European Anti-Semitism Goes Well Beyond “Criticism of Israel”

While there is little doubt that hatred of Israel has become the dominant form of anti-Semitism in Europe, its more naked forms persist as well. Manfred Gerstenfeld writes:

Polls by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) show that the evil myth that Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus is alive and well in Europe. It was found that 46 percent of Poles, 38 percent of Hungarians, 21 percent of Danes and Spaniards, and 19 percent of Norwegians and Belgians believe this. So do 18 percent of Austrians and British, 16 percent of the Dutch, 15 percent of Italians, and 14 percent of Germans. Once a belief is so deeply ingrained in a culture, it takes a very long time to flush it out. Rather than disappear, it will change its shape. . . .

From [another] study, it emerged that at least 150 million adult EU citizens agreed with the statement that Israel is conducting “a war of extermination against the Palestinians.” . . . In another new mutation of anti-Semitism, European Jews are now accused of being responsible for Israel’s actions. . . .

The way that ingrained anti-Semitism manifests itself varies not only from subculture to subculture but also from country to country. In January 2014, a mass rally in Paris took place. This “Day of Anger” was not related to any specific Jewish topic, and part of the protest was against French president François Hollande’s economic plans. However, various groups of participants started to shout anti-Semitic slogans. These included, “Jews, France doesn’t belong to you” and [the Holocaust denier] “Faurisson is right,” as well as “the Holocaust was a hoax.”

The same has happened recently in the “Yellow Vest” demonstrations. These are ostensibly a protest against the French president Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise fuel prices—again, a topic that has nothing to do with Jews. Yet during some of the demonstrations, there have been signs describing Macron as a “whore of the Jews” and as their “puppet.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Emmanuel Macron, France, Politics & Current Affairs

European Aid to the Middle East Is Shaped by a Political Agenda

Feb. 18 2019

The EU’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Unit dispenses millions of dollars in economic and humanitarian assistance to dozens of countries every year. Although it claims to operate on principles of strict neutrality, independent of any political motivation and giving priority to the neediest cases, a look at its activities in the Middle East suggests an entirely different approach, as Hillel Frisch writes:

[T]he Middle East is the overwhelming beneficiary of EU humanitarian aid—nearly 1 billion of just over 1.4 billion euros. . . . The bulk of the funds goes toward meeting the costs of assistance to Syrian refugees, followed by smaller sums to Iraq, Yemen, “Palestine,” and North Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, by contrast, receives less than one-third of that amount. The problem with such allocations is that the overwhelming majority of people living in dire poverty reside in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Bangladesh. . . . The Palestinians, who are richer on average than those living in the poorest states of the world, . . . receive over six euros per capita, while the populations of the poorest states receive less than one-eighth of that amount. . . .

Even less defensible is the EU’s claim to political neutrality. Its favoritism toward the Palestinians on this score is visible as soon as one enters terms into the general search function on the European Commission’s website. Enter “Palestine” and you get 20,737 results. Enter “Ethiopia” and you get almost the same figure, despite massive differences in population size (Ethiopia’s 100 million versus fewer than 5 million Palestinians), geographic expanse (Ethiopia is 50 times the size of “Palestine”), and degree of sheer suffering. The Syrian crisis, which is said to have led to the loss of a half-million lives, merits not many more site results than “Palestine.”

One of the foci of the website’s reports [on the Palestinians] is the plight of 35,000 Bedouin whom the EU assists, often in clear violation of the law, in Area C—the part of the West Bank under exclusive Israeli control. The hundreds of thousands of Bedouin in Sinai, however, the plight of whom is readily acknowledged even by Egyptian officials, gets no mention, even though Egypt is a recipient of EU aid. . . .

Clearly, the EU’s approach to aid allocation has nothing to do with impartiality, true social-welfare needs, or humanitarian considerations. [Instead], it favors allocations to Syrian refugees above Yemeni refugees because of the higher probability that Syrian refugees will find their way to Europe. . . . The recipients of European largesse who are next in line [to Syrians], in relative terms, are the Palestinians. [This particular policy] can be attributed primarily to the EU’s hostility toward Israel, its rightful historical claims, and its security needs.

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More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians