When I read just now, in a report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), of the fears expressed yesterday by European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor regarding the imperilled future of small Jewish communities in parts of this continent that are beset by the “grave danger” of antisemitism, some of it officially sanctioned, I immediately thought of Mee’s “Night Falls On Europe”.
Although night hasn’t fallen yet, it will do, if things continue to go in the direction described by Mr Kantor. Here is part of the JTA’s report:
‘Among the recent incidents he [Kantor] cited were a "Palestine Day" at a Catholic school in Antwerp, Belgium, during which children were invited to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks. The game was called “Throw the soldiers into the sea.”
In another incident, a gang shouting "Heil Hitler" and "Jewish pigs" attacked a Jewish children's event in Malmo, Sweden, last weekend. Many Jews reportedly have been leaving Malmo this year due to an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.
Kantor also pointed to recent anti-Semitic statements by German former Central Bank board member Thilo Sarrazin and other public figures.
Citing a feeble official response, Kantor said that "anti-Semitism is at best actively promoted and at worst ignored by some officials in Europe. Due to this intolerable situation, small Jewish communities, like Malmo, are teetering on the brink of extinction,” threatened by extremists on the left and right.’Later this month, Kantor will be hosting a conference in Dubrovnik on how best to combat racism and xenophobia. He warns that the European Union and European leaders should "launch a campaign against intolerance and anti-Semitism to remind European citizens that the new Europe was established after the Second World War on the concept of 'Never Again.' '' And he adds: “If they [threatened Jewish communities] can’t receive protection or respite from mainstream officials, then we are entering a very dark period for the Jews in Europe.”