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European anti-Semitism heading back to 30s

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Anti-Semitism in Europe is on the rise… fast. It has been growing over the past 10 years and is now growing incrementally every month. The WZO’s Department for Countering anti-Semitism held from December 5 to was themed “Tactics of Countering Anti-Semitism in the Face of Ongoing Media Incitement and Worldwide anti-Semitic Incidents.” While traditionally held in France, this year’s conference was in Belgium in solidarity with a community under severe distress. INTRODUCTION TO A SERIES - the must-read of the week...
by ANT KATZ | Dec 10, 2014

The World Zionist Organisation (WZO) is older than Israel itself… a lot older. In fact, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI, or Sochnut), which is today probably the most influential NGO in the Jewish world and headed up by the most famous of Russian “refuseniks” Natan Sharansk, is an offshoot of the WZO.

Traditionally, the WZO’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism holds their annual conference of Diaspora member Zionist federations globally, in France, being a central point for delegates. Many of affiliated federations are from European countries.

Moved to Belgium in solidarity

This year, however, the head of the WZO’s head of Diaspora affairs, Yaakov Hagoel and his team, took a brave and, as it transpired, tactically brilliant decision in the wake of the Belgian MUSEUM ATTACK earlier this year – the conference would be held in Belgium. Despite the fact that the country is arguably the most fiery hotspot among the huge European hot-bed of anti-Semitism, as a sign of solidarity with the embattled Belgian community.

The theme of the 2014 conference, held between December 5 and , was “Tactics of Countering Anti-Semitism in the Face of Ongoing Media Incitement and Worldwide Anti-Semitic Incidents”.

Representatives of Jewish leadership from over 20 Diaspora communities spent two-and-a-half days engaging on this very important topic – and Jewry from outside of Europe, even communities like in Venezuela who are living under severe and daily anti-Semitic threat, were shocked at the extent European Jews are under siege right now.

WZO logoIsrael took in masses of French olim in 2014, an all-time record. Belgium lost 110 of their community in June alone, Germans are sitting on their suitcases (a colloquial expression for being packed and ready to leave – see upcoming story by Gabriel Goldberg of the German Zionist Federation) and the violence and guttural behaviour towards Jews in Europe has become so toxic that people hide their Magen Dovid jewellery in the streets and some youngsters in youth movements are even encouraged to remove their kipot when in public.

Everyone talks about shades of the Thirties, the anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly worse by the month, increasingly open and not couched in terms like “anti-Zionism”.

Europeans always been virulent anti-Semites

And it is increasingly being practised by the general population. Jews are being spat at, not just by Muslims but by host-country communities.

While incidents in Israel, such as incursions in Gaza, certainly do raise the stakes considerably, say Europeans, the fact is that Europeans have always been among the world's most virulent anti-Semites – and the post-Holocaust guilt has started to wear away. Things are simply going back to what they were, say European Jewry.

Things aren’t all doom and gloom, to be sure, and there are some very encouraging stories – like that of Dutch Christians who pay to ensure that the Jewish school in their town is secured. But these anecdotes are overwhelmed by a sea of sad and bad news. From the European Parliament (EP) to individual country politicians and even local police forces who come close to aiding and abetting anti-Semitic activity, from the media’s incredible bias – way beyond anything we in South Africa have ever experienced – to individual shopkeepers. One has put a sign on his window that reads “No dogs or Jews allowed!”

There is the recent story of a rabbi being attacked by a gang of anti-Semitic thugs while walking to shul, only to be beaten up by another group on his way home that same night.

EP to vote on Palestinian State next week

Within the EP, a Jewish lobbyist told the conference, 15 per cent of MEPs are pro-Israel, another 15 are virulently anti-Israel – and the remaining 70 per cent don’t care one way or the other. Lobbyists are trying to get Israel onto parliamentary agendas for positive reasons, unrelated to the conflict situations. But it is not easy, they admit.

The EP will be taking a vote next week on whether to recognise the Palestinian state, which they are expected to do. They have allocated a whopping 450 mil Euro (2,7 per cent of their entire budget) for rebuilding Gaza, bringing their annual funding of the Palestinians up to around R1 bil! The problem is that the EP has no system in place to audit how and where the money is spent. They hand it over to Hamas and from there on it could be used to buy rockets, build tunnels, have amounts skimmed off by corrupt officials.

This is an introduction to a series to appear over the next 3 weeks.
The author attended the conference in Brussels last weekend.

 That, in itself, is madness! How can an organisation, widely considered to be presiding over the most civilised community in the world, take European taxpayers’ money and use it so irresponsibly?

The EP and its member-nations of the EU are increasingly disengaging from Israel and disregarding the safety and security of their own Jewish populations. They will hear nothing of the problems in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon when discussing "evil" Israel and her "human rights violations" – for which the EP and European constituent governments, should be isolated and boycotted for these violations.

They increasingly refer to Hamas as a political party. They actively discuss how Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are being "demonised" by Israel. They openly in debates refer to Israel as being like Nazis and guilty of practising apartheid. On the odd occasion that anti-Semitism in Europe makes it onto the plenary agenda of the EP, the matter either gets shouted down completely or, at best, a very highly watered-down resolution gets passed.

Watch for the conference logo to follow related post every few days.




WZO Conference reads on SAJR.CO.ZA

17 Dec: GERMAN JEWRY IS “SITTING ON THEIR SUITCASES”
GABRIEL GOLDBERG
of German Fed – on how it feels like to be a Jew in Europe in 2014

17 Dec: DANGEROUS BUT WONDERFUL THING TO BE JEWISH
BARON KLENER
, Survivor & head of Belgian Jewry, tells how tough it is on European Jews

10 Dec: EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM HEADING BACK TO 30S
Introduction to series on December conference of WZO attended & written by ANT KATZ



Related reads on SAJR.CO.ZA

05 Nov: CLEESE WARNS ON ME, TERROR & MORE
Brits have “raised security level from ‘Miffed’ to ‘Peeved’,” writes joker JOHN CLEESE

24 June: WHEN DOES ANTI-ZIONIST, ANTI-ISRAEL TURN ANTI-SEMITIC?
Latest research stats: World is 26% anti-Semitic" says ADL’s Foxman - by ANT KATZ

24 June: INCREASE OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE (AND ELSEWHERE)
“Hit back against propaganda generated by anti-Semites” - by NATHAN CHEIMAN

23 June: “RISING TIDE OF ANTI-SEMITISM, ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE” –Bibi
“We argue with G-d, for G-d's sake!” reported from Jerusalem by ANT KATZ

18 June: EUROPE'S NEW ANTI-SEMITISM
“Belgium’s Jews are afraid. The Jews of Marseille are afraid” - by BERNARD-HENRI LÉVY

02 June: JEWISH MUSEUM ATTACK: SUSPECT ARRESTED IN FRANCE
Jewish Museum attack: Suspect arrested in France – by ANT KATZ

12 Dec 2013:  MADIBA SPOKE IN NY & ATE WITH JEWRY IN BRUSSELS
A reflection of how things were in days gone by – by HOWARD SACKSTEIN

7 Comments

  1. 7 Choni 11 Dec
    In the 1930's there was no state of Israel to flee too, and we know the horrific consequences of the anti-Semitism.
    Can't our Rabbis and leaders see that now is the time to strongly urge young Jews to come home to their only safe haven.
  2. 6 Denis Solomons 11 Dec
    A very sad state of affairs in Europe.
    Perhaps we in South Africa can help our European cousins but then Israel is always foremost in our thoughts because without the holy land there would be no Jewish homeland .
    But as the article says it is not all " doom and gloom ! "
    Viva the Dutch !
  3. 5 Choni 11 Dec
    "The WZO is older than Israel itself????????
    Which Israel are you talking about?
  4. 4 ANT KATZ 11 Dec
    Which Israel are you thinking about?
  5. 3 Choni 11 Dec
    Ant, You know very well which Israel I'm talking about, but your report will lead many of the 'younger' generation to ignore our Biblical history.
  6. 2 manifest02000 11 Dec
    I urge everyone to support the goal of getting the western countries to band together to outlaw all genocide promoting armed cults. This needs to include an expeditionary force to apprehend all violence promoters in regions where this social poison is active, and removing them to re-education in areas far removed from where they can inflict harm.
  7. 1 Yonit Gefen 12 Dec
    When I learned about the Holocaust, I, a many other kids, asked 'Why did you let them? Why didn't you fight? Why did you stay?'  We had no idea it could get so bad- wouldn't work anymore; We had no place to go wouldn't either. Israel exists and any Jew can go there. Wherever we are however, we have to fight. This is an obligation specifically "Do not stand there and do nothing if another Jew is being harmed."  or "If  someone is coming to kill you, kill you before he can kill you" In the US gun ownership is legal, and there are many classes in Krav Maga - IDF fighting skills [can be lethal]. Every time someone kills a Jew in or on the way to or from a synagogue whether in Jerusalem, France or Florida and gets away with it. The only thing that will stop this is us, with the training and resolve and courage to stand up and not stand down. Chanukah is coming. May we find the courage to do as the Hashmonaim did.

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