Welcome to the Seventh Edition of the Combat Anti-Semitism Newsletter! Read the latest headlines and watch the newest videos.
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This Week’s Content
July 4th Message
Wishing everyone a happy 4th of July!
In the past year, the US has witnessed the deadliest anti-Semitic attacks in the history of our nation. Despite this, in the two millennia of the Diaspora, Jews have never been more free, safe, prosperous, or more integrated into the fabric of a society than they have in the United States.
As a nation founded by and for the people and on the idea that all men are created equal, it’s as important as ever to teach, remember and learn the 365-year history of the Jewish Americans and to appreciate this wonderful country we are lucky to have.
1. The First New York Jews: Twenty-three refugees from Brazil established the first Jewish community in the future U.S.
By My Jewish Learning
When Portugal re-conquered Brazil in 1654, all Jews were expelled. Most fled to Holland. Some settled in the Indies. Twenty-three Jews, however, continued north. In September 1654 they arrived in New Amsterdam. In 1664 the British took New Amsterdam and renamed it New York. The Jews were accorded even more civil rights. By 1706 they had organized their own congregation, Shearith Israel. The first Jews coming to North America settled in six communities: Newport, Rhode Island; New York; Philadelphia; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Richmond, Virginia. Read Here.
2. Haym Salomon: Revolutionary Broker
By Michael Feldberg
Haym Salomon (1740-1785) reached New York City in 1772, and swiftly established himself as a successful merchant and dealer in foreign securities. Striking up an acquaintance with the New York Sons of Liberty, Salomon became active in the patriot cause. When war broke out in 1776, Salomon supplied American troops in central New York. In 1777, he married Rachel Franks, whose brother Isaac was a lieutenant colonel on George Washington’s staff. The French minister appointed him paymaster general of the French forces fighting for the American cause and he became one of the most effective brokers of bills of exchange to meet federal government expenses. Salomon also personally advanced funds to members of the Continental Congress and other federal officers. He risked his fortune, pledged his good name and credit on behalf of the Revolution, and stood up for religious liberty. Despite financial setbacks at the end of his life, Salomon’s name is forever linked to the idealism and success of the American Revolution, and to the contributions Jews have made to the cause of American freedom. Read Here.
3. George Washington and his Letter to the Jews of Newport
By Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
The original of Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island is small in size, but its impact on American life is immense. In 340 well-chosen words, the Letter reassures those who had fled religious tyranny that life in their new nation would be different, that religious “toleration” would give way to religious liberty, and that the government would not interfere with individuals in matters of conscience and belief. Quoting the Bible’s Old Testament, Washington writes:
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
1. James A. Fields Jr., avowed neo-Nazi in Charlottesville car attack, sentenced to life in prison
By Joe Heim & Paul Duggan
The avowed neo-Nazi and convicted murderer, James A. Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville, apologized in court as a judge sentenced him to life in prison for 29 federal hate crimes. Read Here.
2. Manager of Pittsburgh restaurant fired for anti-Semitic Facebook post
Stephen Guyer, manager of a popular restaurant in Pittsburgh, was fired for an anti-Semitic Facebook post of a meme that shows the interior of an oven and read “Jewish bunk beds for sale.” Read Here.
3. Governor Cuomo Vows to Fight Anti-Semitism in All Its Forms During Solidarity and Trade Mission to Israel
By NY Governor Press Office
“Sharing this extremely powerful experience with my daughters has made it all the more impactful. They are personally disturbed about this rash of anti-Semitism and wanted to travel with me to Israel to make a statement as a sign of their love for the Jewish community. Read Here.
4. California Jews uneasy as man who threatened synagogue shooting allowed bail
By Gabe Stutman
Ross Farca, who threatened to murder “over 30” Jews and detailed a plan to mow down “clusterf***s of Kikes” returned to court to contest a restraining order that would extend a prohibition on his possession of firearms. Farca was released on bail days after his arrest, shocking the local Jewish community. Read Here.
5. Anti-Semitic vandalism reported on La Jolla Mesa, reward offered
By Ashley Mackin-Solomon
Four highly visible, large swastikas were painted in various locations along La Jolla Mesa Drive in San Diego. The Anti Defamation League announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Read Here.
6. Turkish media calls for Turks to fund, support Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign
Turkish state news wrote an article calling upon Turks to donate to the campaign fund of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). The article was widely reprinted in the Turkish media in English and Turkish. Read Here.
7. Synagogues are now conducting active shooter drills during services
By Ben Sales
Congregations across the country are actively drilling their members on how to act if terror arrives at their doorstep. Read Here.
8. A school teacher in upstate New York praised Hitler in yearbook quote
Whiteville Central School District in upstate New York recalled its yearbook after history teacher Jeff Acor called Hitler his favorite person in history in a yearbook interview. “Adolf Hitler, who did many great things for Germany and their youth…and faced many hardships early in life… arguably the greatest public speaker in history… and made great strides to make Germany a world super power.” Read Here.
9. ‘Crying Nazi’ Christopher Cantwell Allegedly Threatened Charlottesville Lawyer Suing Him
By Kelly Weill
A neo-Nazi who participated in violent attacks during the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville is in trouble again—this time for making violent comments about the lawyer suing him. “After this stupid k*ke whore loses this fraudulent lawsuit, we’re going to have a lot of f*cking fun with her.” Read Here.
Israel and the Rest of the World
1. IN-DEPTH: THIS WEEK’S NEWS ON ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE UK
Jeremy Hunt accuses Corbyn of ‘deeply-held prejudices’ against Jews By Jewish News Reporter
By Justin Cohen
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused the Labour leader of harbouring “deeply-held prejudices” towards Jews as his campaign to become the next prime minister gathered pace. Read Here.
Two days after reinstatement, Labour MP again suspended amid anti-Semitism row
By TOI Staff
The Labour Party re-imposed the suspension of MP Chris Williamson two days after it was lifted. Read Here.
Author says UK literary events refusing to host him because he is Jewish
By TOI Staff
Bestselling author Richard Zimler says organizers have dropped him from UK literary events because of fears his Jewish heritage will offend pro-Palestinian activists. A publicist trying to book appearances for him in Britain had been blackballed by two different literary events that had initially shown interest, once they found out he is Jewish. Read Here.
Anti-Semitic trolls ruin Adidas’ Arsenal soccer jersey launch
Anti-Semitic trolls forced Adidas to scrap a social media promotion for a new jersey made for the London soccer team Arsenal. The sportswear company’s tool allowed fans to put their Twitter handles on the back of a virtual jersey and tweet an image of it. Some used it to put handle names such as “@GasAllJewss” and “#InnocentHitler” into the tool. Read Here.
2. IN-DEPTH: THIS WEEK’S NEWS ON ANTI-SEMITISM IN GERMANY
Palestinian accused of killing man in Germany said he targeted a ‘rich Jew’
By Marcy Oster
A 31-year-old Palestinian man is accused of killing a German man and said he had targeted a “rich Jew” whose people “destroyed my homeland.” An alleged accomplice, who came up with the plan, is a Syrian refugee named Mohammed Omran Albakr. Read Here.
German neo-Nazi doomsday prepper network ‘ordered body bags, made kill lists’
By Ben Knight
Neo-Nazis in Germany ordered 200 body bags, quicklime and used police databases to draw up lists of local politicians to target. The neo-Nazis, who called themselves Nordkreuz (Northern Cross), were associated with Germany’s police and military, including several former and one active member of the elite forces unit of the state police. Read Here.
German report points to sharp rise in anti-Semitic violence
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said the number of anti-Semitic acts of violence increased by 71.4 % in 2018. And that the number of far-right extremists rose to 24,100 people with more than half of them potentially violent. Read Here.
8 far-right German extremists charged over plan to start violent uprising
German authorities indicted eight far-right extremists on suspicion they planned to start a violent uprising. The suspects formed a group calling itself “Revolution Chemnitz.” Authorities intercepted communication indicating they were trying to obtain firearms. Read Here.
3. Dutch rapper drops Anne Frank stage name following outcry over anti-Semitism
By Cnaan Liphshiz
The Dutch rapper who went by Anne Frank will change the name following an outcry and revelations of anti-Semitic statements. Read Here.
4. Anti-Israel protesters end rallies at Amsterdam’s WWII memorial
BDS activitis said they will stay away from this city’s World War II monument, where their supporters have staged incidents of anti-Semitic hate speech and violence. A woman named Celine Sleiman delivered a tirade against Jews there, saying “Killers, haters. Talmud calls you to f***k girls. Talmud tells you to plague humanity.” Read Here.
5. Canada to adopt Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism
Canada will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, saying the decision is part of the government’s anti-racism strategy. Read Here.
6. CANADA ADDS NEO-NAZI, IRAN-BACKED GROUPS TO TERRORIST WATCH LIST
By CJN Staff
Canada added two neo-Nazi organizations to its list of banned terrorist groups, becoming the first far-right extremist groups to be included on the list. Three groups linked to Iran were also added to the list. Read Here.
7. Federal NDP candidate in Nova Scotia ousted for comments comparing Israel to Nazi Germany
By MAURA FORREST
Rana Zaman won the NDP nomination in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour but was ousted last week after tweets surfaced in which she compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust. “I wonder if #Israel borrowed this from the #Nazis after they saw how successful they were? At the speed Israel is killing I wonder if they’re aiming higher than 6 million #Palestinians? #Gaza is the new #Auschwitz and #Israeli the gatekeepers!” Read Here.
8. Malmo’s Jewish community warns it could disappear by 2029 over security fears
By Cnaan Liphshiz
The Jewish Community of Malmo, Sweden may need to dissolve itself by 2029 unless its current circumstances change, partly because of indifference by authorities to the community’s security needs. Read Here.
9. Anti-Semitism leads to spike in demand for homes in Israel
By DAN LAVIE AND ASSAF GOLAN
As Jews in Europe have become afraid to wear kippot in public and U.S. synagogues are becoming targets of terror, the sense of insecurity that many Diaspora Jews are feeling is prompting them to invest in homes in Israel, whether as part of a plan to make aliyah or out of a desire for safe haven. Read Here.
10. Legendary Brazilian Musician Milton Nascimento Issues Stunning Rebuke to BDS Movement Before Tel Aviv Concert
By Benjamin Kerstein
Brazilian superstar Milton Nascimento issued a rebuke to the BDS movement, which sought to stop him from playing a concert in Tel Aviv, saying, “I will never abandon my public. Every artist should go where the people are, shouldn’t they? It’s my Israeli fans who brought me here, and a lot of these fans are Brazilians living in Israel.” Read Here.
11. Twitter suspends Egyptian actor who tweeted ‘lets kill some Jews’
Twitter suspended the account of Egyptian actor, Hesham Mansour, who tweeted, “Now lets kill some Jews” to his 800,000 followers. Previously he tweeted “All negativity in the world, caused by jews. All terrorism in the world, caused by jews. All depression, darkness, also jews.” Read Here.
12. HEBRON BUSINESSMAN WHO ATTENDED BAHRAIN: I’M AFRAID FOR MY LIFE
By Khaled Abu Toameh
Palestinian businessman Ashraf Ghanem, who participated in the “Prosperity to Peace” conference, said he’s been forced to flee his home after Palestinian Authority security officers tried to arrest him. “I’m afraid for my life,” Ghanem said. “I can’t go back to my home.” Read Here.
13. ANTI-SEMITISM INCIDENCES IN LUXEMBOURG
By Delano Staff
More anti-Semitic incidences have been reported in the first half of 2019 than in all of 2018, according to RIAL, a non-profit devoted to research and information on anti-Semitism in Luxembourg. A total of 30 incidences this year have been reported to the organization. There are some 1,200 Jews in the grand duchy. Read Here.
14. NEW DISCOVERY IN JERUSALEM’S CITY OF DAVID: 2,000-YEAR-OLD PILGRIMAGE ROAD
The ancient street is referred to as “Pilgrimage Road,” since archeologists are convinced that this is the path millions of Jews took three times a year when going up to Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to God during Judaism’s three key holidays. “This place is the heart of the Jewish people and is like the blood that courses through our veins.” Denying millennia old Jewish history in the land of Israel is in fact itself an anti-Semitic notion. Archeologists and historians continue to discover irrefutable facts on the ground that reinforce ancient Jewish history and sovereignty in the Land of Israel. To deny and delegitimize the 3,000 year historic, religious and cultural connection of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland is becoming ever more common and is a form of anti-Semitism that must be combated vigorously. Read Here.
1. US campuses see 7% increase in white supremacist fliers this academic year
By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN
White supremacist propaganda on US college campuses rose 7% this year, according to an ADL report which found 313 cases of white supremacist fliers, stickers and posters on campuses in the 2018-2019 year. Read Here.
2. Neo-nazi poster brings unease to campus
By LIZ ANASTASIADIS
300 students and professors on Denison’s campus were given a frightful greeting via a poster on the outdoor University map that read: “CENSORSHIP ENDS IN VIOLENCE INCREASE FREE SPEECH AND INCREASE THE PEACE.” The center of the poster depicts the Christchurch shooter, armed with semi-automatic weapons. Read Here.
Anti-Semitism has been perpetrated over the centuries. Today, we are seeing age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes being recycled as well as new forms of anti-Semitism. In order to effectively combat anti-Semitism, it is important to understand, define and highlight all its manifestations and ideologies.
1. Podcast: The immigration of middle eastern refugees into Europe.
Our partner, the Alma Research and Education Center, sat down with Thomas Eppinger, contributor to Vienna-based MENA Watch, for a discussion of the refugee situation in Europe. Please listen to this podcast and learn more about this very important and crucial phenomenon occurring now in Europe. Some of the many points discussed include: Only 1/3 of the estimated 2 million immigrants in Europe are believed to be Syrian refugees who have fled the Assad atrocities; Unlike waves of immigrants in the past, these immigrants are not assimilating, often because they are not attempting to do so; The immigrants often find the same minority radical groups they tried to escape taking control of their communities; The European governments are facing daunting challenges stemming from the new immigrant communities and the citizens are voting for change. Listen Here.
2. Judenrein Europe
By Joel Kotkin
For millennia Europe was the center of diaspora life but as Jews continue fleeing the continent, by the end of this century all that’s left will be a Jewish graveyard. With close to a majority of all Jewish children living there already, Israel in the near future will become, for the first time since early antiquity, the home to a majority of all Jews. It marks the end of an epoch of Jewish life, and the beginning of a new one. Read Here.
3. The NY Times Questionable Obsession
By Shahar Azani
In an attempt to get to know the positions of the 2020 Presidential candidates, the NY Times posed a set of 18 questions…only ONE dealt directly with a foreign state. To no one’s surprise, the Times chose ISRAEL and framed the question: “Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?” Read Here.
4. Hand in Hand against Anti-Semitism
By Isaac Herzog
Anti-Semitism, the scourge we had hoped would remain a bad memory from the past, is raising its head again and it is as ugly and as deadly as it used to be. We are witnessing alarmingly growing numbers of anti-Semitic incidents in places where legislation and education should have turned it into a residual phenomenon. If the tools of the State seem to falter, we need to rely on the courage and the commitment of each and every person of good will. It will take a wide ensemble of good willed people working in concert, each in their own circle, to push back the shadow of racism and anti-Semitism. Read Here.
This past week IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff was in Washington, DC to support the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act (H.R.2343) on Capitol Hill. In a special session with Congressman Brad Sherman hosted by our partner Hadassah, Marcus Sheff educated members of Congress and their staffers about the new radical Palestinian Authority curriculum and how it indoctrinates 1.3 million students with intolerance as well as anti-Semitism. The Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act (H.R.2343) is a bi-partisan bill co-sponsored by Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY). Marcus Sheff sat down with CAS for an interview to talk in more detail about the issue of intolerant education in the Middle East. Watch the video below of the session on Capitol Hill and our exclusive sit-down with IMPACT-se to learn more about their important work and H.R. 2343.
Learn more about IMPACT-se here.
SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR & COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM UPDATE
This section also highlights the work of government officials around the world that are combating anti-Semitism in their official capacities.
1. U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr’s Address to the 2019 Herzliya Conference.
By State Department
Special Envoy Carr spoke about the US State Department’s work to combat anti-Semitism across the globe at the 2019 Herzliya Conference. The Herzliya Conference is Israel’s foremost annual global policy gathering, drawing together senior Israeli and international participants from government, business, and academia to address pressing national, regional, and global issues. Read Here.
Watch the Special Envoy’s remarks below:
This section highlights the good deeds of Jews and others working to combat anti-Semitism in their communities.
1. On fringes of peace confab, rare prayer service brings Bahrain synagogue to life
By Raphael Ahren
Businessmen, reporters, rabbis and a senior White House official held rare morning prayers at the only officially declared synagogue in the Gulf. At the end of the service, which took place on the sidelines of the economic peace workshop held in Bahrain, the men, clad in prayer shawls and phylacteries, broke out in song, singing “Am Yisrael Chai” — the people of Israel live. Read Here.
Watch the video below.
2. What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know
By Lesley Stahl
At 99, Ben Ferencz is the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive with a far-reaching message for today’s world. Ferencz is legendary in the world of international law, and he’s still at it. He never stops pushing his message and he’s donating his life savings to a Genocide Prevention Initiative at the Holocaust Museum. He says he’s grateful for the life he’s lived in this country, and it’s his turn to give back. Read Here.
This section highlights opportunities for you to get involved in combating anti-Semitism. Read the content below to learn more.
1. Learn More About H.R. 2343
By Combat Anti-Semitism
This week we ask you to take action by educating yourselves on the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act in order to help prevent the spread of anti-Semitism into another generation of impressionable young minds. Help us raise awareness about the issue by sharing the bill and IMPACT-se’s research on the topic within your community.
Join us in the critically important task of preventing anti-Semitism from spreading into the next generation.
Over 100,000 individuals and 120 organizations, including those below, have signed Our Pledge. Thank you for your support!
“Combat anti-Semitism (CAS) is a non-partisan international grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and creeds, united to combat anti-Semitism. CAS attempts to expose anti-Semitic activity in the world today from across the ideological spectrum and highlights those working to fight against its resurgence. One of the most pernicious forms of modern anti-Semitism is the effort to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland, Israel and to delegitimize, if not eliminate the profound historic, religious and cultural connection of the Jewish people to Israel, which is an integral pillar of Jewish identity. Humanity flourishes when religious and cultural diversity is respected and we hope to encourage understanding so tragedies like the Holocaust or any incidents of hate inspired violence never happen again.”
Please sign our pledge today and join the movement! Taking a pledge can be the start!