Volume X1, No. 3,982 • February 9, 2017 • February 10, 2017
Problematic Candidates for France’s Presidency: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2017— The four main candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in France have all taken problematic positions concerning Israel, the country’s Jews, or both.
The French Inquisition: Yves Mamou, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 7, 2017— An important red line in France has just been crossed.
A German Court Rationalizes an Attack on a Synagogue: Joseph Bottum, Weekly Standard, Jan. 26, 2017— On January 13, 2017, a German regional court ruled that a lower court had been correct to find no anti-Semitism in the attempt by a group of Muslim men to burn down a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal.
An Answer to Paris: The ‘Gentile Aliya’ Epidemic: Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 2017— Israel will be facing an unprecedented crisis that will shake its very foundations.
Poisoning Palestinian Minds (Interview With Hillel Heuer): Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2017
British Prime Minister May Calls On Opposition Leader Corbyn to Join Her in Denouncing Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport-Holders: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017
Testing Europe’s Values: Editorial, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2017
Beautiful Friendship: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017
Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2017
The four main candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in France have all taken problematic positions concerning Israel, the country’s Jews, or both. The first round of the elections will take place on April 23. If no candidate obtains the majority, the two candidates with the highest votes will have a run-off in the second round on May 7.
Polls for the past months indicate that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right-wing National Front Party, will pass to the second round. This is a rather safe prediction, as polls show that many of those intending to vote for her are unlikely to change their opinion before the election. Yet, at the same time, polls also indicate that the other candidate who makes it to the second round, whether it is former prime minister Francois Fillon of the right-wing Republican Party, or the independent centrist Emanuel Macron, will easily defeat Le Pen.
Marine Le Pen stresses that her party’s positions have evolved since she has taken charge. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the party, is a notorious Holocaust distorter and antisemite. He has repeatedly called the gas chambers “a detail of history.” Marine Le Pen has distanced herself from him and had him expelled from the party in August 2015. She has also condemned a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and has come out against anti-Israel boycotts. Yet in 2010 she criticized the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Furthermore, in 2012 when calling for a ban on Muslim headscarves in public, she said that kippot should also be included. She repeated that statement this month.
The Jewish community has maintained its long-term negative attitude toward the FN. Then president of the Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, Roger Cukierman, said in 2015 that there was no cause to reproach Le Pen herself. He remarked, however, that “behind her are all the Holocaust-deniers, the Vichy-adherents and the followers of [Nazi collaborator] Petain.” He concluded that the FN “was a party to avoid even if it did not commit violence.”
Fillon, the Republican candidate, is under pressure because the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine published that his wife Penelope has received 900,000 euros over the years as his parliamentary assistant. The claim is that she has done little to justify these payments. A poll showed that the great majority of French do not believe Fillon, who says that she produced value for money. As his support in polls declines, Fillon may well withdraw his candidacy. Fillon attacked Halal and kosher slaughter in 2012. He said that Jews and Muslims must drop their ancestral traditions of slaughter, which are not very relevant nowadays. The Jewish umbrella organization CRIF came out against him on this issue.
Centrist Macron was economics minister from 2012 to 2014 in the Socialist government of prime minister Manuel Valls. He has said that more and more parents send their children to religious schools, which teach them hatred of the [French] republic. He added that they teach mainly in Arabic or elsewhere the Torah without teaching basic knowledge. The large French Jewish Social Organization (FSJU) came out with a press release saying that Macron’s statement was “profoundly offensive, incorrect and a caricature.” Its president, Ariel Goldman, said that “private Jewish education follows the school program established by the national ministry of education.”
The FSJU also pointed out that the growth of enrollment in Jewish schools is the result of the increased antisemitism in public schools. Macron’s staff claimed that his words had been wrongly interpreted. Macron has visited Israel and said afterwards: “In Israel there is a culture of risk, which sometimes has been forgotten in France’s genes. There should be a capacity to revive this taste for risk. Without it we cannot do anything. We should go fast because our country cannot wait.”
The Socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, who defeated Valls in primaries, is in fourth place in the polls. He was, for a short time, education minister and belongs to the extreme Left of the party. Hamon is the most negative candidate as far as Israel is concerned. He has a substantial record of anti-Israel remarks. After the Gaza flotilla, he accused Israel of having caused a bloodbath. He was one of the main instigators of the recognition of the Palestinian state in the French parliament in 2014. Most recently, he expressed his happiness about the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution 2334. There have been several additional anti-Israel statements over the years. Hamon’s position can be summarized as: being anti-Israel is a very good way to recover French Muslim voters lost during the Hollande presidency.
The current Socialist government frequently takes pro-Palestinian positions. It initiated the useless Paris Middle East Peace conference and aggressively condemns building in the territories, including east Jerusalem. From an Israeli viewpoint, a hypothetical president Hamon is far worse than a president Le Pen. Yet the Israeli government avoids contact with the FN party. It does not want to legitimize a far-right movement with fascist origins. From the above, it can also be seen that the candidates’ attitudes toward Israel and toward local Jews are not necessarily parallel. In the long term, this may create a rift between Israel and a portion of France’s Jews. Overall, as said, all candidates are problematic, which reflects the general situation for Jews in France and the attitude of its governments toward Israel.
Gatestone Institute, Feb. 7, 2017
An important red line in France has just been crossed. In true dhimmi fashion, in a move reminiscent of both the Inquisition and the Dreyfus Trial, all of France's so-called "anti-racist" organizations have joined a jihad against free speech and against truth. On January 25, 2017, France's "anti-racist" organizations -- all of them, even the Jewish LICRA (International League against Racism and anti-Semitism) -- joined the Islamist CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia) in court against Georges Bensoussan, a highly regarded Jewish historian of Moroccan extraction, and an expert on the history of Jews in Arab countries. Not only did the Islamist CCIF and the Jewish LICRA unite against him, but also the French Human Rights League, SOS Racism and MRAP (Movement against Racism and for Friendship with People).
Bensoussan is being prosecuted for remarks he made during a "France Culture" radio debate, about antisemitism among French Arabs: "An Algerian sociologist, Smaïn Laacher, with great courage, just said in a documentary aired on Channel 3: It is a shame to deny this taboo, namely that in the Arab families in France, and everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, anti-Semitism is sucked with mother's milk."
The documentary that Bensoussan was referring to was called "Teachers in the Lost Territories of the Republic," and was aired in October 2015, on Channel 3. In this documentary, Laacher, who is a French professor of Algerian origin, said: "Antisemitism is already awash in the domestic space... It... rolls almost naturally off the tongue, awash in the language... It is an insult. When parents shout at their children, when they want to reprimand them, they call them Jews. Yes. All Arab families know this. It is monumental hypocrisy not to see that this anti-Semitism begins as a domestic one."
No complaint was filed against Laacher. But as soon as Bensoussan, in the heat of a radio debate, referred to Arab anti-Semitism as "sucked in with mother's milk", CCIF, followed by all anti-racist associations, brought Bensoussan to supposed justice. Their accusation was simple: "mother's milk" is not a metaphor for cultural anti-Semitism transmitted through education, but a genetic and "essentialist" accusation. It means: "all Arabs are anti-Semitic" -- in other words, Bensoussan is a racist. Professor Smaïn Laacher, of the University of Strasbourg, denied the quote and told the website Mediapart. "I have never said nor written that kind of ignominy". He filed a complaint against Bensoussan, but later withdrew it. Judgment will be rendered March 7.
This witch-hunt against Bensoussan is symptomatic of the state of free speech today in France. With the leading Islamist CCIF stalking "Islamophobia", intellectual intimidation is the rule. Complaints are filed against everyone not saying that Muslims are the main victim of racism in France. In December 2016, Pascal Bruckner, a writer and philosopher, was also brought to court for saying in 2015, on Arte TV, "We need to make the record of collaborators of Charlie Hebdo's murderers". He named people in France who had instilled a climate of hatred against Charlie: the entertainer Guy Bedos, the rap singer Nekfeu, anti-racist organizations like The Indivisibles, or the journalist Rokhaya Diallo and the supremacist movement for "people of color" known as Les Indigènes de la République ("The Indigenous of the Republic").
It was not the first time that Islamists filed complaints against people they dislike. Charlie Hebdo was twice brought to court by Islamist organizations. Twice, the accusations of Charlie's Islamist accusers were dismissed. But with the Bensoussan trial, we are entering in a new era. The most venerable, the most authentic anti-racist organizations -- some of them are older than a century -- are, shamefully, lining up with Islamist organizations.
This tipping point was initiated in the 1980s by with SOS Racism. This organization, founded to organize young Muslims and help them to assimilate into French society rapidly, became a political movement, manipulated by the Socialist Party. SOS Racism and its slogan, "Don't hurt my buddy", rapidly became a new direction to the working class. With the working class attracted by the far-right party Front National, the Socialist party needed a new "clientele". They chose Muslims, especially young Muslims, as the new revolutionary labor class. It did not matter that most of them were unemployed: they were "victims"...
[To Read the full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Weekly Standard, Jan. 26, 2017
On January 13, 2017, a German regional court ruled that a lower court had been correct to find no anti-Semitism in the attempt by a group of Muslim men to burn down a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal. The failed firebombing attack had occurred in 2014, during the Israeli conflict with Hamas in Gaza. In 2015 the lower court found that the men had intended their actions as a protest against Israel—with the result that the adults in the group deserved to have their sentences suspended, freeing them from jail time. And now, after review by a superior court, the German legal system has affirmed that German synagogues are legitimate targets of protest against Israel.
Remember this moment, for the German courts have exposed the mechanism by which opposition to Israel proves indistinguishable from opposition to Jews. Perhaps at one point, a distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was notionally possible. But those days have been gone for many years, lost in the mists. And now, even the attempt to make the distinction becomes a way of insisting on a Jewish difference. "Anti-Zionism is the new dressing for the old passion of anti-Semitism," as the French writer Bernard-Henri Lévy tried to tell a New York audience on January 11—and it is perhaps worth noting that the synagogue in Wuppertal was built on the site of a previous synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis on Kristallnacht in 1938.
To see the logic at play, suppose that three white men had attacked a traditionally black church in Birmingham, Alabama, scrawling graffiti and trying to set the church on fire. Caught and convicted, they were sentenced to a year in jail—with the jail time suspended. Yes, the judge explained, they had been unlawfully violent and thus deserved to be convicted. But he suspended their sentences because their purpose in attacking the African-American church had not been to harm Americans but to protest the failure of the Nigerian government to halt the kidnapping of schoolgirls by the radical African militia Boko Haram.
Or suppose something similar, but this time in Manila. After a court in the Philippines convicted several citizens of defacing a local mosque, the judge suspended their sentences—on the grounds that, however illegally they had behaved, they were engaged in legitimate political protest over the oppression of Christian guest workers by the Islamic government in Saudi Arabia. And then suppose that three men in Germany were arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue. After their conviction, however, their sentences were suspended—again on the grounds that their admittedly illegal violence was motivated by a desire not to hurt German Jews but by a legitimate wish to protest the policies and actions of the foreign state of Israel. They were, as the court explained, trying to draw "attention to the Gaza conflict" and so had not been motivated by anti-Semitism.
Only the last of these three events is true, of course. But more to the point, only the last is even imaginable. Black citizens of the United States are never taken as symbolic representatives of African governments. For that matter, imagine the outcry if a judge condoned violence against the places of worship of native citizens who happened to be Muslim—because a distant government was doing something objectionable. And then we have the Jews. If trying to set fire to a local synagogue is merely a criticism of Israel, then every Jewish house of worship is a symbolic embassy of a foreign power: a stand-in for the nation-state of Israel. And Germans prove not to be Germans when they attend a synagogue. The salient fact is instead that they are Jews.
Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 2017
Israel will be facing an unprecedented crisis that will shake its very foundations. No, it won’t be caused by the recent Paris Conference or other forms of blatant antisemitism that are overtaking Europe. It’s much worse than that. World leaders are completely oblivious to it, and even the Israeli government has no clue. Israel will soon have to expand its borders far beyond its wildest dreams – not for the benefit of the Jews, but at the request of millions of Europeans, and possibly many other gentiles who will wish to come on aliya.
As Europe is disintegrating before our very eyes, it’s only a matter of time before more and more Europeans will be seeking safer havens. And where else would they want to go but Israel? It is obvious that such emigration is drawing near. Since the Holocaust, Europe has been going downhill. It allowed the murder of six million Jews, thereby destroying many of its most dedicated citizens, a large part of its culture and some of its most gifted physicians, scientists, artists, thinkers and business people who contributed to its flourishing culture as well as to its domestic and international trade. Millions of its gentile inhabitants were wiped out as well, and what remained was an impoverished and miserable continent. There is merit to the claim made by some that Europe died in Auschwitz.
In its attempt to rebuild itself, Europe worked hard to revive its economy and reinvent its culture. It tried to turn the tide and remove from its midst any form of racist ideology. To accomplish this, it had to become multicultural and put nearly no limits on its immigration quota. With noble intentions, Europeans have accepted many emigrants from war-torn and impoverished countries, thus unwittingly allowing Islamic State (ISIS) and other radical organizations to settle in their cities and organize terrorist attacks with the clear goal of bringing Europe to its knees. Motivated by panic and fear of retaliation, European leaders have lost all sense of proportion and are now doomed to pay the price.
Paris suffered a series of terrorist attacks in November 2015, Amsterdam and London will soon face their own onslaughts, and no European will be able to walk the streets safely. Just over a year ago, Brussels shut down its metro system, shops and schools, warning people to avoid crowds because of a “serious and imminent threat of coordinated, multiple attacks by terrorists.” Five months later, in April 2016, its airport and a metro station were targeted in three coordinated bomb attacks. Clubs, cafes and restaurants closed their doors. It won’t be long before we see large army battalions walking through every major city in Europe, followed by the shutting down of airports and other major public venues.
Eventually, all normal life will be disrupted, and societies will no longer be able to function. The United States did not learn its lesson from 9/11 and has paved the way for the Iranian nuclear bomb. Only several days before the Paris attacks, president Barack Obama informed the world that ISIS was contained, if not totally defeated. The most astonishing fact is that the Israeli government has been alerting the world for years that this would happen. It warned that if terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and others in the Middle East were not completely neutralized, their lethal intentions would be carried out in Europe and the United States, after which they would spread their deadly tentacles to all corners of the earth.
But instead of heeding these words, many world leaders have decided that the only way to stop the terrorists is for Israel to cease building a few housing projects in Judea and Samaria. Were it not so tragic, with catastrophic consequences, it would be laughable. These leaders refuse to admit that the Palestinians would have had their state years ago had they simply stopped indoctrinating their children with hate against Jews and accepted the tiny, peaceful State of Israel that dwells in their midst. On top of that, Europe has decided to boycott Israeli products coming from what it refers to as “the occupied territories.” Fooling themselves into believing that this is the solution to all the devastatingly lethal global problems, they use it as a pretext to cover up their own horrendous mistakes, and it has now become standard procedure. It doesn’t seem to bother the Europeans in the least that their boycotts harm the Palestinians working in the West Bank more than they harm the Israelis.
Europe continues to live in peace by tranquilizing itself – this time, by hiding behind the Paris conference. Out of a desperate need to deny the truth, it has utterly misconstrued the nature of its enemies and has by now exposed its countries to dangers so deadly that it will be impossible to stop them by any means. Unfortunately, Europe will not fight back, no matter how many times they announce their intentions to create a so-called “global front.” Everyone knows that once things calm down – nothing more than a tactic on the terrorists’ part – they will decide that no further action is necessary and will return to their former comatose state, only to be awakened when disastrous events, much greater than the ones they have experienced until now, suddenly befall them, shocking their leaders and overwhelming all of them by causing heavy casualties.
When that happens, Europeans will throw up their hands in despair and look for an alternative place to live. They will come to the conclusion that of all the Western countries in the world, only in Israel will they find the tranquility they desperately desire. The reason is obvious: Israel is the only country possessing the combination of know-how and willingness to fight its enemies head-on and is prepared, if necessary, to go all the way. Precisely because of Israel’s long and ongoing experience with terrorism, there is a smooth-running synergy between its citizens and security forces when terrorists strike. With rare exceptions, people maintain equilibrium under immense pressure. For this reason, Israel is safer than many other countries.
And so, to everyone’s surprise, Israel will be the destination. As when an epidemic strikes, people will want to pack their bags and move here. But this will require a major shift in the European attitude toward Jews. Instead of hating us, Europeans will investigate their lineage and by hook or crook will suddenly “find” that they are actually of Jewish descent, as in the case of the many anusim (conversos) today in Spain and Portugal. Millions will apply to Israeli embassies and claim that on the basis of the Law of Return they have a right to live in Israel. Even committed antisemites will “discover” their Jewish ancestry, and an entire black market of Jewish pedigree documents will appear…Paris can make its recommendations, or even try to force Israel into an impossible settlement policy. But when many of its own citizens and others Europeans will actually arrive in Israel, they will ask for more Israeli land on which to build their future. The world will be shocked, the Jews will smile and the Israeli gentiles, fighting to prove that they are Jewish, will laugh with delight.
Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a CIJR Academic Fellow
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Poisoning Palestinian Minds (Interview With Hillel Heuer): Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2017—UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer on how a rogue U.N. agency turns a blind eye to terror.
British Prime Minister May Calls On Opposition Leader Corbyn to Join Her in Denouncing Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport-Holders: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017—British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Wednesday on Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to join her in denouncing the discrimination displayed by some Muslim-majority countries against Israeli passport-holders.
Testing Europe’s Values: Editorial, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2017—When the European Union and Turkey reached a deal last year to lessen the flow of refugees into Greece, the priority was on defending borders, not the humanitarian crisis. Sadly, that remains Europe’s priority as it turns its attention to halting the flow of people from Libya to Italy.
Beautiful Friendship: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017—Less than a week after he was inaugurated into office, President Donald Trump announced that he had repaired the US’s fractured ties with Israel. “It got repaired as soon as I took the oath of office,” he said. Not only does Israel now enjoy warm relations with the White House. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in the US capital next week, he will be greeted by the most supportive political climate Israel has ever seen in Washington.
Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)
Prof. Harold Waller (McGill University)
Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman (Department of Religion, Concordia University)
Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)
Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)