Europe Begins to Appreciate the Reality of Islamic Terrorism: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 28, 2017— Until recently, most European governments avoided confronting the reality and true nature of Islamic terrorism.
Anti-Semitism in Europe: New Official Report: Bruce Bawer, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 25, 2017— To some of us, it is hardly a secret that anti-Semitic violence is on the rise in Europe, or that the chief perpetrators are Muslims.
Antisemitism in US Superseded by 400-Year-Old Civic Foundations: Yoram Ettinger, Algemeiner, Aug. 30, 2017 — Contrary to European antisemitism, the recent episodes of antisemitism in the US — such as hundreds of white supremacists bearing torches and giving the Nazi salute — represent a negligible American minority, religiously, socially, ethnically and politically.
The Basel Congress’ Unexpected Result, 120 Years Later: Judea Pearl, Jewish Chronicle, Aug 30, 2017— One hundred and twenty years ago, on Sept. 3, 1897, a Viennese journalist named Theodor Herzl wrote in his diary: “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.”
Anti-Semitism is an Integral Part of European Culture: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 6, 2017
Merkel's Historic Folly: Daniel Pipes, Achse des Guten, Aug. 22, 2017
Sarah Halimi: Beaten, Tortured and Killed — Yet France Turned a Blind Eye: Michel Gurfinkiel, Jewish Chronicle, Aug. 24, 2017
Undone Dunkirk: John Podhoretz, Weekly Standard, Aug 07, 2017
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 28, 2017
Until recently, most European governments avoided confronting the reality and true nature of Islamic terrorism. The usual government response after each terrorist incident was to appease Muslim constituents by playing down the fact that it was inspired by Islamic fanatics and repeatedly chanting the mantra that “Islam is a religion of peace.”
Although all religions include both peaceful and aggressive components, an attempt to portray the dominant features of Islam today as peaceful is simply denial. While most Muslims living outside Islamic-controlled nations are lawful citizens, a significant proportion endorse the terrorist cause and only a handful pay lip service to condemn and distance themselves from the radicals. Genuinely moderate Muslims require great courage as they are not merely treated as pariahs but frequently face violent reprisals from their own kinsmen.
For many years, Muslims in Europe have resided in self-imposed ghettos where, in many cases, they have become a law unto themselves and police are fearful to intervene. Prior to the current mass migration, all efforts to integrate them had failed. Indeed, a good proportion of indigenous Muslim terrorists were second-generation offspring radicalized by local imams, many of whom, far from being impoverished, were educated and had decent jobs.
The problem escalated when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, in what many considered was a symbolic atonement displaying Germany’s remorse for the Holocaust, provided a haven and virtually unlimited entry to millions of Syrian and North African refugees. This backfired because the clear majority were more radical, anti-democratic and antisemitic than the existing Muslim communities. In addition, those who were rejected asylum were, in the vast majority of cases, never deported, which encouraged Islamists and economic migrants to come in ever-increasing numbers. Many with terrorist records operated freely. For example, Abdelbaki Essati, the imam who orchestrated the Barcelona and surrounding area attacks, had previously been convicted of terrorism and drug dealing. Yet an order for his expulsion was overturned by a judge in 2015 and he freely pursued his terrorist objectives.
Not only are massive numbers of Muslims pouring into Europe, but their birth rates are considerably higher than those of the host population and threaten to alter the demography of Europe. Now with Islamic State virtually defeated on the ground, the situation is likely to deteriorate further. The organization can be expected to intensify efforts to send large numbers of its murderous disciples, initially as sleeper cells, to await orders to perpetrate acts of terrorism in Western cities.
Aside from suffering terrorist incidents, many Western Europeans have been shocked at the extent to which their quality of life has been undermined by these refugees. Violent crime, rape and theft abound, especially in Germany, France, the Benelux countries and the UK. Yet, every effort has been made to understate the fact that this crime wave emanates overwhelmingly from the “refugees” and pressure has been exerted to prevent public discussion of the issue. Anyone criticizing practices in Islamic states, whether the oppression of women, execution of homosexuals, stoning of adulterers, honor killings, child marriages or female genital mutilation will immediately be accused of Islamophobia. The same applies to those condemning the behavior of local Muslims. The far Left, which claims to champion human rights but which has paradoxically allied itself with the Islamists, refuses to acknowledge and condemn their barbaric practices.
Muslims in Europe now represent a formidable force and have become politically influential in many key electorates, pressuring their representatives to promote their interests and frequently promoting Sharia law. Needless to say, the intensified epidemic of terrorism has finally obliged Europeans and the West overall to confront the fact that they are now on the front lines facing barbaric Islamic militancy. Until now, they criticized Israel for defending itself and fawned over terrorist leaders Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, even giving the former standing ovations at the United Nations.
It may now be dawning on them that as Europeans, they too must fight to retain the civilization they nurtured and that Israel is justified in its self-defense. Indeed, the wave of terrorism currently pervading Europe is an extension of the Palestinian terrorism against Israel, understated by most Europeans and referred to as “resistance.” They are now beginning to recognize that the threat from militant Islamic fundamentalism is a far greater danger to their way of life and even their survival than other sources of tension such as Russia, whose territorial ambitions cannot compare to Islamic extremism seeking global domination and threatening to undermine humanity…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Gatestone Institute, Aug. 25, 2017
To some of us, it is hardly a secret that anti-Semitic violence is on the rise in Europe, or that the chief perpetrators are Muslims. But many politicians and news media have been so indefatigable in their efforts to obscure this uncomfortable fact that one is always grateful for official — or, at least, semi-official — confirmation of what everyone already knows.
It is a pleasure, then, to report that a new study, Antisemitic Violence in Europe, 2005-2015 — written by Johannes Due Enstad of the Oslo-based Center for Studies of the Holocaust and the University of Oslo, and jointly published by both institutions — is refreshingly, even startlingly, honest about its subject. Enstad notes that while anti-Semitic violence has declined in the U.S. since 1994, it has been on the rise worldwide. That, of course, includes Europe — most of it, anyway.
Examining statistics from France, Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Russia, Enstad points out that one of these seven countries "clearly stands out with a very low number" of anti-Semitic incidents despite its "relatively large Jewish population"; the country in question, he adds, "is also the only case in which there is little to indicate that Jews avoid displaying their identity in public." In addition, it is the only one of the six countries in which the majority of perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence are not Muslims. Which country is Enstad referring to? Russia.
That Russia is relatively free of anti-Semitic violence may sound surprising to anyone familiar with the words Cossack and refusenik, but it actually makes sense. Would-be Jew-bashers in Russia know that if they're arrested for committing acts of violence, the consequences won't be pretty. In western Europe, by contrast, the courts are lenient, the terms of confinement short, and the prisons extremely comfortable. And while Muslims know that they are a protected class in Western Europe, able to commit all kinds of transgressions with near-impunity, that is far from being the case in Putin's Russia.
If Muslims do not dominate the anti-Semitic crime statistics in Russia, who does? The answer: right-wing extremists. Although politicians and the media in Western Europe like to talk as if Jews (and others) in their countries are principally endangered by the far-right, Russia is, in fact, the only one of the seven countries in Enstad's study in which that group does play a significant role in anti-Semitic acts.
What about the other countries? Denmark has few Jews, and Norway even fewer, so these two countries play a relatively minor role in Enstad's study. That leaves Germany, Britain, France, and Sweden. Nearly 10% of French Jews say they have been physically attacked for being Jewish during the past five years; in Germany and Sweden the figure is about 7.5%, in Britain nearly 5%. Asked how often they "avoid visiting Jewish events or sites" for fear of danger, 7.9% of Jews in Sweden say they do so frequently, followed by their coreligionists in France, Germany, and Britain (where the number is only 1.2%). Asked if they "avoid wearing, carrying or displaying things" in public that would identify them as Jews, 60% of Swedish Jews say they do so "all the time" or "frequently," with, again, France, Germany, and Britain following in that order. Almost 50% of French Jews have considered emigrating because they feel imperiled in their own country; for Germany the figure is 25%, and for Sweden and Britain it is just under 20%.
Enstad weighs official statistics from all of the countries under examination, but finds that while those from most of the countries essentially jibe with the results of independent studies, those published by both Germany and Sweden are fishy, in some cases betraying an apparent effort by officials to massage the numbers to avoid certain uncomfortable facts. While an independent survey, for example, concludes that right-wing extremists make up a small minority of perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence in Germany, German police statistics blame most such violence on just right-wingers. Enstad, in his polite way, suggests that this discrepancy is the result of "a categorisation problem." Could it be possible, Enstad wonders, that "German police considers antisemitism a right-wing type of ideology and thus categorises most anti-Semitic attacks as right-wing, regardless of the perpetrator's ethnic or religious background?" Another problem is that German officials categorize some incidents — including the fire-bombing of a synagogue — as anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Algemeiner, Aug. 30, 2017
Contrary to European antisemitism, the recent episodes of antisemitism in the US — such as hundreds of white supremacists bearing torches and giving the Nazi salute — represent a negligible American minority, religiously, socially, ethnically and politically. These episodes defy the civic, moral and religious foundations of America, as well as the US political, media and civic discourse, which has demonstrated high esteem for Judaism from the era of the early Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers until today.
The Colonial Origin of the American Constitution, by University of Houston Prof. Donald Lutz, highlights “the continuity from the [November 11, 1620] Mayflower Compact to the American state and national constitutions of the late eighteenth century, [which] clearly evolves from basic symbols in the Judeo-Christian tradition… Protestants writing [constitutional] documents viewed their work as equivalent to the Jewish biblical covenants… between God and his chosen people… The political compact eventually evolved into what we now recognize as the American form of constitutionalism.” For example, the 1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties — the first modern day compilation of civil and religious liberties — which inspired the 1791 US Bill of Rights, “drew heavily on the Pilgrim Code of Law proposed by John Cotton in 1636, which was based on Mosaic principles.”
In fact, this week’s Torah portion (“Shoftim,” Deuteronomy 16:18 — 21:9) inspired a cardinal distinction of the US constitution: a government of laws, not of men. Moreover, the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy inspired the 1629 Salem Covenant, the 1637 Providence Agreement, 1650 Connecticut Code of Laws, the 1680 New Hampshire General Laws and Liberties, the 1701 Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties and additional codes of civil liberties compiled by the early Pilgrims, setting the Founding Fathers on the constitutional course.
In 2017, conservative Republican Vice President Mike Pence revealed that his faith is largely guided by the Jeremiah 29:11 verse, which hangs above his mantle: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In 2014, liberal Democratic President Barack Obama quoted Exodus 22:21 (“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”), in order to justify his decision to act unilaterally in deferring deportation of up to five million illegal immigrants.
In 2017, there are eight statues and carvings of Moses and the Ten Commandments in the US Supreme Court, in addition to similar monuments in the chamber of the House of Representatives, the National Archives and additional government offices throughout the country. The Library of Congress features Micah 6:8 in its main reading room: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.”
The Story of Hebrew, by Dartmouth University Prof. Lewis Glinert, indicates that the first book written and printed (in 1640) in the British North America, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was Bay Psalm Book, a translation of the book of Psalms, documenting the prominent stature of the Old Testament and Hebrew among the early Pilgrims. “Familiarity with Hebrew was quite common among the intelligentsia and the better-trained of the clergy… Harvard’s first two presidents were Hebrew scholars, as were the first president of King’s College (later Columbia) and Ezra Stiles, the first president of Yale… a world-renowned intellectual, the leading American-Hebraist of the era and a prominent supporter of the American Revolution… The study of Hebrew marched hand-in-hand with the enlightenment principles of the American founding… [President Stiles] learned much about Hebrew from his friend, Rabbi Hayyim Carigal from [the original] Hebron.”
While there is only one Hebron in the Land of Israel — King David’s first capital — there are 18 Hebrons in the US, representing the thousands of locations across America bearing Biblical names. This reflects the state of mind of the early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, who considered themselves to be “the modern-day Chosen People” and viewed the New World as “the modern-day Promised Land.” They established the 400-year-old foundation (since 1620) for the special affinity of the American people for the Jewish state, and America’s high esteem for the Old Testament, which dwarf the significance of supremacists and any other form of anti-Israel or antisemitic sentiments.
Jewish Chronicle, Aug 30, 2017
One hundred and twenty years ago, on Sept. 3, 1897, a Viennese journalist named Theodor Herzl wrote in his diary: “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.” He then added a curious note: “If I were to say this out loud today, everybody would laugh at me. In five years, perhaps, but certainly in fifty, everybody will agree.” This was two days after he returned from Basel, Switzerland, where, against all odds, he managed to put together the First Zionist Congress — the event that symbolizes the Jewish claim to self-determination.
Herzl had good reasons to feel elated about Basel: 208 delegates from 17 countries, the elite of European press, all dressed in solemn tuxedos, packed Basel’s casino to discuss his proposed solution to the “Jewish Problem.” For three days, delegates listened to fiery speeches, debated and finally came up with as clear a definition of Zionism as one can possibly articulate: “Zionism seeks to establish for the Jewish people a publically recognized, legally secured homeland in Palestine.”
Sure enough, upon returning to his office at the Neue Freie Presse newspaper in Vienna, Herzl’s co-workers greeted him with obvious mockery, as the “future head of state.” But that was the least of the problems Herzl had to face; skepticism, sarcasm and opposition loomed all over the world. The Vatican issued a letter protesting the “projected occupation of the Holy Places by the Jews.” (Sound familiar?) The Ottoman authorities had their suspicions aroused and began to restrict the manner in which Jews were acquiring land in Palestine, especially near Jerusalem.
But the worst opposition came from fellow Jews. Orthodox rabbis condemned Herzl’s attempt to hasten God’s plan of redemption, while Reform rabbis saw it as interference with their vision of becoming a moral light unto the nations by mingling among those nations. Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the French philanthropist who supported Jewish agricultural communities in Palestine since the 1880s, was adamantly against efforts to obtain international legitimization of Jewish national claims. He feared (justifiably) that such efforts would lead to tougher Ottoman restrictions, and that Jews like him would be subject to charges of dual loyalty.
Ahad Ha’am, the most influential Jewish intellectual of the time, wrote about his time in Basel that he felt “like a mourner at a wedding feast.” His motto was, “Israel will not be redeemed by diplomats, but by prophets.” He could not forgive Herzl for luring the world jury with false hopes of a diplomatic solution. But the cleavage between Herzl and Ahad Ha’am was much deeper. Ahad Ha’am claimed it is futile and possibly harmful to argue the Jewish case in diplomatic courts when the Jewish people are spiritually unprepared for the task. What must be done first, he wrote, is “to liberate our people from its inner slavery, from the meekness of the spirit that assimilation has brought upon us.”
Herzl, on the other hand, understood that the very act of bringing the Jewish question to the international arena, regardless of its outcome, would change the cultural ills of the Jewish masses and rally them to the cause. In retrospect, he was right. There were several forerunners of Jewish self-determination (for example, Moses Hess, Yehuda Alkalai, Leon Pinsker, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and Ahad Ha’am himself), but their writings were directed inward, toward the intellectual cliques in the Jewish shtetl; their overall impact was therefore meager. Bringing the Jewish claim to an international court created the cultural transformation that Ahad Ha’am yearned for — the shtetl Jew began to take his own problem seriously and the Zionist program became one of his viable options.
History books make a special point of noting that Herzl’s predictions were miraculously accurate. Israel was declared a state on May 14, 1948, 50 years and eight months after Herzl wrote: “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.” However, I believe Herzl in effect founded the Jewish state much earlier. True, Herzl’s specific plan to persuade the Ottoman sultan to allocate land for a Jewish state was sheer lunacy and led to painful disappointments. But transforming Jewish statehood into an item on the international political agenda was a monumental achievement — it maintains this position today.
Moreover, the idea that Jews are reclaiming sovereignty by right, not for favor, completely changed the way Jews began to view their standing in the cosmos. It transformed the Jew from an object of history to a shaper of history. This new self-image was the engine that propelled history toward a Jewish statehood already in the early 1900s. The 40,000 Jews who made up the Second Aliyah (1904-1914) were different in spirit and determination from the 35,000 Jews who came earlier with the First Aliyah (1882-1903). At their core, they knew they were building a model sovereign nation and that Zionism is the most just and noble endeavor in human history. They established kibbutzim, formed self-defense organizations, founded the town of Tel Aviv and turned Hebrew into a practical spoken language. This spirit of hope, purpose and immediacy emanated from the Basel Congress, not from the utopian “in time to come” Zionism of Ahad Ha’am.
The diplomatic efforts that led to the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent ideological immigration of the Third Aliyah (1919-1923) all were direct products of the Zionist movement and made statehood practically inevitable. The miracle of Israel was planted indeed in 1897…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
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Anti-Semitism is an Integral Part of European Culture: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 6, 2017—The recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Budapest – the first visit of an Israeli Prime Minister since the fall of communism – received much international publicity.
Merkel's Historic Folly: Daniel Pipes, Achse des Guten, Aug. 22, 2017—I expect that when the evolution of European civilization is studied in the future, August 2015 will be seen as a key moment. The decision to allow unlimited immigration into Germany has had profound implications for Europe by raising this issue in a more acute way than ever before, creating divisions both among native Europeans who are for and against large-scale immigration and between native and new Europeans.
Sarah Halimi: Beaten, Tortured and Killed — Yet France Turned a Blind Eye: Michel Gurfinkiel, Jewish Chronicle, Aug. 24, 2017 —Almost five months ago, on April 4, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman called Lucette Attal-Halimi and known by her Hebrew name, Sarah Halimi — a retired doctor and the head of a kindergarten — was attacked in the middle of the night at her home on Vaucouleurs Street, in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, apparently tortured to death and finally thrown out of a third-floor window.
Undone Dunkirk: John Podhoretz, Weekly Standard, Aug 07, 2017—There are few events in the history of war comparable to the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the French beach at Dunkirk in the late spring of 1940.