Friday, February 22, 2019

The 'New Anti-Semitism' In Western Europe

The new ‘new anti-Semitism’ in Western Europe feels eerily familiar

The working assumption about 21st-century anti-Semitism is that it is making a comeback in Western Europe due to a “perfect storm” driven by Muslim immigrants and European white ultra-nationalists.
This basic model has corresponded with the flowering of hate speech and crimes against Jews in Western Europe that began around 2000. That year, Muslim extremists for the first time torched several French synagogues over Israel’s war on Palestinian terrorists during the second intifada.
It was the onset of a phenomenon that later became known as “new anti-Semitism,” in which Jews are targeted as Israel’s agents or as payback for the Jewish state’s perceived abuses.

These coinciding developments heralded a new and disturbing reality in which two rival and relatively small groups appeared to be growing and, through their rhetoric and actions, were eroding the taboo placed on anti-Semitism following the horrors of the Holocaust.

But over the past four years, anti-Semitism in Western Europe has mutated yet again, reverting to its 20th-century economic elements and gaining a strong foothold in swelling populist movements. Purveyors don’t necessarily share a common political view, but they agree that Jews are the exemplars of an establishment they seek to overthrow.

But the main and possibly most troubling distinction of the latest new anti-Semitism is how it cuts across major religious and ideological differences among its propagators, uniting unlikely bedfellows such as neo-Nazis, communists and jihadists under a single cause.

“Anti-Semitism in Western Europe is morphing again,” said Mike Whine, the government and international affairs director at the Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s watchdog group. “It may take government a long time to recognize the change,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
In Spain, the leader of the rising far-left Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, has hosted guests many times who inveigh against “the Jewish control on Wall Street,” as one of them defined it recently on his show “Fort Apache,” which airs on the Iranian regime’s propaganda channel HispanTV.

The proliferation of theories about Jewish financial power and the Rothschilds do not involve Israel. And while this form of classic anti-Semitism, associated with “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” had never entirely left Europe, it certainly had been marginalized after the Holocaust.
“Its return in a big way is a new development,” according to Marc Weitzmann, a French author and journalist who has written extensively about anti-Semitism in France.
The main components of modern anti-Semitism in France are not new, Weitzmann said. What has changed, he said, is how the narratives of the far left, far right and Muslim extremists “have begun to mirror each other and are now converging against the Jews and toward violence in ways that would have been unthinkable in France prior to 2015.”
“You’ve always had this sentiment under the surface,” he said. “It’s coming out as a result of the collapse of the political center, loss of faith in democratic institutions and economic crises, for which Jews are being blamed.”

“Government efforts to curb anti-Semitism fail precisely because they’re coming from the government, which anti-Semites believe is controlled by globalist Jews,” he said. “It’s a vicious cycle.”
Still, talk of a return of 1930s anti-Semitism to Europe is inaccurate, said Weitzmann, whose book about these issues, “Hate,” will be coming out next month.
“Back then, anti-Semitism was implemented from governments down,” Weitzmann said. “Today it’s the other way around: It’s rising from the base and governments are trying to stop it, although not very successfully.”

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