The Year Ahead: Jewish Security in Europe

Is Europe becoming, for the first time since the 1930s, a place that is inhospitable to Jews? American Jews should pay attention in 2014 to four discrete anti-Jewish expressions.

First, the rise of anti-Semitic political groups across Europe.  Long-standing questions of national identity have led to a new appeal of populist, extreme-right parties — Jobbik in Hungary, Golden Dawn in Greece and a resurgent Le Pen party in France, coming out of deep economic and social dissatisfaction, are dramatic examples.

Second, the continued anti-circumcision campaign, a 21st- century expression of the old Enlightenment view of religion — especially Jewish religion — as a morass of superstition and barbarism. From Germany to Scandinavian countries to Turkey, circumcision is coming under attack.

Third, the rise of radical Islam in Europe. Finally, the denigration of Israel in some quarters — especially among British academics — as the worst state in the world. American Jews will watch for government reaction in European countries, and to European Jewish response, to these developments.

Jerome Chanes