Tension keeps rising in Europe during conflict in Middle East


European Union


The German police protects the Jewish synagogue in Düsseldorf, Germany. Photo EPA, Christopher Neundorf

The war in Israel and the Gaza Strip is far away from Europe. However, the conflict causes rising tensions in many European countries.

The synagogue of Malmö in the south of Sweden would celebrate its 120th anniversary this weekend. But the board has postponed the meetings, Dagen reports. Reason: a “not safe” feeling.

There have not been “direct threats”, a spokesperson of the Jewish community says. “But right now, the atmosphere is so tense, that we must think more about security.”

The spokesperson adds they hope the synagogue remains for a while in Malmö so that a postponement won’t do any harm.


It seems odd: Among governments, Israel has almost full support in Europe. But still, Jews and sympathisers with Israel don’t feel safe.

Public broadcasters in several countries receive strong criticism for their “anti-Israel” biased reporting. In Norway, the public broadcaster NRK changed a report after receiving intense criticism from the Jewish community in the country, Vart Land reports. But also, in other countries, broadcasters are under fire. Among the critics, there are many Christians. Quite often, they feel that the legitimate self-defence of Israel is not well-reflected.

One significant error blamed on the media is the misinterpretation that the attack on the Gaza hospital this week came from Israel. Early on Tuesday evening, many news sites wrote that Israel had attacked the civilian target. The next day, it became clear that a Palestinian rocket was more likely. Most media reported this as well. The editor of the Norwegian Christian daily Dagen, Vebjörn Selbekk, wrote that also an “excuse” would be on its place, under the ethical guidelines for the media in the country.

Also in Norway, in the coastal city of Bergen, the Palestinian shop has tripled in turnover. People order demonstration materials, like shawls, flags and stickers. Even T-shirts with the slogan “Boycott Israel” is doing well in the sales, as the newspaper Dagen writes.

The German Catholic Tagespost writes that there have been no less than 202 anti-Semitic incidents in the country after the terrorist invasion by Hamas on October 7th. On most occasions, the state of Israel was “demonised and de-legitimised” in those incidents.

Earlier this week, the synagogue in the Berlin Brunnenstrasse was attacked by two Molotov cocktails, as CNN reported.

The police of the capital city speak about a “religious war in the streets of Berlin”. More than eighty police agents have been wounded in action against pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Glorification of Hamas terror is no exception in the Palestinian communities in Berlin, Idea reports.

In Switzerland, the Christian Democratic group EDU went so far as to start a petition to ban Hamas, as Zukunft-CH reports. In five days, already 10,000 people had signed this petition.


In other countries, there is political debate. The European Parliament supported the right to self-defence for Israel unequivocally on Wednesday. But from the left, there were voices of protest against Israel’s handling of the Palestinian issue.

The same pattern is visible in the member countries.

In the Netherlands, the combined Labour-Green left-wing group regretted the support for a supporting resolution in the Dutch Lower House. The Reformed SGP leader Christ Stoffer had tabled this motion. The new alliance, led by the former EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans, voted for this resolution in the Parliament but apologised for this later, according to Euractiv. “We should have made a different choice here,” they said in a press release.



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