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Monday, January 28, 2008

Anti-Semitism rising or falling?

I can't understand if anti-Semitism is rising or falling from this "report," which gives no numbers, but tells us about incidents "perpetuated" by extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups.
At least, it provides employment for someone.
Ami Isseroff
Anti-Semitism forum report: Which Jewish communities are at risk?
Although 2007 sees sharp overall decline in attacks on Jews, Jewish institutions, US, Germany, Australia see rise in such attacks. What does future hold for Jewish communities
Yael Branovsky
Published:  01.27.08, 09:35 / Israel Jewish Scene

Sunday the 27th of January marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a world-wide memorial day officially instituted by a 2005 UN resolution. This hallowed day, marking the official liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in 1945, again raises latent questions about the dormant specter of Anti-Semitism, and the state of the world's Jewish communities.
An official report to be submitted Sunday to the cabinet by the Coordinating Forum for Countering anti-Semitism indicates that in spite of an overall decline in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide, renewed turmoil in the Middle East might very well rekindle global anti-Semitic sentiments.
 The forum's report also states that France and Britain have reported the greatest number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, and that anti-Semitism is also on the rise in the US, Australia and Germany. In the Ukraine, furthermore, anti-Semitic attacks have become far more organized and well planned.
In the United States, most Anti-Semitic attacks tend to be perpetuated by extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups, states the forum's study, which is based upon media accounts of anti-Semitic attacks worldwide.
The New York police department has reported a 30% increase in anti-Semitic attacks, which, for the for the most part, consist of desecration of Jewish cemeteries and anti-Semitic graffiti.
Among some of the latest anti-Semitic incidents worldwide was a December 1st attack on Esther Weiss and her son Sharon in Australia. The attackers hit 54-year-old Weiss and her son, punching them in the head while making repeated anti-Semitic slurs. They furthermore took the Kippah off the child's head and tossed it to the ground
The month of December also saw an attack in St. Petersburg, Russia, in which a Jewish man was stabbed by a group of Russian youths, as well as an attack on a group of Jewish friends coming home from a Hanukkah party in New York. The Jewish group was physically and verbally assaulted by a group of local youths.

The New Year also began with several anti-Semitic incidents. On January 7th a US Jewish cemetery serving two communities was desecrated, its headstones smashed and defaced. A few days earlier, the walls of the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged in Brooklyn were spray-pained with a swastika.
 Anti-Semitism lurks around corner
The coordinating forum's report also indicates that this rise in anti-Semitic incidents coincides with the political ascent of Right-wing parties world-wide, whose anti-foreigner and anti-immigrant messages are gaining in public legitimacy in numerous countries.

The study furthermore indicates that many countries do not take effective, consistent action to combat anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and that even in countries which enact legislation to counteract these phenomena, these measures are seldom consistently and strictly enforced.
"Let us not make the mistake of assuming that anti-Semitism is waning," said Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog, also charged with liaising with Diaspora Jewry, Sunday.
"This vile phenomenon lurks just around the corner, waiting for the right time to rear its ugly head," he said.

Zeev Bielski, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, also noted that "we can clearly see how the words of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are used as weapons by hate mongers world-wide, leading to these brutal acts of violence. It is hard to believe that 60 years after the Holocaust Jews worldwide are still living in fear and dread in wake of such attacks."

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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