26 October, 2017

Examples of antisemitic hate speech

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Category: Antisemitism, European Action Day, far-right, Fascism, Holocaust
Community Manager
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In order to better understand how antisemitic hate speech undermines our community values today in Europe you can read below some concrete examples from different countries. However these examples are in national socio-cultural contexts they still show the trends and ways how different antisemitism patterns are still spreading today.

Antisemitic hate speech in Romania

montanaIn a Romanian news show, Cosmin Gusa, politician, said on the topic of the “Rosia Montana” excavation site: “The shareholders of Gabriel Resources, have proven to be American Jewish billionairs, most of them are rich, they speculate in weak countries”. On the same topic in a later interview he stated: “(…) American Jews are extremely gready in their rush to steal the capital (…)”

Without analyzing the context and motives of the above statements, the antisemitism that underlines both interventions is blatant. As an opinion-maker, journalist and politician, Cosmin Gusa, was aware od the weight carried by his words, especially when addressing the theme of the excavations, a focus of large protests on a national scale at the time.

The intentional, accentuated and repeated mentioning of the ethnic and religious background of the people being publicly accused of fraud, greed and theft are an act of incitement to ethnic and religious hate that goes against current Romanian legislation.

Antisemitic hate speech in Ukraine

ukraineA statue of Symon Petlura, former Ukrainian political figure, under the rule of whom large Jewish populations were murdered in the 1920s, was erected in the Jewish area of the Ukrainian city of Vinnytza.

The Ukrainian Union of Jewish Students initiated a campaign with the purpose of moving the statue to another location. They received more than 300 comments to their social media post, many of which were full of hatred.

The head of the local branch of one of the main Ukrainian arties posted to Facebook (translation): “Again these people are interfering in our country. “Coexisting in peaceful way” is when they made Holocaust in Ukraine and now Israel doesn’t recognize the mass killing of Ukrainians as a genocide. I have a hope that Ukrainians will understand who is the host in our land and will put all national minorities in their place. Don’t tell us how to live and of whom we must raise statues in our land. Don’t tell us in what language our children must study. We are Ukrainians. This is all that you must know. And you are just guests. If you want to live near us, get used to our rules, or go to your country, otherwise you are going to be punished.”

We see here threatening rhetoric that incites to violence – “you are going to be punished”. Also, we see antisemitism stemming from a misinformed association between Jewish people and the state of Israel – “go to your country” and a view over Ukrainian Jews as non-Ukrainian – “you are just guests”.

Antisemitic hate-speech in the UK

Malia Bouattia

birminghamIn an article written by Malia Bouattia prior to her National Union of Students presidency in 2011, she termed the University of Birmingham “something of a Zionist outpost”. The University of Birmingham has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the whole of the UK, with over 1000 Jewish students at that campus. She continued in her article stating that “the largest JSoc [Jewish Society] in the country whose leadership is dominated by Zionist activists”. In her attempts to defend her comments, she claimed that they had been misrepresented and that “for me to take issue with Zionist politics is not me taking issue with being Jewish”. Her comments were classed as antisemitic as she saw a large Jewish presence on campus as a threat to her political activities, viewed Jewish students only in relationship with the State of Israel and argued for a worldwide conspiracy whereby Zionism holds sinister influence over other countries and places.

Additionally, in a speech, she claimed that the PREVENT policy (UK anti-radicalisation policy) was backed by the “Zionist and neo-con lobby” and spoke about “mainstream Zionist led media outlets”. This is a further example of Bouattia’s world view where Israel and Zionism has control over media outlets and foreign countries. This world view is part of the wider left-wing anti-colonialist anti-imperialist critique of Zionism and the State of Israel which often plays into conspiracy theories and has a close relationship with Nazi theories about a Jewish world order controlling governments, the media and the economy.

Izzy Lenga

1048468327This portrays a perfect example of right wing antisemitic hate speech on Campus. At the University of Birmingham, now VP Welfare at the National Union of Students Izzy Lenga was subject to a wave of online abuse after she photographed a poster at the University that stated, “Hitler was right” with a photograph of the Nazi leader. After this, it was found that the people who had put out the poster were from the group ‘National Action’, a Neo-Nazi movement in the UK.

The onslaught of abuse she received was unprecedented, with people tweeting things like: “

“This bitch is the problem with the UK. Making everything about the Jews.  #HitlerWasRight #FuckAllNonWhites

“Nazi propaganda planted by Zionists”

“I’m dismayed (not surprised) that #Jews always play the victims and never try to end their parasitism on others.”

The support Izzy received was clear and showed that the student movement in the UK stand against right wing antisemitism, and National Action have been banned from the National Union of Students.

Antisemitic hate-speech in the Hungary

sorosIn Hungary the government was running an anti-regugee/immigrat campaign using the image of George Soros, a billionaire financier with Hungarian-Jewish origin.

Three decades ago, George Soros paid for a young Viktor Orbán (present primeminister) to study in Britain. And as recently as 2010, Soros donated $1 million to Orbán’s government to help the cleanup effort following the infamous “red sludge” disaster. But the once-warm relationship between the two men has deteriorated substantially over the past seven years, as Orban has drifted further to the right. In 2014, the leader of Hungary’s Fidesz party declared he would seek to model Hungary’s government after “illiberal” democracies like the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The posters used in the media campaign show a large picture of the Hungarian-born Jewish emigre laughing, alongside the text: “Let’s not let Soros have the last laugh”, a reference to government claims that Soros wants to force Hungary to allow in migrants. Since the posters appeared on billboards and at public spaces around the country last week, as well as on television, several incidents of antisemitic graffiti such as “Stinking Jew” or Stars of David daubed on them have been reported. Hungary’s largest Jewish organisation, Mazsihisz, has called on prime minister Viktor Orbán to stop the campaign, with its head Andras Heisler writing that the “poisonous messages harm the whole of Hungary”. Some opposition activists and citizens have also begun taking down some of the posters from billboards. Soros, who has dual Hungarian-American citizenship, said he was “heartened that together with countless fellow citizens the leadership of the Hungarian Jewish community” have spoken out. Later Orbán accused Soros of being a “billionaire speculator” who wanted to use his wealth and civil groups that he supports to “settle a million migrants” in the European Union. Orban and government officials say that Hungary has a policy of “zero tolerance” of antisemitism, and that the poster campaign is about increasing awareness of the “national security risk” posed by Soros.

See other hate speech examples on the Hate Speech Watch where you can also flag or upload other cases following these guidelines.

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