Monday, May 20, 2013

  • Monday, May 20, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the State Department's International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, released today:

A Continued Rise in Anti-Semitism

This report also documents a continued global increase in anti-Semitism. Holocaust denial and glorification remained troubling themes, and opposition to Israeli policy at times was used to promote or justify blatant anti-Semitism. When political leaders condoned anti-Semitism, it set the tone for its persistence and growth in countries around the world. Of great concern were expressions of anti-Semitism by government officials, by religious leaders, and by the media, particularly in VenezuelaEgypt, and Iran. At times, such statements led to desecration and violence. In Venezuela, the government-controlled media published numerous anti-Semitic statements, particularly in relation to opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, a Catholic with Jewish ancestors. Separately, during an anti-Israel protest in November, a group of individuals gathered outside a synagogue chanting anti-Jewish slogans and throwing fireworks. In Egypt, anti-Semitic sentiment in the media was widespread and sometimes included Holocaust denial or glorification. On October 19, President Morsy said “Amen” during televised prayers in Mansour after an imam stated, “Oh Allah ... grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.” This is a common prayer in Egyptian mosques and came in a litany of other prayers. Also in October, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei made several anti-Semitic statements, including saying in a sermon that was also published online that “It is time for the Muslim [nation] to unite for the sake of Jerusalem and Palestine after the Jews have increased the corruption in the world….” He added that “Zionists only know the way of force.”
In Iran, the government regularly vilified Judaism. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to question the existence and the scope of the Holocaust, and stated that “a horrendous Zionist clan” had been “ruling the major world affairs” for some 400 years, while Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi publicly blamed the “Zionists” for spreading illegal drugs around the world. In Tunisia, Salafists (fundamentalist Sunni Muslims) attacked synagogues and issued anti-Semitic messages, as did some imams during Friday prayer sermons. Certain Salafist imams preached anti-Jewish and anti-Christian messages, including calling for the killing of non-Muslim citizens. Police arrested five persons, including one police officer, for allegedly plotting to kidnap Jews in Zarzis in October for ransom.
In Ukraine, vandals desecrated several Holocaust memorials. In May, in Russia, vandals painted a swastika on a St. Petersburg synagogue’s fence, and in July, vandals painted a swastika on a synagogue wall in Irkutsk.
Even well into the 21st century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of “blood libel,” and cartoons demonizing Jews, continued to flourish. An anti-Semitic cartoon appeared in a major newspaper in Argentina, and a member of the Golden Dawn party in Greece read from the notorious Tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, during a parliamentary session. In a worrisome sign, such anti-Semitic and xenophobic parties gained seats in parliaments, and a rise in violent attacks on Jews in Europe included several shocking incidents. Hungary saw continued racist commentary by an openly anti-Semitic political party with seats in parliament, the Jobbik Party, and also witnessed an attack on a member of the Jewish community outside of a prayer house in Budapest. In France, an Islamist extremist killed a rabbi and his two children, along with another student, outside a Jewish school in Toulouse. While a number of governments took active measures to combat anti-Semitism, this pernicious evil continued to spread.
Egypt:
There have been no violent anti-Semitic incidents in recent years; however, anti-Semitic sentiments routinely appeared in both government-owned and private media, and the government made few public attempts to distinguish between anti-Semitism and opposition to Israeli policies and practices. Media sometimes published cartoons demonizing Jews and accusing them of seeking to subvert Egypt and Islam and take over the world. Private Salafi media sometimes included anti-Semitic programming that glorified or denied the Holocaust, including in interviews with academics and clerics. Privately owned Al-Tahrir TV re-aired the 2002 anti-Semitic TV series “Horseman Without a Horse” in March, which includes a story line around the Tsarist forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” There were reports of imams using anti-Semitic rhetoric in their sermons, including allegations of blood libel.

On October 19, President Morsy said “Amen” during televised prayers in Mansour after an imam stated, “Oh Allah ... grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.” This is a common prayer in Egyptian mosques and came in a litany of other prayers.

For the second consecutive year, authorities cancelled the Abu Hassira celebrations that were slated for January, preventing the annual pilgrimage by non-Egyptian Jews to the shrine of 19th-century scholar Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hassira.
Jordan:
Editorial cartoons, articles, and opinion pieces sometimes depicted negative images of Jews and conflated anti-Israel sentiment with anti-Semitic sentiment. On Ammon News in April, a television director criticized a Gulf TV channel for showing films sympathetic to Jews and recognizing the Holocaust.
Turkey:
Jewish leaders expressed concern about anti-Semitism. Many attributed occurrences of anti-Semitic graffiti and threats to events in the Middle East. Local authorities continued to work with community leaders and synagogue officials to protect Jewish places of worship.

In March local and international Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, criticized a cosmetics company for featuring Adolph Hitler in a shampoo commercial that ran on state television. The company defended the commercial but stopped airing it.
Yes, my scoop made it to the State Department!

Syria:
Government-sponsored media coverage and rhetoric was consistently anti-Israeli, as it has been in the past, and the media continued to disseminate anti-Semitic material through radio and television programming, news articles, cartoons, and other mass media.
PA and Hamas controlled areas:
During the year terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and members of global Jihadist organizations, carried out increased attacks against citizens of the country, mostly in the form of indiscriminate missile, rocket, and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip, particularly immediately prior to and during the November 14-21 conflict, when over 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Terrorists’ statements often contained anti-Semitic rhetoric and appeals to Islamic religious beliefs in conjunction with the attacks, including in Hamas’ founding charter where it states that “the Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews.”

Iran:
With some exceptions, there was little government restriction of, or interference with, Jewish religious practice. However, the Jewish community experienced official discrimination. Government officials continued to make anti-Semitic statements, organize events designed to deny the Holocaust, and sanction anti-Semitic propaganda. Such propaganda involved official statements, media outlets, publications, and books. The government’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, as well as the perception among radical Muslims that all Jewish citizens of the country supported Zionism and the state of Israel, continued to create a hostile atmosphere for Jews. The rhetorical attacks also further blurred the lines between Zionism, Judaism, and Israel, and contributed to increased concerns about the future security of the Jewish community in the country. In an August statement, President Ahmadinejad conflated Zionists with Jews when he stated, “It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs, and behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made similar statements in an August speech referring to the Zionist regime and Zionists as a “cancerous tumor.”
Ahmadinejad continued to question the existence and the scope of the Holocaust and publicly called for the destruction of Israel. His rhetoric combined with that of the supreme leader created a more hostile environment for the Jewish community. In his interview with French journalists on September 9 he stated, “The Zionist regime relies on the Holocaust and if it is taken away from the regime, the philosophy of its existence disappears and all politics in the international arena which were based on it will come undone.”
The Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center produced a film called “The Anti-Semite” or “Yahod Setiz,” which makes a mockery of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. On May 25, the Cannes Film Festival decided to drop this film from its program, describing it as offensive.
In late June, during an international antidrug conference in Tehran, Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi gave an anti-Semitic speech blaming the “Zionists” for spreading illegal drugs around the world, using as proof that not a single Zionist is a drug addict. Iran News later reported that Rahimi’s office denied he made anti-Semitic and racist remarks.

(h/t Yisrael Medad)

UPDATE: Other entries are also interesting: Here's Lebanon:
Anti-Semitism appeared on the Hizballah mouthpiece Al-Manar and was espoused by some journalists, academics, and religious leaders in other non-Lebanese media outlets. Examples of anti-Semitism included honoring a Holocaust denier and blaming Jews for the events of September 11, 2001, and for the production of an amateur anti-Islam video. In February Sheikh Bassam Al-Kayed, head of the Palestinian Islamic Scholars Association in Lebanon, stated: “The Jew is a Satan in human form…They violate all international laws, all human norms, and all Islamic and man-made laws.…They violate all values. They are deterred by nothing but force.” On May 7, Lebanese author Jihad Fadhl claimed that Hitler's actions against the Jews in the Holocaust were a response to their “immoral and arrogant” behavior.

Hizballah party members directed strong rhetoric against Israel, with which the country remained in a state of war. In a February 16 speech, the Hizballah party secretary general described the “the Zionist scheme” as a threat to the entire region and the cause of “all the agonies of the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine.” “We must confront and topple it,” he said, “Every resistance fighter in this region, especially in the neighboring countries, is defending the entire nation by resisting the Zionists.”

Government documents refer to Jewish Lebanese citizens as Israelis, although they are not Israeli citizens. . . . The Ministry of Interior continued to delay validation of the 2008 elections of the Israeli Communal Council. The government did not approve the council’s request, repeated over several years, to change its name to the Jewish Community Council.

(h/t Irene)

It is important to note that the State Department report did not specifically call out Muslim or Arab anti-semitism, and treated it the same as traditional European Christian anti-semitism - when it is a very different phenomenon, and needs to be attacked much differently.

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