By Richard Mather, View from UK –
In the past few days, two very high-profile figures have spoken out about the dangers of anti-Semitism. Both Prince Charles and Pope Francis have expressed concern that Judeophobia is a growing problem in Britain and Europe.
In a speech praising the outgoing British chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, the Prince of Wales warned that Britain was suffering from an “apparent rise in anti-Semitism, along with other poisonous and debilitating forms of intolerance.”
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has condemned anti-Semitism, calling it unchristian. “Because of our commons roots, a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” he said at a meeting with representatives of the international Jewish community at the Vatican.
These comments come at a time when anti-Semitism is running high in Britain and Europe. A new report, conducted on behalf of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, found that 26% of Jews in Europe have suffered anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the past year, while 34% experienced harassment in the past five years.
According to the study, around half of all Jews living in France, Belgium and Hungary are considering emigrating because they no longer feel safe in their respective countries. And it seems a safe bet that many of these frightened people will seek sanctuary in Israel.
Making Aliyah is a testament to the success of Zionism, but it is also a sad indication that Europe has still not learnt to cherish its Jewish communities, even after the horrors of the Holocaust. But the decimation of European Jewish life will continue as long as the security situation remains precarious.
Over the past decade and a half, Europe’s Jews have witnessed a disturbing rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks, often by Arabs who use their irrational hatred of Israel to justify their attacks. Assaults, murders, death threats, cemetery desecrations, firebombings, graffiti and even the bullying of Jewish children by their Muslim peers are all too frequent in contemporary Europe.
The rise in anti-Semitism in Europe has received little attention or sympathy because much of the abuse is carried out by Muslims under the protection of liberals who accuse critics of Islamophobia or racism. Far too often, universities, political institutions, charities, churches and media outlets provide a platform for radical Muslims and other anti-Semites to disseminate their hatred of Israel and Jews.
And there are many people – politicians among them – who are simply afraid to condemn Islamic violence because of fear of retribution. Left-wing officials in Bulgaria, for instance, have been reluctant to blacklist Hizbullah following the infamous bus bombing because of concerns that condemning the Shia militants will lead to a terrorist backlash.
The driving force behind contemporary anti-Semitism is the unhealthy obsession with the Palestinian Arabs. This fixation usually involves prejudicial, stupid and sometimes vitriolic condemnation of the Jewish state, with absurd characterizations of Israel as an apartheid nation that tortures Palestinian Arab children. This is little different from accusing Jews of poisoning wells or using the blood of …read more