As Roger Cohen precisely phrased it in his The New York Times article: ‘Perhaps not since the Holocaust, which saw the annihilation of about two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish community, have the Jews of Europe lived in an atmosphere of fear so acute that it feels like a fundamental shift in terms of their existence.’ Since 7 October, many Jewish people in Europe have indeed had to relieve the trauma of antisemitism as a large number of pro-Palestinian, violent demonstrators called for the complete eradication of the Jewish state. Protestors chanted anti-Semitic slogans like ‘gas the Jews’ or ‘rape their daughters’, marking Jewish homes with Stars of David, vandalizing Jewish stores, dishonouring the memory of victims and tearing down posters of Israeli Jewish babies, children, women, men, and elderly who were brutally taken from their loved ones and have been held hostage by Hamas for more than 40 days. As Samuel Lejoyeux, the president of the Union of Jewish Students of France, pointed out, it’s ‘striking’ that instead of full support and solidarity, ‘there is a wave of antisemitism in the world’ after 1,300 Jews were massacred in one day, the deadliest since the Holocaust.
Amid the Alarming Rise of Jewish Hate in France, Tens of Thousands of Parisians Marched Against Antisemitism
France is home to the largest Jewish population in Europe, where the situation of Jewish people has been worrisome for years. As Haaretz reported, many French Jews have to cover their kippahs when going outside and remove mezuzahs from the door frames outside their homes. After 7 October, Black Saturday, however, antisemitism increased drastically; therefore, some French Jews with common surnames, such as Cohen or Levy, had to remove their names from mailboxes and gates to avoid being identified and thus threatened as Jews.
Some even felt the need to use aliases when ordering food or car services.
It’s because of this dark antisemitic atmosphere that it sent a strong and historical message when two weeks ago, on 12 November, some 100,000 Parisians marched against the surge in antisemitism in France amid Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. French politicians from across the political spectrum as well as religious leaders attended to march from the building of the National Assembly to that of the French Senate to send a clear message to their French Jewish fellow citizens that they support them and stand against antisemitism. Similar rallies and marches were held in major cities throughout France, with more than 180,000 joining them. According to the Interior Ministry, there have been more than 1,500 reported anti-Semitic acts since 7 October in France, which is nearly three times as many as in the whole of 2022.
Hungary Understands Netanyahu’s Warning
Mosab Hassan Yousef, also known as the Son Of Hamas’s co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, held a historic speech at the United Nations this week in which he stressed: ‘If Israel fails in Gaza, the rest of the world will be next’. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also highlighted in a Fox News interview that If Israel ‘doesn’t win now, then Europe is next.’ The Israeli prime minister added: ‘The reason they’re attacking Israel is this axis of terror understands that
we’re the forward position of the West and of civilization. We’re just a stumbling block on the way to you.’
As reported by Hungarian Conservative, Hungary has realized that these warnings shouldn’t be taken lightly. Besides showing full support and solidarity with Israel, the Hungarian government banned all anti-Israeli protests, as they usually lead to violence against Jewish people. The ban was announced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán the day before 13 October 2023, the day that Hamas designated as ‘World Jihad Day’ or ‘Day of Rage’. The Hungarian PM stated that pro-terrorist marches would not be held, to make sure that ‘all Hungarian citizens feel safe, regardless of their faith or origin.’ It is thanks to this clear stance that not only Hungarian Jewish people don’t have to live in fear in their country, but also Israeli refugees can find safety, comfort and relief in Hungary.