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A European Intifada

Allowing radical Islam to fester will lead to widespread violence that will have nothing to do with Palestine

Like two almost-parallel lines that run close to each other, the dual phenomenon of anti-Western sentiment and anti-Semitic hatred were bound to meet at one point. And that point was Paris, last week. The two phenomena thrive off each other and, if unchecked, grow in close proximity and interdependence.

While certainly not all Muslims are extremists or terrorists, it is also clear that it doesn’t take more than a handful to bring an “intifada” to Europe’s streets. With over 20 million Muslims already in Europe, it is a statistical fact that thousands – if not tens of thousands of them – would harbor anti-Western and anti-democratic sentiments. If, hypothetically, only one percent of Europe’s Muslims are radical in their thinking, they number 200,000. Of those radicals, if only one percent have access to weapons and a willingness to use violence, they number 2,000 – men and women armed, ready and willing to massacre Europeans while enjoying all the rights and benefits afforded by the European Union to its Muslim minority. Last week’s atrocities were carried out by four of them.

What we saw in Paris, along with thousands of cases of violence perpetrated by Muslims and unchecked by authorities over the past decade is what we in Israel know as “Intifada”. It is not about “liberation” or about demanding civil rights for Muslims – they already possess those rights. This “Intifada” is about imposing a radical Muslim world view and Shari’a law on the host societies in the West. It is a struggle between radical Islam and western values and freedoms. Just as Hizbollah and Hamas are not fighting any occupation but rather the very idea of the existence of a Jewish State – a symbol and front-line position of Western civilization.

The other phenomenon, certainly not a new one, is the rampant anti-Semitism washing through Europe. Hatred of Jews is omni-present, manifesting itself with varying degrees of violence. The question is not whether there is anti-Semitism. The question is what are European countries willing to do about it. When the judicial system and law enforcement prefer to turn a mostly blind eye to acts of violence “because they are directed only at Jews,” then anti-Semites are emboldened and encouraged to continue and intensify their attacks.

Last week, the two trends converged. Radical Muslims attacked what is perhaps the most prominent symbol of any democracy and free speech: a newspaper. On the following day, radical Muslims launched a bloody attack on a Jewish shop and its Jewish shoppers. These events have nothing to do with the West Bank, with the settlements or with the Palestinian cause. They have everything to do with radical Islam and its attack on Western civilization, values and freedoms, in which hatred, intolerance and violence towards Jews are just one element. When Jewish children were massacred in Toulouse two years ago, the French people kept their mouths shut. Radical Muslims interpreted it as a green light to attack the democratic core of that country.

If anti-Semitism in Europe goes unchecked, if radical Islam is allowed to fester in enclaves throughout Europe, aiming at converting Europe rather than integrating in it, then an “Intifada” on the old continent is just a matter of time.

About the Author
Ofer Bavly was a diplomat with the Israeli Foreign Service from 1991 to 2014, serving in Israel's Embassies in Madrid and Rome. He was Policy Advisor to two Foreign Ministers and was Israel's Consul General to Florida and Puerto Rico. He currently heads the Israel office of the Jewish Federation of Chicago / Jewish United Fund