Bruce Konviser's Nov. 9 commentary critiques the Wiesenthal Center for exaggerating European anti-Semitism. He is mistaken. A poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League last year in five European countries found that 21% of respondents held strong anti-Semitic views. "For the first time since 1945, I am scared," said Elie Wiesel. In another interview, he elaborated, "Wherever I go ... It's all around me. The fact that in Europe, anti-Semitism has become so vicious, so vocal and acceptable, is a cause of great anguish for me."
Recently, UNESCO and the Wiesenthal Center convened a conference in Paris on the upsurge of anti-Semitism. We met with President Jacques Chirac. He assured us that attacks against Jewish institutions originated in the poorer neighborhoods outside of Paris. But when we left the Elysee Palace to meet with Baron de Rothschild a few blocks away, members of our delegation wearing yarmulkes were assaulted by Frenchmen shouting, "Jews go to Israel."