Anti-Semitism in Europe

While all eyes in relation to anti-Semitism are turned towards the Polish attempt to absolve themselves of any guilt in the massacres of Jews that took -place during WWII in Poland, there are other European countries where anti-Semitism is on the rise.

There were no less than three reports in The Jerusalem Post on Friday related to anti-Semitism.  The most ominous report is that the Community Security Trust, an organisation that provides security to Britain’s Jews and gathers statistics, reported that there was a 30% increase in violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2016 compared to 2015 and a further 3% increase in 2017.  The reported extent of purely verbal anti-Semitic abuse has also risen sharply.

In a separate article, it was reported that Chelsea Football Club is taking extraordinary measures to try to reduce the amount of anti-Semitism that is a regular feature of chants and slogans during matches there.  They have used the pre-game session to try to instil opposition to anti-Semitism by using banners and videos of players and well-known personalities, many of whom are not Jewish, to decry anti-Semitism.  However few believe that this will solve the problem of ingrained anti-Semitism in the British people.  Anti-Semitic chants will probably continue to be a mainstay of all soccer matches in Britain.

No less a person than the French Prime Minister, Edouard Phillipe, stated “there is a new form of brutal and violent anti-Semitism” in France.  This after an 8 year of Jewish boy was brutally attacked in Sarcelles by two 15 year olds, and in a separate incident a Jewish girl’s face was slashed with a knife.  Of course, before that there have been numerous attacks against Jewish individuals, including the callous murder of an elderly Jewish lady in her home and the torture and murder of a French Jew, both of them coincidentally named Halimi.  The French Government lacks the ability to prevent such crimes, when there are right-wing, left-wing and Islamic anti-Semites active in France.

It used to be fashionable to believe that if there was democracy and education, such ancient prejudices as anti-Semitism would wither away.  But, that has certainly not been the case.  People feel free to attack Jews verbally and physically, when they would not attack blacks or other peoples in the same way.  Once again anti-Semitism, in various forms, is both fashionable and politically correct.  I suffered from anti-Semitic attacks, mostly verbal, when I grew up in the UK in the 1950s, so I am not surprised by these reports.  I decided then that there was no way that it could be eradicated, so I left.  I am very happy now that I live in Israel, where we can counter-attack the local anti-Semites as they try to attack us.