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Is Europe seeing a new wave of Jew-hatred?

While the murders in Toulouse are evidence that anti-Semitism certainly subsists in Europe, there is no reason to believe that European Jews need to be saved. In fact, the reality is that Jews are increasingly open and confident about expressing their Jewish identity.

By Dov Waxman

Reading much of the media commentary in Israel and the United States following last week’s cold-blooded killing of three Jewish children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse would easily give one the impression that Europe’s Jews are facing a scourge of deadly anti-Semitism. The murderous actions of Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old self-described jihadist, who claimed responsibility for the attack on the Jewish school as well as the earlier killings of three French soldiers, would seem to be the most shocking and brutal manifestation of a much wider phenomenon afflicting Jews in Europe, and French Jews in particular.

Almost 70 years after the Holocaust, many believe that the specter of anti-Semitism is once again threatening the lives of European Jews. But is this really the case? Should the murders in Toulouse be understood as part of a new wave of Jew-hatred in Europe, as many commentators have suggested? How much of a threat is anti-Semitism to French Jews and European Jews in general?

The truth is that anti-Semitism in France and in Europe as a whole, though it certainly exists, is not nearly as great a danger as many outside observers in Israel and the United States believe. While the threat of anti-Semitism is real and must be taken seriously, it should not be exaggerated or blown out of proportion. In fact, far from being on the verge of catastrophe, European Jewry is experiencing a renaissance that we should be celebrating.

Western media skews reality

According to the Jerusalem Post, “The attack in Toulouse will undoubtedly add to European Jews’ feeling of vulnerability.” The editorial also noted that, “Since late 2000, the Jews of France…have been exposed to the most extensive outbreak of anti-Semitic violence since the Holocaust.” The Jerusalem Post repeated this claim in another editorial a few days later warning its readers that, “irrational hatred of Jews still runs rampant all over Europe.” The same claim was made on the blog of the right-wing American Jewish magazine Commentary, when one of its regular bloggers declared immediately after the Toulouse attack: “let us not be deceived into thinking this is an incident that can be isolated from the atmosphere of Jew-hatred that hangs over Europe.” Nor was it just right-wing media outlets that seized on the notion of a rabidly anti-Semitic Europe. CNN’s website featured an article with the headline “Europe’s blind spot on anti-Semitism” which also depicted Europe as awash in anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment. Although somewhat more qualified, even The Washington Post had an article with the headline: “In France, anti-Semitism isn’t usually violent but often lurks just below the surface.”

Having just spent the past few weeks travelling in France, Germany, and Poland—countries that are often at the top of people’s lists as bastions of anti-Semitism—I can’t square the image of Europe conveyed by this media coverage with what I encountered on my travels. Sure, I saw some anti-Semitic graffiti and, and after visiting Jewish cemeteries, ruined Synagogues and, above all, Auschwitz, I was painfully aware of the mass murder of European Jews that occurred not so long ago. But I also witnessed the remarkable revival of Jewish communities, marked by an explosion of Jewish religious and cultural activities that few would have imagined possible in the devastating aftermath of the Holocaust.

There are more Jewish schools, yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher restaurants in France today than ever before, and earlier this month a Limmud conference took place outside Paris for the sixth year running. In Germany and Poland, Jewish communities that were completely decimated in the Holocaust are now growing again and young Jews there are expressing their Jewish identities much more openly and confidently than their parents and grandparents.

Far from living in fear under the shadow of rampant anti-Semitism, Jews in France, Germany and Poland seemed to be proudly embracing their Judaism, creatively experimenting with new ways of being Jewish, and confidently envisioning the future of Jewish life in Europe—a future in which European Jewry could stand as a equal with Israeli and American Jewry.

This does not mean, of course, that anti-Semitism is not a problem in Europe. Anti-Jewish attitudes and stereotypes, intimidation and threats against Jews, and violence against Jews and Jewish sites are, sadly, still a reality that European Jews must contend with. But it does not rule their lives. While anti-Semitism remains a threat to Jews in Europe, as it does to Jews everywhere, it is not nearly as great a threat as many in Israel and the United States believe.

Statistics on anti-Semitism are a mixed picture

Contrary to the often-repeated claim that anti-Semitism is increasing in Europe, the reality is, in fact, much more complex. The Anti-Defamation League’s surveys of European attitudes towards the Jews show that anti-Semitic views have indeed gained ground in some countries in recent years (most notably in Hungary), while in most other European countries they have remained at roughly the same level. The ADL itself, however, seems unwilling to acknowledge this mixed picture.

When it released its most recent survey last week (I can’t help but wonder whether the timing was just a coincidence?) its press release declared that the survey revealed “large swaths of the population [in the ten European countries surveyed] subscribe to classical anti-Semitic notions.” While this was true in some of the countries – Hungary, Poland, and Spain – in others, anti-Semitic views (specifically, that Jews have too much power in business and in international financial markets, are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, and “talk too much” about the Holocaust) were held by only a minority of people, less than a quarter of respondents in most countries, while clear majorities rejected such views.

The press release also highlighted an increase in the overall level of anti-Semitism in France despite the fact that the purported rise in anti-Semitic attitudes there from 20 percent of the population in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009 to 24 percent in 2012 was actually within the survey’s margin of error. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop Abraham Foxman, the head of the ADL, from simply asserting that: “France has seen an increase in the level of anti-Semitism.”

More than anywhere else in Europe, the situation of Jews in France (the largest Jewish community in Europe) has been the subject of greatest concern. This has been the case long before last week’s terrorist attack in Toulouse. Back in 2004, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responded to a surge of anti-Semitic incidents in France by urging French Jews to seek refuge in Israel. A similar call for French Jews to “come home” was made last week after the Toulouse killings by Israeli Knesset member Yaakov Katz. Why do Israeli politicians counsel French Jews to flee to Israel to escape anti-Semitism, but they make no such appeals to American Jews when anti-Semitic attacks occur there?

When Jewish children were shot at while they played in a Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area in 1999, no one claimed that this heinous act was indicative of a widespread anti-Semitism in American society. Similarly, when six people were shot and one woman killed at the headquarters of the Seattle Jewish Federation in 2006, this was not interpreted as anything more than the actions of one hate-filled, and possibly deranged, individual.

Given what happened to Jews in France during WWII (both under the German occupation and the Vichy collaborationist regime), heightened concern about the safety of French Jews is understandable. But we must not let our fears cloud reality, and we should be careful not to subscribe to a simplistic narrative about anti-Semitism. To properly gauge the threat posed by anti-Semitism in Europe today we must rely upon empirical data, not traumatic collective memories. In France, the data reveals that anti-Semitic incidents have generally been declining in recent years since an upsurge of incidents in the first half of the 2000s following the outbreak of the Second Intifada (there was another upsurge in 2009 prompted by Israel’s war in Gaza). According to statistics compiled by the French Jewish community’s Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), last year there were 389 anti-Semitic incidents, this was down 16.5 percent from the previous year (when 466 incidents occurred). Although more serious acts of anti-Semitic violence (physical assaults, vandalism, and arson) have not decreased, it is simply wrong to claim that France is experiencing a growing wave of anti-Semitism. In reality, anti-Semitism ebbs and flows in France and elsewhere.

The tragic events in Toulouse are certainly a reminder that hatred of Jews has not disappeared and that it can have murderous consequences. The twisted jihadist ideology which motivated Mohammed Merah is virulently anti-Semitic, as well as anti-Western, and it poses a real danger to Jews around the world, not just in Europe. But European Jews, and French Jews in particular, are not endangered and do not need to be saved. In fact, they are flourishing. Why can’t we start talking about that?


Dov Waxman is an associate professor of political science at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is the co-author of Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and the author of The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). He is currently at work on a book about the politics of diaspora Jews and their relationship with Israel.

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    1. aristeides

      People who go looking for antisemites will certainly find them. There are quite a lot of people who’d have nothing else to do with their lives without it.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Steve

      ARISTEIDES is on the side of the antisemites, thus his deflection.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Steve

      Furthermore, a guy who spends his life trying to demonize Israel in dishonest fashion every day on internet message boards is probably not in the best position to give life advice to others.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Samantha

      While I can understand the implications you suggest about this incident being blown out of proportion, I honestly don’t see how this article is productive. Did you know that many people are also trying to show the clearly racially-prejudiced(if not motivated) shooting of Trayvon Martin as an isolated incident, conducted by a “bad apples?” and not symbolic of a wider problem of hatred and bigotry? That blacks are “better off” than ever before in America? Before the Holocaust happened, there were also isolated incidents, conducted by outwardly racist and violent individuals. Was systematic anti-Semitism not something to be afraid of at any point before the Holocaust happened? I believe that where there is visible hate, there is always invisible hate lurking underground. Your article, while well-intentioned, expresses a valid theory– but not one you would want to admit writing if you were proved wrong by future events. The power of hate and bigotry should not be underestimated.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Todd Edelman

      Reasonable Europeans who are free of romantic-guilty illusions about Israel know that the horrible attacks in Toulouse are a militant’s response to the European (and USA) military involvement in the Middle East (and beyond).

      I am Jewish and was very upset by these attacks, and I have no illusions about extreme violent Islamic beliefs put into action, but the best reaction – and the best thing for Judaism – is to move the EU away from military solutions and to establish independence from the USA.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Bill Pearlman

      Last time I looked Samantha we have a black president. How do you square that with the bigotry that you think permeates America.

      Reply to Comment
    7. If the Palestinians had a word with the same impact as anti-semitism, the Middle-East would look very different.
      “The tragic events in Toulouse are certainly a reminder that hatred of Jews has not disappeared and that it can have murderous consequences.” expresses a logical phallacy well known from hasbara. Only if Israel adopts the standards of European democracy, stops racism, the occupation, supremacy, warmongering and blackmailing countries to support their crimes, only if Israel adopts a constitution for all, defines its borders once and for all, only then can we talk about anti-semitism when innocent Jews become victims of terror attacks directed at their being Jewish, and not at their being part of an immoral, occupying power.
      Many tragic events around the world are certainly a reminder that hatred of minorities, charismatic leaders, powerless goodwilling people, too beautiful or too ugly people, the smart or the stupid, the rich or the poor, can have murderous consequences. Nobody is special in this respect.

      Reply to Comment
    8. alessandra

      I know I’m going out of the point, but this article worth the reading. just to give an idea of how situation can be different and complicated in Europe and the general situation
      we are now facing with the growing muslim community.
      by the way in Italy 2 weeks ago a Moroccan born young boy was arrested for planning a bomb in the Milan sinagogue.
      don’t know if this is antisemitism or just terrorism. you can choose by yourselves.
      the italian jewish community is probably the more secular and less traditional and better integrated than any other. most of the italian jews consider themselves first as Italian. that is probably because they have one of the oldest history in Europe and they feel part of Italian history as well.


      Reply to Comment
    9. Steve

      Everyone knows that growing anti-semitism in Europe is due to growing Arab/Muslim populations in Europe, but for whatever reason, honesty and political correctness sometimes conflict each other.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Steve

      ENGELBERT LUITSZ is yet another dishonest person who places 100% blame for what some Arab/Muslim extremists do on Israel, and 0% blame on the actual Arab/Muslim extremists who do it.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Steve

      By ENGELBERT LUITSZ’ standards above, everyone on Earth is a valid target to be murdered if they have some loose connection, via race, religion, skin color, etc. to some country somewhere that is imperfect.
      (Or, he just applies this to Jews/Israel.)

      Reply to Comment
    12. There is legal responsability and moral responsability, Steve.
      I condemn the act just as much as I condemn the cause, that’s probably the difference between our world views.

      Reply to Comment
    13. directrob

      Engelbert, “cause” is way to strong. The most you could say is that unstable persons can be triggered by the situation in Israel to go berserk. There is no real connection, just that what exists in twisted minds.

      Reply to Comment
    14. DirectRob, that’s what cause means: triggered by…

      Reply to Comment
    15. Maya in Europe

      Engelbert Luitsz writes that Israel should adopt the standards of European democracy. Well, that’s ironic. For Israel to follow the European standards on the Palestinian issue would mean to massacre, expel and eradicate the Palestinians in its territory, and then, when their part in the population had been reduced to app. 2%, build a museum for their heritage. There is a lot to learn from Europe about democracy, but when it comes to dealing with situations of conflict between national groups, the standards set by Europe are really nothing to adopt.

      Reply to Comment
    16. What happened in France is a Jewish tragedy. Was it not an English tragedy when a young woman in Italy was killed senselessly. Was it not a Canadian tragedy when a woman was murdered on the beach in Jamaica?

      As to celebrating the successes of European Jewry, I quite agree. But do keep in mind that Europe as a whole has perhaps 15% of the entire Jewish population today, Germany’s Jewish population is scarcely 10% of the total, and Poland’s is smaller. The success is that these communities exist at all.

      Reply to Comment
    17. aristeides

      What happened in France was a French tragedy.

      Reply to Comment
    18. I live in Europe, the question in the title could have been simply answered: no.

      Reply to Comment
    19. directrob

      Actually a personal and family tragedy.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Kolumn9

      “What happened in France was a French tragedy.”

      There are many ways to define this tragedy and certainly defining it as a French tragedy is legitimate. Pretending that there is no Jewish aspect to this tragedy is not. Were these children French and not Jewish they would still be alive.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Sarah

      The writer of this article clearly needs to do their research a little more thoroughly before crying “anti-Semitic”. The three French soldiers that this man killed were Muslim…so how does that make him anti-Semitic? Well, it doesn’t. He was a mad man, plain and simple. If anything, I would say that this writer is an Islamophobe…no anti-Semitism here…the boy crying wolf once again. It’s getting very tiring.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Bill Pearlman

      Sarah, I think putting a bullet though the head of a little Jewish girl because she was Jewish might qualify has anti-semitism. But then that’s just me.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Piotr Berman

      There are various animosities in Europe, and it does not seem that Jews have a particular position except for being present in most countries. For example, Slovak extremists hate Hungarians and they do not even need to say much about Gypsies (sorry, Roma).

      In general, Roma and Muslim are on the bottom of the heap in Europe.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Sarah

      Engelbert, I am in complete agreement with you. It is sad when people have to look for some underlying religious or cultural significance. It seems that everyone a murderer happens to be Muslim, he is automatically deemed as a terrorist or extremist. And whenever a custom happens to be of the Jewish faith, anti-Semitism must be to blame. The world is justifiably upset with Israel and Zionism right now due to what they are doing to people in both Israel and the Occupied Territories who are not Jewish (that includes Muslims, Christians and even some African born Jews who are horribly discriminated against). The anger and frustration stems from Israel’s apartheid policies, not from the religion that they practice. But sadly, some people make generalizations about all Jewish people because if this, just like people make sweeping generalizations about Muslims because of the horrible actions of a few.

      Reply to Comment
    25. delia

      If the survey questions were slightly altered for the purpose of measuring misogyny, you would get roughly the same kinds of answers in the same kinds of quantities: women have too much power; women are more loyal to each other than to their husbands; and women talk too much. All of these are old misogynist stereotypes of women, they will always exist among the ignorant, and women will always be blamed for them.

      So too with antisemitism, the world’s second-oldest hatred. The best we can do is try to educate the new ignorant generations as they come along – and I don’t mean through hysterical exaggerations like those published in the Jerusalem Post and Commentary. Nor do I mean by extending the definition of antisemitism to include statements about troubling Israeli issues that many Jews refuse to face.

      If Palestinians could get a just and satisfactory settlement of their multiple grievances of dispossession;

      if the United States – which loudly advertises its unqualified devotion to Israel as if it were a clause in the American Constitution – would remove its Middle East bases and stop interfering in Middle Eastern affairs, including Israel’s;

      if Israel would quit the habit of identifying all diaspora Jews with Israel and its brutal anti-Arab policies;

      if Israeli politicians would break the bad habit of holocaust-mongering and crying victim;

      if the Jerusalem Post and Commentary would stop with the hysteria already . . .

      If all this were to happen, we would see many fewer of these (already few) horrific incidents in Europe. Besides, antisemitism or no antisemitism, these are all things that should be done anyway, if Israel wishes to be recognized as an international contributor to the well-being of civilization – and therefore worthy of respect instead of resentment.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Sarah

      Well Bill, I guess that would make the Norwegian killer Breivik a terrorist and Islamophobe/xenophobe due to the fact that he bombed government buildings in Oslo and shot 69 teenagers at camp. According to him he was worried about a “Muslim takeover”. But gee, I don’t remember the mainstream media ever labeling him as such. He was simply a delusional mad man. Well I hate to break it to you, but sometimes mentally unstable people do unforgivable things. To try to use this situation to portray Europe as being anti-Semitic is shameful and defiles the memory of those children and men who died needlessly.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Sarah

      Very well said Delia.

      Reply to Comment
    28. aristeides

      To deny that the Toulouse killings were a French tragedy is to deny that the murders of the soldiers just don’t matter, as if they never happened. In fact, the killer intended to shoot another soldier on that day but missed his target and hit the school instead. We can certainly assume that the Jewishness of the school was a factor in his decision, but there’s no doubt that it wasn’t a primary motivation for his terrorism spree.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Bill Pearlman

      Too cute by half Sarah, Mohammad Merwah shot up a Jewish school and put a bullet between the eyes of a little girl because she was Jewish. And you can’t admit that the motivation was anti-semitism. Same has always. But because this guy had some perceived beef with Israel that means she had it coming.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Bill Pearlman

      And I don’t think I have to portray a continent that is the biggest Jewish grave yard in the world has anti-Jewish. It speaks for itself. From the The inquisition on the Iberian peninsula through the cossacks in the east. And of course ground zero, “The fatherland” Not to mention the French.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Steve

      Sarah is really working hard trying to make excuses for antisemitic hatemongers who kill or attack Jewish people.
      Really strange, disgusting stuff.
      Nobody would claim that bad Arab/Muslim countries are an excuse to attack Arab/Muslim people around the world. Yet Sarah and other people do this to Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Steve

      Israel has some nerve, defending itself from islamic terrorist-run countries that want to wipe Israel out.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Mikesailor

      It is almost farcical how so many wish to see European antisemitism on the ‘rise’ in the shootings in Toulouse. I don’t recall seeing any rallies in support of the shooter, or newspaper articles extolling his actions. Instead there has been universal condemnation, not because the victims were Jews but because they were human beings and innocents.
      Yet, for some, this mourning of the deaths of human beings isn’t enough. They wish everyone to mourn these innocent victims because they are Jews. As if that fact alone makes the murders more heinous. Why? Isn’t the death of a child, whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, black. white or green enough of a tragedy? Is one child’s life worth more than any other child’s? An Afghan child, Iraqi child, an American child, a Palestinian child or a Jewish child?
      This idea that one child should be mourned more, or that his/her death means more, because of the child’s ethnicity or religion is insane. Yet, apparently for some,the idea of equality, even in death, is abhorred.
      By the way. I have yet to hear the Israelis, or any Jews for that matter, offer condolences to the non-Jewish victims. The idea that ‘My loss means more than you loss’ is s surefire way of engendering antisemitism rather than dissolving it. Only if you believe that some humans are intrinsically worth more than other humans would you even contemplate making ‘antisemitism’ an issue in this case, and tarring other innocents with this racist brush.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Piotr Berman

      Bill Pearlman: “And I don’t think I have to portray a continent that is the biggest Jewish grave yard in the world has anti-Jewish.”

      This is a typical hatred of Europe which is a part of schisophrenic Zionist project. Zionist vent hatred of Europeans at every possible occasion (like when Lady Ashton makes a rather anodyne statements about remembering children) and they fancy themselves as members of European civilization.

      I find this attitude repulsive.

      Reply to Comment
    35. XYZ

      The fact that Merah murdered other Arabs/Muslims and non-Jews in addition to Jews does not mean he is not an antisemite (Judeophobe). Hitler gave orders at the end to have Germany destroyed, saying that the German people had forfeited their right to exist by losing the war. This does not mean he wans’t an antisemite. The Muslims slaughtering other Muslims in the name of Islam in Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria, and in the recent past in Lebanon and Algeria are also antisemites as well . In they and many of their victims would probably agree on that matter, at least.

      Reply to Comment
    36. XYZ

      Piotr Berman (who no doubt considers himself a liberal humanist)-
      You say it is “repulsive” when Jews have a bad taste in their mouth regarding Europe, based on recent history.
      Are you one of these progressive liberals who, at the same time, finds Arab terrorism against Israel “understandable”?

      Reply to Comment
    37. XYZ

      Thank you for coming through for me in your last comment that “Hitting the school because it was Jewish wasn’t a ‘primary motivation’ for him”. Wow, you have the power of mental telepathy! Anything to whitewash antisemitism, your favorite belief!
      I remember your posting in Ha’aretz a couple of weeks ago in an article talking about how the Israeli families bereaved in the big suicide bomber attacks were wallowing in “victimization”. It’s people like you who show that anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish view ARE THE SAME. You are proving this for us. Keep on posting this stuff!

      Reply to Comment
    38. sh

      No, it’s not a new wave. Europe doesn’t need new waves because the old ones have not been eradicated, as those countries themselves admit. To correct a misconception bandied about here by the usual obfuscators, Poland and parts of Russia that were once attached to it is the biggest Jewish graveyard, not the whole of Europe.
      Jew-hatred traveled from Europe to its colonies (including North America) but was not previously endemic there. Roma-hatred is also endemic in Europe as has become, with the influx of Muslims from its ex-colonies, Muslim-hatred. But it is Muslims, not Jews, who are now in the front-line for abuse in Europe. Certainly a new stream of Jew-hatred can be said to have come from certain Muslim quarters but it is neither specific to Europe nor entirely inexplicable.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Leen

      This is what I’m going to say, if Breivik’s attack on both the headquarters and the teenage summer camp a case of a mad man’s, then so is this one.
      HOWEVER, if we are taking this case as a severe case of anti-semitism, then we have to unravel’s Breivik’s revisionist Zionist belief. It seems we cannot ignore both cases and write them off as a case of a madman’s shooting. Both have held extremist, disturbing beliefs that may not necessary motivated them, but surely have influenced their targets.
      Therefore it seems evident that both Anti-semitism and Revisionist Zionist (Breivik did afterall write 1000 page book about how great zionism was, and he has planned the attack for 10 years, and not to mention some of the Ynet commentators seemed to share the exact same feelings of Breivik) both can give way to murderous actions.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Jack

      The man in france was not sane, sort of like those kids in suburbs wanting to be tough, acting like gangsters. Saying he was a “al qaeda” member is to give him a boogeyman status that he didnt have and none should try to credit him for that because thats exactly what he wanted.

      However as statistics have showed the occupation leads to terrorism. So, if you want to get rid of terrorism, stop the israeli occupation which is illegitimate and illegal.

      Reply to Comment
    41. noam

      Sarah, you’re delusional. The media didn’t portray the Norwegian terrorist as a xenophobe and Muslim-hater?? Which country’s media were you reading exactly? In Israel that was very much emphasized. There was also much debate in Europe about right-wing extremism, and the danger the far-right poses.

      Steve, whose his superficial demagoguery really annoys me, and with whom I agree on nearly nothing, really hit the nail on it’s head this time –
      “Nobody would claim that bad Arab/Muslim countries are an excuse to attack Arab/Muslim people around the world. Yet Sarah and other people do this to Jews.”

      He’s right – in the end of the day, you would NEVER, EVER dare find a reasoning or a “context” to the murder of an innocent Muslim because of policies of Muslim states, or because those individuals/communities didn’t vocally condemn those policies.
      I would go as far as saying you truly are an anti-Semite.

      The most clear example of this is Pabelmont’s comment here –

      He says that by not “NOISILY” opposing the occupation, “Jewish communities and synagogues are, in effect and in appearance, complicit with the occupation and the settlements.”

      Now, let’s replace “Jewish” with “Muslim”, “synagogues” with “mosques”, and “occupation and settlements” with “authoritarianism, oppression of women, of non-Muslims, of gays, promoting racism and terrorism, etc…”
      Of course whenever some sick neo-Nazi will murder an innocent Muslim, Pabelmont and Sarah would rationalize it by the Muslim community “not being NOISY” enough against policies of, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Lybia. We all know that’s what they would say.

      Yeah. Right.

      One can disagree with the content of this article. One could argue that some Jews exaggerate the extent of antisemitism. One should also try to understand what pushes individuals to adopt views such as Merah and Breivik have. That’s all fine –
      but this attempt to RATIONALIZE the deep antisemitism that’s is so deeply rooted in Jihadi-Islamist ideologies is diabolical. It’s just as twisted as trying to RATIONALIZE why White Supremacists hate everything that isn’t white. Very depressing to see.

      Reply to Comment
    42. sh

      Noam, claiming something could be a contributory factor does not make it an excuse. I think there is agreement here that murder of children is inexcusable no matter who does it.

      Reply to Comment
    43. dolma

      well, i suppose that the fact that every single jewish institution in europe today needs 24 hours police protection, booletproof glass and sometimes barbed wire, is not enough for cowards to admit something is wrong. and if you were a tad more litterate, and was able to read what’s written in european newspapers and websites, maybe you would be able to understand that jewhatred is as tolerated today in europe as it ever was. the uthor of this article is just a singleminded coward, demanding that european jews sacrifice their children for his priniples. and i bet you anything that dov waxman identifies as an israeli and not as a jew. simply revolting article

      Reply to Comment
    44. Miklesailor

      Noam: Your sophistry is breathtaking. Attempting to contextualize a heinous act does not mean that either Pabelmont or Sarah condone such actions. Along with Dolma, Steve and Bill, your attempt to label this killing as somehow approved or condoned by Europeans to promote your old hoary theory of ‘antisemitism’ is delusional to say the least. And you refuse to see, perhaps because it would ruin your perpetual whine of special victimhood, that both Pabelmont and Sarah have valid points. I wonder how often you can cry ‘antisemitism’ as if the whine alone validates your position. If you despise Jews merely because they are Jews, that is antisemitic. If you despise Jews, or at least some Jews, for the actions they both condone and/or take, is that antisemitism? Read my above post and then ask yourself: What is the part you, as a Jew, have played to engender antipathy. Or are you merely the perpetual victim, blameless as the innocents killed, who plays no part in this? I am sure you will label me as antisemitic but to tell the truth, I don’t care what label you wish to give. For your labelling and whining do not faze me in the least.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Sherri Munnerlyn

      To XYZ, the AntiSemitism accusation has become primarily all about a people wallowing in victimization, that is used to justify Israel’s human rights abuses and/or divert attention from those human rights abuses. And that is what is despicable to many of us.
      There is no justification for the Occupation and its human rights abuses, like the Israeli killings/massacres of over 1000 Palestinian children and over 8000 Palestinians total, since the onset of the First Intifada, all documented by Btselem on their website. The slaughter of these over 1000 Palestinian children and over 8000 total Palestinians is a much greater crime against humanity than these irregular and occasional individual psychopath killings of Jews somewhere in Europe. Here is a link to an interesting article about martyrs, the group by far who suffer most are Muslims (80 million martyrs have died since origin of Islam), and they are followed by Christians (70 million martyrs have died since origin of Christianity). Jews fall way down on the list of numbers of martyrs killed, by religion (9 million martyrs have died since origin of Judaism). http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/documents/WCT_Martyrs_Extract.pdf

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    46. Steve

      To SHERRI MUNNERLYN: Crazed exaggerations against Israel and wild ranting in favor of jihad terrorists doesn’t help advance peace.

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    47. Steve

      So SARAH’s response to the murder of Jews in front of a Jewish school is that she’s “sick and tired of the anti-semitism charge.”
      Well, some of us are sick and tired of anti-semites and people like Sarah who apologize for them.

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    48. aristeides

      It’s interesting to see how fiercely certain people resent the notion that the Toulouse killer might have been about anything else than antisemitism, that targeting the Jewish school was just an afterthought with him, when he missed his primary target. The dead soldiers are brushed aside as insignificant.

      It’s like – “No, No! WE are the victims here! No one else is allowed to be a victim! It’s all about Jews, Jews, Jews!”

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    49. Bill Pearlman

      Steve, Sherri is a mondoweiss kind of gal. Which means she thinks the wrong side won WW2

      Reply to Comment
    50. Jack


      “Crazed exaggerations against Israel and wild ranting in favor of jihad terrorists doesn’t help advance peace.”

      It goes both ways.

      “Crazed exaggerations against Palestine (Iran, Hizbollah etc) and wild ranting in favor of IDF acts of terror doesn’t help advance peace.”

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