THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
The European Council will treat antisemitism as a separate phenomenon from all types of racism. The declaration makes the fight against antisemitism a priority of Europe’s executive branch, codifying measures to fight it at the member state and local levels.
The U.S. Congress’ government spending package will include $250 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to help secure religious institutions. Sweden has assumed the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and London’s mayor pledged to do more to root out antisemitism. In the U.S., officials in Illinois, Texas, Kentucky and Ohio spoke out against rising antisemitism.
A New Jersey Jewish community center received two back to back bomb threats, and a candidate for Michigan’s legislature shared social media posts calling Jews “the real virus,” among other conspiracies.
An Israeli tourist was left bloodied after being punched in the face by a stranger in Berlin. France dissolved two pro-Palestinian advocacy organizations for inciting violence and hatred. During an employment dispute, a Jewish man in London was told “I will carve a swastika on your forehead with a knife,” and a bus passenger in Sweden was denied service for wearing a Jewish symbol that “might upset other passengers.”
Three antisemitic incidents occurred at the University of Wisconsin. In an inspiring response to antisemitism at the University of Indiana, hundreds of mezuzahs were placed across campus in a show of solidarity with Jewish students.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 29 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 12 (41.4%) from the far-right, 4 (13.8%) from the far-left, 4 (13.8%) with Islamist motivations, and 9 (31.0%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MICHIGAN STATE HOUSE CANDIDATE HAS SHARED ANTISEMITIC POSTS, INCLUDING ONE CALLING FEMINISM ‘A JEWISH PROGRAM TO DEGRADE WHITE MEN’
By ANDREW LAPIN
Robert Regan, the Republican nominee for a safely conservative state House seat in Michigan, has frequently re-posted antisemitic content. Regan is in a good position to win a May 3 special election. Regan’s personal Facebook page shared two posts, still visible on his page, in which he expressed antisemitic opinions. He shared an image of a quote that described “feminism” as “a Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men.” Regan also shared a link to an antisemitic “family history” of the Rothschilds. Two months later, he shared a meme made by a QAnon influencer that called “(((Them)))” the “real virus” in a post calling public health measures to combat COVID-19 “nonsense.” The triple parentheses, or echo symbol, is used online by antisemites to identify Jews.
CHERRY HILL, NJ JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER GETS SECOND BOMB THREAT IN TWO DAYS
By Anthony R. Wood
For the second consecutive day, the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill Township was the target of a bomb threat, the center said. The building was evacuated safely, as it had been the day before, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey said in a statement. The center cited other “reported incidents” at Jewish institutions in Philadelphia and New York, but details were unavailable. The threat arrived via a messaging app at said Cherry Hill Township Police Chief Robert Kempf, and it came as township police were investigating Tuesday’s bomb scare.
MAN ASSAULTED WOMAN ON LONDON OVERGROUND AND SHOUTED ANTISEMITIC ABUSE IN SHOCKING ATTACK
By Whelan Barzey
A man was seen assaulting a woman and shouting antisemitic abuse on a London Overground train in a shocking attack. British Transport Police officers investigating the hate crime are appealing for further information. It took place on a London Overground train between Dalston Kingsland and Kentish Town West. Officers responded to a witness report of a man assaulting a woman and shouting antisemitic abuse at her.
“I WILL CARVE A SWASTIKA ON YOUR FOREHEAD WITH A KNIFE,” JEWISH MAN REPORTEDLY TOLD
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
A Jewish man was reportedly threatened following a dispute regarding employment, in which he was told: “I will carve a swastika on your forehead with a knife.” The incident, which was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, is now reportedly being dealt with by the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Hate Crime Investigators.
TORONTO POLICE PROBING DISCOVERY OF ANTISEMITIC, HOMOPHOBIC GRAFFITI ON DOWNTOWN CHURCH
By Joanna Lavoie
Toronto police are investigating after antisemitic and homophobic graffiti was discovered on the outer walls of a historic downtown church. Officers attended Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. at Church Street, for reports of graffiti spray-painted on the property. Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu said the incident, which police are considering hate motivated, is believed to have happened by “unknown parties sometime over this past weekend.”
ISRAELI TOURIST ATTACKED IN BERLIN: ‘IT WAS AIMED AT HURTING ISRAELIS OR JEWS’
By Benjamin Kerstein
An Israeli tourist was attacked in Berlin, Germany, in what she described as antisemitic violence. The victim, named as “Osnat,” was with her husband in a heavily-trafficked area near the Berlin Zoological Garden. The pair were looking for a specific store and took a shortcut down a side street. When Osnat fell a few paces behind her husband, a random stranger punched her in the face. “My face filled with blood, my temple split, blood dripped from my nose, which I felt had broken,” she recalled. Osnat said that she is convinced the incident “was unequivocally an antisemitic attack. It was aimed at hurting Israelis or Jews.” The assailant “watched us and apparently heard us speaking Hebrew.”
FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER DISSOLVES PRO-PALESTINIAN NGOS ADVOCATING ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION
By Algemeiner Staff
France’s interior minister announced the dissolution of two pro-Palestinian advocacy organizations, accusing them of inciting violence and hatred. Gerald Darmanin confirmed that both the “Collectif Palestine Vaincra” (“Palestine Will Overcome Collective”) and the Palestine Action Committee were “dissolved this morning in the Council of Ministers, in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic.” Said Darmanin: “As detailed in the executive order I presented, it called for hatred, violence and discrimination.” Both groups are militantly anti-Zionist, advocating the destruction of Israel as a democratic Jewish state and its replacement by a unitary state of Palestine.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
PRO-KREMLIN ACCOUNTS PHOTOSHOPPING SWASTIKAS ONTO ZELENSKY PHOTOS
By Times of Israel
A doctored image of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holding a jersey bearing a swastika has been spread by pro-Kremlin accounts, BBC reports. The original photo was posted by Zelensky on his Instagram account ahead of the 2020 Euro cup.
IRANIAN MEDIA SLANDERS ZELENSKY WITH ANTISEMITIC ARTICLE
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Iran’s Fars News, which is a pro-government media outlet linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, ran a long article bashing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and using antisemitic tropes. In the article that appears on its homepage, Zelensky is accused of being a hedonist who seeks to “gain power and pleasure, using any kind of moral and financial corruption being committed.” It accuses him of having made obscene works in his film career and supporting “marijuana, gambling and prostitution.” The article openly refers to him as a Jew with “deep ties to Jewish officials and the rich, such as George Soros.” It accuses him of being a Zionist, saying that “Zionist behavior” is duplicitous and that Israel had tossed Ukraine aside “like a handkerchief.”
‘ANTISEMITISM IS WRONG,’ SAYS UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AFTER THREE RECENT REPORTS
By Dion J. Pierre
Acknowledging a series of incidents reported by Jewish students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, school administrators denounced antisemitism, pledging to strengthen efforts to combat bias. “Antisemitism is wrong and it will not be tolerated at UW-Madison,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston said. “We are working to support all community members and increasing our educational efforts to prevent bias incidents from happening in the future.” They revealed that recently, a swastika was carved into a residence hall bathroom stall, antisemitic slurs were yelled at a student, and a community member reported being harassed for “looking Jewish.”
IN OPEN LETTER, JEWISH UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY CALL OUT COLLEAGUES FOR ‘FALSEHOODS, TWISTER LOGIC, AND ANTISEMITIC RHETORIC’
Jewish faculty at the University of Toronto are calling out colleagues for the “falsehoods, twisted logic, and antisemitic rhetoric” used to denounce Jan. 26 remarks by Canadian Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism Irwin Cotler at a virtual event hosted by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, An open letter — organized by Doctors Against Racism and Antisemitism (DARA) and addressed to the Dean of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine — is being circulated for signature by Jewish University of Toronto faculty members. This letter explains: “Most prominent among the falsehoods are that the event ‘undermined the important work of the University’s own Anti-Semitism Working Group (ASWG),’ whose recommendations prohibited the adoption of any definition of antisemitism. The other Faculty members are being untruthful. The University which accepted the ASWG report has not banned or prohibited the use, teaching, or discussion of the IHRA working definition.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUND AROUND RUSSIAN ASSAULT ON UKRAINE
By Anti-Defamation League
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, extremists and antisemites across the ideological spectrum have used the war as fodder for promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories. Emanating from classic antisemites and white supremacists, as well as QAnon influencers and Proud Boys acolytes, classic tropes of Jewish power, financial control and “abuse” of the Holocaust narrative abound online. In just a few short weeks, tens of thousands of social media users have been exposed to these dangerous lies. Some allege that the war itself is orchestrated by Jews for both financial control and global prowess. Anti-Zionist activists have also engaged in conspiratorial rhetoric, alleging Israel and Zionists are intentionally capitalizing on this crisis to fuel their own goals.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
EUROPEAN COUNCIL ADOPTS ITS CONCLUSIONS ON RACISM, ANTISEMITISM
By ZVIKA KLEIN
The European Council adopted its conclusions on combating racism and antisemitism, including treating antisemitism as a separate phenomenon from all types of racism by creating a separate resolution with guidelines toward the treatment of antisemitism in all EU countries. The declaration makes the fight against antisemitism a priority of Europe’s executive branch and comes after years of the World Jewish Congress working with the leadership of the European Union on codifying measures to fight antisemitism at the European, member state and local levels. The conclusions were released by the council under France’s presidency. The EC will urge social media companies to remove content with antisemitic rhetoric, strengthen security at Jewish institutions and adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
US CONGRESS SPENDING BILL INCLUDES FUNDING FOR NONPROFIT SECURITY, IRON DOME, SUPPORT FOR ABRAHAM ACCORDS
By Marc Rod
Congress’ long-delayed 2022 omnibus government spending package, released and passed by the House, includes $250 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, as well as $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, which had been stalled for months, and the Israel Relations Normalization Act. The NSGP funding represents a boost of $70 million over the $180 million funding level for 2021, which both the House and Senate initially proposed keeping constant for 2022, despite a significant funding shortage in 2021. It falls short, however, of the $360 million Jewish organizations had been supporting.
MEZUZAHS PLACED ACROSS INDIANA UNIVERSITY IN SHOW OF SOLIDARITY WITH JEWISH STUDENTS FACING RISING ANTISEMITISM ON CAMPUS
Hundreds of red mezuzahs bearing the message “I stand with my Jewish friends” have been placed on door frames across the Indiana University Bloomington in a public show of solidarity following a recent spate of antisemitic incidents on campus. “The mezuzah is so significant for college students because when they come to campus, it’s the first time they’re creating a Jewish home, the first time they get to make that choice,” said Rabbi Sue Silberberg, executive director of IU Hillel. “Unfortunately today, it also carries some risk because of antisemitism, so it’s been really meaningful and important to Jewish students to see the mezuzahs on campus.” Among other locations, mezuzahs have been put up at entrances to the Indiana Memorial Union Building, accompanied by signs reading “There is no place for hate in our community.”
90-YEAR-OLD HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR AMONG 160 UKRAINIAN REFUGEES BROUGHT TO ISRAEL ON UNITED HATZALAH RESCUE FLIGHT
In its first-ever humanitarian aid flight, United Hatzalah brought 160 Ukrainian refugees to Israel. One of the passengers was Raisa, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who lived on her own in Odessa before the Russian invasion. Her sole remaining family members were three granddaughters in Israel. When the war broke out her granddaughters reached out to United Hatzalah and asked for help saving her. Rabbi Hillel Cohen, director of United Hatzalah in Ukraine, arranged for an ambulance to transport Raisa to the border with Moldova, where she was met by United Hatzalah volunteers. Raisa was taken by bus to Iasi, Romania, where a plane was waiting to take her and other Ukrainian refugees to Israel. After she landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Raisa was met by her granddaughters in a moving reunion.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a global coalition engaging more than 360,000 people and 450 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.