Anti-Semitic incidents in European countries have surged since 2000, the start of the second Palestinian intifada. Some Jewish groups and experts are particularly disturbed because Europe appears to be adjusting to a new high level of hate incidents and anti-Jewish rhetoric while violent attacks on individuals continue to rise. A recent British parliamentary inquiry raised concern about a "widespread change in mood and tone when Jews are discussed" in the media, in universities and other public settings. Spikes in hate incidents seem to follow Middle East or Muslim-related news events, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. or the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hezbollah — becoming triggers to violence in Europe. Meanwhile, some experts say this new type of anti-Semitism seems to rouse the old kinds of European racial canards that existed before and during World War II. Caricatures in the European press have revived images reminiscent of medieval beliefs in the Jew as child-killer. Political cartoons in newspapers and on the Internet have employed Nazi-like imagery to portray Jewish Israelis as cruel and bloodthirsty in countries as varied as Norway, Greece and England.
By Sarah Glazer