THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM REPORT
U.S. actress and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg apologized after once again claiming the Holocaust was “not about race.” ABC suspended “The View” co-host for two weeks last February over a similar statement.
As the Hanukkah holiday drew to a close, menorahs were desecrated in New York, California, Oregon, and Maine, as well as Berlin and Freiburg, Germany, Miskolc, Hungary, and Temuco, Chile, among other locations.
A San Francisco man was charged with a hate crime for beating a Jewish passerby with a skateboard, and in Cameron, North Carolina, a neo-Nazi banner was hung on a highway overpass for the second time in a week.
In Brazil, a Jewish economist was targeted with antisemitic vitriol during a livestreamed media interview, and in Aschaffenburg, Germany, the memorial to the former synagogue at Wolfsthalplatz was defaced with green paint.
In London, England, a Jewish man returning from synagogue was threatened by a chain-wielding assailant, and a woman on an Underground train was sexualy harassed by two men, one of whom yelled, “We hate the Jews.”
In Uzhgorod, Ukraine, several antisemitic slogans, including “Kill the Jews,” were spray-painted on the façade of a building. The monument to the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki, Greece – one of the oldest in Europe – was desecrated with Nazi and other fascist symbols.
Italian Jewish leaders denounced the president of the country’s parliament after he published a social media post honoring the Italian Social Movement, or MSI, a neo-fascist party founded in the wake of World War II.
Meanwhile, a new report by the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission for the 2023 Texas legislature, found that antisemitic incidents in Texas are not only increasing in frequency, but severity as well. So far, 60 antisemitic incidents have occurred throughout the state in 2022, representing a 400% increase.
According to a new report by the Israel Defense Forces, 31 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed in terror attacks in 2022, a significant escalation in violence directed toward Israelis from the previous few years.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 29 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 13 (44.8%) from the far-right, 3 (10.3%) from the far-left, 0 (0.0%) with Islamist motivations, and 13 (44.8%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MENORAH IN CONEY ISLAND DESTROYED AMID WAVE OF ANTISEMITIC VANDALISM INCIDENTS ACROSS THE WORLD
By DION J. PIERRE
A menorah in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York was vandalized this week. Others across the world have met the same fate, according to several reports by StopAntisemitism, a US-based watchdog group, with similar incidents occurring in New York City, Beverly Hills, Berlin, as well as in Rockland, Maine, and Temuco, Chile. “We are saddened to hear the Coney Island Chabad Menorah has been vandalized, adding to those globally that have also been broken or destroyed this Hanukkah season,” the group tweeted on Tuesday. In another incident reported by StopAntisemitism on Thursday, a menorah that Chabad Israel Center had sculpted from ice and mounted on 93rd Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, New York, was destroyed.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: SKATEBOARD ATTACK ON JEWISH MAN CHARGED AS HATE CRIME
By KTVU STAFF
A man who allegedly beat a Jewish man with a skateboard on San Francisco’s Haight Street faces charges of a hate crime and assault with a deadly weapon, prosecutors announced. Eduardo Navarro Perez asked the victim if he was Jewish or Black before the attack and then made repeated disparaging antisemitic comments as the assault continued, according to San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. Prosecutors claim that evidence shows Navarro Perez was motivated by hatred toward Jewish people. “There is no place for antisemitism, or any crimes motivated by hate in San Francisco, in our state or anywhere else,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “We will do everything in our power to hold Navarro Perez accountable and ensure that there are consequences for this attack.”
ICE MENORAH SMASHED AT UPPER EAST SIDE CHABAD
By YOSSI LEMPKOWICZ
The ice-carved menorah commissioned by Upper East Side (UES) Chabad Israel Center was smashed in an apparent antisemitic attack on Wednesday night. This incident follows a previous act of vandalism that took place at the same center in October during the Sukkot holiday. “This was definitely a malicious and intentional act,” said Rabbi Uriel Vigler, who heads the Chabad Israel Center on the UES, in a statement to the @Jews_of_NY Instagram page. “The ice was smashed from both sides. Also on Sukkot we faced this kind [of]hate when our sukkah was vandalized.” Prior to this incident, the center’s sukkah was vandalized overnight on a Saturday just before the start of Sukkot. Video footage showed a person urinating on the sukkah before kicking it in. The vandalism ended when an unidentified heroic New Yorker intervened.
CONGRESSMAN-ELECT WITH FABRICATED RESUME ALSO LIED ABOUT HAVING NAZI REFUGEE GRANDPARENTS
By PHILISSA CRAMER
When The New York Times reported earlier this week that virtually the entire resume of George Santos, recently elected as a Republican congressman from Long Island, appeared to be a fabrication, it left untouched one detail: his claim to Jewish heritage. On his website, Santos said his maternal grandparents were refugees from the Nazis when they arrived in Brazil. He also said that he counted as his own his mother’s “Jewish background beliefs” as well as his father’s Catholicism. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Monday that Santos’ claim that his mother was Jewish had no evidence and was suspicious given her name, common among Brazilian Catholics, and her online obituary, which did not mention any Jewish identity.
“WE HATE THE JEWS”: WOMAN REPORTEDLY HARASSED ON LONDON UNDERGROUND BY TWO MEN
A woman was reportedly harassed on the London Underground by two men, one of whom is believed to have made sexual advances. The woman was traveling on the Piccadilly line from Arsenal to Kings Cross at 14:00 on 14th December when one of the men allegedly said: “We hate the Jews.” It is understood that the woman then confronted the man, whereupon the man was purported to have made sexual advances toward her. When the woman refused his alleged advances, both men then reportedly “attacked” her with an “array of racism and taunting”. According to the woman, she was then chased off of the carriage by the men, and later stated that “not one person stuck up for me on that train.”
IDENTIFIABLY JEWISH MAN RETURNING FROM SYNAGOGUE REPORTEDLY THREATENED BY CHAIN-WIELDING AGGRESSOR
An identifiably Jewish man returning from a synagogue was reportedly threatened by a man wielding a chain. The alleged aggressor was said to have used the chain into forcing the Jewish man to walk with him. It was reportedly only when pedestrians passed by to offer help that the aggressor fled the scene. The incident, seemingly captured on video, took place in Stamford Hill at 23:55 on 9th December and was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol. If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: 6554 13/12
A KIPPA WEARER WAS INSULTED AND THREATENED IN AN ANTISEMITIC MANNER IN BERLIN
A kippa wearer was insulted and threatened in an antisemitic manner in Berlin-Neukölln. State security at the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) began investigating the incident on Wednesday evening, the police said on Thursday. According to initial findings, the 34-year-old is said to have left a bar on Emserstrasse around 9:40 p.m. and headed towards the Neukölln S-Bahn and U-Bahn station. On the way, strangers are said to have suddenly insulted and threatened him in an antisemitic way. When the man, who was accompanied by a woman, pulled out his cell phone, the two perpetrators fled.
ANTISEMITIC DEATH THREATS SEND TO AN ONTARIO PHYSICIAN
By GLOBAL NEWS
Family physician Dr. Michelle Cohen is an outspoken member of the region’s health care community. “I’ve been speaking a lot about vaccines. I also do some tweeting and speaking about conspiracy theories,” said Cohen. She believes that advocacy work may play a role in a letter she recently received. The letter included reference to an antisemitic conspiracy theory coupled with a death threat. ‘I’m not surprised that I was targeted by an antisemitic conspiracy theory,” said Cohen. Cohen says behaviour like this is part of a worrying and growing trend. “A colleague of mine in Ottawa, Dr. Millie Catherine Merth, has been receiving a ton of these sorts of vile antisemitic messages and violent threats and death threats, things like that,” said Cohen.
AN ANTISEMITIC INSCRIPTION DISCOVERED IN A STREET IN SARCELLES
By TOI STAFF
This Thursday, the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism informed of the discovery of an incision on a wall, in Sarcelles, indicating: “Nike the Jews”. The inscription was found on the Léon-Paul Fargue alley. The BNVCA has thus instructed its counsel, Me Franck Serfati, to file a complaint. Sarcelles, which would have approximately 12,000 Jewish people out of a total population of 60,000 inhabitants, is regularly presented as a city of “living together”. This week, swastikas were tagged in red on Parisian businesses, in two different cases. The storefronts of an Asian restaurant, Tang Gourmet , in the 13th arrondissement, and of a Franprix in the 17th arrondissement, were targeted. The perpetrator(s) could be the same in both cases, although no one has yet been arrested. Investigations have been opened.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
LEADING BRAZILIAN JEWISH ECONOMIST TARGETED BY CRITICISM RIPPED FROM ‘ANTISEMITISM HANDBOOK,’ JEWISH GROUPS SAY
By MARCUS M. GILBAN
Jewish groups in Brazil are calling for a retraction after one prominent Brazilian economist questioned the loyalty of a Brazilian Jewish economist during an interview. The comments were about Ilan Goldfajn, a Brazilian-Israeli economist who was recently elected president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund, said during the interview that Goldfajn is hostile to the government of President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and included his Jewish background as one of the reasons. Batista’s argument invoked multiple antisemitic tropes about Jewish power and dual loyalty. “He is essentially a financier, connected to the U.S. Treasury, to the Jewish community. He is actually Jewish-Brazilian, born in Haifa, Israel. And the Jewish community has a strong presence in the U.S. Treasury, in the Monetary Fund, in international organizations, not only in private banks,” Batista said. “As a Brazilian, all he has is his passport.” Batista also mocked Goldfajn’s last name, calling it “unpronounceable” for not having a Portuguese origin.
GREECE – THE MONUMENT TO THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT THE ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI DESECRATED
The Monument dedicated to the Jewish cemetery and located at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was, once again, the target of heinous vandalism. A swastika was imprinted on the monument that marks the sanctity of the site, one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe – which was completely destroyed in 1942 by the Nazis and their collaborators – and the annihilation of the country’s largest Israeli community, Thessaloniki, in the Holocaust. At the same time, the marble dedication of the Monument was desecrated with a fascist symbol.
ITALIAN JEWISH LEADERS CONDEMN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT FOR HONORING NEO-FASCIST PARTY
By DAVID I. KLEIN/JTA
Jewish leaders in Italy had strong words for the president of the country’s parliament after he published a post on Instagram honoring the history of the Italian Social Movement, or MSI, a neo-fascist party founded in the wake of World War II. Ignazio la Russa, a senator from Cologno Monzese, a municipality in Milan, wrote alongside a picture of an MSI campaign poster: “In memory of my father, who was one of the founders of the Italian Social Movement in Sicily and who chose the path of free and democratic participation with the MSI throughout his life in defense of his ideas respectful of the Italian Constitution.”
ANTISEMITIC DRAWINGS DISCOVERED AT LIVINGSTON, NJ SCHOOLS FOR FIFTH TIME IN FOUR MONTHS
By DANIELLE SANTOLA
Livingston parents were outraged earlier this week when they learned that antisemitic language and/or swastika drawings were once again discovered at two Livingston Public Schools (LPS) buildings. Within the first month of the academic year, three incidents occurred in which either a swastika or racist language was drawn on a table or bathroom stall at both Livingston High School (LHS) and Heritage Middle School (HMS). On Monday, the LPS administration wrote to parents again to inform them of the discovery of antisemitic language written on the corner of a table in a classroom at LHS and of a pencil drawing of a swastika found on the back of a bathroom stall at HMS.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
JEWISH TEXANS EXPERIENCING MASSIVE SURGE OF ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS, NEW REPORT SAYS
By DION J. PIERRE
Jewish Texans have experienced an over 400 percent increase in antisemitic incidents since 2020, according to a recently released state report, the first of its kind in Texas’ history. The report, authored by local faith and civic leaders in the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission, found 60 antisemitic incidents in Texas so far in 2022. In 2020, there were 14. “The trend accelerated even before Gov. Gregg Abbott formally signed [HB2357] into law on June 16, 2021,” the commission wrote, citing legislation the Texas state legislature approved to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
TACOMA, WA CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS IHRA
By CITY OF TACOMA
On Dec. 20, the Tacoma City Council adopted Resolution 41104, which aligns the City of Tacoma’s working definition of antisemitism with one established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA): “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”After consulting with leaders at Temple Beth El and the Tacoma Jewish community, Resolution 41104 was brought forward by Council Member Sarah Rumbaugh for Council consideration. It was co-sponsored by Mayor Victoria Woodards and Council Member Olgy Diaz.
AFTER KYRIE IRVING’S ANTISEMITIC ROW, SHAQUILLE O’NEAL AND CHARLES BARKLEY JOIN ‘SHINE A LIGHT’ INITIATIVE CELEBRATING JEWISH FESTIVAL HANUKKAH
By ARJUN JULKA
While the NBA may not represent its players’ individual opinions, Kyrie Irving’s recent antisemitic episode had Commissioner Adam Silver and co address the situation immediately, knowing the sensitive nature of the issue Both Shaq and Chuck didn’t shy away from expressing their disgust over Irving’s statements, going as far as addressing the seven-time All-Star as an ‘idiot.’ As the NBA continues to distance itself from Irving’s past comments, O’Neal and Barkley join ADL’s Shine A Light initiative in the league’s effort to counter antisemitism.
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.