In the first period, the stepped-up readiness and preparations of extreme
right wing groups to perpetrate antisemitic activity were manifest in
an increasing number and variety of attacks. For instance, radical right-wing
activists, in Germany and Switzerland, were arrested for possessing
Several attacks on persons and numerous acts of vandalism against synagogues
and cemeteries were reported. Venomous propaganda was disseminated through
various means, especially the Internet. This is one of the main vehicles
used to spread propaganda, and coordinate between radical anti-Semitic
elements in various arenas.
Holocaust denial was in the headlines this year, especially due to the trial of the historian Devorah Lipstadt who was sued for libel by one of the
central Holocaust deniers David Irving. His dramatic defeat in the trial
did not prevent him from participating, towards the end, of the trial
in a Holocaust deniers conference in California nor from receiving a
Despite the above, 2000 will be remembered, especially for the last
quarter, as a year of Intifada against the Jews in the Diaspora following
the violent incidents which erupted in Israel and in the territories
during the 'Al-Aqsa Intifada'.
Following the events in Israel in early October, various communities
throughout the world became a target for attacks by residents of Arab
or Muslim origin, especially in France, Belgium, Britain, German, Canada
and the U.S. These attacks included a long list of torchings and attempted
arson of synagogues, attacks against Jewish individuals and groups,
damage to Jewish facilities (synagogues, cemeteries and others), threats
and venomous propaganda in the local and Arab press and well attended
demonstrations in which calls were heard to murder Jews.
It seems that for many years, if at all, we have not been witness to
such an intensive wave of violence and hatred as was manifest during
October and November 2000. In October alone, for example, 180 attacks,
attack attempts and violent incidents were recorded (not including threats,
abusive slogans and anti-Jewish propaganda), most of them directed against
The level of violent anti-Jewish activity was most prominent in France
with 62 incidents, Canada with 29 incidents, the U.S. with 22 incidents
and Britain with 20 incidents. It can be generally summarized that the
greatest number of incidents was recorded in countries with a large
Jewish population and a sizeable Arab/Muslim population.
November saw a drop in the number of violent incidents as a result
of the decrease in the level and scope of violence in Israel.
Alongside Arab/Islamic activity against Jewish communities, also prominent
was the activity of radical right-wing and Neo-Nazi elements. These
considered the wave of Islamic violence a base and inspiration for their
independent activity against Jews in general and Israel in particular.
Events in the Palestinian arena also led to a renewed awakening of radical
left-wing activity which was focussed on anti-Israel activity.
The amount and level of violent activity from the radical right-wing
arena continued to rise this year. Furthermore there was new evidence
indicating the serious intentions of radical elements to escalate the
level of violence by using weapons, perpetrating attacks, and cooperating
with Islamic elements to organize and encourage violent activity against
Jewish targets in Europe. We believe that this trend will continue,
and independent activity from the radical left-wing, and cooperation
with Palestinian/Islamic elements, is likely to increase.
After about two years of a significant drop in the activity of Islamic
and Arab elements against Jewish targets, this year, due to 'Al-Aqsa
Intifada' riots, there was a significant rise in violence against Jews
representing or being affiliated with the State of Israel. We believe
the activity of Islamic elements during October-November 2000 derives
from popular protest and is not organized. In our assessment, elements
which carried out violent activity will probably consider this type
of activity a suitable response to any escalation or dissatisfaction
with what is happening in the Territories in Israel. They may consequently
group together and lead to an exacerbation in the level of violence
against Jewish communities, as a reflection of relations between Israel
In the first stages of the 'Al-Aqsa Antifada', activity was mainly
popular. It cannot be discounted, however, that terrorist organizations
may strive to exploit the situation in Israel and perpetrate attacks
against Jewish communities and Israeli targets throughout the world.