Tuesday, November 08, 2005

So what happened to the canary?

Jeff Jacoby of the Jewish World Review writes in his editorial, "The canary in Europe's mine," that anti-Semitism is not merely on the rise in Europe, it has spilled over the floodgates and engulfs the continent. His article gives example after example of how anti-Semitism has worked its way back to political correctness after a period of shame and guilt following the Holocaust.

You see, the point of his article was to say, "Pay attention to your history, Europe. When your Jews have suffered, so have you. Pay attention, Europe. Disaster is coming." Jacoby paints the Jew as the symbolic canary in the mine. When the canary in the mine dies, all the miners know to get out fast because at that point disaster is imminent.

Interestingly, a portion of his article discusses France and the French government's reaction to the flood of French anti-Semitism. Mr. Jacoby writes:

But nowhere have the flames of antisemitism burned more furiously than in France.

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseille; so was a Jewish school in Creteil. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months. According to the police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day since Easter.

Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." The weekly journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an appalling libel: It said Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women, so that their relatives will kill them to preserve "family honor." The French ambassador to Great Britain was not sacked -- and did not apologize -- when it was learned that he had told guests at a London dinner that the world's troubles were the fault of "that shitty little country, Israel."

"At the start of the 21st century," writes Pierre-Andre Taguieff, a well-known social scientist, in a new book, "we are discovering that Jews are once again select targets of violence. . . . Hatred of the Jews has returned to France."

And what is the reaction of the leader of France to all of this? President Jacques Chirac has proclaimed, "Stop saying that there is antisemitism in France. There is no antisemitism in France."

Well, in that case, here's a thousand words, Mr. Chirac:
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Mr. Jacoby writes, "A timeless lesson of history is that it rarely ends with the Jews. Militant Islamist extremists were attacking and killing Jews long before they attacked and killed Americans on Sept. 11. The Nazis first set out to incinerate the Jews; in the end, all of Europe was ablaze.

Jews, it is often said, are the canary in the coal mine of civilization. When they become the objects of savagery and hate, it means the air has been poisoned and an explosion is soon to come. If Europeans don't rise up and turn against the Jew-haters, it is only a matter of time until the Jew-haters rise up and turn against them."

And now it is France's turn to face the fires. See the article, "Why French youth are rioting." In it, you will read, "The spark for the rage is economic - unemployment among French Muslim youth is endemic. But the riots, increasingly organized through Internet sites, have given an opening for fundamentalist Islamists to radicalize French Muslims, giving the riots an even more volatile and sinister edge in an age of terrorism." More coverage of the riots (or should it be called the Cyber-Intifada?) spreading across Europe can be found on Yahoo's Special Riots Coverage Section.

Yo. Europe. How's that canary doing?


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