As the fight in Gaza wears on, anti-Semites across Europe are attacking the continent’s Jews under the pretext of protesting Israel’s politics.
Since the beginning of the current war between Israel and Hamas, eight synagogues in France have been attacked. In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked for Jews to apologize for the actions of the Jewish state. In Germany, a prominent Muslim Imam gave a sermon asking Allah to kill all of the “Zionist Jews.”
The atmosphere in Europe since the beginning of the war has been so toxic that the foreign ministers of France, Italy, and Germany on Tuesday issued a rare joint statement condemning anti-Semitism at pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
All of this presents a troubling paradox for Zionism. The state of Israel was founded in 1948 as a haven for Jews. But in 2014 Europe’s anti-Semites have attacked Jews for the deeds of the Jewish state.
It is a classic anti-Semitic canard to punish any Jew for the perceived crimes of all of them. There is no evidence also to suggest that if Israel did not respond to rockets fired from Hamas, the Jews of Europe would be any safer or the continent’s anti-Semites would be any more tolerant. After all, some of the worst attacks on Jews in France occurred at a time of relative quiet in Israel.
But during a war that has claimed nearly 700 Palestinians and far fewer Israelis, Jewish leaders in Europe say their communities are being held responsible for the actions of Israel.
“If you are a French Jew you should not be responsible physically for what happens 4,000 kilometers away,” Roger Cukierman, the president of the umbrella organization representing the Jewish community in France known as CRIF, told The Daily Beast.
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters descended upon “Little Jerusalem,” the Jewish neighborhood in the suburb of Sarcelles, north of Paris, on Sunday. Rioters threw a Molotov cocktail at a religious institution next to the synagogue, setting alight a Jewish pharmacy and mini-market, burned vehicles, destroyed property and wreaked havoc at the city’s train station while police tried to secure the area.
This neighborhood is home to one of France’s biggest Jewish communities, its members residing in a block of buildings centered around a synagogue and a Jewish school. Outside “Little Jerusalem,” the great majority of the population is of African and North African descent.
The situation here has been tense for more than a decade following several anti-Semitic attacks, so when pro-Palestinian organizations called for a protest at the local train station just days after clashes had erupted outside three Paris synagogues - it seemed obvious that things could get out of hand.
To avert public disorder the authorities had banned the Sarcelles rally, as was also the case with a number of events planned for this past weekend in the Paris area, including a protest that the Jewish Defense League wanted to hold.
But like the previous day, in Paris, the pro-Palestinian demonstrators defied the police and began to gather at 3 P.M. Sunday at the train station, about a mile from the local synagogue. The protesters had negotiated with police over the right to hear several speeches and then disperse.
One of the event’s organizers, Suleiman, called for peace.
“We’re not against Israel,” he said. “We just want peace for both Palestine and Israel. We have nothing against our Jewish brothers, our friends, our cousins.” He then added, “Allahu akbar (God is great).”
As the protest was staged on the day that commemorates the roundup of Jews in Paris in 1942, the organizers noted: “We respect World War II roundups but what you’re doing in Gaza is genocide, too.”
Quickly, the crowd started chanting anti-Israeli slogans, along the lines of “Israel is a murderer,” “[French President] François Hollande is an accomplice.”
When the speeches were over Suleiman asked the crowd about 20 times to leave, but it wouldn’t. Hundreds of people carrying Moroccan and other North African flags then started running. At first, they ran in the opposite direction of the synagogue, as police were blocking the street. Then they turned to a street parallel to that of the synagogue, under the gaze of hundreds of people watching them from above in tall buildings.
The crowd then turned again and reached the city’s main avenue, on which the synagogue is located, and then walked toward it. They burned cars, attacked a television crew, and chanted “Allahu akbar.”
Police were stationed on all the streets leading to the Jewish neighborhood, whose residents stood helplessly behind them. Some were afraid that relatives outside the quarter would get hurt.
Man Jean-Marie Le Pen is sick. I really hope this has a negative effect on the National Front’s popularity in France. I put this under Wingnuts since we don’t have a category specifically for genocidal, racist, fascist, hate mongers. Kim Willsher reports,
Jean-Marie Le Pen, 85, is standing as an MEP for Marseille, south-east France, in this week’s European parliament elections. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters
At a cocktail party before an election rally in Marseille on Tuesday evening, days before the European elections in which the FN is leading the polls in France, Le Pen spoke of the “demographic explosion” in the world.
“Monseigneur Ebola could sort that out in three months,” he said in front of journalists.
I have to thank Daniela at Skepchicks for alerting me to this.
Based on what Miranda Blue at Right Wing Watch, and others have pointed out, a better name for “the American Center for Law and Justice” would be “The American Center for Theocracy and Injustice.” It really sounds like the group has never met an anti gay law it didn’t like and the only cases when it seems to care about discrimination is when it thinks Christians are being discriminated against. Its also clearly opposed to secularism and refuses to accept the fact that the establishment clause mandates the Separation of Church and state. The group is also anti Muslim, and opposed the so called “Ground Zero Mosque.” Speaking of which, I wonder how these people feel about anti blasphemy laws in Muslim countries?
The American Center for Law and Justice, the group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to be a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, bills itself as a champion of the “ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.”
But the ACLJ - which has joined in the Religious Right chorus claiming that progressive policies are causing American Christians to lose their religious freedom - has never been so keen on the civil liberties of those with whom they disagree, especially in its work overseas.
World Cup Final 2006.
Zidane tragic exit.
Coming all through the summer on LGF:
America isn’t the only country with wingnuts who have enough popular support to threaten liberal values and the nation’s freedom. Agence France-Presse reports on a disturbing development in France.
French voters went to the polls on Sunday in the first round of local elections set to represent a landmark for women in politics and, possibly, for the far-right National Front.
The first nationwide vote since Francois Hollande’s 2012 election as president took place with the ruling Socialists battling record unpopularity and the main opposition UMP party grappling with scandals embroiling former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Against that backdrop, polls have suggested around one in four voters are considering casting their votes for Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN), setting the scene for what could be a breakthrough election for the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by the daughter of its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Le Pen has been digging the terrain of discontent around France, and in Henin-Beaumont — a Socialist bastion for decades — she is counting on a win in municipal elections that begin Sunday, the first of a string of electoral tests she hopes will catapult her National Front to the forefront of French political life.
Le Pen’s party, which disdains the European Union and globalization and fears that Islamic culture will subvert French civilization, is aiming to leverage the municipal vote to build a grassroots base upon which to draw ahead of May elections for the European Parliament and the French presidential vote in 2017. She wants to officially scrub away the racist stigma that has long clung to the National Front and ultimately to upend the French political system by winning broad support for the party’s “patriotic” doctrine.
The defender led a team including 17-year-old Pele to a 5-2 victory against host nation Sweden in the final to claim the trophy for the first time.
He is credited with being the first World Cup captain to lift the trophy high into the air.
“Brazilian football is mourning the death of a great man and captain,” said Brazilian Football Confederation president Jose Maria Marin.
“I had the opportunity to meet him during his time at Sao Paulo where he proved, as well as being an excellent defender, he was a gentleman and an exemplary professional.”
you can watch the entire ‘Brazil v. France’ game from the 1958 World Cup here - Bellini was stunning! You also may see a cameo by a young man named Pele`, who you may not have heard of before. Apparently, he was quite a good striker of the ball in his day. Also on that team were Garrincha, and Nilton Santos - two of the arguably greatest players ever to grace a cow pasture.
Competição (Competition): Copa do Mundo (World Cup)
Local (Place): Estádio Rasunda
Cidade (City): Stockholm (Suécia/Sweden)
Árbitro (Referee): Benjamin Mervyn Griffiths (País de Gales/Wales)
Brasil (Brazil): Gilmar, De Sordi, Bellini, Orlando Peçanha, Nílton Santos, Zito, Didi, Garrincha, Vavá, Pelé, Zagallo. Técnico (Coach): Vicente Feola
França (France): Abbes, Kaelbel, Joncquet - Lerond, Panverne, Marcel - Wisnieski, Kopa, F