Anti-Semitism is 'very much alive and kicking' in Europe

Israel Hayom journalist Eldad Beck speaks to Arutz Sheva about the state of anti-Semitism in the EU in 2021.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Journalist Eldad Beck
Journalist Eldad Beck
Arutz Sheva

In recent years, there has been too much emphasis placed on simply talking about the increased anti-Semitism in Europe through reports and conferences rather than tackling it in a practical way at the ground level, said Israel Hayom journalist Eldad Beck speaking to Arutz Sheva from the European Jewish Association’s (EJA) Community Leaders Conference in Brussels.

Beck said that there are two main issues. Legislative efforts in EU countries aimed at curtailing Jewish religious traditions such as circumcision and kosher slaughter, and hesitation in dealing with main the anti-Semitic threat to Jewish communities, especially in Western Europe, coming from Muslim communities, not just radical elements but anti-Semitism central to those communities based on recent polls.

Eldad said that politicians are afraid to get in conflict with immigrant communities, and this has become worse since the immigration crisis of 2015.

He added that anti-Semitism in the EU in 2021 is “very much alive and kicking.”

Jews are literally begging to have right to still live as Jewish in Europe, and increasingly no longer feel at home. There is a focus on the new anti-Semitism but the huge problem with European Jews having their freedom of religion curtailed is not focused on when it should be a focal point.

The retirement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a friend of Israel, also raises issues for the future of Jews in Western Europe.

While Beck said there were “two Angela Merkels” – in her first years, she was extremely committed to renewing Jewish life in Germany and to Israel but less fervent in recent years, and seemed busy with other issues – he doesn’t see a bright future when it comes to German politics, with many anti-Israel politicians to be in the new three-party coalition.

Jews also can’t ignore Germany’s “double attitude” toward Israel," he explained.

While claiming to be a good friend of Israel, Germany has been financing too many anti-Israel organizations and voting against Israel at international institutions, he said.

“This is something friends do not do. If the Germans were really our good friends they should start acting as our good friends.”

Should Israel put in more effort to strengthen ties with Europe?

“Despite disappointment coming from very hostile EU positions, we should keep on doing everything possible to change the discourse and narrative. Accepting everything the EU dictates is not a good foreign policy for Israel,” he said.

Beck also said that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was too quick to endorse the new EU anti-Semitism strategy given that there was a lot of criticism on it in the last two days at the conference.

“I think it would have been much better for Israel to talk first with Jewish communities in Europe before jumping and adopted the EU so-called strategy,” Beck said.