As Europe witnesses a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents, the EU says ”it is in touch with member states and with Jewish communities in particular with regards to security concerns.”
Blue stars of David painted on several houses in Paris.
‘’We are in touch with member states and with Jewish communities across Europe in particular with regards to security concerns and incidents,’’ said the EU as Europe is witnessing a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.
Asked by a journalist about the European Commission reaction to the fact that stars of David were painted in several spots on building fronts in and around Paris, a spokesperson for the Commission referred to what EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week during the plenary debate of the European Parliament. ‘’She said that it’s our shared responsibility to make sure that the dark past doesn’t return and that we have to protect Jewish life in Europe.’’
‘’Protecting Jewish life in Europe is a key part of the EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life which was presented two years ago,’’ the spokesperson said.
He added : ‘’We know that security is an important issue for the Jewish communities in the European Union. We work with them and we support member states to guarantee that security also through EU funding of public spaces and places of worship.’’
‘’Member states have committed to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in a Council declaration which was adopted in 2018. And the Commission has establish a working group with member states, authorities and Jewish communities to follow up on that declaration. So the Commission stands very firmly against all forms of antisemitism. It is incompatible with Europe’s core values and the principles on which Europe is founded.’’
France has seen more antisemitic incidents in the last three weeks than over the past year: more than 800 offenses ranging from verbal abuse and antisemitic graffiti, to death threats and physical assaults have been reported.
Antisemitic acts under investigation include groups gathering in front of synagogues shouting threats and graffiti such as the words “killing Jews is a duty” sprayed outside a stadium in Carcassonne in the southwest.
The Interior Minister has deployed extra police and soldiers at Jewish schools, places of worship and community centers since the 7th of October Hamas attacks on Israel
The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) said the stars of David painted on the houses were designed to mirror the way Jews were forced to wear the stars by the Nazi regime.
“This act of marking recalls the processes of the 1930s and the Second World War which led to the extermination of millions of Jews,” its president Samuel Lejoyeux told Agence France Presse.
In the UK, antisemitic incidents have more than quadrupled since Hamas’s attack on Israel, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which helps Jewish people in the country.
The CST recorded 89 “anti-Jewish hate” incidents from 7 to 10 October.
That marked a more than four-fold rise on the 21 antisemitic incidents recorded in the same period last year. Six of the 89 incidents recorded were assaults, three referred to damage to Jewish property and 66 were related to abusive behaviour, 22 of which happened online.
In Germany, the antisemitism monitoring organisation RIAS reported a 240% increase in antisemitic incidents since 7 October.
In Belgium, slogans inciting hatred and violence were heard during pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Among the slogans, ”Palestine from the river to the sea” is tantamount to calling for the annihilation of Israel and the Jews. A nazi flag was also displayed and slogans glorifying the ”armes resistance” of Hamas. Flyers calling for the release of the hostages detained in Gaza are regularly torn down. ”We are warning against the violent and heinous of the conflict which creates a danger and insecurity for the whole population,” stated CCOJ, the umbrella representative group of Jewish organizations in Belgium.
The group called the Belgian authorities ”to look into the opportunity to authorize demonstrations inciting to violence and hatred.”