Global anti-Semitism is doing the ‘Gaza Strip’ although it has never needed an excuse; the Cossacks predated 1948. But when the State of Israel decides to defend itself against its enemies, there is usually a spike in the number and severity of worldwide incidents since anti-Semites feel freer to unveil themselves to the world.
It’s as if they feel they are given a permit by anti-Israel media to unleash their natural hatred and perpetrate attacks in an endless ‘Day of Rage’ against the Jews.
In the old days, this would have taken the form of a pogrom; in the 21st century, incidents range from media attacks on Israel to violent attacks on Jews anywhere around the world.
Some fearful Jews in the Diaspora are blaming Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the phenomenon. “Netanyahu doesn’t ask Diaspora Jews for starting a war that is (unjustifiably) producing anti-Semitism that affects us all,” wrote M.J. Rosenberg, a writer at The Huffington Post who was formerly a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. Previously, he worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate and was a one-time Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was even the editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report, according to his media biography. None of which has stopped him from misunderstanding the cause of anti-Semitism.
If we limit ourselves to incidents that have taken place this past week:
1. Anti-Semites hurled firebombs at a synagogue in the western German city of Wuppertal in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. One arrest was made and police are searching for two more suspects, according to police spokesperson Alexander Kresta. The synagogue was undamaged. The identity of the 18-year-old male who was arrested was not released to media.
2. The 40-year-old rabbi of Gateshead, England was hospitalized after he was severely beaten by four teenage males (ages 16, 17, 18 and 19) on Rydal Street early Friday, while leaving his yeshiva in the center of the Orthodox Jewish community in Bensham. Two of the attackers were Qaiser Malik, 19 and Balawal Sultan, 18, both of Newcastle, and were brought to a judge for bail hearings. There was also an incitement tweet in connection with this case, showing a picture of a Jewish elementary school. “This Jewish school in Gateshead cheered when the bombs fell in Palestine.”
3. In Rome, the city’s historic Jewish quarter was defaced over the past several days with swastikas and flyers, reading ‘Anne Frank story teller’ on Appia Nuova Street. Other posters also have appeared in the Prati neighborhood,, depicting a Palestinian Arab hurling a rock at an IDF tank, together with a Celtic cross and the slogan, “Each Palestinian is a camerata’ – the Italian word for members of Mussolini’s facist movement. ‘Same enemy, same barricade,’ the slogan adds. The Jewish community in Rome is one of the oldest continuous Jewish settlements in the world.
4. For the second time in less than a week, the Jewish community of Miami, Florida also has been targeted. Early Monday morning, the word ‘Hamas’ was spray-painted on the pillars of Congregation Torah V’Emunah, along with a few swastikas, in northeast Miami-Dade.
5. A similar incident occurred on the Sabbath, when a family in the mostly Jewish neighborhood of Miami Beach returned home from synagogue services to find their two cars splattered with eggs and cream cheese. The words ‘Hamas’ and ‘Jew’ were scrawled on the back windows. Police in both communities are investigating, and it is unknown whether the two incidents are related.
Hana Levi Julian