No one is under the illusion that anti-Semitism died after the Nazi Holocaust. But for decades following that dark chapter, it was certainly taboo to openly express anti-Semitic positions or demonstrate anti-Semitic behavior.
It would seem with the escalation in anti-Semitic incidents in the West of late that what was once taboo is again socially acceptable, at least to enough of a degree for anti-Semites to once again openly peddle their particular brand of hate.
A recent incident in Antwerp, Belgium is demonstrative of this phenomenon.
Last month, a local Jewish woman and her Israeli girlfriend (the two are in an homosexual relationship) were assaulted by neighbors after daring to openly identify themselves as Jews by placing a mezuzah on the door of their apartment.
Belgian Jewish magazine Joods Actueel reported that at first, the assailants confined themselves to banging on the walls and shouting "stinking Jews." But that didn't last long, and the anti-Semites' appetite soon led them to breaking down the apartment door and beating the local Jewish woman to the point that she required hospitalization for 15 days.
As the Jewish woman was being taken away by an ambulance, she reportedly saw the responding police officers joking and laughing with the unrepentant assailants.
The assailants later stated that they had come "to finish what the Nazis started," according to lawyer Mischael Modrikamen. Israel Today wrote about Modrikamen last year after he launched a pro-Israel political party in Belgium.
The Antwerp incident and the police reaction to it "sounds like something from 1930s Germany," Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament, was quoted as saying by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
One of the chief enablers of this renewed wave of anti-Semitism has been has been the rise of anti-Israel sentiment, or anti-Zionism. Conveniently cloaked as "legitimate" criticism of the State of Israel, anti-Zionism in fact takes aim at the hopes and dreams the Jewish people harbored for thousands of years as they suffered in foreign lands. In essence, it says that the Jews deserve, at best, persecution and exile.