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Anti-Israelism, not anti-Semitism, voiced in Europe

Does the sometimes virulent criticism of Israel in Europe, and around the world, reflect a rise in anti-Semitism or anti-Israelism?
Protesters chant during a pro-Gaza demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London August 1, 2014. Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists. Hamas said that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on Gaza was lifted. REUTERS/Neil Hall (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR40YDH

Those who read the international press on a regular basis, especially those with an interest in what happens to the Jewish people in Israel and around the world, might have come away with a gloomy picture of the situation in Europe over the last month. Reports of mass flight and such words as “pogrom” and “Kristallnacht” kept appearing. The current situation was compared with the era of Nazi rule in Germany. Anti-Israeli sentiment has significantly increased during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip and was manifested in many protests around the continent, but apart from such sentiment, is there any evidence supporting the assumption of our being in the midst of a new and powerful wave of hatred toward Jews?

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University occasionally publishes reports on occurrences of anti-Semitism on the continent. During the Gaza conflict, the center published photos on its website showing demonstrations against the war under the headline “Anti-Semitic photos from demos for Gaza (July-August 2014).” Another page featured “Anti-Semitic cartoons and caricatures (July-August 2014).” Among the slides are images of demonstrators' signs combining a swastika with the Star of David, anti-Semitic slogans, cartoons and photos of a non-Semitic nature of people protesting the war and the occupation, and caricatures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bombing Gaza. Many demonstrators sport kaffiyehs, the traditional Middle Eastern headdress, and attire bearing the Palestinian flag or its colors. Most of the illustrations are taken from newspapers and websites from the Arab world. 

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