Dutch watchdog reports record levels of online anti-Semitism


A Dutch watchdog group said it was observing record levels of anti-Semitic hatred online.

Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet, or MDI, said the current volume of reports on punishable hate speech against Jews is unparalleled during the organization’s 17 years in existence, the AT5 television channel reported Monday.

“Usually, we get three to five reports [of incidents] per week, but now we have received 73 reports,” MDI cofounder Suzette Bronkhorst told AT5. “We are talking about 200-300 incidents of anti-Semitic hate speech within 10 days,” Bronkhorst added. The jump is connected to Israel’s offensive in Gaza, she said, and largely consists of statements on Twitter.

One Twitter message flagged by MDI read: “I want all Jews, but really all of them, to drop dead until not a single one is left.” Another, belonging to the Twitter user “goldmocro,” identified as James Rodriquez, read: “Hitler needs to come back to kill the Jews. #FreePalestine.”

In France, the hashtag #PalestineVivraIsraelBrulera, or “Palestine will live, Israel will burn,” was ranked third-most popular among users from the Toulouse region on Tuesday.

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the number symbol that are used to index messages on Twitter and other social networks.

French rabbi receives threat to ‘punish’ Jews for complaining


The chief rabbi of Lyon,  Richard Wertenschlag, has received a letter threatening to “punish a Jew for every complaint the Jews make on TV.”

The threat came in a two-page letter delivered to Wertenschlag on Aug. 10. It contained two photos of a concentration camp, according to Dr. Richard Prasquier, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, CRIF.

Wertenschlag, who reported the letter to the authorities, opened the letter on Aug. 12, according to CRIF.

The authors of the “small, dense handwritten text” signed with the words “the righteous network.”

They added, “Every time you go on television to complain, a Jew – man, woman, child or family – will be punished.” Further down, the authors wrote: “See you soon at a synagogue, which has already been chosen.”

Wertenschlag called the letter “the expression of anti-Semitic rage and unimaginable hate.”

He said he had received an earlier hate letter in April, which was both “anti-Semitic and anti-Arab,” but decided not to go to police at the time.

Last month French police arrested two youths in Lyon for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old Jewish boy.

The boy is a student at Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse where, on March 19, a Muslim extremist murdered three children and a rabbi.

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