Jeffrey Goldberg Concludes: Future is Not Bright for European Jews
Veteran reporter Jeffrey Goldberg has weighed in on the topic of rising antisemitism in Europe, asking in the April 2015 edition of The Atlantic: “Is Is Time for the Jews to Leave Europe.” He concludes that “European Jewry does not have a bright future.”
Goldberg cites numerous examples where Jews are under sustained attack on the continent. These include murders, rapes, insults, death threats, antisemitic graffiti, verbal assaults, harassment, and violence.
Though the recent terror attacks on a Danish synagogue and a French kosher supermarket received international attention, there are numerous incidents that have not received widespread press, Goldberg says.
He writes that in France, 51 percent of all hate attacks target Jews, even though Jews account for less than 1 percent of the population. In Rome, the words “Anne Frank is a liar” were painted on a former Jewish ghetto. Last year, the UK recorded its highest number of anti-Semitic incidents ever. These are just a sampling of the examples reported by Goldberg.
According to The Atlantic report, many European Jews are opting to hide their identities rather than flee. There is even pressure within some French communities to remove their “mezuza” scrolls from the doorposts of their houses. This pressure follows a 2014 attack in the Paris suburbs in which Goldberg writes, “a group of robbers broke into an apartment… told the occupants that they knew they were Jewish, and therefore wealthy, and then…raped a 19-year-old woman in the apartment.”
“The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is not—or should not be—a surprise,” writes Goldberg. He also references the fact that “[v]iolence against Jews in Western Europe today, according to those who track it, appears to come mainly from Muslims, who in France, the epicenter of Europe’s Jewish crisis, outnumber Jews 10 to 1.”
Goldberg does not think that that there will be a mass exodus anytime soon, but he is not optimistic about the future of Judaism in Europe. He blames in part his own heritage for this outlook, writing: “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.”