Via The Times of Israel:
|Israeli Apartheid Week in |
several Belgian universities
Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.
“I think we’re seeing a pandemic in formation,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I don’t think it’s here. I think America’s situation is different from Europe. But the potential is there.” (...)
“We saw anti-Semitism in Britain, we saw it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,” Hoenlein told The Times of Israel in its Jerusalem office on Sunday. “Look at the numbers of incidents in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of the world. And now we see in America swastikas being painted, other expressions [such as phoned-in] threats or aggression against kids on campuses. So it spreads. It’s not isolated to one geographic locale. It’s like a virus that spreads. And you have to declare it for what it is.” (...)
The interview with Hoenlein was conducted mere hours before news emerged of an apparently anti-Semitic act of vandalism that took place in his hometown of Philadelphia. Several tombstones in the city’s Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery had been toppled in what the Israeli government called a “shocking” and worrying act.
“I don’t think now it’s a direct threat to Jewish existence or Jewish survival,” Hoenlein said about general trend of anti-Semitic acts committed recently in the US, including the desecration of Jewish cemeteries or bomb threats made to Jewish community centers. “I do think that this cancer, left unchecked, spreads and becomes more and more of a threat.”
The best example of such a process can be identified in France, where anti-Jewish sentiment “metastasized over a period of time,” he said. “It didn’t just happen,” he added, citing recent reports of attacks on Jews, and information from his own relatives who live in France telling him life has become “intolerable” there.
European governments have denounced such incidents and increased measures to protect Jews, Hoenlein said. “But we can’t deny the fact that anti-Semitism today is no longer something that has to be done under the cloak of darkness, with the fear of repercussions. Those restrictions are gone. And I think we have to reimpose it and there have to be standards set. That’s why I want government officials saying this is not acceptable, just like racism and bigotry in any other form is not acceptable.”read more