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July 28, 2014 0

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.

Rome1

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.

Rome2

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 21, 2014 14

Hate on Display: Anti-Semitism in Anti-Israel Demonstrations Across Europe

Jews attacked. Syn­a­gogues tar­geted. Israel demo­nized. These pat­terns of anti-Semitism were seen at many anti-Israel demon­stra­tions around Europe this past weekend.

On Fri­day, a pro­tes­tor in Berlin attacked an Israeli man wear­ing a kip­pah, who hap­pened to be pass­ing the demon­stra­tion route. The same day in Lyon, France, a pro­tester hit a Jew­ish teenager in the head while yelling, “I want to kill all the Jews.” He was arrested on the spot by police. The same mur­der­ous intent was report­edly expressed in Zurich, where demon­stra­tors chanted, “Jews into the sea!”

On Fri­day, in Essen, Ger­many, anti-Israel pro­test­ers broke off from a demon­stra­tion and headed towards a syn­a­gogue, clearly intend­ing to attack it.   Police stopped them, arrested four­teen, and charged them with con­spir­acy to com­mit a crime.

On Sat­ur­day, in Sar­celles, France, anti-Israel pro­test­ers threw a Molo­tov cock­tail in the direc­tion of a syn­a­gogue, but police had kept them far enough away that the fire­bomb did no dam­age. Pro­test­ers did man­age, how­ever, to burn a kosher super­mar­ket to the ground. The same store had been attacked with an impro­vised grenade in 2012.

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Syn­a­gogues in Italy and France were also tar­geted with anti-Israel ban­ners. “Stop Bomb­ing Gaza. Israel Assas­sins. Free Pales­tine” was hung on the syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy, on July 18, and an “Israel Assas­sins” ban­ner was placed on a syn­a­gogue in Lyon the next day.

While these ban­ners would not be con­sid­ered anti-Semitic at a demon­stra­tion, they are anti-Semitic when tar­get­ing the local Jew­ish community.

Com­par­ing Israel to the Nazis is also anti-Semitic and preva­lent at anti-Israel demon­stra­tions. On Fri­day, “Israel=Hitler” signs were held up in Brus­sels. In Lon­don, it was “Well Done Israel, Hitler would be Proud.” And in Dublin, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu is depicted as Hitler on a sign, “Wanted: Zio Nazi”.

On Sun­day in Ams­ter­dam, one pro­tester took demo­niza­tion quite lit­er­ally: “Stop Sion­ist [sic] Demons in Gaza.”

 

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July 16, 2014 0

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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