Israel's Netanyahu slams global rise in anti-Semitism

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Jerusalem (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday denounced a rise in anti-Semitism around the world, at a ceremony on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"The extreme left and the extreme right (around the world) agree on only one thing: their hatred of the Jews," Netanyahu said at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

He pointedly referred to Saturday's shooting in a California synagogue that killed one person and wounded three others, two of them Israelis.

Netanyahu said anti-Semitism was also found in a New York Times cartoon depicting him as a guide dog wearing a Star of David collar and leading a blind US President Donald Trump donning a kippah, or Jewish skullcap.

An apology by the newspaper has been dismissed by Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon who said such images can incite violence against Jews.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meanwhile condemned "all forms of racism and anti-Semitism".

Wednesday's ceremony came as a report by the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, warned that anti-Semitism is on the rise in parts of North America and Europe where Jews once felt safe.

"Anti-Semitism is no longer limited to the far-Left, far-Right and radical Islamists, it has become mainstreamed and often accepted by the civil society," Kantor said, citing an "extreme sense of emergency".

Israel will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday when sirens will blare across the country for two minutes in the morning, followed by a series of events in memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.