As Anti-Semitism Rises, Europe Faces Watershed Moment

Paris Grocery Attack Latest In String Of Anti-Semitic Violence
In Israel, there is an Iron Dome to protect us. Here we feel vulnerable and exposed. We are afraid to send our children to school,” a Jewish woman living in Paris told The New York Times.

The sentiments expressed are shared by many Jews and many who are considering leaving Paris and other European cities in the face of rising anti-Semitism.

“France was the largest source of Jews moving to Israel last year, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel, which coordinates migration to Israel. Its director, Natan Sharansky, predicted that up to 15,000 French Jews would emigrate this year, and that more than 50,000 French Jews would leave in the next few years. There are roughly 500,000 Jews in France, which has Europe’s largest Jewish population,” the paper reports.

On New Year’s Day, a synagogue in France was defaced with swastikas and an increasing number of attacks have been committed by Muslims, although the bulk of the crimes are perpetrated by segments of the county’s far-right, reports Slate.

As the nation and the Continent moves on from the January terror attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, how Europe manages its reaction could constitute a watershed moment in European history.

As Marc Pierini of Carngie Europe notes, terrorism could play into the hands of the right-wing National Front or it could force the French people have recognized that political tactics that emphasize sectarian divisions are not sustainable.

“The events in Paris will inevitably affect antiterrorism policies. European interior ministers met on January 11 to discuss this issue. They have already agreed to make certain legislative and operational changes, and more will follow,” writes Pierini, who adds that Europe will have to review its “the ‘blindness’ of its passport-free Schengen system to the movements of terrorists after one of the suspects escaped unnoticed from Paris to Madrid, and from there to Istanbul and the Turkish-Syrian border. The EU will have to close such loopholes fast, but it is essential that fundamental rights be protected too.”


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