Anti-Semitism: New Trends in Old Hatred

In Denmark, for example, "there were as many anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2006 as in the entire year of 2005, with most aimed at people going to synagogue or at children on their way to school," reported Human Rights First in its 2007 Hate Crimes Survey.

Amid this rash of attacks around the world, Iranian President Ahmadinejad has made a name for himself with anti-Israel rhetoric and by continuing to challenge the academic and historical record of the Holocaust.

In the past, he has called for the annihilation of the Jewish state and Monday, in a speech at Columbia University, said new research on the Holocaust was necessary to determine if the established history of the event was accurate.

While no one would blame Ahmadinejad for directly inciting the most recent anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, observers said his high-profile gives credibility to new Islamist versions of anti-Semitism.

"He creates an environment that makes incidents more acceptable. … Ahmadinejad is a world leader, and when he spews this garbage, it trickles down. Much of what he says is echoed by the attackers in Europe and Russia," Lautner said.

Much of Islamist anti-Semitism is driven by the ongoing conflict in Israel over the fate of the Palestinians.

When asked his comments on the destruction of Israel, Ahmadinejad dodged the question and spoke instead about the plight of the Palestinians.

"The best way to combat anti-Semitism and Holocaust denials is to reach out to our neighbors, Muslim and Christian," said Cooper.

"In between grass-roots thugs and Ahmadinejad, lots of work needs to be done," he said, "to educate people about the Holocaust and to work with local leaders."

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