Lufthansa has apologised after apparently barring all visibly Jewish passengers from a flight due to a mask dispute with a few passengers who happened to be Jewish.

It was reported that there was a dispute between staff managing the boarding of flight LH1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest on 4th May and some visibly Jewish passengers, reportedly over the wearing of masks. The pilot then apparently decided that no visibly Jewish passengers were to be allowed on to the flight, regardless of whether they were part of the same group or were prepared to wear a mask.

video was recorded appearing to show a member of the airline’s ground staff explaining to a passenger that he was being prevented from boarding because he was Jewish.

The Jewish passengers were predominantly American and many had flown from New York in order to visit the grave of a Hasidic rabbi. Around 100 passengers were affected.

The German airline apologised and said that it was investigating the incident, which has caused an uproar in the Jewish world.

In a statement, the airline said: “Lufthansa regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude the affected passengers from the flight, for which Lufthansa sincerely apologises. While Lufthansa is still reviewing the facts and circumstances of that day, we regret that the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to the non-compliant guests. We apologise to all the passengers unable to travel on this flight, not only for the inconvenience, but also for the offense caused and personal impact.

“Lufthansa and its employees stand behind the goal of connecting people and cultures worldwide. Diversity and equal opportunity are core values for our company and our corporate culture. What transpired is not consistent with Lufthansa’s policies or values. We have zero tolerance for racism, antisemitism and discrimination of any type. We will be engaging with the affected passengers to better understand their concerns and openly discuss how we may improve our customer service.”

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has doubled down on Sergei Levrov’s grotesque claim that Hitler had Jewish origins by accusing Jews of collaborating with Nazis and inviting antisemitic genocidal terrorists to a meeting in Moscow.

Mr Lavrov was condemned for remarks on the Italian Rete 4 television channel on Sunday. Asked why Russia needed to “de-Nazify” Ukraine – as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr Lavrov have argued repeatedly in recent months – given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish, Mr Lavrov answered: “Zelenskyy a Jew? Even Hitler had Jewish origins, the main antisemites are Jews themselves.”

Speaking through an Italian interpreter, Mr Lavrov continued: “For a long time now we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves.”

After a chorus of international condemnation for his remarks – including by the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, who observed that portraying Hitler as Jewish and accusing Jews of being the real and worst antisemites was the “basest level of racism” – the Russian Foreign Ministry has doubled down.

In a statement, the Ministry reportedly said: “We have paid attention to the anti-historical statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid, which largely explain the decision of the current [Israeli] Government to support the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv. Unfortunately, history knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and Nazis.” The Ministry further claimed that Israeli mercenaries were fighting with neo-Nazi Ukrainian militias against invading Russian troops.

In addition, it has been reported that a delegation from the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas, has been invited to a meeting with the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow after a rare phonecall between Mr Lavrov and the Hamas leader.

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The Russian Foreign Minister has claimed that Hitler had “Jewish origins” in his latest insulting attempt to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Lavrov made the false assertion, which is based on a long-discredited and antisemitic theory, on Italian television on Sunday.

Asked why Russia needed to “de-Nazify” Ukraine – as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr Lavrov have argued repeatedly in recent months – given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish, Mr Lavrov answered: “Zelenskyy a Jew? Even Hitler had Jewish origins, the main antisemites are Jews themselves.”

Speaking through an Italian interpreter on the Rete 4 channel, Mr Lavrov continued: “For a long time now we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves.”

The President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Israel led a chorus of international condemnation of the remarks, and were joined by the US Secretary of State, Germany’s Antisemitism Commissioner and the Italian and Canadian Prime Ministers.

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, observed that portraying Hitler as Jewish and accusing Jews of being the real – and worst – antisemites was the “basest level of racism”.

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A Swedish newspaper has handed an award to a celebrated journalist despite him having written a pitying article for a terrorist who murdered Jewish children in Toulouse in 2012.

Veteran journalist Göran Greider, who has been Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Dala-Demokraten since 1999, has been given the prestigious Lagercrantzen award by Sweden’s biggest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, to celebrate a career in which he has published approximately 30 books and already won many other prizes. Those who awarded him the prize state that he is a “lovely body of a man in Swedish cultural life.”

However, in March 2012, Mr Greider penned a piece sympathising with Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah, who shot three Jewish children in the Toulouse school massacre, and blamed the state of Israel for their murder.

Mr Merah, 23, born and raised in Toulouse, went on a killing spree beginning on 11th March, shooting an off-duty French Army paratrooper. Four days later, he killed two off-duty French soldiers and wounded another. On 19th March, he burst into the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, opening fire and killing rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two sons Arié, five, and Gabriel, four, and Myriam Monsonego, seven, who Mr Merah shot at point-blank range after his first gun jammed. Mr Merah also wounded Bryan Bijaoui, seventeen.

In his article for Dala-Demokraten, published five days after the murders, Mr Greider described Mr Merah as “a tragic example of how an unstable man is torn apart by his time: he hated the military for the war against the Taliban and he hated Israeli for what the Israeli military exposed the Palestinians to,” citing Mr Mehra as a victim of French class injustice and xenophobia, and suggesting that he would become a political pawn in that year’s French Presidential election.

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Easter carol singers in the Dutch city of Ootmarsum have faced criticism for the alleged antisemitic content of one of their songs.

Ootmarsum, about 80 miles east of Amsterdam, has hosted the traditional carolling procession – known to locals as vlöggeln – since at least 1840. It consists of dozens of Catholic men singing as they walk a particular route through the city several times a day on the first and second days of Easter.

They sing a song entitled “Christ Resurrected” and its lyrics, which are printed and handed around to onlookers, excoriate “the Jews who with their false council sacrificed Jesus on the cross”.

It is not only the content of the song that has drawn protests from the Jewish community, but the connotations of how it is organised.

Eight lead singers dressed in raincoats, known as the Poaskerls, lead the carolling. They must be single Catholic men who have no intention of getting married in the next four years. The point is a rite of passage: the eight Poaskerls accept that they are no longer youths and become adults. The oldest of them smokes a cigar. He is the treasurer of the group and given the nickname of the “Judas”.

The accusation of “Deicide” – the belief that the Jews are collectively responsible for the death of Jesus Christ – is part of the classic repertoire of antisemitism, and has led to innumerable acts of violence against and mendacious claims about Jews for centuries. Since 1965, however, the Catholic Church asserted, though “the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ”, Jews cannot be held collectively responsible for this, then or now.

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Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, has spoken out about the use of antisemitic slogans during anti-Israel demonstrations.

Hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Berlin, Hanover and Dortmund for the annual Al-Quds Day march – an Iranian-backed anti-Israel parade held throughout the world – chanting antisemitic slogans and reportedly attacking journalists and the police.

Some of the chants, like “Free Palestine from the river to the sea”, are common features at these demonstrations. The chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state — and its replacement with a State of Palestine — and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, which is a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Video footage posted to social media showed participants in these protests also shouting phrases like “Scheiße Jude!” (“S**tty Jew!”), “Drecksjude” (“dirty Jew”), and “Strike, oh Qassam, don’t let the Zionists sleep.” The latter is a reference to the kind of rocket fired by the genocidal antisemitic terrorist group Hamas at Israeli civilian targets, and Hamas’ military unit – the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades – shares the name of the rocket.

Samuel Salzborn, Professor of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Gießen and the Antisemitism Officer for the City of Berlin, said: “Antisemitic terror against Israel was backed up with anti-Israel slogans, while at the same time the hatred is directed against all Jews. The core of these assemblies is antisemitism – nothing else.”

Nancy Faeser said: “There is no place in our society for antisemitism. The rule of law must act consistently here. We must never get used to antisemitic insults – no matter from where and from whom they come.”

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Jewish leaders in Rome have spoken out against a cartoon depicting Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, with a hooked nose, which is a classic antisemitic stereotype.

The image, by satirical cartoonist Vauro Senesi, shows profiles of Mr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin side-by-side surrounded by the words “No alla guerra…senza ze e sensa vla!” (“No to war without Zes and Vlas”, a pun on the phrase ‘No ifs or buts’). While Mr Putin is represented with a stern, square visage, Mr Vauro’s representation of the Ukrainian President gives him a very prominent hooked nose.

In a tweet, President of the Comunità Ebraica di Roma (Jewish Community of Rome), Ruth Dureghello, said that “It is not a coincidence, but a habit that a certain gentleman depicts Jews with hooked noses in the style of the Defence of the Race. Not for this reason is it less serious and no one can get used to shame.”

Ms Dureghello was referring to the fortnightly Italian publication Difesa della razza (Defence of the Race) that ran from 1938 to 1943. It is widely regarded as the main tool for promoting antisemitism by the Italian fascist regime headed by Benito Mussolini, which ended in 1945 with the Allied victory in World War Two. Difesa began publication shortly after the 1938 Manifesto della razza (Manifesto of Race), which stripped Italian Jews of their citizenship and Government and professional positions.

This is not the first time that Mr Senesi has been accused of drawing inflammatory cartoons. In 2012, an Italian court fined Italian journalist Peppino Caldarola €25,000 for allegedly slandering Mr Senesi, after Mr Caldarola produced a satirical version of one of Mr Senesi’s cartoons that allegedly depicted Jewish Italian politician Fiamma Nirenstein in a classic antisemitic form. The President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, called the ruling “a travesty”.

Mr Senesi has denied any allegations of antisemitism, describing himself as an “anti-Nazi communist”. He said: “In this drawing there is no reference to the Jewishness of Zelenskyy, something which is wholly meaningless to me. If I draw a caricature (it’s called that because it ‘charges’ the facial features) it is obvious that I exaggerate his features so that it resembles him: Zelenskyy has a major nose not because he is Jewish but because it is his nose. I have never thought that Jews necessarily have a hooked nose, also because I know very many who have noses of various kinds. I would have preferred not to answer all those cretins who have commented on Zelenskyy’s nose. I’m only doing so because it is bad faith unless it is imbecility.”

Italian Senator Andrea Marcucci took to Twitter to denounce Mr Senesi, writing: “Re-proposing Nazi propaganda on the Jews to draw President Zelenskyy is literally a disgusting operation.”

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It has been reported that two men have been charged with causing the death of a French Jewish man who was fatally wounded after being hit by a tram.

The two suspects, reported to be aged 27 and 23, are now the subject of a manslaughter investigation by police in Bobigny, six miles north-east of the centre of Paris. However, though the alleged antisemitism behind the crime has been widely reported, the public prosecutor said: “There is currently no evidence to establish the discriminatory nature of this attack.”

The suspects are instead being investigated for “intentional violence resulting in death without the intention of causing it.”

While the death of Mr Cohen, 31, was at first treated as a traffic accident, his family went on to release video footage that appears to show him being attacked by a group of men, leading him to flee for safety without noticing the oncoming tram. Mr Cohen was taken to hospital but did not survive his injuries.

Mr Cohen is believed to have been wearing a kippah, or skullcap, during the attack, and the family called upon the police to reopen the investigation into his death as they felt his visible Jewish identity played a role in his attackers’ motivation.

It was reportedly only when the family started asking questions, handing out fliers in post boxes throughout the neighbourhood and urging witnesses to come forward, that someone eventually came forward with the crucial video footage that showed that the victim was being attacked moments before his death.

The victim’s father, Gerald Cohen, said: “Why is the family the one who needs to bring the evidence to police investigators? If we hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have known the truth. We want justice for our son Jeremy.”

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The global governing body behind the international motor sport, The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has launched an investigation after the winner of a karting race appeared to make a Nazi salute while celebrating his victory on the podium.

Russian driver Artem Severiukhin, fifteen, who was competing under the Italian flag due to sanctions against the country of his birth since its invasion of Ukraine, seemed to thump his chest and raise his right arm with a flat palm before laughing after winning the first round of the European Championship in Portugal on 10th April.

Following the incident, Mr Severiukhin has had his contract with Swedish team Ward Racing terminated. The team said that it condemned the driver’s behaviour in the “strongest possible terms” and is “deeply in shame”.

In a tearful video account of the incident, Mr Severiukhin said: “Standing on the podium I made a gesture which many perceived as a Nazi salute. I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the most terrible crimes against humanity. I know it’s my fault, I know I’m stupid, and I’m ready to be punished. But please understand that I did not support Nazism or fascism with this gesture.”

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The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) has condemned antisemitic messages discovered written in the bathroom of the law building at the Paris Nanterre University.

The graffiti includes a Star of David with “MEDIA” written on top, phrases such as “Hitler, you’re the best”, and other slogans that evoke the concept of Jewish control over the media.

“This antisemitism, unabashed, assumed, in front of thousands of students and in the total indifference, it is every day,” reported the UEJF president Samuel Lejoyeux to Le Figaro Étudiant. “It’s complicated to be a Jewish student…we are constantly brought back to the question of Israel, to the conspiracy that whites dominate everything, and that Jews are ‘super whites”.

“We condemn in the strongest terms and in an absolute manner”, responded Philippe Gervais-Lambony, president of the university “any antisemitic and racist act”. The university then reported that it was cleaning the graffiti and launching an investigation.

According to a survey commissioned by UEJF in 2019, 45% of Jewish and non-Jewish respondents have witnessed antisemitism at school.

In February, a report by France’s Jewish Community Security Service said that antisemitic incidents in France had skyrocketed by 75% in 2021.

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A far-right political party has won seven seats in Hungary’s general election.

Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) won 6.7% of the vote in the election, which means that it is now not only in Parliament for the first time, but it has also become Hungary’s third-largest party.

Our Homeland was founded in 2018 after a split with the nationalist Jobbik party, which first came to Europe-wide attention in the 2009 European Parliament elections. The President of the European Jewish Congress has described Jobbik as an “unashamedly neo-Nazi party” and, elsewhere, the Party has been referred to as an “antisemitic organisation”. Jobbik’s use of well-known antisemitic canards about Jewish financial control has been called “overt antisemitism” and antisemitic rhetoric has even been described as Jobbik’s “trademark”.

The Party has, however, spent the last seven years recasting itself as a moderate conservative party. Our Homeland was formed by former Jobbik members unhappy with this rebranding exercise.

Though Rabbi Shlomó Köves, Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox EMIH-Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, has described Hungary as one of the safest places for Jews to live in Europe, the emergence of Our Homeland as an electoral force has drawn concern from Hungary’s 100,000-strong Jewish community. 

However, Rabbi Köves also made a point of saying that in the past, both Jobbik and Our Homeland “openly had racism and antisemitism on their agenda.”

“Both at this point are not openly making antisemitic statements, but they’re very dangerous. And the real problem that I see is that since the left joined Jobbik [to oppose Fidesz], if in the future anyone else in the government would want to cooperate with Mi Hazank — not that it seems necessary for any reason — but it would be very hard to argue why they shouldn’t do it.

“Throughout this whole [opposition building] process there’s been a legitimisation of these extreme-right neo-Nazi groups.” 

Our Homeland’s criticisms of globalisation have been described as being “spiced up” with antisemitic conspiracy theories, including references to a “global elite”, the Jewish Hungarian financier George Soros, and the Rothschild banking dynasty.

Hungary’s controversial long-time Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and his national-conservative Fidesz Party, won Sunday’s election, increasing its vote by about twenty points and gaining two parliamentary seats. This marks Mr Orbán’s fourth successive term as Prime Minister, his fifth in total.

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The family of a French Jewish man who was fatally wounded after being hit by a tram has said that antisemitism may have played a role in the incident. 

While Mr Jeremy Cohen’s death in February was initially treated as a traffic accident, new video footage released by the family appears to show a gang of men attacking Mr Cohen, 31, prompting him to flee for safety without noticing the tram. 

Mr Cohen is believed to have been wearing his kippah, or skullcap, during the attack, and the family have now called upon the police to reopen the investigation into his death as they feel his visible Jewish identity played a role in his attackers’ motivation.

It was reportedly only when the family started asking questions, handing out fliers in post boxes throughout the neighbourhood and urging witnesses to come forward, that someone eventually came forward with the crucial video footage that showed that the victim was being attacked moments before his death.

The victim’s father, Gerald Cohen, said: “Why is the family the one who needs to bring the evidence to police investigators? If we hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have known the truth. We want justice for our son Jeremy.”

The footage of Mr Cohen was released to the public this past Monday, which was also the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Halimi, a 74-year-old Jewish woman living in Paris who was murdered in 2017 by her twenty-seven-year-old Muslim neighbour, Kobili Traoré. Mr Traoré tortured Ms Halimi before throwing her out of a window, yelling “Allah Akbar,” “I killed the shaitan,” which is an Arabic word for ‘devil’ or ‘demon’, along with antisemitic vitriol.

In a disgraceful decision last year, France’s Court of Cassation ruled that Ms Halimi’s killer could not stand trial due to being high on cannabis whilst committing the murder.

Last year, Campaign Against Antisemitism held a rally outside of the French Embassy in solidarity with French Jews opposing the Court of Cassation’s unjust ruling, joining simultaneous rallies around the world.

The speeches can be watched in full on our YouTube channel.

A few months later, it was announced ​​that a French Parliamentary commission of inquiry would be established in order to investigate the murder of Sarah Halimi. However, in January of this year, the inquiry was closed. The results of the 67,000 word report found that police had arrived on the scene before Ms Halimi was killed but waited outside of her apartment during the entire incident, apparently unable to hear her screams. The report shockingly concluded that the officers, judges and psychiatrists involved in the case had done everything by the book.

This led to a disagreement between those on the committee itself, with the report only being passed on a seven to five vote, with Meyer Habib, the French Parliamentarian who formed the commission, accusing police and fellow lawmakers of lying and engaging in a cover-up. 

In February, a report by France’s Jewish Community Security Service said that antisemitic incidents in France had skyrocketed by 75% in 2021.

Last year, the murderer of French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was sentenced to life in prison.

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A neo-Nazi activist and rapper from Austria has been handed a ten-year jail sentence by a Vienna court.

The 37-year-old artist, who recorded music under the name ‘Mr Bond’, was found guilty of glorifying Nazi ideology. This is a crime in Austria under the country’s 1947 Verbotsgesetz (Prohibition Act), which not only banned the far-right paramilitary organisations that flourished even after the defeat of the Nazi regime, but made it illegal to deny, condone or try to justify the Holocaust.

Mr Bond’s music was based on the appropriation of existing rap songs, to which he gave new lyrics with Nazi and antisemitic themes. One such song was used by the assailant of the October 2019 attack outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, in which two people died. The murderer, Stephan Balliet, filmed his crime and put it on the internet, soundtracked by Mr Bond’s song.

Mr Bond was described as “particularly dangerous” by the court. In the same trial, his brother was sentenced to four years in prison for running an antisemitic website.

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It has been reported that the director of the Jewish community in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk has been stabbed by an attacker shouting antisemitic statements.

Igor Perelman was reportedly stabbed three times while out for a walk in the centre of the city.

Vitaliy Kamozin, Chief Operating Officer of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, stated that Mr Perelman’s wounds have been treated and he is recovering from the attack. Mr Kamozin said: “There were antisemitic statements, but the motive is not yet clear.” The incident is apparently being examined by the police.

The Russian war on Ukraine has elicited a plethora of Nazi comparisons and is witnessing actual neo-Nazi soldiers on the battlefield.

President Putin of Russia justified his war on Ukraine in part by claiming that he needed to “denazify” the country, a stance that was reinforced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and apparently also adopted by China. Mr Lavrov also compared the United States to Hitler, stating: “Napoleon and Hitler, they had the objective to have the whole of Europe under their control…Now Americans have got Europe under their control. And we see the situation has really demonstrated what role the EU is playing in the context of the global situation. They are just fulfilling a role. So we see, like in Hollywood, there is absolute evil and absolute good and this is unfortunate.”

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Councillors in the northern Bavarian town of Bayreuth have voted to give new names to two streets once dedicated to noted antisemites.

One was named after the bishop, Hans Meiser, the first Landesbischof (Regional Bishop) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria from 1933 to 1955. Bishop Meisner, boasting a huge following among Bavarian Protestants, was said to have had Nazi ties and once wrote that there was something “corrosive, caustic, dissolving about the Jewish mind”. It has been renamed Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Straße in honour of the anti-Nazi theologian.

Hans-von-Wolzogen-Straße, named after the friend and biographer of the antisemitic composer Richard Wagner, is now to be called Friedelind-Wagner-Straße. Friedelind Wagner, the composer’s granddaughter, escaped Nazi Germany to the United States in 1941 after being implicated in anti-Nazi propaganda. Baron von Wolzogen, believed to have shared the composer’s antisemitic views, was the editor of the publication Bayreuther Blätter, which published antisemitic material, from 1878-1938.

Richard Wagner lived in Bayreuth from 1873 until his death in 1883. The Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Opera House) was constructed especially for the purpose of showing Wagner’s operas. His villa, Wahnfriend, was converted into a museum dedicated to his life and work after the Second World War.

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German football club Borussia Dortmund has hosted a conference aimed at tackling antisemitism in world football.

The club organised the event in collaboration with the German Football League, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the World Jewish Congress.

Problems with the far-right loom large in Borussia Dortmund’s history. Though it does not distinguish the club from many other German organisations at the time, the club’s chairman in the 1930s was a member of the Nazi Party. During the 1980s, the club’s fanbase included the Borussenfront, a far-right faction who would regularly target Dortmund’s Turkish population and sing songs about sending fans of arch-rivals Schalke to Auschwitz.

During a 2013 Champions League match with Ukraine’s Shaktar Donetsk, a group of far-right Dortmund fans launched themselves at fan representative Jens Volke and Thilo Danielsmeyer, the leader of the Dortmund Fan Project, a group founded in 1988 to combat xenophobia and racism and promote tolerance and inclusion. Mr Volke was struck in the face when he confronted three neo-Nazis chanting far-right slogans. Mr Danielsmeyer was followed into a toilet and then beaten. 

For some time, Borussia Dortmund appeared reluctant to recognise the problem of far-right activism and antisemitism among a minority of its fans.

Recently, however, the club has made strenuous efforts to challenge this culture, and reach out to the Jewish community.  The club’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, Daniel Lörcher, said that making “clear statements against antisemitism” had a huge impact on the city’s Jews, who now feel that their home town is “against antisemitism and is open for Jewish people.”

Tottenham Hotspur also hosted a conference this week that includes tackling antisemitism on its agenda, after the event was moved from Chelsea Football Club in light of recent events.

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A pig’s head and an antisemitic epithet were reportedly left outside the Moscow apartment of a respected Russian journalist.

Alexei Venediktov, the Editor of the Echo of Moscow radio station, took to social media to report the incident, posting one photograph of a pig’s head with a wig on, lying on the floor by his front door, and another picture of a Ukrainian coat of arms fixed to the door itself with an antisemitic slur attached to it.

Echo of Moscow was formed towards the end of the Soviet Union, and since then has been a significant representative of the new freedoms granted as part of the policy of Glasnost (openness) instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, as part of a campaign to increase government transparency, allowing citizens to publicly discuss problems with the communist system, and potential solutions, for the first time.

Later, Mr Veneditkov, who has Jewish heritage, revealed a still from CCTV footage outside his apartment building. It appears to show a figure posing as a food delivery worker arriving at his front door. However, Mr Venediktov said that the food company in question contacted him and explained that the uniform seen in the video has been out of use for several years.

Mr Venediktov expressed his concern on the social media platform Telegram, writing: “This in the country that defeated fascism. Why not just fix a six-pronged star to my apartment door?”

In addition to the antisemitic element, this incident is also the latest example of the Russian Government’s crackdown on independent media.

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A Jewish man from the Netherlands is reported to have been the victim of multiple antisemitic attacks, but claims that his complaints have been ignored by Dutch authorities.

Kevin Ritstier, 34, from the town of Wijchen in the east of the country, says that he has been repeatedly attacked by a street gang sometimes numbering up to fifteen young men.

Mr Ristier says the harassment originated when the men targeted him after seeing him returning home from a Bar Mitzvah celebration wearing items of traditional Jewish religious clothing, including a kippah and a tallit, or prayer shawl.

This rapidly turned into a campaign of harassment in which the men pounded on Mr Ritstier’s front door and made antisemitic remarks, including “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” (a common chant among Dutch football fans) and “Cancer Jew”.

Mr Ristier has also been physically harmed. After one assault, his leg was slashed and he was left bruised and suffering from a split lip.

He added that his numerous formal complaints to the police, lodged after each incident, have led nowhere, claiming that the authorities have ignored each one and that he has been made to feel like he has been bothersome.

The police have reportedly said that criminal proceedings have not been taken against any members of the gang due to lack of evidence, but insist that Mr Ristier’s complaints are being taken “very seriously”.

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To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the first trains taking the country’s Jews to Auschwitz, the National Council of the Slovak Republic has officially denounced the transport and appealed to remaining survivors and their relatives for forgiveness.

Slovakia was originally the eastern province of the first Czechoslovak Republic, formed after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918. After Hitler annexed the Sudetenland in the wake of the 1938 Munich Agreement, Slovakia seceded from Czechoslovakia, becoming the Slovak Republic.

This state would, in turn, become a Nazi satellite state following the racial policies of the Third Reich, in which Slovakian Jews were robbed of their human and civil rights. Eventually, 70,000 of them were sent to Nazi concentration camps in two waves, the first from March to October 1942 and the second from September 1944 to March 1945. The vast majority of the Jews reported to these camps would be murdered. 

Slovak parliamentarians also observed a minute’s silence in honour of the victims.

The only party that did not take part in the vote on the resolution was the openly neo-Nazi People’s Party Our Slovakia. Party leader Marian Kotleba is a vocal supporter of Jozef Tiso, President of the Slovak Nazi puppet state. Mr Kotleba has called Jews “devils in human skin” and promoted the “Zionist Occupied Government” conspiracy theory. Other party members have been charged with Holocaust denial, a criminal offence in Slovakia, on several occasions.

In the 2020 Slovakian parliamentary elections, People’s Party Our Slovakia won seventeen of the 150 available seats with a vote share of 7.97%. The Party reportedly has almost no support in any of the country’s major cities, including the capital Bratislava.

On 5th April 2020, Marian Kotleba was given a six-month suspended sentence for harbouring neo-Nazi sympathies. The appeals court did, however, dismiss an earlier ruling convicting Mr Kotleba of the illegal use of neo-Nazi symbols, for which he had been sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

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Two Austrian men who publicised myths about coronavirus vaccinations by wearing Stars of David have reportedly been convicted of violating the Alpine republic’s strict anti-Nazi laws.

The two men, who have both refused to be vaccinated, had worn yellow felt stars bearing the word “Ungeimpft” (unvaccinated) at anti-vaccination demonstrations held in Vienna.

A court in Vienna heard that the defendants, known as “Mr K”, 50, and “Mr B”, 34, pled not guilty to infringing upon Austria’s 1947 Verbotsgesetz (Prohibition Act), which not only banned Nazi paramilitary organisations, but made it illegal to publish or broadcast denials or minimisation of the Holocaust. Austria’s Jewish community has recently argued that these laws should be extended to ban the utilisation of Holocaust-related imagery and slogans in order to push anti-vaccination conspiracy theories.

Much of the rhetoric that has emerged from anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists has compared lockdowns to the Holocaust. These crude and inflammatory comparisons have included protesters donning yellow stars bearing the word “Unvaccinated”, a comparison that has been made across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.  

Such symbolism is reminiscent of the kind of insignia that Jews in Germany and occupied Europe were forced to wear by the Nazis. Those wearing such items in 2021 do so in order to compare the persecution of the Jewish people with protective measures sanctioned by the German federal government in order to deal with the pandemic. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

The judge handed both men fifteen-month suspended sentences and three years’ probation.

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The publication of the 2021 Antisemitism Report by the Berlin Attorney General’s Office has reportedly sparked concerns among authorities in the German capital.

The annual report, which has recorded rising antisemitism in recent years, states that there have been two main trends in antisemitic discourse over the last twelve months: coronavirus conspiracy theories and incidents apparently inspired by developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Much of the rhetoric that has emerged from anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists has compared lockdowns to the Holocaust. These crude and inflammatory comparisons have included Berliners donning yellow stars bearing the word “Unvaccinated”, a comparison that has been made across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.  

Such symbolism is reminiscent of the kind of insignia Jews in Germany and occupied Europe were forced to wear by the Nazis. Those wearing such items in 2021 do so in order to compare the persecution of the Jewish people with protective measures sanctioned by the German federal government in order to deal with the pandemic. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

The report also contains a section on antisemitic incidents relating to Israel. It states that these kinds of incidents are inspired by the intensification of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group. Protests and demonstrations against Israel resulted, it says, in “many anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incidents.” In response to the spike in antisemitic incidents, Germany banned the Hamas flag in June.

The report clearly shows a growing antisemitism problem in the German capital. In 2021, Berlin authorities dealt with up to 661 cases motivated by antisemitism, including “antisemitic animosities, insults, threats and physical attacks.” This marks an increase from 417 such incidents in 2020 and 386 in 2019. This follows a similar report put out by the Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS), a Berlin-based agency that reports and documents antisemitic incidents throughout Germany. The RIAS study revealed that there had been 522 antisemitic incidents registered in Berlin between January and June 2021 – a period that includes the elevated tensions between Israel and Hamas – marking a seventeen percent year-on-year increase, and the highest number of such incidents since 2018.

Chief Prosecutor Claudia Vanoni said of the most recent report that “In 2021, the year of the 1700th anniversary of Jewish life in Germany, antisemitism was omnipresent as well.”

We reported last year that the German Government will pay €35 million to combat antisemitism. German Education and Research Minister Anja Karliczek said: “This is the highest number [of antisemitic incidents] in the last couple of years. There’s reason for worry that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that the unreported number of daily attacks on Jews is substantially higher.”

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A book that claimed to expose the betrayer of Anne Frank has been removed from circulation after its findings were revealed to be unsound.

Prompted by research by Dutch historians, Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan’s The Betrayal of Anne Frank, published by the Amsterdam-based firm Ambo Anthos, will no longer be available.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank alleged that Arnold van den Bergh, a member of Amsterdam’s Jewish council – an administrative body forcibly established by the Nazis as part of their occupation of the Netherlands – led the police to the Frank family’s address at Westermarkt.

Campaign Against Antisemitism reported in February 2022 that Ms Sullivan’s book would no longer be printed until more work could be done to verify Ms Sullivan’s claims. However, after a 69-page report refuting the author’s findings, the publisher has now asked bookstores to return any stock they have already bought.

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A new survey of French Jews has found that 85 precent believe that antisemitism is widespread in their country.

The survey was published by IFOP, a French international polling and market research firm.

The survey also found that 64 percent of the overall French population believes that antisemitism is widespread.

According to the survey, 68 percent of French Jews have faced antisemitic harassment or abuse. Twenty percent of French Jews have reported being the victims of at least one antisemitic physical assault. It was noted that attacks were more likely if the victim was wearing a religious symbol.

Around 30 percent of people polled said that “Jews are richer than the average French person,” while 37 percent believed that Jews had “too much influence in the French economy and financial system.”

It is over 65-year-olds who are more likely to have antisemitic prejudices according to the survey.

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Denmark has become the latest country to develop an official action plan to tackle antisemitism for students in schools.

In a statement published by Eurydice, the European Union’s network for Europe-wide analysis and information about education systems and policies, Danish policymakers state that they have advanced fifteen initiatives to improve young people’s understanding and knowledge of the Holocaust and antisemitism.

Of the initiatives about antisemitism research and prevention, protection of Jews and Jewish institutions, information for how to deal with antisemitic incidents, and issues surrounding foreign policy, the Eurydice statement specifies five: compulsory education about the Holocaust at all levels of the Danish education system, from primary to secondary school pupils; expanding efforts towards Holocaust remembrance; ensuring teachers understand the harms caused by ostracising pupils based on their background; broadening interreligious dialogue between young people; and providing students with more information about the life and culture of Danish Jews.

These initiatives aim to let pupils know how to fight antisemitism within a broader framework based on mutual tolerance and recognising how what they say and do may well have negative consequences for others. They also encourage educational institutions to make sure that students acquire the knowledge and skills to fight antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories.

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The Russian war on Ukraine has elicited a plethora of Nazi comparisons and is witnessing actual neo-Nazi soldiers on the battlefield. The war has also divided opinion within the far-right globally, as discussed on this week’s episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism.

President Putin of Russia justified his war on Ukraine in part by claiming that he needed to “denazify” the country, a stance that was reinforced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and apparently also adopted by China. Mr Lavrov also compared the United States to Hitler, stating: “Napoleon and Hitler, they had the objective to have the whole of Europe under their control…Now Americans have got Europe under their control. And we see the situation has really demonstrated what role the EU is playing in the context of the global situation. They are just fulfilling a role. So we see, like in Hollywood, there is absolute evil and absolute good and this is unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy has compared Mr Putin to Hitler and described the invasion of his country as “pure Nazism”. The comparisons drew condemnation from Yad Vashem Israel’s Holocaust museum, for “trivilisation” of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust references became particularly acute when reports emerged of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center being hit by a Russian missile aiming for a nearby Kyiv television mast. Mr Zelenskyy then called for Jewish people around the world to speak out against the Russian invasion, saying: “For any normal person who knows history, Babyn Yar is a special part of Kyiv, a special part of Europe…It is a place of prayer and a place of remembrance for the 100,000 people killed by the Nazis…Who do you think you are, to make it a target for your missiles?” It subsequently emerged that the Memorial had not been damaged. 

While war inevitably gives rise to unpleasant and inflammatory rhetoric, the presence of actual neo-Nazis on the battlefield has been a greater cause for alarm. In particular, attention has been drawn to Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that formed during the 2014 War in the Donbas and has since been subsumed into the Ukrainian National Guard, putting neo-Nazi troops on the Government’s payroll. In 2020, Facebook came under pressure following the revelation that a network of 80,000 white supremacists was operating on its platform In more than 40 neo-Nazi websites, where merchandise sales were funding the Azov Battalion and the Misanthropic Division, another far-right Ukrainian group. One of the Azov Battalion’s Facebook pages at the time was reportedly called “Gas Chambers”, and visitors were directed to websites featuring imagery of white skinheads standing next to murdered Jews and black people.

Marking International Women’s Day, NATO tweeted a message of solidarity with Ukrainian women, only to delete the tweet after observers noticed that a female soldier in one of the images was displaying a neo-Nazi sun symbol on her uniform.

All this being said, the Azov Battalion ran in Ukraine’s 2019 election but won only two percent of the vote, which is markedly lower than far-right gains in other Eastern European countries. Indeed, Ukraine voted overwhelmingly to elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy as President, a Jewish man whose family was partially wiped out during the Holocaust.

On the Russian side, it was reported that the Russian President hired the Wagner Group, a collective of mercenaries who have been described as a private paramilitary organisation, to assassinate Mr Zelenskyy. The head of the group is Dmitry Utkin, a reported neo-Nazi. Photographs of Mr Utkin show Nazi SS tattoos on his shoulders and a Nazi-style eagle, or Reichsadler, on his chest.

In addition to those on the ground, the global far-right has also been divided in its stance on the war. Some on the far-right have expressed regret that two “white” nations are engaged in a “brother war”, with sympathy shown for Ukrainian civilians. Others are backing Ukraine, and the Azov Battalion in particular, inferring that if the Battalion is opposing Mr Putin, he must be the real enemy. Yet others are siding with Russia, which is viewed by its far-right supporters as the saviour of the white race, in contrast to Ukraine, which has supposedly been heading towards self-destruction through efforts to integrate with Western, liberal Europe.

One thing that the far-right does agree on, predictably, is that the Jews (or, as they are sometimes more subtly described in these circles, “globalists”) have masterminded the war. Whether it is because Mr Zelenskyy is Jewish (as are, for that matter, several senior Ukrainian politicians), or because Mr Putin is supposedly in thrall to Jewish oligarchs, the far-right agrees that the Jews are to blame. For example, Nick Griffin, the former leader of the BNP, posted on his Telegram channel: “#IStandWithRussia against NATO and those Jesus referred to as the Synagogue of Satan,” while the former KKK leader David Duke too has said that the war is a conspiracy by Jews to kill non-Jews.

Full analysis of this topic is available in Episode 15 of Podcast Against Antisemitism.

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The Council of the European Union has developed new “conclusions” in the fight against antisemitism. 

The Council, which is composed of the heads of government of each member state of the EU, has passed a resolution to treat antisemitism as something different from other kinds of racism, inviting member states to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism. commit to urging social media companies to “rapidly detect, assess and remove illegal online hate speech of a racist and antisemitic nature”, increase security at Jewish institutions, strengthen the powers of law enforcement to tackle antisemitic hate crime, and implement various other measures.

The document calls on the European Commission to treat “the fight against all forms of racism and antisemitism as priorities of the European Union.”

The resolution comes after the European Commission published a strategy to tackle antisemitism for the first time last year.

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It has been reported that Dutch universities have denied an anti-Israel group’s request in which they asked universities to reveal any ties they may have with Israeli and Jewish organisations.

Universiteiten van Nederland (UNL), an umbrella group that represents fourteen Dutch universities, said last week that the request had caused “considerable unrest” but under freedom of information rules, they were obligated to reply. 

The request was made by The Rights Forum, an organisation founded in 2009 by former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas van Agt, after alleging that pro-Israel university groups were stifling debates concerning Israel.

The organisation said that it had requested the universities to reveal their ties with Israeli academic institutions and companies, and other groups “known for their active and unconditional support for Israel’s domination of the Palestinians”.

Binyomin Jacobs, the Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, remarked that the request “reeks of antisemitism” and that it implied a “shadowy Zionist/Jewish cabal is operating in the Dutch university system”.

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For the first time in the country’s history, Romanian officials have paid tribute to the hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution during the Holocaust who died in the tragic sinking of a ship.

In December 1941, nearly 800 Jewish people boarded the MV Struma, a ship due to travel from the southern Romanian coastal city of Constanţa to Mandatory Palestine via Turkey. However, once the boat docked in Istanbul, Turkish authorities refused to provide entry to the refugees, leaving the boat in the harbour for over two months. Authorities then towed the boat out to sea without an anchor or working engine, and the boat sank the very next day. It is believed that a Soviet submarine mistook the MV Struma for a hostile vessel, and torpedoed it, leaving only one survivor.

On Tuesday, a ceremony, attended by approximately 80 people, was held in commemoration at Constanţa. Romanian Rear Admiral Mihai Panait said at the event: “We commemorate today not only a tragic event, but we also bring back the attention to the suffering caused by the repression of the Jews during the Second World War.”

David Saranga, Israel’s ambassador to Romania, said: “It’s the first time that Romania officially commemorates the Struma’s tragedy on Romanian soil, and it’s part of the efforts of successive governments in recent years to face the past and the events of the Holocaust era, when half of the country’s Jewish community was murdered.”

Last month, a Romanian political party was criticised for referring to Holocaust education as a “minor topic”.

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Antisemitic conspiracy theories are believed to have been a contributing factor as to why a man murdered his own family last year.

German police said that the man, who lived in the State of Brandenburg and, before killing himself, reportedly shot his wife and children aged four, eight and ten on 7th December, feared that his children would be taken away from him owing to a forged coronavirus document.

According to Germany’s Interior Ministry, investigators uncovered messages sent by the man that indicated he was fearful that Germany’s vaccine mandates were part of a plan to “to halve the world population and establish a new world order under Jewish leadership.”

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

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A prominent Athens bishop has been acquitted by a court of antisemitic rhetoric, with the activists behind the claims being found guilty of “falsely accusing” him.

In 2015, Bishop Seraphim, the Metropolitan of Piraeus, allegedly said that the “international Zionist monster” that “controlled” the left-leaning government in power at the time was to blame for new legislation increasing civil rights among same-sex couples, while five years earlier he told a local television station that Jews were to blame for Greece’s debilitating debt crisis and that they had orchestrated the Holocaust. He later stated that these comments were his personal opinions and not those of the church.

Instead, the two human rights activists were found guilty of “falsely accusing” the Greek Orthodox bishop of racist hate speech by the three-member Athens tribunal and were given twelve-month jail sentences, suspended for three years.

Andrea Gilbert, one of the two activists who works at the Greek Helsinki Monitor rights group, said that the “outrageous” verdict was “representative of the institutionalised antisemitism that exists in Greece.” Ms Gilbert added: “We have immediately appealed and will fight it all the way.”

Ms Gilbert, in addition to the other convicted activist, the Helsinki Monitor spokesperson, Panayote Dimitras, had brought the complaint against Bishop Seraphim in April 2017. The pair accused the Bishop of public incitement to violence and hatred, in addition to abuse of ecclesiastical office.

The accusations referred to a statement that Greece’s Central Board of Jewish Communities, KIS, described as containing “well-known antisemitic stereotypes, conspiracy theories and traditional Jew-hating attitudes.”

Over two years later, their complaint was dismissed by a prosecutor, who argued that the Bishop’s statement should have been viewed within the framework of the Christian Orthodox church. The pair were charged in November and the case was referred to trial by a prosecutor after the Bishop filed his own complaint against the activists for reportedly making false statements.

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It has been reported that Dutch universities have requested more time from a pro-Palestinian group’s request in which they asked universities to reveal any ties they may have with Israeli and Jewish organisations.

Universiteiten van Nederland (UNL), an umbrella group that represents fourteen Dutch universities, said that the request had caused “considerable unrest” but under freedom of information rules, they were obligated to reply. 

The request was made by The Rights Forum, an organisation founded in 2009 by former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas van Agt, after alleging that pro-Israel university groups were stifling debates concerning Israel.

The organisation said that it had requested the universities to reveal their ties with Israeli academic institutions and companies, and other groups “known for their active and unconditional support for Israel’s domination of the Palestinians”.

Binyomin Jacobs, the Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, remarked that the request “reeks of antisemitism” and that it implied a “shadowy Zionist/Jewish cabal is operating in the Dutch university system”.

Rabbi Jacobs added that he was concerned by “the number of universities that were so compliant with such a transparently antisemitic request. It reminds us that most mayors cooperated during the occupation to pass on the names of their Jewish citizens to the Germans.”

UNL has said that it has asked the Rights Forum for a delay “so that they have time to process it”, and added: “The request is for the disclosure of institutional partnerships between Dutch universities and the organisations specified in the request. It specifically excludes partnerships between individual academics.”

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Police in Germany have reportedly pressured Telegram to remove far-right content.

Telegram is a Russian-founded online messaging app with end-to-end encryption as well as ‘self-destruct timers’ on messages and media. Though used by many ordinary people, the service has also become the main messenger app for the far-right.

Recently, Telegram blocked 64 channels due to pressure from the German Government and police. 

Among those blocked from the platform are Attila Hildmann, a far-right German nationalist who has been accused of anti-Jewish prejudice.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (BKA) asserted that Telegram has been more aggressive in removing propaganda from Islamist terror groups than far-right conspiratorial content. The BKA argues that Germany’s Network Enforcement Act makes it an obligation for Telegram to monitor and remove illegal content. 

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A German politician has condemned education officials for failing to remove antisemitic stereotypes from school textbooks.

Jonas Weber of the Social Democrat Party (SPD) in Baden-Württemberg said that disturbing portrayals of Jewish people could still be found in the State’s educational resources, stating: “Unfortunately, we have the impression the Ministry of Education does not want to set the necessary priorities in the fight against antisemitic stereotypes in textbooks.”

It was said that some of Mr Weber’s primary concerns lie with medieval and Renaissance period texts and cites examples such as Martin Luther’s “Against the Jews And Their Lies” from 1543, a seventeenth-century Spanish Catholic text, as well as enlightenment thinkers including Voltaire, Feuerbach, Marx and Schopenhauer.

Dr. Michael Blume, the first antisemitism commissioner for the State of Baden-Württemberg, asked for the creation of a committee “to make textbook approval in Baden-Württemberg more transparent”, prompting the State’s Ministry of Education to analyse a sample of textbooks for examples of antisemitism, with the assistance of the Central Council of Jews and Baden-Württemberg’s Centre for School Quality and Teacher Training (ZSL).

However, Michael Kilper, Head of the Department for General Education schools, said: “The representations of Judaism are predominantly technically correct and appropriately differentiated.”

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The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle has fired five employees – including four from its Arabic desk – and has dropped a number of freelancers following an audit on antisemitism.

The audit was prepared by former Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, integration expert Ahmad Mansour, and Beatrice Mansour, an expert on the prevention of radicalisation.

Although the audit found no systemic problem, it led to the firings. Another eight cases are still under investigation.

According to the Bild newspaper, one of the fired journalists had described Israel as a “cancer that should be cut out”. Another wrote in a 2018 essay that a “Jewish lobby controls many German institutions” to prevent criticism of Israel.

In 2019, a freelancer and trainer at the Deutsche Welle Academy compared Jews to “ants” that had invaded “through our weak points”.

The audit began last year, seeking online postings and information on those implicated in allegations of antisemitism, including , including “distributors and partners of Deutsche Welle.”

According to the audit, the staff in question had not merely engaged in criticism of Israel, which is protected free speech, but had used “classic antisemitic imagery up to and including Holocaust denial.”

The Director General of Deutsche Welle, Peter Limbourg, apologised this week and announced that a ten-point “code of ethics” would be established to prevent such problems in the future. It will reportedly include explanations of antisemitism, and the difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. Deutsche Welle also announced plans to strengthen its Israel desk.

The country’s main Jewish umbrella group, the Central Council of Jews in Germany (CCJ), welcomed Deutsche Welle’s actions. “There must not be taxpayer-financed Israel-hatred and antisemitism in the media,” declared CCJ president Josef Schuster.

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A circular issued by the Italian Ministry of Education to heads of schools has caused anger in Italy’s Jewish community for comparing a local massacre to the Holocaust.

The guidelines were issued ahead of the National Memorial Day, or Day of the Exiles, on 10th February, which also commemorates events known as Foibe, during which up to 350,000 members of the ethnic Italian population in north-east Italy were killed by Yugoslav Partisans during and after WWII.  

The guidelines, which seek to draw a parallel between the killing of the Italians, whose leader Mussolini was a close ally of Hitler, with the wholesale slaughter of Europe’s Jews, has generated outrage.

The National Association of Italian Partisans (ANPI) – who fought against Mussolini – has stated that the parallel is “aberrant and unacceptable”, while Emanuele Fiano, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and a prominent figure in the Italian Jewish community, said that the comparison between “the project of total extermination of the Jewish people [and the] massacre of Foibe by Tito’s troops is totally wrong.”

On Twitter, ANPI London wrote that “By comparing the Foibe killings with Nazi genocide, the Italian right is whitewashing the country’s past.”

Osvaldo Napoli of the centre-right political party, Cambiamo, said that comparing the persecution of the Jewish people, who were victims of “the Nazi-Fascist genocide,” with the violence of Marshal Tito’s national-communism is “offensive to the Jews who survived the extermination.”

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The Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos has apologised for releasing a book that claimed a Jewish person betrayed Anne Frank, stating that not enough research was put into the book in order to make this claim.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank, the book which made international headlines after it was released last month, will no longer be printed until more work can be done to verify claims made. 

The disputed claim alleged that Arnold van den Bergh, who was a member of the Jewish council in Amsterdam, which was an administrative body the German authorities forced Jews to establish, led the police to Frank’s address. However, critics argue that Mr van den Bergh would not have had access to that information.

The publishing house said in a statement that it should have taken a more “critical” stance.

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Antisemitic incidents in France have skyrocketed by 75% in 2021.

According to the French Jewish community’s main watchdog, the Jewish Community Security Service (SPCJ), 589 antisemitic hate crimes were recorded in 2020, including an increase of 36% in physical assaults. 

The use of knives and guns was also noticeably higher than in previous years, and the SPCJ further noted that there was an increasing phenomenon of attacks happening inside or just outside of the victims’ homes.

In almost a third of incidents, attackers argued that they had “anti-Israel” motivations. During the height of the flare-up in May 2021 between Israel and Hamas, the SPCJ documented an average of five antisemitic incidents a day.

Last year, the murderer of French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was sentenced to life in prison.

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Jan Lipavský, the Czech Foreign Minister and member of the progressive Czech Pirate Party, has announced that the Czech Republic will adopt a national strategy to combat antisemitism.

The Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry is reportedly preparing the strategy in tandem with the Czech Interior Ministry, other ministries and Jewish organisations.

Mr Lipavský noted that the Czech Republic could be proud of the fact that the country has a relatively low number of antisemitic incidents, but added that “even here the amount of speech and other forms of racial intolerance on the Internet is rising. This also applies to the Romani minority.” 

The move comes after the Federation of the Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic reported a rise in antisemitism, though still believed that antisemitism was at a relatively low level compared with other European countries and remained safe for Jews.

Mr Lipavský also added that the country would be hosting an international forum on the Holocaust in November. 

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A Canadian academic accused of involvement in a terrorist bombing outside a Parisian synagogue in 1980 is to stand trial.

Hassan Diab, 67, a Lebanese-born sociologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, is to stand trial in France in 2023 over the attack on the rue Copernic synagogue in Paris that killed four people and wounded 46. The bombing took place on Friday evening on 3rd October 1980, near the beginning of Shabbat and during the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah.

The bombing was the first deadly attack against Jewish people in France since the end of WWII.

The neo-Nazi Federation of National and European Action took responsibility, but investigators concluded that Arab terrorists were in fact behind the attack, and eventually sought the extradition of Prof. Diab, which was granted in 2011. He spent over three years in prison in France while the investigation continued, only for the charges to be dismissed in 2018, with Prof. Diab able to return to Canada. Appeals courts in France reversed the dismissal, however, and the trial is now set to go ahead in April 2023.

Prof. Diab claims that he was in Lebanon at the time of the bombing, and it remains unclear whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to make out a case against him. It is believed that the prosecution is relying in part on evidence that allegedly links Prof. Diab’s handwriting to that of the suspected bomber.

The Hassan Diab Support Committee, which includes the former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, condemned the prosecution, describing it as “surreal and disgraceful”. The committee also called for changes to Canada’s extradition treaty with France to prevent Prof. Diab from being extradited again.

prof. Diab has asserted: “My life has been turned upside down because of unfounded allegations and suspicions. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in terrorism. I have never participated in any terrorist attacks. I am not an anti-Semite.”

For now, French authorities have not yet made an extradition request to Canada, and Prof. Diab’s lawyers have reportedly told Canadian media that he may be tried in absentia.

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Image credit: Justice for Hassan Diab

A new study has reported that in 2020, Jewish people in Sweden were on the receiving end of 27% of religious hate crimes, despite them only making up 0.1% of the population.

The report noted 170 antisemitic hate crimes occurred in 2020. Sweden has a population of 10 million, of which Jews make up approximately 14,900. 

The report from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention also says that the figure is lower than that of the 280 antisemitic hate crimes documented in the 2018 report. However, it added that the 2020 numbers may be skewed due to structural changes in its most recent report.

In October, world leaders called for further measures to tackle antisemitism and Holocaust denial at Sweden’s Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

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At a recent funeral in Rome, a coffin was draped in a Nazi flag while mourners gave Nazi salutes, sparking outrage among Italian clergy.

The funeral was reportedly for neo-Fascist Forza Nuova Party member Alessia Augello.

In a statement, the Vicariate of Rome dubbed the incident as “serious, offensive, and unacceptable.”

A Roman Jewish community organisation reportedly said that the incident was “even more outrageous because it took place in front of a church,” adding: “It is unacceptable that a flag with a swastika can still be shown in public in this day and age, especially in a city that saw the deportation of its Jews by the Nazis and their fascist collaborators.”

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

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A Romanian political party has been criticised for referring to Holocaust education as a “minor topic”.

The Alliance for the Union of Romanians party, or AUR, which holds 43 seats in Romania’s Parliament, issued a statement accusing the Government of relegating “fundamental subjects” such as “exact sciences, Romanian language and literature and national history” in favour of “minor topics” such as “sexual education” and “history of the Holocaust.”

The Government, the statement said, is trying “to undermine the quality of the education system in Romania.”

The Government’s Special Representative for Combating Antisemitism, Alexandru Muraru, reportedly hinted at the possibility of outlawing AUR, calling the Party “a threat to Romania’s constitutional order.”

In his Party’s defence, AUR’s co-leader, Claudiu Tarziu said: “We are Christians, so we can’t be antisemites.” He denied calling the Holocaust a “minor topic” and referenced the “sinister horrors” visited upon on Jews by “the Nazi regime”.

The AUR has drawn controversy since its surprising election result in 2020, when it won 9% of the vote and entered Parliament for the first time, as its leaders have reportedly defended historical figures who served in Ion Antonescu’s wartime regime, which was allied with the Nazis.

According to official Romanian statistics, between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews were murdered or died in territories under Romanian administration during WWII.

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A French mosque has been shuttered over support for Islamist groups and dissemination of antisemitism, just two weeks after another was ordered to close for inciting hatred.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed that he had ordered a mosque in the southern city of Cannes to close due to antisemitic remarks heard there and its alleged support for two Islamist groups, CCIF and BarakaCity, which the Government dissolved last year because they were spreading Islamist propaganda.

The closure of the mosque came just two weeks after the closing of another mosque in Beauvais in northern France due the content of its imam’s sermons, which reportedly included hatred, violence and Jihad “targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews.”

Late last year, yet another mosque – in Allonnes, 200km west of Paris – was closed for six months after sermons were delivered apparently defending armed jihad and “terrorism”.

In an interview, Mr Darmanin said that 70 mosques in France were considered to be “radicalised”.

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Belgian police are investigating videos circulating on social media which appeared to show a group of soccer fans in Antwerp giving Nazi salutes and shouting antisemitic slogans and chants that included references to Hamas and to gassing and burning Jews.

According to the local newspaper which reported the incident, it took place at a restaurant near the soccer stadium and involved fans of Antwerp’s Beerschot team.

In an unrelated development, the Royal Belgian Soccer Association fined Brugge soccer team, Club Brugge, around £2,000 for antisemitic chants heard at three recent matches. Fans of the club were heard shouting “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Jew.”

Antisemitic soccer chants occur regularly where the fans of certain teams perceive the rival team as having strong Jewish support or links to the Jewish community, such as Amsterdam’s Ajax and Britain’s Tottenham Hotspur. There are times, however, that the soccer chants have also been heard outside the context of sports, including at a graduation party of high school students in the Netherlands.

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A “Nazi druid” is on trial in Germany on charges of sedition and violation of gun laws.

Seventy-one-year-old Karl Burghard Bangert, the so-called “Nazi druid,” is one of four men on trial. Mr Bangert is also charged with sedition over a series of social media posts in which he reportedly called for the murder of Jews, denied the Holocaust and incited hatred against refugees.

Mr Bangert and his three co-defendants are allegedly members of Reichsbürger, a right-wing, German conspiracy movement. They are charged with illegally hoarding explosives and weapons between 2015 and 2017. Weapons found in a 2017 raid by security services included a flamethrower.

According to reports, Mr Bangert is a former insurance agent who became well-known locally for his eccentric appearance and for a TV news report of 2008, in which he claimed to have been born 2,500 years ago and to have been raised, after his mother’s death, by an uncle “the great wizard Merlin.”

According to Nicholas Potter, an expert on the far-right from Berlin’s Amadeu Antonio Foundation, Mr Bangert had a “virulent antisemitic, conspiracy-driven worldview” alongside his belief in New Age spiritualism. In this world-view, Jews “have been waging a secret war against the German people for centuries,” explained Mr Potter.

Another far-right expert, Jan Rathje from the Centre for Monitoring, Analysis and Strategy, said that Mr Bangert presented himself “on the one hand as a druid” and on the other “especially via social media” as an “antisemitic resistance fighter.” 

Extremism experts say that while New Age and far-right beliefs might “seem unlikely bedfellows,” their adherents share “an anti-authoritarian and anti-State mindset.” Experts also warn that connections between new age and far-right ideology have become “particularly visible during the pandemic.”

The trial, in Mannheim, has been adjourned until April.

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A 74-year-old Jewish woman has reportedly been beaten and robbed in Paris, France. 

According to the Paris-based National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA), the attack occurred on 13th December where the two suspects, described as being Black and around sixteen or seventeen years of age, reportedly pretended to be members of the building’s security personnel and rang the victim’s door.

When the victim, currently identified only as Mrs LU, opened the door, the suspects reportedly forced their way into the abode before beating and robbing the victim. 

The suspects allegedly tied Mrs LU to a chair, punched her repeatedly across the face and ordered her to reveal where she kept her jewellery. A piece of tape was also reportedly applied over her mouth to muffle her cries. 

It was also alleged that while one of the suspects robbed the apartment, the other stood guard over the victim. The pair then fled the scene with all of the victim’s jewellery, leaving the victim bruised and in a state of shock.

The BNVCA noted that Mrs LU’s apartment was affixed with a mezuzah which would have identified her as Jewish to the suspects. The organisation said: “We call on the police to do everything possible to identify the two attackers, and to carry out patrols in order to protect the residents of this neighborhood, which has become dangerous and infamous.” 

In 2017, Ms Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman, was murdered by her 27-year-old Muslim neighbour, Kobili Traoré, after he tortured her before pushing her out of a window to her death. Mr Traoré was said to have yelled “Allah Akbar,” “I killed the shaitan,” which is an Arabic word for ‘devil’ or ‘demon’, along with antisemitic vitriol.

Campaign Against Antisemitism held a rally in April in solidarity with French Jews in opposition to the Court of Cassation’s ruling to let Sarah Halimi’s murderer go free.

In November, Yacine Mihoub was convicted of stabbing 85-year-old Mireille Knoll, a French Holocaust survivor, eleven times in her Paris apartment and was sentenced to life in prison. Ms Knoll was murdered during a botched robbery in March 2018 that also saw her body set alight in an effort by the perpetrators to burn her apartment.

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Graffiti that read “Juif = Nazi” has been scrawled on a street in Uccle, a Jewish area of Brussels.

The vandalism, which was discovered in Belgium’s capital city earlier this week, was described by Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Head of the European Jewish Association, as “pure antisemitism”. “It is one thing to write a ridiculous comment on a wall, and we can put any manner of graffiti down to ignorance or sheer stupidity. But this on public footpaths and at a road junction is much more calculated, much more sinister,’’ he said.

“It is no secret that a large part of the Jewish community in Brussels lives in Uccle. And this is a message to them, and indeed to every Jew in Brussels. We are equated to those who murdered six million of us. We are not welcome. We are responsible for something unspoken, unnamed.

‘’This is pure antisemitism. On the streets of an affluent neighbourhood in Brussels today. I hope to hear from politicians and community groups of all hues that this is not something that will be tolerated. Or is in any way reflective of the society where we all seek to live in peace and dignity,’’ Rabbi Margolin added.

Uccle Mayor Boris Dilles reportedly labelled the act “heinous”, adding that “The police on the one hand and the road services on the other are doing what is necessary.”

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An online shop in Ukraine has removed a sweatshirt from its website that parodies the brand Lacoste with the word “Holocoste” after receiving complaints.

Action came about after Elina Katz, a Program Coordinator for Project Kesher in Ukraine, noticed the merchandise online. Members of the organisation then wrote a letter to the website and within two hours, the article of clothing had been removed.

Vlada Nedak, the Executive Director of Project Kesher Ukraine, said: “Our lawyer said to me, ‘Two hours, it’s too long. They should answer you in less than 30 minutes.’

“The next time I will know this better.”

In September, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law banning “antisemitism and its manifestations”. Despite this, multiple Chanukah displays were vandalised across three cities in Ukraine during the festival of Chanukah.

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Image credit: Screenshot from Project Kesher

Thierry Baudet, leader of the ring-wing party Forum for Democracy (FvD), posted content to Twitter in which he compared the Dutch Government’s policy on combating COVID-19 to the Holocaust. However, Mr Baudet was ordered by a judge to delete the four tweets or face a fine of €25,000 a day until they have been deleted. 

Mr Baudet was also forbidden from making such references in future speeches. 

In one tweet dated from 14th November, Mr Baudet wrote: “The current situation can be compared to the 1930s and 1940s. The unvaccinated are the new Jews, the ignorant who exclude them are the new Nazis and NSB [wartime Dutch Nazi organization] members.”

“There, I said it,” he added.

In another tweet, accompanied by images of unvaccinated children paired with one of a Jewish boy wearing a yellow star in Nazi Germany, Mr Baudet wrote: “Ask yourself: is this really the country you want to live in? In which children who are ‘unvaccinated’ are not allowed to go and see Santa Claus? And need to be dried off outside after swimming lessons?” 

“If not: THEN RESIST! Do not participate in this apartheid, this exclusion!”

The case was brought against the right-wing party leader by two Dutch Jewish organizations, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) and the umbrella Central Jewish Consultation (CJO), and was backed by four Jewish Holocaust survivors. The plaintiffs asserted that the tweets were “seriously insulting and unnecessarily hurtful to the murdered victims of the Holocaust, survivors and relatives.” 

The judge, upholding the ruling, said that Mr Baudet “spoke in an unnecessarily offensive way to victims of the Holocaust and their relatives,” before adding that “The right to freedom of expression for a representative of the people is not unlimited.”

The FvD have said that it will be appealing with the decision, tweeting that “Freedom of expression is restricted by the judge,” and called the ruling a “totally hallucinatory statement.”

In February, Mr Baudet provoked outrage by stating that the trials against Nazi leaders in Nuremberg after World War II were “illegitimate”.

Mr Baudet resigned as leader last year after several members of his Party were accused of antisemitism, but was reinstated shortly after. 

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Calls to remove the new Austrian Interior Minister from his position have arisen amid antisemitism accusations.

Gerhard Karner was made Interior Minister on 6th December, but shortly after, accusations of antisemitism surfaced from comments he made over a decade earlier when he was said to have accused Austria’s center-left Social Democrats of working “against the country with gentlemen from America and Israel,” and described them as “climate poisoners.”

The German news website Der Spiegel, who published the report which featured the accusations, also included a quote from the Minister’s spokesperson who said that he was referring to “dirty campaigning” by an Israeli political adviser.  

An open letter, which included signatories from Jewish students, academics, Nobel Prize-winning playwright Elfriede Jelinek and others, stated: “The antisemitic dimension of this comment is obvious. We are convinced that this person is completely unsuited to the office of interior minister and call on the government to put our security in the hands of moderate politicians.”

Mr Karner reportedly said on Monday that he regrets his comments, but rejected the accusations of antisemitism. “If things I said then were understood ambiguously, I regret that,” Karner said. “The comments were never in any way intended to go in this direction, and I would not make them now.”

Mr Karner has also reportedly arranged to meet with Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG) and the Federal Association of Jewish Religious Communities in Austria, who had asked the Minister for clarification on his comments.

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A sign bearing the words “Vaccination makes you free” was displayed at an anti-vaccination rally in Poland on Tuesday. 

The sign references the slogan which sat atop the gates to Auschwitz concentration camp, one of the most notorious concentration camps where over a million people were murdered, that read: “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Makes You Free”).

Members of Poland’s far-right Confederation Party were photographed posing with the banner at the demonstration, which drew criticism from Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, Israel’s chargé d’affairs in Warsaw. Ms Yaalon tweeted: “Most of my father’s family was murdered in @Auschwitz along with more than a million other victims. This sign is disrespectful to their memory, and I find it unbelievable that such Holocaust distortion can happen 300 km from where the original sign stands.”

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum also denounced the display, writing: “‘Arbeit macht frei’ is one of the icons of human hatred. The exploitation of the symbol of suffering of victims of #Auschwitz, the largest cemetery in Poland and the world, is a scandalous expression of moral decay. It is particularly embarrassing when it is done by Polish MPs.”

The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, commented that the scenes on display were a “dramatic and dark picture of how the holy memory of monstrous German crimes can be harmed.” 

During the summer, “Jews are behind the pandemic” and “rule the world” chants were heard at an anti-vaccine rally in Głogów, Poland.

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

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Recorded incidents of antisemitism in Berlin during the first half of 2021 are the highest that they have been compared with other recordings from January to June in the past three years, according to a report published yesterday by RIAS, a Berlin-based monitoring institute.

Between the months of January and June of this year, 522 incidents of antisemitism were reported, which is an increase of about seventeen percent year-on-year. This is the highest number reported since 2018.

The report also found that 211 of the incidents – almost half of the total – were reported during the month of May, which marked the eruption of the most recent conflict between Israel and the antisemitic terrorist group, Hamas.

Samuel Salzborn, the antisemitism Commissioner for Berlin, said that “Every antisemitic act is one too many,” adding: “We need to aim to have no more antisemitic incidents. Unfortunately, we are far away from being there.” 

Mr Salzborn noted that “antisemitic incidents pile up when people find excuses to justify their hatred,” and went on to say that “This was most recently visible in the context of the ideological conspiracist ‘Querdenken’ scene, and during the anti-Israel demonstrations in the spring.” He continued: “We have to keep these structures of opportunity for antisemitic expressions and deeds more closely in mind earlier on and not allow them to become antisemitic hotspots in the first place.”

The RIAS report found 22 instances reported that referred to damage of property, twelve recorded attacks and 447 episodes of hurtful behavior, including antisemitic verbal abuse and harassment, the latter of which were documented at 35 antisemitic gatherings and demonstrations. The study also found 26 cases of antisemitic letters distributed.

A fifth of incidents was labelled as “modern” antisemitism, with typical cases involving conspiracy theories about Jewish people wielding political or economic power.

48% of the incidents reportedly related to Israel, and approximately 43% involved Holocaust denial or minimisation. Holocaust denial was found to be present in more than three-quarters of all antisemitic incidents that related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, it was reported that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) had punished Union Berlin football club after some of its fans performed Nazi salutes and shouted antisemitic abuse towards opposing supporters during its match with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa.

During the summer, the German Government announced that it will pay €35 million to combat antisemitism.

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The Chabad Jewish Center in Milan, Italy has been vandalised, it was reported earlier this week. 

Photographs of the desecration which surfaced earlier this week show the premises in disarray with religious materials, including Jewish prayer shawls and the Chabad house’s Torah scroll, scattered across the floor.

Milan police reportedly stated that the criminals stole two laptops, 155 euros and some precious medals.

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Image credit: StopAntisemitism.org

Residents of Castrillo Mota de Judíos, a Spanish village in Northern Spain, discovered graffiti earlier this week in four locations, including at the entrance to the townhall, on the signpost welcoming visitors to the village, at the site of a future Sephardic centre, and on a sign marking the village’s twinning with an Israeli city.

The village, which has only about 50 residents and no Jewish inhabitants, was originally called Castrillo Motajudíos, or Jew’s Hill Fort, in 1035, when Jews sought refuge there from a nearby pogrom. In 1627, the town was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos, or Fort Kill The Jews, during the Inquisition.

In June 2015, following a referendum held by Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, the village’s name reverted to Castrillo Mota de Judíos, with the Mayor also undertaking efforts to restore the village’s Jewish heritage.

Some of the graffiti amended signs to the town’s old name, while the leader of the Inquisition was also praised.

Mayor Rodriguez said: “These are cowardly, intolerant and ignorant people who do not value neither heritage nor people; nor do they have respect for anyone or anything. These intolerant people are not allowed here.”

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A German news broadcaster has suspended cooperation with a Jordanian television station following the discovery of antisemitic comments and caricatures posted on the channel’s social media network.

Deutsche Welle announced the suspension following reports in Vice magazine about the Jordanian TV channel, Roya TV.

Deutsche Welle’s Guido Baumhauer apologised for their failure to “notice these disgusting images” and said that the broadcaster would now have to “re-evaluate the cooperation” with Roya TV.

He added that some content disseminated on the station’s social media channels was not compatible with Deutsche Welle’s values and they would now “review our selection of partners even more critically,” particularly with regard to antisemitism.

Deutsche Welle said it had originally selected Roya TV for partnership because of the Jordanian station’s promotion of gender equality, the rights of minorities in Jordan and media literacy among young people. 

Deutsche Welle has a “legal mandate to bring German and European perspectives into the international discourse,” a spokesperson added, and had “established an active dialogue with media partners in many countries.”

Deutsche Welle is also currently investigating allegations of antisemitism against several employees in its own Arabic editorial department as well as freelance journalists abroad.

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German media company Deutsche Welle has suspended four employees and one freelancer amid its investigation that was launched this week after accusations of antisemitism were made against it.

The accusations come from a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, which alleges that several members of Deutsche Welle’s Arabic editorial team made antisemitic comments.

One example mentioned states that an editor was said to have called the Holocaust an “artificial product” on Facebook, reportedly adding that Jews would continue to control “people’s brains through art, media, and music.”

Another reported remark said that “everyone involved with the Israelis is a collaborator and every recruit in the ranks of their army is a traitor and must be executed.”

Deutsche Welle’s investigation is allegedly being carried out by former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and psychologist Ahmad Mansour. The media company said that the staffers would remain suspended until the investigation was complete and that it would “immediately draw the necessary consequences” once it has concluded.

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A far-left Dutch party has reportedly labelled an event commemorating the Holocaust “inherently racist”.

In a draft of its program for Amsterdam’s upcoming March elections, the BIJ1 Party allegedly claimed that “the Indonesian, Surinamese, Korean, Iraqi victims of the Dutch (or of the violence supported by the Netherlands) are not commemorated,” and that as long as this is the case, “Amsterdam should not serve as a platform” for the event.

Amsterdam’s official memorial commemoration for victims of the Holocaust and Dutch casualties of war is held on 4th May.

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Multiple Chanukah displays have been vandalised across three cities in Ukraine.

In the country’s capital city of Kyiv, a public menorah that was erected in the city’s northeast district of Troieshchyna was knocked down and its lamps were smashed. This incident occured last Tuesday and was reported on Facebook by Eduard Dolinksy, the Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

In the eastern city of Dnipro, five teenagers have been arrested after being suspected of knocking down a large menorah on 29th November.

It was also reported that on 30th November, unidentified individuals in Nikolayev, a city in southern Ukraine near Odessa, cut the lighting strips that decorated a large menorah.

Last week, hundreds of residents of the Pennsylvania town of Lancaster turned out to support the town’s Jewish community after a chanukiah in the town-centre was vandalised.

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German media company Deutsche Welle is launching an investigation after accusations of antisemitism have been made against it.

The accusations come from a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, which alleges that several members of Deutsche Welle’s Arabic editorial team made antisemitic comments.

One example mentioned states that an editor was said to have called the Holocaust an “artificial product” on Facebook, reportedly adding that Jews would continue to control “people’s brains through art, media, and music.”

Another reported remark said that “everyone involved with the Israelis is a collaborator and every recruit in the ranks of their army is a traitor and must be executed.”

Deutsche Welle now plans to launch a full, independent investigation, stating: “On the orders of the Intendant, Deutsche Welle will immediately commission an independent external investigation.”

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One of the Jewish cemeteries in Belgrade, Serbia was vandalised on Wednesday night when an axe was thrown through its chapel window.

A spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Belgrade said that the vandalism had caused serious material damage, adding that “severe physical injuries or even death” could have occurred had the chapel been occupied at the time. “This act reminds us of Kristallnacht,” they added.

On Thursday, European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin called upon Serbia’s Minister of Internal Affairs to carry out a full investigation. Rabbi Margolin said: “It is clear that whoever was responsible has no respect for the dead, never mind the living. We extend our support to our Jewish brothers and sisters in Belgrade and Serbia as a whole, who must be reeling at this attack, and feeling vulnerable.

“I have written to Serbian minister [sic] of Internal Affairs asking for a robust response to the attack, as well as a full throated condemnation, lest the antisemites that carried out this act believe that it is now open season on Jewish buildings in Serbia.”

It was also reported that Serbia’s Jewish community has faced other incidents of hostility recently, which included a campaign of repeated, antisemitic harassment against a well-known Jewish epidemiologist that involved comparisons made between him and Josef Mengele, and the infamous Nazi doctor. Demonstrations were also reportedly made outside of the epidemiologist’s home, whereby demonstrators wore yellow Stars of David.

Threats of a second Holocaust, as well as Nazi symbols, antisemitic emails, have also been made against the Community’s Facebook page.

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Image credit: Chabad Serbia

A far-right Italian lawmaker has apologised for referring to a Holocaust survivor by the tattoo number that was forced upon her as a teenager in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Liliana Segre, who received the tattoo when she was thirteen years old, has been an outspoken supporter of COVID-19 health measures. It was on this point that Fabio Meroni, a member of the city council of Lissone who represents the far-right party Northern League, criticised her in a Facebook post, whereupon he referred to her using the number of her tattoo, stating: “All that was missing [in the vaccine debate] was…75190.”

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

The far-right figure was condemned for his comments by both political and religious figures alike. Lissone councilors from the center-left Partito Democratico urged Mr Meroni to apologise, stating that equating the process of vaccination with Nazis was “vulgar” and would “offend all people with historical awareness and a sense of humanity.”

Mr Meroni responded by saying that he used “that number instead of her name to avoid getting banned from Facebook.” 

Walker Meghnagi, President of Milan’s Jewish community, said that it was “intolerable” for a public figure to use such “vile terms” against “those who have suffered the horror of the racial laws on their own skin.”

After receiving substantial backlash for his comments, Mr Meroni wrote that “in this climate of hatred, unfortunately, I too got involved and I tried to express my thoughts in a totally wrong way,” later adding: “I want to apologise to Senator Liliana Segre, it was not my intention in any way to offend you and if one day I will have the honor of being able to speak to you, I will personally explain my thoughts.”

The initial post has since been removed from Facebook. 

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VK, a Russian social media platform with an active user base of at least 60 million, is reportedly rife with antisemitism, online watchdog Fighting Online Antisemitism has said. 

Some examples of the alleged content include offensive caricatures that evoke classic antisemitic tropes of Jews with exaggerated facial features, as well as portraying Jews in positions of power over the media.

Comparisons between Jews and rodents and leeches were also made, and it was even reported that content promoting Holocaust denial and admiration for the Nazis were present. 

Allegations that Jewish people have masterminded the COVID-19 pandemic to further their own gains were also not uncommon. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

It was also reported recently that VK was fined 3 million roubles for not deleting banned content, though it is not known whether this content relates to the antisemitic posts reported. 

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Image credit: Fighting Online Antisemitism

A new survey has revealed that antisemitic beliefs persist across the German population and especially among voters of the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland Party (AfD).

The survey, conducted by polling firm Forsa on behalf of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, showed that almost a third (30%) of Germans agreed that Jews exploit German guilty over the Holocaust to “derive an advantage”. The figure rose to 59% of supporters of the AfD.

More than one in five (21%) respondents agreed with the suggestion that Israeli policies mirrored those of Nazi Germany, a direct reference to the International Definition of Antisemitism. This rose to 32% among AfD supporters.

Almost a quarter (24%) believe that Jews exercise disproportionate influence over German politics, while half of AfD supporters agreed.

Despite these findings, 92% of respondents agreed with the statement, “I have nothing against Jews.” However, only 57% of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “I have nothing against Zionists.”

Recently, updated figures were published by Germany’s federal government showing that, so far in 2021, there have been an average of six antisemitic incidents every 24 hours.

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A Holocaust memorial in Oviedo, Spain, has been defaced by vandals who reportedly punctured and scraped the stone and steel structure with a sharp object.

The vandalism in the northern Spanish city was discovered earlier this week.

Oviedo inaugurated the memorial in 2017 to replace another structure that had been situated in a well-known park in the city but had been targeted by far-right groups.

In 2017, the Spanish city inaugurated the Holocaust memorial to honor the victims of the Holocaust. The monolith replaced another erected at Parque de Invierno, one of the town’s most well-known parks, which had been the target of similar attacks by radical right-wing groups.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain said of the vandalism: “We urge the Spanish authorities to condemn such acts, to restore the damaged elements immediately, and to implement educational measures to teach tolerance, mutual understanding, and the right to be considered different.”

The President of the Jewish Community in Asturias, where Oviedo is located, called the vandalism an antisemitic attack.

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Image credit: Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain

Three men have been arrested so far in connection with the shocking “death to Jews” march in Poland last week.

The rally took place last Thursday ­– Poland’s Independence Day ­– in Kalisz, in the centre of the country. Participants marched to the market square chanting “death to enemies of the fatherland.”

Demonstrators also burned a copy of the General Charter of Jewish Liberties, also known as the Statute of Kalisz or the Kalisz Privilege, a medieval document that granted the Jewish community rights and protection in Polish lands.

Upon the burning, Wojciech Olszanski, a far-right activist who organised the march and is also known as Aleksander Jablonowski, said: “We are abolishing Jewish rights in this land!” and “Death to the enemies of Poland!” The crowd responded with chants of “Death! Death! Death!”

Mr Olszanski also declared: “LGBT, pederasts and Zionists are the enemies of Poland.”

Although Government and local officials condemned the far-right rally, in which hundreds participated, and a counter-protest called “Kalisz — free from fascism” was held on Sunday, concerns were raised as to why it took several days for arrests to be made.

Mr Olszanski was arrested, as was Piotr Rybak, who burned an effigy of a Jew. In 2019, he reportedly went to Auschwitz on the anniversary of the death camp’s liberation and said: “It’s time to fight against Jewry and free Poland from them!”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This abhorrent neo-Nazi rally is a repulsive testament to the persistence of far-right antisemitism. The promotion of such grotesque views at this march, held on Poland’s Independence Day, does a disservice to Polish patriotism. How this march was approved in the first place, despite the record of its participants, raises serious questions, but we welcome the condemnations of the rally by Polish authorities and the arrests of its ringleaders. They must now suffer the full legal consequences of their actions.”

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The Austrian Football Association and the Austrian Football League have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The document effecting the adoption was signed by the main footballing bodies during a ceremony last Thursday at the Judenplatz in Vienna.

The ceremony was attended by the Vice Chancellor of Austria and other Government officials, as well as the leader of the Jewish community of Vienna.

The signing took place ahead of a World Cup qualifying match between Austria and Israel in Klagenfurth last Friday.

Last year, the Premier League in England adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. Since then, numerous local council, universities and sport associations in the UK have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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An eleven-year-old Jewish boy was allegedly attacked in France by two fourteen-year-olds in what is believed to be an antisemitic attack.

The incident took place in Essonnes, just south of Paris, in September, but has only now been revealed by Le Parisien.

According to a court account, the victim was walking home from school with his classmates when he was approached by the two suspects, who asked him if he was Jewish. When he said yes, they reportedly began to beat and choke him while verbally abusing him.

One of the assailants allegedly said: “Dirty Jew, we are going to suffocate you with gas as they did before to the Jews,” before putting his hand on the victim’s mouth. They told the victim to “surrender” before slamming him to the ground and performing Nazi salutes.

The abuse reportedly continued every day for a week until the victim told his parents. It is understood that the suspects will be charged with crimes related to antisemitic violence.

It is believed that one of the suspects claimed during questioning that he did not know what a Nazi salute was, while the other suspect did admit to understanding the gesture. One of their lawyers suggested that the pair had been influenced by a violent video game.

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New figures published by Germany’s federal government show that so far in 2021 there have been an average of six antisemitic incidents every 24 hours.

As of early November, 1,850 antisemitic crimes have been reported, 335 of which involved physical violence, leaving seventeen people injured.

The data, which comes from case statistics collected by the Federal Criminal Police Office on politically-motivated crime, was provided in response to a data request by Petra Pau, the leader of The Left Party and Vice President of the Bundestag.

However, it is widely believed that the real number of incidents far exceeds the number of reported crimes.

According to Welt, only 930 suspects have been identified and only five have been arrested, with two other arrest warrants issued.

Ms Pau said: “The culture of impunity motivates offenders to commit crimes and demotivates victims to report them. Antisemitic crimes must finally be consistently prosecuted.”

The total reported antisemitic crime figures for 2019 and 2020 were 2,032 and 2,351, respectively.

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Austria dedicated a new memorial to murdered Jews this week, on the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The Shoah Wall of Names Memorial is Austria’s first public Holocaust memorial and is seen as a gesture that the European country is finally taking public responsibility for its past – something Austria has been notorious for avoiding for decades.

The memorial, located in Ostarrichi Park in the centre of Vienna, pays tribute to the 64,440 Austrian Jewish children, women and men who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

“With this wall, we pull their names and their history out of oblivion. We give them back their identity, their individuality and with that part of their humanity. And they once again have a place in their homeland,” said Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. He added: “It is all the more our task to actively protect Jewish life in Austria and Europe, and to speak out against any form of antisemitism without any ifs or buts.”

The Chancellor was joined at the unveiling by the Speaker of the Austrian Parliament and other senior Government figures, as well as European Union officials and members of the Jewish community. The President of Austria was due to attend but is in quarantine over COVID exposure.

The memorial is made up of 180 “Kashmir Gold” granite slabs, each one metre wide and two metres high. They were produced in India, polished in Italy and then engraved over seven months in Austria.

Earlier this year, a Jewish group reported that it has received its highest number of recorded antisemitic incidents in Austria for the last twenty years.

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Yacine Mihoub, 32, has been convicted of stabbing 85-year-old Mireille Knoll eleven times and has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ms Knoll, a Holocaust survivor, was murdered during a botched robbery in March 2018 that also saw her body set alight in an effort by the perpetrators to burn her apartment.

Alex Carrimbacus, 25, who was Mr Mihoub’s accomplice, was jailed for fifteen years for robbery motivated by antisemitism.

Ms Knoll had fled Paris in 1942 at nine years old with her mother, escaping to Portugal. They narrowly avoided the Vélodrome d’Hiver, or “Vél d’Hiv”, the largest roundup of French Jews during the Holocaust where over 13,000 men, women, and children were arrested with the majority being deported to Auschwitz. Less than 100 people returned.

Her murder was deemed an antisemitic incident with President Emanuel Macron stating that her killer “assassinated an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish.”

The court said that the attack was fuelled by a “context of antisemitism” and “prejudices” about the purported wealth of Jewish people which had led Mr Mihoub to believe that his victim had “hidden treasures” at her home.

Mr Carrimbacus claimed that he had heard Mr Mihoub shout “Allahu Akhbar,” the Islamic cry for “God is great”, at the scene, with both men blaming the other for the murder.

Ms Knoll lived next door to Mr Mihoub’s mother and had acted as a surrogate grandmother to her killer when he was a child.

Mr Mihoub’s mother, Zoulikha Khellaf, was also on trial after she was charged with cleaning the knife used to murder Ms Knoll. Ms Khellaf was found guilty of destroying objects and cleaning the murder weapon and was sentenced to three years in prison, including one year under electronic surveillance.

Tens of thousands of people were joined by Government officials in a recent silent march in memory of Ms Knoll.

The killing of Ms Knoll took place only one year after the murder of Sarah Halimi, which also occurred in Paris. Ms Halimi was a 65-year-old Jewish woman who was murdered by her 27-year-old Muslim neighbour, Kobili Traoré, after he tortured her before pushing her out of a window to her death. The Jewish community in France was carefully watching the trial of Ms Knoll’s murder after France’s Court of Cassation ruled earlier this year that Ms Halimi’s killer could not be held to stand trial due to being high on cannabis whilst committing the murder.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “After the disgraceful miscarriage of justice in the Sarah Halimi case, a life sentence for the murderer of Mirelle Knoll and prison terms for his accomplice and mother come as a relief, as does the court’s recognition of the role of antisemitism in the killing. The antisemitic murder of a Holocaust survivor is a monstrous illustration of the scale of Jew-hatred in France. It is no credit to the French judicial system that, given the Halimi precedent, this verdict and sentence were even in question. We hope that Ms Knoll’s family can now begin to mourn her. May her memory be for a blessing.”

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A teenager has been arrested after reportedly waving a machete in front of a Jewish school in Lyon, France.

The act was said to have taken place outside of the College/Lycee Juive de Lyon in Lyon’s suburb of Villeurbanne on Thursday. It was also reported that the teenager threw marbles at the school’s students and called them “dirty Jews”. 

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, said that the event demonstrated the fact that “the need for education against antisemitism must begin early,” adding that “For this boy, it was too late.” 

Currently in France, the trial over the 2018 murder of a Holocaust survivor is underway in Paris’ Court of Assizes.

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Campaign Against Antisemitism has called on the Metropolitan Police to disclose what action has been taken against SBV Vitesse supporters who appeared to perform Nazi salutes against Tottenham Hotspur fans.

The gestures were spotted at the 4th November match between the Dutch club and the North London team, which has long been associated with the Jewish community. The match was at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Groups of Vitesse fans have a history of inflammatory behaviour, for example earlier this year the club distanced itself from fans who sang “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” The chants were sung in solidarity with a team playing Ajax, a fellow Dutch club also associated with the Jewish community.

It is understood that commentators on the Tottenham match noted the gestures and that police ejected groups of fans from the stadium, although pictures and reports of the incident paint an unclear picture of whether the gestures were Nazi salutes or not.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has therefore called on the Metropolitan Police to disclose what action it took and what its investigation has turned up.

Image credit: Twitter

Footage released over the weekend shows protesters against COVID-19 measures wearing concentration camp uniforms and marching through Novara, a city in northern Italy.

The protesters can be seen wearing the blue and white uniforms that prisoners in concentration camps were forced to wear. They marched in a line whilst holding a long, knotted piece of string intended to resemble the barbed wire that surrounded concentration camps. 

It was also reported that some of the demonstrators from Saturday’s event carried signs that read “We are like prisoners of Auschwitz” and “Stop dictatorship”. 

Noemi Di Segni, President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said that “In the face of ravings like this one cannot invoke the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. We have witnessed an abuse and an offense to memory.”

The inflammatory and misleading comparison has been used among anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks, which have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

In August, antisemitic protest signs have prompted hate speech and incitement of violence investigations in France. Earlier this year, organisers of an anti-vaccine demonstration in the city of Avignon were described as “brainless” for using the Nazi yellow star in their protest. Joseph Szwarc, a Holocaust survivor, spoke out against this use of the yellow star, saying: “You can’t imagine how much that upset me. This comparison is hateful. We must all rise up against this ignominy.” With tears in his eyes, Mr Szwarc added: “I wore the star, I know what that is, I still have it in my flesh. It is everyone’s duty to not allow this outrageous, antisemitic, racist wave to pass over us.”

The comparison has been made across the world, including in the United StatesCanadaUkraine, and elsewhere.

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A French court has cleared Jean-Marie Le Pen over his remark about a Jewish singer, in which he made a joke about the Holocaust. 

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the French far-right party National Front (now National Rally), went on trial earlier this year after being charged with “inciting antisemitic hatred”.  

The charge against Mr Le Pen originated from a 2014 video on the Party’s website, in which Mr Le Pen reportedly denounced several celebrities who disagreed with his political views. When asked about the French singer and actor Patrick Bruel, who is Jewish, Mr Le Pen seemingly mocked the Holocaust and Mr Bruel, saying: “I’m not surprised. Listen, next time we’ll do a whole oven batch!”

Mr Le Pen reportedly denied the allegation of Jew-hate, claiming that his comments carried no antisemitic messages “except for my political enemies or imbeciles”. 

Both the court and judge disagreed, with the judge stating that Mr Le Pen had targeted Jewish people with his comments. She added, however, that while he cleared “relished” in appeasing his supporters with his comments, they did not amount to “inciting discrimination and violence.”

This was not the first time that Mr Le Pen has faced trial due to antisemitism-related comments. In 2018, France’s Court of Cassation upheld a conviction against Mr Le Pen for Holocaust denial after he said that the Holocaust was “a detail” of World War II. Subsequently, National Front’s leader Marine Le Pen, the daughter of Mr Le Pen, expelled him from the Party.

In June, President Macron condemned antisemitism in an historic ten-minute long video address to the American Jewish Committee. Reiterating how important it was for France to have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism, he went on to say that the Definition alone “is not enough”, and that France needs to strengthen their actions.

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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have punished Union Berlin football club after some of its fans performed Nazi salutes and shouted antisemitic abuse towards opposing supporters during its match with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa.

A youth group promoting German and Israeli interests who attended the match on 30th September said that they were “threatened by Union fans, pelted with beer and insulted, among other things, as ‘s****y Jews’”. Images of fans performing Nazi salutes, which is illegal in Germany, also surfaced on Twitter. 

Members of the group also stated that several Union Berlin fans tried to stop the abuse, to whom they were grateful. 

Shortly after the news of the antisemitic acts were reported, club president Dirk Zinglers stated: “This behaviour is shameful and we won’t tolerate it. We apologise to those affected. Antisemitism is unfortunately still present in our society, which is why it also shows itself in the stadium. However, we will never tolerate discrimination in our ranks. It is important to remain vigilant and to work tirelessly against it.”

UEFA said that it had punished Union Berlin due to “the racist behavior of its supporters” during the match, ordering the club to shut down sections thirteen and fourteen “where the home supporters are seated” in its game against Dutch team Feyenoord on Thursday. In addition, Union Berlin must also use those sections to display a banner bearing the phrase “#NoToRacism” alongside the UEFA logo.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Recent days have seen multiple high-profile antisemitic incidents in football, both domestic and international. UEFA is right to sanction the club and force it to publicise that the penalty is due to racism. But the club itself must also now act, by identifying the perpetrators and giving them life bans. Like those decent Union Berlin fans who tried to stop the abuse, the club itself, and German clubs more generally, should be particularly sensitive to antisemitism among any of their supporters and step in to stamp it out.”

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A Polish referee has reportedly responded to an invitation to an online anti-racism debate with an e-mail in which he ranted about Jewish people. 

The Never Again Association, a leading anti-racism organisation in Poland, organised an “online debate on antisemitism and intolerance in Polish and European stadiums” through its ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of the Stadiums’ campaign where a variety of organisations and individuals were invited, including the Fare network, another organisation that tackles racism in football, and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, as well as football clubs Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord Rotterdam.

However, Lukasz Araszkiewicz – who the Never Again Association describe as a “long-term referee in the Polish leagues, a graduate of FIFA training courses and member of the Wielkopolska Football Association, WZPN (part of the Polish Football Association, PZPN)” – reportedly replied to his invitation with an e-mail in which he ranted against Jewish people. 

His response allegedly said: “As a referee with seventeen years of experience refereeing at various levels, I have never witnessed antisemitic behavior; [but] racism – quite the contrary. This is just another utter balderdash spun by Jewish centers and milieus – one knows very well for what purpose. Please do not send me such invitations anymore because I do not agree with it at all. Jews are not a chosen people despite that eternal hubris of theirs… and portraying Poles as antisemites and talking about Polish concentration camps is the biggest Jewish f***ing despicable thing since World War 2.”

His comments were condemned by the anti-racism organisation who claimed that they “repeated the most widespread antisemitic myths about the Jewish community”, adding: “Unfortunately, the words of Mr. Araszkiewicz show that the use of negative stereotypes about Jews is a phenomenon that is still present also in the world of football.”

 In a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Never Again Association implored him to “take a principled position” on the incident. 

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French President Emmanuel Macron has inaugurated the first museum dedicated to the Dreyfus affair.

Maison Zola-Musée Dreyfus is located in the former home of French author Émile Zola and houses the full Dreyfus Collection containing more than 500 items. These include documents, photographs, songs, posters and other memorabilia relating to the Dreyfus affair and designed to give a full picture of events in France in the late 19th century.

The events that became known as the Dreyfus affair took place in the late 19th century, after antisemitism led to the wrongful conviction of army captain Alfred Dreyfus as a traitor and spy. After Captain Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of passing military secrets to the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment on the infamous Devil’s Island, Émile Zola – already a leading author – wrote an open letter to French President Félix Faure in defence of the Jewish officer.

The letter was published on the front page of the popular L’Aurore newspaper under the banner headline “J’accuse.” Mr Zola blamed the army for its mistaken conviction of Captain Dreyfus and for attempting to cover it up. Following the public outcry, the incident became known as the Dreyfus affair. Mr Zola himself was found guilty of libel and was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and a fine. Captain Dreyfus was tried again on the same falsified charges and a military court again found him guilty, but he was pardoned by the new President, Emile Loubet, in 1899.

Captain Dreyfus was eventually exonerated in 1906 and went on to serve honourably in WWI, but the memory of the case cast a long shadow of antisemitism over France’s history.

The restoration and creation of the museum in the former home of Mr Zola in Médan, just west of Paris, took ten years and was co-financed by fashion entrepreneur Pierre Bergé; the French Government’s Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah; and the Government-run Dilcrah, which works to combat discrimination of all kinds, including antisemitism.

Louis Gautier, President of the Maison Zola-Musée Dreyfus Association, told a Paris newspaper that the museum would principally focus on education, hosting school groups. It would focus on “questions of racism and exclusion,” and would explain how the justice system works.

In 2002, at the 100th anniversary of Mr Zola’s death, France’s then-President Jacques Chirac held a national homage at Maison Zola, and declared that the writer’s ideals still needed to be upheld in modern times.

The story of the Dreyfus affair was adapted into a 2019 film called J’accuse (An Officer and a Spy). Directed by Roman Polanski, it won awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay in the French César Awards.

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The trial over the 2018 murder of a Holocaust survivor began yesterday in Paris’ Court of Assizes.

Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, fled Paris in 1942 at nine years old with her mother, escaping to Portugal. They narrowly avoided the Vélodrome d’Hiver, or “Vél d’Hiv”, the largest roundup of French Jews during the Holocaust where over 13,000 men, women, and children were arrested with the majority being deported to Auschwitz. Less than 100 people returned. 

On 23rd March, 2018, Ms Knoll was killed after being stabbed eleven times in her Paris apartment. Her body was found partially burned after those responsible for her murder then attempted to set her apartment on fire. The murder was deemed an antisemitic incident with President Emanuel Macron stating that her killer “assassinated an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish.”

The two accused of her murder are 32-year-old Yacine Mihoub and 25-year-old Alex Carrimbacus. It has been reported that Ms Knoll lived in the same building as Mr Mihoub and his family and knew the defendant since he was a child. Mr Mihoub, who reportedly made unannounced visits regularly to Ms Knoll, was said to have arrived with Mr Carrimbacus at Ms Knoll’s apartment where the two accused began drinking her port wine. It was during this visit that Ms Knoll was stabbed eleven times. The pair, who reportedly met in prison, have contrasting accounts of what occurred, though neither deny that they were both present at the scene of the murder. 

Mr Carrimbacus told investigators that Mr Mihoub approached him about a “money scheme” and “talked about Jews’ money” and “their wealth”, prompting magistrates to treat the killing as an antisemitic hate crime. Mr Carrimbacus alleges that Mr Mihoub angrily accused Ms Knoll of providing information to the police which resulted in his last prison sentence before slitting her throat and yelling “Allahu Akhbar,” the Islamic cry for “God is great.” However, Mr Mihoub claims that it was Mr Carrimbacus who killed Ms Knoll before robbing the apartment. Both men claim that the other started the fire after the killing. Investigators told media outlets on Tuesday that the men had a propensity “to lie” and “to manipulate”, rendering neither account particularly credible. 

In November 2020, an appeal made by the accused to the Paris Court of Appeal to drop the charge of antisemitism was rejected after the court believed that Mr Carrimbacus’s claim that he overheard Mr Mihoub lecturing Ms Knoll about “the financial means of the Jews, their good situation,” with Ms Knoll answering that “not all Jews have a good situation,” to be “plausible”. Court documents described the incident as the culpable homicide of someone “they knew to be vulnerable owing to her physical condition, and which in addition was carried out because of her Jewish faith.”

The court also acknowledged Mr Mihoub’s “ambivalence vis-à-vis Islamist terrorism which notably advocates antisemitism.” Following the murder, a police investigation found that Mr Mihoub regularly visited websites featuring content that promoted Islamism and antisemitism, and was already known to authorities for praising Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, the brothers behind the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Mr Mihoub’s mother, Zoulikha Khellaf, is also on trial after she was charged with cleaning the knife used to murder Ms Knoll. 

Mr Carrimbacus’ lawyer, Karim Laouafi, argued that the charge of antisemitism should only be brought against Mr Mihoub, stating that “these elements are not present in Alex Carrimbacus. If the crime is antisemitic, that cannot be blamed on him.”

Charles Consigny, Mr Mihoub’s defence, responded by asserting that Mr Carrimbacus’ accusations of antisemitism against Mr Mihoub were lies. “It only exists because Carrimbacus invented a motive, and the prosecutors weren’t brave enough to drop it in the face of public pressure,” Mr Consigny said yesterday.

The Knoll family’s lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, said yesterday that both of the accused should face “severe punishment for this horrible crime.” Speaking to reports as he entered the court, Mr Goldnadel said “We will need a miracle for the truth to come out of their mouths,” adding that Ms Knoll’s murder was a clear case of “antisemitism motivated by financial gain.”

In an interview, Ms Knoll’s son Alain said “I haven’t cried since my mother died, and I hope that when the murderers have been convicted, I will finally be able to cry…I want to know who stabbed my mother’s body eleven times. You must really hate in order to be able to do that, and this hatred can only be antisemitism.”

His brother Daniel added: “These people are not part of the community of humankind. They are monsters, they must be considered as monsters. Can we talk to monsters? I think it’s going to be next to impossible to talk to them.”

The killing of Ms Knoll took place only one year after the murder of Sarah Halimi, also occuring in Paris. Ms Halimi was a 65-year-old Jewish woman who was murdered by her 27-year-old Muslim neighbour, Kobili Traoré, after he tortured her before pushing her out of a window to her death. The Jewish community in France is said to be carefully watching the trial of Ms Knoll’s murder after France’s Court of Cassation ruled earlier this year that Sarah Halimi’s killer could not be held to stand trial due to being high on cannabis whilst committing the murder. 

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The former secretary who worked at Stutthof concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland has gone on trial for murder.  

Irmgard Furchner, 96, is accused of contributing to the deaths of 11,412 people between the years 1943 and 1945, during which time she worked as a secretary at the camp. Due to the fact that she started working there as an 18-year-old, Ms Furchner is being tried in a juvenile court.

The court in Itzehoe, a town in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, was read the indictment which accused Ms Furchner of working as the Chief Secretary to Paul Werner-Hoppe, a high-ranking Nazi official and the camp’s Commander, and “was contributory to the entire killing operation” at the camp.

The prosecution also stated that Ms Furchner would have assisted with the transport lists of detainees who would have been sent to Auschwitz concentration camp to be murdered, as well as radio messages and the dictation of Mr Hoppe’s orders and correspondence. Due to the compact layout of Stutthof, Ms Furchner’s key administrative position, and the unavoidable noises and smells caused by the murder of the victims in gas chambers, the defendant would have “been aware of all happenings”, the court heard. 

Wolfgang Molkentin, defending, stated that Ms Furchner “does not deny the crimes of the Shoah…neither does she deny the terrible acts that took place as has once again been made clear to us all in the indictment. She simply rejects the charge around which this trial ultimately revolves, that she was personally guilty of a crime.”

Judge Dominik Groß has permitted the filming of the trial for historical reasons, a request that ordinarily might not have been granted, but has chosen to do so on the basis that it is “one of the worldwide last criminal trials related to crimes of the Nazi era”.

In September, Ms Furchner attempted to escape before the beginning of her trial. After missing the start of her trial, court spokesperson Frederike Milhoffer stated that an arrest warrant had been issued, stating: “She left her home early in the morning in a taxi in the direction of a metro station.” Mr Milhoffer announced hours later that she had been found and detained.

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Concerns have been raised over the Slovenian Prime Minister’s reported tweet in which he referred to “Soros puppets” in the EU Parliament.

In his tweet, the Prime Minister posted a graphic in which an image of George Soros is seemingly surrounded by arrows and images of Members of Parliament. Prime Minister Janez Janša wrote alongside the image: “13 of the 226 known Soros puppets in the EU parlement [sic]

Prime Minister Janša appeared to double down on his comments in response to online criticism, tweeting that “there is no conspiracy theory”. 

George Soros is a Jewish financier who is often the target of antisemitic conspiracy theories. It is indisputable that George Soros has, in recent years, been subjected to antisemitic campaigns around the world, painting him as a shadowy Jewish bogeyman. Mr Soros has been frequently targeted by, amongst others, the Hungarian government and several Eastern European advertising campaigns, which have been described as worryingly antisemitic.

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A neo-Nazi group has reportedly taken credit for projecting the phrase “the Holocaust was a scam” onto a Swedish synagogue last week.

According to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the neo-Nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) has taken credit for projecting the incident onto the synagogue in Malmö at the same time that the city was holding its International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

At the conference last week, world leaders called for further measures to tackle antisemitism and Holocaust denial at the conference. Some of the speakers included the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

According to the NRM’s own website, the phrase was also projected onto other buildings which reportedly included Södervärn’s water tower and the building belonging to the Sydsvenskan newspaper. It appears as though the website domain belonging to the NRM was also projected onto the buildings. 

The NRM uploaded several photos of the vandalised buildings to its website, stating that the projection was caused by a “National Socialist laser”, and wrote: “The fictional Holocaust is the global weapon of the globalists, which they use to disgrace, oppress and truly destroy our people. The Nordic resistance movement has been fighting the globalists since our founding in 1997 and therefore it is a matter of course that we protest against the Holocaust.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is an example of antisemitism.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. 

In April, NRM flyers were found at a Jewish cemetery in Aalborg, Denmark that was vandalised during the Jewish festival of Passover. Last year, the NRM launched a series of focused campaigns against Jewish communities in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland throughout the week leading up to Yom Kippur.

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Image credit: NRM

Ireland is set to criminalise Holocaust denial, it was reported last week. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is introducing the new hate crime bill which has the power to impose a “Class C fine”, “imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months”, or both to anyone who “publicly condones, denies or grossly trivialises any act falling within the definition of a ‘genocide’ in Article II of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention).”

In January, Mr Martin said that education is an “important tool” in strengthening and deepening the collective understanding of the events of the Holocaust, and maintained that the country is continually committed to combating antisemitism.

While the new ban against Holocaust denial will come as welcome news to many, it is notable that Ireland remained neutral during the Second World War, and a recent report has indicated that Ireland has a problem with antisemitism. It was also reported last week that a politician in Ireland had claimed that Israel was trying to accomplish “Jewish supremacy”.

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A politician in Ireland has claimed that Israel is trying to accomplish “Jewish supremacy”, it was reported earlier this week. 

Catherine Connolly, the Deputy Chairperson of the Lower House of Ireland’s Parliament, allegedly asked Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney if by his ministry’s “indicating support for the Jewish character of the Israeli state”, it agrees with “the treatment by Israel of Palestinian communities in its attempts to accomplish Jewish supremacy.”

It was also said that she asked Minister Coveney about “his views on whether these attempts to perpetuate the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians amount to apartheid, and if he will make a statement on the matter.”

The phrase “Jewish supremacy” is regarded by many as an antisemitic conspiracy theory which states that Jews harbour the goal of world domination, a false allegation that the Nazi Party used to justify its persecution against Jewish people.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism. 

The Foreign Minister reportedly said that he “respect[s] the strong connection between the Jewish people and the State of Israel.” 

“By their very nature, all states have certain inherent characteristics,” he said, using “socialist, democratic, united, Islamic, Arab or Jewish” as examples, but he added that those states should have “full respect for the equal rights of all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or other similar factors.”

Jewish Representative Council of Ireland Chairperson Maurice Cohen said that Deputy Connolly had “strayed into classic antisemitic language by perpetuating the trope of ‘Jewish supremacy.’”

“The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland urges all political parties, as well as both Houses of the Oireachtas [legislature] to immediately adopt the [Definition] of antisemitism to which the government is already a European signatory,” he added.

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World leaders called for further measures to tackle antisemitism and Holocaust denial yesterday at the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

Swedish Prime Minister Löfven spoke of previous milestones in the fight against antisemitism, naming the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust of January 2000, which led to the creation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration as important moments. “We are not looking for another declaration, we are looking to translate these principles of these documents into reality,” the Prime Minister said.

He continued: “I have therefore encouraged delegations that are representative here in Malmö today to present concrete measures to promote Holocaust remembrance and to combat antisemitism, anti-Gypsism and other forms of racism.”

Antisemitism is currently present in “extreme right-wing groups, parts of the Left, in Islamist environments and among ordinary citizens,” Prime Minister Löfven said, and said that it was also present “among adults and children who fled to Europe from countries where hatred of Jews is promoted in schools and through state-propaganda.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke of online antisemitism and the danger of violent attacks from extremists. He said: “We have witnessed thousands of antisemitic assaults, vandalism and threats from extremists all over, including in Malmö. This rise in antisemitic attacks on the streets, the physical attacks and assaults and verbal assaults, offensive articles and increasing intimidation on the web have been fueled, in large part, by the explosion of antisemitic incitement online.”

The President added that tackling antisemitism necessitates “working aggressively on social media, including with and confronting social media companies to ensure that hateful incitement is quickly removed,” while also adding that legislation, litigation, adjudication and law enforcement were also necessary tools in the fight against antisemitism. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who spoke out against antisemitism in Canada earlier this year during the conflict between Israel and Hamas, said that “we’ve seen so many different radical extremist groups of various types lashing out at so many different things, but one of the few, common things that so many of them have is an acceptance of antisemitic stereotypes and tropes that slip into their discourse, and that they build on so much of their other hatred on [sic].”

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who earlier this summer condemned antisemitism in a historic address, said that “each time someone denies the Shoah, each time an antisemitic act is committed, each time that a grave is desecrated, each time our memory is trampled on, it’s our shared humanity that is threatened.” 

Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, spoke of how the threat of antisemitism still exists for Jewish people, adding that it is also a “poison for our democracies, our values, and our open societies.” She continued: “We have to fight it, offline and online, and hate speech, disinformation and the denial of facts are everywhere online.” 

The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is Jewish himself and was recently urged by a group of 70 Jewish officials from the United States Department of State to fire an “openly antisemitic” employee, delivered a statement at the conference in a recorded video in which he stated that the United States is “committed to remembrance and to fighting antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and hate in all of its modern forms.” He added that “The dangers of the Holocaust are not simply problems of the past..antisemitism is on the rise in many parts of the world.”

Secretary Blinken continued by outlining the steps that the United States has taken towards fighting antisemitism, which included pledging $1 million to counter antisemitic hate speech “online, in the Middle East, and North Africa”. He also stated that the United States was starting an expanded series of international visitor leadership programmes” which will work with “government and civil society representatives to confront Holocaust distortion and antisemitism in North Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.” The Secretary of State said that through working with congress, another $1 million will be given to tackle Holocaust denial in central Europe. 

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also spoke at the event, saying that “At Facebook, we stand against hate of all kinds. We are working with governments and NGOs to fulfill the promise of ‘never again’.” 

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Church authorities managing a Brandenburg cemetery have admitted to a “terrible mistake” after the ashes of a prominent neo-Nazi were buried in the grave of a Jewish-born musicologist.

Henry Hafenmayer, a 48-year-old Holocaust denier who died of an undisclosed illness, was well-known among German neo-Nazis, some of whom attended his funeral. During his life, Hafenmayer served a prison sentence for penning a series of antisemitic screeds to public bodies in which he branded the Holocaust a “lie”, which is a criminal offence in Germany where Holocaust denial falls foul of a law against “incitement of the people”.

Hafenmayer’s ashes were buried in a grave that used to hold the remains of Prof. Max Friedländer, a specialist in German Lieder who taught at Harvard University in the 1910s. Though Friedländer converted to Protestantism, he was born to a Jewish family, a fact not lost on the far-right activists who attended Hafenmayer’s funeral. Among those attending the funeral was Horst Mahler, a founder of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group who later became a neo-Nazi.

The cemetery management explained that when a gravesite’s lease is not renewed after a “rest period” of ten to twenty years, the remains are removed and burial plots are reclaimed for new burials, but Friedländer’s headstone was still there because it was a listed monument.

In a statement, Christian Stäblein, a bishop at the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia, said: “The burial of a Holocaust denier in the grave of Max Friedländer is a terrible mistake and a harrowing process in view of our history. We have to see immediately whether and what we can undo.”

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Image credit: Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia

A candidate hoping to become elected as the next Mayor of Rome is facing backlash for comments he made about Jews and the Holocaust in an article

Enrico Michetti, the right-wing candidate who is also a radio presenter and lawyer, wrote an article last year in which he claimed that victims of other mass killings are thought of less than those who died in the Holocaust because they “did not own banks and did not belong to a lobby that is capable of deciding the destiny of the planet.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.

Mr Michetti was criticised by Emanuele Fiano, a Jewish MP from the centre-Left Democratic Party, who said: “My grandparents, who were gassed at Auschwitz, were much poorer than you, Michetti, as were my uncle and aunt and my great uncles and aunts.”

Mr Fiano added that he hoped Mr Michetti would be “ashamed of these words for the rest of your life,” before adding: “I have no pity for adults, cultured, who in 2020 make such a remark. I will not accept excuses. You don’t deserve excuses.”

Ruth Dureghello, the President of the Jewish community of Rome, said that Mr Michetti’s remarks were “dangerous” and that they hid “a disturbing prejudice.”

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Michetti seemingly tried to retract his words, stating: “The Holocaust was unique in its inhumanity against men and women who had done no wrong whatsoever, the lowest point in history. The utmost vigilance and unity is required by everyone against all forms of antisemitism, so that what happened never happens again, not even in other guises.”

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Belarus state television has described a murdered Jewish dissident as “a cosmopolitan enjoying state benefits to fatten himself up and live in two countries, to make money here and spend it there.”

Andrei Zelzer, a 31-year-old programmer, was shot dead by security forces during a raid at his home in Minsk as part of a crackdown against dissidents by the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Plainclothes personnel from the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus reportedly entered Mr Zelzer’s home with orders to arrest him. According to the Government, Mr Zelzer killed one of them during the raid.

Ryhor Azaronak, a news anchor on STV, a state television channel, then described Mr Zelzer using tropes reminiscent of antisemitic Soviet propaganda, claiming also that Mr Zelzer was American. It is understood that no new outlet has confirmed this dubious claim about his nationality, although Mr Zelzer did work for a US-based information technology company founded by a Belarusian Jew who now lives in the United States.

During the monologue, Mr Azaronak reportedly employed a stereotypical accent of Yiddish-speaking Soviet Jews.

It is believed that there are about 9,500 Jews in Belarus.

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The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to meet the British ambassador this week after a right-wing author accused of antisemitism was denied entry into the United Kingdom on Saturday.

A letter from the Border Force showed that Rafal Ziemkiewicz, a Polish author who has been accused of promoting antisemitism and homophobia, was denied entry into the country as his views were deemed to be “at odds with British values” that were “likely to cause offence” and was flown back to Warsaw. 

Mr Ziemkiewicz was accused of antisemitism by Poland’s Human Rights Ombudsman last year after he reportedly said on Polish television that Jews had cooperated with Germans in the Holocaust. In 2014, he was accused of justifying rape after he allegedly tweeted: “Whoever has never taken advantage of a drunk person, let him throw the first stone.” He has also reportedly made several homophobic comments and tweets.

Speaking on the incident, Mr Ziemkiewicz reportedly said on Sunday: “I fell victim to a really powerful hatred against Poland by Poles themselves.”

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Szynkowski vel Sęk then tweeted about the event, saying: “I will invite Ambassador Anna Clunes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week to make sure that freedom of speech belongs to the catalog of British values ​​and as it corresponds with the attitude of the British services in the case of R. Ziemkiewicz.”

However, he later clarified his comments. “I see the ambassador this week. The conversation is not an escalation, but the foundation and common denominator of the work of the entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are also bound by the obligation to care for Polish citizens abroad and to respect freedom of speech. These revelations are worth so much,” the Minister said.

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Antisemitic graffiti, including Holocaust denial slogans, has reportedly been discovered at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Auschwitz concentration camp, one of the most notorious concentration camps where over a million people were murdered, was officially converted into a museum and memorial site in 1947.

The museum released a statement on Twitter yesterday which said that “signs of vandalism” were discovered on “nine wooden barracks in Sector Blla of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site: spray-painted inscriptions in English and German, some of them antisemitic in nature.”

It continued: “Two references to the Old Testament, often used by antisemites, and denial slogans draw special attention.”

The museum described the vandalism as “an outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in human history and an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.”

The statement added that video footage was being reviewed and that police are investigating the incident.

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A sixteen-year-old has been suspected of assaulting a 60-year-old man at a vigil against antisemitism in Hamburg, Germany.

During the “Hamburg for Israel and against antisemitism” vigil, which took place on 18th September near the city’s central train station, a group of three or four people approached the participants and one of them – a male believed to be between the ages of eighteen and 25 – began yelling abuse.

When participants asked the offender to stop, he punched the victim in the face. Although police chased the group, they managed to flee on e-scooters.

After the attack, the victim was reportedly in hospital for six days with a broken cheekbone and nasal bone. Photos show the victim with a swollen eye and bloody face. In an interview, the victim was seen having to wear an eyepatch.

The teenage suspect identified by police as Aram A., who reportedly acted in a film about Holocaust survivors in which he played the role of a bully who harasses a Jewish boy, is being investigated for causing bodily harm.

Hamburg State Security was said to have identified Aram A. using video footage and then located him at his home in Berlin. Aram A.’s mother reportedly stated that her family was “against Israel” but that “what [her] son did is wrong”.

Stefan Hensel, Hamburg’s Commissioner on Jewish Life and the Fight against Antisemitism, said: “The rapid search success of the authorities is a reassuring signal after the disturbing images of the attack on the Hamburg vigil participant. The current case shows once again that even projects with the best intentions are no remedy against antisemitism. We see this incident as an appeal to intensify our work even further. In the long run, it will only be crowned with a consistent investigation of antisemitic crimes and criminal prosecution.”

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The Ukrainian Parliament passed a law last week which bans “antisemitism and its manifestations”.

The Law on Prevention and Counteraction to Antisemitism in Ukraine defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, expressed as hatred of Jews”.

283 lawmakers out of 450 voted to pass the law, though it must be signed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who is himself Jewish. However, the punishment for breaking this law has not been specified.

In August, pig skulls were used to desecrate the grave of Rabbi Nachman’s daughter in Kremenchuk. In June, a synagogue in Kremenchuk was found with bullet holes after being reportedly shot at.

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The Madrid Assembly, the local Parliament of Spain’s main region, adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism on Friday.

The Assembly also demanded that Spain’s national Parliament adopt legislation that would prevent it from giving any grant or public aid to entities that breach the Definition.

It was reported that Spain adopted the Definition last year. Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

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The French courts have given eight defendants who have been convicted of antisemitic harassment a two-month suspended prison sentence.

April Benayoum, who won the title of Miss Provence 2020 and was the runner-up in the Miss France 2021 contest, received antisemitic abuse online after it was revealed that her father was Israeli, including one tweet which read: “Hitler forgot to exterminate you, Miss Provence.”

It was reported that on Wednesday at Paris Criminal Court, most of the defendants appeared to show remorse for their actions. Ahmet I., one of the defendants, reportedly said: “I am ashamed to be here, to be seen as an antisemite or a racist. I apologise to Ms. Benayoum for having made remarks like that.” Another defendant, Rayanne M., allegedly said that he was “ashamed that people have this image of me as an antisemite.”

Mr Benayoum said that she accepted their apologies, but added that “Forgiving will be more difficult, this is something that hurt me a lot and spoiled an exceptional adventure.”

Mr Benayoum reportedly received an outpouring of support, including from the French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, who said that he was “deeply shocked by the shower of antisemitic insults against Miss Provence”, adding: “Shame on their authors.”

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Image credit: The Algemeiner Journal via Twitter

A 60-year-old man was injured at a vigil against antisemitism in Hamburg, Germany, after a group of youths insulted the participants with antisemitic abuse.

During the “Hamburg for Israel and against antisemitism” vigil, which took place last Saturday near the city’s central train station, a group of three or four people approached the participants and one of them – a male believed to be between the ages of 18 and 25 – began yelling abuse.

When participants asked the offender to stop, he punched the victim in the face, necessitating treatment in a hospital.

Although police chased the group, they managed to flee on e-scooters. Police are appealing for witnesses and information.

Stefan Hensel, Hamburg’s Commissioner on Jewish Life and the Fight against Antisemitism, said: “Violence driven by hatred of Israel and Jews is a disgrace to our city. This heinous attack must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The act shows once again that so-called Israel-related antisemitism is increasingly turning into real violence. The perpetrators must be caught as soon as possible and brought to justice.”

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Three French unions representing school teachers have condemned antisemitic tropes that featured at demonstrations against ‘vaccine passports’.

In a joint statement, CGT Education 43, FSU 43 and SUD Education 43, all of the Haute-Loire region of south-central France, observed that “for several weeks now, a handful of ultra-right activists have been instrumental in using the Saturday demonstrations against the health pass to display signs with hate messages with impunity,” and declared that “words and acts that target French people of Jewish faith, culture or tradition or attack their existence, their memory or their identity, hurt the whole of France.”

Placards at the rallies apparently bore slogans including, “Non a la manipula-Sion” (“No to manipulation”) with “Sion” (“Zion”) underlined; “En marche vers le chaos mondial” (“Forward to global chaos”), a pun on the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron and a slogan associated with convicted Holocaust denier Alain Soral; and “Je suis Cassandre” (“I am Cassandre”), declaring solidarity with controversial activist and former far-right Parliamentary candidate Cassandre Fristot.

The unions’ statement went on to assert that “Antisemitism is a crime condemned by law. It should be neither excused nor trivialized,” before calling on local residents “to stand up in the face of the return of the ‘Filthy Beast’ and of any form of racism.”

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

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A French court has acquitted an imam of incitement to racial hatred over a 2017 sermon in which he declared that “Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews”.

Mohamed Tataiat, the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Toulouse since 1987, was quoting a hadith popular among Islamists that “Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say, oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me — come and kill him.”

A legal case was pushed by numerous French Jewish organisations and anti-racism groups, but, following a three-month trial, the President of the Toulouse Criminal Court concluded that the sermon was not intended to “provoke hatred or discrimination,” and that “the words could have been said recklessly, but not with the desire to discriminate.”

Jewish leaders were unimpressed with the verdict, which some compared to the recent case of Sarah Halimi, whose antisemitic murderer was held to be unable to stand trial due to being high on cannabis at the time of the crime.

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Image credit: MEMRI

Antisemitic books were on sale outside a Warsaw Church that was hosting a beatification ceremony of revered Catholic figures, attended by Polish leaders.

The books, with titles such as Scum and the Jews in Today’s Poland and Judeopolonia II — Anatomy of Enslaving Poland, were met with no protest from the thousands of worshippers attending Warsaw’s Temple of Divine Providence for the beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Mother Elzbieta Roza Czacka.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party, were all in attendance for the beatification Mass, which was led by Vatican representative Cardinal Marcello Semeraro.

In addition to the antisemitic books was anti-vaccination literature and other conspiratorial material.

The ceremony took place while Pope Francis was in Hungary condemning antisemitism, which he did again two days later in Slovakia.

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Image credit: Wojciech Karpieszuk

An attempted Islamist terrorist attack on a German synagogue on Yom Kippur has reportedly been thwarted.

Services in Hagen Synagogue in North Rhine-Westphalia were called off on Wednesday after “very serious and concrete information” was received by German officials, according to the Interior Minister of the country’s most populous State.

The information was reportedly received from a foreign intelligence service, rumoured to be Israel.

A sixteen-year-old Syrian national who lives in the city was detained yesterday morning, with three other people arrested in a raid on an apartment in connection with the incident.

According to Der Spiegel, the teenager mentioned in an online chat that he was planning an attack on a synagogue using explosives, which led investigators to the boy, who lives with his father in Hagen.

Police cordoned off the synagogue for the Kol Nidrei service on Wednesday night and sniffer dogs were deployed, although no dangerous objects were found in or around the synagogue. The investigation is ongoing.

Armin Laschet, the State Premier, said that “It appears that prior to today on Yom Kippur, an Islamist-motivated attack was averted,” adding: “We will do everything we can to clarify which networks may have been behind” the plot. Mr Laschet is running to succeed Angela Merkel as Chancellor of Germany.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said: “It is intolerable that Jews are again exposed to such a horrible threat and that they cannot celebrate the start of their highest holiday, Yom Kippur, together.”

The incident comes two years after a neo-Nazi attack on Yom Kippur targeted a synagogue in Halle. Although the synagogue’s security door thwarted that attack, the perpetrator, Stephan Balliet, went on to murder a passer-by and the patron of a nearby kebab shop before being arrested following a firefight with police. Last December Mr Balliet was given a life sentence.

Earlier this year, the Muslim-owned kebab restaurant in Halle that was targeted in the attack was saved from bankruptcy by a fundraising campaign led by the Jewish community.

Germany has seen a spate of Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years.

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The Pope has condemned antisemitism in papal visits to Hungary and Slovakia.

In a brief visit to Hungary, the pontiff told an ecumenical meeting in Budapest with leaders of other Christian denominations and the Jewish community: “I think of the threat of antisemitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere.” He added that “this is a fuse that must not be allowed to burn. And the best way to defuse it is to work together, positively, and to promote fraternity.”

He urged Christian leaders top commit to an “education in fraternity” to stand up against hatred.

The Pope then travelled to Slovakia, where he told the Jewish community: “Your history is our history, your sufferings are our sufferings.”

Speaking in Rybné Námestie Square, which used to be the heart of Bratislava’s Jewish quarter, the Pope said that “G-d’s name was dishonored” in “a frenzy of hatred” during WWII.

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For the second time in under a month, vandals have desecrated the Jewish cemetery of Ioannina, Greece.

In a statement, the Jewish Community of Ioannina said: “It is a sad event in a city where the Jewish community left a mark, where it coexisted harmoniously for centuries and where a handful of its remaining members are a part of its present.”

In a separate statement on Friday, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) said: “Antisemitism targets even the dead. For the second time in less than a month a tomb was found vandalised at the Jewish cemetery of Ioannina. The vandals chose the period of the High Holidays of the Jewish faith for the manifestation of their antisemitic hatred with the hideous act of removing the tombstone of a grave. Shame!

“The state as well as the local authorities need to take all necessary measures for the safety of the Jewish Community and its sacred sites all over Greece, and particularly in Ioannina, where the Jewish cemetery has been the target of hatred attacks repeatedly in the past. Let the dead rest in peace!”

It was said that the grave had been smashed in “almost exactly the same way” as the grave in last month’s incident. The KIS said of last month’s vandalism: “We strongly condemn this shameful act of sacrilege which indicates that the hatred of the perpetrators leads to villainous manifestations of violence and fanaticism.”

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Image credit: The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece