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Antisemitic incidents double in the Netherlands, mirroring international trend of increasingly hostile atmosphere for Jews

A Dutch Prosecution Service report published in April shows antisemitic incidents in the Netherlands doubled in 2017 compared to 2016, indicating a five year high “despite a scant Jewish population”. The antisemitic incidents include “intimidation, assault, incitement to violence, and vandalism”, are mostly linked to football and in particular the Amsterdam Ajax team who are called ‘Jews’ by fans and rivals alike. Late last year, Everyday Antisemitism documented a series of incidents of the far right’s prevalence in European football, and we suggested a series of simple measures that could help challenge antisemitism and far right extremism in football.

The Algemeiner cited Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism,  saying to the French broadcaster RTBF last Sunday; “The presence of military on the street in front of Jewish sites is somewhat reassuring, but you can imagine what kind of world we live in. Today, you go to a Jewish school and you feel like you’re coming back to Fort Knox, which is really a kind of permanent state of siege.” Rubinfeld claimed “a rush of antisemitic attacks in the last fortnight” was inspired by Palestinian violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza border with Israel.

A recent report by Tel Aviv University found that worldwide there has been a rise in antisemitism , of normalizing and mainstreaming antisemitism at levels unseen since the Second World War, and a drop by 9 per cent in violent attacks on Jews in 2017 but that those attacks were more brazen. Furthermore, the drop in violent attacks is because of a step-up in security measures, whilst most antisemitic incidents go unreported due to a fear of reprisal or disinterested authorities.

The report carried out by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry is released annually on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust memorial day. It mentions a ‘toxic triangle’ of antisemitism from an increase in the extreme right, radical Islamism, and anti-Zionist discourse on the left using antisemitic expressions. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Congress is quoted as saying; “the religious dimension of classic, traditional antisemitism has returned, and the term ‘Jew’ has become an insult”. Kantor, referring to the resurgence of antisemitic tropes, says that ideas of “the Jew as exploiter, the Jew as killer, the Jew as banker” have once again become the norm – “it is like we have regressed 100 years”.

 

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Jewish siblings set upon by blade-wielding assailant in Melbourne in suspected antisemitic attack

Two siblings dressed in traditional Jewish clothing, a 25-year-old woman and her 22-year-old brother were stabbed in an unprovoked attack in Melbourne on 19th May.

The attacker is believed to have hit the man over the head before slashing the woman with some sort of blade in cheek.

The man was treated on the scene, but his sister required hospital treatment.

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dr Abramovich condemned the attack, telling a local newspaper that:

“If this assault, which is shocking on many levels, was in fact driven by antisemitism, it should be investigated as a hate crime”.

Wilson Jacob adds that police are investigating whether the incident was racially motivated.

 

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Swedish Jewish Community Centre closes after threats from neo-Nazis

A Jewish community centre in Umea, Sweden, has closed following a campaign of intimidation by neo-Nazis, including swastika graffiti on its walls including the wording  “we know where you live”.

The Judisk Föreningen, or Jewish Association, in Umea has been the victim of persistent threatening emails, calls and graffiti from a local neo-Nazi group called Nordfront. The graffiti that finally triggered the closure is clearly a veiled threat, particularly in a City with as few as 50 Jewish residents.

In September 2015, the Swedish anti-Fascist organisation named Expo claimed that there was a rise in Neo-Nazism in Sweden. RT adds that there is a “similar trend” occurring in other countries and cites incidents since then which had occurred  in Paris, France, also London and Birmingham, in the UK. We have frequently commented on the rising Antisemitism in Sweden, and whilst this is often attributed to radical Islam, it is always worth noting that the threat to Jews comes not just from one sector of society, but from many, with observable problems from certain radical strains of Islam, the far left, and the far right.

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Man posing with antisemitic posters around Berlin

On their website, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism (CFCA) state they have received 31 messages about a man displaying antisemitic posters in public places including mostly the Neukolln and Mitte districts of Berlin, Germany.

One of the banners says “The Zionists rule the world, not Trump, not Merkel”.

Their article dated 29 March 2017 includes a photo of the man who advertises his Facebook page on one of the posters as “USAMA Z”, and whereupon he allegedly denies the Holocaust and references antisemitic hoax, the Protocols of  The Elders of Zion. According to the International Definition of Antisemitism the man’s behaviour is antisemitic in that his posters use “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism  to characterise Israel or Israelis”.

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Philadelphia Synagogue being vandalized on an almost monthly basis, with members increasingly anxious

On Sunday 23rd March 2017 vandalism had visited the Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, Philadelphia, USA for the third time since December 2016. A report dated 28th March 2017 on the The Coordination Forum for Counting Antisemitism website includes video footage of a rock thrown through the synagogue window.

On 9th January 2017 we reported that a rock had smashed the synagogue widows on 2nd December 2016 and 26th March 2017 during Shabbat when worshippers were likely to be in attendance and thereby at risk of being injured.

With yet another incident, this now amounts to a campaign of intimidation. After the last incident, we described how elderly attendees at the Shul were feeling anxious about leaving the building alone. Sadly, it seems that there still exists good reason for them to be worried, with the police being yet to apprehend a suspect.

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Jewish brothers attacked on Yom Kippur in New York

Two Jewish brothers wearing yarmulkes and prayer shawls were attacked around 3:45pm on 12th October 2016, report Rocco Parascandola and John Annese in the New York Daily News on 16th October,  2016. The writers note that police sources  state anti-semitic slurs, “fucking Jews”, were aimed at the brothers aged 19 and 23, and police are investigating whether this assault by three white men is a hate crime. The victims were leaving Yom Kippur prayer services in Brooklyn,  New York. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Also reporting about the incident on 16th October,  2016, The Times of Israel quoted Evan R. Bernstein, New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League as having said:

“This appalling act of apparently hate-inspired violence is a sad reminder that despite the unprecedented freedom of religious practice that Jews enjoy today in America, there remains much work to be done  to combat the evils of anti-semitism and bigotry, including right here in New York City.”

“The fact that this occurred  at the most solemn time of year for Jews makes the incident even more disturbing.”

 

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Palestine activist implies another Holocaust is coming, spouts blood libel

Mamal Tamimi, a member of the Palestinian  Tamimi family renown for their anti -Israel protests is shown to use social media to express highly inflammatory  anti-semitic messages and images in an article from Israellycool dated 16th September 2016.

“Much has already been written about her support for terror against Israel. But what is perhaps less known is that she is an out-and-out Jew hater”, states Aussie Dave.

His article contains examples of Mamal Tamimi’s postings which demonise Israelis, are wholly offensive against Jews in the context of the Holocaust,  describing Zionists as “zionazis”; contains highly defamatory age-old anti-semitic prejudices  including blood libel and child killings. She is also shown to express denial of Jewish identity against Ashkenazi Jews; and espouses false claims which deny Jewish heritage to Israel and specifically to Temple Mount, and advocates killing Zionists.

One image she shared of the Grand Mufti and Hitler said, regarding the former’s support for the Holocaust, that Netanyahu should “b carful”, implying that another Holocaust is going to happen. She also shared an image which claimed that the “real Holocaust” was happening in Palestine; such a claim borders on Holocaust denial, as the sheer difference in deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Holocaust, and the fact that the Arab-Israeli conflict has been an armed conflict in which Israel has frequently been called upon to defend itself means that no meaningful comparison can be drawn between them.

Another image she shared was a cartoon of a Nazi beating a creature with a whip. The creature was depicted wearing a kippah, with peyot and with stereotypical “Jewish” features.

She has also shared an image purporting to show a quote from Menechem Begin in which he describes the Jews as the “master race”. Claims that Jews believe they are superior to other have been a common theme in antisemitism throughout the ages, yet are used almost entirely to incite hatred against Jewish people and their beliefs.

One picture she shared shows Haredi Jews searching through large dustbins. She captions it “Zionists searching for their history in Palestine”, clearly showing that when she speaks of “Zionists”, she is really just speaking about Jews.

She has written of “vampire Zionists…drinking Palestinian bloods” – a shameless rehashing of age-old blood libel.

Aussie Dave reports that the Tamimi family include teenager Shirley Temper , whose real name is Ahed Tamimi , renown for her anti-Israeli online videos. He claims that Mamal Tamimi is also involved in the Tamimi Press, which he describes as an anti-Israeli propaganda outlet owned by Ahed Tamimi’s father Bassem Tamimi, and  supported by some sections of the mainstream media, and smaller media like AMZ Productions of Oregon. This content demonstrates how easily anti-Zionist rhetoric can feed into pure, unadulterated antisemitism.

 

 

 

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Everyday Antisemitism

The Bullying Of An Orthodox Jewish Father Trivialised By Yankee Stadium Officials

An Orthodox Jewish father was publicly bullied by a fellow patron during a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium and was poorly dealt with by the Yankee Stadium organisation when they were informed, reports Yeshiva World News. Father of five, Ben Lapin, had his kippah ( skullcap) snatched by patron sitting behind him on 16th September 2016 and tauntingly kept from him after he repeatedly asked for it back.

Assemblyman,  Dov Hikind, wrote to Yankee Stadium officials after Lapin informed him that when he complained to Yankee Stadium staff they minimalised the incident which had left him distraught for days after it happened and spoilt his anniversary celebrations. Hikin was further appalled by the unsupportive response to antisemitism from Yankee Stadium officials when they offered two free game tickets for Lapin as a response to his letter to them.

The failure of public officials to take action on a hate crime which occurred on their premises in a public arena is reminiscent of public persecution of Jews throughout history.  Baseball is a symbol of American culture, and the ‘public’ significance of this attack on a Jewish man’s religious identity is evermore grossly compounded by this fact that baseball is a popular national past-time in America. By trivialising this antisemitic attack the Yankee Stadium authorities allowed a crime to go without consequence,  and thereby normalised antisemitism.

Hikind is quoted to have said: ” Mr Lapin, a father of five, did not appeal to me to take action for some free tickets. He wants the Yankee organisation to set an example by helping identify these perpetrators and aid him in pursuing harassment charges.”  He also added; “We need to send a clear message that there is no place for this type of behaviour anywhere. “

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Labour refuses to discipline councillor who shared antisemitic video

Birmingham Councillor Zafar Iqbal Said apologised for sharing an antisemitic video produced by Klu Klux Klan leader, David Duke on his Facebook account;  reports Jonathan Walker in the online Birmingham Mail on 21 September 2016. Said is reported to have denied any acknowledgment of how the video got posted and shared on his Facebook page. Walker states that the video entitled “CNN , Goldman Sachs and the Zio Matrix”,  was accompanied by the posting; ..”this video reveals how the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking” , which may have appeared automatically with the video posting.

The term “Zio” has caused much controversy, after having been branded as antisemitic following its routine use against Jewish students. Its use here in a video espousing a classical example of a “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-type conspiracy theory, which is blatantly antisemitic in its suggestion of Jewish or “Zionist” control over banking, demonstrates unambigiously that the term is used to defame and humiliate Jews. According to the EUMC definition of antisemitism, it is antisemitic to use conspiracy theories previously targeted towards Jews and instead simply shift the blame onto Israel, or in this case “Zionism”.

Said was reportedly appointed Justice of Peace in Solihull Magistrates Court in 2007 and awarded  an MBE in 2008 for services to education and  the community. He  is quoted as saying there is no place for anti-semitism in Labour or society and that he will continue to work with groups in Birmingham of different faiths against racism and prejudice. The  article cites a West Midlands Labour spokesman who said Labour takes all allegations of antisemitism seriously and will investigate any such evidence and take relevant action.

However, the Jewish Chronicle has reported that no action will be taken by the Labour Party against Said. A spokesmen said:

“Councillor Iqbal has apologised, we accept his explanation of what happened and we have reminded him of his responsibilities as a Labour councillor.”

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Holocaust denial and antisemitism in Palestinian and Egyptian news sites

El Badil,  an Egyptian news site published a series of anti-semitic and Holocaust denial articles that were  republished by Palestenian TV Network Wattan News, reports the online American Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner on 22nd August, 2016.  The Algemeiner claims that the articles appeared in four parts: part one denies Jews exist as a people stating that Ashkanazi Jews are Khazars; part two states Jews use the ‘myth of the chosen people to manipulate the world to do their bidding’; part three denies Israel as the promised land and claims Jews have no historical ties to the region, essentially depriving Jews of part of their history; part four cites ‘renowned’ Holocaust deniers including Fred Leuchter, David Irving, and Ernst Zundel as ‘experts’, using their work as ‘evidence’ to deny the Holocaust , the use the of gas chambers and that claim there were only three million Jews in Europe before World War Two, thereby denying the count that six million Jews died during the conflict.

The articles were all titled “Zionist lies”

” Denial that Jewish people exist and that Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis are framed as if they are merely anti-Zionist positions”, the report claims. Adding further that Arab media are complaining about Arab refugees being shown death camps as history lessons and reprimanded if observed comparing Israeli activities to Nazi actions.

The use of the ‘Kharazian hypothesis’ is both scientifically flawed, as there is no evidence for it in genetic studies, and is a common thread within antisemitic discourse. Similarly, the

Links to the features can be found through the Algemeiner article, here.

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Antisemitic graffiti on a Jewish shop window in France

Reminiscent of the  Nazi era when Jewish businesses were targeted for abuse and boycotts, and antisemitic writings were stuck on shop fronts, a post by Philo on  ‘The New Antisemite’ blog dated 22nd August 2016, shows a photograph of graffiti on a shop window in France which states ‘ commerde sale juif’. “Commerde” should read “commerce”, but works the French word “merde” in, which translates as ‘shit’. Translating the French text into English Philo writes: ” this could be interpreted as ‘ this shit shop belongs to a dirty Jew'”.

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Rabbi in Oregon turns antisemitic graffiti into a message of love

Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer turned anti-semitic graffiti outside his home in Portland, Oregon on 14 August 2016 into a message of love and hours later posted his experience on Facebook, reports Lizzy Acker in the Oregon Live website on 16th August 2016.

The graffiti reads “Jews aren’t welcome” and “we hate Jews and n*ggers”, and also features several swastikas.

In a link from the Oregon article to Rabbi Mayer’s Facebook account he described the abuse as a random hate event; he expressed feeling shaken and together with his supportive neighbours tried to figure out who might of done this and why in a residential  area that is ethnically diverse. On the driveway outside his home Rabbi Mayer and his family including his children wipe away the chalked abuse and a Nazi swastikas, then replaced them with chalk hearts and messages of love, such as “Love always wins”. He wrote that the random acts of love in his neighbourhood and on social media helped him : “There is something about the randomness of a hateful occurrence that  required the randomness of a stranger’s love.” The full article and link to Rabbi Mayer’s Facebook comments can be found here.

 

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Anti-Trump organiser contacts the FBI over antisemitic abuse

According to a report by Politico dated 15th August 2016, Andrew Weinstein, an organiser of an anti-Trump petition to the Republican National Committee, has contacted the FBI over  an alleged “torrent of antisemitic abuse” online.

For example, one commenter wrote “It’s time to put the SMACK DOWN on these filthy Jew rats!”

One far right runs a story on Weinstein calling him a “Filthy Anti-Trump K*ke”

Weinstein had organised a petition signed by 75 prominent Republicans which called on Reince Priebus to cut off support of Trump’s Presidential race from the RNC.