European Jewish Congress President, Dr Moshe Kantor, has warned European leaders of a "tsunami of hate" in Europe if unrest escalated in the Middle East.
Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Dr Kantor discussed "the slippery slope" of increasing antisemitism which European officials should be prepared to face. He warned leaders that growing turmoil in the Middle East and, more specifically, an attack on Iran's illegal nuclear programme, may trigger heightened global antisemitism.
"The Middle East conflict has been imported into Europe and serves as an excuse for antisemitic attacks against the Jewish citizens of Europe", he said. He made the comments at an event at Tel Aviv University marking the publication of a report into global antisemitism. According to the research, conducted every year, while numbers of attacks fell in the last year, they were more violent than in previous years.
Dr Kantor supported his argument with findings which reported that recently Europe has seen a decrease in overall antisemitic incidents, but a rise in violence towards Jews. Dr Kantor used recent examples of European antisemitism to make his point, such as the shooting of Jews in Toulouse and the recent anti-Israel poem published by German Gunter Grass.
European Jewish communities and government officials, he suggested, could implement preventative measures; such as security enforcements, education programmes and legislative developments.