He foresees a slow mass exodus from France, and eventually Germany, “despite the fact that things look rosier there,” Belgium and elsewhere.
Wistrich is not alone. Head of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky addressed the issue of Jews leaving Europe in a recent Jewish Chronicle article. “I believe we are seeing the beginning of the end of Jewish history in Europe. I see this as a historical moment — as the beginning of the process of distancing Jews from Europe,” says Sharansky.
“They [the Turkish immigrants] have been infected, and this will get much worse, partly because of Erdogan, who can be crowned as the world’s number one anti-Semite who is also head of the government,” says Wistrich. “He could compete in the Olympic gold medal competition for anti-Semitic heads of state with Ahmadinejad of Iran,” he chuckles.
In this mass exodus, Israel and other countries will benefit, says Wistrich. “The Jews should get out now when they can… Which rational person who cares about their Jewish identity and what will happen to their children, will want to continue in the same way [in Europe]?” Wistrich asks. [...]
And, although he disavows the analogy of the rise of Nazism, Wistrich voices the most pessimistic stance on anti-Semitism in Europe.
“Since 2000, we are on a very steady rising curve of explosive anti-Semitism and anything could set it aflame in a massive way. All the elements are in place and have been since the beginning of this century. When people were writing obituaries for anti-Semitism [in the 1990s], I had no doubts it would be a temporary lull,” he says. “The proposition that it will go back to some low level is completely delusional.”
He advises the Jewish communities around the world, including the United States, to “wake up to it — not that I expect people will,” he says, Cassandra-like.
“Having spoken in many parts of the world, I can tell you that Jewish audiences are among the most resistant of all in coming to terms with anti-Semitism – until it reaches an explosive point,” says Wistrich.