Swastikas reemerging in Europe
Photo: Irena Edelstein

WJC report reveals increasing anti-Semitism since Lebanon war

During recent World Jewish Congress conference in Paris, report reveals changing, more hostile atmosphere for European Jews

A report presented Sunday at a conference of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in Paris Sunday indicated that anti-Semitism in Europe had increased pursuant to Israel's war in Lebanon this summer.


The report, consolidated by the European Jewish Congress, with the participation of Jewish communities from 25 nations in continental Europe, revealed that expressions of anti-Semitism have doubled since this summer.


According to the report, there is a distinct and worrying atmosphere of general anti-Semitism, more disturbing than the reports of random anti-Semitic attacks in the street,


Professor Dina Porat, Head of Tel Aviv University's Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies and of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism, was one of the conference's coordinators.


According to Porat, the data shows a marked change in atmosphere from the beginning of the summer of 2006, which has since affected more moderate sectors of the population, as well.


At the conference, Porat presented anti-Semitic caricatures published this past summer not only in Arab newspapers, but also sources from Norway, Mexico and the United Kingdom.


French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin spoke at the conference, stating that France "stands by Israel" in the face of its security threats.


Nonetheless, he added criticism of Israel's overflights of Lebanon and declared that, for the sake of security, the conflict with the Palestinians must be stopped.


Iranian connection

Conference presenters drew a clear connection between increasing anti-Semitism in Europe and statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


When he says he wants to kill Jews, we should believe him said president of the Committee Representing the Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) Roger Kukerman.


He's using the same words as Hitler, he added, with the difference being that he's suspected of having nuclear weapons that Hitler didn't have.


Congress president Edgar Bronfman said that Iran's goal to acquire nuclear weapons was the most dangerous threat since the Holocaust since it's objectives are clear: To destroy Israel and control the Middle East.


As such, Bronfman declared, neutrality on the issue was not an option for the civilized world.


This is the first time in fifty years that the WJC has held a conference in Paris. Representatives of some 80 countries around the world were present.


The conference also featured inter-religious dialogue with French Muslim and Christian leaders, under the headline 'together for peace', with the archbishop of Paris, among others, attending in this capacity.


Islamic representative Dalil Boubaker, the leader of the mosque of Paris, said "Christians, Jews and Muslims must work together to teach moderation, so that hatred, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia will disappear."


פרסום ראשון: 11.13.06, 05:01
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