Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
February saw the continuation of many incidents and propaganda against Jewish communities, deriving from radical right and Muslim elements. Also prominent were the many incidents of cemetery desecrations and damage to Jewish community property.
This month preparations were made for holding a Holocaust Denial conference in late March in Beirut, but it was cancelled/postponed for the time being. The conference was to have combined western and Muslim Holocaust denial activity.
Parallel to the growing occupation with Holocaust denial, noteworthy is the ongoing activity by governments and various bodies to increase the awareness of the Holocaust.
Anti-Semitic Attacks and Incidents
During the night between 24 and 25 February, stones were thrown at the Tifferet Israel school in Sarcelles, north of Paris. Several windows were smashed.
In the morning of 25 February, burning articles were once again thrown into one of the buildings of the same school in Sarcelles. A fire broke out which totally destroyed the building.
On 7 February, five Arab speaking men attacked a young Jew in Sydney, causing him facial fractures.
On 4 February, windows in a west Sydney synagogue were shattered.
On 16 February, unknown persons damaged cars belonging to Jews, next to a synagogue in Perth, West Australia.
On 12 February, unknown persons vandalized the North Shore synagogue in Sydney. They damaged the building and wrote abusive slogans.
On 29 January, in the Orange district of Long Beach, a school pupil was attacked by a boy in her class who tried to set her on fire, while shouting anti-Semitic slogans at her. The school administration tried to play down the seriousness of the deed and allowed the attacker to return to his studies the following day. Only after the intervention of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), following an appeal to them by the girl's parents, did the school administration suspend the attacker for five days.
On 16 February in the evening, while a party was taking place in the Cultural Center in Warsaw, several youths broke into the building, damaged some windows and doors and left.
On 1 February, the car belonging to a member of the Westcliff Essex community was defaced with swastikas.
On 7 February, a masked unidentified person tore out the mezuzahs from the Rua Jose Higino synagogue and the Jewish hospital in the Tijuca neighbourhood.
During the night between 17-18 February, the mezuzahs from the Beth Lubavitch synagogue in Leblon were removed for the second time.
On 19 February, three more mezuzahs were torn out from the doorways of the offices of Jewish doctors in two different buildings in Copacabana.
Desecration of Jewish Cemeteries
On 6 February, two unknown persons drew swastikas on some 50 gravestones in the Temple Israel cemetery in Springfield, Missouri. This was one of a series of incidents in the area which included the drawing of swastikas and the desecration of memorials.
On 11 February, two boys drew swastikas on gravestones in the cemetery near the Kehillat Israel synagogue in Pittsfield, New England. The boys who were arrested apparently belong to a hate group. They are to be tried in a juvenile court in Pittsfield.
The Jewish cemetery in Manheim was desecrated and gravestones were defaced. Two youths suspected of the vandalism were arrested.
A Neo-Nazi was arrested after he pasted posters with the picture of Horst Wessel on a Jewish cemetery in Celle.
On 27 February, the Jewish cemetery in Wroslaw was desecrated by unknown persons. 16 gravestones were damaged.
75 gravestones were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery in Samara and slogans of the Cult of the Devil were written on them. Six youths were arrested on suspicion of the action and membership in the Cult of the Devil.
On 1 February, an anonymous bomb threat in Armenian was received over the phone during a boxing match in the sports hall located in the office of the Jewish community in Yerevan. The caller added that in the future more bombs would be planted in the building until the Jewish community stopped operating there. Nothing was found when the building was searched.
An anonymous bomb threat was received over the phone on 18 February at the Beth Tikva Conservative synagogue in Toronto. The local police searched the premises but nothing was found.
On 4 February, the director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) branch in Connecticut received a message threatening her life and those of the Jews, on the AJC answering machine in her home. Accusing remarks, including references to Hitler, were included in the message.
On 19 February, two anonymous bomb threats were received in the synagogue in Lubeck.
On 22 February, a bomb threat was received at the community center in Duisburg. The caller said to evacuate the building immediately. The police were summoned but a search of the premises revealed nothing.
On 28 February, a bomb threat was received at the building housing a Christian charity organization in Kishinev and the Moldova Jewish Agency offices. The building was evacuated and searched but nothing was found.
The media in Belgrade gave wide coverage to the spraying of swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on the Jewish community building and the entrance to the Jewish cemetery in Belgrade by a local Neo-Nazi underground movement. This group derives inspiration from an anti-Semitic movement in Nebraska, U.S. The community believes this incident is the tip of the iceberg of latent anti-Semitism. Yugoslavia's President Kostunica responded by sending a letter to the Jewish community 'scornfully and bitterly' denouncing what he called anti-Semitic manifestations.
The newspaper 'Admiralteistvo' which is published in north west Russia, printed an article by the dean of the St. Petersburg University. The author accuses various nations and races, including the Jews, of hindering the development of Russia as a state. He proposes establishing enclaves inside Russia for minority groups. The 'Jewish Bolsheviks' are also blamed for the murder of the Russian people.
The newspaper 'Isvestiya' published an article that anti-Semitic pamphlets were distributed in the Adygea republic in an attempt to sully the name of a candidate for the State Council elections.
The 'Center for Anti-Semitism and Radicalism in Russia', which operates in Moscow on behalf of the ADL in the U.S., reported that racist elements in the U.S. which disseminate anti-Semitic propaganda are also trying to operate outside the U.S. and cooperate with anti-Semitic groups in Russia. The report said that the Russian authorities ignore the activity of the American racists. The report concentrates especially on the activity of David Duke, an extreme racist, and a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan in the U.S. Duke recently visited nationalist groups and worked to promote the distribution of his racist book 'The Jewish Question in the Eyes of an American'. Duke also declared that he intends to settle in Russia in the future in order to 'conduct a struggle against nations of various races and against the Jews'.
Pamphlets bearing swastikas were seen in the subway of the capital Minsk. They are part of the nationalist Neo-Nazi organization RNU's stepped up activity.
Between 29 January and 2 February an 'Anti-Zionism Week' took place at the San Diego University under the auspices of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Muslim Culture Club. During this Anti-Zionism Week propaganda became anti-Semitic and pamphlets with blatantly anti-Jewish messages were distributed. Among other things, the pamphlets claimed that Zionism was the 'sickest dream that exists - a dream declaring the Jewish nation as the rulers of the world where all non-Jews would work as dogs and slaves for their Jewish masters'. The pamphlets also recommended reading the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' in order to discover the truth about the Zionist movement. In the course of the week, speeches were heard by various lecturers, including prominent anti-Semites like Imad Al-Bahri, a former member of the council of the Islamic Center of San Diego. In his speech he maintained that it was not important how they called themselves Jews, Israelis or Zionists they were all the same. Al-Bahri also claimed that 'the solution to the Palestinian problem is for Jews to pack their bags, leave their homes and return to New York, where they came from in the first place'.
The 'La Hora' newspaper published an interview with Eugenio Shaguan, a lecturer from the Arab Studies Institute at the University of Chile. He commented on the election of a new prime minister claiming that 'if the Jews murdered the Messiah, it can be assumed that they are capable of murdering anyone'.
During a meeting before a football game between a Jewish youth group called 'Hagana' and a youth group from a village in the Abruzzu area, known for its racist and anti-Semitic ideology, one of the players shouted the abusive slogan 'Hitler burned too few Jews'.
Abusive anti-Semitic slogans were written on the bulletin board of a Jewish lawyer in Strasbourg.
A state ceremony was held this year for the first time to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Several Muslim organizations protested the fact. The Muslim Council of Britain, the Muslim umbrella organization in Britain, announced that it would not participate in the event as there was no mention of the genocide in Kashmir and Palestine. In a similar manner, the Islamic Human Rights Commission announced that the event would be boycotted since there was no reference to the Palestinian 'Holocaust'. The Al-Mujahiddin organization held several events called 'The Lies of the Holocaust are Exposed' and 'The Holocaust Israel's Justification for Killing Muslims'.
An anti-Semitic abusive letter was sent to a Jew whose letter defending asylum seekers was published in Time magazine.
An anti-Semitic accusing letter was sent to the Woodside Park synagogue in London, apparently by someone from the Radical Right.
An anti-Semitic abusive letter directed to a lord of Jewish extraction was sent to the House of Lords.
Anti-Semitic abusive slogans were written on a public bus in Bristol.
Swastikas were drawn on the entrance door of the Borehamwood Community Society house in London.
Two large abusive slogans were written on the highway in Johannesburg which crosses the northbound No. 1 highway.
On 7 February, unknown persons drew swastikas and wrote the words 'Sharon is a murderer' on the walls of a synagogue in west Sydney.
Anti-Semitic mail was sent to community leaders and private individuals in Launceston (Tasmania), Sydney and Melbourne.
On 7 February the Sydney Morning Herald published a crossword puzzle in the shape of a swastika. The editors apologized the following day.
Swastikas drawn on two houses belonging to Jews in Monterey were discovered. This is the first time such drawings have appeared in Monterey on Jewish homes.
Between 8 and 10 February, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slogans were written next to several Jewish community facilities in Porto Allegro.
A stamp was discovered on a 1 riyal banknote which included a drawing of an eagle clutching a swastika, the full name of an SS unit and the symbols of this unit. The banknote was given in a Rio De Janeiro supermarket as change.
The BBC reported that the Central Council of the Jews of Germany is threatening to open legal proceedings against Internet suppliers who run Neo-Nazi or other racist websites. According to the Council it is forced to take this action after the German government failed in its attempts to enforce the laws prohibiting Nazi propaganda against the websites. The German Minister of Interior confirmed that there are some 800 German language websites containing Neo-Nazi content. According to him, most of them were built in the U.S. and those in charge of them are protected by the U.S. freedom of speech law. The president of the Council said that the purpose of the action was to convince the government to adopt the French government's method of handling the problem. Last year the French court issued an order to the Yahoo Internet supplier to prevent French Internet users from accessing sites selling Nazi memorabilia. Yahoo has already removed the relevant sites from the network.
The central government in Berlin decided to allocate 65 million DM to a project for the struggle against right-wing radicalism and activity among youth.
Members of the small Jewish community in Fuerth expressed protest against the public authorities running the Jewish museum in the city due to the screening of an anti-Semitic film from the Nazi period at the museum. The film, 'Jud Suess' is part of an exhibition presenting the influential financier Joseph Suess Oppenheimer, who lived in the 18th century, in a racist light. The Jews demanded the museum director be fired.
The Consumer Health Organization planned to hold a health food fair in Toronto. The writer Eustace Mullins was invited by the organizers to lecture on commercial and medical monopolies. Mullins is known as an outspoken anti-Semite who wrote books in which he claimed that Jews control the world economy and that they murder Christian children for their religious rites. The Canadian Jewish Congress sent the organizers a 100-page text containing proof of Mullins' anti-Semitism. They refused, however, to cancel the invitation to the writer. Only after three food companies threatened to boycott the fair did the organizers agree to retract and cancel the invitation to Mullins.
Jewish community leaders submitted a request for a restraining order against the distribution of the anti-Semitic publications of Olga Scully from Tasmania who has been disseminating racist material for the past four years. The leaders also asked the court to demand of Scully to apologize before the Jews for the anti-Semitic literature, caricatures and cassettes she distributes.
An Australian financial newspaper apologized to the Jewish community for publishing a drawing of a Star of David with the word Jude. The drawing was part of an article criticizing Israelis after the election of Ariel Sharon as prime minister.
A Lithuanian newspaper urged the Lithuanian government to act against what it called the tightening union between radical Fascist and Communist elements who openly incite to hatred and racism. The newspaper demanded an investigation of declarations against Jews and against Lithuania joining NATO.
Student groups from the French Students Union (UNEF) and the Jewish Students Union in France (IEJF) from the Jean Moulin university in Lyon protested against the slackness of the university administration in dealing with the case of Jean-Pierre Allard. Allard is a lecturer at the university who served as president of a committee which denied the Holocaust (in 1985) and is known for his revisionist views. He is about to retire and will be awarded all honorary titles given to an academic of his standing. In light of the numerous protests the university administration decided to transfer the handling of the issue to the Ministry of Education.
It was published that the Swiss revisionist Jurgen Graf, who runs the 'Justice et Verité' (Justice and Truth) Institute and who fled to Iran, is working in cooperation with Hizballah and the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), based in California, to organize an international Anti-Zionist and Holocaust denial conference in late March in Beirut. Prominent international Holocaust deniers were invited to the conference, including Garaudy, Faurisson, Weber and others. Also invited were representatives of the Islamic media and other media from Europe. It was learned that in the meantime, following heavy pressure, Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri decided to prohibit the holding of the conference in Lebanon. This subject will be expanded in the March report.
A new book published in Britain exposes the ties of the giant American computer company, IBM and Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The book is based on a research of the American journalist Edwin Blake who is the son of Holocaust survivors from Poland. Blake describes how the company supplied the Germans with the most advanced technological tools of that period which were necessary to record and exactly locate the Jewish population in Europe, thereby assisting the mass destruction program. At the time, Germany was the company's second largest client after the U.S. The name of the book is 'IBM and the Holocaust : the Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation'.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has published educational instruction booklets on the Holocaust for American schools. The purpose of the booklets is to assist Catholic schools in implementing the Vatican's recommendations for remembering the Holocaust.
This month the Anglophone daily 'The Gazette' published part of the annual Bnai Brith report relating to anti-Semitic activity in Montreal, as recorded in 2000. According to the report, there was a significant increase (almost double) of the number of anti-Semitic incidents which occurred in Montreal. Among other things, they included the beating of Jews wearing skullcaps, drawings of swastikas and graffiti, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries, mass demonstrations against Israel in which Israeli flags were burned and calls for killing Jews.
In a speech to Parliament in Vienna marking the ratification of the reparations agreement for Nazi victims, Prime Minister Wolfgang Schuessel said, 'Austria did not do enough after the war for Nazi victims and I only hope that it is not too late'. He added 'I know that money does not atone for anything but it is the least that Austria can do for the past'.
According to a request by Yad Vashem, Israeli citizenship will be granted to the French Nazi hunter advocate Serge Klarsfeld who has unceasingly worked in the long struggle against Nazi criminals, even though Klarsfeld does not reside in Israel.
The book 'The Holocaust Industry' by Norman Finkelstein, an American academic, Jew and son of a Holocaust survivor, has been published in France. It will be recalled that in his book, Finkelstein calls for the German authorities not to give in to the blackmail concerning the Holocaust and compensation for it. Finkelstein also claims that Jewish blackmail regarding compensation in Germany and Switzerland is the most deciding factor in renewed anti-Semitism. The organization 'Lawyers Without Boundaries', announced through its president, the French advocate William Goldnadel, that it is filing suit against Finkelstein and his book for 'racial slander' and 'incitement to racial hatred'. Goldnadel declared that the accusation that Jews conspire to use the Holocaust to facilitate Israel's struggle against the Arabs is identical with the theory of Roger Garaudy who has already been convicted of Holocaust denial and racial slander.
The newspaper 'Pagina 12' published the cover story on the new book 'Hitler's Shadow' by the journalist-researcher Raul Kollmann, who writes for the newspaper, on Neo-Nazi groups in Argentina. In the book Kollman describes the connection of the Buenos Aires provincial police with almost every case of Jewish cemetery desecration, most of them in the province. The journalist publishes the testimony of Neo-Nazis who participated in anti-Semitic actions. These people are active in the Patriotic New Social Order Party (PNOSP). Kollman exposes the ties between police officers and the PNOSP organization.
Professor Jan Thomas Gross' new book 'Neighbors' exposes the massacre of Jews in the small Polish town of Jedwabne, where some 1600 Jews were murdered, most of them burnt alive. This massacre was carried out by Polish neighbors, and not as formerly assumed, by the occupying Nazi forces. The book continues to arouse strong reverberations throughout Poland and its publication reawakened the public debate on antisemitism. The important weekly 'Wprost' published articles and a poll whose results confirm the assumption that a stereotype hostile attitude towards the Jews is widespread and that a certain degree of popular anti-Semitism prevails.
In a program broadcast over the Dutch television network NCRV, Prof. Roland Raes, vice-president of the Belgian radical right party 'Vlaams Blok', claimed that he rejects the idea that the Holocaust was a 'plan for genocide'. Raes emphasized that many experts have for a long time doubted the existence of the gas chambers and death camps and reiterated the traditional revisionist declarations on the exaggerated number of Holocaust victims. With the publication of his statements in Belgium, which was widely covered in the Belgian media, Raes announced that he was resigning his position as leader of the Vlaams Blok. Raes remarks aroused sharp criticism from representatives of the entire political spectrum in Belgium.
A court in Vilnius convicted Kazys Gimzauskas, deputy commander of the Lithuanian security police during the Second World War, of crimes against humanity. Gimzauskas' unit was responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews during the war. Gimzauskas, who is 93 and suffering from Alzheimer's disease, will however not serve his sentence as convicted. According to the Israeli branch of the Wiesenthal Institute, the conviction is an important precedent as it is the first conviction of a war criminal from the Holocaust period in a CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) country.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry