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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Against Anti-Semitism, Self-Defense Is No Offense


Jews inside Paris synagogue surrounded by protesters throwing rocks, holding bats and chairs.

Jews inside Paris synagogue surrounded by protesters throwing rocks, holding bats and chairs.
Photo Credit: Twitter Feed

“In October 1947, the 43 Group was attacking an average of 15 outdoor fascist meetings a week, and by whatever means, causing more than half to close down prematurely,” wrote Morris Beckman in his memoir of the 43 Group’s exploits.

Those “means” included knives, knuckledusters and bricks. And it worked. By the end of 1949, the fascists had been driven out of east London.

In these dark days, the experience of the 43 Group reminds us that in the not-so-distant past, Jews have refused to accept their lot as passive victims. The challenge now is balancing our respect for the law of the land with our resolve not to allow our synagogues to be burned or ransacked, as they were less than a century ago in Europe.

Used sparingly and when necessary, self-defense is no offense. And if it contributes to the authorities’ taking pre-emptive action against anti-Semitic demonstrations – as has occurred in France, where the police have banned another anti-Semitic rally scheduled for this past weekend in Paris – then so much the better.

About the Author: Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for JNS.org and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publications. His book “Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism” (Edition Critic, 2014), is available through Amazon.


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20 Responses to “Against Anti-Semitism, Self-Defense Is No Offense”

  1. Scum is your signature Duha Alrifai…. I assume with what you’re able to write.?Do you think God is at your service …?? I’m not Jewish, I’m a Catholic and I find that their place IS in this country that belongs to them for more than 2000 years without interruption ….. and they are no “razziers” …They worked it out …:)

  2. Chaya Mindal says:

    Where is the French Army?

  3. Chaya Mindal says:

    Where is the French Army?

  4. They should defend themselves

  5. Shalom Isaacson.you should get out of the Jews

  6. Absolutely! Where is the JDL these days? Making Aliyah would be the best solution. Israel waits with open arms.

  7. Kim Sloan says:

    The authorities or police don’t give a hoot about Jews! We must physically fight back and defend our friends, family & property now! We must not be bullied, or cower to violent anti Semitic people who purposely chant Death to Jews! That is a terrorist threat and must be met with force! Never Forget, Never Again!

  8. Izik Izik says:

    Noooo Jews in Europe need get up pack and move to Israel our true home

  9. They sould defend themselfs and they should be suing the French government for not protecting their citizens and for damages.

  10. Elaine Stone says:

    All of the countries around the world do not hate Israel! Texas loves Israel as does the majority of Americans! You however are another story.

  11. Now, that’s a stupid question. Of course they should.

  12. How long dos it take to learn you are not wanted? France is an Islamic cesspool – Most of Europe is anti Jewish. Time to abandon the sinking ship.

  13. Knate Stahl says:

    Duha Alrifai, you are one sick, bigoted idiot. That’s about the nicest thing I can say. You think Allah teaches you to spread your ignorance and hatred? How sad. Allah mus be shedding tears seeing people like you invoking His sacred name to sponsor hatred.

  14. Yes. The Jewish people should defend themselves.

  15. No they are entitled to same protection as other citizen of the country they live in

  16. Lina Soifer says:

    Were out numbered. Europe is infested! We must get out.

  17. I like the way you think

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