They were dressed in their team’s colors and chanting passionately and excitedly – the only problem was they weren’t in the stadium cheering on their team. Bosnian soccer fans who were in Vienna, Austria on Friday for a match between Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, chanted “Kill the Jews” alongside pro-Palestinian demonstrators in central Stephanplatz square before heading to the game. It was a frightening spectacle that proved anti-Semitism is still a jarring reality in Europe.
Here is the chilling video, via the Jerusalem Post:
At first they stood calmly and shouted “Free Palestine” back and forth. Then, one can hear a single voice among the protestors shout out “Kill the Jews.” The calls to violence swelled as the other protestors joined. In a swarm of rage, they began to jump up and down shouting “Ubij, ubij Židove,” which means “Kill, kill the Jews.”
Anti-Semitic demonstrations such as this were ubiquitous last summer throughout Europe when hostilities between Israel and the terror organization Hamas reached a dangerous climax. In one particular example of hate, protesters looted shops and burned cars in Sarcelles, France while others chanted “Gas the Jews!”
Other forms of Jewish hatred are not so apparent. A piece in The Guardian on Sunday profiled seven Jewish people living Europe, beginning with this introduction, “These are gruelling times for those in Europe who identify themselves as Jewish or have a Jewish background.” The featured European citizens described specific acts of prejudice aimed against them as they tried to live their normal lives. More information on the rise of anti-Semitism in this region can be found in my piece, ‘An Old Hatred Returns.’
In addition to the Jewish intolerance prevalent in Europe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes the danger a nuclear Iran could be to his country. He has tried to persuade President Obama to reject any kind of agreement with Iran, most recently arguing it could threaten Israel’s very existence.
Yet, the Obama administration is full speed ahead with a preliminary agreement that in part lifts all sanctions against Iran. The president insists these terms are America’s ‘best bet’ and legislators such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arechiding Netanyahu as if he was a child: “I wish Netanyahu would contain himself.’
Perhaps Netanyahu is not containing himself because he recognizes the many threats Israel faces. If you were the prime minister and watched the above video, would you too not want to ensure Israel’s safety?