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Will paris finally make us wake up?
Recent tragic events in Paris should be a wake-up call to Europe and especially European Jewry. Muslim terrorists have long been saying their aim is to Islamise Europe.
Now they have sizeable communities in most European countries, they may feel more confident that they can achieve this through terrorism. The first shots may have already been fired – with a handful of men they may have started this process.
When the dust settles, we may see the effects of these murders, with the press for instance not wanting to risk printing anything that might attract an attack.
Government bodies and local councils the same. For example, will they monitor Muslim schools as strictly as they do secular schools? Israel has been warning of the possibility of these terrorist attacks for a long time and now the warnings have come true.
There is a risk the terrible acts committed in Paris may embolden other jihadists to copy and not only in France. We could find our selves in the same position here as the Jews in France who only a few years ago would never have dreamt they would be in the situation they are in now.
We cannot afford to say it will never happen here, as the German Jews thought. The difference today is that we have a country who will always take us in if needed. Please God this will never happen, but our leaders must realise Europe and Jews in particular are in the jihadists’ sights.
So now its official – Europe, especially France, loves its Jews and has vowed to protect them.
Europe will guard schools and synagogues and come down with the full weight of the state against terrorists who threaten lives.
The Jews, however, do not want to become museum exhibits wrapped in aspic. They want action and they want to be free. But just as in fairy stories where the frog turns into a prince, a terrorist turns into a freedom fighter when he crosses the borders into Israel or the territories it administers.
No matter these terrorists openly proclaim Jews anywhere and everywhere as targets that should be killed. No matter they dance in the streets at Jewish deaths. For Europe they are terrorists only when they operate in this continent and not in or against Israel.
With the occupation of the Jewish supermarket, many journalists and commentators continued to bury their heads in the sand and make no mention of the “Jewish connection”.
The French commentator Agnes Poirier, well known for her appearances on the BBC’s Dateline London, was asked if she thought there was an anti-Semitic angle to the occupation of the Jewish mini market. She answered with an emphatic no and said it could as easily have been a Catholic school.
Piers Morgan, a more familiar face to the British, demanded the heads of state of Muslim countries speak out against terrorism. Nowhere in the piece was the word “Jew” mentioned. Both the above have a history of condemning Israeli behaviour towards the Palestinians while making no allowances for the fact Israel is a democracy, to some extent flawed, like all democracies, but struggling for survival in a sea of hatred and demagoguery.
The people these journalists support probably could not even spell democracy. Morgan referred to his Catholic background. Perhaps one day he will recall the words of the German pastor Bonhoeffer, who wrote that he took no action when the Nazis came for the socialists, trade unionists and the Jews , and that when they came for him there was no one left to help.
I am haunted by the Israeli mother who appeared in a BBC documentary about the suicide bombings that took a huge toll inside the Green Line and was ended only by the building of a security wall. This wall was criticised worldwide, even though Britain built one in Derry to keep Catholics and Protestants apart and the Americans a similar one in Baghdad to keep Sunnis and Shia Arabs apart.
This woman, who lost her daughter to the bombers, fought back tears as she stared into the cameras and said: “Mark my words – you are next.” The West was warned. It is apparently still not listening.
The appalling terrorist murders of staff at Charlie Hebdo, the brave French police officers and the innocent Jewish victims at the kosher supermarket have had one positive effect.
They forced the world to address increased radicalisation and the parallel upsurge in the trendy “genteel anti-Semitism” that as in the 1930s suffuses society – a malignant cancer infecting academia, the media and politics. What also showed up like a shaft of light in the darkness was the spontaneous outrage at the attacks, where millions of all faiths and backgrounds were not just “Je Suis Charlie” but also “Je Suis Juif”.
Our politicians and sundry leaders had no choice but to follow the people. Sadly, I have again to counterbalance this with the vacuous puff in your pages piece by pundit Alex Brummer, who is currently vying for the vice-chairmanship of the dysfunctional Board of Deputies. He voted to get into bed with ghastly Yachad.
In the aftermath of the atrocities, we need to engage with those who would unite our society, such as Quilliam and the real Friends of Israel and kick out those who wish us harm such as Yachad and similar, who by threatening and denying Israel threaten us all, and have no valid opinion. Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, reach out to your neighbours – Christians, Muslims, Hindus and those of no religion – and stand shoulder to shoulder against the extremists whose distorted ideology would harm us all. Perhaps this time it really can mean Never Again.
Lastly and most importantly, special mention must be made of the brave and righteous young man Lassana Bathily, the Muslim employee of the kosher supermarket, who undoubtedly saved many lives by his selfless actions. Here was a young man who could just as easily have escaped who chose instead to help his fellow Parisians – Jews – to hide from that evil attack. Sadly, his actions will not be looked upon so favourably by those who had other ideas. He must be protected, and I would like to think that this young man, a real hero, will now get the highest award that both France and Israel can offer.
UKIP PPC for Hendon
From Dreyfus to Drancy, it took massacres in a magazine office and a Jewish supermarket to alert France to the fact that its Jewish population was being killed, raped and vilified in its midst. Well known for its anti-Semitism, France has allowed the Muslim population to intimidate and bring fear into its country for Jews and always to declare that Islam is a peaceful religion. We normally witness the joy in Arab lands at the scenes we saw in Paris. Then we see among the leaders of many countries in Paris the figure of Abbas, whose media and press publish on a daily basis cartoons and articles far worse than what was depicted in Charlie Hebdo. But, of course, this is not seen or reported.
Palestinian ‘justice’ and the icc debate
Dear Sir Can someone please explain to me how the Palestinians have the audacity to want to sign up to the International Criminal Court (whether they are allowed to or not) when their own version of “justice” was clearly demonstrated at the end of the last conflict with Israel when they murdered in full public view people suspected of being informants?
More importantly, why has the larger International community completely ignored this matter in the headlong rush to promote an anti-Israel agenda? Surprisingly, there has been no public comment from the usual suspects, Diane Abbott MP (arranging a pointless Mayor of London election campaign), George Galloway MP (now thankfully keeping a lower profile apart from appearances on Al Jazeera) and David Ward MP (a self-publicising nonentity).
Maybe a general election a few months away has focused their opinions and actions on not offending or alienating voters before returning to their agendas once they are (unfortunately) re-elected.
This hate-filled and malicious campaign
Dear Sir, Your editorial regarding Gaza and its relationship with Israel told us what we all obviously want, regardless of who is in power in Israel. However, this dream of peace is not so easy.
During the Gaza occupation, moshavim and kibbutzim were supplying Europe with first-class quality fruit and vegetables to grace our tables in winter. Many local Gazans were employed in this work and took advantage of the need to recruit local employment. Even then, some workers were still murdering the people they worked for, in addition to West Bank Arab settlers. Israel’s departure brought about the mindless firing of thousands of rockets, missiles and mortar projectiles.
I myself visited the Erez crossing with an Israeli exporter and met a local Gazan producer of the very products that Israel had supplied from Gaza. I began introducing quality tomatoes from Gaza to a UK importer, and even then the murder of Jews did not stop. The road to peace does not start with trade. It starts with re-educating Arabs and Muslims so they stop hating the Jewish people as part of their curricula and to begin by understanding that Jewish people and others, also have a right to live where they want – just like the Muslims.
Until this happens there will be no peace, and even now we still see the PA operating a vicious diplomatic war continuously against Israel. So really, there is no difference between Hamas and the PA, who will not allow Jews to live in a future Palestine. I would like to make a short response to the fine PC column by Lord Ahmad.
I question whether there has been an improvement in combating anti-Jewish provocation, if the number of attacks have increased. He should start by continuing his mission by speaking to the Islamic community(mosques, news media etc) in this country to stop immediately their hate-filled and malicious propaganda against Jews and Israel, including the ridiculous, offensive and disgraceful term of genocide. The only genocide I see is happening in the various Muslim states in north Africa and the Middle East.
Martin Cohen Huntington
A good time for the queen to visit israel
I would like to suggest a new year resolution for the Queen; one that should be fully endorsed by the government: an official royal visit to Israel.
The Queen has visited many Arab and other Middle Eastern countries, some several times, during her long reign, but she has never been to the fully-fledged, democratic state of Israel, a member of the UN and less than five hours’ flying time from London. In November last year, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, added to our prayer for the Royal family a blessing for Britain’s armed forces.
Throughout 2014, we witnessed in the UK significantly increased levels of anti-Semitism together with anti-Israel propaganda and activity. This naturally caused much unease among the Jewish population in this country and also among all right-minded people.
Meanwhile, trade between the UK and Israel has been increasing significantly in recent years, and reached a new high last year. As a relatively new breed of virulent Islamist ideology seeks to undermine the Israeli and the western way of life around the world, what better way to demonstrate unity with Israel and strengthen further the ties between the two countries than for the Queen to go at last to this one country which she has not been to, despite it having existed for some 67 years this May? To the movers and shakers in the Jewish community and our government, may I ask that you please prevail on our royal family to make the year 2015 the one in which the Queen will be seen in Israel
J D Milaric
Wheatley’s attitude was sympathetic one
I enjoyed the recent column by Rod Liddle on anti-Semitism and football (Opinion, 11 December). It was a good piece, but I’m not sure he is entirely correct about his negative references to author Dennis Wheatley.
It’s many years since I read a Wheatley thriller, but my recollection is that he had some sympathetic Jewish characters. Checking the Wikipedia entry on Wheatley, I find this: “His work is fairly typical of his class and era… His main characters are all supporters of Royalty, Empire and the class system… His strong attachment to personal liberty also informs much of his work.
This, as well as a sympathetic attitude toward Jews (as shown in the ‘Simon Aron’ character introduced in Three Inquisitive People) caused him to criticise the Nazi system mercilessly, in those Gregory Sallust thrillers set during World War II”.
David Pringle Via jewishnews.co.uk
It was a pleasure to work with dear boris
Dear Sir It was with great interest that I read the article in the newspaper edition of Jewish News about the photographer Boris Bennett. Back in the 1950s, I worked for the Bennett family business, of which Boris was the managing director. They were very interesting times for me and remembered nowadays with pleasure.
My feelings shared in poem about paris .
What sort of monsters gun down, in Allah’s name, A group of harmless journalists, whose crime was to defame,
The Prophet’s reputation, with but satire and pen; So, to the mighty Islam, were hardly bogeymen?
The world will never defeat this deadly scourge, Until all Muslim mullahs are fired by the urge,
To preach that peaceful message that many insist, Lies at the heart of Islam – but which the West has missed.
Until that day, why should we be so surprised, If what occurred in Paris, and elsewhere, Is reprised?
If civil war stalks our homes and our streets; If anti-Jewish hate fills our twitters and our tweets?
Four million French people rallied and vowed, That, by the deadly jihadists, they wouldn’t be cowed.
But did you pay attention to their banners on display, The ‘Je Suis Charlie’ slogans they were proud to relay?
Yet amid the high-profile Jewish fear and grief, How many banners did you see with ‘Je Suis Juif’?
Our hearts go out in sympathy; Our prayers we express, For the families of the journalists, In grief and distress.
But special thoughts we reserve, For our own Jewish slain; Guiltless of any crime – caught in the hurricane.
Of loathing for our faith and of the Jewish state; The scapegoat of the gentile world; A pariah, incarnate.
O Lord, send Your salvation, To our deeply-fractured world. Forgive us for the banner, Of hatred we’ve unfurled.
Jeffrey Cohen By email