Category: Magazine

U.S. Intersection Hit with Anti-Semitic Graffiti for Fifth Time

According to a report by JTA, Anti-Semitic graffiti has appeared for the fifth time this month at one of the busiest intersections in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C.

On Monday, swastikas were discovered sprayed on a street. A swastika also was drawn on the door of a corner near Starbucks.

The graffiti was found near where vandals in August had previously painted the word “Jew” repeatedly next to images of rats on an outdoor Chinese Zodiac public art display.

Maintenance crews employed by Downtown D.C., a private nonprofit organization that encourages businesses in the city center, have reportedly removed the graffiti, including the swastikas.

D.C. Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information that may lead to arrests. The incidents are being investigated as suspected hate crimes.

For further reading:

http://www.jta.org/2016/08/23/news-opinion/united-states/anti-semitic-graffiti-painted-at-dc-intersection-for-5th-time

http://www.timesofisrael.com/dc-intersection-hit-with-anti-semitic-graffiti-for-5th-time-in-august/

by: Chirelle Chekroune

Hungarian Government Rewards Anti-Semitic Journalist

The Hungarian government’s presented its prestigious Knight’s award to a columnist accused of racism and anti-Semitism, prompting a heavy storm of criticism.

The columnist, Zsolt Bayer, who has been noted repeatedly for his racist views received the award for his writings about Hungarians who died in the Gulag prison system of the former Soviet Union, according to the office of Prime Minister János Lázár. More than 100 former recipients, who received the medal in the past, announced they will be returning it due to it being “sullied” in wake of Bayer’s nomination.

“As a journalist, he gave a true and worthy account of prisoners and their lives in the Soviet labor camps as well as [towards] the Hungarian minority in Transylvania, making him a worthy receiver of the Knight’s Cross,” Lázár’s office wrote, according to the Budapest Beacon.

Lantos Swett, one of the former recipients, was honored for setting up the Budapest-based Tom Lantos Institute, which focuses on human minority rights. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who died in 2008, was the only Holocaust survivor in the U.S. Congress, according to the Associated Press. “Mr. Bayer’s despicable record of overt and hateful anti-Semitism and racism is beneath contempt,” was written on the Lantos Foundation website.

Bayer claimed that anti-Semitism in Hungary was justified due to the number of Jewish communists of whom he asserts  sought to spread the Russian Revolution to Hungary. In April, Bayer wrote a series of opinion editorials condemning protestors who blocked the dedication of a statue of György Donáth close to Budapest’s Holocaust museum. Donáth was a Holocaust-era politician who helped pass laws calling for the persecution of Jews. The German Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators later used those laws to round up about 500,000 Hungarian Jews, most of whom were put to death by the Nazis.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. urged Hungarian President Janos Ader, who approved Bayer’s award to renounce it. The Hungarian government released a statement that the award could not be recalled.

by: Inbal Zlotnik

Dutch Lawmaker Accused of Anti-Semitism after Refusing to Shake Netanyahu’s Hand

A Dutch-Turkish lawmaker refused to shake hands with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and rejected claims of anti-Semitic behavior.

Tunahan Kuzu, an Istanbul-born former Labour Party politician who represents the far-left and pro-immigration DENK party, refused to shake Netanyahu’s hand when the two met with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch Parliament earlier this month.

Kuzu, wearing a Palestinian flag lapel pin posted a short video explaining why he decided to attend the meeting instead of boycotting the event, explaining he wanted to “do my best to make it a difficult talk.”

Some criticized Kuzu’s behavior, noting that it strayed from the norms of discourse between political adversaries, as Michael van der Galien, editor-in-chief of the popular Dutch news and opinion website De Dagelijkse Standard wrote: “This is shameful behavior…even if you disagree with Netanyahu’s policies, as a parliamentarian you are obliged to treat him respectfully on his visit to the Netherlands…but Kuzu apparently can’t do that because just imagine what will happen if you are seen shaking the hand of a Jewish leader of the only Jewish state? An Islamist like Kuzu can’t even bear the thought.”

The Post Online quoted Kuzu as saying: “We are not anti-Semitic, and criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.”

The incident comes after former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, a longtime Palestinian activist, said in an interview on a public television station that Netanyahu is a “war criminal,” who should be prosecuted during his visit to the Netherlands.

Source: JTA

by: Inbal Zlotnik

U.S. Woman Turns Anti-Semitic Graffiti into Art

Last week, a U.S. woman discovered a swastika spray-painted on her garbage can. Esther Cohen-Eskin, a resident of Havertown, a small neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania reported feeling shocked and hurt after finding the symbol. Cohen-Eskin believes she was targeted specifically for being Jewish since no other neighbors found similiar signs on their properties.

After reporting the anti-Semitic graffiti to police, Cohen-Eskin decided to turn the trauamtic experience into something which proclaimed the exact opposite. The Philadelphian woman, who works as an artist painted over the swastika with the image of a flower and started a campaign asking her neighbors to paint swatsikas on their garbage cans and then subsequently paint over them with images of flowers, birds, or signs of unity, love and tolerance.

“It’s not like someone wrote some obscenity on my trash can or gave me the finger,” she said. “The swastika is such a deep-rooted sign of hatred for everyone, especially Judaism, that I felt so targeted.”

The idea cites Cohen-Eskin is to turn symbols of hate into ones of love.”We decided that painting something over this … it kind of made the swastika completely meaningless,” she said.

Cohen-Eskin’s story quickly spread across town and she received multiple letters of support worldwide, from countries as far off as Canada, Germany and Ireland. Many people decided to join her cause and paint similiar images of tolerance or the word “unity” in show of support.

“It gave me a whole new reassurance in humanity,” she said. “I feel invigorated by all the love. It’s exciting. It makes you feel there’s so much good out there.”

Source: Fox News, Israel Hayom

By: Yafit Ovadia

Anti-Semitism on U.S. Campuses Reaches New High

Anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses is reaching a new high, according to new statistics reported by the Anti-defamation League (ADL).

The Israeli Knesset held a meeting yesterday drawing attention to the growing trend of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, which many note leads to increased hostilities and anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish college students on campus. Jewish college students at several prominent U.S. universities reported being harassed by BDS activists and Pro-Palestinian groups. The schools mentioned included New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Connecticut College, the University of Oklahoma, Harvard, Claremont College in Los Angeles, Vassar College in New York, and several University of California schools.

Some students reported finding mock eviction notices attached to their doors and expressed shock over Palestinian students forcibly threatening them to leave campus dormitories and reside elsewhere. Students who were victims of such harrassment accused colleges of doing little to combat this growing wave of anti-Semitism, despite schools firmly stating their opposition to any anti-Israel activities.

“BDS is a wave of anti-Semitism against Jews, which unfortunately has been taking place on so-called enlightened campuses [in the U.S.],” Knesset Member Avi Dichter (Likud) said. “Many of the actions taken by BDS activists stem from their frustration over the loss of interest [concerning] the Palestinian issue. We will not tolerate [attacks] against Jews or Israelis. The Knesset…[is] committed to all Jews, regardless of where they are, especially when they come under attack simply for being Jewish,” Dichter said. The committee promised to strateigize new ways to combat this growing phenonmena and allot Israeli taxpayer funds towards the project.

An Israeli-based NGO, Reservists on Duty, which advocates supporting IDF operations in Israel and the Palestinian territories noted that 90 of 941 total incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. during the previous year took place on college campuses. “Jewish college students in the U.S. are a persecuted minority,” founder, Amnon Goldstof remarked.

Source: Israel Hayom

By: Yafit Ovadia

Anti-Semitism at French embassy

An employee of France’s embassy in Tunisia, Selim Dakhlaoui found himself under fire over anti-Semitic comments posted under his name on social media site, Facebook.

“Watch out, my account has been hijacked,” Dakhlaoui wrote on his Facbook account claiming previous comments expressing anti-Semitic remarks were written by hackers. The comment “finish the job”, about Adolf Hitler’s failure was written on Dakhlaoui’s page. Dakhlaoui works as a consulting agent for the embassy and was responding to an outrage following the publication on a French-language blog of multiple copies of anti-Israel messages made under his name.

Even though Dakhlaoui believes his account had been hacked, the subject is still under debate. This past October, the comment “Soon it will be the end of Israel” appeared under Dakhlaoui’s name, which was followed by an icon of a missile. A week later the same account displayed the message, “Go to hell, Israel.” Earlier this year it featured a comment reading, “Hitler didn’t finish the job” in a discussion about Israel’s alleged involvement in Islamist terrorism.

However, the embassy called the statements attributed to Dakhlaoui “unacceptable” adding he was summoned to talks with his superiors. The Foreign Ministry will decide how to handle the affair once it determines whether Dakhlaoui wrote the offensive remarks, the embassy’s statement said.

The act is considered a crime against humanity, which is forbidden under French law and holds a five years in prison penalty and $50,000 in fines. The comments have been removed, and Dakhlaoui’s  account was taken down.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in France during recent years. Last year, a report on the same blog over anti-Semitic statements on Facebook by a Kuwaiti woman interning at the French consulate in New York led to her dismissal.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed his “solidarity” toward French Jews and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism.

Source: Arutz Sheva

By: Inbal Zlotnik

Anti-Semitic Incidents Rise 11% in the U.K.

A strong increase in anti-Semitic incidents was recorded in the first six months of 2016 in the U.K., which was in part due to numerous anti-Semitic statements made by the Labour party, according to the Jewish charity Community Security Trust.

Several are puzzled as to the nature of the increase. Two years ago Israel’s excursion into Gaza led to a big rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K., however the biggest increase was recorded in April, May and June, when anti-Semitism in the Labour party was the subject of widespread media coverage. Racism and xenophobia were part of the campaign discourse in the run-up to the EU referendum on June 23, 2016.

The anti-Semitic attacks come in graffiti remarks, verbal abuse, abuse via social media, and more. There were 41 violent anti-Semitic assaults among the 557 incidents, a 13% drop compared to those recorded in 2015. Most of the attacks were in London, which noted an increase in number of incidents, and Manchester which listed a fall of 54%.

“This is a worrying rise in incidents set against a backdrop of increasing hate crimes across the country,” said John Mann, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism, “The message should go out to everyone that we will not stand for anti-Semitism, perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews will be caught and prosecuted and the bystanders must be educated. Britain should expect better than this,” Mann said.

Source: The Guardian

By: Inbal Zlotnik

Raising Anti-Semitism in the U.S.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL ) recorded a total of 941 incidents in the U.S. in 2015, showing an increase of 3% compared to anti-Semitic acts in 2014.

The annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents was presented by the director of the ADL office in the Israel earlier this month, at a committee meeting of the Immigration and Absorption Ministry.

A new and surprising statistic is the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents on American college campuses, which almost doubled and accounts for 10% of the total incidents reported in the U.S. in 2015.

Experts estimate that in addition to statistics, on average there is at least one anti-Semitic assault reported in the US per week and at least two anti-Jewish incidents per day. Since the incidents are widespread they are difficult to quantify and remain uncounted.

Despite the pessimistic figures, there is also good news as Marvin D. Nathan, ADL Chairman reported that the “number of anti-Semitic incidents overall are much lower than we witnessed in the mid-2000s.”

Conference participants admitted they were more worried about the Jews in Europe, particularly France, and agreed that the situation in the U.S. was far less daunting. “We can’t look at the whole world through the prism of ADL numbers. The US is not France, the Jews there do not live in fear,” said Parliament Member Yehuda Glik (Likud).

Source: The Jerusalem Post

By: Inbal Zlotnik

Anti-Semitism Plagued Young Jewish Candidate Running for Congress

A young Jewish woman, Erin Schrode, 25 was the youngest woman to have run for U.S. Congress in the previous California, June 5 primary. Schrode ran on the Democratic ticket for California’s 2nd Congressional district while having lost the election this past month, during her campaign she was a victim of multiple anti-Semitic attacks.

Several Neo-Nazi websites published Schrode’s personal information along with various photo-shopped pictures depicting her wearing the yellow “Jude” star, which Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe during the Holocaust.

Schrode received several anti-Semitic threats including violent ones, which alleged voters to “Fire up the Oven!”, still others referred to her as “America’s first evil retarded teen [in] Congress…kike!”, and “All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in.”

Schrode responded strongly on her Facebook page by calling out the haters and their attacks as going “far beyond anti-Semitism,” and representing “indiscriminate hatred. Pure evil.”

Subsequently Schrode contacted the FBI among other authorities to handle the threats. In addition, police patrolled the area prior to the elections.

In the wake of these anti-Semitic outbursts, Schrode said, “I cannot and will not remain silent. I have never been much good at standing idly by in the face of injustice…We must not stand silent in the face of hatred, violence, attacks, bullying, or oppression; we cannot recoil in fear; we cannot lose our sense of human dignity and respect.”

Source: JTA; Jpost

By: Yafit Ovadia

Recommendations to stop online antisemitism

On 19 April, the first-ever International Conference on Online Antisemitism was hosted in Jerusalem, Israel, with the Israeli Students Combating Antisemitism (ISCA) playing a lead role, along with the International Network Against Cyber hate (INACH). It included officials, lay-leaders, non-governmental organizations and professionals from the European Union and a total of 21 countries.

We are proud to present the official and complete findings and recomendations of the conference:

Preamble:
The conference notes that antisemitism is not a Jewish problem; it is a global problem which should be
dealt with globally. Furthermore, the conference agrees that antisemitism is a direct threat to Western
values and democracy and online antisemitism is a major contributor to contemporary anti-Jewish
violence.

The conference, gathered together in Jerusalem, adopted the following recommendations, which are
supported by representatives from 21 countries:

Recommendations to National Governments, International and Intergovernmental bodies, NGOs and
Internet Industry actors. The conference calls upon all actors to:

  1. Endorse and implement the Working Definition on Antisemitism, which is a guideline for
    understanding contemporary antisemitism and also the most practical guide for identifying
    incidents, collecting data, and for supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation
    dealing with antisemitism.
  2. Establish, identify and develop the capacity of national, regional and local legal units responsible
    for combating cyberhate/antisemitism, to make stronger use of existing laws to prosecute
    cyberhate and online antisemitism and to propose to legislatures, consistent with the free
    speech constraints of each country, enactment of the legal basis for prosecution of cyberhate
    and online antisemitism where such laws are absent.
  3. Promote and support coalition building on an inter-governmental level to apply and enforce
    existing legislation against Hate Speech.
  4. Promote and support coalitions, alliances and partnerships that work on antisemitism and other
    subjects.
  5. Promote and support student-based targeted activism like ISCA (and others).
  6. Promote, lobby for and support funding for NGOs and/or student programs like ISCA.
  7. Foster, Promote and support awareness-raising programs incorporating core components on
    antisemitism, hate speech, and the Holocaust targeting many specific audiences including the
    wider public.
  8. Promote and encourage the intertwining of antisemitism and holocaust education, since it is not
    possible to educate about the Holocaust without talking about antisemitism.
  9. Promote and support training on counter-speech.
  10. Promote the use humor and irony as powerful weapons in counter-speech, e.g. memes.
  11. Address racism in migrant communities and refugee groups by, amongst other measures,
    education about Holocaust and antisemitism.
  12. Make use of positive references of Muslim-Jewish shared common ground using Jewish and
    Islamic sources.
  13. Increase coalition building with the Social Media industry working on shared goals.
  14. Request and promote precise definitions and terms of service from social media, e.g. on
    terrorism and antisemitism, and at the same time urge the social media Industry to condemn
    terrorist exploitation of their services.
  15. Call upon the Internet Industry to uphold and enforce terms of service which preclude hate
    speech.
  16. Encourage the Internet Industry to use technological means to prevent online hate speech,
    racism, antisemitism.
  17. Research those Human Rights organizations and the BDS movement who pervert the universal
    ideals of human rights by promoting online hatred of Jews.
    Research Governmental and EU funding of anti-Israel campaigns and the creation of open
    guidelines for the funding of human rights organizations that rely on public funds