Over the past days, anti-Semitic incidents continue to plague European Jewish communities, often in connection with anti-Israel demonstrations.
Just one hour after an anti-Israel demonstration in Toulouse, France, on Saturday, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community center and at the police guarding the center.
French media reported on an anti-Israel march on Saturday in Paris, where they heard people saying “We’re ruled by the Zionists” and others responding, “They’re the worst race.”
A poster was also plastered on walls in Rome. Featuring a white-power Celtic cross, it equates – positively – Italian fascists and Palestinians and says they have a common enemy, unstated but obviously, the Jews.
The good news is that the governments in France, Germany, and Italy, the three countries where the majority of incidents have occurred, have responded well. French President Hollande and Prime Minister Valls, German Chancellor Merkel, and the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Italy collectively, have made clear statements that such attacks on their Jewish communities are intolerable, and they have matched those words with strong law enforcement.
At a demonstration in Berlin on Friday, there were almost as many police as demonstrators. CRIF, the representative organization of the French Jewish community, thanked the Paris police today for preventing attempts by anti-Israel demonstrators on Saturday from going to the Marais historic Jewish quarter or the synagogues near Place de la Republique, where 5,000 people had assembled despite a ban on the demonstration.
On Friday, Germany’s largest circulation paper, Bild, featured statements against anti-Semitism from politicians, business leaders, civic leaders, media personalities, and celebrities with “Never Again Jew Hatred” on the front page.
Importantly, both the French and German leaders have said these attacks are not just against Jews, but attacks against the state and against the constitutional order. They are not playing referee between pro-Palestinian protesters and Jews, but are rightly saying this fight is between violent anti-Semites and the rest of society.