When Europeans Believe Jews to Be Disloyal Citizens, It’s No Wonder Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism Predominate

March 11 2020

While there is little doubt that hatred of Jews abounds in Europe, it is not easy to determine exactly how much there is. Melissa Langsam Braunstein examines some of the recent survey data, including a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center:

Thirty-six percent of Portuguese respondents, along with 32 percent of Spaniards, 31 percent of Italians, and 28 percent of Belgians agree that “Jews always pursue their own interests and not the interest of the country they live in.” And 36 percent of Italian, 33 percent of Portuguese, 30 percent of Spanish, and 28 percent of Belgian respondents tell Pew pollsters they agree that “Jews always overstate how much they have suffered.”

And then there is a 2019 survey taken by the Anti-Defamation League, which found that 24 percent of respondents from Western Europe, and 34 percent from Eastern Europe, hold what the pollsters determined to be “anti-Semitic views.” This poll asked specifically if respondents believe Jews to be more loyal to Israel than to the countries where they reside:

The fact that 33 percent of British respondents deemed that statement “probably true” helps explain the [success and influence of the outgoing anti-Semitic Labor-party leader Jeremy Corbyn] and the “record high total of 1,805 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK last year.” Also, the fact that 64 percent of Poles, 62 percent of Spaniards, 50 percent of Belgians, 49 percent of Germans, 49 percent of Austrians, and 39 percent of Russians think this statement is “probably true” speaks volumes.

Also worth pondering is the microscopic percentage of respondents truly familiar with Jews. That only 2 percent of Polish respondents reported interacting with Jews “very often,” while the same was true of 4 percent of respondents in Belgium and 1 percent in Spain, is instructive. Demonizing people you know only as ugly caricatures is easy. So it’s theoretically possible that person-to-person diplomacy, especially starting at early ages, could help reverse some of these conspiratorial beliefs.

But, fundamentally, this is not European Jewry’s problem to fix.

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Read more at Federalist

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Europe, Jeremy Corbyn

Europe-Israel Relations Have Been Transformed

On Monday, Israel and the EU held their first “association council” meeting since 2012, resuming what was once an annual event, equivalent to the meetings Brussels conducts with many other countries. Although the summit didn’t produce any major agreements or diplomatic breakthroughs, writes Shany Mor, it is a sign of a dramatic change that has occurred over the past decade. The very fact that the discussion focused on energy, counterterrorism, military technology, and the situation in Ukraine—rather than on the Israel-Palestinian conflict—is evidence of this change:

Israel is no longer the isolated and boycotted outpost in the Middle East that it was for most of its history. It has peace treaties with six Arab states now, four of which were signed since the last association council meeting. There are direct flights from Tel Aviv to major cities in the region and a burgeoning trade between Israel and Gulf monarchies, including those without official relations.

It is a player in the regional alliance systems of both the Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean, just as it has also become a net energy exporter due to the discovery of large gas deposits of its shoreline. None of this was the case at the last council meeting in 2012. [Moreover], Israel has cultivated deep ties with a number of new member states in the EU from Central and Eastern Europe, whose presence in Brussels bridges cultural ideological gaps that were once much wider.

Beyond the diplomatic shifts, however, is an even larger change that has happened in European-Israeli relations. The tiny Israel defined by its conflict with the Arabs that Europeans once knew is no more. When the first Cooperation Agreement [between Israel and the EU’s precursor] was signed in 1975, Israel, with its three million people, was smaller than all the European member states save Luxembourg. Sometime in the next two years, the Israeli population will cross the 10 million mark, making it significantly larger than Ireland, Denmark, Finland, and Austria (among others), and roughly equal in population to Greece, Portugal, and Sweden.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Europe and Israel, European Union, Israeli gas