Antisemitism in Europe: A Deep-Seated Issue

Antisemitism in Europe: A Deep-Seated Issue

Someone from the EU sounds the alarm

A well-known EU official says that racism is a powerful threat to European society. Antisemitism is deeply rooted in European culture, according to Michael O’Flaherty, head of the EU’s agency for fundamental rights. He says this is a major threat to Europe’s Jewish community and the EU’s core values.

Antisemitism and How People See It

The difference in how the public sees things is especially worrying. However, O’Flaherty points out that only a third of people in general think racism is a big problem. Nevertheless, he says that antisemitism is very clear during important times in society, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“I honestly think that with any big negative issue in our society, you’re going to find antisemitic tropes finding their way in,” says O’Flaherty. It shows how big the problem is… Antisemitism is a form of racism that is deeply rooted in European culture.

Hatred must be stopped and watched closely.

It is important to be alert during these tough times, and O’Flaherty stresses how important it is to condemn all kinds of hatred, even hatred aimed at Muslims. He knows that hate can show up in many forms and that it is important to fight all kinds of intolerance.

More anti-Semitism and recent events

After the terrorist strikes in Israel by Hamas in October, there has been a disturbing rise in antisemitic crimes. Alarmingly high numbers of these kinds of events have been reported from many countries. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is based in the US, saw a 300% rise in Austria. In a short amount of time, racist hate crimes rose by an amazing 13 times in the UK, according to the London police.

RIAS, a group that tracks antisemitism, says that since October, there have been 240% more antisemitic incidents in Germany. Because of this worrying trend, Germany’s racism commissioner said that the country might go back to the dark ages.

Thoughts and phrases that are deeply negative

A lot of people who study hate crimes say that deeply held negative ideas and assumptions about Jews are to blame. Even though these ideas are always there, they tend to come up when society is under a lot of stress or change. A recent study by the ADL found that people in ten European countries hold strong racist beliefs. These beliefs were mostly based on false ideas about Jews and money and about Jews running the governments.

What it means Antisemitism for the Jewish community

90% of people in Europe’s Jewish groups who were polled thought that antisemitism was getting worse. They also said that antisemitism was their biggest worry, even more important than problems like jobs, health care, and education. This feeling makes it clear how important it is to deal with and fight racism in Europe right away.

The Holocaust and School

As time goes on in Europe, more and more people are worried that the Holocaust will be forgotten. O’Flaherty points out that the number of Holocaust survivors is decreasing, so we need to find new, powerful ways to teach future generations about how terrible the Holocaust was. A big part of keeping the memory and lessons of the Holocaust alive is educating people about it.

Attitudes and Differences in Location

Research from the ADL shows that antisemitic views vary greatly between countries in Western and Eastern Europe. Spain is the most antisemitic country in Western Europe, with 26% of its people having strong antisemitic views. There are also different amounts of antisemitism in Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK, among other places.

Countries in Eastern Europe like Hungary and Poland have higher rates of antisemitic views, though these beliefs are slowly going away.

Antisemitism Online and How It Grew

Studies have shown that there has been a clear rise in racism online in Europe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. These online spaces have turned into places where hate grows.

Migration and a drop in the number of Jews

There are many issues involved with people leaving Europe and the loss of Jewish communities in many areas of Europe. In some countries, the number of Jews is growing, mostly because of immigration, while in others, the number is staying the same. Emigration has been linked to violent attacks on Jews or people with strong antisemitic beliefs. For example, a string of terrorism attacks in France between 2015 and 2016 were linked to emigration.

According to study from the Institute for Jewish Policy study, one of the many complicated reasons people leave their homes is to find stability, security, and wealth.

Antisemitism: A Very Important Issue for Europe

Finally, the ongoing rise of racism (Antisemitism) and its effects on the Jewish community in Europe are very worrying. It is very important to protect the ideals that Europe says it stands for, especially after the Holocaust, says O’Flaherty. Taking on and beating racism is not only the right thing to do, but also necessary to keep the European Union’s core values alive.