The CAM Antisemitism Research Center collects comprehensive antisemitism data from around the world on a constant basis, and publishes a regular feature on the top ten antisemitic incidents that shook Jewish communities globally during the preceding month.
The ten most shocking antisemitic incidents of August 2023 are as follows:
In an address at a Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting on August 24, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler targeted the Jewish people for extermination because of “their social role, and not their religion.”
Abbas also asserted that Jews living in Arab countries after Israel’s establishment “did not want to emigrate but were forced to do so by means of pressure, coercion, and murder” by the Israeli government.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ long and infamous track record of denying, distorting, and trivializing the Holocaust is indicative of how deeply embedded antisemitism remains in parts of Palestinian society.https://t.co/nNYcfZP4bD https://t.co/wwhPguKT2P
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) September 7, 2023
Pensacola Police announced on August 4 the arrest of four teenage suspects in connection with a string of antisemitic vandalism incidents in the Florida Panhandle city over the preceding two weeks.
Waylon Fowler, 17, Wyatt Fowler, 15, Nicholas Ferry, 16, and Kessler Ferry, 18, all faced hate crime charges for their alleged roles in at least six incidents in which Nazi swastikas were spray-painted in public locations and two others that saw bricks thrown through windows at Chabad of Pensacola and Temple Beth El of Pensacola, putting the local Jewish community on edge.
In addition to the Pensacola Police Department, the FBI was also involved in the investigation.
Good news! @PensacolaPolice have arrested four suspects in connection with a recent spate of antisemitic vandalism incidents in the Florida Panhandle city, including Nazi swastika graffiti and bricks thrown at a synagogue and Chabad center.https://t.co/ryqzUuhwrL pic.twitter.com/OTX2oH2tnb
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) August 7, 2023
The CAM Antisemitism Research Center tracked a series incidents targeting Germany’s Jewish community in August. The incidents included acts of hateful speech and conduct, vandalism, and physical violence, with the motivations of the perpetrators spanning the ideological spectrum.
In early August, retired German teacher Frank Borner, from the village of Petersdorf on the island of Fehmarn, was exposed for falsely portraying himself as a Jew under the mantle of an organized program to introduce non-Jews to Jewish people and practices.
On August 4, a 57-year-old woman was arrested in Munich for verbally harassing students and teachers at a Jewish elementary school. She told police her outburst had been triggered by hearing Hebrew being spoken.
The next day, an Israeli tourist talking on Hebrew on a phone while walking to a supermarket in Berlin was assaulted by three attackers who got out of a car that had pulled up next to him.
The vicitim suffered a minor arm injury and was treated at a hospital.
On August 8, it was reported that prosecutors in Germany had uncovered illegal content, including Nazi symbols, in chat messages involving five officers from three different police districts following searches in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.
The same week, Nazi swastikas were found carved into a prayer bench at Munich’s main synagogue, Ohel Jakob.
On August 12, an unidentified vandal burned a book box, once a phone booth, that is part of the “Gleis 17” (Platform 17) memorial at Grunewald train station in Berlin, commemorating the thousands of Jews who were deported to concentration camps from there by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
At the Grunewald train station in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday, an unidentified vandal set fire to a book box — once a phone booth — that is part of the “Gleis 17” (Platform 17) memorial, which commemorates the thousands of Jews who were deported from there during the… pic.twitter.com/bjAF2uzBL2
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) August 14, 2023
A popular kosher restaurant in a heavily-Jewish suburb of Paris was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti on August 19.
The “Mr. Shnitz” establishment — located in Levallois-Perret — tagged with the words “thief” seven times and “Jew” four times, its owner said.
A suspect was arrested by police on after being spotted on CCTV footage. However, he was subsequently released due to a “lack of sufficient evidence.”
The man who was arrested for the vandalism of a kosher restaurant in Paris on Saturday was released from custody due to “lack of sufficient evidence,” even though he was spotted on CCTV footage.
We hope French police will conduct an in-depth investigation, as this would not be… pic.twitter.com/o7hgcDq1AJ
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) August 22, 2023
The City University of New York (CUNY), which has been mired in a series of antisemitism scandals in recent years, hired Professor Marc Lamont Hill, who was let go as a CNN commentator in 2018 over controversial remarks about Israel.
The 44-year-old Hill, who previously held endowed chair at Temple University in Philadelphia, was appointed as a “presidential professor” of urban education at CUNY’s Graduate Center in Manhattan.
The Graduate Center’s website called Hill as a “radical educator” who “explores issues of race, education, citizenship and state violence in the United States and Middle East.”
In 2018, Hill was fired by CNN following a speech in which he called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
“We cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing,” he stated.
Hill also praised notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan following a meeting with the Nation of Islam leader in 2016.
The abhorrent decision by @CUNY to hire Marc Lamont Hill, a professor who was fired as a CNN commentator in 2018 over antisemitic remarks, is further proof of the school’s ongoing disregard for the well-being of its Jewish students.https://t.co/H3wzsYRWaD
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) August 28, 2023
Police in Australia were investigating an incident in which a group of Jewish students were threatened with a knife and subjected to antisemitic comments on a bus in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick on August 3.
About 10 students from Leibler Yavneh College boarded a public bus on Clarence Street around 4:20 PM, before a passenger began to discuss “Jews, money, and drugs,” according to a student on the bus.
A self-proclaimed white supremacist “reverend” was arrested on August 10 on charges that he made online threats toward the jury and witnesses in the trial of Robert Bowers, who was sentenced to death in the month for the murder of 11 Jewish worshipers in the October 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A U.S. Justice Department statement said 45 year-old Hardy Carroll Lloyd, of Follansbee, West Virginia, made “threatening social media posts, website comments, and emails towards the jury and witnesses during the trial,” and also “placed or had others place stickers in predominantly Jewish areas of Pittsburgh, directing people to the website containing his threats and antisemitic messages.”
Hardy Carroll Lloyd is accused of sending threatening social media posts, emails and comments on websites about the trial of Robert Bowers.
— WTVM News Leader 9 (@WTVM) August 11, 2023
A syllabus for a fall semester course at Princeton University features a book that claims the Israeli military harvests Palestinian organs.
The book in question — The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, authored by Jasbir K. Puar — is included in the list of reading materials for the “Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South” course.
The book’s summary accuses Israel of “supplementing its right to kill with the right to maim.”
“The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill,” it says. “This is ostensibly a humanitarian practice, leaving many civilians ‘permanently disabled’ in an occupied territory of destroyed hospitals, rationed medical supplies, and scarce resources.”
In the past, Puar has asserted that the IDF has “mined” the bodies of Palestinian children for scientific research.
I’m disappointed to learn that @Princeton course materials promote a blood libel against Israel with the ludicrous claim that the IDF harvests Palestinian organs.
As a respected institution of higher learning, I urge Princeton to take immediate steps to rectify this. Your… pic.twitter.com/cMLQ9l1EBa
— Sacha Roytman (@SachaRoytman) August 7, 2023
Police in Ann Arbor, Michigan, were investigating a “hate-motivated” vandalism incident that took place on August 22 near the University of Michigan campus.
A sidewalk outside the Jewish Resource Center on Hill Street was defaced with homophobic graffiti on Hill Street. The same day, a racial slur and a threatening message were spray-painted on an apartment building on S. University Avenue.
Police have yet to determine if the same perpetrators were involved.
ATTEMPT TO ID
Surveillance video shows the vandalism in front of the Jewish Resource Center (1335 Hill) occurring at approximately 5:01pm on 8/22/23. The two suspects are seen walking with a group of people along Hill Street before the incident occurs. 1/ https://t.co/Gc7hRKOdgl pic.twitter.com/WfA1VIiw2f
— Ann Arbor Police (@A2Police) August 25, 2023
Multiple kosher restaurants were burglarized in Los Angeles on August 19, prompting an investigation by the city’s police department.
The incidents occurred on the 9300-9400 block West Pico Boulevard, in the neighborhood of Pico-Robertson, home to a large Orthodox Jewish population.
Five restaurants — Nagila Pizza, Fisherman’s Bowl, Shanghai Diamond Garden, SushiKo, and Shalom Grill — were broken into by unidentified intruders wearing dark clothing, with windows broken and several cash registers stolen.
🚨 I’m hearing and seeing reports that multiple Jewish (kosher) restaurants in the Pico Robertson area of Los Angeles were smashed and burglarized last night.
It is still Shabbat on the West Coast, and we won’t know too much more until sundown when the community is back… pic.twitter.com/AMq2Q4fGn3
— Sia Kordestani (@SiaKordestani) August 20, 2023
For more information on CAM’s antisemitism incidents data, please visit: combatantisemitism.org/research