Can we talk about Muslim anti-semitism?
Can we talk about Jews? Can we look at who hates them most? It’s a contest between the far-right, the far-left, Church of England vicars, priests and Muslims.
Karen Armstrong, once a nun and the “respected author of bestsellers like A History of God and The Case for God, answers the question whether religion is the principal cause of violence”. A few choice cuts from her interview with Nieuwwij.nl cause eyebrows to be raised:
“Terrorism has nothing to do with Muhammad, any more than the Crusades had anything to do with Jesus. There is nothing in the Islam that is more violent than Christianity. All religions have been violent, including Christianity. There was nothing in the Muslim world like antisemitism.”
“The supermarket attack in Paris was about Palestine, about Isis. It had nothing to do with antisemitism…”
So. Killing Jews is not a sign that you’re a murderous racist. It’s about something else.
After four Jews were murdered at a kosher deli in Paris, Josh Earnest’s White House press conference went like this:
JIM ACOSTA: Just to be clear though, that shooting at that deli in Paris was not random, correct? Did the president misspeak there?
JOSH EARNEST: Jim, I believe the point the president was trying to make was that these individuals were not specifically targeted. They were random people that happened to randomly be in the deli and were shot…
JON KARL: This was an attack in a kosher deli. Does the president have any doubt those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?
EARNEST: Jon, it is clear from the terrorists, from some of the writings they put out afterwards, what their motivation was. The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in that terrible tragic incident were killed, not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be.
KARL: They weren’t killed because they were in a Jewish deli, though? A kosher deli?
EARNEST: These individuals were not targeted by name. This is the point.
KARL: Not by name but religion, were they not?
You see, it’s not about Jews. The BBC told us that, too.
As the The New York Times wrote in 1922 (“New Popular Idol Rises In Bavaria“), even when it is Jews, the Jews are just symbols:
But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers.
…the violent, murderous phase of the new Jew-hatred is already here – in the emergency ward of the Royal London Hospital; in the corpse-strewn schoolyard of Toulouse; in the synagogue in Brussels set alight by Molotov cocktails; in a pleasant Jewish home in Antwerp, where burning rags were pushed through the mail flap; at the RER train station in Auber, where a commuter was savagely assaulted by a mob taunting, “Palestine will kill the Jews”; in the suburban home where a young Frenchman was tortured to death over three weeks while his family listened via phone to his howls of agony as his captors chanted from the Koran; in the stairwell of the apartment house where a Paris disc-jockey had his throat slit, his eyes gouged out, and his face ripped off by a neighbor who crowed, “I have killed my Jew!”
Those “anti-government people” get around, don’t they? The groups who perpetrate this violence come from a minority community – larger than the Jews but not yet larger than everyone else. They are telling you what they will do when they have the numbers to do it.
The trend is for there to be good Jews and bad Jews. There is nothing the Jew can do to combat this. The good Jew is that one who supports gay rights, is liberal and is not an Israeli. The bad Jew is an Israeli, supports the Jewish state and is a more conservative Jew.
Andrew Sullivan put Jews into wings of a body of Jews:
“Most American Jews, of course, retain a respect for learning, compassion for the other, and support for minorities (Jews, for example, are the ethnic group most sympathetic to gay rights). But the Goldfarb-Krauthammer wing–that celebrates and believes in government torture, endorses the pulverization of Gazans with glee, and wants to attack Iran–is something else. Something much darker.”
His assumption, in his outburst about “the Goldfarb-Krauthammer wing,” that every thought that a Jew thinks is a Jewish thought is an anti-Semitic assumption, and a rather classical one. Bigotry has always made representatives of individuals, and discerned the voice of the group in the voice of every one of its members. Is everything that every gay man says a gay statement?
Brendan O’Neill notes:
[I]n the latest rage against Israel, it isn’t only the Israeli state or military that have come in for some loud flak from so-called radicals – so have the Israeli people, and even the Jews. In Paris on Sunday, what started as a protest against Israel ended with violent assaults on two synagogues. In one, worshippers had to barricade themselves inside as anti-Israel activists tried to break their way in using bats and planks of wood, some of them chanting ‘Death to Jews!’. Some have tried to depict such racist behaviour as a one-off, a case of immigrants in France losing control. But on that big demo at the Israeli Embassy in London last week some attendees held placards saying ‘Zionist Media Cover Up Palestinian Holocaust’, a clear reference to the familiar anti-Semitic trope about Jews controlling the media. On an anti-Israel protest in the Netherlands some Muslim participants waved the black ISIS flag and chanted: ‘Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning.’
Ankara’s mayor Melih Gökçek, fresh off the heels of tweeting out pro-Hitler sentiments, urged his government yesterday to shut down the Israeli embassy in Ankara, referring to it as “the despicable murderers’ consulate” and stating that “they are 100 times more murderous than Hitler.” Not to be outdone, Bülent Yıldırım, the odious head of the “humanitarian relief NGO” IHH – the same NGO that organized the Mavi Marmara flotilla – warned Jewish tourists (yes, he said Jewish rather than Israeli, and yes, that was deliberate on his part) not to show their faces in Turkey and threatened Turkish Jews that they would pay dearly for Israel’s actions in Gaza. …
I get the anger and frustration, and I see it personally from Turkish friends on my Facebook feed and my Twitter stream, who are furious with Israel not because they are Jew-hating anti-Semites but because they deplore the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza, which they see as disproportionate and excessive. … But there is a world of difference between criticizing Israel out of a deeply held difference of opinion versus comparing Israelis to Hitler, equating Israel with Nazi Germany, throwing around the term genocide, openly advocating violence against Israeli nationals and property, and threatening Jews over Israel’s behavior. It is completely beyond the pale, and anyone who cares a lick about liberal values should be denouncing it loud and clear without qualification.
Mehdi Hasan picks up the stench of racism:
The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old. No, the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict hasn’t helped matters. But this goes beyond the Middle East. How else to explain why British Pakistanis are so often the most ardent advocates of anti-Semitic conspiracies, even though there are so few Jews living in Pakistan?
It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, to denounce the newspapers for running Muslim-baiting headlines, and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard.
Now this causes a problem, doesn’t it? Because the claim made by most Jewish and non-Jewish mainstream voices is that the Muslim extremists constitute a tiny proportion of the Muslim population in Britain and other Western countries. They maintain that the ‘vast majority’ are overwhelmingly ‘moderate’ and opposed to all such extremist views. Yet when it comes to Jews it would appear – as Hasan implies – that a very large proportion of Muslims, perhaps a majority, are anti-Semitic.
Israeli journalist Zvika Klein recently placed a yarmulke on his head and walked around Paris for 10 hours with a hidden camera:
Areas known as tourist attractions were relatively calm, but the further from them we walked, the more anxious I became over the hateful stares, the belligerent remarks, and the hostile body language. … Walking into a public housing neighborhood, we came across a little boy and his hijab-clad mother, who were clearly shocked to see us. “What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?” the boy asked.
Walking by a school in one of Paris’ neighborhoods, a boy shouted “Viva Palestine” at me. Moments later, passing by a group of teens, one of the girls remarked, “Look at that—it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a thing.”
Walking down another neighborhood, a driver stopped his car and approached us. “We’ve been made,” I thought. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “We’ve had reports that you were walking around our neighborhood—you’re not from around here.”
In one of the mostly-Muslim neighborhoods, we walked into an enclosed marketplace. “Look at him! He should be ashamed of himself. What is he doing walking in here wearing a kippa?!” one Muslim merchant yelled. “What do you care? He can do whatever he wants,” another, seemingly unfazed merchant, answered. Over at a nearby street I was lambasted with expletives, mostly telling me to “go f*** from the front and the back.”At a nearby cafe, fingers were pointed at us, and moments later two thugs were waiting for us on the street corner. They swore at me, yelled “Jew” and spat at me. “I think we’ve been made,” the photographer whispered at me. Two youths were waiting for us on the next street corner, as they had apparently heard that a Jew was walking around their neighborhood.
They made it clear to us that we had better get out of there, and we took their advice. “A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching,” the bodyguard told me as we were getting into the car. “Leave this area right now.” Is this what life is like for Paris’ Jews?
A Holocaust survivor who settled in Sweden tells us:
In 2009, a chapel serving the city’s 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and “Hitler” was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.
“I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway,” Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.
“This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now.”
Michel Garfinkel in You Only Live Twice quotes a French Jew of Moroccan origin:
Right after Morocco won its independence from France in 1956, my family joined the country’s ruling elite. My father, a close friend of King Mohammed V, had access to everybody in the government. It went on like that for two or three years. Then one day, out of the blue, Father told us we were leaving. We children asked why. “We’ve passed the yogurt’s expiration date,” he said. “We have no future in Morocco; as long as we’re free to go, we must go.” So we left, leaving behind most of our money and belongings. Ever since then, wherever I’ve lived, I’ve been on the lookout for the yogurt’s expiration date.
In France, I think it’s close.
Jewish journalist Claire Berlinski is less fearful:
If you check the Drudge Report right now, you’ll see a screaming headline:
EVERY JEW I KNOW HAS LEFT PARIS
It links to an article in the Daily Mail. The claim was made by Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
Mr. Pollard, it is perhaps true that every Jew you know has left Paris. But it is clearly true that you do not know every Jew in Paris.
I have not left. And I will not. And neither will my father. That is at least two of us. And I know many more.
It is true that in the end, the Nazis managed to drive my family out of France. But not before my grandfather killed thousands of them. If these eighth-rate savages think they’ll succeed in getting my family out of France twice, they will discover that I am my grandfather’s granddaughter.
I’ve been told today that “the odds are against me.” By well-meaning people, I’m sure. First, they are not. That’s absurd. What happened was a horror, and it is by no means over, but if these people think they can win against a determined modern nation-state—once it’s woken up—they are even more out of their minds than it seems. Yes, it’s a war—and that was only the opening shot. But they are not the Nazis. They’re just dumb thugs with a taste for blood—and while France may be quite a sane place overall, God help them if they push the Germans so far that they find out what real Nazis are like.
And if you want to talk about odds, I’ll tell you about odds: In my grandfather’s regiment of 1,250 men, only 250 survived. So don’t tell me about the odds: It just makes you sound like a hysteric with no sense of history or proportion.
And while we’re at it: Let’s remember who won that war.
I am Jewish. I am in France. And I am not leaving—not because of a handful of terrorist swine, and not even if there’s an army of them. This family of Jews will not be driven out of Europe twice. And as far as I’m concerned, the response a Jew should have to this outrage is the one we should have had before—when up against a far more fearsome enemy. We may die, but we’ll die fighting, and you’ll be amazed how many of you we take down with us…
I have much more to say. But there is one more thing that strikes me as more important than all the other things on my mind. There are also many terrified Muslims in France right now. And yes, some of them are my friends—and close ones.
They too are the victims of these savages. They are victims in a double sense: Terrorists are as eager to kill them as they are eager to kill anyone in France. One of the cops they killed happened to be as Muslim, as has widely been reported. And they are victims in the second sense in that … this is only country they have. They will be associated forever with those animals—but they are French citizens. They have no Israel to go to. They have nowhere else to go to.
So they will stay here too.
Muslim anti-Semitism must be discussed. And it must be contextualized within the history of Muslim-Jewish relations, not European ones like the National Front or Jobbik. It must not be dismissed as some transient phenomenon caused by poverty or the latest Hamas clashes, but viewed within the context of Islamic colonialism and the treatment of non-Muslims in the Muslim world. The treatment of Yazidis in Iraq and Christians in Syria must also be placed within that same context.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivered his diatribe at an Islamic summit meeting on Oct. 16. His theme was the anti-Semite’s timeless plaint: The Jews are few but crafty, and the world is in their grip. “The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy,” Mahathir told the leaders of 57 Muslim nations. “They get others to fight and die for them.” He lamented that Jews are an enemy “who think. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented . . . socialism, communism, human rights, and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong — so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries.” And how should the world’s Muslims deal with the Jews? Mahathir urged them to learn from Mohammed’s example — to buy time by making “strategic retreats” and signing peace accords, then building up their strength until they are ready to launch a “counterattack” that will lead to “final victory.”
Tim Blair puts into words what many are thinking:
Anti- Semitism increases when commentators… advocate that Jew-hatred is a consequence of the actions of Zionists and Israeli policy. These idiots are ignorant of history which clearly demonstrates that venomous Jew hatred existed centuries before the Holocaust and hundreds of years before the creation of the Jewish homeland in 1948. According to their thesis Jews died in the Holocaust because of their own actions (nothing to do with Nazis at all).
Meanwhile naive people read this crap and believe that hating Jews is OK because—after all they deserve it.
Rising tides of anti-semitism have always been a sign that something horrible is going to happen to the world… Something dreadfully wicked this way comes.
That horrible thing usually happens to the Jews…