Friday, July 22, 2016

Germany: Israel’s daily experience of terror doesn’t seem so distant to Europeans anymore

Europeans have always been very critical of how Israel deals with terrorism and shown little empathy to Jewish victims. One finds the same mindset when it happens in Europe - finding excuses, explanations, justifications etc.?  But there is a change.  Israel is being presented more sympathetically recently.

The Jerusalem Post reports:
Israel’s daily experience of terror doesn’t seem so distant to Europeans anymore, several German Jewish community leaders remarked, a day after four people were severely wounded in a ax attack on a train in Würzburg.

“We are shocked and in deep grief and extend our condolences to the wounded and their families,” said president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, Charlotte Knobloch.

She notes that Israel has had to deal with constant terror attacks for almost 70 years: “It’s daily business there and it is starting here too,” she laments, though she expresses hope that it will also help to establish understanding and empathy for Israel.

“In Germany they don’t have a clue what it means to be hated and that’s why we don’t have understanding here for Israel’s actions and why the BDS movement is so strong...They have no idea what it means to be surrounded by people who want to kill you, so they don’t know how to deal with these destructive and hateful attitudes,” she adds. [...]

“This is what we know from the streets of Israel,” echoes Sacha Stawski, president of the pro-Israel organization, Honestly Concerned, referring as well to the deadly truck attack in Nice, France just several days earlier. “The question is whether people will understand that it’s the same terror as in Israel,” he says, skeptical that this will happen quite yet.

President of Maccabi Germany, Alon Meyer, expresses a similar sentiment. “From day to day it’s becoming worse here in Europe and we need to get used to the situation that Israel has already experienced for so long,” he tells the Post. “Everyday there is something in Israel and people no longer write about it because it’s normal already. But now they realize that it’s no longer so far away. It affects everyone, and we’re not so secure here either.” [...]

“When we talk about integration, we talk about integration in our values, not only in our economy and school system,” Knobloch emphasizes, highlighting that many of the refugees come from “countries in which hate against Israel and Jews is a constitutional part of the education and socialization.

Knobloch muses that there must have been signs of radicalization in the teenager who perpetrated the train attack. “He’s been living in Germany for two years now, so it is alarming that nobody saw this. That’s what we Jews are afraid of, that there is too much naivety.”
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