The Middle East conflict has been imported into Europe and may cause a “tsunami of hate” against Jews, European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor told an audience in Tel Aviv this week.
Speaking at the Anti-Semitism Press Conference at Tel Aviv University, he said, “The Middle East conflict has been imported into Europe and serves as an excuse for anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish citizens of Europe. This is absolutely unacceptable and should be removed at all levels, from the enforcement authorities to government officials. There should be zero tolerance for the idea that it is natural that what happens in the Middle East will affect the Jews of Europe or elsewhere.”
He warned there could be a “tsunami of hate” if there is an escalation in the Middle East or if there is a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“The barbaric murders in Toulouse should serve as a ‘wake-up call’ for action,” Dr. Kantor said. “We know the problems and the solution, now we require the implementation.”
He said he will present to European leaders a pan-European program to implement measures to prevent future anti-Semitic attacks, including legislation to “define and protect our community from violent crimes and… [from] incitement, which we all know is flourishing in the mosques of Europe.
Dr. Kantor also will call for implementing security measures and creating public awareness of the anti-Semitic threat, as well as a concerted education program.
Concerning the controversial poem by German writer Gunter Grass, the EJC president said, “Incitement can be a major contributor to the deterioration of the situation. It is a slippery slope when someone like Gunter Grass expresses such twisted and delusional ideas.
“Grass is laying the seeds for blaming the Jews for many of the ills of the world and from here the road to anti-Semitic expressions and action is short. While freedom of speech is vital, people like Grass must realize that their comments are not made in a vacuum and were made on the back of findings by the German Bundestag, in a recently released report, that 20 percent of Germans hold anti-Semitic views.
“These types of comments contribute to the hate against the Jews of Europe by singling out the Jewish State, therefore giving people an excuse to carry out anti-Semitic violence.”