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August 7, 2014

Anti-Semitism Persists Across Latin America

Numerous anti-Israel protests, anti-Semitic graffiti, statements and vandalism took place during the weekend of August 1st and were reported to ADL. ADL has been monitoring the responses and actions from Latin American countries since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in early July, 2014.

Uruguay:

In Posito, a neighborhood in Montevideo, Uruguay where many Jews live, a swastika was ‘keyed’ into the front doors of apartment homes where the perpetrator believed Jews lived.

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In Ciudad de la Costa, Uruguay, an anti-Semitic inscription was sprayed on the beach that read “Jews, out of my country.”

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Brazil:

In São Paulo, a yeshiva student was attacked when he was leaving the yeshiva, and vandals wrote on the outside of the Kiruv Achim synagogue “Nazi” with a swastika.

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After a pro-Palestinian protest in Brasilia, an anti-Semitic poster with a Magen David = swastika was glued onto the Israeli Embassy’s indication sign.

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Chile:

At a protest held in Santiago outside the La Moneda government building, protesters were seen with a sign that read “shameful for Israel, they are worse than the Nazis, the whole world condemns them.”

Venezuela:

Massive anti-Israel protests took place throughout Venezuela on August 2, and included participation and endorsement from various government officials. ADL has documented public statements and comments on social media by Venezuelan government officials, including President Maduro who called on the Venezuelan Jewish community to express support for the Palestinians and speak out against Israel’s military operation in Gaza. Statements by leading officials, followed by others in the media and in rallies, have compared Israel to the Nazis, and graffiti was spray painted on a Caracas subway station read “Do good to the country, kill a Jew.” Swastikas have also appeared in different parts of the city.

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July 31, 2014

Anti-Israel Demonstrations and Anti-Semitic Imagery at Protests Continue Across Latin America

At a demonstration in Mexico City, Mexico, a sign of the Israeli flag with a swastika was seen as well as a large banner reading “We Are All Palestine” with a swastika on the Star of David.

In Concepción, Chile, Juan Hazbun Readi, leader of the Palestinian Community of Concepción said at an anti-Israel rally that:

“We are concerned with what is going on in the Middle East. I would like to say to all the Chilean people (…) that this Holocaust has been going on for more than 66 years, it should end someday. It is not possible for Israel to fight against a defenseless people, with no army. They are accusing the Palestinians of launching missiles, but this is a lie. Palestinians have never come to this. They blame the most powerful army in the world to attacking civilians, they killed more than 100 people in 2-3 days. The world needs to understand that the Palestinians were invaded by Israel 66 years ago, and not just being invaded but Israel brought people from all over the world to occupy their land, to destroy their places, to take charge of their destiny, destroy their schools and in the end to kill everyone. I don’t understand (…) the international community falls because International Zionism has a lobby, not just the media but money, all of the world trade goes through their channels and that’s why the world does nothing, plays ignorant, stupid…”

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May 22, 2013

State Department’s Religious Freedom Report Recognizes Severity Of Global Anti-Semitism

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Desecration of Jewish cemetery

On May 20, 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, describing the U.S. assessment of the status of religious freedom in every country. The report covers government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world.

This annual report demonstrates the American commitment to the fundamental democratic right to practice one’s religion without interference from government and signifies and underscores the role governments must play in protecting that right.  It shines a light on a number of important issues specifically related to the persecution of religious minorities, including government sponsored discrimination, religious bigotry and hatred propagated by the media, and violence directed at specific religious denominations.

While addressing all forms of religious discrimination, the U.S. government’s role in monitoring and combatting anti-Jewish expressions around the world is an important feature of the report. It highlights incidents of anti-Semitism on the governmental level, in politics and within the media, and documents acts of vandalism and violence directed at Jews. These include:

Iran – The government’s continued Holocaust denial and propagation of anti-Semitic stereotypes, including pronouncements by President Ahmadinejad regarding “Zionists…ruling the major world affairs” for some 400 years.

Egypt – Senior Muslim Brotherhood officials, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei, frequently issue anti-Semitic statements, while the media airs anti-Semitic programming, including the TV series “Horseman without a Horse” based on the notorious anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The widespread hatred and violence directed at Egypt’s Coptic Christian community is also mentioned.

Venezuela – Anti-Semitism is quite prevalent in the government controlled media, particularly in opinion pieces and editorial cartoons. The recent presidential candidacy of Henrique Capriles, a Catholic of Jewish descent, was a main focus of the media’s anti-Semitism. 

Chile – There has been an increase in the number anti-Semitic public statements, particularly across social media platforms. Incidents of anti-Jewish vandalism are on the rise, and a number of physical attacks against Jews were documented, including an assault on a 14 year-old by a group of Neo-Nazis.

The State Department’s report also makes a number of references to ADL’s work in highlighting and combating global anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. These include:

Austria – ADL’s training projects with the Ministry of Education on Holocaust education.

Greece – ADL’s statements calling on government authorities to do more to counter the anti-Semitic rhetoric and violent actions of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn political party.

Hungary – ADL’s statements calling on the government to enforce a new law that would hold members of parliament legally accountable for espousing hateful remarks. This law was in reaction to an anti-Semitic statement by a member of country’s neo-Nazi Jobbik party, who called on parliament to “assess how many MPs and government members are of Jewish origin and who present a national security risk to Hungary.” The report also cited ADL’s survey on anti-Semitic attitudes in Hungary which showed a significant rise in the percent of the population harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

Turkey – ADL’s statement criticizing a cosmetics company for featuring Adolph Hitler in a shampoo commercial that ran on state television.

The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 can be found here.

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