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Antisemitic incidents during the Gaza War (2008–09)

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Title: Antisemitic incidents during the Gaza War (2008–09)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gaza War (2008–09), Antisemitism, Antisemitic boycotts, Antisemitism in the Arab world, Allahdad
Collection: 21St-Century Attacks on Synagogues and Jewish Communal Organizations, Antisemitic Attacks and Incidents, Gaza War (2008–09), Islam and Antisemitism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Antisemitic incidents during the Gaza War (2008–09)

Antisemitic incidents escalated worldwide in frequency and intensity during the Gaza War, and were widely considered to be a wave of reprisal attacks in response to the conflict.[1][2][3][4]

The number and severity of reported incidents was particularly high in France and the United Kingdom, countries with large Muslim and Jewish populations.[5] The incidents, which included firebombings and arson of Jewish buildings,[6] attacks on Jewish individuals, defacement of synagogues and vandalism, drew reactions from several governments and non-governmental organizations worldwide.


  • Scale 1
  • Threats and intimidation 2
  • Incidents 3
    • Africa 3.1
      • South Africa 3.1.1
    • Asia 3.2
      • Indonesia 3.2.1
      • Turkey 3.2.2
      • Yemen 3.2.3
    • Europe 3.3
      • Belgium 3.3.1
      • Denmark 3.3.2
      • France 3.3.3
      • Germany 3.3.4
      • Greece 3.3.5
      • Italy 3.3.6
      • Netherlands 3.3.7
      • Norway 3.3.8
      • Sweden 3.3.9
      • United Kingdom 3.3.10
    • North America 3.4
      • United States 3.4.1
    • South America 3.5
      • Bolivia 3.5.1
      • Venezuela 3.5.2
  • Reactions 4
    • Governments 4.1
    • Human rights groups 4.2
    • Muslim groups 4.3
    • Jewish groups 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


According to figures released by the Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism, a body affiliated with the Jewish Agency, the number of antisemitic attacks around the world during Israel's three-week military operation against Hamas in Gaza was up more than 300% compared to the same period the preceding year, reaching a two-decade high. More than 250 incidents were reported during Israel's 22-day assault, compared to 80 during the same period the previous year. The bulk of the incidents were carried out in Western Europe and were led by local Muslims. The violent assaults included attacks against both synagogues and Jewish communities, as well as vandalism of privately owned Jewish property.[4][7] The Community Security Trust confirmed that January 2009 was the worst month ever in Britain for antisemitic incidents, in the wake of Israel's action in Gaza.[8]

A spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that "We have always seen a link between violence in the Middle East to antisemitism but we have never seen anything like what we are seeing now.... Not on this scale, not in this intensity."[9] "It has been the worst we've ever seen."[10]

In Greece a sharp rise of reported antisemitic violent incidents was reported with 13 physical attacks on Jewish targets within a one month timeframe, while the Mass Media and political establishment maintaining a heavily pro-Palestinian orientation and ignoring antisemitic attacks with "Antisemitic references, drawing parallels with the Holocaust and the Nazis, cartoons with Nazi comparison, have been common place during this period".[11][12]

Turkey's Jewish community stated that it has never seen anything like the antisemitism which emerged as a result of the public's fury over the situation in Gaza.[13] The head of Oslo's Jewish community spoke of an "explosion of violence" in anti-Jewish protests, the likes of which had never occurred in the past.[14] Silvyo Ovadya, head of the Jewish community of Turkey, noted that "every speech criticizing Israel has a tendency to turn into cries of 'Damn Jews.' I don't recall such an atmosphere previously."[15] In the United Kingdom, the Jewish Chronicle called the outbreak the "worst wave of hate for quarter of a century".[16] The BBC quoted an east London community activist who said that "the level of anger is so great over Gaza – nothing I have ever seen before, much higher than over Afghanistan."[17]

Threats and intimidation

Mahmoud Zahar, a leading member of Hamas, made a statement reported by the international media as a threat to kill Jewish children worldwide. Zahar said that the Israelis "have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine... They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people."[1][18][19][20][21] Basim Naim, the minister of health in the Hamas government in Gaza, later claimed that this statement had been misunderstood, and that Hamas has "no quarrel with the Jewish people".[22] Douglas Davis of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council commented on Naim's statement by quoting from Article 7 of the Hamas Charter: "The Prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: 'The [end of days] will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!'".[23]

Joods Actueel, a Belgian Jewish magazine, received a dozen death threats on its website, including a threat to carry out a suicide attack to "avenge the suffering of the Palestinians".[24] In Turkey, Jews in Istanbul did not want to be identified as Jews and were afraid to walk down the street.[25] In Indonesia, protestors shut down the country's only synagogue, threatening to drive out the country's Jews.[26]

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on 30 Dec 2008, Mohammed T. Alkaramla sent a letter threatening to bomb the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago. The letter threatened that explosives would be set off around the school unless the violence in Gaza stopped by 15 Jan 2009. Alkaramla wrote, "It [sic] very important to make quick action before we make our decisions to set bombs."[27][28][29][30]

On 7 January 2009 the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun printed a fallacious story claiming that participants in a discussion on, a British Muslim internet forum, had made a "hate hit list" of British Jews to be targeted by extremists over the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict. The story was widely covered in the press and prompted the police to advise prominent British Jews to review their security arrangements.[31] It was subsequently revealed that Glen Jenvey, the source of the story in The Sun, had himself been posting to the forum under the pseudonym "Abuislam" and created the only evidence that pointed to anything other than a peaceful letter-writing campaign. The story has since been removed from The Sun's website following complaints to the UK's Press Complaints Commission.[32][33] On 23 February 2009, Sir Alan Sugar, who was named as a terror target in Jenvey's story, instituted legal action against The Sun for publishing the article.[34]


This section details incidents of physical attacks against Jewish persons and property, as well as discrimination and antisemitic statements by government officials. More minor incidents such as antisemitic harassment and hate speech in the context of anti-Israel demonstrations were reported in Argentina,[35] Australia,[36] Canada,[37] and Turkey.[14][38] Nazi imagery, offensive to most Jews, and slogans suggesting comparison between the Holocaust and Israel's current actions were used in anti-Israel rallies across Europe. The European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency states that "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" is one of several possible manifestations of antisemitism with regard to Israel.[39] Most protesters, however, rejected any accusation of antisemitism.[9] Antisemitic statements also increased on blogs and internet forums.[40]


South Africa

South African Deputy Foreign Minister [41] A Democratic Alliance spokesperson, who called her comments "bargain-basement conspiracy mongering", said that the Deputy Minister must apologize for her comments or be dismissed from office.[42] Hajaig later apologized for her comments, saying "I conflated Zionist pressure with Jewish influence."[43][44]



Islamists marched to the gates of the country's only synagogue stating that "If Israel refuses to stop its attacks and oppression of the Palestinian people, we don't need to defend (the synagogue's) presence here." Protestors threatened to drive out the Jews of Surabaya. The synagogue has been shuttered since.[15]


Anti-Jewish articles appeared in some Turkish newspapers, and openly anti-Semitic graffiti was common. A giant swastika was daubed opposite Istanbul's Israeli Consulate and Jewish symbols were trampled and burned. Although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned anti-Semitism, Jews in Turkey believed that anti-Semitic incidents were encouraged by Erdoğan's reaction to the conflict.[45] A sign reading "Jews cannot enter, dogs can" was put at the door of a civic group's office in Eskisehir and removed after a media outcry.[46] Silvyo Ovadya, the head of Musevi Cemaati, Turkey's main Jewish group, said in late January 2009 that there were several hundred examples of recently published writing with anti-Semitic messages linked to the Gaza conflict. He urged the state to take legal action.[47] As a result, the number of Turkish Jews immigrating to Israel increased. Eli Cohen, director-general of the Jewish Agency's Immigration and Absorption Department in Jerusalem said that about 250 Turkish Jews were expected to move to Israel in 2009, more than double the 112 who immigrated in 2008.[48]


In Yemen, home to a small Jewish population, Jews were threatened and targeted by locals because of Israel's offensive, and the Yemeni government planned to relocate some Jews to protect them from "revenge" attacks.[49] Some Jewish children were injured, one seriously, when Muslim students threw stones at them.[50] Anti-Israel protesters also attacked several Jewish homes, smashing windows and pelting them with rocks, and injuring at least one Jewish resident.[51] In February, in a covert operation by the Jewish Agency, a Jewish family from the city of Raydah was extricated from Yemen and emigrated to Israel, after suffering from antisemitic attacks and repeated death threats. A grenade had been thrown into the courtyard of the family's home in Raydah.[52]



A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Beth Hillel Liberal synagogue in Brussels. Rocks and other objects were thrown at a Jewish school. A Jewish home was the subject of an attempted arson.[53] Afterwards, hundreds of protesters tried to march towards the Jewish neighborhood but were held off by police.[54]


A 28-year-old Palestinian male opened fire on a three Israeli cosmetics salesmen and two customers in a shopping mall on 31 December 2008. The shooting, which followed a period of harassment against the cosmetic stand, resulted in two Israelis being hit by shots. The perpetrator explained that he was motivated by the Middle Eastern situation. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.[55]


Sixty-six antisemitic incidents were reported during the conflict in France, home to Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish populations. Numerous synagogues were attacked with petrol bombs and damaged in various towns.[56] In Toulouse a car was rammed into the gates of a synagogue and set on fire.[57] Leila Shahid, the Palestinian envoy to the European Union, said the "awful incident" was a result of images from Gaza.[58] In Saint-Denis a petrol bomb was thrown at a synagogue which set fire to an adjacent Jewish restaurant.[3] Offensive graffiti was also daubed on synagogues throughout the country. In Paris a rabbi's car was torched,[59] a Jewish student was attacked and stabbed four times by Arab youths[60][61] and a 15-year-old Jewish girl was assaulted by a gang of 10 youths.[62]


A Jewish community center in Rostock was daubed and later stoned.[63] The Central Council of Jews in Germany reported a significant increase in the number of hate mails and death threats during the conflict.[64]


According to the American Jewish Committee, synagogues in Volos and Corfu as well as the Jewish Cemetery in Athens were vandalized. They also expressed concern that the Greek media had displayed antisemitism in newspapers during the conflict.[39]

Reports from the Central Board of Jewish Communities (KIS)[12] and local Jewish media[11] have reported that antisemitic incidents occurred in 9 different Greek cities. In Veria the local synagogue suffered an arson attack. In Athens the walls of the Jewish cemetery were sprayed with antisemitic graffiti "Jews Israelites Murderers".[12] Also several anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli protests took place with one particularly striking antisemitic character that of the neo-Nazi political party Golden Dawn where slogans like "Ax and Fire to the Jewish Dogs" were exclaimed.[11] In Volos leftist groups targeted the local Jewish Community with pro-Palestinian graffiti on the walls of the Synagogue.[12] In Drama the monument commemorating the murder of the Jews of the Greek cities of Serres, Drama, Kavala, Orestiada, Didymoteicho, Xanthi, Komotini was severely vandalized and slogans like "Greece – Palestine no Jew will remain" were sprayed. Also, slogans were written on the walls of the Jewish cemetery.[12] In Thessaloniki a seminar of the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki was canceled after receiving threats which also addressed a meeting of the Study Group for Greek Jewry at University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki.[11] The leftist parliamentary party of Coalition of the Radical Left (SyRizA) declined to attend the Greek National Day of Remembrance of Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs because of the attendance of the Israeli ambassador.,[11][65]

In Komotini the Shoah Memorial was sprayed with graffiti equating the Star of David with the swastika.[12]

The national newspaper .[12] Other abusive titles included the national newspaper Eleftheri Ora with "Auschwitz – The Gaza Strip, with the Jew as baker this time"[12] and national newspaper Apogevmatini with "Holocaust".[12] Other media often used the terms "Jews" and "Israeli" interchangeably and routinely compared Israel to Hitler and Nazi Germany.[12]

Eminent members of the Greek Orthodox Church spoke of "zionist monsters with sharp claws" like the Metropolite of Pireus Serafim,[12] or of "Jews punished for killing Christ" and being "God-Killers" like the Metropolite of Thessaloniki Anthimos.[11] The Metropolite of Kalavryta Ambrosios spoke of "An ongoing genocide is being held in Gaza and nobody protests!".[12] Similar was the stance of extremist Christian media like the newspaper Orthodoxos Typos which linked Jews with Freemasonry.[11][12]


Italian trade union Flaica-Cub issued a call to boycott Jewish-owned shops in Rome in protest at the Israeli offensive. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the idea had "an undeniable antisemitic flavor",[66] further charging that the proposal echoed the race laws under fascism in the 1930s. The union denied accusations of antisemitism, and union President Giancarlo Desiderati said the union condemns "any form of antisemitism".[67]


A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a Jewish-owned building in Amsterdam, following an attempted arson of a Jewish institution in Arnhem. A synagogue in Haaksbergen and a Jewish-owned building in Oss were targeted by stoning.[68] At an anti-Israel demonstration in Utrecht, some demonstrators shouted "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas", a reference to the Holocaust era gas chambers.[69] Two men were convicted in the incident.[70] Dutch MP Harry van Bommel participated in the demonstration, leading to a complaint to the Dutch Justice Ministry accusing the parliamentarian of incitement to hate, violence and discrimination against Jews. According to Ha'aretz, in an online video van Bommel's voice can be heard while protesters chanted. Van Bommel told Haaretz he did not hear the calls, and that he would have left had he heard them.[71]


In the 2009 Oslo riots, Muslim youth attacked the Israeli embassy and yelled anti-Jewish slogans in Arabic, including "Death to the Jews", "Kill the Jews" and "Slaughter the Jews." In one incident, young Muslims beat a 73-year-old man who was carrying an Israeli flag, while shouting "Bloody Jew – get him!" They only stopped attacking him when they realized he was a non-Jewish Norwegian.[72]

In his book The Anti-Jewish Riots in Oslo, Norwegian author and editor Eirik Eiglad wrote:[72]

As far as I can judge, these were the largest anti-Jewish riots in Norwegian history. Even before and during World War II, when anti-Semitic prejudices were strong, public policies were discriminatory, and the Nazified State Police efficiently confiscated Jewish property and deported Jews on that despicable slave ship SS Donau – even then, Norway had not seen anti-Jewish outbursts of this scale. This country had no previous history of wanton anti-Jewish mass violence.


A Jewish burial chapel in

External links

  1. ^ a b Philippe Naughton, "Gaza conflict fuels anti-Semitic attacks across Europe", Times Online 6 January 2009
  2. ^ French Jews uneasy after spate of violent attacks: Concerns raised about resurgence of anti-Semitism after dozens of incidents sparked by Gaza offensive, Reuters (cited in the Toronto Star 12 February 2009)
  3. ^ a b c Human Rights First Condemns Antisemitic Backlash Attacks in Europe at the Wayback Machine (archived May 28, 2009), 23 January 2009
  4. ^ a b Jewish Agency: Anti-Semitic acts in Jan. 2009 triple last year's records, Haaretz 25 January 2009
  5. ^ Rise of extremism in London
  6. ^ Jews in Sweden under increasing threat, "The Local", 7 January 2009
  7. ^ Highest anti-Semitism rates in 2 decades, Jerusalem Post, 25 January 2009
  8. ^ Pioneering move to fight race hate, 19 February 2009
  9. ^ a b Aron Heller, Jewish leaders object to Nazi imagery at rallies, Associated Press 20 January 2009
  10. ^ Ain, Stewart. "Worldwide Anti-Semitism at Alarming High, Post-Gaza". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "January ‘09: Antisemitic violence in Greece" Abravanel Blog, 27 January 2009
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "The impact of the Gaza Conflict on Greek society and the Jewish Community" Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, 26 February 2009
  13. ^ a b Turkish Jews fearful of anti-Semitism after Gaza, Reuters, 26 January 2009
  14. ^ a b Summit on Holocaust: Gaza war legitimized equating Jews with Nazis, Haaretz, 27 January 2009
  15. ^ a b Jews in Muslim lands anxious over Gaza war,, 16 February 2009
  16. ^ a b (16 January 2009) Worst wave of hate for quarter of a century, Jewish Chronicle
  17. ^ Muslims urge end to anti-Semitism, BBC, 16 January 2009
  18. ^ Al Jazeera
  19. ^ UK TimesOnline
  20. ^ The Australian
  21. ^ The San Francisco Sentinel
  22. ^ We believe in resistance, not revenge
  23. ^ Douglas Davis, Europa Europa: 1930s Redux?, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council 23 January 2009
  24. ^ Antwerp Jews receive death threats,, 6 January 2009
  25. ^ 'Scared to be identified as Jews', ynet, 2 January 2009
  26. ^ Jews in Muslim lands anxious over Gaza war, 16 February 2009
  27. ^ 21 March 2009, Jordanian arrested for allegedly threatening to bomb U.S. Jewish schools over Gaza op, Associated Press [1]
  28. ^
  29. ^ Man charged with threatening Jewish school, 20 March 2009,
  30. ^ Jordanian charged in threat to Jewish school, March 20, 2009
  31. ^ Adam Fresco, Sean O'Neill and Adam Sage, "Police warn British Jews of revenge attacks", The Times 8 January 2009
  32. ^ "How Extremism Works".  
  33. ^ Holmwood, Leigh; Brook, Stephen (28 January 2009). "Sun front-page story on 'terror target' Sir Alan Sugar under investigation".  
  34. ^ Leigh Holmwood (24 February 2009). "Alan Sugar sues Sun over terror splash". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  35. ^ a b Rise of anti-Semitic incidents in Latin America troubling, Oppenheimer Report, 29 January 2009
  36. ^ Australian activist sorry for anti-Semitic remarks, JTA, 29 January 2009
  37. ^ The ‘oldest hatred’ lives, from Gaza to Florida, 12 January 2009
  38. ^ Christopher Torchia, Turkey urged to prosecute anti-Semitic acts, Associated Press 4 February 2009
  39. ^ a b AJC Alarmed by Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in Greek Media, American Jewish Committee, 8 January 2009
  40. ^ a b "Jews in Sweden under increasing threat", The Local: Sweden's news in English 7 January 2009
  41. ^ South Africa Jews slam deputy FM's anti-Semitic comments, Haaretz, 28 January 2009
  42. ^ Hajaig must apologise or go: Leon, The Times 28 January 2009
  43. ^ Amir Mizroch, S. African deputy FM apologizes again for 'Jewish money' comment, Jerusalem Post 7 February 2009
  44. ^ Jewish board satisfied with Hajaig apology Mail & Guardian
  45. ^ Reuters (27 January 2008). "Turkish Jews fearful of anti-Semitism after Gaza". Ynetnews. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  46. ^ Cheviron, Nicholas (30 January 2009). January 2009_104254 "Turkey's Jews feel targeted in wake of Gaza conflict". Ekathimerini. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  47. ^ "Turkey urged to prosecute anti-Semitic acts". The International Herald Tribune. 4 February 2009.  
  48. ^ Lefkovitz, Etgar (1 February 2008). "Official: Aliya from Turkey to double". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  49. ^ "Yemen Jews Suffer Gaza Backlash", AHN 15 January 2009
  50. ^ "Yemeni Jews abused over Israeli offensive in Gaza". News Yemen. 4 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. 
  51. ^ "Thousands in Lebanon, Turkey protest Gaza attack". London: Associated Press. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  52. ^ Yossi Melman, Haaretz, and the Associated Press, Jewish Yemenite family arrives in Israel after secret rescue, Haaretz 19 February 2009
  53. ^ "Wave of anti-Semitic acts hit Belgium". JTA. 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. 
  54. ^ "Anti-Israeli demonstrations in various European cities". EJP. 3 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. 
  55. ^ Forsøg på centermassakre giver 10 års fængsel, Politiken 7 January 2010
  56. ^ a b Sarkozy: 'Zero tolerance' for anti-Semitic attacks, Agence France-Press and Reuters 16 January 2009 (retrieved from National Post, Canada)
  57. ^ Tom Heneghan, "French faith leaders unite against Gaza backlash", Reuters 13 January 2009
  58. ^ Europe fears spike in anti-Semitism: Israel’s attack on Gaza,, 7 January 2009
  59. ^ Marc Perelman, Antisemitic Incidents Rise in France as Worry Increases About Ethnic Divisions, Jewish Daily Forward 21 January 2009
  60. ^ Katrin Bennhold, Gaza conflict reverberates in France, International Herald Tribune 20 January 2009
  61. ^ Elizabeth Bryant, Jewish, Muslim women bond in France over pastry, San Francisco Chronicle 22 January 2009
  62. ^ Adam Sage, Anti-Semitic attack on teenage girl in Paris, The Times 8 January 2009
  63. ^ Benjamin Weinthal, German police ban Israeli flags, Jerusalem Post 14 January 2009
  64. ^ Zentralrat der Juden beklagt wachsenden Antisemitismus, Rheinische Post 26 January 2009
  65. ^ "Στη μνήμη των Εβραίων της Σαλονίκης" Athens 984 FM, 25 January 2009
  66. ^ Ruth Ellen Gruber, Rome mayor shops Jewish in solidarity, JTA 10 January 2009
  67. ^ Stephen Brown, Italy criticizes call for Jewish boycott over Gaza, Reuters 9 January 2009
  68. ^ Cnaan Liphshiz, Steep rise in number of anti-Semitic attacks across Holland, Haaretz 6 February 2009
  69. ^ a b Dutch premier hears concerns of anti-Semitism, International Herald Tribune, 23 January 2009
  70. ^ Two found guilty of anti-Jewish chanting, Dutch News 6 February 2209
  71. ^ Canaan Liphshiz, &dyn_server= Dutch MP: I never heard Gaza protesters shouting 'Jews to the gas', Ha'aretz 15 January 2009
  72. ^ a b Gerstenfeld, Dr. Manfred (Spring 2010). "2009: Norway's Most Violent Anti-Semitic Riots Ever". Jewish Political Studies Review (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) 22 (1–2). 
  73. ^ Disturbing rise in anti-Semitism mars Holocaust Day, MEP fears, East London Advertiser, 27 January 2009
  74. ^ Masked thugs stamp on man in 'revenge', Jewish Chronicle, 22 January 2009
  75. ^ Bid to firebomb synagogue as protests grow, Jewish Chronicle, 8 January 2009
  76. ^ Kevin Bradford, Anti-Semitic attacks fuelled by Gaza conflict, The Times 9 January 2009
  77. ^ Synagogue set ablaze and anti-Semitic assaults soar in UK following Israel's invasion of Gaza, Daily Mail, 6 January 2009
  78. ^ Britain faces abuse backlash, Jewish Chronicle, 30 December 2008
  79. ^ Mark Townsend, Rise in antisemitic attacks 'the worst recorded in Britain in decades': British Jews' safety fears grow after Gaza invasion, Guardian 8 February 2009
  80. ^ Emily Andrews and Tamara Cohen, High-ranking Foreign Office diplomat arrested over anti-Semitic gym tirade, Daily Mail 9 February 2009
  81. ^ MacShane, Dennis, The writing is on the synagogue wall, The Times, 19 February 2009
  82. ^ "Molotov cocktail thrown at North Side temple". 29 December 2008. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  83. ^ "Synagogues defaced in Chicago, Lincolnwood". 10 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  84. ^ Gaza conflict means local anti-Semitism, JFS gets new logo, 9 January 2009
  85. ^ Juan Forero; Joshua Partlow (8 February 2009). "Jews in S. America Increasingly Uneasy; Government and Media Seen Fostering Anti-Semitism in Venezuela, Elsewhere".  
  86. ^ Matthew Wagner, "Venezuela's Jews close their schools", Jerusalem Post 9 January 2009
  87. ^ Venezuela Jewish community center hit by explosive, causing damage, Associated Press (retrieved from Haaretz) 1 March 2009
  88. ^ Assaf Uni, Sarkozy urges French religious leaders to condemn anti-Semitic incidents, Haaretz 15 January 2009
  89. ^ France on alert for Gaza hate messages, Reuters 16 January 2009
  90. ^ Israel concerned by anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. Associated Press 12 January 2009 (retrieved from the International Herald Tribune)
  91. ^ German, Polish ambassadors blast comparisons of Gaza campaign to Holocaust, Jerusalem Post, 19 January 2009
  92. ^ Moratinos warns against anti-Semitism in Spain,, 20 January 2009
  93. ^ Turkish Jews fearful of anti-Semitism after Gaza, Ynet, 27 January 2009
  94. ^ MPs urge hate-attack clampdown, Jewish Chronicle, 22 January 2009
  95. ^ Sadiq Khan, No Excuses, 17 January 2009
  96. ^ Chris Greenwood, Surge reported in anti-Semitic attacks, The Independent 12 February 2009
  97. ^ Minister: ‘Israel anger has become attacks on Jews’ 19 January 2009
  98. ^ Boris declares war on racists in Gaza protests, 18 February 2009
  99. ^ Synagogue desecrated in Venezuela, BBC, 1 February 2009
  100. ^ "FM Maduro terms "fruitful" meeting with Jewish representatives".  
  101. ^ Chavez condemns attack on synagogue, Associated Press 1 February 2009
  102. ^ Fabiola Sanchez, Venezuela calls Israeli leaders 'criminals', Associated Press 28 January 2009
  103. ^ "CAIR-CAN condemns anti-Semitic rhetoric".  
  104. ^ a b Anti-Israel violence erupts across world, Jewish Chronicle, 18 January 2009
  105. ^ Muslims condemn attacks on Jews, Jewish Chronicle, 15 January 2009.
  106. ^ Letter, Open (16 January 2009). "We unreservedly condemn attacks on the Jewish community". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 23 January 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  107. ^ ADL Leader: Gaza War Unleashed 'Pandemic Of Anti-Semitism', Anti-Defamation League 12 February 2009
  108. ^ Tom Brown, US Jewish leader sees "pandemic of anti-Semitism", Reuters 6 February 2009
  110. ^ EU Jewish leader: Anti-Semitism spurred by economy, not Gaza war, Haaretz 18 February 2009


  • The president of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor took a different position and claimed that the rise in antisemitic incidents was not related to the Gaza conflict, but to the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009. In a recent survey of the Anti-Defamation League 31 percent of Europeans in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain and Britain blamed Jews for at least partly for the economic crisis.[110]
  • The head of CFCM to "overcome together" the difficulties.[104]
  • The Simon Wiesenthal Center stated that the situation in Gaza "spawned a worldwide spike in antisemitism", and condemned threats, attacks on synagogues and verbal incitement. The group "urged Muslim leaders throughout North America, the UK and beyond to condemn calls for violence against Jews around the world."[109]
  • Abraham Foxman, American director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the Gaza War unleashed a "pandemic of antisemitism". "This is the worst, the most intense, the most global that it's been in most of our memories, and the effort to get the good people to stand up is not easy. All of a sudden, as if the floodgates had been opened, within days an open season had been declared on world Jewry", Foxman said in an address.[107][108]

Jewish groups

  • A group of more than twenty prominent British Muslims issued an open letter condemning antisemitic attacks. The letter, intended to be read in mosques across the UK, condemned attacks on "innocent British citizens and the desecration of all places of worship." It said: "The ongoing killing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces has angered us all. However, this does not, and cannot, justify attacks on our fellow citizens of Jewish faith and background here in Britain." The letter was sent to coincide with Friday prayers, to nearly a thousand British mosques.[105][106]
  • A Muslim umbrella organisation in France, the French Council of the Muslim Faith, condemned all violence and was "determined to strengthen relations with the Jewish community in these difficult times".[104]
  • The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), while affirming the right to protest against Israel, categorically condemned anti-Semitic language used by a small number of protesters at rallies against the Israeli assault.[103]

Muslim groups

  • United States-based Human rights group Human Rights First condemned what it described as a "wave of incidents of antisemitic violence in a number of European countries targeting Jews and Jewish property in apparent backlash to recent events in Gaza." The group stressed that "international events should never a justification for violence targeting individuals or property on account of race, ethnicity, religion, or other similar factors", and urged European governments to speak out against violence targeting Jewish and other communities and to hold the perpetrators accountable.[3]

Human rights groups

  • Venezuela: In responding to the desecration of a Caracas synagogue, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro called on "all the Venezuelan people, the entire Venezuelan community, to reject these actions, with the same moral force with which we reject the crimes committed against the Palestinian people."[99] When the Jewish community met with Maduro, he declared: "We, Bolivarians, will not allow for any demonstration against Jews or any other religious expression of our people in our territory; this runs counter to the principles of President Hugo Chávez and the most sacred principles of our people enshrined in the Constitution".[100] President Hugo Chávez condemned the attack, suggesting that his political foes were responsible for it.[101] Jewish community leader Abraham Levy spoke at the world Jewish Congress in Jerusalem and accused Chávez and the government of sanctioning antisemitism. Maduro responded by saying, "All of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities know religious discrimination is not a problem that has or will have a place in our society", Maduro said, complaining that every time a country criticizes Israel's government, it "is automatically added to the list of anti-Semites."[102]
  • United Kingdom: A group of 40 British MPs issued a parliamentary motion condemning attacks on the Jewish community as a result of the war in Gaza.[94] Member of Parliament Sadiq Khan condemned the incidents, writing "I am sickened at the sight of a swastika daubed on a synagogue in Hertfordshire: outraged that there are children in British cities afraid to go to school in case they get attacked on the way."[95] Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne said: "The Home Secretary and the police need to stamp on antisemitic crime quickly and firmly."[96] Foreign Secretary David Miliband wrote that he was "alarmed at the attempts of extremist voices in the UK to use the conflict to legitimise antisemitic sentiments."[16] Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown condemned the targeting of Jews around the world as a direct result of Israel's foreign policy.[97] London Mayor Boris Johnson condemned those who had used the Gaza conflict as a platform for antisemitism.[98]
  • Turkey: Prime Minister [93] However, Erdoğan's foreign policy adviser Ahmet Davutoglu told journalists during a briefing on Gaza that "Since the 15th century Turkey has been a safe haven for all religious groups... there is not a single case of antisemitism in Turkey."[13]
  • Spain: Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos warned that criticism of Israel should not take antisemitic undertones. He said "Everyone is free to attend demonstrations", but called for "a lot of caution and prudence." "Antisemitism must be avoided... The Israeli government should be criticised if it used disproportionate force, but without going too far in the sense that everything Jewish or Semitic would need to be unanimously criticised."[92]
  • Poland: Polish Ambassador to Israel Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska said that any comparisons between Israel's operation in Gaza and the Holocaust committed by Nazi Germany were "pure antisemitism which cannot be justified."[91]
  • Netherlands: Dutch premier Jan Peter Balkenende said that Dutch Muslim and Jewish groups need to work together to ease tensions following a series of apparent antisemitic attacks.[69]
  • Israel: Israel expressed its concern over the rise in antisemitic attacks and called on world leaders to condemn all forms of incitement and hatred and to hold to account those responsible. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that whatever one's opinion of Israel's military operation, it should not be used to legitimize hate and antisemitic incitement.[90]
  • Greece: Greek President [12]
  • France: French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged leaders of the Jewish, Muslim and Catholic communities to condemn the incidents,[88] and warned that there would be "zero tolerance" for antisemitic attacks.[56] Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie met Muslim and Jewish officials to discuss the tensions and antisemitic slogans heard at anti-Israeli rallies. Prime Minister François Fillon said that French authorities would increase their checks on television, radio and the Internet to prevent any hate messages prompted by the conflict in Gaza from spreading.[89]
  • Argentina: The Argentinian government condemned antisemitic incidents.[35]



On 26 February, assailants threw an explosive at a Jewish community center in Caracas.[87]

The Caracas synagogue of the Israelite Association of Venezuela, the city's oldest, was defaced. Jewish schools were closed for several days due to concern that they would attract anti-Israel demonstrations.[86]


In La Paz, vandals removed a Star of David from a monument from the Plaza Israel and started spray-painting "plaza Palestina" on Jewish murals.[85]


South America

A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the North Side temple in Chicago. The glass doors at Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation were shattered by a brick and "Free Palestine" and "Death to Israel" were spray painted on the building.[82][83] At a Jewish preschool in Camarillo, California, swastikas and anti-Semitic messages written in black marker on its sidewalk and walls.[84]

United States

North America

The number of antisemitic incidents during the conflict numbered approximately 225, according to the Community Security Trust. This represents eight times the number of incidents recorded in the same period last year.[73] 11 incidents involved physical violence; 13 synagogues were daubed and 20 Jewish buildings other than synagogues were also daubed. More than half the total have been incidents of abuse, both verbal and by email or post.[74] Brondesbury Park Synagogue in Willesden was damaged after an attempted firebombing and a gang of between 15 and 20 youths rampaged in Golders Green trying to force their way into Jewish restaurants and shops, specifically focusing their abuse on the London Jewish Family Centre; a Jewish motorist was also dragged from his car and assaulted.[75][76] Anti-Semitic graffiti with slogans including 'Kill Jews', 'Jews are scumbags' and 'Jihad 4 Israel' were also sprayed in Jewish areas across London and Manchester.[77][78] Police stepped up security in Jewish neighborhoods, and members of the Jewish community were reported to have fled the country because of safety fears.[79] High-ranking Foreign Office diplomat Rowan Laxton was arrested after allegedly launching an antisemitic tirade in a gym, while watching television reports of the Israeli attack in Gaza.[80] The Metropolitan Police reported four times as many anti-Jewish incidents following the conflict as Islamaphobic events.[81]

United Kingdom


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