Inna Rogatchi (C). Breath of Danger. 2023.

My friend from Germany said about her nephew who recently moved with his Jewish kids and wife from the country back to Ukraine where, being under the direct danger of Russian bombs, they are feeling morally better now than in the middle of Europe, in a bitter irony. “I am glad that they moved back, – my friend says. – It is so dangerous there ( in Ukraine) but at least they are not under constant attacks and danger from within, as Jewish kids are here at the moment”.  She and my other friends and relatives in Germany tell me that “people are very concerned and very frightened” there, that the attacks on Jewish properties are serious, many and growing. 

Like many other of our friends in Germany, she is ‘simply traumatised by the images of Mogen David on the doors of the Jewish houses. Never in my worst dream, I could imagine that I would see anything as graphic and as terrible as this in Germany, of all places”, – she says. As it turned out, so many of us obviously did lack this degree of imagination. 

In Berlin, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the synagogue in down-town. In France, the teacher was murdered by an ISIS terrorist, and just a few days after that hideous attack, the entire school was shut down due to the bomb threat. In Cayenne, a huge knife-yelding another Allakh-Akhbar screaming terrorist attacked the synagogue. In Rome, the very well-known to us Jewish school, also very much in the city centre, full of children including small kids, was completely evacuated due to another bomb-threat. In Stockholm, a huge aggressive crowd ignites hate towards Jewish people day after another. In the centre of Helsinki, a smaller, but not less aggressive crowd simply loudly chants Intifada! non-stop, inciting  and threatening, while some people who just happened to be nearby on their own routine, get visibly shaken and sheepishly trying to pass the hate-spot as fast as possible. The members of Jewish communities everywhere in Europe are receiving security updates every few days informing them at which places certain militant marches are planned – and permitted, too, incredibly – with only strong recommendation: not to be nearby those places. This is absurd. 

While some countries do have decency and common sense of standing up to the terrorists and myriads of their supporters, forbidding such manifestations of hate, many other ones are toothless, weak in the name of democracy, and unwilling to stand up to inciters, loud and dangerous supporters of terrorists, blatant racists and haters of Jews.  How on earth can a normal democratic state permit an incitement march to the Embassy of Israel as it has been done in London and as it also done in Helsinki? But while in London at least, there are many articulated, vocal, open, registered, official, for the record political concerns  and serious, real discussions in the UK Parliament regarding ‘the awful treatment of the UK Jewry’, as it goes in the Westminster records, and as we all saw it, in the Finnish parliament is a total, deafening, unchanged  – and unchallenged –  silence on the matter since the beginning of the October massacre of Jewish people in Israel and following escalating of racist hate of Jews inside the country. The parliament is dead-silent while police routinely permit  many intensifying  anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and  anti-Jewish community of Finland demonstrations, marches and inciting manifestations of racism and hate. This is a surreal situation of mounting danger all over Europe and beyond. 

Israeli Embassies had to be evacuated in many countries, even in Argentina, with its huge Jewish community there, due to imminent danger. 

My British non-Jewish colleague has mentioned from the midst of unprecedented danger to Jews in  the UK: “You do not need to be Jewish to be seriously afraid here”.

I never came across this kind of situation of open, intensifying – and unchallenged, unrestricted danger of physical and any other abuse of Jewish people, and actually, not just Jewish ones, all over the world. 

All this, because of what? Due to what? Were there Jews, Israelies, who slit babies throats on peaceful Shabbat and Saturday morning in October, to name just one method of the October 7th massacre which resulted in over 1 400 ( and counting) viciously murdered mainly civilians, over 200 kidnapped, and over 700 missing? This is not to mention a total barbaric destruction in more than 14 different peaceful places in Israel. Were there Jews, Israelis who cut off vaginas on alive women , the victims of their unspeakable massive rapes? 

Jewish people, as citizens of Israel, as citizens of  very many countries world-wide, fell victims of the hideous assault and screaming crimes against humanity in a terrifying proportion. And, as paradoxically as it gets, this unprecedented massacre triggered, in fact, behind the veil of words of some leaders, certainly, not all of those expected, the growing wave of unprecedented and unjustified danger towards Jewish people and those non-Jewish decent ones who support us openly, world-wide. To say that it is a macabre is to say nothing.

This is the feast of an unopposed nastiness. This is a pre-mega-pogrom situation, created by pro-terrorists settled in Europe and elsewhere against an outraging impotence of the authorities and the police in every given country where Jewish people and those who support us are under ongoing assault. Why? How? What for? Aiming what? All those questions are acutely actual now. Never before – if not to cite the late 1930s in Europe – leadership and authorities of so many countries were not so thoroughly paralysed in front of evil.

In these days of grief and anxiety, anxiety and grief, a very good European female poet wrote a short poem. Calm and chilling at the same time. About the last days of sunny autumn, a quiet pretty town in Germany, a nice smell of cinnamon and coffee from a nearby small caffe where one eagerly gets inside in the frantic strive for metaphorical shelter. And getting inside this idyllic milieu, one stares through the window having just one thought: “They did not bomb these railways ( to the camps) then, too”.  This is what we all are thinking about these days. This is exactly what we all are thinking all days long.