Jerusalem Lawyers Launch Citizen’s War on Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, September 09, 2015 |  David Lazarus

“Any place or anytime where there are anti-Semitic activities, we want to be there to fight back.” That is the battle cry of a new initiative of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice (JIJ), which is organizing an international network of lawyers ready to take legal action against all those persecuting Jews anywhere in the world.

Concerned citizens are being asked to rise up in the face of mounting threats and attacks against Jews around the globe, and to report on anti-Semitic activities as they occur through a website set up to coordinate responses.

Citizen reports can include acts of vandalism and violence, hate speech or anti-Jewish propaganda, posters or fliers being distributed, boycotts or anti-Semitic articles in newspapers or on the Internet. Once the incident is confirmed, a team of international litigators can be organized to provide real-time responses.

“We encourage any person who witnesses an anti-Semitic act, be it verbal or written, to immediately submit documentation thereof to our International Advocacy Team,” reads the website.

Michael Decker, a litigation lawyer with the JIJ, provided an example of how the initiative works during an interview Monday on national Israeli television:

“This week, a group of pro-Palestinian activists protested against Israel on a university campus in Poland. Can you believe that in Poland the crowd was chanting ‘Make soap out of the Jews’? A young student organized a counter protest in order to stop the anti-Semitic hate-speech. However, the activists called the police and started legal proceedings against the student. Incredibly, the student was fined for interfering with their anti-Semitic protest.”

Decker said that as soon as the JIJ became aware of the incident, “We contacted a local Polish lawyer who will defend the student in court. JIJ will also cover all of the legal fees connected with the case to defend the brave student.”

When asked how the organization will manage responding to the huge and growing number of anti-Semitic acts around the globe, Decker had this to say:

“JIJ can coordinate between lawyers and litigators around the world according to the specific cases that arise. We can then begin to build legal cases against the anti-Semitic individuals. Of course there will be cases that we cannot win, particularly when the courts in some countries are anti-Semitic themselves. What we can do is make sure that the incidents are reported to the local police and also raise awareness of the growing scourge of anti-Jewish activities around the world.”

Earlier this week it was reported that a Belgian police officer used social networks to express that if he could, he would "kill each and every one of those dirty Jews." Again, the moment the JIJ found out about this, “we filed a complaint against the police officer with the Belgian police department," said Decker. "We are now waiting for the legal process against him to begin.”

Decker admits that not every case reported can be brought to court. “But at least through these efforts international attention will be drawn to the growing threat of anti-Semitism around the world,” he explained.

Citizens who witness anti-Semitic activities can report them here: jij.org/report-anti-semitism

Or by email: contactus@jij.org.il

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