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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Jewry’

France’s ‘No-Go’ Zones: Where Non-Muslims Dare Not Tread

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The French government has announced a plan to boost policing in 15 of the most crime-ridden parts of France in an effort to reassert state control over the country’s so-called “no-go” zones: Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims.

These crime-infested districts, which the French Interior Ministry has officially designated “Priority Security Zones” (zones de sécurité prioritaires, or ZSP), include heavily Muslim parts of Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Lille and Amiens, where Muslim youths recently went on a two-day arson rampage that caused extensive property damage and injured more than a dozen police officers.

The crackdown on lawlessness in the no-go zones is set to begin in September, when French Interior Minister Manuel Valls plans to deploy riot police, detectives and intelligence agents into the selected areas. The hope is that a “North American-style” war on crime can prevent France’s impoverished suburbs from descending into turmoil.

As of now, 15 initial Priority Security Zones have been designated. If the new policy results in a drop in crime, Valls is expected to name up to 40 more Priority Security Zones before the summer of 2013.

Many of these new Priority Security Zones coincide with Muslim neighborhoods that previous French governments have considered to be Sensitive Urban Zones. (Zones Urbaine Sensibles, or ZUS) – which were also “no-go” zones for French police.

At last count, there were a total of 751 Sensitive Urban Zones, a comprehensive list of which can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated five million Muslims live in these “Sensitive Urban Zones” — parts of France over which the French state has essentially lost control.

Consider Seine-Saint-Denis, a notorious northern suburb of Paris, and home to an estimated 500,000 Muslims. Seine-Saint-Denis is divided into 40 administrative districts called communes, 36 of the 40 districts are on the French government’s official list of “no-go” zones.

Seine-Saint-Denis, also known locally as “Department 93″ for the first two digits of the postal code for this suburb, witnessed fierce rioting by Muslim youths in 2005, when they torched more than 9,000 cars.

The suburb, which has one of the highest rates of violent crime inFrance, is now among the initial 15 ZSPs because of widespread drug dealing and a rampant black market. It also has one of the highest unemployment rates inFrance– 40% of those under the age of 25 are jobless — and it therefore remains unlikely that a government crackdown will succeed in bringing down the crime rate in any permanent way.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE of an official Priority Security Zone is department of La Somme, which includes the northern French city of Amiens. On August 12 and 13, around 100 Muslim youths in the impoverished Fafet-Brossolette district of Amiens went on a rampage after police arrested a man for driving without a license.

Muslims viewed that arrest as “insensitive” because it came as many residents of the neighborhood were attending a funeral for Nadir Hadji, a 20-year-old Algerian youth who had died in a motorcycle accident on August 9. The reality was that police were called to the scene because of reports that youths were loading fireworks into a car. When the police arrived, they also discovered the ingredients for petrol bombs, including empty bottles and a canister of gasoline.

When the riots of August 12-13 broke out, in response, about 150 policemen and anti-riot police were deployed to the Fafet neighborhood where the youths were rioting and used tear gas, rubber bullets and even a helicopter after the youths shot at them with buckshot, fireworks and other projectiles from nine in the evening until four in the morning.

At least 16 police officers were injured in the melee, one seriously. Youths also torched and destroyed a junior high school canteen, an anti-juvenile delinquency sports room, a leisure center, and a kindergarten, as well as 20 automobiles and 50 trash bins. The cost of repair and rebuilding could run up to $7.4 million (€6 million). (Click here for photos from the French publication, L’Express.)

Gilles Demailly, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, said the violence reflected a descent into lawlessness orchestrated by ever younger troublemakers: “There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we’ve known a night as violent as this with so much damage done. The confrontations were very, very violent.”

It’s My Opinion: Out Of The Clear Blue Sky

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Several weeks ago an 18-foot chunk from the wing of a cargo plane broke off and fell out of the clear blue sky. The plane had been flying overhead en route to the nearby Miami International Airport. The debris crashed in a mall parking lot. Miraculously, there were no casualties.

 

There was no way to anticipate the perilous ride of the plane that flew over Miami. There are, however, many times that danger could be averted if only individuals would only open their eyes and choose to see.

 

The Jews of Europe originally minimized the menace of Adolf Hitler, yemach shemo. Many thought that he was just another bigmouth Jew hater. Who could take the ranting of this little mustachioed housepainter seriously?

 

Many in the worldwide community view Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as more bluster than serious threat. His outrageous tirades are seen as hackneyed outbursts. How could a guy in such funky little jackets be seen as a real threat?

 

Adolf Hitler was forthright in his plans to annihilate the Jews. He wrote about it in his book, Mein Kampf. For the most part, European Jewry thought Hitler was just another case of a blowhard anti-Semite.

 

Ahmadinejad is up front in his plans to wipe Israel off the face of the map. He has declared his scheme openly.

 

Six million Jews died before the world woke up. The Nazi threat was real. It was vocal, and yet, sadly, very few saw it coming.

 

The Iranian threat is genuine, and yet, when and if a major incident happens, it will be as if the action came out of the clear blue sky. Perhaps it is time that the worldwide Jewish community believes the words of its enemies and takes their threats seriously.

God’s Country

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Approximately 1,000 years after the destruction of the Second Temple and Israel’s exile from its homeland – deep in the depths of the harsh exile and 1,000 years before the beginning of the return to Zion – the great Torah commentator Rashi opens his monumental commentary on the Torah with the question of the ownership of the Land of Israel. What with all the hardships and troubles facing European Jewry at the time, with the Land of Israel but a vague and distant memory, the most pressing problem demanding Rashi’s attention is what we will answer the non-Jewish world when it will claim that we are robbers in our own land – usurping its ownership from the local Canaanites.


Rashi explains that the Torah opens with the story of creation to establish the fact that God created the world. “If the nations of the world say to Israel, ‘You are robbers – you have conquered the lands of other nations,’ Israel can answer as follows: The entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created it and gave it to whom He pleased.”


During the Sunday Manhigut Yehudit Sukkot event in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yitzchak Brand gave me a paper with some of his Torah thoughts. “With all due respect to Rashi,” writes Rabbi Brand, head of a large faction of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Manhigut Yehudit, “wouldn’t it have been better if we had received the Land of Israel empty of previous residents? Why did the Creator of the world choose to bring us to a land that was already occupied? Why didn’t He give us the Land of Israel first – just like he gave France to the French? Why do we first have to conquer and then look for excuses?”


Rabbi Brand answers that if we had not been forced to conquer the Land of Israel, nobody could have accused us of robbery. But then we would not have been able to answer with the irrefutable facts that Rashi points out in his commentary on Parshas Bereishis. (And, after all, the reason for our presence in the Land of Israel is specifically so that we may give this answer.) When it drives out its enemies and settles the Land of Israel, the Nation of Israel is living testimony to the existence of the Creator of the world. He created the world and He determines the path that it will take. The only reason that we merit to live in Israel is so that we may proclaim that God is King of the World.


When I read what Rabbi Brand had written, I remembered a short article that Manhigut member Meyer Goldmintz had sent me. The State of Israel expelled Goldmintz from his home in Yad Yair, destroyed it and turned the place into an Arab garbage dump. Today, Goldmintz lives with his family in the settlement of Harasha. In his article, he asks a simple question:


How is it that we, the settlers – who have taken the utmost care not to settle lands privately owned by Arabs, who searched for strictly state-owned lands to settle, and were sure to distance ourselves from even the slightest hint of robbery of Arab-owned land – are nevertheless constantly accused of robbing Arab lands, while the kibbutzim of the leftist Shomer Hatzair, almost all of which were built on lands that had belonged to Arab villages that were conquered and destroyed in 1948, are considered bastions of “peace”?


Goldmintz answers that it is specifically the fact that the settlers are careful not to build on Arab land that has brought about their dismal reputation. Very simply, they (we) have betrayed our mission and cannot give the answer that Rashi gives at the beginning of the Torah.


The leftist kibbutz member, who had ostensibly disassociated himself from the Torah, did not deny the fact that he was a Jew. As a Jew, he drove out the non-Jew living in his land and settled in his place. By doing so, even though he likely did not intend to, our leftist fulfilled the essence of the reason for the return of the Jews to their land. He showed the world that there is a Creator, and that He decides when non-Jews will live in His land and when His children will live in their place. Thus, the borders of Israel in the places from which the Arabs were forcibly expelled are not questioned today. But we, the settlers, who strive to fulfill God’s commandments, have not yet fulfilled the basic reason for settlement of the land. On the contrary, we have avoided it. We were careful not to drive the Arabs out – the complete opposite of the sanctification of God’s Name accomplished by the leftist kibbutzim.


Today, we are suffering the consequences of our actions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/gods-country/2009/10/28/

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