After recent anti-Semitic murders in Paris and Copenhagen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on European Jews to leave the continent. He urged them to go to Israel, "your home." Of course, their home is France or Denmark or whatever their country of residence. But as Zack Beauchamp notes, outside of the United States, attacks on Jews have been rising over the last decade, and many are now wondering if Europe will remain their home forever.
Politicians are wondering too. "Prime Minister Manuel Valls has urged France's Jews not to emigrate after the desecration of some 300 Jewish graves," BBC News reported Monday in another appalling story of apparent anti-Semitism in France. A day earlier, Israeli journalist Zvika Klein published an even more depressing piece after donning a yarmulke and walking around Paris for a day with a hidden camera:
Areas known as tourist attractions were relatively calm, but the further from them we walked, the more anxious I became over the hateful stares, the belligerent remarks, and the hostile body language. ... Walking into a public housing neighborhood, we came across a little boy and his hijab-clad mother, who were clearly shocked to see us. "What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?" the boy asked.
Walking by a school in one of Paris' neighborhoods, a boy shouted "Viva Palestine" at me. Moments later, passing by a group of teens, one of the girls remarked, "Look at that—it's the first time I've ever seen such a thing."
Walking down another neighborhood, a driver stopped his car and approached us. "We've been made," I thought. "What are you doing here?" he asked. "We've had reports that you were walking around our neighborhood—you're not from around here."
In one of the mostly-Muslim neighborhoods, we walked into an enclosed marketplace. "Look at him! He should be ashamed of himself. What is he doing walking in here wearing a kippa?!" one Muslim merchant yelled. "What do you care? He can do whatever he wants," another, seemingly unfazed merchant, answered. Over at a nearby street I was lambasted with expletives, mostly telling me to "go f*** from the front and the back."
At a nearby cafe, fingers were pointed at us, and moments later two thugs were waiting for us on the street corner. They swore at me, yelled "Jew" and spat at me. "I think we've been made," the photographer whispered at me. Two youths were waiting for us on the next street corner, as they had apparently heard that a Jew was walking around their neighborhood.
They made it clear to us that we had better get out of there, and we took their advice. "A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching," the bodyguard told me as we were getting into the car. "Leave this area right now." Is this what life is like for Paris' Jews?
The moments captured on the video would be disgusting even as anomalies, and the statistics about anti-Semitic attacks in France suggest they're only getting more common.