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.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Sweden

 

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror