I left Paris 28 years ago and decided to make America my home. Back then; the dream of being successful, respected and appreciated in the “Land of Opportunity” was a major reason why I left my “Old Europe” behind.
All these crimes were committed by “devout” Muslims, and while it must be re-iterated that NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE JEW KILLERS, the last 9 deaths of Jewish people in France were all at the hands of radical Muslims.
So, what can the United-States learn from the state of Antisemitism in Europe? As I see it, there are only three options: Ignore, move-out, or fight back!
1. Can we IGNORE Antisemitism?
This question obviously begs for only one kind of answer: NO! Yet when we look around and witness the reactions of the media, government agencies and political figures, one is to wonder how much the world really cares about the monster of Judeophobia.
French President Jacques Chirac in an interview with the New York Times in 2002 said:
“To imagine that France, the very first country to recognize the rights of Jews, could be Antisemitic, is propaganda, not reality”
What color was the sky in your world Mr. Chirac? Well, to be fair, I must also mention that Mr. Chirac within a year after that statement, felt like adding that: “Attacking a Jew in France is an attack on all of France”. Wow, quite a different statement from someone who one year prior declared that Antisemitism didn’t exist in his country!
Nicolas Sarkozy has done very little to combat “La Nouvelle Judeophobie” as French author Pierre-André Taguieff calls it. His relations with Netanyahu took a turn for the worse when he was recorded calling him a liar in a conversation he had with President Obama.
As for François Hollande, he has the remainder of his 5 year mandate to “put his money where his mouth is”, so to speak. As Europe continues to ostracize Jews in Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary and Spain to list just a few European countries, France, far from being immune to the “oldest hatred” is going to have to realize that antisemitism CANNOT BE IGNORED.
As for us in the United-States, it is time we stop pointing the finger across the ocean to denigrate “those antisemites” on the other side, because we have plenty of work to do in our own backyard.
Campus antisemitism is on the rise all across the country and remains basically unchallenged if not encouraged in some cases by school officials and the media.
Muslim enclaves such as the Dearborn, Michigan are promoting hate and violence against Jews (and Christians for that matter). It has now become dangerous to walk some areas of Dearborn if you are Jewish, Christian or even slightly pro-Israel.
As much as we try to define and re-define the commonalities and differences between Antisemitism, anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism, we need to accept that they are all rooted in a hatred for the worldwide Jew whoever he/she might be, wherever he/she might live, and whatever he/she might have done. The Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement is a perfect symptom of that chronic disease. SIMPLY PUT, WE CANNOT IGNORE ANTISEMITISM.
2. Should Natives MOVE OUT Because of Antisemitism?
Great Britain has one of the most virulent Muslim communities in Western Europe. Muslim leaders such as Anjem Choudary who was behind the organization known as “sharia4UK”are very vocal proponents of Sharia implementation. Choudary has publicly proclaimed that sharia in the UK and the US is inevitable, but only a matter of time:
“I am 100 percent certain that the sharia will be implemented in America and in Britain one day. The question is, ‘when?’ and how it will come to fruition.”2
3. Should We Fight Against Antisemitism?
I have come to the very sad realization that most people don’t bother fighting against Antisemitism. It is too often ignored for lack of understanding or even worse, because of of a chronically apathetic condition of our postmodern society.
While I frankly believe that the last 2000 years should serve as our teacher, if antisemitism still need to be defined, it is our responsibility to do so. But defining is only the first step, because once we have identified the problem and its source(s), it is incumbent on us to develop the tools and platforms to fight Antisemitism.
Various organizations have sprung up in the last few decades in Europe to keep track, report and fight Antisemitism. Their work is tedious and emotionally draining, yet critical. They keep us all abreast of what is happening.
We should also be aware of the history of the Jewish people through the lens of Antisemitism and I could recommend the reading of one book to start, and that is the superb work by Catholic priest Edward Flannery dated back to 1965 “The Anguish of the Jews”. 3
Additionally, we should speak up when we witness either words or deeds against the Jewish people. It should concern us as much as it concerns them. Reporting to the authorities is also necessary even if we feel that little might be done. IF WE DON’T SPEAK UP, WHO WILL?
Europe should serve as a barometer for Antisemitism. We Americans can no longer ignore the gravity of the situation or try to convince themselves that it is Europe’s problem not ours. We cannot ignore or move-out, and we must fight back!
In a few days on the 14th of Adar (Feb 24, 2013), Jewish people around the world will celebrate the Feast of Purim and remember how a loving and just God protected the children of Israel against the enemy Persian Empire. The Book of Esther will be read in synagogues and we will be reminded that Esther was brave enough to speak up on behalf of her people.
It doesn’t matter if you are Jewish or not, but as you realize that the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people is at stake, you must do your part and speak up. After all it isn’t just the welfare of the Jewish people that is in danger but also the welfare of western civilization as a whole. I would like to believe that in preserving western civilization, we also carve a place of respect for those of Muslim upbringing who want to live with us in harmony. Anything less would be unbiblical.
2. Anjem Choudary on CBN News World: UK Islamist Leader:Islam will dominate America (Aug. 2012) http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2012/August/UK-Islamist-Leader-Islam-Will-Dominate-America/.
3. Flannery, Edward: The Anguish of the Jews: 23 Centuries of Christian Antisemitism (Quest Books, 1965)