We read a lot of reports about the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe – to the point that, after the deadly attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, Netanyahu called for Jews to leave the continent. But is Europe really becoming more inhospitable for Jews? The issue is far too complex to be answered with a mere Yes or No. However there’s one thing we can be pretty sure about: Europe is not a country. It’s not a single entity. The situation in France and Sweden is very worrying, while in the UK or Italy Jews are doing relatively fine, and there are other places that could be categorized as “in betweens”. So you cannot put all European Jews in the same box.
Speaking of “European Jews” and “European anti-Semitism” is misleading – and a bit paternalistic perhaps, just like it’s paternalistic to speak of “Africa” as if it were a single entity. Have you have heard of the website africasacountry.com, by the way? If you haven’t ever checked it out, please do. It’s run by a team of young African writers committed to challenging the stereotypes about Africa in Western media. In times like these, I wonder if we need a “Europe is not a country” site as well. Or at least a “Jewish Europe is not a country” webpage.
*Anna Momigliano is an Italian journalist currently based in Milan.