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World News and Trends: Hatred of Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism

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Hatred of Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism

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The so-called nonaligned nations recently met in Havana, Cuba, and heartily endorsed one point: their condemnation of Israel.

Elsewhere, Europeans were often in the forefront of criticism of Israel's conduct of the Lebanese war. Whether in parliaments, on the street or in TV studios, Israel was generally accused of a "disproportionate reaction" and "indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets." Polls show that many Europeans believe Israel is a greater menace to peace in the world than rogue nations like Iran and North Korea.

According to The Economist, "Some Americans blame rising anti-Semitism in Europe" for these attitudes against the state of Israel (Aug. 17). And although anti-Semitism and broad-based criticism of Israel are not necessarily synonymous, clearly the two do often go hand in hand. For instance, "A group of prominent MPs, alarmed at the rise of anti-semitism in Britain, will accuse some left-wing activists and Muslim extremists this week of using criticism of Israel as 'a pretext' for spreading hatred against British Jews" (The Observer, Sept. 3).

According to news sources like The Times, synagogues and Jewish citizens have been specifically targeted. Britain has also seen a decided increase in hate mail, verbal harassment, graffiti and vandalism directed at Jews.

A new 58-page House of Commons report showed that "Anti-semitism in Britain is flourishing and on the rise" (Jewish Chronicle, Sept. 8). But Britain is by no means unique. This plague is also rampant through much of the rest of the Europe. (Sources: The Times, The Observer, Jewish Chronicle [all London], The Economist.)