Anti-Semitism on the Rise in Europe

October 5, 2012 2:26 am 10 comments

A Swedish boycott Israel-poster. Photo: Jacob Rask.

Seven months ago, following the abhorrent anti-Semitic comments by Baroness Tonge, I wrote an Op-Ed for Progress about how Anti-Semitism is still alive in Europe. What I didn’t know back then is that we were going to witness a sharp rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in the UK and in Europe. While there are no official statistics in Europe, and the EU is now conducting a survey into anti-Semitism in 9 European countries, in the UK, the Community Security Trust (CST) recorded in 2011 a total of 586 anti-Semitic crimes in the UK.  But in the first six months of 2012, 513 potential incidents were reported, and 299 cases were deemed anti-Semitic so far.

While half of the incidents last year took place in Manchester, there is a significant rise of 48% in the number of events in London (148 incidents compared with 100 during the same period last year). A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of mine, Rabbi Yisroel Lew who heads the Bloomsbury Chabad was attacked verbally and physically in the West End.  Although he reported it to the Police and CST, the Rabbi hesitated to go to the press, but after I spoke to him personally and managed to convince him, I made contact with the Jewish Chronicle and they ran the story.  It was important to get the message out, that anti-Semitic attacks of any kind will not be tolerated, especially after Rabbis have recently been attacked in Vienna, Berlin and Lyon.

Anti-Semitism has deep roots in Europe and there are different sources and motivations for it. The sources are not important, the need for solutions and eradicating it is. There are three pillars in the fight against anti-Semitism: Legislation, Law-Enforcement and Education. From the legal aspect, a legal action can only be taken if there is a law and unfortunately in many EU countries there are limited hate laws, and anti-Semitic attacks can only be addressed through the criminal courts.  In terms of law-enforcement, the local authorities must show zero-tolerance towards anti-Semitic attacks of any kind and not turn a blind eye to incidents, like is being done in some European countries.  To give an example of how the situation in the UK has deteriorated, is that last year was the first time that the government gave funding for security in Jewish schools.

Education is also a very important element in the fight against anti-Semitism. European governments should make sure the holocaust is in the curriculum at schools, and schools should organize educational trips to visit the concentration and death camps. This is an addition to educating kids from a young age that any prejudice is unacceptable but in particular anti-Semitism. Tolerance and respect to minorities and different religious and ethnic groups are the fundamentals of every democracy and it is our role as a society to make sure that these values are protected.

It is not a slogan that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, it is a fact. We in the European Jewish Parliament will continue tirelessly to lobby local parliaments and politicians across Europe and work with the EU Institutions to make sure the fight against anti-Semitism is a priority. We witnessed the terrible massacre in Toulouse earlier this year, the bombing of a community center in Malmo and many other serious attacks against Jews across the continent. The future of Jews in Europe is under threat and being Jewish we shouldn’t ask ourselves ‘what will happen’ but ‘what we are going to do about it’.

Tal Ofer is a UK member of the European Jewish Parliament.

10 Comments

  • mariah Hanshaw

    The Jews are God’s chosen people and they are some of the greatest contributors to the advancement of society. Without Israel, all other nations will crumble. Israel will live forever as promised in the Bible. Get used to it and stop the hatred!

    The reason why the Jews are hated is because some people are jealous of their favor with God. Whoever hates Jews will be cursed and whoever supports them will be blessed. That’s also a promise in the Bible.

  • Why should the Jew of Malmo leave? Are they not Swedish citizens? Should not the Swedish govt protect their citizens?
    Thank the Founders for the Second Amendment .

  • WHEN WILL YOU LEARN ANTI-SEMITISM CAN NOT BE ERADICATED IN THE WEST.
    THE WEST IS SOAKED IN CHRISTIANITY, THIS RELIGION DOES NOT NEED ANY REASON FOR HATE IT IS AN AUTOMATIC REACTION
    TO OTHER PEOPLE CONSIDERED LESS WORTHY OF LIFE.

    • @Pim,
      I am a born again Christian. On the contrary real Christians do not hate Jews,rather we bless you. As The Lord said to Abraham I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you. The Lord bless you Pim.

  • John Zimmerman

    Excellent article.
    I do have one comment on “The sources are not important, the need for solutions and eradicating it is.”

    Obviously it is important to understand the sources – as a means of defense.

  • Henriette J. van Dijk

    Hopefully the EU starts within her own ranks. Through the ages anti-Semitism, was stirred up – out of self-interest- by the elite. A group of which Baroness Tonge is a participant. Nowadays it’s called ‘respectable anti-Semitism’. In May 2011 Moshe Kantor said it’s a new phenomenon. But to my opinion it has always been present among our influential prominent and respectable European leaders. In most cases they keep their views indoors.
    Kantor refers to Thilo Sarrazin, who is a member of the board of the German Bundesbank and the Belgian Karel de Gucht, chief commissioner of Trade. In ‘Die Welt am Sonntag’ Sarrazin made a few statements about genetic identity and the Jewish gene. In a radio interview Gucht spoke about the Jewish lobby in the US in a negative way and about the ‘irrational behavior’ of Jews concerning Israel and the Middle east.
    Another random selection from the smelly barrel:
    The General Secretary of the (Socialist) Education Trade Union in Belgium (ACOD), Hugo Deckers, threatened with actions against Jewish schools in Antwerpen due to the attitude of the Israel government upon the Middle East. To the editorial department of ‘Joods Actueel’ he wrote about his plans: ‘I fear that you guys still go scare’.
    Not to mention the fact that during the Fidela regime in Argentine thirteen times more Jews were killed than gojim.

    All blessings come from above:
    Humanism and the foundation of European Jewry is based on respecting the individual. A priori this means that Jews don’t have a ‘violence-monopoly’ and can’t defend themselves against physical violence. This is the reason why we need legislation based on humanism.
    To a Jew every live counts (save one, and you save the world). According to Islam only the group matters. This is a fundamental difference and the reason why they won’t assemble.

    The person who struggled the most with pacifism and physical violence was Albert Einstein. Known for his pacifism and Zionism, initially he supported in WWII the development of the nuclear bomb.

  • Thetruthisracist

    Probably because it’s full of Muslims who committing mass rapes against us. Look at prisons statistics.

  • There are 900 Jews in Malmo. Why don’t they leave? I think I must be dimwitted. Before Israel, Jews didn’t have a place to flee to in an immediate emergency. Varum sohl ich geyn (where can I go) was the poignant plea. Today there is a place. Why don’t they leave?

  • You forgot to mention what is happening in Malmö, Sweden. Most of the hate is from Moslems who also encourage their non-Jewish associates to participate.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Sports Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    JNS.org – For Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated 1 million American Jewish members of more [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.