European Leaders Are Making a Show of Taking Anti-Semitism Seriously. But Will They Actually Do So?

Last week, Sweden’s prime minister announced a conference on anti-Semitism to take place in October 2020 and to be attended by European heads of state. It will be held in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, the location of numerous anti-Semitic incidents in the past few years, some of which were violent—the most recent involving a youth group affiliated with the prime minister’s own party. Ben Cohen notes that the conference, despite its apparent good intentions, poses several dangers:

[T]he first potential danger [is] that the conference will allow Malmo to clean up its image as a center of anti-Semitism without cleaning up its act. The degree to which a conference on anti-Semitism hosted by a left-wing government in Europe would be willing to address the elephant in the room—the anti-Semitism that doesn’t come from the far right—is as yet unclear . . .

First, there is the need to recognize that anti-Semitism is politically promiscuous and can be found with equal venom on the left and the right. . . . Second, government efforts against anti-Semitism have rightly pushed a broader message of tolerance and openness. . . . But [these efforts] also require . . . recognition that anti-Semitism is a problem not just of the ethnic majority but of minorities as well, and particularly Europe’s multiple Muslim communities.

At the present time, if a swastika is daubed on a Jewish building in Germany and the perpetrator remains unidentified, the police will categorize the crime as “far right,” despite having seen the profusion of signs equating the Star of David with the swastika at numerous left-wing, anti-Zionist demonstrations. That perhaps exemplifies why a wholesale transformation of how anti-Semitism is understood by law-enforcement officials, teachers, and social workers is necessary.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Sweden

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland