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Antisemitic incident report: Aug. 12-18

From neo-Nazis at the Maine State House to the inspiration the antisemitism of Sir Ben Kingsley’s grandmother gave him to play Jewish characters.

Sir Ben Kingsley at the 60th Berlin Film Festival on February 13, 2010. Photo by Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.
Sir Ben Kingsley at the 60th Berlin Film Festival on February 13, 2010. Photo by Denis Makarenko/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.

Aug. 12

In Montana, Miles City residents received neo-Nazi propaganda DVDs in the mail. More than two dozen people were part of a neo-Nazi rally in Augusta, Maine. Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, “secretly sought to deny free speech to citizens through allies in these social media companies,” after she had written about former President Donald Trump’s “neo-Nazi base,” writes legal commentator Jonathan Turley.

Aug. 13

Antisemitic graffiti was found on the Modern Orthodox synagogue Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s East Side. The University and College Union in Scotland is at the center of an “antisemitic row” over its support of a professor who recently said Jews have too much power and don’t face discrimination.

Aug. 14

For their protection, jurors who delivered a death sentence in the trial of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter will have their names sealed permanently. A Los Angeles neo-Nazi “active club” called Clockwork Crew reportedly includes former and current U.S. military members. Someone vandalized a San Francisco Bay Area business with a swastika and anti-black slurs. A Turkish television personality defended airing an interview with a lawyer who promoted a Jewish blood libel. Canada marked the 90th anniversary of the Christie Pits Riots, one of the country’s most violent antisemitic events.

Aug. 15

Antisemitic graffiti was found in Chesterfield, England. Video circulated of a high school Australian girl with a drawn-on Hitler mustache performing a Nazi salute. The acclaimed actor Sir Ben Kingsley said that he has been partly motivated to play Jewish characters—including in “Schindler’s List,” “Moses,” an Anne Frank miniseries and “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—was horror at his grandmother’s antisemitism. Pew Charitable Trusts awarded Hillel International $500,000 to combat antisemitism.

Aug. 16

A 63-year-old man was arrested and charged with attacking a memorial to gay Holocaust victims. Combat Antisemitism Movement reported an increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany over the last month. A man, whose alleged threats toward jurors in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial JNS reported exclusively, will remain in custody at least until Aug. 30. A man in Washington sprayed a swastika and a confusing message on the Benton County Coroner’s Office. In Langley, British Columbia, someone distributed antisemitic fliers. In Tasmania, the government banned Nazi salutes and public displays of Nazi symbols, with a three-month sentence for first-time offenders.

Aug. 17

Law enforcement arrested Lenny De La Rosa, 21, for allegedly vandalizing the Manhattan synagogue (see Aug. 13). X (formerly Twitter) removed antisemitic content following a complaint from, but not in direct communication with, the Auschwitz Memorial. LinkedIn has also faced criticism over antisemitic posts that haven’t been removed. Campaign Against Antisemitism is urging an auction house to halt plans to sell Nazi memorabilia. Police found swastikas graffitied at an Aurora park in Ontario, Canada.

Aug. 18

A far-right German politician has been fined nearly $3,000 for comparing COVID-19 policies to Nazi pogroms against Jews. In the United Kingdom, a man who attacked Jews two years ago has been confined to a secure medical facility. In Brooklyn, police are searching for two suspects, who knocked off a Jewish man’s yarmulke

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