Friday, October 01, 2021

Europe’s True Antisemitic Colors

WJC president Ron Lauder (Arutz Sheva)
Why am I not surprised? We have yet another indicator of European anitsemitism. This time it is the EU (European Union). Although Europeans will surely deny it. From Arutz Sheva:

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has denounced an EU (European Union) court decision upholding the banning of religious ritual slaughter (Shechita).

“This is not a matter of animal welfare, but the suppression of religious freedom and liberty,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said.

Indeed. I have not been reticent to express my sincere belief about the innate Antisemitism of the European people. They continue to validate Rashi’s prescient remark: Halacha He – Esav Sonei L’Yaakov. The most prominent interpretation of this comment is that Esav is a euphemism for non Jews and their hatred for the Jewish people is eternal. The EU decision just reinforces that view. 

Many well intentioned people - Orthodox Jews among them – take strong issue with me about that. They say that I paint with too broad a bush. That one cannot blame an entire country for the acts or words of the few. Maybe so. But in this case the ‘few’ represents the many. These are Europe’s leaders. Their antisemitic ruling applies to every European Country under its jurisdiction. Any member country that wishes to ban Shechita can now do so with impunity. 

That said, I will admit that some European countries have been very accepting of their Jewish citizens ever since the Holocaust. Some have even passed laws declaring  public expression of antisemitic comments to be a crime.   

In fact, after one rather deadly antisemitic attack in France a few years ago, the French prime minister even went so far as to say that France without Jews is no France at all! (or words to that effect). That comment was made in a context of a massive exiting of France’s Jewish citizens because of the sharp rise in antsemitism in that country. I believe he meant it. But he is just one European citizen albeit one in a position of power. 

One might argue that since the Holocaust European governments have gone to great lengths to protect their Jewish citizens. This is true. There are many Jews currently living in Germany for example who are doing quite well. The are prospering.  But in my view, that is not because of any grass roots desire. It is because of Germany’s post Holocaust leadership. They  remember all to well what their fathers and grandfathers did to the Jewish people in the 30s and 40s. 

Their sense of guilt is well deserved. They know there is nothing they can do to pay for the Jewish genocide their ancestors were responsible for. Not only the Nazi government of Hitler’s  3rd Reich. But its populace back then. They either supported it or looked the other way. How could a country that - pre-Hitler - treated its Jewish population so well – allowing them to prosper in unprecedented ways - suddenly turn on them so completely? Jews were completely integrated into German society – many even serving proudly in their army before Hitler?  

The answer is that all that acceptance was on  just on the surface. Just beneath that façade of acceptance was a virulent antisemtism they were imbued with by their ancestral followers of Martin Luther, founder of  the Lutheran Church – Germany’s official religion. From Wikipedia:

 Luther expressed antagonistic, violent views towards Jews and called for the burnings of their synagogues and their expulsion.

That kind of generational indoctrination does not go away. Even in a supposedly enlightened,  scientifically advanced society like Germany.  All that was needed was a Hitler to bring it out.

And it was not only Germany. Hitler had willing executioners in every government Germany successfully invaded. Rounding up Jews were commonly facilitated by the civilian populace.

Yes… there are righteous gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews. A lot more than we ever realized. But they were still the exception. Most non Jews easily fulfilled Rashi’s prescient message about ‘Esav’.

That hatred is once again hidden. But there is no reason to believe that hatred has ever left their collective sub-consciousness. That is the way it’s been for the Jewish people ever since they were exiled from their homeland over 2000 years ago. Although there were periods of calm and even great prosperity (such as pre-inquisition Spain and pre-Hitler Germany) things eventually went sideways in a hurry for the Jewish people - suffering great tragedy at the hands of an all too willing Esav. 

Back to the EU ban on Shechita. Their claim is that the ban is not antisemitic  and that they aren’t really banning Shechita. They are just being humane by sparing the animal the pain of slaughter by requiring it to be stunned first. That makes the animal a Triefa (unkosher) before the slaughterer’s knife ever reaches the animals neck. 

I don’t know how anyone else feels about how humane it is being hit over the head with a huge mallet before being killed. But in my view, stunning itself is a cruelty that should be banned. The Jewish people have been slaughtering animals for centuries in the most humane manner possible. A very sharp smooth knife slices the trachea and esophagus of an animal and death is quick.

Thankfully the United States is an exception the Rashi’s comment about Easv. We do not have  anti Shechita laws here. And while their has been an uptick in antisemitic acts, it has been a very small minority of Americans that are involved. In the vast majority of cases, Americans live up to the credo of E Pluribus Unum – from the many one.  

They are either immigrants themselves or descendants of immigrants. The original immigrants - the Puritans - came to this country from their European homeland to escape religious persecution themselves. That is why America’s founding fathers carved religious tolerance into ‘stone’ by way of the First Amendment. And why the United States has no official religion. 

I stand by my belief in the innate antisemitsm of the European people. I fully agree with former Israeli Transport Minister, Yisrael Katz, who in 2019 said,“(Poles) suckle anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.” I agree. Only that – except for all the truly righteous among them (of which there are more than a few) - I extend it to the vast majority of all Europeans.