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Europe's anti-Semitic cancer has returned
By Alan Caruba
Referring to the way the Nazis succeeded in killing an estimated six million Jews and five million Christians in their concentration camps, Rev. Martin Niemoller in 1945 wrote, "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Catholics, but I was not a Catholic so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."
Contrast that with a May 1 quote from Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah ibn Abe Al-Aziz, "It became clear to us now that Zionism is behind terrorist actions in the kingdom. I can say that I am 95 per cent sure of that." And I am 95 per cent sure the Saudis and all the other Islamic Arabs are certifiably insane because they will always find that it is the Zionists, i.e., Jews, who are responsible for everything wrong in their region and the world beyond.
Muslims constitute nearly 20 percent of the world's population. Jews represent approximately 0.002 percent! Islam numbers 1.2 billion people. There are barely 14 million Jews at the most, the bulk of whom reside in America and the tiny nation of Israel.
I was reminded of Pastor Niemoller in early July when there was a report of six teenagers who allegedly attacked a 23-year-old mother on a suburban Paris train. Grabbing her backpack, they found she lived in the 16th district of Paris. One said, "There are only Jews in the 16th." However, the woman's claims proved to be false. The fact that she was initially believed, though, revealed how extensive anti-Semitism has become in France. "To be Jewish today in France has become an aggravating circumstance," said Sylvian Zenouda of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism.
Assaults against French Jews have been escalating over the past several years. In just the first six months of this year, the Interior Ministry had recorded 135 attacks anti-Jewish attacks, along with 375 reported threats. The figure rivals the numbers from all of last year when there were a total of 593 anti-Jewish acts or threats recorded. France is home to the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Western Europe. Indeed, Muslims were victims of 95 attacks and 161 threats through June, as compared to a total of 323 such hate crimes last year.
There were the usual denunciations of the attack by both French officials and those representing Muslim organizations.
The French have a bad track record with regard to its Jews. After the Nazis invaded, many became willing accomplices in the round-up and deportation of French Jews. Following the attack, Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, said that government decisions are no longer sufficient to fight anti-Semitism. The whole of French society needed to be mobilized, he said, to play an active role in stopping racism.
If history is any indicator, this is not likely to occur.
Following the alleged attack, a colleague of mine, Lionel Waxman (www.waxmanmedia.com) wrote, "You don't have to be Jewish to suffer from anti-Semitism." He warned "You may be too young personally to have lived through the rise of Nazism in Europe in the 1930s. But you would do well to study the period." The Holocaust did not spring full born upon the European continent. It was a slow, organized process.
To the Jews of France, he said, "Do not wait until anti-Semitism becomes official policy. You will find yourselves shorn of your wealth and eventually slaughtered like sheep. And this applies to everyone living in France who values his hide. If you are a Jew, you are in special jeopardy. But even if you might be mistaken for a Jew, France is moving quickly down a very dangerous road. It is not a place to linger."
Sounds preposterous? Tell that to the ghosts of the concentration camps for whom the slow, steady rise of anti-Semitism led inexorably to their death.
The real lesson here, however, is the way the rise of anti-Semitism is the leading indicator of troubles to come in Europe. Do not say it cannot happen again. It can. It is happening. It is the cancer that has lived in the heart of Europe for nearly two millennia. Today it is being spread by the growing population of Muslims who call Europe home and who are demanding a greater voice in its affairs.
The obdurate opposition of the European Union and the United Nations to Israel is yet another indicator that the disease is working its way through that continent and others. It went into remission following World War Two, but it never went away.
As Pastor Niemoller said, there will be no one left to speak out to save Jew and non-Jew alike if this evil is not confronted NOW and returned to the Pandora's box where it belongs.
The Islamist terrorism afflicting the world these days is a veritable tea party compared to what it will unleash unless it is defeated. The attacks on Jews in France, in Israel, in Turkey, in Morocco, and elsewhere foretell a new Holocaust and its victims won't just be Jews.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the website of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba 2004
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