Europe’s Jew-hating ghosts are not of its past


On April 25, the day set aside to commemorate the end of Nazi occupation in Italy during World War II and the victory of the Resistance, the story that dominated the Italian news involved people chanting “Throw out the Jews!” (in Milan), “Ban them!” (in Rome) and a declaration that it was good that they were exterminated (at the Risiera di San Sabba, the Nazi concentration camp in the Northern Italian town of Trieste).

The day was devoted to the delegitimization of the State of Israel, the exaltation of the BDS movement, and the intent to annihilate the collective Jew: the Jewish state.

All this is called anti-Semitism, and of course, many seem to be shocked by it, despite the fact that it unites its cronies — especially on the left, but also on the right — around the Palestinian flag.

This, in a compact European framework in which Berliners hold a “kippot-wearing protest” while that omnipresent ghost of the past stands over their shoulders and by now won’t accept to be exorcised (there have been demonstrations in Germany in which people screamed “Death to the Jews!” including one last year with participants zealously waving Hezbollah flags, and last week a German Justice minister announced that “anti-Semitism is becoming socially acceptable again”); where the French now consider anti-Semitic murders and aggressions typical events, its intellectuals collecting melancholic signatures while President Emmanuel Macron explains that France would no longer be the same without Jews (who fortunately are, in the meantime, packing their bags); and where the British have at the head of its noble historical left, the Labour Party, a full-fledged anti-Semite who condones terrorism.

And the bell also tolls for America, where Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, smiling in a photo alongside former President Barack Obama, announces to general indifference that “time is up” for the Jews, calling them a satanic force.

In Italy, its national celebration got caught up in the linguistic spiral for which “resistance” by now means anti-Semitism. My goodness, can it be called resistance in which poor Palestinians from Gaza seek — armed, nonetheless — to penetrate Israel’s borders en masse in order to bring about the death and destruction of the Jewish state? Poor people, they just want to demonstrate their “resistance,” despite openly declaring their desire to kill Jews and practice mass terrorism.

Is it “resistance,” as Hanan Nasrallah repeats daily, what Hezbollah from Lebanon and Syria are doing by stockpiling missiles to destroy Israel? And in the end, in line with the same logic, is it also not “resistance” orchestrated by the Iranians, who are trying to eradicate “like a cancerous tumor” the hated criminal Zionists, and their Jewish supporters and friends all over the world?

On one hand, they are Jews, persecuted and exterminated, but also liberators who fought in the Jewish Brigade (my father was one of them); and on the other, they are the object of a homicidal-suicidal hatred, fueled by today’s overwhelming Islamic presence in Europe and throughout the world. Leading the legitimization of this crazy conceptual conversion is the left, which has been able to use the vocabulary of “human rights” as a line of defense in which to hide its own deep-seated discrimination and arrogance.

We need to thank the United Nations and the European Union, as well as Corbyn and those like him, if in Italy the word “resistance” now camouflages the slogans of Haj Amin Al Husseini, who with Hitler planned the extermination of the Jews during a notorious meeting, father of the terrorism that has now come to terrorize the entire world.

Maybe the Europeans just didn’t understand it. But they, too, will be victims because anti-Semitism is the engine behind history’s greatest tragedies.

Civilization, it appears, is again teetering on the brink of collapse.

Journalist Fiamma Nirenstein, a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was a member of the Italian Parliament (2008-13), served in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and established and chaired the Committee for the Inquiry Into Anti-Semitism. She has written 13 books, including “Israel Is Us” (2009). Translation by Amy Rosenthal.