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Holocaust-denying AI chatbots, neo-Nazi music, Penn mum on arrested students

Antisemitism roundup, Jan. 8-15

The dedication of the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza at 16th and Arch Streets on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The sculpture on the left, Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs by Holocaust survivor Nathan Rapoport, was originally dedicated at this site in 1964. Credit: Campramah via Wikimedia Commons.
The dedication of the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza at 16th and Arch Streets on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The sculpture on the left, Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs by Holocaust survivor Nathan Rapoport, was originally dedicated at this site in 1964. Credit: Campramah via Wikimedia Commons.

Police are investigating a swastika painted near a Philadelphia Holocaust memorial. The executive director of the foundation that oversees the memorial called the vandalism “very, very upsetting, but not shocking for our community.” (Antisemitism set a new record in Philadelphia in 2023.)

The University of Pennsylvania won’t say what, if any, punishment two students will face after their arrest for antisemitic actions.

New York police officers arrested a 61-year-old, Salah Elnaggar, who allegedly vandalized a Midtown Manhattan business with antisemitic graffiti in 2022.

The Los Angeles Times published letters from readers about experiencing Jew-hatred.

A child and adolescent psychologist in Topeka, Kan., whose name an anti-fascist group released in connection to a website with neo-Nazi music, says that he was conducting research about hateful music. His employer is backing him, and his research continues.

Police in El Cerrito, Calif., sought an attacker who pushed a woman to the ground, took her Israeli flag and burnt it. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) praised the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for endorsing a ceasefire in Gaza. (A new Florida resolution strongly encourages “all executive agencies of the State of Florida, all law enforcement agencies and all local governments in this state to suspend contact and outreach activities with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”)

Florida police arrested Jessica Shiner, 24, for allegedly covering herself in fake blood and clogging toilets at a synagogue.

Jewish Voice for Peace organized a student protest in downtown Indianapolis. Indiana state lawmakers introduced a bill to define antisemitism. 

Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction asked schools to prove that they are complying with the state’s Holocaust education requirement.

“The State of Israel is an invaluable and trusted ally of the United States and a beacon of democracy in the Middle East,” said the Kansas House of Representatives, passing a resolution condemning Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

Ferdinand Eckhardt. Credit: Manitoba Historical Society.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery removed the name of Nazi supporter Ferdinand Eckhardt from its entrance.

After two neo-Nazi leaders were arrested in Canada, there has reportedly been a decrease in the activity of “active clubs” used to recruit in gyms.

German activists opposing Nazism are going after pro-Hitler merchandise that uses abbreviations and code words, such as “I love Htlr,” by trademarking the slogans.

Some 250 Hunter College alumni threatened to withhold donations unless the public university boycotts Israel.

Elon Musk, who tends to prioritize free speech, said it was a “tough call” to ban a Hamas-linked account on X.

Gab, a far-right social-networking service, plans to release artificial-intelligence chatbots that will deny the Holocaust.

Most U.S. Jews feel less safe after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack, the American Jewish Committee found in a new poll.

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