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Global Anti-Semitism:
Selected Incidents Around the World in 2008

INCIDENTS BY COUNTRY
Australia
Belarus
Belgium
Canada
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Lithuania
Poland
Romania
Russia
Slovakia
Spain
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom

Australia

June 11, 2008 - Melbourne - A large poster advertising a camp run by the Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair was defaced with a swastika.

May 30, 2008 – Yokine – While walking home from Sabbath services, a group of four Jewish teenagers was physically and verbally assaulted by a group of youths who shouted anti-Semitic slurs and punched and kicked the victims. Three of the teens sustained minor injuries during the assault.

February 11, 2008 – Melbourne – Three men physically attacked an identifiably Jewish man, shouting anti-Semitic slurs. The victim was lightly injured.

Belarus

April 20, 2008 – Slutsk – On the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birth, a Holocaust memorial was defaced with swastikas and graffiti.

February 11, 2008 – Brest – A Holocaust memorial was desecrated. According to the chairman of the Brest Jewish community, Barys Bruk, the perpetrators burned flowers and wreaths that had been laid on the monument.

Belgium

December 31, 2008 – Antwerp – Anti-Israel protesters attacked cars, buses and trams as they marched toward a Jewish neighborhood that was being protected by police.

December 30, 2008 – Charleroi – A fire was set at the entrance to a synagogue and a cobblestone was thrown through the window.

December 28, 2008 – Anderlecht – Five stores were spray-painted with swastikas, stars of David, and death threats against Jews.

December 27, 2008 – Antwerp – A public Hannukah menorah was vandalized.

Canada

August 16, 2008 – Sainte Agathe, Quebec – A 23-year-old Hasidic Jew was assaulted while walking to a local synagogue with his father and younger brothers. The assailants shouted anti-Semitic slurs at the victim and his family. After being confronted, one of the youths punched the victim, cutting his face with his ring. Police are investigating, but have made no arrests.

June 20-21, 2008 – Kelowna, British Columbia – The local Jewish Community Center and an elementary school were defaced with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans.

Croatia

November 19, 2008 – Split – The day before an Israeli soccer coach was expected to arrive in Split, anti-Semitic graffiti calling him “Jewish s---” with a crossed out Star of David and a swastika were painted in a prominent area of the city's center.

Czech Republic

November 11, 2008 – Prague – Three men in their early twenties attacked an identifiably Jewish man in the city center. The assailants shouted insults, threw cobblestones and kicked the victim. Police detained the perpetrators, who face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Denmark

December 31, 2008 – Odense – Two Israeli vendors were attacked at a shopping mall, reportedly by a group of Arabs, one of whom shot the two Israelis. One victim was hit in the hand and the other in the leg.

France

December 27, 2008 -- Villeurbanne –- A Jewish student wearing a yarmulke was walking with his fiancιe in the town center, when they were attacked from behind by three youths. The student suffered a broken nose.

September 6, 2008 –Paris– Three identifiably Jewish teenage boys were attacked by a group of youths near a local B'nei Akiva office in an attack the police and government officials have described as motivated by anti-Semitism. The boys were briefly hospitalized. It was the second anti-Jewish assault to take place in the 19th District in three months. More

August 19, 2008 – Marseille – A 67-year-old shop owner was attacked with by a knife-wielding man, who called him a “dirty Jew.” The victim suffered stab wounds in the arm and was hospitalized.

June 21, 2008 – A teenager was in critical condition after a violent assault by a gang of youths who beat him with metal bars. The 17-year-old youth, who suffered several broken ribs and a fractured skull, was apparently singled out because he was identifiably Jewish. Police arrested two men, who were charged with attempted murder with the aggravating circumstance of anti-Semitic intent. President Nicholas Sarkozy condemned the attack and called on France to renew its determination to fight racism and anti-Semitism in all forms. More

June 10-11, 2008 – Paris – A marble plaque memorializing the deportation of 90 Jewish children to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust was vandalized and broken beyond repair. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoλ denounced the attack and pledged to erect a new memorial on the same spot.

February 8, 2008 – Amiens – Three policemen were suspended after making Nazi salutes and shouting anti-Semitic and white supremacist slogans in a local bar. Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie confirmed the incident and condemned the attack, stating, “this intolerable behavior ... is in total contradiction with the police force's code of ethics.” The police inspector-general launched a disciplinary investigation.

Germany

December 29, 2008 – Berlin – Several anti-Israel protesters were arrested for illegal anti-Semitic banners at a demonstration.

November 16-17, 2008 – Gotha/Erfut – Two Jewish cemeteries in eastern Germany were desecrated in an anti-Semitic attack. Vandals scattered a red liquid on the memorial plaque at the entrance to a Jewish cemetery in Erfut and left a pig's head and an anti-Semitic banner, also covered in red liquid, on the gate of a cemetery in Gotha.

November 1, 2008 – Berlin – A rabbi and eight rabbinical students, traveling in a van, were harassed by a group of men in another car. The perpetrators shouted anti-Semitic epithets at the students. One of the men set an unknown object on fire and threw it toward the van. No one was injured.

October 16, 2008 – Weyhers – Right-wing slogans were spray-painted on two tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in the city of Weyhers in central Germany.

September 29, 2008 – Berlin – Unknown vandals wrote anti-Semitic slogans on an information sign in the Jewish cemetery in Berlin Mitte (Groίen Hamburger Straίe). The cemetery had undergone a two-year renovation and was re-opened only a week ago.

September 26, 2008 – Westerstede – Police arrested young three men, all between the ages of 16-20, in connection with the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Westerstede, near Bremen in northern Germany. The vandals, two of whom confessed to their involvement, allegedly spray-painted anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi slogans on several gravestones and on a plaque commemorating the city's former Jewish citizens.

August 22, 2008 – Berlin – Eleven swastikas were painted on Germany's central memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. After a guard discovered the red and black Nazi symbols on seven slabs at the monument they were immediately wiped clean. The memorial opened to the public in 2005 and has been vandalized several times since then. The vandalism came a week after a nearby memorial to gay victims of the Nazis was also damaged.

August 20, 2008 - Perleberg - Vandals toppled four tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Perleberg, near Berlin.

August 14, 2008 - Altengronau - Three tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Altengronau, near Frankfurt, were damaged by unknown vandals.

July 28, 2008 - Cottbus – Vandals toppled twelve tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Cottbus, a city in Eastern Germany near the German-Czech border. Several of the tombstones as well as some sculptures were damaged. Police are investigating.

July 16, 2008 - Gόstrow – Vandals desecrated eight tombstones in the city's Jewish cemetery with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

July 9, 2008 - Berlin - A man was arrested after vandalizing Germany's Holocaust Memorial in Berlin with neo-Nazi symbols, including the numbers “884,” shorthand for “Heil Hitler Deutschland.” The 28-year-old perpetrator was photographed committing the attack, which was witnessed by several bystanders.

July 9, 2008 - Elmshorn - Unknown vandals damaged the door of the chapel at the Jewish cemetery in Elmshorn, near Hamburg.

June 17, 2008 - Pinneberg - Vandals threw a stone through a window of the synagogue in the city of Pinneberg, near Hamburg. Later, the community's office received a threatening phone call from an anonymous male, who said, “The same thing can happen more often. You've got no more peace.” He concluded the phone call with a “Sieg Heil,” the infamous Nazi salute to Hitler.

June 5, 2008 - Brandenburg- A memorial which commemorates the death march of inmates through the Belower Forest was vandalized. The perpetrators broke flower pots and destroyed the door of the memorial. They also tried to break a window of the museum at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp nearby.

May 22, 2008 – Berlin – Unknown vandals painted a swastika on Germany's Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe.

April 28-29, 2008 – Berlin – The city's largest Jewish cemetery was attacked by unknown perpetrators twice in two days. The vandals knocked over and caused substantial damage to at least 40 gravestones and other monuments. Located in the eastern Berlin district of Weissensee, it is one of Europe's largest Jewish cemeteries, with more than 150,000 graves and elaborate tombs, most of which predate World War II. Police opened an investigation into the attacks.

February 22-23, 2008 – Berlin – Several of the concrete markers that are part of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin were defaced with swastikas, the number ‘88' and other symbols associated with German right-wing extremism.

January 16, 2008 - Berlin - Four men unleashed a dog on group of five teenagers on their way home from a Jewish high school in central Berlin, and taunted them with anti-Semitic slurs. The dog chased one of the students down the street. No injuries were reported. Witnesses alerted the police, who responded immediately and detained all of the alleged assailants. Two of the men were charged before a magistrate's court. The Governing Mayor of Berlin strongly condemned the incident.

January 16, 2008 - Angermuende - A gravestone in the Jewish cemetery of Angermuende, near Berlin, was vandalized with a swastika.

January 9, 2008 – Berlin – In a Jewish cemetery in the eastern part of Berlin, vandals damaged a window of the Lapidarium building, which houses gravestones dating to the 19th and early 20th century.

January 9, 2008 - Berlin - A window of a Jewish institution in the western part of Berlin was damaged by gunfire, according to police reports.

Greece

December 31, 2008 – Corfu - “Jews Nazis” and “Murderers” were painted on the entrance of the synagogue.

December 31, 2008 – Volos - A synagogue was defaced with graffiti that read: “The state of Israel murders – whose side are you on?”

December 29, 2008 – A Greek newspaper publishes cartoons that show the uniforms of Israeli soldiers covered with swastikas.

August 24, 2008 – Rhodes – In a video posted on YouTube, a young man is shown urinating on a local Holocaust monument commemorating the extermination by the Nazis of 1,694 Jews from the island of Rhodes and the nearby island of Cos. The video, which was denounced by the central organization of Jews in Greece, was allegedly posted by a group of students from the Venetokleio high school of Rhodes.

Hungary

December 23, 2008 – Budapest – Neo-Nazis screamed anti-Semitic insults at several hundred Hungarian Jews who were attending a public Chanukah celebration. The extremists also raised a flag that was used by a national socialist party during World War II.

February 2-3, 2008 – Kaposvar - Two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, spray-painted swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on 24 graves in a local Jewish cemetery. The boys also admitted to defacing a Holocaust memorial and a store owned by Chinese immigrants.

Ireland

May 12, 2008 - Tuam - Anti-Semitic slogans were daubed on the home of a couple in Tuam, a town near Galway in western Ireland. The entrance to the couple's home was vandalized with the words “Go Home Jew,” and a swastika was spray-painted on the driveway wall. The unknown perpetrators also spray-painted swastika symbols and graffiti on the windows of the house.

Lithuania

August 9-10, 2008 - Vilnius - During Tisha B'Av, a traditional Jewish day of mourning, vandals covered the Jewish community center in Vilnius with swastikas, depictions of concentration camps, and calls for Jews to leave Lithuania.

May 20, 2008 - Varnika - Vandals burned a Holocaust memorial monument in the Varnika forest, where 1,446 Jews from the surrounding villages were murdered at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.

Poland

May 22, 2008 – Warka – A group of teenagers allegedly attacked an Orthodox American Jew as he was visiting a Jewish cemetery in Warka, near Warsaw. The perpetrators allegedly mocked their victim, asked him for money and shouted “Jew” in Polish before punching him in the face.

February 9, 2008 – Krakow – The Committee Against Defamation of the Church and For Polishness and Radio Maryja held an anti-Semitic meeting at a local Catholic Church. Posters for the event stated, “The kikes will not continue to spit on us.” More>>

Romania

October 22, 2008 – Bucharest – Vandals knocked over more than 100 gravestones, smashing many, at the largest Jewish cemetery in the Romanian capital. A spokesman for the Jewish community said the vandalism affected some of the most valuable monuments of the cemetery and caused nearly $1 million in damage. Four students from a near-by school confessed to the crime. The four perpetrators apparently filmed the desecration with their cell phones.

Russia

November 24, 2008 – Ryazan -- A statue of Vladimir Lenin in the central square was painted with swastikas and crossed-out Stars of David and then blown up with explosives.

November 22, 2008 – Moscow –Mikhail Altshuler, a well-known Jewish musician, was attacked by three skinheads while he was riding on the Moscow metro. Two of the suspects, who allegedly shouted nationalistic slogans during the attack, were arrested.

October 26, 2008 – Saratov -- Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were found on the walls and door of the local Jewish Agency. The vandals also targeted a neighboring building housing a Jewish charitable organization.

August 16, 2008 – Nizhny Novgorod – Vandals broke the windows of the synagogue and destroyed a security kiosk that was supposed to be attended to protect the synagogue. Vandals have previously attacked the synagogue several times.

July 21, 2008 - Bogorodsk – Vandals painted swastikas and Stars of David on gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The unknown perpetrators destroyed five gravestones and knocked over an additional 10.

July 15/16, 2008 - Ivanovo - A swastika was painted in the apartment building of the leader of the local Jewish community.  Swastikas and symbols of the far-right Russian National Unity group have appeared together on buildings around the city in the past few weeks.

June 1-2, 2008 – Dzherzhinsk – A synagogue in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. The perpetrator also threw a Molotov cocktail at a window of the building. The bottle did not break the window, however, and started a small fire outside of the structure.

May 29, 2008 - Nizhny Novgorod—Vandals desecrated 13 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in the city's Leninsky district. An 18 year old was convicted of this crime and given a 2 ½-year suspended sentence.

May 19, 2008 – Salavat – A group of young men were arrested after attempting to break in to a Jewish community center in Salavat in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan during a religious service. The men, who allegedly had been drinking prior to the incident, banged on the center's doors with metal pipes after asking bystanders if they were Jewish.

May 11, 2008 – Tula – Two laborers were attacked in the courtyard of the town's Jewish community center by three men, including one armed with a shovel. Police arrested the perpetrators, who were identified as neo-Nazis. Days before the attack, the community center had been defaced with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti.

April 5, 2008 – Vladivostok – A swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on a local synagogue.

January 29, 2008 – Ulyanovsk – A local Jewish community center was the site of an anti-Semitic protest allegedly organized by the Russian All-Nation Union. A group of about 10 young people demonstrated outside the center, shouting anti-Semitic slogans and painting swastikas on a wall. Some of the demonstrators forced their way into the building. Police arrested four demonstrators, who were convicted and ordered to serve prison time and community service work.

January 23, 2008 - Nizhny Novgorod—Three men vandalized a local synagogue, tearing the table cloths and throwing religious books out of a window. Local police have arrested the perpetrators.

Slovakia

October 25, 2008 – Topolcany – Unknown perpetrators damaged 40 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in western Slovakia.

July 24, 2008 – Velka Ida – About twelve gravestones at the Jewish cemetery in Velka Ida in Eastern Slovakia were vandalized by an unknown perpetrator.

January 25, 2008 – Komarno – A swastika and the number “88,” a neo-Nazi symbol that stands for “Heil Hitler,” were spray-painted on a local synagogue two days before the town was to celebrate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Spain

December 30-31, 2008 – Anti-Israel demonstrations in Barcelona, Valencia, and Sevilla included signs that equated Israel with Nazi Germany.

Switzerland

February 12, 2008 – Zurich – An identifiably Jewish 60-year-old man was stabbed in the neck by an assailant who shouted “Jew” before fleeing.

Ukraine

November 22, 2008 – Poltava – Crosses were erected by an unknown group on a plot of land that the city had provided to the Jewish community to build a synagogue and community center. Previously, Guelder rose bushes – a Ukrainian national symbol -- had been surreptitiously planted on the site, presumably by the same group, to show Jews uprooting the symbolic plants from Ukrainian soil.

November 12, 2008 – Feodosia/Yenakievo – Vandals defiled Holocaust memorials in two Ukrainian towns. The memorial in the Crimean town of Feodosia reportedly had anti-Jewish insults painted on it. In Yenakievo, swastikas and the slogan “We return” were painted on the memorial.

September 11, 2008 – Vinnitsa – The Chief Rabbi, his three year-old son, and a visitor from Canada, all visibly identifiable Jews, were physically assaulted by three young men who yelled “Heil Hitler!” and “We will kill all the Jews.” The three victims were rescued by woman who stopped her car and took them in. The police were notified and arrested the attackers, who had remained at the scene.

April 20-24, 2008 – Bolgrad – At least 11 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery near Odessa were vandalized.

April 15, 2008 – Zhitomir -- The memorial over the grave of a famous rabbi was burned and anti-Semitic slurs scrawled on the structure.

January 26, 2008 – Kiev – A man was arrested as he was about to deface a synagogue with anti-Semitic graffiti. Police said that the suspect admitted he was promised payment for the vandalism. Ukraine's special division of the Security Service for hate crimes is investigating who may have offered the payment.

January 24, 2008 – Dnepropetrovsk – A teacher at the Shiurey Torah Jewish educational center in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk was severely beaten. Rabbi Dov-Ber Baitman reportedly was assaulted after evening classes at the center by four men shouting anti-Semitic slurs. The assailants have not been identified.

United Kingdom

November 14, 2008 – Kenton – A gang on a public school bus threatened to stab a Jewish student and called his friends “Jewish pigs” and “scum.”

December 31, 2008 – London – A Jewish man was pulled from a car and beaten by three men, reportedly of Arab descent.

December 31, 2008 – London – Jewish shops were attacked by Arab youths who reportedly shouted anti-Israel slogans.

December 29-30, 2008 – The Community Security Trust reports that several synagogues were vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans, including “Kill Jews” and “Jihad 4 Israel” and a Jewish community center was spray-painted with pro-Hamas slogans.

November 17, 2008 – London – A swastika and anti-Semitic slogans were scrawled on the wall of a local kosher café.

August 12, 2008 – North Wales – An identifiably Jewish man was attacked in an assault police described as racially motivated. The man was walking near a Jewish community center when he was punched and wrestled to the ground by two assailants, who pulled off his skullcap before fleeing. The victim was treated for shock and minor injuries.

March 29, 2008 – Essex – Between 30-40 gravestones were smashed and knocked over in the Plashet Jewish cemetery, in an incident that was deemed “religiously motivated” by police. The cemetery was a target of a similar attack four years ago, when 400 stones were desecrated.

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