Frane Grossman :
I ask each of you to read this and perhaps reflect how lucky we are
here in the US, but what are we doing about the rest of world. I am beginning
to dislike the French very much! Rocks have been lifted all over Europe, and
the snakes of Jew-hatred are slithering free.
In Belgium, thugs beat up the chief rabbi, kicking him in the face and calling him "a dirty Jew."
Two synagogues in Brussels were firebombed; a third, in Charleroi, was sprayed with automatic weapon fire.
In Britain, the cover of the New Statesman, a left-wing magazine, depicted a large Star of David stabbing the Union Jack.
Oxford professor Tom Paulin, a noted poet, told an Egyptian interviewer that American Jews who move to the West Bank and Gaza "should be shot dead."
A Jewish yeshiva student reading the Psalms was stabbed 27 times on a London bus.
"Anti-Semitism", wrote a columnist in The Spectator, "has become respectable . . . at London dinner tables." She quoted one member of the House of Lords: "The Jews have been asking for it and now, thank God, we can say what we think at last."
In Italy, the daily paper La Stampa published a Page 1 cartoon: A tank emblazoned with a Jewish star points its gun at the baby Jesus, who pleads, "Surely they don't want to kill me again?"
In Corriere Della Sera, another cartoon showed Jesus trapped in his tomb, unable to rise, because Ariel Sharon, with rifle in hand, is sitting on the sepulcher. The caption:"Non resurrexit."
In Germany, a rabbinical student was beaten up in downtown Berlin and a grenade was thrown into a Jewish cemetery. Thousands of neo-Nazis held a rally, marching near a synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath. Graffiti appeared on a synagogue in the western town of Herford: "Six million were not enough."
In Ukraine, skinheads attacked Jewish worshippers and smashed the windows of Kiev's main synagogue. Ukrainian police denied that the attack was anti-Jewish.
In Greece, Jewish graves were desecrated in Loannina and vandals hurled paint at the Holocaust memorial in Salonica.
In Holland, an anti-Israel demonstration featured swastikas, photos of Hitler, and chants of "Sieg Heil" and "Jews into the sea."
In Slovakia, the Jewish cemetery of Kosice was invaded and 135 tombstones destroyed.
But nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in
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 Marseilles; 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." But of course, it never left. Not France; not Europe.
Anti-Semitism, the oldest bigotry known to man, has been a part of European society since time immemorial. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, open Jew-hatred became unfashionable; but fashions change, and Europe is reverting to type.
To be sure, some Europeans are shocked by the reemergence of Jew-hatred all over their continent. But the more common reaction has been complacency.
"Stop saying that there is anti-Semitism in France," President Jacques Chirac scolded a Jewish editor in January. "There is no anti-Semitism in France."
The European media have been vicious in condemning Israel's self-defense against Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank; they have been far less agitated about antiJewish terror in their own backyard.
They are making a grievous mistake. For if today the violence and vitriol are aimed at the Jews, tomorrow they will be aimed at the Christians. 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.
French Anti-Semitism Finally and long overdue, your people, oppressed and disgraced by hatred and maliciousness, have achieved justice: now you enjoy full citizen's rights, but you'll remain Jews nonetheless." Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872), Austrian author.
A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France. The woman was pregnant; a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was in the past week.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, from September 9, 2000, at the start of the intifada, through November 20, 2001, there were some 330 acts of anti-Semitism just in and around Paris. In addition to literally scores of firebombing of synagogues, just before Rosh Hashanah, 200 Arabs attacked Jews on the Champs Elysees. The pace has only picked up since then:
In December, a French cinema in Paris refused to allow a Hanukah showing of Harry Potter to 800 Jewish children because of French-Palestinian threats (the threats were confirmed by French police who then went on to do nothing, not even giving details). It was one incident in an eventful month when synagogues continued to be firebombed and a Jewish kindergarten was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti and set ablaze.
We can understand anti-Semitism among the French people. There is nothing the French love like their traditions and, on the question of hating Jews, they certainly have tradition galore. What, however, can explain the sometimes muted, sometimes defensively outraged reaction of French officials?
Simple. There are approximately 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 Muslims presently living in France and many more arrive daily. There are only about 600,000 Jews still living in France. Moreover, France is the number one European exporter to Iraq, totaling over two billion dollars per year in exports since 2000. To those who are at a loss to explain why French elected officials seem "helpless" to stem the tide of anti-Semitism, I say that something smells awfully Vichy around here.
You already know that Israel is at war against a fearsome enemy, which has brought the fight to its streets. Much of the civilized world (well, at least on this side of the Atlantic), finally understands this fact.
What is not being acknowledged, however, is that this is not a war against Israel, or as propagandists and demagogues worldwide would have it, occupiers.
This is a war against each and every individual, Israeli or not, religious or not, Zionist or not, right, left or center, who identifies himself or herself as Jewish. Israel is only the publicized front line and if you are not in Israel, and the fight has not arrived at your front yard, just wait. Or, perhaps, we shouldn't wait. Perhaps history has finally taught us, of all people, that waiting and hoping for succor and sympathy from the nations of the world will lead only to more burned synagogues, pogroms, and, down the road, grim-faced dignitaries mouthing "never again" while dedicating yet another memorial museum. We cannot wait inactively and hope to have security or peace for our children or ourselves. We dare not privately rail against irrational, virulent hatred while letting the world believe that we remain disinterested, accepting our lot with equanimity or, worse, resignation. We can and must do more than simply grieve.
So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:
First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight.
Second, boycott France. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuffs. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are as a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well directed pressure.
Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your coworkers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you and the people that you care about need their help.
The number one best selling book in France is "September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon.
Our only strength is the strength of our community and there can be no community without communication.
This is really scary stuff, Read it very carefully and thoroughly. We cannot allow this to continue. You MUST pass it on to as many people as you know, so we can curb this hideous anti-Semitic wave and squelch it.....before it grows and engulfs us all.
(Received by E. Woolner, 15.May 03)