Anti-Semitism has featured in the News More

By Penny Hoffmann

One reason why anti-Semitism is publically reported more is due to the Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. This was introduced by sponsor Republican Marco Rubio on the twenty-fourth of January 2017 and became public law on the fourteenth of January 2019.

Volume 64 section 198 (2018) of the Congressional Record outlines the purpose of the bill:

“A bill to require continued and enhanced annual reporting to Congress in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, the safety and security of European Jewish communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European governments, the European Union, and
civil society groups, to combat anti-Semitism, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.”

The sponsors include “Mr. Rubio (for himself, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Perdue, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Brown, Mr. Schatz, and Mr. Hatch)”.

Though the new year began nearly two months ago, recently the media and other organisations spoke out against “growing anti-Semitism”:

Seven MP’s Quit Labour Party due to Brexit Betrayal and Anti-Semitism

Seven of Britain’s Labour Party members of parliament recently resigned to protest the handling of brexit and “growing anti-Semitism”. Anti-Semitism reports have grown by 75%, and it should be noted that there are many anti-Semitic attacks that are not reported, and that some European nations report them more than others. One question being asked by the Labour Party and others is whether one can oppose Israeli policies without being anti-Semitic.

The handling of brexit is the most important issue of the two according to the Labour Party. Despite Britain desiring to leave the European Union, the EU is demanding for Britain to accept their decision to remain or there will be further action.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attending Brussels to advocate for an Irish deal that does mot re-open the brexit deal.

Poland Pulls out of Israel meeting over Anti-Semitism and Nazi Comments

Poland “collaborated with the Nazis” and “sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly appointed interim Foreign Minister Israel Katz respectively.

Poland’s pull-out from the Visegrad Summit caused the cancellation of the Visegrad group meeting that was held in Israel.

Visegrad involves four central European nations. The members include Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated earlier that he was not attending the meeting because of comments made by Netanyahu about Polish co-operation:

Katz stated the following:

“Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. Collaborated with the Nazis. As (former Israeli Prime Minister) Yitzhak Shamir said — his father was murdered by Poles — he said that from his point of view they sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk. You can’t sugarcoat this history.”

“I am the son of Holocaust survivors… The memory of the Holocaust is not something to compromise about. It is obvious. We will not forget, and we will not forgive.”

Macron Condemns Anti-Semitism at Paris Yellow Vest Protest

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Left: French President Emmanuel Marcon. Right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned anti-Semitic insults that French 69-year-old philosopher and head of The Academy Alain Finkielkraut was subject to by yellow vest protesters.

These insults include:

“Palestine! France is ours!” “Dirty Zionist!” “Dirty race!” “The people will punish you!”

Macron tweeted this in response:

“The anti-Semitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it. The son of Polish immigrants who became a French academician, Alain Finkielkraut is not only a prominent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic allows everyone.”

Finkielkraut is the author of “The Imaginary Jew” and the son of a Jewish-Polish manufacturer of fine goods.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner stated that incidents of antisemitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 per cent. National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) leader Sammy Ghozlan stated that “the ‘Yellow Vests’ movement has an anti-Semitic base that repeats conspiracy theories about Jews and power.” Fourteen political parties called for a solution to growing anti-Semitism.

A protest against anti-Semitism is happening, in which Merie Le Pen says she won’t be attending.

Recently, graves at a cemetery were attacked with swatstikas.

US Vice-President Mike Pence Accuses Iran of Anti-Semitism

US Vice President Mike Pence has accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism.

Pence had visited Poland’s Auschwitz concentration camp. A day prior to this, he was “attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic”.

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US Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen and Polish President Andrzej Duda with first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda stand at the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate at the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, Feb. 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the accusations of Nazi-like anti-Semitism by supporting Judaism but opposing Israel as the nation was acting like a “killing machine against the Palestinians”:

“Iran’s historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations.”

“The principle that underlies our foreign policy is the aggressive and occupying nature of the Zionist regime (Israel)…, which is a killing machine against the Palestinian people.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also responded to Pence’s accusation, calling it “laughable”.

Zarif also added:

“Iran has always supported the Jews. We are just against Zionists. The Holocaust was a disaster.”

There is an ongoing proxy conflict between Iran and Israel that began in the early 1990’s.

Iran voted against the UN Partitian Plan for Palestine in 1947 and Israel’s admission to the UN two years later. Iran initially recognised Israel as a sovereign state, but as tensions grew the Islamic government does not.

Anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer” according to Fareed Zakaria of the Washington Post

Fareed Zakaria, columnist of the Washington Post, political scientist, and author, recently wrote an article suggesting that anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer”.

Zakaria stated the following in his article, mentioning freshman Democratic members of Congress Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.):

“I don’t know what is in the hearts of the two representatives. But I believe that Muslims should be particularly thoughtful when speaking about these issues because anti-Semitism has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer. (Omar and Tlaib are not responsible for this in any way, of course, but they should be aware of this poisonous climate.)”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, apologised “unequivocally” for social media comments that were deemed “anti-Semitic” by many:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

This is the original comment she made:

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Many Jewish figures have condemned her and similar comments, one figure including Democratic Freshman lawyer Max Rose:

“Congresswoman Omar’s comments are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL stated the following in a statement:

“As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not to fuel it. Words matter. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and abroad, Rep. Omar is promoting the ugly, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews have an outsized influence over politics.”

Fareed Zakaria, in his article, states that “Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism”:

“In their zeal to delegitimize the Jewish state, men such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser promoted all kinds of anti-Semitic literature and rhetoric. Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism, brainwashing generations of their people with the most hateful ideas about Jews. Even the supposedly secular president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, declared in 2001 that Israelis were “trying to kill all the values of the divine religions, with the same mentality that brought about the betrayal and torturing of Christ and in the same way that they tried to betray the Prophet Muhammad.” Religious states such as Saudi Arabia were just as bad, if not worse.”

Fareed Zakaria is “one of the 25 most influential liberals in the American media” according to Forbes, but Zakaria states that “I feel that’s part of my job… which is not to pick sides but to explain what I think is happening on the ground. I can’t say, ‘This is my team and I’m going to root for them no matter what they do.'”

Zakaria also states that Trump’s missile strike against a Syrian government-controlled airbase in April 2017 is when Trump “became president of the United States”.