THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
As Jewish communities worldwide celebrate Hanukkah, civic, political and religious leaders across North America have united in solidary to “Shine a Light on Antisemitism.” In Austin, Texas, the Jewish community gathered to light a menorah on the highway overpass where Neo-Nazis recently hung antisemitic banners, as a symbol of Jewish pride in the face of antisemitism.
The three political parties comprising Germany’s new center-left government signed a coalition agreement which reiterated commitments to Israel’s security and the fight against antisemitism while also pledging to promote Jewish life in the country.
The CAM Information Hub has observed an increase in antisemitic incidents this week, principally related to public displays of Jewish life during the celebration of Hanukkah. Community menorahs were vandalized in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Queens, New York; Los Angeles, California; Kyiv and Dnipro, Ukraine; and Hof, Germany. In London, Jewish teens celebrating Hanukkah were forced to flee because of intimidation by men who shouted slogans about Palestine, gave Nazi salutes, and spat on them.
Leaflets stating that the Covid-19 is a Jewish conspiracy were left at homes in Beverly Hills, California, and graffiti targeting Blacks and Jews was scrawled on a synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois. New York Police are searching for three women who assaulted three Jewish children in the streets of Brooklyn, and in Belgrade, Serbia, an axe was thrown through the chapel window of a Jewish cemetery.
The University of Toronto Student Union passed a resolution barring “pro-Israel” kosher food providers on campus, a political litmus test which would all but deprive Jewish students of the free exercise of religion. Ahead of renewed negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, a top Iranian general said “We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world.” A Palestinian Authority official consoled the son of a deceased terrorist by instructing him to “grow up and kill Jews.”
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 48 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 21 (43.8%) from the far-right, 4 (8.3%) from the far-left, 8 (16.7%) with Islamist motivations, and 15 (31.3%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ICAN CAMPAIGN TARGETS GROWING PREVALENCE OF STATE-SPONSORED HOLOCAUST DENIAL AND DISTORTION
Raising awareness of the danger of state-sponsored Holocaust denial and distortion, particularly in Eastern Europe, is the aim of a multi-year advocacy campaign being run by the Israeli-American Civil Action Network (ICAN). The initial impetus behind the push was a 2018 law passed in Poland criminalizing certain aspects of Holocaust history research, ICAN CEO Dillon Hosier told the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM). But the main focus of the ICAN campaign, he noted, was in fact Lithuania, where similar legislation was proposed as part of what Hosier called an “ongoing effort to whitewash and erase the history of the country’s Holocaust perpetrators.”
CAM PARTNERS WITH GUATEMALAN EMBASSY IN U.S. TO HOST HISTORIC CENTRAL AMERICA FORUM HANUKKAH CELEBRATION
The Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala in the United States — in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) — hosted on Monday the Central America Forum Hanukkah Celebration, attended by a distinguished group of ambassadors and other guests. The historic event — the first-ever Hanukkah party held by a Latin American embassy in the U.S. — took place at the Washington, D.C. residence of Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Alfonso Quiñónez. “Antisemitism is alive, and we need to work together to fight it,” Ambassador Quiñónez said in his remarks.
‘IT’S ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING’: MENORAH VANDALIZED, DAMAGED IN LANCASTER CITY, PA
By ERIK YABOR
A menorah placed in downtown Lancaster was intentionally damaged according to city police. An unidentified vandal or vandals damaged the 460-pound steel menorah in Penn Square. Investigators are gathering video footage and searching for witnesses. The custom-built menorah is brand new, having been unveiled just last weekend, a few feet away from the city’s Christmas tree, said Miriam Baumgartner, board president of the Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster, which helped purchase the menorah.
3 WOMEN SOUGHT IN ATTACKS ON JEWISH CHILDREN IN BROOKLYN
By ABC 7
Investigators are searching for three suspects behind a string of attacks against Jewish children in Brooklyn. Police say the three women seen in surveillance pictures are linked to three incidents. They are accused of slapping a 3-year-old boy across the face, and police say the women approached an 18-year-old girl and pulled her to the ground. Later, they slapped a 9-year-old boy on the top of his head several times. All the victims were wearing traditional ultra-Orthodox Jewish attire at the time of the attacks.
VIDEO SHOWS LONDON JEWS’ HANUKKAH PARTY BUS BEING INTIMIDATED, SPAT ON
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Jews celebrating Hanukkah in central London had to leave because of intimidation by men who shouted slogans about Palestine and pounded with their shoes on the windows of the Jews’ bus. At least one of the perpetrators performs what appears to be a Nazi salute directed at the bus. The incident occurred when a group of young British Jews stopped on Oxford Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare to dance to Hanukkah songs. Several young men began dancing alongside them mockingly. The video starts after the Jews had returned to the bus; the men can be seen pounding on the windows while shouting “Free Palestine,” spitting on the bus and flipping their middle fingers at the passengers as the bus drives away.
GERMAN PUBLIC BROADCASTER DW STUNG BY ANTISEMITISM SCANDAL AS SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS OF ARABIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES ARE EXPOSED
By Ben Cohen
Germany’s state-financed national broadcaster announced on Wednesday that it was commissioning an external investigation following revelations that employees of its Arabic-language service made virulently antisemitic and anti-Zionist remarks in public — including the denial of the Nazi Holocaust, threats to execute Arabs who engage with Israelis as “traitors,” and statements of support for an Islamic State onslaught upon the State of Israel.
CANADA’S LARGEST LABOR UNION TAKES FIRM STAND AGAINST BDS
By ILH Staff and News Agencies
Canada’s largest labor union rejected the movement to boycott Israel. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, with 700,000 members across the country, voted against a measure to officially endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state. CUPE members voted by an overwhelming margin of 32% for and 68% against the BDS measure at the organization’s biennial national convention held online this year.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
UKRAINE COPS INVESTIGATING TWO SEPARATE INCIDENTS OF HANUKKAH MENORAH VANDALISM
By Algemeiner Staff
Police in Ukraine were investigating two separate incidents of vandals damaging menorahs erected in public spaces to celebrate Hanukkah. In the capital Kyiv, officers apprehended a man as he attempted to knock down a menorah in Independence Square. Separately, a menorah in the city of Dnipro, was toppled. The Dniprovsky District Department of the Ukrainian police released a video of the incident that showed five individuals approaching the menorah in the city’s Europe Square. The men can be seen shaking the menorah at its base in an attempt to pull it over. As a bus pulls up at an adjacent bus stop, the menorah crashes to the sidewalk as passengers are seen disembarking.
SERBIA: AXE THROWN THROUGH WINDOW OF BELGRADE JEWISH CEMETERY CHAPEL
By Algemeiner Staff
A Jewish cemetery in Belgrade, Serbia was vandalized, when an axe, hammer and stones were thrown through the window of its chapel. A spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Belgrade said the incident had caused serious material damage, noting that if the chapel had been occupied, it could have resulted in “severe physical injuries or even death.” The vandalism is the latest in a series of antisemitic incidents to hit the Belgrade Jewish community.
THE MIDDLE EAST
IRANIAN BRIG.-GEN. URGES DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL PRIOR TO NUKE TALKS
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
The spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, urged the total elimination of the Jewish state during an interview with an Iranian regime-controlled media outlet. “We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world,” Shekarchi told the Iranian Students News Agency. Shekarchi’s genocidal antisemitic remarks came just days before the nuclear talks were set to restart in Vienna on curbing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.
GROW UP AND KILL JEWS – PA OFFICIAL TO SON OF DEAD TERRORIST STABBER AT THE MORGUE
By Itamar Marcus
Grow up and kill Jews – that is the comforting message that Jenin District Deputy Governor Kamal Abu Al-Rub passed on to the young son of terrorist stabber Israa Khzaimiah, while they stood next to her dead body draped in the Palestinian flag at the morgue. Israa Khzaimiah was a 30-year-old female Palestinian terrorist who attempted to stab Israeli police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sept. 30, 2021. She was killed by the officers during her attack. Abbas’ Fatah Movement posted a video of the PA official comforting one of the terrorist’s young sons, encouraging him that when he grows up he will kill “Jews” – to – because they “killed her”.
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO STUDENT UNION SLAMMED FOR BARRING PRO-ISRAEL KOSHER FOOD PROVIDERS, CUTTING PROPOSED PROTECTIONS FOR JEWS
By Dion J. Pierre
Canadian Jewish groups demanded “concrete action” from the University of Toronto administration after a student union resolution called for sourcing kosher food from providers that do not support Israel. Passed at the annual meeting of University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU), one measure reaffirmed a commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — and pledged to “refrain from engaging with organizations, services, or participating in events that further normalize Israeli apartheid.”
CARDIFF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ UNION ADOPTS IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM, BUT STUDENTS UNIONS AT UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA AND QUEEN MARY’S ADOPT JERUSALEM DECLARATION
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
ONE YEAR AFTER BAN ON HOLOCAUST DENIAL, CONTENT PUSHING FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT NAZI GENOCIDE STILL RIFE ON FACEBOOK, ADL SAYS
By Algemeiner Staff
On the first anniversary of Facebook’s ban on Holocaust denial, content pushing the false claim that the Nazi genocide was a hoax remains rife, according to a new ADL report. The report observed that while Facebook had taken steps to remove the offending content, significant “cracks in enforcement” remained. During October and November, ADL researchers conducted extensive searches on Facebook to find content that violated the ban. The researchers “flagged antisemitic speech using the platforms’ built in reporting mechanism…” However, “as of Nov. 29, Facebook had only replied to concerns about one of the posts, which called the Holocaust a fraud, and indicated that the post was not in violation of its hate speech policy.”
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
IN COALITION AGREEMENT, GERMAN PARTIES VOW TO DEFEND JEWISH LIFE AND ISRAEL’S SECURITY
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Three political parties in Germany presented a coalition agreement which reiterated commitments to ensure Israel’s security and fight antisemitism and, for the first time, also pledged to promote Jewish life.The agreement, whose main focus is addressing climate change, was presented by the coalition parties, which include the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens, in Berlin. The coalition agreement determines the division of ministerial positions and major policy themes and marks a milestone toward establishing a government after the departure from politics of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.
FOLLOWING HIGH-PROFILE ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS, MASSACHUSETTS LAWMAKERS VOTE TO REQUIRE GENOCIDE EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOLS
By PENNY SCHWARTZ
Against a backdrop of disturbing revelations of antisemitic incidents, including many in local schools, Massachusetts lawmakers approved a bill that will require genocide education in all public secondary schools. “An Act Concerning Genocide Education,” which also establishes a public-private trust fund to support curriculum development and training for educators, is now at the desk of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. Once signed, Massachusetts would become the 21st state to require some form of Holocaust education in secondary schools.
MUSICIANS, POLITICIANS AND A ‘HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK’ STAR SPEAK OUT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM AT TIMES SQUARE EVENT
By JULIA GERGELY
Hundreds gathered in Times Square to celebrate Hanukkah, with live music, speeches and, of course, a public menorah lighting. The event was part of the “Shine a Light on Antisemitism” campaign, which aims to raise awareness about antisemitism in order to encourage individuals and their communities to fight against it. Emceed by “Real Housewives of New York” star Eboni K. Williams, the Times Square event was a mix of musical performances and speeches by prominent New York politicians, including Gov.Kathy Hochul, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and Attorney General Letitia James.
AUSTIN CHABAD LIGHTS MENORAH AT HIGHWAY OVERPASS WHERE NEO-NAZIS HUNG ANTISEMITIC BANNERS
By SHIRA HANAU
A Chabad house in Austin organized a Hanukkah menorah lighting in an unusual place: on a highway overpass looking out over the busy MoPac Expressway. They didn’t just pick the location so drivers would see the menorah on their evening commute. Instead, they wanted transform the spot, which had been the site of an antisemitic demonstration, into something brighter. On Oct. 24, members of the neo-Nazi group the Goyim Defense League hung antisemitic banners from that spot reading “Vax the Jews.” Rabbi Yosef Levertov, director of Chabad Lubavitch Austin, said that the menorah lighting in that spot was a deliberate symbol of Jewish pride in the face of antisemitism.
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.