Items filtered by date: November 2015

From the Merchant of Venice caricature of the former Greek minister Varufakis to the commemoration of the fascist president Gyula Gömbös by a member of the Jobbik party in Hungary, these October highlights are an overview of the most significative results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Belgium and the United Kingdom. 



gyula gombos

Date of publication: 6 October 2015

Media outlet: Facebook

Author: Istvan Szávay, vice-president of radical nationalistic Jobbik party in Hungary.


Text: “We remember a statesman – Gyula Gömbös 1886.12.26 - 1936.10.06”

Description of the antisemitic content:

On the day when Árpád Göncz, Hungary's first democratically elected president, died, Istvan Szávay (Jobbik) commemorated Gyula Gömbös, prime-minister of Hungary between 1932-36. Even though he died before the World War II and the Shoah, his political acts strengthened the antisemitism that led to the Shoah in Hungary.

The commemoration is followed by an anti-communist quote by Lajos Marschalko, an active propagandist of the Arrow Cross Party (the Hungarian Nazis) in the 1930-40s.

While the post and the quote are not directly and clearly antisemitic, Gömbös and Marschalkó are representing a clear and symbolic message for the nationalistic followers of Szávay. 

Media coverage:

Mainstream media condemned the act of commemoration by Istvan Szávay.

Myth Debunked:

Although this Facebook post does not contain any specific “myth” about Jews, it is a post aimed at remembering an antisemitic Hungarian politician who was active the years before WW2 and the Shoah. Hungary lost more than half of its Jewish population during the Shoah. This facebook post is encouraging positions that minimize the impact of the Shoah in European history.




Date of publication:  22 October 2015

Media outlet: Ham & High - a local London newspaper 

Link: (page 23)

Headline: “Event shouldn’t take place in our borough”

Description of the antisemitic content:

A reader of the newspaper Ham & High is opposing the UK Jewish Film Festival which he has renamed the “Israeli Film Festival”.

The reader calls to a boycott of the festival because according to him Israel is “a state killing people”. The reader says that Israeli cinema and TV industry, benefitting from state support, present Israel in “an unjustified favourable light”, concluding that “therefore the logic is that this should not be allowed”.

About the source:

A letter signed by a man called John McPartlin, supposedly a resident of the neighbourhood, was published in Ham&High, the local newspaper of Hampstead and Highgate in London. The festival is happening in Finchley, within the same borough, in November.

Myth Debunked:

As often in Europe, the adjectives “Jewish” (related to the Jewish people) and “Israeli” (meaning the citizens of the State of Israel) are confused and, as often in antisemitic statements, turned into an attack against Jewish people, here Jewish culture. Here Israel  is reduced to “a state killing people”, not taking into consideration the complex situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For further information, the author’s statement that Israeli cinema and TV industry present Israel in “an unjustified favourable light”, is wrong, as many contemporary Israeli film directors debate critically of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their own movies and present it in an attempt to create dialogues between Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbours (cf. movies of Eytan Fox, Eran Kolirin, Ari Folman, Eran Ryklis, to name just a few examples).



Highlights Greece1

Date of publication: 22 September 2015

Media outlet: Antipliroforisi, blog

Headline: Who does actually control the world? The eternal Jew.

Description of the antisemitic content:

This is a picture implying that Jewish people control everything in the world. It starts with the ironic question of “Who controls the world?” and while going through diverse “fields” (namely: “stock market”, “online spying”, “Hollywood and series”, “courts”, “cancer industry”, “pornography”, “wars in behalf of Israel”, “prostitution”, “supposedly opposition”) ends up with “The eternal Jew”. The picture includes the infamous caricature of a Jewish person with a big nose, rubbing his hands together and each time having the outfit of the equivalent discipline captioned above it e.g. the broker Jew, the internet spy Jew etc.

About the source:

Antipliroforisi is a ultra-nationalistic blog in Greece. Its Facebook page has more than 3.000 likes and its content is full of antisemitic post and pictures. Even its profile picture on Facebook portrays different news channels along with the David star, implying that the Jewish people control the world's media.

Myth Debunked:

This antisemitic cartoon is using the myth of Jewish control over the world and of the responsibility of Jews for the evil of the world. The cartoons clearly remind of antisemitic caricatures of Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the message is the same. This time the authors try to adapt it to the 21st century.





Date of publication: 30 October 2015

Media outletΤa Νea”, Greek daily


Description of the antisemitic content:

The cartoon depicts Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek minister, wearing a kippah and dressed in the style of the “Merchant of Venice” play, with scales and coins in front of him. It recalls the sterotype of  the“money-lender and banker Jew” Varoufakis, well known academic and economist, was Minister of Finance in the previous Syriza government.

About the source:

Published in the centrist daily Nea, one of the main newspapers in Greece, the cartoon was used to illustrate an editorial by the well-known journalist Giorgos Papachristos.

The caricature was shared by too, an ultra-nationalistic news website close to Golden Dawn party.

Varoufakis himself has comdemned the cartoon, and the Jewish Community of Athens issued a public announcement addressed to the newspaper. With very weak justifications, in the following days, Papachristos rejected the accusation of antisemitism on the basis that the caricature evokes Shylock, the protagonist of the Shakespear's Merchant of Venice and by appealing to freedom of expression.

Myth Debunked:

This cartoon draws on the myth relating Jewish people to money exchanges of illegitimate profit for them. The stereotype that greediness is an essential characteristic of Jews emerged in the Middle Ages. Christian law considered usury a sin but Jews were forbidden to own land or to work in the craft sector by discriminatory laws. They therefore became merchants, money-lenders and tax-collectors, which made them easy scapegoats in difficult economic or political times.[Source: ENAR]




 holocaust denial tweet by Kormikiaris

Date of publication: 21 September 2015

Media outlet: Twitter

Author: Petros Kormikiaris, Secretariat General of Information and Communication


Tweet: "I totally question Holocaust as an historic event. Israel state of today is my witness. NO FASCISM IN HUMAN RACE.”

Description of the antisemitic content:

The tweet is denying the Shoah. The author uses the politics of the State of Israel as an argument denying the genocide of the Jews in Europe during the Second World War. In Greece Shoah denial is considered criminal.

About the author:

Petros Kormikiaris, author of this tweet, is a public servant working at the Secretariat General of Information and Communication.

Nikos Pappas, the Secretary of State in charge of the Secretariat General submitted this case to the "Disciplinary Board" of Public Servants asking for Kormikiaris' dismissal.

Myth Debunked:

The systematic murder of the European Jews carried out by the Nazis during the Second World War (1939-1945) is called the Shoah. In addition to the 6 million Jews who perished in the Shoah, other populations were also targeted and a total of at least 11 million people in total are thought to have perished in the Shoah, including among others Roma/Sinti, homosexuals, black people, the mentally and physically disabled, political dissidents, etc.



 highlights Belgium1

Date of publication: 5 October 2015

Media outlet: Facebook

Headline: “Les mensonges sur la création d’Israël (“Lies on the creation of Israel”)

Description of the antisemitic content:

The video is antisemitic because it 1) denies the existence of the Jews as a people 2) denies that the Jews were chased out by the Romans in 70 AD, thus denying the Diaspora 3) denies the link between the Shoah and the creation of the State of Israel, thus minimizing the impact of the Shoah 4) reduces the existence of the State of Israel to – among others – an “expansion project that has no limits”. It is a clear example of how criticism of Israel can actually turn into antisemitism.

About the source:

This video has been shared widely and is reaching a great audience in the francophone world that feels like it has just been educated and that the truth has been revealed to them. The video was shared via the “1.000.000 de j’aime contre Israel” facebook group (“1 million of Likes against Israel”) and currently has over 112,000 views.

Myth Debunked:

The Jews are a people that cannot be reduced to a religion. A Jewish identity has cultural, ethnic, religious, family, personal and many more implications. The creation of the State of Israel cannot be reduced to the impact of the Shoah, but after the persecution of Jews in Europe in the late 19th century, including pogroms and a widespread discrimination, which culminated in the genocide of 6 million European Jews in the Shoah during WW2, there was a feeling that only a Jewish State could guarantee the security of the Jewish people. Zionism is a Jewish national-political movement founded in 1896 by the Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl with the aim of re-establishing a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land. But the yearning to return to Zion (the hill upon which the Temple of Jerusalem was built and the biblical term for both the Land of Israel and Jerusalem) is a key element of Jewish religious life since the Jewish exile from the land two thousand years ago, and is embedded in Jewish prayer, ritual, literature and culture.

Published in Media monitoring