“If these small Jewish communities can’t receive protection or respite from mainstream officials then we are entering a very dark period for the Jews in Europe” the European Jewish group’s president, Moshe Kantor, stressed.
The EJC cited several recent antisemitic incidents in Antwerp, Belgium, and Malmö, Sweden.
In the southern Swedish city, last weekend, an event organized for Jewish children was reportedly attacked by a gang of thugs who shouted “Heil Hitler” and “Jewish pigs”.
The gang even entered the area hosting the children’s event and damaged property.
Local newspaper Sydsvenskan. reported that the attackers, who were youngsters of about 13-14, accompanied their screaming of anti-Semitic slogans with a number of physical assaults, throwing eggs at the building’s windows and walls, banging windows and throwing trashcans around.
The EJC noted that this event occurred only a few weeks after Malmo mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, was reelected in the Swedish city.
Earlier this year after a surge of anti-Semitism hit the Malmö Jewish community, Reepalu considered this an understandable consequence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and claimed “we accept neither Zionism nor antisemitism” equating Jewish national self-determination with hate and racism.
The European Jewish Congress noted that these events occurred soon after antisemitic comments made by German former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin, European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht and Spanish MEP Emilio Menendez del Valle.
“It demonstrates that antisemitism is at best actively promoted and at worst ignored by some officials in Europe” Moshe Kantor said. “Due to this intolerable situation, small Jewish communities, like Malmö, are teetering on the brink of extinction.”
“Small Jewish communities are facing a situation where they are being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements and their extreme left-wing cohorts on one side and the far-right neo-Nazis on the other” Kantor continued.
The EJC called on European governments and the European Union to launch a campaign against intolerance and antisemitism, so to remind European citizens that the new Europe was established after the Second World War on the concept of “Never Again.”