Pinchas Goldschmidt, chief Rabbi of Moscow and president of the Conference of European Rabbis, has explained how the Jewish community might react to a possible flare up of antisemitism in Europe.
During an interview with RIA Novosti, when asked if he’s concerned about the prospect of right-wing political party Alternative for Germany gaining more votes during the upcoming elections, Goldschmidt remarked: "The difference between what was going on 100 years ago and what‘s going on today is that, today, the Jews can always leave."
And when the interviewer asked him what Jewish communities might do in case of a rise in antisemitism in Europe, the rabbi replied that they too "can always leave."
"But we will struggle to the last for the safety of the communities, and to maintain religious rights and freedoms," he added.
Goldschmidt also argued that antisemitism “in one form or another” exists everywhere, so what matters are the laws in place and political will to combat it.
In October 2019, Alternative for Germany drew criticism from Jewish leaders and politicians in Germany who slammed the party for allegedly “whipping up the kind of hatred” that fuelled the deadly Halle synagogue shooting at the time, according to AFP.
"The AfD has a great number of views that are hostile to Jews," Felix Klein, federal government commissioner for jewish life in Germany and the fight against antisemitism, told ZDF back then. "For instance, their position that ritual slaughter of animals (for kosher food preparation) should be banned."
He also criticised AfD chief Alexander Gauland who, as AFP notes, expressed “pride” for the actions of German soldiers during WWII.
"If the French are rightly proud of their emperor (Napoleon), and the British of (Admiral Horatio Lord) Nelson and (Prime Minister Winston) Churchill, then we have the right to be proud of the achievements of German soldiers in two world wars," Gauland said in 20017.