(photo credit: AP [file])
The result of the Jewish Agency's report released
on Sunday showing global anti-Semitism spiraling out of control recalls
the memorable line in the film Casablanca, in which police
Captain Renault announces that Rick's Cafe must be closed because of
illegal activity. "I'm shocked, shocked to discover that gambling is
going on here!" says Renault while being handed the proceeds of his
some observers of Jew-hatred in Western Europe are not shocked by the
largest wave of anti-Semitism since the Hitler movement, many European
governments, policy makers, and academics, however, tend to feign shock
like Renault or simply cannot fathom that hatred of Israel is the most
ubiquitous form of contemporary anti-Semitism.
As documented by the Jewish Agency report and the 2009 German
University Bielefeld study, there is no shortage of hostile
anti-Israeli acts and attitudes within such European countries as
Sweden, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Italy,
Spain and Greece. The intense alliance between Hugo Chavez's populist
leftist Venezuelan government and the Islamic Republic of Iran has
opened the flood gates of anti-Semitism in Latin America.
Ballooning global anti-Semitism may contribute to a growing
aliyah rate. According to the Jewish Agency, there was a 17 percent
increase in 2009 aliyah compared to 2008. Across Europe, aliyah spiked
from 2,402 to 2,600, and South American Jewry showed immigration rising
from 1,078 to 1,230.
Last December, while speaking at the third annual
Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Dr. Daniel Pipes
predicted that an "exodus" of Diaspora Jews in Europe could take place
because European Jews are facing lethal anti-Semitism. According to
Pipes, the migration could "replicate the post-World War II exodus of
Jews from Muslim countries, where the Jewish population has collapsed
from about a million in 1948 to 60,000 today."
The Jewish Agency study shows the obvious links between
Diaspora Jews and Israel. While Nazi racial anti-Semitism has largely
drifted into oblivion, European countries fail to see that the new
outbreak of anti-Semitism revolves around turning Israel and Diaspora
Jewry into a punching bag.
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the study highlighted, a broad-based coalition among left-wing and
Islamic organizations is coupled with an understanding that chalks up
violent attacks on Jews and Israeli as a justified byproduct of the
A telling example was the marriage of the German Left with
Muslim organizations during Operation Cast Lead. While over 100,000
Germans participated in anti-Israeli rallies, where incitement to
murder Jews and Israelis was chanted, the police instead seized Israeli
flags for "provoking" anti-Israeli demonstrators. One young student in
the gritty industrial city of Bochum was arrested and fined for waving
an Israeli flag at a pro-Israel protest. The German Parliament ignored
the explosion of anti-Semitism and did not open an investigation into
the mass festivals of Israel hate.
Large European trade union federations, such as the Irish Trade
Union Congress and the British Trades Union Congress, have spearheaded
efforts to equate Israel with Nazi Germany and sponsor economic and
cultural boycotts of the Jewish state. A 2008 Irish Trade Union report
drew parallels between Israel's efforts to block weapons smuggling into
Gaza and the Nazi creation of the Warsaw Ghetto.
While England and Germany have formed commissions to monitor
anti-Semitism, one commission member in Germany urged a focus on
extreme right-wing anti-Semitism instead of the dominant form of
Jew-hatred - Islamic and leftist anti-Semitism.
The same holds true for President Shimon Peres's audience in
the German Parliament. He is slated to speak on Wednesday,
International Holocaust Day, to members of the German parliament, many
of whom from the Left Party participated in pro-Hamas and pro-Hizbullah
demonstrations, where calls for Israel's destruction were advocated.
Eleven Left Party MPs voted against a parliamentary resolution equating
opposition to the Jewish state with anti-Semitism.
The more than 100 members of the German-Israeli parliamentary
group spanning the six major parties (Greens, Christian Democrats,
Social Democrats, Christian Social Union, Free Democrats and Left) will
also attend Peres's speech. While those MPs are supposed to advance the
security of Israel, they have neither initiated a bill to ban their
government's insurance coverage for firms active in Iran nor introduced
legislation seeking to curtail the flourishing German-Iranian trade
relationship. The chairman of the German-Israel parliamentary group,
Jerzy Montag from the Green Party, has difficulty understanding that
anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism.
Israel's decision to convene an inter-ministerial task force to
combat global anti-Semitism will do little to stem international
anti-Semitism. Observers in Europe note that mainstream Europeans view
anti-Semitism as a Jewish problem to be remedied by Jews instead of a
problem driven by non-Jews who are also responsible for the cure. That
helps to explain the unsettling statistics in the Bielefeld and Jewish
Agency report throwing the blame back on Jews.
The results of the Jewish Agency study reveal a mushrooming
anti-Israeli atmosphere in Europe and South America that will probably
spur new increases in aliyah rates. Yet European policy makers,
academics and politicians should not express that they are"shocked,
shocked" to discover that Jews will once again flee Europe for refuge
in the Jewish state.
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