The Anti-Defamation League said in a report on Thursday that a “dramatic upsurge in violence and vitriol against Jews,” had occurred around the world against the background of Israel’s military operation in Gaza during July and August.
The organization’s report said that violence against Jews and Jewish institutions “metastasized” during Operation Protective Edge, and that numerous serious incidents directly linked to anti-Israel protests were reported including attacks against Jews and Jewish communal buildings in Western Europe, South America, Canada, Australia and North and South Africa.
Among the most serious incidents highlighted by the ADL were several cases of violence and vandalism. In one incident, fire bombs were thrown at a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, on July 29, while in another occurrence, fire bombs were thrown at the security booth of a Jewish community center in Toulouse, France, on July 26.
Following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Manchester on July 12, demonstrators drove through the Jewish neighborhood of Broughton Park, threw cans and eggs at Jewish pedestrians, and shouted various slogans and swear words including “Heil Hitler.”
In a widely reported incident in Paris, pro-Palestinian protesters surrounded the Synagogue de la Roquette on July 13 after an anti-Israel rally in the capital, trapping its occupants inside, with chants of death to the Jews reportedly shouted.
The numerous rallies held in cities around the world against Israel’s military operation invariably included forms of hate speech and anti-Semitic sloganeering the ADL said.
In a demonstration in London on July 19, a sign was held up that said, “Well done Israel, Hitler would have been proud.”
In Belgium, “Slaughter the Jews” was chanted at a July 12 demonstration in Antwerp and “Death to Jews!” at a July 19 demonstration in Brussels, and during an anti-Israel demonstration in the city of Gelsenkirchen in northwest Germany shouts of “Jews to the gas [chambers]” were heard.
A poster depicting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with blood around his mouth holding an injured baby was an example of a blood libel, the ADL said in its report. The poster was used in anti-Israel demonstrations in Berlin, Sydney and Santiago, Chile.
“From France to Argentina, from Canada to Chile, synagogues were attacked, Jewish cultural centers were vandalized, Jewish shops were threatened and identifiably Jewish individuals beaten on the street,” said Abe Foxman, ADL national director. “Anti-Semitism was in the air and in the streets.”
Although the ADL report did not include hard statistics, in the UK the Community Security Trust that has recorded monthly statistics on anti-Semitic incidents noticed a severe increase in the number anti-Semitic attacks due to the operation in Gaza.
July this year witnessed the second-highest level of anti-Semitic incidents on record since the CST began to document anti-Semitic attacks in the United Kingdom in 1984.
In total, there were 250 incidents of an anti-Semitic nature in July, almost as many as in the six months prior, from January to June, in which 304 were recorded over the entire half-year period.
The CST says that some of the worst vitriol and anti-Semitic abuse has occurred on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.