I don’t care that Muslims are standing in front of a synagogue

In the wake of a terrorist murder at a synagogue in Copenhagen many Norwegian Muslims have determined to show solidarity with the Jewish community there. They shall be taking position outside a synagogue to “guard” it through making a “human peace ring” around it.

I wish they wouldn’t.

Superficial expressions of solidarity are all well and good but what we need is something a lot more real. No sensible person ever doubted that there were plenty of Muslims out there happy to live side by side with Jews. What I would prefer is to see the Muslim community take active measures to curb the extremism in their own mosques, schools and institutions. This isn’t just what the Jews need, it’s what everyone needs.

Are any of the politicians of Europe, in whose hands lie the power to tackle Islamic extremism head on, going to do anything at all to ensure that the real problem is dealt with?

Perhaps they could work on countering Islamic extremism instead of attacking the Prime Minister of Israel for telling Jews to make aliyah. Of course I wouldn’t expect European politicians to be anything other than outraged by calls from the Israeli Prime Minister for Jews to turn their backs on Europe and move to Israel. Such calls serve as a reminder of the European failure when it comes to accepting Jewry as an integrated part of Europe.

Zionism is a Jewish and a European ideology. It was born in Europe as a response to a hatred of Jews. A hatred whose very name, anti-Semitism, was coined by a Jew hater who wanted his hatred to sound more scientific. Every time you hear someone arguing they can’t be anti-Semitic because they’re a Semite you’ll see his effort bearing fruit.

The only reason Israel exists is because of Europe’s shabby treatment of Jews. The fact that in the 21st century Jews are still abandoning Europe to flock to Israel is a harsh reminder of European failure vis a vis the Jews. No wonder European politicians are taking it personally it’s a harsh indictment of their ineffectiveness.

In April in Southampton at a conference entitled ‘International Law and the State of Israel’ Zionism will be attacked on the grounds of human rights. This is Europe’s big issue. The liberal breeding ground for ideas of tolerance, enlightenment and many other nice, fluffy philosophies will always have an issue with Zionism, a Jewish ideology that holds a mirror up to ‘enlightened’ Europe and shows it the real reflection of itself.

After all how enlightened can Europe be if the Jews can’t find a home there? Rather than deal with the ramifications of such a question European intellectuals would far rather attack and attempt to de-legitimise Israel. It’s easier and requires a great deal less soul searching.

In Southampton the usual arguments against Israel will be rolled out. Israel will be attacked as an ethnic state that doesn’t provide human rights or democracy for all it’s citizens. It will be decried as supremacist when in reality it’s existence is simply the result of Jews creating a state where they can find the equality that so eluded them in Europe. Of course if Europe had provided these rights to Jews in the first place Zionism would never have been born.

Furthermore if the Europeans had managed to create an environment where Jews were treated as equals they wouldn’t be fleeing now.

Zionism serves to tell Europeans that the societies of which they’re so proud are failing. It’s this critique which is the reason we see such utter defensiveness on a Channel 4 interview where an Israeli journalist who exposed anti-Semitism was accused of “provocation.” We see it when politicians react to an Israeli Prime Minister’s call for Jews to leave Europe with righteous indignation and personal attacks.

It’s much easier to celebrate the irrelevant actions of a couple of Muslim activists or to attack Bibi Netanyahu or even to post armed guards to synagogues than it is to change the underlying problems in European society that ensure thousands of young European Muslims are running off to fight and die in the Islamic State.

It’s this European need to pretend everything’s fine which has led to the narrative we see all around us. It is why you’ll hear a great deal about Lassanna Bathily who is being honoured with French citizenship for his role in hiding Jews during the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris than about the heroism of Yoav Hattab. He was killed attacking a terrorist who had already murdered four people. In this context it is Bathily who is turned into a hero whereas Hattab is merely consigned to a couple of news reports and a grave in Jerusalem.

Hattab, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Tunisia, didn’t fit a European narrative that would rather see a Muslim praised as a hero for locking Jews in the fridge and running away, than a Jew who attacked an armed Muslim terrorist and was killed in the process. The former narrative promotes a myth of coexistence allowing politicians to deflect calls to tackle the Islamic extremism they have allowed to flourish on their watch. The latter might, heaven forbid, see Jews encouraged to fight for themselves rather than remain at the mercy of the soldiers on their doorsteps and the government in Parliament.

When European politicians are happy to put armed guards in front of Jewish targets but refuse to tackle the issue of radical Islam, or even to name it we know that things won’t change. In this Europe the Jews will remain weak and defenceless, in need of help from a state that will show how wonderful it is by providing armed guards and words of condemnation against anti-Semitism. But Jews only need armed guards because of the failure of Europe to deal with its Jew problem, or perhaps its Muslim problem. We only need words of condemnation and soldiers outside our communal buildings because leaders throughout Europe lack the courage needed to take on the problem of Jew hatred that’s festering, like it always has, in their society.

If European politicians were serious about dealing with anti-Semitism we’d see them tackle Muslim organisations and institutions that indoctrinate their communities with hatred of Jews, Christians and democracy. Instead we have seen them celebrated by the very politicians who claim to be stamping out extremism. It’s the same mindset that saw then head of the Muslim Council of Britain receive a Knighthood at exactly the same time as then Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. One did charitable work and represented the Jewish community, the other ran an organisation which would go on to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day and call for the death of British servicemen.

But of course you can’t give a Jew an honour without giving a Muslim one too. Apparently any Muslim will do. It’s this classic mindset, this encouragement of the appearance of fair play over substantive policy which got us all into this mess in the first place.

I suppose you could call it progress that Europe’s politicians are now speaking out against anti-Semitism rather than encouraging it or even perpetrating it. But this “progress” is too little too late. We no longer need to wait for Europe’s politicians to get their act together, we don’t need to rely on Muslims standing in front of synagogues for a nice photo op allowing everyone to pretend that everything’s fine. In fact I would far rather those Muslims let us defend our own shuls and concentrated on attacking the extremism running rampant through their communities.

So for these reasons I have no interest whatsoever in Muslims standing in front of synagogues and a great deal of interest in knowing what it is that European governments intend to do to stamp out the Islamic extremism which they have for too long ignored.

About the Author
Marc Goldberg is the author of Beyond the Green Line, a story his service in the IDF fighting through the al Aqsa Intifada
Related Topics
Related Posts