In the days just prior to President Trump making his annual address to the UN, the international organization has released a troubling report indicating that anti-Semitism is on the rise.
As Jews around the world prepare for the “High Holidays” that begin with Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, September 29, the United Nations released an “unprecedented” report on anti-Semitism, which pointed out that the frequency appears to be increasing. It also linked anti-Semitism to denunciations of Israel as well as the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for a boycott of all Israeli products.
The report stressed that the “prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes and the risk of violence against Jewish individuals and sites ” is significant.
The report entitled, “Combating Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,” was released on Monday, September 23, by UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed.
The special rapporteur recognized that the sources of anti-Semitism are varied and pointed out what he thinks are the three main strains, which consist of: “growing use of anti-Semitic tropes by white supremacists including neo-Nazis and members of radical Islamist groups,” an increase in “anti-Semitic narratives or tropes in the course of expressing anger at policies or practices of the government of Israel,” and the “objectives, activities and effects of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
The report said that “anti-Semitic hate speech is particularly prevalent online.”
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The report also recounted the alarming number of violent anti-Sematic attacks in recent years, that have left Jewish communities around the world “on edge.” Specifically, the report mentioned the 2018 attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a gunman opened fire and killed 11 congregants “in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.”
As detailed by Fox News, the report noted that the gunman’s “comments during the attack and social media activity on the days preceding it revealed a belief in a host of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories rooted in a far-right, white supremacist ideology.”
The report went on to point out that about six months later, “a gunman similarly motivated by white supremacist ideology killed one congregant and wounded three others at a synagogue in the Poway California community.”
In that case, police said the 19-year-old man armed with an assault-type rifle opened fire inside the Southern California synagogue in April as worshipers prepared to celebrate the last day of Passover.
The special rapporteur also said he “received numerous accounts concerning vandalism and desecration of Jewish synagogues and cemeteries, as well as other recognizably Jewish sites.”
The report concluded by urging member nations to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism as a global guide for identifying, monitoring, and responding to incidents.
The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) — an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations, said he hopes the report “serves as an eye-opener to the United Nations and its member states. The World Jewish Congress is extremely pleased with the results of the report on anti-Semitism prepared by U.N. Special Rapporteur Shaheed,” WJC President Ronald Lauder said.
The findings will officially be presented to the U.N. General Assembly next month, according to the WJC.