Top Rabbi Warns EU: New Wave of anti-Semitism Could Push Jews Out of Europe

The Brexit vote leaves the EU vulnerable to Islamic extremism and the radical right, putting the very existence of Jews in Europe at risk, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt says.

A police officer talks to a Jewish man outside the kosher grocery where four people were killed in a terror attack, Paris, France, January 20, 2015.
Francois Mori, AP

The British vote to leave the European Union has resulted in a destabilized continent vulnerable to the joint threat of Islamic extremism and the radical right, putting the very existence of Jews in Europe at risk, one of Europe's top rabbis warned Saturday, The Independent reported. 

Speaking to the European Parliament on Tuesday, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said that Jews in Europe feel as if they are standing on a train track with two "trains coming at each other with ever increasing speed."

“One train is the train of radical Islam and Islamic terrorism... The other train is the anti-Semitism of old Europe, the extreme right,” said the top rabbi, adding that if nothing is done, Jewish communities could disappear from Europe within 30 years. 

“Both threats are existential threats for European Jews – and both trains have to be halted before it’s too late,” Goldschmidt said, adding that Jews are asking themselves if present day Europe has a future for them after the recent wave of ISIS-inspired terror attacks.

Calling upon the European Commission to create an anti-terrorist task force to coordinate "the war against Islamic terror," Goldschmidt, who is also the chief rabbi of Moscow, said the recent terror wave has made the public realize there is an "existential problem for the very fabric of Europe."

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt (right) and Rabbi Avichai Apel address a news conference after a meeting in Berlin, Germany, July 12, 2012.
Tobias Schwarz, Reuters

A similar unit should be created to protect the outer borders of the EU to “rein in the waves of millions of immigrants ... flooding Europe and threatening the future character of the European continent,” he said.

In order to do so, Goldschmidt highlighted the need to "integrate them into the European value system."

Making an explicit effort to distance himself from anti-Islamic rhetoric common among Europe's far-right parties, Goldschmidt emphasized that “Islam is not our enemy. The moderate Muslims are the victims of radical Islam like we Jews are and every other European is.”