Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Anti-semitism down; criticism of Israel up

Following the release of the revised EUMC survey, this news lends added doubts to the alleged virulence of the "new anti-Semitism":

While anti-Semitism has decreased in most of Europe over the past two years, Europeans harbour increasingly hostile views towards Israel, according to a survey released yesterday by the Anti-Defamation League, the US civil rights organisation.

The survey, coinciding with a fall in reported anti-Semitic incidents in several countries last year, suggests governments are succeeding in preventing violence in the Middle East spilling over into Europe through the continent's large Muslim communities.

The poll's findings could also undermine the argument, supported by some civil rights movements including the ADL itself and think-tanks in Israel and the US, that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe holds its second conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin tomorrow.

Speaking in Berlin yesterday, Abraham Foxman, ADL director, said the decline in anti-Semitic attitudes since a first survey in 2002 showed European governments, particularly France, were having some success in defeating anti-Jewish sentiments.

"The good news is that regardless of the methodology we use, there is a decrease in anti-Semitic attitudes in eight out of the 10 countries surveyed," Mr Foxman said. "The bad news is it seems to be open season on Israel and the level of criticism is almost beyond reason."
Here's a thought: if Israel stopped trampling on human rights and incessantly using the excuse of terrorism to justify massive amounts of collective punishment, then perhaps the "unreasonable" criticism Mr. Foxman laments would abate.