Does the refugee crisis threaten European Jewry?

World Jewish Congress Vice President warns migrants largely coming from states where anti-Semitism is rife, says EU must integrate them.

Yoni Kempinski,

Migrants arrive in Germany (file)
Migrants arrive in Germany (file)
Reuters

European countries' integration of the massive influx of migrants could be crucial in determining the fate of European Jewry, according to a leading European Jewish leader. 

Dr Ariel Muzicant, who is Vice President of both the Word Jewish Congress and European Jewish Congress, admitted that among European Jewish leaders opinions were "mixed" as to whether Jews even had a future on the continent.

Either way, it is clear that the threat to Jewish communities in Europe is increasing dramatically, he added, noting that the WJC and EJC had taken steps to aid communities at risk, including "dramatically increasing security and crisis managament capacities."

"We are investing substantially in protection of our own communities... if the communities can't ensure that daily life can go on... then there won't be any communities left.

"Jews need to be able to live in Europe without fear and without constant harassment by either anti-Semites or terrorists."

It is well within European leaders' powers to turn the tide of anti-Semitic hate, it is merely a question of political will, Muzicant insisted - a political will he himself was far from certain exists.

"Can it be changed? Yes. Will it be changed? I'm not sure."

A crucial factor would be how and whether European states such as Germany - who have been accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees, mainly from Muslim countries where anti-Semitism is rife - would deal with and integrate the massive influx.

"It is (about) more than putting soldiers or policemen in front of synagogues and schools," Muzicant said of European governments' efforts to combat anti-Semitism. "It needs a strategy (for) how to cope with refugees who are coming brainwashed as anti-Semites from Syria and Iraq."

He said was skeptical about whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel or other EU leaders have a concrete plan as to how to integrate the new arrivals.




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