THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
This week, Kansas and Iowa became the 20th and 21st U.S. states respectively, to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism to combat rising rates of antisemitism in the U.S. Meanwhile, Colorado became the latest state to announce divestment from Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever over the former’s support for the BDS movement.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said British universities have been “tolerant of antisemitism” for too long and suggested creating a national antisemitism task force “devoted to rooting out” the problem “in education at all levels”. Canada’s government is establishing a national task force to combat a growing pace of hate crimes, and to establish national standards to support hate crime victims.
Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. have received bomb threats. Two threats in Missouri and Pennsylvania both began, “I’ll be there at 12 to bomb your facility you ukranian jew filth i got bombs there now.” Synagogues in in metro Chicago and metro Detroit also received bomb threats this week.
The city of Boston’s famed St. Patrick’s Day parade was marred the presence of 20 masked members of a Neo-Nazi group, causing concern from local officials and the Jewish community. Four Jewish Israeli civilians were murdered in an attack in Beersheba by an ISIS-affiliated terrorist.
Pro-Kremlin Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad gave a televised speech claiming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is “a Zionist Jew” who “supports the Nazis that killed the Jews.” A leader of the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen similarly claimed that the Ukraine-Russia war is a result of the “evil-doing” of the Jews and that Ukraine is at war because it has a Jewish president.
In academia, the Middle East Studies Association endorsed the BDS movement against Israel – the only country in the world it has chosen to boycott. Troubling campus antisemitism stories were also reported at Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Duke University and McGill University this week.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 36 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 19 (52.8%) from the far-right, 11 (30.6%) from the far-left, 4 (11.1%) with Islamist motivations, and 2 (5.6%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BOMB THREATS TARGET ‘JEW FILTH’ AT JEWISH CENTERS IN A NUMBER OF STATES
By RON KAMPEAS
Security officials are reporting a spate of bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions in a number of states. The threats came into Jewish community centers around the country in recent weeks, most recently in Pennsylvania and Missouri, according to Michael Masters, who directs the Secure Community Network, a consultancy that works with national Jewish groups. Other JCCs targeted have been in Oklahoma, Arizona and New Jersey. The threats come through online contact forms and have similar language. The two most recent threats, in Missouri and Pennsylvania, both began, “I’ll be there at 12 to bomb your facility you ukranian jew filth i got bombs there now.”
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE IN METRO DETROIT RECEIVES HOAX BOMB THREAT
By Danny Schwartz
A bomb threat scare at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, MI led to the building being evacuated without incident and Friday night Shabbat services being conducted via Zoom. Adat Shalom’s Rabbi Aaron Bergman sent out a letter to the community with the details. Adat Shalom’s Executive Director Michael Wolf says there were only about 5-10 people inside the synagogue at the time of the threat.
NEO-NAZI GROUP SPOTTED AT BOSTON ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE IN ‘DISTURBING DISPLAY’
By Algemeiner Staff
A neo-Nazi group was seen at Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, prompting concern from local officials and Jewish community members. The group of around 20 men were photographed at the South Boston parade with a sign saying “Keep Boston Irish.” They wore green clothing and baseball caps, and concealed their faces with masks and sunglasses. A Boston Globe report identified them as belonging to the Nationalist Social Club, a neo-Nazi group founded in 2019 in Eastern Massachusetts whose tactics include public demonstrations and disseminating white supremacist propaganda. Members see themselves as “soldiers at war with a hostile, Jewish-controlled system that is deliberately plotting the extinction of the white race.”
FOOTBALL FANS INVESTIGATED FOR ‘VILE’ ANTISEMITIC CHANTING THIS WEEKEND
By Jeremy Last
A group of football fans filmed chanting a virulently antisemitic song are being investigated by police, after officers were alerted to the incident by Jewish News. The clip, posted on Twitter by Tottenham fan @N17_SAUL, appears to have been filmed on a train packed with Arsenal supporters on their way to their team’s match at Aston Villa. In it the group enthusiastically sing an anti-Tottenham song ending with the words “F***ing Jew”. One person can then be heard saying “Love that one,” while others laugh.
GERMANY REFUSES ENTRY TO SPANISH NEO-NAZI, KNOWN FOR ANTISEMITIC SPEECH
By El Nacional
A Spanish neo-Nazi who made a blatant antisemitic speech at a far-right rally in Madrid last year, Isabel Medina Peralta, has once again returned to the headlines, this time abroad. The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that this follower of the Spanish Falange was refused entry at Frankfurt Airport due to items found in her suitcase. According to the leading German newspaper, airport officers found a flag featuring a swastika, a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and a book from the propaganda series of the Nazi-era Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls) in the woman’s luggage.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
UN ‘APARTHEID ISRAEL’ REPORT SLAMMED AS ‘WICKED’ DISTORTION OF THE TRUTH
By KIRSTY BUCHANAN
The NGO Monitor has debunked accusations of apartheid levelled against Israel in a United Nations report. Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council, made the charge in his final report before stepping down from his role after six years. However, NGO Monitor slammed the report for “gross” misrepresentation of facts and for peddling antisemitic tropes. It criticises Mr Lynk for a portrayal of Israel as “cartoonishly wicked” with the use of emotive language and a failure to recognise the security concerns of the government. Israeli measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, for example, are branded a “medieval military blockade” and Israel is dubbed a “covetous alien power”.
HUNGARY: VIDEO SURFACES SHOWING VICE-PRESIDENT OF JOBBIK MAKING QUICK NAZI SALUTE
By Hungary Today
A new video has surfaced that shows Dániel Z. Kárpát, the deputy leader of the opposition Jobbik party, making a quick Nazi salute and then laughing, pro-Fidesz news site Mandiner reports, citing an article from Jewish Voice. The online version of American Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Voice, has recently published an opinion piece that focuses on the antisemitism of the Hungarian opposition party, Jobbik. According to the article, the vice-president of the right-wing party, Dániel Z. Kárpát, is a politician with antisemitic views. To support this claim, the article included a video showing the Jobbik vice-president clearly making a Nazi salute, after which he starts laughing.
ISRAEL’S SECURITY FORCES ON ‘MAXIMUM ALERT’ AFTER FORMER TERROR CONVICT KILLS FOUR IN BEERSHEBA ATTACK
By Sharon Wrobel
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has put Israel’s security forces on “maximum alert” after an Arab Israeli carried out a deadly stabbing and ramming attack that killed at least four people and seriously wounded two in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The assailant has been identified as Mohammad Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an, a former terror convict from the Bedouin southern Negev town of Hura. The 34-year-old Arab Israeli first stabbed a woman at a gas station, then returned to his car and rammed into a cyclist. The attacker then drove to a nearby shopping mall, where he got out of his car and stabbed several people before being neutralized by a local bus driver.
SYRIAN DICTATOR ASSAD CALLS ZELENSKY A ‘ZIONIST JEW’ WHO ‘SUPPORTS THE NAZIS’
By Algemeiner Staff
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad went on a ferocious anti-Ukraine and antisemitic rant, in which he falsely claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is “a Zionist Jew” who “supports the Nazis that killed the Jews.” “The ugliest truth of them all is the lie that the West and Zionism oppose Nazism,” Assad claimed. “Not many people know that the leaders of the Nazis in Ukraine were driven out [of Ukraine] at the end of WWII.” “What proves these historic facts today is that Zelensky is a Zionist Jew, yet he supports the extremist nationalist organizations that fought [alongside the Nazis] in WWII, and some of them took part in the massacres committed against the Jews,” Assad claimed. “So how come that Zionist Jew is supporting these organizations? “And Zionist Israel, which keeps crying about the victims of the Holocaust, supports a leader that supports the Nazis that killed the Jews,” he said.
MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION’S ENDORSEMENT OF BDS SLAMMED AS ‘ANTITHETICAL TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM’
In a 768-167 vote, members of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) passed a resolution endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The resolution “directs the MESA Board of Directors to work in consultation with the Committee on Academic Freedom to give effect to the spirit and intent of this resolution, in a manner consistent with MESA’s bylaws as well as relevant US federal, state, and local laws.” The approval of the resolution was strongly condemned by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) — a nonpartisan and grassroots group of academics who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse on Middle East issues.
JEWS COULD BE ‘SEGREGATED’ FOR OWN PROTECTION AT NUS LOWKEY CONCERT
By FELIX POPE
The UK National Union of Students has been accused of “segregating” Jews after it said that Jewish students uncomfortable with anti-Israel rapper Lowkey headlining the union’s conference could always go to another room during his performance. The rapper, a key figure in the Palestine Action collective, had set to appear at the NUS Liberation Conference this March – but has now pulled out. Tracks put out by Lowkey feature lyrics: “You say you know about the Zionist lobby. But you put money in their pocket when you’re buying their coffee. Talking about revolution, sitting in Starbucks.” Union of Jewish Students President Nina Freedman said “It was suggested that Jewish students go into an existing safe space designated for students who are sensitive to loud noise for the duration of Lowkey’s performance.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
MONITORING NGO RECORDS 1,300-PERCENT SPIKE IN ANTISEMITIC SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT SINCE START OF RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE LAST MONTH
A 1,300-percent rise in antisemitic social media content has been recorded since the start of the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine last month, a new report published by the Fighting Online Antisemitism (FOA) NGO said. “During the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we found close to 38,000 references to antisemitic content on popular social media platforms,” the report noted. “Using a computerized system that scans social networks, keywords, and hashtags such as ‘Russia,’ ‘Ukraine,’ and ‘I hate Jews’ were scanned,” it explained. “The findings suggest that these comments increased significantly in the days leading up to the outbreak of the war. On the last day of the month, the number of publications rose to 12,500 from the previous day’s 2,500, about half with negative intent. Approximately 860 million users were exposed to these publications, which were primarily written and shared in English.”
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
KANSAS SENATE MAKES STATE 20TH TO ADOPT IHRA ANTISEMITISM DEFINITION
The Combat Antisemitism Movement applauds the Kansas State Senate for its passage, without opposition, of a concurrent resolution to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. The Senate’s move — which made Kansas the 20th U.S. state to adopt or endorse the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism — came a month after the Kansas State House of Representatives approved the resolution, HCR 5030, by a bipartisan and unanimous 121-0 vote. “The state of Kansas adopts the non-legally binding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism, including the 11 contemporary examples,” the resolution says. Furthermore, it adds, the Kansas Department of Administration “shall ensure that the IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism is made available as an educational resource for all state agencies.”
IOWA GOVERNOR REYNOLDS SIGNS ANTI-BDS OF ISRAEL AND ANTISEMITISM BILLS INTO LAW
By Iowa Torch
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed two bills into law relating to anti-BDS of Israel and antisemitism during a formal meeting with the Israeli Consul General to the Midwest. HF 2373 is an act relating to restrictions regarding companies boycotting Israel. The bill provides restrictions regarding companies boycotting Israel to also include “a wholly owned subsidiary, majority-owned subsidiary, parent company, or affiliate of such business or business entity.” HF 2220 is an act relating to antisemitism in the state of Iowa. The legislation codifies the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in Iowa law. “Today we express Iowa’s enduring support for the State of Israel and our categorical rejection of antisemitism,” said Gov. Reynolds.
‘MORAL OBLIGATION NOT TO LOOK AWAY’: ISRAELI HOSPITAL TO TREAT WAR REFUGEES OPENS IN WESTERN UKRAINE
By Sharon Wrobel
Israeli and Ukrainian flags were raised and the countries’ national anthems heard at the opening of a humanitarian field hospital providing medical care to war refugees in the western Ukrainian town of Mostyska. “The team of excellent doctors, nurses, and medical staff will bring to Ukraine, the best knowledge, the most innovative opportunities that this country has ever seen,” said Deputy Ambassador of Israel in Ukraine Yoav Bistritsky, speaking at the inauguration ceremony. “We promise to be supporting Ukraine in the future to come. And I hope we will see peace in this land.” The Israeli field hospital — dubbed “Kochav Meir” (Shining Star) in honor of former Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and has become a local inspiration amid the country’s defense against Russia — has 66 beds, is staffed with more than 60 medical personnel and has a capacity of 150 patients.
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.