The world at a glance . . . Europe
ParisAnti-Semitism surges: Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic leaders appealed for calm in France this week after synagogues were firebombed in three cities. “We are all working so we do not fall into the trap of tensions between Muslims and Jews,” said Mohamed Moussaoui, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith. Attacks on Jews and Jewish property have surged in France since Israel began its offensive in Gaza, recalling a similar wave of anti-Jewish violence at the start of the 2000 Palestinian uprising. The French Jewish Students Union has published a list of 46 anti-Semitic acts over the past three weeks, including beatings of Jewish youths and graffiti that says “Death to Jews.” France has Europe’s largest Muslim community, of at least 5 million, as well as its largest Jewish community, of 600,000.
Kiev, UkraineIs the gas on? Russia and the EU ostensibly reached a deal this week to resume supplies of natural gas from Russia through Ukrainian pipelines, but Europeans didn’t get any of it. Russia had stopped the gas last week because of a payment dispute with Ukraine, leaving hundreds of thousands of EU residents—as well as Ukrainians—shivering in their freezing homes. Russia agreed this week to turn the tap back on, but then it pumped gas only into remote pipelines that were not connected to export lines, so that Ukraine would have to cut its own gas supplies in order to deliver the gas to Europe. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev blamed the U.S. for the impasse. “The Ukrainians didn’t plan to open the system,” he said. “It looks like they are dancing to music that is not orchestrated in Ukraine. I am making reference to the agreement between Ukraine and the United States.”