Let’s End European Anti-Semitism

Let’s End European Anti-Semitism

© David Burton 2015

Resurgence of European anti-Semitism

     Europe, the United States and too many others spout platitudes and shed crocodile tears over the rising sickness of anti-Semitism in Europe, but meaningful actions to punish the anti-Semites and reverse the trend are either non-existent, woefully inadequate or pitifully few in numbers.

The Growing Menace of European Anti-Semitism

     According to USA Today (Ref. 1), the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks around the world surged nearly 40% in 2014. There was a sharp rise in the number of incidents seen in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Sweden. However, the highest number of violent cases recorded in 2014 was in France, the country that has consistently seen the most reported cases of anti-Semitic violence worldwide and where a large immigrant Arab and Muslim population resides. In January of 2015, four people were killed at a kosher supermarket during a terrorist attack in Paris.

     Another report noted that by 2013, “Jews were harassed in 34 of 45 European countries, and anti-Semitic harassment worldwide had reached a seven-year high.” . . . “Europe’s leading heads of state acknowledge that Jew-hatred is spreading. Jews are seeing their religious freedom violated, their grave sites vandalized, their synagogues desecrated, and Jewish lives lost.” . . . “Who are committing these acts? While some are nativists, neo-Nazis and skinheads, many others are religious extremists radicalized by those who distort Islam to fit their intolerant agendas. All are deeply hostile to pluralism and democratic liberties.” . . . In just one week of July 2015, in France, “eight synagogues were attacked, a kosher supermarket and pharmacy trashed and looted, and mobs were yelling ‘death to Jews.’ ” . . . “In the U.K., the Jewish Community Security Trust reported more than 1,100 anti-Jewish incidents last year, 81 of which were violent assaults. These incidents ranged from the desecration of Jewish cemeteries to graffiti on Jewish homes to attacks on Jewish schoolchildren to assaults on Jews entering or leaving synagogues. The number of incidents had doubled from 2013, and was the highest figure since the trust began monitoring anti-Semitism in 1984.” . . . “Some say that hatred of the state of Israel, not the Jews of Europe, is behind this upsurge. Yet the cry of many haters is ‘death to all Jews.’ Make no mistake. Acts of terror perpetrated against Jewish schoolchildren in Europe have no conceivable connection to Israel’s policies in the Middle East. Anti-Zionism often is a cloak for anti-Semitism which comes through when people deploy words designed to delegitimize Israel, demonize its people and hold it to standards far above other countries.” (Ref. 2)

     In late March of 2015, “A pair of anti-Jewish incidents rocked two different European communities over the weekend, the latest in a surge of hate-filled anti-Semitism that is sweeping Europe and raising questions over whether Jewish communities should move elsewhere.
     “The first attack took place early Sunday morning, when a gang of inebriated young adults stormed a synagogue in . . . north London, home to around 30,000 Hasidic Jews. Several angry men and women were caught on camera smashing windows and trying to force their way through the synagogue’s doors, where startled worshippers stood ready to defend their house of worship. . . .
      - - -
     “The second incident took place in . . . Hungary, where around 20 Jewish graves were shattered, broken, or otherwise vandalized by an anonymous assailant. The attack, which reportedly included the toppling of gravestones and the scattering of human remains, desecrated the final resting places of some Jews who were buried as far back as the late 1800s. The Deputy State Secretary vowed to take action and the Hungarian Prime Minister condemned the act as a ‘barbaric deed,’ but few could blame the local Jewish community for being skeptical: after all, this is the second time the graveyard has been attacked, the first taking place in 2013.
     “. . . these assaults on Jews and Jewish heritage are . . . becoming frighteningly common in Europe. Incidents of anti-Semitism surged across the continent in 2014 and early 2015, with tiny Jewish communities enduring as much as 50 percent of hate crimes in places such as Paris, France, where Jews are struggling to ascertain their place in European society while staving off an ad-hock campaign of harassment, violence, and death.
     “Europe, of course, has a long, ugly history of anti-Semitism dating back several centuries, if not millennia. But analysts argue that this fresh crop of anti-Jewish hatred appears to arise out of a modern mix of right-wing political rhetoric and religious extremism. Many . . . cite Islam as justification for violence against Jews . . . During Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas . . . French synagogues were attacked by protestors chanting ‘Death to Jews,’ and a similar band of German protesters reportedly sang ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.’
     “But these aggressions are perpetrated by only a tiny fraction of the European Muslim population, and are nowhere near enough to constitute the totality of the Jewish community’s struggles. Rather, religious extremists are bolstered by a rash of homegrown anti-Jewish sentiment bubbling up within many right-wing — and even left-wing — European circles. In Greece, where members of neo-fascist groups such as the Golden Dawn party openly tout their hatred of Jews, a recent poll found that 69 percent of adults hold anti-Semitic views. [Emphasis mine] Unsurprisingly, a 2013 poll conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that 40 percent of French Jews and a quarter of all Jews in Europe are afraid to go out in public while wearing a kippah . . . [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     “. . . the spike in anti-Semitic attacks has fueled something of a minor Exodus of Jews from Europe to Israel and elsewhere. . . . France became the number one source of immigration to Israel in 2014, when around 7,200 Jews fled homes in Paris and Marseille for cities such as Jerusalem. That’s more than double the number who did so in 2013 (3,200) and triple the amount that came in 2012 (1,900).
     In an article by Jeffrey Goldberg titled: Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? He concluded with a dark declaration that “I am predisposed to believe that there is no great future for the Jews in Europe, because evidence to support this belief is accumulating so quickly . . . But I am also predisposed to think this because I am an American Jew—which is to say, a person who exists because his ancestors made a run for it when they could.” (Ref. 3)

     “As of August 2015, attacks against Jews in France have surged by 84% since the murder of four Jews at a kosher market in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack this past January, according to a new report by the Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ)” (Ref. 4), while in October of 2015. It was reported that, “anti-Semitic crimes have risen to a five-year high in Germany.” (Ref. 5)

     “The current worldwide wave of anti-Semitism shows that expressions of it that in the past may have been restricted to extremists, have now permeated mainstream European society. In France it may be more pronounced than elsewhere in Europe . . .
     “. . . while French Muslims are a major force in the violent anti-Jewish attacks, ‘anti-Semitism exists in France, which has nothing to do with the Islamists. The new anti-Semitism, disguised as anti-Zionism, is very present in the extreme left and right . . .’
     “French anti-Semitism finds a fertile infrastructure in the negative view most Frenchmen hold of Israel. . . .” (Ref. 6)

     Until very recently, many considered Greece to be the worst of the anti-Semitic countries in Western Europe. “Among the pre-2004 members of the European Union, it is in Greece that . . . verbal anti-Semitism - and general xenophobia – {was} probably the worst. The political and media climate in the country {was} conducive to a broad range of anti-Semitic activities. Whereas in many European countries much of the most violent anti-Semitism {came} from the Arab and Muslim communities, in Greece this {was} not the case. . . .
     “In Greece, one does not have to buy newspapers to read their anti- Semitic remarks. Many kiosks hang such newspapers with pegs from a wire all day while weeklies hang there for the entire week. One can thus read the front page regardless of whether or not one actually purchases the paper. Sometimes this page is blatantly anti-Semitic. {One} has even serialized The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Consequently, one no longer has to buy the book, which is not terribly hard to find in Greek bookstores in the first place. . . .
(Ref. 6)

     “{Some 10 years back,} there {was} a great deal of anti-Semitic graffiti in Greece. Holocaust monuments and Jewish cemeteries {were} frequently vandalized. Swastikas {were} recurrent. Anti-Semitic cartoons {were} common even in mainstream papers.” (Ref. 6) Such an atmosphere could only have a strong influence on the youth of Greece

     Unquestionably, Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. “Public expressions of Jew-hatred tend to spike when Israel is at war, but this round has been exceptionally nasty. In France, pro-Palestinian demonstrations have descended into full-blown riots and pogroms, with synagogues firebombed and Jewish neighborhoods ransacked; German streets have been filled with cries of ‘Jews to the gas!’; and abuse on social media has simply been too rife to quantify.
     “European leaders have begun to understand the gravity of the crisis. The German, French, and Italian foreign ministers have issued a joint declaration condemning anti-Semitic rhetoric and attacks. . . .
     "But across Europe’s vestigial Jewish communities, there is a sense that non-Jews just don’t get it. After all, none of this is new. Indeed, the heightened security around synagogues and Jewish schools is so commonplace that Jews have become accustomed to it. . . .
      - - -
     Anti-Semitism has historically coexisted with Jewish flourishing, often because of, not despite, Jewish integration into the establishment. . . . Jewish prosperity has historically blinded people to the fragile foundations on which it rests and the explosive dangers underneath. Thus, Iraq’s Jews used to form the backbone of their country’s economy, but they were still chased out by a tide of popular anti-Jewish revulsion. Across the Arab world, anti-Semitism was fueled by a perception of the Jews as being in league with the colonial powers—a trend that still continues, as Jews are associated with Israel, and Israel with imperialism.” (Ref. 7)

The Sources of Modern European Anti-Semitism

     “Contemporary European anti-Semitism flourishes within three major sectors of European society. The first consists of the Arab and Islamic communities, large parts of which import from the Arab world the most virulent strain of anti-Semitism. These do not differentiate between Israelis and Jews. Their hate literature includes the 19th-century forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which alleges that all Jews conspire to rule the world. Other major sources of hatred spread by Arabs - including governments - propagate the libel that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children to make matzoth.
     “The second sector where anti-Semitism is rife consists of the extreme Right and neo-Nazis. They mainly repeat the motifs propagated by Hitler's Germany, adding some new variants as well.
     “The third societal area marked by strong anti-Semitic expressions is the extreme Left. Its argumentation was largely developed by the Soviet Union in the years after the 1967 Six Day War. This anti-Semitism - cloaked as anti-Zionism - accuses Israel of all the evils perpetrated by colonialist Europe. This propaganda is exceedingly evil because, as French linguist Georges-Elia Sarfati notes, it attaches ‘the four major negative characteristics of Western history in the last century - Nazism, racism, colonialism and imperialism - to the State of Israel.’ (Ref. 6)

     “. . . significant similarities exist between today and the 1930s, when Germany was the core promoter of systematic hatred of the Jews. Nowadays, influential forces demonizing the Jews are again at work, mainly outside Europe. In the postmodern world this role is distributed among many governments, religious bodies, and media in the Arab world. They do not differentiate in their mortal hatred between Israelis and Diaspora Jews.
     “In the 1930s, the Nazis claimed Jews were the source of all evil in the world, a role many Arabs now pin both on Israel and the Jews. Before the world war, those at the origins of demonization had many helpers, dispensers, and sympathetic bystanders. The Germans' National Socialist satellites and fascist allies abroad distributed the hate locally. During the war itself, many opportunists joined them in their actions. Today, Arab demonizers have many loyal supporters.
      - - -
     “. . . many contemporary Europeans share the wish of Arab hate-mongers for Israel's disappearance since they imagine that if Israel ceases to exist, there will be no more terror.” (Ref. 6) Unfortunately, as anyone with half a brain is aware, this is nothing more than “whistling in the dark” and wishful thinking. Israel and Jews are serving as the scapegoat and the sacrificial lamb. If Israel and Jews were to disappear from the face of the earth, the appetites of the purveyors of terror would not be sated and the terrorists would next feast on the remaining lambs – those who today demonize Jews and Israel.

The Fostering of Modern European Anti-Semitism

     ”The resurgence of European anti-Semitism after the Holocaust suggests that it has deep roots in society. It has been fostered in a great variety of ways by so many, for such a long time, in all European countries that one might consider this form of hate and discrimination as inherent to European culture and a part of European 'values.' New European anti-Semitism often originates from a young age, which indicates that it is an anti-Semitism of the future rather than of the past.
     “The European Union's attitude toward anti-Semitism is double-handed. Through its discriminatory declarations and votes in international bodies the EU acts as an arsonist, fanning the flames of anti-Semitism in its anti-Israeli disguise. Simultaneously it also serves as fireman, trying to quench the flames of classic religious and ethnic anti-Semitism. France is paradigmatic of this approach. Although European anti-Semitism cannot be eradicated, certain steps can be taken to mitigate it. This requires a major change in discriminatory EU policies toward Israel. In the meantime there are increasing indications that the European battle against anti-Semitism may be used, to the contrary, to facilitate attacks on Israel.
(Ref. 6)

     As recent events in Europe have shown, many Europeans hold anti-Semitic opinions. The widespread resurgence of European anti-Semitism after the Holocaust may well indicate that it is inherent in European culture and values. Anti-Semitism appears to have evolved over a period of many centuries and has become embedded in much of European societal mindset and behavior.

     “Today, in the second decade of the 21st century, anti-Semitism is alive, active and virulent after seven decades of “Holocaust education, interfaith dialogue, United Nations' declarations, dozens of museums and memorials, hundreds of films, thousands of courses, and tens of thousands of books dedicated to exposing its evils; after the Stockholm Conference, after the creation of a National Holocaust Memorial Day, after 2,000 religious leaders came together in the United Nations in August 2000 to commit themselves to fight hatred and engender mutual respect.
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     “The beginning of violent European anti-Semitism is often traced to the Crusades at the end of the eleventh century. Others claim it commenced in 1010 with organized mass murders of Jews in France, followed by massacres in areas that are now part of Germany. For almost a thousand years the many versions of religious anti-Semitism have been accompanied by other manifestations of Jew-hatred in political, economic, and cultural spheres.
     “The ethnic or ‘racist’ variant of political Jew-hatred began in the late 19th century in Germany. At that time the term anti-Semitism first appeared. Fed also by the religious variety, this culminated in the genocide of the Holocaust.” (Ref. 6)

     In 21st century Europe, we find that many classic anti-Semitic prejudices are widespread, while new ones are constantly developing. There are multiple forms of Jew-hatred among politicians, the media, the cultural elite, Christian clergy, schoolchildren, the less educated, among the extreme Right and the liberal Left, and especially in the European Arab and Islamic communities.

     The encouragement and spread of anti-Semitism is facilitated by modern media, such as television and the Internet, which disseminate anti-Semitic writings and cartoons with great speed. By 2005, there were more than three thousand anti-Semitic websites around the world.[6]

     Christian anti-Semitism remains in Europe. The phenomenon is particularly developed in Greece. The rabbi of Salonika has said that, "Greece is a very traditional society, and they blame the Jews for killing Jesus. There are still people who believe that Jews drink the blood of Christians on Passover." (Ref. 6)

Arab and Muslim Contributions to European Anti-Semitism

     “. . . European anti-Semitism {today often comes} . . . from Muslim quarters. . . . Britain’s most prominent Muslim journalist, has called the ‘virus’ of “routine and commonplace’ anti-Semitism the ‘dirty little secret’ of British Muslims. And the riots in France have been predominantly the work of North African immigrants.
     “. . . Combatting this hatred requires recognising uncomfortable facts . . . but politicians are loathe to single out a minority for public criticism—especially not one that is itself targeted by the far-right, and one that far outnumbers the smaller Jewish minorities. {Also,} any attempt to address Muslim anti-Semitism specifically might be interpreted as a witch-hunt by ‘powerful Jews,’ further entrenching the usual stereotypes.
     “In effect, then, Europe’s Jews are paying the price for the continent’s failure to effectively integrate its immigrant communities. . . .
     “{Additionally}, the increasingly thin line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism means that anti-Semitism can be difficult to identify, concealed behind ‘anti-Israel’ rhetoric. Accusations of anti-Semitism are often met with the riposte that Jews are just ‘crying anti-Semitism’ to silence criticism of Israel. . . .
     “Anti-Semitism will continue to bedevil Europe until people understand what it is and where it is coming from. Until then—well, perhaps the exodus of 1 percent of French Jewry this year to Israel is a harbinger of things to come.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 7)

European Anti-Semitism Hiding Behind the Mask of Support for the Palestinian People

     A new version of anti-Semitism attempts to hide under the cover of anti-Zionism which targets Israel, the Jewish state. These Jew-haters call themselves anti-Zionists. They also masquerade as defenders of the poor oppressed Palestinian people through movements like the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement. Their underlying objective is the demonization of Jews and the elimination of Israel. As Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler observed: "Traditional anti-Semitism denied Jews the right to live as equal members of society, but the new anti-Jewishness denies the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations." (Ref. 6) Anti-Zionists accept the right of other peoples to national feelings and a defensible state. But they reject the right of the Jewish people to have its national consciousness expressed in the State of Israel and to make that state secure. Thus, they are not judging Israel with the values used to judge other countries. Such discrimination against Jews is anti-Semitism.[6]

     “Anti-Semitism is an extreme form of irrational hate, which should not be confused with strong criticism.” (Ref. 6)

     “Several government-owned media in Europe discriminate against Israel and the Jews. Sometimes they even incite explicit hatred against them. Allowing them to do so is an indirect expression of government anti-Semitism.” (Ref. 6)

     While physically separated from mainland Europe by the North Sea, the capital of the island-nation of Iceland recently demonstrated the existence of European style anti-Semitism there. In mid-September, Reykjavík’s City Council voted that the city would no longer purchase products from Israel.[8]

     “. . . the Reykjavik City Council voted in favor of a general boycott of Israeli goods ‘as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues’ . . .
     “{In a typically hypocritical move to mask their anti-Semitism} Council members said the boycott was a symbolic act demonstrating the Icelandic capital’s support for Palestinian statehood and condemnation of Israel’s ‘policy of apartheid.’
     “Israel’s Foreign Ministry {had} condemned the move, and, in an apparent reference to Iceland’s status as a hotbed of volcanic activity, said ‘a volcano of hatred spews forth from the Reykjavik city council building.'
     “ ‘For no reason or justification, except hatred for its own sake, calls of boycotting the state of Israel are heard,’ the Foreign Ministry said . . . ‘We hope someone in Iceland will come to their senses and end the one-sided blindness fielded against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.’ “ (Ref. 9)

     Under Israeli and Islandic government pressure, the “controversial and harshly criticized decision by the Reykjavik City Council to boycott Israeli products was retracted.[8]

     It was announced that “The proposal will be amended to indicate that the Council will be boycotting only those goods produced ‘in occupied areas’ . . .
     Before the retraction was announced, Israeli Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid announced that he published an op-ed in two Icelandic publications entitled The Hypocrisy of [a] Boycott. In the article, Lapid quite correctly criticized the boycott movement as a whole, pointing out that its real anti-Semitic and anti-Israel objective was “not the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel but a Palestinian state on the ashes of Israel.” (Ref. 9)


     BDS, Boycott, Divest and Sanction, is nothing but blatant anti-Semitism and those who promote it are full-blown anti-Semites, closet anti-Semites, or ignorant dupes of anti-Semites! European governments that support BDS or who fail to speak out against BDS are guilty of fostering anti-Semitism!

     Many of the bigots and Israel-haters who support BDS also want Israel to be declared guilty of the crime of Apartheid. Fair-minded Europeans need to ignore the call for BDS, the labeling of Israel as Apartheid, and the call to condemn Israel’s military of war crimes and crimes against humanity. BDS seeks to de-legitimize the one and only true democracy in the Middle East - Israel. European supporters of BDS never acknowledge Israel's repeated efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians and never condemn the refusal of Palestinians to accept these offers.

     Some BDS promoters are motivated by a counterfactual and nonsensical belief that Israel is singularly responsible for the continuation of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. These same BDS advocates fail to speak up about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the violence and ideology of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. They ignore the atrocities of ISIS and Boko Haram, two groups that have engaged in horrific crimes against humanity on two different continents – often specifically targeting Christians.

     The conclusion is inescapable: champions of BDS are irrationally obsessed with Israel and indifferent to Arab and Muslim misdeeds, no matter how outrageous and horrific. Misdeeds perpetrated by Arabs and Muslims simply do not offend their sensibilities. BDS does not promote peace, but is part of a decades-long propaganda war against Israel. It is part and parcel of a much longer-term war against Jews, hiding behind a new face of bigotry and anti-Semitism. Ignoring BDS is no less of a crime than supporting it. BDS is another aspect of anti-Semitism and Europe must do its part to combat the movement if it is rid itself of the virulence now contaminating its shores.

Europe’s Schizophrenic Behavior Toward Anti-Semitism

     “Recently, the European Union has made some efforts to counteract anti-Semitism. Yet its frequent one-sided condemnations of Israel over the years have been an integral part of the incendiary efforts against Israel, which have impelled the outbursts of European anti-Semitism. [Emphasis mine] . . . In many condemnations of Israeli policy France has played a leading role, as has been particularly evident in UN voting.
     “The European Union's anti-Semitism can be described as double-handed. With its inflammatory anti-Israeli declarations, it plays the role of arsonist. [Emphasis mine] The EU also serves as ‘fireman’ by trying, at the same time, to quench the flames of classic anti-Semitism. . . .
     “One example of how EU members promote incitement occurred on 15 April 2002 when Sweden, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal supported a resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights that, . . . ‘endorsed Palestinian terrorism and accused Israel of carrying out 'mass killings' in the disputed territories.’ “ (Ref. 6)

     Until very recently, there has been substantial denial of the existence of anti-Semitism by European leaders. This very denial has been a contributor to the increase in European anti-Semitic violence. Anti-Semitism cannot be fought where there is obstinate denial that the phenomenon even exists.

     The main problem in fighting European anti-Semitism is the political and media climate there. “The first important step would be for European governments to halt their discriminatory statements against Israel. One should not, however, be too hopeful because it will be difficult to undo what has been indirectly promoted for so long. This is all the more so because it is an accretion to the longstanding elements of anti-Semitism in European culture.
     “Various optimistic observers say that all will become quiet again when a "just peace with the Palestinians" is reached, ignoring the genocidal intentions of substantial parts of the Palestinian population and leadership. If a peace or temporary truce is reached, this may be helpful to the extent that extreme left-wing anti-Semitism will be somewhat diverted to undermining other aspects of Western society. These positions ignore, however, the fact that the Arab hate campaigns against the West, including the Jews, have an ideological background that goes far beyond the Palestinian issue. (Ref. 6)

     One clear indicator of the European governments' failure to adequately combat anti-Semitism is that Jews often have to hide their identity when they are in public. Violent threats by immigrants from Muslim countries are not the only way Jews are intimidated in Europe. They are often held responsible for Israel's deeds by their fellow citizens. In such an anti-Israeli European atmosphere, some Jews now remain silent about their identification with Israel and avoid criticizing their own governments.

     European anti-Semitism “illustrates that what Europe claims and wants to be is not what it is. It shows that many of the truth-seeking, humanitarian, and democratic claims of Europe are largely a facade. That many Jews are so intimidated that they try to hide their identity in public is a major new accusation on the Jewish people's lengthy charge sheet against the European democracies.
     “The initial ongoing denial by European governments of the anti-Semitic explosion reflects the state of truth-seeking in Europe. That most perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents are never found is a further indicator of the poor protection of civil liberties in these arrogant democracies. That so few of the identified perpetrators are brought to court and even fewer are convicted provides both a litmus test as to the true European state of mind on racism as well as an indictment of European justice.
     “The European governments' attitude toward Israel as expressed by its one-sided and discriminatory declarations fits several of the criteria of new anti-Semitism . . . It also shows how anti-Semitism and politics march hand in hand. The increasing number of conferences, declarations, and even actions against anti-Semitism aim to strengthen one side of Europe's double face. However, as long as the major dark aspects of its other face are not reduced and eliminated, the positive acts cannot undo what Europe incites. Europe's double-faced attitude is an indication of the intimate link between Europe's anti-Semitism and its politics.
    - - -
     “{It has become} unequivocally clear that there are sizable hotbeds of extreme racism among the Islamic minorities in Europe. It is beyond doubt that Europe has financed the education and propagation of hate by the Palestinian Authority. {It can also be charged} that the European Union has also de facto supported Palestinian terrorism against Israel civilians with its funds.” (Ref. 6)

Choosing to Escape European Anti-Semitism

     In light of the growing and increasingly violent nature of the anti-Semitism in Europe, leaving there is one option for its Jews, as suggested by Benjamin Netanyahu, when, following the shootings in Paris and Copenhagen, he said, “Jews have been murdered again on European soil . . . Israel is your home.” It may seem paradoxical that attacks in Paris and Copenhagen should drive European Jews to consider emigrating to Israel, where they would hardly be free of terrorism. Yet those who emigrate are not seeking freedom from violence so much as the ability to live an openly Jewish life in a way that is becoming harder in Europe. Many may resent Mr. Netanyahu’s invitation; some, at least, will still consider it. (Ref. 10)

What Is America Doing to Help Combat European Anti-Semitism?

     “Recalling the horrific era of concentration camps and unbridled anti-Semitism, the president of the World Jewish Congress warned that the global hatred of Jews has returned to levels unseen since World War II and questioned why the United States isn’t doing more to counter it.
     “’Where is the United States?’ Ronald Lauder asked a congressional panel {in late March of 2015}. ‘Why isn’t the United States leading the world in this crisis?’
     “Lauder, the former ambassador to Austria under President Ronald Reagan, called out US leaders for skipping a unity march following the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store in Paris.
     “’My fear is that muted condemnations, or worse — silence — could lead to what we saw in Europe 70 years ago and that led to deaths of 60 million people and the destruction of a continent,’ Lauder said.
     “The comments came at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing where officials said the number of anti-Jewish attacks has doubled in one year in France, Great Britain and Austria. (Ref. 11)

Teach Your Children Well

     Anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and basic concepts of humanity. It is an abomination that needs to be eradicated once and for all. Simply offering condolences after an anti-Semitic act is perpetrated is not enough! Condemning anti-Semitism with meaningless words while encouraging it with anti-Semitic actions that hide behind the cloak of support of those that overtly display their hatred of Jews and the Jewish State must stop!

     Europe must more vigorously combat the extreme Right and the neo-Nazis who continue to promulgate the racial hatred espoused by Adolph Hitler and his fascist followers. Europe must take steps to rein in its modern media, such as television and the Internet, which readily disseminate anti-Semitic writings and cartoons with such alacrity. Religious leaders of all denominations in Europe must speak up and unambiguously condemn anti-Semitism. This cannot be a one-time denunciation – it must be a constant and persistent reminder that anti-Semitism is simply not tolerated. Anti-Semitism under the cover of anti-Zionism which targets Israel, the Jewish state, must stop. Europe’s frequent one-sided condemnations of Israel over the years have given legitimacy to the outbursts of European anti-Semitism and must end. In responding to attacks on Israel and Israelis and the retaliation by Israel, Europe needs to unequivocally condemn the attackers and instigators and refrain from trying to be even-handed by concurrently condemning the actions of Israel in responding. Likewise, European calls for “proportional” responses to terrorist attacks need to end. Responses to terrorism need never be proportional, A proportional response is self-defeating and plays into the hands of the terrorists.

     Europe should stop its financing of the propagation of hate in the schools operated by the Palestinian Authority and other Islamic organizations which are bent on the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel. The political and religious leaders of Europe, along with the media need to call out, castigate and punish with concrete actions those forked-tongue Arab/Muslim leaders who refuse to unambiguously condemn: anti-Israel and anti-Jewish acts; Holocaust deniers; those who deny the existence of a Jewish presence in Israel during the past 5 centuries; and all those who deny Israel’s right to exist.

     Most importantly, the teaching of Jew-hatred in all its manifestations must be ended and replaced with the teaching of tolerance and acceptance of all well-meaning peoples. Those places where hatred, intolerance, inhumanity and genocide are taught and encouraged must be rooted out and destroyed. Those who spew forth their teachings of hate and ethnic cleansing must be caught and punished for their crimes against humanity. Fair minded governments must forcefully embrace the message of equality and universal tolerance. These same governments cannot simply react to anti-Semitism after it occurs – they must proactively take measures to ensure that it will not occur. This requires a meaningful 24-7 program to defeat anti-Semitism before it can ever raise its ugly head. The war on anti-Semitism must be a take-no-prisoners war.

     Finally, the war against anti-Semitism must start with the education of our young. The anti-Semites of the world have long understood this and they have been inculcating their youth with the messages of Jew-hatred and Jew-extermination for centuries. We must be much more aggressive in combatting and stamping out these vicious and venomous teachings. For too long, well-meaning peoples have ignored and even supported those who have been teaching ruthlessness, intolerance and hatred to the young in their countries, schools and religious institutions.

     The song Teach Your Children was written by Graham Nash. It was recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970. The recording featured Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. In the song, we find the phrase “Teach your children well”.

     It is more imperative than ever that we teach our children well. We must teach them tolerance and we must teach them to always fight against intolerance. The message must be clear and it must be constantly repeated and emphasized. What is instilled in our children when they are young is what they will carry into adulthood and what they will teach their children – witness the consequences of generations of Arab and Muslim children who have been brain-washed into jihadist terrorism in the Madrassa’s and the extremist-run Islamic schools.

     Europe has historically been either complicit in or much too complacent about anti-Semitism. The result is the increasingly violent wave of anti-Semitism now sweeping through much of the region. The time has come for Europe (and others) to get serious and to start the process of redressing its past errors. There was a time when signs in Nazi Germany read “Juden Verboten” (Jews not allowed). Today, we need to see signs in every European language that read “Anti-Semitism Not Tolerated" and the message thus conveyed must be enforced with vigor. The fight against anti-Semitism in Europe cannot be a battle only after an anti-Semitic act is committed - the fight must be continuoue and unrlenting, even in times of apparent quiet. The fight against anti-Semitism must be viewed as an unending war until such time as all aspects of this virulent disease are stamped out once and for all.



  1. Anti-Semitic violence surged 40% worldwide last year, Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today, 16 April 2015.
  2. An Unsafe Place for Jews, U.S. News - Opinion, 2 April 2015.
  3. As Another Weekend Of Anti-Semitism Sweeps Europe, Jews Weigh Their Options, Marisa Schultz, New York Post, 24 March 2015.
  4. em>“Take that, dirty Jew”, World Jewish Congress, 11 August 2015.
  5. Rise in attacks on Jews in Germany, The Jewish Advocate, Page 2, October 9, 2015.
  6. The Deep Roots of Anti-Semitism in European Society, Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: Jewish Political Studies Review 17:1-2, Spring 2005.
  7. Fear of a new darkness, The Economist, 21 February 2015.
  8. Why the capital of Iceland has decided to boycott Israeli goods, Michal Addady, Fortune, 17 September 2015.
  9. Iceland capital retracting decision to boycott Israel, Ilan ben Zion, Times of Israel, 19 September 2015.
  10. Why Europe Has Trouble Fighting Anti-Semitism, Eylon Aslan-Levy, Tablet, 31 July 2014.
  11. Jewish leaders question US inaction on European anti-Semitism, Marisa Schultz, New York Post, 24 March 2015.

  19 October 2015 {Article 235; Undecided_44}    
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