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Antisemitic incident report: Aug. 19-25

From the death of an elder Islamist activist leader to the bizarre conclusion of a vandalism episode at a French kosher restaurant.

Yan Petrovsky. Source: X/Twitter.
Yan Petrovsky. Source: X/Twitter.

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. 19

Two unknown persons, a man and a woman riding a Citi Bike, struck two Jews on their heads, a man and a woman each wearing traditional religious clothing a half-block apart, in Brooklyn’s Chassidic Williamsburg neighborhood. Neither required medical attention, and police have released three images of the suspects. In Blooming Grove, N.Y., a yard sign proclaiming “No Jew Get Out” has inspired outrage from state officials. Also in Brooklyn, Maritza Ming, the district attorney aide accused of antisemitic remarks (see Aug. 3), has reportedly not appeared in the office since news of the claims against her broke. On his GZERO World podcast, political scientist Ian Bremmer interviewed Noa Tishby about the global rise in antisemitism.

Aug. 20

In France near Paris, authorities apprehended a man accused of antisemitic vandalism on a kosher restaurant. A leading Australian Jewish group and a police union have come together to warn that proposed federal government bans on the swastika (see Aug. 16) will fail since neo-Nazis can find loopholes to circumvent the too-narrow laws.

Aug. 21

Abdelhamid Youness, the co-founder of the Islamist-influence operation the Muslim Public Affairs Council, died; the antisemitic organization he helped create lauded him as “a visionary leader and tireless advocate.” Last weekend in Marietta, Ga., residents found antisemitic fliers in distributed their neighborhood. In Newport News, Va., five homes featuring yard signs supporting the state senate candidate Danny Diggs received swastikas painted on the street in front of them. Diggs is not Jewish. In Germany’s capital of Berlin, a drunken man hit a Jew in the neck and said an antisemitic insult.

Aug. 22

New research shows that antisemitic incidents in Berlin for the first half of 2023 remain high, at the same rates as the last two years, accounting for a third of the country’s total. In Round Lake Beach, Ill., David M. Dolan, 18, and Anthony P. Shields, 19, face multiple hate-crime charges for allegedly spray-painting swastikas and racial slurs on buildings. In Belmullet, Ireland, vandals painted a swastika on a doctor’s office, while in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, someone erected swastika flags near the Belfast Iqraa Mosque. Legislators in Finland are considering banning public displays of Nazi symbols. In Long Island, N.Y., police investigate swastikas discovered near a Holocaust memorial. The “Fresh & Fit” YouTube channel, which regularly offers misogynistic content to its 1.4 million subscribers, lost the ability to monetize videos shortly after featuring neo-Nazi podcaster Nick Fuentes in an episode where the young Holocaust-denier labeled women as “baby machines,” claiming “that’s what their brains are about.”

Aug. 23

In Manhattan, N.Y., someone scrawled antisemitic graffiti near Hebrew Union College. In San Diego, Calif. police released photos of a man who allegedly assaulted a rabbi. The award for tips leading to his arrest rose to $3,500 with StandWithUs increasing the original $1,000 with an added $2,500. Police arrested a Florida man, preventing his neo-Nazi-inspired terrorist plot to blow up Maryland’s power grid. In Virginia and Maryland, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will host two 29th-anniversary banquets. The ADL released research documenting that the man arrested for allegedly murdering a woman in Cedar Glen, Calif., in a dispute over an LGBTQ flag also believed traditional Jewish-Masonic conspiracy theories and anti-Zionist narratives of Israel as an “apartheid” state. The Archdiocese of Toronto has organized a webinar to educate on the Holocaust and how to counter hate.

Aug. 24

In Canada, law enforcement suspects that recent distributions of antisemitic literature across the country have come from the neo-Nazi hate group Goyim Defense League. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a $250,000 multi-year fund to fight antisemitism; at the same time, the Muslim Association of Canada plans to host the Qatar-based, Egyptian Sheikh Nashaat Ahmed, who has made antisemitic statements. Police have chosen to investigate the destruction of graves in a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, England, as a hate crime. In Maine, state officials have started to explore legal options to counter the neo-Nazi “Blood Tribe” hate group from developing a paramilitary organization. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the school’s Jewish Center was vandalized with red and black “end apartheid” spray paint. New research revealed that Bostjan Zupancic, a former judge on the European Court of Human Rights, made antisemitic posts on social media, including calling Jews “the central enemies of Western civilization.”

Aug. 25

In Italy, a government official faces outrage as researchers uncovered that he recorded an antisemitic song while in a far-right rock band in the 1990s. In Finland, authorities arrested Yan Petrovsky, who led an explicitly neo-Nazi division of the Wagner Group, which the U.S. government described as a transnational criminal organization. Law enforcement apprehended a man who allegedly knocked over and damaged graves in a Jewish Cemetery in Rochester, England (see Aug. 24.) A Jewish man has confessed to committing the act of antisemitic graffiti outside the kosher restaurant in France (see Aug. 20), driven by a dispute over unpaid rent. Police arrested a teenage boy for allegedly vandalizing a playground in Long Island, N.Y., with a swastika. The Campaign Against Antisemitism successfully persuaded bookseller Waterstones to remove a “deluxe hardbound edition” of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

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