January 9, 2009
Europe's Rampant Muslim Jew-Hatred, and Absent Jewish 'Islamophobia'
Despite the usual Islamically-correct gloss of denial in reportage, an ugly, uni-directional pattern of bigoted violence is once again clearly on display in Western Europe. Far removed from the current Gaza-southern Israel battlegrounds ("Hamas Says No To Permanent Ceasefire") of the Middle East, European Muslims have attacked individual Jews, synagogues, and Jewish or Israeli institutions, in Sweden, Denmark, France, Belgium, Spain, Greece, and Britain.
While omitting discussion of many additional attacks (for example, a report by the Community Security Trust, which provides safety advice to British Jews, maintained there had been 24 incidents since December 29, 2008, including an arson attack on a synagogue in London. Mark Gardner, a spokesman for the group, stated: "There has been a significant rise in the number of Antisemitic incidents, especially when compared with what is usually a very quiet time of year for racist, anti-Jewish attacks."), the Associated Press, chronicled this sampling of violent Antisemitic depredations in Scandinavia, Belgium and France:
- "Assailants" rammed a burning car into the gates of a synagogue in Toulouse, in southwest France, Monday (1/6/09) night.
- Jews in the small Strasbourg suburb of Lingolsheim in eastern France awakened Tuesday to find graffiti with words like "assassins" spray-painted on the outside walls of their synagogue.
- Last week in Copenhagen, a 27-year-old Dane born in Lebanon to Palestinian parents is alleged to have fired upon two young Israelis
- In southern Sweden, the Jewish congregation in Helsingborg, was attacked Monday (1/6/09) night by someone who "broke a window and threw in something that was burning," according to police spokesman Leif Nilsson. Earlier, on Sunday (1/5/09) slogans, including "murderers ... You broke the cease-fire," were daubed on Israel's Embassy in Stockholm.
- And Belgium ordered police in Antwerp and Brussels to be on increased state of alert Tuesday after recent pro-Palestinian protests ended in violence and arrests.
Consistent with the larger European context of Islamic denial, scant attention (or none at all) is being paid to the unequivocal, virulent incitement for these Antisemitic attacks emanating from the Muslim world, and targeting Europe's Muslim populations. Hamas, for example, on its official website (posted December 31, 2008 at the site hosted by Emirnet, United Arab Emirates) urged Muslims to attack Jews across the world, claiming that,
...a Jewish adolescent boy in an Australian synagogue, a Jewish minister in the Georgian government, a Jewish businessman at the New York Stock Exchange, and an illiterate Jew from the Ethiopian desert... they all belong to the same gang and the same nation, apart from the rest of humanity.
Moreover, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar subsequently advocated the murder of Jewish children, globally, claiming Israel had "legitimized the killing of their people all over the world." And, Al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, dissatisfied with Muslim street demonstrations, en masse, protesting Israel's Gazan incursion, demanded that Muslims attack "Zionist interests" worldwide,
....everywhere you can reach them. Support and back your mujahedeen brothers and children against them.
These murderous calls for indiscriminate anti-Jewish violence by Hamas and al-Qaeda are also expressed locally, by jihadists within Europe. The online forum Ummah is being used in Britain, for example, to organize a potential deadly campaign against UK Jews. As reported in The Sun (1/7/09),
On the Ummah site, "Saladin1970" asks for help compiling "a list of those who support Israel". "Abuislam" asks: "Have we got a list of top Jews we can target? Can someone post names and addresses?" Saladin1970 gives a link to the Power 100 list of top British Jews. Mr Jenvey, 43, [British anti-terror expert Glen Jenvey] said: "The Ummah website has been used by extremists. Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs."
This brazen, yet simultaneously (with rare exceptions) ignored Muslim incitement (and commission) of anti-Jewish violence in Europe, is pathognomonic of the longstanding denial of a now chronic phenomenon -- the Islamization of European Antisemitism.
Just over a year ago, in The Jerusalem Post 2/2/08, European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, Franco Frattini, the European Union (EU) official responsible "for combating racism and Antisemitism in Europe," revealed that Muslims were responsible for fully half (50%) of the documented Antisemitic incidents on the European continent. Demographic data from 2007 indicated that the total number of Europeans is 494.8 million; estimates of the number of Muslims in Europe range from 15-20 million, or some ~3.0-4.0% of the total European population. Thus, on a population percentage basis, Muslims in Europe already accounted for roughly 24.0 to 32.3 times the number of Antisemitic incidents as their non-Muslim European counterparts.
These 2007/2008 data were in turn consistent with previous findings from 2006 on the excess prevalence of frank Antisemitism reported amongst European Muslims, published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution by Yale University biostatistician Dr. Edward H. Kaplan, and Dr. Charles A. Small of the Yale Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism. ("Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Antisemitism in Europe," Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2006, Vol. 50, pp. 548-561.)
Drs. Kaplan and Small examined the views of 5004 Europeans, roughly 500 individuals sampled from each of 10 Western European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). The authors' main publicized results confirmed their (rather commonsensical) a priori hypothesis: anti-Israel sentiments strongly and independently predicted the likelihood that an individual was Antisemitic in a graded manner, i.e., the more anti-Israel (on a scale of zero to 4), the more a person was likely to be Antisemitic.
But a much more striking and relevant finding by Kaplan and Small, given the burgeoning Jew hatred evident in Europe's Muslim communities, received far less attention: in a controlled comparison to European Christians (as the "referent" group), European Muslims were nearly eightfold (i.e., 800%) more likely to be overtly Antisemitic. [emphasis added] ("Anti-Israel Sentiment Predicts Antisemitism in Europe," p. 557 and Table 3, p. 558.) Furthermore, in light of the Pew Global Attitudes Project data on Muslim attitudes toward Jews in Islamic countries, the Yale study likely underestimated the extent of Antisemitism amongst Europe's Muslim communities, had more poorly educated, less acclimated European Muslims been sampled. Pew's earlier international survey indicated ("The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other," Pew Global Attitudes Project, June 22, 2006.),
In the Muslim world, attitudes toward Jews remain starkly negative, including virtually unanimous unfavorable ratings of 98% in Jordan and 97% in Egypt. Muslims living in Western countries have a more moderate view of Jews -- still more negative than positive, but not nearly by the lopsided margins that prevail in Muslim countries.
The ultimate "inspiration" for such rampant Muslim Jew-hatred within Europe's Muslim communities can be traced to the sacralized bigotry of Islam's foundational texts, disseminated by Muslim clerics such as Sheikh Feiz. As documented in a British television investigation broadcast January, 2007, the Jew-annihilationist eschatological theme from the canonical hadith quoted in the Hamas Covenant, article 7, [The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, says: "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,' except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews." (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985) ] was part of a video sermon during which Feiz could be seen "imitating the noise of a pig when referring to Jewish people [consistent with Koran 5:60], who he says will be killed (in a mass extermination) on the ‘day of judgment'." A DVD format recording of this sermon was sold at the London Central Mosque, "one of London's most established mosques," in Regent's Park.
Scholar Raphael Israeli recently published a seminal analysis of contemporary European Islam. He makes this trenchant, but irrefragable comparison between the wanton, violent Muslim Jew-hatred so prevalent in Europe, versus the cynically contrived phenomenon of "Islamophobia"-which regardless, is tangibly absent from the behavior of Europe's beleaguered Jews:
It is unconvincing that the Muslims are merely anti-Israel and anti-Zionist and not Antisemitic, when Jews in the Diaspora are habitually attacked for no reason whatsoever today apart from the fact that they are Jews. They were historically mistreated, beaten, massacred or forced to convert until compelled to leave the lands of Islam and migrate to either Israel or Europe. French Jews, British Jews, or Belgian Jews are all citizens of the countries in which they live, and cannot influence the policies of the Israeli government even if they wished to do so. To attack them is undeniably an expression of the innate Antisemitism in Islamic thinking. The equivalent in Jewish attitudes would be for Jews to attack their Muslim fellow-citizens in European countries every time an Arab or a Muslim country defames, vilifies, or demonizes (or indeed physically attacks) Jews in the media, school curricula, or subjects them to economic boycotts individually or collectively, all of which happen on a sustained daily basis. But that would be a case of Islamophobia, and the face that it does not happen often proves firstly that Islamophobia, at least on the part of the Jews, is a figment of the Muslims' imagination (bandied about precisely to combat the very motion of their pervasive Antisemitism); and secondly that the Jews, at least in the Diaspora, can distinguish between right and wrong, and have never lost their sense of justice and civilized behavior despite the relentless provocations of Muslims, not only radicals, against them.
Dr. Israeli's insights also underscore the abject failure of Jewish diaspora leadership in confronting the menace posed by theologically-motivated Islamic Jew hatred. Despite being engaged in continual ad nauseum "dialogue" sessions, these feckless and craven Jewish leaders never demand any mea culpa from their Muslim interlocutors for the living legacy of doctrinal (and historical) Islamic Jew hatred whose ugly sequelae are evident on a daily basis in Europe.
Nechama Tec's elegant study of the heroic Bielski detachment's lifesaving exploits in Western Belorussia during the World War II-era Holocaust, concludes with this assessment of how genuine leadership was forged by this existential crisis:
...when old, established leaders fail, the uninitiated, the independent who are free from traditional constraints, have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and their strategies of survival. ...This transfer creates its own reality, a reality that opposes the life-threatening environment and death.
Jewish leaders with comparable attributes are desperately needed at present for our era, both within the diaspora, and Israel itself.
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.