Monday, July 28, 2014

The New Anti-Semites in the Old Anti-Semitic World

Protest in France on July 13 of this year (VIN)
Having just perused various articles pertaining to the situation in Israel, I noticed that there is little I can comment upon where I haven’t already done so. There is one area however that I haven’t touched upon. The apparent increase in Antisemitism expressed in protests against Israel around the world because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Antisemitism seems to be greatest in France. From an article in JTA
(An) Arab mob of 200 men who had gathered nearby with sticks and stones, setting garbage cans aflame and chanting “Slaughter the Jews.”
Unable to reach the Grand Synagogues of Sarcelles, some of the rioters smashed shop windows in this poor suburb where tens of thousands of Jews live amid many Muslims. They torched two cars and threw a firebomb at a nearby, smaller synagogue, which was only lightly damaged.
It was the ninth synagogue attack in France since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza two weeks ago.  
To their credit the French government has been battling these people. However - feeling that they do not have enough protection, the French  version of Meir Kahane’s Jewish Defense League (LJD) has taken matters into their own hands.  And the Jewish people of France seem to be supporting them.

Although I am generally unsympathetic to Jewish vigilante groups, I am not here to judge them. I am not there and can’t possibly know whether what they are doing is justifiable or not.  (Although nine Shuls being attacked makes me lean in the direction that in their case their actions are justifiable.) But this post isn’t about that. The question for me is whether the Antisemitism going on in France is real.

Are the French people Anti-Semitic? If so, are they representative on most Europeans in that regard? I don’t think the answer is all that simple. Let us examine the facts.

First of all France is part of the old world. One where Antisemitsim thrived in pre Holocaust times. The modern State of Israel actually owes its existence to that. If not for the fact that French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus an innocent Jew accused of treason was nonetheless convicted on flimsy evidence to the cheers of his non Jewish fellow countryman is what gave Theodor Herzl his epiphany about the need to have a Jewish State. He saw that no matter how integrated we were, we would never be fully accepted as equal citizens. That was the birth of modern day Zionism – both religious and secular.

I do not think European Antisemitism is arguable. The history of European behavior toward the Jewish people is a long one that is filled with one tragedy after another - pogrom after pogrom culminating in the Holocaust.  While there has been a great deal of soul searching post Holocaust on the part of most of Europe, for the most part it is still there – even if it is currently in a benign subliminal state.  You cannot get rid of centuries of Jew hatred in one moment of time even after the Holocaust.

But the fact is that the Holocaust did change the behavior if not the underlying hatred. Germany is Israel’s biggest patron. And they currently grant incentives for Jews to immigrate to Germany in an attempt to rebuild the once strong Jewish presence there. France too values its Jewish citizens. And they have tried to quell the anti-Semitic violence currently going on there.

The truth of the matter is that Antisemitism is no longer policy. No government in Europe has any laws that discriminate against the Jewish people. So what gives with all these violent Anti-Semitic protests around the world? They are for the most part not Europeans. They are Muslims who have immigrated into these countries. Especially France where they are becoming an increasingly greater presence there. They are the ones causing these problems. When there is an anti Israel protest anywhere, you will find Muslims and their sympathizers. Sadly some of those sympathizers may even be Jewish.

This is not to say that all Muslims are anti-Semites. Of course they aren’t. But the ones protesting certainly are. To say they have a legitimate perspective on this and are simply expressing an opposing view is the height of absurdity. They see their coreligionists being slaughtered and automatically blame Israel! Anyone with eyes in his head and half a brain can easily see and understand that the fault for all those Palestinians deaths in Gaza is only one entity: Hamas.

But  their prejudice blinds them to the truth.  They see only the ‘gun’.  They should know who is pulling the trigger. It is Hamas and only Hamas. They want to destroy Israel. That is the purpose of the current enterprise. All of their stated grievances would be solved in a moment if they just changed that one goal.

Those protesting have the same goals as Hamas. And they capitalize on the human tragedy by blaming the gun rather than the one pulling the trigger.

I’m glad to see that the French government isn’t buying it. But that doesn’t seem to help the situation as these protest increase in their intensity.

I have no love lost on any European nation. Even if they are sincere in their goals of stopping the violence perpetrated against their Jewish citizens. I don’t know why any Jew would want to live in Europe. Not with its history of atrocities against the Jewish people. I don’t care how good things are there now.  My advice to my Jewish coreligionists in Europe: Get out! You will be much happier in Israel or the US. Let Europe sink into the ground for all I care. They don’t really want us anyway.