Claude Lanzmann, the renown French-Jewish filmmaker of “Sho’ah,” probably one of the most accurate and telling documentaries of that horrific event, has been quoted as saying, “Let us not give Hitler a posthumous victory.” In that, he meant to allege that the emigration of millions of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust to Israel or other lands should not have the appearance of a victory for those whose aims had been the destruction of European Jewry, or at the very least, the end of any vibrant Jewish communities on that blood soaked continent,
However, decades after the scourge of Nazi racism and barbarity, the situation of the Jews in Western Europe is far from idyllic. True, for some time after the end of World War Two, there was unparalleled sympathy for the survivors of the death camps who returned to those western nations that had suffered under the German jackboot. Indeed, these people were seen as a vital remnant of their former countries and, for the most part, were welcomed back as fellow Frenchmen, Belgians, Dutch and Danes. With the massive relief of the US sponsored Marshall Plan and the billions of dollars poured into rebuilding and renewing the lives of those who had been occupied during the war years, the Jews were a part of that rebirth and those nativist fascist movements that had conspired with the Nazis during and before the war, were duly punished and ostracized. Western Europe was to regain its vitality as the liberal democracies and constitutional monarchies which they had been before the war.
The majority of Europe’s Jews who emigrated to Israel after the war and in the beginning of Israel’s statehood were from Eastern and Southern Europe. Postwar anti-Semitism was endemic in countries like Poland, where the massacre of returning Jews to their former homes in Kielce led to the slaughter of several dozen men, women and children by Poles who refused to acknowledge the rights of their former neighbors to claim their property. Other survivors who sought to recreate their existence in the Baltic states, were met with disdain and, sometimes, murder. Plus, the occupation of the Red Army and the rise of communist puppet states in nations like Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Czechoslovakia, did not make life easy for those survivors who thought they’d be welcomed as fellow victims of Nazi savagery.
The danger that Jews face today in Western Europe goes well beyond the pacific threats of assimilation and intermarriage, but descends, once again, into a bloody business. The enemy today is the encroachment of radical Islam manifested by the Moslem immigration into those countries which have opened their gates to the unrestricted entry of millions of North African and Middle Eastern Arabs,. Many of whom come from former colonies like Tunisia, Algeria and Libya as well as the failing countries of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon where Islamist terrorism and hatred of Jews and Christians have taken root. Instead of assimilating into their new host societies, they have chosen to bring their ideology and hatreds with them, in an attempt to subvert those states that have given them refuge. Slowly, but surely, under the politically correct dogma of multi-culturalism, they are invading these nations like a bacillus, waiting for the time to spread and infect the body politic of their new hosts.
Lest you label me an Islamophobe, what would be the politically correct terminology for those who criticized and fought the deliberate fifth column activities of nativist Nazi organizations like the Rexists in Belgium, the Arrow-Cross group in Hungary and the Mosleyites in Great Britian-all who aided and abetted the Nazi ideology and sought ti undermine their countries’ resistance? I’d have been proud to be labelled a “Naziphobe.”
My animus is not for those Moslems who assimilate and accept the laws and norms of their new countries, but for the Islamists who spread Jew hatred and seek to destroy the nations that have accepted them into their midst. Just as there were those Germans, not all Jews, of that society who fled from a state that they could not tolerate. The endgame of these Islamists is the total collapse of liberal democracy and the rise of shari’a law throughout Western Europe. And the Jews are their primary target.
No, it isn’t anti-Zionism that can be manifested diplomatically and politically through honest debate and criticism. Zionism, like any other revolutionary movement, has its detractors and defenders and criticism of its principles and results are even debated among its adherents on both the left and the right-witness the Israeli political scene. However, when it sinks to the morass of outright Jew hatred, it is no longer anti-Zionism as a movement, it degenerates into the worst type of sanguine behavior which, more often then not, leads to the murder of Jews for being Jews, their pro or anti-Zionist orientation is, therefore, meaningless.
Since the scale of Islamist propaganda and infiltration into the body politic of several European nations, and the cowardly and sycophantic bending backwards by fearful governments and police agencies, the Jews in countries like France and Belgium and Holland are in a perilous environment where, even in the United Kingdom, Jewish men and boys refrain from openly wearing kippot in the streets and, in France of late, over 5000 soldiers and police have had to guard the 773 Jewish schools in the country. Is that what the Islamist terrorists have wrought? Or is it the stomach sickening political correctness of the media and those in government who are afraid to be portrayed with the appellation of Islamophobia?
It matters not that these states are being held hostage by their fears, but what does matter is the situation of the Jewish communities of these countries. Their survival is under assault both by the scurrilous media attacks on Israel (which, of course these groups claim is not anti-Semitic) and the actual violence as evidenced by the murder of Jewish children in Toulon, Jewish tourists in Brussels, and Jewish shoppers in a kosher supermarket in Paris. By the march in Paris where the shouts, “Jews to the gas!” were screamed, and the demonstration in Germany, where Jews were called out as “Pigs and cowards!”
Mr Lanzmann is wrong in his assertion that a Europe bereft of Jews would grant Hitler a victory. The prime minister of France was quoted as saying that if 100,000 Jews left that country that “France would not be France any longer,” is not a paean for the French Jews to remain, but a swan song for them to leave.
No, Mr Lanzmann, the emigration of thousands of French and other Western European Jews to Israel is the greatest of defeats for the Nazi monster. The rebirth of Jewish independence in 1948 sealed the failure of the extermination camps and has ensured a vibrant Jewish future nurtured on the soil of our ancient homeland. A Western Europe whose Jews have returned homewards is the absolute victory of our people over those who sought, and still seek our destruction. The Islamists will still want to conquer Europe, but let us not provide them with hundreds of thousands of Jewish targets.
In 2014, the largest single group of new immigrants to the shores of the homeland, was 7000 French Jews. In 2015, the estimate is for 10-15,000 immigrants from France-may they be joined by thousands more from all over Europe. Only in Israel can the Islamist threat be faced and fought for only in Israel, do we, as Jews, have the capability and the strength to defend ourselves. We owe Europe nothing but our contempt for its weakness in the face of Islamist aggression. That entire continent floats on a sea of Jewish blood-we have no desire to watch that level rise.
Mr Lanzmann, you celebrated your 90th birthday this year, come join your fellow Jews of France who have come home to Israel and celebrate many more birthdays here, where the future of the Jewish people is to be found.