2017 Was a Good Year for Europe’s Extremists: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, Dec. 22, 2017— On the surface, at least, Europe has not changed much over the past 12 months.
Has France Learned Anything From The Charlie-Hebdo – HyperCasher Terror Attacks?: Ari Lieberman, Frontpage, Jan. 10, 2018— On the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo-HyperCasher terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed 17 lives, France appears to have learned nothing from these outrages.
As Attacks On Jews Rise in Europe, Anti-Semitism is the New Cool: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Jan. 11, 2018— More disturbing than the alleged arson at a suburban Paris kosher supermarket on Tuesday – the third anniversary of the terror attack at the kosher Hyper-Cacher market, also outside Paris – is this: no one was terribly surprised.
Germany Was Determined to Expunge Dangerous Anti-Semitism. Now it's Back: Barbara Kay, National Post, Dec. 6, 2017 — Bad things that are tips of bad icebergs shouldn’t happen to good people.
Mass Migration: Uninvited Guests: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 31, 2017
The Islamization of Germany in 2017: Part I January – June 2017: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 11, 2018
Study: Young Muslim Male Migrants Fuel Rise in Violence in Germany: World Israel News, Jan. 4, 2018
Beauty and Nausea in Venice: Daniel Pipes, American Thinker, Dec. 28, 2017
JTA, Dec. 22, 2017
On the surface, at least, Europe has not changed much over the past 12 months. In fact, when it comes to European politics, this year may appear mild in comparison to 2016, which saw several dramatic and shocking developments, such as Brexit, a refugee resettlement crisis and the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day, France’s national holiday.
Across much of the continent in 2017, however, populists were blocked from reaching power by centrist parties. To the relief of the continent’s estimated 3 million Jews and other minorities with bitter memories of extremism, the European Union certainly saw no upsets of the scale of President Donald Trump’s succession of Barack Obama, or that of the liberal prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, over his conservative predecessor in 2015.
But a closer examination suggests that 2017 nonetheless has been a watershed year for the continent’s far-right and far-left movements. They have had unprecedented successes in a series of elections thanks to discontent, economic anxiety, nationalistic sentiment and xenophobia. The first upset came in March, when the Dutch anti-Islam Party for Freedom for the first time since its creation in 2006 became the country’s second largest, with 13 percent of the vote. Those elections also allowed the Denk party to enter parliament for the first time in the history of that far-left movement, which was founded by Muslim immigrants on a platform of resistance to integration and which Dutch Jews accuse of anti-Semitism.
In December, the Austrian Freedom Party, founded by a former SS officer in the 1950s, for the second time in its history joined the coalition government after garnering 26 percent of the vote in elections two months earlier. In September, the populist Alternative for Germany entered parliament for the first time with its best electoral result ever: 12.6 percent of the vote in the federal election. And in Bulgaria, the far-right Volya party entered parliament for the first time in elections that also saw the successor to the Bulgarian Communist Party double its voters to become the country’s second-largest.
But the real shocker came this spring in the two rounds of the presidential election in France, which is home to both Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim populations. In May, France’s National Front achieved its best electoral result ever when 34 percent of voters cast their votes for the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the presidential election won by Emmanuel Macron. In the first round in April, 19 percent of voters chose Jean-Luc Melenchon, a far-left candidate and communist activist who is calling for rewriting the constitution and a “redistribution of wealth.” Like Le Pen, Melenchon also seeks to take France out of the European Union and has been accused of fomenting racist hatred against Jews. The CRIF umbrella group of French Jews branded him “just as bad” as Le Pen last year.
Like nearly all of Europe’s far-right and anti-Muslim parties, the National Front has formally distanced itself from supporters and members who espouse anti-Semitism. But such declarations were generally met with suspicion by Jewish community leaders. In France, where wartime collaboration with the Nazis is still the subject of acrimonious debate, the gains of the far right and far left were widely seen as signs of the breaching of conventions held in place after World War II and the growing polarization in society. “We got lucky with Macron,” Pascal Bruckner, a well-known French philosopher who has written extensively on anti-Semitism, said during a panel discussion about populism at the Dec. 10 CRIF annual conference in Paris. “But this might not be the case next time, with potentially destructive consequences for France and Europe.”
To some observers, the growing popularity of the far right even among European Jews is indicative of the scope of the problem. In France, the National Front is believed to enjoy the backing of 13.5 percent of Jewish voters. The party was thought to have had few Jewish supporters before Le Pen took over the party from her father, the avowed anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, in a bid to rehabilitate its image.
In the Netherlands, Party of Freedom leader Geert Wilders polled 10 percent among Jewish voters despite his party’s support for a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals and his 2014 promise to make sure the Netherlands has “fewer Moroccans” – language that many Jews found racist and offensive. Bruckner spoke of the French elections as “a warning sign in which extremists came closer than ever before after World War II to ruling France.” “We’re seeing a breakdown of conventional politics,” he said. “Half of the French population wants out of the European Union, and they almost had their way.”
Many blame the revival of far-right parties in countries where bitter memories of Nazism had kept such movements at bay on leaders who admitted into the European Union at least 2 million refugees from the Middle East since 2015. Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the European Conference of Rabbis, said the far-right renaissance in Europe “is a counterreaction” to the pro-refugee policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who took the lead in welcoming the immigrants…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Frontpage, Jan. 10, 2018
On the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo-HyperCasher terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed 17 lives, France appears to have learned nothing from these outrages. On the contrary, it seems as though the French have doubled down on the very policies which spawned the attacks. France’s craven foreign policies, motivated in part by greed, appear to be catered toward appeasing Islamic tyrants. The government continues to fund Islamist or anti-Semitic NGOs – like the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) – whose radical agenda is guided solely by xenophobia and Islamist supremacism. Its liberal immigration laws and politically correct approach to tackling Islamic extremism have all but transformed France into a bastion of anti-Israel and anti-Western hate.
Last week, France had an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that the nation still had some spine by publicly siding with democracy protesters in Iran. Instead, France found itself in the company of democracy stalwarts like Russia, China and Turkey in siding with the repressive theocratic dictatorship. That morally inverted position should come as no surprise. Immediately following the signing of the Iran deal, France dispatched its foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to Iran to meet with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and various Iranian government dignitaries and business leaders in an effort to cash in early on potential business deals. The fact that Iran is the world’s premier state-sponsor of international terrorism had no bearing. In France, morality plays second fiddle to economics. It’s the French way of doing things. It is a shortsighted position and one that will come back to haunt the Republic.
France continues to be one of Europe’s top financiers of anti-Israel hate groups. NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that has done a remarkable job in documenting the activities and finances of anti-Western NGO networks provides a detailed list of hate groups on its website which receive substantial financial assistance from the French government. Many of these groups seek to undermine and delegitimize Israel internationally while others call for its outright destruction. Yet France has no qualms about supporting such odious NGOs. In fact, its overt support for such groups further establishes its anti-Israel bonafides in the Muslim world and that’s good for business.
Since Charlie Hebdo, France has done virtually nothing to prevent Islamic extremism and antisemitism from proliferating throughout the country, a fact underscored by the recent torching of a Jewish-owned supermarket in Créteil (on the anniversary of the HyperCasher terror attack!) and the brutal murder of an elderly Jewish woman, beaten and thrown from a third floor balcony to her death by a Muslim terrorist. The French prosecutor’s office initially ignored the anti-Semitic nature of the crime and only belatedly acknowledged that her murder was motivated by antisemitism after public outcry.
The French government’s deployment of thousands of armed troops as part of Operation Sentinelle serves as mere window dressing and does nothing to address the root cause of France’s problems. Islamic terrorists who seek to murder will simply readjust their methods and tactics, and pursue softer targets. This was the case in Marseille when a Muslim man of North African descent arrived at the Saint-Charles station and slaughtered two young women with a knife. And it was the case when two knife-wielding Muslim terrorists, chanting their battle cry of “Allahuakbar,” burst into a church in the northern French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and slit the throat of an 86-year-old priest…
France must recognize the symbiotic relationship between criminal behavior and Islamic terrorism. The vast majority of those who committed acts of terrorism on French soil were recidivists. A recidivist who suddenly finds religion is a prime candidate for radicalism. French law enforcement needs to be cognizant of the fact that the prime venue for radical religious indoctrination is in prison and at mosques, where impressionable people, predisposed to violence are exposed to a toxic mix of hate speech and xenophobia. Imams who preach hate and incite to violence need to be imprisoned or deported and their mosques need to be shut down indefinitely. The practice of revolving door justice where repeat petty criminals are simply freed or issued ridiculously light sentences needs to stop.
France must also cease funding of NGOs that question the legitimacy of Israel. Let’s be perfectly clear, anti-Zionism is antisemitism. Those who espouse such pernicious views are simply masquerading as human rights organizations. The unfortunate reality is that these NGOs care little about human rights. Their sole purpose is to delegitimize and demonize Israel. In parallel to these domestic initiatives, France must dramatically alter its obsequious foreign policies, which cater to Islamic tyrants and gangsters. Sadly, given the current state of affairs in France, none of these recommendations will be pursued and France is destined to irretrievably drift further into the abyss.
Abigail R. Esman
IPT News, Jan. 11, 2018
More disturbing than the alleged arson at a suburban Paris kosher supermarket on Tuesday – the third anniversary of the terror attack at the kosher Hyper-Cacher market, also outside Paris – is this: no one was terribly surprised. Shocked, yes; of course people were shocked – but not entirely surprised. How could they be, after a rash of anti-Semitic attacks and regular calls for "death to Jews" that have plagued Europe in recent months? At this point, in Europe, Jew hate has practically become the norm. The fire, which destroyed the shop, broke out in the early morning hours in the southern suburb of Creteil, where about a quarter of the population is Jewish. But the shop owner, who is Muslim, also found swastikas painted on the door a week ago, as did the owner of a neighboring market, which was also slightly damaged in the fire.
Such events are hardly new in France. In addition to the HyperCacher attack, in which Muslim terrorist Amedy Coulibaly gunned down four people after a standoff lasting several hours, in 2017, a Jewish woman was killed by a Muslim neighbor who pushed her out a window, and a Jewish family was robbed and held hostage, also in a Paris suburb. "You're Jews, so where is the money," the assailants allegedly said. Yet these are only the latest in a heinous string of attacks on French Jews, mostly, but not exclusively, by Muslims, including the 2012 massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Three children and a teacher were killed in that attack. In 2006, as many as 20 people participated in the kidnapping, torture and murder of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi. "We have a Jew," one said in a ransom call.
But France is not alone. Sweden, too, whose national Jewish population (18,000) is smaller than that of Creteil alone (23,000), has seen a disproportionate amount of anti-Semitic activity in the past few months. In December, Muslims hurled Molotov cocktails at Jewish teens at a synagogue party in Gothenburg and firebombs were planted at a Jewish cemetery in Malmo. At a Stockholm protest against President Trump's call to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the New York Times reports, "a speaker called Jews 'apes and pigs,'" a common anti-Jewish epithet among Muslim anti-Semites. And in Malmo, according to the Times, "Children at the Jewish kindergarten…play behind bulletproof glass."
This is not just because of Muslims, however. Even Sweden's mainstream media has attacked the Jews. A 2009 article in the respected Aftonbladet claimed that Israel regularly kidnapped and killed young Palestinians for their organs. In the Netherlands, where anti-Jewish chants filled the hot afternoons during pro-Gaza protests in 2014, it is not always the Muslims who are to blame. Indeed, as Muslim youth waved the ISIS flag and called for death to Jews in The Hague, the city's mayor, Jozias van Aartsen, refused to denounce them, insisting "no boundaries had been crossed."
More recently, Jewish groups have learned of the plight of 86-year-old Dutch Holocaust survivor Inge Prenzlau, who, after forced to work in her father's Amsterdam pill factory as a small girl, to prevent the Nazis from seizing it after he became ill, now receives a €140 monthly stipend from the German government – about $150. Germany does not tax this payment; but the new Dutch government has different ideas. "Pay up," they told her in December. The move outraged the renowned and outspoken Dutch author, Leon de Winter. The son of Holocaust survivors, De Winter posted on Twitter: "[The King] receives a tax-free royal salary, yet this 86-year-old Jewish woman must pay taxes over her so-called ghetto-compensation of 140 euros a month."
But there have been plenty of Muslim-related incidents as well. In December, for instance, a man wielding a Palestinian flag smashed the windows of a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam. And on New Year's Eve, a yet-unidentified man threw a rock at the window of the Amsterdam Chabad center. According to reports, security camera images confirm that the perpetrator was not the same person who attacked the restaurant last month. There's more. In Vienna, for instance, in 2015, a Jewish man living in a largely Jewish neighborhood was threatened with eviction if he did not remove the Israeli flag from his window. "It offends one of the neighbors," his landlord said…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—ED.]
National Post, Dec. 6, 2017
Bad things that are tips of bad icebergs shouldn’t happen to good people. But if they must, it’s as well they happen to people with influence to command respectful attention. Gordon Wasserman (since 2011 Baron Wasserman) grew up in Montreal, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, and joined the U.K. Home Office in 1967. He is presently a Conservative member of the House of Lords and Government Advisor on Policing and Criminal Justice. The “bad thing” happened to his grandson, “Oscar,” not his real name.
Lord Wasserman’s daughter Gemma and her family live in Berlin. Gemma’s husband, Wenzel Michalski, head of the German division of Human Rights Watch, was recently interviewed on German TV regarding violence Oscar endured at his now-former secondary school. It’s a disturbing story, fraught with multiple ironies. Here, according to Michalski’s TV account and my telephone conversation with Gemma Michalski, is what happened.
Oscar, 13, was enrolled in a public school the Michalskis had chosen for its vaunted commitment to diversity and anti-racism. The school population is about 80 per cent Muslims — mostly of Turkish, some of other Arab provenance — and 15 per cent ethnic Germans, with a sprinkling of Kurdish and African children. Oscar’s first four days went swimmingly. On the fifth day, in Ethics class, speaking about the world’s great faiths, the teacher asked if the students were familiar with any houses of worship. The answers came: “church,” “mosque,” “church,” mosque.” Oscar responded, “synagogue.” The teacher asked if he was Jewish; he said yes, and here his troubles began. A Muslim boy Oscar had befriended promptly told him — not in anger but as a matter of obvious fact — they could no longer play together because “Muslims and Jews cannot be friends” and “Jews are murderers.” From then on, slurs against Jews and Israel from otherwise perfectly nice boys and girls from working-class Muslim families were tossed off at him as a matter of course.
His parents requested immediate intervention from school authorities, but beyond sympathetic platitudes, the administration was curiously unresponsive. Oscar then became the butt of general bullying, which escalated to physical attacks. Still no action was taken. Gemma Michalski told me that after one serious beating by a Palestinian boy, the school’s social worker told her she was “pushy” for urging an action plan to deal with the problem and to “let it be.” Her suggestion was that since Oscar’s “presence was provocative” to his attacker, Oscar should try to avoid him. A tipping point arrived with “a mock execution” in which an older student pretended to kill Oscar with a realistic-looking gun and headlocked the boy to the point of unconsciousness.
Oscar left the school. Nobody was suspended or punished. As Michalski dryly notes in his understated manner to the interviewer, it is “regrettable that it was the victim that had to disappear from the other school while the others continued to enjoy its advantages.” Oscar now attends a private international school, where he is happy. Oscar’s experience was clearly not unique, as Michalski discovered when the story became known. From correspondence and people who approached them in public places, “we learned there were many many such incidents” happening “everywhere in Germany,” but the common denominator was a fear of going public with them, Gemma told me. In his family’s own case, Michalski said a few parents and a few of Oscar’s German classmates offered support, but they felt “powerless in the face of this anti-Semitic bullying.”
It is honourable of the Michalskis and Lord Wasserman to forego the privacy they would naturally prefer in the circumstances, exploiting their status to force public discussion on the issue. It must be forced, because Merkel’s government and Germany’s liberal elites, including much of the media, are desperate to prove that integration of Muslim immigrants and migrants will proceed apace with time.
Oscar’s experience shows that superficial integration with ethnic Germans is possible. But Jews are a sticking point when there are some Muslims coming to Germany from countries where for generations the government policy and the cultural fabric have been anti-Semitic. The word irony seems inadequate to convey the excruciatingly paradoxical outcome of Germany’s redemptive national impulse gone horribly awry: anti-Semitism; persecution; Holocaust; national guilt; expiation through generous immigration policies; imported anti-Semitism; persecution …
The Michalskis were told “that it wasn’t easy to suspend these children.” But so what if it is difficult? What is the use of boasting about anti-racism policies if, as Gemma Michalski put it to me, “the school won’t defend their values, which are our values”? If there is one country in the world outside of Israel where Jews have a right to feel safe, it’s Germany. The Michalskis did. Now not quite so much.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Mass Migration: Uninvited Guests: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 31, 2017—In our desire to insure an inclusive, humane, and tolerant society, we seem to have constructed a simplistic and inadequate picture of refugees and illegal immigrants.
The Islamization of Germany in 2017: Part I January – June 2017: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 11, 2018—The Muslim population of Germany surpassed six million in 2017 to become approximately 7.2% of the overall population of 83 million, according to calculations by the Gatestone Institute.
Study: Young Muslim Male Migrants Fuel Rise in Violence in Germany: World Israel News, Jan. 4, 2018—The recent influx of mostly young, male migrants from Muslim countries into Germany has led to an increase in violent crime in the country, according to a government-funded study published Wednesday.
Beauty and Nausea in Venice: Daniel Pipes, American Thinker, Dec. 28, 2017—"On or about December 1910, human character changed," wrote British novelist Virginia Woolf in 1924. "I am not saying that one went out, as one might into a garden, and there saw that a rose had flowered, or that a hen had laid an egg. The change was not sudden and definite like that. But a change there was, nevertheless."