Ahead of Yom Kippur, Pope Francis spoke out against rising antisemitism, saying the “threat of antisemitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere…is a fuse that must not be allowed to burn…” Four more countries – Greece, Belgium, Slovenia, and Slovakia, have said no to Jew-hatred at the highest levels of international relations by withdrawing from the UN’s 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism (Durban IV), bringing the total to twenty countries.
This week marked the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, which has begun transforming diplomatic, economic, interfaith and people-to-people ties throughout the Middle East and beyond. The Accords have inspired a new generation of grassroots activism in the movement to combat antisemitism.
Meanwhile, French police arrested the ringleader of a violent gang assault against a yarmulke-wearing man in Lyon, and police in Toronto arrested a man with a swastika tattoo for committing a third antisemitic assault in just two months. The man had put a woman in a headlock after asking if she was Jewish and giving a Hitler salute. Police increased patrols in the Minneapolis area, after a synagogue received a threat of violence following the desecration of a local Jewish cemetery. The Jewish cemetery in Ioannina, Greece was vandalized for the second time in the past month, and graffiti blaming Jews for 9/11 was found at Michigan State University and in Toronto.
A high school in the U.S. state of Georgia opened an investigation after two swastikas and “Hail Hitler” were drawn inside the building, and the city council of Burlington, Vermont withdrew a pro-BDS resolution over antisemitism concerns. Dutch Covid-19 protesters who were dressed in Nazi uniforms staged a mock arrest of a person wearing a yellow star, an unfortunate example of the growing trend of Holocaust trivialization.