Thursday, August 7, 2014

When Will Europe Stand up for the Jews?

A pro-Palestinian protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014.

AP Photo/Benjamin GiretteA pro-Palestinian protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014.

 We have ten commandments. We truly need an eleventh commandment that is written into the laws of every state. The positive aspect we already know as treating our neighbor as ourselves. That is patently not good enough or as mathematicians like to argue, it is necessary but not sufficient.

What must be done is simple. Bearing witness to hatred in any form against another human or group of humanity must be criminal. Thus all such Imans and their Christian brothers and even Jewish brothers must face criminal penalty and at least a stiff fine for each such offence. The fine can be as token as you like so long as it is criminal and automatically tells the world who this person is and usually bars him from jobs of authority such as imman or rabbi or priest.

Otherwise we give licence and from such license will arise the horrors of ethnic empires and the destruction of all forms of human freedoms.

I grew up been taught otherwise in my home and in my school. This must be the standard all adhere too and deviance must be punished as described. It is not an insult against either body or wealth, but all such is a criminal incitement to murder your neighbors.

I strongly support Canada adopting such laws to augment its curent anti hate laws and to then make it a standard issue in its diplomatic dealings with every other country. We as a country need to judge countries and threat them in conformity to that judgement and such judgement must at least be then focused on just these types of laws rather than idle sophistry.

It also supplies a clear yardstick with which to not admit a troublemaker who promotes hate however nuanced.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper: When will Europe stand up for the Jews?

August 2, 2014 7:21 AM ET

From the start, Hamas knew there was one battlefield in its asymmetrical genocidal war against the Jews it could win. No, not in the teeming alleyways of Gaza City, or the seething confines of the Jabalya Refugee camp, but on the broad boulevards of Paris, the ancient streets of Rome and even in the shadow of Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House.

For some three weeks Hamas has been providing “martyrs on demand” from Gaza to fill the 24-hour news cycles and social media platforms. The searing visuals of dead babies are more than enough to send young Arabs and Muslims into Europe’s streets, delivering Hamas’ genocidal message, hate and violence to The Enemy.

And “the enemy” is? Jews. Jews and their synagogues, their community centres, their kosher butcher shops, their religious leaders. But the hateful situation didn’t start with Hamas; they just heaped fuel on an already growing bonfire.

Evidence, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He’s been a key cheerleader for Hamas for years. Basically, Erdogan co-opted former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s game plan, bullying Israel, in word and (sometimes) in deed to win points with the Arab and Muslim streets. Just a few days ago, he reached the apex of anti-Israel rhetoric, by libelling the Jewish state’s counterattack against Hamas as “barbarism that surpasses Hitler.”

Turkey, a nation with a 500-year record of tolerance for its Jews, now boasts members of parliament who participate in violent demonstrations against the Israeli embassy and a leading pop singer who tweeted, “May God Bless Hitler,” and “it will be again Muslims who will bring an end of those Jews, it is near, near.”

The damage done by Erdogan and his supporters not only places Turkish Jewry in harm’s way, it has helped opened the floodgates of anti-Jewish invective by Turkish imams in Germany and The Netherlands.

Last year, Dutch Muslim social worker Mehmet Sahin found his life turned upside down after he had the audacity to confront anti-Semitic Dutch Muslim youth on national TV. That Friday, the imam in the mosque he and his wife attended publicly accused Mehmet of “being a Jew,” forcing him and his young family to flee into a witness protection program. “Rabbi,” Mehmet told me recently, “you don’t understand. It was never like this before, but today, ‘Jew’ has become a dirty word in our community.”

In England, where Israel has been pounded for decades by media and cultural icons, the current situation has spawned racist death and firebomb threats by pro-Palestinian boycotters. In Manchester, The Jewish Chronicle reports that a shop that sells Israeli cosmetics reported phone calls threatening to burn down the shop, and beat up or kill staff.

One caller threatened: “You would be wiped out right now … if [your owner] puts more videos on Facebook I will f–k him up … I will kill you with it.” Another inveighed, “I will burn your shop down.” And this post was found on the shop owner’s Facebook page, “I hope he burns in hell like the rest of the Jews.”

Without question, anti-Jewish violence was at its worst in France. Only the presence of the gendarmes averted a mini-Kristallnacht in Paris, as rioters targeted synagogues and their worshippers. For days, Jewish neighborhoods were subject to violence, looting and intimidation. In Toulouse, not even the memory of Jewish kids murdered on the schoolyard in 2012 spared the already traumatized community. The local Jewish community centre was firebombed.

Indeed, well before the Gaza war, many French Jews, alarmed by the establishment’s unwillingness or inability to protect Western Europe’s most populous Jewish community, had already packed their bags and left.

Three weeks ago, I sat across French President Hollande at the Elysée Palace as he confirmed to a Simon Wiesenthal Center delegation that 1,000 French citizens had been active in Syria. “Thirty one have died and some others suffered trauma, but the majority have returned to France and melted into the population,” Hollande confirmed, adding that many were armed and that authorities had no idea where the ticking human time bombs were. He didn’t have to remind us that the Toulouse murderer and the terrorist who killed four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels were both French Muslims, trained by Jihadist terrorists overseas.

The threat to Jewish continuity in Europe goes beyond angry Muslims. It goes to heart of Europe’s elite. Why did the mayor of The Hague refuse to order the arrest of ISIS supporters who threatened Jews in the centre of the city, on the very day that ISIS social media were tweeting photos of their beheaded prisoners in Iraq? Where are the Dutch people in Amsterdam to reassure their Jewish neighbours that they don’t have to remove the Mezuzahs from their doorposts for fear of attack? Why have German officials failed to take action against an imam in Berlin who called for the murder of all Jews? Where is the outrage when Green Party members join far-right and Muslim extremists amid chants of “gas the Jews” on the streets of Germany? Where is Swedish Civil Society to finally demand of elected official and police that Jewish citizens of Malmo be fully protected from constant anti-Semitic harassment? Who in Belgium will call out the doctor who refused to treat a Jewish patient because of Israel’s alleged misdeeds in Gaza? When will the churches, NGOs, and cultural elite of Europe — from the UK, to Spain to Norway — who never miss an opportunity to stand in silent tribute to six million dead Jews, finally have the decency to acknowledge that six million living Jews have the righs to pursue their destiny in the democratic Jewish State of Israel?

The canary in the coal mine analogy is often invoked to describe the plight of Europe’s Jews. But in 2014, unlike 1938, Jews can leave. The Jew is no longer the clueless canary, but European commitment to democratic values totters on life-support.  We Jews have each other and Israel. We will survive. Can anyone guarantee the same for a democratic Europe?

National Post

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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