Neo-Nazis in Germany. (AP/Uwe Lein) (AP/Uwe Lein)
Neo-Nazis in Germany

Jews in the Diaspora are facing an increasing threat of anti-Semitism, and Israel is devising ways to offer them assistance. 

Naftali Bennett.

Minister Naftali Bennett. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

More than 40% of European Union (EU) citizens hold anti-Semitic views and agree with the claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians and behaving like the Nazis, according to data presented during Sunday morning’s weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Israel’s NRG news reported.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who also serves as minister of education, presented the country’s 2015 Anti-Semitism report, pointing to the trends emerging in Europe as a result of the spread of radical Islam; the refugee and migrant crisis; the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS); and the rise of the extreme Right.

The “new anti-Semitism” explored in the report deals mainly with Jew-hatred among Muslims, rather than fringe parties in various European countries. The report states that “anti-Israel protests and accusations that Israel is a blood-thirsty, illegitimate country creates a slippery slope that eventually leads to the assault on Jews identified with Israel.”

Another aspect of anti-Semitism raised in the report, according to NRG, is that it has led to Jewish “enclosures in guarded areas, and to a record high in emigration from Western Europe.”

The report discusses the rise in anti-Semitism following what it calls a “triple alliance against the Jews – an increase in anti-Semitism on the part of Muslim immigrants; a rise in the extreme Right, accompanied by xenophobia and violence against minorities; and a rewriting of Holocaust history, mainly in Eastern Europe…and in Western Europe, dissemination of hate-filled propaganda by radical left-wing movements, which promote boycotts and the delegitimization of Israel and create a climate that encourages attacks on Jews for their identification with Israel.”

The most blatant anti-Semitic violence committed in 2015, according to the report, was the Hyper Cacher attack in Paris, in which four Jews were killed, two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The report also cites the growing trend of individual acts of anti-Semitism in France, and the accompanying rise in the desire of French Jews to leave the country and seek refuge elsewhere.

The report also examines the re-emergence of classical anti-Semitism: “In Russia and Ukraine, the Jews are portrayed in the media as a group whose loyalty to their country is dubious.”

As for the United States, the report looks at the “new anti-Semitism” on campuses across America, with 75% of Jewish students saying that they have either experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism Becoming ‘Ever More Vicious’

Diaspora Affairs Ministry Director-General Dvir Kahana, who also attended the meeting and presented the report with Bennett, said that his office has created a multi-annual plan to combat anti-Semitism, in which other relevant ministries will take part. This year’s focus will include tackling incitement on the Internet, providing policy tools to governments and organizations with which to fight the phenomenon and to aid threatened communities, as well as individuals who suffer from antisemitic attacks.

Responding to the report’s alarming findings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the report was “very important and significant,” warning that “anti-Semitism still exists and is becoming ever more vicious.”

He called on the international community to take action against anti-Semitism and “strongly condemn all displays of anti-Semitism. It cannot be that 70 years after the Holocaust anti-Semitism can still be seen in full force. In light of what happened in the past, it must be ensured that such a disaster does not recur and this is the responsibility of the EU and the UN, which are silent in face of these worrying data.”

He instructed all elements to step up information activity and education around the world against anti-Semitism.

This is in keeping with a report released by the UK Parliament’s Education Select Committee – also ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

The committee is comprised of MPs who launched an inquiry in September into the effectiveness of Holocaust education in the British school system. According to the Chronicle, Committee Chairman MP Neil Carmichael reached the conclusion that: “Too few teachers, particularly history teachers, are being trained to teach the Holocaust and our report calls on the government to act. We expect the Department for Education to ensure the support it gives to Holocaust education is as effective as possible.”

By: The Algemeiner and United with Israel Staff