Antisemitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis'


#1

From the Guardian:

In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France’s Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked. One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”. That same weekend, in the Barbes neighbourhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: “Israhell”, read one banner.

In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.” Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt; an elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin. In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: “Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone,” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”

(snip)

“These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”

Disturbing.

But the most disturbing part is that there are plenty of folks not directly involved with these antisemitic acts who would simply say, “serves them right.”


#2

It’s nothing like the time of the Holocaust. What’s happening now is horrible but comparing riots with state discrimination and genocide is ridiculous


#3

How do you think state discrimination and genocide starts?


#4

Antisemitism is worse than its been since the Nazis. In other words, this is the worst episode of antisemitism since after World War II.


#5

Antisemitic acts must always be taken seriously, and not just as isolated incidents by a few far-right (or far-left) extremists. Thanks for bringing this disturbing trend to our attention.


#6

Exactly. The Nazi era included time before the Holocaust as well. Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933, not 1938. There were smaller and larger steps designed to lead to people thinking that Jewish people were inferior, or in the most horrifying cases, not people.

Maybe I was born too late (or late enough, depending on how you look at it), but I’ve never been able to understand the “why” of anti-semitism. I don’t just mean I don’t agree with it, I mean it seems to me complete nonsense. I no more thought to see Europe return to this kind of violent anti-semitism than to return to burning witches.

Also, I thought Germany in particular had a lot of laws in place to avoid even the appearance of a return to widespread anti-semitism, but I don’t remember what the laws were, except I believe it was one of the reasons for the law forbidding home-schooling. (I may be completely wrong about that, but I got the impression somewhere.)

Sometimes, I guess, the Devil runs out of new ideas, and has to return to his old ones.

–Jen


#7

Of course! But, this is what was happening in Europe prior to WW2, in the 1920’s & 1930’s, finally leading to the rise of Hitler. The genocide did not occur suddenly.


#8

Anti-Semitism is a word that gets thrown around quite casually these days. To me, the word means racial hatred toward Jews. This is morally abhorrent, as is all forms of racial hatred.

Yet as the late, great Joe Sobran put it, anti-Semitism is term that used to mean someone who didn’t like Jews. Now, it is a term for someone the Jews don’t like.


#9

That’s a cute remark by Joe Sobran and perhaps the term is bandied about too much nowadays. However, in the present case, the shoe fits.


#10

Well, I do tend to dislike people who firebomb my place of worship. Good grief. I don’t think that in this case there is much room for doubt.

–Jen


#11

You are correct. Burning synagogues and other such acts of violence, or threats of violence, against Jews fit the bill. That is the textbook definition of anti-Semitism.


#12

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