Holocaust Remembrance Day; EU Must Get Tough on Anti-Semitism

Thursday's Editorial - January 28, 2016


1. What is the main idea of Mr. Kantor's commentary?

2. The purpose of an editorial/commentary is to explain, persuade, warn, criticize, entertain, praise, exhort or answer. What do you think is the purpose of this commentary? Explain your answer.

3. Read the "Background" below and check out some of the websites under "Resources." London’s Daily Telegraph reported:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has marked Holocaust Memorial Day by publishing a Holocaust denying video on his official website.

While nations around the world remembered the millions of people who were killed in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, Iran’s hardline leader questioned whether the Holocaust “is a reality or not.”

Khamenei's message comes as President Hassan Rouhani tours Italy and France, attempting to drum up trade and diplomatic links after his country signed a historic deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.

This week, the Jerusalem Post reported:

Jews across Germany are hiding their identity when volunteering at refugee shelters for fear of reprisals.

When Judith G., a 33-year-old optician who asked not to be fully named, helped out at a refugee center near Frankfurt, Germany last October and identified herself as Jewish, she was spat on and insulted.

Muslim leaders say nearly all asylum seekers are trying to escape conflict, not stir it up. Nevertheless, Jews across Germany are hiding their identity when volunteering at refugee shelters for fear of reprisals, adding another layer of complexity to a social, economic and logistical challenge that is stretching the fabric of German society.

"Among the refugees, there are a great many people who grew up with hostility towards Israel and conflate these prejudices with hatred towards Jews in general," Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews, told Reuters in an interview conducted in October.

Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed last week that anti-Semitic attitudes among some young people arriving from countries where "hatred towards Israel and Jews is commonplace" needed to be dealt with.

What type of response do you think German leaders (and all European leaders) should have to a refugee who commits any type of assault or aggression against a Jewish person because he/she is Jewish? What laws should be put in place for addressing anti-Semitism?