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Elie Wiesel’s house defaced with antisemitic graffiti calling him a “Jewish Nazi”

The childhood home of the late Nobel Peace Prize winning Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has been vandalized with antisemitic graffiti.

The house in Sighetu Marmatiei, which now operates as a museum, was Wiesel’s childhood home before his family were deported to Auschwitz, where all but Wiesel were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. He later became famed as a novelist and an advocate for peace, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The home was made into a museum in 2002.

The house was vandalized with graffiti reading “Paedophile. Jewish Nazi who is in hell with Hitler”. The police are investigating the vandalism.

 

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Jewish couple in Belgium afraid to leave house after antisemitic harassment and death threats

A Jewish woman named Nicole, 43, and her husband, have been left afraid to leave their house after persistent antisemitic harassment.

Nicole and her husband have lived in Marchienne-au-Pont for two and a half years, the last two months of which has seen them ensure antisemitic harassment, including death threats, damage to their home, verbal abuse and physical aggression.

Recently a Star of David was painted onto their door. The couple also appears to have been sent large amounts of hate mail.

“A few people have discovered that we are Jews. Since then we have been threatened with death” she said. Their treatment highlights the increasingly hostile environment that many Jews are subjected to across mainland Europe.

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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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Three men of Arab origin jailed over Swedish Synagogue firebomb attack, but none will serve more than 2 years

Three Palestinian and Syrian migrants have been jailed following an arson attack on a Gothenburg Synagogue which Everyday Antisemitism reported on in October, following a protest against Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The men were convicted in Gothenburg District Court on Monday. Two of the men were handed 2 year sentences, whereas the youngest was sentenced to 15 months. The three are between 19 and 24 years of age. One has had an asylum application rejected and will be deported after his jail sentence.

The Judge said that the trio acted with “the clear goal of threatening, harming, and violating members of the synagogue and the Jewish community more generally”. However, the sentences for what essentially amounts to a terrorist attack on Jews in Sweden, seem far too short given the severity and malice of the crime.

The attack was participated in by up to 20 people, though as far as we can tell no other charges have been brought.

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Antisemitic incidents in Ukraine double in a year, nationalists claim it is a Russian plot

According to research from the World Jewish Congress, antisemitic incidents in Ukraine doubled over the course of the last year.

The WJC said that it recorded at least 130 antisemitic incidents in the country in the last year, twice what was recorded in the preceding 12 month period. The incidents range from vandalism to far-right marches and verbal abuse to physical violence. The country is home to around 350,000 Jews.

Some domestic forces in Ukraine have dismissed the report, even suggesting it is a Kremlin plot to portray all Ukrainians as fascists. Across Ukraine, there has reportedly been a backlash against the report, particularly from nationalists, who are a growing political force in the country. Unfortunately, unless people are able to swallow their pride and acknowledge that antisemitism is a growing problem, there will be little chance of defeating it. Ukraine, which does not have clearly-defined hate crime legislation, often sees racially and religiously motivated incidents investigated as mere hooliganism.

Everyday Antisemitism has recently covered several incidents in Ukraine, including an attempted arson attack on a Synagogue, a General calling to “destroy” Jews, a “national hero” peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories and saying she doesn’t like “k*kes”, as well as a swastika being carved into the chest of a Jewish activist – falling just within the catchment period of the report, a fact demonstrating that those detracting from the claims in the report by indicating that there have been no violent incidents are clearly incorrect.

This sadly fits a general trend, which has seen antisemitic crime rising across Europe and beyond.

The majority of the incidents are never reported in the English language or outside Ukraine.

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Europe engaged in “war over memory” as the far right attempt to memorialise fascism and downplay the Holocaust

The village of Antrodoco, Italy abuts the forested Mount Giano, whose 20,000 trees spell DUX, in tribute to “Il Duce”, the title used for Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1925 until his death in 1945. Italians are divided over the fate of this forest, and other reminders of the country’s fascist past, debating if this forest and other fascist monuments should be restored or razed. Some far-right and extremist groups see these monuments as important national symbols, and in February, activists from the neo-fascist party Casapound hiked the mountain to replace 2,000 trees. Similarly, in 2013, the mayor of Brescia tried to restore a fascist monument to the centre of town but failed.

Antrodoco tends to vote centre-right, but in this year’s elections, nearly half the town voted for the far-right populist Anti-Immigration League. The party ended up as the largest one in the country’s current right-wing ruling coalition. This was partially the result of far-right groups successfully mainstreaming anti-migrant, nationalist, and xenophobic sentiment leading up to the election, an effort that relies heavily on symbols both past and present.

The fate of war-time monuments is something of a bellwether for Europe, and the increased debate over them shows a deep fracturing in how societies approach institutional memory. In Poland, the government, dominated by the populist right-wing Law and Justice Party, made it illegal to incriminate Poland or assign it culpability of any sort for the Holocaust (often dubbed the “Holocaust law.”) The government is trying to get the POLIN museum to change an exhibit on the Jedwabne pogrom, and at a Polish university, leaflets were distributed that blamed the Jews for the Holocaust. Poland has also attempted to rename the Majdanek memorial, and director of the museum at Auschwitz is facing threats.

One particular monument to Soviet soldiers in Bulgaria has been vandalized many times over the years. Harking to its Soviet history, and in anger over the vandalism of a Soviet monument with antisemitic graffiti, Russia angered many when it claimed to have saved Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust, a statement that was seen as ignorant and ahistorical by many Bulgarians. Other memorials in honour of Jewish Bulgarians in WWII have also been defaced with references to Palestine and Hamas.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovakia, have taken to removing Communist-era monuments, including those referencing World War II, altogether, sometimes to the great dismay of others, including ethnic Russians and the Russian state. Russia demanded punishment of the vandals after they desecrated a Soviet WWII memorial in Vienna.

In Greece, monuments to the Greek Jews who died in the Holocaust have also been defaced. One in Athens was defaced with right-wing extremist slogans in 2017, along with the smashing of monuments in Arta and Kavala soon after the community held a memorial for its previous Jewish community. This year, a memorial in Thessaloniki was defaced twice – once with far-right slogans, and once with Palestine-related slogans.

The result is a continent engaged in a war over memory, played out in public via desecration of physical monuments. In this resurgence of extremist identity-based politics, the motivation behind such destruction is not always about antisemitism, but often includes deeply felt tribalist instincts orthogonal to antisemitism: nationalism, pride, and resentment. This is not a mere revision of narrative in deference to nuance or recently learned facts; this is a contest to own historical memory itself, an issue of no little import when entire sections of society seek to re-write history for their own ends.

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Holocaust survivor found stabbed to death in burning apartment in what appears to be antisemitic murder

An 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor has been found dead in her apartment in Paris, having been stabbed 11 times and her apartment having been set ablaze.

The attack took place in her apartment in  Avenue Philippe Auguste.

National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism have confirmed that suicide has been ruled out and that a suspect is being questioned in relation to what is almost certainly an antisemitic attack.

An attack of this nature is yet another escalation in what is becoming an intolerable situation for Jews in the French capital. That such a fate could befall a Holocaust survivor in twenty-first century Europe is an indictment of contemporary French society, where antisemitism has become an accepted part of life for the Jews who have decided to remain in the country.  If what is suspected about the motives of this attack are confirmed, it will verify what many have known for some time now; France has become inhospitable to Jewish life.

Last year, Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi was beaten by her Islamist neighbour and thrown off the balcony in her own home to her death three stories below. The authorities had initially refused to label the attack antisemitic, despite reports that she had been subject to verbal antisemitic abuse by her assailant prior to the incident. The matter is awaiting trial and will be prosecuted as a hate crime.

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Police investigate after vandal attacks Canadian Synagogue

Police in York, Canada, are investigating after an unidentified vandal attacked a Synagogue, in what they are describing as a “hate-motivated crime”.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Bathurst St. and Worth Blvd. around 9:30 on Wednesday morning.

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan posted footage of the attack on Facebook. A man in a dark coat runs up to the walkway in front of the Synagogue, picks up a large rock and throws it with enough force that the rock shattered against the Synagogue’s glass door. The vandal appears to leave, before returning shortly after, picking up part of the rock again and hurling it at the door.

The second attempt caused substantial damage to the door, scattering glass inside the Synagogue.

“Clearly this is a wilful and premeditated attack on a synagogue” wrote Rabbi Kaplan.

 

Rabbi Kaplan’s post, including footage, can be viewed here.

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Graffiti calling to shoot “Zionists” in Berlin

Graffiti explicitly calling for violence against “Zionists” has been reported in  Karl-Marx-Strasse in Berlin.

The graffiti, which was discovered late last month, calls for “9mm for Zionists”.

It also shows a hammer and sickle, as well as the words “youth resistance” and “youth ahead”.

Calling for violence against “Zionists”, whilst also being clearly irresponsible in the context of rising antisemitism, when violence is called for against “Zionists”, it is usually a thinly-veiled stand-in for “Jews”.

The graffiti was crossed out by passers-by.

Whilst the far right is propelling an explosion in antisemitism in Germany, there is also a growing problem of antisemitism from the far left and Islamists. Last year a resurgent far right led to four antisemitic crimes per day in Germany.

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Resurgent far right led to 4 antisemitic crimes per day in Germany in 2017

Police recorded 1453 antisemitic crimes in Germany in 2017, a figure amounting to around 4 each day.

According to the police the vast majority of these crimes came from members of the far right, a fact that is unsurprising. Despite the fact that Jews face antisemitism from the far left and Islamists as well as the far right, Germany is experiencing a troubling resurgence of the far right, a group that is unrepentant and militant in its hatred of Jews, with far right individuals often centring their world view around antisemitism.

The crimes include 32 acts of violence, 160 cases of property damage and 898 cases of antisemitic incitement.

In 1377 cases, 95% of the crimes, the police determined that the far right was responsible.

Despite commentary from abroad often suggesting that immigration is directly responsible for antisemitism in Germany, only 33% of offenders were foreign-born and only 25 cases were “religiously motivated”, amongst which Islamist crimes are included.

The author of the report believes that the majority of antisemitic crimes go unreported, which paints a deeply disturbing picture of the extent of antisemitism in contemporary Germany.

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Group shouting “gas the Jews” destroys sign at Jewish centre, but Kentucky community comes together to stand against Antisemitism

University of Kentucky students and locals have come together to stand against antisemitism after an antisemitic incident at the campus Jewish centre.

A sign at the campus Chabad centre was destroyed by antisemitic thugs. Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of the Chabad of the Bluegrass said that he heard a group outside shouting “Heil Hitler” and “gas the Jews” before they destroyed the sign.

Rabbi Litvin has said that he has been overwhelmed by the level of support from the community after the incident.

The University of Kentucky held a unity prayer service last night at which Rabbi Litvin, his father Rabbi Avrohom Litvin and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray all spoke. Dozens of people, Jewish and non-Jewish, attended the event.

Rabbi Avrohom Litvin said during his sermon “the biblical command to love your fellow as yourself means look beyond those things that can divide us or seem to be different – race and gender and religion and background and all those differences – and look to the core. And at a core level, each and every one of us are children of God”.

The Mayor declared Thursday “Chabad of Bluegrass Day” in recognition of the centre’s work in the community.

The police have assigned a detective to the case. Rabbi Litvin described the police’s support as “excellent”.

The University of Kentucky have also promised to take action, saying “we can never — and will never — condone the use of vile, hateful speech targeted at anyone on our campus or in our community, regardless of their identity or perspective”, whereas the campus Muslim student body have voiced their support for the Jewish community.

Rabbi Litvin vowed that the centre will “keep on doing what we’re doing…if anything, this only strengthens our resolve and the need for us to be here, with our message of tolerance, of love and of what Judaism is”

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“Dozens” of Jewish graves destroyed in Eritrea

Vandals have attacked the Jewish cemetery in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, destroying “dozens” of Jewish graves.

A Jewish community moved to the area at the turn of the 20th Century and lived a relatively peaceful life free from serious antisemitic incidents, though the Jewish community has since relocated, mainly to Israel. The cemetery and a local Synagogue are now out of use.

Danny Goldschmidt, of the Jewish heritage museum in Tel Aviv, commented that “the cemetery suffered vandalism and a large number of graves were defaced…the police have yet to make an arrest”. He also remarked that there was no known history of antisemitism in the City.

The damage to many of the graves is heavy, and the study stone structures would have required serious effort to damage, probably requiring the assistance of equipment, indicating that this is likely premeditated.

Last week we reported a firebomb attack at a Jewish school in Tunisia. Five people have since been arrested.

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Jewish school in Djerba, Tunisia firebombed in drive-by attack

A Jewish school in Djerba, Tunisia, was attacked with a firebomb late on Tuesday in what police suspect to be an antisemitic attack.

The attackers threw the firebomb from a moving vehicle. Whilst some damage was caused to the building, thankfully nobody was hurt.

Police suspect that the attack intentionally exploited reduced police presence, as police resources were diverted to securing anti-Government protests.

Djerba, an Island, is home to a small Jewish community that has been in the country for over two thousand years. The island is home to Africa’s oldest Synagogue.

Since 1948 the Jewish population of the country has shrunk from around 100,000 to barely over a thousand.

 

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Suspected arson at Kosher supermarket in Paris on anniversary of antisemitic terror attack

A Kosher supermarket in Paris was hit by what police suspect to be an arson attack, three years to the day after a terrorist attack at a Kosher supermarket in which four were killed.

Promo & Destock store in Créteil suffered extensive damage to the shop front and interior in the fire.

Last week the store was reportedly vandalized with Swastika graffiti.

Whilst police say they do not have a motive for the attack, the preceding Swastika graffiti and the significance of the date on which the fire was started indicate a clear possibility that this is an antisemitic incident.

The area has a substantial Jewish population. Local community leader Albert Elharrar told the media “there’s a link between the graffiti and the fire. It’s clear that they came for no other reason but to attack a kosher shop on the day of the commemorations”.

 

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Jewish man’s home in Melbourne vandalized with Nazi graffiti on Christmas Day

A Jewish man in the Elsternwick neighbourhood of Melbourne awoke on Christmas morning to discover that Nazi imagery had been spraypainted onto his house.

Swastikas, “SS” and other Nazi imagery were spraypainted onto the windows and walls of the house, with the vandals having to scale a wall to get to the property, clearly indicating that they had purposely targeted a Jewish household.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, commented

“We decry this disturbing act of bigotry which is an attack on the decency of all Australians

“I am alarmed by the growing level of malicious anti-Semitic vandalism and graffiti which constitutes a matter of great concern. It fits a pattern of increased racist crimes targeting the Jewish community. 

The Nazi swastika is a universal symbol of hate that represents pure evil, and is meant to intimidate and instill fear within religious, ethnic and cultural groups. This type of hate has no place in Australia, and such cowardly attacks are repugnant and are a gross violation of our values. 

There is no doubt that the spike in these threatening incidents, which traumatise the victims and create a climate of fear, serves as a sad reminder that anti-Semitism and racism are on the rise, and the message that must be conveyed by leaders across the political and religious spectrum is that this type of intimidating bigotry will not be tolerated. 

We must all say enough is enough, not in our city, and do all we can to combat this cancer.”

The victim posted photos to a Jewish Facebook group having covered up the graffiti with newspaper, but still felt shocked and disturbed having been the victim of an antisemitic crime.

 

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Several public menorahs vandalized over Chanukah

Several public Chanunikiyot, or Chanukah Menorahs have been vandalized in several locations internationally as Jewish communities celebrate the festival of Chanukah.

A menorah in Kiev was vandalized and was doused with what police believe may be pig’s blood. This comes a mere month after a Jewish community in the city was vandalized with graffiti reading “death to the kikes”.

A nine foot Menorah in Seattle was destroyed and dragged to a park. The menorah was later reconstructed. Rabbi Yoni Levitin called the act “extreme disturbing”, saying it has “no place” in the community.

In Illinois, at least two students are facing charges for vandalizing a Chabad house’s Menorah.

In two days time, four students of Penn State University will appear at court accused of destroying a public Menorah and leaving its debris outside of a Jewish fraternity. The incident took place last month, as the frame of the Menorah is left up all year.

Each Chanukah there are multiple reports of Chanukiyot being vandalized by antisemites. They often target those put up by the Chabad movement, who often erect large public displays in Jewish areas.

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Chapel at Jewish cemetery firebombed in Sweden, the second attack of its kind in a week

Swedish Police have announced that they are investigating an arson attack at a Jewish chapel at a cemetery in Malmo.

The attack took place on Monday, but has only just come to our attention.

Two firebombs were thrown at the building, but appear to have caused little damage. From an image of the exterior of the building, it appears that they bounced off the wall and burned out on the ground in front of the chapel.

Earlier this week we were among the first English language sources to report a similar incident in the city, where 20 masked men attacked a Synagogue in Malmo with firebombs, leaving those inside, who were attending a youth event, to take refuge terrified in the building’s basement.

After yet another terrifying escalation of antisemitic violence in Sweden, and in Malmo in particular, we restate our calls for enhanced police protection for Jewish communities in the city, where Jews are subject to the constant threat of antisemitic violence.

 

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20 masked men attack Gothenburg Synagogue with firebombs

A Jewish community in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been left in shock after around 20 masked men attacked their Synagogue yesterday night at around 10pm.

The Synagogue had been hosting a social event for Jewish students. When the Police arrived, the attendees had taken refuge in the Synagogue’s basement.

A spokesman for the local police said that “there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”. Thankfully, the building itself did not catch fire and nobody was seriously hurt.

Despite the shocking nature of the incident, the police do not seem to have any leads. In an online statement they commented that they “do not know much more than there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”.

Whilst the identity of the attackers is unknown, some have speculated that the attack could be linked to a march against Donald Trump’s policy on Jerusalem which took place earlier that day. Nonetheless, it could also easily be an attack from the far right.

Such an attack essentially amounts to terrorism against Jews in Europe. Unfortunately, with antisemitism reaching terrifying levels in some parts of Sweden, escalations of violence such as this are increasingly unsurprising. Thankfully the Synagogue was protected by its security staff who alerted the police and kept attendees safe, but this incident highlights the important of sufficient security being provided to Jewish communities.

 

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Palestinian man arrested after smashing windows of Amsterdam Kosher restaurant

A Palestinian man has been arrested in Amsterdam after he allegedly smashed the windows of a Kosher restaurant, before storming in and making off with the owner’s Israeli flag.

The incident occurs following Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The man carried a Palestinian flag and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he smashed the windows. with a metal rod, astonishingly as police officers apparently looked on.

The owner’s son commented “No one has ever seen anything like that. We are all worried. It happens sometimes that people spit inside [the restaurant] but we’ve never seen anything like this”.

Unfortunately, rising tensions between Israel and Palestinians often leads to antisemitic acts being directed against Jews in the diaspora. This means that authorities across the world will need to be increasingly vigilant as antisemites use tensions as an excuse to target Jews and Jewish institutions.

 

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Paris Jewish family saved from “antisemitic” arson attack by loyal family dog

Members of a Paris Jewish family perhaps owe their lives to their vigilant dog, who saved them from an arson attack.

The family was awoken by barking in the night. When they investigated, they discovered that their front door had been set ablaze. They discovered their apartment rapidly filling with smoke.

Police say that someone had doused the door with a highly flammable liquid. The family have said they suspect a neighbour who has made antisemitic and extremist comments.

Last week the family had their car torched.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism commented that “the incident confirms BNVCA’s observation that antisemitic acts that began as targeting property belonging to Jews (synagogues, schools, community centers) or as assaults on people on the street have evolved into attacks on Jews inside their own homes”.

If further investigation confirms that this attack did have an antisemitic motive, which given the current circumstances in Paris and the targeted nature of the attack would not be surprising, it will indeed represent yet another escalation in the French capital which looks increasingly dire for the country’s Jewish community.

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Thug hurls molotov cocktail at Jewish centre in Moscow in failed Arson attack

CCTV captured footage of a thug attempting to set a Jewish centre in Moscow ablaze with a Molotov cocktail.

The footage, which can be viewed here, shows the thug throwing a Molotov cocktail at a building belonging to the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia on Obrazov Street, Moscow.

Thankfully the projectile bounces off the building so there were no injuries and no substantial property damage.

The identity of the vandal is currently unknown.

 

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German authorities refuse to classify attacks on Synagogue as antisemitic as Rabbi claims antisemitism is routinely downplayed

The city of Ulm, in the state of Baden-Wurtenberg, in southwestern Germany, is on the banks of the Danube. In World War II The Jews of Ulm, around 500 people, were first discriminated against and later persecuted, and their synagogue was torn down after Kristallnacht in November 1938. Baden Wurtenburg now has some 2,800 Jews who belong to the community, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

The New Synagogue in Ulm, dedicated in 2012, is a magnificent building, On 26 August and 2 September 2017, the synagogue was attacked. One or more perpetrators kicked at the building’s facade and later rammed it with a metal post, breaking through the outer wall. According to reports, repairs will cost several thousand dollars.

This alone is unconscionable. Incomprehensible however is the reaction of the local police:

On 12 September, an Ulm police spokesman said that antisemitism was “not out of the question,” but added that investigators were looking into all possibilities and that there were no suspects. This in spite of the fact that an image of a possible perpetrator carrying an object resembling a metal post was publicised on 11 September, along with a telephone number for potential witnesses to call. The photograph, which also shows two people with the man, was got from a security video camera. The police report also notes that “investigators are aware that the perpetrator and his companions were seen by witnesses shortly before and after” the incidents.

Rabbi Schneur Trebnik told the Juedische Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s Jewish weekly, that authorities routinely play down reports of antisemitic incidents, and that community members are fearful of being recognized as Jewish on the streets. (This is reminiscent of the findings of CAA’s recent Antisemitism Barometer in which 39% of the British Jews polled replied that they concealed their Judaism in public). Rabbi Trebnik said that In this case, local Jews are upset that no one who saw the attack in progress called police.

This reluctance to act against vandalism perpetrated on the New Shul in Ulm  is worrisome to say the least, but the German police’s attitude in this case seems to form part of a pattern which is depressingly familiar. In 2016, a German appeals court declined to question a lower court over its verdict that three Palestinian men who tried to set a Wuppertal synagogue on fire in 2014 were not guilty of antisemitism. The defendants had claimed they were motivated by anger at Israel and not by antisemitism and they were believed. The lower court had found that while the targeting of a synagogue was serious circumstantial evidence, it could not conclude that the act was committed out of antisemitic motives. This is ludicrous, given the ease with which the PA, Hamas et al conflate “Jews” and “Zionism”, and an obsessive negative focus on Israel can argued to evidence antisemitism regardless of the circumstances (See reference in the EUMC working definition below).

To add to the confusion, in another case in 2016 a court in Essen upheld a verdict that anti-Israel chantings of “death and hate to Zionists” at a 2014 demonstration were tantamount to antisemitism.

That confusion could easily be have been clarified by the guidance in the EUMC’s working definition of antisemitism, which includes:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”

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Antisemitic graffiti in Birmingham, UK, claims that Jews are “starving” people with “their food prices”

Antisemitic graffiti has been found on Moseley Road in Birmingham, on the junction with Edward Road.

The graffiti reads “Jews r starving us with their food prices”.

Whilst instances of antisemitic graffiti are unfortunately very common, and often seem quite insignificant, this is a particularly nasty antisemitic sentiment. Not only is it is a clear expression of long-standing antisemitic canards which accuse Jews of controlling international business, it is also vaguely reminiscent of blood libel in portraying such a conspiracy as being directed towards “starving” non-Jews.

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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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Ukrainian neo-Nazi youths embarrassed as they are made to clean Swastika graffiti in front of crowd of dozens

Three young people in the Ukrainian city of Lviv were caught by a passerby painting Swastika graffiti on a Jewish monument in Struibriskia Street.

The passerby apprehended and detained the youths until the police arrived. The police then made them remove the graffiti in front of a crowd of dozens that had formed, who watched them remove it.

The image released of the young men, as well as their alleged actions, show that they are most probably neo-Nazi skinheads, with all with shaved heads, and at least one in a polo shirt, military-style clothing and black boots.

What is most encouraging is that in Ukraine, a country which has seen a disturbing increase in antisemitism in recent years, someone was willing to stand up to these three, with the crowd seemingly revelling in them being made to clean up their handiwork.

The three were subsequently arrested.

Sadly on the night of  June 20th, there was a further incident of vandalism on a local Synagogue, with the perpetrators being captured on CCTV.

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Attempted arson attack At Ukrainian Synagogue follows threatening Antisemitic graffiti

A firebomb was hurled at a Synagogue in the Ukrainian City of Lviv, according to reports from the local media.

The firebomb was thrown at the Synagogue on June 30th. It missed the window and burned out on the exterior of the building, lightly damaging the exterior, but thankfully not harming the interior of the building or anyone inside it.

The firebomb attack follows antisemitic graffiti appearing on another building belonging to the local Jewish community. This graffiti read “down with Jewish power” and “remember July 1st”, a reference to a large pogrom in Kielce, Poland, in 1946. July 1st was the date when a Polish boy went missing in Kielce, something that was later blamed on the small Jewish community, a group of around 200 Holocaust survivors, around 40 of whom were then murdered.

Whilst it is often easy to write off antisemitic graffiti, which is remarkably common, an incident such as this demonstrates how antisemitic graffiti is a warning that more serious incidents are possible as antisemitism is allowed to flourish. Thankfully nobody was hurt in these incidents, but with antisemitism steadily on the increase in the Ukraine, with far-right ultra-Nationalist groups growing, the risk of further serious incidents appears to be very high.

 

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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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Neo-Nazis distribute antisemitic “thieving Jews near you” leaflets, place banner on Holocaust memorial in Lakewood, NJ

Antisemites who appear to be members or supporters of the neo-Nazi group called Vanguard America have distributed antisemitic leaflets on cars in Lakewood, New Jersey, and have placed an antisemitic banner on a Holocaust memorial.

Photos show a banner which reads “(((HEEBS))) will not divide us” draped over a Holocaust memorial at a Lakewood Synagogue. The brackets are known as “echoes”, and are an antisemitic device used initially by the Alt Right to identify Jews, though many Jews started using them to “reclaim” the symbol. The phrase itself alludes to the antisemitic canard of Jews attempting to set other groups against each other to maintain control over politics, itself a variant of the general canard of Jews controlling politics and world events.

The authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

The same group also posted leaflets on windscreens in the area which read “thieving Jews near you” continuing to say “1.4% of the American population is Jewish.  48% of American billionaires are Jewish. Does crime pay for Jews?”. The leaflet refers to several Orthodox Jews who have been arrested following accusations of fraud. However, the fact that it attempts to take this isolated, and as-of-yet unproven, case as an illustration of how Jews are allegedly dishonest and have been dishonest in enriching themselves in America is, of course, inherently antisemitic.

Unsurprisingly, the groups website is nothing short of shocking. They claim that the world economy is controlled by a “rootless group of international Jews” who wrap “chains of debt slavery” around “White Americans”. This idea, as well as the language of “rootless” Jews, is taken straight from Nazi propaganda, having been left virtually unchanged. They call for an “exclusively” White America, and perhaps most notably, have taken the name of their website from a Nazi slogan.

The banner placed on the Holocaust memorial is shown below

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Teen accused of vandalizing Jewish Summer camp with antisemitic graffiti, damaging several buildings

Christopher Santoro, an 18-year-old boy, has been arrested in Sullivan County, New York on suspicion of the antisemitic vandalism of a Jewish summer camp.

Police have said that they boy was motivated by antisemitism in allegedly vandalising the Camp Shomria. He is accused of entering the complex on June 12th and damaging several buildings, including with antisemitic graffiti.

The camp is a project of Hashomer Hatzair, which describes the camp as a “kibbutz in the Catskills”. It caters to youths from the ages of 7 to 23.

He will appear in court on July 5th.

 

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Police interrupt man allegedly attempting to set French Synagogue ablaze

Police in Epinay Sur Seine, a suburb of Paris, have allegedly caught a man who was in the process of setting a Synagogue on fire.

The alleged attempted arson occurred on the 24th of June. The suspect had pushed several bins against the Synagogue and had lit them on fire, but was interrupted by the police.

The Synagogue and adjacent buildings were damaged by the flames, but not severely.

Representatives from the Jewish community have praised the Police for their swift action, but unfortunately this is just another example of the increasing antisemitism in France.

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Arson attack on Jewish artist’s “iconic” Mitzvah bus in New York

A bus owned by Leviticus Schieber, an artist who uses the name Leviticus for his work, has been torched by an arsonist in New York.

The bus, which has become somewhat of a Jewish cultural icon in New York, was found burned out and with smashed windows in the very early hours of Tuesday morning.

The bus started out life as a school bus, and has been re purposed by the artist with colourful paintings and Jewish symbols as a portable art studio. It has been featured in music videos and on television, and is a familiar sight around New York, particularly in the Crown Heights area, which has a substantial Jewish population.

The police are considering the possibility that the incident is a hate crime. Mr Schieber says that his bus has been targeted in the past.

There is reportedly CCTV footage of a suspect.

There is a fundraising page seeking to restore the bus.

Last month we reported that a Jewish school bus had been targeted by an arsonist in the city. As far as we can tell, no arrests have been made in connection with that incident yet.

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Germany: statues of Jewish sporting heroes who were persecuted by the Nazis destroyed

Police in Frankfurt have launched an investigation after commemorative statues of two Jewish sporting heroes were destroyed in successive nights over the past weekend.

Statues of Lilli Henoch and Walther Bensemann, two German-Jewish sporting heroes in the 1930s who were persecuted by the Nazis, were removed from their pedestals and destroyed with “extreme violence”, according to Fritz Backhaus of the city’s Jewish museum.

Lilli Henoch, a track and field athlete, was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 in Riga Ghetto, Latvia. Walter Bensemann, a footballer, escaped to Switzerland following Hitler’s rise to power, where he died in 1934.

The statues were erected in multiple cities in Germany to commemorate Jewish athletes who were persecuted by the Nazis from 1933 onwards.

The police say they have no leads, but the fact that these figures were targeted strongly suggests that this is indeed an antisemitic incident.

 

 

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Graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews desecrated in Germany

Several graves of anti-Nazi fighters and Jews were desecrated between Wednesday and Thursday last week in Südwestkirchhof, Stahnsdorf, Germany.

Among the graves desecrated was the family grave of Joachim Gottschalk, who famously refused to be separated from his Jewish wife and their son by the Nazi government. The family committed suicide in 1941 after a campaign of intimidation by the Nazis. Slurs were apparently written on the grave site.

A commemorative plaque to resistance fighters who fought against the Nazis was also destroyed. As well as this, a plaque commemorating the resistance fighter Richard Huttig, who was executed by the Nazis, was damaged.

Decorations on a grave of a Jewish family were also damaged.

Despite the damaged graves being clearly linked, being obvious targets for antisemites and neo-Nazis, the administrators of the cemetery are not treating it as an antisemitic incident and the police have refused to say whether they will do so or not. If this is, as we suspect, the result of neo-Nazi activity, it represents not only one example of resurgent far-right extremism, but also an example of the growing prominence of WWII-era-style Nazism and ultra-Nationalism, not based purely on racism and antisemitism, but instead with a genuine reverence for Nazi politics and Nazi figures and collaborators. This ideology has been increasingly visible in Europe.

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UK: “Appalling” antisemitic graffiti found in alleyway in Cheltenham

Antisemitic graffiti has been discovered in an alleyway in Cheltenham.

The graffiti was reported two days ago, and includes two swastikas as well as an offensive phrase which appears to be something like “F*ck the Jews”, but the first word has been censored. It thus could conceivably be considerably worse (i.e. an instance of incitement).

Gloucestershire Live commented that the fact that sexual innuendo was found near to the antisemitic graffiti perhaps indicated that the graffiti was the “work of young people, who may not fully understand their extreme offence”. However, the fact that they are clearly aware enough to associate the Swastika with the hatred of Jews perhaps indicates otherwise.

The Community Security Trust also commented:

“In context, this may well be something between youths, but it is still troubling as to why someone should want to use a swastika, which is a notorious racist hate symbol.”

“Those using the swastika must at least know the basics of what it means, otherwise why else would they use it?”

The chairman of Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation, Jenny Silverstone, also commented on the incident, saying:

“The police in Gloucestershire are very supportive and we have every confidence in them to deal with this and every confidence that the people of Cheltenham will reject such messages of hate.”

“It is dispiriting that this continues. It never quite goes away and it’s hard to tell you how it makes me feel when you see or hear about this. But there are so many good people around that it’s them I have to turn to raise my spirits”

Last year, we reported that a 59-year-old resident of Cheltenham was flying the Nazi and confederate flags in his garden, despite insisting that he is not racist.

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Holocaust memorial desecrated with Nazi imagery in Ukraine amidst rising antisemitism

A Holocaust memorial in Chernivtsi, in the South-West of Ukraine, was desecrated last night.

A post on Facebook shows an image of the memorial with the numbers 14/88. These are a code for the 14 words, a neo-Nazi mantra about preserving the Aryan race, and “Heil Hitler”.

There is also a Swastika and the SS logo.

Everyday Antisemitism has been documenting a resurgence of antisemitism in Ukraine, driven by Nationalist groups which have glorified Nazi collaborators, attempted to prosecute elderly Jewish war heroes and physically attacking Jews and those who defend them in the streets. Last month, far-right extremists chanted “Jews out” as they celebrated the birthday of a Nazi collaborator.

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“There is a Jew here” – threatening note, Swastika left at home of Israeli dignitary in Italy

Major correction: the graffiti pictured was of a more serious nature than we had originally appreciated. It translates to – “be a patriot, kill a Jew”. This is thus not just an instance of intimidation, but of incitement to violence. The oversight was due to a lack of a translator and having to rely on an intermediate source.

Luigi De Santis, an honourary Israeli consul in the Italian City of Bari, has reported threatening antisemitic vandalism at his house in the city.

The words “There is a Jew here, too” were scrawled on his property, on what appears to be a front door. A Swastika is worked into the message.

Another note said “Jewish also here” with a crucifix.

He apparently found a similar note in his post a few days ago.

These persistent incidents amount to antisemitic harassment, and the use of a cross and a Swastika to target a Jew is an example of the most stark and obvious Christian-European Antisemitism which is often incorrectly written off as no longer existing.

The language used appears quite threatening, as if to remind De Santis that the vandal knows where he lives and knows that he is Jewish.

The police are investigating.

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Police hunt for arsonist who torched Jewish school bus, religious books in New York

Police in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York are searching for a suspect who set fire to a Jewish

school bus.

The incident occurred last month.

The perpetrator broke into the bus through its emergency door and set fire to the interior of the bus before fleeing. He torched several religious books.

The bus has Hebrew writing on it, so whilst the police have been cautious to describe it as an antisemitic incident, there would seem to be good reason to believe so.

Book burning was one of the most infamous aspects of the Nazi regime. The Nazis burnt books written by Jews, as well as others they considered to be “degenerate”.

A news report covering the incident can be viewed here.

 

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Anti-Zionist attempts to set pro-Israel campaigner on fire in Berlin

The Berlin Police are conducting a manhunt after a pro-Israel marcher faced an attempt to set her on fire early this week at a march to commemorate Israeli soldiers who have been killed in combat, and terror victims.

The attack happened when the woman, a German-Israeli citizen, was wearing an Israel flag over her shoulders. The assailant allegedly attempted to set the flag ablaze, but given that the victim was wearing the flag, this is more than just a case of property damage or arson, themselves criminal acts, and is instead a clear attempted act of violence.

Despite the attack, the woman wishes to continue pro-Israel activism.

A physical attack on a person for merely displaying the Israeli flag, the flag of the country where half of the world’s Jews live, is clearly antisemitic, as it is a case of “applying double standards” to the State of Israel that are not applied to any other nation.

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Canada: 12-year-old pupil at elite school victim of a “serious” antisemitic incident

Upper Canada College, a Canadian private school which has educated several prominent Canadian politicians and has been described as having an “illustrious history”, has had to reassure parents after a “serious” antisemitic incident took place, which has led to the police being involved.

Whilst the information available is quite sparse, a 12-year-old Jewish student apparently had antisemitic slurs and symbols. Whilst the school has emphasised that the incident was a “serious” one, it is not known if this represents one incident in a pattern of antisemitic bullying or is a one off, or whether there were other elements to the incident.

The school called a meeting with all the students in the lower years and communicated to them just how serious an antisemitic incident of any nature is.

The school issued a letter to parents saying:

“I write to inform you of a serious incident that occurred yesterday at the Prep…a student in Grade 7 returned to his locker at the end of the day to find it vandalized with antisemitic symbols and messaging. As soon as we became aware of the situation the College began an investigation.”

“We have attempted to progress the investigation swiftly, involving all the appropriate parties, including the police”

Whilst the police were involved, they have since said that despite the incident being serious, it should not be a criminal matter. Several Jewish groups have offered their support to the school in providing education relating to Jewish issues. The school’s response appears to have been an excellent one, in swiftly involving the police, communicating with parents, and having a frank, serious, but open discussion with pupils in an attempt to reassert their shared values.

 

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10 Jewish gravestones smashed in Bucharest in “premeditated act” coinciding with Holocaust remembrance

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania have reported that ten Jewish tombstones have been smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest.

The group are describing the incident as a “premeditated act”, which appears to have been timed to coincide with Yom HaShoah, the day in the Jewish calendar dedicated to commemorating the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was discovered yesterday and apparently occurred on Monday.

Despite between 150,000 and 250,000 Romanian Jews being deported to concentration camps within a two year period between 1942 and 1944, many Romanians continued to deny or downplay the country’s role in the extermination of European Jews. Today, only 6,000 Jews remain in the country.

The police are investigating several teenagers in connection with the incident.

 

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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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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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“Israel Genocide State” graffiti on Jewish school in Brazil

CFCA has reported that antisemitic graffiti was found on a Jewish school in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The words “Israel Genocide State” and “Free Palestine” were spraypainted on school property.

According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is antisemitic. The fact that somebody would take out their political frustrations on a Jewish school of all places is extremely worrying. Whatever one thinks about the Israel-Palestine conflict, it should not be taken out on an institution which has as its sole aim educating Jewish children.

Porto Alegre has had a Jewish community since the early Nineteenth Century, and is currently home to over 15,000 Jews.

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“Here’s a Jew, let’s burn her” shouted at schoolgirl as antisemitism erupts in California school

Carlmont High School in Belmont, California, finds itself in the midst of an antisemitism epidemic, following several reports of antisemitic incidents.

There were reports of students openly chanting “kill the Jews” in the school’s stadium, which apparently happened earlier in March, but which has only just come to our attention. This in itself is obviously extremely shocking, being a brazen display of incitement to violence which goes beyond mere playground bullying in its scale and severity.

There were also reports of antisemitic graffiti, including the words “toasted Jew” being written on school property.

As a result of the escalating incidents, the school’s Principal Ralph Crame met with around 20 parents and students to discuss the situation. When one mother was walking to the meeting with her daughter, it is alleged that a group of students shouted “here’s a jew, let’s burn her” at the girl. This seems to point to the possibility that these students heard about the meeting and decided to turn up to further abuse Jewish students. This betrays a deep, underlying antisemitic attitude in parts of the student body.

The school has said that further incidents would be considered under the “harassment, bullying, or hate crimes and will be dealt with accordingly under District policies and the Education Code”, but initial reports suggest that the police have been unwilling to see the events as hate incidents.

Below: antisemitic graffiti found at the school

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Graffiti equating Judaism with Satanism in Calgary, Canada

Police are investigating antisemitic graffiti in an off-leash dog park in Calgary, Alberta.

The graffiti has a Star of David followed by “=666”, frequently described as the “number of the beast”, which is popularly associated with Satanism. Equating Judaism with Satanism is a common antisemitic canard, which first found prominence in Christianity, but is now frequently cited by non-Christians.

There was also graffiti that said “f*ck Islam”.

The graffiti has apparently been up for “several days”.  Glen Tinckler, the resident who discovered and reported the graffiti, said “it’s a very friendly community and to see images like this is very disturbing”.

 

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4 Arrested for twisting Menorah into Swastika shape over Hanukkah

At the beginning of the year, we reported that an Arizona family had had a large Menorah they had erected in their garden twisted into a Swastika shape by antisemitic vandals.

The mother described being left in tears, saying:

We were just VICTIMIZED by a HATE CRIME
Last night my home was victimized by HATE. Instead of waking up to see our lighted Hanukkah menorah display on our front lawn, there was a swastika. My husband built the menorah to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday after our kids (3 boys 9, 7,5) asked for their own holiday lights for the season. We live in a great neighborhood with kind and welcoming neighbors. We never would have imagined that someone would spread so much hate here. However, this morning we were greeted with this horrible act of aggression. Our menorah was destroyed and altered to resemble a swastika. This clear act of hate and racism is disturbing and sad. I broke down in tears waiting for the police to come and hoping that my kids would not be awake to see it. The officer helped me take it down, before they woke-up. I’m still not sure how I will explain this to them. I’m not sure I quite understand it myself, nor have I ever understood racism or prejudice in any form. How can people can be filled with so much hate and violence? To think that someone would make such an effort to hurt and vandalize a family, is downright sickening. If you or anyone you know has any information that may help the police, please share and contact Chandler Police in response to 16-148624″

Thankfully, the police have now arrested 19-year-old Clive Jamar Wilson and three minors, who are now facing felony charges of first-degree criminal trespass and one count of aggravated criminal damage after the FBI joined the investigation.

 

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Fascist graffiti found at University of Birmingham bar

Fascist graffiti has been found outside the toilets of Beorma Bar, a student bar in Birmingham.

The graffiti has been attributed to the neo-Nazi group National Action, which was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the Government following action by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The graffiti targeted various ethnic and sexual minorities, as well as the disabled.

The graffiti said “PURE WHITES ONLY” and “NO BLACKS, NO CRIPS, NO FAGS” under the National Action logo and flanked by a Swastika.

Graffiti saying “‘Lock up all CRAZY PSYCHOS + subhumans” was also found during Holocaust Memorial Week in January and another was found referring to “dirty faggots”.

President of the Guild of Students, Ellie Keiller, said that they were “horrified” and that they “stand, with students, fundamentally in opposition to the rhetoric of the graffiti and against all forms of hate and discrimination”.

The guild later released a further statement, saying “We would like to reassure students that we are doing all we can in response to these incidents, including immediately reporting all cases to both police and campus security and working with them to identify those involved. Further to this, we urge anyone with any information regarding these incidents to come forward”

Apparently in previous incidents, the police have simply recorded the graffiti which has then been painted over. No arrests appear to have been reported.

The University of Birmingham has the largest Jewish Society in the United Kingdom

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Graffiti calling the Holocaust “fake history” at Seattle Synagogue

Temple De Hirsch Sinai, a Synagogue in Seattle, Washington, has been vandalized with Holocaust denying graffiti, with a suspicious package being found.

The graffiti read “Holocau$t i$ fake hi$story”.

Whilst Holocaust denial itself is unequivocally and universally antisemitic, the dollar signs carry a further antisemitic implication: that Jews have somehow exploited the Holocaust for financial game, perhaps an inevitable “twist” to the antisemitism of Holocaust denial, given that Jews being obsessed with money is a common antisemitic canard.

A suspicious package was also found, which police investigated, but it turned out to just be a book donation. The police are currently investigation the graffiti.

 

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Holocaust memorial destroyed overnight in Odessa, police attribute it to “old age”

A Holocaust memorial in Savra in Odessa, Ukraine, has been totally destroyed overnight.

Paul Kozlenko, director of the Holocaust museum in Odessa, said “villains and moral monsters continue to mock the memory of Holocaust victims”, saying that the memorial, which is in a Jewish cemetery, was “completely destroyed”.

The police are saying that this was not a deliberate act of vandalism, but are instead attributing it to “old age and natural causes”. However, it seems far from plausible that the memorial, which is pictured before its destruction below, could be destroyed so totally in such a brief period of time without it being an intentional act. Unfortunately, it appears that the police have decided that this is simply not something they wish to investigate. Given that we report on dozens of desecrations of Holocaust memorials and Jewish cemeteries, which are among the most common instances of antisemitism, it is profoundly irresponsible not to treat this as suspicious from the outset.

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Holocaust survivor’s visit to NY school followed by appearance of Swastika graffiti

A week after Holocaust survivor Judy Altmann’s appearance at a New York school, the occasion was marred by the appearance of Swastika graffiti in the school’s bathroom.

Mrs Altmann visited  John Jay High School in Cross River two weeks ago. On Monday, a week after her visit, a Swastika was found scrawled in the bathroom.

One student, Sophe Eberhardt, found the appearance of the graffiti particularly disheartening, saying “It’s a subject that’s really, really dark…after everything they showed us, prejudice and racism still exist at our school”.

Despite the fact that a teenage student can tell that the graffiti represents the presence of antisemitism in the school, the Superintendent has written off the incident as simply being the result of “disruptive” pupils. This is perhaps not surprising, as it is unlikely that an official responsible for the school system would want to concede that there is a possibility that there are antisemitic beliefs being harboured by students. However, the fact that the students could hear Mrs Altmann’s story – which would have included her  recounting going through the infamous gates at Auschwitz, seeing people she knew being selected for extermination in the gas chambers, and being liberated whilst infected with Typhus and close to death – and yet still go on to etch the symbol of Nazism in the school bathroom.

In any case, it is wrong to assume that Swastika graffiti is merely the result of “disruptive” pupils, but when set against the context of rising antisemitism and the visit of a Holocaust survivor, it is far too permissive to assume that this is merely a case of misbehaviour. This is even more so the case as similar graffiti was found on the school’s property last year.

The Superintendent nonetheless said that the school was redoubling its efforts to find the perpetrators.

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FBI investigate gunshot fired into Indiana Synagogue

The FBI are preparing to launch an investigation after a bullet was fired through the window of a Synagogue in Indiana.

Police were called to the Adath B’Nai Israel Temple in Evansville on Sunday morning after a shot was heard and a bullet was found by the Rabbi.

Rabbi Gary Mazo commented that “someone had to walk into a children’s playground, then look into a classroom and then fire some sort of weapon. It was to inflict damage, but I think more importantly, (the person) tried to inflict fear,…we’re in this climate now where acts of hate are happening everywhere.”

As early police reports suggest that a low-powered weapon fired the shot, Rabbi Mazo says that he believes the incident was no more than a “cowardly act by a bigot”, and not something of a larger or more sinister scale. However, this is still clearly an attempt to intimidate the Jewish community, which has around 120 families.

Rabbi Mazo noted that this was an attempt to frighten the community, saying “we’ll stand up to fear, we’ll stand up to hatred and we’ll stand together. We know this is not representative of our community. We know that we live in a community that supports each other”. Unfortunately, campaigns of intimidation, from bomb threats to graffiti and vandalism, and sadly the ever-present threat of serious violence, are now a part of daily life for Jewish communities across the world.

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Dozens of graves vandalized at Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia

Dozens of graves have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery at Wissinoming, Philadelphia.

The Mizel Family Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for those who provide information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Police say that over 100 headstones were damages, with some of those helping with the clean up saying that up to 500 were.

A local Rabbi told the news:

“There are people from Quaker, Muslim, Jewish communities. Some rabbis, my colleagues, we just heard about this, thanks to your reporting, and came out here out of the desire to be in solidarity to show that we’re not interested in any narrative about victimization and – as heartbreaking as this is – we are strong together”

“I just met two congregants of mine who were here, one whom has relatives. His way of responding was to go row by row and count, and he’s counted over 500 tombstones”

Last week a similar mass grave desecration occured at St Louis, in a strike which police say was coordinated by several people. The scale of this vandalism may point towards a similar conclusion.

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‘Star of David=Swastika’ graffiti at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Security are investigating after a door in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was found vandalized with graffiti which equated the Star of David with Nazism.

The graffiti was on a toilet door in the Mount Scotus campus.

According to the definition of antisemitism, “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

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Over 100 headstones vandalized in Jewish Cemetery in Missouri

Police in University City, near St. Louis, Missouri, are investigating after dozens of headstones at a Jewish cemetery were vandalized.

The Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery is over 125 years old, with its website saying it emphasises “traditional Jewish integrity, reverence and respect”.

The police are refusing to say whether they believe this is a hate crime or not, but the vandalism is thought to be the result of a coordinated operation from a group of people, not a lone vandal. This seems to indicate that it is far more than mere random vandalism and suggests that antisemitism is a very likely motivation. If this is the case, it is a worrying attempt to intimidate and upset the local Jewish population.

The police are examining CCTV footage from the area, but as of now, no arrests have been made.

Aerial footage showing the extent of the damage can be viewed here.

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“No Jews”, Swastika notes left on Ontario doors, Jewish residents have Mezuzot vandalized

Police in Ontario are investigating a series of notes left on the doors of Jewish residents.

Several Jewish residents also had mezuzot vandalized. A mezuzah is a box containing parchment from the Torah, which religious Jews nail to the doorposts of their houses. Damaging one constitutes an act of desecration and is an inherently hateful act.

Post-it notes with the words “no Jews”, Swastikas and antisemitic slurs were left on the doors.

They were all posted within the same building, causing them to believe that one of the neighbours is to blame.

 

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Jewish teenager’s car spraypainted with Swastika in Florida

A Jewish teenager, who is currently away in Israel with his father, has had his car vandalised with Swastika in Boca Raton, Florida.

The graffiti was discovered when local residents in the Jewish community woke up this week.

Yona Lunger, a representative of South Florida’s Jewish Community said that the incident was “a direct hate message”, describing the community as “shocked, devastated”.

The community gathered around the car yesterday to vent their frustration, and the incident attracted some attention in regional news.

The teenager’s mother said that her grandparents were Holocaust survivors, saying that the incident “might not mean something to a lot of people, but to me, it means a lot”. She says that she will be worried about children playing outside in the community in the future, which demonstrates the very real effect that incidents like this can have on a community.

Rabbi Yaakov Gibbar, who teaches in the community said “that symbol is a symbol of hatred…that symbol is a sign of anti-Semitism, which is virulent and awful, despicable and deplorable”.

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Minnesota Jewish student has “Nazis rule”, image of concentration camp drawn inside his dorm

Avi Shaver, a Jewish student attending the University of Minnesota, returned to his dorm room on Wednesday to find a Swastika and a picture of a concentration camp drawn on his bedroom door, as well as the words “Nazis rule”.

It appears that the vandal somehow got into his shared dorm and drew it on his bedroom door.

The incident is not only clearly antisemitic, but extremely unsettling given that the culprit has demonstrated he is able to reach Shaver where he sleeps. The incident could thus also constitute intimidation.

Both the University and the Police are investigating.

There have apparently been several similar, but less serious incidents at the University in the last year.

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Neo-Nazis slogans and imagery drawn outside 3 Florida Synagogues

Three synagogues in Clearwater, Florida, have found antisemitic messages and imagery drawn in chalk on the pavements outside their buildings.

Chabad of Clearwater, Temple B’nai Israel and Beth Shalom all found the drawings near their Synagogues on January 12th.

There were Swastikas drawn, as well as the numbers 14 and 88. 14 refers to the Fourteen Words, a neo-Nazi mantra, and 88 is a numerical code for “Heil Hitler”.

Though one of the congregations’ Rabbi has noted that this has had “little effect” on their community, it does indeed demonstrate that antisemitism will never be far away for Jewish communities, and should remind those in the communities of the need to be vigilant in case things escalate.

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Sweden: Malmö woman suffers from antisemitic vandalism attacks, police take no action

For the past few years, a Jewish woman in Malmö has been targeted by a hate campaign (see here and here).  Her front door has been repeatedly vandalized.  She files complaints with the police, but they allegedly take no action whatsoever.

The latest attack was a couple of weeks ago, when her door was vandalized with a swastika and Star of David.

Whilst this is easy to dismiss as mere vandalism, the persistent antisemitic graffiti amounts to a clear message – “we know you are Jewish. We don’t like it, and we know where you live”, which amounts to intimidation

 

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German Court rules that attempt to set fire to Synagogue amounts to criticism of Israel

A Court in the German city Wuppertall upheld a previous decision that the attempt to burn a Synagogue was merely an act of protest against Israel’s actions in the 2014 Gaza War.

The attempted arson was committed by three German Palestinians during the 2014 War. They hurled Molotov cocktails through the windows of the Shul.

The court of first instance said that the acts were an attempt to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict”, and did not constitute antisemitism.

31-year-old Mohamad E., the 26 year-old Ismail A. and the 20-year-old Mohammad A. were given suspended sentences.

Wuppertal’s Synagogue was destroyed during the 1939 Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, and the new building suffered 800 Euros of damage from the attack.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this arson attack, and the alert was raised by a boy who saw the flames from his house.

Volker Beck said that the judgment was in error, saying the “attack on the synagogue was motivated by antisemitism”, asking “what do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward antisemitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming”

Mr Beck is entirely correct in his analysis. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel”. It is beyond belief that an attempt to set fire to a Synagogue has been minimised as merely “criticism of Israel” by a Court of Law. If even arson attacks against Jewish communal buildings can be passed off as just a case of political protest taken too far, then almost all antisemitism can be minimised as related to Israel in some way. This incident thus shows the urgent need for Western Governments and their institutions to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, which we have been pressuring for for a long time, and to ensure that it is understood and applied consistently.

You can read the International Definition of Antisemitism here.

 

 

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Philadelphia Synagogue has windows smashed twice in two months

A Synagogue in Tacony, which is nearly 100 years old, is facing what could begin to look like a campaign of intimidation after its windows were smashed for the second time in just over a month.

A rock was thrown through a window, smashing it, at the Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in the evening of December 2nd. The incident nearly left Synagogue President, Malcolm Adler, injured as falling shards of glass hit him. The window took a week to replace, costing the community $350.

Then last Friday at around 19:30, another rock was thrown through the same window, with two others broken.

One of the rocks thrown was the size of a baseball, and thus could easily have caused serious injury had it hit someone.

Both of the incidents appear to have been timed to coincide with Shabbat, so it cannot be discounted that the vandal responsible also aimed to hurt worshippers inside the building.

Within the last 10 years the Synagogue was also targeted with Swastika graffiti.

Mr Adler has said that some of the elderly members of the community are now nervous about leaving services, fearing that they could be victims of a physical attack. This sadly illustrates how incidents which some may write off as “just vandalism” can easily leave a community feeling victimised, with vulnerable members of community feeling at risk of physical harm.

The police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

 

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Arrests made after headstone defaced with “f***ing Jew” graffiti

Three arrests have been made after a headstone in Indiana was vandalized with the words “fucking Jew”.

The headstone marked the grave of a Jewish couple, whose grandson posted an appeal on his Facebook for information on Monday.

The headstone was identifiably Jewish, as it had a Star of David on it.

 

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Jewish seminary vandalized with swastika

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, the Jewish seminary in Cincinnati, has been vandalized with swastika graffiti in the last 24 hours.

A police report has been filed and the graffiti was subsequently removed.

Rabbi Johnathan Cohen, the dean of the school, issued a statement this afternoon:

“A minor anti-Semitic action occurred on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College this morning when a swastika was spray-painted on the HUC sign at the entrance to the Clifton Avenue campus,” Cohen said. “While only a minor act of vandalism, we are grateful for the immediate support of the Cincinnati police and many friends and neighbors in the Jewish and general communities. For more than 140 years HUC-JIR has been committed to being the liberal, open and welcoming center of Jewish life and education. We call on supporters and neighbors to increase their commitment to tolerance and respect among members of all faiths”

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley described the incident as an”act of hate” continuing to say “I am deeply offended and disturbed by these actions…the City is committed to using all of our resources to bring these criminals to justice. As we work to build a more welcoming and inclusive City, we will not stand for this intimidation”.

 

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Antisemitic vandals break Menorah into Swastika shape

A Jewish family in Arizona has been left feeling shocked and upset after a large Menorah they had displayed in their garden for Chanukah was twisted into the shape of a Swastika by antisemitic vandals.

Naomi Ellis took to Facebook in a post which has now been shared over 2000 times to decry what she has described as a hate crime and to appeal for people to contact the police with any information.

The family awoke on the morning of December 30th to find the Chanukiah vandalized.

To vandalize a religion symbol on another person’s property is a blatant act of intimidation, and is understandably upsetting for the victims, who are celebrating a festival which commemorates the Jewish struggle for survival against intimidation and attempts to erase Jewish religious practice and culture.

Ms Ellis’ statements is as follows:

We were just VICTIMIZED by a HATE CRIME
Last night my home was victimized by HATE. Instead of waking up to see our lighted Hanukkah menorah display on our front lawn, there was a swastika. My husband built the menorah to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday after our kids (3 boys 9, 7,5) asked for their own holiday lights for the season. We live in a great neighborhood with kind and welcoming neighbors. We never would have imagined that someone would spread so much hate here. However, this morning we were greeted with this horrible act of aggression. Our menorah was destroyed and altered to resemble a swastika. This clear act of hate and racism is disturbing and sad. I broke down in tears waiting for the police to come and hoping that my kids would not be awake to see it. The officer helped me take it down, before they woke-up. I’m still not sure how I will explain this to them. I’m not sure I quite understand it myself, nor have I ever understood racism or prejudice in any form. How can people can be filled with so much hate and violence? To think that someone would make such an effort to hurt and vandalize a family, is downright sickening. If you or anyone you know has any information that may help the police, please share and contact Chandler Police in response to 16-148624

Update: shortly afterwards over 200 people turned up to repair the Menorah and to sing Chanukah songs with the family, in a wonderful display of solidarity.

The police continue to investigate.

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“Filthy Jews”, swastikas spraypainted on Anne Frank School, France

Graffiti saying “filthy Jews” was spray painted onto the letterbox of a school in France.

The antisemitic vandals also wrote “Jews forbidden” in German and “Filthy Jewish and Romani people” in French.

The Anne Frank School is a Jewish school in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris.

The police collected evidence, and subsequently had the graffiti removed at the request of the Mayor. However, similar antisemitic graffiti has been found in the locality.

Juliette Timsit, who was formerly the Headteacher of the school, commented “this is the school that was targeted, particularly because of its name, Anne Frank. I was very proud to be a principal in this school. I love it…I am deeply affected by this and can barely hold back the tears”.

Whilst we report on a great deal of antisemitic graffiti, this incident is particularly shocking, both because it has targeted a Jewish school, but also because of the particularly nasty references to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, coupled with the fact the school is named after Anne Frank.

 

 

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Rabbi Nachman’s grave desecrated with pig’s head, blood

Visitors coming to pay their respects at the grave of Rabbi Nachman were “astonished” to find the site had been vandalised.

Antisemitic vandals left a severed pig head, and what is either red paint or blood, with reports varying.

The vandalism appears to have occurred on Tuesday night, and was discovered this morning.

The grave is located in Uman, Ukraine.

Rabbi Nachman was the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, and died in 1810. His grave is attended by around 150,000 visitors every year.

Rabbi Moshe Asman, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, told an Army radio station: “We will look into it, we have ways to do this, along with the police and local intelligence institutions, we will try to reach them. Vandals threw a pig’s head and shed blood”.

The question now is who did it, it wasn’t easy to move it there, because the area is inhabited by a lot of Jews”.

“There haven’t been events like this, but there are always cases of antisemitism before the New Year. In such a small place sometimes there are incidents, but I don’t have any more details, we will learn more from the investigation”.

Yair Lapid, Chairman of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party, urged the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel to look into the incident personally, saying “I was shocked this morning to hear about the sickening and violent antisemitic attack, which occurred at the grave-site of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, in Uman, Ukraine”, and calling the incident “unacceptable and reminiscent of the darkest days of the history of the Jewish people in Europe”.

 

 

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Germany: Jewish cemetery vandalized

The Jewish cemetery in Hagen, in the West of Germany, was vandalized in mid-November.

Two tombstones were knocked over, appearing to have had their bases smashed, and an attempt was made to remove the lettering from another.

Another tombstone was damaged by an “unknown tool”.

The damage is estimated at 800 Euros. Police are investigating.

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After Oberlin Professor fired for antisemitism, Jewish academic targeted with “Gas Jews” graffiti

After a lengthy nine month investigation, Joy Karega, a non-tenured assistant professor at Oberlin College, has been fired over antisemitic Facebook posts.

Karega was hired in 2014 to teach rhetoric and compositon classes at the prestigious private Ohio liberal arts college that comes with a $200,000 four year price tag, In November, 2015,  Karega wrote on her now deleted Facebook page: “I promise you, ISIS is not a jihadist, Islamic terrorist organization. It’s a CIA and Mossad operation.” Karega blamed the Paris magazine, Charlie Hebdo, terrorist attack on the CIA and Mossad, Israeli intelligence.

In January 2015 she accused Israel, the “same people behind the massacre in Gaza”, of shooting down Malaysian Airline flight No.17 over Ukraine. A 2015 inquiry came to the conclusion that a Russian-made missile probably caused the tragic crash.

An article in The Tower also revealed that in January, 2015, Karega shared an antisemitic image of an ISIS terrorist disguised as the Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu. The acronym, JSIL, a slur that compares Israel to ISIS, was drawn on Netanyahu’s arm along with a picture of the Star of David.

The text on the graphic implied that the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were murdered in order to erode French support of the Palestinians. Karaga posted on Facebook: “This ain’t hard. They unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why”.

Karega also posted an unflattering photo of banker Jacob Rothschild and accused him of “controlling your news, the media, your oil, and your government”. Besides being a ridiculous comment, this antisemitic remark plays into the age old stereotype of the greedy, evil Jew, who wants to control the world in order to reap all of the advantages, while leaving everyone else to suffer.

On her Facebook page in March 2015, Karega  provided a link to a video of Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Nation of Islam leader. In the video, Farrakhan states:”It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israeli and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attack.” In a post accompanying the link, Karega wrote, “Farrakhan is truth-telling in this video”.

Oberlin’s president, Martin Krislov, who is Jewish, ignited a national firestorm when he refused to condemn Karega’s posts. In a statement released to the press, Krislov said: “Oberlin College respects the rights of its faculty, students, staff and alumni to express their personal views.”

In sharp contrast to Krislov’s response, the Oberlin Board of Trustees in March called Karega’s statements “abhorrent” and “antisemitic”. The Board asked the school to “challenge the assertion that there is any justification for these repugnant postings.” 

 In a seeming nod of approval, a member of Stormfront, the white supremacist neo-Nazi website, was pleasantly surprised that the school protected Karega :”I am amazed that she posted the same stuff we do and [that] she wasn’t fired on the spot.”

Melissa Landa, president of the Oberlin chapter of Alums For Campus Fairness (ACF), a national college network that fights antisemitsm, would not disagree. It was their chapter, in fact, that was responsible for bringing Karega’s Facebook posts to the administration’s attention.

Landa issued a statement in April that Jewish students experience a “persistent hostile campus atmosphere”. Reporter Emily Shire of The Daily Beast spoke to a group of Jewish Oberlin students who said that they feel “increasingly threatened’ and were “dismissive of complaints of antisemitism.”

Ultimately, public pressure lead to Karega being put on paid leave in August. She was barred from campus while the school investigated her case. Karega refused to apologize and accused Oberlin of “pandering to the dictates of a handful of vocal and wealthy religious zealots.” On her Facebook page, Karega thanked writer, Kevin Barrett, a contributor to Veterans Today, which the Southern Poverty Law Center believes is “squarely in neo-Nazi terroritory”.

As a result of the controversy generated by the Karega scandal, President Marvin Krislov announced in September that he would be leaving Oberlin effective June 30, 2017.

On November 15, after bitter debate, Professor Joy Karega was fired by the Board of Trustees for “failing to meet the academic standards that Oberlin requires of its faculty” and for “failing to demonstrate intellectual honesty.”

Karega responded to her dismissal by accusing Oberlin of having a “discriminatory and biased approach”. She plans to file a lawsuit against Oberlin, as well as file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Board.

Two days after Karega’s firing, Benjamin Kuperman, the chairman of Oberlin’s computer science department, called police at 3:40 a.m. when he discovered, after hearing noise, that his front porch had been vandalized. Decorative seashells had been smashed, and placed behind a mezuzah that was on the door frame, was a note made from a piece of ripped white paper, with glued on cut letters, that said “GAS JEWS DIE”

Kuperman told police that he had no conflicts with friends, neighbors, Oberlin students or faculty members. The police, who are investigating, have classified the incident as a hate crime. Whether or not there is a link between the vandalism and Karega’s firing is unknown.

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Germany: Energie Cottbus fans call rivals “Jews” and that they should be gassed

Energie Cottbus played against Babelsberg 03 this past Saturday.  Babelsberg fans are known for being leftist and anti-fascist.

Cottbus fans yelled out “Jews” and “Gypsies” at the opposing team and made the Hitler salute.  The club apologized for its fans behavior.

In addition, Cuttbus fans left antisemitic graffiti, saying Babelsberg were “Jews” and wishing they were gassed.

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Canadian student’s dorm room vandalized with word “Jew” and a Swastika

According to an online report from a Canadian lawyer, somebody carved the word “Jew” and a swastika on the door of a Canadian Jewish student’s dorm room on the night of the American election.
The man said that a daughter’s friend had suffered the incident, and indicated that he would release more information at some point, but presumably cannot do so at the moment for safety concerns or due to a police investigation.
Whilst he believes the incident to have been related directly to the election, this is of course far from self-explanatory. Intimidation of Jewish students on campus is all-too-common and comes just as often from the far-left as it does from the far right
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Jewish, LGBT, non-white students targeted with Swastikas in their dorms, NY.

Dorm Rooms in the Kerrey Hall residential building were vandalized with Swastikas over the weekends.

Kerrey Hall houses students at the New School, NY.

Several students woke over the weekend to find that the doors of their dorm rooms had been vandalized with Swastika graffiti. It appears that the vandals have deliberately targeted Jewish, LGBT and non-white students.

The School’s President circulated the following statement to students by email:

“I have just learned of the defacement of four dormitory doors on our campus with a symbol intended to threaten and express hatred toward some of our students because of their identities.  Our community standards are very strong and hate crimes are unacceptable at The New School.The New School is committed to tolerance, respect, and diversity.  Any form of expression that denigrates members of our community based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual or gender identity, or political beliefs is completely abhorrent and antithetical to our core values. We take any such instance seriously, investigate swiftly, and take appropriate action to ensure the security and safety of all our students”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has also said “Hate speech is reprehensible, and has no place in NYC. To the affected, we stand with you. To the perpetrators, we are better than this“.

Though it appears as if the School has taken the incident seriously, it is unknown whether the police have become involved. This is just one in a string of incidents that have victimised Jewish students, a trend which inevitably has started to target other minority students too. It is indicative of an environment on University campuses, both in the USA and elsewhere, in which Jewish students no longer feel safe.

Whilst some news sources have tried to link the incident to the election of Donald Trump, which in some areas has indeed led to flare ups of antisemitic incidents, there appears to be little evidence to substantiate this claim in this case. Instead, it fits clearly into the trend of campus intimidation against Jewish students, both from the far-left and far-right.

 

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OC Jewish cemetery vandalized with Swastikas, “Heil Hitler”

It has just been discovered that a Jewish cemetery in Orange County was vandalized on the eve of Yom Kippur, last month.

The Beth Shalom Cemetery was found to have been vandalized with several Swastikas and the words “Heil Hitler”, as well as the SS logo.

The cemetery is connected to the Temple Beth Shalom, whose Rabbi Rebecca Shindler commented “These images are painful. They bring up the worst in humanity, and there are members of my congregation that don’t have anybody left. To come to what is supposed to be sacred ground for our congregation, and to be desecrated is unsettling, to say the least.”

Despite the upsetting attack on the community, they are still putting out a positive message. One member of the congregation said “It’s really important that good people in Warwick, who are Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslims, and Jews get together to be upset about this stuff, fix this stuff, make sure it happens to no one”, and one younger member of the community said “They can spray paint the walls, but we can build another wall, we can take off the spray paint, and we can still be a whole people. These attacks won’t destroy us”.

 

 

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Three Jewish Businesses Vandalised in Sullivan County Just Weeks After Cemetery Incident

Three Jewish-owned businesses have been vandalised in Fallsburg, NY, just two weeks after Nazi graffiti was found on the entrance of the Jewish Beth Shalom cemetery in the NY town of Warwick.

Broken and damaged windows thought to be caused by a BB gun or similar weapon were found at all three businesses. The establishments were located in South Fallsburg, Woodbourne and Woodridge.

The Fallsburg police are still unsure as to whether these attacks were intended to take place during the beginning of Sukkot.

Such routine intimidation of the Jewish community is clearly reminiscent of the targeting of Jewish businesses in Germany in the 1930s. The police are still investigating.

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Jewish family’s cars set on fire, “Jews die” graffiti outside their house

A Jewish family have had their cars set on fire and had antisemitic graffiti spray-painted outside their house, in Burien, Washington.

“Jews die” and “14/88” were spray-painted onto their garage door. 14/88 is a reference to the 14 words, a creed used by neo-Nazis, and the number “88” which is a numerical code for “Heil Hitler”.

There was also Swastika graffiti.

The family have no idea who committed this crime, but are concerned for their safety and, unsurprisingly, expect it to be an intentional hate crime.

Police are treating this as an arson investigation. It is unknown whether they are also treating it as a hate crime. These acts are blatant acts of intimidation against an innocent Jewish family and must be treated with the appropriate severity by the Police.

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“Dogs” graffiti in Mexico City Synagogue, organised hate group may be to blame

The Agudat Ahim Synagogue in Mexico City has been broken into and vandalised twice in the past week.

In one of the incidents, vandals broke in and smashed tables, chairs and windows, and spraypainted “blasphemous” words in the Synagogue, as well as the word “Perros” – meaning dogs. Of course, any instance of calling a group of people dogs is dehumanising and to be condemned, but it must also be noted that comparing Jews to animals has been a constant feature of antisemitism for hundreds of years.

There was also a form of “Anarchy” symbol. That an anti-establishment symbol would come to be used in an attack upon a Synagogue is extremely telling, as it demonstrates that Jews are associated with the establishment, which potential betrays an underlying conspiracy theory mindset as one of the motives of the attacks.

Representatives believe that the attacks have been perpetrated by an organised group whose express goal it is to intimidate the Jewish community.

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Antisemitic “Juden” graffiti targets Jewish students in Virginia

Antisemitic grafitti was found on Sunday near student accommodation in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The word “Juden” was spray painted outside the GrandMarc apartment complex, above a Star of David. “Juden” means Jew in German, and its use alongside the Star of David is overtly reminiscent of the forced labelling of Jews with Star of David badges with the word “Jude” were used. The symbolism was also used to mark Jewish homes and businesses.

The apartment complex houses many Jews who attend the University of Virginia. Several students interviewed expressed how they were worried about being targeted because of their religion for the first time

The Student Council and the Jewish Leadership council said that the graffiti was intended to “intimidate Jewish students and make them feel uncomfortable in their community”. Such public displays of antisemitism take away safe areas for Jews, and turn home neighbourhoods into spaces where one can be subjected to prejudice and intimidation.

The Police are currently investigating. Jewish students who were interview have voiced their approval of the University who, despite the incident having taken place off University property, have been proactive in investigating and in providing services to report incidents such as this.

 

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Holocaust memorial desecrated in Ukraine

A moment dedicated to the memory of thousands of Jews who were murdered by the Nazis in Kremenchug, Ukraine, has been desecrated.

Neo-Nazi vandals, the identities of whom are unknown, drew several swastikas as well as the numbers “14” and “88” on the memorial. 14 and 88 are both Neo-Nazi codes, with 14 referring to the ’14 words’, a creed used by neo-Nazis, and 88 referring to the eighth letter in the alphabet being repeated twice, which stands for ‘Heil Hitler.

Local authorities have washed the graffiti off the monument. The police are currently seeking the perpetrators.

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“Gas the Kikes” graffiti and other racist language at Duke University

A local news source has reported that antisemitic and racist graffiti was found on the Duke University campus ahead of an NAACP event.

The graffiti read “Gas the Kikes”. Such a statement is not just merely antisemitic, but could easily be considered an act of incitement. Using the imagery of the Holocaust to target and incite Jews is an unambiguous call for genocide.

Other graffiti included “F*ck N*ggers”.

Alec Greenwald, who works with the Duke chapter of NAACP, told the press “as we were waiting for the other student groups to trickle in, my kids wanted to read some of the messages that were on the tunnel. As we walked through the tunnel, we arrived at 3 derogatory messages targeting various identity groups. After having a conversation with my kids about the messages, I suggested to the student groups that we focus on that portion of the wall to paint over“.

The identity of the perpetrator is currently unknown, but the police are investigating.

A Duke University NAACP Representative commented:

The hate speech covering the graffiti wall was unfortunate, but perhaps more unfortunate was that the existence of the slurs was genuinely unsurprising to many of the students present. Racism and homophobia are not relics of an ancient and forgotten America—or Duke, for that matter—that has since been cleansed of imperfection with time. They are instead inevitable in the experience of many of the students on this campus. Extreme examples such as this only serve to remind us of the work that remains to be done in ensuring that members of our community feel safe during their earned pursuit of academic excellence.”

 

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Parkland Synagogue vandalized with “free Palestine”, expletives over Holidays

A Synagogue in Parkland, South Florida, has been vandalized over Rosh Hashana.

The vandals wrote “free Palestine” on the Synagogue’s sign, as well as some expletives which reporters say were too obscene to broadcast on television.

According to the definition of antisemitism, it is antisemitic to hold Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel. Even if this were not the case, vandalising a place of worship for political reasons, as that community marks the holiest period of the area, is a cynical attack on Jewish collectivity.

“This is highly disturbing, being that it is Rosh Hashana, to know that there are people out there trying to intimidate the Jewish community” Rabbi Shuey Biston told a local news channel.

Rabbi Mendy Gudnick said “this is the holiest time of the year. This is the Jewish New Year and so people are thinking about going to synagogue who don’t usually come to pray, and it gives them a little pause.”

It is currently believed that the incident was linked to anti-police activity in the area, as the number 12 was also painted, a number which has been associated with such anti-police activity. This is possibly because of the fact that the Synagogue held an event in support for the police.

The Mayor Michael Udine said “we were shocked and sickened by this because the Chabad, they are our neighbors and our friends”.

Rabbi Biston also commented “My message to the Jewish community is that, whenever we are faced with these acts of terror and violence and intimidation, we should all respond with acts of goodness and kindness and light”.

 

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Berlin Holocaust memorials defaced with references to Jesus

RIAS have reported that a Holocaust memorial in Berlin-mitte has been defaced with graffiti referencing Jesus.

The words “Jesus, love, truth” were painted onto the memorial which commemorates the murdered memers of the Adass Jisroel Synagogue in Berlin.

A few days later, the same words were found on the memorial for Putlitz Bridge, which commemorates a deportation of Jews to Poland. Then a week later another memorial, at levetzowstraße, was found defaced with the same words.

Whilst the words themselves are not antisemitic, any intentional damage to a Holocaust memorial is antisemitic in nature, and attempting to preach about Jesus or Christianity using a Holocaust memorial as one’s platform minimalises Jewish suffering with a subject that many Jews are already sensitive to to begin with. Beyond this, the use of the word “truth” could be a passing reference to Holocaust denial, though this is not entirely clear from the wording or the graffiti.

An individual member of the public has taken it upon him/herself to remove the graffiti.

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More Antisemitic graffiti littered around Germany

Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus – RIAS, the Berlin-based organisation that has been instrumental in documenting growing antisemitism in Germany, has uncovered several incidents of antisemitic graffiti in Berlin. 

In the most recent incident, an advert was defaced with references to Germany being controlled by a “Jewish-Islamic dictatorship”.

Claims of Jewish control over politics are a common and old antisemitic trope. The use here also blaming Muslims suggests that this is connected to growing far-right activity in the country, with many maligning both Muslims and Jews.

In another incident, this time in Gießen (State of Hessen) a small statue of a frog was branded with the Star of David and the colours of the Israeli flag. RIAS states that the frog was often an animal which antisemites had traditionally associated with Jewish women, claiming that they bestowed the women with some sort of magical powers. Beyond this, the use of animal imagery in portraying Jews has a long history in antisemitic discourse.

In yet another incident, someone simply wrote the word “lie” in German in a Star of David.

Finally, early in the month someone wrote “Israel Kill$” on a bin. While such simplistic claims often verge on blood libel, the use of the dollar sign clearly plays on antisemitic canards of Jews controlling, or being overly preoccupied with, money and finance.

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Jewish Cemeteries Desecrated In Poland and Moldova

According to local authorities, swastikas were sprayed on a number of graves that are located in a Jewish cemetery in Minsk Mazowiecki (Novominsk) Poland. The perpetrators are unknown. Since the cemetery is closed for most of the day, it is considered a break-in. The graves also appear to have Nazi slogans such as “Juden raus” painted on them.

The desecrated graves were discovered by local residents, who, in turn, notified members of the local Jewish community. After being notified by the Jewish community, the police opened up an investigation.

Novominsk, which had its named changed to Minsk Mazowiecki in 1916, is located in central Poland, near Warsaw. The city has a population of approximately 40,000 people.

Before World War Two, thousands of Polish Jews lived in the surrounding area.  But when Hitler invaded Poland, the Jewish community of Minsk Mazowiecki (Novominsk) was rounded up, and forced to live in the Nazi-created Minsk Ghetto. 

In one of the first episodes of the Holocaust, the Minsk Jews, who had not been shot to death by the SS in the streets of Minsk Mazowiecki, were sent to the gas chambers of Treblinka.

In addition, a Jewish cemetery located in Balti (Belts), Moldova, formerly Bessarabia, USSR, was desecrated  with graffiti and vandalized. The enormous cemetery has 25,000 Jewish graves. Six gravestones were smashed and toppled. Despite an investigation by the Balti police, the vandals have not been identified 

The cemetery caretaker, Nina Korlotyan, told Channel BTV that she believes that a group of young people may have gone into the cemetery at night. Korlotyan became suspicious when she discovered empty liquor bottles around cemetery benches 

Balti (Belts) which is the third largest city in Moldova, originally had a large Jewish population. Before the start of World War Two, 20,000 Jews lived in Balti,  But 15,000 Balti Jews perished in the Holocaust. They either died in death camps, were shot to death by Romanian soldiers, who were allies of Nazi Germany, or died of starvation.

The desecration of the Polish and Moldovan cemeteries are part of a wave of cemetery desecrations that have recently occurred in Europe.

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Swastikas painted on Ioannina synagogue

A Synagogue in Ioannina, Greece has been vandalized with Swastika graffiti.

Members of the local community found the graffiti, which has been reported to the authorities.

Vandals painted the swastikas on the exterior wall of the historic Synagogue, which is located in the old part of the city.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece produced the following statement:

“Vandal racists defaced with swastikas the exterior of the surrounding wall of the historic Synagogue of Ioannina, situated in the old walled city, the Kastro (Castle). Vandals drew swastikas also in some houses of the surrounding area.”

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expressed the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for this hideous act and urged the competent authorities to work for the arrest of the perpetrators as well as for the adequate protection of the Synagogue so as to contain such incidents that stain the image of the city of Ioannina.”  

During the Holocaust, many of the Jews of Ioannina, as well as those in surrounding areas, were deported to Auschwitz.

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Jerusalem Synagogue desecrated with Christian symbols

A Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem has been vandalized with crosses Arutz Sheva has reported.

Multiple large crosses were spray painted across the front of the Synagogue.

The Synagogue serves a large Persian Jewish population in the area.

The police are investigating

 

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Synagogue daubed, “Heil Hitler” yelled

A synagogue in the German city of Erfurt was besmeared on early Saturday

According to a German news portal the small synagogue in the old part of Erfurt, Germany, was daubed on early Saturday morning. That same night a group of four was heard shouting antisemitic abuse close to the old part of Erfurt, including shouting “Heil Hitler”. The police are looking for the suspected persons. It is unclear if these two incidents stand in connection

 

 

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Vandals wreck Holocaust memorial sites in North-West Russia and Estonia

Vandals have wrecked the Holocaust memorial site at “Golubaya Dacha” (The Blue House) in the Nevelski area of the Pskov province.

The vandalism was discovered on 28th August by Nevel resident, Natalia Gloshnovha. This was her first visit to the memorial site and she was shocked to find tombstones knocked over and most of the lilac bushes planted by school students, cut down. Members of a local social media group ‘Nevel – the best of the best’ agreed that the damage was malicious. There also appears to have been some swastikas painted in the area.

The site commemorates some 2,000 Jews from nearby villages who were rounded up by the Nazis into a ghetto and then murdered in September 1941.  In the post-war years, a Jewish cemetery was established at the memorial site, and in May this year an Avenue of the Righteous was added to commemorate those who had saved local Jews during WWII.

Another Holocaust memorial was vandalized in Kalevi-Liiva, Estonia. Swastikas were painted on the memorial board, which has information about the execution of 3000-6000 Jews murdered by the Nazis nearby.

 

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WW2 graves vandalized with swastikas and antisemitic graffiti

A graveyard in New South Wales, Australia, which houses the graves of WW2 veterans, has been desecrated with antisemitic graffiti.

Police attended Nowra Cemetery on Kalandar Street in Nowra yesterday, finding nine gravestones damaged.

One had “die Jues die” (sic) painted on it.

Other graves had Swastikas on them.

Shoalhaven police believe the vandalism occurred between 11:30am and 12:30pm on Tuesday, and are appealing for witnesses.

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Swastikas in playground in N.J. Jewish community

Nine swastikas were found painted in a playground in Howell Park, New Jersey.

The playground is frequently visited by members of the Jewish community.

Police found the Swastikas at Echo Lake Park on Monday.

The park is just immediately north of the border with Lakewood, which is home to a very large Orthodox community and Yeshiva.

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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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Antisemitic Holocaust placard on Berlin street.

RIAS Incident report: Berlin-Friedrichshain, 23rd July 2016.

A Holocaust revisionist placard was mounted on a busy street corner in Friedrichshain, Berlin.

On 23rd July, a placard attached to a lamppost with text which translate literally as “though we’re all sitting in the same gas chamber, it’s you sitting on the tap from within the red engine”, was recorded on the corner Boxhagener and Warschauer streets.

The text implies that Jews are in control of the “tap” of metaphorical gas that allegedly afflicts everyone. Not only does it thus suggest a conspiracy theory in which Jews are said to be in control of world affairs, but it also cheapens the memory of the Holocaust by creating a false equivalence between the conditions of the victims of the Holocaust and whatever social ills may affect people today, and then using this false equivalence for inflammatory and rhetorical purposes.

The style and content of the writing suggests that the originator is from within the vicinity of the street intersection. Such references to, or comparisons with, the Holocaust have a direct consequence in the lowering the societal threshold for openly antisemitic and revisionist statements.

For Holocaust survivors, their families and those affected by antisemitism, there is an inevitable reawakening of memories associated with the systematic mass extermination of European Jews under the National Socialist movement. We wholeheartedly welcome the swift removal of the placard shortly after it was discovered.

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Community responds to Swastika graffiti with beautiful artwork

Esther Cohen-Eskin woke up early on the morning of August 19th in her home in Havertown, Pennsylvania, to find Swastika graffiti on her bins.

Cohen-Eskin, who is Jewish, posted an image of the graffiti on Facebook, and appealed for information, though it is not known whether the police have been contacted.

She also appealed for the community to put up security cameras, and was notably extremely upset by the incident and its potential implications for her and her family.

However, a friend suggested to Cohen-Eskin, who is an artist, that she make the most of the situation and cover the image up with some artwork. Many in her community have responded by adding artwork to their bins too, some of which now have messages of tolerance and co-existence.

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Synagogue, Jewish cemetery desecrated in Ukraine

Kolomyia Synagogue in Western Ukraine was defaced with antisemitic graffiti on Thursday night.

The entrance to the Synagogue was sprayed with a swastika and “antisemitic slogans”.

Jacob Zlishiker, an official of the Jewish community, said that such incidents are routine in the area. However, the police are taking the matter very seriously.

A Jewish cemetery was also vandalized on the same evening.

Before the Holocaust there were 50 Synagogues in the City. This appears to be the only one still active, having been founded by a small number of Jews who returned to the city after its liberation from the Nazis.

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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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Holocaust deportation memorial vandalized in Berlin

 

Written by Isca Stieglitz

The Ellen Epstein Street commemorative sign, which marks Moabit Station, from where Berlin’s Jews were deported to their extermination, was vandalised again. The sign, from the “They Were Neighbours” Initiative, was sprayed with silver paint, sometime during Wednesday-Thursday night.

The memorial reads “from here drove trains to the gas”. The vandal writes “this isn’t true” in spray paint, crossing out the word “gas”. Denying the use of gas in the Holocaust amounts to Holocaust denial, as it denies the main method used by the Nazis to exterminate their victims. Indeed, it denies the industrialised method of slaughter that made the scale of the extermination of Europe’s Jews possible in the first place.

This occurred only three weeks after the sign had been cleaned from a previous incident on 28 July, when the sign was doused with black paint.

We were alerted to this incident by Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus – RIAS.

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Bondi Beach High St., Australia defaced with multiple Swastikas, racist messages

Swastikas and other racist iconography and pieces of graffiti have been drawn in permanent marker on the main street of Bondi Beach.

Police were called to Campbell Parade, were they discovered 15 separate pieces of far-right graffiti.

As well as several swastikas, police found the words “Not white? Not right”.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff described the graffiti as a “hate crime”, continuing: “it is hurtful (to Jewish people) given the swastika represents Nazi Germany, at the same time it’s offensive to all Australians because Australia fought against Nazi Germany”.

Eastern Suburbs Police are taking the matter seriously and are investigating it as a hate crime.

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Snowflakes into avalanches: antisemitic “Jew” rat graffiti in Washington

It would seem that even an artistic take, on a road safety endeavour, is not immune from antisemitism.

In the Chinatown district of Washington DC, an art installation, based on the Chinese zodiac, was created to bring fun, interest and enhanced safety to the diagonal “Barnes Dance” pedestrian crossing.

On the zebra-crossing element of the scheme, the rat zodiac images were graffitied with the word “Jew” on the main body. The authorities were alerted and the graffiti removed, only to reappear up to three times in one week.

Why is it important to highlight these incidences? On it’s own, incidences like this are annoying thorns; a cheap casual reminder that antisemitic canards and invectives lie just beneath the surface and in this case literally beneath one’s feet. Often, people can brush them off but, it is the accumulation of these incidences which means that many people cannot carry out the most mundane of tasks, (like crossing the road), without feeling targeted. It can eat at you, very slowly eroding one’s sense of safety and belonging.

It is important that the ‘casual’ and ‘throwaway’ invectives do not become acceptable and normalised.

Another aspect of these types of incidences is where it can lead. Many peoples have been earmarked for dehumanisation; it is tragically standard fair for many human histories. For the Jewish experience, it spans generations: pigs, apes, vermin, cancer, octopi, frogs, snakes, worms, lice, spiders ad infinitum from ancient and recent history and current history . If you dehumanise and label ‘subhuman’ a group of people, it makes the next step of eradication more palatable and “accepted”.

The use of dehumanisation is the third of eight stages of Genocide, as first mooted by Raphael Lemkin in 1944 and later expanded by Dr. George Stanton in 1996.

Some commentators may describe this type of incident as petty, free-speech, freedom of expression. If this is accepted by default, then there is also the right to challenge; there is the right to say that people have a right to access to a ‘normal’ daily life without having to tolerate the drip-drip of degradation.

These incidences maybe just snowflakes, but we know that the true weight of a snowflake lies in its accumulation into an avalanche.

 

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NYPD investigate multiple antisemitic incidents: rock thrown at Jewish man’s car, “huge” swastika graffiti

The NYPD are investigating a hate crime after a youth threw a rock through a Jewish man’s car window as it was in motion.

The incident took place on the afternoon of June 26. The youth throwing the rock also shouted antisemitic abuse and fled.

The police are seeking a black youth, around 14-years-old, around 130 pounds and 5 foot 6 feet tall.

The NYPD are also investigating two other incidents. The first of these is a verbal assault on a 33-year-old Jewish man who was subjected to antisemitic abuse by a black man. This incident took place as he departed the Utica Avenue subway station in near Crown Heights. The second is a series of “huge” swastikas spray painted on the 181st Street station in Washington Heights.

Anyone with any information about these incidents should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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Romanian monument to IDF defaced with swastikas

Antisemitic slurs were used to deface a monument to members of an Israeli Air Force helicopter that crashed in 2010 killing six Israeli Air Force members and a Romanian soldier.  The vandals covered the monument with typical antisemitic imagery, including swastikas and a drawing of a pig.  The vandals did reveal some minimal linguistic abilities as they were able to spray the Hebrew words for “you’re pigs,” transliterated into Romanian characters!

Tamar Samash, the Israeli ambassador to Romania, via the Israeli police attache in Bucharest, alerted the police who had not heard of the incident, possibly due to the location of the monument in Brasov, a secluded area outside Bucharest.

The memorial commemorates the six soldiers whose helicopter crashed in 2010 during a joint exercise between Israeli and Romanian armed forces.

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Jewish cemetery in Manchester vandalised overnight

Fourteen headstones were smashed at the Blackley Jewish cemetery in Charlestown, north-east Manchester, on Wednesday night. Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry from Greater Manchester Police issued a statement describing the vandalism as “a sickening act of antisemitism which we are taking very seriously.” He said that the attack appeared to be “deliberate and targeted” with “clear racial motivation”. The vandals appear to have climbed over the perimeter wall and broken gravestones at random around the cemetery. Chaudry promised to “do everything we can to find out who is responsible and bring the full force of the law down on them” and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

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Graffiti on London bus stop claims Jews causing third World War

A passerby has discovered graffiti advertising a Jewish conspiracy theory on a bus stop outside Swiss Cottage Library in London. The graffiti claims that Jews are laying siege to Europe and causing a third World War. The website does not work. Police have said that the graffiti will be removed.

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Swastika sprayed on Italian school named after Anne Frank

In Montecchio Maggiore, a small town situated just outside of Vicenza, between Verona and Venice, multiple schools were desecrated with antisemitic graffiti. Public middle school, Anne Frank, was vandalised on the night of Friday, 4th March, as delinquents defaced the school’s sign with a swastika.

Afterwards, evidence suggests the vandals got into the school yard where they tarnished a wall with blasphemy, slander against the school’s vice principle, Alessandra Mantiero, and antisemitic libel. Similar writing was found on elementary school, Manzoni.

Upon arrival at school Monday morning, students and teachers were shocked. Especially poignant is the fact that a school named after a victim of the Holocaust, in remembrance of Nazi persecution, has been targeted with antisemitic violence. In addition to besmirching the schools, the hoodlums knocked about plants and attempted to start a fire. A tree in the courtyard was planted to commemorate the experience of the oppressed during World War II, as the tree Anne Frank watched grow from outside her window in Amsterdam while she was in hiding.

In response to this expression of contempt for a name that is symbolic of persecution, president of the parents’ committee, Barbara Gasparella stated, “It is a very serious act.”

Livio Fedrigo, a teacher at the school, explained, “For us it is not a joke because this act extols a situation that we, in school, fight against. They [the culprits] wanted to strike universal symbols. On our [the teachers’ ] part, we stand in full solidarity with Mantiero.”

Police located the spray-paint can used to deface the schools by Manzoni. Thanks to nearby bank surveillance camera footage, local police have been able to identify the vandals as 13, 14, and 15 year old students.

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Graffiti at SOAS University of London threatens opponents of BDS

On 6th April, Israel’s new ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, visited London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and met with the University’s Director, Valerie Amos. The following day, Jewish students noticed red and black graffiti scattered across campus. In bold red, the phrase “BDS or else” could not have been mistaken. BDS refers to a campaign to boycott, divest from or place sanctions on Israel.

The graffiti stood out amongst most other anti-Israel incidents SOAS is infamous for because of its sinister undertone. “Or else” enforces the message of harmful or violent consequences, which Jewish students on campus feel threatened by.

Avrahum Sanger, a student at SOAS commented, “The actions and graffiti on campus yesterday at SOAS further contribute to the fear Israeli and Jewish students face at SOAS. Already students are afraid to speak Hebrew on campus, wear Jewish items of clothing or identify as Israeli or Jewish and further demonisation only serves to alienate both groups further.”

SOAS has not made any comment on the incident and the graffiti has yet to be removed.

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Everyday Antisemitism London Vandalism Verbal Abuse Ξ E-mail

London Jewish family’s car egged by attackers shouting antisemitic abuse

Shomrim has reported that a car carrying a Jewish couple and their baby has been attacked with eggs, whilst the perpetrators shouted “F***ing Jews” and “Kill the Jews” amongst other antisemitic abuse. The incident took place at 02:00 this morning in London’s Blackwall Tunnel. There was no prior contact or incident between the two cars.

Officers from Tower Hamlets Police stopped a vehicle and arrested its four male occupants shortly after the incident, and investigations are ongoing. Shomrim are assisting the victims.

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Everyday Antisemitism New York Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Two new swastikas discovered in New York after arrest

Two swastikas were found by the owner of a building on the pillars of a parking garage in Cedarhurst, New York. Police suspect that this incident occurred sometime between the hours of 16:30 on Friday, 25th March, and Monday at 10:30.

A pair of swastikas was found a couple of weeks earlier, on 7th March, also in Cedarhurst. On that occasion, a 17-year-old boy was arrested.

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Everyday Antisemitism New York Vandalism Ξ E-mail

“Horrific” antisemitic graffiti found at University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo Police have increased patrols around the Hillel of the University at Buffalo campus after antisemitic slurs and threats were discovered on a men’s restroom stall on 23rd March.

University Police believe the crude graffiti to be an isolated incident, according to Deputy Chief of Police Joshua Sticht. University at Buffalo spokesman John Della Contrada said that the incident does not uphold the values of the University. In an e-mail sent to the student body, Contrada added, “When acts motivated by hatred or discrimination occur, the university will respond promptly to protect the safety and well-being of the entire university community.”

Andrew Meyer, the President of the Jewish Student Union, said, “I’ve never seen any form of antisemitism like that before.” Meyer called the slur, “the most horrific and derogatory term” used against Jewish people.

Though the slurs were reported on 23rd March, they seem to to have gone unreported for at least two weeks, according to photos sent to the University at Buffalo newspaper The Spectrum.

Director of the Hillel for Buffalo Dan Metchnik said the graffiti is “very disturbing,” and that all religious hatred is unacceptable, regardless of belief.

The graffiti have been removed.

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Everyday Antisemitism Massachusetts Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Swastika found at Brandeis Jewish fraternity house

A swastika was discovered in the fraternity house of Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter of Brandeis University, the non-sectarian college founded by the American Jewish community, late Friday night.

During the off-campus event, Alpha Epsilon Pi brothers noticed a crude depiction of the Nazi symbol written in the condensation of a glass door in the fraternity house in which Jewish students live. The unofficial event, hosted by the Jewish fraternity, was open to the entire student population.

Brandeis students have taken concern. “It hits a raw spot,” said Emma Maier, Brandeis ‘18, who attended the event. “it is hard to separate my family’s deeply personal narrative from the incident.” Turkish international student Joel Hemsi, Brandeis ‘19, who serves as the International Ambassador of the student-led Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe (CAASE), added, “I’m shocked that such a thing happened at Brandeis, where many Diaspora Jews go to find a safe haven to openly express their Jewish identity.”

Though the Alpha Epsilon Pi event did not take place on Brandeis University property, the administration has denounced the act. In an e-mail to the student body, President Lisa Lynch wrote, “I condemn this malicious action. In my opinion, there is no place in society for such a despicable display of intolerance and hatred. Such heinous acts violate every value for which Brandeis stands.”

The swastika at Brandeis marks the newest development in a string of antisemitic incidents that have affected the Greater Boston Jewish community. Reported events in recent years include swastikas drawn on flyers at Northeastern University, a residence vandalised with racial graffiti, and Jewish professors facing discrimination at Wheelock College, and Catholic Memorial School students chanting “You killed Jesus” at at a basketball game against Newton North High School, which hosts a large Jewish population, last month. Seth Greenwald, Brandeis ‘17 and a Boston native, said: “in the last three years, I have seen more blatant antisemitism on campuses and elsewhere than in my entire life. Enough is enough.”

The Waltham Police Department has been notified and is working with the University on the investigation.

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Everyday Antisemitism London Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Graffiti in London pub claims Jews run the country and start all wars

Londoner David Patrikarakos was surprised to see antisemitic graffiti in the toilet at a local pub in Victoria. He tweeted photos, commenting: “I’ve lived in London all my life and you never used to see this stuff around. Sad.” The graffiti claims that “Jews run [the] UK” and “Jews start all war[s] for [money]”.

https://twitter.com/dpatrikarakos/status/712718964070227969

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Education Everyday Antisemitism Indiana Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Swastikas found at University of Indianapolis and Purdue University

Two American universities reported finding objects on campus marked with swastikas earlier this month.

At the University of Indianapolis one was scratched into a statue of Chinese artist Au Ho-nien, prompting the university’s president, Robert L. Manuel,  to e-mail a warning on 8th March reminding students that “UIndy has not and will never tolerate such behaviour,” and it showed the university was not “immune to intolerance and hate”.

And on 7th March at Purdue University a swastika and antisemitic slur were found on a whiteboard in the American Studies program at College of Liberal Arts.

Liberal Arts dean David Reingold sent an e-mail to staff and the faculty stating: “This type of hateful expression is repulsive and outside of the bounds of civil discourse. It has no place in the College of Liberal Arts and Purdue University.”

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Everyday Antisemitism New Jersey Vandalism Ξ E-mail

“Burn the Jews” graffiti at American playground

The words “Burn the Jews” were scratched on to equipment at a playground in New Jersey, USA, in an incident that prompted the local mayor to speak out against antisemitism.

Police found the graffiti with other obscene messages at Riverwood Park in the township of Toms River on 1st March, leading the mayor, Thomas Kelaher, to release a statement the next day.

He said: “In Toms River, we have no tolerance for antisemitic attacks. We will not accept this reprehensible behaviour. This action is being rightfully condemned and thoroughly investigated.”

Police said they are looking into whether the graffiti was carved by “ignorant teenagers or was of a more direct and sinister nature directed at the Jewish faith”, and urged residents to call the Toms River Police Department with any information.

Staff from the local buildings and grounds department removed the graffiti from the equipment.

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Everyday Antisemitism France Vandalism Ξ E-mail

French synagogue vandalised with swastikas and “Screw the Jews”

Black swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti was discovered by congregants on Saturday morning in the small French city of Verdun. It was the first incident of its kind in the city in recent memory.

Swastikas were drawn over a relief shaped like the Tablets of Testimony, drawn over the Hebrew inscription.

“Screw the Jews” and other antisemitic slogans were written on the wall.

The vandals also forced open an outer door, but were not able to breach the second, more sturdy entrance.

“I am speechless, shocked and outraged at this incident,” the local community’s vice president, Jean Blacharz, said.

Police have placed extra security around the synagogue and are investigating the incident. The vandals remain unidentified.

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Everyday Antisemitism Massachusetts Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Massachusetts school reports two incidents of antisemitic graffiti since autumn

The principal of F.A. Day Middle School, Brian Turner, has had to send letters out to parents addressing the “hateful speech” found written on a bathroom wall and a swastika found drawn in the snow just off at the school grounds

The Newton Tab has reported that police and school officials are investigating two reported antisemitic incidents which occurred months apart on or near school grounds.

Before the letter was sent out, law enforcement and the Newton Superintendent of Schools were unaware of the incidents, according to the Newton Tab. According to the paper, Principal Turner plans on a meeting with staff to discuss these incidents and how to handle any future occurrences.

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Everyday Antisemitism South Africa Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Vandals spray Johannesburg wall with pro-Hezbollah message

Vandals sprayed “Hezbollah” in Arabic and “Death to Israel” in English on a wall in Johannesburg, South Africa, by the Zook lake.

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Connecticut Everyday Antisemitism Vandalism Ξ E-mail

22 gravestones vandalised at Connecticut Jewish cemetery

Local police in Hartford, Connecticut, are investigating the vandalism of 22 headstones at Zion Hill Cemetery, which has caused thousands of dollars of damage.

The damage was discovered when an employee of the Association of Jewish Cemeteries was inspecting the grounds and found a locked gate had been forced open.

Local police are investigating.

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Everyday Antisemitism North West Vandalism Verbal Abuse Violence Ξ E-mail

North West Infidels clash with anti-fascism group in Liverpool

A march and protest by North West Infidels, along with Polish fascists and young neo-Nazi group National Action took place this weekend in Liverpool City Centre. Over 500 people from anti-fascist groups dirsupted the march.

Fascists gathered near St George’s Square joined by Polish Nazis, and then moved into the square where the Nazis were allowed to hold their protest. Only after several hours were they finally marched out by the police to the station to board a train to Manchester.

The fascists threw projectiles including firecrackers at passersby and defaced buildings by painting swastikas on them.

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Arson Everyday Antisemitism Israel Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Arab arsonists set fire to prayer books in Gush Etzion

Arab arsonists have set fire to prayer books in a synagogue in the town of Givat Sorek in Gush Etzion.

Source: NRG

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Everyday Antisemitism Germany Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Mezuzah torn from Jewish couple’s home in Berlin, Germany

RIAS have reported that a mezuzah (a parchment of Jewish scripture fixed within a casing to door frames in Jewish homes) was torn off the entrance to a Jewish couple’s home in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, Germany last week.

The couple live in an apartment that is set back from the street and is only accessible to other residents and visitors to the block.

Source: Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus

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Everyday Antisemitism Germany Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Large-scale, antisemitic graffiti attack on cemetery in Germany still on display, three weeks later

Over forty graves at cemetery in Constance, Germany have been vandalised with graffiti. The desecration — which includes slogans sprayed onto gravestones such as “Jews to the gas” “I hate Germany” “Germany leave Syria” “Kill Christ” and “IS” — is still intact and in clear sight, three weeks on.

The cemetery’s management has said that some graves are listed, which has delayed their repair. The local Jewish community and other visitors to the cemetery, however, have expressed dismay at how the hateful messages continue to be left in clear sight.

A member of the local Jewish community, speaking to Südkurier, remarked that this is the worst antisemitic attack she has witnessed in the city in the forty years she has lived there. She added that she has frequently attempted to initiate discussions between local party and faith representatives, but that her efforts to encourage greater cohesion have been ignored.

Source: Südkurier

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Everyday Antisemitism Greece Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Neo-Nazis deface Greece’s third-largest city with “Juden Raus” and pose executing Nazi salutes

Neo-Nazis in Greece’s third-largest city, Patras, have posed executing Nazi salutes alongside newly-painted neo-Nazi graffiti. One slogan read “Juden Raus”, German for “Jews Out”. The group are from AME (Unaligned Meander Nationalists), which has claimed responsibility for the vandalism of numerous Jewish monuments and cemeteries, according to Greek antisemitism monitoring service Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό.

Source: Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό

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Everyday Antisemitism Italy Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Swastika and Star of David mural sprayed on supermarket in Rome

A supermarket in Rome has been defaced with a mural depicting a swastika and Star of David. The graffiti was discovered in the Ostia district of Rome.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Everyday Antisemitism Illinois Vandalism Ξ E-mail

CCTV shows University of Illinois menorah being vandalised for the third time

A campus menorah has been vandalised yet again at the University of Illinois. CCTV showed a man and a woman vandalising the menorah early on Sunday morning, breaking off one of its arms and breaking lightbulbs. This is the third time the menorah has been vandalised in recent months and it was only reconsecrated on 7th December. A new menorah will now be installed which is more resistant to vandalism. Police are investigating.

Source: CFCA/News Gazette

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Everyday Antisemitism Pennsylvania Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Swastikas drawn on US students’ bedroom doors

Students at an American college have had their bedroom doors vandalised with antisemitic graffiti.

Swastikas and phallic images were drawn on whiteboards affixed to students’ doors in Elizabethtown College’s Royer hall of residence overnight on 27th-28th January, while some residents also found graffiti inside their rooms, the college’s newspaper reported.

The college’s campus security department has interviewed witnesses and photographed the graffiti as part of its investigation to identify the culprits, who are suspected to be fellow students. Extra foot patrols are planned to prevent further vandalism.

The department also issued a statement reminding students that: “Verbal or physical, written or electronic expressions, which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, learning or living environment will not be tolerated.”

Source: The Etownian

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Everyday Antisemitism Germany Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Jewish retirement home defaced with Nazi grafitti in Germany

A Jewish retirement home in the Bornheim neighbourhood of Frankfurt, Germany, was vandalised on Thursday night. The outside walls were daubed with swastikas and SS symbols. Police are appealing for witnesses.

Frankfurt was particularly badly hit by antisemitic graffiti over the summer of 2014, when hatred against Jews found a respectable outlet under the guise of protesting Israel’s defensive military action against attacks from Gaza. Over this period, a synagogue and Anne Frank learning centre in Frankfurt were both desecrated and a Jewish family’s home was sprayed with “Jews out!” messages.

https://twitter.com/Freddy2805/status/695653166533234691

Source: Frankfurter Rundschau

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Austria Everyday Antisemitism Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Further reports of vandalism against ‘Stolperstein’ Holocaust memorials in Austria

‘Stolperstein’ Holocaust memorials in Graz, Austria, have been vandalised. Police believe the memorials were desecrated with acid or abrasive paint. The matter is now under investigation.

This is the fourth report of vandalised Stolpersteine over the last five months, bringing the total of defaced or stolen Stolpersteine to 42 since October.

The incident in Austria also appears not to be a one-off. Stolpersteine were similarly attacked with an acidic substance in February and March of last year.

Hanno Wisiak, the deputy mayor of Graz, remarked that the political climate there was becoming toxic and the presence of the far-right threatening.

Source: CFCA/Steiermark

 

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Belgium Everyday Antisemitism Vandalism Ξ E-mail

“We are Eichmann” found sprayed on wall of Brussels arts college

Graffiti on the wall of a Brussels arts college, École Supérieure des Arts has been found saying “We are Eichmann!”

https://twitter.com/jsPhilippart/status/689796265203404801

Source: CFCA/New Antisemite/Twitter

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Everyday Antisemitism Italy Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Swastika found on the wall of the Marconi institute in Sanremo, Italy

A swastika has been found painted on the wall of the Marconi institute in Sanremo, Italy.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Everyday Antisemitism Italy Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Bright red swastika painted on mediaeval tower in square in Rome

A swastika has been found painted in red on a mediaeval tower in Piazza San Martino ai Monti in Rome, Italy.

Source: Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Everyday Antisemitism Indiana Vandalism Ξ E-mail

55 headstones smashed at Indiana Jewish cemetery

A Jewish cemetery has been vandalised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 55 headstones were smashed at the cemetery, which is tended by volunteers. Local police are investigating.

Source: CFCA/News 15

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Everyday Antisemitism Vandalism Washington Ξ E-mail

Swastikas found outside Jewish family’s business in Seattle, Washington for the second time

A Jewish family has called police after swastikas were drawn outside their family business in Seattle for the second time in six months. No other businesses in the area have been targetted and the family are now buying a CCTV system.

Source: CFCA/Q13 Fox

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Everyday Antisemitism Italy Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Antisemitic football slogan found sprayed on a wall in Genoa, Italy

An antisemitic football slogan has been found in the Albaro neighbourhood of Genoa, Italy. The graffiti says “Doriano ebreo” (“Dorian Jew”), referring to fans of the football team of Genoa.

Source: CFCA/Osservatorio Antisemitismo

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Everyday Antisemitism Germany Vandalism Ξ E-mail

35 Holocaust memorials vandalised overnight in Berlin, Germany

RIAS have reported that 35 “Stolperstein” Holocaust memorials were vandalised in the Friedenau district of Berlin, Germany on Tuesday night.

Stolpersteine (“stumbling blocks”) are small, cobblestone-sized, brass memorials created to commemorate victims of Nazi oppression. Stolpersteine are usually installed into the ground around the area a victim lived or worked and usually include details such as the victim’s name and dates of birth, deportation and murder.

The 35 Stolpersteine in Friedenau were vandalised with grey, aerosol paint. According to RIAS, Stolpersteine in the area have been regularly desecrated over recent years. Petra Fritsche, who runs the Stolpersteine initiative in Friedenau, regularly receives threats.

On the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht last year, a Stolperstein was stolen from the neighbouring district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.  A similar act of vandalism was carried out in Dresden, Germany, the month before.

Source: Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus

 

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Everyday Antisemitism London Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Graffiti in London says “Holocaust is a lie” and attempts to blame bankers