Thursday, February 26, 2015

Insecurity plagues European jewry as fear of next attack looms

The latest antisemitic attacks in several European countries have made fear and insecurity an integral and inseparable part of the daily lives of the Jews there, Maariv’s Nissan Tzur reported on Monday. Tzur said he detected a tangibly depressed mood among European Jews when he wanted to conduct interviews regarding their feeling of safety and security in European countries.

The attack in January on the kosher deli in France came as a huge shock, he said. Nelly Omer, 30, who lives in Paris said that, “immediately after the attack, I felt anxiety, stress and lack of confidence every time I left the house or used public transportation. For some time, I avoided eating in kosher restaurants. In the end, though, I’m not willing to give in to these acts of antisemitism. I will continue to visit these places just as I used to.”

Omer added that the fear which plagues the Jews of Europe prevents them from wearing kippot in public, or Stars of David around their necks. If they do, they are immediately met with looks of hatred. She added that the latest attacks in Paris, “are not the last. The question is only when the next one will happen.”

Lana Posner-Korosi, 58,  of Sweden is the President of the Jewish community in that country. She said that she doesn’t even consider making aliyah to Israel, despite the fact that in the last few months she and her community members have received threats and there have been attacks from Muslim immigrants in the country. She said the situation worsened after last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, when the Jews of Sweden became an easy target for Muslims who wanted to exact revenge for the IDF’s operations in Gaza.
Posner-Korsi says she received bomb threats, threats via e-mail, and has even been subjected to curses in the street. Some of the young community members were threatened and were called “murderers” on Facebook, Posner-Korsi said.

Similar sentiments of fear and insecurity were echoed by Jewish community leaders and members from Poland, Bulgaria and Greece, according to the report. Threats from extremists among Muslim immigrants and the resurgence of the right, as well as a feeling that the governments were not doing enough to combat antisemitism added to the feelings of insecurity.

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