A string of New York City progressive activists, Jewish advocacy groups and political candidates echoed on Monday calls to scale back the increased police protection of Jewish sites instituted after a series of violent assaults.
In the latest in a series of attacks against Jewish institutions in the Bronx borough of New York, the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC) was targeted by a stone-throwing assailant in the early hours of Monday morning, sustaining damage to windows.
The attack was the seventh incident in recent days — following similar incidents at nearby Jewish institutions, including Chabad of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale — and the third time the RJC itself was targeted, despite an increased police presence in the area.
The RJC was first targeted by the assailant on Thursday night, when thrown rocks smashed the synagogue’s glass doors, and then again on Saturday night along with the three other Jewish institutions.
In response to the increased police protection of Jewish sites in the area, Sasha Parsley Kesler, the Special Projects Manager to the Chief of Staff at NYC Department of Social Services, issued a lengthy Twitter thread that questioned the use of enhanced security for the Jewish community.
While she says she was was pained by the violence and noted the long history of attacks on Jewish institutions, she said, “I am also [imagining] another way to respond to this violence, one that does not invite further militarized policing of our streets & communities.”
“I understand the gut reaction in white Jewish communities to look to police as our protectors,” she went on. “And we all know that more policing does not make us ALL safer. Riverdale is a diverse community — I do not want the attempts to secure my safety to threaten that of others.”
Read the complete article at: The Jewish Voices
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California has witnessed a 40% increase in antisemitic hate incidents over the past five years despite a 12% decrease in such incidents in 2020, according to an annual report released by the Anti-Defamation League.
The national organization released its “2020 ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents” Tuesday, April 27, the second anniversary of a shooting at the Chabad of Poway, where a self-proclaimed white supremacist fired shots inside the synagogue on the last day of the Jewish Passover holiday, killing one and wounding three others, including the rabbi.
The ADL’s report found antisemitic incidents trending high nationwide and in California despite coronavirus-related lockdowns in 2020. While antisemitic incidents declined nationally by 4% in 2020 after hitting an all-time high in 2019, last year was the third-highest year for incidents against American Jews since ADL started tracking such events in 1979.
For the first time since 2017, no antisemitic fatalities were reported last year in the United States. While the pandemic may have driven down acts of vandalism and assault, which declined 18% and 49% respectively, incidents of antisemitic harassment, particularly over video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom, increased 10% in 2020.
California, which was third in the nation for the highest number of antisemitic incidents next to New York and New Jersey, also reported the fourth-highest total of antisemitic incidents ever statewide in 2020 since 1998.
Despite some declines in the number of incidents, Jeffrey Abrams, ADL regional director in Los Angeles, said it’s important to not lose sight of the big picture, which shows that antisemitic incidents continue to trend high, even in a year when most people stayed home because of a global pandemic.
“We also saw this year so many incidents of antisemitic Zoombombing, where Zoom became the new battleground for hatred,” Abrams said, adding that synagogues and Jewish schools saw Shabbat services and Torah classes disrupted with displays of swastikas or Hitler’s name.
Read the complete article at: Daily Breeze
Holocaust survivor Fritzie Fritzshall and her close friend Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich gathered at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie Thursday to share a message about hate and prejudice.
April marks both genocide and Holocaust remembrance, and both Fritzshall and Cardinal Cupich said they want people to learn from the past as we take in all we’ve experienced over this past year and think about where we’re going.
Nearly, two years ago, Fritzshall shared her personal story at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where as a teenager she survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Now, she’s determined to speak out regarding where we are in this time of racial, religious and political self-evaluation.
“Are we getting any closer to where we should be?” Alan Krashesky asked.
“No, I think we’re further away,” she answered.
Fritzshall points to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, where one man wore a shirt proclaiming “Camp Auschwitz” as pictured in his federal criminal complaint.
“That made my stomach turn,” Fritzshall said. “Why do they have to still wear t-shirts about hatred and stuff like that? That’s what the Nazis did. That’s exactly what they did.”
“It was obscene! Obscene!” said Cardinal Cupich. “That kind of action should be totally condemned. It’s really repugnant.”
They emphasized people must fight back about other forms of language and labelling as well.
This week, in court documents, federal prosecutors alleged that Chicago Alderman Ed Burke was heard using anti-Semitic language while being secretly recorded.
“You don’t think other people have heard it? You don’t think it’s going to be repeated? It will, and this is how it starts, hatred like that,” said Fritzie Fritzshall.
Read the complete article at: ABC 7 Chicago
A backlash against the proposed European Super League, a new professional soccer league announced on Sunday, has triggered a wave of anti-Semitic hate online.
Soccer fans who oppose the ESL blamed Jews for “ruining” soccer, targeting Jewish owners of the clubs involved. One Twitter user wrote: “Notably, most of the owners of these ‘big’ football clubs pushing for a Super League are Jews … Jews are ruining football, they don’t give a f*** about the Gentile fans.”
Another Twitter user posted an anti-Semitic cartoon and wrote: “All this talk of the European Super League. It’s jew rats behind it. All money grabbing c***s. It’s no wonder that people hate them as much as the muslims.”
A separate tweet said, “Them 3 fat AMERICAN C***S YOU F***ING BASTARDS. And as for that Jew levy, your family should have been gassed.” Another stated, “Hey Zionists it’s not all about money you suckers.”
Six British soccer clubs—Manchester City, Chelsea FC, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur—originally committed to join the new league, along with six clubs from Spain and Italy. However, after an outpouring of negative reactions from fans, soccer officials and even government figures, it appears that the proposed league is on the verge of collapse.
Manchester United is owned by the Glazers, an American Jewish family, and Tottenham is chaired by Jewish businessman Daniel Levy. Joel Glazer was expected to be vice chairman of the new Super League, according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Chelsea FC, owned by Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich, pulled out of the league after seeing the negative global reaction it received.
“The beautiful game has some very hideous fans, and they are out in force on social media objecting in the most grotesque fashion to the possible launch of a new European Super League,” said a spokesman for the U.K.-based Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Read the complete article at: Jewish News Syndicate
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The bipartisan Senate anti-Semitism task force urged President Joe Biden to name a State Department monitor to combat anti-Semitism.
“Tragically, 76 years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism remains a serious and growing danger for Jews in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere in the world,” said the letter sent Monday and spearheaded by Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Jim Lankford, R-Okla, the task force chairs, and signed by another 20 senators on the panel.
“To combat the rising tide of global anti-Semitism, the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism works to promote accurate Holocaust education, improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensure foreign public officials condemn anti-Semitic discourse, and strengthen foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of anti-Semitic incidents.”
The letter noted that a law passed just before President Donald Trump left office elevates the position to ambassador level, lending it more prestige and clout within the State Department. The new designation also means that any nominee requires Senate confirmation.
The task force brings together senators who otherwise would have little to do with one another in an increasingly polarized Senate. Among the signatories are Tom Cotton, the conservative Republican from Arkansas, and Raphael Warnock, the freshman liberal from Georgia.
Speculation within the organized Jewish community has been rife as to who will get the job, with a number of figures named as front-runners. Some applicants for the job have made their interest public, although the Biden administration has not given any serious indication of any leading candidate.
Trump left the position unfilled for two years until he named Elan Carr in early 2019 following multiple calls from Jewish groups and Congress members.
Source: Jewish Exponent
Clubhouse, the new audio-based social network, announced that it “shut down a number of rooms” in the wake of complaints about anti-Semitism.
On Sunday, a Twitter user with the handle @EliKohn3 wrote about a chat on Clubhouse that discussed “Jewish Privilege,” where they said users were repeating and promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“Nearly 200 people talking about how Jews control the federal reserve, Jews were behind the trans Atlantic slave trade, minorities are pawns for the Jews to destroy whites,” @EliKohn3 wrote. “I can’t believe the amount of antisemitism omg.”
Later that day, Clubhouse announced that it had shut down groups that violated its anti-discrimination policies.
“We shut down a number of rooms found to be in violation and, where appropriate, issued suspensions and removed users indefinitely,” it said, responding to @EliKohn3’s tweet but not referring specifically to any accounts or groups. “All forms of racism, antisemitism, hate speech and abuse are prohibited on Clubhouse and are a direct violation of the Community Guidelines.”
The app, which was launched about a year ago and already boasts over 8 million downloads, connects users by allowing them to join together in “rooms” to talk with each other. It has faced accusations of allowing anti-Semitism in the past, and in September the Verge, a tech publication, reported that it “is still struggling with moderation.”
“The antisemitism that we have seen spread on Clubhouse in recent weeks, particularly the ugly surge this weekend, is a painful reminder of the persistence of anti-Jewish hate and how it infects so much of social media,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider. “This weekend we know that there was a torrent of ugly, indisputable hatred, from raw Holocaust denialism to disgusting lies about the Jewish people and slanderous claims against the Jewish state.” PJC
Read the complete article: Jewish Chronicle
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Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein knew the wartime experiences of North African Jews are often overlooked in Holocaust history, so they decided to write a book about it.
“Opening up these stories about North African experiences of the second World War and, in some cases, the Holocaust, can not only teach us about this region, but really change what we know about Holocaust history and Jewish history as a whole, and that is a really profound investment and yield for students, for readers and for academic research,” said Stein, chair of Sephardic studies and director of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA.
The National Museum of American Jewish History hosted a webinar about the book, “The Holocaust in North Africa,” on April 9. Josh Perelman, NMAJH’s chief curator, interviewed the two scholars about pre-war Jewish life in North Africa, the impact of colonialism and fascism on the region and the research they conducted for the project.
Boum, associate professor of anthropology at UCLA, said most North African countries were under the colonial rule of European powers on the eve of WWII. France controlled Algeria, Tunisia and northern Morocco, Italy controlled Libya and Spain controlled southern Morocco. He estimated between 480,000 and 500,000 Jews lived in these countries.
Stein said these Jews were a diverse population that migrated from different regions, spoke different languages, came from different classes of society and participated in different political movements. Some Jews in urban centers adopted European lifestyles, while others lived more traditionally.
Since the North African countries had Muslim majority populations, as well as settler colonialists from Europe, Jews had varying relationships with their neighbors. Some lived among Muslims and Christians, others stayed in mostly Jewish communities.
Read the complete article at: Jewish Exponent
French leaders are speaking out after graffiti calling for “death to Israel” was found at a university in Paris on Monday.
“This morning, hateful inscriptions, some of an anti-Semitic nature, were discovered on the walls of … the main entrance to the Sciences Po campus in Paris. Management strongly condemns this heinous and cowardly act,” Benedicte Durand, the provisional administrator of Sciences Po university in Paris, said in a statement.
“Faced with these attacks, Sciences Po will continue its fight more than ever against all forms of discrimination and attacks on human dignity,” the administrator continued. “Sciences Po also reiterates its values of openness, debate and plurality of points of view, which will always be at the heart of its university training project, its research and its student life.”
Sciences Po has 14,000 students, nearly half of whom are international students, and is focused on social sciences, including international politics.
Francis Kalifat, president of CRIF, the Jewish council in France, called out the vandalism on Twitter, saying it was “decidedly anti-Semitic” and the “weapon of the weak.”
According to Combat Anti-Semitism, which reported on the graffiti on Monday, the vandals wrote anti-Semitic slogans and spray-painted the Arabic term for “infidel” at the entrance to the school.
“We are appalled by this vile vandalism and send our support to the Jewish students who are experiencing this hatred,” the group wrote on its Twitter page. “We urge academic institutions that deny the link between contemporary anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism to learn from this incident and adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in order to prevent students from experiencing such acts of hatred and bigotry on and off campus.”
Frederique Vidal, France’s minister of higher education, research and innovation, also spoke out against the vandalism and vowed to punish those involved in the incident.
Read the complete article at: Cleveland Jewish News
Pembroke Hill School officials are investigating to find out who wrote “KKK” on the side of a student desk — a couple of months after a swastika was found in a classroom on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Officials “will take swift and appropriate action when/if we identify who is responsible for this reprehensible act,” Brad Shelley, the head of school, said in a letter to parents on Monday.
“Words cannot convey how disheartened and deeply troubled we are by this, especially in light of all our efforts by many in our community in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. These actions of hate within our school community must stop.”
The “KKK” written on the desk was discovered Friday and is the latest in a string of incidents that have angered and frustrated several parents, including many who are Jewish. Parents previously told The Star they have witnessed a pattern of anti-Semitic behavior at Pembroke in recent years, including swastikas drawn on a Jewish student’s locker and a bathroom wall.
On Jan. 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, officials at the high school discovered a swastika drawn on a desk, as well an offensive reference toward members of the school’s LGBTQ community. Officials said at the time that they were investigating the incident and would punish whoever was responsible.
On Tuesday, spokeswoman Beth Bryant said, “No, we have not identified who was responsible for the swastika, and it is an ongoing investigation.”
And last summer, a Pembroke teacher posted on Facebook a photo of train tracks leading to Auschwitz with the words: “The horrific truth is … if people were told to get into boxcars to be taken to ‘virus protection camps’ many of them would rush to get in line.”
Read more at: Kansas City
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