Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yad Vashem
Passover Seder in the Warsaw Ghetto.

On Saturday, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist issued an apology, saying that being Jewish “should never be seen as provocative.”



Scotland Yard was forced to apologize twice after an officer prevented Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, who was wearing a yarmulke, from crossing a road a short distance from a demonstration because he was “openly Jewish” on Saturday afternoon, April 13.

The officer warned Falter that if he did not go away, he would be arrested. Here’s the video:

In the video, another officer said to him: “There’s a unit of people here now. You will be escorted out of this area so you can go about your business, go where you want freely, or if you choose to remain here because you are causing a breach of peace with all these other people, you will be arrested.”

The officer said Falter’s very presence was “antagonizing,” presumably to the folks nearby who wanted him dead.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism which posted the video noted: “Imagine what it feels like to be Jewish and treated in this way by a crowd of police officers. It is the right of every Londoner, Jewish or not, to walk freely around the city. If police threaten Jews with arrest for doing so, or consider the mere presence of Jews to be “antagonistic,” then the Met Police has decided wholesale to curtail the rights of Jews in order to appease lawless mobs.

On Saturday 27th April, Jews will again walk in their home city, again being “quite openly Jewish.” We must not be intimidated by protesters or prevented by police from exercising our rights.

Bring your yarmulke. Hey, buy a yarmulke if you have to.

A Jewish LGBTQ woman posted a more elaborate response to the incident:

So, yesterday, a person was stopped by the police when attempting to cross the road near the Pro-Hamas protest. “You are quite openly Jewish. This is a pro-Palestinian march. I am not accusing you of anything, but I am worried about the reaction to your presence,” said the policeman.
Jews are ordered not to provoke the Jew-haters now. Our mere existence is a provocation.
Today, the Met Police is gaslighting us by saying that “the issues at the heart of these protests are complex.”
What are the issues, except for them being proxies of Radical Islamic Regimes?
The police response also says that, apparently, there is “a new trend emerging,” with Jews “appearing along the route” and filming themselves. So, it’s not only that we, the Jews, dare to walk the streets of London, where the protests against our existence are being held every Saturday for more than half a year, every time in a different location. How dare we, the Jews, not run in another direction every time we encounter the protest!
But also, according to the police, the fact that we, the Jews, dare to have a camera, in order to have PROOFS in case we are attacked, beaten (like it happens all the time at these protests!!!), and then ARRESTED (!!!) by police… So, the fact that we want to have proofs when being attacked, is a provocation???
What’s next? Are they going to put yellow stars on us, so that it would be easier for the police to remove us from the streets???

Oops, our lesbian sister from London broke Godwin’s law which states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly wrote the Met Police and London Mayor Sadiq Khan about the incident, and his spokesperson said: “We welcome the Met Police’s apology and recognize the complexities of policing fast-moving public protests, but simply being Jewish – or of any other race or religion – should never be seen as provocative. Anyone of any religion should be free to go about their lives and feel safe doing so.”

Policing minister Chris Philp MP said: “I am deeply concerned by recent protest-related events. No one should be told their religion is provocative, nor an innocent person be threatened with arrest solely because of someone else’s anticipated unreasonable reaction. I will meet the Commissioner next week to discuss this.”

Yes, do meet with the commissioner, ASAP. And bring a box of matzos.


On Friday, Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine at Columbia, Barnard, and Teachers College gathered at Columbia’s “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” and demanded that the University halt all disciplinary proceedings against students, including lifting suspensions; comply with the BDS proposal submitted by Columbia University Apartheid Divest to the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing; remove the NYPD from the Morningside campus, including the area directly outside; and reinstate Columbia’s chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, the Columbia Spectator reported on Saturday.

The demands follow 108 arrests of individuals who rioted in the encampment on Wednesday, many of whom were still under lock and key by Friday afternoon, while many individuals persist in occupying Columbia’s South Lawn.

The protests followed Columbia President, Baroness Minouche Shafik’s answers to inquiries from members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee regarding specific faculty members accused of making antisemitic comments.

When questioned about three professors and pushed on why they remain employed at Columbia, Shafik concurred with committee members that Joseph Massad, Mohamed Abdou, and Katherine Franke’s remarks were unacceptable. She also mentioned that investigations were underway regarding some of them, while one professor “will never teach at Columbia again.”

Several Columbia faculty members criticized the president for not sufficiently upholding academic freedom and the broader principles of higher education. Neferti Tadiar, professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Barnard and a member of FSJP-CBT, told the Spectator, “Our faculty governance just got thrown under the bus.”

Then there was this:

In December, the same committee’s queries on whether advocating for the genocide of Jewish people violated university disciplinary policies prompted the presidents of Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania to provide cautiously worded responses, sparking intense backlash. Since then, two out of the three university presidents have resigned.

President Shafik and her delegation came much better prepared.

Suzanne Bonamici (D-Or) asked the group, “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Columbia’s code of conduct?”

The NY Times recorded their responses in a manner reminiscent of some children’s stories:

“Yes, it does,” replied David Greenwald, the co-chair of Columbia’s board of trustees.
“Yes, it does,” Claire Shipman, the board’s other co-chair, said next.
“Yes, it does,” Nemat Minouche Shafik, Columbia’s president, followed.
“Yes, it does,” said David Schizer, a longtime Columbia faculty member who is helping to lead a university task force on antisemitism.

Tim Walberg (R-Mich) asked Shafik about Joseph Massad, a tenured professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history, renowned for his antisemitic rhetoric. He declared that the Oct. 7 atrocities were “awesome,” and a “stunning victory of the Palestinian resistance.”

“The sight of the Palestinian resistance fighters storming Israeli checkpoints separating Gaza from Israel was astounding,” Massad wrote the day after the Hamas massacre, adding, “Perhaps the major achievement of the resistance in the temporary takeover of these settler-colonies is the death blow to any confidence that Israeli colonists had in their military and its ability to protect them.”

Shafik said, “I believe, to answer your question, he is no longer a chair of that committee.”

Massad said in a statement last Wednesday that he was still the chair until the end of the semester when his chairmanship ends anyway. He denied being reprimanded by Columbia, and about Shafik’s statement that he was under investigation, he said it was “news to me.”

In response, Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) on Thursday wrote “The committee has serious concerns regarding misleading and inaccurate statements from yesterday’s testimony, including the university’s response to antisemitic conduct by students and faculty, and is committed to uncovering the truth and ensuring accountability.”


“Each year, ADL tracks incidents of antisemitic harassment, vandalism, and assault in the United States,” begins the executive summary of the group’s April 16 report, adding, “Since 1979 we have published this information in an annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.”

“In 2023, ADL tabulated 8,873 antisemitic incidents across the United States. This represents a 140% increase from the 3,698 incidents recorded in 2022 and is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. In fact, ADL tracked more incidents in 2023 than in the previous three years combined.”

Antisemitic incidents in the US from 2014 to 2023. / ADL

Here’s the rest of the report’s executive summary, please go and read to entire thing (Audit of Antisemitic Incidents), and then either buy a gun, make Aliyah, or both.

Incidents increased in all major Audit categories. Assault incidents increased by 45% to 161 incidents, vandalism increased by 69% to 2,177 incidents, and harassment increased by 184% to 6,535 incidents.

The dramatic increase in incidents took place primarily in the period following the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. Between October 7 and the end of 2023, ADL tabulated 5,204 incidents — more than the incident total for the whole of 2022. Fifty-two percent of the incidents after October 7 (2,718) included references to Israel, Zionism, or Palestine.

However, even before October 7, there were monthly increases in February (402), March (471), April (432), May (437) and September (513). Each of these months broke the prior record for most incidents recorded in a single month, set in November 2022 (394).

After October 7, ADL observed explicitly antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric at 1,352 anti-Israel rallies across the United States. Leaving out all Israel-related incidents, antisemitic incidents still rose by 65% to 5,711 over the 3,457 non-Israel-related incidents recorded in 2022.

Antisemitic incidents also increased year-over-year in all major location categories. Incidents at K-12 schools increased by 135% to 1,162 incidents. Incidents at Jewish institutions jumped by 237% to 1,987, driven mostly by massive waves of hoax threats directed at synagogues and other institutions in the summer, fall, and winter. And incidents on college and university campuses spiked by a staggering 321% to 922 incidents, most of which occurred after the October 7 terrorist attacks.

ADL’s 2023 Audit numbers contain 1,350 incidents included due to a post-October 7 methodology update (see Major Findings below). Excluding incidents included under the methodology update, ADL tabulated 7,523 incidents, a 103% increase in antisemitic incidents from the incident total in 2022.


The Passover Seder. / Nati Shohat/Flash90

The Haggadah which all of us will read Monday night, recalls the conversation between God and Abraham some 3,800 years ago, in which God promised, “I shall judge the nation that enslaves them, and then they will leave with great wealth” from their houses of bondage.

At this point, the Jewish person who runs the seder covers the matzos on the table, raises his or her glass of wine, and recites:

“And this promise is what has stood by our ancestors and us, for it was not only one man who rose to destroy us – in every single generation people rise to destroy us – but the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands.”

Or, in the more modern version, they tried to kill us, they didn’t, let’s eat!


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