‘End Jew Hatred’ founder blasts apologetics in new antisemitism report

“Adding criticism of Israeli Knesset members in a report that is meant to be taken seriously about rising Jew-hatred, particularly ahead of Yom Hashoah, is shameful and undermines the entire message. It is indicative of an inability to understand the gravity of the situation.”

By Atara Beck, World Israel News

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023, the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University presented the Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide – 2022, in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

According to the report, attacks on Jews skyrocketed, particularly in the U.S., and ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews were the most targeted.

The ADL recorded 3,697 antisemitic incidents in the United States, compared to 2,717 in 2021. The New York Police Department registered 261 hate crimes against Jews in 2022 compared to 214 in 2021, the LA Police recorded 86 in 2022 compared to 79 in 2021, and the Chicago Police 38 in 2022 compared to eight in 2021.

“The data contained in this survey is very troubling. It is alarming to see the significant increase in antisemitic incidents and trends across the U.S. and in several other countries,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

“Equally concerning is that unlike in 2021, there were no specific events which can be linked to a rise in antisemitism, which speaks to the deeply-seated nature of Jew Hatred around the world,” he said, adding that “this important annual report…will be used to educate governments and civil society and help push back against antisemitic trends.”

According to the report, a rise in recorded antisemitic incidents compared to 2021 was also found in several other Western countries, including Belgium, Hungary, Italy, and Australia. In Belgium, 17 antisemitic attacks were recorded in 2022 compared to only three in 2021 – the highest number since seven attacks were recorded in 2016.

On the other hand, the report continues, other countries, including Germany, Austria, France, the UK, Canada, and Argentina, saw a decline in the number of antisemitic incidents compared to 2021.

The authors of the report “point to a disturbing trend of the ‘normalization of crazy conspirations’ in public discourse in America. The spreading of antisemitic propaganda by white supremacists in the United States almost tripled compared to 2021, reaching a total of 852 incidents.”

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There was no mention of Islamic antisemitism, particularly on college campuses. Neither was there mention of Black Lives Matter, which the ADL has promoted, although it is also an antisemitic movement.

After the Movement for Black Lives posted its policy platform in 2016, which accused the U.S. of complicity “in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people” and called for support of the BDS movement, Greenblatt said it was only “some individuals and organizations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement [that] have engaged in antisemitic rhetoric,” Times of Israel reported at the time.

‘Jewish racism must be eradicated’

Prof. Uriya Shavit, head of the Centre that compiled the 2022 antisemitism report, concluded it with the following statement:

“Soul-searching is required in Israel as well. In recent months, several Jewish Members of Knesset have made chilling racist remarks that would have immediately terminated their careers in any other Western democracy. It is sad that this needs to be said on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, but Jewish racism is no better than any other kind of racism. It must be condemned, banned, and eradicated.”

In conversation with World Israel News, Shavit referred to an incident in February, when Otzma Yehudit lawmaker Almog Cohen filmed himself during a Knesset plenary session making sounds of animals, like sheep, at MK Ofer Cassif, the only Jewish member of the anti-Zionist Arab Hadash-Ta’al faction. “Talk to them in a language they understand…You need to talk to him like a sheep,” Almog-Cohen said.

“The lawmaker apologized, but it was really a non-apology. There were people sitting next to him, including some very senior, experienced people who were giggling and laughing. This is tough for me,” Shavit said.

Current climate in America

Only recently, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris referred to Al Sharpton as the “conscience of our country,” saying “Rev., I love you,” while ignoring his long history of bigotry and antisemitism. For example, in 1991, Sharpton helped instigate the Crown Heights riot, during which dozens of Jews were assaulted by black rioters in Brooklyn, and Canadian yeshiva student Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death.

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“The current climate in the U.S. allows certain articulations that I think 10 years ago it would not allow, but I would imagine that if a member of Congress would approach Jews, Hispanics, African-Americans while repeating the sounds of an animal – I don’t think that he or she would be in Congress the next day. I would hope not. And I know what Israel would have said if such an incident happened,” Shavit said.

“I don’t want to be overly politically correct…that people should be afraid to say harsh things because it may sound offensive. I don’t understand what she [Kamala] loves, she would need to clarify, but there are certain red lines that I think should not be crossed. When you approach people and say they understand the language of animals, this is a big red line.”

Shavit did not say that praising a vile antisemite who enouraged violence crosses a red line.

“There are many harsh things. In the Arab world you have every second day very harsh, antisemitic comments. So, the point is that this should not be part of the Israeli Knesset. This should not be part of a Jewish state,” he said.

According to Shavit, if the behavior of Otzma Yehudit lawmakers is not part of the report, “what would you say to someone who asks why Jewish organizations take such offense when someone says something about Jews but are silent when this happens?

“We had, just two weeks ago, a very severe case of an Arab-Israeli taxi driver being attacked simply because he’s an Arab, not as part of an incident. The point that everyone should agree about is that we are against racism. We take exception, and we emphasize that the world should be especially sensitive to antisemitism because of the history and because as Jews that is what we highlight. But racism is bad. There is no good and bad racism.”

‘Now is the time for action’

Civil rights attorney Brooke Goldstein, founder of the End Jew Hatred movement, blasted the decision to conclude the report with a statement about racism in Israel.

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“Jew-hatred is a unique and distinct phenomenon that has reached frightening levels worldwide, as noted in the report,” she told World Israel News.

“Adding criticism of Israeli Knesset members in a report that is meant to be taken seriously about rising Jew-hatred, particularly ahead of Yom Hashoah, is shameful and undermines the entire message. It is indicative of an inability to understand the gravity of the situation.

“There is no systemic, pervasive racism in the Jewish community that rises even close to the level of what has happened to Jews. Making this moral equivalence shows intellectual dishonesty. We’ve been subjected to two-thousand years of Jew-hatred. We don’t have to prove that we are anti-racist to put out a report on genocidal Jew-hatred.”

According to Goldstein, incidents such as the outburst by Almog-Cohen are often a response, albeit in a crass way, to the global Islamo-Nazi consipiracy to annihilate the State of Israel, especially considering that several Arab MKs – including Cassif have a history of defending terrorists. Last November, for instance, Cassif compared a Jewish teen victim of a Jerusalem bombing to a Palestinian teen terrorist killed in a firefight with the IDF.

“Today and yesterday, two 16-year-old boys were murdered: Aryeh Schupak, who was murdered today, and Ahmed Amjad Shehadah, who was murdered yesterday. We want this bloodshed to stop, and it will stop only when the occupation ends,” Cassif said.

According to Goldstein, “What the professor has done with this virtue-signaling self-flagellation is dilute the message with a politicized statement that has nothing to do with the topic, obfuscating the purpose of the report. For what motive?

“It appears that the ADL – with the help of Tel Aviv University – is striving to gain legitimacy by publishing yet another report, albeit with glaring omissions. It includes no mention of Islamic antisemitism or Black Lives Matter, for example, indicating political bias.

“The time for issuing  reports on antisemitism is over. Now is the time for action.”