The Charity Commission has confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the National Union of Students’ (NUS) charitable arm, following a letter calling on the regulator to do so from Robert Halfon MP and Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In his letter, Mr Halfon, who is the Chair of the Education Select Committee, wrote to “voice my dismay at the actions and behaviour of the National Union of Students and its trustees, in regards to their treatment of Jewish students and the Jewish community’s concerns regarding antisemitism. Together with Campaign Against Antisemitism…I politely request that the Commission launch a Section 46 inquiry, pursuant to the 2011 Charities Act into the NUS and look forward to receiving your response.”

Mr Halfon enclosed a dossier of evidence by Campaign Against Antisemitism detailing how NUS has failed Jewish students. He wrote that he is “particularly concerned about the enclosed dossier of antisemitic events that have taken place within the NUS over the past several years — and which come following decades of concerning trends — which was prepared by CAA.”

Mr Halfon made particular reference in his letter to the recent scandal involving the rapper Kareem Dennis, known as Lowkey, who was due to headline NUS’s centenary conference last month. After initially dismissing the concerns of Jewish students, who pointed out the rapper’s inflammatory record, the union came under media scrutiny and eventually Mr Dennis withdrew from the event.

As the scandal erupted, Mr Halfon excoriated NUS for failing to send a representative to attend a hearing held by his committee.

This scandal was immediately followed by the election of Shaima Dallali as NUS’s new President, despite her history of antisemitic tweets and other inflammatory social media posts. Prior to the election, she apologised for one such tweet.

As the dossier produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism observes, “Despite [its] ostensible and much-vaunted commitment to anti-racism, NUS has a long record of controversy in relation to Jewish students and antisemitism, dating back decades.

The dossier notes that antisemitism on campus has surged to record levels, with CST recording a 191% increase in antisemitic incidents on campus in 2021, and that Campaign Against Antisemitism’s latest Antisemitism Barometer found that an overwhelming 92% of British Jews believe that antisemitism in universities is a problem.

“NUS’s blind spot when it comes to inclusion of Jewish students and openness to their concerns is significant, giving rise not only to a failure of representation but also to a toleration of hostility to the needs of Jewish students within NUS and even instances of outright antisemitism. The result is tangible harm to Jewish students,” the dossier explains. “As an organisation, NUS is failing in its objective to represent and advocate for all students, and, as a charity, it is failing to act for the benefit of the public.”

Since the letter and dossier were published, UJS organised a mass open letter, over twenty former NUS Presidents called for action, NUS announced its own internal investigation (its third relating to antisemitism in the last two decades) and the Government severed relations with NUS, questioned the new President’s election and also called for an investigation by the Charity Commission.

A spokesperson for NUS reportedly said: “We proactively contacted the Commission on 8th April to discuss how we should best keep them informed of the allegations surrounding NUSUK, which is a separate legal entity, and any action taken by NUSUK to address them. The Charity Commission have engaged with us, since 13th April, via the compliance visits and inspections team. We are still in the process of responding to any further questions the regulator may have and note their statement that they have ‘made no finding of wrongdoing at this time’.”

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission told Civil Society News: “We have opened a compliance case into NUS Students’ Union Charitable Services in relation to the recent allegations made about the National Union of Students and the impact on the charity. We are engaging with the trustees and assessing all of the available information to inform any next steps.”

If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected]

A charity with a multi-million-pound revenue that it used to fund a television channel has been dissolved by the Charity Commission after presenters called Jews “cursed” and “a cancer”.

Peace TV broadcasts described Jewish people as being “like a cancer”, “evil”, full of “poison”, a “cursed people” and a “cursed race”. The Dubai-based channel broadcasts in several languages and claims that it reaches some 200 million viewers worldwide.

The Urdu-speaking preacher, Israr Ahmed, reportedly used his Peace TV platform to compare Jews to pigs and blame them for the Holocaust. In one such broadcast, Mr Ahmed said that “the mark of this cursed race, that does not take advantage of the opportunity to repent, which is why they are afflicted by great calamities and the example is what happened to them at the hands of the Germans”.

A series of ten rulings by the regulator Ofcom between 2009 and 2019 condemned Peace TV for broadcasting hate speech and encouraging “violence and dangerous or seriously anti-social behaviour”.

Following a two-year investigation, in late May the Charity Commission announced that the Islamic Research Foundation International, the charity that directed most of its funds to Peace TV, must be immediately dissolved, and that Zakir Naik, who headed the charity, is no longer permitted to hold office in any charity in the future.

Tim Hopkins, Assistant Director of the Charity Commission, said: “This charity was mismanaged by its trustees, including through their failure to manage the charity’s relationship with Peace TV following Ofcom’s findings. The commission’s intervention has secured its dissolution. As part of our intervention, we determined that Dr Naik’s conduct makes him unfit to act as a trustee or hold senior management positions in any charity in England and Wales. Our order protects charities by prohibiting him from acting.”

Image credit: JC

The disgraced Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer is facing a ban by the Church of England.

Rev. Dr Sizer, 68, who was ordained in 1984 and served as a vicar at Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, appeared at an ecclesiastical court in London this week facing eleven allegations of conduct that “provoked and offended” the Jewish community between 2005 and 2018. The Bishop of Winchester, in whose diocese Rev, Sizer’s church is located, suspended him in 2018 pending the outcome of this hearing.

It is the first such hearing to be public, as usually tribunals under the Clergy Discipline Measure are held in private, but the defendant has the right to request that the hearing be public, and it is believed that this is the first time that such a right has been applied. If the hearing at St Andrew’s Court finds against him, Rev. Dr Sizer could face sanctions ranging from a rebuke to expulsion from the priesthood.

Rev. Dr Sizer has claimed that an Israeli conspiracy was behind 9/11, and in February 2015 he was ordered by the Church of England to stop using social media. While the Church said that the material that Rev. Dr Sizer posted was “clearly antisemitic”, the Daily Mail revealed that former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Church defending Rev. Dr Sizer, saying that he was being victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism.”

According to The Times, court documents list allegations that include that Rev. Dr Sizer attended a London conference at which a Hizballah politician spoke in 2005; that he met with a “senior commander of Hizballah forces” in 2006; that he spoke at a conference in Indonesia at which a Holocaust denier also spoke in 2008; that he “promoted the idea that Israel was behind the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 by posting a link in January 2015 to an article entitled ‘9/11: Israel did it’ that blamed Israel for the attacks”; and that he posted on Facebook in 2018 that Mr Corbyn was “a victim of the hidden hands of Zionists”.

Nicholas Leviseur, presenting the case against Rev. Dr Sizer, said that the disgraced vicar is accused of “conduct unbecoming and inappropriate for a clerk in holy orders” and argued that his behaviour went “far beyond” normal political commentary or activity, adding that “there appears to have been an unusual amount of behaviour…promoting the views of others which are bluntly antisemitic in character.”

Rev. Dr Sizer’s counsel, Stephen Hofmeyr QC, argued that Rev. Dr Sizer had said “repeatedly, unreservedly and very publicly that…antisemitism must be repudiated unequivocally” in his writings about “Christian Zionism”, and had written that: “Legitimate criticism of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians must not be used as an excuse for racism or attacks against Jewish people.” He summarised that Rev. Dr Sizer’s case “is that he is not antisemitic and that his words or conduct never have been antisemitic.”

In addition to the incidents noted above, Rev. Dr Sizer allegedly told a radio programme in 2008: “My concern is with so-called Christian Zionist organisations that…equate the Gospel with helping Jews…without telling them about the Cross…my concern is with those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism.”

In 2010, he reportedly posted photographs of Israeli soldiers under the title “Herod’s Soldiers Operating in Bethlehem Today”, likely a reference, reminiscient of the blood libel, to the Book of Matthew where Herod orders all baby boys in Bethlehem to be killed in an effort to kill Jesus.

Among his other inflammatory comments and activities, it has been alleged that he has a history of association with elements of the far-right, and his books have reportedly been removed from sale by a leading Christian publisher.

The hearing follows the Church of England’s apology earlier this month for centuries of antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism works to raise awareness of antisemitism among all faith and minority communities.

The Church of England has apologised for its “shameful actions” against Jews, eight centuries after Church leaders developed a series of antisemitic laws.

After announcing that the Church intended to issue the apology a year ago, on Sunday 8th May, Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford hosted an event featuring key members of the Church hierarchy to commemorate the 1222 Synod of Oxford.

Sunday marked the 800th anniversary of the Synod. Known as the “Magna Carta” of English canon law – the system of laws enforced by the Church hierarchy to regulate its internal and external organisation – the Synod put into place a number of antisemitic doctrines. It forbade social interactions between Jews and Christians, forced the Jews to pay a specific tax, and made them wear a badge to identify them. 

This last condition reflects Canon 68 of the Roman Catholic Church’s Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1213. Named Ut Iudaei discernatur a christianis in habitu (“That Jews should be distinguished from Christians in their dress”) mandated that Jews should wear distinctive items of clothing “so that no Christian shall come to marry them ignorant of who they are”.

Twenty eight similar statutes were put in place in various countries throughout medieval and early modern Europe, including the 1274 Statute of Jewry in England, which forced Jews above the age of seven to year a yellow badge on their outer clothing. During the Second World War, the Jews of Nazi-occupied Europe were forced to wear yellow Star of David badges to ostracise them and prepare them for extermination.

Though the Church of England did not exist until the early 16th century, Anglican leaders maintain that the apology is an important step in repairing its relationship with the Jewish community.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was not able to attend the service in person – representatives went in his stead – but he wrote on Twitter that it was a chance to “remember, repent and rebuild,” adding “Let us pray it inspires Christians today to reject contemporary forms of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, and to appreciate and receive the gift of our Jewish neighbours.”

Speaking at a reception following the service, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said it was “deeply appreciated by our Jewish community,” called for the strengthening of Jewish-Christian relations, and said: “Let us not forget that we are still on a journey. There is still so much that needs to be done.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism works to raise awareness of antisemitism among all faith and minority communities. We have also launched a series of antisemitism lesson plan guides for teachers, including specific guides for Church of England schools.

A survey has shown that nearly half the Israeli public is concerned about another Holocaust taking place.

The poll, organised by the Pnima group, aimed to probe particularly sensitive questions about public memory of the Holocaust, as well as fears about Iran’s nuclear project and repeated threats to destroy the Jewish state.

The results showed that 47 percent of Israelis feared another Holocaust, though the results varied across different demographics: women came out as more fearful than men, the young more than older citizens, and the religious community more than secular Jews.

The data also showed that most Israelis think the way that Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is commemorated will undergo significant changes as the generation that survived the Holocaust eventually disappears.

The poll came as another study, conducted by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, showed that global antisemitism had reached record highs. The UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany were among the countries highlighted in the report.

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.

A new survey has revealed a “concerning” level of antisemitism among New Zealanders.

The Antisemitism Survey of New Zealand, conducted online by Curia Research and published by the New Zealand Jewish Council, asked more than 1,000 citizens whether or not they agreed with eighteen statements deemed to be antisemitic. 63 percent of those asked agreed with at least one statement while six percent agreed with nine or more statements.

The survey charted four broad trends: the New Zealand public’s knowledge about the Holocaust; reception of “classical” antisemitic statements relating to Jewish power, money, and loyalty; “anti-Israel” antisemitism, such as comparisons between the policies of the Israeli Government and those of the Nazis; and what the report characterised as miscellaneous antisemitism, comprising statements about how societies should treat “Zionists”, the relationship between Jews and “white privilege” and Jewish indigeneity to Israel.

The survey found that 21 percent of people believed two or more “classical” antisemitic statements, such as “Jews have too much power in international financial markets”, while six percent held a staggering nine or more antisemitic views.

Seven percent agreed with the assertion that Israel does not have the right to exist as a majority Jewish state. Questions regarding the Holocaust revealed that only 42 percent correctly identified that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but that seventeen percent confessed to knowing “virtually nothing” about it, while six percent thought that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves. 

Deborah Hart, Board Chair of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, said: “Misinformation about the Holocaust – or Holocaust distortion – is a form of antisemitism. It minimises the suffering of a great number of Jewish families and the murder of their loved ones.”

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

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: Sussex Friends of Israel

It has been reported that items displayed in the collection of a Glasgow museum may have been looted from their Jewish former owners by the Nazis.

The Burrell Collection, which dates back to acquisitions made by the wealthy shipowner Sir William Burrell in 1944, already knew that two works on display were stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis in the 1930s. Glasgow City Council even paid out a large amount of money in compensation to the works’ would-be heirs. 

However, Glasgow Museums curator Martin Bellamy has recently published a book, A Collector’s Life: William Burrell, which maintains that even more works than previously acknowledged can be proven to have belonged to Jewish owners who relinquished their treasures as part of the practice known as “forced sale”. 

This was part of the wider policy of “Aryanisation”, in which Jews in Germany and Austria were forced to register property or assets – including life insurance, stocks, furniture and works of art – valued above a certain amount. They also lost favourable financial incentives available to non-Jews, and were forced to be part of the highest tax bracket irrespective of their actual income. If they chose to leave the country, they were forced to hand over half of their assets and exchange what remained at the least favourable rate of exchange of their destination.

Glasgow Life, a charity that administers the 9,000-piece collection, has admitted that works acquired under these circumstances are on display. They do not, however, identify precisely which works were acquired in this manner.

Scottish historian Sir Tom Devine said: “As long as the provenance of these items is established by experts and curators, it should always be made public. The question the public will ask is, ‘What do they have to hide?’ I find the refusal rather curious. Curators of museums always want the truth to be out, and unvarnished at that.”

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Ephraim Borowksi said: “I suggest that the point to be made is that this isn’t a question of law, but morals. Given the scale of the Holocaust, there may be no surviving family members to make a formal legal claim. It’s up to public galleries to acknowledge the dubious history of items in their collection.”

The Burrell Collection, which has recently undergone a £70 million renovation, will open to the public on 5th April.

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.

Two trustees from The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, Danny Habel and Tony Stoller, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where they spoke on the life of Licoricia of Winchester and the recent statue unveiling.

Licoricia was a Jewish businesswoman who has been described as “the most important Jewish woman in medieval England” and a leader in her community. She lived in the 13th century and was murdered in 1277, just thirteen years before King Edward I expelled the Jews from England. 

“At a time when women really were very nondescript and not in the histories much, ​​she stood out,” Mr Habel told our host. “She was a businesswoman. She made the most of it on her own as a single mother with five children in a very hostile society.

“As time went on, she was obviously a bold woman. She was close to Henry III…she would go into the royal court and address the king and the courtiers in French, in their language. She would be dealing with people in the local community in English. As part of her very confrontational business of finance, she would be in court quite often acting on her own behalf in Latin. So, she was able to face up to people, but at the time same, she was a community leader.”

Mr Stoller agreed that Licoricia was “highly significant,” though added that this did not necessarily protect her completely. “She was imprisoned for eight months in order to get money out of her at one stage…You lose Henry III, you get Edward I, you get extremely antisemitic demands by Simon De Montfort and the barons…Licoricia is murdered, we don’t think we know why. The guess is this might have been a way of somebody avoiding paying back money that was owed to her.”

When asked about the lessons that could be learned from Licoricia’s story, Mr Habel noted that “In Licoricia’s time, there were certain tropes and concepts about the way people thought about Jews and strangely enough, they’re exactly the same as today.” Mr Habel said that some of the tropes levelled against Jews included the belief that they were all rich, that they were responsible for the death of Christ, and that they were evil. 

When asked if the trustees had any message for Podcast Against Antisemitism’s listeners, Mr Stoller said: “Come and look at the statue of Licoricia of Winchester, and then think about it. And if you can’t look at the statue, then go onto our website and take a virtual tour, and see what it is and see if you are as inspired as we are.” 

The podcast with The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal 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.

The Charity Commission has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that it will permit an organisation to continue to pursue charitable registration even after we alerted the regulator to an antisemitic social media post published by the group.

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust appeared in a December social media post to describe Jews and Christians as “enemies of Allah” and warn its followers to stay away from them.

The organisation, which functions as a bookshop and was promoted by Brent Council, shared a post reading: “Keep away from the enemies of Allaah [sic] the Jews & Christians on their day of gathering during their festivities, for verily the anger (of Allaah) descends upon them  and I fear that you will (also) be afflicted with it.”

The quotation is attributed to Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, the second Rashidun Caliph, and is featured in Al-Bayhaqi Fi Shu’ab Al-Emaan, a collection of Hadiths compiled by Imam Al-Bayhaqi.

The image in the tweet was captioned: “Be warned of having any sort of involvement in the celebrations of the unbelievers, let alone Christmas whereby it is claimed that Allaah has begotten a son! Lest you may be afflicted with the anger of Allaah along with them!”

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust describes itself as “a charitable trust based in North West London who work for the benefit and enlightenment of the local community.”

We wrote to Brent Council, which observed in its reply that the organisation was no longer listed on its website since we published our article, and to the Charity Commission.

The Commission replied to say that it had engaged with Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust “to seek a direct response to the concerns” and that it “also requested further information regarding the Organisation’s charitable status.” However, the regulator went on to say that it “recently received a response from the Organisation, in which the Organisation has provided various assurances, including to confirm that the social media post has been removed. The Organisation is also currently in the process of seeking charitable registration.”

The Commission concluded that, “Having considered the information and assurances provided by the Organisation, I can confirm that the Commission’s assessment of this matter will now be closed,” merely highlighting to the Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust its responsibilities under charitable law and guidance, should it become a charity.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is considering further legal options.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “While most of the country was enjoying the season of goodwill, the Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust was using its Twitter account to implore the Muslim community to stay away from Jews and Christians and regard them as an enemy. It is extraordinary that the Charity Commission should consider such an organisation to be fit to apply for charitable status even after being alerted to this post. We are considering further legal options.”

The controversial activist group, Amnesty UK, has reportedly taken no action after its Racial Justice Lead apologised for a historic social media post in which he appeared to describe Jewish people as “shady”.

According to the Jewish News, Ilyas Nagdee was asked by a friend on Facebook for his thoughts on Orthodox Jews in Bury, in Greater Manchester. The friend said that they were “laughin at Jews [sic]” and joked that “the Jew might hit me with a walking stick.” Mr Nagdee replied: “True. There shady people [sic].”

In another comment, apparently in reference to Hasidic garb, Mr Nagdee reportedly wrote: “Hahahahaha bummmmmmmmm hats.”

When alerted to the comments, Amnesty UK said: “We immediately looked into this matter as soon as we were made aware of it. As an anti-racist organisation, we oppose discrimination, racism and hate crime in all their forms, including against Jewish people or people perceived as Jewish. Ilyas has explained the circumstances of these comments made when he was sixteen years old – he has clearly and unreservedly apologised and we now consider the matter closed.”

Mr Nagdee said: “This conversation happened in 2010 when I was sixteen. I was completely wrong to have talked this way and I totally regret doing so. Like many people, I’ve been on a journey since my early years and have long opposed all discrimination, racism and hate crime – including all forms of antisemitism. I want to make clear: I unreservedly apologise for these comments from twelve years ago.”

Earlier this week it was reported that the Charity Commission has opened an investigation of Amnesty International in relation to a recent inflammatory report on Israel. Mr Nagdee, who is a former presentative of the National Union of Students, has claimed that Amnesty is the victim of a “smear campaign” led by the Jewish state. He has also reportedly called for the release of prisoners convicted of terrorism from Israeli jails, and has posted comments on social media appearing to deny the Jewish state’s legitimacy.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Britain’s Jews have enough experience with so-called ‘anti-racists’ not to be shocked to learn that Amnesty quickly closed its investigation against Ilyas Nagdee, who remains the Racial Justice Lead. The Jewish community knows very well where it stands in relation to the web of Amnesty organisations.”

Image credit: Jewish News

The co-founder of the controversial activist group Extinction Rebellion, who was disowned by his colleagues after he described the Holocaust as “just another f***ery in human history,” is reportedly planning to launch a new environmental campaigning group.

Roger Hallam has apparently spoken to meetings across the country to recruit a “direct action” force for a new campaign called “Just Stop Oil”, to be launched in March with a series of blockades of petrol stations, oil depots and refineries.

Although Extinction Rebellion disavowed Mr Hallam, it is understood that at least 23 of the 71 recruitment meetings held by Just Stop Oil were jointly organised by Extinction Rebellion, a spokesperson for which insisted: “We’re all part of the climate movement and so Roger is free to talk to us. But we are separate organisations.”

Mr Hallam made the comment about the Holocaust in an interview to the German newspaper, Die Zeit, in 2019. He told the newspaper, “the extremity of a trauma can create a paralysis in actually learning the lessons from it. The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history, ” adding: “They went to the Congo in the late 19th century and decimated it,” before adding that contextually, the Holocaust was “almost a normal event…just another f***ery in human history.”

Mr Hallam claimed that his comments, which appeared to minimise and downplay the Nazis’ systematic murder of six million Jews, were taken out of context: “I want to fully acknowledge the unimaginable suffering caused by the Nazi Holocaust that led to all of Europe saying ‘never again’. But it is happening again, on a far greater scale and in plain sight. The ‘global north’ is pumping lethal levels of CO2 into the atmosphere and simultaneously erecting ever greater barriers to immigration, turning whole regions of the world into death zones. That is the grim reality. We are allowing our governments to willingly, and in full knowledge of the science, engage in genocide of our young people and those in the ‘global south’ by refusing to take emergency action to reduce carbon emissions.”

In a post on Twitter, the German branch of Extinction Rebellion wrote: “We explicitly distant ourselves from Roger Hallam’s belittling and relativising statements about the Holocaust. In so doing he contravenes the principles of XR, which does not tolerate antisemitism, and he is no longer welcome in XR Germany.”

Recently, Mr Hallam was disinvited from the University of Warwick after his past inflammatory comments were brought to the attention of organisers.

A statue of Licoricia of Winchester and her son Asher was unveiled in Winchester earlier today.

Licoricia was a Jewish businesswoman who has been described as “the most important Jewish woman in medieval England” and a leader in her community. She lived in the 13th century and was murdered in 1277, just 13 years before King Edward 1 expelled the Jews from England. 

In a press release, the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, the charity behind the creation of the statue, said that “The project to install a statue of Licoricia aims to inform people about England’s little-known but important medieval Jewish community,” and added that it hoped it would offer a “fresh gateway to the study of Winchester’s royal medieval past.”

HRH Prince Charles was due to unveil the statue but was unable to attend after testing positive for COVID-19.

Last month, Winchester city council’s planning report said: “It is hoped that the statue will provide an opportunity to educate Winchester’s population and visitors about its medieval past and Jewish community and that it will be a lasting enhancement to the city.”

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.

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 Charity Commission has reportedly launched an inquiry into a mosque whose manager is said to have compared Israel to the Nazis and praised the Taliban.

Saddique Hussain, the general manager of Birmingham’s Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif mosque, reportedly shared a clip of Taliban fighters showing off assault rifles whilst reciting quotes from the Quran and wrote: “How beautiful and civilised and no ‘I’. May Allah SWT guide us on to His beautiful religion.” 

It was said that Mr Hussain also shared a post which said that Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian children “for fun”. He allegedly shared a video clip from the news outlet TruNews, which has been described as a “far-right conspiracy theory and fake news website”, and according to the ADL has “increasingly featured antisemitic and anti-Zionist content, and also has a long record of disseminating radical Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ messages”. The clip in question was from Rick Wiles, a pastor who has previously labelled Jews as “deceivers” who “plot” and “lie”, in which Mr Wiles compared Israel to the Nazis.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism. 

Mr Hussain allegedly shared another clip which stated that “Zionist lobbying” could have a Sky News video that reported on Israeli military actions removed if they wanted, while another shared video reportedly contained text that said: “I am Israel – I have the power to control American policy. My American Israel Public Affairs committee can make or break any politician of its choosing.”

According to the Definition, “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 group Muslims Against Antisemitism denounced Mr Hussain’s posts, stating: “Promoting views and associations between ‘media control’ and depicting ‘Zionists’ as having ‘control’ shows the conspiratorial mindset of the person in question. Focussing on Israel and blaming Israel for actions that it is not even associated with, shows the frothing and foaming nature of the antipathy that some hold.”

After a police warning, Mr Hussain claimed that he “does not and never has supported the Taliban”.

The Charity Commission, which apparently carried out a compliance visit to the charity last November following concerns over social media activity, has reportedly now announced that a full investigation will take place into Dar ul Uloom Islamia Rizwia (Bralawai), the group that runs Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, relating to the conduct on social media of staff and trustees, who have apparently also shared inflammatory material online.

The Commission said: “These posts resulted in the charity receiving negative media attention and complaints being raised directly with the Commission.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that over eight in ten British Jews consider the threat from Islamists to be very serious.

Image credit: Facebook screenshot via the JC

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust has appeared in a social media post to describe Jews and Christians as “enemies of Allah” and warn its followers to stay away from them.

The organisation, which functions as a bookshop and is promoted by Brent Council, shared a post reading: “Keep away from the enemies of Allaah [sic] the Jews & Christians on their day of gathering during their festivities, for verily the anger (of Allaah) descends upon them  and I fear that you will (also) be afflicted with it.”

The quotation is attributed to Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, the second Rashidun Caliph, and is featured in Al-Bayhaqi Fi Shu’ab Al-Emaan, a collection of Hadiths compiled by Imam Al-Bayhaqi.

The image in the tweet was captioned: “Be warned of having any sort of involvement in the celebrations of the unbelievers, let alone Christmas whereby it is claimed that Allaah has begotten a son! Lest you may be afflicted with the anger of Allaah along with them!”

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust describes itself as “a charitable trust based in North West London who work for the benefit and enlightenment of the local community.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism shall be writing to Brent Council and the Charity Commission.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “While most of the country was enjoying the season of goodwill, the Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust was using its Twitter account to implore the Muslim community to stay away from Jews and Christians and regard them as an enemy. The tweet warrants an investigation by the Charity Commission, and Brent Council must also review its association with the group. We are writing to both bodies.”

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.

https://twitter.com/Cmyt_Bookshop/status/1474004574402859010?s=20

Tony Greenstein has been removed as a trustee of The Brighton Trust, formerly known as the “Trust 4 Unpopular Causes”, by the Charity Commission after being declared legally bankrupt in July following his failed defamation claim against Campaign Against Antisemitism earlier this year.

Mr Greenstein had been ordered by judges to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism £81,854 over a libel claim brought by Mr Greenstein after we called him a “notorious antisemite”. In an example of litigation humiliatingly backfiring, the High Court struck out Mr Greenstein’s libel claim against us, ruling that it was permissible for us to call the co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and expelled Labour Party member a “notorious antisemite” in articles on our website. Mr Greenstein then brought an appeal against aspects of the High Court ruling, which he also lost earlier this month.

Following an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing on 14th July that lasted only a quarter of an hour, Judge Catherine Burton, noting that Mr Greenstein has been properly served and failed to attend or make representations, concluded proceedings by saying: “I make a bankruptcy order this day against Tony Greenstein at 10:46am.”

Consequently, Mr Greenstein met the criteria for automatic disqualification as a charity trustee. We wrote to the Charity Commission to notify them of the bankruptcy order and that he must therefore cease to be a trustee of The Brighton Trust.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Today, the Charity Commission removed Tony Greenstein as a trustee of a charity that purports to challenge racist discrimination but has given grants to causes associated with antisemitism denial during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, including the Chris Williamson Left Legal Fund, The Electronic Intifada and Labour Against the Witchhunt, amongst others. Mr Greenstein’s removal as a trustee will hopefully prove beneficial to the charity.”

An Islamic charity is under investigation by the Charity Commission after Jihadist and antisemitic material was found on its website.

The Miftahul Jannah Academy, based in Waltham Forest, was reported by the National Secular Society to the Commission over lectures delivered by Islamic scholar Muhammad Patel that allegedly praised the Taliban, encouraged Muslims to fund Jihad and contained antisemitic references, including to the “dirty qualities” of the Jews.

One lecture is titled “A quality of the Yahood — to kill those who want to guide them towards the commands of Allah”. Yahood is the Arabic word for Jew. Mr Patel reportedly says in the lecture that the killing of Islamic scholars is among the “wretched” and “dirty” qualities of the Jews.

The Miftahul Jannah Academy says that its aims and objectives include “to further the true image of Islam”.

The Masjid-e-Umer Trust, which runs Walthamstow Central Mosque where Mr Patel has apparently given sermons and run youth activities, has also been referred to the Commission.

The Charity Commission said: “We contacted the Miftahul Jannah Academy on 24th September about audio recordings alleged to be from the charity’s website. We await the trustees’ response. We are now in receipt of additional information which we are carefully assessing.”

Image credit: Google

The Director of a charity has been suspended and reported to the Charity Commission after allegations of antisemitism have surfaced.

Bus Users UK, a charity that works to ensure transport is more inclusive and accessible, lists Hugh Jaeger as a Trustee, Director, and “Chair of Bus Users Oxford and an active campaigner for bus services” on its website. However, yesterday they took the decision to suspend him after a history of inflammatory tweets were revealed.

In a 2019 post, Mr Jaeger reportedly wrote that “In 1948 Zionists copied the Nazis to liquidate several villages” and also shared an inflammatory cartoon along with the caption: “Pic of an Israeli Magav border police thug sums up why Zionism is evil & why Palestinians must resist.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.

In another post, Mr Jaeger allegedly condemned “racist Israel”, while in different one, he said that it was founded by “State terrorists who massacre, steal land, apply apartheid, murder children and commit war crimes have ruled Israel ever since.” He also defended the controversial Labour candidate Lisa Forbes, despite her deeply problematic social media activity.

In a blog post from December 2019, Mr Jaeger reportedly wrote that “No one has proved that antisemitism is any more common in Labour than it is in UK society as a whole.”

Taking action on Mr Jaeger’s surfaced tweets, Bus Users UK wrote from their Twitter account: “Hugh Jaeger has been asked to step back from his duties as a trustee of Bus Users while the Board considers his position. Bus Users is not a political organisation and is not aligned to any political viewpoint. We are a charity campaigning for accessible transport for everyone.”

Mr Jaeger was also reported to the Charity Commission by the GnasherJew Twitter account.

Larry Sanders, the former Green Party Spokesperson on Health and Social Care and brother to former Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, drew criticism for tweeting: “Hugh Jaeger is not antisemitic.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms. We also continue to make representations to the Government on this matter.

The children’s charity Barnardo’s is investigating one of its staffers for reportedly sharing inflammatory social media posts, including an image that resulted in Naz Shah MP’s suspenion from the Labour Party in 2016.

Rubina Halim, a Barnardo’s teacher, shared an image on Facebook that situates Israel in the middle of the United States and calls for the relocation of Israel to America. She added the comment: “The perfect solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

This was the same image for which Naz Shah MP apologised and was suspended from the Labour Party in 2016 under then Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Labour’s Deputy Chair of Newham Council, Cllr Nazir Ahmed, was also suspended for sharing the same image earlier this year.

Ms Halim made the inflammatory post on Facebook. In a separate post, she stated that Israel has “governments around the world in their pockets” and alluded to how Israel “controlled and manipulated” the media.

“Think about their spyware – can they not hack anyone anywhere? Think about how [Israel] have governments around the world in their pockets,” the Facebook post read. It continued: “Think about how the media is controlled and manipulated.”

Ms Halim’s posts were not limited to Facebook, however, as it appeared that she had shared several more on LinkedIn, including one that depicted an American dollar bill, folded into the shape of a Star of David. On a separate post, another comment written by Ms Halim read: “Are you surprised that the UK government have been bought by Israel.”

Ms Halim also appeared to endorse a controversial post that was shared by a user who went by the name of Mohammed Sadat Ali, in which he shared an article titled “Jewish Faith, Talmud, and Zionist in Islamic Review”. Mr Ali wrote that the article explained “why the Jewish state of Israel is referred to as a racist, chauvinistic, theocratic, conservative and highly dogmatic state,” a post that Ms Halim shared and added: “Need to read this!”

In response to the criticism surrounding her post, Ms Halim said: “I am not antisemitic and truly do not recognise how my post could be described as antisemitic. My sincerest apologies if my post has offended you in any way.”

In a statement, Barnardo’s said: “We would like to assure the public that these are strictly the personal views of the staff member and do not represent the views of Barnardo’s. Barnardo’s does not tolerate any kind of racism, including antisemitism and all our staff and volunteers are required to adhere to strict codes of conduct and policies on equality and diversity. The individual has been instructed to remove the offending content immediately and firm action has been taken pending a full and thorough investigation.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms.

Antisemitic graffiti has been discovered on the side of a Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) building in Ohio, as well as on the side of a bridge.

The graffiti on the side of the YCWA in the city of Alliance depicts a white Star of David inside a red circle with a line going through it. 

The organisation posted a photograph of the graffiti on Facebook, accompanied by a statement which read: “We, at the YWCA of Alliance are saddened and outraged that someone or a group of individuals used our building at 239 E. Market Street to propel hate and an antisemitic message. This message was in form of vandalism spray painting on our historical building which has stood as a beacon of hope, love, and inclusion in the Alliance Community for 95 years. We were not the only place in the community targeted, many locations through out the downtown area were.

“We would like to join forces with those who wish to see this form of hate gone, and our community washed clean of these symbols of racism to come together and be able to unite against hate. Please contact the Alliance YWCA if you would like to help at 330-823-1840. Please contact the Alliance Police Department if you have any information on the vandalism that has occurred.”

Other Facebook users posted photographs of similar graffiti found nearby on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Viaduct, which included the phrase “Down with ZOG.” 

ZOG” is an acronym often used by white supremacists that means “Zionist Occupied Government.” This idea holds that the official government of a country is just a puppet, while the real control is exercised behind the scenes by a cabal of Jews.

Alliance Police have confirmed that an investigation is underway. 

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 Instagram page belonging to the Jewish charity Norwood has been hacked by anti-Israel trolls today.

Norwood’s display photo was changed to that of a Palestinian Authority flag with the words “Free Palestine, end apartheid” circling it.

The hackers also uploaded a photo of a man holding a Palestinian Authority flag with the caption “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Another photo uploaded of the Palestinian Authority flag bore the caption: “Repeat after us: Palestine will be free. Free free Palestine.”

According to Norwood’s description on Instagram, it is “the UK’s largest Jewish charity supporting children, families and people with learning disabilities and autism.”

The charity has no affiliation with Israel and has likely been targeted purely because of its association with the British Jewish community.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” is an example of antisemitism.

A spokesperson for Norwood said: “We became aware that Norwood’s Instagram account was breached on Thursday afternoon with content posted from the Free Palestine movement. As a British charity, our duty is to support vulnerable members of the British Jewish community and, as such, we condemn as abhorrent all hate crimes. Norwood stands for inclusivity regardless of our differences and we endorse Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent statement that there is no place for antisemitism in British society.”

Norwood has now regained control of its Instagram account.

Campaign Against Antisemitism urges all Jewish institutions to be vigilant with their digital assets and operations.