European Jewish Group Fears Israel-Iran Backlash

The head of a major European Jewish group warned Wednesday of a “dramatic increase” in anti-Semitic violence across the continent if Israel attacks Iran to stop its nuclear development program.

The US and its allies suspect that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon — a charge that Tehran denies. Israel views a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its very existence, and claiming that time is running out, has repeatedly hinted that it is prepared to strike Iran’s nuclear installations if necessary.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said he feared a minority of angry, extremist European Muslims who live in impoverished neighborhoods might use an Israeli attack as a pretext to hit local Jews, particularly in France and Great Britain.

“If Israel attacks Iran, it will be a dramatic increase of anti-Semitic, very violent attacks against Jews,” Kantor said. “And the vehicle for the realization of the attacks will be these enclave communities, where the level of hatred is very high and they are prepared to attack enemies inside their countries,” he said.


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