The Alarming Avalanche of Antisemitism

Just 13 days ago we published an article on the increase in antisemitism in the UK. Since then overwhelming evidence of a truly alarming increase in antisemitism has emerged in the mainstream media.

Prominent in the UK is the story of MPs resigning from the Labour Party due to institutional, sickening antisemitism. One of the group of seven, Luciana Berger said she is leaving behind: “a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation."

Lucian Berger speaking at launch of Independent GroupLuciana Berger speaking as one of seven MPs resigning.

Marie van der Zyl, the President of the Board of Deputies, commented that:

This is a moment of great shame for the Labour Party
and a tragedy for the thousands of Jews who have supported the party for generations.”

Two more indicators of the severity of the Labour Party’s problem emerged when another MP suggested that it was possible the seven MPs who resigned on Monday were being supported by the State of Israel. She later said she was: “deeply sorry for her ill-thought out and poorly worded comment.” But the question remains as to why she made the suggestion in the first place. Why blame the State of Israel?

Then the Labour Party was forced to suspend Derek Hatton, just days after re-admitting him to membership, when it emerged that he had claimed in a 2012 tweet that:

“Jewish people with any sense of humanity need to start speaking out publicly
against the ruthless murdering being carried out by Israel.”

In France too

This rise in antisemitism is not happening in just the UK. This week French President Emmanuel Macron noted that there is: “A resurgence of anti-Semitism unseen since World War II.”

He said that it is not only happening in France but in all of Europe and most Western democracies, conceding that anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of antisemitism.

President Macron speaking on antisemitismPresident Macron speaking on antisemitism

Even as he attended a ceremony to pay his respects after more than 90 Jewish graves were vandalised with swastikas and antisemitic abuse. Television channel ‘France 3’ said it had to cut its live Facebook feed because it was inundated with antisemitic commentary and abuse. The channel explained that:

“We are talking about explicit death threats, comments that were openly anti-Semitic …”

And also in Germany

Police in Germany have also reported an increasing problem. Preliminary figures show that antisemitic offences in Germany rose by almost 10 percent last year, rising to a total of 1,646 – making it the worst year of the past decade. 62 of those offences were violent, wounding 43 people.

And outside of Europe

The problem is by no means restricted to Europe. An unprecedented 60 percent rise in antisemitic incidents across Australia in 2018, compared to 2017, has been reported by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

And in the USA controversy has recently erupted over tweets posted by newly-appointed congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who suggested the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) pays politicians to support Israel. Those tweets were condemned by Democratic and Republican leaders as repeating antisemitic views about Jews, money and power. Her suggestion is also untrue – AIPAC does not donate to candidates or endorse them.

Under pressure from both sides she said on Tuesday:

“Let me reiterate my sincere apology for any actual hurt my words have caused.”

Antisemitism can now be seen to be a major international problem – alarm bells should be ringing in the minds of all.