Monday, January 12, 2015

France, terror, Jews and the European Union

This past week (January 7-9, 2015), Muslim terrorists attacked multiple targets in Paris, France. They began with an assault on a French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, where they massacred 12 people on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (“Charlie Hebdo Paris massacre: Latest updates as manhunt enters third day “, The Mirror, January 10, 2015). They ended their three-day spree when a terrorist entered a Parisian Kosher supermarket in a Jewish neighbourhood (January 9, 2015) and killed four Jews.

In the space of three days, Muslim terrorists killed 17 people  (“France on High Alert, Search for Terror Accomplice Continues”, Voice of America, January 10, 2015). The French news agency AFP has characterized these attacks as the deadliest in a half century (ibid). Britain’s SkyNews has identified these attacks as Jihadi in origin (“France Supermarket Siege Victims Named”, January 10, 2015).

Deadly Muslim terror has come to France. National security troops are out in force. Everyone is ‘on alert’.

The situation for Jews in France has become so threatening that parts of Jewish Paris are on virtual lock-down (“Zionist Activists Vow To Protect Parisien Jews”, Vocativ, January 9, 2015). French officials ordered at least one Parisian Jewish neighbourhood to shutter its shops on the busy pre-Shabbat Friday (ibid). Jews have been warned to venture out-of-doors only in groups (ibid).

Now, for the first time since Nazis occupied France almost 75 years ago, the Grand Synagogue of Paris was shut. No one was allowed in for Shabbat services (“Paris Grand Synagogue Closed for Shabbat”, The Jewish Press, January 10, 2015).  All across Paris, synagogues and Jewish Community Centers were shut ‘by the request of authorities’ (“Paris attacks: Jews 'thinking of leaving' as fears of growing anti-Semitism are exacerbated following atrocities”, The Independent, January 11, 2015).

France is concerned about an extreme fundamentalist (Jihadi) threat to French peace and security (Voice of America, above). The threat is focused: the Jihadist who killed the four Jews in the supermarket on Friday didn’t attack because he saw ‘Israeli shoppers’; he had, he said, attacked because of ‘les Juifs’—the Jews (The Independent, above).

France suffers a Jihadi siege. The satirical newspaper had been attacked because cartoonists there had ‘insulted’ the prophet Mohammed. The Jews had been killed because they were, well, Jews.

2014 wasn’t a good year for Jews in France. Anti-Jewish attacks doubled over 2013 (The independent, above). France’s Jews are afraid (ibid).  As a result of the growth of anti-Jewish attacks, France has become the world’s number one contributor to emigration to Israel (ibid).

Jews leave France. The French government, meanwhile, doesn’t know what to do about its Muslim terror. It’s hesitant to accuse Muslims of anything. It prefers, like the British, to think instead of a ‘terrorism’ problem, not a Muslim problem (“Charlie Hebdo attack: Europe has a terrorism problem, not a Muslim problem”, The Telegraph, January 8, 2015).

But the terrorists are almost all Muslim. In France, that’s an issue because France has the European Union's highest concentration of Muslims (Voice of America, above).  There are 5 million Muslims in France (BBC, ibid). There are only 500,000 Jews (The Independent, ibid).

The rest of Europe isn’t much different. For example, the UK has 3 million Muslims (BBC, ibid). It has only 260,000 Jews (“Britain's Jews fall in number but grow in self-confidence”, The Guardian, September 15, 2013).

Germany has 4 million Muslims (BBC, ibid). It has only 100,000-200,000 Jews (“Welcome to the fastest-growing Jewish community in the world: Germany”, Haaretz, January 27, 2012).

In each of these countries, there are at least 10 times more Muslims than Jews. With the Muslim world aflame with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feelings, this kind of population imbalance means that extremist Muslim attitudes and sentiment aren’t going to go away any time soon. If anything, they’ll increase.

France fears what that means. The EU fears as well (“Paris attack highlights Europe's struggle with Islamism”, BBC, January 7, 2015). The question is, will all of this ‘official fear’ protect Jews?

Don’t bet on it. The Europeans won’t even acknowledge they have a Muslim problem (“The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris”, Vox, January 10, 2015). As a result, they can’t solve the problem in front of them (“Three days that changed Paris: Seventeen innocents gunned down, two sieges that ended violently - and the end nowhere in sight”, The Independent, January 11, 2015).

Europe faces a monster. That monster has fangs. That monster can destroy. Making believe it’s not there won’t make it go away.

The attacks we saw last week in Paris weren’t isolated or unique events. They were more like the beginning of a nightmare where every Jew and 'infidel' will fear for his life.  

Europe’s Jews can no longer protect themselves. Their population numbers are simply too small.  They have become Europe’s easiest Jihadi targets.



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