Europe: Have immigrants rekindled anti-Semitism?
French Jews are under assault, said Le Monde (France) in an editorial. The brutal killing last week of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, stabbed 11 times in her Paris home by a Muslim neighbor and his friend, was not an isolated incident. At least 11 French Jews have been murdered in anti-Semitic attacks over the past 12 years, including three children and a rabbi who were shot dead by an Islamist extremist at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, and 65-year-old Sarah Halimi, who was beaten to death and thrown from her balcony last year by a Franco-Malian man shouting “Allahu akbar!” France has also seen a resurgence of “ordinary anti-Semitism”: hateful insults hurled in the street, threatening graffiti painted on Jewish stores, the bullying of Jewish children in schools. It’s encouraging that thousands attended a march in honor of Knoll in Paris last week, but it’s not enough. French authorities must devote themselves to a “relentless struggle” against anti-Semitism to “soothe the legitimate concern and anger of the Jewish community.”
This is “humiliating and agonizing for the Republic,” said Laurent Joffrin in Libération (France). How can we live with the fact that 10 percent of French Jews—some 60,000 people—have emigrated, mostly to Israel, in the past decade? Have we become a country people flee? While it is painful to point out, we must acknowledge that the common thread in all these attacks is that the assailants have been either Muslim immigrants or their French-born children. The traditional anti-Semitism of the far right hasn’t vanished, but we are now also facing a “new anti-Semitism, fueled by the obsessions of Muslim fundamentalists and tied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Both types of this ancient hatred are surging in Germany, said Sina Arnold in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany). The Right talks about “imported anti-Semitism,” blaming Muslims and ignoring the fact that most anti-Semitic hate crimes here are committed by neo-Nazis. At the same time, the Left “relativizes hatred” by claiming Muslim migrants are just engaging in political speech when they burn Israeli flags in German streets. Our government, meanwhile, is failing in its historic mission to educate all Europeans about the horrors that such hatred can cause. More than half of German 14- to 16-year-olds don’t know that Auschwitz-Birkenau was a Nazi death camp. That is not the fault of migrants, and that’s why we can’t “deport our way out” of our anti-Semitism problem.
Anti-Semitism is a European constant, said Zoe Strimpel in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). Sometimes it simmers under the surface; now it is blazing in the open. Since Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader of U.K.’s opposition Labor Party in 2015 and shifted the party from the center-left to the far left, “anti-Semites of the crudest cut have been crawling in their thousands out of the British woodwork.” They may claim to be against Zionism, not Jews, but there’s no real difference. Israel was a refuge for Jews when Europe wasn’t. Will that be true again? ■