Far-Right Antisemitic Activity Surges in August: CAM Information Hub Update

The defaced memorial to the late Auschwitz survivor and human rights icon Simone Veil in Perros-Guirec, France.

September 3, 2021

As summer vacation came to a close, a considerable surge in far-right incidents of antisemitism has left Jewish communities concerned ahead of the high holidays period. Juxtaposed against the unprecedented increase in far-left and Islamist antisemitism surrounding the May conflict between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas earlier this summer, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Information Hub tracked a 68% increase in far-right antisemitic activity in August compared to July.

Overall, the CAM Information Hub monitored a total of 170 media reports of antisemitic incidents in August, a 28.8% increase from July’s total. The increase in far-right incidents was driven largely by Neo-Nazi vandalism targeting Jewish sites, and the normalization of Holocaust trivialization surrounding COVID-19 vaccination measures worldwide.

The 170 media reports of antisemitic incidents around the world include 84 incidents (49.4%) motivated by a far-right ideology, 35 incidents (29.6) from the far-left, 26 incidents (15.3%) with an Islamist motivation, and 25 incidents (14.7%) where the ideological motivation of the perpetrator could not be attributed.

Many of the reported incidents in August centered around Holocaust distortion and trivialization. In Eastern Europe for example, nationalist groups have attempted to glorify anti-Communist leaders who participated in the Holocaust, as heroes, and Poland’s government passed a law blocking Holocaust survivors and their heirs from seeking restitution for their assets confiscated during World War II.

In North America and Western Europe, political rhetoric that compares COVID-19 health measures to the Holocaust have become alarmingly normal, trivializing the memory of the Holocaust.

In France, the rapidly growing “Qui?” movement, emerged this summer at demonstrations against the government’s Covid-19 vaccination policies. The movement engages in explicit antisemitism by propagating conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the pandemic, as well as vaccine-related health measures.

August also saw reports of ten physical assaults on Jews in five countries, synagogue vandalisms in four countries, and vandalism of Jewish graves or monuments in six countries.

The August update also includes two adoptions of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and the latest government measures to combat growing antisemitism around the world.

The full CAM Information Hub August 2021 Update is available here.