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2019 Annual Assessment

As indicated in Figure 1, while all anti-Semites want Jews to feel like second class citizens and are interested in expunging them from public life, the different types of anti-Semites do not equally harm Jewish life.

Jews will continue to live in their places of residence when symbolic expression of disdain such as cemetery desecration (generally perpetrated by far-right activists) occurs in their vicinity. They may conceal their Jewish belonging when they encounter derogatory remarks and discrimination in the work place or on college campuses (such as perpetrated by right-wingers and anti-Israel left-wingers).

However, they will seriously consider relocation when their children are insulted and beaten in the streets (violence most often perpetrated by Muslim anti-Semites) and they feel that the local government does not protect them. The impact of the imposition of mandatory gender studies in Jewish orthodox schools as well as the ban on kosher slaughter and circumcision is less immediate but is likely to have a long-term determinant impact on organized Jewish life.

We may, therefore, expect that Jews will remain and even thrive in Eastern Europe while, unless drastic interventions by local governments are implemented, Jewish communities in Scandinavia, France and Germany will likely decrease. Despite this pessimistic perspective, Britain is an exception as the Jewish community there is well organized and may be able to confront the anti-Semitism emanating from the political left effectively.

The considerable Muslim presence in Western European and Scandinavian countries is therefore a factor influencing and perhaps predicting the future of Jewish existence in them. The Muslim sector is not the only one with the highest proportion of those responsible for physical harm to Jews, it also motivates left-wing politicians to criticize the State of Israel disproportionately – in order to court Muslim voters – and motivates right-wing politicians, to adopt conservative and nationalist positions and promote anti-multicultural policies and laws that limit non-Christian religious expressions in the public sphere.

Although this policy of right-wing leaders is a counter-reaction to the spread of Islam, and is primarily aimed at limiting Islam, it also includes laws that harm the lives of Jewish communities. For example, laws that restrict circumcision and kosher slaughter without pre-stunning, laws that mandate gender and sexuality curricula in all schools, laws that prohibit the display of religious symbols in the public sphere, and policies that restrict the transfer of public funds to religious institutions.

The future scenarios forecasted for Europe do not bode well for the Jews of the old continent. It is likely that a significant number of Europe’s Jews will emigrate in the coming decades, given the economic stagnation on the continent, demographic shifts, political instability, the undermining of personal security, and the anti-Semitic violence that local governments, despite good intentions, will have difficulty in preventing. 18

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