Europe has forgotten the warning of the Holocaust and is plagued by a "virus" of anti-Semitism, Chief Whip Michael Gove said, adding that the hatred of Jews has attained a "radical chic" in certain circles, U.K. daily The Telegraph reported.
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In his address to the annual dinner of the Holocaust Education Trust, Gove also accused pro-Palestinian activists of a “deliberate” campaign of “relativisation, trivialization and perversion” of the Holocaust by comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis, warning that this campaign is fanning the flames of anti-Semitism.
Noting a recent boycott of a Jewish film festival in London and the removal of kosher food from the shelves of a supermarket chain, Gove said that "what began with a campaign against Jewish goods in the past ended with a campaign against Jewish lives.
"We need to spell out that this sort of prejudice starts with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. We need to stand united against hate,” Gove said, adding that Britain must ask itself how secure a place it is for Jews, the Telegraph reported.
Instead of eradicating anti-Semitism after the Holocaust, the "virus" has spread across Europe, Gove said, noting France, Germany and Belgium in particular.
“In France, in July of this year more than 100 Jewish citizens had to be rescued from one synagogue and another was firebombed. The leader of an anti-Semitic party – the Front National – is France’s most popular politician. Heroes of popular culture – like the comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala – try to make hatred of Jews a badge of radical chic," Gove said, according to the Telegraph.
Gove noted the firebombing of a synagogue in Germany, and a sign allowing dogs inside a restaurant but restricting Jews in Belgium, cautioning: "We must all remember where this leads.”
Recently, the British anti-Semitism watchdog Community Security Trust released a report recording 240 anti-Semitic incidents in July alone, compared to 304 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of the year. According to the Jewish Chronicle, this makes it the second worst month since British records began.
In August alone, four synagogues in Britain were vandalized, Jews were attacked on the street, and a Jewish graveyard and Holocaust memorials were vandalized. The attacks occured against the background of the summer's fighting between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.