Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Denmark: "You sometimes get the feeling, that you are most unwanted in your own country"

Via World Jewish Congress
Following is the testimony of Mette Bentow at the EU Colloquium in Brussels.Mette Bentow is a Danish mother of three who was celebrating her daughter Hannah's Bat Mitzvah when a jihadist terrorist struck outside Copenhagen's main synagogue on 14 February 2015, killing Dan Uzan, 37, who stood outside the building to protect it.

The beautiful story of the rescue of the Danish Jews – is the story that the Danes still cling to, when they say “there is no anti-Semitism in Denmark” – even now. Especially now.

But there is anti-Semitism in Denmark, even if it has no news-value for the media and it is not just a few fanatics. There is anti-Semitism in Denmark, just as there is in each and every country in Europe!

European Jews are constantly being held responsible for the actions of the State Israel, no matter how we as individuals feel about it.

When we speak out about our safety concerns, we are accused of whining and always playing the victim, playing on the guilt of Holocaust.

When the Danish government legislated against Jewish ritual slaughtering and political parties make it their agenda to ban the circumcision of boys – a key stone in the life of Jews and Muslims alike, they marginalize and alienate us from society at large, and make it acceptable to remove our rights as a religious minority.

They are pointing a moral finger at us – telling us, that we are somehow less Danish. You sometimes get the feeling, that you are most unwanted in your own country.

Very often the media will compare the plight of Muslims and Jews in Europe, but there is a need to differentiate between anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim tendencies.

Jews in Europe are not to blame for anti-Muslim tendencies. And neither the growing anti-Semitism in Europe nor the growing anti-Muslim sentiments can be fixed by saying that “Jews and Muslims have to become friends”!

I will meet and talk to any person – of any background, religion or political conviction, I will do my part to break down prejudice, but this is not a Jewish problem – it is a European problem that we all need to address.

It cannot be the responsibility of the minorities alone to fight hatred and prejudice against them.


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