Read below the in-depth feature about alarm bells ringing for the safety of Jews in Germany. Your opinion matters. Please let us know your reaction to the situation in Germany.
NEWSLETTER JUNE 7TH, 2019
Welcome to the Third Edition of the Combat Anti-Semitism Newsletter! Participate in our poll, read the latest headlines, watch the newest videos and listen to the latest podcasts below.
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This Week’s Content
Take Our Poll
SHOULD JEWS IN GERMANY HIDE THEIR KIPPOT IN ORDER TO STAY SAFE?
Last Week’s Poll Results
DO YOU THINK THE BDS MOVEMENT IS ANTI-SEMITIC? YES: 94% NO: 6%
Continue reading and listening to the latest news and analysis about BDS in this week’s newsletter below.
1. REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE MICHAEL R. POMPEO AT THE CELEBRATION OF ISRAEL’S 71ST INDEPENDENCE DAY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
“…We’ve pushed back hard against anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and will continue to oppose it wherever it raises its ugly head. We are unleashing a fight against anti-Semitism, a growing problem across much of the world, including sadly right here in the United States. I think the most important thing that you all should take away from these actions by this Administration is that they are instinctive, they are reflexive, and they are right. And we do them because of that, because they are in the best interest of both of our peoples.” Read Here.
2. JEWISH STUDENT UNION SIGN VANDALIZED WITH SWASTIKA AT BOSTON-AREA HIGH SCHOOL
By MARCY OSTER
The Jewish Student Union sign at a Boston-area high school was vandalized with a swastika. The swastika was discovered at Brookline High School in a Boston suburb. “Anti-Semitic vandalism like this is a scary reminder that our work on fostering an inclusive, caring school community where all feel welcome is both ongoing and challenging,” school headmaster Anthony Meyer wrote. Read Here.
3. THE RIEDERS FOUNDATION FILES FORMAL COMPLAINT WITH NY STATE AGAINST ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FOUNDATION BDS TIES
BY THE JEWISH VOICE
The Rieders Foundation is filing a formal complaint with the New York state division of Human Rights against the Rockefeller Brother’s Foundation for its extensive donations to groups with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias. Many of the recipients of RBF grants strongly support a 1 state solution, as well as the BDS movement. Read Here.
4. UPROAR OVER NETFLIX SHOW IN WHICH HITLER ‘ROASTS’ ANNE FRANK
BY SUE SURKES
A new Netflix series called “Historical Roasts,” in which comedians poke fun at historical figures, has caused uproar by featuring an actress playing Anne Frank (Rachel Feinstein) fending off “playful insults” from Adolf Hitler (Gilbert Gottfried) and President Franklin Roosevelt (Jon Lovitz). All three performers are Jewish. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam called the show “tasteless satire.” Read Here.
5. PALESTINIAN UBER DRIVER IN LA BOOTS JEWS FROM CAR FOR ATTENDING ISRAEL PARTY
BY MARCY OSTER
The driver asked the women where they were coming from after they sat in the back seat. The women were reluctant to say, but then told the driver after he did not start the car. “He started laughing and he looked us dead in the eye and he said, ‘You need to get out of my car. I’m Palestinian,’” The driver “clearly wanted to make a statement.” Read Here.
Israel and the Rest of the World
1. IN-DEPTH: BRITISH LABOUR PARTY TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER ANTI-SEMITISM
THE EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION LAUNCHES LABOUR ANTI-SEMITISM PROBE
The Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a formal investigation into the Labour Party over allegations of anti-Semitism. It will now investigate whether Labour has “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimized people because they are Jewish”. The leadership has been accused of tolerating a culture of anti-Jewish prejudice by a number of its own MP’s. Read Here.
FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN TAKES A FIRM STAND AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE UK’S LABOUR PARTY TODAY.
THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM’S GIDEON FALTER SPEAKS TO THE BBC ABOUT THE EHRC LAUNCHING ITS INVESTIGATION INTO THE LABOUR PARTY
MARY HONEYBALL QUITS LABOUR PARTY IN PROTEST OVER EUROPE AND ANTI-SEMITISM
BY JOE MURPHY & KATE PROCTOR
Mary Honeyball, who was Euro-MP for London since 2000 slammed Mr. Corbyn’s leadership…and the “shameful” failure to clamp down on anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks. She said she could not stay in a party run by a leadership with “Communist” sympathies that had turned away from representing “the many not the few”. Read Here.
LABOUR SUSPENDS NEC MEMBER OVER ANTI-SEMITISM CLAIMS
By Rajeev Syal
Labour has suspended a controversial member of its ruling national executive committee after he was recorded claiming that an Israeli agent had infiltrated the party. Pete Willsman, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, also said the Jewish state was behind some of the anti-semitism allegations – which he described as “total lies” – that have engulfed the party. Read Here.
LABOUR ANTI-SEMITISM PROBE: EVIDENCE SUBMITTED FROM 100 WITNESSES
By Jamie Doward
At least 100 witness testimonies describing alleged antisemitic behavior will be submitted to the equality watchdog’s official investigation into the Labour party. The number will dismay many in the party and make it difficult to support Jeremy Corbyn’s claims that its problem with anti-semitism was down to a “small number of members and supporters”. Read Here.
2. IN DEPTH: ALARM BELLS RING FOR THE SAFETY OF JEWS IN GERMANY
SKULLCAP-WEARING JEWS UNSAFE IN PARTS OF GERMANY, ANTI-SEMITISM CZAR SAYS
By TOI Staff
The German government’s top official against anti-Semitism said Saturday he wouldn’t advise Jews to wear skullcaps in parts of the country. Felix Klein was quoted as saying that “my opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be” on the matter. He said: “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany.” He didn’t elaborate on what places and times might be risky. Read Here.
IN GERMANY, POMPEO VOICES CONCERN OVER KIPPA WARNING TO JEWS
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday voiced concern over a warning to Jews by a German official about the dangers of wearing the kippa skullcap in Germany in the face of rising anti-Semitic attacks. “We were concerned to see Jews discouraged from wearing the yarmulke in public out of safety concerns. None of us should shrink in the face of prejudice,” he said at a press conference. Read Here.
MERKEL: ALL GERMAN SYNAGOGUES, JEWISH SCHOOLS NEED POLICE PROTECTION
BY TOI STAFF
German leader Angela Merkel said Monday that her country’s Jewish population needs constant police protection. Merkel addressed the current rise in anti-Semitism in her country, saying that it has “always had a certain number of anti-Semites among us, unfortunately.” “There is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen.” Read Here.
U.S. AMBASSADOR URGES JEWS IN GERMANY TO WEAR KIPPOT AND NOT CONCEAL IDENTITY
BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
The US government’s most high-profile ambassador in Europe, Richard Grenell, said Jews in Germany should not conceal their religious identity, and urged them to wear kippot in defiance of a statement from Germany’s commissioner to combat anti-Semitism that Jews should avoid wearing kippot in public. “The opposite is true,” tweeted Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany. Read Here.
ANTI-SEMITISM CZAR ASKS GERMANS TO WEAR KIPPA PUBLICLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH JEWS
BY JTA & TOI STAFF
Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner called on Germans to wear kippas in public to show solidarity with Jews. “I call on all citizens… everywhere in Germany to wear the kippa on Saturday, when people will agitate unbearably against Israel and against Jews on Al-Quds Day,” Felix Klein said. Later, Klein said his previous “statement should be taken as an alarm signal.” Read Here.
GERMAN ENVOY TO ISRAEL: RISE IN ANTI-SEMITISM THREATENS COHESION OF OUR SOCIETY
By RAPHAEL AHREN
“We are convinced that this anti-Semitism harms our country, risks the cohesion of our society. And the government is taking its responsibility here very seriously,” German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer said. “Jewish life is a part of Germany. We are glad and happy that after World War II, Jewish life was once again possible in Germany, and therefore the government considers a particularly great responsibility toward Jewish life in Germany.” Read Here.
3. LEBANESE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER TELLS CRUDE ANTI-SEMITIC JOKE
BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Nabih Berri, a leader of the pro-Hezbollah Amal movement and speaker of the Lebanese parliament told an anti-Semitic joke during an interview with the Al Joumhouria newspaper. Asked why Israel agreed to a demarcation process of its naval border with Lebanon, Berri replied: “…how do you recognize the Jew?…If you see a pregnant woman, simply approach her and place a piece of gold on the ground. If the fetus jumps out of the mother’s womb and picks it up, you know immediately that it’s a Jew.” Read Here.
4. THE OLD SCOURGE OF ANTI-SEMITISM RISES ANEW IN EUROPE
BY THE NYTIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
For years, Europe maintained the comforting notion that it was earnestly confronting anti-Semitism after the horrors of the Holocaust. It now faces the alarming reality that anti-Semitism is sharply on the rise, often from the sadly familiar direction of the far right, but also from Islamists and the far left. Read Here.
5. PHOTOS OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS ON EXHIBIT IN VIENNA VANDALIZED FOR 3RD TIME
BY JTA & TOI STAFF
Holes were cut into the portraits of the survivors taken by German-Italian photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano, days after some were defaced with swastikas and cut into with knives. In a post on Facebook, Toscano wrote: “I’m just speechless, again there was an attack on my photos. Austria, what’s wrong with you?” Read Here.
6. ANTI-SEMITIC ARGENTINE POLITICIAN KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN, VOWS TO EXPEL ISRAEL ENVOY
An accused neo-Nazi running for president in Argentina has said he would expel the Israeli ambassador if elected. Alejandro Biondini, a veteran far-right ultra-nationalist leader, is the presidential candidate for the Patriotic Front party. “I repudiate the colonialist genocidal Zionism.” Biondini has openly espoused anti-Semitism and his admiration for Adolf Hitler. Read Here.
7. MURDERER OF SARAH HALIMI WILL AVOID CRIMINAL TRIAL
BY BEN COHEN
The man accused of murdering Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi will not face a criminal trial. The investigating magistrate in the Halimi case had concluded that the murderer was heavily intoxicated on marijuana when he committed the killing, and mentally unfit to stand trial. It’s a “paradox that a driver under the influence of alcohol has his sentence heavily aggravated, and a drug user is exonerated.” Read Here.
8. NETHERLANDS HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS JEWISH CIRCUMCISERS ARE BREAKING LAW
BY CNAAN LIPSHIZ
Some of the Netherlands’ most frequently used circumcisers of Jewish infant boys are breaking the law, the Dutch Health Ministry said. The Netherlands has a handful of mohels, and some of the more popular ones are not recognized as medical caregivers. The Royal Dutch Medical Association called for banning nonmedical circumcision of boys in 2010, arguing that it introduced unnecessary risks and violated the rights of underage patients. Read Here.
1. NYU PRESIDENT CALLS BDS-SUPPORTING GRADUATION SPEECH ‘QUITE OBJECTIONABLE’
BY AARON BANDLER
NYU President Andrew Hamilton said he “found it quite objectionable that the student speaker chose to make use of the Graduate School of Arts and Science doctoral graduation to express his personal viewpoints on BDS, language he excluded from the version of the speech he submitted before the ceremony. We are sorry that the audience had to experience these inappropriate remarks. A graduation should be a shared, inclusive event; the speaker’s words — one-sided and tendentious — indefensibly made some in the audience feel unwelcome and excluded.” Read Here.
2. IN REBUKE OF INCOMING PROFESSOR, NORTHWESTERN ‘UNEQUIVOCALLY REJECTS’ ISRAEL BOYCOTT MOVEMENT
BY ALAN PEREZ
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Jonathan Holloway criticized incoming Prof. Steven Thrasher and comments he made during a commencement speech commending the BDS movement. The two said they support Thrasher’s academic freedom, but rejected his support for BDS. “We do not share all of his views, nor do we feel commencement was the appropriate venue to express them, however, academic freedom assures his right to hold them. Northwestern as an institution unequivocally rejects BDS, to the contrary, we value our relationships with universities and research centers in Israel.” Read Here.
3. RON DESANTIS SIGNS BILL THAT TAKES AIM AT ANTI-SEMITISM
BY NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
While in Israel, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a measure that prohibits anti-Semitic speech in the state’s public schools and universities. The proposal will add religion as a protected class when it comes to discrimination against students and employees. Currently, people are protected from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, marital status or disability. Read Here.
4. UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX ACADEMIC DISMISSED AFTER SPEAKING OUT AGAINST SETTING UP JEWISH SOCIETY
BY DANIEL SUGARMAN
The University of Essex dismissed an academic who spoke out against a campus Jewish society and shared material questioning the Holocaust. Dr Maaruf Ali wrote that “Zionists next want to create a society here at our university” on a Facebook page for new students, as voting was underway on whether a Jsoc should be founded. The voting prompted an outcry when 36 per cent of those who cast ballots, voted no. Dr Ali also shared a photo which claimed a French police officer killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack was actually “a Mossad agent live and well in Buenos Aires… a crypto-Jew in the service of Israeli intelligence.” Read Here.
5. ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI FOUND IN S.F. STATE RESTROOM
BY MAYA MIRSKY
Daniel Yeluashvili, a fourth-year political science student at San Francisco State, stepped into a school restroom and got an unpleasant surprise. “Lo and behold, there was a swastika and Star of David carved into one of the toilet-paper dispensers,” he said. The graffiti showed a swastika with the name of the university, a Star of David and the words “Free Palestine.” Read Here.
6. DON’T CHOOSE COMFORT OVER FREE SPEECH
BY ROBERT LEIKIND, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE
Many students, including those on elite campuses like Williams College, look upon ideas they don’t like as violations of their safe spaces and see no problem in discriminating against, rather than debating, those with whom they disagree…The alternative to sustaining a high regard for freedom of speech is allowing groups, like the Williams College Council, to be guided by their prejudices in determining what speech they deem acceptable.
7. AFTER BACKLASH, ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT WITHDRAWS ‘TEACHING PALESTINE’ COURSE
BY JACKSON RICHMAN
An Illinois high school district is withdrawing a course for educators titled “Teaching Palestine” after pushback from teachers and community members. Goals included discussing “concrete strategies for how to respond to Zionist professional developments and curricula or when parents/staff/others object to anti-Zionist curriculum,” with some of the material being provided by Jewish Voice for Peace.Read Here.
We highlight here the victims of anti-Semitism to raise awareness and to humanize the issue. Please continue to look for new stories here. If you have a story of your own to share, we want to hear from you! Contact us for more information.
Rami Matan Even-Esh, Jewish-American rapper known better known as Kosha Dillz, discusses the anti-Semitism he and singer Matisyahu have experienced together in their musical careers including being the targets of the BDS movement while on tour in Europe.
Anti-Semitism has been perpetrated over the centuries. Today, we are seeing age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes being recycled as well as new forms of anti-Semitism. In order to effectively combat anti-Semitism, it is important to understand, define and highlight all its manifestations and ideologies.
1. PODCAST: ANTI-ZIONISM – IS IT AUTOMATICALLY ANTI-SEMITISM?
BY ISRAEL BEYOND THE HEADLINES
In this episode Ezra and Alec discuss the connection between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Then scholar and author Yossi Klein Halevi shares his thoughts on the matter. “The only way being anti-Zionist absolves you of being an anti-Semite is if you’re also anti-Palestinian statehood.” Why would you be against the establishment of Israel but not other states? Is it because it’s a state full of Jews?”
2. WHY ANTI-ZIONISM IS ANTI-SEMITISM
In this powerful animated monologue, Israeli news anchor Eylon Levy presents his case for why anti-Zionism is “inherently, essentially, necessarily anti-Semitic”. Watch his three points below:
3. ARE JEWS INDIGENOUS TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL? YES.
BY RYAN BELLEROSE
In this in-depth analysis, indigenous peoples expert and Native-Canadian, Ryan Bellerose examines the archaeology, genealogy, and history that support the Jewish claim to indigeneity. To say that Palestinian Arabs were the first inhabitants of the land of Israel is problematic for actual indigenous people like the Jewish people, the Amazigh, the Copts, the Assyrians, the Samaritans, and others who were forcefully conquered, subsumed, and converted. It would literally be akin to white Europeans in North America making that same claim. Read Here.
4. CAN NON-JEWS DEFINE ANTI-SEMITISM?
Studies and Statistics
1. JUST 19% OF BRITISH VOTERS BELIEVE LABOUR AND CORBYN ARE NOT ANTI-SEMITIC
BY CAMPAIGN AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM
A YouGov survey has found that only 19% of British voters say that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are not anti-Semitic. Just 18% of voters say that the Labour Party does not have a problem with anti-Semitism, while 50% think that it does. The polling shows that in the past year, approximately a further 5% of the public has lost confidence in Mr. Corbyn over this matter, reducing those who support him on this issue to less than 20% of the population. Read Here. To View the Full YouGov Report and Data Click Here. .
1. THROUGH THE EYES OF BNAI ZION
BY STEVEN MATSAS
“All Israelis have come to know the benevolent, nonpolitical, and compassionate projects built and supported by Bnai Zion Foundation, and enjoyed by all. Instead of making political statements that might divide us, Bnai Zion concentrates on what unites us. Read Here.
Today, the Bnai Zion Foundation will host a special panel discussion addressing the alarming rise in Anti-Semitism in New York City. Details about the panel and registration are below.
For over 110 years, the Bnai Zion Foundation has empowered American Jews to be strong advocates for Israel, to combat hatred, and to contribute their time, talents and funds to making the Jewish homeland stronger. Bnai Zion fights anti-Semitism by investing in and building in the Land of Israel.Learn more about the important work of Bnai Zion here.
SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR & COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM UPDATE
This section also highlights the work of government officials around the world that are combating anti-Semitism in their official capacities.
1. ELAN CARR TO ADDRESS THE AJC GLOBAL FORUM AND THE ADL NATIONAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Elan Carr, will speak at the AJC Global Forum and the ADL National Leadership Summit in Washington, DC this week. Stay tuned next week for an update on the Special Envoy’s remarks at the AJC Global Forum and the ADL National Leadership Summit. Learn More about the AJC and ADL Events.
2. REMARKS BY PAUL PACKER, CHAIRMAN OF THE U.S. COMMISSION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF AMERICA’S HERITAGE ABROAD, AT BREST REBURIAL CEREMONY
Following up on last week’s story, the video below captures the moving remarks of Paul Packer, Chairman of the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, as he presides over the reburial of the remains of 1,214 Jews murdered in the Holocaust in the city of Brest, Belarus.
“As we remember those whose lives were taken here, we must also renew our commitment to never forget all the victims of the Holocaust, and to never again allow such evils to be committed against the Jews or any other people.”
3. UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CONDEMNS THE RISE IN ANTI-SEMITISM
BY PRESS BRIEF
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a statement condemning the rise in anti-Semitic incidents. The statement however only referred to anti-Semitism occurring in Europe and the United States and no other parts of the world. The office said freedom of expression must be respected, but there are limits. When abuse rises to the level of incitement to hatred and violence, that type of expression should be prohibited by law. The Commissioner’s office did not offer any concrete steps that will be taken by the UN Human Rights Commission to address the rise in Anti-Semitism. Read Here.
This section highlights the good deeds of Jews and others working to combat anti-Semitism in their communities.
1. GERMAN NEWSPAPER PRINTS CUT-OUT KIPPAH, URGING READERS TO WEAR IT IN SOLIDARITY WITH JEWS
BY JACK GUY
Bestselling German newspaper Bild published a cut-out kippah on its front-page, urging readers to show their solidarity with the country’s Jewish community in the face of rising anti-Semitism. The move comes after a leading government official warned Jews in Germany not to wear skullcaps in public because of an increase in anti-Semitic attacks. In response, Germany’s most popular daily newspaper asked readers to wear the cut-out kippah as a mark of solidarity with the Jewish community, and even posted a video on its website showing how to make it. Read Here.
2. JEWISH TEENS DON’T REGRET HELPING SAVE MAN WITH SWASTIKA TATTOO
BY MICHAEL ROSENFIELD
A group of Jewish teenagers from a Brighton, MA yeshiva noticed a body in the water while walking around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. They ran up to Officer Carl Mascioli who ran down the embankment and found the man partially submerged and not moving. “While I was pulling him out of the water, I observed that he had a swastika on his hand,” Mascioli said. The students had a message for the officer to share: “They wanted…him [to] know…four young Jewish boys helped save his life,” recalled Mascioli, who said the students had no regrets about helping a man with an anti-Semitic tattoo. Read Here.
3. CHURCH ADOPTS ANTI-SEMITISM DEFINITION AND BACKS HOLY LAND WORK
BY STEPHEN NAYSMITH
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism and its guidelines. Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council put forward the proposal and noted that “anti-Semitic incidents in the UK are at a record high for the third year in a row”. His motion said adopting the definition would “aid the Church in challenging anti-Semitism”. Read Here.
4. MALMÖ 2020: WORLD LEADERS AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM
BY BEN COHEN
In October 2020, Sweden will host an international summit to combat anti-Semitism. The conference is also a reminder that many governments and international organizations have institutionalized the fight against anti-Semitism. Read Here.
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