Nirenstein: Classical anti-Semitism is no longer the primary threat

Former Italian MP says central focus in fight against anti-Semitsm should be hate against the Jewish state.

FIAMMA NIRENSTEIN 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
“Anti-Semitism in the ancient form is no longer the [primary] issue” facing world Jewry, outgoing chairwoman of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP) Fiamma Nirenstein told The Jerusalem Post this week.
Nirenstein, a former Italian MP and recent immigrant to Israel, was replaced by New York Congressman Eliot Engel as head of the international Jewish body last week.
Nirenstein said rather than being troubled over classical anti-Semitism in the West, in which the Jews as individuals are targeted due to religious or racial biases, the central focus of Jewish efforts should be hate against the Jewish state.
Anti-Zionism “has become the new anti-Semitism,” Nirenstein told the Post.
“You will not find a politician that will call himself an anti-Semite but if you talk about the issue of Israel, [you will find an] unashamed attitude of lies of the Jewish people,” she said.
“A lot of lies have been spread about the Jews’’ right to live in this land.”
When asked about some of the challenges facing European Jewry, such as attempts to ban religious practices – including ritual slaughter and circumcision – Nirenstein replied that if circumcision is banned then the Jews “would have to abandon Europe.”
Despite such dire warnings, however, Nirenstein is hopeful for the Jewish future, saying that she had worked hard, during her tenure as head of the ICJP, to combat anti-Semites in Hungary and other countries in which the far Right has grown in strength.
Nirenstein praised Engel, saying that she was happy to see him succeed her and that she hoped that she could help him in his new role.