MADISON, Wisc. (JTA) — A neo-Nazi group of around 20 people marched through this Midwestern capital city on Saturday morning brandishing black-and-white swastika flags, chanting “There will be blood” and saluting Adolf Hitler.
The group wore shirts labeled “Blood Tribe,” identifying them as members of a white supremacist group that the Anti-Defamation League says “openly directs its vitriol at Jews, ‘non-whites’ and the LGBTQ+ community” and “aims to usher in a resurgence of Nazi ideas and ultimately build a white ethno-state.” The group was founded two years ago and is based in Maine, where its founder had hoped to build a compound, but has adherents elsewhere.
The demonstrators expressed anti-Israel messages in addition to antisemitic ones as they stood in front of the Wisconsin State Capital for about 30 minutes before marching to a nearby park. They chanted “Israel is not our friend” and shouted “We are everywhere,” according to bystanders. They also hurled racial slurs at onlookers.
Videos posted to social media also showed the group stopping in front of the fourth-oldest surviving synagogue structure in the United States, James Madison Park’s Gates of Heaven, which is no longer actively used.
The incident follows a Madison Police investigation into a Nov. 7 incident in which a group of Jewish students reported having a rock thrown at them after attending a vigil supporting Israel. There was a 400% spike in reported antisemitic incidents nationally in the month since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, according to the ADL. In the days following the attack, which sparked an ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the state’s flagship public campus, chanted “Glory to the martyrs” as well as “We will liberate the land by any means necessary.”
“What was clear to me quite quickly is they were emboldened to speak because of the events in Israel,” said Ben Newman, a Jewish student at the University of Wisconsin, regarding the neo-Nazi marchers. “It is disheartening that people do not see that connection between the amount of speech against Israel, the rising antisemitism, and the fact that the worst members of our society, the neo-Nazis, feel emboldened to come out.”
“Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate,” Evers said in a statement. “It’s repulsive and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest terms possible.”
The neo-Nazis briefly walked on the University of Wisconsin campus. Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin called the group “utterly repugnant” and gave a rundown of university resources in a statement sent to students.
“I am horrified to see these symbols here in Madison. Hatred and antisemitism are completely counter to the university’s values, and the safety and well-being of our community must be our highest priorities,” Mnookin, who is Jewish, wrote in the statement.
Newman praised the administration’s swift response but added that he would like to see the same support when people who are not waving Nazi flags have also engaged in antisemitic speech.
“It’s not surprising that we’re able to condemn Nazis, but we struggle to condemn people who call for an intifada,” Newman said, referencing protests on campus. “We really need to reflect on why that is the case as we see antisemitism fester on this campus, and Jewish students feel more isolated from their non-Jewish peers.”
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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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