Sidney V. Kaplan


‘Gaza’ is providing the ideal socially acceptable excuse to release innate expressions of antisemitism.

With all the mayhem in the world today, I have the feeling that if Iran would drop the bomb on Israel today and wipe it off the map of the world, it would make the headlines that day and the following day will be business as usual.

I left SA 45 years ago as I didn’t see any future and was always conscious of my Jewish identity although I personally did not experience any antisemitism.

This present war brought about a tsunami in antisemitism but at the same time it forcibly highlighted the potential danger of radical Islamism which the world in the past turned a blind eye. Whether they liked it or not, they were continuously exposed to what the Muslim brotherhood is all about. Hamas is the Palestinian expression of the Muslim Brotherhood, formed as an offshoot of the Egyptian organization operating in Gaza.

I was naïve to think that even the most deluded leftists – the ones that unreservedly support the Palestinians and always criticize Israel’s policies – would process with some semblance of understanding what happened this time after witnessing the nature and scope of the brutality that played out on October 7, 2023. I was sure there’d be a wave of sympathy and solidarity for Israel’s victims.

I was wrong!

Shocking and personally mind-wrenching the very opposite happened. Instead of sympathy over the massacre of Jews, antisemitic attacks have skyrocketed and over the five months since October 7, antisemitism has pivoted beyond the events in the Middle East intensifying in hostility and violence against Jews per se. As one perplexed commentator opined, the “extreme left has undergone an irreparable mutation.” I share his astonishment.

No less disturbing was the response – or lack thereof – in the Arab world. Where were the Arab and Muslim leaders – political and religious – condemning Hamas in its fanatic pursuit to massacre Jews. The reality was the contrary where Hamas is seen as “liberators” and its brutal savagery celebrated. So, any excuses made for the absence of any Gazan dissident who would be immediately silenced under the Hamas dictatorship does not account for the Palestinian Arabs in the diaspora who have the freedom to object but choose not to. This harsh reality is what we – as Jews – are up against.

Is it any wonder that people today are concerned, traumatized, and do not see any light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The sad reality is that Gaza is an excuse to find a socially acceptable way to publicly express Jew hatred under the false pretext of righteous indignation. The Gaza war has ignited an antisemitic reaction across Europe and throughout Britain causing unrest and rage which is continuing unabated.

One needs to revisit the aftermath of the European refugee crisis which caused mass migration to the west in 2015. This had the effect of fueling antisemitism and is a sign pointing to the failure of multiculturalism that is leading to the probable unsustainability of communal Jewish life in Europe, England and elsewhere.

One has only to look at Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, which did not bother to identify true genuine war refugees, implanting an ideology that holds the Jew as the eternal enemy.

Those immigrants who arrived in Europe as refugees were already radicalized and brought their animus towards Jews with them. It then rapidly grew unchecked, rooted in that all too familiarly-fertile European bed of antipathy towards Jews.


One has only to look with horror at the astonishing reemergence into public British political life of arch antisemite and notorious Israel basher, George Galloway after winning the election in Rochdale, a town with a 30% Muslim population. This is indeed a dark day for Britain. “This is for Gaza,” he opened his acceptance speech following his win, accusing the opposition Labour Party of “enabling, encouraging and covering” Israeli actions in the war in Gaza.

By George! George Galloway, who last month swept to victory in Rochdale by election is seen here (left) back in 2009 with Ziad al-Zaza, then-economy minister in the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, displaying cash he received from MP Galloway (left) during the latter’s visit to Gaza City.(Photo: Mohammed Salem /Reuters)

In subsequent interviews, Galloway refused to say whether he believed that Israel had a right to exist and told one broadcaster that Israel was “killing more children every day than actually were being killed in Auschwitz.”

Fearing the turbulent ‘winds of change’, Mike Freer, the Conservative Justice Minister and MP for Finchley and Golders Green, which is home to a large Jewish population, announced recently he would not seek election again following death threats, abuse, and arson attack. Although Freer is not Jewish, he is a public supporter of Israel a member of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), which made him a prime target.

Freer is not Free. Weeks after a suspected arson attack on his office, Conservative MP Mike Freer and a strong supporter of Israel, announces in an interview to Sky News outside his constituency office in North London on December 26, 2023 that he won’t seek reelection noting “serious threats” against him (Screen capture: Sky News)

The attacks by Muslims Against Crusades, Ali Harbi Ali and the recent arson attack …. have weighed heavily on me…” he wrote in a letter to the chairman of the Conservative Party’s Finchley and Golders Green branch.

There were also other candidates that received death threats all amounting to a terrible indictment of what is happening in England.

A land once renowned for its tolerance, Britain’s city streets today are the unsettling settings for huge anti-Israel demonstrations. They occur nearly every weekend and have been tainted by ugly antisemitic chants and slogans.

Menacing Message. Building which houses Tory MP Mike Freer’s constituency office, damaged by suspected arson on Christmas Eve. (Screen capture: Sky News)

In their distorted minds, Hamas leaders see themselves as been successful in this latest round of fighting generating tremendous support from all over the world towards the Palestinian cause.

On his visits to Germany, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who supports terrorists’ organizations including Hamas, urged Turkish immigrants to resist assimilation, which he called a crime against humanity, and to teach their children to speak and read Turkish before German. Turkey has been a NATO member since 1952.

So, what we see is a Europe paying a high price – and will pay even more in the future – for not requiring as a passport for residency, the assimilation or integration of Muslim immigrants into European culture.

Coupled with the failure of multiculturalism, we have also witnessed how over 40 years a whole generation of academicians and teachers has been craftily induced by a long-planned campaign to turn against the Jewish state. It started slowly with contributions to universities to set up departments that would present a specifically anti-Israel narrative and appoint staff in other areas who would share such an agenda until it became the accepted narrative. Billions were invested in setting up an infrastructure of ideological hatred. This has been the case in the US where they carelessly let it happen. As a result, there is so much prejudice across Western societies and an unwillingness to hear alternate points of view.

A notable example would be John Louis Esposito who promotes his agenda through his positions at Georgetown University as professor of religion and of Islamic studies and founding director of the center for Muslims-Christian Understanding (renamed after Prince Alwaleed bon Talal following his $20 million gift in 2005). Esposito has spent more than 40 years, lately on the Saudi payroll, misinforming the public.

A backer of the BDS movement, Esposito has signed a letter calling on “scholars and librarians within Middle East studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions”. The letter pledges “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel.”

On Twitter, Esposito has conjured antisemitic references to the “Jewish Lobby” echoing the age-old canard about Jews controlling foreign governments.

Antisemitism on Display. Mass protests against Israel’s war with Gaza – as this UK’s Free Palestine rally – never call for Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israelis and never plead for the immediate release of the captives abducted by Hamas and being held captive in Gaza – the two steps that Hamas could take to bring about a ceasefire.  (Photo: CST)

Also in Britain, Kings’ College, one of the UK’s most prestigious colleges, has been offering a course on counter terrorism peddling bias and misinformation about Israel. Anna Stanley, a former civil servant who attended the counter terrorism course as part of her studies, noted that should the course have taken place following Hamas’ October 7 attack, it would have been “contextually justified as ‘merely the oppressed countering the oppressor’.”

In trying to understand why we are in this current predicament, there are two sets of academic literature aimed at helping policy makers grapple with the threat of radical Islam.

The first set of ideas supported by Esposito, treats the religious motive as irrelevant. They are not concerned about political Islam as an ideology but only about individual acts of violence committed in its name.

Echoes of the Past. A pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin. Hours after the attacks in Israel on October 7, Muslims in one Berlin neighborhood were handing out candy as they reveled in the results of the attack. In a sinister echo of the 1930s, some homes in Berlin were marked with the Star of David.

A second set of scholars acknowledge that factors such as poverty and bad governance are relevant but argue that US policy makers should take seriously the religious ideology that underlies violence.

Where the world has failed is its focus on acts of violence while ignoring the major issue of the ideology that justifies, promotes, celebrates, and encourages violence and the methods used to spread that ideology.

The uptick in global hate against Israel and Jews worldwide is exacerbated by the obsessive nonstop biased reporting on Israel by TV news works generally and by the Qatari state-owned media network Al Jazeera in particular. It came as little surprise that U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during his visit to Doha on October 13, 2023, BEFORE Israel launched its retaliatory assault on Gaza, reportedly asked Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani to “turn down the volume” of Al Jazeera’s Gaza coverage.

If anything, the vitriol and unabated hateful reportage has been amplified.

Following the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust, the leading victorious powers collectively pledged that nothing like this should ever be allowed to happen again. And here we are 80 years later, and the savage malignancy of antisemitism is sweeping across the globe, unleashed by Hamas’ murderous assault on Israel on October 7.

About the Author
Sidney Kaplan is originally from South Africa and a founding member of Manof in the Galilee, since 1978. Today, he is retired, having been involved in marketing in Cape Town prior before coming to Israel, and in Israel, one of three partners involved in agriculture.
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