THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
This week, members of the U.S. Congress, led by Senators Jacky Rosen and James Lankford, launched the bipartisan and bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus, that will promote normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states.
Utah-based tech company Entrata, whose founder accused Jews of a plot to euthanize Americans with Covid-19 vaccines, pledged a six-figure donation in support of Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami synagogue.
The Organization of American States’ antisemitism envoy condemned Nicaragua for hosting an Iranian politician at the swearing-in of President Daniel Ortega, who is wanted by Interpol as the mastermind of the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. This occurred during a week in which the AMIA memorial was stolen, in addition to antisemitic incidents at an Argentine synagogue and Jewish cemetery.
Meanwhile, Holocaust trivialization in mainstream political discourse was again in the spotlight, with hurtful statements being made by an Ohio Congressman, a New York City Council member, and an Indiana lawmaker.
The rise in Holocaust trivialization has led to more extreme forms of antisemitism. At a public health meeting in Northampton, Massachusetts attendees made Holocaust comparisons, accused the health board of being “unelected rich Jewish doctors,” with another saying “Jews will not replace us,” – prompting condemnation by the mayor.
A UK Labour party councilor was suspended for saying that party leader Keir Starmer follows “commands from Israel,” and a U.S. marketing firm nixed a potential Jewish non-profit client over its Israel ties and anti-BDS stance. A Jewish student at Temple University in Philadelphia has left the school after her roommate and rowing teammate shared a snapchat message with her picture and the caption, “I hate Jews.”
France’s Interior Minister ordered the closure of another mosque for antisemitic incitement, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a report accusing the largest Jewish federations in America of being top funders of Islamophobia.
Following the vandalism of a Jewish senior home, Munich’s Jewish community is on edge after a Neo-Nazi terrorist was arrested on his way to the city’s Jewish community center from a protest against government health measures. Holocaust memorial stumbling blocks were also vandalized in Cologne by the National Socialist Underground.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 39 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 22 (56.4%) from the far-right, 7 (17.9%) from the far-left, 5 (12.8%) with Islamist motivations, and 5 (12.8%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
AS 2021 ENDS, DECEMBER SEES SHARP ANTISEMITISM VANDALISM SPIKE, CAM DATA SHOWS
The CAM Information Hub tracked a total of 181 antisemitic incidents reported in the media worldwide in December 2021, a 15.0% decrease from the previous month. Of December’s incidents, 56.9% (103) had far-right motives, while 11.0% (20) had far-left motives, and 15.5% (28) had radical Islamist motives. The remainder — 16.6% (30) — had unidentifiable motives. There was a 25.3% rise in incidents of vandalism in December, with a total of 94 — 51.9% of all antisemitic incidents for the month, and there was also a 7.7% increase in incidents of radical Islamist antisemitism, while decreases of 5.5%, 23.1%, and 42.3% were recorded in the far-right, far-left, and unidentifiable categories
SURVIVOR GIDON LEV TAKES TO TIKTOK TO COMBAT HOLOCAUST TRIVIALIZATION AND ANTISEMITISM
86-year-old Gidon Lev — who has lived in Israel for nearly all his adult life — was born in Czechoslovakia, and survived four brutal years at the Theresienstadt concentration camp as a young boy. Hoping to teach young people about the Holocaust, Lev began publishing videos on TikTok. His posts have gone viral, garnering millions of views. Lev has addressed the growing use of Holocaust symbols by critics of Covid-19 pandemic-related health measures. Responding to a video posted by a TikToker — who displayed a shaved head and described the look as “First day at an unvaccinated camp” — Lev said, “Shame on you. Are you trying to look like a Holocaust survivor because you don’t want to be vaccinated?”
AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE JOINS COMBAT ANTISEMITISM MOVEMENT’S GLOBAL COALITION AS PARTNER ORGANIZATION
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) announced that it had formally joined the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) as a partner organization. CAM’s interfaith and non-partisan coalition — dedicated to the common mission of fighting and ultimately defeating antisemitism — spans the globe, counting more than 400 partner organizations and 360,000 individuals as members. “We are honored to join the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM),” AHI President Nick Larigakis stated. “AHI has been at the forefront in working with the American Jewish community, including organizations such as B’nai B’rith International and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, to promote and advance the Eastern Mediterranean partnership between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel and has advocated for the United States’ engagement to support it.
A MARKETING FIRM THAT WORKS WITH JEWISH GROUPS, BIG DUCK, HAS NIXED A POTENTIAL CLIENT BECAUSE OF ITS ISRAEL TIES
By RON KAMPEAS
A marketing firm that has worked with Jewish nonprofits has declined to work with one because of growing concerns among its staff about groups with “significant programming in Israel.” The Shalom Hartman Institute, a leading Jewish educational think tank, reached out to Big Duck because of its history of working with Jewish organizations. But Farra Trompeter, Big Duck’s co-director, told Hartman’s North America communications director, that the firm would not work with Hartman because staff concerns about the Institute’s activities in Israel. Trompeter noted that Hartman had a presence in Jerusalem and asked whether Hartman defines itself as Zionist and whether it opposes BDS.
JEWISH CHARITIES AMONG TOP FUNDERS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA, SAYS REPORT BY MUSLIM CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP
By ASAF SHALEV
Charitable foundations with ties to Jewish federations and Jewish families feature prominently in a new report about the flow of tax-deductible donations to organizations that a leading Muslim civil rights lobby has identified as “anti-Muslim groups.” Titled “Islamophobia in the Mainstream,” the report was published by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. At least five funders on CAIR’s list are explicitly Jewish and direct their funds according to the wishes of their donors. The five are donor-advised funds affiliated with Jewish federations in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area — the biggest Jewish communities in the United States.
LABOUR COUNCILLOR WHO CLAIMED STARMER FOLLOWS ‘COMMANDS FROM ISRAEL’ IS SUSPENDED
By MATHILDE FROT
A Labour councillor who alleged Sir Keir Starmer follows “commands from Israel” has been suspended from the party pending an investigation. Cllr Ron Cooper had his Labour whip removed and “currently sits as an independent councillor,” the West Lancashire Labour group said. The suspension follows outrage over a tweet posted by Cllr Cooper earlier this week. “If Corbyn was Labour Leader again then hundreds of thousands of members would rejoin the Party. “@Keir_Starmer Stands for nothing but #Purge of socialists and following commands from Israel,” he wrote.
JEWISH COMMUNITY IN MUNICH UNNERVED BY RECENT ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS, LEADERS SAY
By Algemeiner Staff
A 41-year-old man was arrested in the immediate aftermath of a demonstration against the German government’s COVID-19 policies. The man was said to have been part of a group of 20 people who were headed in the direction of Munich’s Jewish Community Center. Eyewitnesses identified one of the group as Karl-Heinz Statzberger, a convicted neo-Nazi terrorist who served a four-year prison sentence for planning an attempted bombing of the Jewish Community Center in 2003. Statzberger is now reported to be active in the Bavaria branch of “The Third Way,” a neo-Nazi organization which has been pushed its message at demonstrations and rallies against the pandemic public health measures.
CANADIAN JEWISH GROUPS CALL FOR ACTION AGAINST HATEFUL RHETORIC AGAINST ISRAEL, JEWS
Jewish groups in Canada are decrying an Arabic-language magazine and human-rights organization for two separate incidents of anti-Israel activity. B’nai Brith Canada has called for the Canadian government to “dissolve” “Canadian Defenders for Human Rights” after that group’s leader, Firas al-Najim, was caught on film in Arabic praising the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and chanting “Death to America.” In a separate incident, HonestReporting Canada reported that an Arabic magazine published a column that called for the destruction of the Jewish state.
CITING ANTISEMITIC INCITEMENT, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER ORDERS CLOSURE OF ISLAMIST MOSQUE IN CANNES
By Algemeiner Staff
France’s interior minister announced the closure of a mosque in the southern city of Cannes, citing its promotion of antisemitic hate speech. Gérald Darmanin said that the mosque located in the iconic town on the French Riviera had been shut down because of “antisemitic remarks” and “incitement to hatred.” “We are closing one of the mosques in Cannes because we hold it responsible for antisemitic remarks,” Darmanin said. Darmanin added that the decision to close the mosque had been made in consultation with the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
SWASTIKA-DRAPED COFFIN AT ROME FUNERAL DRAWS CONDEMNATION OF JEWISH COMMUNITY, CATHOLIC CHURCH
The local Jewish community and Catholic Church in Rome have voiced outrage after a funeral procession in the Italian capital featured a coffin draped in a Nazi flag, with mourners performing fascist salutes. The incident occurred outside the St. Lucia church in Rome’s Prati district, after the funeral ceremony for Alessia Augello, a member of Italy’s far-right New Force political party who died at the age of 44 from a blood clot. Photos and video footage show around two dozen people standing outside the church and shouting “Presente!” while extending their right arms in fascist salutes as the coffin passes by.
THE MIDDLE EAST
TOP IRANIAN GENERAL: ‘THE SAUD CLAN ARE ACTUALLY THE JEWS WHO FOUGHT MUHAMMAD’
A senior Iranian general said that the House of Saud are actually the same Jews that once resisted Muhammad. In an address aired by Iran’s Bushehr TV, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, said, “We cannot bear to see injustice in a Muslim country that is perpetrated by the Zionists and the seed of the Jews.” “These are the very same Jews—and I’d better say Zionists—whose hearts have never aligned with Islam, and even with the Prophet in his time,” said Tangsiri.
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY ROWER SAYS ROOMMATE, TEAMMATE SENT HER ANTISEMITIC TEXT
By TaRhonda Thomas
Sasha Westrick started her first semester at Temple with all the excitement you’d expect from a college freshman. “I thought immersing myself in North Philadelphia would be the best way to learn tolerance and acceptance,” said Westrick, whose mother is originally from Philadelphia. Instead, she learned a harsh lesson she didn’t expect. Her discomfort came from a text that she says her roommate sent her in September. The text is a screenshot of a Snapchat. In it, Westrick was unknowingly photographed while studying. The caption over her photo says “I hate Jews.” Westrick, who is Jewish, says the person who created the Snapchat was her roommate.
GLASGOW UNIVERSITY LECTURER SMEARS JEWISH STUDENT AS ‘THE LOBBY’
By FELIX POPE
A Glasgow University academic smeared a Jewish student as part of “the Lobby”. The senior education lecturer, Dr Muir Houston, also claimed that Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman was working at the “behest of a foreign power”. The university has so far failed to take formal action. The student contacted Dr Houston in March 2021 after he signed a letter in support of controversial academic David Miller, who had been suspended by the University of Bristol for calling the Jewish society “pawns” of a “foreign regime”. The student asked why Dr Houston had supported Mr Miller – who was later sacked – for an article for a student paper. Less than an hour after her email was sent, the Twitter account ‘Muir TDM’ posted: “email received from the Lobby”, quoting directly from her message.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
U.S. CONGRESS LAUNCHES BIPARTISAN ABRAHAM ACCORDS CAUCUS
By Marc Rod
A group of eight House and Senate lawmakers will come together to launch a bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus, focused on supporting and promoting the normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states. The caucus’s co-chairs will be Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), David Trone (D-MD), Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Brad Schneider (D-IL). Lankford described the new group as a “cheerleading squad” for the Accords. “The bipartisan, bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus will provide a unique opportunity for world leaders to come together in our common pursuit of creating a better, safer and more prosperous world for our children and grandchildren,” Rodgers said.
NICARAGUA SLAMMED FOR HOSTING IRANIAN OFFICIAL WANTED IN ARGENTINA JEWISH CENTER BOMBING
By Gabby Deutch
The Organization of American States’ antisemitism envoy called for Nicaragua to abide by its duties as a member of Interpol after a senior Iranian politician wanted for his role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires appeared at the swearing-in of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. “I repudiate the presence of the vice president of Iran at the inauguration of Daniel Ortega in Managua,” Fernando Lottenberg, who has since October served as the OAS commissioner to monitor and combat antisemitism said. “Mohsen Rezaei is under a red alert from Interpol. Nicaragua, as a member of Interpol, should soon comply with it.” Mohsen Rezaei was the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps at the time of the AMIA bombing and is believed to be the alleged mastermind of the attack that killed 85 people and injured hundreds.
MUSLIM AND JEWS TEAM UP TO WARM AND FEED HOMELESS DURING FRIGID COLD SNAP IN WESTERN CANADA
The Muslim and Jewish communities of Edmonton, Alberta, recently teamed up to help keep homeless people warm and fed during a spell of frigid weather in the western Canadian city. The Jewish Federation of Edmonton delivered food and water to the historic Al Rashid Mosque, which was sheltering homeless people during a cold snap that saw temperatures hit -35 degrees Celsius.
TECH COMPANY WHOSE FOUNDER WROTE ANTISEMITIC COVID SCREED PLEDGES SIX-FIGURE SUM TO LOCAL SYNAGOGUE
By SHIRA HANAU
When a Utah tech company wanted to make amends after its founder penned an antisemitic screed blaming Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic, they called a local rabbi to see what they could do to help. The rabbi walked out of a meeting with Entrata executives with a six-figure pledge from the company, to be used to fix up his synagogue and repair the community’s damaged Torah scrolls. “They said, ‘We’re going to take care of all that for you,’ and they made the largest donation we’ve ever seen,” Rabbi Sam Spector of Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami said.
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.