Non-Jewish journalist told ‘F*** off Jew!’ (& Predictable threats against Yazidis)

August 10, 2014

Fresh graffiti in Rome, where next to the swastika, it reads “Anne Frank [lying] storyteller”


* The British-based international satellite broadcaster Sky News compares the Gaza operation to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

* Rabbi shot dead on his way to synagogue in Miami yesterday. (This follows swastikas and pro-Hamas graffiti last week close by the rabbi’s synagogue, but not yet clear if yesterday’s attack – which involved no robbery – was motivated by anti-Semitism.)

* The Guardian: In the space of just one week, eight synagogues have been attacked in France. One was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”.

* In Germany, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.” An elderly Jewish man was beaten up in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager was punched in the face in Berlin.

* An Amsterdam rabbi, Binjamin Jacobs, had his front door stoned, and two Jewish women were attacked – one beaten, the other the victim of arson. In Belgium, a woman was turned away from a shop with the words: “We don’t currently sell to Jews.”

* In Italy, the Jewish owners of dozens of shops and other businesses in Rome arrived to find swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans daubed on shutters and windows.

* Thousands of French Jews flee to Israel, despite rocket attacks there.

* A stream of shocking images and hashtags flood Twitter, including #HitlerWasRight.


You can see these and other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page:



1. Threats against Yazidis were predictable and predicted
2. Nigerian jihadist “shoot, fire-bomb, slash at least 100 Christian adults and children”
3. Non-Jewish journalist told ‘F*** off Jew!’
4. Hungary in 1944 or 2014?
5. Boycotting Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel
6. Arab supermarkets take rejected Israeli produce
7. Orthodox rabbi shot dead on his way to synagogue in Miami, Florida
8. Supporters rally for Israel from Tokyo to Prague
9. “Anti-Semitism on rise across Europe ‘in worst times since the Nazis’” (By Jon Henley, Guardian, Aug. 8, 2014)
10. “Obsessive Gaza coverage is fanning anti-Semitism” (By Eylon Aslan-Levy, Guardian, Aug. 8, 2014)


[All notes below by Tom Gross]

Many media (including certain commentators on the BBC) have suggested in recent days that the threats against Iraq’s Yazidi community is something new, and could not have been predicted.

This is not the case. I would like to draw attention to my dispatch of November 16, 2007, written while President Bush was still in office. My dispatch was titled “‘Genocide’ of Yazidis waiting to happen if America pulls out of Iraq too soon”.

In that dispatch, I drew attention to the fact that the worst terror attack since 9/11 was almost totally ignored by the Western media – the attacks of 2007 in which 796 Yazidis were burned alive and over 1,500 were wounded.


Up to 500 prisoners from the minority Yazidi faith – including at least 40 children – have reportedly been killed by Sunni jihadi ‘death squads’ in recent days.

Whereas a great a number of media have published very graphic images of Gazans killed (and around half the Gazans who have died in the past month have been militants and terrorists, contrary to what media such as the BBC have reported, and about 10 percent have been killed by the 350 Hamas rockets that fell short and hit targets within Gaza), only a very few media have shown photos of Yazidis – all of whom are civilians.

One paper showing these chilling images, some released by Isis themselves in celebration of the murders, is the London Daily Mail.


Here are photos of Christian children and adults said to have been beheaded by Isis. These are the most graphic photos I have ever posted on this website / email list. Do not look at them if you don’t have the stomach for it.

I cannot verify whether these photos are accurate. However, is a major news site and certainly there have been many beheadings in both Iraq and Syria, whether or not these particular photos are accurate:



Also generally ignored by the Israel-obsessed international media was an attack last Wednesday in Nigeria in which jihadis “shot, fire-bombed and slashed” at least 100 Christian men, women and children, as they seek to impose Sharia (Islamic law) in the town of Gwoza, home to more than 276,000 people.

Since December, Boko Haram has also carried out massacres against Christians in Mainok, Barawa, Chinne, Arbakko, Attagara, Ngoshe, Klala, Kunde, Hembe, Gathahure, Klala, Himbe, Amuda, Agapalawa, Ashigashiya, and Chikedeh.

Hundreds of thousands of Nigerian Christians have fled into neighboring Cameroon. Others have been forced to convert to Islam and obey Sharia law.



Such is the hate that has been whipped up by the media against Jews through its often inaccurate and hysterical attacks on Israel, that anti-Semitic abuse and attacks have risen considerably in recent weeks.

Here are a few examples picked at random from hundreds I have read about:

* This is what happens when a non-Jewish journalist married to a Muslim, and working for the British newspaper the Daily Express, went to do his job in London:

‘F*** off Jew!’ What I was told when I photographed a ‘jihadist’ flag flying in London

* Meanwhile here is another example of anti-Semitism from a British MP. He is from a fringe radical party but will other MPs make sure he faces legal actions for his racism?

* In Australia, heavily armed guards have been brought in to protect Jewish schools after threats have been made “to cut Jewish schoolchildren’s throats”.

* In Holland, a Holocaust memorial was defaced on Friday.

* “Serves them right” reads the graffiti on the memorial to French Jewish children sent to the gas chambers.


* “Keep Calm and Kill Jews” reads the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League Facebook page.


* In Germany, the window of a Jewish woman in Frankfurt was smashed and when she left her house, she was called a “Jewish pig” and other insults.

* In Poland, the F.C. Ashdod soccer team (a town that has borne a particularly heavy barrage of Hamas rockets) was attacked by at least 30 skinheads armed with knives shouting anti-Semitic insults during a local practice game prior to a European match. The assistant coach of the Israeli team was knocked unconscious. Will FIFA condemn this?


HUNGARY IN 1944 OR 2014?

* In Hungary, the mayor of a town has hung effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former Israeli President Shimon Peres, and wiped his feet on an Israeli flag.


And the list goes on. These are just a very few of the worldwide outbreak of attacks on Jews. There has been particularly steep increase in the number of attacks on Jews in countries where the media coverage against the state of Israel has been particularly slanderous, such as Britain and France.

* Palestinian flags have now been put up all over Britain, though some of the Isis flags that accompanied them have been removed.



It is not just the left-wing media that has been whipping up fury against Jews through its totally one-sided coverage, but some center-right papers too.

And the one-sided coverage doesn’t only apply to news reports. For example, all the British media, including The London Times, have, day after day in recent weeks, been running highly graphic full-page sensational pro-Palestinian ads by politicized charities such as Save the Children and Amnesty International.

At the same time, the London Times has refused to run an ad featuring Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel speaking out against what the ad says is Hamas’ use of children as human shields.



Not everyone, of course, is being bullied by the Israel-haters. Several British supermarkets have called in police rather than allow themselves to be intimidated into not selling Israeli goods.

Among them, Tesco, which has reported demonstrations at 20 of its stores across the UK, and at least four branches of Sainsbury’s have been attacked for selling Israeli fruit and vegetables and other produce. In two cases, the pro-Palestinian activists were so aggressive that Sainsbury’s said they temporarily closed their stores in Birmingham and Brighton for some time on police advice.


The Israeli agriculture minister said that produce due to be sent to Europe which was boycotted by other shops, was quickly bought up by shops in Russia and – this will come as a surprise to the campaigners in Europe – by supermarkets in Arab countries.


* Israeli actors whose show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was cancelled by pro-Palestinian protests yesterday performed a silent version of their hour-long play in their own protest – on the same day thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh to voice their opposition to Israel.



An Orthodox rabbi was shot dead in the street in North Miami Beach yesterday.

While it is not clear yet whether the motive for the murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin, 60, was anti-Semitism, it seems that it might well be. He was approached on his way to synagogue, while wearing clearly Jewish attire, and shot dead by two men who then fled without carrying out a robbery.

Last week, a swastika was spray-painted, along with the word “Hamas,” on the wall of a synagogue on the block next to where Raksin was shot.

Two days earlier, two cars outside a house in Miami Beach were smeared with eggs and cream cheese, spelling out the words “Hamas” and “Jew,” NBC reported.



Amid the sea of hate and the tens of thousands marching against Israel in London, Israel does have some supporters too. Here, for example, is a small rally for Israel in Japan:


There have been small other pro-Israel rallies by non-Jews, for example, in Wenceslas Square in Prague.


Israeli-Arab Christians take to the streets of Haifa to protest against Hamas, Isis, and in show of support for Israel.


Below I attach two articles from The Guardian – one news piece and one op-ed. While The Guardian is to be commended for running these pieces, one should not forget that The Guardian is one of those papers that has been at the forefront of hostility to Israel and these two pieces are a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of hostile articles The Guardian has run in recent weeks – which even extends to attacks on Israel in the culture sections of papers. (However, I should add the Guardian has not had the most inflammatory coverage in Britain – the BBC and The Independent have been worse.)

-- Tom Gross



Anti-Semitism on rise across Europe ‘in worst times since the Nazis’
By Jon Henley
The Guardian (UK) (news article)
August 8, 2014

In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France’s Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked. One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”. That same weekend, in the Barbes neighbourhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: “Israhell”, read one banner.

In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.” Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt; an elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin. In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: “Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone,” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”

Across Europe, the conflict in Gaza is breathing new life into some very old, and very ugly, demons. This is not unusual; police and Jewish civil rights organisations have long observed a noticeable spike in antisemitic incidents each time the Israeli-Palestinian conflict flares. During the three weeks of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, France recorded 66 antisemitic incidents, including attacks on Jewish-owned restaurants and synagogues and a sharp increase in anti-Jewish graffiti. But according to academics and Jewish leaders, this time it is different. More than simply a reaction to the conflict, they say, the threats, hate speech and violent attacks feel like the expression of a much deeper and more widespread antisemitism, fuelled by a wide range of factors, that has been growing now for more than a decade.

“These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”

Roger Cukierman, president of France’s Crif, said French Jews were “anguished” about an anti-Jewish backlash that goes far beyond even strongly felt political and humanitarian opposition to the current fighting: “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris,” Cukierman said last month. “They are screaming ‘Death to Jews’.” Crif’s vice-president Yonathan Arfi said he “utterly rejected” the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents was down to events in Gaza. “They have laid bare something far more profound,” he said.

Nor is it just Europe’s Jewish leaders who are alarmed. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called the recent incidents “an attack on freedom and tolerance and our democratic state”. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has spoken of “intolerable” and clearly antisemitic acts: “To attack a Jew because he is a Jew is to attack France. To attack a synagogue and a kosher grocery store is quite simply antisemitism and racism”.

France, whose 500,000-strong Jewish community is one of Europe’s largest, and Germany, where the post-war exhortation of “Never Again” is part of the fabric of modern society, are not alone. In Austria last month, a pre-season friendly between Maccabi Haifa and German Bundesliga team SC Paderborn had to be rescheduled after the Israeli side’s previous match was called off following an attempted assault on its players.

The Netherlands’ main antisemitism watchdog, Cidi, had more than 70 calls from alarmed Jewish citizens in one week last month; the average is normally three to five. An Amsterdam rabbi, Binjamin Jacobs, had his front door stoned, and two Jewish women were attacked – one beaten, the other the victim of arson – after they hung Israeli flags from their balconies. In Belgium, a woman was reportedly turned away from a shop with the words: “We don’t currently sell to Jews.”

In Italy, the Jewish owners of dozens of shops and other businesses in Rome arrived to find swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans daubed on shutters and windows. One slogan read: “Every Palestinian is like a comrade. Same enemy. Same barricade”; another: “Jews, your end is near.” Abd al-Barr al-Rawdhi, an imam from the north eastern town of San Donà di Piave, is to be deported after being video-recorded giving a sermon calling for the extermination of the Jews.

There has been no violence in Spain, but the country’s small Jewish population of 35,000-40,000 fears the situation is so tense that “if it continues for too long, bad things will happen,” the leader of Madrid’s Jewish community, David Hatchwell, said. The community is planning action against El Mundo after the daily paper published a column by 83-year-old playwright Antonio Gala questioning Jews’ ability to live peacefully with others: “It’s not strange they have been so frequently expelled.”

Studies suggest antisemitism may indeed be mounting. A 2012 survey by the EU’s by the Fundamental Rights agency of some 6,000 Jews in eight European countries – between them, home to 90% of Europe’s Jewish population – found 66% of respondents felt antisemitism in Europe was on the rise; 76% said antisemitism had increased in their country over the past five years. In the 12 months after the survey, nearly half said they worried about being verbally insulted or attacked in public because they were Jewish.

Jewish organisations that record antisemitic incidents say the trend is inexorable: France’s Society for the Protection of the Jewish Community says annual totals of antisemitic acts in the 2000s are seven times higher than in the 1990s. French Jews are leaving for Israel in greater numbers, too, for reasons they say include antisemitism and the electoral success of the hard-right Front National. The Jewish Agency for Israel said 3,288 French Jews left for Israel in 2013, a 72% rise on the previous year. Between January and May this year, 2,254 left, against 580 in the same period last year.

In a study completed in February, America’s Anti-Defamation League surveyed 332,000 Europeans using an index of 11 questions designed to reveal strength of anti-Jewish stereotypes. It found that 24% of Europeans – 37% in France, 27% in Germany, 20% in Italy – harboured some kind of anti-Jewish attitude.

So what is driving the phenomenon? Valls, the French prime minister, has acknowledged a “new”, “normalised” antisemitism that he says blends “the Palestinian cause, jihadism, the devastation of Israel, and hatred of France and its values”.

Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, a London-based charity that monitors antisemitism both in Britain and on the continent, also identifies a range of factors. Successive conflicts in the Middle East he said, have served up “a crush of trigger events” that has prevented tempers from cooling: the second intifada in 2000, the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, and the three Israel–Hamas conflicts in 2009, 2012 and 2014 have “left no time for the situation to return to normal.” In such a climate, he added, three brutal antisemitic murders in the past eight years – two in France, one in Belgium, and none coinciding with Israeli military action – have served “not to shock, but to encourage the antisemites”, leaving them “seeking more blood and intimidation, not less”.

In 2006, 23-year old Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, tortured and left for dead in Paris by a group calling itself the Barbarians Gang, who subsequently admitted targeting him “because he was a Jew, so his family would have money”.

Two years ago, in May 2012, Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead seven people, including three children and a young rabbi outside their Jewish school. And in May this year Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman of Algerian descent thought to have recently returned to France after a year in Syria fighting with radical Islamists, was charged with shooting four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels.

If the French establishment has harboured a deep vein of anti-Jewish sentiment since long before the Dreyfus affair, the influence of radical Islam, many Jewish community leaders say, is plainly a significant contributing factor in the country’s present-day antisemitism. But so too, said Gardner, is a straightforward alienation that many young Muslims feel from society. “Often it’s more to do with that than with Israel. Many would as soon burn down a police station as a synagogue. Jews are simply identified as part of the establishment.”

While he stressed it would be wrong to lay all the blame at the feet of Muslims, Peter Ulrich, a research fellow at the centre for antisemitism research (ZfA) at Berlin’s Technical University, agreed that some of the “antisemitic elements” Germany has seen at recent protests could be “a kind of rebellion of people who are themselves excluded on the basis of racist structures.”

Arfi said that in France antisemitism had become “a portmanteau for a lot of angry people: radical Muslims, alienated youths from immigrant families, the far right, the far left”. But he also blamed “a process of normalisation, whereby antisemitism is being made somehow acceptable”. One culprit, Arfi said, is the controversial comedian Dieudonné: “He has legitimised it. He’s made acceptable what was unacceptable.”

A similar normalisation may be under way in Germany, according to a 2013 study by the Technical University of Berlin. In 14,000 hate-mail letters, emails and faxes sent over 10 years to the Israeli embassy in Berlin and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Professor Monika Schwarz-Friesel found that 60% were written by educated, middle-class Germans, including professors, lawyers, priests and university and secondary school students. Most, too, were unafraid to give their names and addresses – something she felt few Germans would have done 20 or 30 years ago.

Almost every observer pointed to the unparalleled power of unfiltered social media to inflame and to mobilise. A stream of shocking images and Twitter hashtags, including #HitlerWasRight, amount, Arfi said, almost to indoctrination. “The logical conclusion, in fact, is radicalisation: on social media people self-select what they see, and what they see can be pure, unchecked propaganda. They may never be confronted with opinions that are not their own.”

(Additional reporting by Josie Le Blond in Berlin, Kim Willsher in Paris, John Hooper in Rome and Ashifa Kassam in Madrid)



Obsessive Gaza coverage is fanning antisemitism
The media must beware of fuelling an anti-Jewish backlash with over-the-top comparisons to the Holocaust or likening Gaza to a concentration camp
By Eylon Aslan-Levy
The Guardian (UK) (opinion article)
August 8, 2014

It is no longer possible to deny that Europe still has a “Jewish problem”. In France, synagogues have been firebombed. In Germany, chants of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” have been heard. The British Jewish community, too, is reporting a spike in antisemitic incidents – most thankfully non-violent – in a nasty spillover of anger over Gaza. “Free Gaza” was spray-painted onto a Brighton synagogue; a “child murderers” sign affixed to a synagogue in Surrey. This nastiness permeates polite society too: in sympathising with David Ward MP’s pro-Hamas comments, former Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott derided the Board of Deputies of British Jews as “a frightful bag of disputatious Jews”.

Perhaps no wonder that Newsweek’s cover story last week had the chilling headline: “Exodus: why Europe’s Jews are fleeing once again”.

Critics of Israeli policy might say that only Zionists, not all Jews, should be facing reproach for the operation in Gaza. But the anti-Jewish backlash – aimed at Jewish, not specifically Zionist, targets – has, ironically, reminded many Jews precisely why they need a safe and secure Jewish homeland in the first place – the essence of Zionism.

Why has the conflict in Gaza caused such a frightening reaction on the streets of Europe? One answer is that the media attention has been excessive, exaggerated beyond all reasonable proportions, and it is this which encourages outbursts of anger by appealing to the public’s emotions. Tiny Israel ranks fifth in the list of foreign countries most reported on by the Guardian. Gaza is an important news story – but the wall-to-wall coverage leaves many scratching their heads. Nobody seems to recall similar attention devoted to the far greater civilian casualties of the UK’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why the disproportionate coverage of Israel? “Jews are news” many say, with a shrug. But this obsession with Israel’s conduct tacitly encourages the easy slide into hostility towards Jews.

First, the reporting gives the false impression that the situation in Gaza, though tragic, is uniquely horrific. Compare it to the silence surrounding Isis’s frightening rampage through Iraq: Mosul has been emptied of its ancient Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Yezidis have been cleansed from Nineveh province. Compare it also to coverage of the plight of Palestinians in Syria, where thousands of Palestinians have been killed and the Yarmouk refugee camp remains under siege. How many newspaper front pages have been devoted to these events?

The problem is not helped by hyperbole: one report on Sky News even compared the Gaza operation to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the flood of heartbreaking images of dead children addles the brain: Israel’s protestations that it does more than any other army to avoid civilian casualties are simply laughed off. Israel is painted as irredeemably evil; its friends, accomplices in crime. I cannot count the number of times I have been told that if I am a Zionist – which means no more than believing that Israel has a right to exist – that means I must support the murder of children.

Second, much of the media have failed to seriously engage with Israel’s moral and strategic dilemmas, assuming instead that Israel deliberately seeks civilian casualties. Perhaps it is taken for granted that liberal democratic Israel should be held to higher standards than an internationally recognised terrorist group. But the incessant opprobrium can easily give the impression that Israel alone is at fault – as if Hamas were not indiscriminately firing missiles at Israeli civilians, and digging tunnels to abduct or massacre them. This induces people to see the conflict in black and white: Palestinians, good; Israelis, bad. Hence the curious paradox whereby Israel’s detractors no longer expect better of Israel – they think it kills children for sport – but still assign it a disproportionate share of the blame, giving Hamas a free pass. The anti-Jewish backlash follows, as Jews are perceived as supporting action that is patently and unquestionably wrong.

Sometimes the hyperbole gets close to incitement. When people accuse Israel of “genocide”, invoking the Holocaust or likening Gaza to a “concentration camp” or wielding placards that equate the Star of David – a Jewish symbol as well as an Israeli one – with the swastika, they reveal a deep ignorance of both the past and present. As Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust has argued: “It’s a totally false comparison that plays on Jewish sensibilities in order to provoke a reaction. Another word for that is Jew-baiting.”

It is no less disturbing to find the casual use of classically antisemitic tropes for example accusations that the Jews control the media or governments or that they thirst for gentile blood. The Everyday Antisemitism Project, which I established two weeks into the current round of conflict to expose this phenomenon, overflows with examples of anti-Israel rage expressed through traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes.

Sometimes these tropes are applied euphemistically to “Zionists”, but the euphemism isn’t fooling anyone. To Jews, aware that these have been the staple motifs of Jew-hatred over many years, they press too many buttons.

Of course Israel deserves criticism: it would not be such a vibrant democracy without it. But those rightly concerned by civilian deaths should be careful not to allow emotion to override their reason, to treat the conflict in simplistic terms, or to slip into language and images associated with classical antisemitism. The lessons of history are all too plain when the perceived iniquities of a certain population develop an obsessive grip on the public imagination.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.