Surge in anti-Semitism in Europe

The US government's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital has provoked fierce reactions throughout Europe. In Gothenburg masked youths hurled burning objects at a synagogue, and in Berlin Israeli flags were set on fire and people chanted anti-Semitic slogans. Europe's commentators express concern that anti-Semitism is behind the criticism of Israel.

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Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

More vigilance needed

For Göteborgs-Posten naivety among politicians and journalists often exacerbates the problem:

“Anti-Semitism must never be trivialised, as it was by [Malmö's former Social Democratic mayor] Ilmar Reepalu. ... What is needed is the utmost vigilance regarding how politicians and media express themselves about Israel and purported ties with Jews in other parts of the world. Anti-Semitism based on negligence is simply unacceptable. ... As [journalist] Adam Cwejman recently wrote in this paper: 'The ideological infrastructure for the revival of anti-Semitism is willingly provided by ignorant Swedish media that tar Jews and Israel with the same brush'.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Criticism of Israel often just a pretence

Anti-Semitism is often at the root of criticism of Israel, Hürriyet Daily News warns:

“It has always been rather difficult to raise any concern about the anti-Semitic aspect of pro-Palestinian politics, despite the fact that anti-Zionism has long been a cover for anti-Semitism in Turkey. Unfortunately, the recent controversy over Jerusalem paved the way for many vocal expressions of anti-Semitism in Turkey. We should acknowledge that ... criticism of Israeli politics is often used as a veneer to cover anti-Semitism (especially in Muslim-majority countries). We should all be concerned about legitimizing anti-Semitism under the pretext of reacting against Trump’s utterly unacceptable decision.”

Stern (DE) /

Stop procrastinating and take action

Stern magazine rails at the feeble political reaction to growing anti-Semitism in Europe:

“Anti-Semitic attacks including murder have long since become part of our European reality. ... There is no excuse, no explanation for waiting longer with clear statements, and yes, resolute action. It must be made clear to every person who wants to find a home in Europe that not only is anti-Semitism not tolerated here but it is actively combated. If we continue to play things down, delay and stress that these attacks are just overreactions to the political developments, we will betray our responsibility as Europeans and our pledge of 1945: Never again.”

Expressen (SE) /

Taught to be anti-Semitic from birth

In Expressen commentator Naomi Abramowicz doubts that anti-Semitism can be eradicated:

“The efforts [in the fight against anti-Semitism] are often directed at people from the Middle East who have been taught anti-Semitism from birth. The initiatives are based on the premise that people can be reprogrammed. ... But are people really that rational and willing to change their views when they are presented with new information? I hope it can be that easy, but I doubt it.”