The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe has reportedly been reignited by "ill-assimilated" Muslims who have been welcomed and embraced by European leaders as refugees.
European nations – including Germany, France and the United Kingdom – have regularly been plagued with anti-Semitism and Muslim takeovers of areas and Islamic terror attacks due to leaders taking a pro-refugee approach to politics, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fairly recent welcoming of nearly 1 million Muslim refugees into Germany.
“Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open the nation's arms to 1 million mostly Muslim refugees has created a double threat for Germany's roughly 120,000 Jews: rising anti-Semitism from the newcomers and a resurgent right-wing nationalist movement spawned by the arrival of so many immigrants,” USA Today reported.
Changing times …
For decades after World War II, Jewish people living in Germany did not have to live in fear. This was the case for Mikhail Tanaev, a telecommunications manager wo emigrated as a teen to Germany back in 1998 – a time nearly 20 years ago when his Jewish faith did not matter to his German classmates and neighbors. Things were much different at that time.
“That's because Germany has taken extraordinary steps since the end of World War II to atone for the Holocaust and prevent anti-Semitism from taking hold again,” USA Today’s Austin Davis pointed out. “The country has paid reparations to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, erected dozens of memorials to those murdered and turned anti-Semitic speech into a crime.”
Now 32 years old, Tanaev says that anti-Semitism in Germany has become increasingly public and virulent – when compared with the place he witnessed in his teens.
"When I arrived in Germany ... I never saw such displays," Tanaev asserted, according to USA Today.
He was referring to the anti-Semitic uprisings in recent years, including an event that took place in Berlin about week ago when thousands of protesters took to the streets and burned Israeli flags to protest President Donald Trump’s Dec. 7 announcement that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The flag-burning demonstration has spurred a national outcry in support of Jewish Germans.
"I never thought that could happen in the middle of Berlin,” Tanaev insisted. “That's something you see in other parts of the world. It's really disturbing. It feels like we're being threatened because you never know how people will react further when something like this occurs."
Conservative personality Ben Shapiro has also witnessed the anti-Semitic tide driven by “ill-assimilated” Muslims in Europe – a group that he says is greatly contributing to exceedingly high rates of discrimination aimed at Jewish people living in Europe today.
“I visited France a couple of years ago with my wife, and there are certain districts in France where you do not want to travel if you are a Jew wearing a yarmulke,” Shapiro shared while guest hosting The Glenn Back Radio Program, according to TheBlaze.
Anti-Semitism now commonplace
The burning of Israeli flags is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to anti-Semitism in Germany today.
“Last month, thieves in Berlin made off with more than a dozen cobblestone-sized plaques embedded in sidewalks memorializing victims of the Holocaust,” Davis recounted. “And the German military found Nazi memorabilia in soldiers' barracks over the summer.”
It is reported that just last year, nearly 1,500 acts of hate or violence took place across Germany against the Jewish people and Israel – virulent displays that are now personally experienced by most of Germany’s Jewish population.
“In 2016, Germany recorded 1,468 anti-Semitic incidents – an increase from previous years that has put Germany's Jewish community on edge,” Davis continued. “According to a recent survey by the Bielefeld University in western Germany, 62 percent of Jewish respondents said they experience anti-Semitism in their everyday lives, while 28 percent said they were victims of verbal attacks or harassment in the past year.”
Andreas Zick, who led the study, says the statistics indicate the rise in anti-Semitism by not only Muslim newcomers, but by a strengthened right-wing nativist movement, which feeds off the escalating trend triggered by Jew-hating refugees.
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) – the third largest political party in Germany’s Parliament just four years after its founding – draws increasing support using both nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric in its neo-Nazi propaganda … with some party members pushing Nazi soldiers who served during to Holocaust to be remembered as patriots.
"Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital," senior AfD member Björn Höcke expressed earlier this year while commenting on Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Dealing with anti-Semitism
One of the latest Anti-Defamation League (ADL) polls on anti-Semitism gauged the attitudes of Muslims toward the Jewish community with whom they live in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
“An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored anti-Semitic attitudes,” the Huffington Post reported. “Acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country (ranging from 12 to 29 percent), though lower than corresponding figures of 75 percent for Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in ADL’s [earlier] 2014 poll.”
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman asserted that there must be a concerted effort to combat anti-Semitism in every aspect of European societies.
“The fight against anti-Semitism must be waged in the public square and at schools, as well as by law enforcement,” Foxman argued in his piece published in the Huffington Post. “Political leaders must set the tone and devote the political capital to encouraging every sector of society to engage together to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism. Civil society and the business community, educators and journalists, religious leaders and students, parents and children, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and jurists must all join the battle.”
Pointing to disturbingly high numbers of those who acknowledge anti-Semitism in Western Europe, the ADL official insists that pro-active efforts to eradicate the hatred and violence against Jewish people must be a top priority.
“Large majorities of respondents in Belgium (68 percent), France (77 percent) and Germany (78 percent) agreed that, ‘Violence against Jews in this country affects everyone and is an attack on our way of life,’” Foxman concluded. “We should not settle for less than 100 percent, and that requires clear and consistent reinforcement that threats to Jews are assaults on the well-being and sense of security for the whole society.”