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Thursday, July 24, 2014 | return to: views, editorial


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It’s happening: ‘Burn the Jews!’rings out again across Europe

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In anti-Jewish riots this week across Europe, the world witnessed scenes reminiscent of Kristallnacht.

Who would have thought that in 2014, Jewish-owned stores in Paris would be smashed and burned, that synagogues would be firebombed? Who would have imagined that protesters in Antwerp, Belgium, would chant, “Slaughter the Jews!” in rhythmic frenzy?

It happened, it is happening, and the world must snap out of its somnambulism when it comes to such vicious outbreaks of Jew hatred.

Nowhere outside the Middle East has the virus hit harder than in France.

Soon after the launch of Operation Protective Edge, anti-Semitic mobs armed with bats trapped hundreds of Jews in Paris’ Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue. The July 13 siege lasted more than an hour before police arrived.

Physical assaults on French Jews are up, as are applications for aliyah. There may come a day when the Jewish community in France, once 700,000-strong, disappears, driven out by anti-Semitic violence.

In Germany, protesters chanted — of all things — “Gas the Jews!” and “Burn the Jews!” In England, a sitting member of Parliament tweeted that if he were in Gaza he would fire rockets on Israelis, just as Hamas continues to do.

Add it up, and there is no doubt that much of the global outcry against Israel’s war on Hamas has been unmasked as raw, lethal anti-Semitism.

Not that European leaders, among them French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have not issued strong condemnations. They have. Thanks, guys.

Since the war began, Israeli efforts to protect its citizens from Hamas rockets have been castigated as “war crimes” and “disproportionate use of force,” despite the fact that the IDF has gone to extreme lengths to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. Where is the outcry against Hamas’ policy of shielding its fighters and weapons behind Gaza civilians, setting up camp in hospitals and schools?

Such blindness can only stem from a belief that Jews have no right to self-determination, that the Jewish state was illegitimate at its founding and should therefore be unmade.

There is a simple term for such belief. Anti-Semitism.

To those who scoffed when the Anti-Defamation League and others warned of encroaching global Jew hatred, we say, “Look up. The sky really is falling.”


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