Despite World Challenges, Israel Is Stronger Than Ever
The mass migration of Muslim “refugees” to Western Europe could result in one of the most significant global demographic upheavals in history.
In an outpouring of passionate emotions, European leaders have suspended reason and self-esteem. Political correctness has reached suicidal levels. Unless the tide is reversed, this migratory movement may irreversibly undermine the western culture which was the foundation of European civilization. It is estimated that there are an additional 8 to 10 million, predominantly Muslims, from Middle East and North Africa still intending to cross into Europe.
There are already over 6 million Muslims in Germany, the bulk of whom have no intention of integrating. Last year alone, Germany absorbed a million new migrants. Contrary to widespread perception, most are not refugees and are not even from Syria, but young male Muslim migrants seeking a better life. The Arab states, including the wealthy Gulf States, refuse to absorb them for “security” reasons, although the Saudis are committed to building at least 20 new mosques in Germany.
Criminal elements abound in the Muslim migrant population and the horrendous mass sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and similar incidents in other European cities have shocked the indigenous inhabitants. Yet the media, politicians and even police have underplayed the severity of the attacks to avoid highlighting the anti-social tendencies of these “refugees” and intensifying anti-immigration outrage. This, despite the fact that in 2015 the estimated number of crimes by migrants in Germany was in excess of 400,000 – an 80% increase on the previous year.
It is also clear that the anti-democratic agitation of dominant Muslim extremists is having an impact. Even before this latest upsurge, Muslims were effectively silencing any criticism of Islamic extremism with accusations of Islamophobia. Yet public anti-democratic and feral antisemitic demonstrations spearheaded by Muslim hate speakers were tolerated and are now taken for granted.
There is also concern that there are a considerable number of jihadists submerged within this migratory population, establishing themselves as sleepers to be activated by ISIS at a time of its choosing. Not to mention the numerous Jihadists incubated by native extremist mullahs in mosques in central European cities.
The impact of this migration on the future of Europe is alarming, yet most leaders remain in denial. Chancellor Merkel, one of Europe’s best post-war leaders, appears to have lost the plot, presumably convinced that absorbing these migrants enables Germany to redeem itself from its wretched past. But the truth is that in addition to the substantial criminal element, most of these migrants share two major beliefs – a fanatical anti-democratic agenda and a passionate hatred of Jews with which they were imbued from childhood. Chancellor Merkel, who is considered a philo-Semite, has thus unintentionally given antisemitism in Germany the greatest possible boost.
Assumptions that these new migrants will be integrated are absurd. Europeans failed to integrate the previous generations of Muslim immigrants and are far less likely to do so today with a tougher and more ideologically committed wave of migrants.
Europeans face a dark and difficult future. The massive increase in social welfare to meet the basic needs of migrants is likely to have a major negative impact on European economies. The European Union could be seriously weakened or even fall apart.
For Jews, already treated with pariah status in many countries, this immigration will generate further hatred and intensify the existing hostile public opinion pressurizing governments. Trends to conceal Jewish identity will be intensified and Jews seeking to maintain a Jewish life and bring up children who are proud of their heritage face an extraordinarily bleak future. The coalition of Muslims, Leftists and “human rights” organizations and traditional anti-Jewish groups form a witches’ brew of antisemites which will make the lives of Jews unbearable.
European policies towards Israel are unlikely to improve as governments imposing tougher conditions on Muslims to ensure their internal security will be inclined to compensate their Muslim constituencies by displaying greater animosity to Israel. The despicable discriminatory policy against Israel currently displayed by the EU and in particular by France exemplifies this.
Initially, many Europeans (especially Jews) were inclined to be generous and hospitable to those they believed were “refugees” fleeing from barbaric conditions. But as reality emerged, enormous rage has swept the native population as they begin appreciating the immensity of the breakdown of quality of life and lawlessness resulting from the presence of these migrants.
This is creating major upheavals in the political system, with populist anti-immigration nationalist groups initially regarded as eccentricities now transformed overnight into powerful movements. This is most evident in France where Marie Le Pen’s National Front has emerged as the largest party and could feasibly assume the reins of power. The right wing parties in Europe have traditionally been unfriendly to Jews and Marine Le Pen’s father, the founder of the party (who she expelled with other extremists), was an antisemite and Holocaust denier.
For Jews this creates dilemmas. Political correctness and emotions make Jews wary of supporting such a party. But they are torn because the National Front is the sole party not beholden to Muslim votes and seeks to limit further intake of Arabs. Over the past few years, it is the only party which has consistently supported Israel – in stark contrast to the French governments. The same dilemma faces Jews in most European countries, other than Hungary and Greece where the populist parties are outrightly antisemitic and fascist.
The upheavals in Europe, the new political alignments, the abandonment of Israel by the left and many liberals, the distancing of the Obama administration from Israel, the conflict between the Shiites and Sunnis, have all created a new political dimension for Jews which requires a major strategic review.
We are living in dangerous times and must take every step to protect ourselves. This means that tikkun olam – making the world a better place – is a laudable objective but must not be prioritized ahead of our own security. We are obliged to consider aligning ourselves with allies who will strengthen us even if we disagree with some of their other policies.
That already applies to our good friends, the evangelical Christians whose passion for Israel and the Jewish people is extraordinary, but that does not mean that we share their other religious beliefs. The same must apply to conservative and right wing populist political parties. Subject to their not harboring antisemitic elements, Jews should weigh up their support for Jewish interests and Israel and determine rationally who they should back rather than instinctively vote for traditional parties who continue betraying them.
The same applies to Israel internationally. The US will in the long run remain Israel’s best friend and most important ally. Hopefully, the next president shall reflect the positive public support for Israel in the US and reverse the recent erosion of Israel’s international standing by restoring the close bonds between both countries.
But after our experience with the Obama administration, it is crucial that we broaden alliances. The European Union is unlikely to become a friend of Israel, but it is becoming a weaker force and we should seek to strengthen ties with individual European countries. The recent realignment with Greece and Cyprus – former adversaries – is an example. There is also the extraordinary – albeit highly delicate – positive relationship with the Russians and other East European countries.
There has also been extraordinary progress with the three major Asian countries – India, China and Japan, all of whom are today deeply engaged in trade with Israel.
Finally, the upheaval in Syria, the threat of Iran and the emergence of ISIS has brought Israel close to unspoken alliances with Egypt and some of the Gulf States including, ironically Saudi Arabia, the source of Wahhabism and the export of much Islamic extremism throughout the world. Their antisemitism remains unchanged but temporary alliances to confront the threats from the Iranians and ISIS has created strange bedfellows.
Despite the mushrooming antisemitism facing Jews in the Diaspora, especially in Europe, and notwithstanding the despicable bias the Jewish state faces at the UN and other international bodies, Israel today is in an objectively stronger position than it has ever been. But Jews and Israel must be prepared to be more flexible with their allies than has been the case hitherto. In order to be an or l’goyim – a light unto the nations – we must first ensure our own security and only then we can concentrate on tikkun ha’olam – repairing the world.
Isi Leibler may be contacted at [email protected] This article was originally published by Israel Hayom and The Jerusalem Post.