web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

God Bless America And God Save The Jews


This July 4th will be different for me, and all it took was a “sieg heil” and dozens of cautionary injunctions to walk only where it is safe.

Having just spent seven days in Europe, I learned more about how Jews live in England, France, Germany and Belgium than I ever could have by reading some report. Speaking with not-so-ordinary citizens in cafes, synagogues and restaurants, and being briefed by security experts, community leaders and professors, I was stunned by the bleak picture they painted.

The numbers on anti-Semitic incidents in 2006, compiled by Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute, do not speak well of the Jewish condition in Europe: A 60% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in England, daily verbal assaults in Berlin, a 100% surge in Belgium, and a 24% rise in France.

And if anything, it’s getting worse, with Jews ever more fearful of venturing out of proscribed Jewish corridors. In the U.S., we’re watching for fireworks as Independence Day approaches; in England, Belgium, France and Germany, our brethren are watching for firebombs.

Community Security Trust in London and Manchester is the British Jewish community’s defense organization. It advises and represents the community on matters of anti-Semitism, terrorism, policing and security. Responsible for the protection of more than 600 communal buildings, CST is currently engaged in a $6 million Protective Window Project to retrofit and/or reinforce windows in Jewish communal institutions in order to make them shatterproof. (Most fatalities in bombings are caused by shrapnel and glass projectiles.)

The victim of several anti-Semitic assaults, Rabbi Arnold Saunders of Higher Broughton and Higher Crumpsall Synagogue in Manchester describes the climate: “I was punched in the face on the way to the synagogue on a Saturday evening in Cheetham Hill; I had an egg thrown at me from a passing car; and someone I met at a petrol station got out of his car and said, ‘We’re going to cut your throat, Jew.’ ”

In Europe, keeping the peace between a growing, disgruntled and increasingly radicalized Muslim population and the Jewish community means making political concessions that often put Jews in the crosshairs.

We spent Shabbos in the 19th Arrondissement in Paris, which is the Jewish district. It is also, however, home to a heavy Muslim presence. In shul, we were alerted to avoid a central street in the 19th because there were riotous protestors who were saluting Palestinians. We’ve had these types of protests in the U.S., in New York, but the police presence is so heavy that any type of physical confrontation would be absolutely impossible. That is not the case in Paris.

According to Professor Shmuel Trigano, who teaches sociology of politics and religion at Paris-Nanterre University, “French society seems to have sacrificed the Jews in order not to alienate French Arabs and Muslims. A fatal choice has been made.”

It was in this climate that Ilan Halimi was murdered in 2006 by a group with links to Muslim radicals. Ruth Halimi, Ilan’s mother, told me how her son was kidnapped and tortured because “Jews are rich.” It was heartbreaking to hear how law enforcement initially refused to characterize the murder as an anti-Semitic incident. French police continued to insist that Ilan had not been targeted because he was Jewish.

According to Trigano, this kind of denial began several years ago. After 450 attacks in 2000 and 2001 and a “complete blackout by the media, political authorities and Jewish institutions ….were asked by the socialist government not to ‘add fuel to the fire.’ When French Jews tried to alert public opinion and ask for help, they were rudely rebuffed, charged with provocation and racism.”

Richard Odier, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Secretary-General for France, predicts that France will be “Juden-free” within a period of 10-15 years.

France’s chief rabbi, Joseph Sitruk, has urged Jews not to wear yarmulkes on the street because “in the current climate, there is no point waving a red flag in public places,” and he says he does not want young people “isolated in the metro or on suburban trains to risk becoming a target for aggressors.”

But the reality of France’s future was portrayed most vividly in the Ashkenazi shul where I spoke Shabbos morning: Where were the young couples with children? I was told they leave as soon as they can. The younger generation doesn’t see a viable future for Jews in France. Repeatedly we were asked if anything could be done to open the U.S. to immigration by French Jews.

About the Author: New York State Assembly Member Dov Hikind has represented the 48th Assembly District for more than three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “God Bless America And God Save The Jews”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Candy-laden bulletin board greets children on their first day of school in the lobby of an Efrat apartment building. Sept. 1, 2014.
The message reads:
"To our dear children ... may it be a year of fun and happiness in your studies." 
Did You Know September 1 is an Israeli National Holiday?
Latest Indepth Stories
0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

champions

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

More Articles from Assemblyman Dov Hikind
Just about any children can go off the derech

The cold fact is that kids go off the derech and end up in the most dire situations.

Meet-Neighbors.jpg

As shocking and insulting and horrifying as it is, Nazi war criminals are still living freely among us.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Israel was vilified and condemned in the hours and days following the Israeli raid aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla ship outside of Gaza.

This July 4th will be different for me, and all it took was a “sieg heil” and dozens of cautionary injunctions to walk only where it is safe.

Whatever the flashpoint, it is inexcusable for mobs of teens to set bonfires and descend on a police cruiser, breaking windows and threatening officers inside.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/god-bless-america-and-god-save-the-jews/2007/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: