It's a 17-year-old boy, afraid of wearing a kiss (a religious skullcap) on the streets of Paris. It is an…
It’s a 17-year-old boy, afraid of wearing a kiss (a religious skullcap) on the streets of Paris. It is an Israeli restaurant owner in Berlin who is told he will end up in the gas chambers. It is a 24-year-old Austrian who does not know anything about the Holocaust. These are the armed guards outside synagogues and Jewish schools across Europe. These are the online chat rooms where people gather conspiracy theories that Jewish “globalists” run the world.
It can be violent or subtle. Overt or dirty. Political or personal. It may come from right or left. There are countries with large Jewish populations, such as France, and it also flourishes in places with smaller Jewish communities, such as Poland.
But one thing is clear. Antisemitism is alive and well across Europe. This was the sharp conclusion of a CNN survey, based in part on a survey of more than 7000 adults across seven European countries.
Despite Europe’s troubled history of anti-Semitism, ugly, old stereotypes continue throughout the continent.
More than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe that Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five says they have too much influence in the media and politics. In individual countries, the number is often higher: 42% of the kids believe that Jews have too much influence in finance and business around the world.
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While 44% of Europeans agree that anti-Semitism is a growing problem, a substantial minority is unsympathetic to the problem. Almost one in five (18%) agree that most antisemitism in their country is a response to the everyday behavior of the Jewish people. In Poland, 50% of the people believe that Jews use the Holocaust to promote their status. 19% of the kids acknowledge that they have an unfavorable impression of Jews altogether.
So why is anti-Semitism once again a growing phenomenon? Poland’s chief rabbi, Brooklyn-born Michael Schudrich, is not sure that the problem ever really went away.
“There will always be people who have anti-Semitic feelings and I do not know if the number has grown but this new situation today they feel it’s more acceptable socially that they can express these opinions high …
” Feeling In advance, “This is what I think but does not tell anyone.” It was not perfect, but at least there was a social taboo against anti-Semitism. “
CNN saw this first of all in Germany, a country still haunted by killing about six million Jews in Nazi hands during Holocaust. To make anti-Semitic comments can be punished under German law. But in a conversation with hundreds of right-wing extremists in the nation’s capital, Berlin, we saw a man brazenly flash a Nazi salute, an act that could have landed him for up to three years in prison. Another protector told us that a shadowy solitaire of Jewish globalists drives the world.
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The arrival of about 1.4 million refugees in Germany has grown to the far right. The focus of their anger can be Muslim immigrants, but they are reflexively antisemitic in their views. Germany (AFD), once regarded as a French element, now holds a solid 94 seats in Parliament. Its message is clea r: you need nte shame to be mad, you do not have to be ashamed to be white, you do not have to be ashamed of your past.
But right in the top right is just a part of the picture. Based on dozens of interviews with members of different Jewish communities across Europe, it is obvious that the threat feels in many ways.
In France, many Jews of France speak the “new anti-Semitism “which comes from radical parts of France’s growing Muslim population, which can feel on the streets of Paris’s suburbs in the working class.
A happy life is a hidden life, we were told over and over by French Jews who refused to appear on camera. More and more Jewish families move out of these traditionally mixed neighborhoods – a concern for the French government, who believes integration, not separation, is the key to improving the situation.
In Germany, the leader of Berlin’s Kahal Adass Jisroel Society Organization Doron Rubin told us that there is also concern for anti-Semitism coming from Muslim refugees, “who has a different story and a different background, especially apparently from the Middle East, and also on because of Israel, has a different attitude towards Jews. “
The relationship between negative attitudes against Israel and anti-Semitism is a particularly turbulent problem.
More than a quarter of French people have a somewhat or significantly unfavorable impression of Jews as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian question. This impression is by no means restricted to Muslims. Throughout the continent, many Jews interviewed us about anti-Semitism from the left, which is often highly critical of Israel.
As a whole, it is a complex image that consists of a confluence of different factors without any obvious solution in one size.
Germany has appointed an anti-Semitism csar, Felix Klein, who works to create a nationwide network for reporting anti-Semitism and on improving education and integration in schools. Elsewhere, France spends millions of dollars trying to fight anti-Semitic hate speech online.
Many agree that Holocaust training is an important step. Half of Europeans say reminder if the Holocaust helps fight anti-Semitism. And yet it is scary that the Holocaust of the Holocaust begins to fade.
More than a third of Europeans have never heard of or just know a little about the Holocaust. That number is even higher when you look at the younger generation. In France, 20% of young adults have never even heard of the Holocaust.
When I asked Rabbi Schudrich how he knew these numbers, he stopped for a moment before answering: “It makes me feel I have more work to do.”
Europe should pay attention.