supported the decision by Waverly Council to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Wellington St, Bondi, stating it was too much of a security risk for users and residents.

Jewish authorities are concerned with the implications of such a move, suggesting they cannot freely practice their religion because they are a target of Islamist extremists. The head of the local Jewish community said that the council and the court had stifled the freedom of religion and given in to the terrorists. “Its implications are enormous. It basically implies that no Jewish organisation should be allowed to exist in residential areas” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman told news.com.au.

The council pincered all potential negotiation in the design of the synagogue: stating that the security measures put forward in the proposed design were evidence in and of themselves that the site was too much of a security risk. To add insult to injury, the council also said that if the design was then changed to boost security, this would then be unacceptable because the construction would be too unsightly.

The courts made their decision on the following facts:

  • Western countries face a security threat, currently primarily from ISIS;
  • The threat level in Australia is “probable”;
  • Jewish communities across the world are no stranger to the threat of violence and as such will generally take security measures into account when planning, constructing or renovating buildings;
  • The CITED design considers “potential possible threats” that are relevant to Australia; and
  • The design measures focus on the person inside the buildings only.

Commissioner Graham Brown stated that the projects risk assessment was inadequate and upheld the council’s decision. A Waverley Council spokesperson noted the court had support the council’s position, which was supported by several residents’ concerns.

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Holocaust denying ex-monk calls upon nationalists to destroy Holocaust memorial in Greece, calls Jews “dogs”

Father Kleomenis, an excommunicated monk, uploaded a video of himself in the city of Larissa, Greece, making various antisemitic comments, including denying the holocaust and asking “patriotic organisations” to transport a bulldozer so as to destroy a Holocaust memorial.

In the video, one can hear Kleomenis saying: “six million we read here! Fairy tales…. Shit on their faces, Hitler merely exterminated 600,000”. He can then be heard shouting, “Damn your filthy monuments!”.

He describes the Jewish community as being full of “Jew-ism (sic), curses and anathema”, calling Jews “dogs” and “Jew-dog worms”. He proceeds to smash an egg on the monument.

He then tells nationalists to “rise up” and destroy the monument.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece released a statement, in which it was stated that the monument was the first of its kind erected in Greece, and went on to condemn the situation stating, “Shame and indignation is what is felt when one realises what occurred in Larissa.”

On the same day flyers containing antisemitic content were scattered around the memorial and in the plaza of the Jewish Martyrs of Larissa as a result of which the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece has asked the relevant authorities that the author be detained and “brought to justice.”

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Roger Walters again compares Israel to Nazi Germany, suggesting there may not be “harsher” regime in the world

Roger Walters, former front-man of Pink Floyd compared Israel to Nazi Germany in an hour-long live interview on Facebook. In the interview, hosted by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement leader Omar Barghouti, he stated that there were no harsher regimes in the world. The musician went on to say that there was no point in having dialogue with Israelis and Israeli artists, and that Israel was headed towards being a “Pariah state.”

Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is antisemitic according to the Definition of Antisemitism, and such comparisons are usually invoked to give a hyperbolic account of the conflict and to deliberately upset Jews.

Waters admitted that when thinking about the situation in Israel he finds it, “hard not to go back to Goebbels,” the Nazi propaganda minister. Whilst we are not an organisation that engages in Israel advocacy, the sheer hyperbole of his comparison is such that it can scarcely be an honest mistake. Not only did the Nazi regime which Goebbels propagandise for, through a state-governed press, facilitate the mass extermination of Jews and other victimised groups, but Israel itself has a free press and a thriving democracy. As mentioned above, such comparisons often come across as being deliberately calculated to hurt and offend Jews. Waters went on to state that “[Israel’s] tactic is to tell the big lie as often as possible over and over and over again”, painting Israel as manipulative and dissembling, utilising a long-standing antisemitic canard.

Yet Walters’ comparison has yet another antisemitic undertone, as he says that this alleged propaganda had led to Americans “living in this constant state of Hasbara created by AIPAC and the Israeli lobby”. Not only is he accusing Israel of operating Nazi-like propaganda, but referring to the “Israeli lobby” leading to a “constant state of Hasbara” is unequivocally the language of contemporary antisemitic conspiracy theories, attributing to the Zionist movement an unrealistic amount of control. According to the definition of antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Some of the most established examples of classic antisemitism are canards involving Jews controlling the media or “controlling” non-Jews.

The former Pink Floyd member has become one of the most prominent voices over the past decade in the movement to boycott Israel, and his comparisons are by no means new. In 2013 for example, Waters once again compared Israel and its Rabbinate to the Nazis, purporting that in [Israelite] eyes, non-Jews are “sub-human” and that the, “parallels with what went on in 30’s in Germany are…crushingly obvious.” Yet his antIsemitic tendencies have gone beyond words: once again in 2013 Waters dressed as a Nazi in one of his concerts; kitted with a slick leather jacket, red arm-band, and an MP40 Schmeisser– the iconic Nazi machine gun. As if the message wasn’t clear enough, the audience found itself orbited by a balloon in the shape of a pig and stamped with a Star-of-David. A clear testament to Waters’ rhetorical genius: why be covert, when you can be overt?

In a stint of greater irony, when asked about other regimes, Waters noted that he was “very concerned about Ukraine,” but rushed to add that he did not want to “demonize the Russians”. One can only wonder why he expressed no similar concerns about demonizing eight and a half million citizens of Israel. He ponders that he is “not sure there are any much harsher regimes around the world, actually, if you look at it”, somehow ignoring the widespread oppression that occurs even in the rest of the Middle East, let alone in North Korea. It is hard to imagine how such a wild distortion could not be motivated by malice. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is antisemitic.

 

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French ultra-Nationalist arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate Macron wanted to kill “Blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals”

Last week, an individual who described himself as a, “right-wing nationalist” was arrested on charges relating to an alleged planned assassination of President Emmanuel Macaron during the Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 14th.

The suspect was reported convicted in 2016 of inciting terrorism.

RMC, a French radio station reported that the individual who is a resident of Argenteuil, a small town near to Paris was charged with terrorist offences. The individual in question was traced based on inflammatory comments made on an online chat he had participated in. The man described himself as a ‘nationalist’, and a proponent of extreme right ideology now commonly described as the “alt-right”.

In RMC’s report, it is stated that the detainee had used the online chat room to express his desire to obtain an AK 47. He was reported to the authorities by other online users. When the police arrived to arrest him, he allegedly threatened them with a knife.

The radio station further reported that during his interrogation, the detainee admitted to wanting to kill, “Blacks, Arabs, Jews and homosexuals” in a shocking confession of blatant racism and anti-Semitism. Police sources confirmed the radio’s statement, affirming that “His plot was vague, but he made it clear that he wanted to attack minorities.” It is speculated that the individual was inspired by previous mass shootings, such as the Columbine High School massacre, a tragic event which took place in 1999.

Allegedly the detainee described himself as “mentally unstable”, although this has yet to be confirmed by a medical body.

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Youths arrested for desecrating “hundreds” of tombs in historic Jewish cemetery in France

Five youths were arrested in Alsacia for the desecration of hundreds of tombs in the Jewish cemetery of Sarre-Union, France.

The youths, understood to be between the ages of 15 and 17, allegedly destroyed or damaged 250 out of the 400 tombs found in the cemetery, many of which were constructed in the 18th century. In the majority of cases, the tombstones were knocked to the floor, several of which were broken in the process. Additionally, they wrecked a monument raised at the entrance of the cemetery, dedicated to the remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Those who were arrested had no prior convictions, and the police took to investigating,
“what on earth was going through their minds” to commit such a crime.

The five youths allegedly carried out the antisemitic act during the week. However, it wasn’t until the weekend that the desecration of the cemetery was discovered. The group, even the younger members, face a possible sentence of six years in prison.

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Pre-school teacher in Texas suspended for saying “not enough” Jews were killed in the Holocaust

A Muslim pre-school teacher in Texas has been suspended from teaching in light of an investigation into her twitter activities, in which she encouraged her friend and social media followers to “kill some Jews! <3” and to “Kiss the Palestine ground”, promulgating both her anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist stances online.

We previously covered Nancy Salem’s antisemitic comments when we documented several instances of antisemitism among students and alumni of University of Texas, Arlington. However, it has since emerged that Salem has since found employment as a teacher.

Nancy Salem, a teacher at The Children’s Courtyard in South Arlington, was one of 24 anti-Israel activists exposed by the university of Texas watchdog group Canary Mission for broadcasting such racist and violent thought. Among other sentiments, she posted a series of despicably antisemitic statements, including: “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough… HAHAHAHA.”

Children look to their teachers as sources of inspiration and knowledge, and it is clear from her radical stances this individual is not fit for that purpose, and as such should be permanently discharged as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is a case where an individual has been allowed to have their deeply antisemitic views flourish, apparently unchallenged, throughout their University career, and is not unsurprisingly importing these views into the wider world, which sadly in this case has involved contact with children.

Parents at the school are outrage, and some are calling for her immediate dismissal.

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Everyday Antisemitism

Antisemitic conspiracy theories on Greek national television

Dimos Verykios, a Greek journalist recently made antisemitic comments during a show on national Greek television. In his statement he submitted that the Jews are in control of the world’s wealth, principally through one ‘centre’ and further highlighted another two mechanisms of control related to this.

‘One centre is the banks, the global banking system. Through this banking system, two main centres are ruling the game. One of these centres is the Jewish lobby, powerful, extremely powerful in America and elsewhere! In all big deals, one will meet a Jew! Or a mason!”

Verykios took to twitter to deny any allegations of antisemitism, stating that he had merely proclaimed the truth: “The world’s money is owned by the banks-Jews-Masons.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.

 

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Jewish man slashed repeatedly with knife and beaten by neo-Nazis in Chile

The Chilean Jewish community, alongside with the Integration Movement and Liberation for Homosexuals (Movilh), have condemned an attack committed against a Jewish member of the Sexual Diversity Group.  He was reported to have suffered a range of physical and verbal attacks, for the sole reason of wearing a shirt depicting the flag of Israel.  The victim (Jorge Arce), has issued a statement following the ordeal, describing how his aggressors followed him: shouting profanities and anti-Semitic slurs, which subsequently descended into applications of physical violence, beginning with stone throwing and followed by beatings and slashing’s.

According to the victim, the assailants were wearing items identifying themselves to Neo-Nazism, thus affirming that the motivation for the attack was wholly antisemitic in origin, and clearly indicates that it wasn’t merely related to Zionism, but to the clear link to Jews and Judaism which the attackers would have inferred from the flag. However, even if the attack was merely motivated by his t-shirt, according to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is antisemitic.

Whilst subjecting the victim to fist punches to the chest, the victim’s arms and legs were exposed and subsequently slashed with a knife, from which he suffered multiple cuts. Jorge Arce remarks that there were “40 marks” on his arms, several of which shall scar permanently; a poignant and harsh reminder of the wholly repugnant behaviour he was subject to, for the sole reason of being a Jew.

Movilh condemned the attack, stating the events “deserve total legal and social sanction” and adding that they will fully back any actions the Jewish community sees fit to take. In response to the event, the Jewish community of Chile have stated “we cannot allow more victims of hate in our country.” The incident has made clear the absolute necessity that attacks carried out on the basis of belief or personal identity are condemned, investigated and punished. Unfortunately, the shocking ordeal inflicted upon Jorge Arce offer a harrowing message to the world that the fight against antisemitism is far from won.