Destinations Magazine

Fear of a New Darkness

By Stizzard
Fear of a new darkness

THE crowds sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” at memorial rallies for victims of the weekend shootings in Copenhagen. The anti-religion anthem was an odd choice to express solidarity with Denmark’s Jews, but their leaders were not about to quibble with tens of thousands of Danes offering tearful support. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister, proclaimed that “an attack on the Jews of Denmark is an attack on Denmark”—the sort of emphatic language European Jews wanted to hear. A day earlier Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, had offered a different but equally emphatic take. “Jews have been murdered again on European soil,” he said, adding that “Israel is your home.”

European leaders, and most European Jews, were incensed. Speaking at a French Jewish cemetery desecrated a day after the shootings, President François Hollande rejected Mr Netanyahu’s implication that Jews do not belong in Europe. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, urged them to stay: “A Jew who leaves France is a part of France that is gone.” In Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain and Germany, Jewish leaders said governments should guarantee Jews’ safety wherever they…

The Economist: Europe

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