Op-Ed: EXPOSÉ:Something is Rotten in a Denmark Unsafe for Jews
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet there is a line that has become famous:, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
Denmark, the first Scandinavian country to permit Jews to settle in the 17th century and still one of the world’s most attractive nations for immigrants and tourists alike, has become a very dangerous place for the Jews. Denmark, which was considered a positive exception in the history of the Holocaust, today is a bit of an exception once again, in Europe’s post-Holocaust anti-Semitism.
It’s just as unsafe in 2013 to be a Jew in Copenhagen as it is to be a Jew in an Arab country.
The Danish Jewish community documented 40 anti-Semitic incidents in 2012, almost double the number in 2009. An exodus of Danish Jews has already begun. They are moving to countries where Jews can live in comparative safety, such as Israel and the United States.
The orgy of hatred began in 2001, when an anonymous poster in Arabic was pinned up on the notice board at the Niels Brock College in Copenhagen. It promised a reward of $35,000 to anybody who would kill a Jew.
Today there is a network of “no-go zones” in suburbs of Copenhagen and other Danish cities that are now autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic groups. Areas where Danish police fear to tread. It has become acceptable that in one of Europe’s great capitals someone wearing a Star of David cannot walk safely in the streets or in the shopping malls.
Barbed-wire and security guards are a regular part of Jewish children’s’ school day in Denmark. The entrance of the Caroline Jewish Skole in Copenhagen’s Østerbro district is surrounded by a 2.5 meter-high barbed-wire fence, while the Humlehave School in Odense, the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen, admitted it would refuse Jewish parents’ wish to place their child at his school. It is too dangerous.
Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community in Denmark, Bent Lexner, said that “these are unfortunately the conditions, not just in Odense, but also in other places in the country”.
A Danish city hall recently requested that the Israeli flag not be displayed at a street festival intended to promote “diversity”. The Israeli group could become a target for terrorists.
Jews in Denmark have been warned by Israeli officials not to appear publicly wearing Jewish religious symbols such as yarmulkes or stars of David in order to avoid attacks. “We advise Israelis who come to Denmark and want to go to the synagogue to wait to don their skull caps until they enter the building and not to wear them in the street”, said Israel’s ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon.
If one is Jewish, he will avoid wearing a kippa when going through Nørrebro in Copenhagen. The risk of being lynched is so great that the head of the Mosaic Faith-Society, Fin Schwarz, advised his members to hide their religious head covering when they go to Nørrebro. Here a Jewish shop owner was stabbed with a knife by a gang of Palestinian youths.
This is the new Danish normality for the Jews.
An immigrant contacted the guards at the Copenhagen synagogue, and wanted to discuss Islam and Judaism. The guards asked him to leave. After a short while, he returned, this time more aggressive, and started to threaten the guards: “Allah is great, and he will kill all the Jews, and there will be bombs in the synagogue...”.
A Jewish lecturer from the Theology Department of the University of Copenhagen was also attacked. Five Muslims beat him and kicked him claiming that it was forbidden for a Jew to read from the Koran during his lessons.
Members in the Jewish community received postcards saying: “...if not, we’ll take the things in our own hands - you will not stand a chance”.
The Jewish school Carolineskolen received a letter calling Jews“rats, snakes, vampires, pedophiles, aids, psoriasis” and “snakes with yarmulkes and pejes”. The letter concluded with a threat: “Maybe you have forgotten that we have gasoline and stones a trip to the Jewish houses, farms, and centers”.
A group of Arab youths opened fire on a number of Israelis working at a mall in the Danish city of Odenza. The Israelis were operating a stall in the Rosengarden shopping center and were wounded in their legs.
The Muslim organization Hizb al-Tahrir distributed leaflets including a call to murder Jews. It read, in a quote from the Koran: “Kill them everywhere you find them, and banish them from wherever they settle”. Then a participant in the Politiken web site’s chat room called for the murder of Jews and even provided the names of six prominent members of the Danish Jewish community.
The Islamic mainstream bears a special responsibility for this anti-Jewish wave. Fadi Madi, the head of the Arab-Islamic-European Congress in Copenaghen, wrote a letter to the Islamic Conference Organization in which he claimed that there is a connection between the Danish Jyllands Posten, which were the first to publish the caricatures offending the Prophet Mohammad, and the World Jewish Congress.
Jewish children are also in grave danger. An 11-year-old Jewish child was the victim of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of young Arab thugs at the Ryparken Railway Station in Copenhagen. The boy was on his way home from soccer practice at the Jewish Hakoah Sports Club. The Arabs identified the logo on the boy’s pants and surrounded him. They threw apples and stones at him. The Jewish boy arrived home frightened and in tears.
Unlike in other European countries under Nazi rule, when the German police began searching for and arresting Jews, the Danish police refused to cooperate, but today the Danish authorities refuse to protect the Jews (the government offers no security funding for the country’s 8,000 Jews).
Unlike Jews in other European countries under Nazi rule, when the Jews of Denmark were never forced to wear the Star of David, today the Holocaust survivors and their relatives must avoid showing the same Jewish star for fear of being persecuted in the streets.
As my late friend Oriana Fallaci once wrote, “I find it shameful that in Denmark the youth flaunt the kaffiah as Mussolini’s avant garde flaunted the fascist badge”.
Anti-Semitism has become socially acceptable in Europe once again. Seventy years ago the Nazis had a word to say for it: “Salonfähig" (i.e.socially acceptable in polite society) . It is all in those two little dots of the German diaeresis . Scratch it and under the vowel you find the capital letter “J”. Jude. Jøde. Jew.