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January 18, 2015 6:48 pm

The Steps Ahead After France Are Not Easy

avatar by Larry Domnitch

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris that was attacked on Friday by an Islamist terrorist. Photo: JJ Georges via Wikimedia Commons.

It was a Kumbaya moment in the Lincoln Square Synagogue as leaders addressed the latest outrages in France at a memorial service. The speakers declared that, “We are all in it together.” But what will happen in the future? There have been years of political correctness, of not identifying the dangers of radical Islam, of permitting Sharia Zones throughout France. There have been years of false accusations and unjust condemnations of Israel in the media, which incites hatred. Riots in the streets against Jews have not been adequately prevented.

Today, there are French Muslims who do not condemn the most recent attacks. In the coming weeks no doubt, the French intelligentsia will dismiss these threats as the acts of a few deranged individuals.

Where do we go from here?

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Ten years ago, the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon bluntly warned French Jews to leave France and move to Israel. Sharon’s words were met with opposition. The French foreign ministry called the comments, “unacceptable.” French Jewish leaders were also indignant. Theo Klein, the honorary president of the national French Jewish organization, CRIF, stated, “It’s not for him to decide for us.” Patrick Gaubart of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism said, “These comments do not bring the calm, peace, and serenity that we all need.”

The Prime Minister’s words were not meant to soothe, but to warn. The violence was already erupting. He knew something sinister was emerging in the third largest Jewish community in the world.

Ten years later, the message from CRIF has changed. Following the home invasion and rape of a 19 year-old Jewish woman in the Paris suburb of Creteil in December, after a year rife with Jew hatred in France, Roger Cukierman, the current head of CRIF, called upon the government to take more action against the rise of anti-Semitism. “We feel something has changed. It’s no longer just graffiti or minor incidents, these are death threats.” He added, “It can not go on like this.”

Over the summer, the streets of Paris were awash with anti-Israel riots. In the Sarcelles suburb, which has been the scene of so much violence, thousands of French Muslims ransacked Jewish stores, set fire to automobiles, and chanted “Kill the Jews.” Where were the police to stop the savagery? They acted, but often too slowly and, at times, they themselves were under attack.

French President Francois Hollande spoke of countering anti-Semitism in his New Years address, yet he made no reference to the most significant source of the hate: radical Islam. Over the past three years, an astounding 20,000 French Jews have moved to Israel. According to a recent poll before the most recent horrors, 74% were contemplating a move from France.

An eyewitness to French Muslim riots this summer during the Gaza War stated, “They were shouting ‘kill the Jews’ and ‘slit Jews’ throats.’ It took us back to 1938.”

In France, it is dangerous to be a Jew. It is dangerous to wear a Kipa outdoors, to wear a Star of David necklace, to live openly as a Jew.

In the context of history, the problem does not face French Jewry alone. Don’t think that this is simply the problem of France or of Europe; it can be also become an American problem overnight.

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  • In the immediate aftermath of the brutal attacks in France, with our hearts aching from the pain of our losses, Netanyahu is dancing on Jewish blood and audaciously calling upon Jews in France and the rest of Europe to emigrate to the State of Israel. One could almost feel the pleasure of the Zionist leaders at the news of another attack against Jews. They hope that this will finally bring them the results they want: a massive wave of new immigrants to their state.
    The Zionist dream, from Herzl till today, has always been that anti-Semitism would force Jews out of their home countries and to their state. These Jews are pawns in the Zionist game. To Zionism, Jewish lives are only worth worrying about if they can contribute somehow to the Zionist agenda. Jews in other countries whom they don’t feel they can use in any way are added to their immigration list – their list of countries which must be emptied of Jews.
    In past decades, the Zionists have succeeded in making most of the Middle East, as well as North Africa, virtually empty of Jews. In many cases they deliberately fomented riots to give Jews an extra push to leave.
    For the last decade, France has unfortunately been on that blacklist, starting with Ariel Sharon’s 2003 call for all of France’s Jews to make “aliyah.” The Zionists have long followed a policy of fabricating anti-Semitic incidents in France when there were none, or exaggerating actual incidents, in order to create an atmosphere of fear and panic.
    So now that this horrific tragedy has taken place and four precious Jewish lives have been cruelly extinguished, may G-d spare us, the Zionists have pounced on the opportunity to declare that “Israel is the home of French Jewry”. They are hoping that perhaps, finally they have won the battle.
    Furthermore, Netanyahu’s words are timed to embarrass France, a country that has been kind and hospitable to Jews for decades, and has tried with all means at its disposal to protect its Jewish citizens. France today is home to 500,000 Jews. The current calls for a mass exodus is unbelievable impudence and thanklessness.
    In Haaretz it was reported that French President Francois Hollande asked Netanyahu not to attend the Paris memorial march, as part of an attempt to keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict out of the European show of unity. But Netanyahu and other hardliners politicians came running to Sunday’s march anyway and made a high-profile visit to a synagogue, knowing full well that this would draw a public connection between French Jews and his provocative activities – further endangering French Jews.
    Terrorists, by targeting Jews, are playing directly into the hands of Zionism. They are in effect encouraging Jews to go to the State of Israel, where they are often placed in settlements due to lack of housing.
    Jews of Europe! Beware of the Zionist trap! Do you want your local community to become history? Do you want it join the long list of Jewish communities that the Zionists succeeded in emptying out – communities where Jews once lived and prospered alongside their neighbors? Do you want to fall victim to the dangerous Zionist plan to gather all Jews to one place? Do you want all the eggs in one basket, a basket full of holes, a basket that was established against the command of G-d?
    We have to think hard and find ways to overcome the mighty Zionist propaganda machine, in order to make clear to the world that we have no connection with the State of Israel or Zionism, that Netanyahu doesn’t speak for us, and he is not our friend. We are French Jews, Belgian Jews, German Jews, American Jews. The State of Israel is not our country.
    It is noteworthy that even one of the Israeli politicians, Jewish agency chairman Natan Sharansky, recognized that the call for immigration might be seen as capitalizing on the tragedy. “Jerusalem must carefully calibrate its aliya message to French Jews, on the one hand welcoming them, but on the other not seeming to be ‘dancing on the blood’ and forging an alliance with anti-Semitism,” Sharansky said Sunday on his way to Paris.
    Sharansky said it was “a mistake and not smart” to say to French Jews “immigrate now,” adding that it was also “insulting” to the French. When Ariel Sharon made such a comment in 2003, it triggered a mini-crisis with then French President Jacques Chirac, and Sharon was forced to backtrack.
    “I really believe that anti-Semitism is not our ally, and we do not have to act as if it is,” Sharansky said.
    We ask the presidents and leaders of all countries who wish to protect their Jewish citizens to help us make our message heard, because that is the only way Jews can live securely in all their communities around the world.

    • charlie johnson

      I guess the educated socialist of Europe have burned all the history books. But in the past the area we call Israel was under control of Islamics. The few Jews there had no power at all. So were the Muslims happy? NOPE! They went on a killing spree all over the world including invasion of Europe. What was the excuse then?

      • this was before the modern civilization in this era all religions and countries tried to control the world but since WW2 the “whole” world has changed dramatically in those matters

    • Rosanne Stein

      Have you ever read about Vichy France and Marshal Philippe Petain’s persecution of Jews?? You surely jest when you say the French have always protected their citizens. I would suggest you review some history before commenting further on this topic.

      • no one is perfect. in fact france is a country ho gives full protection to all sects including jews, going in the footsteps of the previous honest governments of france including in the time of the “napoleon revolution” when france was the first country giving even rights for the jews

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