'Anti-Semitism Infects Mostly Democracies'

Thursday, June 25, 2015 |  Yossi Aloni

No fewer than 150 million Europeans believe that Israel is an apartheid state, and many even equate the Israeli government with the Nazi regime. This worrying data regarding a rise in anti-Semitism was recently debated at the Knesset’s Immigration and Diaspora Committee together with foreign ambassadors.

“It’s not just about anti-Semitism, but a Jew-phobia with the intention of demonizing Israel,” explained renowned author and educator Prof. Gustavo Daniel Perednik. “Foreign governments, which claim to fight anti-Semitism in their countries, are actually partners in a blood libel against Israel.”

American activist and former head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, noted that as delegitimization of Israel escalates, those who are identified with the Jewish state come under attack. “Israel must constantly grapple with hostility, which aims to destroy its right to exist,” Foxman told the Knesset.

The phenomenon is growing on university campuses, even as traditionally supportive Protestant churches start to join the anti-Israel boycott and the Obama Administration threatens to stop backing Israel at the UN.

The deputies of both the German and British embassies in Tel Aviv, Monika Iversen and Rob Dixon, respectively, both told the committee that the situation was no better in their countries, where a significant rise in anti-Semitism was registered over the past two years.

Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp concurred, and stressed that his country rejects any boycotts of the Jewish state.

Gidon Bachar, head of the department charged with fighting anti-Semitism in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, noted with interest that anti-Semitism was most pronounced in democratic countries. “Political statements promising to combat anti-Semitism are important, but without enforcement by the government nothing will change,” Bachar insisted. “We have to intervene, because the Jewish communities in Europe have lost confidence in the European governments.”

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