Fighting the Blight of Durban

Article published by the Gatestone Institute, 29 July 2021. © Richard Kemp

This week, Ronald S. Lauder, former US ambassador to Austria and currently president of the World Jewish Congress, sent an open letter to US President Joe Biden setting out his concerns about rising antisemitism. ‘Recently, American Jews have witnessed something we never thought we would see in this country,’ he wrote; ‘…a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke cannot walk down an American street without fear of violence. Jews have been attacked by pro-Palestinian mobs in Los Angeles, New York and other cities. Antisemitic incidents have more than doubled in the past year. Hate crimes against Jews in America are twice as high as crimes against any other religious group.’

In Britain, the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors antisemitism and provides security for the Jewish community, reports that racist attacks against Jews in May this year ‘surpassed anything we have seen before’, with more antisemitic incidents than in any single month since records began in 1986. In London, a convoy of vehicles drove through Jewish areas brandishing Palestinian flags and screaming at passers-by to kill Jews and rape their daughters. According to the UK charity Campaign Against Antisemitism, recent examples of hostility include physical beatings and vandalism, chants and placards at rallies, social media abuse and threats to Jewish children at schools and universities.

Similar antisemitic attacks have been on the increase around the world from Buenos Aires to Brussels. In a speech this week Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said: ‘Antisemitism has reached a peak that has not been seen since World War II.’

This recent spike in aggression against Jews was fuelled by intensive antisemitic propaganda during the May 2021 Gaza conflict initiated by Iran-backed Hamas, a proscribed terrorist group that fired around 4,500 rockets, mortars and anti-tank missiles at Israel in 11 days. (For comparison, the average daily rate of fire was four times that (more…)

Security – Defence – Intelligence – Counter Terrorism