THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
This week, the European Union unveiled its first-ever comprehensive strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life across the bloc, and the French Senate adopted the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism – now recognized by France’s legislative branch, and its executive.
More than 45 countries, led by Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, pledged to combat antisemitism at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council – a body often accused of antisemitic bias. In a show of solidary, the two Jewish presidents of Ukraine and Israel spoke against Holocaust denial and antisemitism during the 80th anniversary commemoration of Babi Yar.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 38 new antisemitic incidents reported by the media. The total includes 21 (55.2%) from the far-right, 3 (7.9%) from the far-left, 5 (13.2%) with Islamist motivations, and 9 (23.7%) unidentifiable in nature.
Several distressing incidents of antisemitism transpired this week. A German-Jewish celebrity musician was denied service at the Westin Hotel in Leipzig for wearing a Star of David necklace, an outrage that went viral on German social media. In Berlin, fans of the Maccabi Haifa football team were subjected to antisemitic abuse during a match against Union Berlin at an Olympic stadium built by the Nazis for the 1936 games.
Depraved vandals painted Holocaust-denying graffiti on nine barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the Holocaust’s greatest atrocities took place. Security forces in Belarus killed a prominent Jewish pro-democracy activist, justifying the action with Soviet-style antisemitic propaganda on pro-regime media. In Saudi Arabia grisly antisemitic books were featured at the kingdom’s flagship book fair.
In the UK, a man rode his bicycle into a group of Jewish children, punching one of them, an Islamic charity is under investigation for promoting antisemitic lectures, a Conservative party councilor was suspended for affiliation with an antisemitic fascist group, and the vice-chair of a local Labour party branch was suspended after claiming that Labour is changing for the worse because [party leader] Sir Keir Starmer’s “wife is Jewish.”
A Jewish girl was assaulted and subjected to antisemitic slurs after leaving her school bus in Cleveland, Ohio, and multiple mezuzah’s have been torn down from student residences at the University of Indiana. Taken together, these events are a pernicious reminder of the imperative to combat all forms of antisemitism regardless of the ideological origin of the perpetrator.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CLEVELAND, OHIO GIRL TARGET OF ANTISEMITIC RHETORIC, BEER BOTTLE
By JANE KAUFMAN
Someone in a vehicle reportedly threw a beer bottle at a 13-year-old Fuchs Mizrachi School student in an Orthodox neighborhood in University Heights and screamed, “F—–g Jews, you’re f—–g idiots, Jews,” then drove away. Naava Prero had just gotten off a public school bus when the reported incident took place. As the bus pulled away, another vehicle pulled up to the girl, her mother, Rachel Prero said. Naava was wearing a Fuchs Mizrachi school uniform. A woman, described as white, middle aged and wearing a baseball cap, threw the bottle and yelled the profanities, Prero said.
‘PEOPLE ARE LEAVING!’: AT COUNCIL MEETING, RESIDENTS OF NJ TOWNSHIP DECRY ORTHODOX JEWISH FAMILIES MOVING INTO AREA
By Ben Cohen
A council meeting in the township of Jackson, New Jersey held to discuss concerns about Orthodox Jewish families moving into the area heard one woman accuse councilors of showing bias in favor of the new arrivals. The woman — who gave her name as Hope accused council members of abandoning them amid warnings that an influx of Orthodox Jews would leave existing residents with no choice but to move. She claimed that Orthodox Jewish arrivals were an environmental nuisance who had been responsible for an increase in road traffic, noise in residential neighborhoods from group prayer sessions and “lawlessness” in the erection of eruv wires.
MAN RIDES HIS BICYCLE INTO GROUP OF JEWISH CHILDREN AGED THREE TO FOURTEEN BEFORE PUNCHING ONE IN THE FACE
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
A man reportedly rode his bicycle into a group of visibly Jewish children aged three to fourteen before punching one in the face. The attack took place at Woodbury Grove near Finsbury Park and was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.
LABOUR SUSPENDS VICE CHAIR OF LOCAL PARTY BRANCH OVER REMARK ABOUT SIR KEIR STARMER’S “JEWISH WIFE”
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
The Labour Party has suspended the Vice Chair of Walsall South Constituency Labour Party after he claimed that Labour is changing for the worse because Sir Keir Starmer’s “wife is Jewish”. Nick Dodds has reportedly been put on administrative suspension pending investigation after the Party was alerted to his comments about Lady Starmer, who has largely maintained her privacy during her husband’s leadership of the Party. Mr Dodds also allegedly claimed that Sir Keir was surrounded by too many Jewish advisors.
‘PUT YOUR STAR AWAY’: JEWISH SINGER REFUSED SERVICE AT GERMAN HOTEL
By Rebecca Staudenmaier
A hotel in Leipzig was facing accusations of antisemitism after a musician said he was denied service for wearing a Star of David. In a video posted on social media, German musician Gil Ofarim said he attempted to check in to the Hotel Westin in Leipzig. Ofarim, who is Jewish, was wearing a necklace with a Star of David pendant. Due to technical issues, a long line had formed at the reception. “Then someone called out from the corner: ‘Put your star away,'” the singer says. Ofarim said that the hotel worker then repeated the call for Ofarim to remove or hide his Star of David, saying that “once you put it away, then you can check in.” A visibly upset Ofarim ends the video with the words: “Germany, 2021.”
ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS MAR UNION BERLIN’S WIN OVER MACCABI HAIFA
Union Berlin beat Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in their first UEFA Conference League home game of the 2021-22 season. However, it was the events in the stands that took center stage rather than those on the pitch. A group of people holding Israeli flags in close proximity to the away section said they had experienced antisemitic abuse from some Union Berlin fans, including being called “f****** Jews” and had beer thrown at them, and that police stopped one fan from burning an Israeli flag.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI FOUND AT AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU
Antisemitic graffiti has been found on nine wooden barracks at the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum condemned the spray-painted inscriptions, which were written in both English and German. The museum said in a statement it was “an outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in human history and an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.” The graffiti included “two references to the Old Testament, often used by antisemites and denial slogans,” the museum added.
DEATH OF JEWISH DISSIDENT DURING HOME RAID BY BELARUS SECURITY FORCES PROMPTS PROTESTS AND ARRESTS
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Belarusian security forces shot dead Andrei Zeltzer, a 31-year-old programmer who opposed the Lukashenko regime, during a raid at his home in Minsk. Zeltzer, who was Jewish, died after men from the State Security Committee entered his home wearing civilian clothes. The men had orders to arrest him, and the government said Zeltser killed one of them. After the incident, an anchor on STV, a state television channel, delivered a critique of Zeltzer that echoed antisemitic criticism often applied to Jews in the Soviet Union.
THE MIDDLE EAST
LURID ANTISEMITIC PROPAGANDA SPOTTED ON SALE AT SAUDI FLAGSHIP BOOK FAIR IN RIYADH
By Algemeiner Staff
More than two dozen openly antisemitic books have been spotted for sale at the 2021 international book fair in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, which opened under the patronage of King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The ADL reported that the books on sale at the fair featured “a broad array of anti-Jewish tropes, including the blood libel, Holocaust denial, Jewish-Masonic conspiracy theories, and portrayals of Jews as evil puppet masters and the killers of divine prophets.” The book fair in Riyadh is reputedly the largest such event in the region, with over 1,000 publishing houses in attendance.
BRISTOL UNIVERSITY SACKS PROFESSOR ACCUSED OF ANTISEMITIC COMMENTS
By Rachel Hall
The University of Bristol has sacked a sociology professor accused of antisemitic comments following a high-profile investigation and after Jewish students said they felt “unsafe and unprotected” on campus. The university launched the investigation into Prof David Miller’s conduct in March. The case divided the campus between staff and students who accused him of spouting antisemitic tropes in lectures and online, and those who worried that sanctions would stifle sensitive research. The university said the decision to terminate his employment with immediate effect was prompted by its duty of care to students and the wider university community.
MULTIPLE MEZUZAHS TORN DOWN AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY SINCE HIGH HOLIDAYS
By Dion J. Pierre
Jewish groups at Indiana University, Bloomington (IU) have reported several antisemitic incidents since the Rosh Hashanah, according to a student newspaper report, including repeated vandalism of the ritual scrolls fixed to doorposts. “Four different mezuzahs have been torn down since the start of our New Year, one of them was torn down twice,” Rabbi Levi Cunin, Director of the IU Chabad House said. “This has to be done intentionally — it’s high up on the door.” On Sept. 24, Jacob Bohrer, student and president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, informed IU President Pamela Whitten of one student’s mezuzah being torn from the door of her dorm room twice in several days.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
SAUDI TEXTBOOKS SHOW DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT IN DEPICTIONS OF JEWS — STUDY
By Lazar Berman
Saudi Arabian textbooks showed significant improvement in 2021 in their treatment of non-Muslims and of violence in the name of Islam.The removal of explicitly antisemitic and anti-Christian material is part of a trend of moderation in Saudi schools, said the IMPACT-se report titled “A Further Step Forward: Review of Changes and Remaining Problematic Content in Saudi Textbooks 2021–22”. “The greatest changes have been made to lessons dealing with Jews, Christians, non-believers, and violent jihad; twenty-eight lessons featuring demonization of the other and religious intolerance were removed or heavily modified,” read the report.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
EU PUBLISHES ‘STRATEGIC PLAN’ FOR COUNTERING ANTISEMITISM
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
The European Union has published what it called a strategic plan for combating antisemitism. The 26-page document that the European Commission published lists and explains a number of strategies that have been advocated or implemented by various E.U. bodies in recent years. The Commission will organize “an annual civil society forum on combating antisemitism,” whereas member states are “encouraged to develop national strategies by end of 2022 on combating antisemitism,” the document says. The Commission will also “increase knowledge and understanding about Jewish life among the general public through an awareness-raising campaign in close cooperation with Jewish communities”. The various points and suggestions in the plan, which is not binding on member states, will be implemented by 2030, the document says.
43 COUNTRIES PLEDGE TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM AT UNHRC SESSION
At least 43 countries signed a statement pledging to combat antisemitism that was issued at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. The statement was led by Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the coordination of the World Jewish Congress. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned of the dangers of antisemitism in a video statement, saying that “we will remain steadfast in our pledge, never again.” The statement was read at the start of a debate on racism, antisemitism and the growing threat from hate speech and the glorification of Nazism.
HUNDREDS PROTEST GERMAN HOTEL AFTER JEWISH CELEBRITY SAYS HE WAS DENIED ROOM OVER STAR OF DAVID PENDANT
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Several hundred people protested in front of a hotel in Germany after a Jewish musician said he had been refused service for wearing a Star of David pendant. At least 600 people, some of them carrying signs with a Star of David and the Muslim crescent, showed up at the hotel that night. The protesters accused the hotel staff of antisemitism.
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, 330 organizations and 341,000 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.