Is antisemitism becoming socially acceptable again?

Arson and swastikas in the Jewish section of Vienna’s main cemetery, an arson attack on a synagogue in Berlin, anti-Jewish riots in the Russian republic of Dagestan — since Hamas’s terrorist attacks on Israel there has been a wave of antisemitic incidents across the world. Commentators discuss to what extent European societies provide a breeding ground for antisemitism.

Der Standard (AT) /

Virulent hatred of Jews

The arson attack in the Jewish section of Vienna’s main cemetery is the manifestation of widely held views in Austria, writes Der Standard:

“This attack and many other recent incidents prove that plenty of people in this country have space in their brains for antisemitism. ... This act clearly signals hatred of Jews, and of a rather virulent strain. In 2022, a major study commissioned by the Austrian parliament found that more than 30 percent were of the opinion that Jews had too much influence in the international business world or that they were exploiting the Holocaust.”

Hans Rauscher
Echo (RU) /

Divided sympathies like in Soviet times

In a Telegram post picked up by Echo, political scientist Alexei Makarkin sees old patterns making themselves felt again in Russia:

“It is mainly the West-leaning section of the metropolitan population that harbours pro-Israeli sympathies. Many of them see Israel as a modern, highly developed democratic country surrounded by authoritarian regimes. ... Muslims sympathised with the Palestinians from the beginning. But then older anti-West Russians who devoutly condemned ‘Israeli militarism’ in Soviet times quickly joined the ranks of the sympathisers. For them, Israel is part of the hostile West — and the Palestinians are potential allies.”

Alexei Makarkin
La Stampa (IT) /

A many-headed monster

The current bout of antisemitism is a many-headed monster, warns La Stampa:

“The embers smouldering under the ashes are ready to be rekindled. And not just metaphorically. ... Since October 7 the Christian brand of antisemitism has been fuelled by an imported antisemitism of Arab-Muslim origin, which in turn is reinforced by a right-wing political anti-Semitism that since the pandemic and its conspiracy offshoots (see QAnon and its followers) has been amplified in the social media echo chambers of the anti-vaxxer galaxy. And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, now we have Israel’s extremely harsh reaction to the Hamas attacks. Et voilà, the fire is blazing.”

Uski Audino
Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

The errors of the progressives

Tages-Anzeiger takes a look at certain sections of the academic left:

“In the 1970s, it was Ulrike Meinhof who provided the student milieu with the twisted rationale that allowed them to portray the RAF terror as legitimate counter-violence. Today, [Judith] Butler is providing the arguments for a new antisemitism in whose name the most heinous crimes are not only legitimised but also defended. ... Meanwhile, Muslims are suddenly perceived as the ‘new Jews’ who face the threat of widespread ‘Islamophobia’. Moreover, since Israel is seen as a Western imperialist bridgehead in the Middle East, violence against Jews is always interpreted as a reaction to this political situation.”

Michèle Binswanger
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Peace demonstrators in the worst company

People should be careful about who they demonstrate with, urges Corriere della Sera:

“It is true that not all pro-Palestinian demonstrators are antisemites. But it is also true that today all antisemites are for Palestine. This is their chance. Those who have filled the streets of Italian and European cities motivated by a sincere desire for justice and peace should bear this in mind. Not only because they might find themselves in the worst possible company. ... But above all, so that they are clear about in which direction their proximity to these people takes them; people who do not care about the desire for peace and justice, but who want to abuse it to take the world back to the darkest years of the 20th century.”

Danilo Taino