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January 19, 2015 12:22 pm

Yes, Europe’s Jews Are in Danger

avatar by Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris that was attacked on Friday by an Islamist terrorist. Photo: JJ Georges via Wikimedia Commons.

Last week’s terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris underscored a fear that has been growing in recent years: Europe is no longer safe for Jews.

The continent has seen 13 deaths related to lethal anti-Semitism since the summer of 2012. In addition to the four hostages killed last week in France at HyperCacher, four people were shot to death at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in May, and five Israeli tourists died when their bus was bombed in Bulgaria in July 2012.

In addition, Jews were the target of 40 percent of all racist crimes in France in 2013, according to the European Jewish Congress and Tel Aviv University. One example: Late last year, assailants broke into a Jewish couple’s apartment on the outskirts of Paris. They raped a woman, tied up the couple, and demanded, “Tell us where you hide the money. You Jews always have money.” Last summer, eight synagogues, many packed with Jews, were attacked by mobs of demonstrators. Roger Cukierman, the president of France’s Jewish umbrella association CRIF, said, “They are screaming, ‘Death to the Jew.’ ”

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In Britain, the number of anti-Semitic incidents increased by 36 percent between January and June. In Germany, tens of thousands of protesters attacked Israel and Jews in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, and other major cities during the height of last summer’s military operation in Gaza. A young Palestinian was arrested for firebombing a rebuilt synagogue in Wuppertal in July. The first synagogue had been burnt to the ground during Kristallnacht, the Nazis’ wave of violence against Jews in 1938. “There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism,” said Samuel Salzborn, a scholar at the University of Göttingen.

It can be no surprise then that Amedy Coulibaly, the Islamist gunman responsible for the attack at the kosher market, told French journalist Sarah-Lou Cohen that he choose this store “because he was targeting Jews.”

Danny Cohen, the director of BBC Television, captured the widespread fear among European Jews: “And you’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually. … I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the U.K. as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home?”

The violence has reached such a point that even Sammy Ghozlan, founder of France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, is fleeing to Israel. He said of his departure, “It’s a message. … We do not know how things will play out tomorrow.”

He’s not alone. According to a recent New York Times article, “France was the largest source of Jews moving to Israel last year.” Natan Sharansky, director of the agency that coordinates migration to Israel, predicted that 15,000 French Jews would emigrate in 2015, with perhaps 50,000 – a tenth of the population of about a half-million – leaving in the coming years.

In 2013, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights polled about 5,800 Jews from nine E.U. countries. The unsettling results: 29 percent of the respondents were contemplating emigrating, and 76 percent believed anti-Semitism had increased over the last five years. The same study concluded that 24 percent of European Jews – 37 percent in France, 27 percent in Germany, 20 percent in Italy – had experienced some kind of anti-Jewish attitude.

There are three lessons from the explosion of European anti-Semitism.

First, hatred of Israel can no longer be separated from loathing of Jews. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same. The hard-core anti-Israel protests that engulfed Europe showed that the demonstrators aimed to dismantle the Jewish state because of its Jewishness. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called contemporary anti-Semitism “pretend criticism of Israel,” an “expression of Jew-hatred at pro-Palestinian demonstrations.”

The second lesson is that mere opprobrium from European leaders is insufficient. To their credit, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Italy last summer condemned “the anti-Semitic rhetoric and hostility toward Jews [and] attacks on people of the Jewish faith and synagogues.” But rhetoric is not enough.

So the third lesson is the need for a zero-tolerance policy toward violent anti-Semitic rallies. And Europe should immediately adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of modern anti-Semitism, which includes anti-Zionism/Israelism. Finally, terrorist entities like Hezbollah and other jihadi networks should be banned. In sharp contrast to the United States, Europe allows Hezbollah’s so-called political wing to operate and recruit within the 28-member European Union. Worse, with Europe striking Hamas from its terrorist list, there has been an active attempt to legitimize Islamist groups.

Change must ultimately start at the grassroots, turning anti-Semites and their political and religious movements into pariahs.

Absent this change, the safety of Jews, as well as European democracy, will continue to be jeopardized.

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Asaf Romirowsky is the Philadelphia-based executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. This article was originally published by The Philadelphia Enquirer.

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  • Victor

    May 17, 2015
    10:23 am
    You are right. It is suicidal for Jews to remain in Europe. But Jews are EXTREMELY stupid on this. Right now many young Israelis are moving to, hold onto your hat, Berlin! Other Jews, descendants of Spanish Jews, are happy to accept Spanish nationality, they will carry the same passport and swear loyalty to the flag of the descendants of those who killed, robbed and expelled their ancestors. what makes those Jews believe today Germans and Spansh like Jews. They dislike and resent Jews as always. Onlú the recent Holocaust keeps antisemitism at bay, temporarily.

    Many Germans even say: “Gee, I do not know, Jews are smart and that but without Jews Germany is more prosperous than ever before…”

  • hellowayer

    I have researched this a little, and I can only speak for the UK here. Jews are NOT proportionally targeted because of self-identified ethnicity. Quite the opposite: Jews are at lower risk of attack or violent crime than EVERY OTHER GROUP, including Caucasian British. The data spreadsheet is found here:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/262103/victims-table.xls

    Jews are being made to believe they are at risk because of Israel’s long-term strategy to recruit the remain European Jews for its expansionist project. They want to counter the growing Haredim/Arab demographic “threat” with what they call “high quality” Caucasian Jews from Europe.

    The international Hasbara network of activists is very intent on spreading this message in its desire to drive Aliyah.

    But Europe’s Jews are safe here and I doubt scaremongering will be enough to make them move. What I fear is Israel has proven itself more than capable of upping the stakes – for example, when it was bombing Jewish targets in Iraq and Egypt to scare Arab Jews into joining the exodus.

    If any British Jews read this, I implore you: this country doesn’t hate you, you are British and this is your homeland. Don’t fall for these manipulative tactics.

  • Eric R.

    Europe will never stop its Jew-hatred. The continent is full of degenerate, insatiable, psychotic, genocidal Jew-hating scum who will not stop until every last Jew on earth is wiped out, every Torah and synagogue burned, and all historical references to us Jews are changed so that we are blamed for all the ills that ever were – we become the eternal “bogeymen” of history.

    Europe would rather die in a nuclear war – started by Jews – than allow Jews to live.

    Nothing else matters to this sewer of Nazi Jew-hatred but finishing the work of Hitler.

    • Steve T

      Well maybe if you are the guy in the room that everyone doesn’t like, maybe it’s not THEM but YOU who needs to work on not being the most disliked. But yes, that would take some real retrospection that is not going to happen.

      • judorebbe

        >The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
        > The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
        > The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
        > The Underwear Bomber was a Muslim
        > The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
        > The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
        > The Bali Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
        > The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
        > The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
        > The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
        > The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
        > The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
        > The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
        > The Beirut U.S. Embassy Bombers were Muslims
        > The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Muslims
        > The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
        > The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
        > The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
        > The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
        > The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombers were Muslims
        > The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
        > The First World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
        > The Bombay, Mumbai, India Attackers were Muslims
        > The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
        > The Nairobi, Kenya Shopping Mall Killers were Muslims
        > The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims
        > The Sydney, Australia Lindt Cafe Kidnapper was a Muslim
        > The Peshawar, Pakistani School Children Killers were Muslims
        >
        > Think of it:
        >
        > Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
        > Baha’is living with Jews = No Problem
        > Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
        > Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
        > Hindus living with Baha’is = No Problem
        > Christians living with Jews = No Problem
        > Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
        > Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
        > Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
        > Baha’is living with Christians = No Problem
        > Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
        > Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
        > Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
        > Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
        > Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem
        > Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
        >
        > Muslims living with Jews = Problem
        > Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
        > Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
        > Muslims living with Baha’is = Problem
        > Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
        > Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
        > Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
        > Muslims living with Christians = Problem
        > MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MUSLIMS = VERY BIG PROBLEM
        >
        > **********SO THIS LEAD TO *****************
        >
        > They’re not happy in Gaza
        > They’re not happy in Egypt
        > They’re not happy in Libya
        > They’re not happy in Iran
        > They’re not happy in Iraq
        > They’re not happy in Yemen
        > They’re not happy in Pakistan
        > They’re not happy in Syria
        > They’re not happy in Lebanon
        > They’re not happy in Nigeria
        > They’re not happy in Kenya
        > They’re not happy in Sudan
        > They’re not happy in Morocco
        > They’re not happy in Afghanistan
        >
        > ******** So, where are they happy? **********
        >
        > They’re happy in Australia
        > They’re happy in Belgium
        > They’re happy in France
        > They’re happy in Holland
        > They’re happy in Italy
        > They’re happy in Germany
        > They’re happy in Spain
        > They’re happy in Sweden
        > They’re happy in Denmark
        > They’re happy in the USA & Canada
        > They’re happy in Norway & India
        > They’re very happy in England (UK) (Loads of Welfare Benefits)
        > They’re happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!
        > And who do they blame? Not Islam… Not their leadership… Not themselves…
        > THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN !!!
        > And they want to change the countries they’re happy in, to be like the countries they came from, where they were unhappy.
        >
        > Islamic Jihad: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > ISIS: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Al-Qaeda: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Taliban: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Boko Haram: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Al-Nusra: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Abu Sayyaf: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Al-Badr: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Muslim Brotherhood: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Lashkar-e-Taiba: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Ansaru: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Jemaah Islamiyah: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Abdullah Azzam Brigades: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Al-Shabbab Somalia: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Hamas: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Hezbollah: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
        > Think about it

    • Victor

      You are right. It is suicidal for Jews to remain in Europe. But Jews are EXTREMELY stupid on this. Right now many young Israelis are moving to, hold onto your hat, Berlin! Other Jews, descendants of Spanish Jews, are happy to accept Spanish nationality, they will carry the same passport and swear loyalty to the flag of the descendants of those who killed, robbed and expelled their ancestors. what makes those Jews believe today Germans and Spansh like Jews. They dislike and resent Jews as always. Onlú the recent Holocaust keeps antisemitism at bay, temporarily.

      Many Germans even say: “Gee, I do not know, Jews are smart and that but without Jews Germany is more prosperous than ever before…”

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