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 Sixteen countries have now withdrawn.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.