Swastika daubed on the door to a Jewish home

Anti-Semitism spreads in Europe: New incidents in Poland, Spain, Greece

Graffiti targeting Jewish schools and homes appears in Madrid, Warsaw and Athens, while in France the wave of attacks appears to continue unabated, leaving some French Jews fearing for their future and their families.

The wave of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe appears to be continuing unabated, with swastikas and hate graffiti appearing on Jewish institutions and property in a number of countries, including Poland, Greece and Spain.  



On Monday morning, Uri and Reut Huminer, emissaries from the World Zionist Organization, discovered swastikas and anti-Jewish graffiti daubed near their home in Madrid. The local police have launched an investigation.


Swastika graffiti in Madrid
Swastika graffiti in Madrid



In France, swastikas have also repeatedly appeared painted outside the homes of Jews.


One of them, Olivier Feldman, told Ynet that the attacks will not make him leave his country.


"It's a terrible feeling, but my life is here," he said, but added that he no longer views France in the same way as before. "I am afraid for my wife, for my children and for myself," he said. "I look at people differently, every day I wonder if it will happen again."


He made it clear that despite the growing anti-Semitism on the continent, he was not considering emigrating to Israel. "My life is here, I work in France, my friends are in France, my family is in France, it's a dream (to move to Israel), but my life is here."


Three months ago, vandals sprayed antisemitic and anti-Israeli slogans, along with swastikas, in front of the house of Angel Mas, a senior activist in the Jewish community in Spain and chairman of a Jewish organization fighting local boycotts of Israel.


"If our message stirs such opposition and anger… then it seems that we are doing something right," Mas said.


Nazi symbols daubed outside the home of Jewish activist Angel Mas
Nazi symbols daubed outside the home of Jewish activist Angel Mas


The use of neo-Nazi symbols has become common in light of the radicalization of the political arena all across the globe. Extremist groups from both ends of the political spectrum use these symbols as part of the struggle between them.


Even so, deliberately spraying neo-Nazi symbols in a neighborhood where a number of Jews live is very uncommon in Spain. 



Graffiti outside the home of Angel Mas
Graffiti outside the home of Angel Mas


The Madrid police has launched an investigation into the cases, working alongside the local Jewish community's security organization and Madrid municipality, which has ensured that the slogans outside Mas's home were removed.


The Israeli embassy in Madrid passed images of the graffiti along to several organizations that monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and also posted them on social networks.


"It is sad to see that anti-Semitism still exists in Spain," the embassy said.


The anti-Jewish sentiment has also reached Poland, where earlier this week large posted were placed on several residential buildings in Warsaw, which read: "These buildings will soon be returned to the Jews, to meet their demands."


Anti-Jewish posters in Warsaw
Anti-Jewish posters in Warsaw


In the Greek capital Athens, anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed in the yard of a Jewish school. The graffiti said, among other things: "Jews are whores."


Anti-Semitic graffiti in Athens
Anti-Semitic graffiti in Athens


In France, which is home to the largest Jewish community in the world after Israel and the US, has seen an increasing number of such anti-Semitic attacks. Recent incidents include swastikas sprayed on mailboxes image of late French Jewish politician Simone Veil, who was a Holocaust survivor, a minister in the French government and president of the European Parliament. In Paris, the word Juden (German for Jew) was daubed on the window of a bagel shop.


In another incident, the French-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was attacked with anti-Semitic slogans when he came across a yellow vest demonstration in central Paris. Days later, at least 80 graves were desecrated in a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg, in the eastern part of the country.


In addition, unknown assailants vandalized the Paris memorial to Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew who was tortured and murdered in a 2006 anti-Semitic attack that shocked France.


Last Thursday, anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on the facades of houses and street furniture in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. A municipal official said that there had been dozen cases of anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on several streets in the southern part of the French capital. A man working in the area said that the graffiti had not been there the night before.



'Dirty Jew' daubed on a wall in Paris (Photo: AFP)
'Dirty Jew' daubed on a wall in Paris (Photo: AFP)


Graffiti reading "Dirty Jew" and an inverted swastika were sprayed on the wooden door of one of the buildings. Similar slogans were also found outside public toilets, on a bench at a bus stop, and on the facade of another building, beside the sign for a doctor's clinic.


Protest against anti-Semitism in Paris (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Protest against anti-Semitism in Paris (Photo: AFP)


In the wake of the wave of anti-Semitic incidents in France, tens of thousands took to the streets of Paris and other locations in the country in protest last week.


The Paris demonstration was attended by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and former presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. Before the rally, Philippe warned that anti-Semitism was " deeply rooted in French society."


פרסום ראשון: 02.25.19, 15:05
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