Israel's action against Hamas in Gaza is having repercussions for Jewish communities in Europe, where many have reported a substantial increase in anti-Semitic incidents since Israel's military operation was launched on December 27. Attacks against identifiably Jewish persons and property have spiked in Belgium and France, while across Europe, anti-Semitic rhetoric is heard and on display at anti-Israel demonstrations, including banners that equate Israel with the Nazis and calls for jihad.
Whenever there is an increase in hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians, Jewish communities around the world have routinely witnessed an increase in anti-Semitism. Blatantly anti-Semitic Nazi imagery and Holocaust comparisons appear even more widespread than during past periods of hostility.
Unfortunately, not enough leaders have spoken out. One exception is French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who said: "Our country cannot tolerate letting international tension translate into sectarian violence."
ADL is monitoring the global scene for incidents of anti-Semitism and is working with governments, Jewish community organizations and human rights monitors to address new manifestations of anti-Jewish hate.
Following is a selection of anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred in Europe since Israel's Gaza incursion. For more information and additional incidents, see the League's select chronology of global anti-Semitic incidents for 2008 and 2009).
Two synagogues and a Jewish home were attacked with Molotov cocktails.
Belgian Jewish leaders say they have received dozens of death threats.
Jewish stores and a Jewish school were vandalized.
Two Israelis were shot by a Dane of Palestinian descent.
A burning car with a Molotov cocktail was rammed into the door of a Toulouse synagogue, while a rabbi was leading a class inside.
A 29-year-old Jewish man was attacked at a Paris subway station by a gang of about 20 people who yelled "Palestine will win."
In Bordeaux, two kosher food shops were vandalized.
A car at the synagogue in Toulon was burned.
Several anti-Israel protesters were arrested for illegal anti-Semitic banners at a demonstration, and Berlin's Holocaust memorial was vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas.
The leader of a far-right party published an editorial that accused Israel of acting in Gaza like the Nazis, claiming that such could be expected of Jews because they are "Christ-killers." The editorial also included the phrase, "it is known all over the world that a Jew smells of blood."
A synagogue in Volos was defaced with graffiti that read: "The state of Israel murders whose side are you on?"
The Irish Times published a cartoon ("Final Solution," Jan. 2) clearly equating Israel's military operation against Hamas with the Holocaust.
At an anti-Israel rally in Amsterdam that included the participation of a Dutch legislator, the crowd chanted, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas."
Anti-Israel demonstrations in Barcelona, Valencia, and Sevilla included signs that equated Israel with Nazi Germany.
A Molotov cocktail was thrown into the synagogue in Helsingfors.
Anti-Israel protesters carried signs equating Israel with Nazi Germany.
On January 4, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoπan accused Israel of atrocities and predicted divine punishment, saying Israel was "perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents." Two days later, an Israeli basketball team in Turkey fled from the court into the dressing room, because the crowd became threatening, calling them "killers."