THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
As the Jewish new year began, positive developments in the struggle against antisemitism are underway around the world. Four more countries – Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, and New Zealand – withdrew from participating in the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, or Durban IV, at the UN later this month, citing the conference’s legacy of Jew-hatred. Sixteen countries have now withdrawn.
The U.S. state of Arizona began fully divesting more than $100 million from Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever, over the former’s “antisemitic Israel boycott.” Slovakia’s government formally apologized to the Jewish community for antisemitic laws passed during WWII, and for the first time in decades, the Jewish communities in six Gulf states are publicly celebrating the high holidays – a milestone in the renewal of Jewish life in Muslim countries following the Abraham Accords. A far-right German radical was sentenced in a rock attack on a Jewish restaurant owner and London police arrested a suspect in 6 recent assaults on Jews.
Meanwhile, an Israeli tourist was brutally assaulted by a Bangladeshi souvenir vendor while vacationing in Italy, and Afghanistan’s last Jew was forced to flee, bringing an end to 1,500 years of Jewish life in the country. More than 100 grave stones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in a depraved act, vandals unearthed the grave of Holocaust victims in Ukraine. Swastikas were painted outside the home of a Jewish man in New Mexico, and on a Jewish cemetery in Lithuania. A Massachusetts synagogue also had two swastikas carved into its building’s sign, and at nearby Tufts University, a Mezuzah was removed and stolen from a Jewish student’s dorm.
‘Yellow star’ protests trivializing the memory of the Holocaust took place in Staten Island, Amsterdam, and Vancouver. A Washington, DC imam gave a sermon claiming “Zionists” run America, and were responsible for the attack in Kabul and for 9/11, ahead of the 20th anniversary of Al-Qaeda’s attack on the United States.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 44 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 24 (54.6%) from the far-right, 10 (22.7%) with Islamist motivations, 6 (13.6%) from the far-left, and 4 (9.1%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ENOUGH OF THE DURBAN DEPRAVITY
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the so-called, “World Conference against Racism”, otherwise known as Durban I. The 2001 conference was to be a landmark event in the “struggle to eradicate all forms of racism”, according to United Nations organizers. Even the location of the gathering was meant to maximize symbolic value: Durban was a key base for South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. But far from advancing human rights, the conference devolved into an orgy of antisemitic hatred.
SWASTIKA PAINTED OUTSIDE HOME OF JEWISH MAN IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
By Robert Nott
Santa Fe police were trying to determine who spray-painted a swastika on a wall outside an apartment where a Jewish man lives. The victim, Jeff Hornstein, said he and his wife noticed the image outside their home as they returned from dinner Saturday. Hornstein, 58, said the swastika was not on the wall when they left around 6:30 p.m. that evening. He filed a report with the police department and the Anti-Defamation League. Read Here
POLICE INVESTIGATING HATE CRIME AT FRAMINGHAM, MA TEMPLE
By Framingham Source
Framingham Police are investigating a hate crime at a Framingham temple. A couple of swastikas were etched into the sign at Temple Beth Sholom on Pamela Road in Framingham, said Framingham Police spokesperson Lt. Rachel Mickens. The hate crime was reported this morning, September 9, and police are still investigating. The police report was not available at this time. Read Here
LONDON POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN 6 RECENT ASSAULTS ON JEWS
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
Police in London have arrested a man in connection with a series of six assaults on Jews in areas of the city with large Jewish communities. The perpetrator was filmed in at least two of the six incidents attributed to the suspect, whom British police identified as a 28-year-old man but did not name. The videos show a tall and bearded man wearing a white taqiyah, a large yarmulke-like hat favored by many Muslims, during the assaults. Read Here
FAR-RIGHT GERMAN RADICAL SENTENCED IN ROCK ATTACK ON JEWISH RESTAURANT OWNER
A far-right German radical has been given a one-year suspended sentence for an attack on a Jewish restaurant owner during nationalist riots in the town of Chemnitz in Aug. 2018. The suspect, identified as “Kevin A.”, was sentenced after being found guilty of breaching the peace and bodily harm. Kevin A., 30, and at least 10 other men threw rocks and other objects at Uwe Dziuballa, owner of the Schalom restaurant, during a wave of far-right violence following the stabbing death of a Chemnitz man committed by an Iraqi and a Syrian.
OTHER WORLD NEWS
ISRAELI TOURIST VICTIM OF ANTISEMITIC ASSAULT IN ITALY
By Hanan Greenwood
An Israeli tourist was the victim of an antisemitic assault while vacationing in Italy. Elad Forgash was shopping in the city of Pisa when he entered a store to purchase a few sculptures as souvenirs. “I started talking to the salesman. He told me he was from Bangladesh and asked where I was from, and I replied ‘Israel.’ He told me he hated Israel and Jews because they are killers. “He hit me in the head with the sculptures. Luckily, there were tourists who filmed him and he ran away.” Elad said he suffered a fracture in his eye socket and his nose and would need to have surgery when he returned to Israel.
MORE THAN 100 HEADSTONES SMASHED AT JEWISH CEMETERY IN ARGENTINA
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
More than 100 headstones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Argentina that had seen similar damage in 2009. The vandalism at the Tablada Cemetery in the Buenos Aires area was discovered on Sunday. The headstones were between the cemetery’s older section and the new one, which also contains the remains of dozens of victims from the 1994 terrorist bombing at the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
THE MIDDLE EAST
FOOTAGE SHOWS AFGHANISTAN’S LAST JEW’S PERILOUS ESCAPE FROM KABUL
By TOI STAFF and JTA
For more than five days, Zebulon Simantov and over two dozen women and children rode a bus, crossing war-torn Afghanistan and Taliban checkpoints as the country’s last Jew left his homeland. While the Taliban’s spokesperson did say Simantov would be safe in the country during an interview last month, the main fears for Afghanistan’s last Jew arose following an Islamic State suicide bombing amid the US withdrawal.
TUFTS UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATING REMOVAL OF MEZUZAH FROM JEWISH STUDENT’S DORM
By Dion J. Pierre
Tufts University police are investigating after a mezuzah was stripped from the doorpost of a Jewish student’s dormitory room, university president Anthony Monaco. The student was awoken Saturday morning to sounds of laughter outside his room, President Monaco wrote in an email, before discovering the removal of the encased prayer scroll hung outside Jewish homes. “Regardless of intent, the removal of this important symbol of Jewish faith is antisemitic and has caused harm,” Monaco wrote.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS IN AUSTRIA MORE THAN DOUBLE IN FIRST HALF OF 2021
By Sharon Wrobel
Antisemitic harassment and attacks reported in Austria in the first half of 2021 have more than doubled since the year prior, led by incidents at anti-Israel protests and demonstrations against pandemic-related measures, according to the Jewish community in Vienna (IKG). There were 562 antisemitic incidents registered during the first half of the year, compared to 257 in the same period in 2020 and 585 incidents for the full year.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
ARIZONA DIVESTS FROM BEN & JERRY’S OVER ITS ‘ANTISEMITIC’ ISRAEL BOYCOTT
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
The State of Arizona plans to completely divest $143 million from the global ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s as of September 2021 over its Israel boycott. “Israel is and will continue to be a major trading partner of Arizona,” State Treasurer Kimberly Yee said. “As Arizona’s Chief Banking and Investment Officer, I stand with Israel and I will not allow taxpayer dollars to go towards antisemitic, discriminatory efforts against Israel,” she stated.
CYPRUS, NEW ZEALAND, ITALY & CROATIA TO BOYCOTT DURBAN IV CONFERENCE DUE TO ANTISEMITIC STANCE
By European Jewish Congress
Cyprus and New Zealand will not take part in this month’s event marking 20 years since the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, which was marked with antisemitism and anti-Israel statements. Also this week, Italy and Croatia said they would not attend the conference, with the latter saying the decision was due to “the constant antisemitic attitudes and the linking of conferences to anti-Israel propaganda and the promotion of intolerance.”
AS GULF OPENS TO JEWISH LIFE, MUSLIMS SPARK INTEREST IN LEARNING ABOUT HIGH HOLIDAYS
By JOSH HASTEN
With Jews around the world set to begin the High Holiday season, the small Jewish communities in six Gulf states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are planning to take part publicly in some of the traditional holiday rituals for the first time in decades. This newfound openness is a direct result of the Abraham Accords signed a year ago between Israel, the United States, the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan and Morocco.
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.