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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

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.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

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 Nazim 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. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

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. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Fighting Online Antisemitism

Italian Police are investigating an incident in which an Israeli tourist visiting Pisa was assaulted, suffering head injuries.

On 31st August, Elad Forgash was shopping for souvenirs in the Tuscan city and was chatting to the sales assistant. Mr Forgash said that after telling the man that he was from Israel, the man allegedly said that he “hated Israel and the Jews because they were killers.”

Mr Forgash said that he remained calm, merely handing back the sculptures and saying he would “rather not buy from him.” Mr Forgash said the man then hit over the head with the sculptures.

“Luckily, there were tourists who filmed him,” said Mr Forgash. Police arrived and an ambulance took him to hospital. He reported suffering a fractured eye socket and a broken nose, which he said would need surgery in Israel.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project. 

The Federation of the Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic has 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.

In its annual report, the Federation said that 2020 had seen 874 antisemitic incidents compared with around 690 the previous year. Some 98 percent, however, took place online and included conspiracy theories and antisemitic groups and individuals who blamed Jews for the pandemic and claimed that vaccination served Jewish financial interests.

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

While noting that the vast majority of anti-Jewish hatred was online, it said that in 2020 there had been one physical attack, one attack on Jewish property, and six incidents involving antisemitic threats, harassment and verbal insults.

The report stated that its “analysis of violent antisemitic attacks and the profiles of their perpetrators” confirmed that “a violent act” was invariably preceded by “expressions of hatred vented on the internet, especially on social media.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.