Ahead of the anniversary of the Kristallnacht Pogrom of November 9th, the issue of anti-Semitism comes up every week in the media, new stories arising of Jews reporting anti-Semitism, many, especially in Europe, reporting fear of harassment, violent attacks or some even having to leave their home countries and make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel.
Several incidents of anti-Semitism have occurred worldwide in 2013. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has reported over 927 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States alone in 2012. These incidents include violence, vandalism and harassment.
But while the ADL reports a growing decline of anti-Semitism in the United States from 14% decline in 2012 from the 1,080 in 2011, European Jews have been experiencing more anti-Semitism in 2013 then in 2012.
A survey this year by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) showed that 1 in 4 European Jews fear wearing a yarmulke (Jewish traditional head) in public. 40% of 1,200 French Jews reported fear of wearing a yarmulke in public. 22% of the respondents reported fearing attending “Jewish events or sites” over safety concerns. 80% of Jews from France, Belgium and Sweden reported a rise in anti-Semitism in the past five years. Germany, Britain and Italy reported a rise in the past five years of 60%.
75% of respondents to the survey answered “not reporting” or “not worth the effort” to anti-Semitic harassment, 64% not reporting physical attacks. Anti-Semitic graffiti has increased by 4% in 2013 through out Europe in places such as Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Madrid.
Jewish tradition is also under attack in Europe. Kosher slaughter is still illegal in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Iceland. Circumcision is a topic being debated in the European Union, several European countries attempting to ban circumcision. The Council of Europe’s Parliament attempted to pass a resolution that would define this ancient Jewish ritual as a “violation of the physical integrity of children.”
Israel’s President Shimon Peres wrote a letter to the Council stating that, “The Jewish communities across Europe would be greatly afflicted to see their cultural and religious freedom impeded upon by the Council of Europe, and institution devoted to the protection of these very rights.”
Examples of anti-Semitism in October:
Just in October alone several reports of anti-Semitism and hate crimes against Jews were reported internationally:
In Janesville, Wisconsin a 23 year-old was charged for a hate crime when the man punched two men because they were speaking Hebrew.
In Bondi, Australia, five Jews were attacked on a beach and hospitalized after being attacked by a gang of eight youth who fled the scene. One suffered from a concussion and another from a broken nose. The Jewish men were wearing yarmulkes. The victims included a 66-year-old woman.
Two were arrested, aged 17 and 23, Australia’s Communication Minister stated, “Violence of this kind and, in particular, racist violence, anti-Semitic violence, is completely unacceptable in our society. Maybe in Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1970s but, certainly in Sydney, Australia, Bondi, you just don’t expect an unprovoked attack.”
Two British soldiers were photographed in front of a British flag, saluting Nazi-style in Afghanistan. The UK Defense Ministry released the statement, “This sort of behavior has no place in the Armed Forces and we take such matters seriously.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense stated that, “The two people doing the salute in photo have been spoken to.”
Chairman of the Commons’ All Party Group Against Anti-Semitism John Mann stated on the photo, “This is an insult to the memory of those who gave their lives to stop Nazis,” raising the affects the photo has not only on the memory of the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust, but of those who helped save Jews from the camps. He suggested the soldiers be punished for their actions and visit Auschwitz. Mann added, “So many thousands of people died for this country and the last thing we want is their memory being tarnished by a couple of idiots in uniform.”
In Yekaterinburg, Russia, bullets were fired at a synagogue October 7 in a drive-by attack. No one sustained injuries, but Jews in the community fear attending the synagogue.
The list goes on……
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of the dangers of anti-Semitism ahead of the anniversary of the Kristallnacht Pogrom last week. November 9th will mark 75 years since the pogrom, also known as the “Night of Broken Glass.” Merkel addressed the importance of remembering the tragedy and responsibility of “all the people in this country to show their civil courage and ensure that no form of anti-Semitism is tolerated.”
The Kristallnacht Pogrom occurred in 1938 when Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses and synagogues, burning them to the ground. 300 synagogues were attached, the pogrom lasting just two days in which over 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps and 91 killed.
Germany’s Jewish community was 560,000 in 1933 and dropped to 15,000 by 1950. Today, the Central Council of Jews in Germany reports over 200,000 Jews living in Germany currently. Merkel spoke of the reality of anti-Semitism today as still relevant, and stated that it is “almost inexplicable but also the reality that no Jewish institution can be left without police protection.”
We recommend to get Amir’s message “Has God Cast Away His people” on DVD which unveils who really is behind hatred towards Israel and the spiritual reason for the hatred through out history.
The DVD can be found on the Behold Israel app under “DVD” in the “Recommended” Section.