Anti-Semitism in Europe

June 2008 • Volume 2, Issue 6
Are Israel's policies spurring a new wave of hate crimes?
By Sarah Glazer

Introduction

Anti-Semitic taunts — and even Nazi swastikas — proliferate at soccer stadiums throughout Europe, reflecting the growing acceptance of blatant anti-Jewish sentiment.  Above, right-leaning supporters of the Lazio team, which was Mussolini's favorite soccer club, express their opposition to Livorno during a match at Rome's Olympic stadium in April 2005.  (AP Photo/Giuseppe Calzuola)
Anti-Semitic taunts — and even Nazi swastikas — proliferate at soccer stadiums throughout Europe, reflecting the growing acceptance of blatant anti-Jewish sentiment. Above, right-leaning supporters of the Lazio team, which was Mussolini's favorite soccer club, express their opposition to Livorno during a match at Rome's Olympic stadium in April 2005. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Calzuola)

A wave of anti-Jewish attacks on individuals and synagogues has beset Europe since 2000, when the second Palestinian uprising against Israel's occupation began. In France anti-Semitic youth gangs recently abducted and tortured two young Jewish men, one of whom was murdered. European soccer fans routinely taunt Jewish teams with Hitler salutes and chants, such as "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!" And while anti-Semitic attacks overall dipped slightly in some countries, violent assaults on individuals spiked last year, reaching a record high in Britain. Some scholars worry that the "new anti-Semitism" incorporates anti-Zionist language, which has become increasingly acceptable — particularly among Palestinian sympathizers in academia and the media. But Israel's critics — some of whom are Jewish — warn that calling people anti-Semitic because they oppose Israel's treatment of the Palestinians confuses the public. If the charge is made too often, they suggest, people will become cynical and won't recognize genocidal evil when it occurs.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Holocaust and Antisemitism
Jun. 2008  Anti-Semitism in Europe
Feb. 12, 1993  Europe's New Right
Apr. 12, 1967  Neo-Nazism in West Germany
Feb. 18, 1953  Neo-Nazism in Germany
Jan. 05, 1953  Communist Anti-Semitism
Nov. 14, 1941  Anti-Semitism in the United States
Aug. 02, 1935  Anti-Semitism in Germany
Feb. 24, 1926  The Protection of Minorities in Europe
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Global Issues
Hate Groups
Regional Political Affairs: Europe