Auschwitz survivor at Polish memorial (file)
Auschwitz survivor at Polish memorial (file) Isaac Harari/Flash 90
Eighty years agם last week, the Wannsee Conference took place.

The minutes of that infamous historical meeting of fifteen prominent Nazi bureaucrats including Adolph Eichmann, chaired by SS and Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich at the request of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring, show that the meeting was about implementing the "Final Resolution" and not about finding a solution.

By "Final Resolution," the Nazis at Wannsee meant the mass murder of European Jews.

The decision to kill as many Jews as possible was made earlier after attempts by Hitler's Nazi regime to more or less force European Jews to emigrate had largely failed.

These efforts were regulated by law, and that legislation contained all kinds of discriminatory measures against Jews.

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935, for example, stipulated that only "Aryans" could retain German citizenship.

This meant that anyone who did not meet the Nazi definition of an Aryan could be deprived of German citizenship.

As a result, German Jews actually became persona non grata.

Kristallnacht and Babi Yar

The discrimination and hate campaign against German Jews eventually led to the so-called Kristalnacht in November 1938.

During that organized pogrom, Jewish businesses and synagogues were attacked and in many cases destroyed.

Also, about a hundred Jews were murdered and in the aftermath of Kristalnacht, the deportation of Jews to concentration camps began.

The first deportation involved a large group of 30,000 Jewish men and, after that many more German Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

After the start of World War II in 1938, Nazi violence against Jews continued to increase and the first phase of the Holocaust was ushered in with mass murders of Jews.

For example, in Ukraine in the Babi Yar ravine near Kyiv, the SS ‘Sondercommando Einsatzgruppe C’ in one day murdered 33,771 Jews, among them many children, by gunning them down with automatic rifles.

Some children were thrown into the mass grave while still alive.

The Ukrainian police collaborated with the SS in this horrific mass murder and also helped cover the mass grave with earth.

It is important to bring back the history of the Wannsee Conference and Babi Yar, and not just because of the International Holocaust Day which is commemorating the terrible events in Europe now more than 80 years ago.

It is because Anti-Semitism did not die with the Holocaust and is sharply on the rise again in 2022.

2021 was a disaster year for Jews in the Diaspora

Last year the largest number of anti-Semitic incidents was recorded over the last decennium.

This was revealed in an annual report by the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency which was published last week.

Ten anti-Semitic incidents were recorded every day in 2021, and according to both organizations, the number is most likely much higher because many incidents were not reported by the victims, they said.

Anti-Semitic incidents are also no longer limited to Europe and the Middle East, where Iran has now replaced Egypt as the most anti-Semitic country.

Anti-Semitism in the United States

In the United States, the number of anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply in 2021 and even Jews in synagogues were attacked, mostly by Muslims.

A total of 16 Jews have been murdered in the US since August 2018 during attacks on synagogues, Jewish community centers and Kosher shops.

In New York City alone, the number of anti-Semitic incidents doubled in 2021 compared to 2020. The city saw 503 incidents in 2021 versus 252 in 2020.

The terror against Jews in the US, meanwhile, continues unabated, as was demonstrated by the hostage-taking of four Jews in a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas during Shabbat on January 15.

Rising Anti-Semitism and the link to Israel

The wave of anti-Semitism in Europe (half of all incidents occurred on the old continent), the United States, Australia and, Canada is often falsely associated with what is happening in Israel.

Extreme Muslims but also extreme left-wing elements and far-right activists on the three continents are mainly responsible for this 'new' anti-Semitism and are trying to brand Israel as an apartheid state.

There was a clear peak during the 11-day war that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad waged against Israel at the end of May last year.

However, the Corona crisis also played a role in the increase in anti-Semitism.

Conspiracy theories about Jews who were supposedly behind the spread of the pandemic are still circulating on social media while the quarantine obligation, lockdowns and the calls to get vaccinated are compared to Hitler's policies in Nazi Germany.

The most anti-Semitic country in the world

The country whose regime is the only one in the world that openly fuels anti-Semitism is now Iran.

Take, for example, what Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said on Busher TV in Iran this month.

Tangsiri openly questioned whether the Saudis were really Arabs. He answered his own question by saying that the Saudi Arabs were, in fact, Jews who liked to go to war with the prophet Mohammed.

By saying this, the IRGC commander intended to insult and humiliate the royal family in Saudi Arabia.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's regime is obsessively anti-Semitic and this motivates the actions of the Islamic Republic says Elie Cohanim the female Iran-born anti-Semitism envoy to the previous US administration.

“The fact is that they have named their militia group the 'Al Quds Brigade'.

The regime uses the name "al-Quds" or Jerusalem for the foreign branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corpos because of its desire to "liberate" the city from the Jews. In addition, Holocaust denial is state policy.

The Iranian-supported terrorist activity through Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and, in the near future even the Ansar Allah militia in Yemen, is purely aimed at the destruction of Israel.

Ansar Allah, or the Houthi militia, last year declared that it had become part of the so-called Resistance Axis and vowed to attack Israel in the future.

It is the Iranian regime's desire to end a Jewish sovereign presence in the Middle East and this is fueling many of their activities, according to Cohanim.

She then gave the example of Khamenei making anti-Semitic statements about Jared Kushner Trump's Jewish son-in-law and his envoy for the Arab-Israeli peace process.

"Ayatollah Khamenei had the audacity to call Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, a Jew and a 'dirty Zionist,'" Cohanim said.

The word Jew as a curse

When we take a look at traditional, classical Islam, we see that the word Jew is not a derogatory term. This phenomenon is about 100 years old.

Today, if you want to attack someone in the Muslim world, you call him or her Jewish.

It is the worst kind of libel among fundamental Muslims.

“When Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan, for example, there was a fundamentalist extremist organization that called him a Jew,” Cohanim told The Media Line.

No decisive action against rising anti-Semitism

In the meantime, it remains unclear what the US, Europe, Australia and Canada intend to do about the rising anti-Semitism.

Condemnations such as the one US President Joe Biden uttered after attacks like the one in Colleyville are no longer enough.

The Danish government was the only European government which announced new measures against the rising tide of anti-Semitism on Wednesday.

The French government, by contrast, remained mum after a new report revealed the France has become the most anti-Semitic government in Europe with a spike of 75% in anti-Jewish incidents in 2021.

This is because Western governments are good in announcing plans to combat anti-Semitism but have failed to recognize the developing new disaster for their Jewish citizens, some even denying the the scope of the problem.

In the case of the Colleyville hostage crisis, the FBI struggled to determine the British Muslim terrorist's anti-Semitic motive.

This after reports appeared in some media that the FBI was in the possession of a taped telephone conversation the terrorist had with his brother during the hostage crisis.

During that conversation, the hostage-taker cursed the Jews and Israel, claiming that they "rape our women and children."

Last year during the war between Israel and the terror groups in Gaza, Malik Faisal Akram, the terrorist who had been shot dead after his hostages escaped, attended a meeting about "escalating tensions" in Blackburn, England.

There Akram said that Jews should be punished and even bombed.

A politician who attended the meeting reported this to the police but no action was taken.

Akram also had a criminal record but that didn't stop US authorities from granting him a visa, as is standard practice in the US.

Israel and its Holocaust survivors

In Israel, International Holocaust Day is a reason for many articles about Holocaust survivors, but there is no official commemoration because the Holocaust, or Shoah (Disaster) as we call it in Hebrew, is commemorated a week before Independence Day at the end of April.

Foreign Minister and alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid went abroad to Bahrain where he was scheduled to participate in a Holocaust memorial event.

While Lapid's ‘government of change’ announced on Wednesday it would raise the minimum wages in Israel to 6.000 NIS per month the same cannot be said for the stipends Holocaust survivors in Israel receive from the government.

Media again reported that in 2022 a third of the Holocaust survivors in Israel are still living below the poverty line and are dependent on the aid NGOs offer them in the form of food and other basic needs.