Charlemagne: Of guns and ballot boxes

FOR many Jews, it was a weekend of double horror in Brussels. On May 24th a gunman entered the Jewish Museum in the Sablon and opened fire with a Kalashnikov, killing four people. The next day, the first results of the European elections flashed up on a giant screen showing that far-right parties, including avowed neo-Nazis, had scored big electoral victories.To some, the events seemed connected: Europe was reverting to ugly old ideologies and the shooting was proof, if it were needed, that Europe is no longer safe for Jews. Israeli leaders said the killings were the result of “constant incitement” against the Jewish state. An American journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, caused a stir with a tweet: “At what point do the Jews of America and the Jews of Israel tell the Jews of Europe that it might be time to get out?”To many European Jews, the idea is preposterous. Yet thoughts of leaving are not far below the surface. Returning to the Promised Land is at the heart of Jewish tradition and modern Zionism. A survey last year by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency showed that nearly a third of Jews had considered leaving in the previous five years because they did…

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