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July 21, 2014 12

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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July 14, 2014 1

Disturbing Online Messages Say #HitlerWasRight

The pop­u­lar­ity of some dis­turb­ing Hitler-related hash­tags on Twit­ter has grown in reac­tion to “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge,” Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas and other ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza.HitlerWasRight-hitler-gaza-israel-twitter-hashtag

Many of these responses have included the hash­tags #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong, such as:

  • “World needs another Hitler! #Hitler­Was­Right #SavePales­tine #SaveGaza”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right but he did one thing wrong he let other Jews to live, and they are mas­sacring #Pales­tini­ans today”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong we need a clone of #hitler for #jews #Israel @IsraeliPM”

This online out­pour­ing of anti-Semitism ini­tially appeared in the con­text of the recent series of Nazi and Holo­caust ref­er­ences that flooded social media after Germany’s 7–1 vic­tory over Brazil in the World Cup semi­fi­nals. Some of those wish­ing to protest Israel’s oper­a­tion in Gaza have pig­gy­backed on this phe­nom­e­non, ref­er­enc­ing both Germany’s World Cup vic­tory and Gaza in their #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong tweets:

  • “Ger­many won the World Cup– Israel has won mur­der, destruc­tion and dis­as­ter. #iSup­port­Gaza #Hitler­Was­Right? He did what Israel does now”
  • “I am sup­port­ing #Ger­many because #Hitler­Was­Right he killed jews with this rea­son #GAZA #Gaza­Un­der­At­tack #WorldCuptFinal2014Brazil”
  • “2014 FIFA World Cup CHAMPIONS! ***GERMANY*** #Pray­ForGaza #Hitler­Was­Right #Jew­sAre­Hu­manEn­emy #JewsAreRealTerrorist”

Invok­ing Hitler and Nazi Ger­many to demo­nize Israel is not lim­ited to social media. Bla­tantly offen­sive com­par­isons have appeared at a num­ber of anti-Israel protests in the U.S. Below are just a few examples:

  • At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, one young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”
  • At a pro­test­ in Cleve­land, one sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a Nazi flag jux­ta­posed with an Israeli flag.
  • At a rally in front of the Israeli Con­sulate in Chicago, among the many signs were sev­eral that accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing a Holo­caust: “End the Pales­tine Holo­caust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Man­u­fac­tured, Fre­quently Bombed and Man­aged By Israel.”    

A recent ADL poll of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in 100 coun­tries found that knowl­edge about the Holo­caust varies widely depend­ing on the coun­try. In the sur­vey, 54 per­cent of those polled glob­ally responded affir­ma­tively when asked if they had heard about the Holo­caust in Europe dur­ing World War II. Another 35 per­cent of those polled indi­cated they had no knowl­edge of the Holo­caust, and 10 per­cent responded “don’t know.”

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