Weekly Report – September 21
GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM REPORT
THIS WEEK'S GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM REPORT
This week, we continued to monitor antisemitism around the world while advocating for more actions to be made.
In a call with American Jewish leaders ahead of the High Holidays, U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to “condemn and combat antisemitism at every turn” and said his administration had “started aggressively implementing” the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism it unveiled earlier this year.
Multiple synagogues across the U.S., including in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, among other states, received bomb threats during the two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday, a continuation of a disturbing nationwide trend of recent months. However none of the threats were deemed credible and no violent incidents were reported.
Poland’s minister of justice faced criticism for comparing a film highlighting the plight of Syrian and Afghan refugees to Nazi-style propaganda. The BBC was also denounced after publishing an article on the history of suicide bombings that drew links between “Jewish fanatics” and the al-Qaeda terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. In Russia, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova likened Ukraine’s treatment of Russian POWs to Nazi war crimes during World War II.
In North Africa, Tunisian President Kais Saied ludicrously claimed that the deadly storm that devastated Libya’s coastal city of Derna with massive flooding was “evidence of Zionism’s growing influence” because it was named “Daniel.” Before Israel’s establishment in 1948, more than 100,000 Jews lived in Tunisia, but less than 1,500 remain today, largely due to persecution rooted in antisemitic sentiment similar to that expressed by President Saied.
This week’s global antisemitism report highlights 29 new reports of antisemitic incidents. The total includes 10 (34.48%) from the far-right, 1 (3.45%) from the far-left, 7 (24.14%) with Islamist motivations, and 11 (37.93%) unidentifiable in nature.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ASKS ELON MUSK TO ‘ROLL BACK’ ANTISEMITISM ON X
By BRIAN FUNG AND HADAS GOLD
“I know your commitment to free speech,” Netanyahu told Musk. “But I also know your opposition to antisemitism. You’ve spoken about it, tweeted about it. And all I can say is, I hope you find, within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to stop not only antisemitism, or roll it back as best you can, but any collective hatred of people…. I know you’re committed to that and I hope you succeed. And it’s not an easy task, but I encourage you and urge you to find a balance.”
POLICE RESPOND TO POSSIBLE BOMB THREAT AT NYC SYNAGOGUE IN MIDST OF JEWISH NEW YEAR
By FATMA KHALED
Terri Gerstein, the Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard Law School Center for Labor and a Just Economy, tweeted that there is "bomb threat at the synagogue down the street from us. Police told us to shelter in place. I’m sure it will all be ok, but what a way to start the year."
CALIFORNIA: ANTISEMITIC TIRADES AT SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHT PERILS OF ANONYMOUS PUBLIC COMMENT
MEN DRESSED AS SS NAZIS TOLD TO LEAVE 1940S FESTIVAL
By RICHARD PERCIVAL
A group of men dressed as members of the SS were allegedly kicked out of a 1940s festival in Norfolk after clashing with guests at the event. The group of ten men attending Sheringham’s Second World War-themed weekend, which attracts up to 25,000 people, allegedly clashed with locals in the Norfolk town. Some of the men, part of the Eastern Front Living History Group, had SS markings on their collars, badges featuring the 'death's head' symbol and swastikas.
FOUR NEO-NAZIS IN POLICE CUSTODY AFTER DISTRIBUTING ANTISEMITIC AND HATEFUL FLYERS
By ANTISEMITISM MONITORING INTERNATIONAL CENTER
Four neo-Nazi sympathizers have been placed in custody as part of an investigation into antisemitic and hateful leaflets distributed in recent months in many regions of France, including Normandy.
ISRAEL CONDEMNS UNESCO AFTER JERICHO RECOGNIZED AS 'WORLD HERITAGE SITE IN PALESTINE'
By FELIX POPE
Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, architects of Israel's divisive judicial reforms, said the UNESCO move “ethnically cleanses Jews from the history of ancient Jericho, even as the Jews worldwide were busy celebrating Rosh Hoshana, one of the holiest days of the year." He added: "[UNESCO] also turned a blind eye to the PA's ongoing destruction of Second Temple-era antiquities in the area.
CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RUSSIAN STATE DUMA COMPARES UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TO NAZI REGIME
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN MARIA ZAKHAROVA COMPARES TREATMENT OF RUSSIAN POW TO NAZI CRIMES
TUNISIA HINTS ISRAEL BEHIND DEVASTATING STORM DANIEL DUE TO 'ZIONIST NAME'
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Tunisian leader Kais Saied claimed that a massive storm that devastated Libya’s Derna was somehow linked to Zionism because it was named “Daniel.” In the conversation posted on social media, he can be heard making a series of comments about the storm and its name. Storms are often given named randomly in line with various methods of naming storms after women and men and using sequential letters of the alphabet.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY DAILY MAHMOUD ABU AL-HAIJA CALLS FOR LEGAL ACTION AGAINST INTELLECTUALS WHO CRITICIZED ABBAS' HOLOCAUST COMMENTS
JEWISH COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI NEAR UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS CHABAD
By JEANNINE LOPEZ
A student discovered a graffitied swastika on the sidewalk in the area around 19th Street and Naismith Drive on Aug. 31, and the KU Police Department and KU Hillel were notified of the vandalism. This incident comes about one year after flyers spouting antisemitic conspiracy theories were spread around Lawrence residences by an unknown group.
Analysis & op-eds
PALESTINIAN PROFESSOR WHO TOOK STUDENTS TO AUSCHWITZ: HOLOCAUST DENIAL IMPERILS PEACE
By GIANLUCA PACCHIANI
studies & statistics
THE CONSPIRACY SUBREDDIT IS FULL OF ANTISEMITISM, DESPITE REDDIT RULES PROHIBITING SUCH CONTENT
By ALEX KAPLAN
A review by Media Matters of r/conspiracy since mid-2020 found a widespread pattern of antisemitism on the subreddit, including content that targets specific Jewish people based on antisemitic tropes, denies the Holocaust, uses an antisemitic symbol to target Jewish people, invokes an antisemitic conspiracy theory about supposed fake Jewish people, and suggests violence against Jewish people.
ANTISEMITIC DISCOURSE AND HATE SPEECH ONLINE AND IN MEDIA AGAINST JEWISH COMMUNITY MEMBERS REMAIN A PROBLEM IN MOLDOVA
By YOSSI LEMPKOWICZ
PALESTINIAN TERROR ORGANIZATIONS INCITE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: ‘THE TIME HAS COME TO KILL THE JEWS’
government & policy update
‘I HAVE YOUR BACK’: BIDEN VOWS TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM IN ROSH HASHANAH MESSAGE
By MICHAEL HOROVITZ
US President Joe Biden asserted his commitment to fighting antisemitism in a virtual meeting with American rabbis a day before the beginning of Rosh Hashana. In the 10-minute call, Biden vowed to “condemn and combat antisemitism at every turn” and hailed policies aimed at ensuring the safety of Jewish communities. He noted the national strategy his administration announced in May, which includes proposals for social media reforms and increased security funding.
MISSOURI PROCLAIMS JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, BECOMES 33RD US STATE TO ADOPT IHRA ANTISEMITISM DEFINITION
Missouri has become the 33rd U.S. state to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, a move that was warmly welcomed by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM). In an official proclamation, the full text of which can be read here, Missouri Governor Mike Parson also declared September to be Jewish-American Heritage Month (JAHM) in his state, coinciding with the Jewish High Holiday season.
REP. GOTTHEIMER SPARS WITH PRINCETON PRESIDENT OVER ANTISEMITISM AND FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS
By DEENA YELLIN
Gottheimer, in an interview with Northjersey.com and The Record, said he was surprised at the college leaders' refusal to budge. "I'm all for debate and promoting different ideas," he said. "But this is hate speech masquerading as scholarship." Gottheimer said Puar's book is an "offensive, antisemitic blood libel" that promotes falsehoods about the Israeli military, including a charge that Israel has harvested the organs of deceased Palestinian children. Puar writes in the book that the Israeli Defense Forces have a pattern of "shooting to maim rather than to kill. This is ostensibly a humanitarian practice, leaving many civilians permanently disabled."
GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE ACTION TO FIGHT ANTISEMITISM IN NEW YORK STATE
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday comprehensive action to fight antisemitism, making her state the first to respond to the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism unveiled by the Biden administration in May. The steps detailed by Governor Hochul included the creation of the New York State Anti-Hate in Education Center and Annual Convening that will combat hate, create a safe and inclusive environment, and focus on eliminating antisemitism.
SPANISH JEWISH COMMUNITY COMMENDS BALEARIC PARLIAMENT FOR REPARATION TO DESCENDANTS OF CONVERTED JEWS
FINLAND: GOVERNMENT ADOPTS STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT ON PROMOTING EQUALITY, GENDER EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
DEBORAH LIPSTADT ON THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS’ IMPACT AND THE US NATIONAL STRATEGY TO COUNTER ANTISEMITISM
DIANE ABBOTT LASHES OUT AT ‘FRAUDULENT’ LABOUR PROBE OVER HER LETTER CLAIMING JEWS DO NOT SUFFER RACISM
AMID RISING ANTISEMITISM, ENGLISH SOCCER POWERHOUSE CHELSEA BECOMES LATEST CLUB TO LAUNCH JEWISH FAN GROUP
By SHIRYN GHERMEZIAN
Chelsea Football Club has announced the creation of a new group for its Jewish fans, making it the third major soccer team in the United Kingdom to announce such a group for its supporters. The move comes amid reports of surging antisemitism across the United Kingdom, where members of the Jewish academic community have been forced to conceal their identities on university campuses, according to a report issued earlier this year by the Parliamentary Task Force on Antisemitism in Higher Education.