"I have visited France countless times during recent decades; never before did I hear French Jews say so often that they consider Israel to be their homeland. This is new. Something has indeed radically changed. A process that began its incubation after 2000 and gestated slowly thereafter is now finally arriving at its maturity.
To be sure, some French Jews would categorically reject these impressions, attributing them to panic, fear, or alarmism. But I think they deceive themselves. The resurgent tide of anti-Semitism is very real in France, and it will not disappear any time soon. This is certainly not the sole reason for emigration to Israel or elsewhere, but it is a major trigger.
In that respect, the disgust expressed by many Jews at the consistent disinformation about Israel in the French media, and their genuine anxiety about the frightening levels of Muslim, far-left, and populist hostility to both Israel and themselves strike me as an entirely healthy and normal reaction. In France, as in much of Europe, the freedom to live one’s identity as a Jew has become not only much more limited but also much more perilous. If an image of the European Jewish community is wanted, the emblematic picture today is that of the synagogue in Rue de la Roquette, its congregants huddled within, marauders screaming “Mort aux Juifs” at the doors, the intellectual elites averting their gaze or blaming the Jews for their own misfortune, an apathetic civil society, and authorities seemingly powerless to stem the tide.
For some this may be a sad, perhaps even a tragic conclusion. These are feelings I can understand. But I also remind myself that what France loses, Israel will gain."
Jeffrey Goldberg @ The Atlantic, 25/08/2014
"It is completely unsurprising that Europe has become a swamp of anti-Jewish hostility. It is, after all, Europe. Anti-Jewish hostility has been its métier for centuries. (Yes, the locus of much anti-Jewish activity today is within Europe’s large Muslim-immigrant population; but the young men who threaten their Jewish neighbors draw on the language and traditions of European anti-Semitism as much as they do on Muslim modes of anti-Semitic thought.)"
Sarah AB @ Harry's Place, 26/09/2014
"Bradford’s Jewish population has now dwindled to 299, according to the 2011 census, compared with 129,041 Muslims."
"During his inaugural speech last Friday, the new Social Democrat Swedish prime minister, Stefen Lofven, announced that his government will recognize the non-existent State of Palestine. [...]
Lofven’s statement was not notable because he revealed himself as a fan of Palestinian terrorists who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That’s been Sweden’s policy for decades. What was notable about Lofven’s statement is that he made it in his inaugural address to the Swedish Parliament. What this means is that in Sweden, supporting the Palestinians against Israel is not a foreign policy issue. It is a domestic policy issue. [...]
Swedish politicians have identified anti-Israel activism as a potent tool for garnering domestic support. This is why Lofven spent so much more time discussing it in his inaugural address than he spent discussing the killing fields in Syria and Iraq, for instance. [...]
Europe is abandoning the ideals of the Enlightenment, and embracing authoritarianism and irrationality. But it isn’t willing to admit what it is doing. As a consequence, it is possible to harken to those ideals to shame Europeans for their irrational bigotry and so slow the process down. [...]
Whether or not Europe’s downward spiral is unstoppable is irrelevant for Israel because what is clear enough is that if Europe decides to abandon its current path, it won’t be because of anything Israel does.
Facing this situation, Israel must be guided by two goals as it confronts Europe. It needs to stop caring about what Europeans think of it, and it needs to reduce as much as possible its exposure to the European market. On the latter issue, unless something fundamental changes, it is undeniable that at some point in the next 10 to 15 years, Europe will join the Arab League’s boycott of Israel. Israel needs time to develop alternative markets for its exports.
On the former issue, Europe’s main non-economic weapon against Israel today is the fact that the Israeli public and particularly Israel’s elites still care what Europe thinks of us. Israelis need time to understand that European hatred for Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Israel does."