JERUSALEM, Israel - A year after Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to end Hamas rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on its citizens in southern Israel, the Anti-Defamation League says that Jews worldwide suffered a backlash from the operation.
The claim is part of a report published late last week highlighting the top issues that affected Jews in 2009. According to ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, much of the good news from this past year is "tempered by the bad."
"Israel's defensive operation in Gaza was successful in curbing intense Hamas rocket fire, but Jews around the world suffered backlash effects," Foxman said in a statement.
"Israel has taken significant steps toward achieving peace, yet many in the Arab world continually try to de-legitimize the Jewish state. There is increased international support to counter Iran's belligerence; however, the regime defiantly presses forward with its nuclear weapons program," Foxman said.
According to the analysis, global anti-Semitism is "alive and well" and "a particularly troubling concern" for Jews around the world.
"In the wake of Israel's operation in Gaza, Jews the world over felt the backlash," the report said.
"Across Europe, a wave of violence saw Jews beaten on the street, Jewish businesses and homes attacked, and demonstrators equating Israelis with Nazis. In Egypt and in much of the Arab world, anti-Jewish themes littered the news media, popular literature and religious sermons. In Venezuela, anti-Semitic vitriol emanated from the highest levels of government down to the protests of the masses," it said.
The ADL's analysis also mentioned the Goldstone Report, which investigated Operation Cast Lead and said it was "replete with inaccuracies and distortions" and had "powerful negative consequences for Israel."
"It played a role in international efforts to de-legitimize Israel, accused the Jewish state of war crimes and drew an unwarranted equivalence between Israel's defensive operation and the terrorist actions of Hamas," the report said.
Among the other top issues affecting Jews in 2009, the report listed the change of leadership in both the U.S. and Israel; domestic terrorism thwarted but the threat remains; anti-Semite charged in Holocaust Museum shooting; what the report called "anti-government rage and conspiracy theories" in the U.S.; and a nationwide opinion poll showing a majority of Americans are still firmly behind Israel.