THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
A new study by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University, shows that 865 entities around the world have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, demonstrating the mainstream consensus that been built around it.
Denmark has unveiled a new 15-point nationwide action plan to combat antisemitism, which a focus on Holocaust education.
In the U.S., all 25 Jewish Democratic Congressmen in the House of Representatives issued a rare joint statement condemning the director of Amnesty International USA for “antisemitic, alarming and deeply offensive” remarks in which he proclaimed that American Jews do not want Israel to be a Jewish state, and that Israel should not exist as such.
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned of the enduring threat violent extremists pose to faith communities, a suspect was arrested in Connecticut for setting fire to a synagogue and church.
A British Jewish man was assaulted by a Syrian refugee while on vacation in Berlin. The assailant tore a kippah from the victim’s head, stamped on it, demanded that his victim say the words “Free Palestine” before punching him repeatedly in the face.
Tbilisi-based Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI), a CAM coalition partner, issued a report on rising antisemitism in the Republic of Georgia emanating from pro-Russian violent extremist groups. Recently, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized with a swastika, and several Georgian Orthodox clergymen have made hateful antisemitic statements that echo messaging from the Russian Patriarchate.
Tufts University condemned a campaign by Students for Justice in Palestine that urges students to sign a pledge to not only boycott Israeli products, but also Jewish-led student groups on campus. The Sierra Club meanwhile canceled trips to Israel after coming under pressure from BDS groups, before reversing that decision.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 33 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 16 (48.5%) from the far-right, 5 (15.2%) from the far-left, 6 (18.2%) with Islamist motivations, and 6 (18.2%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ISRAEL ‘SHOULDN’T EXIST AS A JEWISH STATE,’ AMNESTY USA DIRECTOR TELLS DEMOCRATIC GROUP
By Gabby Deutch
Following Amnesty International’s recent report that accused Israel of “apartheid” in its treatment of Palestinians, the group’s USA director appeared to go a step further, suggesting to a Woman’s National Democratic Club audience that the bulk of American Jews do not want Israel to be a Jewish state. The Amnesty official rejected a 2020 survey that found that eight in 10 Jewish Americans identify as “pro-Israel,” and two-thirds feel emotionally “attached” or “very attached” to the Jewish state. “I actually don’t believe that to be true,” O’Brien said. Rather than a Jewish state, American Jews want “a safe Jewish space,” O’Brien continued. “I think they can be convinced over time that the key to sustainability is to adhere to what I see as core Jewish values, which are to be principled and fair and just in creating that space.” On the question of Israel’s right to exist, O’Brien seemed to be splitting hairs. Israel “shouldn’t exist as a Jewish state,” O’Brien told attendees, before adding “Amnesty takes no political views on any question, including the right of the State of Israel to survive.”
SIERRA CLUB TO REINSTATE ISRAEL TRIPS
By Jewish Insider
The Sierra Club will reinstate two programs to Israel, days after the nature- and preservation-focused organization canceled trips to the Jewish state scheduled for this spring and spring 2023 after being pressured by anti-Israel and progressive activists, the organization announced. In announcing the reversal, the group admitted that the original decision to cancel the trips was made “hastily” and “was done in ways that created confusion, anger, and frustration.” Anti-Israel groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and the Adalah Justice Project had pushed for the environmental group to cancel the trips, accusing Israel of “greenwashing.”
POLICE IN CONNECTICUT ARREST SUSPECT IN ARSON OF LOCAL SYNAGOGUE AND CHURCH
By Dion J. Pierre
Police in New Britain, Connecticut have filed arson and burglary charges against a woman accused of igniting fires at a synagogue and a church, city officials confirmed. 30-year-old Kimorah Parker broke into Tephereth Israel Synagogue and lit a blaze that caused “fairly extensive” damage. Parker also set fire to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, and set off a burglary alarm at a second church, St. Joseph’s.
UNMASKED: BRITISH ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVISTS PLOTTING MAYHEM ACROSS UK
By DAVID ROSE
The leaders of an extreme anti-Israel network plotting mayhem across the UK can be exposed by the JC. Palestine Action co-founders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard revealed details of a new campaign of destruction targeting Israeli-linked firms in a clandestine meeting in Manchester. The new wave of attacks is aimed initially at the offices of Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems, but is set to be expanded to an array of companies linked to the Jewish state.
‘FREE PALESTINE’: JEWISH MAN ASSAULTED IN BERLIN BY SYRIAN REFUGEE
By Algemeiner Staff
German police have released a 24-year-old man arrested morning after he carried out a brutal antisemitic assault in Berlin. The man, a refugee from Syria, encountered his victim in the corridor of a hostel in Prenzlauer Berg, in the heart of the German capital. The victim, a 32-year-old Jewish man from the UK, wore a kippah, sparking his assailant’s ire. He tore the kippah of the Jewish man’s head and began stamping on it. The assailant then demanded that his Jewish victim say the words “Free Palestine” before punching him repeatedly in the face. Once in custody, his identity was established from the expired resident permit he was carrying. Police later released the accused man and ordered him to report to immigration officers.
ANTISEMITIC HARASSMENT OF A DISABLED JEW IN PARIS
By Réalité Actuelle
In the 19th arrondissement, a blind Jew was the target of antisemitic harassment. In the video, a person is seen beaming at the victim: “Disabled, dirty blind, dirty Jew,” “Die, die, die dirty blind, dirty disabled.”
OTHER WORLD NEWS
ANTISEMITISM ON THE RISE IN SOUTH CAUCASUS NATION OF GEORGIA, NEW TOLERANCE AND DIVERSITY INSTITUTE REPORT SAYS
Antisemitism is on the rise in the South Caucasus nation of Georgia are on the rise, according to a report by the Tbilisi-based Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI). “As Russia wages war in Ukraine, the step-up in the activity of pro-Russian violent extremist groups has taken an alarming dimension in Georgia,” the report said. “Appalling incidents of antisemitism have been reported. Also, several Georgian Orthodox clergymen have made hateful antisemitic statements that echo the messages coming from the Russian Patriarchate.”
ONLY ONE JEW REMAINS IN YEMEN, U.N. SAYS
By Gabby Deutch
A lone Jewish person remains in Yemen, down from seven a month ago, according to a new United Nations report about the treatment of religious minorities in conflict zones. The report, which was published by the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, described the treatment of religious minorities around the world. Although the report did not name the one Jewish individual remaining in Yemen, “that Jew is undoubtedly Levi Salem Musa Marhabi, who has been illegally imprisoned and tortured by Ansar Allah since 2016. In its discussion of Yemen, the report also called out the Houthis’ treatment of the country’s Baha’i population. “A Houthi leader in Yemen has described Baha’is as Israeli spies, effectively making the community targets for harm,” the report stated.
TUFTS UNIVERSITY REJECTS ANTI-ZIONIST BOYCOTT OF JEWISH-LED STUDENT GROUPS
By Dion J. Pierre
Tufts University and Jewish students have denounced an anti-Zionist group for targeting Jewish-led clubs and trips to Israel as part of a recently announced BDS campaign. Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) urged students to sign a pledge supporting BDS. Signatories were instructed to boycott goods targeted by BDS. SJP likewise asked students to “refuse to be involved with advocacy groups that normalize Israel and seek to improve its economic, social, and political standing” — specifically naming campus organizations Tufts Birthright Israel, J Street U Tufts, TAMID, Friends of Israel, and Tufts Hillel’s Visions of Peace program.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
IHRA ANTISEMITISM DEFINITION SEES ‘WIDESPREAD CONSENSUS’ WITH 200 NEW ADOPTIONS: STUDY
By Dion J. Pierre
At least two hundred institutions in 2021 endorsed the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. In 2021, Australia, Estonia, Guatemala, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland adopted the definition, with the Philippines’ Feb. 2022 decision bringing the total of country endorsements to 37. At least 60 colleges and universities did the same in 2021, as well 39 non-federal governments and 96 NGOs and other groups, said the report, which was commissioned by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University. The study also noted that in total, 865 organizations have endorsed the working definition, including 19 states in the US, 204 local governing bodies in the United Kingdom, and 314 educational institutions — including 236 in the UK.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
25 JEWISH HOUSE DEMS CONDEMN AMNESTY DIRECTOR’S ‘ALARMING’ AND ‘ANTISEMITIC’ COMMENTS
By Marc Rod
All 25 Jewish House Democrats came together to issue a rare joint statement condemning Amnesty International USA Executive Director Paul O’Brien’s comments that American Jews do not want Israel to be a Jewish state. “We are in full agreement that Mr. O’Brien’s patronizing attempt to speak on behalf of the American Jewish community is alarming and deeply offensive. He has added his name to the list of those who, across centuries, have tried to deny and usurp the Jewish people’s independent agency,” the statement reads. “We stand united in condemning this and any antisemitic attempt to deny the Jewish people control of their own destiny.” The statement calls O’Brien’s comments “a new, very disturbing step” and accuses him of “purporting to speak for the entire Jewish community on Israel.”
DENMARK ANNOUNCES ANTISEMITISM ACTION PLAN THAT BOOSTS HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
Denmark announced earlier that it is launching an action plan to better tackle antiSemitism in the country. The country’s new plan includes 15 initiatives, five of which aim at increasing knowledge about the Holocaust and antisemitism among children and the youth. The initiatives include making Holocaust education obligatory in primary and lower secondary schools, and general upper secondary education; continuing and developing education about the Holocaust and other genocides; expanding dialogue among different religions; providing youths with more information about Jewish life and culture in Denmark; and preparing teachers on how to avoid students feeling excluded in schools.
‘HE HAS TO PAY FOR WHAT HE DID’: HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR JUDAH SAMET SEEKS TO TESTIFY AGAINST PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER
As a young child, Judah Samet barely survived the Holocaust as an inmate at the Bergen-Belsen concentration. More than seven decades later, he was a witness to the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Now, the 84-year Samet, a retired jeweler, wants to testify against the alleged perpetrator of the shooting, white supremacist Robert Bowers. “I want to testify because he has to pay for what he did,” Samet told the New York Post. “If I don’t testify, and nobody else testifies, he may walk. Justice delayed is justice denied.
JCC KRAKOW IN POLAND MOBILIZES TO AID UKRAINIAN REFUGEES FORCED FROM HOMES BY RUSSIAN INVASION
Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Jewish Community Center of Krakow in Poland has provided aid to 5,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled the fighting. The JCC building has been transformed into a supply distribution center where food, medicine, hygienic supplies, toys, and clothing are available seven days a week, and tons of materials have also been sent to the border and inside Ukraine. Furthermore, refugees are being assisted by Ukrainian speakers and provided with social services and transportation. More than 170 refugees are being directly housed and fed by JCC Krakow, with the number rising every day. A total of 10 new fulltime staff members — including four Ukrainians — have been hired to handle these new missions.
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.