Antisemitism in Europe: A growing concern, but positive steps forward
Growing concerns over antisemitism in Europe are highlighted by the EARS dashboard. Efforts are underway, but more awareness and education is needed.
The EARS dashboard is a collection of summaries of articles from European media on the topic of religion and society. The dashboard allows users to sort through these articles by selecting, for instance, specific topics and timeframes of interest. In the last year, around 2,000 summaries have been added to the dashboard. 92 of those summaries featured the keyword antisemitism.
From an analysis of the EARS dashboard, antisemitism in Europe is on the rise, and recent incidents have highlighted growing concerns. Recently, Jewish leaders have expressed concern that only 16% of European nations have lived up to their pledges to fight antisemitism. It is essential for governments and civil society to address this worrying trend.
Controversy surrounding Yad Vashem and the holocaust
A first example of this is an incident involving the Council of Churches in the Netherlands. The council removed a controversial passage from its website regarding the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum after facing significant criticism. The passage stated that Yad Vashem portrays “only one perspective” of the Holocaust and disregards the “suffering of Palestinians.” The council acknowledged the offence caused by the statement and its failure to recognise the importance of Holocaust remembrance. The incident highlights the need for greater sensitivity and understanding when discussing the Holocaust and its impact on Jewish communities worldwide.
Rise of antisemitism in the Netherlands
Sadly, there have been many examples of antisemitism in the Netherlands over the past few months. Recently, Dutch rabbis cancelled a meeting with the Protestant Church leaders because they compared COVID-19 measures to the Holocaust. Jewish groups expressed their outrage at these remarks, believing they trivialised the horrors of the genocide. The Israeli embassy and Central Jewish Consultation both responded with disapproval, highlighting the need for greater sensitivity and understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on the Jewish community. A recent study showed that nearly a quarter of young Dutch people do not believe the facts about the Holocaust. Educators and civil society must address this alarming trend.
Holocaust education in schools
Education is crucial in the fight against antisemitism in Europe and it is essential that the Holocaust is taught about in schools. However, there have been reports that Holocaust education is being denied in classrooms. In response, teachers in the municipality of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, will soon be able to turn to a special support point for education about antisemitism. The support point will be established with the National Coordinator for Countering Antisemitism.
Antisemitic tropes in public discourse
Antisemitic tropes are back in public discourse, with journalist Dave Rich pointing out the worrying trend of using antisemitic language and imagery. For example, award-winning play The Lehman Trilogy has returned to the London stage, telling the story of the Lehman Brothers bank. While it is a moral tale about modern capitalism, it also portrays Jews as being greedy and money-driven, perpetuating malevolent beliefs about Jews and money that are buried deep within Western thought.
Positive trends and calls for action
Despite these many examples of antisemitic incidents, there is some good news. According to the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), antisemitic acts fell by 26% between 2021 and 2022 in France. This reduction is a positive step forward in the fight against antisemitism.
Moreover, Albania has committed to opening a Holocaust museum after Israel called for Europe to step up its fight against antisemitism. The museum, called the Besa Museum, will include a dialogue center, educational facilities, and act as a tourist attraction. This positive step highlights the understanding of the need for greater awareness and education around the Holocaust.
The importance of education and positive steps forward
We have seen that there is a growing concern about antisemitism in Europe, and it is essential to address this worrying trend. Education is crucial in the fight against antisemitism, and the need for greater sensitivity and understanding around the Holocaust and its impact on the Jewish community cannot be overstated. It is heartening to see positive steps being taken, such as Albania’s commitment to opening the Besa Museum and the establishment of a support point for education about antisemitism in the Netherlands.
Learn more on the EARS dashboard
The EARS dashboard allows you to gain insights into many topics, including those described above. It is a free tool that allows you to make connections like those described above, and to find out about relationships between interesting subjects across Europe. Please visit the dashboard to learn more.
Learn more about religion and society on the EARS Dashboard