CNN Reports Anti-Semitic Protests in Europe, Notes ‘Blurred’ Lines Between Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Rhetoric

The media coverage of the current Israeli-Hamas conflict has been decidedly anti-Israel, and the lack of reporting on growing anti-Semitism worldwide has only made it more apparent. Surprisingly, on the July 28 edition of At This Hour with Berman and Michaela, the hosts devoted a segment to cover the virulent anti-Semitic protests occurring in Germany, France, and even in the United Kingdom.

Co-host Michaela Pereira led off by lamenting that protests from Paris to Berlin have “turned nasty, targeting all Jews. In Paris, protestors have attacked synagogues, they’ve looted shops owned by Jews, chanting death to the Jews.” Co-anchor John Berman cited an even more horrifying scene from Germany, where some have called for Jews to be killed: [MP3 audio here; video below]

Yeah, and in some of the protests in Germany, there have been people even calling for Jews to be gassed. Clearly, a reference to the Holocaust there.

Berman highlighted an idea that many pro-Israel individuals have recognized: “Some of the lines seem to be getting blurred here” between anti-Israel rhetoric and simple anti-Semitism. CNN London correspondent Max Foster cited reaction from Europe where “there's some particularly nasty language coming out, some violence, and there is a great deal of concern that this could escalate. And it is increasingly a pan-European problem.”

Foster elaborated further on the details of the problem, asserting the reality that much of the increase in anti-Semitism has come from Muslims:

But um, the monitoring group Community Security Trust, they’ve said that the number of anti-Semitic attacks and incidents – verbal or violent – have doubled over the last month. And they’ve noticed the increase in Muslim anti-Semitism. So the attacks are being carried out by people that appear to be Muslim.

Coverage of proliferating anti-Semitism in Europe has ranged from sparse to nonexistent from the major news and cable networks in America. Media omission of this story deprives readers of important context in the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The relevant portion of the transcript is below.

CNN
At This Hour with Berman and Michaela
July 28, 2014
11:23 a.m. Eastern

MICHAELA PEREIRA, host: Concerning sights there, protesters from Paris to Berlin have been marching in the streets against Israel's actions in Gaza. In some cases, those protests have turned nasty, targeting all Jews. In Paris, protesters have attacked synagogues, they’ve looted shops owned by Jews, chanting death to the Jews.

JOHN BERMAN, host: Yeah, and in some of the protests in Germany, there have been people even calling for Jews to be gassed. Clearly, a reference to the Holocaust there.

PEREIRA: German officials are so concerned about this anti-Semitism at these protests, they’ve actually sent a thousand officers to monitor a pro-Gaza demonstration that included anti-Semitic slogans.

BERMAN: Max Foster joins us now from London. You know Max, obviously there is a difference between being anti-Israel or against Israel's actions in Gaza, and being against Jews in totality, but some of the lines seem to be getting blurred here.

MAX FOSTER, CNN London correspondent: They do. I mean – the politicians are desperately trying to balance freedom of speech and criminal behavior. There are acceptable demonstrations, anti-war demonstrations, pro-Palestinian demonstrations taking place. But on the fringes, as you say, there's some particularly nasty language coming out, some violence, and there is a great deal of concern that this could escalate. And it is increasingly a pan-European problem. So last week, we had the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, issuing a joint statement to say they are going to do all they can to combat this anti-Semitism. And just today, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group against anti-Semitism here in the UK, where there have been lots of instances as well, less violent instances, but instance never the less, issued a statement saying it's to our collective shame that anti-Semitic instances have been proliferating throughout the UK and Europe in recent weeks. We must learn some lessons to ensure that the Middle East and the tensions there don’t play into the streets at home.  

PEREIRA: So Max, the question is, we hear these statements, and that is important, but what is actually being done? Anything substantive? Any action being taken?

FOSTER: Well, they are launching an inquiry in the UK, a parliamentary inquiry, and that is due to the complications here because actually finding an incident and nailing it to anti-Semitism can be a problem. But um, the monitoring group Community Security Trust, they’ve said that the number of anti-Semitic attacks and incidents – verbal or violent – have doubled over the last month. And they’ve noticed the increase in Muslim anti-Semitism. So the attacks are being carried out by people that appear to be Muslim. And that's a very worrying trend in the UK. In France, where the incidents are tougher and more violent, they are actually banning demonstrations and that’s causing an issue amongst libertarians who are very concerned that people should be able to demonstrate and now because of anti-Semitism they are not able to.

Connor Williams
Connor Williams
Connor Williams is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.