Europe Fights to End Anti-Semitism

Protests in favor of anti-Semitism have become an increasingly common problem worldwide, but three European foreign ministers are now joining together to fight the issue. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini are putting their heads together to find the best solution to a growing problem. Their promise to do what they can to end anti-Semitism has been revealed through a joint statement, released just this week.

The rise in demonstrations against people of Judaic descent has occurred in light of the recent invasion of Gaza by Israel. Many who already harbored negative beliefs against Jewish people are using the invasion as an excuse to back their beliefs. Protest demonstrations in favor of anti-Semitism have been occurring in many major European cities. Not all of these protests are violence. In some major cities such as London, Paris, and Berlin, demonstrations have been relatively calm. Others, however, have seen racist and xenophobic attacks. Shops owned by Jews in such cities have been ransacked, with some of their owners personally assaulted.

Technically, the three foreign ministers are not speaking out against the beliefs themselves. As proponents of Western democracy, they feel that people have the right to any beliefs they choose, even if they do not personally agree with them. However, anti-Semitism has long been an issue with the propensity to turn violent during large protests. Such radical demonstrations are the issue that are attempting to fight. They also feel there is a notable difference between contentions against Israel and against Jewish people altogether, The Guardian reports.

The continuing rift between Israel and Palestine has divided people of many Western nations who feel that one side or the other deserves more sympathy. While some have entirely political reasons for backing Palestine, clear demonstrations of anti-Semitism have also been rearing their heads. While not surprising, recent assertions by some pro-Palestinian sympathizers that there should be another Holocaust are more than a little bit alarming. More alarming is that fact that such statements have been made in Germany, a nation that has strongly attempted to clear its name over the years of any remaining stigma from their part in the Second World War.

The growing anti-Semitism in Europe has already led to riots near Paris. Many are afraid that the current violent demonstrations may lead to an onset of even greater violence. European leaders who share this widespread concern are doing all they can to discourage the proliferation of such actions. Many are advocating the use of stronger force to counteract these showings of violent anti-Semitism, but as of now it appears to be a problem that unfortunately may get worse before it gets better.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE