Political leaders and Jewish organistions have condemned anti-Israel and anti-Semitic protests around the world following United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and future relocation of the US embassy to the holy city.
Across America over a dozen cities witnessed demonstrations that included anti-Zionist and Nazi slogans denying Israel’s right to exist.
The Anti-Defamation League reported on the many rallies.
In New York’s famous Times Square protestors reportedly chanted “Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return,” referencing a seventh-century slaughter of Jews in Saudi Arabia
An Al-Awda speaker reportedly told protesters, “They (Jews) don’t even bother hiding who they are anymore… They are the heart of darkness. They are the heart of oppression. They are the torch bearers of white and Zionist supremacy….”
In Los Angeles, outside the Federal Building, reported offensive chants included “F…. Jew” when pro-Israel supporters backing Trump approached a demonstration.
And in Detroit, anti-Israel demonstrators burnt an Israeli flag.
Protests also took place in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Montreal, San Francisco, Sacramento Salt Lake City, Sarasota, Toronto and Washington D.C.
In Israel, a missile was fired towards Ashkelon beach on Wednesday as the wave of attacks from Gaza continued.
The missile landed in an open area, causing no injuries or damage.
In response, the IDF targeted a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip.
A total of 12 missiles have been fired at Israel from Gaza in the last week, the highest concentration since the summer of 2014.
The first attack in the wake of Trump’s announcement came in Jerusalem when an Israeli security guard was seriously injured after being stabbed by a Palestinian close to the central bus terminal.
Israel’s Channel 10 news showed CCTV footage of the incident.
Over 300 Palestinians were injured, and at least two killed, during lashes in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
In Beirut, Hezbollah followers reportedly chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” in fervent protests, whilst rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, including one into Sderot, hitting a residential street and kindergarten.
In response, IDF jets struck four targets in Gaza including a Hamas military compound and weapons warehouse according to an official statement.
“The IDF views the shooting at Israeli communities severely, and Hamas is solely responsible for what happens in the Gaza strip,” noted the statement (Jerusalem Post).
Protests took place across North African and Middle Eastern cities including Rabat, Amman, Cairo, Tehran and Istanbul.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara that the US decision made Washington “complicit in violence” on Monday.
Erdogan referred to Israel as a “terror state” in his speech, adding the US had become a “partner in this bloodshed”.
Netanyahu reacted angrily to the accusations at a news conference on Monday.
“I’m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, helps Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people,” he noted.
Meantime, Indonesia has no diplomatic ties to Israel, and their president, Joko Widodo, described the US’s Jerusalem decision as a violation of UN resolutions.
Thousands attended a rally outside the US Embassy in Jakarta to support the Palestinians.
And across major European cities, there was a backlash against Israel.
In London, “Khaybar”, “death to America” and “death to Israel” hate chants were heard at a ‘Hands off Jerusalem’ rally outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square last Friday.
Videos of the protest also showed protestors waving swastika banners next to the podium.
Labour MP Andy Slaughter and rapper Lowkey were among speaker to address protesters.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition (StWC) and Muslim Association of Britain organised the protest at President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The event brought swift recriminations from organisations including Labour Friends of Israel.
LFI director Jennifer Gerber wrote to Mr Slaughter and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who is a patron of protest co-sponsor Stop the War Coalition, asking them both to condemn the anti-Semitic chanting.
Ms Gerber wrote: “It is beyond grotesque that chants calling for the murder of Jews have been heard on the street of London. I understand that these chants were neither silenced nor denounced by the official speakers of the organisers.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, references to ‘the Jews’ and calling for their slaughter is not a legitimate criticism of Zionism or the state of Israel. It is unequivocally vile anti-Semitism and should be condemned as such.”
Referring to the swastika banners, she continued, “Comparing Israel to the Nazis, a regime responsible for the extermination of six million Jews, is disgusting anti-Semitism. It is simply not feasible that the speakers and organizes of the event did not notice these banners, yet they were allowed to be displayed throughout the demonstration.
Regarding, Mr Slaughter, she added, “As a speaker at this protest, I now ask you to condemn the protesters, their chants, swastikas and the organisers who failed to denounce them.”
Ms Gerber asked Ms Abbot, to request that Stop the War “issues a statement unequivocally condemning this anti-Semitism.”
Ms Gerber warned Ms Abbot, “reluctance to do so could be seen as tantamount to condoning anti-Semitic chants made at an event they co-organised.”
In a joint statement, the PSC and StWC condemned the incident, but rejected a claim that the signs were trying to compare Israel to the Nazis.
They said: “Videos and photographic evidence show that there was a placard held at the rally with a slogan that formed an image of a swastika. PSC and StWC staff were not aware of the placard during the rally. We do not believe it is ever appropriate to trivialise the swastika and to use the symbol to make political statements.
“The claim that the placard in question was comparing Israel to the Nazis is not backed up by an examination of the photographic evidence. The slogan in fact had the words ‘stop Trump’ with the T’s forming the sign of the swastika.”
The message of whoever was holding the swastika was clearly an attempt to identify Trump as representing racist and far-right views. Whilst PSC and STW deplore the overt racism and support for far-right groups that President Trump has undoubtedly displayed, we do not endorse the use of the swastika given all of its historic resonance to make such points.”
LFI vice-chair Louise Ellman is awaiting a response to Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick referencing whether the anti-Semitic comments breached section 18 of the Public Order Act, which bars abusive or insulting words likely to stir up racial hatred.
Prime Minister Theresa May was unable to attend a Conservative Friends of Israel annual lunch at Westminster.
But Environment Secretary Michael Gove, addressing eight cabinet ministers and around 170 parliamentarians slammed the anti-Israel activists.
“These people keep showing their true colours, again and again and again,” he said.
Gove said Israel’s enemies wanted “not a smaller Israel, but no Israel at all”.
Alistair Burt, Middle East Minister, said the peace process had been made harder by Trump’s announcement but noted friends of Israel “cannot let the chance of peace slip”.
Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, Lord Balfour and Silvan Shalom, former Israeli minister attended the event.
Further condemnation came from Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitic crime has continued to surge in Britain and now we have a mob, including children, calling for the murder of Jews under the noses of the police in central London,” he said.
“Already this year we have seen two kosher restaurants firebombed in Manchester and Jews in London pursued by a man wielding a meat cleaver and a machete.
“In the past week we have seen the firebombing of a synagogue in Sweden and an attack on a kosher restaurant in Holland.
“The authorities must urgently act against those who incite anti-Semitic violence or we fear that British Jews will pay with their blood.
“The time to act is now and those who incited hate at protests this weekend must be brought to justice.”
And the Board of Deputies, Community Security Trust and Jewish Leadership Council issued a joint statement:
“The ‘Khybar, Khybar’ chant heard and documented at Friday’s protest outside the US Embassy in London can only be interpreted as a call to incite violence against Jewish people.
“It is outrageous that these protesters thought that such a chant would be acceptable on the streets of London in 2017. That this comes in the context of a firebombing of a synagogue in Sweden and an attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam only increases our concern.
“These acts are not criticisms of a decision by the US government but demonstrations of anti-Semitism.
“We welcome the condemnation by the protest organisers of this notorious Jihadi chant – which was clearly audible at the height of the demonstration – but urge them to take action to ensure that such acts do not go unchallenged at their events in the future.
“We further call on all of those who addressed the rally to unequivocally condemn the chants and undertake not to support or organise any event at which such activity is tolerated in the future.”
Elsewhere, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven denounced anti-Semitic incidents, including within 24 hours of the Trump speech when masked men attacked a Gothenburg Synagogue after Shabbat.
Molotov cocktails were also thrown at a Gothenburg Synagogue while Jewish teenagers were in a party at nearby community hall.
A second synagogue was firebombed in Malmö, just days after cocktails caused damage after being aimed at a Jewish cemetery and protestors reportedly shouted in Arabic, “We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews,” according to a Sveriges Radio report.
Following the initial attack in Malmö, Muslim and Christian leaders offered support by visiting the Synagogue and condemning the action.
Alaeddin al-Qut, head of the Islamic study group Ibn Rushd Society, told Swedish news channel SVT Nyheter Skane they wanted to show “sympathy and solidarity” with Malmö Jews.
And al-Qut condemn all forms of racism and anti-Semitism in society.
Archbishop Antje Jackelen wrote a column in newspaper Dagen addressing the Jewish communities in Gothenburg and Malmö assuring solidarity from the Swedish church in fighting anti-Semitism and violence in the name of religion.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the Synagogue incident.
In Vienna, protesters reportedly chanted in Arabic, “Jews, remember Khaybar. The army of Muhammad is returning”. And a Palestinian supporter with a Palestinian flag broke windows of a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam.
Meantime, the German government said it was “ashamed” at anti-Semitic demonstrations in Berlin and Munich that saw anti-Semitic chants and the burning of Israeli flags.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, denounced the protests.
Speaking after a meeting of the Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel condemned the demonstrations.
“We oppose all forms of anti-Semitism and xenophobia — no differences of opinion, including about the status of Jerusalem, justify such actions,” she said.
“The (German) state must use all the means at its disposal to stop this.”
Further condemnation came from EU’s First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová noting there was “no justification” for the wave of attacks in a joint statement.
The EU leaders said, “We are shocked and outraged by the wave of anti-Semitic attacks and demonstrations that are spreading hatred against Jews in European cities over the last days. There can be no justification and we stand in full solidarity with the European Jewish communities in condemning these vile attacks in the strongest possible way.
“We expect the perpetrators of anti-Semitic incitement to be prosecuted. European Jews must be able to live their lives in freedom and peace in Europe. This means rapid response to anti-Semitic actions, but it also means educating our young.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism in Europe and in the joint battle against anti-Semitism we should all work together to rid us from this ideology of hatred.”
And EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini lambasted “all attacks on Jews everywhere in the world” when she met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday.
“Let me condemn in the strongest possible way all attacks on Jews everywhere in the world, including in Europe, and on Israel and on Israeli citizens,” Mogherini said.
The remarks came after Netanyahu criticised Europe’s “hypocrisy” for condemning US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, but rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
And the European Jewish Congress called on Euro nations to take a strong punitive stance after the recent attacks.
“It is unconscionable that Jews are under attack on the streets of Europe, whether by terrorists hurling Molotov cocktails or openly and brazenly calling for the mass murder of Jews in Malmo, Vienna and Paris,” said Moshe Kantor, EJC president.
“We call on European governments to take strong punitive action against those who perpetrated these acts and call for the immediate arrest of anyone who makes anyone making murderous chants.
“There is once again a double standard against Jews and anyone who suggests such an equation should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone who justifies anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, whether physical or verbal, places themselves in the category of an anti-Semite.”
(Sources included European Jewish Congress, Jerusalem Post and Yeshiva News)