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Anti-Semitism Causes 'Ethnic Purge' in Europe

05-06-2018
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Antisemitic Rally, Ilustrative
Antisemitic Rally, Ilustrative
BRUSSELS, Belgium – When phone video from Berlin went viral showing a man wearing a Jewish cap being attacked in the street, it became a national controversy in Germany, forcing Chancellor Angela Merkel to admit publicly that the large number of Arab refugees her government has brought to Germany have brought anti-Semitism with them.
 
The head of Germany's Jewish community even advised German Jews to stop wearing kippahs or Jewish caps in public. But other leaders called for all Germans to wear Kippahs last week and it resulted in the largest show of support for German Jews since before the Second World War.
 
Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal said, "Hiding ourselves, that is not the solution to anti-Semitism. That has never been the solution. That only strengthens the people that are trying to make us afraid."
 
France was shocked last month when an 85-year old holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, was murdered in what French police call an anti-Semitic hate crime. She was stabbed 11 times before her body was set on fire.
 
It caused 300 national leaders to issue a manifesto denouncing a "new anti-Semitism"  that is leading to what the manifesto called an "ethnic purge" of Jews from France.
 
Even in Britain, apparent widespread anti-Semitism by members of the Labour Party has become a political scandal.
 
The new anti-Semitism that has swept across Europe has come to Belgium as well, and it's the same story; physical attacks and cursing of Jews in the street.
 
In security video posted on Twitter, a man is seen ripping the Mezuzah or religious sign off the door of an Antwerp synagogue. He then throws it on the ground. This is common now in some parts of Europe and we visited one synagogue in Brussels that just took it's mezuzah down.
 
Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, says Anti-Semitism is again "in full sight" in Europe. 
 
"There is concern in Hungary. There is concern in France. There is concern of a new and very ugly wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Western Europe and I think we will see more Jews coming to Israel," says Alan Hoffman, CEO of The Jewish Agency, which helps Jews return to Israel.
 
"We hear of Jewish children being taunted at school, and so the family says, 'if this is what the future is going to look like, I don't think that this is what I would like to see for my children,'" Hoffman says, "and we see many many young people making a decision to leave.'"
 
In Poland, Holocaust survivor Marian Kalwary says people there still whisper "that Hitler did a lot of bad things, but he also freed us from the Jews."
 
But Jews in Europe today know what happened to Jews who didn't leave Europe in the 1930's and seem determined to not make the same mistake again.

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