This week, we continued to monitor antisemitism around the world while advocating for more actions to be made.
This week in the U.S., Senator Bernie Sanders hosted a “Nakba Day” commemoration on Capitol Hill that was organized by Representative Rashida Tlaib. The event featured antisemitic rhetoric, with Tlaib accusing Israel of practicing “apartheid” and perpetrating “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians. In Texas, police confirmed that the Allen mall shooter had a “neo-Nazi ideation.” In New York, a knife-wielding man shouting Black Hebrew Israelite rhetoric threatened a group of Jews in a Brooklyn park. At the University of California-San Diego, a residential bathroom was vandalized with Nazi swastikas.
In Europe, thousands marched in a “Nakba Day” rally in London, calling for intifada “as the only solution.” Also in the British capital, a Jewish man was verbally harassed by an assailant who said, “F***ing Jew, he’s a f***ing devil.” In Paris, France, antisemitic graffiti reading – “Long live Palestine, 39-45: Be prepared for the return.” – was found at the University of Saint-Denis, with the numbers 39-45 a reference to the years of the Holocaust. In Austria, two people were charged for playing a Hitler speech and Nazi slogans on a train’s loudspeaker. In Germany, a dual German-Iranian national was indicted for an attempted arson attack near a synagogue suspected to have been ordered by the Tehran regime.
In the Middle East, an elderly Israeli woman was killed in her Rehovot home by an Islamic Jihad missile fired from the Gaza Strip – one of hundreds launched during the Israel Defense Forces’ five-day Operation Shield and Arrow against the Iran-backed terrorist group. At a UN “Nakba Day” event, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas trivialized the Holocaust, accusing Israel of lying “like Goebbels.”
In Richmond, Virginia, Mayor Levar Stoney officially recognized Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) at a ceremony arranged in collaboration with CAM. A similar proclamation was also issued this week by the city of Palm Springs, California. More than 30 states, including Oklahoma most recently, have acknowledged JAHM as well thus far in May.
At a JAHM reception at the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden condemned rising “antisemitic bile” across the globe.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 38 new reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 11 (28.9%) from the far-right, 7 (18.4%) from the far-left, 14 (36.8%) with Islamist motivations, and 6 (15.8%) unidentifiable in nature.
A group of 4 Chabad bochurim were victims of an antisemitic incident by a knife-wielding man on Thursday evening in Brooklyn Bridge Park in downtown Brooklyn. The bochurim, Israeli students who learn in 770 Chabad Yeshiva, were in the park at approximately midnight, when they were approached by a black male, who proceeded to shout antisemitic slurs and insults at them.
By ALIA SHOAIB
The Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira was preparing for what he envisioned would be a violent "race war."Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard member, was arrested last month in connection with the leak of dozens of top-secret Pentagon documents about the war in Ukraine and other national security issues. The Washington Post said it uncovered his racist views and suspicion of the government by interviewing several of his close friends and reviewing previously unpublished videos and chat logs. "He used the term 'race war' quite a few times," a close friend of Teixeira's, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said.
By DANIEL BEN-DAVID
The event, titled “Nakba 75 – End apartheid, End the occupation”, saw thousands of pro-Palestine protestors assemble outside the offices of the BBC and march to the Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street where a rally was held to decry Britain’s alleged support for Israel. Calls for intifada “as the only solution” reverberated through Britain’s capital on Saturday as thousands marched amid banners that accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and placards that equated Israel with Nazi Germany.
By BEN COHEN
Fans attending a concert by former Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters in the German city of Cologne on Tuesday night were handed flyers that depicted the Jewish victims of the Nazis as merely one of several nationalities and ethnicities, including Germans, who suffered during World War II. According to RABA, a Cologne-based NGO that monitors antisemitism, the leaflets were distributed by supporters of the DFG-VK Köln, a left-wing pacifist organization. Ostensibly protesting the German government’s decision to supply Ukraine’s democratic government with weapons to counter the ongoing Russian invasion, the flyer cited the slaughter of World War II as a warning of the dangers of armed conflict.
The Anti-Defamation League has called Mohammed El-Kurd an “unvarnished, vicious antisemite.” Yet in spite of widely available evidence attesting to his prominence as a hatemonger, Mount Royal University in Canada chose to award the writer with the 2023 Calgary Peace Prize. Now the International Legal Forum (ILF) has sent a letter urging the reversal of this decision. It said: “His past statements go above and beyond any acceptable criticism of Israel, principles of free speech or the advancement of Palestinian rights. Instead, they represent an unhinged display of bigotry, use of antisemitic tropes and both the incitement and glorification of violence.”
By LACHLAN ABBOTT AND ASHLEIGH MCMILLAN
Two people were arrested after neo-Nazis returned to the steps of Victorian Parliament and clashed with police and counter-protesters, almost two months after fascists gatecrashed an anti-trans rights rally on Spring Street. Victoria Police – which deployed more than 200 officers across the city on Saturday – denounced the group of about 25 neo-Nazis who arrived an hour early for a midday “anti-immigration protest”.
By ROB HYDE
Two people have been charged by police after allegedly playing speeches by Adolf Hitler via the loudspeaker system of an Austrian train. The two individuals played a recording where “Heil Hitler” and "Seig Heil" could be heard on the train’s intercom during a journey from Bregenz to Vienna operated by Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB). Police tracked the pair down after analyzing video from the train's CCTV cameras.
By LUKE TRESS
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas likens Israel to Nazi Germany by saying the country lies like the Third Reich’s chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels. “Israeli and Zionist claims continue by saying that Israel made the desert bloom. As if Palestine was a desert and they made the desert bloom,” Abbas tells a UN event commemorating the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, which accompanies Israel’s founding in 1948.
By ZVIKA KLEIN
Tunisian President Kais Saied claimed on Saturday that the attack in Djerba, in which two Jews and three police officers were killed, wasn’t antisemitic. According to the Tunisian newspaper La Presse, Saied spoke during his visit to the Ariana district near the capital on Saturday. A video of the visit and the president’s statements was published by Saied’s office as well.
By BEATRICE FORMAN
A University of Delaware English professor’s office was vandalized with a swastika last week, leading Jewish professors and community members to cite this as an example of rising antisemitism on campus. The antisemitic iconography — which also included a threatening message — defaced a poster for Philadelphia drag queen Martha Graham Cracker on associate professor Dawn Fallik’s office. Fallik, who has been teaching her news literacy and critical writing courses virtually this semester, was informed by department chair John Ernest after another colleague discovered the graffiti early last week.
By ZVIKA KLEIN
According to the Jewish Community of Vienna’s Reporting Centre for Antisemitism, there were 719 reported antisemitic incidents in Austria in 2022, representing a 25.5% decrease from the previous year’s all-time recorded high of 965 incidents. The number of incidents remains higher than in 2019 and 2020, which saw 550 and 585 recorded incidents, respectively. Despite the overall decrease in reported incidents, the number of physically threatening incidents, including physical assault, threats and deliberate damage to property, remained at the same high level as the previous year.
Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Kostadin Kodzhabashev took part in a roundtable at the Council of Ministers on Friday discussing a draft National Action Plan to Combat Antisemitism. The event was organized by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry within the framework of a project titled, “Strategic Cooperation between Bulgaria and Norway in Support of Bulgaria’s International Commitments to Combating Antisemitism and Preserving Jewish Heritage.” Kodzhabashev stressed that Bulgaria is an active participant in all the major international forums dedicated to the fight against intolerance, hatred and discrimination, including antisemitism.
By COLLEEN LONG AND AAMER MADHANI
President Joe Biden marked Jewish American Heritage Month on Tuesday by highlighting his administration’s efforts to combat rising antisemitism, at a White House reception that featured performances from the stars of the Broadway revival of “Parade.” Biden told the crowd it was important to him personally to guard against the rise of “antisemitic bile” in the world, and in particular the US.
By COMBAT ANTISEMITISM MOVEMENT
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney officially declared May as Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) in Virginia’s historic capital city on Wednesday. At a celebratory ceremony held at City Hall in collaboration with the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) and Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), Mayor Stoney said, “Today I am proud to proclaim May as Jewish American Heritage Month in Richmond, Virginia. As we’ve seen in the news and in our own backyards, antisemitism has been rising at an alarming rate across the United States. The growth and spread of this hatred are threats not just to Jewish people, but to all who value human dignity, inclusion, and compassion.”
By MARC ROD
A coalition of major American and global Jewish organizations wrote to United Nations leaders on Wednesday urging them to include an endorsement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in the U.N.’s forthcoming action plan monitoring and responding to antisemitism. The letter, signed by 177 global Jewish groups and 120 academics from the U.S. and elsewhere, comes amid continued concerns from many Jewish groups that antisemitism is pervasive in the U.N. system, as well as a domestic push by mainstream Jewish groups in the U.S. — including several of the lead signatories to the U.N. letter — for the White House to endorse the IHRA definition in its own upcoming national antisemitism strategy.
By COMBAT ANTISEMITISM MOVEMENT
Representatives of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) traveled to the city of Porto, Portugal, this week to participate in the annual policy conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA). The two-day event — held under the banner of “Shaping the Future of European Jewry Together” — was hosted by the Jewish Community of Porto. “As we meet, governments across Europe are coming forward with plans affecting Jewish life in Europe,” he added. “We must ask ourselves what kind of future we want to see. And what part all of us can do to make that vision a reality.”
By ERIKA DREIFUS
Jewish American Heritage Month—celebrated every May since 2006—is an ideal time to introduce young readers to notable Jewish figures in American history, and a number of recently released books can help. Two recent picture book biographies focus on founders of prominent Jewish organizations. Hannah G. Solomon Dared to Make a Difference (by Bonnie Lindauer with illustrations by Sofia Moore) follows the founder of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). A Queen to the Rescue: The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah (by Nancy Churnin with illustrations by Yevgenia Nayberg) begins with Henrietta Szold’s birth in Baltimore in 1860. The book covers Szold’s achievements even before and beyond the Hadassah era (who knew that Szold was the Jewish Publication Society’s first editor?) and concludes with her later years in British Mandatory Palestine.