Anti-Semitism alert in Europe: acts of hostility toward Jewish communities are multiplying

Elizabeth Smith

From France to Austria, to Italy, but also the U.S., acts of hostility toward Jewish communities are multiplying since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Anti-Semitism alert in France

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne condemned “in the strongest terms” the “vile anti-Semitic actions” perpetrated in recent days in France.

During question time at the National Assembly, Borne evoked, in particular, “over 850 incidents” related to anti-Semitism since October 7. The premier spoke of “430 detentions and over 230 ongoing investigations.

Similar condemnation from the mayor of Paris. Anti-Semitism has no place in our Republic,” wrote Anne Hidalgo. “This morning,” Hidalgo comments in a message posted on X, “anti-Semitic graffiti was found in Paris. Faced with these despicable acts, we have turned to the public prosecutor to identify, prosecute and condemn the perpetrators.”

In a note, the Paris municipality points out that the stencil-drawn Stars of David were found in several wards of the capital of France.

Fire in Jewish section of Vienna cemetery, swastikas on walls

Unknown people set a fire in the Jewish section of Vienna’s Central Cemetery on the night of November 1th. Also, swastikas were spray-painted on the outside walls.

This was reported by the president of the Jewish Community of Vienna, Oskar Deutsch. Who added that the fire burned the lobby of a ceremonial hall but caused no injuries and that firefighters and police are investigating.

The Jewish community has announced a demonstration. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer condemned “in the strongest terms the attack on the Jewish cemetery.” Thus stressing that “there is no place for anti-Semitism in our society.”

Vandals target stumbling stones in Rome

Also on November 1th, unknown people in Rome attempted to set fire to two stumbling stones commemorating the deportation of two Jewish men to Auschwitz. A lady passing by noticed that the two stones were completely blackened. The police is investigating on the dynamics of the act.

The president of the Jewish Community of Rome, Victor Fadlun, spoke on the matter. “If it is confirmed that this is a deliberate act of desecration, it would be extremely serious,” he said. The stumbling stones “for our community and for all Romans have a high and dramatic meaning of memory and homage to the victims of anti-Semitic madness.”

Acts of hate on the rise in the United States

Alarm over acts of anti-Semitism extends beyond Europe. Such is the case in the United States. Where, the increase in acts of hatred against the Jewish community observed after the beginning of the war is part of a worldwide trend.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this. “Hamas terrorists have carried out an attack toward thousands of innocent men, women and children in Israel since Oct. 7. Since then we have responded to an increase in threats against American Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities and institutions,” Mayorkas added.

According to the Anti-defamation League group, anti-Jewish hate acts in the U.S. have increased 400 percent in the past two weeks.

Read also: UN: Israeli raids on Jabaliya refugee camp could constitute a war crime

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