Antisemitic incident report: May 13-19

Confrontational “Nakba Day” events, a puppy found in Missouri covered with swastikas, smashed windows at a shop in Atlanta and a bassist in a Swedish band gets canned for a Nazi salute.

A “Nakba Day” rally in Times Square in New York City on May 14, 2023. Credit: rblfmr/Shutterstock.
A “Nakba Day” rally in Times Square in New York City on May 14, 2023. Credit: rblfmr/Shutterstock.

JNS publishes a weekly listing of antisemitic incidents recorded and found by Jewish, pro-Jewish and pro-Israel organizations; national and international news; and social media. By the Anti-Defamation League’s count, an average of seven instances of varying measure occur daily in the United States. (Dates refer to when the news was reported, not when the events took place.) Also included are news items detailing efforts to combat antisemitism and research anti-Jewish bigotry.

May 13

Chants at a “Nakba Day” rally in Brooklyn, N.Y., included “All of Israel is stolen land!” (Nakba is the Arabic word referring to the “catastrophe” of modern-day Israel’s establishment on May 14, 1948; “Nakba Day” takes place on May 15.) Animal shelter workers cleaned a shaved Missouri puppy that was found covered with drawn swastikas and profanities. In Victoria, Australia, neo-Nazis and left-leaning activists clashed outside the state parliament.

May 14

“From the River to the Sea” chants and signs were observed at a University of South Florida-Tampa student nakba event. Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi, withdrew his support for the presidential campaign of Kanye West (“Ye”), claiming that Bianca Censori—reportedly the rapper’s new wife—is a “honeypot” seeking to prevent him from talking about Jews. Per a new ADL poll, 75% of Americans worry that rising artificial intelligence could increase online hate. A report ties neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes to a staffer for Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

May 15

A University of Minnesota “Nakba Day” event was canceled (reportedly following threats) and then rescheduled at the local Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) office. Attorney Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, faces several lawsuits and is accused of, among other things, making antisemitic remarks. Windows were smashed at an Italian-ice shop in Atlanta, which was graffitied with a swastika. A neo-Nazi was sentenced in California to two years in prison for illegally possessing ammunition, and in the United Kingdom, a Hitler supporter was jailed for podcasts deemed to provoke racial hatred. Four German neo-Nazis were charged as members of a terrorist group, and two Austrians are accused of playing Hitler speeches on a train speaker system. Antisemitic incidents were down 25.5% in Vienna in 2022.

May 16

At Northwestern University outside of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine organized a “Nakba Day” event that drew 50 students. A Jewish teacher in Wisconsin was arrested after threatening students following discovering swastikas in a student’s notebook drawings. In Minnesota, a neo-Nazi has pleaded guilty to purchasing weapons with the intent of using them in a massacre of police officers.

May 17

A California high school scheduled a “Nakba Day” event featuring the grandson of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela. Noa Tishby shared a video of actress Debra Messing (of “Will & Grace”) discussing her Jewish heritage and, for the first time, detailing an antisemitic experience. The door of a Washington synagogue was defaced with two swastikas. Twitter CEO Elon Musk again argued that the mass shooter of a Texas outlet mall was not a white supremacist; the man has neo-Nazi tattoos.

May 18

In the Pittsburgh synagogue mass-shooting trial, jury selection is almost complete, with a pool of 69; a jury of 12 plus six alternates is required, and each side can eliminate 20 prospective jurors. Testimony is expected to begin after Memorial Day. In Montreal, a “Nakba Day” protest was held outside the Israeli consulate. A Missouri mayor apologized after making an antisemitic comment. A British neo-Nazi leader threatened Jewish leaders who visited a migrant camp. The teenager who pleaded guilty after stealing and burning Israeli flags at a school in Canada returned to court, where he is now charged with violating probation by continuing to post on social media. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Germany’s leaders of having “Nazi genes.” A new study of five countries suggests that 51% of players of online games encountered extremist statements.

May 19

A manufacturer’s union, along with the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, held a “Nakba Day” event in Australia. A Swedish “black metal” band fired its bassist after he made a Nazi salute on stage while “very drunk.” A Massachusetts high school reported a swastika in a bathroom.

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