antisemitism,  Europe

BBC World Service on European antisemitism: part two

Here is part two of Wendy Robbins’s series on the BBC World Service (we linked to part one here) on modern European antisemitism.

Part two deals with efforts to deny the Holocaust, as well as more recent attempts to trivialize and obfuscate it, and focuses on Lithuania.

The report concludes with some powerful observations by Howard Jacobson.

On why the State of Israel is so important to Jews worldwide, regardless of what they think of its policies and actions:

“Country after country kicks Jews out. ‘Out you go, out you go, go where the hell you like.’ The idea that such countries can say, ‘We kicked you out but we are absolutely appalled that you might now have decided to find a place where you might like to congregate and say that you would like to be be mainly for you.’ You can’t kick people out and then determine what they do when they go somewhere else. Given the history of them, it makes perfect sense. They would be mad not to do so.”


“Any Jew is entitled to feel that Kristallnacht wasn’t exactly Kristallnacht until it happened. And you can’t expect any Jew– there are still Jews alive who remember all that– not to be worried that that could happen again. I know lots of Jews who go, ‘It’s all changed. You’re old, we’re younger, such things don’t happen again. The whole world’s changed.’ The whole world has never changed. This has been going on for two thousand years. What now? What now would it be about humanity that would make us feel that the whole world’s changed and Jews are forever safe, and if only they’d get out of the bloody occupied territories, everybody would love Jews again?

“Oh, yeah?”