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Amid rising anti-Semitism in Europe, are Jews now safer in the East than the West?

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Amid rising anti-Semitism in Europe are Jews now safer in the East than the West

A comprehensive survey conducted by CNN found alarming levels of anti-Semitic attitudes among Europeans, with statistics on anti-Semitic acts across Europe “mind-boggling.”

 The October attack on the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh has put a renewed spotlight on anti-Semitism in the United States, which has seen an uptick in recent years. However, deadly attacks on Jewish people and institutions are far from a new occurrence in Europe, where Jewish communities across the continent have faced threats from radical Islam and other homegrown extremist groups for years.

Recently, a comprehensive survey conducted by CNN found alarminglevels of anti-Semitic attitudes among Europeans. Polling 7,000 respondents in seven European countries, the survey revealed that one in 10 Europeans has an “unfavorable” attitude towards Jews, while nearly 30 percent believe that “Jewish people have too much influence in finance and business across the world, compared with other people.”

“The CNN survey does not surprise me,” Benjamin Weinthal, a German resident and a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “In fact, the results underplay the widespread hatred of Jews and Israel across Europe.”

Simon Rodan, the European director of the American Jewish Committee, expressed similar concern over the survey’s results.

“Those results are indeed very alarming, and I am unfortunately not surprised. Anti-Semitism has been a contemporary problem for a while in Europe. It re-emerged quite virulently in the early 2000s, particularly in France, where the largest Jewish community in Europe lives, but also in other European countries,” she said.

According to Rodan, the statistics on anti-Semitic acts across Europe are “mind-boggling.”

She quoted some of them, noting that “in the first nine months of 2018 alone, more than 500 anti-Semitic acts have been registered in France. Fifty percent of all racist hate crimes are of an anti-Semitic nature, despite the fact that Jews represent less than 1 percent of the entire population.

“And let’s not forget that over the past decade, Jews have been killed on this continent for the simple reason that they were Jewish: 12 in France, one in Denmark, four in Belgium, and five in Bulgaria. Other planned attacks were thankfully thwarted,” she added.

Marchers honor the memory of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll

Marchers honor the memory of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, 85, who was murdered in March 2018 in a brutal anti-Semitic attack. Credit: European Jewish Press.

While the scale of anti-Semitism in Europe has many experts troubled, certain key factors and differences paint a complicated picture for those looking to address the issue head-on. This is especially true in Europe, where Jewish communities in the Western Europe face different threats than their brethren in Eastern Europe.

“Contemporary anti-Semitism has several sources, and not only in Europe,” said Rodan. “The situations are, of course, different from one country’s culture and history to another, but the sources are often the same.”

‘Two sides of the same coin’

While the root causes of anti-Semitism are complex and deeply entwined with European history dating back centuries—and specific to each country or region—the modern manifestation of anti-Semitism can be broadly categorized into three main subgroups across the continent, according to Rodan.

“The first sector can be found on the far-right. Half of the supporters of the French National Front Party, for example, believe that Jews have too much economic power, and 51 percent say Jews have too much power in the media,” Rodan said, citing a 2015 survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee and Fondapol, a French think tank. “This is more than double the rest of society.”

Anti-Semitism on the far-right is hardly a new phenomenon; it was one of the primary drivers of fascism and Nazism. Some groups on the far-right today continue to draw inspiration from these trains of thought—the roots of which go back before World War II and the Holocaust.

Nevertheless, the issue of anti-Semitism and right-wing leaders in Europe has emerged as a source of great debate in recent years. While some far-right groups may have latent sympathy with Nazism, such as the Austrian Freedom Party, other more moderate right-wing leaders in Europe who may have ties with far-right groups or even govern with them see Israel as an important ally both in terms of fighting radical Islam and for economic development.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has a governing coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, has been an outspoken supporter of Israel and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are getting blurred, but they are two sides of the same coin,” Kurz said recently at a dinner hosted by the European Jewish Congress, where he was presented with an award. “We can’t undo history, but we can do justice to our history.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressing the EJC executive dinner in Vienna on Nov. 20, 2018. Credit: EJC.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressing the EJC executive dinner in Vienna on Nov. 20, 2018. Credit: EJC.

“I think Kurz is a promising political leader because he wants to shift Austria’s foreign policy in direction that is more sympathetic to Israel,” said Weinthal.

However, he noted that Kurz has so far not matched his rhetoric with actions, like other European leaders such as Angela Merkel, with his country still supporting anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and forging ties with Iran, a notorious fomenter of hatred against Israel and the Jews.

“Kurz also, like Merkel, has refused to join U.S. sanctions against Iran—the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism, Holocaust denial and lethal anti-Semitism,” said Weinthal.

Nonetheless, Kurz did recently sponsor a European Union resolutionapproved by all 28-member countries that calls for combating anti-Semitism across the continent.

Similarly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warm ties with Hungarian right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has also drawn scrutiny over Orbán’s domestic political agenda, where he has been accused of eroding the country’s democratic institutions, strong nationalist agenda, as well as his attacks on Hungarian-American Jewish billionaire and left-cause philanthropist George Soros, which many see as having anti-Semitic undertones.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu has praised both Orbán and Kurz for their stance against anti-Semitism and friendly posture towards Israel.

“I noticed that Viktor Orbán opened a center to battle anti-Semitism, which I think is important. I noticed a similar event in Austria by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who convened a conference against anti-Semitism which included right-wing and anti-Zionism because anti-Zionism is the modern form of anti-Semitism. I think that these two leaders are doing a very important job in understanding what is anti-Semitism.”

The Israeli prime minister added: “When I was in Hungary, Prime Minister Orbán openly condemned the practices of the fascist leaders in Hungary, saying that this was a terrible mistake in the country’s history. I look at what they do, at what they say also on the European level.”

Indeed, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece and Romania have become strong alliesof Israel, defending the country against anti-Israel resolutions in the European Union, such as the labeling of goods from Israeli settlements or condemning the U.S. decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Czech President Miloš Zeman (left) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Czech President Miloš Zeman (left) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90.

While there has been an ongoing focus and debate on anti-Semitism on the far-right in Europe, the threat posed by the far-left has also been a source of contention, especially within Western Europe.

“The old reasoning behind this is the hatred of capitalism and globalization,” said Rodan. “Israel and Zionism, which in many of the far-left’s minds is associated with imperialism, neo-liberalism and capitalism, has become the ‘Feindbild’ [the image of the enemy] No. 1, and the major backbone of many far-left groups’ ideology.”

One of the most prominent examples of anti-Semitism on the far-left in recent years has been within the United Kingdom’s Labour Party under leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, in addition to support for Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. As such, if Corbyn were to become the United Kingdom’s next leader, a good number of British Jews are considering leaving the country. At the same time, anti-Semitic incidents have risen to record levels in Britain.

“The United Kingdom is a danger, and the next British prime minister might very well be the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn,” said Weinthal. “As has been well-documented, Corbyn is a highly dangerous mixture of radical Islamic anti-Semitism combined with the ‘Socialism of Fools’—left-wing hatred of Jews and Israel.”

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) before the grave of Atef Bseiso, the mastermind behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, as published in the British press.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) before the grave of Atef Bseiso, the mastermind behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, as published in the British press.

At the same time, far-left groups across Europe are also fueling the BDS movement that targets Israel. This movement is particularly forceful in Ireland, which is one of Europe’s fiercest critics of Israel and has become the first E.U. country to vote to boycott goods from Israeli settlements. Similarly, many towns and cities across Spain have moved to boycottIsrael and Israelis.

Muslim communities and ‘the new form of anti-Semitism’

In addition to the anti-Semitic threat posed by the far-left and right in Europe, the continent’s growing Muslim community is also taking its own deep-seated brand of anti-Semitism and hate for Israel to the region.

“What many observers are calling ‘the new form of anti-Semitism’ is the hatred against Jews, coming from parts of the Muslim community, often going hand in hand with Islamism. This is particularly true in countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, but also in the U.K.,” said Rodan.

Over the last decade, there have been several high-profile Islamic terror attacks in Western Europe against Jewish targets, including the 2012 Toulouse attack on a Jewish school, 2014 attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels, the 2015 attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris and other targeted murders, such as Sarah Halimi in 2017 and the death of Holocaust survivor Mareille Knoll in 2018, both carried out by Muslims.

The wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris by U.S. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

The wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris by U.S. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

While the threat of Islamic terrorism is very real for Jews in Western Europe, the opposite is the case for Jews in Eastern Europe.

Unlike countries in Western Europe—the United Kingdom, France and Germany, which have growing Muslim communities—Eastern European countries have largely closed their borders to outsiders, and have refused to take in the waves of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary have refused E.U.-mandate deals for the allocation of refugees, and opinion polls show the vast majority oppose accepting refugees. As a result, Eastern Europe remains largely homogenous as compared to Western Europe.

Weinthal said that Jews are safer in Eastern Europe primarily due to the absence of Muslim communities in the region.

“In contrast to Western Europe, many Eastern Europeans are afflicted with Christian-based anti-Semitism and classic Nazi depictions of Jews,” said Weinthal.

At the same time, Weinthal also noted that European anti-Semitism is goes even deeper than the threat posed by the far-left, far-right and radical Islam.

“Most European anti-Semites will not tell an interviewer that they are anti-Semites,” said Weinthal, alluding to the CNN survey. “And the survey did not focus in any systematic way on the ubiquitous expressions of anti-Semitism in response to the Holocaust—namely, guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism, where mainly Western European blame Jews and the State of Israel for their feelings of pathological guilt associated with the crimes of National Socialism.

“In short, to purge their guilt, they turn Israel into a human punching bag,” stated Weinthal.

According to Rodan, the issue of anti-Semitism—whether it’s emanating from the far-right, far-left or Islam—is that “the issue needs to be depoliticized, and all forms need to be fought in order for it to be addressed properly.”

She said “we should also address the root causes of each one of the sources of anti-Semitism—be it on the far-right by combating conspiracy theories, for example, on the far-left by addressing the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, notably by getting the working definition of anti-Semitism adopted [a definition of anti-Semitism that defines amongst other things when legitimate criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitism] or amongst Muslim communities by addressing the issue of Islamism and radicalization.”

Nevertheless, Rodan admitted that the issue of anti-Semitism remains a bigger concern in Western Europe as a result of the rise of radical Islam, which is more violent than the threat posed by the far-left or right at this time.

“Today, there is no doubt that manifestations of anti-Semitism are far more violent in Western Europe than they are in Central Europe,” said Rodan. “There is a direct link between the physical insecurity of Jews with the rise of radical Islam in countries like France, Sweden and Belgium. All of the Jews killed on this continent since 2006 were indeed killed by Islamists.”

Regardless of the source, Weinthal believes that Europe remains a hostile environment, and he encourages Jews to emigrate as soon as possible.

“The situation for Jews in Europe is dire. The only real escape hatch is aliyah or to immigrate to the United States,” she said. “Europe attempts to manage its anti-Semitism. That is recipe for political and societal disintegration.”

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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor

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Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/transgender-insanity-police-now-jailing-people-for-laughing-at-men-in-womenSheriff Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.

 


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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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