Though the Turkel committee cleared the IDF and Israel of any illegal actions during the May 31 flotilla raid, a Jewish Agency report says the deaths of the nine Turkish citizens on board unleashed a surge of anti-Semitism throughout the world.
The agency's report says that although most protests against the raid did not end in violence, it sparked at least 15 incidents of retaliation against Jews in France, among them an attack against a Jewish teen in the Paris underground. Firebombs were also thrown at a Jewish retirement home. In Austria, at least five incidents were reported.
Anti-Israel rhetoric was on the rise throughout 2010, the report says, especially in Iran, warning that the boundaries between legitimate criticism against Israel and its "demonization" had been blurred. The agency deems this a major threat to Israel as well as Jewish communities worldwide.
The report adds that physical harm is done to Jews or Jewish institutions nearly every day, especially in Europe, with France being the leader in such incidents. Belgium, Holland, and Sweden are also seen as dangerous abodes of anti-Semitism.
In addition, the Jewish Agency warns that extreme Islamic movements in Europe have increasingly adopted Nazi ideology throughout 2010, with Holocaust denial escalating to a view of the atrocities of World War II as punishment of Jews for their crimes.
The agency also warns of a "modern blood libel", which began in 2009 when a Swedish tabloid accused Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs. The libel has spread to the Ukraine, Algiers, Haiti, Kosovo, and even the Maldives.
A group of Israeli doctors that arrived at the latter location in order to lend aid to the local population was welcomed by a protesting mob which demanded that the "doctors who came to harvest organs" be sent away.
'Anti-Semitism flourishes online'
The agency also warns that Iran is developing ties with extreme right-wing organizations, among them neo-Nazi groups, especially in Hungary, Greece, France, and Chile. A group of neo-Nazis were caught in the latter state and confessed Iran had ordered them to hurt Jews.
However the report also expresses a glimmer of hope, saying that anti-Semitic incidents had dropped in number from 2009. But the Jewish Agency warns that anti-Semitism is still being expressed in the spraying of graffiti and the destruction of Jewish cemeteries, among other things.
Recent polls have shown that around a third of Europeans have negative opinions about Jews and that now, more than ever, people are expressing these opinions publicly.
Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein told a Cabinet meeting Sunday morning that the greatest threat to Israel was hatred expressed online. "Twitter and Facebook allow anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agents to hide behind nicknames and act with liberty against Jews and Israel by spreading malicious rumors, among other things," he said.
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