The dark stain of undiluted anti-Jewish hatred is consuming Europe and America, France’s most famous Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld warned on Monday.
“There is no safe place on earth right now for Jews,” the 83-year-old said in an interview in Washington.
He then cautioned that hatred for the Jewish people is resurgent and can be seen in multiple attacks on the faithful in both the U.S. and Europe.
“It’s tragic to see that on both sides of the Atlantic there has been a resurgence in attacks,” said Klarsfeld, who is also a noted historian. “Anti-Jewish hate lives on.”
His comments came in the wake of the New York Times being forced to apologize for publishing a cartoon that showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog, wearing a collar with the Star of David, leading a blind Donald Trump who wore a kippah.
Klarsfeld said the cartoon was “insulting,” for Trump as much as for Netanyahu who was “treated like a dog.”
“It is an anti-Semitic cartoon, that is to say that Jews are guiding the world and that corresponds to a stereotype very common among the far right, which one also finds on the far left,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s own administration has also hit out at antisemitic hate groups.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 28, 2019
“We are at war with these people,” is how Elan Carr, the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, described President Donald Trump’s approach to antisemitic hate groups as he addressed mourners at the Poway, California, synagogue on Monday afternoon during funeral services for Lori Gilbert Kaye.
Klarsfeld, who spent a lifetime working to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust while hunting the Nazis who drove it, is worried about the future of a Europe consumed with antisemitic hate.
“Never has a far-right or far-left regime made its people happy and prosperous, inevitably the extremes of power lead to misery and barbed wire.”
His concerns are echoed by Jewish community leaders across Europe who are enduring new levels of mainstream abuse.
Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress and the founder of the Kantor Center, which represents democratically elected European Jewish communities throughout Europe, last year said antisemitism is becoming more normalized.
“The general feeling shared by Jews, as individuals and as a community, is that antisemitism has entered a new phase, and is widespread in most parts of the world,” he said. “In many parts of Europe, Jewish communities and institutions can only operate under strict security measures. Fences, surveillance and police and military protection have become part of our daily lives.”
“In parallel, as our institutions become bunkers, helpless individuals become more vulnerable to isolated attacks. What evil can compel someone to commit some gruesome, despicable crimes? The answer is very clear, antisemitism de-humanizes Jews. And when people, Jews, we are de-humanized, anything goes.”
AFP contributed to this story
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