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Anti-Semitic Violence Rises in 2000

Spurred by developments in the Middle East and elsewhere, worldwide anti-Semitic violence spiked up sharply in 2000.

The year 2000 saw an explosion of anti-Semitic violence worldwide. The number of violent incidents in Europe in October and November alone, now estimated at close to 200, may well be higher than the number of incidents of serious violence against Jews in 1999 for the entire world.

The eruption of Israeli-Palestinian violence last fall in the Middle East — sparked by right-wing Israeli politician Ariel Sharon's visit in late September to a Jerusalem shrine — fueled anti-Semitic violence around the world.

Also, in the United States, anti-Semitic rhetoric on the far right heated up after the August selection of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Jew, as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. Studies have shown that worldwide, anti-Semitic violence fell significantly between 1994-1999 (after a major increase following the end of the Cold War in 1989).

Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that the number of Americans holding strongly anti-Semitic views decreased from 20% to 12% between 1992 and 1998. But last year's violence may mark the beginning of a worrisome new anti-Semitic trend.

Here, compiled with help from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL, are some key incidents from 2000:

Jan. 13, Russia
A Moscow Jew is murdered in what Jewish officials fear is a hate crime.

Jan. 15, Italy
Accused Serbian war criminal Arkan is murdered, spurring the increasingly neofascist fans of the Lazio soccer club to honor him with signs. Lazio fans are already known for signs like one telling Jewish soccer fans that "Auschwitz Is Your Homeland; The Ovens Are Your Homes." In 1999, Lazio backers were accused of planting bombs at two anti-fascist sites.

Feb. 9, California
Vandals smash windows and burn religious books at a Jewish community center in Ventura.

March, Argentina
Soccer fans at a match in Buenos Aires taunt opposing Jewish fans by chanting "We're going to make soap out of the Jews" and hurling bars of soap.

March 15, California
Two trucks at a Jewish-owned business are destroyed by fire in Petaluma. A scrawled message on a nearby truck reads, "Die, Jew."

March 22, Poland
Hours after people celebrating "Tolerance Day" remove racist graffiti from local buildings, vandals cover a Lodz synagogue with anti-Semitic messages.

April 20, Germany
On Adolf Hitler's birthday, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at a synagogue in Erfurt.

April 20, Greece
Vandals deface a synagogue and Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki.

April 26, England
A teenager is imprisoned for attacking a Jewish boy in Bensham.

April 28, Pennsylvania
A Jew and four other minorities are murdered in an apparent hate crime and two synagogues are shot at near Pittsburgh.

April 28, Russia
The car of a Jewish leader is set afire after being covered with swastikas in Borovichi.

May 4, Washington
A 30-by-60-foot swastika is painted next to a freeway on Mercer Island.

May 17, Texas
Three teenagers are arrested in Santa Fe for threatening to hang a Jewish boy.

May 26, Greece
A Jewish cemetery is vandalized in Athens.

May 27, Pennsylvania
Arson destroys a synagogue in Philadelphia.

June 10, South Africa
A bomb injures three people outside a Jewish bagel restaurant in Cape Town. Police blame a militant Muslim group for this and other violence.

June 11, New York
Four Hasidic Jews are stabbed on the beach at Coney Island by a gang of Hispanic youths.

June 29, Massachusetts
A man from Palmer pleads guilty to making anti-Semitic threats against a Jewish college student. He had sent the student a photo of Holocaust victims as a "reminder" and had written "Armageddon is at your door ... k---! — and I am he."

July 2, Latvia
A Jewish memorial is vandalized in Riga.

July 27, Germany
A bomb at a railway station injures 10 immigrants, including seven Jews, in Düsseldorf.

Aug. 7, Germany
A Jewish family in Bamberg finds a bomb outside their home.

Aug. 9, Texas
An official of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Dallas is suspended and then resigns after making anti-Semitic remarks about vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman.

Sept. 15, Washington
A swastika is burned into the lawn of a Tacoma synagogue.

Sept. 17, Russia
Neo-Nazis invade a Jewish school in Ryazan. Brandishing chains, they destroy an art exhibit and threaten students.

Sept. 18, Italy
Neo-Nazis attack a Jewish schoolteacher in Verona. During the attack they hail Jörg Haider, leader of Austria's far right Freedom Party.

Oct. 1, New York
In the first apparent response to instability in the Middle East, a Jew is attacked and slashed above the eye returning from a Brooklyn synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Oct. 2, France
The first of many French anti-Semitic firebombings occurs at the Rue Gresset Synagogue in Paris.

Oct. 2, New York
A Jewish man on a Brooklyn subway train is kicked and harassed.

Oct. 3, France
A synagogue is firebombed in Villepinte.

Oct. 3, Germany
A Jewish couple is attacked in Schwerin.

Oct. 3, Germany
On the 10th anniversary of German reunification, a synagogue is firebombed in Düsseldorf, vandals paint swastikas at the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald and, within days, a Jewish cemetery in southern Germany will be desecrated.

Oct. 4, Germany
The head of the German Jewish community receives two letter bombs.

Oct. 5, France
A Jewish student is attacked while leaving school in Paris.

Oct. 6, France
Jewish children are stoned leaving school in Savigny sur Orge.

Oct. 7, United Kingdom
Synagogues are bombed in London and Seymour Place and Torah scrolls are burned in Elstree.

Oct. 7, France
An Aubervilliers synagogue and a Paris kosher restaurant are firebombed.

Oct. 8, New York
On Yom Kippur, a bottle full of purple liquid is thrown at a New York synagogue, shattering a glass door.

Oct. 8, France
Arsonists attack synagogues in Lyons, Paris and Marseilles.

Oct. 9, Uzbekistan
Arson destroys a synagogue in Tashkent.

Oct. 9, France
A Creil synagogue and a Jewish high school in Tenoudijo are firebombed. A bullet is fired at one Paris synagogue, and Torah scrolls are destroyed at another. Jews are attacked in Lyons and in Brussels, Belgium.

Oct. 9, Netherlands
An Emmen synagogue is attacked with a Molotov cocktail and another in Oss is invaded by neo-Nazi Skinheads who threaten worshippers.

Oct. 10, France
A synagogue near Paris is firebombed, and another near Versailles is burned to the ground.

Oct. 10, Canada
A Jew returning from synagogue is attacked in Montreal.

Oct. 11, Canada
A Jewish teen is attacked in the Montreal Metro.

Oct. 11, France
Synagogues in Colombes and Creil are firebombed.

Oct. 12, France
Two synagogues and a Jewish bookstore in Paris and a synagogue near Toulon are firebombed. Two Jewish homes near Paris are torched. A Jewish children's school bus is stoned, and an Orthodox Jew is attacked, both near Paris.

Oct. 12, Illinois
In several incidents in Chicago, bullets are fired at a rabbi and Jews are attacked with marbles fired from a slingshot.

Oct. 13, New York
Arson destroys a Syracuse synagogue.

Oct. 13, France
Five synagogues in Paris, along with others in Toulouse and Strasbourg, are firebombed. Bullets are fired at a car and a store owned by Jews in Paris.

Oct. 14, Minnesota
Arson damages a St. Paul synagogue.

Oct. 14, Australia
Molotov cocktails are thrown at a synagogue in Sydney.

Oct. 15, Belgium
A synagogue is firebombed in Brussels.

Oct. 15, Canada
A synagogue is firebombed in Ottawa.

Oct. 15, France
A synagogue is firebombed near Paris.

Oct. 16, France
A kosher butcher shop is firebombed in Toulon.

Oct. 16, England
An Orthodox Jew is stabbed on a London bus in what police call a racially motivated attack.

Oct. 24, Georgia
A man with a shaved head and a swastika tattoo attacks a teenage Jewish girl in Atlanta.

Nov. 1, Canada
Two Edmonton synagogues are firebombed.

Nov. 4, Germany
One thousand neo-Nazis march through Berlin in a political demonstration.

Nov. 10, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A Jewish cemetery is attacked in Sarajevo.

Nov. 20, Russia
A Jewish former government official in Kursk says he was attacked inside a government building by assailants shouting anti-Semitic slurs.

Dec. 7, Australia
A bomb is discovered at a Sydney synagogue.

Dec. 27, Belarus
A synagogue in Minsk is firebombed.

Dec. 28, Romania
Saying they want the "soap made of human fat" supposedly produced at Nazi death camps, vandals attack a Jewish history museum in Bucharest.

Jan. 1, 2001, Nevada
Arson damages the same Reno synagogue that racist Skinheads tried to firebomb in November 1999.