There have been a number of recent reports about increasing attacks by Muslim immigrants against Jews in Scandinavia. The following article from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten focuses mainly on anti-Semitism in European countries other than Norway.
Camelot, who translated the article for Gates of Vienna, includes this introductory note:
The article below reports the growth of anti-Semitism in other Western European countries as well as Norway. In my view, this is a symptom not only of increased immigration, but also a sign that the Muslim communities are becoming braver and more “daring”.
The translated article from Aftenposten:
Increase in harassment against European Jews
by Per Kr. Aale
European Jews feel more insecure and threatened. Last year, the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents since the 2nd World War was registered.
“Cancer Jew, cancer Jew!” yelled the two Moroccans loudly.
Shalom Dov Ber van Halem (22) was on his way home from Sunday supper at his parents’ house in Amsterdam when two Moroccans on bicycles started shouting at him.
“Cancer Jew! Hitler didn’t finish the job!” they yelled, and then went away.
Van Halem continued walking, but was suddenly knocked to the ground by a heavy blow to the back. The two Moroccans had run over him. A third one came running, and all three threw themselves on top of the young man.
“We hate Jews! You kill people in Gaza,” they spat at him, while kicking and beating van Halem, who suffered severe injuries.
Raphaël Evers is a Rabbi in the orthodox Jewish society in Amsterdam. He says that the hate against Jews is getting worse every year.
“The Jews here can never feel safe. Usually it’s racist statements being made, but many have also been attacked,” he says.
According to the Dutch authorities there has been a significant rise in the number of attacks on Jews, especially during the war on Gaza last year. In most cases it was Muslim immigrants who carried them out.
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The situation in the Netherlands isn’t unique. Anti-racism organizations and institutions registering anti-Semitic incidents report a large increase of attacks on Jews and synagogues. Jewish children are being bullied, people are being knocked down, synagogues are smeared with racist slogans. In several cases, firebombs have been thrown against synagogues. The Jewish Agency, an organization connected with the Israeli government, wrote in a report that there were more attacks on European Jews last year than in any year since the Second World War. The report concludes that the Israeli military offensive in Gaza last year led to a wave of anti-Semitic incidents.
The side curls wave in the wind when the Jewish man in a black caftan comes down Lange Kieviestraat on his bicycle. Outside the Kosher King store, two people converse loudly in Yiddish. Here in Antwerp, Belgium, around 22,000 Jews form their own community. They have their own schools, doctors and shops with kosher food. Many are Hasidic, ultra-orthodox Jews who follow the Torah strictly. Now, the community is shaken by the increasing anti-Semitism.
At the Restaurant Hoffman, Mochi Hoffman serves kosher food. He acknowledges that the situation has become more difficult.
“The other day, there was a football match where the fans started singing old Nazi songs,” he says. He and other Jews that Aftenposten speaks with confirm reports of increased anti-Semitism. Synagogues have been attacked, cars smashed, and walls painted with anti-Semitic statements.
“We see incidents almost daily. People are scared. The higher unemployment rate has contributed to making the situation worse,” says Diane Keyser, a member of a forum connecting Jewish organizations in the city. Almost all the attacks are carried out by young immigrants from the Middle East. But Ms. Keyser emphasizes that the relationship with the many Muslims of Antwerp is mostly a good one.
“There’s a small group of young people who make all the trouble. Except for that, we live next to one another, though not with each other.”
Antwerp is a lively Jewish society. At Restaurant Hoffmann, most of the customers speak Yiddish. Alongside Jerusalem, London and New York, this is one of the largest communities where this language is still being spoken. While many of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe were exterminated during the war, Antwerp is often called the last shtetl, Yiddish for village.
Recently the US State Department made public a report stating that the anti-Semitism in Europe had increased, especially during the Gaza conflict. “Such incidents include attacks on Jews or synagogues, desecration of cemeteries, and allegations about Jews having an especially great influence over the country’s politics and media.”
Last year the Center Against Racism in Belgium registered well over 100 attacks against Jews, twice as many as the year before. In the Netherlands, over 100 anti-Semitic attacks were carried out in January 2009 alone, more than the whole of 2008. In Great Britain, the Community Security Trust (CST) reported 924 attacks, the highest number since they started counting in 1984.
France has the largest Jewish community in Western Europe, but several thousand have emigrated to Israel during the last couple of years because of the hatred against them. The French Jewish Community registered 832 incidents last year, a 100% increase compared to 2008. According to the American Pew research institute, many Europeans have a negative attitude towards Jews, especially in Spain, Poland and Russia, but also about 20% of the French population share the same view.
The Jews have been living in the Netherlands for several hundred years. At the beginning of the Second World War there were 140,000 of them. 75% were killed by the Nazis. Bloeme Evers-Emden (83) survived Auschwitz.
“The anti-Semitism is a lot worse now than before the war. Today, Jews are attacked on a regular basis; that didn’t happen back then. The anti-Semitism has become more violent,” says the fit lady. She tells us that the Dutch Fascist Party (NSB) spread a lot of propaganda about the Jews before the war, and that Jews couldn’t hold certain jobs or join certain clubs.
“But our lives weren’t threatened as they are today. Then came the war and the Nazis, and the situation became a totally different one, of course.”
Rabbi Raphaël Evers says he is harassed every time he goes out.
“We Jews don’t feel at home in the Netherlands anymore. Many people talk about moving to Israel.”
Shalom Dov Ber van Halem tells us he is the object of racist remarks almost every week. He has been beaten several times.
“Sadly, anti-Semitism has become an everyday thing here in the Netherlands. People aren’t shocked anymore when they hear about such incidents. I regret that,” says the 22-year-old.