Anti-Semitism promoted by governments on 3 continents, report finds

Cnaan Liphshiz

JTA — Eighty years after the beginning of World War II, anti-Semitism is being promoted actively by government officials in countries on three continents, scholars said.

Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry singled out officials in Venezuela, Turkey, Poland and Ukraine as promoters of hatred of Jews in its annual report on the phenomenon published Wednesday.

The report, which was published on the eve of Israel’s national day of mourning for the Holocaust, states that in Venezuela, “Antisemitism is mainly promoted by the state and its various agencies” under the disputed leadership of President Nicolas Maduro.

“Particularly, the anti-Israel policy, the close ties to Iran and its proxies, as well as the adoption of the Palestinian narrative, negatively affect the Jewish community because of the conflation between Israel, Zionism, and Judaism,” the report says.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “often equates Israel with Nazi Germany, while his adversaries use the term ‘Jew’ as a smear against him,” the report says. Anti-Semitism is manifested “increasingly in government officials’ statements” that portray “Jews as cruel killers,” the text reads.

In Ukraine, senior officials have spoken out against anti-Semitism, including former President Petro Poroshenko, the authors wrote. But “several anti-Semitic statements by officials were also recorded,” as well a city-approved march in Lviv featuring Nazi uniforms. Officials in Poland also resorted to anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Violent incidents monitored worldwide numbered nearly 400 — a 13 percent increase over last year.

“Anti-Semitism has recently progressed to the point of calling into question the very continuation of Jewish life in many parts of the world,” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement about the report.