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July 28, 2014 1

Anti-Semitic Incidents at Anti-Israel Demonstrations Continue in Europe

Over the past days, anti-Semitic inci­dents con­tinue to plague Euro­pean Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties, often in con­nec­tion with anti-Israel demonstrations.

Just one hour after an anti-Israel demon­stra­tion in Toulouse, France, on Sat­ur­day, Molo­tov cock­tails were thrown at a Jew­ish com­mu­nity cen­ter and at the police guard­ing the center.

French media reported on an anti-Israel march on Sat­ur­day in Paris, where they heard peo­ple say­ing “We’re ruled by the Zion­ists” and oth­ers respond­ing, “They’re the worst race.”

Last night, swastikas were spray-painted in a heav­ily Jew­ish area of Lon­don and also in Rome’s his­toric Jew­ish quar­ter.

Rome1

A poster was also plas­tered on walls in Rome. Fea­tur­ing a white-power Celtic cross, it equates – pos­i­tively – Ital­ian fas­cists and Pales­tini­ans and says they have a com­mon enemy, unstated but obvi­ously, the Jews.

Rome2

The good news is that the gov­ern­ments in France, Ger­many, and Italy, the three coun­tries where the major­ity of inci­dents have occurred, have responded well.  French Pres­i­dent Hol­lande and Prime Min­is­ter Valls, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Merkel, and the for­eign min­is­ters of France, Ger­many, and Italy col­lec­tively, have made clear state­ments that such attacks on their Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties are intol­er­a­ble, and they have matched those words with strong law enforcement.

At a demon­stra­tion in Berlin on Fri­day, there were almost as many police as demon­stra­tors.  CRIF, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive orga­ni­za­tion of the French Jew­ish com­mu­nity, thanked the Paris police today for pre­vent­ing attempts by anti-Israel demon­stra­tors on Sat­ur­day from going to the Marais his­toric Jew­ish quar­ter or the syn­a­gogues near Place de la Republique, where 5,000 peo­ple had assem­bled despite a ban on the demonstration.

On Fri­day, Germany’s largest cir­cu­la­tion paper, Bild, fea­tured state­ments against anti-Semitism from politi­cians, busi­ness lead­ers, civic lead­ers, media per­son­al­i­ties, and celebri­ties with “Never Again Jew Hatred” on the front page.

Impor­tantly, both the French and Ger­man lead­ers have said these attacks are not just against Jews, but attacks against the state and against the con­sti­tu­tional order.  They are not play­ing ref­eree between pro-Palestinian pro­test­ers and Jews, but are rightly say­ing this fight is between vio­lent anti-Semites and the rest of society.

  • tina

    A lethal com­bi­na­tion of igno­rance of his­tory and sub­con­scious anti-semitism, or quite bla­tant anti-semitism in cases where swastikas are used…but are we ever sur­prised by this? Israel would not exist with­out the Holo­caust. What I want to ask “nor­mal” peo­ple is: what would have been your solu­tion, after mil­lions of peo­ple were slaugh­tered in front of the whole world, which did noth­ing? I hate see­ing Pales­tini­ans hurt, but I believe their lead­ers see these casu­al­ties as gains in the court of pub­lic opin­ion, not just as ter­ri­ble unavoid­able tragedies. Some­times I wish the Israelis would call the world’s bluff, give them an autonomous ter­ri­tory and deprive the UN of its moral high ground, and see what happens.