Europe’s Growing Anti-Semitism Problem
European Jewry is in danger, says Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress and Chair of the World Holocaust Forum’s Organizing Committee. He believes that the Jewish people could “disappear completely as a people” from Europe within 30 years. He noted that 40% of the European Jewish population has considered leaving the continent and that three percent are already leaving annually, according to worldisraelnews.com. The fear is factually backed. Violent attacks against Jewish people increased dramatically in 2018 and 2019, with the highest number of murders motivated by anti-Semitism being committed in decades.
A close look at France’s problem with anti-Semitism clarifies the severity of the issue. A cloud of anti-Semitism hovers over the European country after a particularly discouraging 2018 and 2019. With widespread cases of defiled graves and anti-Semitic graffiti, Jewish people feel less safe every day. Other countries are taking notice. A poll for i24NEWS found 68% of Jewish Israelis and 32% of Arab Israelis feel the Jewish people in France are not safe. Only 34% of the respondents believe France has taken “efficient” steps to address anti-Semitism, Israel Hayom reported.
You can sense there is an overarching feeling of uneasiness in the Jewish community. There’s been an unusual amount of voiced concern for the future of the Jewish people in the past week. The positive aspect here is that people are beginning to recognize and speak against a growing issue. We can hope this leads to concrete actions in the near future—perhaps harsher penalties for anti-Semitic offenders and education to increase awareness of both the historical and modern Jewish plight.
Sadly, no actions may be enough to cut off the deep-seated hatred some people hold against the Jewish people. There is a sickness in the hearts of all, one that manifests itself in many as unchecked prejudice that has caused anti-Semitism to exist both today and thousands of years ago. It is the responsibility of European leaders to address this immediately—not just with a public statement but with changes that will keep the Jewish people safe in any European country.