Chronicle Examines European Anti-Semitism

Three San Francisco Chronicle staff-writers teamed up to author an impressive piece on the scope and severity of European anti-Semitism. The page-one Dec. 14 article detailed “the phenomenon of extreme criticism of Israel morphing into bigotry against Jews as a people” (“Fears of anti-Semitism sweep Europe; Leftists, intellectuals blaming Israel for world’s ills,” Veronique Mistiaen, Jody K. Biehl, Elizabeth Bryant). Mistiaen, Biehl and Bryant focus mainly on the emergence of anti-Semitism from the political left and academics, but they also reinforce the findings of a recent EU study that identifies Muslim immigrants as the perpetrators of much of the anti-Jewish violence in Europe today.

The article also notes the role that severely biased reporting against Israel in the European media plays in encouraging anti-Semitic behavior: “Some observers believe that the criticism (of Israel) is so ferocious in its tone and so one-sided in its analysis that it is stoking a surge of anti-Semitism in Europe already being fed by hostility toward Jews among the continent’s millions of Muslim immigrants.”

According to Emanuele Ottolenghi, a fellow at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Middle East Center at St. Antony’s College, Oxford:

… (W)hile liberal, left-wing press and elements of academia “are quite prepared to denounce right-wing anti-Semitism, they deny any wrongdoing on the left and within the Muslim communities, whence the worst attacks come from (sic).”

The article quotes Israeli Cabinet minister and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky who enjoins the EU “to stop the rampant brainwashing against and demonizing of Israel before Europe deteriorates once again to dark sections of its past.”

What is also noteworthy about the Chronicle‘s in-depth article is that it concludes with a brief look at what is being done to combat the anti-Semitism, e.g. France’s plans to begin “screening broadcasts for hate remarks and drafting pamphlets on how to combat anti-Semitism in schools.”

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