An official Israeli government report into global anti-Semitism published Sunday shows more than 40 per cent of European Union citizens hold anti-Semitic views, with “Islamic elements” prominent in its creation.
The Annual Evaluation of the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism was presented to the weekly cabinet meeting by Israel’s Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett ahead of Wednesday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The American Jewish newspaper, The Algemeiner, reports that anti-Semitic trends emerging in Europe result from the spread of radical Islam; the migrant crisis; the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement; and the rise of the extreme Right.
The government report states that although many European Muslims do not hold anti-Semitic beliefs, a study of data from different European countries shows levels of anti-Semitic attitudes among Muslims are significantly higher than among non-Muslims. Furthermore, the “level of antisemitism increases with the level of religious and fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.”
In other words, the report suggests that although there is a bedrock of ‘traditional’ anti-Semitic beliefs in Europe (what it describes as “the classic approach based on historical antisemitism in the west and various conspiracy theories about Jewish control over the world”), modern manifestations have been imported to the continent, especially to France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and the countries of Scandinavia.
These modern manifestations are described as: “an Islamic approach that sees the Jews as the enemies of the ‘Religion of Truth’, and allies of infidels ‘Crusaders’”; and a “political approach – Jews hatred, Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the identification of Israel and Zionism with Judaism.” The report explains:
Over the last two decades, Islamic elements have been prominent as the creators of central antisemitism in Western Europe. Most perpetrators of the majority of extreme cases of violence against the Jews of Europe in recent years have been Muslims, which in some cases noted their interpretation of Islam as a justification to their actions.
The new wave of antisemitism striking Europe now, is fundamentally different from previous waves. The source of the new antisemitism is not just a characteristic Neo-Nazi manifestations; A large part of the European antiJewish spirit comes from Europeans of Muslim origin. Islamic antisemitism replaced the leader of antisemitism in Western countries. Most of the reported antisemitic incidents were perpetrated by Muslims, especially in countries with large Muslim communities.
For the time being the problem is not related to the ongoing migrant crisis. According to Arutz Sheva, Mr Bennett “clarified that the source of the violence and murderous attacks comes from Muslims who are born and educated in Europe, and not from newly arriving refugees.”
On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on Saturday of the need for “intensive action” against anti-Semitism among migrants. The Times of Israel reports she urged vigilance particularly with young people from countries “where hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism is widespread.”
The Israeli government’s report found one encouraging note. The ministry stated that “awareness of the need to combat antisemitism has grown in most Western countries and was reflected also in legislation and law enforcement.”