There was a dramatic surge in violence against Jews and Jewish institutions around the world during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. From France to Argentina, from Canada to Chile, synagogues were attacked, Jewish cultural centers were vandalized, Jewish shops were threatened and identifiably Jewish individuals beaten on the street.
A new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) provides a snapshot of the dramatic upsurge in violence and vitriol against Jews around the world during and related to Israel’s recent military operation to stop Hamas rockets and tunnels in Gaza.
Violence against Jews and Jewish institutions "metastasized" during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in July and early August. ADL reported serious incidents, directly linked to anti-Israel protests, of attacks against Jews and Jewish communal buildings in Western Europe, South America, Canada, Australia and North and South Africa. The report includes only international incidents outside of the U.S.
In Casablanca, Morocco, a rabbi was assaulted by an individual angry over Israeli air strikes, suffering a broken nose and ribs. In the Netherlands, a Holocaust memorial was defaced with "free Gaza" graffiti. In South Africa, members of the Jewish community received threats of violence by telephone and on social media with references to Gaza.
"And the list goes on and on," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "There was a dramatic surge in violence against Jews and Jewish institutions around the world during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. From France to Argentina, from Canada to Chile, synagogues were attacked, Jewish cultural centers were vandalized, Jewish shops were threatened and identifiably Jewish individuals beaten on the street. Anti-Semitism was in the air, and in the streets."
The global rise in anti-Semitism during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge comes in the wake of the release of the ADL Global 100 poll of global anti-Semitic attitudes around the world, in which fully one-quarter of those polled in 100 countries were identified as harboring deep-seated anti-Semitic attitudes. This anti-Semitism came to the fore in street demonstrations and anti-Israel rallies, where Israeli leaders were compared to Hitler and the Nazi swastika was repeatedly displayed, often next to the Jewish Star of David. It also was manifested in the mainstream media and in the form of conspiracy theories that spread through society.
Some examples of the rampant spread of anti-Semitism cited in the ADL report:
- Shouts of "Jews to the gas!" during a July 12 anti-Israel rally in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
- Spain’s daily newspaper El Mundo published an op-ed by a leading columnist with blatant and blunt anti-Semitism. He wrote on July 24th that Israel’s military operation in Gaza showed why Jews "have been so frequently expelled." He continued, "What is surprising is they persist. Either they are not good, or someone is poisoning them."
- Colombia’s premier weekly magazine Semana published an op-ed arguing that Palestinian land has been occupied, "since three thousand years ago, when Jews arrived there escaping from Egypt with Moses and Joshua, cutting heads and foreskins off of local inhabitants."
- A sign reading, "Well done Israel, Hitler would be Proud," was held up during a London protest.
- Use of the anti-Semitic blood libel appeared in various rallies around the world where signs depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as drinking the blood of Palestinian children.
- Following a pro-Palestinian rally, occupants in a group of cars driving through the Jewish neighborhood of Broughton Park in Manchester, UK, shouted and swore at Jewish pedestrians with slogans that included "Heil Hitler" while pelting them with cans and eggs.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.