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Operation Pillar of Defense Brings Out the Crazy

Jewish communities across the globe see protests, vitriolic chants

Adam Chandler
November 26, 2012
A Crowd in Pakistan Gathers to Protest Israel's Operation in Gaza(Dawn)
A Crowd in Pakistan Gathers to Protest Israel's Operation in Gaza(Dawn)

Despite the ability of Israel to cobble together a pretty impressive base of international support for its recent operation in Gaza, there were places where, almost by routine, the Israeli efforts were met by a surge of anti-Semitic reactions. Below is just a sampler of some of the activity:

A bit of what happened in Italy:

Apparently prompted by Israel’s ramped-up military operation to stop escalated rocket attacks from Gaza, anti-Semitic slogans were scrawled on synagogues in several cities. The latest was in Genoa, where the slogan “Israel is a Nazi state” was discovered on the front door of the synagogue on Saturday.

Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slogans were chanted during student and other demonstrations in Rome the past two weekends, and a “Free Palestine” banner was unfurled during an international soccer match in Rome between Rome’s Lazio team and England’s Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 22.

In Vienna, a 400-person protest march against Israel had some choice rhetorical flourishes:

Samuel Laster, an Israeli journalist who lives in Vienna, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he heard a contingent of 15 to 20 Austrian Islamists chanting in Arabic, “Death to the Jews.”

Crowds in Venezuela were a little more obvious. Police had to be posted after protestors gathered outside of a synagogue in Caracas, where they reportedly hurled both anti-Semitic chants and fireworks. For background on the struggle of Jews in Venezuela, Matthew Fishbane had a great story for us earlier this year.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.