How widespread is antisemitism in Europe?

After the attack by the radical Islamic Hamas on Israel and the Israeli military’s response in the Gaza Strip, tensions are also running high in Europe. There have been numerous expressions of sympathy with Hamas and antisemitic slogans at pro-Palestinian demonstrations, and in Berlin a synagogue was attacked. Europe’s press voices concern.

Berlingske (DK) /

Hardly any demonstrations against Hamas terrorism

Berlingske bemoans a lack of large demonstrations against terror and antisemitism:

“Are you automatically a Hamas supporter or an antisemite if you show solidarity with the oppressed civilian population in the Gaza Strip or protest against the Israeli state’s treatment of the Palestinian territories? The answer is no. ... However, one looks in vain in Europe for broad-based rallies encompassing both leftists and European Muslims who say no to antisemitism and call for Gaza to be finally liberated from the terrorist movement.”

Troels Heeger
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Germany hard hit

Corriere della Sera takes a look at German society:

“Germany has had to acknowledge with horror and dismay that there is a significant antisemitic minority within its borders. We are not talking here about the far right, which is the second strongest party nationwide and is also elected in rich and tranquil Bavaria. ... Six million Muslims live in Germany, two million of whom immigrated there since 2015, the year of the great opening. ... Germany is facing a time of profound revisions. Merkel’sdo-gooderism is over.”

Mara Gergolet
Berliner Zeitung (DE) /

Antisemites loud but not many of them

The Berliner Zeitung opposes the claim that all Muslims are antisemitic:

“This is not the case, no matter how shrill the voices from the Middle East are when it comes to Israel, the US, the West as a whole. And for all the head-shaking over the pro-Palestinian and antisemitic demonstrations in Neukölln [a Berlin neighbourhood] and elsewhere — what is ‘Free Palestine’ supposed to mean if not the eradication of Israel as a Jewish state and safe haven for all Jews worldwide — a more nuanced analysis is called for here too: there are few demonstrators. They are loud, but they are few.”

Elmar Schütze
Leonid Gozman (RU) /

Demands are only being made on Israel

Antisemitism is often behind expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians, Leonid Gozman comments on Facebook:

“I am sure that anti-Israeli and antisemitic attitudes are behind most of the publicly expressed fears for the people of Gaza. ... I believe this because the demands for action to prevent or overcome the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza are directed only at Israel. ... I see no demands on Egypt to let the refugees through. I see no demands on the Arab countries to organise evacuations or to take in the sick. And above all, I see no demands being made on Hamas, which as the government of Gaza is responsible for the security and welfare of the population.”

Leonid Gozman
Polityka (PL) /

What is going on in people’s minds?

Philosopher Jan Hartman, who comes from a Jewish family, voices horror in Polityka:

“We knew that Jews were hated almost everywhere. But this much? And to express it at a time like this? That has never happened before. Every Jew, believer or non-believer, right or left, is asking the same question today: what is going on in the minds of people who consider this a good time to protest against Israel when, on a single day, one in ten thousand Jews were cruelly slaughtered by murderers who for years have been loudly and shamelessly proclaiming to the world that the goal of their organisation is to kill as many Jews as possible?”

Jan Hartman