THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM REPORT
Nazi symbols were carved into the base of a large public menorah in Beverly Hills, California on the first night of Hanukkah, and an elderly man was hospitalized after being attacked in New York City’s Central Park by an assailant making antisemitic statements invoking the disgraced rapper Kanye West.
This came as new police data showed that the number of antisemitic incidents in New York City in 2022 has nearly doubled from last year.
In Bethesda, Maryland, the words “Jews Not Welcome” were spray-painted outside Walt Whitman High School, while in Raleigh, North Carolina, antisemitic comments were broadcast over a hacked loudspeaker system at Enloe Magnet High School.
An Economist/YouGov poll found that half of American adults felt antisemitism has increased in recent years. Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke out against rising Jew-hatred at the White House Hanukkah party, saying, “In the midst of a rising emboldenment of antisemitism at home, and quite frankly around the world… I recognize your fear…You’re worried that this violent venom is becoming too normal…Silence is complicity. We must not remain silent.”
In London, a man shouted, “I’m Adolf Hitler and I will kill the Jews,” at a 13-year-old Jewish girl on a bus. This week, the British government’s independent adviser on antisemitism, Lord John Mann, called for secondary schools to be required to teach students about contemporary antisemitism in addition to the Holocaust.
Saskatchewan became the sixth Canadian province to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, following the lead of Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Alberta, as well as the federal government in Ottawa. In Ohio, the state legislature passed a law imposing penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for “Zoom-bombing” religious services, following a spate of antisemitic instances during the pandemic.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 28 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 21 (75.0%) from the far-right, 1 (3.6%) from the far-left, 2 (7.1%) with Islamist motivations, and 4 (14.3%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
‘KANYE 2024:’ ELDERLY MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER ANTISEMITIC ASSAULT IN CENTRAL PARK
By DION J. PIERRE
A 63-year-old man has been treated for injuries received during an antisemitic attack in New York City’s Central Park in which his assailant allegedly invoked Kanye West, the antisemitic hip hip mogul who has stepped up his rhetorical attacks against Jews in recent weeks. The assault took place at approximately 6.30 on Wednesday evening. The victim was walking along the intersection of Terrace Drive and East Drive when his assailant struck him from behind, causing him to fall, chipping a tooth and breaking his hand in the process. The assailant is then alleged to have uttered a string of antisemitic insults, including the words “Kanye 2024,” according to the New York Post. West has said that he intends to run for the US Presidency in 2024. The attacker then fled west along 72nd Street on a bicycle with a trailer that displayed various signs, including “Hungry Disabled.”
FBI: ARRESTED MINNESOTA MAN REVERED MASS SHOOTERS, SHOWED INTEREST IN NEO-NAZIS
By STEPHEN GROVES and TRISHA AHMED
A Minnesota man who idolized the shooter who killed five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs and was allegedly building an arsenal of automatic weapons to use against police was arrested this week after a retired police officer reported his behavior to authorities, according to federal charges. The warning signs — strikingly similar to the circumstances that preceded the shooting at Colorado’s Club Q last month — prompted a monthslong federal investigation into River William Smith, and resulted in a far different outcome. Smith, who also expressed interest in joining neo-Nazi paramilitary groups and fired an AK-47-style rifle in his home in 2019, was charged with federal weapons counts this week. FBI agents arrested the 20-year-old man Wednesday after he purchased three hand grenades and four auto sears from an FBI informant, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
NAZI SYMBOLS CARVED INTO BEVERLY HILLS, CA MENORAH ON FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH
By GREGORY YEE
A Texas man was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of carving antisemitic, Nazi symbols into the base of a large menorah in Beverly Hills. Officers were called around 8 p.m. to a report of a person defacing a menorah near Sunset Boulevard and Foothill Road, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department. The suspect, identified Monday as 47-year-old Dallas resident Eric Brian King, was captured on surveillance video that showed him throwing objects at the menorah, police said.
JEWISH WOMEN AND CHILDREN TARGETED IN LATEST LONDON ANTISEMITIC HATE CRIME SPREE
By DION J. PIERRE
A man verbally abused a 13 year old Jewish girl on a Transport for London (TFL) bus, Shomrim Stamford Hill, a local Jewish community watch group reported on Tuesday. “I’m Adolf Hitler and I will kill the Jews,” the man, who has not yet been identified, said while using umbrella, pointed in the girl’s direction, to pantomime shooting a gun. The incident follows a wave antisemitic hate crimes in London, which Shomrim has described as a “hate crimes pandemic.” On Monday, the group reported that a man verbally abused a Jewish mother, her 14 year old daughter, and baby, shouting, “Go back to Stamford Hill troublemakers,” before sexually assaulting one of the children. London law enforcement authorities have not announced any suspects or leads in either case.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
SERBIA – ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI IN CENTRAL NOVI SAD
The graffiti said Novi Sad Jugend Serbian Nazi Organization and included a swastika. Surveillance camera footage made available to N1 by local residents showed that the graffiti was written by a young man in typical skinhead dress – a bomber jacket and combat boots. The graffiti was written on the wall of a house in the center of the city built by Jewish architect Lipot Baumhorn, the author of 26 synagogues across Europe including those in Novi Sad and Subotica.
‘KANYE WAS RIGHT’ GRAFFITIED ALONGSIDE SWASTIKA IN MELBOURNE, AU
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
“Kanye was right” was spray painted alongside a swastika in a park in Melbourne, Australia last weekend, the Australian Jewish News reported Wednesday. The graffiti, which was discovered at Central Gardens Park in Hawthorn, Melbourne, was reported by a Jewish man who is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. He was told by the local council that the graffiti would be removed this week. “Tragically, the recent spate of antisemitic remarks by celebrities has emboldened bigots around the world, including here in Melbourne,” Daniel Aghion, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), said.
MESSI ACCUSED OF BEING ‘JEWISH’ AND A ‘ZIONIST’ BY EGYPTIAN FOOTBALL OFFICIALS
By JEWISH NEWS
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been labeled “Jewish” and a “Zionist” by Egyptian officials after he donated his football boots to a charity during a TV interview in Egypt. Mona El-Sharkawy, who was hosting “Yes, I Am Famous”, said: “One of the things he does is give charity all over the world, and these will be among the donations he gives”, while holding a pair of his boots, before adding: “And he gave these to our program because we will have an auction for them. Messi, thank you very very much.”
‘JEWS NOT WELCOME’: POLICE INVESTIGATING ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI AT MARYLAND HIGH SCHOOL
The words “Jews Not Welcome” were spray-painted on an entrance sign outside Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., this weekend, and local police have launched an investigation to identify the vandal. “This behavior is abhorrent, extremely hurtful, and will not be tolerated at Walt Whitman High School,” Principal Robert Dodd wrote in a letter to parents on Saturday. Montgomery County Police Department Chief Marcus Jones stated, “Acts of hate and bigotry are on the rise across the country and in Montgomery County. Officers are also actively increasing patrols to include community centers, schools, and places of worship throughout the county.”
A NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL INTERCOM SYSTEM WAS ALLEGEDLY HACKED BY A PERSON MAKING ANTISEMITIC REMARKS
By HANNAH SARISOHN, COLIN JEFFREY
An individual hacked into a North Carolina high school’s intercom system Thursday and allegedly made antisemitic remarks over the loudspeaker, according to CNN affiliate WTVD. Jackie Jordan, principal at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh, issued an apology letter to parents following the incident, according to the letter obtained by WTVD. It’s difficult to know how many students and staff heard the remarks, which some say were antisemitic, while others in the building reported hearing comments which “included a threat to the President of the United States,” Jordan wrote. The student responsible for hacking the intercom was identified and will be facing discipline, WTVD reported.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
NYC ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS NEARLY DOUBLED IN 2022: NYPD
By JACOB FLANAGAN and ASHLIE RODRIGUEZ
The NYPD has confirmed that there has been a major increase in antisemitic incidents across New York City in 2022. According to authorities, there have been 278 antisemitic incidents so far this year, compared to 182 last year, with 45 alone just this month, compared to 20 in November 2021. Just this month, a Jewish man and his son were hit by bb gun pellets on Staten Island in an incident that is being investigated as a potential hate crime. Then, on December 14, a 63-year-old man was left with a chipped tooth and a broken hand after an anti-Semitic attack in Central Park. Police say the victim was walking when a suspect made antisemitic remarks, including reportedly saying “Kanye 2024” before hitting the 63-year-old from behind, causing the victim to fall to the ground.
HALF OF US ADULTS FEEL ANTISEMITISM HAS INCREASED IN RECENT YEARS: POLL
By GIANNA MELILLO
Fifty percent of adults in the United States say antisemitism has increased in the last few years, and a majority classify it as at least a somewhat serious problem in the country, new poll results show. Although half of Americans reported a rise in antisemitism, responses varied by political party. Sixty-seven percent of Democrats said antisemitic incidents have risen in recent years compared with 44 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents. Just over 10 percent of respondents said the incidents are declining. In 2021, the nation saw a record-high number of antisemitic incidents, according to figures from the Anti-Defamation League, while 2022 has witnessed several high-profile incidents of antisemitism.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
UK GOVERNMENT ADVISER RECOMMENDS THAT SCHOOLS EDUCATE ABOUT ANTISEMITISM
By ZVIKA KLEIN
The UK government’s independent adviser on antisemitism has called for secondary schools to be required to teach about contemporary antisemitism in addition to pupils learning about the Holocaust. The recommendation, made on Monday in a comprehensive new report by the adviser, Lord Mann of Holbeck Moor, comes amid growing concern about the alarming spread of anti-Jewish hatred among young people—much of it promoted by neo-Nazi groups and others on social media platforms. “A renewed and concerted effort is also required across all UK universities and colleges to make Jewish students safe and feel safe on campus and the report includes a set of new recommendations to drive it,” Mann said.
AT HANUKKAH EVENT, BIDEN CONDEMNS RISING ANTISEMITISM
By MAX MATZA
US President Joe Biden has condemned antisemitism at a White House party to commemorate the second day of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. The joyful holiday, which is marked by lighting candles and eating oily foods, comes amid reports of a national and global uptick in antisemitic rhetoric. Mr Biden, the second Catholic US president, said: “I will not be silent and America will not be silent.” Anti-hate groups attribute the rise to online disinformation and hate speech. On Tuesday night, Mr Biden noted that he was speaking to the crowd “in the midst of a rising emboldenment of antisemitism at home, and quite frankly around the world”. “I recognise your fear. You’re hurt. You’re worried that this violent venom is becoming too normal,” he continued. “Silence is complicity. We must not remain silent.”
NSGP FUNDING INCREASE CALLED A POSITIVE STEP, BUT ALSO DISAPPOINTING SHORTFALL
By MARC ROD
Jewish advocacy groups offered mixed reactions on Tuesday to the announcement of the $305 million 2023 federal budget allocation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The allocation represents a 22% increase over 2022 funding levels but falls short of the $360 million funding goal that many Jewish leaders and lawmakers have been pursuing for years. The NSGP provides funding for religious institutions and nonprofits to enhance their security. Funding has increased significantly in recent years, most recently to $250 million for 2022, but has fallen short of meeting the target set by many advocates on Capitol Hill and Jewish community groups.
14 EU MEMBER STATES HAVE ALREADY ADOPTED ACTION PLANS TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM, SAYS EU OFFICIAL AT CHANUKAH LIGHTING
By YOSSI LEMPKOWICZ
‘’European Jews have contributed to the making of modern Europe, to the shaping of our European identity, our common values and universal human rights,’’ said Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life at the lighting of the Euro-Chanukia in the EU quarter of Brussels on Monday. The lighting is organized every year on Schuman Square by the European Jewish Community Centre (EJCC) in partnership with the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the City of Brussels.‘’We will only see an EU free from antisemitism and racism if the member states, the regions, the cities get make it their goal too,’’ she continued, adding that ‘’we are very pleased that following our proposal, the 27 EU countries agreed to each develop their own naval strategies to combat antisemitism by the end of 2022. 14 member states have already adopted such action plans and most others have signaled adoption in the coming months. This is tremendous progress.’’
SASKATCHEWAN BECOMES SIXTH CANADIAN PROVINCE TO ADOPT IHRA ANTISEMITISM DEFINITION
Saskatchewan on Monday became the sixth Canadian province to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. “During this spiritual holiday season, it’s important to come together in peace,” Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre stated. “Antisemitism is on the rise and must be condemned, along with all forms of intolerance and hatred.” Nearly 1,000 entities — including more than three dozen countries — worldwide have adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism since 2016, according to a study published by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University earlier this year.
SECOND ANNUAL ‘SHINE A LIGHT’ CAMPAIGN AGAINST ANTISEMITISM ENLISTS GAMERS, MAYORS AND MORE
By ESTHER D. KUSTANOWITZ
An ad on “Saturday Night Live.” A rally in Times Square. A local campaign in Billings, Mont. A new version of a classic song, courtesy of iconic Israeli singer David Broza. They’re all elements of Shine A Light, a convening platform for companies, nonprofit organizations, communities, elected officials and others to unite in amplifying awareness of antisemitism in all its forms. The campaign began earlier this year, is ramping up this week as Hanukkah begins, and runs through December 26, the holiday’s final day. It includes programs ranging from interfaith panel discussions and Shabbat programming to public menorah lightings, rallies, ad campaigns, the arts and social media posts. The campaign is timed to coincide with Hanukkah, a festival of lights that celebrates freedom.
CHRISTIAN SWEDISH STUDENTS SING HANUKKAH SONG FOR JEWISH CLASSMATES
By ZVIKA KLEIN
A video of Christian Swedish children singing “Maoz Tzur” on Saint Lucy’s Day went viral on social media over the last few days. These children are students at a public school in Stockholm (that has asked the Jerusalem Post to not publicize its name), a unique school that offers about 100 of its 900 students Jewish studies including the learning of Hebrew. Every year, on December 13th, during Saint Lucy’s Day, which is a Christian feast day, the students in the school sing Christmas carols but also devote one of the songs to the Jewish students and Hanukkah which falls in around the same time.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a global coalition engaging more than 375,000 people and 550 organizations from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred. We act collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.