How to fight anti-Semitism’s resurgence in Europe
Updated: Dec 24, 2018
Washington Post, Global Opinion, Andrew Baker, December 18, 2018
Rabbi Andrew Baker is the American Jewish Committee’s director of international Jewish affairs and a special envoy on combating anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Anti-Semitism is sometimes compared to a virus. While we can’t eliminate it, we at least know how to keep it under control. But what if we’re wrong? What if, like a virus, anti-Semitism has developed a new strain, unresponsive to all the traditional treatments?
The European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights' (FRA) new report on discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in the E.U. is deeply disturbing. Anti-Semitism is “pervasive” and "has become disturbingly normalized,” it says. “The persistence and prevalence of antisemitism hinder people’s ability to live openly Jewish lives.”
FRA polled more than 16,000 Jews in 12 E.U. countries this year. More than a third of those polled say they have considered emigrating. The first FRA survey, six years ago, surprised many, who imagined Jews were comfortable and secure in a prosperous and modern Europe. Instead, it revealed high levels of anxiety, Jews fearful of encountering anti-Semitic harassment or attacks, and 1 in 3 deciding not to wear any identifiable Jewish symbol in public.