December 17, 2021
THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
New South Wales became the first Australian state to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, following the federal government’s lead. More than 300 municipal, regional, and national governments have now adopted this critical tool.
The UK will outlaw the antisemitic BDS movement in the coming months, according to an influential ruling-party MP. Meanwhile, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer also urged constituents to reject the BDS movement over rising antisemitism concerns on American university campuses. All four former U.S. State Department antisemitism envoys called for a domestic antisemitism monitor post to tackle the the rise of anti-Jewish prejudice in the U.S.
During the third annual Kyiv Jewish Forum, co-hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel said his country could recognize the city as Israel’s “one and only capital” in the next year – a significant step in combating erasure of Jewish history in Israel’s capital city.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) doubled down on its support of Zahra Billoo, one of its leaders who gave a classically antisemitic speech. CAM unequivocally condemns CAIR for supporting such dangerous antisemitic incitement against Jewish Americans and their mainstream representative bodies.
A Hazmat team investigated an antisemitic letter and unknown substance found at a Los Angeles synagogue, and Chabad Jewish centers were vandalized in Montreal, and Milan. France’s Interior Minister ordered the closure of a mosque over anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and homophobic sermons.
Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts reported a third antisemitic graffiti incident this semester, and a British man was jailed for abusing a Jewish couple at a train station. In Australia, Scouts Victoria suspended three boys for telling Jewish Scouts they should be “gassed,” and dozens of antisemitic leaflets were delivered to homes in suburban Melbourne calling Covid-19 the “Jew-Flu” while promoting a conspiracy about Jewish control of the government.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 38 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 22 (57.9%) from the far-right, 4 (10.5%) from the far-left, 3 (7.9%) with Islamist motivations, and 9 (23.7%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LA-BASED ‘SHABBAT ANGELS’ VOLUNTEER GROUP SEEKS TO PROTECT SYNAGOGUE-GOERS AMID ANTISEMITISM SURGE
As Jews around the world faced a surge of antisemitism this past year, particularly during the flare-up of Israel-Gaza violence in May, the need to bolster security in Jewish communities became urgently apparent. One group that has risen to this challenge is the “Shabbat Angels,” a Los Angeles-based volunteer network of jiu-jitsu and boxing trainers who have taken it upon themselves to escort Orthodox Jews on their way to synagogue. Coordinating this effort is Remi Franklin, by day the founder and CEO of Light Switch Digital and by night a jiu-jitsu and boxing practitioner. Franklin recently spoke with the Combat Antisemitism Movement about the “Shabbat Angels” initiative.
THIRD-ANNUAL KYIV JEWISH FORUM CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF ISRAEL-UKRAINE TIES
Celebrating 30 years of relations between Ukraine and the State of Israel, Ukrainian, Israeli, American, and European leaders spoke on Wednesday and Thursday at the third-annual Kyiv Jewish Forum, about the historic relations between the Jewish and Ukrainian peoples, the rise of global antisemitism, and the looming threats to both nations.“We know what it’s like not to have an own state,” said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, referring to both Ukrainians and Jews. “We know what it means to defend one’s own state and land with weapons in hand, at the cost of our own lives. Both Ukrainians and Jews value freedom, and they work equally for the future of our states to become to our liking, and not the future which others want for us. Israel is often an example for Ukraine.”
TOP U.S. POLITICAL FIGURES VOICE FIRM BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL AND UKRAINE AT THIRD-ANNUAL KYIV JEWISH FORUM
The third-annual Kyiv Jewish Forum featured two distinguished guests from the United States, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Representative Doug Lamborn of Colorado, both strong advocates of strong American ties with Israel and Ukraine and leaders in the global fight against antisemitism. Senator Cardin, a Democrat who serves as chair of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, said, “Today we celebrate the special relationship between these two nations, and the enduring support of the U.S. for both.”
CAIR SUPPORTS MEMBER THAT SAID ‘ZIONIST SYNAGOGUES’ BEHIND ISLAMOPHOBIA
By MICHAEL STARR
After the outrage following remarks by CAIR San Francisco executive-director Zahra Billoo – who said that Jewish Zionist organizations are “enemies” who are part of a conspiracy behind Islamaphobia – the Council on American-Islamic Relations came out in support of Billoo, defended her speech as misquoted. CAIR said that they would “continue to proudly stand by Zahra and all American Muslim leaders who face smears and threats because they dare to express an opinion about Palestinian human rights.” CAIR blasted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt for his response to Billoo’s remarks, in which he stated that her speech “is textbook vile, antisemitic, conspiracy-laden garbage attacking the mainstream US Jewish community. It sounds like something you would expect from white supremacists.”
UK COURT JAILS MAN WHO VERBALLY ABUSED JEWISH COUPLE AT MANCHESTER TRAM STOP
By Algemeiner Staff
A British man has been jailed by a court in the UK for assailing a couple waiting at a tram stop with antisemitic abuse. Adam Boyle, 32, was convicted for the incident in the city of Manchester. Described by police as “visibly intoxicated,” Boyle approached the couple at the city’s Victoria Station while they waited for a tram to the nearby town of Bury. As Boyle began screaming antisemitic abuse in the faces of the couple, two off-duty police officers who were passing intervened immediately, rushing to aid the couple and arrest Boyle. Boyle, a resident of Birmingham in central England, will spend six-and-a-half months in jail.
FORMER VATICAN DOCTRINAL CHIEF UNDER FIRE FOR COMMENTS LABELED ANTISEMITIC
By Christopher White
The former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office is under fire for comments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that have been labeled as antisemitic, with Jewish leaders calling on the Vatican to distance themselves from the controversial remarks. German Cardinal Gerhard Müller said wealthy individuals are using the coronavirus to “push through their agenda,” and specifically cited the Hungarian-born billionaire and philanthropist George Soros. The former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith railed against COVID-19 restrictions in the interview and accused “financial elites” of using the global crisis to “bring people into line” and gain “total control” over them.
CITING ANTI-JEWISH, ANTI-CHRISTIAN AND HOMOPHOBIC HATE SERMONS, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER ORDERS CLOSURE OF ‘ISLAMIST’ MOSQUE
By Ben Cohen
France’s interior minister announced that he had begun the process of shuttering a mosque where sermons promoting antisemitism, anti-Christian hatred and homophobia are frequently preached. Gérald Darmanin said that the mosque in Beauvais, would be closed down because of the “unacceptable” sermons. “Today I initiated the closure of the Beauvais mosque, [because of its] unacceptable incitement against Christians, homosexuals, Jews,” Darmanin stated.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
NO LET-UP TO ‘EPIDEMIC’ OF ANTISEMITISM IN AUSTRALIAN CITY OF MELBOURNE
By Algemeiner Staff
Dozens of handwritten antisemitic leaflets have been delivered to homes in a suburb of Melbourne promoting the classic conspiracy theory of Jewish control over world events. Photocopies of the leaflet, neatly written out in upper case letters, were placed in residents’ mailboxes in Pakenham. The leaflet exhorted readers not to trust the Australian government because “Jews hang in the background using their freemason puppets to push their agendas.” It went on to claim that “all celebrity suicides are induced by Jews.” The leaflet used the pejorative “Jew flu” to describe the COVID-19 pandemic, “which is all about spreading fear whilst obtaining more power and control over the population.”
CHABAD HOUSE IN MILAN, ITALY VANDALISED
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
The Chabad Jewish Center in Milan, Italy has been vandalised. Photographs of the desecration which surfaced show the premises in disarray with religious materials, including Jewish prayer shawls and the Chabad house’s Torah scroll, scattered across the floor. Milan police reportedly stated that the criminals stole two laptops, 155 euros and some precious medals.
THE MIDDLE EAST
IRANIAN MP: ENMITY BETWEEN ZIONISTS, IRAN GOES BACK TO PURIM
By TZVI JOFFRE
The enmity between Israel and Iran has a “long history,” dating back to the story of Purim, an Iranian parliamentarian stated that in an interview with the Iranian Fars News Agency. “The Zionist regime is the sworn enemy of Iran and Iranians, and this enmity, without any connection to the ruling regime in Iran, has a long history, so that the Zionists still celebrate Purim every year on the anniversary of the brutal massacre of the Iranian people,” said Zohreh Lajevardi, Tehran’s representative in the Iranian parliament, also known as the Majles.
‘APPALLING’ ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI FOUND IN MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE DORM FOR THIRD TIME THIS SEMESTER
By Dion J. Pierre
A swastika and anti-Jewish slur were found scrawled in black ink in a Mount Holyoke College bathroom, President Sonya Stephens confirmed, the third such incident this semester at the prestigious Massachusetts women’s college. President Stephens said all three incidents had taken place in the same residence hall, and that an investigation of the incident by local and federal law enforcement officials is ongoing. “Based on all of the information that we have available to us, we believe that these incidents are the acts of an individual Mount Holyoke student who is living on campus,” Stephens said.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
INCLUSION DELUSION: THE ANTISEMITISM OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION STAFF AT UNIVERSITIES
By Jay Greene, Ph.D. and James Paul
Universities ostensibly employ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) staff to create more tolerant and welcoming environments for students from all backgrounds. This Backgrounder examines whether these large DEI staff are, in fact, engaged in behavior likely to promote the goal of creating a tolerant and welcoming environment on college campuses. In particular, this Backgrounder examines the extent to which DEI staff at universities express anti-Israel attitudes that are so out of proportion and imbalanced as to constitute antisemitism.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
AS BENNETT ENDS UAE VISIT, HIS OFFICE SAYS CROWN PRINCE ACCEPTED INVITE TO ISRAEL
By TOI Staf
Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has accepted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s invitation to visit Israel, as the latter wrapped up the first-ever trip by an Israeli premier to the United Arab Emirates. Bennett instructed officials to begin making preparations for bin Zayed’s visit. No timeframe was given for the trip. The prime minister met with bin Zayed for some four hours, with more than half of the time spent in one-on-one talks, Bennett’s office said.
UKRAINE SAYS IT RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL, WILL OPEN EMBASSY THERE
By LAZAR BERMAN
At an event marking 30 years of Israel-Ukraine ties, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yehven Korniychuk says his country sees Jerusalem as Israel’s “one and only capital,” and will open a branch of its embassy in the city in the coming year during a visit by President Volodymyr Zelensky. The announcement comes after Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who grew up in Ukraine, expressed during his address at the event his hope that Zelensky would open an embassy branch in Jerusalem. Elkin presented Korniychuk with a 2,700–year-old artifact bearing the word “Jerusalem” in Hebrew, and the Ukrainian envoy then took the microphone and made the unprepared remarks.
AUSTRALIA: NEW SOUTH WALES ADOPTS IHRA DEFINITION
By GARETH NARUNSKY and ZEDDY LAWRENCE
NEW South Wales became the first state or territory in Australia to officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement, following the federal government’s adoption of the definition in October. “Today I’m proud to announce that the NSW Government will join our federal colleagues in embracing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism,” Perrottet said. “To fight something, you need to be able to identify it, to be able to describe it, to name it. A definition is an essential tool. “It’s a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight.”
ISRAEL DELIVERS WATER PALLETS TO TORNADO-RAVAGED KENTUCKY COMMUNITIES IN JOINT AID TRUCK WITH CHABAD
By Sharon Wrobel
The Israeli government, Jewish groups and an Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid agency are stepping up efforts to help communities hit by devastating tornadoes in Kentucky. Alex Gandler, Deputy Consul General of Israel’s mission to the Southeast in Atlanta, said that after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s pledge to “offer any assistance needed,” it was decided to donate pallets of water to those affected by the storms in western Kentucky. “We stand with our friends in Kentucky at this difficult time and will continue to offer any support that we can,” Gandler said in an emailed statement.
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, 360 organizations and 355,000 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.