A lawyer from California has published a call for Iran to wipe out the Jews

Farhad Khorasani
Los Angeles, CA
- California lawyer Farhad Khorasani had been cleared of wrongdoing by the California Bar Association’s disciplinary panel, despite social media posts deriding the Holocaust, praising Adolf Hitler, and calling on Iran to carry out a genocide against Jews.

Although the posts in question have already been removed or blocked from the sites on which they were posted, screenshots of the posts by a legal associate were submitted to the bar along with a complaint to have him disciplined or disbarred. The bar concluded an investigation with the verdict “no actionable conduct."
One such post accuses worldwide Jewry of using the historical spectacle of the Holocaust as a ‘tool to be manipulated’, while others blame the Israeli Mossad for assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist. Khorasani calls this an ‘act of war’ and calls on Iran to lead the way in wiping out the Jews.

Further comments celebrate the recent death of notable Jewish figures such as Sheldon Adelson, a philanthropist who dedicated considerable time and resources to the State of Israel.

Screenshots of Khorasani's posts carried by the blog Israellycool showed the attorney had praised Adolf Hitler, and called for a "new Hitler" to emerge.

"The Jew anywhere is an existential threat to Aryans, muslims, and Iranians everywhere," Khorasani wrote. "Hitler has proved that he knew these terrorist semites very well. Hitler was right, we need a new Hitler."

Legal colleagues wrote to Viva Mena to say that they are shocked to see this kind of content from Khorasani, and that he never expressed such sentiments in law school.


Antisemitism and Israel delegitimization on the US campus

By Miriam F. Elman

Prof. Miriam Elman, executive director of the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), examines antisemitism and delegitimization of Israel in the U.S. academic realm. Drawing on her rich experience in the campus setting, Prof. Elman puts the phenomenon of antisemitism on US campuses in context and delves into its variegated expressions with concrete policy recommendations of how best to address the challenge.

Most campuses in the United States are not awash in antisemitism, nor are they hotbeds of antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism. As the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes in a 2019 report, “hysteria around anti-Israel activism on campus is unwarranted. Jewish students are not suffering from persecution on a daily basis, and physical assaults are extremely rare.” Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activism, which contributes to a campus climate where tropes and canards about Jewish power, money, and undue influence can more easily take root, also tends to be geographically concentrated on the East and West Coasts and in the Midwest in the Chicago, Illinois hub—leaving many American campuses untouched by anti-Jewish hostility. Still, on hundreds of campuses, among them some of the country’s most prestigious and those with high Jewish-student enrollments, a new set of realities has emerged for Jewish students, the majority of whom self-define as Zionist.

The far-right is increasingly coming on to these campuses from the outside. This typically takes the form of swastikas etched into bathroom stalls or on the sides of dormitory halls. Antisemitic flyers have also been plastered across campuses accusing Jews of driving globalism, pushing multiculturalism and immigration, secretly infiltrating government, and destroying the “White Man’s” America.[1] University and college officials typically address this type of antisemitism well, with swift and unequivocal denunciations. However, campus administrators do not typically handle far-left antisemitism nearly as well. On the whole, they have been unresponsive, often dismissing Israel-related bigotry and harassment as political speech that does not warrant any university intervention (Rossman-Benjamin, 2018).

Today, far-left antisemitism on US campuses manifests as self-defining antiracists, often from minority communities themselves, expressing a view of Israel that traffics in anti-Jewish conspiracies. Like antisemitism on the far-right, it also views the Jewish experience in terms of power and privilege. In this campus climate, overlapping categories of identity based on perceived shared experiences of oppression and discrimination have created a toxic atmosphere where antisemitism can thrive behind a veil of social justice and human rights. It is this brand of antisemitism that has already made considerable headway, especially among young American voters and those who self-identify on the left. It has also increasingly become normalized on US campuses, by student groups and faculty that promote and endorse it and by campus leaders who do not speak out nearly enough against it.[2]

The Challenge of Campus Antisemitism

Nearly 20 years after the 2001 conference of nongovernmental organizations in Durban, South Africa called for Israel’s “complete and total isolation” from the global community, campaigns to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel continue to feature regularly on campuses across the United States—even though most such resolutions and referendums fail to pass, and no universities have divested from Israel. Israel continues to be delegitimized and cast as a pariah state. But what is currently taking place on many campuses is something more insidious as Jewish students are being demoralized as imperialists, racists, and even Nazis and white supremacists (Flayton, 2020; Zieve, 2017). On some campuses, their fitness to serve in leadership positions has been questioned on account of their perceived Zionist beliefs and identification with Israel (Ritch, 2020).



On college campuses, students have increasingly reported that they are afraid to express their Jewish identity, including their support for Israel, lest they be excluded from campus life and the causes that they care deeply about. Hillel International reported that antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high during the 2019–2020 academic year at the 550 US colleges and universities that it serves (Anderson, 2020), and despite the unprecedented impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on higher education, antisemitism has persisted. Jews and Israel have been scapegoated and held responsible for the Covid-19 virus (Mendeles, 2020). On some campuses, classes and events have been “Zoombombed” with barrages of antisemitic images and messaging; on others, Jewish students have been targeted and harassed on social media platforms (Krupnik, 2020).[3]



There is also a more pernicious form of BDS campus activism that ranges today from attempts to exclude Jewish-Zionist students from participating in progressive coalitions to obnoxious campus campaigns that discredit American-Jewish organizations, including the ADL, Birthright, and Hillel, and seek to prevent or limit their activity on campus (Fish, 2019; Lewin, 2019; Lipstadt, 2019; Solomon, 2019). In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in 2020, strengthened allyships between supporters of BDS and the movement for Black Lives Matter are also contributing to troubling new campus efforts that play on anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, e.g., events and campaigns centered on the false accusation that mainstay American-Jewish organizations are funding Israel to train America’s police forces to behave in inhumane ways are surfacing with increasing frequency (Richman, 2020b; Elman, 2019).

Antisemitism is also bubbling up in the classroom, where it is masquerading as a legitimate discourse on Israel and the Middle East. Vehemently anti-Israel professors continue to publish virulently anti-Israel materials in leading peer-reviewed outlets (Mikics, 2018; Nelson, 2019b) and academic departments are increasingly sponsoring events that demonize Israel, condone and glorify violence against Israeli civilians, or call to eliminate the Jewish state (Kerstein, 2020; Richman, 2020a).

Within professional associations and on their campuses, faculty are brazenly pushing the academic boycott of Israel and are willing to punish their own students by refusing to recommend them in pursuit of educational opportunities offered through study abroad programs in Israel (Stanley-Becker, 2018; Falk et al., 2018). In certain disciplines, faculty—especially junior faculty unprotected by tenure—are hiding their pro-Israel viewpoints in order to succeed professionally. Cases of Jewish faculty members being shunned, intimidated and harassed because they are perceived to be sympathetic to Israel are starting to accumulate (Landes, 2020; Murray, 2020; Nelson, 2019a; Pessin & Ben-Atar, 2018).[4]

Countering Campus Antisemitism: Recommendations and Best Practices

More speech rather than censorship. In combating antisemitism in US academic institutions, the major assumption is that more speech, rather than enforced silence, is the answer (Abrams & Paresky, 2020). This is a winning strategy as most academics and leaders in higher education believe strongly that vigorous debate and free expression of ideas are abiding fundamental principles of the academy. While defamation, vandalism, shouting down speakers, and engaging in violence or true threats to physical safety are not protected by the First Amendment, most forms of intolerant and offensive speech targeting Jewish identity and belief falls into the category of protected speech (Paresky & Harris, 2019). Consequently, the guideline most frequently adopted by organizations working to counter antisemitism on campus is that anti-Jewish expression needs to be better explained—the remedy to be applied is more speech rather than censorship.[5]

Faculties must engage in frank discussions about academic freedom, open inquiry, and free expression in the context of BDS and the academic boycott of Israel. Faculty-comprised campus bodies, such as the Academic Senate, need to engage in the issue of classroom indoctrination (faculty using their academic positions to promote personal anti-Israel agendas) as well as in the use of university channels and resources—official university websites and listservs, and academic department speaker series—for the dissemination of virulent anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda. It should be self-evident that professors should not be abusing their authority in the service of political or ideological indoctrination, nor should they belittle, intimidate or silence students who express views with which they disagree (Bandler, 2019).

Better vetting of the antisemitic pseudoscholarship now being published by some academic university presses is also needed. Certain university presses and academic journals that publish material on Israel/Palestine need to be held to a higher standard, as they have been shown to have an unprofessional peer review process (Mikics, 2019; Nelson, 2019b). There is also a need for a better vetting of courses.[6] Faculty have the academic freedom to present the BDS narrative, to teach it, and to share their pro-BDS views in the classroom, should they wish to do so. At the same time, BDS-advocating faculty also have an obligation, as do all faculty, to foster an atmosphere of civility, respect, and tolerance. Department and faculty curriculum committees could certainly recommend correctives to one-sided, politically motivated courses—and they should. Administrators too are not bereft of options. Afterall, academic freedom does not entitle a professor to teach a particular course. As Cary Nelson (2019b) writes, “If a department decides that you are a ruthless ideologue about Israel, they can assign you to teach something else.”[7]

Antisemitism-awareness training programs should be implemented as part of anti-bias programming. Antisemitism-awareness training should be mandatory for student-government leaders, and heads of student organizations; materials and workshops also should be offered for midlevel staffers and officials in Offices of Student Affairs and in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) spaces on campus. These administrators often are not fully aware of and do not understand antisemitism, and they may not see that the needs or concerns of Jewish students are directly within their purview.

The Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism puts universities on notice that they cannot dismiss discriminatory conduct against, or harassment of, Jewish students by simply labeling it criticism of Israel.[8] The challenges facing Jewish students on campus, however, are best addressed not by lawsuits or by federalizing the problem but rather by offering support, resources, and guidance to campus leaders. They need help in better identifying and responding to situations where a critique of Israel or Zionism goes beyond political disagreement and becomes, in fact, a dangerous form of antisemitism.[9]

University leaders need to speak out against antisemitism just as they would against racism and other bigotries on campus. It is important that equal treatment for all be a shared goal, with no double standards. Just as they would condemn other forms of hate speech, campus leaders must respond promptly to instances of antisemitism, including antisemitic forms of anti-Israel expression, by forcefully and unequivocally condemning it as inconsistent with the academy’s values of civility, respect, tolerance, and inclusivity. As Pamela Paresky and Samantha Harris (2019) rightly note, “when a university consistently denounces protected racist or sexist speech while remaining silent in response to protected anti-Jewish speech, what message does the university send?”

Equally important, Jewish and Zionist students must be able to define and say who they are and be able to express their views and beliefs without being silenced or subjected to smear campaigns (Johnson, 2019; Yudof et al., 2019). No Jewish student should be mistreated or denied equal opportunities to serve their campus solely by virtue of their Zionist identity or their relationship to Israel (Krylov & Warshel, 2020). University leaders can use painful incidents of intolerance and identity-based prejudice as teachable moments to educate the campus community about the nature of contemporary antisemitism, including the “new antisemitism” characterized by an irrational fear and loathing of Israel and Zionism. Here, the IHRA definition of antisemitism can be useful as a resource tool and frame of reference (Harrison, 2019). An important goal is for existing mission statements and campus policies to explicitly incorporate a condemnation of antisemitism.[10]

University leaders need to understand that it is possible to forcefully and unequivocally condemn antisemitism without running roughshod over the principles of academic freedom and campus free speech. Administrators can distance their campuses from events and campaigns that involve bigoted antisemitic rhetoric by denouncing rather than blocking or canceling them (Algemeiner, 2019). While universities should adhere to the principles of academic freedom and public institutions moreover are bound by the First Amendment to the Constitution not to take steps to inhibit campus free expression, administrators need not apply a content-neutral standard to their own speech.

Campus administrators can signal their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus when they exercise their own right to free expression by condemning hate speech that is inimical to the academy’s mission. Administrators can and should challenge the BDS platform and its policy positions and more are now doing so. In the past several years, chancellors and presidents at Pitzer, Vassar, Cornell, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Columbia University, and more have spoken out publicly in opposition to BDS—not only because it violates the central tenets of academic freedom and campus free speech but also because it often involves expressions of hatred that leave Jewish and Zionist students feeling demoralized and isolated.[11]

References

Anti-Defamation League. (2019, July 27). White supremacists continue to spread hate on American campuses. https://www.adl.org/blog/white-supremacists-continue-to-spread-hate-on-american-campuses.

---. (2020). Antisemitism and the radical anti-Israel movement on U.S. campuses, 2019. https://www.adl.org/resources/reports/antisemitism-and-the-radical-anti-israel-movement-on-us-campuses-2019.

Algemeiner. (2019, December 3). UMass chancellor applauded over BDS criticism, university president urged to act. The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/12/03/umass-chancellor-applauded-over-bds-criticism-university-president-urged-to-act/.

AMCHA Initiative. (2020, January). Bringing BDS into the classroom. https://amchainitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Syllabus-Study-Report.pdf.

Anderson, G. (2020, September 9). Anti-semitism on the rise as new semester starts. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/09/anti-semitism-rise-new-semester-starts.

Bandler, A. (2019, May 21). UCLA guest lecturer calls Zionists white supremacists. Jewish Journal. https://jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/298850/ucla-guest-lecturer-calls-zionists-white-supremacists/

---. (2020, October 8). Pro-Israel student groups says it’s ‘not a coincidence’ that swastika was found at Columbia days after passage of BDS resolution. Jewish Journal. https://jewishjournal.com/news/united-states/322694/pro-israel-student-group-says-its-not-a-coincidence-that-swastika-was-found-at-columbia-days-after-passage-of-bds-resolution/

Elman, M. F. (2019, April 8). The intersectional, antisemitic ‘deadly exchange’ campaign comes to campus. The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/04/08/the-intersectional-antisemitic-deadly-exchange-campaign-comes-to-campus/

Falk, R. et al. (2018, September 19). Standing with John Cheney Lippold. Academe Blog. https://academeblog.org/2018/09/19/standing-with-john-cheney-lippold/

Fish, R. (2019). BDS: binaries, divisions, silencing. In A.J. Hahn Tapper and M. Sucharov, Social justice and Israel/Palestine: Foundational and contemporary Debate (pp. 247–255). University of Toronto Press. 

Flayton, B. (2020, November 25). The hate that cannot be contained. Tablet. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/hate-cant-be-contained

Harrison, B. (2019). Israel and antisemitism. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism 2(1), 19–28.

Johnson, K. C. (2020, May 19). Separate and unequal for Jewish groups on campus. Tablet. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/separate-and-unequal-on-campus

Jewish News Syndicate. (2020, October 29). new initiatives join forces to battle anti-semitism on college campuses. JNS. https://www.jns.org/new-initiatives-join-forces-to-battle-anti-semitism-on-college-campuses/

Kerstein, B. (2020, October 27). NYU chapter of AAUP professors group slams zoom for denying platform to Palestinian terrorist. The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/10/27/nyu-chapter-of-aaup-professors-group-slams-zoom-for-denying-platform-to-palestinian-terrorist/

Krupnik, M. (2020, November 24). BDS without campus. Tablet. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/community/articles/bds-without-campus

Krylov, A. & Warshel, A. (2020, October 2). Following Rose Ritch resignation, USC’s climate of inclusion must be redefined to include Zionism. Daily Trojan. https://dailytrojan.com/2020/10/02/letter-to-the-editor-following-rose-ritch-resignation-uscs-climate-of-inclusion-must-be-redefined-to-include-zionism/

Landes, R. (Ed.). (2020). Salem on the thames: Moral panic, anti-Zionism, and the triumph of hate speech at Connecticut College. Academic Studies Press. 

Lewin, A. (2019). recognizing anti-Zionism as an attack on Jewish identity. Catholic University Law Review 68(4), 643–651. 

Lipstadt, D. (2019, December 29). Jews are going underground. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/after-monsey-will-jews-go-underground/604219/

Mendeles, S. (2020, May 17). Arab world delusions fuel BDS campaign’s coronavirus conspiracies. Newsweek. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/community/articles/bds-without-campus

Mikics, D. (2018, October 16). Ivory tower bigots. Tablet. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/ivory-tower-bigots

---. (2019, June 5). The big lie: and the toxic BDS professors who tell it. Tablet. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/bds-the-big-lie

Mirsky, M. (2020, September 17). New grant boosts UC Berkeley antisemitism education program. J: The Jewish News of Northern California. https://www.jweekly.com/2020/09/17/new-grant-boosts-uc-berkeley-antisemitism-education-program/

Murray, J. B. (2020, July 15). Bias and bigotry on the Syracuse University campus. JNS. https://www.jns.org/opinion/bias-and-bigotry-on-the-syracuse-university-campus/

Nelson, C. (2019a). Israel denial: Anti-Zionism, anti-semitism, and the faculty campaign against the Jewish state. Academic Engagement Network/Indiana University Press. 

---. 2019b. The devil’s intersectionality: Contemporary cloaked academic antisemitism. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism 2(2), 1–10. 

Paresky, P. & Harris, S. (2019, August 26). Yes, anti-Zionism is anti-semitic. but it’s still protected speech. The Forward. https://forward.com/opinion/430307/yes-anti-zionism-is-anti-semitic-but-its-still-protected-speech/

Pessin, A. & Ben-Atar, D. S. (Eds.). (2018). Anti-Zionism on campus: The university, free speech, and BDS. Indiana University Press.

Richman, J. (2020a, September 3). San Francisco State’s ethnicities department to host documented Palestinian terrorist. JNS. https://www.jns.org/san-francisco-state-university-department-to-host-known-palestinian-terrorist/.

---. (2020b, March 10). Campaign at Tufts aims to be first US university to end Israel law-enforcement cooperation. The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/03/10/campaign-at-tufts-aims-to-be-first-us-university-to-end-israel-law-enforcement-cooperation

Ritch, R. (2020, August 10). I was harassed and persecuted on campus just for being a Zionist. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/i-was-harassed-persecuted-campus-just-being-zionist-opinion-1523873.

Rossman-Benjamin, T. (2018, August 17). Anti-Zionist attacks at universities have increased—yet schools aren’t doing anything. The Hill. https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/402337-anti-zionist-attacks-on-campus-have-increased-yet-schools-arent-doing

Solomon, M. (2019, July 13). How liberal Jews are being pushed out on campus. The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/06/13/how-liberal-jews-are-being-pushed-out-on-campus/

Stanley-Becker, I. (2018, September 20). A Michigan professor supported a student’s study-abroad application—until he realized Israel was her destination. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/09/20/a-michigan-professor-supported-a-students-study-abroad-application-until-he-realized-israel-was-her-destination/

Strossen, N. (2018). Hate: Why we should resist it with free speech, not censorship. Oxford University Press. 

Yudof, M.G. & Atkins, M. and Elman, M.F. (2019, May 7). Williams must accept pro-Israel student group. Berkshire Eagle. https://www.berkshireeagle.com/mark-g-yudof-michael-atkins-and-miriam-f-elman-williams-must-accept-pro-israel-student/article_3a303439-d7b6-5cd7-b808-441bc893e87a.html.

Zieve, T. (2017, September 27). After ‘anti-fascist’ rally targets Zionists, U of Illinois ‘welcomes’ Jews. Jerusalem Post. https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/after-anti-fascist-rally-targets-zionists-u-of-illinois-welcomes-jews-506069.
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* Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, where she is the Inaugural Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence. Elman currently serves as the Executive Director of the Academic Engagement Network, an educational nonprofit organization that works to promote Israel literacy in the US academy, combat antisemitism on campus, and advance the principles of academic freedom and campus free expression.

[1] Antisemitic vandalism frequently coincides with sustained student-led BDS activism and anti-Israel campaigning. It has been increasingly common to find swastikas or neo-Nazi fliers appearing on campuses in the wake of BDS resolutions and referendum, for example, as recently occurred at Columbia University (Bandler, 2020).

[2] It is, of course, possible to identify a more responsible criticism of Israel and Zionism, which would eschew any extreme hostility or fear of the very concept of a Jewish right to self-determination. University administrators and faculty can work to promote such a discourse for pro-Palestinian student activism on campus by showcasing pro-peace coexistence efforts and regional economic and cultural integration and innovation. Investing in educational exchange programs that bring more Israeli students to US campuses is also necessary. Afterall, it is much more difficult to hate or to be afraid of someone when you interact with them in classes, in the cafeteria, in student clubs, and in sports.

[3] Virulent anti-Israel activism on campus operates largely through in-person theatrics—event disruptions, rallies, teach-ins, and the ubiquitous “Apartheid Wall” displays on campuses. The shift to remote learning as a result of Covid-19 has resulted in the cancellation of many of these activities.

[4] The underlying if unstated aim in most of these instances is to isolate Jewish and Zionist students and faculty. Those who do speak out against antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism on their campuses frequently are accused of acting in bad faith to silence criticism of Israel.

[5] Some 100 not-for-profit organizations, operating both locally, regionally, and at the national level, are today working to combat antisemitism and Israel delegitimization on US campuses. The majority of these groups are student-facing, providing information and tools, training, and support to Jewish and Zionist students who are, in turn, working to counter vehement anti-Israel activism on their campuses. Many of these organizations operate as watchdog groups. They are dedicated to exposing campus antisemitism, reporting on it to the media, and urging action by the university. A number of these organizations offer legal advice and guidance to students and several (e.g., Lawfare, Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Zachor Legal, StandWithUs) have recently filed lawsuits or complaints on behalf of students with the Department of Education (for example, at Columbia University, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, New York University, UCLA, and San Francisco State University). Very few of these groups, however, focus on informing and mobilizing concerned faculty. Notable exceptions are the Academic Engagement Network, the Alliance for Academic Freedom, and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

[6]One recent study of fifty syllabi at forty US public and private colleges and universities over a ten-year period found that faculty advocating for the academic boycott of Israel had an average of 78% of their course readings authored by fellow BDS supporters. By contrast, faculty opposed to the academic boycott had only an average of 17% of their assigned course readings authored by BDS-supporters. See AMCHA Initiative, 2020.

[7] Administrators also need to ensure that they are providing balance across the curriculum. New faculty can be hired to teach different courses with perspectives on Israel and the Middle East that are different to those espoused by BDS-supporting faculty.

[8] This Executive Order (EO) issued on December 11, 2019 requires that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act be enforced to protect Jewish students from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. It also requires that federal agencies consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which identifies examples of antisemitic forms of anti-Israel expression, when enforcing Title VI. Thus, the EO introduces a new means for determining whether unlawful conduct might have been motivated by antisemitism. That said, antisemitic hate speech on its own would not trigger Title VI liability absent the accompanying discriminatory action. While, like any legislation, the EO could be abused to silence protected speech, including anti-Zionism and antisemitic forms of anti-Israel expression, the intent of the order is to ensure a non-hostile learning environment for Jewish students, including protection from persistent harassment and from discriminatory actions taken against them on account of their support for Israel or their Jewish beliefs and identities.

[9] For more on several new educational initiatives launched by Hillel International and the educational nonprofit Academic Engagement Network to address the campus climate for Jewish students by empowering university leadership to better understand contemporary antisemitism and to directly address it, see JNS, 2020; Mirsky, 2020.

[10] Students or student groups that engage in antisemitic hate speech should be offered mentoring and guidance. Those engaging in antisemitic conduct should be disciplined for violating university rules and policies. In some cases, the rights and privileges of a registered student group should be suspended or revoked if it engages in hateful and hurtful rhetoric that creates a climate of fear and disrespect. Structures and protocols for reporting bias incidents against Jewish students need to be created or may need to be better implemented to properly track bullying and harassment.

[11] In recommending non-censorial strategies to combat hateful speech, former ACLU head Nadine Strossen (2018: 165) notes that those “committed to equality and individual dignity have a moral responsibility to condemn ‘hate speech’ and to express support for people whom it targets.”

Source: inss
Photo: KelseyJ / Shutterstock.com

Antisemitism rising among American right-wing extremists

By Dr. Heidi Beirich

Dr. Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE), underscores the role of antisemitic concepts and rhetoric in the ideology and activities of major far-right groups in the United States, just after extreme right-wing groups, stormed Capitol Hill the day Congress certified Joe Biden as President-Elect. Dr. Beirich outlines the theoretical and organizational evolution of antisemitism amid the ranks of America's right-wing extremists.

Among the throngs of right-wing extremists who invaded the American Capitol on January 6 egged on by President Donald Trump were neo-Nazis, white supremacists and thousands of supporters of QAnon, a bizarre and increasingly antisemitic conspiracy movement that blames prominent Democrats and well-known Jewish figures such as philanthropist George Soros for engaging in child sex-trafficking This toxic mob attempting to overthrow America’s democratic system on the day Congress was to certify Joe Biden as president-elect is a frightening reminder of the ongoing threat in the U.S. posed by antisemitism (Anti-Defamation League, 2021).

No period of American history has been free of antisemitism, and far right movements have long embraced antisemitic conspiracies and bigoted stereotypes about the Jewish community (Dinnerstein, 1994). In general, these stereotypes have accused Jews of international financial conspiracies, blamed them for communism, or described the Jewish community as a threat to the “true” American nation. Today’s antisemites continue this despicable legacy, reiterating conspiracies and tropes that have pulsed through right-wing circles for decades, often updating them based on current events, such as recent claims that Jews are to blame for the coronavirus.

Prominent American historical antisemitic figures are revered by today’s extreme right. Emblematic of this is auto magnate Henry Ford, who blamed Jews for World War I and claimed Jews instigated wars to profit from them (Baldwin, 2002). Ford asserted that the viciously antisemitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was legitimate, and he published portions of it in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. During the 1930s and 1940s, far right demagogues linked the Depression, the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt, and the threat of war in Europe to an imagined international Jewish conspiracy. By 1938, nearly 60% of Americans polled viewed Jews negatively, as “greedy” and “dishonest”—stereotypes still circulating in the far right today (Greear, 2002).

World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust changed American opinions of Jews and altered the political landscape, leaving antisemitic propaganda confined mostly to the far right. After the war, the American Nazi Party—founded by George Lincoln Rockwell who introduced and popularized Holocaust denial in the United States—and its offshoots including the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the Liberty Lobby, continued to propagandize against Jews, essentially mimicking the conspiracy theories and stereotypes of the early twentieth century. From the 1970s to the time of his death in 2015, Liberty Lobby leader Willis Carto created a media empire that championed antisemitism and Holocaust denial through publications including the Barnes Review and The Spotlight (Stern, 2001).

In the 1980s and 1990s, the leading organizations advocating antisemitism were the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) and the Aryan Nations (AN). In those years, the AN held annual events at its compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho that brought together several factions of the racist right from skinheads to hardcore neo-Nazis to Christian Identity adherents, whose twisted read of the Bible includes believing that Jews are literally the children of Eve and Satan (Southern Poverty Law Center, n.d.-a). In the 1980s, members of the most violent white supremacist terrorist group, The Order, which was responsible for the 1984 murder of Denver talk radio host Alan Berg and a string of armed robberies, spent time at both the AN and NA compounds and reportedly provided funds to both organizations (Hilke, 2020). The NA meanwhile built up a hardcore neo-Nazi following of around one thousand members and created a business involving the sale of racist music, books, magazines, and other materials that brought in over $1 million a year (Southern Poverty Law Center, n.d.-b). In 1995, the largest mass casualty attack at that point in American history, the Oklahoma City bombing, was committed by Timothy McVeigh. He based the bombing on NA leader William Pierce’s race war novel, The Turner Diaries. Adherents of both the AN and the NA groups were involved in many other instances of violence during those decades, including murders (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2015). The Turner Diaries continues to inspire violence to this day, and the book is circulated widely through white supremacist and hardcore neo-Nazi circles (Berger, 2016). Both groups crumbled after the deaths of their leaders, Pierce in 2002 and AN leader Richard Butler in 2004. But a new generation of antisemites soon arose.

Key Antisemitic Thinking

In recent years, Americans have played a key role in framing and spreading antisemitic ideas not only in the United States but also abroad. In general, neo-Nazis and white supremacists have described what they call the “Jewish threat” as a central cause of white disempowerment. Jews are seen as undermining white hegemony and furthering an alleged white genocide by using their political and social capital to erode white superiority. In neo-Nazi slang, Jews have created “Zionist Occupied Governments,” or ZOG, around the world. These ideas are based on earlier antisemitic propaganda that pushed the idea that Jews are somehow behind the manipulation of governments and markets and, ironically, responsible for both capitalist exploitation and communism among other things. In recent years, the idea of a Jewish cabal running the world has implicated such figures as the liberal philanthropist George Soros and prominent Jewish bankers—one of the oldest antisemitic tropes—who are labeled “globalists” with no regard for country or heritage (Wilson, 2016). Holocaust denial also continues to be preached widely as a way to wipe away the crimes of the Nazi era and further allow the demonization of the Jewish population.

Vile antisemitic depictions of Jews are an integral part of American white supremacist cultural expression, seen in items like the Camp Auschwitz T-shirts worn by some of the rioters at the US Capitol, hate music labels such as Panzerfaust Records, and scores of books. Most important has been NA’s Pierce’s widely circulated novel The Turner Diaries, depicting a race war in which the extermination of Jews is the goal. The novel has been translated into more than a dozen languages and millions of copies have been sold (Berger, 2016). In recent years, the novel has become a favorite in the scariest sectors of American white supremacy, the so-called accelerationist neo-Nazi groups that advocate violence to overthrow democratic systems.

A relatively new variant of antisemitism now found in many key white supremacist movements was devised by Kevin MacDonald,[1] a former California psychology professor. MacDonald’s basic premise is that Jews are driven by their genetics to engage in a “group evolutionary strategy” that serves to enhance their ability to out-compete non-Jews for resources and destabilize their host societies to their own benefit (Beirich, 2007). The actions of Jews are thus unconscious and cannot be stopped, making them particularly threatening. Because this Jewish “group behavior” is said to have produced much financial and intellectual success over the years and led to non-white immigration in Western nations, MacDonald claims it has produced understandable hatred for Jews. That means that antisemitism, rather than being an irrational hatred for Jews, is actually a logical reaction to Jewish success and the threat Jews pose to white populations. He advocates taxing Jews at higher levels, keeping them out of universities, and similar policies to curtail their supposed genetic disposition to dominate.

MacDonald is read worldwide, and his thesis that Jews bring non-white immigrants into historically white countries to undermine them is now a widely accepted concept in white supremacist propaganda. The main political movement for white supremacists across the globe, Identitarianism, asserts that a “Great Replacement” or a “white genocide” is occurring wherein white people are being replaced by non-white immigrants in their home countries (Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, 2020). This is often blamed on Jews. The chants heard during the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia riots in August 2017, where extremist protesters proclaimed “Jews will not replace us,” is a direct reference to the idea that Jews import immigrants to displace white populations (NBC News, 2017).

Members of a new generation of young extremists have been raised on these theories, including Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer[2] and Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute.[3] The exact size of these organizations is hard to pinpoint, but The Daily Stormer has approximately four million unique page views per month. These antisemitic ideas are anchored in America’s growing white nationalist movement, whose number of groups has increased by 55% between 2015 and 2019 (Wilson, 2020). They are also found in the global Identitarian movement, which has chapters in at least fourteen countries and had more than 140,000 followers until it was deplatformed by Twitter in the wake of a July 2020 report by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (2020). There are some indications that support for neo-Nazi and white supremacist views may reach into the millions. A 2017 poll by the Washington Post and ABC News found one in ten Americans say it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views. Extrapolated out to the whole American population that number would equal somewhat more than 20 million people (Langer, 2017).

New Violent Antisemitic Movements

A new, particularly violent movement called “accelerationism” has arisen in the last five years. Accelerationism has many variants and can be traced back to thinkers including Karl Marx, but when it comes to white supremacists, accelerationists see “modern society as irredeemable and believe it should be pushed to collapse so a fascist society built on ethnonationalism can take its place” (Miller, 2020). Virulently antisemitic, such groups believe that violence is the only way to change politics, and they want to “accelerate” that change through terrorism aimed at destabilizing political systems with the goal of establishing white supremacist states.

Two accelerationist neo-Nazi organizations, Atomwaffen Division (AWD), German for atomic weapons, and The Base, whose name is the English translation for al-Qaeda, are particularly troubling and have violent track records. Founded in the United States in 2015 but with chapters in other countries, AWD initially organized on the neo-fascist Iron March forum. A violent neo-Nazi network that celebrates Hitler and Charles Manson, AWD has been key to promoting the accelerationist ideas (Beirich. 2020). AWD videos portray young men, wearing camouflage and scarves over their faces, firing rifles during military-style training. One video begins with group members shouting “Race War Now” in unison. The group has been responsible for five murders in the United States, threats to German journalists and politicians, and planned terrorist attacks.

The Base, largely patterned after AWD, was founded in 2018. That December, Rinaldo Nazzaro, the group’s leader who is now presumed to be living in Russia, purchased thirty acres of remote land in Republic, Washington (Wilson 2020). His intent was to create a training compound for his recruits to prepare for a coming race war. Expressly supportive of Hitler, Base members see themselves as soldiers defending the “European race” against political systems infected by Jewish values (Anti-Defamation League, 2021). The Base members believe that, in the coming chaos, the federal government will grant them the power to construct an all-white homeland in the Northwest. The Base planned to accelerate a full system collapse through acts of terrorism, and several members were arrested in 2020 for planning terrorist attacks and conspiracy to murder an anti-racist couple in Rome, Georgia. (Beirich, 2020).

Jews are also increasingly targeted by the American conspiracy movement QAnon, which began to spread online in 2017. It posits that an anonymous individual with a high-level American security clearance known as “Q” has evidence of a secret war President Trump is waging against a criminal cabal of Democratic politicians and Hollywood elite who are Satan-worshipping pedophiles operating a global child sex-trafficking ring (Roose, 2020). Believers often argue that the activities are funded by prominent Jews, including George Soros and the Rothschild family. According to the World Jewish Congress, “the QAnon core beliefs include antisemitic tropes related to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and blood libel repackaged and rebranded for a modern audience” (World Jewish Congress, 2020a). Over the past three years, the QAnon myth has quickly gained support internationally and moved into the offline sphere both in the United States and in Europe, with supporters engaging in physical violence (Prothero, 2020). A n FBI intelligence bulletin from May 2019 described QAnon as a growing domestic terrorism threat in the United States (McCarthy, 2020).

Rising Antisemitism, Hate Crimes, and Terrorism

As accelerationism, white genocide, the Great Replacement, and QAnon theories have proliferated across the web in recent years, the threat to Jews in the United States and around the world has increased markedly. On October 27, 2018 the deadliest attack on an American synagogue took place in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue. Robert Bowers, an adherent of Kevin MacDonald’s theory that Jews were importing immigrants into the United States thereby furthering white genocide, killed eleven people praying in the synagogue in a shooting spree. The following April, another shooter, motivated by similar beliefs, attacked a synagogue in Poway, California, killing one person. Other antisemitic attacks include the 2019 Halle, Germany synagogue shooting by a neo-Nazi that left two dead. The Anti-Defamation League, based on its own data, reported that 2019 had seen more antisemitic incidents than any other year over the past four decades (Kunzelman, 2020). The FBI reported that antisemitic hate crimes rose by 14% between 2018 and 2019 (Sales, 2020). Other terrorist attacks inspired by the Great Replacement theory targeted immigrants in an El Paso, Texas Walmart store, Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and in two shisha bars in Hanau, Germany, where the shooter is believed to have been targeting Muslim immigrants. Although the targets of these attacks were Muslims and Latinos, the killers were motivated by propaganda that often asserts that the growth of immigration is the result of Jewish actions.

Much of this propaganda is spread across social media by neo-Nazis and other extremists. Research on online antisemitism has found a sharp rise in the amount of such material, particularly since the pandemic started (World Jewish Congress, 2020b). Also, antisemitism has been spread through new conspiracy theories, such as the QAnon movement. American Jews will continue to be targets as these antisemitic conspiracy theories and propaganda proliferate through online hate communities, inspiring both terrorism and hate crimes. The global pandemic and the economic crisis have also contributed to greater levels of antisemitism both in the United States and abroad, with right-wing extremists alternately claiming that either Jews, Zionists, or Israel are to blame for the pandemic and have benefited from it (Kantor Center, 2020).

By 2020, nearly every American federal law enforcement agency including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the National Counterterrorism Center has gone on record saying that white supremacy is the greatest terrorism threat Americans face, even greater now than ISIS or Al Qaeda (Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, 2020). American Jews also seem well aware of rising antisemitism and the threat it poses to the community. The American Jewish Committee 2020 poll found that nearly nine out of ten American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem in the United States and more than four out of five believe it has increased in the last five years (Mayer, 2020).

Although the US government security agencies realize the seriousness of the threat, little was done to counter it under the Trump administration. In fact, Trump was a major purveyor of noxious ideas, pushing xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred, and even posts from neo-Nazi social media accounts from his Twitter feed and refusing to address the issue of the growing white supremacy movement. Indeed, after the Christchurch massacre, Trump described white nationalists as a “small group of people,” minimizing the threat just as he had after the Charlottesville chants of “Jews will not replace us,” when he said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the conflict (Hernandez, 2019). The incoming Biden administration has signaled its wish to create a robust policy agenda to take on white supremacy. Biden’s transition teams have started meeting with extremism experts and there is talk of the establishment of a possible White House position to coordinate efforts countering white supremacists and other forms of extremism (Levine, 2020).[4] The scenes of extremist mobs invading the Capitol after being encouraged by Trump have only heightened the need for a new policy agenda to meet this growing threat.

References

Anti-Defamation League. (2021, January 6). Extremists engage in political violence during pro-Trump rallies. https://www.adl.org/blog/extremists-engage-in-political-violence-during-pro-trump-rallies.

Baldwin, N. (2002). Henry Ford and the Jews: The mass production of hate (1st edition). Public Affairs.

Beirich, H. (2007). Cal State University Long Beach psychology professor Kevin MacDonald publishes anti-semitic books. Intelligence Report.

---. (2020). Dangers of white supremacist movements, accelerationism, and militias; Online recruitment and growth. Testimony before the Congress of the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee. https://www.globalextremism.org/post/dangers-of-white-supremacist-movements-accelerationism-and-militias-online-recruitment-and-growth

Berger, J.M. (2016, September 16). Alt-history: How a self-published, racist novel changed white nationalism and inspired decades of violence. Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/how-the-turner-diaries-changed-white-nationalism/500039/

Dinnerstein, Leonard. (1994). Anti-semitism in America (1st edition). Harvard University Press.

Duke, David. (2003). Jewish supremacism: My awakening on the Jewish question (1st edition). Free Speech Press.

Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. (2020). Generation identity: international white nationalist movement spreading on Twitter and YouTube.


Greear, W. P. (2002). American immigration policies and public opinion on European Jews from 1933 to 1945. East Tennessee State University. https://web.archive.org/web/20071127070803/https:/etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-0322102-113418/unrestricted/Greear040102.pdf.

Hernandez, S. (2019, March 15). Trump downplayed the threat from white nationalists after the deadly New Zealand attacks. Buzzfeed. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/trump-white-nationalists-new-zealand-mosque-christchurch.

Hilke, W. (2010, August 18). Death of an assassin: The Order’s Bruce Pierce dies in prison.” Hatewatch. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2010/08/18/death-assassin-order’s-bruce-pierce-dies-prison.

Kantor Center. (2020). Antisemitism worldwide 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Tel Aviv University. https://enhumanities.tau.ac.il/sites/humanities_en.tau.ac.il/files/media_server/humanities/kantor/Kantor%20Report%202020_130820.pdf.

Kunzelman, M. (2020, May 12). Anti-semitic attacks hit highest point in 40 years in U.S., report says. The Associated Press. https://globalnews.ca/news/6932622/anti-semitic-attacks-highest-point-us/.

Langer, G. (2017, August 21). 1 in 10 say it’s acceptable to hold neo-nazi views. ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/28-approve-trumps-response-charlottesville-poll/story?id=49334079.

Levine, M. (2020, December 29). Domestic terrorism and hate exploded in 2020. Here’s what the Biden administration must do. ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/US/domestic-terrorism-hate-exploded-2020-biden-administration/story?id=74604589.

MacDonald, K. (1994). A people that shall dwell alone: Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy (1st edition). Praeger.

---. (1998a). Separation and its discontents: Toward an evolutionary theory of anti-semitism (1st edition). Praeger.

---. (1998b). The culture of critique: An evolutionary analysis of Jewish involvement in twentieth-century intellectual and political movements (1st edition). Praeger.

Mayer, A. (2020, October 26). The state of antisemitism in America 2020: Insights and analysis. Global Voice. https://www.ajc.org/news/AntisemitismReport2020/the-state-of-antisemitism-in-america-2020-insights-and-analysis.


Miller, C. (2020, June 23). ‘There is no political solution:’ Accelerationism in the white power movement. Hatewatch. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2020/06/23/there-no-political-solution-accelerationism-white-power-movement.

NBC News. (2017, August 13). Former KKK leader David Duke also says Saturday’s Rally is in a ‘turning point’ in the effort to help people like him ‘fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fULPlGwjJMA.

Prothero, M. (2020, October 13). European intelligence agencies are deploying resources to track QAnon as the conspiracy theory spreads beyond the U.S., sources say. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/europe-intel-agencies-starting-to-monitor-fear-qanon-sources-say-2020-10.

Roose, K. (2020, October 19). What is QAnon, the viral pro-Trump conspiracy theory? New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-qanon.html.

Sales, B. (2020). Anti-semitic hate crimes rose by 14% in 2019, according to the FBI. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 16, 2020. https://www.jta.org/2020/11/16/united-states/anti-semitic-hate-crimes-rose-by-14-in-2019-according-to-the-fbi.

Southern Poverty Law Center. (2015). The alliance and the law. Intelligence Report. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/alliance-and-law.

Stern, K. S. (2001). Lying about the Holocaust: Inside the denial movement. Intelligence Report. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2001/lying-about-holocaust-inside-denial-movement.



Wilson, J. (2018, October 25). Dripping with poison of antisemitism’: The demonization of George Soros. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/24/george-soros-antisemitism-bomb-attacks.

---. (2020, January 23). Revealed: The true identity of the leader of an American neo-nazi terror group. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/23/revealed-the-true-identity-of-the-leader-of-americas-neo-nazi-terror-group.

---. (2020, March 18). White nationalist hate groups have grown 55% in Trump era, report finds. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/white-nationalist-hate-groups-southern-poverty-law-center.

World Jewish Congress. (2020a). QAnon: A conspiracy myth. https://wjc-org-website.s3.amazonaws.com/horizon/assets/ZlVbha1v/quanon-r4-final.pdf.

________________________

* Heidi Beirich, Ph.D, co-founded The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) in 2020. Beirich is an international expert on American and European extremist movements, including the white supremacist, anti-immigrant, antisemitic and antigovernment movements, and is the author of numerous academic publications on hate and extremism movements. Prior to co-founding GPAHE, Beirich led the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, the foremost organization tracking hate and extremism movements in the United States.
-----

[1] Kevin MacDonald has for years used his academic platform to produce material that argues for circumscribing Jews from public life. His first book in his trilogy on the Jews, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), was published by Praeger Press. He produced two more volumes, Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998a), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998b). The trilogy provides a new justification for antisemitism that has little to do with Nazi race theories.

[2] Andrew Anglin is one of America’s most vile antisemites. He launched his Daily Stormer website, named after the Nazi publication of the same name, in 2013 and quickly grew his audience numbers into the millions. Anglin was successfully sued for $14 million by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2017 for leading an online mob in threatening the life of a Jewish family in Montana. He is on the run but continues to publish on his website. For more see: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/andrew-anglin.

[3] Richard Spencer is one of the most recognized white supremacists in the United States. After Trump’s election, his National Policy Institute held an event in Washington, DC, where supporters chanted “Hail Trump” while giving Roman salutes. Spencer was a key organizer of the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist rallies, and a key purveyor of the idea that the United States needs to ethnically cleansed of non-whites to create a pure white ethnostate. For more see: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/richard-bertrand-spencer-0.

[4] The author’s organization, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, is sharing its proposed policies to combat rising hate and white supremacy with the Biden transition team. The policy brief can be found here: https://www.globalextremism.org/post/transnationalagenda.

Source: inss
Photo: REUTERS/Go Nakamura

Instead of apologizing to the Jewish community, the Tunisian president spoke out against Israel

Tunis
- Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed for accusing Jews of being behind instability in the country, Conference of European Rabbis president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said yesterday.

“The president of Tunisia a few minutes ago called up the chief rabbi of Djerba, Rabbi Haim Bitan, and apologized for his diatribe against the Jews, faulting them for unrest in the country,” Goldschmidt tweeted.

Saïed seemed to refer to “the Jews who are stealing” while discussing the political situation with Tunisian citizens, as heard in a video posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday.


However, others have said that Saïed did not refer to Jews at all, and said “those who are sitting around stealing” in Tunisian dialect.

The edited, three-minute clip features Saïed meeting with members of the public on the street in a poor neighborhood, according to the video’s caption. He wore a mask as protection against the novel coronavirus and some of his remarks were muffled.

Saïed's office denied making any reference to religion, saying that "this issue is not raised in Tunisia."

The statement from the president's office said Saïed "differentiates between Judaism on the one hand, and Zionism on the other," and that he invited the chief rabbi of Tunisia to attend his inauguration in 2019. 

Source: Jpost


Two new antisemitic graffiti discovered near the Odysseum in Montpellier

Montpellier - Two antisemitic graffiti were discovered Wednesday, near the Odysseum shopping center, in Montpellier. The inscriptions, stars of David, were erased this Thursday morning by the city services.

Perla Danan, president of the regional delegation of the CRIF (Council for the representation of Jewish institutions in France) in Languedoc-Roussillon, lodged a complaint with the police station on Thursday.

A similar tag was discovered on Saturday on the door of a private Catholic school in Montpellier. The inscription in white paint was erased the same day by the city services. The police are currently carrying out investigations to try to identify the perpetrators.

Source: 20minutes
Photo: Graffiti discovered near Odysseum - Perla Danan


Swastikas painted on Morgan Hill Temple

Morgan Hill, CA -
 Someone painted two swastikas on the door of a Jewish temple in the Morgan Hill area of San Jose. Local authorities are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime, according to police.

The graffiti at Congregation Emeth, on the 17800 block of Monterey Road, was reported to the Morgan Hill Police Department at about 5pm on January 16th, authorities say.

“Unknown suspect(s) painted what appeared to be two swastikas on a basement door,” MHPD Sgt. Bill Norman said. Police have not identified or arrested a suspect.

Austria presents national strategy against antisemitism

The Austrian government on Thursday presented a national strategy on fighting rising antisemitism that includes improving the protection of synagogues, improved education about Judaism and stricter prosecution of hate crimes against Jews.

The Alpine country's Europe Minister, Karoline Edtstadler, stressed Austria's responsibility to fight antisemitism regardless of whether it comes from the far right, leftists, immigrants or anybody else.

The new measures intend to battle antisemitism in all its forms and wherever it expresses itself, from online chat groups to hate speech in corner bars or expressions of hatred against Jews at public protests such as the current rallies against coronavirus regulations, Edtstadler said.


The president of the Jewish community of Vienna, Oskar Deutsch, welcomed the government's initiative.

“Jews are always the first ones who are affected” by discrimination, Deutsch warned, adding that the fight against antisemitism needs to be an effort by the whole of society, not just the Jewish community.

In 2019, Austria recorded 550 antisemitic incidents, Edtstadler said.

“That is twice as much as five years ago,” she added.


Source: abcnews
Photo: Katharina von Schnurbein (Commissioner for Anti-Semitism), Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens), Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) and IKG President Oskar Deutsch at the presentation of the strategy at the Federal Chancellery. - © APAweb, Herbert Neubauer

Jewish communities condemn ‘vulgar’ cartoon ‘trivializing’ Holocaust

Athens
- The Central Board of Jewish Communities (KIS) in Greece issued a statement on Monday decrying a cartoon that appeared in Saturday’s edition of Efimerida ton Syntakton (Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών), which depicts a gate resembling that of the Auschwitz death camp with the phrase "studies make you free"to make a comment on education reform.

The cartoon is a “hideous and vulgar instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political purposes,” KIS said, adding that it equalizes “the gate of Auschwitz with the gates of the universities and the prisoners in this horrific extermination camp with the students.” 

“The newspaper’s expressed respect towards the victims of the Holocaust and its firm position against antisemitism cannot be used as excuses for the publication of such cartoons that insult both the memory of the victims and the survivors alike, by trivializing the place of their martyrdom,” the announcement said. 

“Trivialization and minimization means the legitimization of oblivion and Holocaust denial,” KIS also said. 

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) shared the statement on Twitter, saying: “A cartoon in a Greek newspaper, showing universities like Auschwitz with the phrase 'Study sets you free' on the gate, is a vulgar instrumentalization of the Holocaust. Insults the memory of the victims and survivors”.

Source: ekathimerini