Desecration of tombstone in Germany
Photo: AP

'Anti-Semitic tsunami on the way'

In interview with BBC Radio, Britain's Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks says he is 'very scared' by rise in anti-Jewish feelings, which have led to Holocaust denial, attacks on synagogues, boycott of Jewish groups on university campuses

Britain's Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks fears that a "tsunami of anti-Semitism" is threatening to engulf Jews across the world.


In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Sunday program, parts of which have been published by the British Telegraph, Sacks said he was "very scared" by the rise in anti-Jewish feelings, which has led to Holocaust denial, attacks on synagogues and a boycott of Jewish groups on university campuses.


"I am very scared by (it) and I'm very scared that more protests have not been delivered against it, but this (anti-Semitism) is part of the vocabulary of politics in certain parts of the world," he said.


Figures produced by the London-based Community Security Trust show that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Britain. The trust recorded 532 anti-Semitic incidents in 2004, including 83 physical assaults.


In the meantime, some groups opposed to Israeli government policy have organized boycotts of Jewish academics and student groups.


Since 2002, Jewish student groups on 17 British campuses have faced the threat of expulsion from fellow students opposed to Israeli action.


'Rabbis assaulted throughout Europe'


According to Sacks, attempts to "silence and even ban" Jewish student groups are "quite extraordinary" because most of Britain's 350,000 Jews regard themselves primarily as "British citizens".


Sacks also blasted the world's interference in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, claiming that "if, God forbid, one could imagine a world in which the state of Israel did not exist… then not one of the world's conflicts would be changed by one millimeter - there would still be conflict in Chechnya, in Ossetia, in Indonesia, in the Philippines."


"So to make this (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict - where the two sides have worked now for 12 years in a process of peace - the epicenter of global politics is not merely wrong … but it is also quite troubling," he charged.


Sacks said he was also worried by the strength of anti-Jewish feeling in some European states, including France.


"A number of my rabbinical colleagues throughout Europe have been assaulted and attacked on the streets. We've had synagogues desecrated. We've had Jewish schools burnt to the ground - not here but in France… So it's the kind of feeling that you don't know what's going to happen next, and that is making some European Jewish communities feel uncomfortable," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 01.01.06, 17:12
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