Monday, October 18, 2010

European Jewish Congress warns of communities on the brink

From the EJC: (October 14):
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) is claiming that certain Jewish communities in Europe are in grave danger after a recent wave of anti-Semitism, some of it officially sanctioned.

Recently, a respected and government-funded Catholic school, the College of the Sacred Heart, in Antwerp, hosted a ‘Palestine Day’, which was replete with anti-Semitic references and activities for youngsters. One stall at the event was titled “Throw the soldiers into the sea” where children were invited to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks.

Last weekend, an event organized for Jewish children in Malmo was reportedly attacked by a gang of thugs who shouted “Heil Hitler” and “Jewish pigs”. The gang even entered the area hosting the children’s event and damaged property. This event occurred only a few weeks after Malmo mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, was reelected in the Swedish city.

Earlier in this year after a surge of anti-Semitism hit the Malmo Jewish community, Reepalu considered this an understandable consequence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and claimed “we accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism,” equating Jewish national self-determination with hate and racism.

In recent months, German former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin, Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade and Emilio Menendez del Valle, Spanish MEP, have all made anti-Semitic comments.

“These events arriving soon after the anti-Semitic comments from Sarrazin, De Gucht and Menendez del Valle demonstrate that anti-Semitism is at best actively promoted and at worst ignored by some officials in Europe,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC said. “Due to this intolerable situation, small Jewish communities, like Malmo, are teetering on the brink of extinction.”

Small Jewish communities are facing a situation where they are being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements and their extreme left-wing cohorts on one side and the far-right neo-Nazis on the other,” Kantor continued. “If they can’t receive protection or respite from mainstream officials then we are entering a very dark period for the Jews in Europe.”
See also Zvi's post from last week.

(h/t Joel)