NEW YORK (EJP)—Anti-Semitism has emerged in forms both subtle and overt at anti-Israel rallies taking place globally in response to last week’s US President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to a new analysis by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
ADL experts are monitoring incidents globally and in the United States. While there have been serious incidents overseas, including the firebombing of Jewish community sites in Sweden, the attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam and hate-filled remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, several protests in the United States have been marred by anti-Semitic chants and expressions as well.
Virulent anti-Israel protests were held in more than a dozen cities across the U.S. last weekend. Many of the demonstrations were marked by extreme anti-Israel and anti-Zionist messages, with some denying Israel’s right to exist and others supporting resistance by any means.
In New York City, chants in Times Square of “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return,” recalled a 7th century battle that ended in a massacre of Jews.
In the Middle East and Europe, protests and riots broke out in major capitals. Further escalating tensions, President Erdogan vowed to use “all means to fight” against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem and called Israel a “terrorist state” that “kills children.”
ADL also voiced concern after a series of anti-Semitic caricatures appeared in Arabic language media across the Muslim and Arab world.
An ADL survey of a dozen cartoons appearing in newspapers and websites across the Arab world shows that the Jerusalem decision is being characterized in deeply anti-Semitic terms. ADL has raised the issue of this most recent collection of anti-Semitic cartoons with members of Congress.
“Our concern is that the anti-Semitic expressions we’ve seen overseas and in the United States could escalate,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
“While people have every right to voice opposition to President Trump’s position on Jerusalem, anti-Semitism as a response is completely unacceptable. This is especially true of world leaders and those Arab media outlets that are aiding and abetting the incitement by evoking dangerous anti-Semitic themes and conspiracy theories.”
ADL has a team of staffers in Israel and in the U.S. who monitor media across the Middle East for anti-Semitism. In the latest survey, taken in the days following President Trump’s announcement last week, viciously anti-Semitic cartoons have appeared in widely read Arab media publications in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait and the United Kingdom. ADL published the full survey is on its website.
Some of the cartoons suggest that Israel controls U.S. foreign policy, depicting President Trump as a puppet or pawn of the Israeli Prime Minister, while others evoke classic anti-Semitic themes, with Jews stereotypically depicted with large noses, pointed teeth and large ears. Several cartoons suggest that Israel and the U.S. are conspiring to wrest control of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem away from Muslims.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday condemned the anti-Ssemitic demonstrations that broke out in various cities in her country in recent days following President Trump’s announcement.
Merkel spoke out in the wake of widespread shock in Germany over the brazenly anti-Semitic character of the string of incidents.
“On Friday, we saw severe disturbances with the burning of Israeli flags and Stars of David, ” Merkel said.
The chancellor said that her ruling CDU Party “condemns these violations of the rule of law. We condemn all kinds of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and no disagreements, not even over the status of Jerusalem, justify such actions. The government must fight all such incidents with full force.”
In Canada, B’nai Brith condemned demonstrations in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, where it said “children were encouraged to chant terrorist slogans and protestors stole and destroyed Israeli flags.”
“This is merely the latest in a worrying string of antisemitic incidents in Vancouver in recent months,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “It is simply unacceptable for pro-Israel Canadians to be physically intimidated while pro-Palestinian protesters call for violence and martyrdom.”
Similar scenes were also witnessed outside the US Embassy in London on Friday, where demonstrators chanted an Islamist antisemitic slogan that mocks the Jewish tribes of Arabia for having been defeated by the Prophet Muhammad’s army at the Battle of Khaybar in 628 CE.
“The ‘Khaybar, Khaybar’ chant heard and documented at Friday’s protest outside the US Embassy in London can only be interpreted as a call to incite violence against Jewish people,” a statement from the Board of Deputies of British Jews noted. “It is outrageous that these protesters thought that such a chant would be acceptable on the streets of London in 2017. That this comes in the context of a firebombing of a synagogue in Sweden and an attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam only increases our concern. These acts are not criticisms of a decision by the US government but demonstrations of antisemitism