Op-Ed: Like Cowards, Jews Hide Their Identity in Europe
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
A study conducted byf the German government reveals that 82 major attacks took place on synagogues within a five year period. Vandals and terrorists left notes connecting their attacks with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “So long as you do not give the Palestinians peace, we are not going to give you peace,” read many of these notes.
The same is happening in the Netherlands, where in 2012, 28 percent of all discrimination incidents were aimed at Jews. It emerged from the report “Figures in Pictures” presented by the state attorney.
Denmark’s Jewish community has lost 25 percent of its members over the past 15 years due to anti-Semitism.
These new statistics show once again that a Europe obsessed with Holocaust remembrance doesn't fight against real anti-Semitism.
But worse than open violence is a new form of silent anti-Semitism.
Almost a quarter of the Jews from nine European countries avoid visiting Jewish places and wearing Jewish symbols. The incredible survey that showed this was conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
In France, 40 percent of the Jews are hiding their own identity. In violent incidents that occurred in that country, 27 percent of the perpetrators were Muslims and 22 percent people with “left wing views".
Every morning I pass near Rome's main synagogue. This week I saw hundreds of Jews crowding the streets to protest against the funeral of SS captain Erich Priebke, a horrible human being who was lucky enough to see his own 100th birthday and die in a warm bed. Then, Italy's Jews met at the house of worship to commemorate the mass deportation of their relatives to Auschwitz, which took place in 1943.
I believe that there is something sterile and fragile in the Jews' indignation only for what happened seventy years ago, noble as that may be.
I did not see the same activism when, in 2011, the Fogels were butchered in Itamar nor when Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Rome. Then the Jews didn't take to the streets, they didn't protest against the present-day real fascism.
Someone has compared what is happening in Western Europe, where Jews have become again "invisible", to the Spanish Inquisition, when even lighting candles on Shabbath was a hazard because someone could see the holy flames from the streets.
But now it is now worse.
Then Jews were hiding their identity because of institutionalised fear and terror. Now, in the tolerant, liberal and democratic West, Jews are dying because of their own indolence and complacency in the face of dangers.
But - the honor of Europe's Jews is redemeed by the courage of a single Jew wearing a kippah in the city of Hevron.