The vandalism and harassment that targeted Danish Jews on the night of November 9 - the date of the Crystal Night (Kristalnacht) in 1938, when German Nazis smashed Jewish business and synagogues - is scary in more than one sense: it is a racist threat to a particular group of Danes with clear references to the Nazi persecution of the Nazi era, but it is also a reminder that anti-Semitism is on the rise, and not just in neo-Nazi environments like the Northern Front, which allegedly were behind Saturday's hate crime, but also on the left - and widespread in Muslim environments.
Admittedly, on the nicer part of the left, the euphemism “anti-Zionism” and the dislike of Jews is wrapped up into unilateral criticism of the State of Israel, which periodically gets boosted through "Boycott Israel" campaigns and thunderous speeches against Israel by pro-Palestinian demonstrations, but the underlying aversion towards Jews cannot be mistaken.
Examples of the harassment of, and abuse, by resident Muslims against Danish Jews is by now legion, and the evidence of the seriousness of the threat can proportionally be seen by the massive protection of Jewish institutions and, moreover, the fact that Jews who do not hide their religious affiliation are considered “fair game” should they move about in the area of Nørrebro, the so-called inclusive district, where school inspectors nevertheless advise Jewish parents NOT to put their children in municipal schools, since the safety of the children cannot be guaranteed.
But also center-left politicians have revealed a disturbing acceptance of the increasing anti-semitic currents, or have at least exhibited an embarrassing appeasement-attitude towards anti-Jewish behavior: many will thus remember when the then social-liberal mayor of Copenhagen, Anna Mee Allerslev in 2012 agreed with municipal officials who had asked the Danish Zionist Federation not to show the Israeli flag in connection with a diversity festival.
Add to that the politically more diffuse, but no less disgusting Jew hatred that comes to light each time the debate of circumcision emerges: though circumcision of boy children is a widespread practice in Muslim circles and also in e.g. In the United States, it is almost exclusively the Jews who are attacked for circumcising their boys.
It is deeply embarrassing that we in Denmark don’t place more attention to the problem of the increasing hatred of Jews. Admittedly, everyone takes distance from actions like Saturday's harassment and vandalism, but as always, it is ad hoc and new attacks on Danish Jews is very rarely put into the larger and underlying context where it belongs.
Danish Jews themselves bear some of the blame for this: they seem to live by the motto that one’s own freedom and security is best ensured by remaining passive, silent, bending off, or hoping that complaints about being harassed will cause others to take action.
It is a really bad strategy, because it obviously doesn't work. As the above illustrates, in recent years, more, not less, Jew hatred has grown, and it is high time that Danish Jews take a different tack and become more offensive in their claim to be respected as the esteemed part of the population they know they are.
"I miss the fighting Jew" said our great freedom fighter, Jørgen Kieler, about the absence of Jews in the resistance struggle during the occupation, that also had the rescue of Danish Jews across the Sound (to Sweden) as a focal point, and which also thereafter has been conspicuously Jew-free in the fight to preserve their rightful place in our society. Instead prominent Jews have, one after the other, reached out a hand to people who invariably distains it: as when the Mosaic Faith Society in 2009, led by Bent Melchoir, together with the Muslim Joint Council launched a campaign "Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia - Not in our City! ”It was so glaringly naive that it was actually not just stupid, it was a slap in the face of those who are ready to stand for the Jews.
Let this be a call for Danish Jews to change their defensive strategy with one that is more offensive. I will, as always, defend the place of Jews in Danish society, but it would undoubtedly make it easier if a Jew also took ME by the hand and stood with me to defend this right.