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July 28, 2014

Anti-Semitic Incidents at Anti-Israel Demonstrations Continue in Europe

Over the past days, anti-Semitic incidents continue to plague European Jewish communities, often in connection with anti-Israel demonstrations.

Just one hour after an anti-Israel demonstration in Toulouse, France, on Saturday, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community center and at the police guarding the center.

French media reported on an anti-Israel march on Saturday in Paris, where they heard people saying “We’re ruled by the Zionists” and others responding, “They’re the worst race.”

Last night, swastikas were spray-painted in a heavily Jewish area of London and also in Rome’s historic Jewish quarter.

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A poster was also plastered on walls in Rome. Featuring a white-power Celtic cross, it equates – positively – Italian fascists and Palestinians and says they have a common enemy, unstated but obviously, the Jews.

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The good news is that the governments in France, Germany, and Italy, the three countries where the majority of incidents have occurred, have responded well.  French President Hollande and Prime Minister Valls, German Chancellor Merkel, and the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Italy collectively, have made clear statements that such attacks on their Jewish communities are intolerable, and they have matched those words with strong law enforcement.

At a demonstration in Berlin on Friday, there were almost as many police as demonstrators.  CRIF, the representative organization of the French Jewish community, thanked the Paris police today for preventing attempts by anti-Israel demonstrators on Saturday from going to the Marais historic Jewish quarter or the synagogues near Place de la Republique, where 5,000 people had assembled despite a ban on the demonstration.

On Friday, Germany’s largest circulation paper, Bild, featured statements against anti-Semitism from politicians, business leaders, civic leaders, media personalities, and celebrities with “Never Again Jew Hatred” on the front page.

Importantly, both the French and German leaders have said these attacks are not just against Jews, but attacks against the state and against the constitutional order.  They are not playing referee between pro-Palestinian protesters and Jews, but are rightly saying this fight is between violent anti-Semites and the rest of society.

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July 16, 2014

Vitriol and Violence in European Anti-Israel Demonstrations

While a handful of violent acts have targeted Jews in Europe during the latest round of Israel-Hamas fighting, the vitriol has flowed freely. Undeniably anti-Semitic expressions have been widely reported at anti-Israel demonstrations over the past week.

“You Jews are Beasts.” So read the sign at an anti-Israel demonstration in Frankfurt, Germany.

Cries of “Death to the Jews!” were heard multiple times during a large-scale demonstration in Paris. Two groups of dozens of demonstrators broke off from the march to attack two synagogues.

anti-israel hitler rally“We are all Mohamed Merah!” was chanted at a demonstration in Nice, France, referring to the murderer of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012.

“Slaughter the Jews!” and “Khaybar, Khaybar,” the anti-Semitic slogan evoking the massacre of Jews in Arabia 1400 years ago, were repeated in Antwerp, Belgium.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” was shouted in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, less than 10 miles from the Nazi camp at Holbeckshof, where hundreds of Jews were sent.

Israeli and Nazi flags were equated on signs at a demonstration in The Hague.

As French President Francois Hollande succinctly and clearly expressed on July 14, “Anti-Semitism cannot be used because there is a conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

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