Newsweek Devotes Cover Story to Probe anti-Semitism in Europe

Article details attacks on Jews in the EU, with particular focus on recent anti-Israel rallies in Paris and the fatal shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels in May.

Israel Fisher
Israel Fisher
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A protester burns the Israeli flag at a pro-Gaza rally in Paris, July 26, 2014.
A protester burns the Israeli flag at a pro-Gaza rally in Paris, July 26, 2014.Credit: AP
Israel Fisher
Israel Fisher

Newsweek has devoted the cover story of its August 8 edition to the rising anti-Semitism and attacks on Jews in Europe. The article, written by Adam LeBor, is entitled “Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again.” The cover shows a woman named Moria, a new immigrant from Belgium who was quoted as saying, “Staying in Belgium was not really an option. I never really felt at home there.”

LeBor describes an attack on a synagogue in Paris as like “a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13, 2014.” His article goes on to describe anti-Israel demonstrations against the military operation in Gaza that quickly turned into violent attacks on Jews and a Palestinian “intifada” in the streets of Europe.

The article claims that official condemnations were to no avail, and that the riots were repeated in Sarcelles – a section of northern Paris – as the rioters shouted, “Death to the Jews.”

“Posters had even advertised the raid in advance, like the pogroms of Tsarist Russia,” LeBor wrote. But the article claims that the demonstrations do not take place only in France. Since the military operation in Gaza began on July 8, anti-Semitic demonstrations have spread to Britain, and violent anti-Semitic incidents have taken place in other locales, such as Berlin and Belgium.

LeBor describes the terror attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels that took place on May 24, and also the rise in far-right political parties in EU parliamentary elections – particularly in France, Greece, Hungary and Germany – as signs of rising anti-Semitism in Europe. The Jobbik political party in Hungary and the Golden Dawn party in Greece, both on the far right, won a great deal of support in the general elections. And a member of Jobbik even suggested preparing a list of all the Jews in Hungary for “reasons of national security.”

LeBor cites the results of a 2013 poll conducted in the European Union, according to which 29 percent of Jews “had considered emigration because they did not feel safe” and faced “insults, discrimination and physical violence, which, despite concerted efforts by both the EU and its member states, shows no signs of fading into the past.” Two-thirds of respondents felt that anti-Semitism was “a problem across the countries surveyed,” while 76 percent said that “anti-Semitism had worsened over the past five years in their home countries,” particularly in France, Hungary and Belgium.

A global poll conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, which measured anti-Semitism in 102 countries, found that 26 percent of the respondents the world over held extreme anti-Semitic views, and Arab countries had the highest level of anti-Semitism.

It was widely reported that 69 percent of the population in Greece held anti-Semitic opinions, 45 percent in Poland, 41 percent in Hungary, 37 percent in France, 27 percent in Belgium, 13 percent in the Czech Republic, eight percent in Britain and four percent in Sweden. According to LeBor’s article, 5,000 to 6,000 Jews are expected to leave France this year because of anti-Semitism.

The article also discusses European Jews’ desire to leave the continent, citing statistics showing that many Jews feel threatened and are considering emigration. It also describes how the rise of Islam in parts of Europe, such as Malmö in Sweden, encourages displays of anti-Semitism.

The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe was the Newsweek cover story earlier this month.Credit: Screengrab

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