BRUSSELS, Belgium – The battle between Israel and Gaza has led to many casualties, mostly on the side of Gaza. The massive loss by the Palestinians, many of whom were civilians, has led to a growing anti-Semitic behavior across Europe.
Israel strikes Gaza City with an air and artillery strike. (Photo courtesy of The Independent)
With multiple strikes by Israel upon U.N. compounds in Gaza sheltering Palestinian civilians, the most recent occurring this past weekend, many nations have become angered by Israel. Even the United States, an ally to Israel, labeled Israel’s most recent attack as “disgraceful.” French President Francois Hollande also questioned the aspect of remaining neutral with a conflict of such magnitude raging on.
But governments are not the only ones who are upset with Israel as a result of this major conflict. While Israel is not without its own sizeable casualty list, with well over a thousand rockets having been fired at Israel over the past month or more, the Palestinian casualty count is nearly ten times as great. Specifically the high civilian casualty count in Gaza has led to a growing hatred towards Israel that appears to be spreading throughout Europe. A British poll goes as far as to call some of the attacks by Israel against Gaza “war crimes.”
Within Belgium, a doctor refused emergency care to a Jewish woman. In Spain, a writer called for expelling a Jewish community. In Italy, philosopher Gianni Vattimo harshly states how he would like to shoot “Zionists.” A teenager in Germany firebombed a synagogue. In France, anti-Israel protestors attacked a synagogue. Even in Ireland a councilman urged the shelling of Israel.
While given that a large portion of this new brewing dislike is a result of Israel’s actions and it is likely that most of these remarks and attacks are the result of political distaste, it has given fuel to an underlying anti-Semitic minority. Germany is a strong advocate of educating people as to the atrocities that occurred during World War Two, and has always been quick to stomp out any hateful protests.
However, amid condemnation by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, anti-Semitism has seen a recent violent increase in Germany. This fear has spread not only among Jewish citizens of Germany, but many other European countries as well. France has seen a large emigration of its Jewish citizens to Israel as of late.
With anti-Semitism across Europe slowly beginning to spread and boil as the Israel-Gaza conflict drags on, the safety of Jewish citizens in Europe is becoming more unsure by the day.