Antisemitic incident report: June 3-9

Australia bans display of swastikas, ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt calls Tucker Carlson an “obvious antisemite” and an officer testifies that alleged mass murderer Robert Bowers said “Jews are the children of Satan.”

Spanish politician Amparo Rubiales. Credit: Montserrat Boix via Wikimedia Commons.
Spanish politician Amparo Rubiales. Credit: Montserrat Boix via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

June 3

A mother in Texas reported that her son’s T-shirt was vandalized with a swastika. In England, the BDS-supporting leftist filmmaker Ken Loach claimed that concerns about antisemitism in the Labour Party were “dishonest” and merely a tool to purge leftist politicians. Rappers Ye (Kanye West) and Ice Cube have reconciled after the former accused the latter of inspiring his antisemitic hate spree last fall.

June 4

The teenage son of the Oregon House Minority leader Vikki Breese-Iverson has apologized after a photo began circulating of him giving a Nazi salute in front of an image of a plane marked with a swastika. Two men in Melbourne were also spotted giving Nazi salutes while posing in red Holocaust-denial T-shirts. In Germany, neo-Nazis sent a threatening letter to a mosque.

June 5

In England, police are seeking a man who may have painted swastikas on a Ukraine memorial. In Germany, a politician was charged for using a Nazi expression in a speech. Calls have resumed for the firing of Fritz Berggren, a U.S. State Department diplomat who runs a racist, antisemitic blog.

June 6

In the Pittsburgh synagogue mass-shooting trial, one of the police officers testified that when the gunman surrendered he identified himself as “Robert Bowers” and said “Jews are the children of Satan. They’re murdering our children.” The forensic pathologists who performed the autopsies of the victims also testified, describing in graphic detail the devastation of the rifle shots. The State Department condemned a recent concert in Berlin by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters as antisemitic. In Germany, a neo-Nazi was arrested for a 32-year-old arson attack.

June 7

On the seventh day of testimony in the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue trial, jurors heard from law-enforcement experts about the weapons used in the attack, and Bowers’s voice was heard in court for the first time. A SWAT officer also testified that Bowers said he only surrendered because he was out of ammunition and wounded. Australia has banned the sale and display of Nazi symbols. In the United Kingdom, Sir Keir Starmer has denounced Waters for “spreading antisemitism” and urged the cancellation of his upcoming shows. Also in the UK, a teenager has admitted to painting Nazi symbols on a mural. A Canadian army sergeant was fined for making Holocaust jokes during a training session. Elon Musk, the world’s second-wealthiest man, is facing criticism for interacting with an antisemitic tweet. In California, a city council was bombarded with antisemitic phone calls. In Oklahoma City, a swastika was cut into a man’s front yard. The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is defending Students for Justice in Palestine member Fatima Mohammed for her antisemitic speech on May 12 at the City University of New York School of Law commencement.

June 8

In Bowers’s death-penalty trial, forensic examiners of his phone reported that the defendant posted on the website right before the shooting. In the UK, the number of prisoners held for neo-Nazi and other far-right-inspired crimes has exploded over the last year. In Saudi Arabia, while only 20% of the population regards the Abraham Accords as a positive development in the Middle East, more than one-third believe that the kingdom should forge economic ties with Israel. Tucker Carlson has been accused of using antisemitic tropes on his new Twitter show to attack Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. ADL leader Jonathan Greenblatt said that the former Fox News host is an “obvious antisemite.”

June 9

Spanish politician Amparo Rubiales has resigned from her party after calling one of her enemies a “Jewish Nazi.” Police officers in California are investigating the distribution of antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ materials. Actor Mark Ruffalo faces criticism after calling the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism “propaganda.” In New Jersey, a 34-year-old man faces 36 counts for an antisemitic vandalism spree. Francesca Albanese, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, tweeted that “the ferocity unleashed against Roger Waters, an immense artist and true icon of our time, a champion of human rights and justice, is absolutely shocking. Full solidarity.”

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