Friday, June 2, 2017

French Jewish experts cannot come up with a plan for a viable long-term Jewish community

Via The Jerusalem Post (Manfred Gerstenfeld):
Many Jews in France feel ongoing unease about French attitudes toward them. This is due to an array of problems that go far beyond antisemitic statements. When one speaks to French Jewish experts they cannot come up with a plan for a viable long-term Jewish community. 
The relative importance of the various issues which worry Jews in France change with the political party in power. Yet one threat is always there: that of violence, sometimes lethal, emanating mainly from parts of the Muslim community. 
All lethal attacks on Jews in Western Europe in the 21st century have been carried out by Muslims. Most have taken place in France. Jews represent less than one percent of the country’s population, but amount to a substantially higher percentage of those killed. 
Sebastien Selam, a Jewish disc jockey, was murdered by his neighbor, Adel Amastaibou, in 2003. In 2006, a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days before being murdered by a group of Muslims. 
The 2012 murders of four Jews, three of them children, in Toulouse was carried out by Mohammed Merah. In 2015, Ahmed Coulibaly murdered four Jews in the Paris Hyper Cacher supermarket. In April 2017, Sarah Lucy Halimi was murdered in Paris. The suspect is her Muslim neighbor. The summer 2014 attacks on synagogues in Paris and Sarcelles by bands of Muslim hooligans are unprecedented in post-war Western Europe. 
France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, wants the existing EU open border policy to remain. This facilitates additional terrorist attacks. The attacks and threats have led to greatly increased security in synagogues, schools and other Jewish institutions. Such protection also has a tendency to enhance fear. Some may even stay away from Jewish gathering places. 
Furthermore, many Jews are reluctant to show their identity in the public domain, especially in areas where there are many Muslims. 
One major reason why France has taken anti-Israeli positions is to please Muslims originating in countries with majority percentages of antisemites, or their descendants. This is another important reason France is a country with major social and economic problems. 
The British Daily Telegraph has called France “the sick man of Europe.” 
In such a reality the leaders of the country need not only to please Muslims but also to find a scapegoat to convince themselves that France counts more than it really does in the world. The initiative which led to the failed Paris Middle East Peace Conference at the beginning of 2017 should be seen in this context.

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