The Jewish Dilemma in Europe and Beyond

Dec. 17 2019

What with anti-Semitism on both left and right, economic stagnation, and demographic decline, European Jewry faces dim prospects, writes Joel Kotkin:

Perceptions of Jewish success combined with a weak economy and the shrinkage of the middle class have ignited a resurgence of right-wing populism across the continent. In some countries, notably Russia, Poland, Belgium, and parts of Germany, anti-Semitism of the traditional right-wing variety has been mainstreamed, often by nationalist parties such as the AfD in Germany, the Freedom Party in Austria, and Jobbik in Hungary.

This development is most notable in Eastern Europe, where economic conditions are less than ideal. Asked whether “Jews have too much power in the business world,” according to a recent Anti-Defamation League survey, 72 percent of Ukrainians agreed, as did 71 percent of Hungarians, 56 percent of Poles, and 50 percent of Russians. . . . [A] third of Austrians, according to a recent CNN Poll . . . complain Jews have too much influence in finance, as did a quarter of French and German respondents.

Contemporary leftist hatred of Jews has its roots in the post-Stalin alliance with Arab nationalist and Islamist regimes seeking to obliterate Israel. . . . As the famous Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfield told me and my wife over two decades ago in Paris, French leftists would see huge potential in appealing to Muslims who now outnumber Jews by roughly ten to one. Although often out of sync with the very liberal social agenda of the European left, Muslims increasingly constitute a powerful constituency for French socialists, who have been losing ground among their traditional white working-class base in recent elections.

Over the long term, if current trends hold, the Jewish future will be essentially that of Israel. . . . Many in these countries may well say “good riddance” to the Jews, but it represents a tragedy not only for the Jewish people but for Europe and the world.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry

 

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror