Europeans did not learn from the Jews

The extreme characteristics of crimes committed by some Muslim immigrants should have given European politicians and police pause for thought. With minimal intellectual effort it would have become clear to them that all would be at risk, not only the Jews.

Tags: EU -Israel
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

OpEds Manfred Gerstenfeld
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Manfred Gerstenfeld

One skill of a true statesman is the ability to learn from the experience of other countries and peoples. The number of European politicians who have managed to learn anything from Israel’s experiences over the last decades seems minimal. The outbreak and handling of the recent mass sex assaults in Cologne and other German cities has also demonstrated their inability to learn anything from what has happened to Jews in Europe during the current century.

On 31st December 2015 a wave of sex assaults broke out in various German cities. Incidents also occurred in Zurich, Helsinki, Salzburg, Vienna and in Sweden, reports of which were published later on. Cologne was the worst hit. Initially it was reported that an estimated 1000 men of Arab and North African extraction sexually attacked and robbed women at the town’s central station. By 5th January, the Cologne police had already received over 100 theft and sexual harassment complaints submitted by female victims. By January 10th the number of complaints had increased to over 500. In Hamburg by January 10 the police received 133 complaints.

On the night of December 31 the Cologne police lost control of the situation, despite the town’s police chief’s insistence that his people had done their best . The police even issued a statement on 1st January that the night had been quiet. It took until January 6 before the Cologne police arrested the first two suspects. This is also surprising, as it later became known that many of the perpetrators had already been identified by the police on the evening itself. The police also knew that evening that many of those who harassed the women were recent refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. This information was concealed during the early days after the mass sexual assaults.  

From an Israeli viewpoint, the Cologne police behavior seems absurd. For Israelis unhappy with the Netanyahu government and the Israeli police in dealing with Palestinian terrorist murderers, this should provide food for thought about how efficient the Israeli authorities are in difficult circumstances.

In November the head of the German detectives union predicted that 10% of the new refugees would turn out to be criminals. Statistics later published for the German state of Saxony showed that the number of asylum-seekers in that state tripled to 45 000 during the first nine months of 2015. The number of police suspects among asylum seekers increased from 3,100 to 4,700 over the same period. People from this group are responsible for about 10,000 crimes. Nor has the terrorism threat been unfounded.  The Munich police closed two train stations on 31st December 2015 because of a warning that Syrian and Iraqi terrorists intended to commit suicide attacks in those locations.

So where does what has been happening to the Jews come in? When evaluated against the percentage of Muslims as part of the total population in Europe, a disproportionally large number of anti-Semitic incidents were perpetrated by Muslim immigrants in Europe over the past ten to fifteen years.  Worse than that, the forms of anti-Semitic crime which have been imported to Europe by Muslim criminals is far more extreme than that caused by Europeans in the decades since the Second World War. All murders of Jews in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe over the last ten years were committed by Muslims. The summer 2014 attacks on synagogues in Paris and Sarcelles by bands of Muslim hooligans are unprecedented in post-war Western Europe. Malmo’s importance in contemporary Jewish history derives uniquely from the fact that due to ongoing Muslim harassment, the town is now known as the capital of European anti-Semitism.  

The extreme characteristics of crimes committed by some Muslim immigrants should have given European politicians and police pause for thought. With minimal intellectual effort it would have become clear to them that all groups facing discrimination in the immigrants’ homelands would be at risk, not only the Jews. This has been sharply illustrated in the number of honor killings within immigrant families, yet another evil imported by some Muslim refugees.

In the sexual abuse scandal in the British city of Rotherham an estimated 300 men of Pakistani origin abused mainly white children. Over an 16 years their number is estimated to have been about 1400. The mass sex assaults in Cologne and Hamburg oddly resemble the huge sexual harassment of women at Tahrir Square in Cairo as the Arab Spring turned out to be a pipe dream.

Islam is not only a religion and an ideology. The culture of the Muslim world is very different from that of the Western democracies. The recent incidents in Germany again demonstrate that some immigrants bring considerable negative attitudes with them from parts of the Muslim world. The sex assaults were a damning indictment of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open borders policy toward the refugees. According to the most recent data, in 2015 1.1 million refugees entered Germany, many of whom with minimal scrutiny or selectivity. Germany is already familiar with ongoing problems caused by past Muslim immigrants.  Many have warned in vain that Merkel’s decisions will add considerably to the already sizeable difficulties.

In their response to the mass sexual assaults, German Muslim organizations demonstrated a very common reaction among Muslim immigrants in the Western world. They reproached the police for their behavior. Rather than asking ‘what can we do to help suppress ugly characteristics from fellow immigrants from Muslim countries and culture,’ -- a move which would require them to own up to such characteristics -- they try to shift the blame to others.

By now, the widespread lack of introspection among European Muslims should have become clear to many. It is rare, for example, to find among them leaders who will admit that murderous acts of terrorism, such as the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the 2005 attacks on the London transport system and the 2015 Paris bombings, are linked to Islam and its culture.

There is more to be learned from the incidents in Cologne and elsewhere. The issue of the future potential economic contribution, or burden, of Germany’s new refugees is probably secondary to criminal and social problems with immigrants which are already emerging. They may also be secondary to political problems, such as the rise of right-wing parties and extremist right-wing movements.

In the past, many of the German media remained silent about the massive crimes committed by immigrants. It has recently been reported that for over a year now, the Dusseldorf police has been keeping a watch on 2,200 criminals in the city’s Maghreb neighborhood, mainly of Moroccan descent. Now, in addition, many more reports are emerging about sexual harassment by refugees in asylum centers.
The events in Cologne witnessed significant suppression of information by police. Further suppression of news by police and media regarding a minority with disproportionate criminality is the result of a warped sense of political correctness. This reflects the ongoing mental impact with respect to minorities of the massive scale of murder committed by Germans against Jews and other minorities more than seventy years ago.

The question remains.  How much will the Germans learn from the Cologne riots? The most probable answer is: not much. Each incident clarifies the reality somewhat for some people. In the meantime every day more examples emerge where problems concerning the German reality and the presence of Muslims in that country are hushed up or swept under the carpet.