In Geneva, Michel Dreifuss reflects on the recent Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli bombardment of Gaza, feeling the impact even from afar. The repercussions of these events are reaching Europe, challenging assumptions about personal safety, particularly for Jewish individuals.
At a rally marking a month since the Hamas attacks, 64-year-old retired tech worker Dreifuss shared his recent purchase of a tear-gas spray canister from a military surplus store as a precaution due to the surge in antisemitism across Europe.
The recent killing of approximately 1,200 people in Israel by armed Palestinian militants, marking one of the most significant acts of violence against Jews since the Holocaust, has triggered a ripple effect reaching Europe. The intense military response from Israel, resulting in the reported deaths of at least 13,300 Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, has exacerbated tensions on the continent, which has a long history of grappling with anti-Jewish sentiments and hatred.
The heightened concern about rising antisemitism in Europe is deeply rooted in the traumatic experiences of Jews before and during World War II. This historical backdrop adds an extra layer of fear for individuals who may be only one or two generations removed from those who suffered during the Holocaust and other acts of persecution against Jews.