Living in Europe as a Jew has become hazardous to your health. The attack in Halle, Germany, was a well executed pseudo military operation. In full gear and focused on his target, the killer had very little distraction. A proud self proclaimed 27 year-old Jew hater. As we watch what has become the all too familiar scenes of carnage aftermath, political hand wringing, and solidarity photo ops, the situation does not get any better. The candles, messages, flowers, and public outrage will soon be forgotten like yesterday’s lunch. More security has been called in to “protect” synagogues in Germany, but that is not going to dampen the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the US.
I have been living in Germany for 34 years. I have lived in Bremerhaven, Frankfurt, and now in Bavaria. But contrary to popular belief, the problem is not the nationalist state of Bayern, Bavaria, but former East Germany. Thirty years of unification has not been that benevolent to East Germans. They feel like the west’s poor relation. With high unemployment and cities still reeling in disrepair and poor economy, the far right raised its head in relative quiet immunity. Merkel gave them the reason and they took the opportunity.
The far right Alternativ fur Deutschland (AfD) or Alternative for Germany, rose in popularity when Merkel decided to let in over a million Middle East immigrants into Germany. It was humanitarian, she said. She intended for Germany to be seen as Lady Liberty of Europe. AfD ran on an anti-immigration platform. But party group leaders also targeted Jews. They want a radical change to the Holocaust remembrance culture. They criticized Jewish rites in preparation of kosher foods and demanded a change in food preparation regulations that specifically go against Jewish rituals and culture. But watching “tolerance” in treasure going to immigrant “outsiders”; East German states voted overwhelmingly for a chance to gain foothold in the government. AfD gave them 100 seats in the Bundestag.
Thanks to the “Palestinian” narrative pushed by the UN, EU, BDS, and ultra left wing liberal progressives in the US; Jews in the Western hemisphere have found themselves the brunt of unprecedented hatred under the convenient obliquity of social justice. Like their distant right wing cousins, far left bigots wallow in obscene “tolerance” speech that marginalizes Jews on campuses, communities, and politics. When Ivy League colleges routinely invite visceral anti-Semitic speakers and invoke free speech; we have more than a right wing white supremacist nutcase as a problem. We have a warped justified mindset that shifts morality and tolerance on a pendulum that is purposely set to discriminate against Israel and Jews. Add elected members of the US Congress to the Anti-Semitic pot, and we elevate anti Jewish back room bigotry to a legitimate podium.
The situation in Europe goes far beyond right wing Nazism. Politics have legitimized suited Jew haters. Whereas Germany’s AfD acknowledges its far right anti-immigration agenda; Britain’s Labor Party, under Jeremy Corbyn, has silently morphed into a polarized anti-Semitic entity, unless (and according to Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld) of course it’s really been that way forever. In an April 2019 article, Dr. Gerstenfeld opined that the British Labor Party has always been inherently anti-Semitic by virtue of its socialist agenda. He gave three compelling reasons; the first he called “socialism of fools” which every socialist party is guilty of. Anti-capitalism that blames big banks and corporations for inequality in society. First banks are found guilty than an accusation of “Rothschild capitalism” accuses Jews of controlling global finances. The second reason is a more straight forward run-of-the-mill classic racial Antisemitism. Nothing to elaborate on. The third and most insidious is the pro Palestinian excuse for anti-Zionism and Israel bashing . Sadly enough, neither the British public nor politicians have really taken any serious steps to sanction, curb, or remove Jeremy Corbyn, the biggest bigot in Parliament. He continues his anti-Israel crusade embracing BDS and other organizations harmful to Israel and Jews. Nobody in Britain seems to lose any sleep over it.
The bold rise in Antisemitism is not native only to Germany and Great Britain. According to the French Government, 2018 experienced a 74% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in France. These included desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalized Holocaust memorials, and general harassment of Jews and Jewish establishments in major cities. In February 2019, thousands of Parisians held an Antisemitism protest; then they retreated to their berets, batons, brioche, wine, and escargot. Se la vie! In the meantime, Jews in places like Nice complain of bullying at school and subtle harassment in the street. Most are considering leaving and going to Israel.
World indignation comes in spurts. When Jews are attacked, politicians are out in force and finger pointing starts in earnest. In the meantime, Europe keeps on festering in anti-Jewish sentiment and provocations. The toll in keeping relatively safe as a Jew in Europe is heavy. A few months ago, I met visiting IDF soldiers on a joint training exercise with NATO and coalition troops. I practiced my poor rudimentary Hebrew on one of them and obviously impressed him because he gave me the Israeli flag that was Velcroed to his uniform. As a diehard pro Israel goy I placed it proudly on the dashboard of my car. When I parked my car on a public German road, I suddenly felt compelled to temporarily hide it. I was afraid that someone would target my car and me. I felt apprehension and I’m not Jewish. I am also waiting for the day when I’m harassed because of the small gold chain and Star of David I wear around my neck. Another apprehension and I’m still not Jewish. Which gets me thinking; how safe does a Jew feel in today’s Europe?
At this point I do not know what is worse, the vicious attacks or European patronizing. The EU is as fake as Botox on Cher. It is behind the forced integration of millions of Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants into major European cities. Regardless of whether some countries had social economic problems of their own or not, they had to bend to the whim of Brussels and take in thousands of people who often refused to assimilate or remained loyal to their anti-Israel inbred culture and beliefs. This unwarranted forced immigration by the EU gave rise and reason to political parties like the AfD. The Jews in Europe are now caught between a rock and a hard place. Far right Nazi sympathizers and an insurgence of Middle Easterners born and bred hating Israel.
You can disguise hatred in a myriad of politically correct euphemisms. Those who hide behind the anti-Israel argument as not being anti-Jewish are as obscene as those who accuse Israel of apartheid. Both under the pretense of tolerance, social equality and justice. Both targeting Jews in communities in Europe and the US as an excuse for their twisted reasoning and ultimate justification. The dangerous move from fringe haters to political parties legitimizes Antisemitism as a voting choice rather than an abhorrence. Once bigotry and hatred turns into a choice at the voting booth, there is very little that can stop the trend that has led to boycotts of Israeli products or Apartheid week at Harvard. Halle is an extension of permissive institutionalized Antisemitism.
Unfortunately, I am sure that we will witness another Halle. Maybe in Germany or maybe not. The seed has been sown and the ground is politically fertile. No armed protection in Synagogues, protests in the streets, or laying of wreaths at Holocaust memorials, can reverse the pervasive Antisemitism that has now defined Europe and parts of the US. When Jew defamation is protected under “free speech” there is very little light at the end of the tunnel.
In September 2019, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad was invited to speak at Columbia University; bedrock to BDS and anti-Israel “free speech”. The Prime Minister’s past remarks included calling Jews “hook nosed”, questioning the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and patting himself on the back and proud in being labeled an Anti-Semite. A real sweetheart. When a group of Jewish students wrote a letter of protest to the university’s leadership, they were told that although his remarks are abhorrent, they must “open the forum to protect freedoms”. A response from the sacred hallways of Ivy League higher education pinheads where “freedom of speech” is only kosher if it belittles Jews. And we wonder why Antisemitism is on the rise?