As the world finds itself in the midst of a spike in anti-Semitism, two more shocking stories of Jew hate from opposite corners of the world are making Jewish people feel increasingly under threat, no matter where they live.
On Friday, a political storm erupted in Turkey as a high-profile politician, the governor of the city of Edirne, announced that a synagogue being renovated in the city would be turned into a museum in “revenge” for Israel’s “actions” during Arab riots at the Al Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
The Al Aqsa fiasco, which has been cynically used by the Palestinians and other Arab states to provoke a kind of religious war against Israel, saw Israeli Police attempting to control gangs of rioters who had holed themselves up within the Mosque and were provoking violence there.
The Arabs saw this as a provocation against their sensitivities, mainly due to the fact that Muslims do not allow Jews, in their own homeland, to pray on the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported that the Turkish governor, Dursun Şahin, responded to Israel’s attempts to control rioters, saying, “When those bandits blow winds of war inside al-Aqsa and slain Muslims, we build their synagogues.”
The Turkish governor revealed his true colors when he admitted, openly and without shame, that his comments were based purely on “hatred.”
“I say this with a huge hatred inside me. We clean their graveyards, send their projects to boards. The synagogue here will be registered only as a museum, and there will be no exhibition inside it.”
In the meantime, an even more shocking incident occurred in Auckland, New Zealand, of all places, where a 4-year-old Jewish boy was attacked by an Arab man in front of his mother and brother as he walked home from kindergarten,.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, the boy was left traumatized after being attacked by a man who hit him hard on the top of his head because he wore a yarmulka (skull cap) in an upscale Auckland suburb of Mt. Eden.
The paper cited New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman as saying the attacker was a man in his 20s of Middle Eastern appearance, and the man reportedly laughed as he left the scene with four other Arab looking men.
Goodman said he believed the anti-Semitic hate crime on a defenseless boy would come as a shock to many New Zealanders.
“A small Jewish community has lived here, well integrated, contributing to the wider society, and in exceptional peace since the earliest days of New Zealand’s settlement. It’s really very worrying that it seems to have elevated things one level higher. This behavior is so totally unacceptable and intolerable in New Zealand,” he said.
It seems that despite the numerous terror attacks and rockets suffered by Israelis on a daily basis, Israel remains the safest place in the world for Jewish people to live as they are protected by a strong army and police force.
While the Jews of Turkey and New Zealand find themselves under threat, the latest incidents of anti-Semitism underscore the increased hatred faced by Jews around the world.