Netanyahu may not be a popular choice, but beware those who use his election win to spur anti-Semitism

Now more than ever we must form bonds across communities

Europe's Jewish community is suffering enough already. What will not help matters is the fact that some people will twist the results of this week's Israeli election into more reason to spread or support anti-Semitism.

Bibi's going to be an unpopular choice around the world. Well, newsflash, Hamas aren't going to win any awards for peacemaking either. But whatever your thoughts on the conflict, adding poison to the debate and to race relations outside of the Middle East will do no good at all. In times of global conflict, it’s time for the rest of us to step up and knit ourselves together.

This week’s election results must not provide further fodder to misguided hate-spreaders. Let’s be clear: it is utterly wrong to use events in Israel as justification to attack Jews. But still, terrorists and lay racists alike use Israel’s policies as a stick with which to beat the diaspora.

Terrible acts of anti-Semitism have been committed in Europe over the past few years. Children murdered at school; shoppers killed at the supermarket; a gentle volunteer killed guarding a synagogue. In the UK, much of the trauma goes unreported: Jews abused in the street with venomous regularity, gravestones desecrated. Attacks rise each time there is trouble in Israel. Well, if you ever, ever thought that attacking a Jew was a justifiable response to your feelings about Israel, hear this: it is not, it is not, it is not. And how on earth does spreading more violence help your fellow man?

 

With Bibi versus Hamas at the helm for another four years, the Middle East might be faced with another stalemate. But we’re not. We all have a choice. In our most challenging times in global politics, we can choose fear, or choose love, and we can form bonds across communities and spread some light into the world. When we do, it’s amazing – like the band of young Muslims who recently formed a protective circle around Oslo’s synagogue. We must follow their example and create a protective circle around Europe’s Jewish community, instead of using Israel’s election results as a tawdry excuse to do further harm to them.

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