The Jewish community of Antwerp (Belgium) has released CCTV footage of an attempted car ramming incident on an Orthodox Jewish family Saturday morning.
A Jewish father and his son were on their way to the local synagogue when they suddenly had to jump out of harm’s way because a car was coming directly at them. (Note: the two were walking on the sidewalk.) Here’s the footage:
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) February 3, 2018
Police have arrested the driver. According to Israeli public broadcaster Kan News, the driver is of Muslim origin. He was tracked down through the footage of the license plate and is to be arraigned today on the charge of attempted manslaughter.
Sadly, this is one of many recent examples of increased antisemitism in Western Europe over the last few years — and especially the last few months. In September of last year, for instance, a Jewish man was assaulted in Antwerp by a “local youth” who called him every anti-Jewish slur in the dictionary. The attacker had converted to Islam recently and was arrested with the help of onlookers.
In January of this year in Paris, two young Jewish citizens were attacked by Muslim haters as well. In the first attack, the victim was an 8-year-old Jewish boy. He was beaten up because of his ethnicity and religion. The second victim was a 15-year-old Jewish girl. She was stabbed in the face. The only reason for the attack was her being Jewish. Her attackers identified her as such because of the school uniform she wore.
The situation has become so grave in France that Prime Minister Philippe felt forced to come out publicly and denounce “a new form of brutal and violent antisemitism.”
Speaking at France’s Parliament, he added: “To fight against racism and antisemitism, it is obvious to have the courage to name these things. The courage to affirm, to recognize that, yes, a new form of brutal and violent antisemitism is expressing itself more and more openly on our territory.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has also spoken out against these attacks. He did so on Twitter, writing: “Each time a citizen is attacked because of his age, his appearance or his religion, it is the entire republic that is attacked. And it is the entire republic that stands alongside French Jews to fight with them against each of these unjust acts.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center director for international relations Dr. Shimon Samuels explained in an interview with Radio France International recently that “there are almost daily incidents of antisemitism” nowadays, “especially in the Paris suburbs where there are high-density communities of French-born youth of North African origin living cheek by jowl alongside smaller Jewish neighborhoods.” He went on to say: “Turned on by Jew-hating Internet sites, social media and radical ‘imams,’ they play out a Middle Eastern scenario of ‘Palestinians and Israelis’ transplanted to France.”
Even the supposed tolerant city of Amsterdam is struggling with this new wave of antisemitism. In December of last year, for instance, a Palestinian immigrant attacked a Jewish restaurant while shouting “Allahu Akhbar.” In the same city and in the same year, a Jewish hospice was vandalized.