September 3, 2021
THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM REPORT
Ahead of the High Holiday season, the rise in antisemitic incidents have Jewish communities concerned about security. A new FBI report revealed that 58% of all religiously-motivated hate crimes in the U.S. in 2020 targeted Jews, and an Alums for Campus Fairness study found that nearly half of U.S. Jewish college students have been threatened for being Jewish. The CAM Information Hub’s August update tracked a surge of far-right Jew-hatred globally, driven largely by neo-Nazi vandalism and Holocaust trivialization tied to Covid-19 health measures. France in particular has seen rapid growth in the explicitly antisemitic “Qui?” movement.
In London, a Jewish journalist was assaulted twice on his way to synagogue, while in Brisbane, Australia, a Jewish man was attacked by a man shouting “Heil Hitler” while on his way to synagogue with his son.
In Massachusetts, a family came home to discover swastikas scrawled on their garage, and in New Mexico, a Jewish couple is fearful after a cross was burned in their yard. Back in the UK, swastika graffiti was found outside a retirement home for Jewish veterans, and in Rouffach, France, “Death to the Jews” was written on a cemetery wall.
Dutch Jews filed a legal complaint after a military memorabilia fair offered for sale a yellow ‘Jews star’ with the bio of its original owner, alongside busts of Adolf Hitler. US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib drew backlash for pressuring Israel to release the body of a Palestinian terrorist who attempted to kill Israelis. At the U.S. State Department, 70 employees called for the firing of a virulently antisemitic colleague.
Meanwhile, amid the global resurgence of antisemitism, the European Union announced it would publish its new blocwide strategy for combating antisemitism in October. In a call more than 1,000 rabbis, US President Joe Biden shared Rosh Hashanah greetings and spoke at length about the urgency of addressing rising antisemitism and bigotry in the U.S.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 35 new media reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 18 (51.4%) from the far-right, 7 (20.0%) from the far-left, 6 (17.1%) with Islamist motivations, and 4 (11.4%) unidentifiable in nature.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ANTISEMITIC “QUI?” MOVEMENT SWEEPS OVER FRANCE AMID COVID-19 MASS PROTESTS
A troubling antisemitic trend has emerged in recent months at demonstrations in France against the government’s Covid-19 vaccination policies, and it is being monitored by the CAM Information Hub, which vigilantly tracks developments that threaten the Jewish people. While Holocaust trivialization has been seen worldwide over the past year and a half, adherents of the French “Qui?” (“Who?”) movement — who come from both extremes of the political spectrum — engage in explicit antisemitism, propagating conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the pandemic.
70 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES DEMAND BLINKEN FIRE ANTISEMITIC WORKER
By Asaf Shalev
Six months after his internet posts attacking Jews came to light, a US Foreign Service officer remains employed by the State Department while at least 70 of his co-workers sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding his dismissal. The letter argues that Fritz Berggren is a threat to Jewish employees at the State Department, and has violated department rules and ethical standards. For years, Berggren has maintained a website featuring screeds against Jews and the LGBTQ community, and promoting white Christian supremacy. Read Here
RASHIDA TLAIB DRAWS BACKLASH OVER PRESSURE ON ISRAEL TO RELEASE BODY OF SLAIN TERRORIST
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is drawing backlash over putting pressure on Israel to release the body of a slain terrorist who attempted to kill Israeli soldiers in June. In a social media post, Tlaib criticized Israel’s policy of holding onto the bodies of terrorists who are killed during an attack. The terrorist was killed by Israeli forces after attempting to ram a group of soldiers with her car. Tlaib’s post did not note the slaine terrorist’s role in the thwarted terror attack. Read Here
ANTISEMITIC ABUSE ON THE STREET LEAVES WELL-KNOWN JEWISH JOURNALIST “SHAKEN”
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
A well-known Jewish journalist was left “shaken” after being subjected to antisemitic abuse on Shabbat afternoon on his way to synagogue in North London. James Marlow was holding a siddur when he was accosted by a passer-by described as “Asian. The incident came just hours after Mr Marlow was physically attacked on the way to a different synagogue that morning in Hendon by a woman on a scooter, who punched him, causing minor injuries. Read Here
SWASTIKA GRAFFITI FOUND OUTSIDE SHELTERED ACCOMMODATION FOR JEWISH EX-SERVICEMEN IN NORTH LONDON
By Campaign Against Antisemitism
Graffiti of a swastika was found outside of Ajex House in Stamford Hill, a block of sheltered housing that is tailored towards Jewish people with priority given to ex-servicemen and their families. Read Here
OTHER WORLD NEWS
‘YOU HAVE TO STAND UP TO HATE,’ SAYS AUSTRALIAN JEWISH MAN WHO STOOD UP TO ANTISEMITIC ASSAILANT ON WALK TO SYNAGOGUE
By Algemeiner Staff
An Australian Jewish man who was brutally assaulted by a man yelling “Heil Hitler” as he walked with his 11-year-old son to a Bar Mitzvah at a synagogue in the city of Brisbane has spoken out about his experience. The 48-year-old victim, named Paul, was approached by a man who noticed him wearing a kippah and began shouting “Heil Hitler” and making Nazi salutes. As the man walked away, Paul followed behind him, tracking him with his cell phone video and asking him why he had uttered the Nazi slogan. The man turned suddenly and began punching Paul, bruising him on his left cheek. Read Here
DUTCH JEWS PROTEST ‘DISGUSTING’ SALE OF NAZI-ERA ‘JEWS’ STAR’ AT MILITARY MEMORABILIA FAIR
By Algemeiner Staff
A Dutch Jewish leader has filed a legal complaint against an auctioneer specializing in military memorabilia after discovering that it was offering two examples of the “Judenstern” (“Jews’ Star”) — the yellow Star of David which the Nazis forced Jews to wear — for sale. The star was available for purchase at a military memorabilia fair in the town of Houten. One of the stars was on sale for the price of 2,500 Euros ($2,950) together with a booklet outlining the biographical details of its original Jewish wearer. Alongside the stars were several items popular with far-right and neo-Nazi groups, including SS daggers, busts of Adolf Hitler and swastika flags. Read Here
“JEWISH MONKEY” WAS GRAFFITIED ON A BUST DEPICTING THE ANTI-FASCIST LEADER GUGLIELMO MILIOCCHI IN PERUGIA, ITALY
THE MIDDLE EAST
LEBANON SENTENCES FOUR PEOPLE TO PRISON FOR TIES WITH JEWS OR ISRAEL
By Jerusalem Post Staff
A prominent physician in Australia, Jamal Rifi from Lebanon, was sentenced in absentia to ten years in prison in Lebanon for the crime of “normalization with Israel.” Dr. Rifi works with Sydney’s Jewish Community on a charity program that organizes treatment for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals. The program trains Palestinian medical workers and helps transfer sick children from Gaza and other Palestinian areas to Israeli hospitals. Dr. Rifi’s brother, Ashraf, is a former justice minister in Lebanon and informed him of the sentencing because of his association with the Jewish organizations in his charity work. Read Here
HAMAS OFFICIAL MAHMOUD AL-ZAHHAR: THE WORLD WILL ACCEPT THE EXPULSION OF ISRAEL, JUST LIKE IT ACCEPTED THE EXPULSION OF THE U.S. BY THE TALIBAN
AUSTRALIAN JEWISH STUDENTS DEMAND ANSWERS OVER ANTISEMITIC SOCIAL MEDIA USER EMPLOYED BY EDUCATION DEPT
By Dion J. Pierre
The New South Wales Department of Education (NSW) said it would soon take “appropriate action” against a staffer who wrote antisemitic comments on a Facebook post belonging to the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS). “It’s such a shame [Hitler] didn’t finish his job,” wrote the staffer, an unidentified woman from Sydney, replying to a picture of the Nazi leader posted by another user. Since then, NSW officials have been criticized for “shielding” her identity from the public and not firing her.
ANALYSIS & OP-EDS
STUDIES & STATISTICS
NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PERVASIVE ANTISEMITISM THREAT ON U.S. COLLEGE CAMPUSES
Nearly half of American Jewish college students and recent graduates said they or someone they know have been threatened physically for being Jewish, according to a newly-released Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) survey. The report — “A Growing Threat: Antisemitism on College Campuses” — is based on the results of a poll of 506 Jewish college students and recent graduates across the U.S. An overwhelming 95 percent of respondents said antisemitism was a problem on their campuses, and nearly eight in ten had either experienced or heard firsthand about a fellow student making offensive or threatening antisemitic comments in person.
JEWS TARGET OF 58% OF ALL RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED HATE CRIMES IN US
By JEREMY SHARON
Jews in America are the target of 58 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the US despite constituting a mere two percent of the population, newly released FBI statistics for 2020 have shown.The data also showed that Jews constitute the third largest target of hate crimes out of all minorities in the entire country, more than, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, and virtually all other groups. Of the religiously motivated hate crimes, fully 676 were committed against Jews, some 58% of all such attacks and 9% of the total number of hate crimes committed across the US in 2020.
GOVERNMENT & POLICY
BIDEN ADDRESSES RABBIS AHEAD OF ROSH HASHANAH
By Gabby Deutch
In a call attended by over 1,000 rabbis, President Joe Biden shared Rosh Hashanah greetings and commended the U.S. Jewish community for being the “backbone of staying with what’s right.” The event was organized by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and hosted by Chanan Weissman, the White House’s new liaison to the Jewish community. The president spoke at length about the urgency of addressing rising antisemitism and bigotry in the U.S., and he praised the Jewish community for being a partner in the fight for justice while also sharing some of the familiar stories he has shared with Jewish supporters for decades.
EU SET TO RELEASE NEW STRATEGY TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM AMID ‘SHOCKING’ ONLINE TRENDS
By Benjamin Kerstein
The European Union is set to publish a new strategy in October for combating antisemitism on the continent. In an interview with Politico, Katharina von Schnurbein, the EU’s coordinator on combating antisemitism, said she found the recent sudden leap in antisemitism, particularly online, “shocking.” In response, she said, the EU will soon unveil a “strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life” that will “mainstream” the struggle against antisemitism among member nations. In particular, this will concentrate on the application of current hate speech laws to the issue of antisemitism, and member nations will adopt individual national strategies to combat anti-Jewish hate.
UNRWA HEAD FACES QUESTIONS AT EU PARLIAMENT OVER ‘HATE SPEECH, VIOLENCE’ IN PALESTINIAN TEXTBOOKS
By Algemeiner Staff
Members of the European Parliament pressed the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) over reports of incitement to violence and prejudice found in Palestinian textbooks used in it schools. In a hearing with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs raised the possibility of greater scrutiny over educational materials used by the UN agency, which serves the descendants of Palestinian refugees from Israel’s 1947-48 War of Independence.
PILOT WHO FLEW OUT AFGHAN REFUGEES SAYS HE IDENTIFIES WITH THEM AS SON OF A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR
By Algemeiner Staff
A Delta Airlines pilot who flew refugees out of Afghanistan told CNN that he could identify with his passengers because of his own father’s experience as a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the US. Alexander Kahn said, “I’m the son of an immigrant in the United States. My father was a Holocaust survivor.” “He was liberated from Buchenwald by Patton’s Third Army, and came to the US not much different from the people that are coming to the United States now,” he said. “I was able to put myself in their position and realize that they’re starting a new life,” he said of the refugees. “This is going to be a frightening experience for them, but it has the potential to be an excellent experience for them.”
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.