The Forward regularly monitors the surge of anti-Semitism across the country and around the world. The mission of this column is not to unduly alarm, but rather to raise awareness of a disturbing trend that, from some vantage points, can prove difficult to spot.
Six people were charged with incitement to hate after shouting anti-Semitic slurs at passengers on a bus in Munich. Witnesses later reported the “most harmless” of verbal abuse included “Juden raus!” (“get rid of the Jews.)” Most passengers did nothing until the bus driver stopped and called police.
A Norwegian tabloid published a caricature equating circumcision with pedophilia. Dagbladet depicted two men, one of them bearded and the other with a kippah, next to signs reading “yes to circumcision and “religious freedom.” A third man says, “I know what you mean. I, too, get told by invisible men to mess around with boys’ penises.”
A 2013 Dagbladet cartoon was similarly criticized for publishing a caricature of Rabbi Abraham Copper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The Norwegian government is currently considering a bill to ban circumcisions performed on children under the age of 16.
Mike Signer, the Jewish mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, received a flurry of anti-Semitic tweets on Sunday after he decried white nationalists who came to a local park holding torches the previous night. “I smell a Jew,” posted an anonymous Twitter user. “If so, you are going back to Israel. But you will not stay in power here. Not for long.”
Signer’s comments arose after the white nationalists, led by Richard Spencer, interrupted Charlottesville’s Festival of Cultures with chants of “Russia is our friend” and “blood and soil,” an originally Nazi phrase.
In Copenhagen, an imam resisted criticism when it was found he cited a hadith during a sermon widely seen as anti-Semitic. The hadith, which is an unsubstantiated phrase attributed to the Prophet Mohammad, says, “‘Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.’ The Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’.”
Imam Muncher Abdallah now claims he was set up. “Politicians in the West and the media never stop attacking Islam and Muslims. Their propaganda never stops. Muslims are the real victims, not others. Our women are being attacked, our mosques are being burned,” Abdallah wrote. Abdallah further added that he had no responsibility to prevent antisemitism in Muslim communities.
Danish politicians are now considering placing Abdallah on a recently-created list of hate preachers banned from entering the country.
Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic signs were placed on poles in a Minneapolis neighborhood. “Fuck Jews” read one sign, and a middle finger was enlarged on another poster with the caption “Islam.”
Austrian soccer club Rapid Vienna has launched an internal probe after club supporters chanted anti-Semitic slogans during a reserve team game. A small group of fans were filmed screaming “Jewish pigs” after Rapid lost.
Steven Davidson is an editorial fellow at The Forward.