While America mourns for the ten people killed and three injured, eleven of whom were Black, reportedly at the hands of self-described “ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist” Payton Gendron on 14th May, many have turned their attention to the shooter’s 180-page-long manifesto.

The document details the alleged Buffalo supermarket killer’s interest in what is known as the “Great Replacement Theory”. This antisemitic far-right conspiracy theory claims that Jews are the secret masterminds behind a planned “invasion” of non-white immigrants into western countries with the aim of making white people a minority to further an insidious, but largely unclear, agenda.

The theory’s origins are said to date back to early-20th century France, but it was formalised and popularised more recently, by the writer Renaud Camus in his 2011 essay “Le Grand Remplacement” (“The Great Replacement”).

Over time, the theory was adopted by white supremacists who professed hatred for Jews and other non-whites, with one prominent example including those behind the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The theory has also influenced terrorist murderers like neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Breivik, Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, and Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant, from whose manifesto the alleged Buffalo shooter’s writings are reported to have borrowed heavily.

One Twitter user stated that Mr Gendron’s manifesto included a “scientific”-style chart distinguishing between different types of supposedly Jewish faces based on animals and mythical creatures, including hawks, trolls, goblins, demons, “nightmare” creatures and rats. It is illustrated with famous faces, including former Labour Party MP Luciana Berger, actor Ron Perlman, billionaire financier and activist George Soros, and philosopher Max Horkheimer, whose writings often feature in far-right conspiracy theories about “cultural Marxism”.

The gunman apparently explained that, although the primary problem in the United States is supposed Jewish influence, he chose to attack immigrants and Black people to stop them from having any more impact on the country.

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It has been reported that a student at Temple University in Philadelphia is suing the University after she claimed that administrators did not do enough after she made her complaint about her roommate’s antisemitism.

Sasha Westrick, 18, alleges that Temple rejected her complaints about her roommate’s alleged repeated antisemitic outbursts. They included abuse over the social media platform Snapchat, in which Ms Westrick was sent an image of herself with the caption “I hate Jews” underneath.

Ms Westrick was given the alleged perpetrator as a roommate during the autumn 2021 semester because they were both on the rowing team. However, their relationship quickly soured, with the roommate allegedly mocking Ms Westrick for the way she was dressed before attending a Shabbat dinner. The roommate then asked Ms Westrick for money on the grounds that all Jews are wealthy. It is also alleged that Westrick’s other roommate participated in the antisemitic bullying.

Though the University acknowledged in a written statement that the roommate did indeed make antisemitic remarks, Ms Westrick claims that the administration did nothing to help her.

Ms Westrick’s lawyer, Robert Mozenter, said in a press release that his client was “being bullied by two of her roommates and crew teammates and Temple University did nothing to help her and eventually used the University’s own policies and procedures to make Sasha’s situation worse.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Temple University said: “Temple University is aware of the lawsuit filed by Sasha Westrick. We disagree with the manner in which much of the information in the complaint is presented and characterised. We will respond at the appropriate time through the legal process. While the University does not ordinarily comment on pending litigation, we can say that Temple fully investigated, reviewed and addressed this matter pursuant to University policies, and appropriate remedies were implemented.”

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A suspect has been arrested in connection with a series of incidents of vandalism at synagogues in Portland, Oregon, including the arson attack and vandalism of Congregation Beth Israel.

Michael Bivins, who is said to have worked as a reporter on political extremism for liberal publications including a local weekly independent newspaper, has been charged with one count of arson and three counts of criminal mischief.

The charges relate to one incident in which a rock was thrown through a window at Congregation Shir Tikvah on 30th April and a fire and graffiti at Congregation Beth Israel on May 2nd and 4th, in which the words “Die Juden” (either “the Jews” in German, or “die Jews” in a combination of English and German) were found spray-painted on an outside wall.

It has been reported that the source of information about Mr Bivins’s arrest was the Willamette Week, the same weekly independent newspaper where he has published many of his articles about the treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters and counter-protesters and radical left-wing and right-wing groups by police in Portland.

Mr Bivins was arrested after entering a local television station and asking to speak to a reporter there.

Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Michael Cahana said that these incidents emphasise how important it is for members of the public and the press to report even apparently minor incidents, writing in a letter to synagogue members that “This series of events, which has shaken our community, is an important reminder that even incidents which seem random and unrelated or too minor to bother with should be properly reported. We are all responsible for one another.”

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School administrators and local law enforcement in Franklin, Massachusetts, are investigating antisemitic slurs allegedly hurled during a high school baseball game.

On 5th May, the team from Sharon High School travelled to Franklin High School, about fifteen miles away and 42 miles south west of Boston, only to be greeted by fans from the home side shouting antisemitic, racist and homophobic slurs at them.

It has been reported that counselling services are being offered to the victims.

Joe Scozzaro, the Principal of Sharon High, said “Our baseball players reported to their coach after the game that Franklin High spectators were out at the left-field fence heckling our outfielders during the game using antisemitic, racist and homophobic epithets, including various vulgarities.”

In a letter sent out to families, the Franklin High Principal, Joshua Hanna, wrote “We denounce such behaviour and are outraged. Our hearts go out to the Sharon community. There’s no place for such behaviour in our schools and at school events. This behaviour is highly inconsistent with our core values in the inclusive culture we are committed to creating at Franklin High School.”

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The Governor of the State of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, has announced that the State will adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Jewish settlement in Nebraska started shortly after it became an organised territory in 1854. As of 2020, there were reported to be 76,300 Jews living in Nebraska, making up 0.5% of a total population of 1.9 million. 

Governor Ricketts said that “We’ve seen a disturbing rise in antisemitism across the country. Here in Nebraska, we’re not immune to it. Someone painted a swastika on a synagogue in Lincoln. We see this rise in antisemitism and must be aggressive in combatting it. We must let people know we stand against hate.”

Nebraska becomes the 27th state to adopt the Definition. This comes after last week’s news that the State of Alaska adopted the Definition after a proclamation by Governor Mike Dunleavy.

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 councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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Video footage uploaded to Twitter shows people flying Nazi flags outside of Disney World in Florida.

The clip, uploaded on Saturday by StopAntisemitism.org, garnered the attention of thousands online, in addition to that of Jewish groups and institutions.

In a statement, the Florida Holocaust Museum said: “It’s a sad day for humanity when even Disney World – the ‘happiest place on earth’ – is not immune to blatant antisemitism.

“Displays of Nazi imagery are repugnant, and this demonstration was clearly meant to offend and provoke. No family should be confronted with threatening symbols of hate, least of all on vacation.”

In January, the National Socialist Movement chanted “The Jew is the devil!” “Jews rape children and drink their blood” and “Jews brought slaves here” at a rally in Florida.

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Technology giant Apple is imposing tight new restrictions on users who want to take photographs of Holocaust-related sites and make them part of photo albums.

A new software update means that photos taken at Holocaust sites like the Anne Frank House and Auschwitz will no longer be included in automatically-generated albums created in the company’s signature app, Photos, in order to avoid “creating some unwanted memories”.

Users will not be able to disable Apple’s “sensitive locations” function, but will be able to include the images in albums they make themselves.

The aim, according to the company, is to avoid the trivialisation and minimisation of the Holocaust that occurs when photo-takers make images of themselves acting or dressed inappropriately in places commemorating the genocide of the Jewish people.

Apple’s list of sensitive locations includes the Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel, the Dachau concentration camp, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, the Schindler Factory in Krakow, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and the Belzec, Chelmno, Treblinka and Sobibor Nazi death camps in Poland.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Software that presents users with photographs and videos of happy memories is probably not the best place for people to be reminded of their solemn visits to locations where the genocide of the Jewish people took place or where it is commemorated. However, some might say that these mementos should not be forever hidden away from us lest they upset us. Ultimately users will know what they want. We recognise that it is a tricky balance and feel that Apple should be applauded for acknowledging the issue and taking action, which is more than can be said for other platforms.”

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Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker, who has previously garnered media attention for her inflammatory comments and support for conspiracy theories, is set to speak at San Diego Community College for the investiture ceremony for its new chancellor.

Ms Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 for her novel The Colour Purple. She is, however, also known to have made inflammatory comments about Jews, one example of which can be seen in her poem “To Study the Talmud”. Excerpts from Ms Walker’s poem reads:

“Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
“That, but to enjoy it?
“Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
“Are young boys fair game for rape?
“Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?”

While also receiving little scrutiny from the press about her views due to the forthcoming publication of her journals, Ms Walker has been asked to speak at the investiture of San Diego Community College’s new chancellor, Carlos O. Cortez.

Ms Walker has also voiced her support for the antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, citing with approval his books Human Race Get off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More, which states that the world is secretly run by shape-shifting reptilian humanoids and “Rothschild Zionists”, and And the Truth Shall Set You Free, which promotes the antisemitic conspiracy theories contained in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and questions whether the Holocaust happened.

The author reportedly described Mr Icke’s work as “a curious person’s dream come true” and denied that there was anything antisemitic or anti-Jewish about its content.

Mr Icke uses social media, his books and his stage performances to incite hatred. His preaching is so absurd that since the 1990s he has been dismissed as a crank, but because he is dismissed, there has been no major opposition to him and he has built up a following of thousands upon thousands of disciples whom he has persuaded to adamantly believe that the world is in the grip of a conspiracy run by the “Rothschild Zionists”. His repertoire includes conspiracy myths and tropes classified as antisemitic according to the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British Government. Campaign Against Antisemitism has successfully persuaded some venues to pull out of hosting his events.

After years of pressure from Campaign Against Antisemitism, Mr Icke was banned from most social media platforms.

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The State of Alaska has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism after a proclamation by Governor Mike Dunleavy.

In adopting the Definition, Alaska has become the twenty-fifth American state – along with the District of Columbia – to do so.

The history of the Jews in Alaska predates America’s purchase of the territory from the Russian Empire in 1867. As of 2017, the Jewish population in the state was approximately 5,750, making up 0.78 percent of a total population of 736,081.

In October 2019, Michael Graves, from Anchorage, was jailed for posting hate messages calling for violence against Jews and Muslims and for illegally owning a machine gun and silencers. Mr Graves later recanted his views after he was required to take classes and read books about the Holocaust and other forms of race-hate before writing essays about what he learned as part of his eighteen-month sentence.

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 councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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A synagogue in Portland, Oregon has reportedly been subject to an arson attack and vandalised.

Community leaders at Congregation Beth Israel on Northwest Flanders Street say that the synagogue, which was built in 1859, shows the remains of a fire that had been set in front of the building and graffiti containing an antisemitic message had been spraypainted on the building’s exterior wall.

Rabbi Michael Cahana said that this is not the first incident of this kind to have happened at Congregation Beth Israel, but nothing to date has been as brazen as this.

Rabbi Cahana said: “The message I’m giving to my community is that I don’t want anyone sitting in fear. We don’t believe that this is part of a larger threat, there haven’t been other antisemitic incidents reported around town.”

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Rutgers University and local police are investigating a series of antisemitic incidents involving a fraternity at the University.

Members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity were commemorating Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in their annual 24-hour-long event, which involved reading the names of people who were murdered during the Holocaust, when they were reportedly pelted with eggs.

This closely follows a separate apparently antisemitic incident that took place a few days before, when several cars full of people carrying and waving Palestinian flags stopped outside the fraternity’s residence on Sicard Street, shouting antisemitic remarks, spitting, and throwing things at the house.

The latter incident apparently took place after a local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine held a “Defend Al-Aqsa, Defend Palestine” rally. The perpetrators are reported to have called fraternity members “baby killers” and “terrorists”.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost, Francine Conway, sent a letter to Rutgers students and faculty about the incident, saying: “Initial representations regarding the incident are disturbing. We understand and are sensitive to the concerns of those who were targeted, and stand by our Jewish students, faculty and staff. Harassment based on religious belief, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or for any reason, is antithetical to our values at Rutgers University.”

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The State of Arizona has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

On 19th April, Amendment HB 2675, known as the “Arizona Holocaust Education Bill”, passed the state legislature by 49 votes to 3.

The bill, which requires Arizona’s schools to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides on at least two occasions between seventh and twelfth grades, was originally introduced in January 2020, but was delayed by Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer, who wanted to include the Definition.

Jews have been a part of life in Arizona since the 1860s. According to a 2020 study, the state’s Jewish population was 108,075, making up 1.5 percent of a total population of over seven million.

Arizona has not been free of antisemitism. In January 2022, police in Tucson arrested a man in connection with the vandalism of the Kol Ami Synagogue. In November 2021, far-right influencer Tim Gionet, also known as “Baked Alaska”, was charged with damaging a Chanukah display at the Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix the year before. Also in 2021, a woman who identified herself as Melanie Rettler went on an antisemitic tirade at a school board meeting in a Phoenix suburb but her comments went unchallenged.

Sen. Boyer said: “Passing the bill without the IHRA [International] Definition would leave our legislative intent unfulfilled and vulnerable to exploitation.”

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 councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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.

It has been reported that an Oregon university that fired a Jewish professor after he accused its president of making antisemitic remarks violated the professor’s academic freedom.

Linfield University in McMinnville, 38 miles south of Portland, fired English professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner in 2021 after he accused president Miles K. Davis of making comments about the supposed size of Jewish noses and jokes about sending Jews to gas chambers. Prof Pollack-Pelzner also suggested that the university had covered up reports of swastika graffiti and other instances of hate speech, as well as sexual assault allegations.

Prof Pollack-Pelzner also recalls not only that President Davis withheld his reports, fearing that they would bring the University into disrepute and accusing Prof Pollack-Pelzner of “harbouring a secret agenda to grab power”, but that the President warned of “disloyalty from within” in a meeting. Prof Pollack-Pelzner also claims that President Davis said that “people like him were destroying Linfield University from within”.

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 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has now decided that Linfield violated Prof Pollack-Pelzner’s academic freedom when they fired him, stating that the University “contributed to a culture of abuse” in the way it treated the professor.

The AAUP report holds that Linfield forced Prof Pollack-Pelzner out of his job and ensured he was unable to use his e-mail account without holding an initial disciplinary hearing (a requirement for charges against a tenured professor).

Linfield University itself did not take part in the AAUP investigation, and university spokespeople indicated in their interactions with faculty and local media that they did not accept the report’s allegations and were ready to fight them in court.

Prof Pollack-Pelzner is now reportedly a visiting scholar at Portland State University.

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.

It has been reported that a rock concert in Tucson, Arizona has dropped a band from its bill due to an antisemitic website run by its frontman.

The “Whole Enchilada” benefit concert, held on 16th April at the Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson, was supposed to feature a number of popular local bands, including veteran outfit Chuck Wagon and the Wheels.

However, the attention of the organisers was drawn to the band’s lead singer, Chuck Maultsby, whose website allegedly contains numerous antisemitic posts, including examples of Holocaust denial, posts supporting Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and rationalisations for the concentration camps in which millions of Jews were interned and murdered.

Mr Maultsby’s material consists of over 250 pages of conspiracy theories blaming the coronavirus pandemic on Jews, claims that the Jews planned the 9/11 attacks on New York City, and celebrations of Adolf Hitler, who Mr Maultsby says was a “good guy”.

Along with justifications for the actions of notorious Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele, who, according to Mr Maultsby, saved the lives of tens of thousands of “inmates” at the death camp through his “tireless efforts”, the website explains how Jews are responsible for the deaths of former American President John F. Kennedy and US Army General George S. Patton, as well as announcing that the diary of Anne Frank is a “hoax”.

Mr Maultsby also describes the Holocaust in such terms, asking in one post from 2017: “Is the Holocaust a Hoax? Short Answer: OF COURSE. Within five minutes, any intelligent, open-minded person can be convinced that the Holocaust gassings of World War II are a profitable hoax.”

Mr Maultbsy’s website is reportedly no longer available at its original location, but has apparently been archived in several places. The site does still, however, show memes with Hitler’s photograph, myths about a “white genocide” orchestrated by Jews, and a self-published book that its author claims to have been banned on Amazon. One such meme reads: “If you think I am evil, it means you have never did any research but you are fully brainwashed by the Jewish written History [sic].”

Chuck Wagon and the Wheels were subsequently disinvited from the concert, and some members of the Tucson music scene denounced the singer.

David Slutes, the entertainment director for Hotel Congress, said: “It’s harder than you think to move quickly on something like this, even when it’s obviously the right thing to do. Everyone feels embarrassed, guilty and bad about it. But learning about the depth of Chuck’s insanity was rough. I have worked for this Jewish-run business for 25 years and they are like extended family. This was not going to work for any of us.”

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It has been reported that the neighbourhood of Squirrel Hill in eastern Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has seen two separate antisemitic incidents over the last week.

On 15th April, the first night of the Jewish festival of Passover, more than twenty families had antisemitic flyers tossed into their driveways by a hate group who have also been known to work in California, Florida, New York, Colorado, and other American states.

Residents reported finding the antisemitic flyers inside a plastic bag filled with rice. This fits the profile of other similar incidents in Palo Alto, Beverly Hills, and elsewhere, though the Squirrel Hill victims did not disclose the precise wording of the material.

On 17th April, a male reportedly shouted “F**k Jews” as he walked past the Shaare Torah Congregation on Murray Avenue, a long street that connects the two communities of Squirrel Hill North and Squirrel Hill South.

In October 2018, Squirrel Hill, where 40 percent of the more than 26,000 residents are Jewish, saw the most violent antisemitic incident in American history, when 46-year-old Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle and three handguns, murdering eleven and wounding seven members of the congregation.

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The State of Ohio has reportedly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Executive Order 2022-06D, called “Defining and Combating Antisemitism”, describes anti-Jewish hatred and prejudice as a “persistent, pervasive, and disturbing problem in American society, including…in Ohio.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered all state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions, including public colleges and universities, to adopt the Definition, and encouraged “all federal and local governments and governmental agencies and entities to adopt it as well.”

There has been a steadily growing Jewish presence in Ohio since 1817. According to a 2020 study, the Jewish population was 151,615, making up 1.3 percent of a total state population of nearly twelve million.

The Executive Order points out, however, that Ohio’s Jewish population has been the target of several examples of antisemitic terrorism plots. These include an attempted attack on two synagogues in Toledo in December 2018, and another incident in white a white nationalist was arrested for threatening to attack a Jewish community centre in Youngstown with firearms in August 2019. The perpetrators behind these incidents are now serving prison sentences.

More recently, a professor at Ohio State University avoided long-term disciplinary consequences after using the term “Jew down” in one of her classes while referring to haggling about prices in a market. There have also been instances of antisemitic graffiti on the side of a Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), a zoombombing during an online careers fair at Ohio’s Miami University, and one example where a Jewish couple received antisemitic abuse and threats, and had rocks thrown at their home.

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 councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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.

School staff discovered two swastikas painted on a utility room at Landels Elementary School, Mountain View on 11th April.

Police said that they were not able to find any footage to help them in their investigation and have therefore issued a press release to seek the community’s help in finding the perpetrator.

This incident comes after graffiti that included the N-word was found at Amy Imai Elementary School. Similarly, graffiti has been discovered at both Bubb and Monta Loma elementary schools, including swastikas.

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image credit: Google

Swastika graffiti was discovered on trees in Forest City Community Park in Wantagh, Nassau County, on 14th April, the eve of Passover and Easter.

A pentagram Satanic symbol was also discovered at the New York park.

In response to the incident, the swastikas will be scrubbed off and the Parks and Public Safety departments will conduct more patrols and additional check-ups of the park and its facilities, according to authorities.

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Image credit: Google

Drew Matthews, a police officer at the University of Colorado Boulder has been put on administrative leave following accusations of racism and antisemitism.

Safe Access for Everyone (SAFE), which has been described as “an anti-police organisation”, found tweets allegedly posted by Mr Matthews under the account /u/BocoRam18 on the Boulder and CUBoulder subreddit boards, as well as on the ProtectandServe board for police officers, on which he reportedly verified his identity as a campus police officer.

According to SAFE, Mr Matthews is alleged to have compared a private business’ vaccine mandate to the Holocaust, reportedly writing: “If people told you to wear a star on your shirt you’d do it.” In a post referencing homeless people, Mr Matthews is claimed to have written: “I say call in fire with the police and just spray the hoses at them till they leave”. Mr Matthews also allegedly wrote, in another comment, that he stopped “every black male” at a house party that he broke up after receiving a report of sexual assault, where the suspect was black with an average height and build wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.

Mr Matthews was placed on paid administrative leave on 11th April due to allegedly “offensive and reprehensible” posts.

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Luc Bernard, a video game developer and the creator of the first video game about the Holocaust, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where he spoke about how video games could be an instrumental resource in teaching young people about the Shoah.

Mr Bernard, whose grandmother assisted children who arrived in the United Kingdom on the Kindertransport, an initiative in 1938-39 to rescue nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Europe, described his motivation in the creation of his game, The Light in the Darkness.

“Some don’t believe video games can be educational. That’s something I disagree with,” he said. “The problem is, no one has thought about what is the next step, or how do we continue education in new ways? Because I think education is trying to get the digital generation to adapt to them, rather than trying to adapt to the digital generation.”

Pointing to the successes of previous artforms in providing Holocaust education after meeting initial resistance, Mr Bernard said: “Comic books were viewed as insane at one point until Maus came out. Films were kind of viewed like, ‘I don’t know, man,’ until Shoah came out, and Schindler’s List. Video games need to be able to tackle the subject because we’re the number one form of entertainment, and I think rather than discourage game developers towards doing it, we should actually be able to guide game developers and encourage them to make these games, because then there would be more awareness.” 

The story of the game revolves around Polish Jews in France during the Holocaust, Mr Bernard told our host. “You follow a Polish Jewish family in France, so you get to play, more like interact and experience, the story from France before the occupation, up to the occupation, antisemitism rising…we’re kind of going through every single step.

“What I really wanted to do is actually have you become attached to these characters, get to see who they were, get to live their life, rather than just go automatically into the bad things, because you know how film is, you want people to become attached emotionally so it has a bigger impact on the viewer, or on the player…also, in between scenes, you will have an option to listen to survivor testimonies, French survivors. You’ll be able to see the similarities to compare what they went through to what that current scene is showing.”

Asked whether ‘video game’ is an accurate title for The Light in the Darkness, Mr Bernard said that “it could be called several things,” including “an interactive story” or “an educational video game.” 

Despite Mr Bernard referring to The Light in the Darkness as a ‘game’, he clarified that he has removed the player’s ability to make choices within the game to mirror the reality of the Holocaust for Jewish people. “If I made choice-based things, it would make it seem like Jews could have saved themselves. There’s so many factors to the Holocaust [and] why it happened. The fact that loads of countries closed their doors, didn’t allow refugees in. How, as the Jews were trying to get to what was British Palestine back then, Britain closed it down. How Britain only allowed 10,000 children on the Kindertransport. All those things are pretty much out of everyone’s control and I know some people [whose] mothers had to give them up just so they could live. If I made it choice-based so that it could affect the story, it would just make it seem like people had a choice and that’s why I really just had to eliminate that, and that’s again what makes it very weird for a video game. It’s very different to anything else I’ve ever done before.”

Mr Bernard chose to set the game in France under the Vichy Government. “What makes the Vichy government so interesting is that it was France that deported the Jews, it was France that decided to deport the children. France went full-on collaboration and they weren’t Nazis – they were bad people, and they had the same intent as the Nazis – and setting it in France shows how it wasn’t just the Nazis that did this, and how everyday people can become hateful.

“I think when people will play it, they’ll be like ‘wait, this was the French Government that did this? It was the French policeman that rounded them up?’, then they’ll actually realise the extent to how bad the Holocaust was because a lot of people just think it was just the Nazis. And, no, it was Europe. Europe did this.”

Mr Bernard, who is himself French, said “I actually love France, but it also means you have to address the dark, historical past of your country.” 

The Light in the Darkness is expected to be released later this year for Xbox and Windows, with other platforms also under consideration.

Throughout the interview, Mr Bernard touched upon a wide variety of topics which included his own Jewish background, why the far-right has infiltrated video games, and how other video games have traditionally fallen short in how they depict Nazis.

The podcast with Mr Bernard can be listened to here, or watched here.

Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox. Previous guests have included comedian David Baddiel, The Sunday Telegraph columnist Zoe Strimpel and actor Eddie Marsan.

A couple from Boston say they have bought a building with the aim of creating the city’s first museum dedicated to the Holocaust.

Co-founders of the Holocaust Legacy Foundation, Jodi Kipnis and Todd Ruderman, explained that they have bought a building on Tremont Street in the centre of the city to house the project.

Though Boston already hosts the New England Holocaust Memorial, erected in the centre of the city in 1995, just one mile from Ms Kipnis and Mr Ruderman’s proposed museum, this new venture would be the city’s first indoor museum about the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.

The announcement comes after a rise in antisemitic incidents in and around Boston, including swastika graffiti found at a Boston high school, amongst other incidents in schools across Massachusetts, and the presence of the neo-Nazi group Nationalist Social Club at the recent St Patrick’s Day parade.

Ms Kipnis and Mr Ruderman have expressed their concern about young people’s lack of knowledge about the Holocaust. 

Ms Kipnis said: “The timeless and timely lessons of the Holocaust have never been more urgently needed. In order for the Holocaust to remain relevant to new generations, Holocaust Legacy Foundation is taking the opportunity to create a powerful museum for all of New England.”

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.

An investigation into the conduct of an Ohio State University professor who allegedly used an antisemitic slur in one of her classes has resulted in no long-term disciplinary consequences for the academic.

Jackie Buell, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences specialising in sports nutrition, was accused of using the phrase “Jew down” in an October 2021 class discussion about haggling over prices while making purchases in Mexico. The phrase alludes to an antisemitic stereotype of Jewish people as excessively frugal.

Though the University suspended Prof. Buell from teaching classes in the Spring 2022 semester and directed her to take anti-discrimination training for the next twelve months, the investigation found that she did not breach the University’s non-discrimination and harassment policy. Her conduct has instead been officially described as “inappropriate”.

The University’s Office of Institutional Equity reportedly found Prof. Buell’s behaviour “offensive, concerning and inappropriate,” but decided that her comments did not interfere with or deny any student’s ability to access educational facilities at the University.

Prof. Buell is expected to demonstrate a certain level of growth following her training before she is permitted to begin teaching again.

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 Police Department in Lakewood, New Jersey, has released details of an allegedly antisemitic attack that took place on Friday 8th April.

Dion Marsh, 27, is accused of taking part in a series of incidents throughout Lakewood. All of Marsh’s alleged victims are said to be Orthodox Jews.

Mr Marsh reportedly assaulted a driver and stole his car before running over someone else, stabbing a third victim in the chest, and striking a fourth with the vehicle in nearby Jackson Township.

All four victims are reported to have been injured in the incident, the latter two critically. Mr Marsh has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and bias intimidation, as well as carjacking and weapons charges.

The ADL’s New York/New Jersey Regional Director is reported to have said: “More needs to be done to prevent violence against the Jewish community, and in particular visibly identifiable Jews in Ocean County and across our region. Jews should not be afraid to go about their business without living in fears that they will be targeted for violence.”

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: Lakewood Police Department

New data published by the New York City Police Department shows that antisemitic hate crimes rose by 92% in March 2022 compared to a year ago.

23 antisemitic hate crimes were reported in New York in March 2022. In March 2021, the police recorded eleven such incidents.

These findings reflect those of previous months: February 2022 saw a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to February 2021 (56 compared to eleven the year before), while January showed almost 300% additional antisemitic hate crimes year on year.

While the NYPD recorded increases in hate crimes aimed at Muslims, people based on their ethnic origin in general, and based on the victim’s sexual orientation, the number of incidents with Asian or Hispanic victims went down.

Taking all reported incidents into account, the data reveals that there were more antisemitic hate crimes than those experienced by any other group except Asian-Americans.

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.

A Jewish man who was wrongfully convicted of arson in 1983 and has spent the last 39 years trying to clear his name has been vindicated.

Barry Jacobson’s lawyers, who were supported by the ADL and the Innocence Project, announced on Tuesday 5th April that a court ruled that the jury was biased, and that the case has been dismissed.

Mr Jacobson was sentenced to six months in prison and received a fine of $10,000 after being found guilty of setting a fire at his home in Richmond, Massachusetts in 1983, though only served one month. The conviction caused him to lose his real estate licenses in Massachusetts and New York, which proved to be detrimental to his job in the commercial real estate business.

Mr Jacobson stated that “for nearly 40 years I have been haunted by this wrongful conviction.”

He continued: “Time and again it has affected my career, my business, my family and my community. It has been beyond painful. It is an experience I would not wish on anyone.”

Bob Cordy, Mr Jacobson’s attorney, said that the prosecution and jury deliberations were both affected by antisemitism. The prosecution, Mr Cordy said, relied on a racist stereotype where they believed that Mr Jacobson set the fire for insurance money.

In a sworn statement from one juror, he referred to Mr Jacobson as “one of those New York Jews who think they can come up here and get away with anything.”

Mr Jacobson’s lawyers were aware of antisemitism on the jury months after the verdict, but despite mentioning it in their appeals, there was no vindication.

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: ADL via The Times of Israel

The comedian and actor Elon Gold appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where he spoke about how he uses comedy to tackle antisemitism.

Speaking on his approach to discussing antisemitism in his comedy, Mr Gold stated that his priority is to consider whether his material is funny and whether he is making “the right point”. 

Describing what constitutes “the right point”, Mr Gold clarified: “If it comes from my heart and from my anger about antisemitism.”

“All of comedy is complaining, and I realised that a few years ago. You have to be annoyed about something to joke about it and to want to deride it, mock it, ridicule it, but first, it has to annoy you. So what annoys me? Antisemitism. It annoys the crap out of me and I’m angry about it because it’s not funny at all, but now I have to find the funny because that’s my job and I happen to be obsessed with finding the funny in hate, because when you do that, when you find the funny in hate, you get to expose the ignorance of bigotry. And you get to mock these bigots.”

Mr Gold outlined what this approach looks like by providing an example of one of his comedy routines that touches upon the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. “One of my favourite new bits that I’ve been doing lately is mocking those idiots who went to the rallies with the tiki torches going around going ‘the Jews will not replace us.’” Mr Gold joked: “‘And I’m like, ‘the Jews will not replace you? We don’t want to replace you, we just want to put braces on you. Replace you? We just want to manage your portfolio.’”

Discussing why he feels the routine is so impactful, he says that it’s because “It’s got these funny jokes but it’s making a point. Here are these groups of morons walking around with tiki torches going ‘the Jews will not replace us’…what is that message, even? As it turns out, it’s about immigration and it’s a whole thing that it’s their farkakta (nonsense) brains that they think there’s some global conspiracy of the Jews trying to replace them, but it’s all just nuts.

“So it’s my job now to mock these nut-jobs. And I do it from the right place. I know I’m in the right and they’re dead wrong. You can’t justify any sort of racism, homophobia…you’re not right.”

Turning to the subject of offence, Mr Gold has clearly given careful consideration to this issue. “There are bits that I do where I literally do a German accent. And that, you know…you talking about something that’s triggering. The last thing I ever want to do is… let’s say a Holocaust survivor is in the audience, or even the son or grandson of one. And to offend one of them would hurt me deeply. So of course, it’s not my intention to offend, but it is my intention to mock Nazis.”

Mr Gold went on to explain how he differentiates those who may take offence at different types of jokes, for example a dirty joke. “If you’re offended by that, that’s your problem. With antisemitism, with an area as sensitive as that, now we’re not talking about sex, we’re talking about something that people are getting killed over, to this day, and for thousands of years. And I do make it a point not to do any Holocaust jokes. There’s nothing funny about it, and that’s not even a topic I would ever want to bring up.

“However, if Whoopie Goldberg brings it up and says something idiotic like ‘the Holocaust isn’t about race,’ I’m gonna do jokes like ‘oh, the Holocaust isn’t about race? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what my great-grandparents heard in the camps.’” In a German accent, Mr Gold jokes: “By the way, this is not about race. This has nothing to do with race, you Jews are always jumping to conclusions!”

Mr Gold goes on to explain his thought behind the joke, saying: “I’m doing the accent, I’m mocking Nazis, but the joke isn’t, God-forbid on the victims. It’s not even on the Holocaust. It’s on Whoopie, and it’s on the Nazis. It’s on the bad guys. Whoopie’s not bad, she said something bad and wrong and it’s my job to correct it with jokes.”

“So to me, I have to say something about this. It’s an impulse, I can’t just ignore it. And by the way, when she said it, again, I wasn’t offended by it. I just said to myself ‘Oh, I have to correct that error.’ And my only weapon is jokes.”

Throughout the interview, Mr Gold touched upon a wide variety of topics which included opening up about an encounter of antisemitism that his family experienced, why he refuses to work on the Sabbath, and his recurring role in the most recent season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The podcast with Mr Gold can be listened to here, or watched here.

Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox. Previous guests have included comedian David Baddiel, The Sunday Telegraph columnist Zoe Strimpel and actor Eddie Marsan.

Three teenagers armed with a sword, a crowbar and a knife allegedly threatened a group of Jewish boys on New York’s Upper West Side.

The teenagers, ranging in ages from twelve to sixteen, allegedly threatened the group of six Jewish boys on the evening of Saturday 2nd April. The teenagers reportedly said that they wanted to “get them” because they were Jewish and proceeded to follow the boys home before running away.

Gale Brewer, the NYC Council Member who represents the district, condemned the incident as a “horrible antisemitic attack” on a Facebook post.

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.

An “alarming number” of recent bomb threats directed at Jewish community centres and synagogues in one month across the United States was a sharp reminder that “the Jewish community remains a top target for hate crimes in the United States.”

The warning came from the Secure Community Network (SCN), a Jewish communal security organisation, which noted in a press release issued in late March that since the beginning of the month there had been eighteen reported bomb threats directed at Jewish community centres (JCCs) and synagogues in nine states.

SCN said that it was “actively working with community leaders and law enforcement agencies” over the “recent wave of bomb threats against Jewish facilities nationwide.”

FBI officials have stated that investigations into the threats were active and remained a high priority.

The SCN comments came as the New York Jewish Week reported that the Staten Island JCC had briefly evacuated its premises following a bomb threat, while the JCC of Indianapolis also revealed that it had recently received a bomb threat.

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.

Community leaders in Sarasota have expressed anger over antisemitic flyers distributed in the Florida town twice in recent weeks.

The flyers – placed in Ziplock bags, weighted with rice – were placed on driveways of Jewish homes. The first batch, in mid-February, blamed the Jewish community for COVID-19. In the second tranche, some flyers again blamed Jews for COVID-19, while, according to the Sarasota Police Department, others blamed Jews for the war in Ukraine, claiming: “Every single aspect of the Ukraine-Russia War is Jewish.”

Speaking at a rally in Sarasota after the first batch of flyers were discovered in February, the Director of the American Jewish Committee said that the hatred in the flyers did not reflect the town. “This group does not speak for Sarasota, which time and again has stood up against all manifestations of antisemitism,” he said. “It makes me feel determined to say hate…against anyone will not win.”

This is just the latest of many incidents of antisemitic flyers being distributed across the United States.

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. 

Authorities in California’s Orange County are recommending hate crime charges against a woman who was allegedly dressed as a Nazi SS officer and is alleged to have yelled antisemitic comments at a man who tried to get her to remove her swastika armband.

According to a photo taken by a member of the public, the woman was dressed in an all-black outfit similar to that of a Nazi SS officer and wearing the armband while walking around outside a community centre in Laguna Woods, Orange County.

A man confronted the woman, who allegedly responded with antisemitic comments. According to a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, a “physical altercation” ensued as several people – including a man in his 80s – tried to remove the woman’s armband. Police attended the incident.

Subsequently, the district attorney’s office was asked to recommend that charges against the woman should include hate crime.

The following day, the Mayor of Laguna Woods, Carol Moore, released a statement saying that the city was outraged by the incident. “The city of Laguna Woods stands firmly against antisemitism, bigotry and hate in all its forms, fully and without exception,” the statement read, adding that the conduct “alleged in the disturbance” was “abhorrent, inexcusable, and antithetical to the character and values of our community” and that “any delay” in the public response was intended to “allow the investigation to conclude.”

City Councilman Noel Hatch, who said that he had lived in the area for 25 years and had seen “no indication that there is anything like this brewing,” described it as “a solo act” that was “not germane to any concern” that there was “something brewing here in Laguna Woods village.”

The incident came a month after antisemitic fliers were distributed in the Orange County districts of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Cypress. A report released in 2021 by the Orange County Human Relations Commission found that, in 2020, hate crimes in the county increased by 35%.

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: ADL

The Kansas state Legislature has reportedly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Bill HCR 5030, the short title of the bill named “Recognising the growing problem of antisemitism in the United States”, was adopted unanimously in the Kansas Senate with 38 “Yea” votes.

Gavriela Geller, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, American Jewish Committee in Kansas is reported to have said: “We can’t fight what we can’t define. The adoption of the definition is a crucial step towards combating rising Jew-hatred.”

The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed that less than one percent of Kansas adults identified as Jewish. In 2017, the Jewish population of Kansas was reported to be 17,300. This has not meant, however, that the midwestern state has been free of antisemitic incidents. 

In April 2014, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller Jr, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and known neo-Nazi, was convicted of murder after killing three people in a shooting spree at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Kansas City and the Jewish retirement community Village Shalom, both in Overland Park, Kansas. Mr Miller was sentenced to death, but died in prison in 2021 while awaiting execution.

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 councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

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.

Organisers of this year’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Boston were left feeling “disgusted” after it was discovered that a far-right group wearing items featuring neo-Nazi symbolism and holding a banner saying “Keep Boston Irish” had attended.

The twenty-strong group, reportedly the Nationalist Social Club (NSC), who is known for engaging with mainstream public events, was seen wearing green clothes and baseball caps. They remained anonymous through the use of face-masks bearing the number 131 (code for ACA, or anti-communist action) and sunglasses. 

Though confined to small, self-organising chapters mostly inside the United States, the organisation is known for spreading white supremacism. They maintain an overtly military theme, regarding themselves as combatants against a “Jewish-controlled” social and political system that aims at “white genocide”.

One member of the group was spotted holding a flag with the Celtic cross (a black flag with a white “plus” sign inside a circle). This Irish Christian symbol is often appropriated by white supremacist groups. 

A joint statement co-written by City Council President Ed Flynn, Councillor Michael Flaherty, state Senator Nick Collins, state Representative David Biele, US Representative Stephen Lynch, and Suffolk County clerk of civil courts Michael Donovan said: “We are disgusted by reports of outside hate groups descending into Boston for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade yesterday. Their ideology is repugnant and contrary to an event that celebrates our proud immigrant history and is enjoyed by children, families, and people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Woo stated: “It was deeply disturbing to see this display at a local celebration of culture and heritage, as we work to heal and build community through our recovery. With the growing intensity of white supremacist groups nationally, we are working closely with law enforcement at all levels – Boston will not tolerate hate crimes, and we will not be intimidated in our work to build a city for everyone.”

Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a spokesman for Boston police, stated that the police were aware of the group’s presence and that they would be conducting follow-up investigations.

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.

Two teenagers have been found guilty of carrying out a hate crime against a rabbi and sentenced in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Seventeen-year-old Tucker Bachman and fourteen-year-old Case Leckbee have been found guilty of criminal mischief when they defaced Rabbi Mendy Greenberg’s home, spray-painting the word “Jew’s” on his driveway, destroying his mailbox, and smashing his car window.

Mr Bachman and Mr Leckbee were reportedly sentenced to community service and a curfew. They also have to attend a Neighbourhood Accountability Board with their parents or guardian, at which Rabbi Greenberg will be present.

State Attorney Amira Fox said: “These juveniles will face their consequences immediately from the community they injured. They will learn of the impact of their senseless behaviour by meeting with leaders of the Jewish community and, together, the community will determine how best to repair the harm.”

Rabbi Greenberg is reported to have said: “I’m not looking for punishment, I’m looking for rehabilitation. For something to be rectified, for a wrong to be righted.”

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: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

A synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan, received a telephone call on 18th March from someone who claimed to have planted a pipe bomb at the synagogue.

The Temple Adat Shalom building was evacuated, and police and police dogs sent in to search for the device.No bomb was found, and the incident was described as a “cruel hoax designed to terrorise our communities,” by Rabbi Aaron Bergman in an e-mail to the congregation.

The hoax threat came the day after the conclusion of a Jewish festival that celebrates a biblical attempt to wipe out the Jewish people.

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A Connecticut woman was arrested on 12th March for arson and burglary after being accused of setting fires in a synagogue and a church.

Kimorah Parker, 30, allegedly broke into Tephereth Israel Synagogue on 11th March and started a fire that caused “fairly extensive” damage. She has also been accused of setting fire to St Matthew’s Lutheran Church.

Local police are investigating the arson with the assistance of the FBI.

The FBI released a statement in which it said: “Local police have arrested a suspect well-known to them and retain the lead over the ongoing investigations. No other incidents have been reported since the arrest. The FBI will continue to coordinate with local law enforcement and, pending further evidence collection, will determine whether federal charges are appropriate.”

A Tephereth Israel Synagogue congregation member called the incident “devastating,” adding: “We don’t know why the person who started the fire did this…we know she chose a church and a synagogue, so it wasn’t specifically Jewish; we don’t know a motive.

“It’s devastating, because that building holds a lot of memories for me and my family…I’m hoping that [the] building itself is still structurally sound and that they can repair it.”

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.

State politics in Idaho have been rocked by at least two incidents of Republican politicians indulging the far-right.

First, Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin reportedly appeared on stage via video link with members of the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), led by known Holocaust-denier and far-right leader Nick Fuentes, who has often used antisemitic language and tropes.

The appearance came as a surprise to Rabbi Dan Fink, head of Boise’s Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, who had recently received a letter from Ms McGeachin asking him to collaborate on an antisemitism task force.

Rabbi Fink expressed his worries about the militias who form the core of McGeachin’s support: “My first thought was, you’ve got to be kidding me. It seems like you’re missing the point with what we’re dealing with locally.”

Then, it emerged that, separately, Dan Bell, the Youth Chairman for a Republican Committee in Western Idaho, had sought to encourage Republicans to switch parties in order to elect the far-right activist Dave Reilly to a leadership position in the Democrat Party in order to discredit it.

Mr Reilly reportedly attended the deadly white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is claimed to have said that “all Jews are dangerous” and that “Jews pretend to be white when it’s expedient for them.” He has previously run unsuccessfully for an Idaho school board.

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 Executive Director of the human rights activist organisation Amnesty USA has come under fire for reportedly claiming that Israel “shouldn’t exist as Jewish state”, before trying to clarify his remarks.

The Jewish Insider reported that Paul O’Brien made the comments in a speech given to the Washington DC-based Woman’s National Democratic Club.

His speech was reported to have included claims about what most American Jews think of Israel and what kind of country they want the Jewish state to be, citing and querying existing polling data.

Mr O’Brien reportedly asserted that the majority of American Jews would prefer Israel to be a “safe Jewish space” organised around “core Jewish values” rather than a Jewish state.

Although Mr O’Brien said that Amnesty International, which has recently and controversially characterised Israel as an “apartheid state”, acknowledges that Israel exists and holds no official opinion about the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, he is reported to have said: “I believe my gut tells me that what Jewish people in this country want is to know that there’s a sanctuary that is a safe and sustainable place that the Jews, the Jewish people can call home…I think they can be convinced over time that the key to sustainability is to adhere to what I see as core Jewish values, which are to be principled and fair and just in creating that space.”

The Executive Director of pro-Israel group Zioness said to Jewish Insider that “It is disturbing that Amnesty, which ostensibly exists to advance global human rights, could so casually deny the inalienable rights of safety and sovereignty to a nation as persecuted as the Jewish people.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is an example of antisemitism.

William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, tweeted that: “It is clear that [Amnesty International’s] true vision is a Middle East without Israel as a Jewish state.”

Mr O’Brien then took to Twitter to “clarify” his remarks. He argued that the Jewish Insider had taken his comments “out of context”, claiming that he was not referring to the existence of the Jewish state, but specifically to Israel’s 2018 Nation State law, which defined Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” 

Jewish Insider later published the full audio recording and transcript of Mr O’Brien’s speech, defending its reportage of his comments.

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 world’s largest group of Christian broadcasters has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Troy A. Miller, CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, said: “Fighting antisemitism is a key issue for believers, and it’s very important that our understanding of the issue reflects cultural realities.

“An accurate and contemporary definition of antisemitism helps us to recognise and combat this form of hatred wherever it emerges.”

It was reported that South Korea 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.

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 State of Pennsylvania was found to have more white supremacist propaganda than any other state, with antisemitic incidents in general being recorded at 150% higher than it was in 2015.

A report showed that in 2021, 473 instances of white supremacist propaganda were distributed, almost doubling the previous year’s findings for the State. 24 of these incidents occurred in Pittsburgh.

Many of these incidents were reported to have come from Patriot Front, a national white supremacist group, who are said to be responsible for 82% of the propaganda incidents in the whole of the United States. Reportedly, members of the group must meet a distribution quota to remain within the group.

The second-highest level of white supremacist propaganda was found in the State of Virginia with a recorded 375 examples. 

The findings were published in ADL’s annual assessment. 

Last month, we reported that Pennsylvania police launched an investigation after graves in three separate cemeteries were vandalised with swastikas. Photographs uploaded to Twitter show large, orange swastikas spray-painted on headstones in Montgomery County.

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.

Authorities are investigating antisemitic and racist graffiti found at a school in Massachusetts.

The graffiti was found on bathroom walls at Natick High School on 8th March.

Anna Nolin, the Natick School District Superintendent, wrote in an email that “Natick Public Schools and the Natick Police Department do not stand for this type of behaviour. This behaviour is inappropriate, not aligned with our core values, and will not be tolerated. We will hold students or others involved fully accountable.”

This incident happened only a few weeks after “social justice training” was held for Natick School District personnel.

The discovery comes just a month after antisemitic, racist and anti-gay graffiti was discovered in a girls’ bathroom at Holten Richmond Middle School in nearby Danvers.

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Image credit: Google

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has released a statement condemning antisemitism.

The statement comes after several recent incidents, including the discovery of swastika graffiti in the bathrooms of a University accommodation building, public harassment in which antisemitic slurs were shouted at a student on Langdon Street, where many of the University’s fraternity houses and student residences are located, and a student who claimed to have been harassed for their supposedly “Jewish” appearance.

These are not the only incidents to have taken place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, in recent years. University authorities have investigated several instances of antisemitic graffiti on campus, including one occasion on which the University’s Police Department is reported to have investigated antisemitic graffiti on the popular Robert E. Gard Storyteller’s Circle, and another when neo-Nazi symbols were daubed in green paint on the walls of a university bookstore.

In the University’s statement, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston said: “Antisemitism is wrong and it will not be tolerated at UW-Madison. We are working to support all community members and increasing our educational efforts to prevent bias incidents from happening in the future. We are committed to creating a campus where everyone feels valued and knows they belong.”

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 multi-award-winning author and scholar of Hebrew and Yiddish literature, Dr Dara Horn, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where, among other topics, she discussed her mixed feelings towards Holocaust education.

Dr Horn said: “In the United States, there was this idea in the Jewish community about 30 or 40 years ago that Holocaust education was going to prevent antisemitism…you had the opening of this massive Holocaust museum in Washington, you started having mandatory curricular about the Holocaust in schools and other Holocaust memorials opening around the United States, you started having Hollywood movies about this, and a lot of that came from the Jewish community.

“The idea was that people would go to these museums or learn about this in school. They’d learn where hatred can lead, what the world did to the Jews and they would then stop hating Jews. It wasn’t a ridiculous idea but 30 years later and what’s interesting is there’s much higher levels of antisemitism now in the United States than there were 30 years ago, so maybe we should reevalute this?”

Dr Horn continued: “What it’s come to mean is that Holocaust education is the only education that people have about antisemitism and so what that has come to mean is that antisemitism consists of murdering six million Jews.”

Referring to her newest book, People Love Dead Jews: Reports From a Haunted Present, Dr Horn says: “I list a bunch of things that aren’t the Holocaust, and I list everything from trolling Jews on social media to expelling entire Jewish communities from entire countries and seizing all their assets, which of course happened in many, many countries in the Islamic world in the twentieth century. I was like, ‘all of those things are not Holocaust, none of them are a big deal!’”

“When somebody is trolling you on social media and they’re photoshopping your face into a gas chamber, the problem is not that that person doesn’t know about the Holocaust. It’s not an education problem,” Dr Horn added.

During the discussion with our host, Dr Horn also discussed her reaction to the Colleyville synagogue attack, why she decided to learn Talmud and whether Yiddish is making a comeback.

The podcast with Dr Horn can be listened to here, or watched here.

Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox. Previous guests have included comedian David Baddiel, The Sunday Telegraph columnist Zoe Strimpel and actor Eddie Marsan.

A sixteen-year-old student at Illinois’ Springfield High School has reportedly been arrested and charged with a hate crime for antisemitic writings.

The male student was arrested by the school resource officer on Wednesday at Springfield High School and was also charged with disorderly conduct involving threats to a school and criminal defacement of property.

The student had a hearing on Monday and is being detained at Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Center. Officials are waiting for the results of the student’s psychological assessment.

In response to the incident, a statement released by the Jewish Federation of Springfield said: “The Jewish community here in Springfield, like Jewish communities everywhere, deplores any manifestation or expression of antisemitism. Hostility to Jews as a group, negative stereotyping of Jews, and scapegoating of Jews as responsible for the various ills of society have a long and unfortunate history and have had very sad and tragic consequences over the course of Jewish history.

“We regard any expression of antisemitism, racism, or hate directed against any group in our community with deep concern and remain vigilant about the implicit threat not only to ourselves and to other communities that might be targeted, but also to the fabric of a diverse, pluralistic and democratic society.”

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A series of antisemitic flyers have been distributed around neighbourhoods in Palo Alto, California, prompting concern from local community leaders and law enforcement.

The flyers claim that certain named American federal officials and politicians are Jewish and blame them for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flyers were placed in plastic bags and weighed down with rice to stop them from being displaced by the wind before being placed in the front yards and porches of houses and apartment complexes. They are believed to have been distributed by the antisemitic Goyim Defence League (GDL), led by Jon Minadeo II

The GDL is a group is responsible for stunts such as visiting a Chabad centre to claim that “these Jewish terrorists” were behind 9/11, and hanging a banner on a Los Angeles overpass reading “Honk if you know the Jews want a race war.” Last year, Mr Minadeo II created t-shirts carrying antisemitic slogans such as the Holocaust was “a hoax”. Recently, they hung a banner from a bridge in Austin, Texas that read “Vax the Jews”.

Jeff Schwartz, teacher and Mitzvah Director at the Congregation Kol Emeth synagogue expressed his concerns about the flyer’s use of antisemitic themes, saying: “When you see a swastika on a building or something similar, it just hits you right in the heart. We know [antisemitism] is always there, but you don’t really believe it until you see something like this.”

We reported last month that the FBI was investigating antisemitic flyers, also connected with the GDL, that were deposited in the driveways of members of the Colleyville synagogue where a British Islamist recently took four people hostage.

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The New York Police Department (NYPD) has said that antisemitic crimes rose by 400% in February.

Last month, police recorded 56 hate crimes against Jewish people, compared with 11 in February 2021. Additionally, fifteen incidents were recorded in January compared with four in January of last year. The statistics reflected an overall increase in New York crime.

One such incident in February occurred when the words ‘F*** Jews’ were spray-painted three times on a newly opened Israeli restaurant named Miriam on the Upper West Side in New York City on Thursday 17th February. This antisemitic incident occurred at the same time as the Mayor, Eric Adams, was scheduled to hold a meeting to address the increase of antisemitic incidents across the city. 

A separate incident was addressed by Mayor Adams after he lambasted “disgusting” graffiti targeting Jewish people that was found scrawled on the window of a Queens dental office. A photograph shows the word “JEWS” scrawled across a window with a profanity preceding it. The graffiti was reportedly discovered by a rabbi on Saturday, after the Jewish Sabbath had ended, who then reported it to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Mayor Adams said in a tweet: “This would be disgusting anytime but it’s especially outrageous as we come to the end of Shabbos. We won’t let this vicious hatred go unanswered in our city.”

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Kentucky Republicans have become embroiled in numerous antisemitism controversies in recent days, while a Democratic candidate for Senate in Louisiana has drawn condemnation for praising the antisemitic hate preacher, Louis Farrakhan.

In Kentucky, a Republican lawmaker has sparked outrage after claiming that a pill used to induce abortion was developed during WWII under the name Zyklon B, which was the gas used to eterminate Jews during the Holocaust. He reportedly added that the man “who developed [the pills] was a Jew” and that they were created “because [Jewish people are] making money on it.” Representative Danny Bentley then went into a discussion of the intimate lives of Jewish women, “since we brought up the Hebrew family today.” Although the pill was indeed developed by a Jewish pharmacist, that was in the 1980s and had no connection at all to the Holocaust.

Mr Bentley later apologised, saying: “Last week we received a heartbreakingly sad reminder that antisemitism still exists in our society and I apologise if my comments today caused similar pain or any doubt that I stand with the Jewish community against hatred.” He added: “My intention was to speak as a pharmacist to the history of RU-486 and respond to a proposed amendment. I clearly should have been more sensitive with my comments.”

The controversy came shortly after a pair of Republican lawmakers, also in Kentucky, apologised for using an overtly antisemitic term during another recent legislative committee meeting.

Representative Walker Thomas used the phrase “Jew them down” during a discussion over the price of leases in an area devastated by tornadoes, while Senator Rick Girdler repeated it, but immediately withdrew it. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Mr Thomas asked if the state could “Jew them down on the price,” while Mr Girdler, who co-chairs the committee, repeated Mr Thomas’ question before quickly correcting himself, according to the report.  

The news outlet later reported that both lawmakers apologised for using the phrase, which is redolent of the antisemitic trope that Jewish people are cunning and miserly.

“I sincerely regret using that term,” said Mr Thomas, noting that “this is not who I am” nor “what my faith leads me to be.” It was, he said, “a phrase I have heard throughout my life, but this experience has provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the impact that words have and the fact that we must be smarter today than we were yesterday.” 

The outlet reported that Mr Girdler said that he was sorry if he “had offended anyone,” and had no “hate or malice” in his heart for anyone in the Jewish community.  

While apologies were welcome, said Melanie Maron Pell, from the local office  of the American Jewish Committee, there were many words and phrases to use “without succumbing to derogatory references” to Jews. An elected official “wilfully using” such a phrase, she said, was “contributing to the spread of a classic antisemitic trope.” Ms Pell added that “elected officials must be among the first to recognise the harm” such “derogatory terms can cause, especially when antisemitism is on the rise in the United States.”  

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a Democratic candidate in Louisiana, who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator John Neely Kennedy, appeared on Louis Farrakhan’s spokesperson’s podcast in 2020, lavishing praise on Mr Farrakhan, who is the leader of the controversial Nation of Islam, and describing himself as a “long-time supporter” of the antisemitic hate preacher.

Gary Chambers Jr, the local activist running for Senate, appeared on Dr Ava Muhammad’s podcast. Dr Muhammed is reportedly the national spokesperson for Mr Farrakhan, who has compared Jews to termites and called them “wicked”.

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Nicholas Wayne Sherman, 34, was sentenced on 1st March to 180 days of incarceration in Sacramento County Jail for leaving antisemitic leaflets at a synagogue and an elementary school in Carmichael, California, in October 2021.

He left “Aryan Nations” flyers on the doorsteps of homes and at the elementary school in Carmichael, many of which had swastikas drawn or printed on them.

Later that month, Mr Sherman tied papers to a menorah and a metal fence at the synagogue. These papers included antisemitic comments such as “Hitler was right” and photos of Adolf Hitler.

Mr Sherman was arrested in December 2021 and pleaded no contest to his charges. Eleven other misdemeanour charges were filed against him, although all were dismissed.

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Image credit: Shalom Le Israel

A yoga instructor has been fired after her employer reportedly discovered that her boyfriend is the leader of an antisemitic hate group.

Kelly Johnson was released from her position at a hot yoga studio in Berkeley, California after it was reported that her boyfriend is Jon Minadeo II, the leader of the antisemitic Goyim Defence League (GDL).

The GDL is a group is responsible for stunts such as visiting a Chabad centre to claim that “these Jewish terrorists” were behind 9/11, and hanging a banner on a Los Angeles overpass reading “Honk if you know the Jews want a race war.” Last year, Mr Minadeo II created t-shirts carrying antisemitic slogans such as the Holocaust was “a hoax”. Recently, they hung a banner from a bridge in Austin, Texas that read “Vax the Jews”.

Most recently, the GDL has been responsible for distributing antisemitic flyers to homes across the United States in less than one week, including the driveways of members of the Colleyville synagogue where a British Islamist recently took four people hostage. Written at the top of each flyer reads “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish” alongside the domain “goyim.tv”. The latest incident of flyer distribution has prompted an investigation by the FBI.

A statement released by the yoga studio confirmed that Ms Johnson “is no longer associated with Yoga Hell Petaluma or Hella Yoga Berkeley,” adding that “We are a firm believer in diversity and inclusion” before asserting that “Kelly seems to share in Jon’s beliefs” and “had assisted him in his business of hate.” 

It continued: “We were devastated to find out that someone so close to us could be so far from our values.” 

Jeff Renfro, a Jewish businessman and founder of Yoga Hell and Hella Yoga, said that he noticed a change in Ms Johnson’s attitudes towards the latter half of 2021, asserting that she even made a comment about sitting next to “smelly Jews” on a plane. Mr Renfro also claimed that after researching Mr Minadeo II, he found that Ms Johnson assisted the group’s leader with the paperwork in the creation of Goyim TV. 

Mr Renfro explained the decision in firing Ms Johnson, who he said was “like a sister to him,” made harder due to their close personal and professional relationship. “I told her I’m Jewish, I explained to her that my mother was Jewish…This is something that is not okay, no matter how good of friends we are. This overrides our friendship.”

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Image credit: Ivan Radic

A second baseman in the Boston Red Sox minor league has been released after embarking on a Twitter rant in which he targeted the baseball team’s Jewish Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom.

Brett Netzer was released after tweeting, in addition to other inflammatory tweets, that “chaim bloom is a bad actor. dude went to hebrew school and studied the torah growing up but sold his soul to the sodom and race groups. good thing he is good at whatever he does in baseball.”

Mr Netzer also tweeted: “is chaim bloom even jewish?? highly doubtful.”

He added: “the popular slavery/oppression victim-card doesnt go very far when the egyptians were the first people to enslave the One True God’s chosen people, the Hebrews. ironically there is no word for irony in Hebrew lol”

Mr Netzer also targeted Black people, writing: “ive heard a lot of black people call themselves ‘kings’ in america. king of what? lol. i think its time black people go back to their roots and start to re-establish their true black culture- not the fake bullsh*t in america.”

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The University of South Florida (USF) has temporarily suspended one of its fraternities amid antisemitism allegations.

The news comes shortly after the University released a statement condemning alleged antisemitic behaviour from its students.

One reported incident included the drawing of a swastika on the head of the Jewish fraternity pledge by members of the senior leadership of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

The statement also reported a social media post minimising the Holocaust.

The letter, sent by Dean Danielle McDonald, said that “Actions such as these are reprehensible and deserve our condemnation,” adding that “Student Conduct and Ethical Development (SCED) is investigating and will act in accordance with the due process standards outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.”

“USF embraces and celebrates diversity in all its forms. Antisemitism, racism, hate, and prejudice have no place here. We remain strong and united in our commitment to the Principles of Community in our pursuit of excellence,” Dean McDonald added.

Pi Kappa Phi’s suspension is to be reviewed tomorrow at an Informational Meeting between the fraternity’s President and a Hearing Officer.

The fraternity also released a statement on Instagram in which they denied that an antisemitic post was made by a member of the group and that the antisemitic action in question, in which a swastika was drawn on a Jewish fraternity pledge, was carried out by a “non-member guest”. 

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Image credit: StopAntisemitism.org

A teenager is alleged to have plotted to commit “mass murder” at Chicago synagogues and mosques.

Xavier Pelkey, an eighteen-year-old boy from Maine is said to have been found with shrapnel-packed explosives and has been accused of planning to travel to Chicago and commit “mass murder”.

Mr Pelkey was arrested at his home in Waterville, Maine on 11th February. The FBI discovered three homemade explosive devices in his backpack that were loaded with fireworks, staples, pins and thumbtacks to “increase the amount of shrapnel propelled by an explosion if the devices were detonated”, according to investigators.

Mr Pelkey has been charged with unlawful possession of a destructive device. He said that his aim was to kill as many people as he could and then be killed by the police in what prosecutors described as “a calculated act of violence that was designed to take many lives.”

The suspect had also allegedly been conversing with two other teenagers on Instagram to assist with his scheme.

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Image credit: U.S. District Court records

Pennsylvania police have launched an investigation after graves in three separate cemeteries were vandalised with swastikas. 

Photographs uploaded to Twitter show large, orange swastikas spray-painted on headstones in Montgomery County.

Also written on one of the headstones was a name and an address.

Plymouth Township Police, who were called at around 6:00 yesterday from a concerned passerby, are using the name and address as a lead but Police Chief John Myrsiades has declined to provide a name at this time.

Chief Myrsiades said: “Either that was the person who did it, or more likely somebody that had a problem with somebody else. So at least it gives us a lead that we’re pursuing to try to get some information.” 

He added: “I’m torn between being sickened and being sad.”

In November, 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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The University of South Florida (USF) has released a statement condemning alleged antisemitic behaviour from its students.

One reported incident included the drawing of a swastika on the head of the Jewish fraternity pledge by members of the senior leadership of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

The statement also reported a social media post minimising the Holocaust.

The letter, sent by Dean Danielle McDonald, said that “Actions such as these are reprehensible and deserve our condemnation,” adding that “Student Conduct and Ethical Development (SCED) is investigating and will act in accordance with the due process standards outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.”

“USF embraces and celebrates diversity in all its forms. Antisemitism, racism, hate, and prejudice have no place here. We remain strong and united in our commitment to the Principles of Community in our pursuit of excellence,” Dean McDonald added.

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Image credit: StopAntisemitism.org

Three neo-Nazis have pleaded guilty to planning an attack on power grid across the United States.

Jonathan Frost, 24, Christopher Cook, twenty, and Jackson Sawall, 22, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to extremists.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said that “According to these pleas, three individuals engaged in a disturbing plot to attack our country’s energy infrastructure, damage the economy and stoke division in our society, all in the name of white supremacy.” 

It has been reported that Mr Frost and Mr Cook met in an online chat room for extremists in 2019, whereupon Mr Sawall, a friend of Mr Cook’s, later joined. It was here that Mr Cook was said to have disseminated neo-Nazi and white supremacist content. 

The men plotted to use rifles to attack power grids across the States in a plan that they believed, according to the Justice Department, “would cost the government millions of dollars and cause unrest for Americans in the region.”

The Justice Department added that the men “had conversations about how the possibility of the power being out for many months could cause war, even a race war, and induce the next Great Depression.”

The men met in person in 2020 in Columbus, Ohio, where Mr Cook resided. Here, they spread further neo-Nazi propaganda and painted a swastika flag below a bridge.

Timothy Langan, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said that the men were motivated by their “racially or ethnically…violent extremist views.” 

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Indiana University has condemned antisemitic comments made on a Greek life website, a website for people to discuss matters concerning fraternities and sororities. 

According to one screenshot, one post said: “The truth is that their huge noses, afros, and smelliness prevent them from being attractive so they rape and justify it with their sick way of looking at the world…Their families are in positions of power therefore they get away with everything and are not scared.”

On Monday, Indiana University Hillel released a statement of support on Instagram in which it said: “Please know that you can reach out to us at any time for support. Your Jewish Home Away From Home is always here for you. We are working with the University and IU Student Leaders to combat this horrible antisemitism. We are stronger together.”

The University’s Executive Vice President, Rahul Shrivastav, confirmed that a police investigation was underway, adding: “This attempt to anonymously spread hate is cowardly, horrific, and simply unacceptable in the IU community.”

In November, it was reported that at least a dozen mezuzahs had been stolen from Jewish students at Indiana University.

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In response to a spree of antisemitic vandalism in recent weeks at Curry College, a private college in Massachusetts, the College has decided to hold remote classes today, in addition to its offer of a $10,000 reward for information.

According to officials at the College, twenty swastikas have been discovered on the premises so far, in addition to a note targeting Black people.

In a statement released at the time that the initial act of vandalism was discovered, the College said: “Our support and care go out to everyone in our community, but particularly to our fellow Jewish and Black community members affected by this act…The College has both clear policies against hostile or hateful speech and a full commitment to creating a safe, welcoming, and diverse campus.”

Last week, however, after further incidents of antisemitism were discovered in the laundry room and a bathroom of a residence hall, the College in the town of Milton said that it would give a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide information on the incident. 

The College has also decided to host its classes remotely today after a note threatening Black people was discovered which mentioned the date of 22nd February. 

Curry College President Kenneth Quigley Jr. said that “These disgusting acts of racism and antisemitism will not be tolerated on our campus,” adding: “The person or persons responsible for this must be identified, removed from our campus, and brought to justice.”

In December, we reported that Mount Holyoke College, a prestigious women’s college in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has seen its third report of an antisemitic incident that semester after a swastika and an antisemitic slur were allegedly found in the bathroom.

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The words ‘F*** Jews’ were spray-painted three times on a newly opened Israeli restaurant named Miriam on the Upper West Side in New York City on Thursday 17 February.

This antisemitic incident occurred at the same time as the Mayor, Eric Adams was scheduled to hold a meeting to address the increase of antisemitic incidents across the city. The NYPD hate crimes unit reported 22 hate crimes against Jews from 1st January to 1st February. This is compared to eight hate crimes in the same period in 2021.

New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal wrote that “My constituents woke up to hateful and disgusting antisemitic graffiti…I encourage our neighbours to support Miriam.”

Mark Levine, the President of the Borough of Manhattan, called the incident “disgusting” and said that “we can’t accept this as normal.”

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The FBI is investigating antisemitic flyers that were deposited in the driveways of members of the Colleyville synagogue where a British Islamist recently took four people hostage.

According to reports, one flyer in the driveways in Texas claimed that “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish,” while another made references to Jewish members of the Biden administration. Yet another reportedly read: “Black lives murder white children.”

It is believed that the flyers are associated with the antisemitic “Goyim TV” group, which has repeatedly been involved in the distribution of antisemitic flyers in recent months.

Furthermore, just in the last few days, similar antisemitic flyers to those in Texas have appeared across the United States, including in CaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgia, Illinois and Virginia, in some cases in multiple disparate locations in those states.

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The Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, has lambasted “disgusting” graffiti targeting Jewish people that was found scrawled on the window of a Queens dental office.

A photograph shows the word “JEWS” scrawled across a window with a profanity preceding it. The graffiti was reportedly discovered by a rabbi on Saturday, after the Jewish Sabbath had ended, who then reported it to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Mayor Adams said in a tweet: “This would be disgusting anytime but it’s especially outrageous as we come to the end of Shabbos. We won’t let this vicious hatred go unanswered in our city.”

In a second tweet, Mayor Adams said: “@NYPDHateCrimes is investigating this attack, and make no mistake an attack on our Jewish community is an attack on every New Yorker. We will catch the perpetrators of this assault.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also spoke out against the vandalism on Twitter, writing: “There are no words to accurately describe how hideous and vile this is. Hate cannot be accepted anywhere, but especially not in the World’s Borough. If you spew antisemitism or hate in our borough, you will be caught. You will be prosecuted. You will never win.”

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A family in Birmingham, Alabama has received both death and arson threats after reporting an incident in which their teenage son witnessed his teacher leading the class in giving Nazi-style salutes during a history lesson.

Mariya Tytell, the mother of Ephraim “Epps” Tytell, who attends Mountain Brook High School in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook, described the incident as part of “a pattern” of antisemitism.

Her son “came home very upset,” she said, adding that he told her and his father that students were performing the Nazi salute. As the only Jewish student in the history class, it had made him feel “very scared and uncomfortable,” he had told them.

Ms Tytell admits that she initially thought that it had been “a misunderstanding” and brushed off her son’s concerns, but she then received calls from other parents and realised that this had not been the case.

A statement from the regional education authority said that the lesson was to explain about symbols changing over time and that the teacher allegedly “using the Bellamy salute” as an example. Before its adoption by the Nazis, this was a gesture to show allegiance to the American flag. School leaders said that the teacher had not instructed students to give the salute.

A short video, taken by a classmate, showing students raising their arms toward the American flag was circulated on social media. Ms Tytell said that an administrator told her son to apologise for sharing the video, and that when her son refused, he allegedly faced retaliation from his teacher including having his phone taken away and having his seat moved to the front of the classroom.

Ms Tytell said that the family tried to work out the issue with the school’s administration but claims that they were brushed off and that after speaking to the media about the incident, the family received death and arson threats.

“We kind of see it as a failure of leadership and also as part of a longer pattern of constant antisemitic incidents,” said Ms Tytell.

Danny Cohn, CEO of the Birmingham Jewish Federation and acting CEO of the Alabama Holocaust Education Centre, said that he did not think the teacher was “being intentionally antisemitic.”

Mr Cohn said that the reason for the incident could be attributed to a lapse in judgment, but added that he understood the reaction that it had provoked. When Jews “see the Nazi salute, they’re not listening for context,” he said. “They just see something that’s sent more than six million of our people to their deaths.”

He said that he had asked Mountain Brook Schools to allow its teachers to participate in a Holocaust education programme.

Mountain Brook school district leaders later conceded that the history lesson had lacked sensitivity. They also reportedly said that they did not condone performing the salute when a picture would have been sufficient and that the issue had been addressed with the teacher. They added that they stand against antisemitism and that they were working with local Jewish organisations.

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Health officials with Jewish-sounding names in Salem, Massachusetts have been targeted with antisemitic messages and threats over COVID measures.

The city’s Mayor, Kim Driscoll, announced that members of the Board of Health and Health Department whose names suggested that they were Jewish had been directly targeted with messages and threats online, by e-mail and via voicemails.

In a statement, Ms Driscoll said that such actions were “repugnant and worthy of condemnation” regardless of one’s perspective on “COVID mitigation measures.” She added: “We reject and condemn vile, racist, antisemitic, and regressive attacks.”

Describing the “actions and messages” as “atrocious and utterly unacceptable,” Ms Driscoll urged citizens to do their part in “denouncing hate.”

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A swastika has been found on a window shade inside the U.S. embassy in Bulgaria.

The antisemitic symbol was first discovered the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, last month, but has only now been reported.

This comes after a swastika was discovered in July 2021 inside an elevator in the embassy. That swastika was reportedly found in a “secure part of the embassy”, meaning that it was likely drawn by somebody with access inside an American diplomatic outpost.

Both President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the incident in July. The State Department launched an investigation, although no conclusion has been reported.

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Image credit: Google

A newspaper in New York has apologised after using an overtly antisemitic cartoon to promote an investigative series about a local funding issue.

The Journal News in Rockland County, in the Lower Hudson area known locally as Lohud, ran the cartoon depicting a rabbi as a puppet-master manipulating children on top of a pile of cash. The words alongside read: “Rabbi holds the strings on $76m for East Ramapo School District.”

The Agudath Israel organisation immediately released a statement condemning the cartoon for evoking one of “the worst antisemitic tropes.” The concept of “the Jew as a conspiratorial puppet master, covertly manipulating the world economy and events” goes back to at least the 1700s and was “further amplified” by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the group said. This imagery had stoked hatred for hundreds of years, the organisation observed, and was employed by the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman, who murdered eleven worshippers in 2018.

Agudath Israel also demanded an apology and called for a commitment by the publication to “avoid bigoted imagery” in the future.

In response, Rockland County’s largest newspaper published an apology on its website acknowledging that its “hurtful” image and words “degrade and demean” Jews. In its statement, the publication acknowledged that it had “posted a promotional illustration” on social media channels “whose words and imagery unintentionally featured an antisemitic trope.” Within an hour, the statement read, it had deleted the posts “after a reader contacted us pointing out this hurtful choice of imagery.”

The statement continued: “Members of our team did not recognise the stereotype that degrades and demeans Jews in the image and accompanying language. We’re deeply sorry this passed our review.”

The statement added that they “condemn all forms of antisemitism” and expressed gratitude to “all who sought to educate us on the history and hate behind the image.” 

The paper also said it would postpone the story that it was promoting, and would “review the story’s visual elements.”

The statement concluded by saying that in coming days it would “reflect on our misstep over the illustration and engage in considerable outreach and listening with local Jewish communities.”

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Police are investigating what’s being described as racist, homophobic and antisemitic graffiti found in a girls’ bathroom at a Massachusetts middle school.

According to The Salem News,  the graffiti was found at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, according to an e-mail sent to parents by Acting Co-Superintendents Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers.

They wrote that “the Danvers Public Schools condemns this type of behaviour and will continue to educate our students on hate speech,” adding that the district was “committed to building an inclusive community where everyone belongs.”

Town Manager Steve Bartha said that the graffiti included several profane words and a symbol.

The small Massachusetts town has previously come under scrutiny over alleged racism and homophobia on the high school hockey team, and the Town Manager, Police Chief and the town’s Human Rights and Inclusion Committee are reportedly planning to make a database of incident available to the public.

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A federal investigation has been launched following complaints by two Jewish students at Brooklyn College that they have been subjected to “severe and persistent harassment” on a Masters’ programme.

The ten-page complaint was filed on behalf of the students by the Louis D. Brandeis Centre for Human Rights Under Law. A senior figure at the Brandeis Centre  described the alleged harassment campaign against the unnamed students as “part of an effort to erase and misunderstand Jewish identity.”

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education has confirmed that it is investigating. Part of the City University of New York, Brooklyn College has 2,841 graduate students on its roll, of whom around 500 identify as Jewish. The case could cost the college its federal funding if the allegations are confirmed.

The complaint alleges that Jewish students on the Mental Health Counselling course had been “bullied and harassed in class discussions and on social media” and that Jewish students were targeted using the same “ethnic stereotypes, antisemitic tropes and divisive concepts that faculty members promote in their courses.”

The complaint cites examples such as a professor who claimed that Ashkenazi Jews in America had become “oppressors”, while another professor allegedly rebuked a Jewish student for ranking his/her Jewish identity before his/her white identity, suggesting that the student “did not understand oppression.”

After telling The New York Jewish Week that the harassment was “part of an effort to erase and misunderstand Jewish identity,” Denise Katz-Prober, the Director of Legal Initiatives at the Brandeis Centre said that this was “dangerous” because of the misunderstanding demonstrated by the recent comments made by with Whoopi Goldberg. She added: “It is an attempt to whitewash the Jewish historical experience, which results in the downplaying of antisemitism.”

Ms Katz-Prober said that colleges and universities had an obligation under the Civil Rights Act 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, colour or national origin in any programme or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 

The complaint, specifically citing the actions of two unnamed professors and two unnamed administrators, alleges that since the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year, professors “maligned Jews on the basis of race and ethnic identity” by advancing the narrative that “all Jews are white and privileged and therefore contribute to the systemic oppression of people of colour.”

When the Jewish students complained to administrators, they were allegedly told to “get your whiteness in check” and to “keep your head down.”

The complaint also asserts that Jewish students were bullied on a WhatsApp chat group and that after a female student expressed a desire to “strangle a Jewish student” and others showed support, a Jewish student who objected was accused of being racist. 

One of the students who filed the complaint told The New York Jewish Week it was “the hardest thing” that they had ever done and that they would not be doing it “if it wasn’t so blatant.”

The student said that this was “a very Jewish school” and that Jews should not “have to be scared; this shouldn’t happen.”

They added that class participation was “a very big part of your grade and the fact I have been told by a white teacher to keep my head down and to ‘get your whiteness in check’… really upset me.”

The student added that in a classroom discussion on how people of colour feel vulnerable in public, fellow students downplayed the accounts of Jews who expressed fear of being targeted.

They also said that two other Jewish students had dropped out of the programme – including one due to stress.

In a statement Brooklyn College said that it “unequivocally denounces antisemitism in any form” and does not tolerate it on its campus. The College said it could not comment on ongoing investigations, but was “committed to working cooperatively and fully with the US Department of Education.” The statement also noted its “We Stand Against Hate” initiative, which features lectures, workshops, concerts and other events “that reflect the school’s ongoing commitment to celebrate the voices that make up our diverse campus community” and also served as a “platform to denounce antisemitism.”

The Office of Civil Rights has investigated several complaints against universities alleging antisemitic harassment following which all have entered resolution agreements promising to take steps to combat antisemitic harassment and discrimination against Jewish students on campus.

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A New York City school cancelled its production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice amid parental concerns about the antisemitic themes in the play.

According to a report in the New York Post, Jewish parents expressed concerns that the play may not be appropriate for the teenage drama students at Morton Middle School in Manhattan. 

The Shakespearean tragedy tells the story of the Jewish moneylender Shylock, depicted as the stereotype of “a greedy Jew”, who is insulted by his Christian enemies. A Smithsonian Magazine analysis has observed that there were more than 50 productions of the play in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939, lending “credence to the charge of antisemitism,” according to the magazine.

Theatre for a New Audience (TFNA), the Manhattan-based organisation collaborating with the students on the play, told the New York Post that they had taken into consideration the “polarising elements of the play” when developing the project and had worked with input from the ADL to ensure that the “challenging themes” would be treated with the “proper critical analysis, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness.” 

Nevertheless, the school decided to abandon the production, saying its decision was not taken “lightly,” that they had “worked diligently” with TFNA and had “listened to the members of our community to resolve concerns.”

According to school sources, opinion was divided. One member of the school community said that you needed “knowledge and context” to understand how “bad and dangerous the antisemitism” in this play was. But other parents were “opposed” to scrapping the production, while yet others calling for a dialogue, with one parent noting that, while he had “reservations,” by cancelling the play, the school was missing “a teachable moment.”

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The parent of a Jewish student in a Tennessee school has expressed outrage after the teacher in a Bible class allegedly pushed Christian ideology and told students how to “torture a Jew”.

In a Facebook post, Juniper Russo wrote that although the class at East Hamilton Middle School, in Hamilton County, Chattanooga, was meant to teach the Bible from “an unbiased and non-sectarian viewpoint,” the class was, she claimed, used for “blatant Christian proselytising.”

Ms Russo wrote that she had been hesitant to enrol her daughter in the class, run by the Bible in the Schools programme, but had done so as her daughter had disabilities that made other classes inaccessible. 

According to Ms Russo, assignments given to students included questions about whether they read the Bible at home and which books of the Bible they read. She said that students were told about an atheist student who took the class and became a Christian believer and were shown a video which, according to Ms Russo, portrayed Christianity as “light, sunshine and colour” and “all other global religions as storms, darkness and shadows.”

While Ms Russo was already uncomfortable with the teaching, she decided to take her daughter out of the class after, she claimed, it “turned hostile” when the teacher allegedly “wrote an English transliteration of the Hebrew name of God on the whiteboard.” Telling the class that this name was “traditionally not spoken out loud” she allegedly added: “If you want to know how to torture a Jew, make them say this out loud.”

Ms Russo said that her daughter “felt extremely uncomfortable” hearing this comment and that she no longer felt “safe in the class.”

Ms Russo reported that when she tried to arrange a meeting with the teacher, the school administration and the director of the local Jewish Federation, she was told by the principal that her concerns were being taken seriously but that the teacher refused to meet her, claiming that it was against the policy of the Bible in the Schools programme.

Ms Russo also noted that the incident followed the recent ban by nearby McMinn County of Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust.

The Bible in the Schools programme has been operating in the area’s public schools since 1922. According to the programme’s website, it allows students to study the Bible from a “literary or historical perspective” and from a “viewpoint-neutral, court-approved curriculum.” It claims to be “inclusive to students from all walks of life.”

A spokesperson for Hamilton County Schools (HSC) said that it was investigating the “parent complaint” concerning the course. When completed, and “in accordance with school board policy,” HCS would “take appropriate steps.”

In a statement, the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga said that it was aware of the issues concerning the Bible class and noted that both the school and HCS were “investigating the claims and taking them seriously.” The group said that it looked forward to “a healthy dialogue with the Bible in the Schools organisation.”

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Image credit: Google

A snowplow driver has been fired after he posted a video of himself spraying Jewish people with snow in New Jersey.

The video, shot from inside of the snowplow, shows the driver approaching two visibly Jewish people on his left. He then sprays the Jewish people before breaking into laughter.

Danny Klarmann, an employee of New Jersey Waste Management, posted the now-removed video to his Facebook profile alongside the caption: “This one’s for you JC.” 

An investigation is being carried out by Lakewood police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office. 

Waste Management released a statement in which they said: The hateful conduct depicted in the video is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of inclusion and diversity we hold as a company.”

Lakewood Mayor Raymond Coles also called the stunt “incredibly stupid and dangerous”, adding: “The plow could easily have thrown chunks of ice or rock and seriously injured or killed either of the victims. I am glad to know our police department is investigating all aspects of this incident.”

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It has been reported that on 3rd February, a swastika was found drawn into the condensation on a window in Ithaca College.

Ithaca College Interim President La Jerne Cornish e-mailed the campus community on 4th February, writing: “The vision of this institution is to build thriving communities, rooted in the values of equity, accountability, and respect, among others. We cannot achieve this goal in an environment that tolerates antisemitic, racist, or other threatening symbols, words, behaviors, or ideologies.”

In the statement, it was also confirmed that an investigation was underway after an incident report had been filed with the Office of Public Safety.

Ithaca’s Hillel house released a statement of its own in which it said that “The swastika is often used to incite violence against Jews and can threaten Jewish students’ sense of safety,” adding: “We are grateful to Ithaca College’s leadership for the seriousness of their response.” 

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The New York Police Department (NYPD)’s hate crime unit is investigating a spree of alleged antisemitic attacks which were reported to have taken place over the weekend.

The incidents reportedly all took place in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn during the Jewish Sabbath.

At 22:26 on Friday, a 24-year-old visibly Jewish man was punched in the face. CCTV footage shows a man running up behind the Jewish man before striking him.

A second alleged antisemitic was also reported to have taken place on Friday.

A third incident saw multiple Yeshiva school buses being vandalised with swastikas.  

Last month, New York police arrested a woman who was suspected of making antisemitic comments to three Jewish children aged seven, two and eight, in Brooklyn. The suspect reportedly walked away after telling the three siblings that “Hitler should have killed you all. I’ll kill you and know where you live,” and spitting on the eight-year-old boy.

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A police investigation is being conducted in Marblehead, near Boston, after antisemitic graffiti was discovered in bathrooms at an elementary school three times in January 2022.

The first two were swastikas, etched into bathroom stools. The third included “profane language targeted at Jewish people”, and was reported on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The other incidents at the Massachusetts school were reported on 18th January and 26th January.

Superintendent John Buckley wrote an e-mail to the school community, stating: “To say I am disheartened and angry would be an understatement. We have been working with Marblehead Police since the first incident. Destroying school property by scratching swastikas or any other form of hate will be fully investigated by the Marblehead Police Department and any students who engage in such acts face consequences accordingly.”

Around 80 “Team Harmony” students from the high school gave a talk to the elementary school about hate and bias.

Nearby, Curry College in Milton reported five cases of vandalism. These incidents all included hate speech and antisemitic graffiti, such as a swastika.

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Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended by the ABC network for two weeks after claiming that that the Holocaust was not about race but instead about “man’s inhumanity to man” and “white people fighting each other”.

She made the comments on Monday on The View, a programme that she co-hosts, eliciting outrage from Jewish groups around the world, including Campaign Against Antisemitism. She then published a statement apologising, and on Monday evening, she went on a late-night television show to apologise again (the interview was recorded before she published her statement but broadcast after), but appeared at the same time to double down on the comments, saying that the Nazis had lied and actually were concerned with ethnicity rather than race.

On Tuesday, the Oscar-winning actress opened her programme by saying: “Yesterday on the show I misspoke. [The Holocaust] is indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered the Jews to be an inferior race. Now, words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments and I stand corrected. I also stand with the Jewish people.”

In a memo to staff last night, ABC News President Kim Godwin wrote: “Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments.  While Whoopi has apologised, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments. The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.” She added: “These decisions are never easy, but necessary. Just last week I noted that the culture at ABC News is one that is driven, kind, inclusive, respectful, and transparent. Whoopi’s comments do not align with those values.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Holocaust revisionists are not all white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Some are people like Whoopi Goldberg saying things like this. Despite her subsequent television appearance in which she claimed to be ‘torn up’ that people accused her of being antisemitic, she then doubled down by insisting that the Nazis took issue only with ethnicity, not race. Ms Goldberg would do well to listen to Jewish voices and undertake a course in Holocaust education.”

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A Brooklyn towing company has fired one of its drivers after he was filmed making antisemitic remarks.

The incident reportedly took place on Sunday at 10:30 in the Borough Park area.

JETS Towing Company reportedly fired the driver after he yelled at a Jewish man for allegedly blocking traffic on 50th street, shouting: “Go back to your [***] country, let Hitler kill your [***], [****]. How about that?!”

The company’s dispatcher later said: “We do not condone any type of antisemitism or racism at our company.”

In January, a suspect was arrested in connection with an antisemitic incident in which a Jewish victim was called a “dirty Jew” before being punched in the face.

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“The Jew is the devil!” “Jews rape children and drink their blood” and “Jews brought slaves here” were among some of the slogans chanted by the National Socialist Movement (NSM) at a rally on Saturday in Florida.

The NSM is an explicitly neo-Nazi group, which calls for an all-white “greater America”, which would remove citizenship from non-whites, Jews and the LGBT community.

Videos of their march were released on Twitter. They appeared to show a driver being assaulted, monkey noises being made at a black woman, and other racist and antisemitic slurs. Reports further suggested that the group was wearing clothes with Nazi insignia.

Some local leaders spoke out to condemn the antisemitic slurs and the protest.

No arrests were made at the time, as the Orange County Sheriff’s Office argued that people have a First Amendment (free speech) right to demonstrate. The sheriff did say that “hatred has no place in our society” and that “any reports of criminal activity will be thoroughly investigated.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that “Antisemitism and hatred are not welcome in this community. Despite displays of hate in Central Florida this weekend, our collective commitment to building an inclusive, compassionate community for all is stronger than ever.”

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Image credit: Stop Antisemitism

A suspect has been arrested in Chicago after Jewish businesses were vandalised and a swastika was drawn on a synagogue.

The incidents took place over the weekend on the Northwest Side.

At 7:00 on Sunday, Police officers were reportedly called to a synagogue at 3635 West Devon Avenue where a man was kicking the side of the building and trying to break a window. 

Then at 17:00, an individual reportedly vandalised a synagogue and cargo container.

Rabbi Levi Notik said that residents were preparing meals for Holocaust survivors at the time that they discovered the graffiti on the F.R.E.E. synagogue. Rabbi Notik also noted that the individual responsible for the graffiti then became physical and used racial slurs. 

“Someone comes into the synagogue and says on his way to services he was jumped outside, it turns out it was connected.

“It’s difficult, but we’ll overcome this. We’ll get through it as a community. The way that we’ll overcome this darkness, this hate, is through love and kindness and positivity.”

He also thanked the police officers who investigated the matter, saying that “they did a tremendous job” before adding: “They were here very quick, had detectives here in minutes. Police already have one person in custody. It was incredible.”

Other incidents in the area include the windows of two Jewish businesses, Tol Kuv Kosher Foods at 2938 West Devon and the Tel Aviv Bakery at 2944 West Devon, being smashed on Saturday morning, the day of the Jewish Sabbath.

Other reports stated that synagogue windows were also broken in the areas of Devon and Monticello, also on Saturday.

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Washington Union Station was vandalised with swastikas, it was reported on Friday.

Photographs uploaded to Twitter show the Nazi symbol scrawled across the train station’s columns in black marker.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington said on Twitter that it was “disturbed by this video of a swastika taken this morning just outside @wmata at DC’s Union Station,” adding: “This antisemitic and hateful symbol has no place in our society, and to find it in our city the week of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is particularly offensive.”

Amtrak confirmed in a statement that they would be investigating the matter alongside the Metropolitan Police Department.

The railroad service added: “Amtrak strongly condemns this act of hatred and will work with our landlord, USRC and their lessor to remove these symbols as quickly as possible.” 

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Vice President Kamala Harris has been criticised for a trip to Honduras on Holocaust Memorial Day to meet the country’s new President whose husband and running-mate have been beset by allegations of antisemitism.

On her arrival in Honduras, Vice President Harris tweeted a tribute to the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah, writing: “Today, we honour the six million Jews and other victims murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.” She continued: “We must teach our children the truth about the atrocities…so that together we give meaning to that timeless pledge, ‘never again’.”

Ms Harris was in Honduras to attend the inauguration of the new socialist President Xiomara Castro, in a bid to get her help to stem the crisis on America’s southern border. The leaders also held a meeting at which Ms Harris announced that the US would be sending more aid, including more Covid vaccine doses, to the Central American nation. The Biden administration sees cooperation and investment in the Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador – as the way to ease the crisis on its border. 

Ms Castro’s husband Manuel Zelaya, a former President, claimed after the country’s 2009 coup that “Israeli mercenaries” were torturing him “with high-frequency radiation,” while Ms Castro’s running mate, Salvador Nasralla, has reportedly said that Jews control the global money supply. Mr Nasralla also stated in 2020 that “the boss” of the country’s outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernández, was “the Government of Israel.”  

‘It’s totally disgusting and unacceptable that the US Vice President would attend this inauguration and give legitimacy to this vile behaviour, especially on the day we honour and remember the six million Jews and millions of others killed in the Holocaust,”  said Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Republican Congressman. 

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A Tennessee school board has banned a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Holocaust.

Maus: a Survivor’s Tale, a graphic novel that depicts the experiences of the author’s parents during the Holocaust, was reportedly banned owing to “rough, objectionable language” and nudity. 

Tony Allman, a board member on the McMinn County Board of Education, said: “It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids, why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff? It is not wise or healthy.”

Board minutes show that in response, Instructional Supervisor Julie Goodin countered, “I was a history teacher, and there is nothing pretty about the Holocaust, and, for me, this was a great way to depict a horrific time in history.”

The Board voted to ban the book and replace it with one that it deemed less controversial.

The book’s author, Art Spiegelman, said that the decision had “the breath of autocracy and fascism about it. I think of it as a harbinger of things to come,” and clarified that the Board’s concern with nudity referred to a small image of his mother in the bath after cutting her wrists. “You have to really, like, want to get your sexual kicks by projecting on it,” Mr Spiegelman added.

In response to an online backlash to the news of the ban, the Board said that its members “do not diminish the value of Maus as an impactful and meaningful piece of literature, nor do we dispute the importance of teaching our children the historical and moral lessons and realities of the Holocaust.”

They added: “We all have an obligation to ensure that younger generations learn of its horrors to ensure that such an event is never repeated. We simply do not believe that this work is an appropriate text for our students to study.”

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Over 100 Buddhist leaders have signed a letter condemning antisemitism in the United States. 

The letter begins by addressing the recent Texas synagogue attack where terrorist and British national Malik Faisal Akram held four Jewish people hostage for eleven hours, before going on to acknowledge “the long standing, systemic antisemitism that is a poison to our lives in the United States of America and globally.”

“We vow to include antisemitism in our continuous work we are currently engaged in and call for a fresh and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and hatred of peoples at every level of our culture, society, government, our communities, and our own hearts,” the letter continues. “Everyone of us, what ever our faith is, should be able to practice without the fear of being bombed, set on fire, held hostage, or our places of practice vandalized with hate messages. We stand together.”

The signatories stated that they “strongly condemn acts of violence, hatred and bigotry of any kind,” adding: “We continue to see a disturbing rise of anti-Jewish hate erupt in communities around the world. These attacks are rooted in antisemitism, and we denounce antisemitism in any form, and in any context. As Buddhist practictioners, we must stand and safeguard the rights of all spiritual centers, especially attacks rooted in antisemitism and racism.”

The letter concluded with the signatories acknowledging that they “have not always been a refuge for Jewish people” before stating: “We renew our vows to untangle antisemitism’s roots and cultivate a tender, loving and respectful world. Antisemitism is painfully on the rise and we vow to be part of the healing. We will practice the humility that is essential to listening deeply, cultivating and acting with compassion as we build a truly beloved community.”

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A new poll shows that nearly half of all American Jews say that they have experienced antisemitism in the last five years or know someone who has.

The survey, funded by the Ruderman Family Foundation, showed that 93% of American Jews are concerned about the current levels of antisemitism in the United States, and 42% had directly experienced it in the past five years or knew a family member or friend who had.

75% of American Jews also believe that there is more antisemitism today in the United States than there was five years ago, with one in three younger Jews (aged 18-39) saying that they have personally experienced antisemitism. Older Jews (over 60 years old) are even more likely to have seen “a lot” of antisemitism, with 62% reporting that they have.

Jay Ruderman, the President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said: “Our survey reinforces the urgent need for American leadership to formulate new strategies to confront the surge of antisemitism and increasing hate crimes against the Jewish community. Accordingly, we hope that these findings spur local and national leaders into action on this critical issue. Antisemitism is a threat to American society as a whole and only in tackling this issue as one unified nation will it ever be truly addressed.”

The poll was carried out by the Mellman Group and examined 2,500 Jewish adults in December 2019 and a further 1,000 in October-November 2021. The surveys were undertaken, therefore, prior to the recent antisemitic attack on a synagogue in Texas.

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Robert F Kennedy Jr has apologised for invoking Anne Frank’s name in comparing current COVID-19 mandates to laws in Nazi Germany. 

During his speech at an anti-vaccination rally in Washington on Sunday, Mr Kennedy said: “Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.”

Responding to this excerpt of his speech on Twitter, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum wrote: “Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany – including children like Anne Frank – in a debate about vaccines & limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral & intellectual decay.”

Mr Kennedy took to Twitter on Tuesday to apologise, writing: “I apologise for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.”

This is not the first time that comparisons to the Nazis have been used by anti-vaccination demonstrators.

In April, protesters at an anti-vaccination rally held in London were pictured wearing the yellow star. Comedian David Baddiel took to Twitter to share a photo of a woman wearing the yellow star, accompanying it with the caption: “Take. That. Off.”

Footage taken on 13th July showed Piers Corbyn comparing vaccinations to Nazi policy outside the Houses of Parliament, despite being arrested after a similar incident in February. The video shows Mr Corbyn and another man standing in front of a sign which reads “No Nazi forced jab” and yelling “arrest Matt Hancock” through a megaphone. 

Earlier this year, Joseph Szwarc, a Holocaust survivor, spoke out against wearing the yellow star in protests, 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 Italy, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.

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

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New York police have arrested a woman who is suspected of making antisemitic comments to three Jewish children aged seven, two and eight, in Brooklyn, New York on 14th January. 

The suspect, Christina Darling, is a psychology student at St. Francis College. She reportedly walked away after telling the three siblings that “Hitler should have killed you all. I’ll kill you and know where you live.” 

According to the children’s father, Aryeh Fried, the boy told Ms Darling that he would save his little sister. “I have to teach him not to engage,” Ms Fried said. “But he engaged. And she came running back. Spat in his face. And told him, ‘We will kill you all. I know where you live. And we’ll make sure to get you all, next time.’”

“I would hope that she understands the severity of what she did,” Mr Fried added. “To do it to anybody is obviously problematic, but for an adult to do it to a child is just beyond crazy.”

Ms Darling, 21, has reportedly been charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime, menacing, and three counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child.

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Image credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers

A kosher eatery in Teaneck, New Jersey has attracted a barrage of anti-Israel comments and negative online reviews, including claims that its cuisine was “stolen”.

The culinary battleground emerged after Yalla, a kosher eatery located on a quiet street in Teaneck NJ, was targeted. Yalla seems to have provoked particular anger due to its name as Yalla is an Arabic word but widely used in Israel to mean “let’s go.”

According to Israeli owner Jacob Goldberg, Yalla had received a number of politically-motivated negative reviews in recent years from people who claimed that he “stole” the name, “stole” their land or “stole” the food.

Most of the time, said Mr Goldberg, he simply alerted Google and asked for reviews to be removed. He explained that “where it’s very obviously hate-speech,” the reviews come down but “if it’s food-related, such as ‘I found a hair in my food,’” even though it was posted by “someone from Damascus” who had “obviously never been to my restaurant,” the review stays. Mr Goldberg decided, therefore, on a new tactic. He responded to a review that led the “critic” to use social media to call on anti-Israel users to pile on and place negative reviews.

Mr Goldberg believes there were at least 300 negative reviews posted in one evening, some of which also included Palestinian flags and the words “Free Palestine.” As well as claiming that Yalla served “stolen Palestinian food” and that the menu was “cultural appropriation at it’s [sic] finest,” “reviews” claimed that it was “absolutely trash,” that food was “overpriced” and that it “steals the thoughts and the lands and serve you sh*t on a plate.”

One review wrote in capital letters: “DON’T GO THERE AND WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!”  

There was also a TikTok video in which a woman claimed that Yalla was “falsely advertising Palestinian, Middle Eastern food” adding: “They messed with the wrong people.… Free Palestine.”

Within hours of the campaign, Yalla’s rating had dropped from 4.6 stars out of a maximum of five stars to 3.85. It then dipped to below 3 stars.

“In real life, if you get attacked, you call 911 and the police respond,” said Mr Goldberg. “But if you get attacked online, nothing, nothing, nothing happens.” He added that “a five-year-old” could look at the reviews and recognise they were fake, but “Google, a multibillion-dollar company can’t flag something like this as fake” was, he said, “just pretty astonishing.”

According to Mr Goldberg, since news of the cyber attack broke, he had had a lot of support “from Jews who felt they had to come out and fight hate.” People had been dropping into Yalla to show support which felt “amazing.” But, in the “long term” he did not think that there would be much impact. “Many people think Google reviews are mostly fake anyway,” he noted, “especially” if the reviews were anti-Israel. “They trust the old-fashioned way” – reviews from friends and family.”

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: JNS via Google Images

The Mayor of a Massachusetts town has led local and state-level condemnation of antisemitism describing it as “vile,” “hateful” and “unwelcome.”

The comments from Northampton Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra follow a Board of Health meeting in late December when several participants made anti-Jewish remarks or displayed swastikas on Zoom screens. The Mayor also pointed to flyers seen in the city that had antisemitic messages.

The “actions are vile, hateful, and are unwelcome in the city of Northampton” and were “profoundly hurtful to our Jewish neighbours,” declared Mayor Sciarra.

At the meeting to discuss a vaccine mandate for Northampton, a man on Zoom, claiming to be called David Rosenberg, described board members as “unelected, rich Jewish doctors.” The same man said: “We are tired of you attacking our way of life and attacking our children.” He added: “We will resist.”

Another man, who claimed to be called “Justin Goldberg” asked on Zoom if the Board were “willing to put people in camps,” stating “frankly, I think that is where this is heading.”

A third person used the screen name “Jews will not replace us” and displayed three swastikas as their Zoom photo.

In her statement, Mayor Sciarra said that while the city officials “acknowledge constitutionally protected free speech” at public meetings “that does not mean that we do not denounce hateful and derogatory comments or images.”

She added: “We must speak up against the words and actions of those who sow hatred…They are a threat to the safety and peace of our community.”

At a City Council meeting following the incident, one Northampton councillor said: “The antisemitism that was expressed was unconscionable and shocking.” Councillor Stanley Moulton said that while he was “an ardent supporter” of free speech, “hate speech cannot be tolerated.”

Senator Jo Comerford, who represents Northampton, said legitimate criticism of official measures had “crossed a bright line” and had been “marred” by “violent rhetoric and antisemitic slurs,” adding: “We must join together to reject such dangerous bigotry.”

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. 

Two acts of antisemitic vandalism have been reported within the same week of each other in South Tampa, Florida. 

The incidents both occurred in the first week of 2022, leading Tampa JCCs and Federation to state that it was “deeply disappointed”, adding: “As an organisation and a community, we find hateful acts like this disturbing and unacceptable.”

In one incident, graffiti depicting a Star of David with a line crossed through it was scrawled on a portable toilet at a residential construction site. Neither the residents nor the owner of the site are said to be Jewish and the graffiti has since been painted over. The incident was reported by a Jewish resident and the matter is currently being investigated by police. 

In a second incident, Jewish students at Coleman Middle School in South Tampa reportedly created and distributed flyers with the intention of forming a club for Jewish students. However, one of the flyers that was posted on a wall was found defaced. The matter is understood to have been handled internally, with assistance from former JCCs and Federation president Joe Probasco.

The school has previously seen antisemitic vandalism when it was defaced with swastikas.

In a statement, Tampa JCCs and Federation said that “We’re fortunate and grateful we have the full support of the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to help try to ensure our safety and see that those responsible are held accountable. Battling all acts of hate and antisemitism continues to be one of our highest priorities.” 

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: Google

New York police are searching for a woman who is suspected of making antisemitic comments to three children in Brooklyn, New York on Friday.

She reportedly walked away after making the comments before returning to spit on one of the children, an eight-year-old Jewish boy. 

A photograph released by NYPD Crime Stoppers shows a woman in an orange jumper carrying a blue bag.

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: NYPD Crime Stoppers

Despite media and FBI claims that the attack on Congregation Beth Israel in Texas was “not specifically related to the Jewish community,” the hostages taken by terrorist Malik Faisal Akram have confirmed that his motivation was in fact antisemitic.

The FBI’s claim, blindly repeated by the world’s media, had sparked fury in Jewish communities around the world. For example, the BBC led with the headline: “Texas synagogue hostage stand-off not related to Jewish community – FBI”

Speaking to CNN, Beth Israel community member Jeffrey Cohen recounted that 44-year-old Mr Akram, from Blackburn in Lancashire, UK, had imbibed antisemitic conspiracy theories to the extent that he believed Jews to be so powerful that if he wanted a criminal to be released from prison, all he had to do was to enter a synagogue and demand that local Jews exercise their political might to fulfil his request.

At one point Mr Cohen told how the terrorist, who was killed by the FBI, demanded to speak to the “Chief Rabbi”, however no such office exists in the United States, so they simply called a rabbi from another synagogue. Mr Akram was apparently utterly convinced that Jews and their rabbis wielded such immense power that they could overturn prison sentences by decree.

The account has been corroborated by others, forcing the FBI to backtrack and admit that far from being “not specifically related to the Jewish community,” the attack was in fact “a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted”.

Mr Akram entered the synagogue during Sabbath services, making threats against the congregation and holding them hostage, demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas.

In comments that could be heard on a live stream of the synagogue service that was cut off during the incident, Mr Akram could be heard speaking in a northern English accent and claiming that he had a bomb and that he would not leave the synagogue alive.

In additional comments that suggest that the FBI did little of use during the attack, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker told CBS Mornings that he and the two other hostages had escaped by hurling a chair at the attacker and running out of the building. Only once the hostages were free did the FBI enter the building and shoot Mr Akram dead. The account was corroborated in Mr Cohen’s CNN interview.

Previous reports had suggested that the FBI freed the hostages.

Two teenagers have now been arrested by the UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing North West.

The person who Mr Akram wanted freed in return for the safety of the hostages was being held in a Texan prison. Dr Siddiqui is convicted of two counts of attempted murder, armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, and three counts of assault on US officers and employees. Upon her conviction, raising her middle finger in court she shouted: “This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America. That’s where the anger belongs.” Dr Siddiqui had refused to work with a legal team provided to her by the Pakistani embassy on account of them being Jewish, and she had also demanded that jurors be subject to some sort of genetic testing to assess whether they were Jewish.

In a letter to former US President Obama, Dr Siddiqui wrote: “Study the history of the Jews. They have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter…and it is this cruel, ungrateful back-stabbing of the Jews that has caused them to be mercilessly expelled from wherever they gain strength. This why ‘holocausts’ keep happening to them repeatedly! If they would only learn to be grateful and change their behaviour!”

A statement purportedly from Mr Akram’s brother claimed that Mr Akram had in fact released all of the hostages voluntarily before the authorities conducted their raid and killed him.

The statement added: “We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc is wrong and should always be condemned. It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu vice versa etc.”

The statement was published on a Facebook the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook page which had to apologise for a post about Mr Akram’s death praying for “the Almighty” to “bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise”. The apology absurdly claimed that they had not been aware of the circumstances of Mr Akram’s death when posting the message, before the entire Facebook page was taken offline. Campaign Against Antisemitism is investigating who operates the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook page and has alerted the authorities.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We join Jewish communities around the world in relief that Malik Faisal Akram’s attack on Congregation Beth Israel in Texas ended without physical injury to worshippers at the synagogue.

“The FBI’s claim during the attack that it ‘was not specifically related to the Jewish community’ has now been shown to be the opposite of reality. The FBI’s grasp of the nature of the attack and its role, if any, in securing the safety of the hostages will now be under considerable scrutiny. It is appalling how the FBI’s patently absurd analysis was blindly parroted by the world’s media.

“That the perpetrator came from the United Kingdom raises very serious questions for British authorities, including whether Mr Akram was encouraged or supported by local elements who may pose a continuing threat to the Jewish community or the wider public. This would appear to be supported by the fact that two teenagers have already been arrested by Counter Terrorism Policing North West. That a ‘Blackburn Muslim Community’ Facebook page purporting to represent the local Muslim community published a now-deleted post calling for ‘the Almighty’ to ‘bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise’ demands an urgent investigation. We are looking into who operates the page and have alerted local law enforcement.”

A Seattle Jewish organisation has described the official reaction to antisemitic acts allegedly perpetrated by a senior police officer as “completely inadequate” and “an affront” to the Jewish community.

The criticism from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle (JFGS) follows the response by city officials in the Kent area of Seattle, Washington, to offences in the summer of 2021 when Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell allegedly posted a Nazi military insignia on his office door and made jokes about the Holocaust.

Mr Kammerzell was suspended for two weeks and ordered to attend cultural-sensitivity training. His claim that he did not know the symbol was of Nazi origin was accepted. In a statement released at the end of the year, Kent officials said that, based on labour law and on advice from two law firms that had reviewed the case, they believed a two-week suspension was “an appropriate and defensible response.”

JFGS described the response as “inexcusable” and said that it demonstrated “a complete lack of understanding of the impact” on the local Jewish community.

The group described the two-week suspension and sensitivity-training as “completely inadequate, especially at a time when incidents of hate against the Jewish people are higher than they’ve been in almost 45 years.”

JFGS called on the City of Kent to “publicly recognise the harm and hurt” caused to the Jewish community, adding that the “absence of true accountability” and “the sheer lack of consequences” were “shocking.”

This was an affront to the entire Puget Sound Jewish community, the group said said, adding: “Synagogues, Jewish community centres, and Jewish organisations rely on lawenforcement to help protect them from violent, antisemitic attacks.”

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Following the confirmation that the dead British man who attacked Congregation Beth Israel in Texas was 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook page has reportedly prayed for “the Almighty” to “bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise” in a now-deleted post.

Mr Akram entered the synagogue during Sabbath services, making threats against the congregation and holding them hostage, demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas.

In comments that could be heard on a live stream of the synagogue service that was cut off during the incident, Mr Akram could be heard speaking in a northern English accent and claiming that he had a bomb and that he would not leave the synagogue alive.

Following a standoff, the authorities raided the synagogue, killing Mr Akram and freeing the hostages.

A statement purportedly from Mr Akram’s brother published by the same Facebook page claimed that Mr Akram had in fact released all of the hostages before the authorities conducted their raid and killed him. The statement added: “We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc is wrong and should always be condemned. It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu vice versa etc.”

Dr Siddiqui is convicted of two counts of attempted murder, armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, and three counts of assault on US officers and employees. Upon her conviction, raising her middle finger in court she shouted: “This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America. That’s where the anger belongs.” Dr Siddiqui had refused to work with a legal team provided to her by the Pakistani embassy on account of them being Jewish, and she had also demanded that jurors be subject to some sort of genetic testing to assess whether they were Jewish.

In a letter to former US President Obama, Dr Siddiqui wrote: “Study the history of the Jews. They have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter…and it is this cruel, ungrateful back-stabbing of the Jews that has caused them to be mercilessly expelled from wherever they gain strength. This why ‘holocausts’ keep happening to them repeatedly! If they would only learn to be grateful and change their behaviour!”

Campaign Against Antisemitism is investigating who operates the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook page and alerting the authorities.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We join Jewish communities around the world in relief that Malik Faisal Akram’s attack on Congregation Beth Israel in Texas ended without physical injury to worshippers at the synagogue, and in giving thanks to the courageous law enforcement officers who secured their safety.”

“That the perpetrator came from the United Kingdom raises very serious questions for British authorities, including whether Mr Akram was encouraged or supported by local elements who may pose a continuing threat to the Jewish community or the wider public. That a ‘Blackburn Muslim Community’ Facebook page purporting to represent the local Muslim community published a now-deleted post calling for ‘the Almighty’ to ‘bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise’ demands an urgent investigation. We are looking into who operates the page and alerting local law enforcement.”

A leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division has been handed a seven-year jail sentence in connection with a plot to target journalists and activists.

Kaleb Cole, 25, was convicted by a federal jury in the Western District of Washington of one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion, three counts of mailing threatening communications, and one count of conspiring with other Atomwaffen Division members to commit three offenses against the United States – interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, mailing threatening communications, and cyberstalking.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington said: “Kaleb Cole helped lead a violent, nationwide neo-Nazi group. He repeatedly promoted violence, stockpiled weapons, and organized ‘hate camps’. Today the community and those Mr. Cole and his co-conspirators targeted, stand-up to say hate has no place here. He tried to intimidate journalists and advocates with hate-filled and threatening posters, tried to amplify their fear. Instead they faced him in court and their courage has resulted in the federal prison sentence imposed today.”

According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Mr Cole “led a multi-state plot by a neo-Nazi group to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who were doing important work to expose antisemitism around the country. The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute these hateful acts.”

At the trial, it was shown that Mr Cole and his peers plotted to intimidate journalists and others by mailing threatening posters or gluing posters to victims’ homes, focusing primarily on those who are Jewish or black. Mr Cole designed the posters, which warned the recipients that “you have been visited by your local Nazis.” Some victims temporarily moved home as a result, installed security systems or purchased firearms. Another began opening her mailbox with a stick as a precaution against what may be insider, while yet another left her job as a journalist.

Last year, another of the group’s leaders, Cameron Shea, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit three offenses against the United States and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for threatening journalists and advocates against antisemitism.

Other co-conspirators, Johnny Roman Garza and Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, also pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

Atomwaffen Division is a paramilitary neo-Nazi group that trains its members in the use of firearms and reportedly seeks to ignite a race war in the United States.

Last year, the UK proscribed Atomwaffen Division as a terrorist organisation.

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.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with an antisemitic incident in which a Jewish victim was called a “dirty Jew” before being punched in the face.

Suleiman Othman, 27, is charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated assault, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Blake Zavadsky, 21, and his friend were waiting for a shop to open in Brooklyn before being approached by two men who called them “dirty Jews” and demanded that Mr Zavadsky remove his sweater bearing the emblem of the Israel Defence Forces. One of the men then punched him several times and poured coffee on the sweater.

Social media users then began posting photographs of themselves wearing a similar sweater in solidarity with the victim.

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 chairman of a Utah-based technology start-up has divested his holdings after stepping down from the company he founded amid controversy over an antisemitic e-mail that he sent.

David Bateman, the founder, former CEO and, until recently, chairman of Entrata, a property management software company, reportedly wrote in an e-mail that Jews were behind the pandemic in a plot to exterminate billions of people. He subsequently doubled down on his comments.

His company asked him to resign and its CEO apologised for Mr Bateman’s remarks. Mr Bateman has also reportedly now divested from the company as well. In addition, the company met with the local rabbi to make amends.

Rabbi Sam Spector reported that he was met with genuine contrition from the company and received a six-figure pledge from Entrata to complete his synagogue’s fundraising campaign, which will enable the institution to purchase a new boiler and repair damaged Torah scrolls.

Rabbi Spector said: “My synagogue is falling apart, basically. The building is 50 years old. The bathrooms, seating and even the prayer books haven’t been replaced in decades. The total for the boiler alone, crucial during Utah winters, came to $150,000. They said, ‘We’re going to take care of all that for you,’ and they made the largest donation we’ve ever seen.”

In his e-mail, Mr Bateman reportedly wrote: “I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule. I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the US instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason. I pray that I’m wrong on this. Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive. Warn your employees. Warn your friends. Prepare. Stay safe.”

In a comment to a radio station sent by text message, Mr Bateman apparently echoed the assertions made in his e-mail, writing: “Yes. I sent it. I have nothing but love for the Jewish people. Some of my closest friends are Jews. My heart breaks for their 2500 years they’ve been mistreated by nearly every country on earth. But I do believe Scottish Rite Freemasons are behind the pandemic (overwhelmingly Jewish).” He added: “And I fear billions of people around the globe right now are being exterminated.”

He insisted that the e-mail reflected his personal opinion and was intended for a few friends only, even though the recipients included high-profile individuals in the state.

Entrata’s CEO, Adam Edmunds, tweeted: “Entrata’s board of directors today asked Dave Bateman to resign from the company’s board of directors, including his position as chairman. Dave agreed and is no longer a member of the Entrata board, effective immediately.” He also said that Mr Bateman’s opinions are “his alone and do not reflect the views or values of Entrata,” adding: “To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “No self-respecting company can tolerate a chairman who believes that the pandemic is a global plot orchestrated by ‘the Jews’ to exterminate billions of people and enslave the world. If reports about David Bateman’s comments and lack of remorse are accurate, Entrata is right to remove him from its board. It is rarely easy to sever ties with a founder, but sometimes it is.

“Entrata’s efforts to make amends are a masterclass in how to deal with a scenario such as this. If only all technology companies and other institutions were so sincere and proactive.”

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.

Jewish organisations in New York City said that they were “shocked and saddened” by “yet another unprovoked attack” on an Orthodox Jewish man in the city.

The Hate Crimes Unit of New York City Police Department is investigating the attack on the 26-year-old man in Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighbourhood which is home to a large Orthodox community and has frequently been targeted for antisemitic attacks over the last five years.

Witnesses said that the victim had been chased by two individuals who struck him with sticks, resulting in a head injury.

The community’s Shomrim neighbourhood patrol and the Hatzolah emergency service attended the scene, alongside officers from the 90th precinct. According to NYPD, the attackers fled in a black sedan and the victim was taken to hospital.

In a tweet, the United Jewish Organisation of Williamsburg said that it was “shocked and saddened” by “yet another unprovoked attack in Williamsburg.”

The group added that it hoped for a quick arrest and appealed for “beefed up patrols” to halt this “trend of violence against community members.”

Other community leaders expressed similar frustration on social media. Councilman Kalman Yeger tweeted, “It doesn’t stop,” while Councilman Lincoln Restler said that he was “disturbed” to learn of the attack.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said on n Twitter that this was not “the way we do things in Brooklyn.” He added: “Here we celebrate and love each other. I hope we find those who committed this horrible attack so that we could bring them to justice.”

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: Algemeiner

Police in Tucson, Arizona, have arrested a 37-year-old man in connection with the recent vandalism of a synagogue.

During the attack, windows were smashed at the Kol Ami Synagogue in midtown Tucson.

After reviewing CCTV footage from the synagogue – formerly Temple Emanu-El – Police arrested Dustin Wilkerson.

Local Councilman Steve Kozachik condemned the attack telling a local news channel that such behaviour was “totally unacceptable” and did not “reflect who we are as Tucsonans;” did not “reflect the spirit of Tucson” or the “ethics of Tucson.”

He added that if the vandals “have any kind of sense of dignity and self-respect,” they ought to go back to the synagogue “and offer to pay for the replacement of the glass.”

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: Algemeiner

The American social networking and microblogging platform, Tumblr has made changes to its app in order to block more than 400 search terms, including “antisemitism,” “racism” and “xenophobia”, in a move intended to reduce the risk of Apple banning it from the App Store.

Although some of the banned terms are designed to block access to pornography, Tumblr has stated that other terms relating to “potentially sensitive content” were banned so that the platform could “remain available within Apple’s App Store.”

In order to comply with Apple’s guideline, Tumblr said that it was “having to extend the definition of what sensitive content is as well as the way you access it.”

In 2018, the platform changed its community guidelines to explicitly ban hate speech.

In a blog post at the time, Tumblr stated that it was incumbent “on all of us to create a safe, constructive, and empowering environment.”

Tumblr said that to achieve this, its community guidelines needed “to reflect the reality of the internet and social media today,” as the internet was “being exploited by hate groups.”

Following the 2018 changes, users were able to report hate speech directly in the mobile app. Those guidelines were used to remove antisemitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT content.

The platform notes that under the new changes, users may see fewer results when searching for certain terms or phrases “that fall under the expanded definition of sensitive content,” and that in certain circumstances, a search “may not produce any results at all,” with users seeing a message stating that “content has been hidden.”

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 founder of a technology company based in Utah has resigned after reportedly sending an e-mail describing the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a plot by “the Jews” to exterminate people.

David Bateman, who previously served as CEO and until this week as chairman of Entrata, a property management software company, reportedly wrote in an e-mail: “I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule. I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the US instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason. I pray that I’m wrong on this. Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive. Warn your employees. Warn your friends. Prepare. Stay safe.”

Mr Bateman, who was also a one-time prominent figure in state politics, was asked by the board to step down as chairman of the company that he founded.

In a comment to a radio station sent by text message, Mr Bateman apparently echoed the assertions made in his e-mail, writing: “Yes. I sent it. I have nothing but love for the Jewish people. Some of my closest friends are Jews. My heart breaks for their 2500 years they’ve been mistreated by nearly every country on earth. But I do believe Scottish Rite Freemasons are behind the pandemic (overwhelmingly Jewish).” He added: “And I fear billions of people around the globe right now are being exterminated.”

He insisted that the e-mail reflected his personal opinion and was intended for a few friends only, even though the recipients included high-profile individuals in the state.

Entrata’s CEO, Adam Edmunds, tweeted: “Entrata’s board of directors today asked Dave Bateman to resign from the company’s board of directors, including his position as chairman. Dave agreed and is no longer a member of the Entrata board, effective immediately.”

He also said that Mr Bateman’s opinions are “his alone and do not reflect the views or values of Entrata,” adding: “To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “No self-respecting company can tolerate a chairman who believes that the pandemic is a global plot orchestrated by ‘the Jews’ to exterminate billions of people and enslave the world. If reports about David Bateman’s comments and lack of remorse are accurate, Entrata is right to remove him from its board. It is rarely easy to sever ties with a founder, but sometimes it is.”

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 comedian Jon Stewart has clarified remarks he made in his podcast in which he appeared to accuse the author JK Rowling of antisemitism in her portrayal of the goblin bankers in the Harry Potter book series.

Mr Stewart, who is Jewish, mused as to why Ms Rowling chose to “throw Jews in there to run the f***ing underground bank” in a fantasy world where people “can ride dragons and have pet owls.”

After backlash, he later insisted that the remarks were light-hearted.

In an episode of his podcast yesterday, he said: “I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic. I did not accuse her of being antisemitic. I do not think the ‘Harry Potter’ movies are antisemitic. I really love the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, probably too much for a gentleman of my considerable age.”

He told critics to “get a f***ing grip.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The portrayal of the goblins in the Harry Potter series is of a piece with their portrayal in Western literature as a whole. It is the product of centuries of association of Jews with grotesque and malevolent creatures in folklore, as well as money and finance. The mythological associations have become so ingrained in the Western mind that their provenance no longer registers with creators or consumers.

“Those who continue to use such representations are often not thinking of Jews at all, but simply of how readers or viewers will imagine goblins to look, which is a testament more to centuries of Christendom’s antisemitism than it is to malice by contemporary artists. So it is with JK Rowling, who has proven herself over recent years to be a tireless defender of the Jewish community in its fight against antisemitism, for which we are immensely grateful.”

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating two swastikas drawn in a playground in the heavily-Jewish neighbourhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn.

The symbols were found on a structure at Gravesend Park.

New York City Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein said: “Despicable hateful symbols will not be tolerated in our neighbourhoods, nor any other neighbourhood for that matter. Those responsible will be found and brought to justice. I want to thank Boro Park Shomrim for their swift response to this latest antisemitic incident.”

Assemblyman David Schwartz said that swastikas represent “humanity’s darkest chapter in history. It’s outrageous that this is what we have to deal with in a neighbourhood with so many Holocaust survivors.”

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: Google

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is searching for a man suspected of calling a Jewish man a “dirty Jew” before punching him in the face.

Blake Zavadsky, 21, said that he and his friend were waiting for a shop to open in Brooklyn before being approached by two men who called them “dirty Jews” and demanded that Mr Zavadsky remove his sweater bearing the emblem of the Israel Defence Forces. One of the men then punched him several times and poured coffee on the sweater.

The primary assailant reportedly fled on 86th Street toward Fourth Avenue.

The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes unit, which tweeted: “On 12/26/21, at approx. 10:45 AM, a male, 21, was waiting for a store to open when an individual made anti-Jewish statements and punched him in his face multiple times before fleeing on foot on 86th St towards 4th Ave in Brooklyn. Info? DM us or @NYPDTips or 1-800-577-TIPS.”

Social media users are now posting photographs of themselves wearing a similar sweater in solidarity with the victim.

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.

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The man who shot and killed a 60-year-old woman in a California synagogue has been given a second life sentence. This sentence is in addition to the life sentence without the possibility of parole that John T. Earnest received earlier this year.

In July, Mr Earnest, who murdered Lori Gilbert-Kaye in the Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting in April 2019, pleaded guilty to the charges of murder and attempted murder in a plea agreement that saw him avoid the death penalty.

Mr Earnest, who was nineteen at the time of the shooting, was said to have entered the synagogue with an AR-15 style rifle and opened fire on the 54 congregants inside, killing Ms Gilbert-Kaye and injuring three others, including an eight-year-old girl and the congregation’s founder, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who lost a finger.

During the shooting, Mr Earnest’s rifle jammed, at which point several members of the congregation ran towards him, chasing him out of the synagogue. He was understood to have fled before calling the police himself to confess that he had committed a shooting at a synagogue because he believed that Jews were trying to “destroy all white people,” and was subsequently apprehended approximately two miles from the synagogue.  

Mr Earnest also confessed to committing arson at the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in March 2019 “for the purpose of terrorising Muslim worshippers,” it was revealed in a news release from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. Addressing Mr Earnest’s motivation behind the Poway Synagogue shooting, the news release said that Mr Earnest “admitted that he committed those crimes because of his bias and hatred of Jews.”

In a statement, US Attorney-General Merrick Garland, who is Jewish, said: “All people deserve to live and worship peacefully. This defendant’s conduct was an attempt to damage what makes our nation so great—our diversity. The Department of Justice stands with our Jewish and Muslim community members, we reject hate in all forms, and we are committed to prosecuting bias-motivated violence to the fullest extent.”

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.