December 19, 2018

How Has Antisemitism Been Affected by Seventy Years of Jewish Sovereignty?

“Today, after 70 years of Jewish sovereignty, which began only a few years after the Holocaust, when measuring the broadest swathe across societies anti-Semitic sentiment in Western Europe continues to decline. Still, owing to an increasingly vocal and mobilized minority, the wide publication of serious incidents amplifying the experiences of daily life, and shifting demographics, Jews are concerned about their future and many do not feel safe to express their Jewish identities in public. A third of European Jews are considering emigrating, and many more do not see their children’s future on the continent (see table below). We can identify three centers of anti-Semitic hatred in Europe: radical Islamists, the far right, and the far-left (the far-left’s anti-Semitism often takes the form of anti-Israel rhetoric). These three groups combined constitute between one-fifth and one-third of the total population in the various European countries, and could become a critical mass that (unofficially) blocks the comfortable participation of Jews as Jews in the local public sphere.

The immigration waves washing over Europe are arousing nationalist and conservative sentiments across the continent that could threaten the stability of European Union countries and their common political vision. The future scenarios portrayed for Europe do not bode well for its Jews. It is not implausible that a significant portion of Europe’s Jews will emigrate in the coming decades, given the continent’s economic concerns, demographic shifts, political swings, undermined sense of personal security, and the anti-Semitic violence that local governments, despite good intentions, will have difficulty in preventing.”

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