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Antisemitic incidents from around the world--a partial list: July-December 2010.


Stockholm, July 7: A rabbi was walking home from Stockholm's central train station when four young men of Arab descent yelled, "You will die, fucking Israeli, fucking killer; you will be beaten." The four then ran toward the rabbi, who escaped by jumping into a nearby taxi.

Washington, DC, July 13: Members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter expressing concern about how the federal Department of Education is responding to antisemitism on college campuses. The Zionist Organization of America lobbied for the letter, which was signed by 36 lawmakers and sent last week to Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan. The letter raised questions about the department's Office for Civil Rights' enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2004, ZOA requested that the civil rights office investigate antisemitic incidents at the University of California, Irvine.

Warsaw, July 15: Vandals desecrated the grave of a Polish woman who saved about 2,500 Jewish children from death during World War II. The words "Jews out" were spray-painted on the grave of Irena Sendler, who was recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel.

Junin, Argentina, July 21: Antisemitic graffiti was spray-painted at the local offices of the political party Coalicion Civica Reencuentro, with swastikas and the words "Death to the Jew," an apparent reference to the president of the party, who is Jewish. The incident followed a death threat received by the president days earlier.

Malmo, July 23: A small early-morning explosion blackened the entrance to a synagogue and broke three windows. A note with a bomb threat had been put on the synagogue door the day before.

New York, July 26: Oliver Stone, who is half Jewish, has come under attack for comments he made to the London Sunday Times, which critics are calling antisemitic. In a London interview, the South of the Border director complained about "Jewish domination of the media," and claimed that Hitler did more damage to Russia than he did to the Jews. "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers," he said. "They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has fucked up United States foreign policy for years."

Paris, July 29: Swastikas were spray-painted on several kosher shops and a Jewish school in the center of Paris.

New York, July 30: A New York congressman fired his campaign spokesperson after she told a reporter that the lawmaker's opponent had "received a lot of Jewish money." U.S. Rep. Mike McMahon (D-N.Y.) fired Jennifer Nelson, the communications director for his re-election effort, after she distributed a list titled "Grimm Jewish Money Q2."


London, August 2: Israeli president Shimon Peres has denied calling the British antisemites. In a statement issued late Sunday night by his spokesman, Peres backtracked on quotes attributed to him in an interview with the Jewish news Web site Tablet. "President Peres never accused the British people of anti-Semitism," the statement said, according to the Telegraph of London; "the president does not believe that British governments are motivated by anti-Semitism, nor were they in the past." Peres had caused a storm in England after accusing the British establishment of being "deeply pro-Arab" and "anti-Israeli." "In England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment," he told Tablet in a Q&A conducted by the Israeli historian Benny Morris.

Marmande, France, August 3: A Holocaust memorial in the town of Marmande, near Bordeaux, was vandalized. The monument, which lists the names of camps to which French Jews were deported, was spray-painted with "lies," "Zionism," and dollar signs. Nearby, the same red paint was used to draw swastikas and write "France for the French!"

Moscow, August 8: Moscow State University has issued a textbook on Russian history that some are calling antisemitic because it counts the number of Jews in Soviet governments. The Russian Ministry of Education approved the book, which for the first time in a university history textbook provides the exact percentage of Jews in Soviet governments, and recommended it for history students. Co-authored by Moscow State history professors Alexander Barsenkov and Alexander Vdovin, the publication deals with Russian history between 1917 and 2004. Its underlying theme is interethnic relations in the Soviet Union, focusing on the research conducted by Barsenkov, who heads the Laboratory of Interethnic Relations at Moscow State's Social Systems Research Center. Part of the textbook's forward reads, "For the greater part of its 70-year history, the USSR was ruled by people of non-Russian nationality." The authors write later, "By the 1930s, the Jewish nation was the leader among those represented in the Communist party and the state machinery, in Science and Art."

Toulouse, August 17: A Jewish woman was accosted on a plaza by two men, who reproached her for buying food and not respecting the Ramadan fast. When the woman responded that she was Jewish, the two men called her a "dirty Jew" and hit her in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. A security guard who was present did not intervene. When police investigators later asked the guard why he did nothing, he responded that he was in a hurry to get home to break the Ramadan fast at sundown. The attack reportedly occurred at 7:30 p.m.; sundown on that day was at 8:55 p.m.

Kaunas, Lithuania, August 21: A pig's head, costumed with a hat and sidelocks, was placed outside a synagogue.

Vilnius, Lithuania, August 23: A Lithuanian court has cleared students carrying swastikas of illegally bearing symbols of Nazism. The judge's ruling that the emblem is merely a sign with an ancient history has caused anger. Critics fear it's another step toward the rehabilitation of fascist sympathizers.

Dresden, August 28: The door of a Jewish funeral home was set on fire, but quickly extinguished by firefighters after being alerted by a passing cyclist.


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. September 8: A pipe bomb was thrown at the synagogue an hour before services began for the Jewish New Year.

Caracas, September 19: Venezuelan Jewish leaders met with President Hugo Chavez to discuss the increase in antisemitic attacks in the state-run media. Representatives of the Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations met Chavez Sept. 16 at the presidential palace in Caracas, where they presented him with many examples of antisemitic messages that appear in state-run and government-friendly media. The leaders also asked Chavez to re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel, The Associated Press reported.


Berlin, October 14: European leaders must intervene to save small Jewish communities from an antisemitic onslaught, the head of the European Jewish Congress said. In a statement issued Thursday, Moshe Kantor warned that European Jewish communities are in "grave danger" from antisemitism, some of it officially sanctioned, as made clear by recent sensational antisemitic incidents in Belgium and Sweden. Kantor, who is hosting a conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, later this month on best practices for combating racism and xenophobia, said European Union and European leaders should "launch a campaign against intolerance and antisemitism to remind European citizens that the new Europe was established after the Second World War on the concept of 'Never Again.' "Among the recent incidents he cited were a "Palestine Day" at a Catholic school in Antwerp, during which children were invited to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks. The game was called "Throw the soldiers into the sea." In another incident, a gang shouting "Heil Hitler" and "Jewish pigs" attacked a Jewish children's event in Malmo, Sweden, last weekend.


New York, November 2: The AJC condemned the recent decision of the international cultural body UNESCO to designate two historic Jewish sites in Israel as "Palestinian." In a 44-1 vote, with 12 abstentions, the UNESCO board declared the "Haram al-Ibrahim/the Cave of the Patriarchs and Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb" to be "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories," and asserted that "any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law." In addition, Rachel's Tomb was named as a mosque. Both sites are among the most sacred in the Jewish tradition. UNESCO demanded that Israel remove the two sites from its list of national heritage sites after protests from Arab and Muslim countries, including Turkey. Only the United States opposed the resolution.

Berlin, November 4: German authorities have arrested 23 people from around the country suspected of being involved in a right-wing extremist radio station that played neo-Nazi songs, Federal Criminal Police said Thursday. They were arrested after raids of 22 homes in 10 German states, police said. Some 270 officials were involved in the searches, most of which were in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine Westphalia, along Germany's western border, police said.

London, November 23: A British network of more than 40 part-time Islamic schools and clubs with 5,000 students has been teaching from a Saudi Arabian government curriculum that contains antisemitic and homophobic views, including a textbook that asks children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jews, according to a BBC documentary broadcast on Monday. The 30-minute "Panorama" program quoted the Saudi government-supplied textbook as saying that Jews "looked like monkeys and pigs," and that Zionists set out to achieve "world domination." The program quoted a separate part of the curriculum--for children as young as 6--saying that someone who is not a believer in Islam at death would be condemned to "hellfire."

November 28: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his personal support for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who is accused of being responsible for the genocide in Darfur. In a letter to the Sudanese president, Abbas wrote that he and Palestinians "have complete faith in the wisdom of President Omar Al-Bashir."


Riga, December 7: Swastikas were spray-painted on more than 100 tombstones at the New Jewish Cemetery. At a news conference, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers said, "We absolutely condemn vandalism in Jewish cemeteries and call for everything to be done to find those responsible and repair the damage."

Budapest December 21: The rise of Hungary's far-right Jobbik Party has ratcheted up debate about antisemitism in this country and focused attention on the seeming paradoxes of Jewish life here. On the one hand, a recent article in Germany's Der Spiegel described Budapest as "Europe's capital of anti-Semitism," where Jews are "being openly intimidated" and making plans to leave the country. On the other, Hungary is home to a flourishing and multifaceted Jewish life that finds vigorous public expression in religious, cultural, and even culinary ways, and also enjoys high-profile government recognition. I saw this myself at Chanukah, when I munched on latkes at a Friday night oneg Shabbat, sampled doughnuts at a sit-down dinner for Holocaust survivors, joined 20-somethings at a riotous klezmer/hip-hop gig, and just missed witnessing the foreign minister, Budapest's mayor and other VIPs help light a big menorah set up in the center of town.

Athens, December 21: A high-level priest on the morning show of the largest television station in Greece blamed world Jewry for Greece's financial problems. The Metropolite of Piraeus Seraphim also blamed world Jewry for other ills in the country during his appearance on Mega TV. Mixing Freemasons with Jewish bankers such as Baron Rothschild and world Zionism, the Metropolite said that there is a conspiracy to enslave Greece and Christian Orthodoxy. He also accused international Zionism of trying to destroy the family unit by promoting one-parent families and same-sex marriages. Thirteen minutes into the program the Greek host asked the Metropolite, "Why do you disagree with Hitler's policies? If they are doing all this, wasn't he right in burning them?"

London, December 21: A college senior in Britain faced criticism and calls to resign on Sunday after claiming that historic Jewish suffering is a modern fabrication aimed at allowing Jews to persecute Arabs. Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Student Union, who was raised Mormon, wrote on her Facebook page, "The view that Jews have been persecuted all throughout history is one that has been fabricated in the last 100 or so years to justify the persecution of the Palestinians. To paint the picture that all Jews have always had to flee persecution is just plainly inaccurate."

Toronto, December 21: An antisemitic Islamic Web site police say is operated by a Toronto student who is on the run is back on the Internet after being shut down earlier this year by a Canadian Web-hosting provider. Salman An-Noor Hossain, 25, of Mississauga, operated a Web site called Filthy Jewish Terrorists, and he and the site were the subject of a five-month investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police. The site was shut down in March and Hossain suspended from York University as the OPP investigated him. But the antisemitic site has relaunched, using a host in Switzerland. On Tuesday, Hossain posted a blog identifying himself as the operator of the relaunched site, and using the same design as the old one. The new Web site is registered with generic information, making it impossible to locate him. Last July, the OPP said in a statement that Hossain "willfully promoted hatred and advocated genocide of the Jewish community." His Web site called for direct terrorist attacks.

Lublin, December 22: Bricks painted with swastikas and a firecracker were thrown through the window of the director of a Jewish theater in Poland. The attack on the home of Thomas Pietrasiewicz, director of the NN Theater in Lublin, took place late at night on Dec. 17. A bottle had been thrown at the house a month earlier but had been dismissed as a prank, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported. The newspaper noted that the theater has been the victim of several antisemitic attacks in the past, including the painting of a Star of David on a gallows on the door, threatening letters, and a container with a foul-smelling substance thrown in the building.
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Publication:Journal for the Study of Antisemitism
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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