Here is a round-up of assorted antisemitic incidents that have taken place around the world in the last couple of weeks.
Update: From yesterday’s Times of Israel: Pig’s heads sent to Rome synagogue and the Israeli embassy in Rome.
From Honest Reporting, a couple of examples of antisemitism in sports, although the good news is that action has been taken to counter the bigotry:
The Chilean football federation has banned a top division team from using a new shirt that has the number one shaped as the map of Palestine before the creation of Israel.
Palestino, a club founded by the large Palestinian community in Chile, has used the new kit in three matches.
Jewish organisations complained that the design implied that all the land was Palestinian.
The Chilean federation said it opposed any form of discrimination.
It also issued a fine of $1,300 (£800) to the Santiago-based club.
…while Zoopla is to scrap its £3million sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion over the affair.
The FA has taken more than three weeks to reach a decision, following an extensive investigation into the controversial gesture, which has been branded as a “Nazi salute in reverse” by Jewish organisations.
In the media, the British Economist magazine is up to its old tricks again with a nasty antisemitic cartoon:
Following widespread condemnation on Monday, The Economist has removed a cartoon deemed as anti-Semitic.
However the offending illustration, of US President Barack Obama reaching out to Iran shackled to a congress emblem embossed with Stars of David, is still on a different area of the site.
Critics blasted the cartoon for suggesting that the US is controlled by Jews and Israel.
The anti-Israel and anti-Jewish aspects of the illustration electrified the blogosphere and twittersphere.
The magazine published an editorial note at the bottom of the article on Monday, “The print edition of this story had a cartoon which inadvertently caused offense to some readers, so we have replaced it with a photograph.”
Middle East media expert Tom Gross told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “The Economist is perhaps the most influential news weekly in the world – Bill Clinton, for example, said it was the first magazine he looked at each week when he was president – and people take it seriously. So for it to toy with ugly anti-Semitic stereotypes is very dangerous indeed. In some countries, such stereotypes lead directly to physical attacks on Jews, as we saw in Ukraine and elsewhere this week.”
Gross added: “It is not the first time the Economist has employed anti-Semitism as part of what it pretends to be straightforward political commentary. For example, some years ago, it likened [prime minister] Ariel Sharon to Charles Dickens’s infamous anti-Semitic stereotype, Fagin.”
CiFWatch further analyses the antisemitic assumptions behind this revolting cartoon, and pointedly asks if the Brits at the Economist believe that the Jews control Washington.
Regardless of the Economist’s intent, it’s difficult not to be dispirited by the fact that less than 70 years after the Holocaust, with Jews representing less than 2% of the U.S. population, tropes and graphic representations warning that Jewish ‘pressure groups’ are too powerful are once again becoming fashionable amongst the opinion elite – the herd of ‘independent minds’ who carelessly reinforce the idea, without being haunted by its lethal history, that Jews control Washington.
CiFWatch also has an item dissecting former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s complaint that “pro-Israel cash is stymieing US-Iran peace“:
Finally, Straw cites the greatest obstacle to the normalisation of relations and peace in the region:
Whether a comprehensive deal on Iran can be reached will crucially depend on how far Mr Obama is able to resist the intense lobbying (and financial support) Mr Netanyahu is able to muster in the US Congress.
Beyond Straw’s repugnant suggestion that pro-Israel elements in the US Congress take their marching orders from Jerusalem, and his failure to acknowledge that pro-Israel (and anti-Iran) sentiment is embraced by the overwhelming majority of Americans, it’s important to recall that his recent charges leveled at Jewish groups and Israel seem to reflect a broader narrative of Zionist root causes.
What a revolting specimen. We should be thankful that Straw is no longer in a position of power even though he is managing to cause no little damage nevertheless.
Jack Straw isn’t the only British politician with a tendency to blame the Jews and/or Israel for all sorts of things. Harry’s Place has a series of horrible examples:
MP David Ward abuses Holocaust Memorial Day by juxtaposing the Palestinians with the Holocaust. See the short video clip:
Ward continues his argument on Twitter when he brought the Holocaust into the discussion about Ariel Sharon, and – astonishingly – brought Israel into a review of a film about black slavery.
Why has this man not been ejected from Parliament yet?
Yet another British Labour MP, Grahame Morris, in a sickening tweet, compared the Israeli flag to the Nazi flag.
If this is the face of British politics, I feel sorry for the British and am even more happy I left that benighted Isle.
Update: Read Melanie Phillips’ take on this subject in her excellent article “Lies, bigotry and silence: Britain’s permanent stain“:
The real problem here is not the existence of Jew-haters and Israel-bashers. It is the silence of everyone in a prominent position in the face of such vileness. As far as I can see, no politician from any political party slapped Straw down when he first talked about Jewish control of Washington, nor over his Independent article. No figure of authority, no mainstream newspaper has condemned Morris or the Economist – or if they have, it has been so sotto voce as to be inaudible.
Antisemitism is notably on the rise in France. World Ort (h/t Harry’s Place) talks about the rising popularity of the antisemitic “quenelle” gesture (mentioned here above), with French Jews saying it feels like 1933 all over again.
“The general opinion among students is rage and disbelief that such a situation could be happening in 2014,” said English teacher Lisa Dahan. “How can something like this happen after everything which happened in history? There’s no doubt that this is an anti-Semitic gesture; no-one can ignore its significance. Maybe they could five years ago but today there’s absolutely no doubt. The quenelle has liberated a lot of hatred.
People aren’t afraid to say aloud what they’ve been thinking and saying in small groups before.”
Also in France, a truly sickening example of the old-fashioned classic antisemitism: a dismembered wild pig was left outside the Chabad synagogue in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, north of Paris.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, the anti-Semitism is much more violent. A Jewish man on the way home from the synagogue was stabbed in Kiev, and this was the second such attack in a week:
Three youths ambushed the victim as he made his way home from services at a synagogue in the Podil neighborhood, according to Hatzalah Ukraine, a local Jewish organization.
The assailants beat their victim, Dov Ber Glickman, 28, before stabbing him three times in the feet and fleeing, Chabad emissary Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman said.
On Shabbat a week ago, four men followed Hillel Wertheimer, an Israeli-born Hebrew teacher, home from synagogue and beat him.
“Nowadays, the beating of a defenseless Jewish school teacher is a culmination of anti-Semitism. The Ukrainian government must take tough measures to prevent such incidents in future,” Boris Fuchsmann, president of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine said after last week’s attack.
The World Jewish Congress said Wertheimer’s beating was part of a wider trend of “anti-Semitic incitement and extremist activities” in the country fostered in part by the growing popularity of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party, which the Jewish organization has deemed a neo-Nazi group.
To conclude our sorry tale of woe, here is a simple yet effective video (h/t Michael Kupfer) which demonstrates how the anti-Israel BDS (boycott) brigade is in fact poorly disguised antisemitism:
I don’t think we Jews need to panic about this rise in antisemitism but we must be ever-vigilant. More than that, we need to challenge antisemitism wherever we find it. No more keeping quiet, lying low and hoping the trouble will blow over. It won’t if we don’t confront it. The good news is that we, Jews and Israel, have our own country, the State of Israel, to protect us although we have to do our part to protect it.
We also have many friends throughout the world, and there are many undecided people who would be happy to help us if we only point out the truth to them. Take action and be pro-active!