LONDON – In a strongly expressed comment piece in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, British Premier David Cameron described how sickened he has been by recent instances of anti-Semitism.
“The idea that the Jewish people once again feels unsafe in Europe is a truly sickening thought that strikes at the heart of everything we stand for,” he said. While the situation in the UK is significantly better than in many other countries, he said, in Britain “we, too, have seen a completely unacceptable rise in anti-Semitism.”
His message, he added, is clear. “We are going to take that spirit from the march in Paris and we are going to fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got.
“My policy is simple: zero-tolerance. No exceptions and no excuses. So let me be clear: no disagreements on politics or policy will ever be allowed to justify racism, prejudice or extremism in our society. Over generations we have built something incredible in our country: a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy – and we are not going to let anti-Semitism destroy it.”
So, here’s a question for Europe: Why now? I was in Britain last summer while there were antisemitic demonstrations calling for Jews to be gassed. Why didn’t Mr. Cameron say anything then?
Don’t get me wrong, it is well past time for European leaders to take antisemitism seriously. But I am skeptical and then some. I think that they are afraid of Muslim terrorists attacking everyone, everywhere, and somehow that has heightened awareness of Jewish fears. That and the fact that most Jews are productive members of society, so if they emigrate they take their productivity with them. But again, I’m a cynic.