Various recent studies, including one by the US State Department, have noted a marked increase in anti-Semitism worldwide over the past several years. A casual look at the news reveals this problem is very real, and very likely to escalate.
The Swedish city of Malmo has been one flashpoint, with its sizeable Jewish community coming under repeated attack recently. The incidents reached such a crescendo that last week hundreds of Swedes held a march in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors.
Unfortunately, the supposedly sympathetic response of Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu was no less anti-Semitic. Reepalu suggested that as a strategy to lessen the attacks, local Jews should publicly reject Zionism, that millennia-old hope of all Jews to one day return to their ancestral and biblical homeland.
The situation is even worse in France, where a burgeoning Muslim population has been the primary culprit behind a 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks over the past year.
Most prominent among those attacks was the brutal March 19 murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse by a lone Muslim gunman.
But smaller, though no less dangerous, incidents have plagued the Jews of Paris, Marseilles, Toulouse and other French cities for months. In Paris, a grenade was tossed into a Jewish store, a Jewish man was knocked unconscious in the city's subway, and a Jewish woman was wounded while sitting in her Sukkah, all in the span of a couple weeks.
In neighboring Belgium, "Death to the Jews" was spray-painted on a Brussels synagogue, and across the continent in Ukraine, a Jewish doctor was mercilessly slain by three Muslims.
Anti-Semitism is nothing new in Europe, but the problem is not contained there.
At the same time anti-Semites were attacking Jews in Paris, Malmo and Ukraine, Nazi-sympathizing vandals desecrated the bulk of the tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand, while in Montreal, Canada masked assailants firebombed a kosher restaurant.
Even those who claim to be working for human rights and peace in the Middle East have provided a platform for and helped disseminate virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Earlier this month, Greta Berlin, the American woman who heads the Free Gaza Movement, wrote on her Twitter account that "Zionists operated the [Nazi] concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews."
That the Jews were behind the Nazi Holocaust is common anti-Semitic drivel of the type currently being championed by Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It has long been used to de-legitimize the rebirth of Israel as a nation-state, with the charge going that the Jews of Europe willingly murdered millions of their own in order to win just enough world sympathy to secure "Palestine" for themselves.
In similar fashion, the Facebook page for a demonstration being organized by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Australia featured a comment reading, in German, "We must exterminate the Jews." Two BDS supporters "liked" the comment before pressure resulted in its removal.
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