Is Anti-Semitism in Europe on the Rise?

By Michael Scott Moore in Berlin

A sober show in Berlin offers an introductory treatment — if not a thorough examination — of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East since September 11.

When an exhibition on contemporary anti-Semitism opened this month at the Foreign Office in Berlin, Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler said it was “appropriate” that the topic wasn’t squirreled away in a historical museum but on display in the bright atrium of a German ministry.
“Anti-Semitism has sadly not been left where it belongs, in the poison cabinet reserved for the pathogens of hard-to-cure diseases of the past,” he said. “Unfortunately it is a phenomenon of today’s Europe which our foreign policy has to confront as well.”

The exhibit, called “Anti-Semitism? Anti-Zionism? Criticism of Israel?” is a series of anti-Jewish posters and cartoons from Europe and the Middle East. It covers manifestations of anti-Semitism in the era of September 11, the second intifada, and the Iraq war — from left-wing groups in Europe calling for boycotts of Israel to white supremacist bands and soccer hooligans behaving badly on the distant right.

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