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Antisemitism rises by '100s of percentages all over Europe,' says leading rabbi

Protestors attend the March Against Antisemitism in London, November 26, 2023 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Following the French president’s warning last week about a “scourge of antisemitism” in schools, a new report shows a marked rise of anti-Jewish incidents in Germany and alarm bells ringing in Great Britain over intimidation of Jewish doctors at the British Medical Association.  

Since Oct. 7, there has been a marked rise in antisemitism throughout Europe, with a huge spike in incidents in the month following the Hamas invasion and massacres in the south of Israel.

The Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS). a watchdog group, documented a total of 4,782 cases of antisemitism in Germany throughout 2023. This is an 80% rise compared to the 2,616 incidents recorded in 2022.

In the month following Oct. 7 alone, Germany saw a 320% increase according to the report, since over half of the 4,782 cases took place soon after the brutal Hamas attacks.

Even more alarming are the UK figures for the same period, as reported by the Community Security Trust (CST). The 4,103 cases recorded in 2023 constituted an increase of 147% from the 1,662 reported incidents in 2022. The cases recorded on or after Oct. 7 mark a massive 589% increase over the previous year.

“There used to be a red line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt told the UK’s Guardian newspaper last month. “We have seen this red line disappear.”

“The statistics speak of a rise of hundreds of percentages all over Europe,” he added.

When asked by the Guardian if he feared that threats and harassment would cross more into the realm of violence, Goldschmidt replied: “It never stops with words.”

Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, also said that many Jewish people are hiding their Jewishness in a variety of ways, including by wearing hats instead of kippot (skull caps), choosing not to speak Hebrew in Uber taxis, and even considering removing the mezuzot (traditional scrolls in small cases containing verses from Deuteronomy) from their front doors.

The CST acknowledged that antisemitic incidents in the UK previously followed geopolitical events, such as in 2009, 2014 and 2021, but that this time there was “one key difference.”

“This time, antisemitic incidents skyrocketed in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack responsible for the highest Jewish death toll on any day since the Holocaust, before Israel had coordinated any substantive military response,” the report stated.

“And remember that in the UK, Jews number 270,000 odd people according to the census. That’s half a percent of the population,” the chief executive of the UK’s Antisemitism Policy Trust, Danny Stone, told Paul Calvert, earlier this year.

“And those incidents, each one doesn’t just impact the individual who is subjected to the attack or the abuse, but impacts them, their family, their wider community, their friends,” Stone explained.

“So the ripple effects of 4,103 incidents against this tiny community has been significant, and the Jewish community in the UK is feeling very, very vulnerable as a result.”

Both the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported on Monday that a Jewish doctor was heckled at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association, just hours after the Jewish Medical Association (JMA) had voiced concerns about the atmosphere during the event.

JMA Chairman Prof. David Katz said Jewish doctors attending the conference could “expect to encounter a mix of overt antisemitism, bullying, harassment and flag-waving activism.”

In a letter seen by the Telegraph, Katz wrote: “JMA members – including the small number still engaged actively within the BMA itself – are deeply concerned that the meeting environment could become itself a vehicle for discrimination and Jew hatred.”

Dr. Joanna Sutton-Klein, an Accident and Emergency consultant, faced repeated shouts of “shame” after stating she was Jewish. 

Meanwhile, over the English Channel, the Council of Jewish Institutions in France reported that in the three months following the Hamas terror attacks, antisemitic incidents equaled the number recorded in the previous three years combined, the Guardian wrote.

In France, the Jewish community has also witnessed a growing number of physical attacks, the latest being the shocking gang-rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl.

“This shocking case joins a long line of violent cases experienced by French Jews in recent months. We are witnessing an alarming increase in the rate of manifestations of antisemitism throughout France," said Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia.

“If, in a normal year, we were used to seeing about 400 cases of violence against Jews, in just the three months after October, we witnessed almost 1,600 cases.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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