We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Canaries In The Coalmine

"Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was caught on tape about three years ago urging his followers to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. Not long after, the then-leader of the Muslim Brotherhood described Zionists as “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians,” “warmongers,” and “descendants of apes and pigs.”
 These remarks are disgusting, but they are neither shocking nor new. As a child growing up in a Muslim family, I constantly heard my mother, other relatives, and neighbors wish for the death of Jews, who were considered our darkest enemy. Our religious tutors and the preachers in our mosques set aside extra time to pray for the destruction of Jews.
 For far too long the pervasive Middle Eastern qualification of Jews as murderers and bloodsuckers was dismissed in the West as an extreme view expressed by radical fringe groups. But it is not....
 For far too long the pervasive Middle Eastern qualification of Jews as murderers and bloodsuckers was dismissed in the West as an extreme view expressed by radical fringe groups. But it is not...."
So writes the Somali-born Dutch former politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Christian Science Monitor (hat tip: reader Shirlee)She continues: 

Courtesy: Edgar Davidson blog
 "....  Millions of Muslims have been conditioned to regard Jews not only as the enemies of Palestine but as the enemies of all Muslims, of God, and of all humanity. Arab leaders far more prominent and influential than Morsi have been tireless in “educating” or “nursing” generations to believe that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.” (These are the words of the Saudi sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, imam at the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.)
In 2011, a Pew survey found that in Turkey, just 4 percent of those surveyed held a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of Jews; in Indonesia, 10 percent; in Pakistan, 2 percent. In addition, 95 percent of Jordanians, 94 percent of Egyptians, and 95 percent of Lebanese hold a “very unfavorable” view of Jews.
In recent decades Israeli and American administrations negotiated with unelected Arab despots, who played a double game. They honored the formal peace treaties by not conducting military attacks against Israel. But they condoned the Islamists’ dissemination of hatred against Israel, Zionism, and Jews....
 For too many of those who [in the recent revolutions] fought for their own liberation, one of those ideals is the end of peace with Israel. The United States must make clear to Morsi that this is not an option.
This is also a crucial opportunity for the region’s secular movements, which must speak out against the clergy’s incitement of young minds to hatred. It is time for these secular movements to start a counter-education in tolerance."
A counter-education in tolerance is also required elsewhere, as this notorious photo from Australia and this report and numerous similar ones regarding the plight of some Jewish communities in Europe indicate:

"On the third floor of the Belgian capital’s oldest Jewish school, Jacquy Wajc pauses to listen to the eerie silence that hangs in the hallways.
Established in 1947 as a testament to Belgian Jewry’s post-Holocaust revival, the Athenee Maimonides Bruxelles school once accommodated 600 students in its spacious building in downtown Brussels but now has only 150....
As anti-Semitic attacks spiked during the second Palestinian intifada in the early 2000s, parents who themselves were proud Maimonides alumni enrolled their children elsewhere, citing security concerns. With fewer students, the school went massively into debt; Maimonides now owes various government bodies a total of $8 million....
It’s not only Brussels. Across Europe, Jews have quietly abandoned long-inhabited neighborhoods in central urban areas for remote suburbs.
[I]n a number of cities, neighborhoods once teeming with Jewish life have become no-go zones for Jews -- especially if they wear a yarmulke.
The Jewish population of 80,000 in Marseille, France, has almost completely cleared out of the heavily Muslim city center it inhabited until the 1980s. Similar migrations have taken place in another French city, Lyon, as well as in Amsterdam and even Antwerp -- home to one of the last European Jewish communities to live and work almost exclusively in an urban center....
Since the second intifada began, attacks against Jews have more or less doubled in France, Spain and the Benelux, where a total of 600,000 Jews live. Between 2009 and 2011, the Belgian government agency that monitors anti-Semitism recorded an average of 82 incidents a year, double the level recorded in 2002-04. Most of the incidents occurred in Brussels....
 Such intensive measures weren’t necessary in 1945 when Seligman Bamberger, an educator who survived the Holocaust, first laid the groundwork for what would become Maimonides.
“He placed a table and a chair on the platform of the Gare du Midi train station and asked random children if they were Jewish,” Wajc recounts.
Within two years, Bamberger had attracted 100 children whom he taught in a local community center. The school was established formally in 1947 at its current address near the train station.
The area used to be “the ideal location” for a Jewish school, Wajc says, because of the approximately 100 Jewish families who lived nearby and sold produce in the commercial area. Dozens hung on until the early 1990s, but now only three Jewish families remain, he says....
Meanwhile, Arab immigrants gradually took the place of the departed Jews. Today, the area around Gare du Midi is considered unsafe, especially after dark.
“The area has an immigrant population that doesn’t have a very favorable attitude to Jews,” said Agnes Bensimon, an employee of the Israeli Embassy in Brussels and a former member of the Maimonides parents association. “On top of that, it’s just like any other poor urban area.”
During the second intifada, assailants attacked Bensimon’s son, Nethanel, in the metro station. Similar attacks were carried out against a number of other Maimonides students. The school responded by instructing students to disembark at a more distant station and walk the distance to school.
Location and language are not the only differences between Maimonides and Brussels’ other Jewish schools. Maimonides does not accept pupils who are not Jewish according to halachah, Jewish law. With Belgian Jewry’s estimated 40 percent intermarriage rate, this further diminishes the population of potential students.
“The assimilation makes me very uncertain about the future 35 years from now,” Wajc said. “But here and now it means we’re not competing with the other schools as we appeal to parents with different sensibilities. Only a few years ago there were enough of them.
"They will once again send their kids to us -- if we get out of here in time."'

2 comments:

  1. The Holocaust was the only culturally acceptable version of genocide embraced across all of Europe since the Crusades, which were also directed against the Jews. At some point the revenant's toughness at refusing to leave is sheer block-headedness.

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    1. Apologies for the delay in posting your comment, Trudy - am away from the computer for long periods at present.

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