The State Department has released the 2012 International Religious Freedom Report. In the Executive Summary, a section entitled “A Continued Rise in Anti-Semitism” summarizes a global increase documented in the report.
The summary reads in part as follows:
Of great concern were expressions of anti-Semitism by government officials, by religious leaders, and by the media, particularly in Venezuela, Egypt, and Iran. At times, such statements led to desecration and violence.
In Venezuela, the government-controlled media published numerous anti-Semitic statements, particularly in relation to opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, a Catholic with Jewish ancestors. Separately, during an anti-Israel protest in November, a group of individuals gathered outside a synagogue chanting anti-Jewish slogans and throwing fireworks.
In Egypt, anti-Semitic sentiment in the media was widespread and sometimes included Holocaust denial or glorification. On October 19, President Morsy said “Amen” during televised prayers in Mansour after an imam stated, “Oh Allah ... grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.” This is a common prayer in Egyptian mosques and came in a litany of other prayers. Also in October, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei made several anti-Semitic statements, including saying in a sermon that was also published online that “It is time for the Muslim [nation] to unite for the sake of Jerusalem and Palestine after the Jews have increased the corruption in the world….” He added that “Zionists only know the way of force.”
In Iran, the government regularly vilified Judaism. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to question the existence and the scope of the Holocaust, and stated that “a horrendous Zionist clan” had been “ruling the major world affairs” for some 400 years, while Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi publicly blamed the “Zionists” for spreading illegal drugs around the world.
In Tunisia, Salafists (fundamentalist Sunni Muslims) attacked synagogues and issued anti-Semitic messages, as did some imams during Friday prayer sermons. Certain Salafist imams preached anti-Jewish and anti-Christian messages, including calling for the killing of non-Muslim citizens. Police arrested five persons, including one police officer, for allegedly plotting to kidnap Jews in Zarzis in October for ransom.
In Ukraine, vandals desecrated several Holocaust memorials. In May, in Russia, vandals painted a swastika on a St. Petersburg synagogue’s fence, and in July, vandals painted a swastika on a synagogue wall in Irkutsk.
Even well into the 21st century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of “blood libel,” and cartoons demonizing Jews, continued to flourish. An anti-Semitic cartoon appeared in a major newspaper in Argentina, and a member of the Golden Dawn party in Greece read from the notorious Tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, during a parliamentary session. In a worrisome sign, such anti-Semitic and xenophobic parties gained seats in parliaments, and a rise in violent attacks on Jews in Europe included several shocking incidents.
Hungary saw continued racist commentary by an openly anti-Semitic political party with seats in parliament, the Jobbik Party, and also witnessed an attack on a member of the Jewish community outside of a prayer house in Budapest.
In France, an Islamist extremist killed a rabbi and his two children, along with another student, outside a Jewish school in Toulouse. While a number of governments took active measures to combat anti-Semitism, this pernicious evil continued to spread.
Irving S. White has just published his first novel, MOSAIC -- the story of a young screenwriter, Sam Greener, on an odyssey from Hollywood to Manhattan to Israel, as he follows a famous author seeking the movie rights to his Nobel Prize-winning novel. The story was inspired by the author’s own life and relationships.
In the course of the novel, Greener is forced to confront his historical roots and loyalties, with an ultimate test of courage (and his own future) as he faces Arab terrorists who threaten his family’s life. As the novel begins, Greener finds himself huddled in the grass outside a cottage in his kibbutz, as the terrorists have taken over the children’s quarters. How is this for a first sentence of a story:
“Sam Greener, thirty-four years old, ten thousand miles away from his Los Angeles home, with a rifle in his unaccustomed hand, was soundly frightened by the immediate noises of death before him.”
Irv White is a screenwriter/producer with several feature films to his credit, including the screenplay for The Magician of Lublin (1979), the film version of the Isaac Bashevis Singer novel. He holds two graduate degrees from the University of Chicago: a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in International Relations.
MOSAIC is published by Amazon Kindle as an ebook. You can download it for $4.99 by clicking here. I know the author, and can confirm that the book gets your attention from the first sentence and holds it. It is the story of a lifetime.