9 November: commemoration in troubled times

85 years after the Kristallnacht of 9 November 1938, when synagogues were burned and Jewish shops destroyed, there is growing concern about rising antisemitism in Europe, and especially in Germany. Commentators warn against forgetting the past and emphasise the importance of solidarity with Israel and Jewish people in view of the current war in the Middle East.

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Antisemitism must go

Dagens Nyheter expresses concern:

“The far right is threatening direct violence. Left-wing extremists are spreading messages about how ‘Zionists’ control the media. Islamist extremists portray Jews as an existential threat to Muslims. ... Where will today’s Swedish Jews flee to when they have finally had enough of the harassment, death threats, online hatred and slogans about a Palestine that extends from the river to the sea? Will they flee to Israel, which is surrounded by hostile states and has a terrorist group that wants to bring about a second Holocaust as a neighbour? There is only one answer: nowhere. It is antisemitism that must go.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Protecting Jews a collective responsibility

Jyllands-Posten warns:

“An antisemitic monster has once again been unleashed on the streets of Europe because too many have looked the other way and failed to realise that the conflicts in the Middle East have been imported to Europe, without examining the consequences. ... ‘Never again’ was the lesson learnt from the Nazi extermination of the Jews. ... But 85 years after the Kristallnacht, Jews once again fear for their lives. We have not honoured the promises. ... Protecting Israel — and the safety of the Jews — is the responsibility and obligation of us all. And this has nothing to do with the ongoing deplorable war in Gaza.”

La Tribune de Genève (CH) /

A stain on Europe’s image

Europe must remain true to its values, La Tribune de Genève demands:

“The memory of the Shoah makes the wave of antisemitic acts since 7 October a stain on the European soul. What kind of Europe, what kind of Switzerland, could maintain its values if it remained indifferent to the most odious expression of hatred, which led to the ‘final solution’? ... The conflict in the Middle East confronts us with individuals and groups who have made the condemnation of Israel their religious or electoral stock-in-trade — to the point of regarding an Islamofascist, antisemitic organisation that carries out a pogrom as a resistance movement. This is a crime against memory and all that binds us together.”

Olivier Bot