Canada - Vandalism of student’s mezuzah at university of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC
- A Jewish student was victim of an antisemitic attack in residence last week.

In an email to those living in the residence where the incident occurred, UBC Housing wrote that a student living on the seventh floor of an unknown building had their mezuzah, an encased prayer scroll that is hung in doorways to serve as a blessing, removed from their doorpost and vandalized by three individuals on July 22.

“Antisemitic behaviors and actions such as these are absolutely reprehensible,” the email reads.

UBC Housing included an external link for students to read more about the significance of mezuzahs.

The email said that this was “the second time this has occurred.” It is unclear whether UBC Housing is referring to another instance where this student’s mezuzah was vandalized, or to a separate case of antisemitism.


UBC Housing wrote in a statement to The Ubyssey that the incident has been reported to the RCMP as a hate crime, and that an investigation is ongoing.

Andrew Parr, associate vice president of Student Housing and Community Services, wrote that UBC Housing was taking the incident “very seriously” and reiterated that an antisemitic behaviour is unacceptable, in residence or at UBC as a whole.

“If those found responsible are student residents they will face significant repercussions, up to an including eviction,” he wrote, but said that he would not speculate on other potential ramifications.

Parr did not say which building the vandalization took place in for privacy reasons, but said that UBC Housing was working to support the impacted resident.

“In consultation with the resident we shared information about this occurrence with others in their residence community to both shine a light on and reaffirm how unacceptable this type of activity is in our community and encourage reporting information that may aid the police investigation.”

The Ubyssey has reached out to the RCMP for comment, but did not hear back by publishing.

Source: ubyssey

Comparative analysis - Overview dossier on antisemitism in Germany and Austria

On behalf of the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF), Nina Scholz examined and presents nine studies and a report by the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (Jewish community of Vienna) on antisemitic incidents that took place from 2017 to 2020 in Germany, Austria and the EU.

It devotes a separate section to antisemitism in Muslim communities, on the one hand because the ÖIF wanted it, and on the other hand because typical antisemitic enemy images are much more pronounced there.

Most studies confirm the results of the others. 89 percent of Jews in Europe have already experienced antisemitism on the Internet, followed by hostilities on the street or in public squares (73 percent), in the media (71 percent) and in politics (70 percent). 35 percent of all Jews in Europe have heard the accusation of abusing the Holocaust for their own interests, 36 percent of all Austrians actually think that the Jews are doing this.

The claim “Jews have too much power” has heard 43 percent of all interviewed Jews in Europe. In Austria, 39 percent agreed with the statement: “The Jews rule the international business world”, according to a study commissioned by the Parliamentary Administration of the Austrian Parliament, which is based on 2128 interviews. For Turkish- and Arabic-speaking interviewees, it was 63 and 64 percent, respectively.

Source: ÖIF

USA - Several Jewish residents of Squirrel Hill received antisemitic letters

Photo by Jamie Lebovitz
Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
- Last week several Jewish residents of Squirrel Hill received antisemitic letters in the mail.

The letters’ envelopes had a return address reading “Bident Harris, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.”

“We are grateful that members of the community reported this to Federation, and we are coordinating closely with the police on this matter,” said Shawn Brokos, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s director of community security.

The letters, she said, were threatening in nature and there is currently an active police investigation.

Brokos encouraged anyone in the community who received such a letter to report it to the Federation and to the police.

“The more people that report the letters, the stronger the investigation will be,” she said.


Germany - A bottle was thrown at a synagogue in Berlin

Berlin
- After a bottle was thrown at a synagogue in Berlin, the state security department of the State Criminal Police Office is investigating a 24-year-old man.

The drunk suspect and a 23-year-old companion were detained by property guards after the incident on Sunday night and handed over to the police, the police said on Sunday in Berlin. The filled beer bottle broke on a pillar of the synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse in the Mitte district without damaging it.


Report - Over 100 UNRWA teachers celebrate deaths of Israelis

The UN agency that runs schools and social services for Palestinians is facing calls to fire employees using social media to celebrate attacks on Israelis and promote anti-Jewish hatred.

Over 100 UNRWA educators and staff have publicly promoted violence and antisemitism on social media, according to a new report published by the non-governmental organization UN Watch, an independent human rights group based in Geneva.

The report, entitled “Beyond the Textbooks,” uncovers 22 recent cases of UNRWA staff incitement which clearly violate the agency’s own rules as well as its proclaimed values of zero tolerance for racism, discrimination or antisemitism. UN Watch is calling on the agency’s major funders, including the U.S., Germany, the UK and the European Union, to hold UNRWA accountable to its own standards and commitments.

As revealed in the report, UNRWA staff stationed in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan have publicly incited antisemitism and terrorism. Among the educators who have used their personal social media channels for such propaganda are UNRWA Gaza math teacher Nahed Sharawi, who shared a video of Adolf Hitler with inspirational quotes to “enrich and enlighten your thoughts and minds.” Husni Masri, an UNRWA teacher in the West Bank, posted antisemitic conspiracy theories according to which Jews control the world, created the coronavirus and seek to destroy Islam.

UN Watch’s report lists a total of 113 cases that it managed to capture from UNRWA employees’ public pages alone, all celebrating and promoting violence, even among young children. The watchdog group only examined a sample of Facebook users who publicly identified themselves as UNRWA employees, and estimates that the actual number of UNRWA staff who incite violence and hatred includes many more of the agency’s 30,000 staff.

UN Watch further reveals that despite its numerous prior requests and submission of detailed evidence, UNRWA has failed to fire teachers who incite to racism and terrorism, nor has it taken any other meaningful action. UNRWA should therefore be considered complicit in its staff members’ misconduct, says UN Watch.

UN Watch Director, Hillel Neuer: “Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed, yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming zero tolerance for incitement, knowingly and systematically employs purveyors of terror and anti-Jewish hate.

“We call on the governments that fund UNWRA to take action to stop the vicious cycle of generations being taught to hate and violently attack Jews. We demand that UNRWA address the core problem, and demonstrate its genuine commitment to basic norms of education in its schools, by publicly condemning UNWRA employees who incite terrorism and antisemitism, removing them from their positions, and creating an independent and impartial investigation of all of its staff.”


Among UNWRA teachers and staff exposed in the report are the following:
  1. Nahed Sharawi, Math Teacher at UNRWA, Posts Hitler Video
  2. Ibrahim Sabbagh (Abu Khalil), UNRWA Teacher in Syria, Incites Violence & Rejects Israel’s Right to Exist
  3. Shady Shehada, Project Engineer at UNRWA in Gaza, Celebrates Munich Massacre of Israeli Olympic Athletes
  4. Ahmad Almasri, UNRWA Laboratory Worker, Praises Terrorist & Erases Israel From the Map
  5. Sarah Mousa, UNRWA Intern Engineer, Glorifies Terrorists
  6. Saeed Khalaf Abu Freh, Math Teacher at UNRWA in Jordan, Incites Terrorism
  7. Maya Mahahi, UNRWA English Teacher, Glorifies Terrorism
  8. Abdul Salam Muhammad Alimat(Abu Alim), Arabic Teacher at UNRWA, Advocates Violence & Antisemitism
  9. “Allah the Helper”, UNRWA Employee, Endorses Violence
  10. Abu Arafa Abu Sorour, UNRWA Employee, Posts Antisemitic Video
  11. Hossam Ahmed, UNRWA Employee, Justifies Nazi Murder of Jews
  12. Mohammad Atiyea, Instructor at UNRWA, Commemorates Palestinian Murderers of Jews
  13. Ayat Said, UNRWA Web Developer, Glorifies 1929 Anti-Jewish Attacks
  14. Esraa Abedalraheem, UNRWA English Teacher, Posts Content Teaching Children That Israel Has No Right to Exist
  15. Husni Masri, UNRWA Teacher in West Bank, Peddles Conspiracy That Jews Created COVID-19
  16. Nidal Krayyem, English Teacher at UNRWA, Rejects Israel and Advocates Violence
  17. Fatima Abu Mufreh, Math Teacher at UNRWA, Promotes Terrorism Against Israel
  18. Fahed Momo, UNRWA Administrative Assistant, Quotes Hitler & Denies Israel’s Right to Exist
  19. Mohammed M. Alhourani, Head of Health Center at UNRWA, Promotes Antisemitism
  20. Akram Ayoub, UNRWA Project Assistant, Celebrates Murderer
  21. Nadim Elhaj, UNRWA Employee, Promotes Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories
  22. Awad Abedallah, UNRWA School Principal and Teacher, Posts Map Eliminating Israel

Source: unwatch

2020 report on hate crimes in Spain

The hate crimes known to the State security forces continue to grow in Spain and, specifically, have increased by 9.3 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2019 (the year before the pandemic), to 610, which were mostly by racism, ideology and sexual orientation.

These are data provided this Wednesday by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who has presented the evolution of hate crimes in Spain during 2020 and the results of a survey which shows that 89% of the victims of these criminal offenses do not report.

Regarding the 2020 data, known crimes totaled 1,401, down 17.9 percent from 2019 due to enforcement measures. Lockdown and restrictions on mobility due to the pandemic.

Despite the decline in 2020, the report notes an increase in that year in crimes against people with disabilities (69.2%), discrimination based on illness (62.5%), discrimination based on sex / gender (43.5%) and anti-Roma (57.1%).

Meanwhile, those of ideology (-45.3%), racism / xenophobia (-5.8%), against sexual orientation and gender identity (-0.4%) and antisemitism (-40.0%) decreased.

Anyway, the highest percentage of the events recorded is concentrated in the areas of racism/xenophobia and ideology, with almost 56 percent of the total), followed by the area of ​​sexual orientation and identity (19.8%).

Regarding the typologies that are included in the definition of hate crimes, threats and injuries stand out as in previous years, representing four out of every six of the known hate incidents.

According to the balance, the index of clarification of the facts in 2020 remains at a high level, with 66.2 percent of the total.


Source: The saxon

The discourse on antisemitism in the United States as reflected in the mainstream media - Review of 2020

Lawrey/Shutterstock.com

Special Publication, Contemporary Antisemitism in the United States - collection of articles, August 1, 2021

Lior Sirkis, a research assistant in the "Contemporary Antisemitism in the United States" research project of the INSS, examines the media coverage of the phenomenon of Antisemitism in the United States during 2020, which was full of tumultuous events. By analyzing the media coverage of the topic by mainstream American and Israeli online print media, she presents the main trends that reflect the public discourse in this field and at the same time helps in shaping it.

The year 2020 was full of tumultuous events in the United Statesת a presidential election, the COVID-19 crisis, and increasing social tension. All these influenced the way in which antisemitism was expressed in the US during this year. This article presents and analyzes the coverage of antisemitism in the US as presented in online print media in both the US and Israel in light of these events. The premise is that mutual feedback occurs between the media, the general public, and the leadership, such that the media—which makes the perception of reality accessible to its target audiences—largely reflects the prevailing public (and political) views, level of interest, and agenda, while it also simultaneously shapes them. The dramatic events of 2020 enable a complex analysis of this connection between the media and the public on a variety of topics.

This article is based on an analysis of 1,254 news items and articles about antisemitism in the US that were published during 2020 in four kinds of media, as detailed in the appendix: US national media, American Jewish media, and Israeli media in both Hebrew and English.[1] The article analyzes the characteristics of the media discourse on the topic of antisemitism in the US during 2020, examines the main issues of this discourse, and considers the similarities and differences in the coverage between the various kinds of media examined.

An Overview of the Media Discourse

The media discourse on antisemitism in the US throughout 2020 was organically influenced by central events that took place that year. Throughout, the discourse on antisemitism significantly intensified at certain points in time, corresponding to specific events that occurred (see Figure 1). Even if the event did not specifically relate to antisemitism, the media raised the issue of antisemitism in relation to the event.

As 2020 was an election year, the media focused on the topic of antisemitism and politics, beginning with the Democratic primaries at the beginning of the year and continuing until the elections in November. The media’s coverage of antisemitism initially focused on two incidents of deadly antisemitic violence that had occurred in December 2019 in New York and New Jersey. In March, the media also centered on the increased antisemitism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the growing antisemitism on social media. The media extensively covered antisemitism within the Black community, following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man from Minneapolis who was strangled by a policeman while being arrested at the end of May and the subsequent demonstrations of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a result of antisemitic statements made by celebrities following the protests mostly in June and July, the media looked closely at antisemitism in popular culture. Toward the end of the year, the media expanded its discussion of antisemitism and politics, in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential elections.

Figure 1


The Media Discourse, Analysis by Topic

In order to analyze the media coverage of antisemitism, the articles were mapped according to the following categories: antisemitism and politics, antisemitic vandalism and attacks, antisemitism in social media, antisemitism in popular culture, antisemitism in academia and on campuses, antisemitism and the COVID-19 pandemic, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, antisemitism in the Black community, antisemitism on the right, antisemitism on the left, Islamist antisemitism, the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), reports on antisemitism, and other topics.

As befits a US election year, antisemitism and politics had the highest percentage of media coverage at 18% (see Figure 2), which also could include antisemitism on the right (4%) and antisemitism on the left (3%). Coverage of incidents of antisemitic vandalism or attacks was also prominent at 11%, along with antisemitism in social media (11%) and antisemitism in popular culture (10%).

Figure 2        


Antisemitism and Politics

The topic of antisemitism and politics was the most prominent in media coverage throughout the year, with 334 items in total, appearing in both opinion columns and in news coverage (see Figure 3). Both before and during the Democratic primaries election in February, the media extensively covered the opinions and statements of the various candidates regarding antisemitism. For example, in January, the media covered Michael Bloomberg’s statements against antisemitism made during his election campaign (see, for example, Vitali & Jackson, 2020), as well as an antisemitic incident in March at an election rally for Bernie Sanders, in which one of the participants waved a flag with a swastika (see, for example, Chiu, 2020). The media also focused on Congresspersons Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who on many occasions were accused of antisemitic statements in social media and elsewhere (see, for example, i24NEWS and ILH Staff, 2020).

In April, after the election of Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, the media coverage of antisemitism increased. The discourse on antisemitism on the right intensified, focusing mainly on President Trump’s statement regarding the extreme right-wing group, the Proud Boys, in the first presidential debate in September (see, for example, Boigon, 2020). In the debate, Trump was asked whether he would willingly denounce the activity of extreme right-wing organizations, including the Proud Boys. In response, Trump called on the members of the organization to “stand back and stand by.” Another focus of media interest was a fundraising event held in August for the presidential campaign of Democratic Party candidate Biden, in which the connection between President Trump’s rhetoric and the rise in antisemitism in the US was the focus (see, for example, Kampeas, 2020a).

The coverage of antisemitism and politics took center stage in early November, toward the elections. The main focus then was the announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Trump administration would consider Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) organizations as hate organizations that disseminate antisemitism (see, for example, Tharoor, 2020).

The media also addressed antisemitism in its coverage of the two rounds of senate elections in the state of Georgia in November 2020 and in January 2021, elections that were decisive for the two parties. The discussion of antisemitism was relevant in these elections as one of the candidates in the race was Jon Ossoff, a Jewish member of the Democratic Party, who was subject to repeated antisemitic attacks during the year, as well as Raphael Warnock, a pastor and candidate from the Democratic Party, who on more than one occasion had been accused of antisemitism (see, for example, Kampeas, 2020b).

Figure 3


Antisemitic Vandalism and Attacks

Following the antisemitic attacks in New Jersey (see, for example, Israel Hayom editorial staff, 2020) and in New York, in the town of Monsey (see, for example, Kilgannon, 2020) in December 2019, the media coverage of antisemitic attacks and vandalism incidents during the month of January 2020 was considerable, constituting about 31% of all the media coverage about antisemitism in that month. These antisemitic incidents were the most extensively covered from among all the antisemitic attacks and vandalism that occurred in 2020 (see Figure 4). As part of this coverage, the media addressed concerns and security efforts of the Jewish communities (see, for example, Mann, 2020), in addition to discussing antisemitism that originated within the Black community, as both of these attacks were carried out by African Americans (see, for example, Sharon, 2020). From February onward, the coverage of antisemitic attacks and vandalism declined, presumably as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns imposed.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions, media coverage of antisemitic attacks and vandalism again increased in May 2020, following several antisemitic incidents that occurred during Black Lives Matter protests, in which synagogues in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia were vandalized (see, for example, Oster, 2020b). In December, coverage increased again, partly due to the defacing of a monument in memory of Anne Frank, located in Idaho, with antisemitic graffiti (Kim, 2020). Furthermore, the media also covered the publication of an FBI report on hate crimes. The report presented a 14% rise in antisemitic crimes in the US in 2019 compared to the previous year (see, for example, Arango, 2020).

Figure 4
 


Antisemitism and COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the US in March 2020 and President Trump’s declaration of a national state of emergency both were significant in generating antisemitic incidents, leading to extensive coverage of antisemitism within the context of COVID-19 (see Figure 5). At the beginning, the coverage extensively discussed reports by various organizations about the Jews being blamed for the pandemic (see, for example, Nuriel, 2020), as well as the phenomenon of hacking into the livestream video of Jewish community institutions, which was attributed to right-wing white supremacists who used antisemitic symbols and terms (see, for example, The Forward & Boigon, 2020). This phenomenon also gave rise to addressing the phenomenon of antisemitic expression in social media and antisemitism on the right. The media also devoted considerable coverage to confrontations between the mayor of New York and the Jewish community about their defiance of COVID-19 restrictions in the city (see, for example, Bella, 2020).

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Israeli media outlets in Hebrew and English and the Jewish media outlets covered the convergence of antisemitism and COVID-19, with little mention in the US national media. As the pandemic spread, however, the US national media also began to cover this phenomenon (see Figure 5). This was partly related to the expansion of restrictions in various states, which was expressed by antisemitic manifestations toward ultra-Orthodox communities (see, for example, Roduren, 2020), as well as in protests that took place in May against restrictions throughout the US (see, for example, MacFarquhar, 2020).

Figure 5


Antisemitism in Social Media

In March and April, 2020, the restrictions imposed as a means of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic led to antisemitic expression on social media, with the media focusing its discourse on antisemitism within social media (see Figure 6). Furthermore, this again increased during July and August, as a result of the antisemitic statements posted on social media by celebrities, in part following the murder of George Floyd. The election year also saw an increase in the hate discourse on social media, contributing to the extensive media discussion of the issue. One issue addressed in this context was the changes to the policies of Facebook (see, for example, Weiss, 2020) and TikTok (see, for example, Berkovitz, 2020), in terms of handling antisemitic content posted on the platforms. Moreover, the media extensively covered the livestream video-hacking incidents of Jewish community institutions that were carried out mainly by white supremacy activists.

Figure 6


Antisemitism in the Black Community

The media discourse focused on antisemitism within the Black community at two main points during 2020: in January, following the violent attacks in New Jersey and New York, which were carried out by African Americans, and in May and June, following the murder of George Floyd, which resulted in demonstrations throughout the country (see Figure 7). The Israeli media in Hebrew and English and the Jewish media (see, for example, Oster, 2020b) reported extensively on vandalism of synagogues in some of these demonstrations; in contrast, the national media did not report on the antisemitic incidents related to the demonstrations at all. In May, the media also covered the spread of antisemitic conspiracy theories accusing Jewish philanthropist George Soros[2] of funding the demonstrations (see, for example, Swanson, 2020). From May to July, the media also comprehensively covered the antisemitic statements made by many celebrities from the Black community following the Black Lives Matter demonstrations as well as expressions of support for antisemitic statements by the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.

Figure 7


Antisemitism in Popular Culture

In May 2020, subsequent to the murder of George Floyd and the agitation that followed, numerous celebrities, including some from the Black community, made antisemitic statements. These include statements by NBA players (see, for example, Walla Sports editorial staff, 2020) and NFL players (see, for example, Kaur, 2020), comedians (see, for example, Respers France, 2020), rappers (see, for example, Ghermezian, 2020), and others, while other celebrities sharply condemned these statements (see, for example, Bumbaca, 2020). Many celebrities also expressed support for the antisemitic theories of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam (see, for example, Oster, 2020a), who also gave a speech replete with antisemitic statements on July 4, 2020, the American Independence Day (see, for example, Kerstein, 2020) (see Figure 8).

Figure 8


Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

The media discourse only gave slight coverage to the issue of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, although it increased significantly toward the end of the year, specifically in November when the US Secretary of State announced that the Trump administration would relate to BDS organizations as hate organizations that disseminate antisemitism (see Figure 9). As a result, the media then began to more intensely cover the connections between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, the dispute regarding the different definitions of antisemitism,[3] and the ongoing argument about the connection and the tension between antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and legitimate criticism of Israel. Furthermore, the media addressed anti-Zionist and antisemitic statements made by various celebrities and US politicians, mainly from the political left.

Figure 9


Analysis of the Coverage by Different Media Outlets

The media items examined were divided into four kinds of media: national media in the US, American Jewish media, Israeli media in English, and Israeli media in Hebrew. Each type of media targets different audiences. While the national media in the US is consumed by some of the American general public, the readership of the Jewish American media is mainly the Jewish community in the US. The Israeli media in Hebrew is aimed at an Israeli Hebrew-speaking audience, most of whom live in Israel. In contrast, the Israeli media in English targets mainly Jewish, English-speaking audiences, residing both inside and outside of Israel.

As shown in Figure 10, of all the media items about antisemitism in 2020, 182 items, constituting 15% of all the media items were published in the national media in the US; 475 items or 38% of all the media items appeared in the Jewish media; 252 items or 20% of all the media items were published in the Israeli media in Hebrew; and 345 items, comprising 27% of all the media items appeared in the Israeli media in English (see Figure 10). It is important to note that articles are republished in different media outlets; that is, an article published in a Jewish media outlet could be republished in other Jewish media outlets, or in the Israeli media in Hebrew and English. The Jewish media in the US tends to often serves as a central source for republishing by the Israeli media,[4] along with the use of materials distributed by news agencies.

Figure 10


When examining the coverage by categories, we can see that the trends that characterize the media are identical in certain areas. For example, the most covered topic in 2020 in the four types of media was antisemitism and politics, while the topics covered the least were the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and Islamist antisemitism. Coverage on other topics differed, however, according to the media type.


Differences in Coverage Between Jewish Media and the US National Media

From a preliminary review of the distribution of the number of articles relating to antisemitism published in the US national media and the Jewish media, naturally the Jewish media had more extensive coverage of this issue. From these figures, the issue of antisemitism in the US overwhelmingly preoccupies the American Jewish population far more than it preoccupies the American general public or the Israeli public. When examining the distribution of the articles by various categories, the differences were significant in the scope of the coverage between the types of media.

While the issue of antisemitism and politics received a similar scope in coverage in both the national media and the Jewish media, as well as in relation to the average amount of coverage in the different types of media, other issues did not receive similar coverage. For example, in Figure 11, we can see that 16.73% of the articles surveyed in the national media dealt with antisemitism in popular culture, in contrast to the Jewish media, in which only 8.36% of the media items surveyed addressed this topic, compared to 9.74% of the articles surveyed in all four types of media. The national media gave extensive coverage to antisemitism in popular culture because of the antisemitic statements made by celebrities, including NFL player DeSean Jackson, NBA player Stephen Jackson, comedian Nick Cannon, and rapper Ice Cube, as well as the condemnations by other celebrities about these statements. Moreover, the centrality of popular culture in the US dramatically influences the national media’s interest in stories related to this topic. However, an opposite trend is apparent when dealing with antisemitism in academia and on campuses or antisemitism in social media. While the Jewish media widely covers these issues, the national media gives them limited coverage, even in relation to the coverage of the issue by the other types of media.

Figure 11


Differences in Coverage Among Media Outlets with Different Political Affiliations

The nature of the coverage of antisemitism among media outlets with different political affiliations varied significantly. Even though these are only numerical figures and not an in-depth analysis that examines the way each article relates to the issue in question, by comparing the media outlets, we can receive a clear picture of their political affiliation. The amount and nature of coverage varied between the different Jewish media outlets that are identified with diverse political perspectives. In comparing the media items published online on the Forward website, which has a liberal orientation, with those on the Algemeiner website, which has a conservative orientation, the amount of coverage dealing with antisemitism in general was more or less the same in 2020 (see Figure 12). While the Forward published 161 items that dealt with antisemitism in the US in 2020, the Algemeiner had 144 items on the topic. A significant difference occurs when comparing the subtopics covered by the two media outlets. The Algemeiner extensively covered the issues of antisemitism in academia and on campuses, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and antisemitism on the left, in contrast to the Forward. Meanwhile, the Forward extensively covered the issues of antisemitism on the right, antisemitism and politics, antisemitism in social media (which on many occasions involved covering antisemitic statements of extreme right-wing activists in social media), and antisemitic vandalism and attacks, in contrast to the Algemeiner.

Figure 12

In addition to the differences between Jewish media outlets, the nature of the coverage also varied when comparing between the items published online by the left-leaning Haaretz and those by the right-leaning Israel Hayom (see Figure 13). Haaretz covered the issue of antisemitism in a much more limited fashion. While the Haaretz website published 32 items that dealt with antisemitism in the US in 2020, the Israel Hayom website had 62 items on the topic.

Even though clear differences in a range of issues are not as apparent as they were in the comparison of the Jewish media outlets in the US, the two papers address differently the issue of antisemitism on the right and on the left. While Israel Hayom devoted comprehensive coverage to the issue of antisemitism on the left, Haaretz related to the issue in a more limited manner. As for antisemitism on the right, we can see the opposite trend.

Figure 13

It is important to note that when comparing the opinion columns alone between these two media outlets, the amount of coverage becomes similar; As seen in Figure 13, 18 opinion columns that dealt with antisemitism were published on the Israel Hayom website, while 16 appeared on the Haaretz website. However, here too the political orientation of the newspapers is maintained. Israel Hayom published 5 opinion columns about antisemitism on the left, while Haaretz did not publish any opinion columns on the issue. In addition, Haaretz published one opinion column on antisemitism on the right, while Israel Hayom did not publish any column on the antisemitism on the right, and instead focused on a variety of other issues, including antisemitism and COVID-19 and antisemitism originating in the Black community.

These figures, both in the Israeli media and in the Jewish media, serve as an example of the way the issue of antisemitism is politicized. Both sides of the political map, not just in the United States but in Israel too, connect the issue to their world view and try to give the phenomenon a political affiliation and to use it for their purposes. The media representation of this phenomenon reflects the differences in approach and disagreements regarding the issue of antisemitism in both the public and political spheres.

Conclusion

Media coverage of antisemitism in the US in 2020 reflected increasing public interest in the issue, and was part of a trend that began in 2018, with the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The media is a complex system that both is influenced by and affects the existing reality. The media’s choice to cover a specific issue or event affects the way it is seen by the media’s target audience. This is in addition to the extensive influence of events on reality and on the perspectives of the target audience. These complexities require examining the issue of antisemitism in the US from different angles and extents and by taking into consideration the media’s target audience, at a specific moment in time.

However, despite the differences in target audiences, the media reflects the trend of the politicization of antisemitism and its coverage is perhaps even intensified by it. Political framing of the media discourse on antisemitism is apparent, as the two sides of the political map accuse the other as being responsible for the phenomenon. The right blames the left for being responsible for antisemitism and anti-Zionism, while the left attribute it to white supremacists on the right. This political attribution also occurs, whether openly or tacitly, in each media outlet and with respect to all of the various target audiences. This is not a phenomenon that characterizes only the national media in the US, but also, and perhaps mainly, the Jewish media in the US as well. Hence, it reflects the political polarization in the Jewish community in the United States (and also in Israel) and its representation in the media, both from the news coverage and from the opinion sections. The difficulty in agreeing upon central issues—such as the definition of antisemitism, its sources, and how to properly address—is a significant point of contention in the US Jewish community, a difficulty that continues into 2021 (see, for example, JTA & Kampeas, 2021; Kampeas, 2021).

Despite the large-scale impacts of the noninstitutional media and of social media, the discourse in the institutional media continues to be central, and to a considerable extent, reflects the way the general public perceives the phenomenon of antisemitism. As long as antisemitism continues to exist in American society, it will continue to be present within the media discourse, to influence it, and to be influenced by it.

References

Arango, T. (2020, November 16). Hate crimes in U.S. rose to highest level in more than a decade in 2019. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/16/us/hate-crime-rate.html

Berkovitz, U. (October 21, 2020). טיקטוק תגביל פרסומים על "תכנים השוללים את השואה וטרגדיות עולמיות אחרות" [TikTok will restrict the publication of ‘content that denies the Holocaust and other global tragedies’].Globes. https://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1001346606

Boigon, M. (2020, September 29). Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy, urges antisemitic Proud Boys to ‘stand by.’ The Forward. https://forward.com/news/455438/trump-proud-boys-stand-by-debate-chris-wallace-white-supremacists/

Bumbaca, C. (2020, July 15). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar calls out anti-Semitism in sports, Hollywood: ‘Perpetuates racism.’ USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2020/07/15/anti-semitism-kareem-abdul-jabbar-ice-cube-desean-stephen-jackson/5441501002/

Chiu, A. (2020, March 6). ‘This is absolutely abhorrent’: Nazi flag at Sanders rally sparks outcry, concerns about safety. Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/06/bernie-sanders-nazi/

Ghermezian, S. (2020, June 7). Rapper Ice Cube blasted on social media for posting antisemitic image: ‘You should be ashamed.’ The Algemeiner. https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/06/07/rapper-ice-cube-blasted-on-social-media-for-posting-antisemitic-image-you-should-be-ashamed/

Israel Hayom editorial staff. (January 14, 2020).הרשויות בארה"ב: "היורים בג'רזי סיטי תכננו פיגועים גדולים יותר. ]US authorities: ‘The shooters in Jersey City planned bigger attacks’]. Israel Hayom. https://www.israelhayom.co.il/article/724209

i24NEWS and ILH Staff. (2020, December 02). Rashida Tlaib under attack for anti-semitic tweet. Israel Hayom. https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/12/02/rashida-tlaib-under-attack-for-anti-semitic-tweet/

JTA & Kampeas, R. (2021, March 17). Liberal Jewish scholars present antisemitism definition that allows more freedom for Israel criticism. Haaretz. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/liberal-jewish-scholars-offer-antisemitism-definition-allowing-israel-criticism-1.9627203

Kampeas, R. (2020a, August 4). At Biden fundraiser focused on anti-semitism, Schiff, Rosen, and Jason Alexander bash Trump—and get personal. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. https://www.jta.org/2020/08/04/politics/at-biden-fundraiser-adam-schiff-jacky-rosen-and-jason-alexander-bash-trump-and-get-personal
 ______________

** Lior Sirkis is a research assistant in the Contemporary Antisemitism in the US project at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). She holds a bachelor's degree from the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at IDC Herzliya. Lior is a former student in the Honors Program for Strategy and Decision Making and a graduate of the Argov Program for Leadership and Diplomacy.

[1] The articles were mapped by searching for the terms “anti-Semitism,” “anti-Semitic,” and “אנטישמיות” using Google News and Google Alerts. This research does not relate to coverage of the issue in noninstitutional media (social networks, blogs), local media or nonprint media (radio, television, and video services such as YouTube).

[2] George Soros is a philanthropist identified with many left-wing organizations in and outside of the US. Soros’s name has been associated with stories about political intervention attempts around the world, as well as with numerous antisemitic conspiracy theories.

[3] On the IHRA definition of antisemitism, see https://bit.ly/3x7N8vQ; on the Jerusalem declaration on antisemitism, see https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/; on the Nexus Document, see https://bit.ly/3g54tzP

[4] Recurring items that were republished in different media outlets were counted as separate items for the purpose of analyzing the data for this article.

Lior Sirkis is a research assistant in the research project on contemporary antisemitism in the United States. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at IDC Herzliya. Lior is a former student in the Honors Program for Strategy and Decision Making and a graduate of the Argov Program for Leadership and Diplomacy.


Source: inss

Social media platforms fail to address antisemitism, according to new ADL report

In recent years, American Jews have faced increased threats of violence and harassment both online and offline. According to ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, 2019 and 2020 were, respectively, the highest and third-highest years on record for cases of harassment, vandalism, and assault against Jews in the United States since tracking began in 1979. The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, after which there was an increase in antisemitic incidents reported domestically, added another layer to Jews’ concerns over surging antisemitism and safety, 60 percent of Jewish Americans witnessed behavior or comments they deemed antisemitic following the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Against this alarming backdrop, are tech platforms doing enough to combat antisemitism? To help evaluate this, ADL analyzed how well nine platforms (Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Roblox, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube) addressed submitted reports of antisemitic content. This is the first time that ADL has produced a report card grading platforms on their policies and enforcement against antisemitism.

ADL’s investigation showed that the majority of platforms performed at a middling level, with most earning grades in the C range. Twitter received a B-, the highest grade given, and Roblox earned a D-, the lowest grade of all platforms studied.

To determine how platforms responded to reports of violative antisemitic content, ADL investigators first searched for a handful of examples on each site. Between three and eleven examples of anti-Jewish content were identified for each platform we investigated. Second, ADL used accounts that were not publicly affiliated with ADL to report content under the platform’s hate policies to see how platforms would enforce their policies when ordinary users flagged antisemitic content. Third, for items that were not removed or otherwise actioned as a result of the initial reporting from ordinary user accounts, ADL investigators again reported the content, this time through trusted flagger programs in which ADL participates across four of the platforms included in this investigation. These programs are designed to give partners that work with tech companies a special pathway to report violative content. Fourth, ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS) independently researched the accessibility of data from various platforms, because the ability for researchers to retrieve data from platforms is an essential predicate for any third-party efforts to measure the prevalence of antisemitism and hate online.

Finally, ADL created a report card with grades to reflect all these metrics.

Source: ADL

Study - Social media companies are failing to act on antisemitism

CCDH report (The Center for Countering Digital Hate) on anti-Jewish hatred shows they fail to enforce their own community guidelines against antisemitic content.​

CCDH reported hundreds of racist anti-Jewish posts to social media firms using their user reporting tools. 84% were not acted upon. ​

Tech companies are consciously giving a free pass to anti-Jewish hatred and the increasing threat to the Jewish community.

​Social media companies must do better. Platforms must support, hire and train moderators to remove this hate and those platforms must be held accountable if they fail to remove this hate.

Key Findings
  • CCDH researchers collected and reported 714 posts containing anti-Jewish hatred. Collectively, they had been viewed at least 7.3 million times. Posts were collected from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter & YouTube between May-June.
  • 84% of posts containing anti-Jewish hatred were not acted upon by social media companies. Facebook performed worst, failing to act on 89%, despite announcing new rules to tackle the problem. 
  • Platforms fail to act on 89% of antisemitic conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Covid pandemic and Jewish control of world affairs.
  • Extremist anti-Jewish hate is not acted on: platforms failed to act on 80% of posts containing Holocaust denial, 74% of posts alleging the blood libel, 70% of racist caricatures of Jewish people and 70% of neo-Nazi posts. 
  • Instagram, TikTok and Twitter allow hashtags used for antisemitic content such as #rothschild, #fakejews and #killthejews that were used in posts identified by our report that gained over 3.3 million impressions.
  • TikTok removes just 5% of accounts that directly racially abuse Jewish users, for example by sending them messages denying the Holocaust.
  • Earlier reports by CCDH show platforms have similarly failed to act on dangerous Covid and vaccine misinformation reported by users.
Recommendations
  • Introduce financial penalties to incentivize proper moderation. Platforms have profited from the proliferation of hate and misinformation on their platforms. Financial incentives will ensure they no longer invest the bare minimum in content moderation.
  • Hire, train and support moderators to remove hate. Current efforts by tech companies to moderate their platforms are clearly inadequate.
  • Remove groups dedicated to antisemitism. CCDH identified groups dedicated to sharing antisemitism with a total of 38,000 members.
  • Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter must act on antisemitic hashtags that their own analytics show have been used for content viewed millions of times.
  • Ban accounts that send racist abuse directly to Jewish users.

Source: CCDH

USA - Biden nominates holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt as next antisemitism envoy

Professor Deborah Lipstadt
Holocaust historian and author, Professor Deborah Lipstadt has been nominated as the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, the White House announced Friday, after months of pressure from Jewish organizations to appoint someone to the position.

A professor of Jewish history at Emory University in Atlanta, 74-year-old Lipstadt was the founding director of its Institute for Jewish Studies, and has penned works on the American press during the Holocaust, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and her own successful court battle against British Holocaust denier David Irving.

The position in the State Department was created by Congress in 2004. Most recently, it was filled by Elan Carr during the Trump administration. It was upgraded to the rank of ambassador in the final months of the administration and will require Senate confirmation.

“Having spent her career fighting antisemitism and Holocaust denial, Deborah Lipstadt will ensure the US remains a leader in combating antisemitism globally,” commented US Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “Her nomination has my full support, and I look forward to working alongside her in our shared mission of protecting Jewish communities and combating antisemitism across the globe.”

Leading US Jewish organizations hailed the appointment, with B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin calling her “eminently qualified” for the job.

“B’nai B’rith looks forward to working with Lipstadt as antisemitism has spiked exponentially in the United States and around the world, manifesting itself in many forms and variants, oftentimes fueled by social media,” they said in a statement. “It is vitally important that the US government, through the person of the special envoy, continue to assume a leadership position in the battle against this alarmingly growing challenge.”

“The Biden administration has chosen wisely in appointing Deborah Lipstadt to fill this ambassadorial post, so vital to U.S. leadership in fighting antisemitism,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a news release. “Professor Lipstadt is one of this country’s, indeed the world’s, foremost experts on modern antisemitism, its constant morphing and multiple sources, and the current challenges to confronting it.”

Jewish groups over the past months had been lobbying the White House to appoint a candidate as violent acts of antisemitism have seen exponential growth in the United States and the world, especially in the aftermath of Israel’s conflict with Hamas in May.

The White House also announced on Friday its intended nominations for three other religious affairs roles, including Rashad Hussain as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a choice praised by AJC for his “extensive engagement with the Muslim world” and his efforts to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum will be tapped as Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Khizr Khan , a religious freedom advocate and Gold Star parent of US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq , will be appointed Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Source: ejpress

Greece - Antisemitic graffiti on the way to Pefkoulia beach

  Photos: Against Antisemitism blog (July 2021)


Lefkada
- A number of antisemitic and anti-vaccination slogans have been written along the road that connects the village of Tsoukalades with Agios Nikitas.

This road is one of the busiest on the island every summer. Hundreds of vacationers make this route every day to go, among other things, to the popular Pefkoulia beach. The Municipality of Lefkada seems to be indifferent at the moment for this situation that discredits the island, as it has not yet sent a crew to extinguish the hate slogans.

The equation "Masons = Judaism" (Μασονία = Εβραιοσιωνισμός) has been written in blue in the cemetery next to the slogan "Down with the New Dictatorship" (Κάτω η Νέα Δικτατορία) of the vaccinators.

On the way to Pefkoulia beach and on the surface of the protective wall, which is almost 2 km long, there are dozens of large slogans: "Israeli people are killers" (Φονιάδες των Λαών Ιζραηλίτες), "Fuck Off Israel" and many others.

    

Photos: Against Antisemitism blog (July 2021)

Source: enantiastonantisimitismo

Canada - Jewish man allegedly assaulted while walking dog in Toronto neighbourhood

Sam Brody
Eglinton, Toronto, ON
- A Jewish man in Toronto has given a moving account of his experience of an antisemitic attack on Wednesday, during which the assailant yelled the anti-Zionist slogan, “Free Palestine.”

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Toronto resident Sam Brody explained that he had been walking his dog in the Eglington neighborhood of the city at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Brody, who wears a kippah, said that the male assailant pushed him into a wooden fence, knocking him onto the ground.

The assailant then told Brody: “Fuck you, you Jews, you’ll never take Israel, free Palestine!”

In his video recounting the ordeal, Brody said that he was sharing his experience to inform “those who are not aware that antisemitism is a very real and growing problem in our country and around the world.”

Brody added that, “unfortunately, people use Israel as a platform to attack Jews. Being anti-Israel is the politically correct way of being an antisemite today.”

He said that while he understood why “people want to separate the issues, but the practicality on the ground is that they cannot be separated, and in almost every case of antisemitism, anti-Israel sentiment is also expressed.”


Stressing that he did not want his video “to be used to attack any group of people,” Brody said the only information he would provide about his assailant “is that he is neither white nor Muslim.”

B’nai Brith Canada, a leading Jewish NGO focused on combating antisemitism, pointed out that the “brazen assault” on Brody “comes amid an unprecedented surge of physical attacks on Canadian Jews.”

The group noted that during the fighting in May between Israel and Hamas in May, it recorded 61 incidents of antisemitic violence in Canada, the highest since records began in 1982.

It added that the day before the assault on Brody, Statistics Canada released its 2020 figures on police-reported hate crimes in the country, noting that Jews remained the most targeted religious group by a large margin, and the second-most targeted group overall after Black Canadians.

Source: algemeiner

The first-ever central America forum for Israel took place

At an inaugural Central America Forum for Israel on Thursday, regional leaders issued joint declaration calling for a united stance against surging global antisemitism, including support for the IHRA international definition of antisemitism, and expressed solidarity with the state of Israel following the Gaza conflict, and urged tougher action against Hezbollah.

Speaking from Guatemala City, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei declared that “the enemies of Israel are our enemies, and the friends of Israel are our friends. We declare Hezbollah to be an enemy of the State of Guatemala, and hope we never receive any investment which might come from groups or countries aligned with Hezbollah.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid: “We stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against global terrorism. One key step is banning Hezbollah, all of Hezbollah, and I am thankful for those who have taken the step and call on every country to follow suit.”

Representatives included speakers from Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, and the United States. Global organizations represented included the Central American Parliament and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The event was organized by representatives of participating countries in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the Center for Jewish Impact, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, the Guatemala-Israel Friendship League, and the Jewish community of Guatemala.

Secretary of the National Congress of Honduras Congressman Jose Tomas Zambrano spoke about the significance of the opening of the country’s embassy in Yerushalayim in June. He added that despite the political difficulties, “This year, we promoted an initiative in Congress to condemn all the terrorist attacks against Jerusalem and Israel, which was also passed, supported by the majority of Congress.”

Also addressing the forum, Congresswoman Dorina Rodríguez Salazar from the Dominican Republic, spoke about her nation’s role in saving Jews during the Holocaust, noting “we welcomed hundred Jews with warmth and love.”

Congressman Uarren Beitia, Member of the Central American Parliament, said that Panama had worked hard to criminalize racism and discrimination. He stressed that with the right legislation, “although antisemitism exists to a certain degree, as it does all over the world, it rarely results in concerning events.”

U.S. Senators James Lankford and Jacky Rosen, co-founders, and co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, reiterated the importance of the IHRA definition as a tool in legislative efforts to quell Jew-hatred.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) noted, “We have seen certain members of the U.S. Congress and prominent activists demonize Israel for defending itself against acts of terror. My Republican colleagues and I, as well as many Democrats, unapologetically stand behind Israel.”

Source: hamodia

Germany - The trial against Goyim network Starts in Düsseldorf

Photo: DPA
Three members of the Goyim network stand before the higher regional court in Düsseldorf. They are said to have spread antisemitic content on the Internet and called for violence against Jews.

The three men accused come from Duisburg, Berlin and Heerlen (Netherlands). They are accused of membership in a right-wing extremist criminal organization and of sedition.

Goyim is the plural of the Yiddish word Goy and means non-Jews. Antisemites often use the term in a derogatory way as a self-designation, like the "Goyim Party of Germany". Followers of the network spread hatred and agitation on the Internet.

According to the Federal Prosecutor General, the defendants are said to have spread " deeply degrading antisemitic propaganda " and called for the killing of Jews in several hundred cases.

The two main suspects were arrested a year ago in Heerlen, the Netherlands, and in Berlin. There were searches at the same time. The court has scheduled 30 days of hearing. If convicted, the defendants face several years' imprisonment.

 

Source: wdr