August 27, 2021
THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
The past week saw a troubling spate of physical assaults targeting Jews worldwide, raising safety concerns ahead of the High Holiday season. In London, England, a man wearing traditional Muslim garb attacked random Jewish passersby in four separate incidents, including one in which an elderly victim was hospitalized. Also in London, occupants of a vehicle hit a Jewish pedestrian with a beverage can and verbally harassed him.
In Cologne, Germany, a kippah-wearing Jewish teenager had his nose and cheekbone broken by a group of ten assailants in a public park. In Aventura, Florida, a Jewish father was hit in the face at a hotel pool after confronting a man who had called a woman a “dirty Jew.” In Sirmione, Italy, a kosher hotel owner was beaten and called a “dirty Jew” by a neighboring hotel proprietor.
In three German cities – Dortmund, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, and Weimar — “Stolpersteine” Holocaust memorial bricks were vandalized or stolen. In Blackpool, England, Jewish graves were toppled, and in Krakow, Poland, a Holocaust memorial was defaced with slogans praising Hitler. Neo-Nazi graffiti was spray painted on a synagogue in Toronto, Canada and the Balkans’ largest synagogue in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Hackers disrupted an online shiva ceremony for a Brazilian Jewish educator, threatening to “enter synagogues and kill everyone,” and a British-Palestinian journalist said that “what happened in Kabul Airport will repeat itself at Ben Gurion Airport.”
With the continued normalization of Holocaust trivialization, the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain thankfully canceled a course comparing Gaza to Auschwitz. This trend is sadly continuing at school board and city council meetings, in political discourse, and at anti-COVID-19 vaccination protests around the world. In one shocking case, community members gave a Nazi salute and shouted “Heil Hitler” at Jewish and Black school board members in Michigan who spoke in favor of a mask mandate.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria became the twelfth country to announce that it will not participate in the UN event marking 20 years since the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, over its antisemitic content. In an important step for combating antisemitism in the US state of Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bipartisan law mandating Holocaust education for all students in the state.
CAM’s weekly global antisemitism report highlights 62 new media reports of antisemitic incidents, marking a 47.6% increase over last week. The total includes 35 (56.5%) from the far-right, 10 (16.1%) from the far-left, 8 (12.9%) with Islamist motivations, and 9 (14.5%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CAM VISITS NORTH CAROLINA TO BUILD CHRISTIAN SUPPORT FOR FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
Earlier this month, CAM Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement EJ Kimball traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, to represent CAM at several events. First, Kimball spoke at a parlor meeting with senior Christian and Jewish community leaders — including representatives of area churches and synagogues, as well as the Greensboro Jewish Federation. The discussion covered a range of topics related to the rise of antisemitism across the U.S. and around the world.
GLOBAL SPATE OF PHYSICAL ASSAULTS TARGETING JEWS RAISES CONCERNS AHEAD OF HIGH HOLIDAY SEASON
The past week saw a troubling spate of physical assaults targeting Jews worldwide, raising safety concerns ahead of the upcoming High Holiday season, when Jewish communities generally go on higher alert for potential threats. Five of the incidents occurred in the United Kingdom, while the others took place in the United States and Germany.
THE MOST ENDANGERED JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD: LEADING EXPERTS WARN OF THE DANGERS THE IRAN-BACKED HOUTHI REBELS POSE TO YEMEN’S LAST JEWS
During the webinar, ‘Death to America, Curse the Jews’: Who Are Yemen’s Houthis?, hosted by the CAM and the American Sephardi Federation, a panel of distinguished speakers shed light on the little-known yet genocidal Iran-backed terrorist organization, the Houthis. The rebel group, which has waged a brutal and years-long civil war in Yemen, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014. Officially called “Ansar Allah,” its slogan is, “Allah is Greater, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.”
FLORIDA JEWISH MAN SLAPPED AFTER CONFRONTING INDIVIDUAL’S USE OF ANTISEMITIC SLUR
By Aaron Bandler
An Orthodox Jewish man was slapped at a hotel pool in Aventura, FL after confronting an individual about their use of an antisemitic slur. Video footage of the J.W. Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa’s Tidal Cove water park shows that the victim, Alain Altit, had confronted the alleged slapper, Marcos Rodriguez, after Rodriguez’s wife called a woman a “dirty Jew”; Altit’s wife, Tanya Cohen, said the woman’s bathing suit was dripping on Rodriguez’s wife’s towel. Rodriguez can then be seen slapping Altit in front of Cohen and their five children. Read Here
CORI BUSH, RASHIDA TLAIB SAY PA’S ARREST OF PROTESTERS “DEEPENS THE VIOLENCE OF ISRAEL’S APARTHEID”
By Aaron Bandler
Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), both of whom are members of “The Squad,” issued tweets condemning the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest of protesters as emboldening “Israel’s apartheid.” The PA arrested at least 23 protesters in Ramallah. Bush tweeted, “Shame on the Palestinian Authority. Suppressing dissent and criminalizing protest only deepens the violence of Israel’s apartheid system. We stand with Palestinians against the violence of the Palestinian Authority’s authoritarianism. Freedom for political prisoners now.” Read Here
FOUR ATTACKS ON JEWS NOW LINKED TO SUSPECT STILL WANTED BY LONDON POLICE
By Algemeiner Staff
London Police said that four unprovoked attacks against Jews were perpetrated within a matter of hours by the same suspect, who remains at large. In the first incident, a 64-year-old Orthodox Jewish victim was on his way to synagogue before being struck. The victim was knocked to the ground, and hospitalized with injuries. Police are linking at least two other incidents to the same man, who was dressed in traditional Muslim garb. A 14-year-old boy was also “approached and assaulted without warning” while walking. Officers said that they had been informed of a fourth victim from the same day. Read Here
JEWISH GRAVES IN BLACKPOOL TOPPLED, SMASHED, AND FILLED WITH LITTER
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
Multiple Jewish graves have been toppled over in Layton, Blackpool. Photographs posted on Twitter showed the graves lying on their sides and smashed. The graves belong in the Jewish section of Layton cemetery. The Twitter user wrote that one of the graves was “destroyed and filled with litter”. Read Here
GERMANY: JEWISH TEEN BEATEN FOR WEARING KIPPAH IN COLOGNE
An 18-year-old Jewish man in the German city of Cologne was hospitalized after suffering severe injuries in what appears to have been an antisemitic attack. The man was sitting in a city park with a friend when he was verbally abused by a group of teens for wearing the traditional Jewish yarmulke. The verbal attacks quickly escalated into a physical attack as the group of 10 perpetrators punched and kicked the victim before stealing his yarmulke. Police took the victim to a hospital for a broken nose and broken cheekbone. Read Here
RASH OF ANTISEMITIC VANDALISM IN TORONTO ‘EXTREMELY DISTURBING,’ SAYS CANADIAN JEWISH GROUP AFTER SYNAGOGUE DEFACED
By Algemeiner Staff
A Toronto synagogue was defaced with a swastika, marking another in a series of antisemitic incidents over the course of 24 hours. Previously, antisemitic graffiti was found on a local school, a sign denouncing antisemitism, and election posters for Jewish political candidates in Montreal. In the second case, the sign calling for “#nohate against Jews” was defaced with “Free Palestine” and “Zionists aren’t Jews.” Read Here
OTHER WORLD NEWS
SYMBOLIC GRAVE FOR JEWS IN POLAND DEFACED WITH SLOGANS PRAISING HITLER
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Praises for Adolf Hitler were etched on a grave-shaped monument in Poland for Holocaust victims whose bodies were burnt. The incident near Krakow, happened on a large tombstone-shaped monument for about 1,500 people murdered there in 1941 by German troops. In 1944, the Germans dug up and burnt the bodies in an attempt to cover up the crime. The incident comes amid a diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel following passage of a law in Poland that limits the ability of Jews to claim property stolen from them during World War II. Read Here
SYNAGOGUE IN BULGARIA’S CAPITAL DEFACED WITH SWASTIKA, WHITE SUPREMACIST SYMBOL
By Sofia Globe Staff
A wall of the Sofia Central Synagogue was defaced with an antisemitic message and a swastika. Daubed on the wall of the Balkan peninsula’s largest synagogue was the inscription “14/88” a white supremacist numeric symbol. In addition, an attempt was made to paint a swastika. Read Here
THE MIDDLE EAST
IRANIAN AYATOLLAH: ‘JEWS ARE THE GREATEST PROBLEM OF ISLAM AND HUMANITY’
According to Iranian Supreme Leader’s representative in Khorasan Province, the Jews are humanity’s greatest problem. “Consider the most difficult problem for Islam and humanity. The most difficult problem has been the Jews. They are more evil than Satan,” said Ayatollah Alireza Ebadi. “They have taken control of the world… They give particular attention to military warfare, propaganda warfare and psychological warfare. They spread doubt and cultural warfare. This is how they can achieve their main goal of pillaging the world,” he said. Ebadi went on to state that “the Zionists” controlled France and appointed the U.S. president. Read Here
IRANIAN PRESIDENT TAPS SECOND BUENOS AIRES JEWISH CENTER BOMBING SUSPECT FOR SENIOR ADMINISTRATION ROLE
SPANISH UNIVERSITY CANCELS COURSE COMPARING GAZA TO AUSCHWITZ, SAYS LOCAL PRO-ISRAEL GROUP
By Dion J. Pierre
A literature course comparing the Gaza Strip to the Auschwitz extermination camp has been cancelled by the University of Santiago of de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Titled “Auschwitz/Gaza: A Testing Ground for Comparative Literature,” the class was scheduled to be taught by Professor César Domínguez this fall. A course description included readings from the Holocaust survivor and writer Primo Levi and the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, among others.
NAZI SALUTE, INSULTS HURLED AT CHAOTIC BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN SCHOOLS MEETING OVER MASK MANDATE
By Steve Neavling
Police are investigating a man who flashed a Nazi salute and chanted “Heil Hitler” during a Birmingham Board of Education meeting over a mask mandate. Unruly anti-maskers booed and hurled insults at board members. The remarks came after the board announced that students, staff, and teachers will be required to wear masks for the start of the school year. While a Black woman and Jewish woman were addressing the board about their support for the policy, a man flashed the Nazi salute and repeated “Heil Hitler.” Two men behind him also uttered the phrase.
CANADIAN JEWISH ORG DEMANDS OVERSIGHT OF ANTISEMITISM COURSE TAUGHT BY CONTROVERSIAL ACADEMIC
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
NEW REPORT: ANTISEMITIC VIDEOS SPREADING UNDETECTED ON TIKTOK
By Gabby Deutch
The celebratory, familiar sound of “Hava Nagila.” A video clip of John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.” An upbeat indie pop song by the band Fitz and the Tantrums. Three unrelated cultural references. Yet all have been used to propagate antisemitism on the social media platform TikTok, according to a new report from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think tank that studies extremism and misinformation. The report highlights the surprising ways that TikTok users advance antisemitic narratives on the video-sharing application, which was the most downloaded app in the world in 2020.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
GOVERNOR DUCEY SIGNS BILL TO STRENGTHEN HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN K-12 SCHOOLS
By Office of the Governor Doug Ducey
Holocaust survivors, students, lawmakers and educators joined Governor Doug Ducey as he signed legislation strengthening instruction about the Holocaust in Arizona’s schools. The legislation requires young Arizonans to learn the enduring lessons of the Holocaust and the tragic consequences of religious and racial intolerance. “This bill is a step in the right direction but our work is far from over. Antisemitism and other forms of hate are real, and we must do more to make sure this never, ever happens again. My thanks to Representative Alma Hernandez for leading this effort…, said Governor Ducey.
BULGARIA OPTS OUT OF DURBAN IV CONFERENCE CITING ANTISEMITISM
By LAHAV HARKOV
Bulgaria will not participate in the UN event marking 20 years since the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, bringing the number of countries boycotting the event over its antisemitic content to a dozen. “Bulgaria will not participate in the UNGA high-level meeting on the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action,” the country’s foreign ministry tweeted. “Given the history of the process, there’s a risk that the forum could be misused for antisemitic propaganda. We stay committed to fighting racism in all its forms and manifestation.”
HISTORICAL MARKER HONORS KNOXVILLE WWII HERO WHO SAVED HUNDREDS OF JEWISH SOLDIERS
By Gregory Raucoules
A historical marker has been placed in Knoxville honoring a man who risked his life to save hundreds of Jewish prisoners during WWII. Sergeant Roddie Edmonds was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and transported to a prison of war camp by the Nazis. He took responsibility for more than 1,200 other captives, more than 200 of whom were Jewish. The Nazis directed Edmonds to order the Jewish-American soldiers to report outside of the barracks. Instead, Edmonds directed all of the soldiers to stand together, declaring, “we are all Jews here.” Even while held at gunpoint, Edmonds refused to give up the Jewish soldiers.
DONATION DRIVE AT SYNAGOGUE IN ENGLISH TOWN DRAWS OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES
By Algemeiner Staff
The synagogue of a small town in England has been inundated with donations for Afghan refugees, with the synagogue’s rabbi saying the outpouring of charity made him feel “hopeful for humanity.” Bushey United Synagogue opened as a drop-off point for donations to those displaced by the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan after just one Facebook announcement, prompting an unexpectedly massive response. Rabbi Elchonon Feldman said that he believes there are now enough donations for 30,000 people.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a non-partisan, global grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and faiths, united around the goal of ending antisemitism in all its forms. Since its launching in February 2019, 330 organizations and 341,000 individuals have joined the Combat Antisemitism Movement by signing the campaign’s pledge. The CAM Pledge draws upon the IHRA international definition of antisemitism and its list of specific behaviors used to discriminate against the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.