Anti-Semitism Is Real and Rising in Europe (LA TIMES) LETTER TO THE EDITOR From Rabbi Marvin Hier Founder and Dean Simon Wiesenthal Center 11/14/03)
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Bruce Konviser´s Nov. 9 commentary critiques the Wiesenthal Center
for exaggerating European anti-Semitism. He is mistaken. A poll
commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League last year in five European
countries found that 21% of respondents held strong anti-Semitic
views. "For the first time since 1945, I am scared," said Elie
Wiesel. In another interview, he elaborated, "Wherever I go … It´s
all around me. The fact that in Europe, anti-Semitism has become so
vicious, so vocal and acceptable, is a cause of great anguish for
Recently, UNESCO and the Wiesenthal Center convened a conference in
Paris on the upsurge of anti-Semitism. We met with President Jacques
Chirac. He assured us that attacks against Jewish institutions
originated in the poorer neighborhoods outside of Paris. But when we
left the Elysee Palace to meet with Baron de Rothschild a few blocks
away, members of our delegation wearing yarmulkes were assaulted by
Frenchmen shouting, "Jews go to Israel."
On the recent European Commission survey that found Israel to be the
single greatest obstacle to world peace, EC President Romano Prodi
said, "I am very concerned…. They point to the continued existence of
a bias that must be condemned out of hand."
"The threat to Germany from neo-Nazis has risen to a new level,"
confirms German Interior Minister Otto Schily. "There have been hints
that right extremists are really a great potential danger for our
society…. This has now been dramatically confirmed…. "
Konviser says he´s been traveling in Europe for more then a decade
without noticing any anti-Semitism. I have no idea where he has been
traveling, but his views contradict the widely held opinion of almost
all the experts in the field.
(Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times 11/14/03)
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