JERUSALEM, Israel -- Incidents of hatred against Jews have jumped "dramatically" since Israel's Operation Protective Shield military campaign in the Gaza Strip, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL found serious violent incidents against Jews and Jewish buildings in western Europe, South America, Canada, Australia and Africa. The report was confined to countries outside the United States.
"From France to Argentina, from Canada to Chile, synagogues were attacked, Jewish cultural centers were vandalized, Jewish shops were threatened and identifiably Jewish individuals beaten on the street. Anti-Semitism was in the air and in the streets," said ADL U.S. National Director Abraham Foxman.
One of the most frightening incidents occurred last week in Australia, where anti-Semitic teenagers boarded a Sydney school bus carrying Jewish children from ages 5 through 12. One parent reported the teens were threatening to slit the childrens' throats as they chanted "Palestine...must kill the Jews!"
After they were allowed to board the school bus, the teens were later released the same day by Australian police.
According to Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, the incident "revealed an obscene comfort level among Australian authorities with the terrorization of Jewish children. Jewish families cannot assume that their children will be protected by non-Jews, whether they are school bus drivers or the police."
Other incidents described in the ADL report include the following:
- Shouts of "Jews to the gas!" at a July anti-Israel rally in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
- An anti-Semitic commentary in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, in which a columnist stated that the Gaza operation showed why Jews "have been so frequently expelled." "What is surprising," he wrote, "is that they persist. Either they are not good or someone is poisoning them."
- An op-ed in the widely circulated Colombian weekly magazine Semona, arguing that Palestinian land has been occupied "since 3,000 years ago, when Jews arrived there escaping from Egypt with Moses and Joshua, cutting heads and foreskins off local inhabitants."
"And the list goes on and on," Foxman said.
The ADL report comes shortly after the release of a survey showing that 25 percent of people polled in 100 countries hold deep-seated anti-Semitic attitudes.
Meanwhile, noted human rights activist and chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, predicts the end of Jewish history in Europe.
In an article for The Jewish Chronicle, the U.K.'s oldest Jewish newspaper, Sharansky writes, "Europe is abandoning its basic values of respecting identities, while at the same time guaranteeing full freedom for its citizens."
Sharansky maintains that Europe's pursuit of multi-culturalism and moral relativism will force Jews -- who hold a strong sense of identity and freedom -- either to assimilate into the culture or leave.