Op-Ed: Paris: The Beirut of Western Europe
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
In the face of Islamic militancy, French journalists as a class have lost their nerve and compromised their professionalism. No serious publication has given the proper attention to the worst wave of anti-Semitism in Europe since the Second World War.
It began in 1990, when the body of an 81-year-old Jewish man was dug up and impaled on an umbrella in Carpentras, near Avignon. The French media and politicians called it "vandalism".
Anti-Semitism is "la maladie francaise". It was anti-Semitism which court-martialld an innocent Jewish army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, for treason in 1894. It was anti-Semitism which prompted Vichy's Pierre Laval to deprive French Jews of their rights even more energetically than the Nazis of Occupied France pressed him to do.
It is anti-Semitism which today hunts the French Jews in the streets.
In France today, the windows of Jewish buildings are obscured by velvet curtains to protect the attendants from flying glass and diners at Paris' fashionable kosher restaurants eat behind bulletproof windows, while thugs with machine guns shoot up synagogues, day care centers, Jewish schools and monuments to the unknown Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust.
France saw an increase of 58 percent in anti-Semitic incidents in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to the recent report by the French Jewish community security service.
614 anti-Semitic acts were recorded in 2012, or about 1.6 per day. In the past, the most severe manifestation of anti-Semitism in France was the desecration of a small cemetery or a few demented swastikas. Today 25% of the physical attacks are carried out with a weapon.
A few days ago, it was an ordinary day of Jew-hunting.
At the entrance to the same Jewish school in Toulouse where Mohamed Merah executed three Jewish pupils and a rabbi last March, a woman brandished a knife at a pupil who was about to leave the school building.
A second attack took place outside Marseille’s railway station, Gare Saint- Charles. A Jewish man, wearing a gold Star of David pendant, was approached by two young men on a scooter, who tore the chain from his neck, insulted the victim using anti-Semitic language and hit him.
Meanwhile a French organization that saved Jews during the Holocaust declined to attend a commemoration because it was organized by pro-Israel Jews. To be exact, the Marseille branch of a French Protestant group established in 1939 refused to attend the region’s memorial ceremony for Jewish Holocaust victims because of the "Zionist" attitude of CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jews.
Meanwhile, the Facebook page "Juifs Francais Contre Le Sionisme", French Jews against Zionism, reached 3.564 "likes".
No major French newspaper commemorated Ilan Halimi, who, on the 13th February of 2006 was tortured and slaughtered by a Muslim gang just because he was a Jew living in the capital of what remains of European Jewry after the Shoah, Paris, the city of Dreyfus and the Enlightenment.
Ilan was not wearing a kippa. He had only a Hebrew name, but it was enough to make him an object of prey. Neighbors heard Halimi’s screams, but didn’t say a word. This poor Jew was found near a squalid railroad station. Half-naked, with cigarette burns on his Jewish flesh, he died in the ambulance. Five years after his execution, Ilan’s death doesn’t merit any expressions of shock and anger by a public opinion always ready to plead for "dialogue and tolerance".
French Jews are once again faling into a state of inferiority and fear, as was the case with past generations. Jews who can do so will leave Europe for Israel. Those who do not have the means to emigrate will be extremely careful: it is dangerous again to be a Jew in Europe. It is even more dangerous to be a Jew who supports Israel in the public square.
Don't speak Hebrew in the streets.
Today captain Dreyfus would have never been able to reach Devil's Island. He would have been lynched after leaving the court by an Arab mob.
The irony is that France, which in Europe leads the war against Israel's "occupation", is herself under Islamist occupation and Jews are more safe around the Hawara checkpoint than in Villeurbanne or Sarcelles.
Before Beirut became a shooting gallery in the 1970s, it used to be known as "the Paris of the Middle East". Today Paris is the Beirut of Western Europe.