Many thousands of British and French Jews are now fearful of an increased anti-Semitism that has suddenly become mainstream as armed police, or the military, guard Jewish schools and places of worship in London, Paris and other major European cities. Jewish families in many areas are now openly questioning their safety within this newly hostile environment.
Whilst there has always been a certain low-level of endemic antipathy in Europe to some Jews, at various times, not since the 1930s has there been such a palpable feeling of alienation.
The various factors influencing this resurgence of anti-Semitism are not all clear but it is accepted that the policy of the Israeli government in its overt contempt for the UN, the EU and for human and civil rights – which it claims is supported by Jewish communities worldwide – is undoubtedly a key driver of this hostility. As is also Netanyahu’s contempt for the democratic leader of the United States, President Barack Obama together with Israel’s control by proxy over the Republican-dominated US congress and its foreign policy.
However, that claim of Diaspora support, in Europe, is unsubstantiated, as it is estimated that possibly 50% of British and French Jews are deeply disturbed by Israeli brutality but stay silent for fear of being ostracised. The other half naively believes the disseminated propaganda that Israel can do no wrong, and supports all its policies indiscriminately – which is a grave error of judgement.
Where any government – particularly one that claims to be democratic – is perceived to treat civilian lives, including those of women and children, as expendable in its quest for state expansion and power – then there will be consequences for that regime and, unfortunately, for those who support it.
Such, apparently, is one of the primary reasons for the resurgence of the oldest hatred’ in Europe, today. There are, undoubtedly, other factors, particularly in France. Be that as it may – the die is cast unless, of course, Netanyahu exhibits a volte-face and dismantles all illegal settlements and repatriates his half a million citizens back to Israel: then sues for peace.
As that, tragically, appears unlikely, there could well be an effective return to European ghettoisation with the only alternative being a forced migration to Israel. Either would be a catastrophe. Better by far, for all concerned, that the EU forces a paradigm shift by the Netanyahu government.
Such a shift would have no effect whatsoever on the dictatorships of the Middle East but would have a profound effect on the democratic nations of the world, including those within the EU.