General Antisemitism

Jews abandon European city amid growing anti-Semitism


This must read, by Donald Snyder of The Forward, published recently in Haaretz, focuses on Muslim anti-Semitism in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. However, the piece focuses on the broader European phenomenon of increasing hostility towards Jews and, most frightening, included these passages:

A continent-wide study, conducted by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at the University of Bielefeld in Germany, released in December 2009, found that 45.7% of the Europeans surveyed agree somewhat or strongly with the following statement: “Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.” And 37.4% agreed with this statement: “Considering Israel’s policy, I can understand why people do not like Jews.”

“[There is] quite a high level of anti-Semitism that is hidden beneath critics of Israel’s policies,” said Beate Kupper, one of the study’s principal researchers, in a telephone interview with the Forward, citing this data and a tendency to “blame Jews in general for Israel’s policies.”

Kupper said that in places where there is a strong taboo against expressions of anti-Semitism, such as Germany, “Criticism of Israel is a great way to express your anti-Semitism in an indirect way.”

The anti-Semitism, and extreme anti-Israel bias, at The Guardian – which this blog primarily focuses on – clearly is part of a much larger ideological trend spreading across the Continent.  Those of us who consistently express alarm over what we perceive to be the increasing respectability of classic anti-Semitic tropes – and yet have to endure complaints that the Jewish community always “exaggerates” the extent of the problem – would (unfortunately) seem to be vindicated by the results of this study.

If we’ve learned anything from history it’s that Jewish safety – indeed, Jewish freedom – can not be taken for granted, not now, not ever.

Read the full essay, here.

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  1. Slowly and insidiously, its creeping on.

    The Friends of Israel Initiative by former prominent European politicians is an excellent fightback against the growing hostility in Europe but will it be enough to stem this hateful tide?

    We cannot afford to be complacent for a moment.