Anti-Semitism On The Rise

Jewish groups are warning that anti-Semitism is at its highest levels since World War II, and there are worries that this situation could lead to more violence.

"I believe that you have a new generation of professional haters who are serving as leaders, demagogues, and they’re inspiring young people to do their bidding while they often hide," he told journalists earlier.

Hier cited cartoons in Western newspapers and a range of comments by leading Arab officials as evidence of the rise in anti-Semitism.

It was wrong to blame poverty or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the upsurge, which could only be confronted by speaking out, he said.

"There is nothing new about the oldest hatred," he said. "Some will hide behind what Israel is doing… but those are just excuses, that’s a ruse."

And where is anti-Semitism most on the rise?

Two-thirds of the 313 acts of violence reported in France last year were directed at Jews, Hier said, while in Britain, new figures showed a 75 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

The rise in attacks in France over the past year have been mostly attributed to Muslim youths of North African origin angered by the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What’s most disturbing about these figures is the convergence of anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism. Again there are the rallying cries against the "greed" of the US and Israel and the worries that American and Jewish influences are "polluting" European culture.

Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Paris branch said anti-globalization protests had degenerated into attacks "on what they see as the vultures of society [who] are in most cases the United States and the Jewish people."

"They have taken the old stereotypes and simply modernized them… thereby proliferating and having a multiplier effect they were never able to do in previous decades," he said.

The same old hatred, just under a new name, and just as invidious and disgusting as it was fifty years ago.

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