February 2020: Review of recent antisemitic incidents worldwide - World Jewish Congress

February 2020: Review of recent antisemitic incidents worldwide

February 2020: Review of recent antisemitic incidents worldwide


As we enter the third month of 2020, Jewish communities around the world remain vigilant and concerned amid an unrelenting proliferation of xenophobia and antisemitism. Several recent reports indicate a steady rise in anti-Jewish expressions and incidents. 

The World Jewish Congress has compiled a short review of some of the concerning trends and incidents witnessed and recorded of late. We will continue to monitor developments as they arise and remain committed to working together with our communities to ensure a safer and more tolerant world for all.

Reports on the state of antisemitism around the world:

  • Australia: The WJC-affiliated Executive Council of Australian Jewry published a report finding 368 antisemitic incidents logged over a 12-month period. The report found that the number of incidents in the 12-month period was 56% higher than the average number of incidents over the previous seven years. 
  • France: The French Interior Ministry published a report finding that Jews in France were the target of a majority of hate crimes, despite being less than 1% of France’s population; meanwhile, the World Jewish Congress’ affiliate, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (Crif), published the initial results of its recently launched Online Hate Speech Observatory. Using an algorithm, the Observatory identified 51,816 antisemitic incidents, which were thereafter individually verified as antisemitic and classified according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. 
  • The Netherlands: The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), published a report finding that antisemitic incidents reached a record high in 2019. The number of incidents involving assaults, verbal threats and insults more than doubled, an increase to 61 from the 27 reported cases in 2018. 
  • United Kingdom: Antisemitic incidents also reached an all-time high in the U.K. in 2019, according to a report published this week by the British Community Security Trust (CST). Nearly two-thirds of the recorded incidents occurred in Greater London (947 incidents) and Greater Manchester (223 incidents), which have the largest concentrations of Jewish residents. 
  • United States – Wisconsin: Antisemitic incidents, increased by 55% from 2018 to 2019, according to a report by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. The seventy-three incidents in 2019 are up from twenty-two in 2015. 

Recent antisemitic incidents reported:


  • Ukraine: A drunk man infiltrated a synagogue shouting, “Beat up the Yids,” and then proceeded to attack journalist Igor Braverman on February 25th. 
  • Brazil: A Jewish Brazilian man was attacked by three men who were yelling antisemitic slurs.

Verbal abuse and threats

  • Australia: Two envelopes containing a CD with the words “The Aryans,” on it and a threatening letter were sent to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and a prominent Jewish individual. 
  • United Kingdom: Chelsea FC announced it was opening an investigation, following the discovery of a video of fans performing Nazi salutes, singing antisemitic songs and mimicking the noise of gas chambers 


  • Germany: A 74-year-old man was arrested in Germany on February 2nd for spraying swastikas on several buildings over the past few days. 
  • Hungary: A swastika was painted on the World War II memorial on Blood Field in Budapest. 
  • Italy: A Star of David and the word “Jude” were drawn on the apartment door of a well-known Jewish banker in Turin, Italy. 
  • The Netherlands: Several gravestones were smeared with swastikas and antisemitic slogans. 
  • United States – New Jersey: A large swastika was smeared on a Jewish-owned business in Jackson, New Jersey. 

Online Hate

  • The antisemitic website, Judas Watch, is back online again, just a few months after it was indexed by the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Young People as promoting hate-speech and removed, apparently by its operator. In an interview with Tagesspiegel, Josef Schuster, the President of WJC-affiliated German Central Council of Jews (Zentralrat), called for authorities to “examine with all urgency how this page can be permanently blocked.”