Mark Steyn tell this story:
An elderly Jewish friend from London was at a gathering recently, and said someone asked: “Politically speaking, who are our friends?” Nobody had an answer, and the consensus was that Britain’s Jewish community felt lonelier than within living memory.
….. 1936, when Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, in a crude act of political intimidation, determined to march through the heart of the Jewish East End. They were turned back by a mob of local Jews, Irish Catholic dockers, Commie agitators et al all standing under the Spanish Civil War slogan, “No pasaran”: They shall not pass.
They didn’t. And, although many self-aggrandizing myths attached to the old left’s “Battle of Cable Street” in subsequent decades, that day marked the beginning of the decline of Mosley and the BUF.
That’s the way it USED to be. Anti-Semitism was thought of as a horrible affront to humanity. Examples of the hatred used to be published on the front page of the news as something that needed to be stopped (well except for the NY Times).
Things are different now, as Ezra Levant’s dispatch on the intimidation of Calgary Jews in the heart of their own neighborhood makes clear: There’s no resistance, no old leftist solidarity, no nothing, just a fatalistic shrug as supporters of banned (and explicitly eliminationist) terrorist organizations commandeer private property to compare Jews to Nazis. What can you do? They shall pass, week after week. It’s as if Sir Oswald had marched through Cable Street in triumph, and then decided to make it a twice-weekly event.
By the way, those contemporary lefties who think the Jews should get out of Palestine might note the protest slogans of 70 years ago: In those London demonstrations, the Jews were told, “Go back to Palestine!
The Gaza War did not restart Anti-Semitic Violence in Europe, one only need look at the recent history in countries such as Britain, Germany and Norway to understand that. The Gaza War brought it out of the closet to everyone except the mainstream media:
“Gaza Conflict Provokes Anti-Jewish Violence in Europe
By Victor Comras
Since the beginning of the war in Gaza there has been a dramatic upsurge in anti-semitic activities in Europe, perhaps the most violent since post World War II reconstruction days. Jews, synagogues, and Jewish schools and institutions across the continent, from Sweden to Turkey, have been attacked or threatened. And several non Muslim organizations have joined with Islamist groups in blending an intensified anti-semitism with their anti-Israel rhetoric.
While some of this virulence against Jews in Europe stems directly from the violence in Gaza, its roots run far deeper. For there is a strong anti-Jewish current that has long been fed by organized Islamic groups across Europe, and particularly by the Muslim Brotherhood. As acknowledged in Leiken and Brooke’s well researched Foreign Affairs Article, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” the Brotherhood’s claim that it is not “anti-Jewish,” but only “anti-Zionist,” is belied by its own actions, and the literature and preachings of its leaders and theologians.
It is somewhat ironic that as Sunni Muslim Government Leaders from Egypt to Saudi Arabia seek to mute their, and the local popular response, to the Gaza events, the contrary seems to be the mood in Europe. European cities have seen some of the largest anti-Israel demonstrations in history. Earlier this month, over 100,000 protesters marched in Madrid, convinced that Israel’s military incursion into Gaza to stop rockets being fired into Israel, was unjustified.
The Brussel’s Journal, published by the Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE), a Swiss non-profit organization, reports a dramatic upsurge in “anti-Semitic violence.” Synagogues and Jewish centers have been firebombed in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. More than 100 anti-Semitic motivated attacks have taken place in France alone since the opening of the Gaza conflict on December 27th. Jewish schools have also been targeted for attack, and, in some cases, Jewish students expelled from local public schools. Death threats have also been directed against Europe’s Jewish Community leaders. Police in Sweden, France, Britain and Germany advised prominent Jews to redouble their security arrangements after several of their names were found on “Jewish Hit Lists.”
The Muslim Brotherhood has long manifested an anti-Jewish sentiment, dating back to its founding and the close association of many of its early and most senior leaders with Nazi Germany. Muslim Brotherhood literature, and teaching material, remains replete with anti-Jewish rhetoric, and the Gaza war has brought many of these tendencies back to the fore. Building on popular sympathy for the Gaza Palestinians as the misperceived underdog, it has provided the Muslim Brotherhood and other even more radical European Islamic groups a new rallying cry and recruitment tool. The anti-Israel popular sentiment along with European government fears of setting off a new series of Muslim riots in the streets of Europe, has also caused several governments to largely ignore, or give these Muslim organization a pass concerning their “violent outrage.”
While most European journalists attribute this surge in anti-Jewish violence to the events in Gaza, and downplay the notion of a resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe, considerable reason for concern remains that the problem runs far deeper. Europe’s media has played Israel’s actions against Gaza, and its causes, nature, and conduct, much differently than the American media. European journalists have generally portrayed a greater sympathy for Hamas, largely ignoring Hamas’ sworn commitment to the destruction of Israel and to their conduct that gave rise to the present conflict. In one of the more outrageous examples of an anti-Israel bias, the France 2 TV network used graphic, but outdated video footage dating back to an accidental truck explosion in 2005 as current footage demonstrating current violence in Gaza.center-right Avriani daily newspaper The Brussels Journal reports ran a story charging that a Jewish plutocracy, was preparing to put in motion “war machines” in various hot spots around the world in order to control the price of oil, redistribute the world’s natural resources and start a new cycle of weapons production.
Many of the same concerns I raise here are also expressed in a poignant article by Daniel Schwammenthal, titled “Europe Re-Imports Jewish Hatred” that appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal. Schwammenthal writes:
Hamas and other Islamists are not even trying to hide their ideology. Just read the Hamas charter or check out Hamas TV, including children’s programs, for a nauseating dose of murderous anti-Semitism. …. Muslims in Europe, watching Hamas and Hezbollah TV with their satellite dishes, are being fed the same diet of anti-Semitism and jihadi ideology that Palestinians and much of the Middle East consume. *** … Anti-Semitism… is not alien to Europe’s culture — to the contrary, the Continent once excelled at it and many still share the feeling. A Pew study from September shows 25% of Germans and 20% of French are still affected by this virus. In Spain, 46% have unfavorable views of Jews. Is there really no connection between this statistic and the fact that the Spanish media and government are among Europe’s most hostile toward the Jewish state? Is it just a coincidence that Europe’s largest anti-Israel demonstration took place Sunday in Spain, with more than 100,000 protesters? *** With little hope that the media coverage will become more balanced and the incitement of the growing Muslim community will abate, the Jews in Europe are facing uncertain times.
This new wave of anti-semitism in Europe is likely to continue long after the violence in Gaza subsides. It is incumbent on European governments to recognize this factor, and equally apply and enforce its anti-preaching of hate legislation and programs, and to insist on a equal level of civil behavior from all its citizens and residents. One should also expect that Europe’s mainstream media will again live up to its pledge to fight discrimination, racism and xenophobia from whatever source. This means restoring a semblance of objectivity and balance in its reporting concerning Israel-Palestinian relations, the Middle East Peace Process, and other matters impacting Islamic – Jewish relations. In Greece, the