Tag Archives: Anti-Semitism

Month of freedom and liberty with Independence Day or Deceived day

Udo Ndah of Purple Rays thinks that July is the month of freedom and liberty!

I would love to be able to say “amen” to that, but I am afraid there are some figures in our present day who are bringing that freedom into a great danger and have made Independence Day July the 4th more into their own Donald Trump Day.

In one of our national languages we have the word “tromper” and “tromp”, to “deceive” and “deceived”.
I cannot resist the fact that several Americans must nevertheless come to the realization that they have made a serious mistake in the election of the current president. They also should have to come to know that anything that cost their peace would not only be too expensive but also something to avoid. And the present leader of the United States of America has had his finger already too many times on the “Red Button”.

 

foto van A Conscious Rethink.

Udo Ndah writes

July has one of the longest lists of Independence Day anniversaries; more than twenty days of the month are Independence celebration days for various countries including good old Uncle Sam (USA)! {Happy New Month of July!}

But where is that good popular old symbol for the United States Uncle Sam gone to?

Fox speaks about a “Great Awokening” (sic)

comparable in some ways to the enormous religious foment in the white North in the years before the American Civil War.

And tells us

It began roughly with the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, when activists took advantage of ubiquitous digital video and routine use of social media to expose a national audience in a visceral way to what otherwise might have been a routine local news story. It’s as if a special July energy triggers the ‘freedom hormones’ in humans urging them to break both individual and collective fetters! {The Great Awokening}

About Ferguson Trump showed his real face at several occasions or confrontations with the press. Nearly five years later, Fox does not seem to see that Mr. Trumps has made July the 4th in a Trump Day and has used  it for political election action work. Though they note that Trump has made white racial resentment more visible than it was before and remark

but at the same time, white liberals have become much more attuned to racism — seeing more of it not necessarily because the world has changed but because their own attitudes toward longstanding features of it have changed. {The Great Awokening}

Fox agrees that Trump’s presidency itself is probably a driver of the shift on LGBTQ issues, weapon matters, and racial thinking. Donald Trump and his allies’ support may for the world outside look like he is for the Jews. But they should see he is more for Israel’s right-wing government, which itself has made common cause with some European anti-Semitic nationalist movements. Others such as the historian David Henkin claim that many of Trump’s Orthodox supporters

“are the descendants (literally, in many cases) of Jews to whom the white nationalism of the post-1965 Republican Party was already resonating 30 or 40 years ago in debates about affirmative action, segregation, colonialism, and law enforcement.” Both theories, however, overlook Orthodoxy’s own position on anti-Semitism and the crucible in which it was formed.

Even Trump having a Jewish son in law, did not hinder him to more than once to give anti-Semitic remarks. Trump his strong support for Israel, the spiritual and religious centre of Judaism, does not make of him a saint.
The seeming contradiction between an American president who never misses an opportunity to boast about a largely symbolic embassy move and conversely misses every opportunity to denounce white nationalism, is according to some no contradiction at all. It comes as little surprise that the two American pastors that Trump delegated to bless the opening of the Jerusalem embassy respectively claimed that Hitler was a messenger sent by God and that Jews who do not embrace Christ are damned. Many Trump adepts by interviews from our Flemish television stations were or are convinced Trump is also a messenger of God.
Pastor Robert Jeffress responded,

“I have never said anything derogatory about the Jewish people. I talked about the oneness we share in worshiping the same God in the Scriptures.”

Though he and Trump worship a tri-une god whilst Jews, like me and other real Christians worship the Only One True God of Israel, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is an invisible God of love. In other interviews that pastor further explained,

“Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy.”

And Jews, Jeshuaists and real Christians do know that Jerusalem is going to be the capital of the Kingdom of God, But that does not mean that it is up to an American president to decide when it would be time to have Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Jeffress’ focus on Judaism and disinterest in the global socio-economic well-being of Jews is borne out from recent polling data gauging American evangelical attitudes toward Jews and Israel. A 2017 LifeWay Research Poll revealed that upwards of 80 percent of American evangelical Christians believe that events surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel were the fulfilment of Bible prophecies that show we are getting closer to the return of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, only 20 percent of those polled understood these events in strictly geopolitical terms.

For many Americans Trump looks like the one preceding Jesus Christ bringing total liberation for the world they want to live in, without coloured people, without Hispanics, without Mexicans or any South American.
Those Americans do forget that lots of people had a marvellous idea of the nation they would have loved to live in. Many laid down their lives so that one day their progeny could feel proud of what the pioneers did and proud of that free country they could live in

Those ancestors had hopes that they and their offspring could exercise their treasures of traditions and values without fears of oppression and shadows of injustice in a nation where all the religions could reside with common opinions and behaviours and there not being to much difference of being on the top and those at the bottom.

Yesterday on the 5th of July 2019 Donald Trump used independence day to have hit his day, wanting to show to France, North Korea, Russia, that he too could govern a nation where there is place for military show and people parading for him as the masterful director of a great nation.

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Preceding

Prince of Wales warning that the world is in danger of “forgetting the lessons of the past”

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Russian involvement in US elections

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title

Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism

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Find also to read

  1. 2014 Human Rights
  2. Does he really not know #1 Lies and money laundering
  3. Does he really not know #2 Casinos and inner circles
  4. Time to get out of the gridlock
  5. Donald Trump his America

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Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism

“It’s clearly a sign that Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism and hate against Jews and any group that doesn’t fit into the White Nationalist mindset.
These days are a very crucial time for American Jews to fight back against all threats made by extremists who are very ignorant about history and hope to keep us paranoid and scared.”

Eric Morris Eskenazi

 

Also in the U.S.A. Jews are frequent targets of hateful vandalism.
Here are some numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on hate crimes in the U.S. in 2017, which show how much of the hate crime vandalism reported in the U.S. that year targeted Jews.

Instances of hate crime vandalism: 2,325
Instances of hate crime vandalism targeting Jews: 691
Proportion of hate crime vandalism that targeted Jews: 30%
Proportion of Americans who are Jewish: Around 2%

Read more:

  1. White Nationalism Is Spreading In The Orthodox Community
  2. Spike In Anti-Semitic Vandalism: What You Need To Know
  3. Think About The Spike In Anti-Semitic Vandalism

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Anti-Semitism in Austria 2018 study results

Wolfgang Sobotka, president of the lower house of the Austrian parliament, presented the results of the “Anti-Semitism in Austria 2018” study in Vienna last week. It surveyed 2,731 respondents older than 16 including 604 Muslims.

Asked whether they agree with a statement blaming anti-Semitic persecution of Jews on their own behaviour, 19 percent of non-Muslims agreed. In the Muslim group, 45 percent of the respondents endorsed the statement.

Arab respondents, who made up half of the Muslim group, were slightly more likely than Turks, who made up the other half, to agree with the statement.

In the Turkish group, 28 percent agreed that “Jews still need to answer for the murder of Jesus.” The figure was 17 among Arabs and 13 among non-Muslims in the study.

Ten percent of non-Muslims agreed with the statement that “a lot is exaggerated in news about concentration camps” from the Holocaust. That figure was 41 percent among Turks and 35 among Arabs.

Asked to react to the statement that “Jews control international commerce,” 39 percent of non-Muslims concurred. The figures were 63 and 64 percent among the Turkish and Arab groups.

European governments rarely commission such aggregated surveys, which some perceive as discriminatory and which are illegal in some European states.

Karoline Edtstadler, state secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, said in a statement about the report:

“We will focus anti-racism efforts on immigrant children,”

the TRT Turkish news agency reported Tuesday.

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Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism

Historian Deborah Lipstadt has published an accessible and comprehensive book about contemporary anti-Semitism called “Antisemitism: Here and Now.” The book, in which she spells anti-Semitism as “antisemitism” for reasons she outlines—is structured as a series of letters she writes to a fictional student and colleague — both of whom are composites of people Lipstadt has taught and worked with at Emory University in Atlanta.

Lipstadt, the author of books on Holocaust denial and the Adolf Eichmann trial, has experienced anti-Semitism as a result of confronting Holocaust deniers. In the early 2000s, she prevailed in a defamation lawsuit brought by David Irving, one of the more prolific and notorious Holocaust “revisionists.” Her victory was dramatized in “Denial,” a 2016 movie starring Rachel Weisz.

Lipstadt writes that anti-Semitism is challenging to define:

“It is hard, if not impossible, to explain something that is essentially irrational, delusional, and absurd.”

She recently spoke to JewishBoston about her new book and the ongoing scourge of anti-Semitism around the world.

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Is today’s anti-Semitism “old wine in new bottles?”

On some level, it is old wine in new bottles. There are certain aspects of the stereotype which continue to exist and don’t go away. What’s different today is a number of things. First of all, it’s coming from the right and the left simultaneously. That’s different. At the same time, we’ve got a third source, and that is Islamic extremists who have been responsible for dangerous, deadly events in Europe. In some sectors of the Muslim community, it has become embedded among people who wouldn’t think to do anything violent but think evil things of Jews. This combination is different, but the charges are classic.

Actor Rachel Weisz and author Deborah Lipstadt on the set of their film “Denial,” a Bleecker Street release. (Photo credit: Liam Daniel/Bleecker Street)

Actor Rachel Weisz and author Deborah Lipstadt on the set of their film “Denial,” a Bleecker Street release. (Photo credit: Liam Daniel/Bleecker Street)

In your introduction, you write, “By the time this book appears there will have been new examples of antisemitism.”

In some ways, the book is a work in progress. I was sure by the time it was published there would have been a number of instances that could have appeared. Five weeks after I hit the send button, Pittsburgh happened.

Speaking of ongoing anti-Semitism, what inspired you to write a book about it?

I wrote an article right after Gaza happened the summer of 2014 for The New York Times op-ed page. What struck me was the degree of anti-Semitism that got mixed up in opposition to that war. But it wasn’t just the war. There was the 2006 murder of Ilan Halimi. In 2012 there were the murders at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Then there was the shooting at the Jewish Museum of Brussels just before Gaza. Anti-Semitism was coming back in a way that deserved attention. The Times article was very popular, and my agent asked where my book proposal was. I sent him a brief proposal as a favor. He came back to me shortly afterward and said he sold the book. That’s how I came to write a book about anti-Semitism.

You talk about what I describe as “low-voltage anti-Semitism” that can happen casually at dinner parties or in dorm rooms. How do Jews deal with that?

While this book has received mostly amazing reviews, like any author, I tend to linger on the one or two negative ones. One of the reviews said I should not have told my fictitious student Abigail that when she encountered anti-Semitism among her roommates to go back and have a discussion. The reviewer said, “I would have told her to find new friends.” That’s the wrong answer. We’ll run out of friends very quickly if we do that. There is a lot of misunderstanding of what anti-Semitism is and what constitutes it. Our job should be to try to explain that to people. However, when you call me a termite [as Louis Farrakhan did] because I’m a Jew, I’m not going to try and educate you anymore. We have to discern between ignorance and what is absorbed from the ethos sphere, and the committed anti-Semite.

What do you say to young Jews participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement? And what are some of the anti-Semitic tropes associated with BDS?

Many people on campus who support BDS probably couldn’t find Israel on a map. I don’t immediately brand every person who supports BDS as an anti-Semite. Some people erroneously equate BDS with their parents’ votes against apartheid. But if you drill down to what BDS is all about it, it calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. That is anti-Semitism. As for the tropes, it’s this talk of power, control and money. It’s the anti-Semitic stereotypes put into a Middle Eastern context. A few days ago, people said the seven Labour lawmakers who resigned over anti-Semitism in their party were being paid to do so by Israel. If that supposition weren’t so dangerous, it would be simply absurd.

Antisemitism

(Courtesy image)

Are anti-Zionists and anti-Semites the same?

They are backing into each other. If you look at each of them in 1935 or 1945, they are not one and the same. Bret Stephens had a great article about the difference. I second what he says very much. Look at the division and we now see something quite distinct. We see something that has become this hostility to Israel. Opposition to Israeli policy is not anti-Semitism. It’s important to recognize that. We’re talking about a myopic view that all the troubles in the world are the Palestinians’—the only one at fault in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Israel. Something is wrong with that.

I recently heard a story about a student in a New York City public high school who asked her teacher to sign a letter of recommendation for a summer program. She brought him the form, and when he saw it was for Israel, he said he wouldn’t write a letter for her. She asked if he would write a letter for a program in North Korea, China, Myanmar or Sudan, and he said yes.

Something is wrong when your singular focus is on one country. Something is wrong when you look at this complicated situation in Israel where there are wrongs on both sides. We see a dedication to Palestinian organizations that have a major commitment to the destruction of Israel within their charters. And you have to ask, why this myopic view? That’s when you come to anti-Semitism.

It’s almost Purim, and your middle name is Esther. Do you feel you have a Queen Esther-like role in the Jewish community?

Someone once sent me a quote from the Book of Esther where Mordechai comes to Esther to tell her she has to approach the king, or our people will be murdered. She initially says she can’t go to the king because she will be killed. But then she does talk to him on behalf of her people. In fighting deniers and anti-Semitism, I don’t feel I’m a queen of anything. What I do feel is very gratified that I’ve been given a chance to do this work. I wish anti-Semitism were an old problem, but there’s an urgency to understand it. People are so grateful and appreciative that I do that. I feel humbled and thankful that I’m getting this kind of reaction. I’m not a Queen Esther, but I have been given a similar gift of being in the right place at the right time. This enables me to contribute to an important battle.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

Most of the countries that have their Jewish population dropped below the 25,000 level over the past 70 years were in Arab and Muslim countries including Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Iran, as those countries effectively expunged the Jewish populations due to anger over the founding of Israel. The total population from all of those Arab and Muslim countries now stands at 27,000, just north of the 25k mark (15k in Turkey, 5,800 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and Tunisia 1,000).

On Thursday, after a two-month trial in the Belgian capital, 12 jurors found the 33-year-old guilty of the four anti-Semitic murders during a shooting spree at Belgium’s Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, 2014. It was not the first incident against Jews in that country, but it may be considered as the first terrorist attack by IS and the turning point for many Jews to feel not safe any-more in Belgium, because the country from then onwards started also showing an evolution to the far-right and anti-Semitic groups.

Kölner Karnaval Nazi-propaganda against Jews – Germans making fun of Jews in the 1930s

Aalst Karnaval 2019 Joodse Karrikaturen – Recycled puppets for 2019 Aalst Carnaval

We can question of the depiction of Jews in the carnival of Aalst would be of similar intent to what could be seen in Germany in the 1930ies. The stereotypes and images found in Nazi propaganda were not new, but were already familiar to their intended audience. You can not ignore that it reminds us of the Nazi-propaganda during the rise of Nazism. If that carnival group wanted to have a sabbath year, why did they spend so much money on such puppets? Such depictions are just provoking and are adding to the trouble atmosphere which is growing in Belgium.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish organization headquartered in the US, believes that Aalst Carnaval defiles the reputation of Belgium as the host country of the European institutions. This is stated in an open letter to Federal Minister of the Interior Pieter De Crem (CD & V). The federal government must, according to the director of international relations Shimon Samuels, patronize the Aalst carnival group publicly.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an NGO that collects it worldwide for the interests of Jews.

‘We are disgusted by the images of the parade during the carnival on 3 March in Aalst’,

is the letter to Minister De Crem.

‘With stereotyping and hateful images of Jews with bags full of money and hook-noses that are reminiscent of Nazi collaborating Belgium.’

Also the Jewish community was very chocked with those images, which reminded of the years before the 2nd World War.

parade float at the Aalst Carnaval in Belgium features caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019 Aalst Carnaval

B’nai B’rith International termed it “disgusting.” Both umbrella groups of Belgian Jews filed a federal complaint for incitement against the group, called Vismooil’n, saying the float looked like Nazi propaganda.

Even the European Commission slammed the display, with a spokesperson saying

“It is unthinkable that such imagery is being paraded on European streets 70 years after the Holocaust.”

Why do those people from that group Vismooil give the impression that Jews are the cause of the rising prizes?

Joel Rubinfeld, the president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA.

“Prices are rising, so who do they blame? The fat, greedy Jew,” he said.

Not only on a Facebook page of carnival enthusiasts, we could see lots of “anti-Semitic humour”.

One blamed

“the sad Jews, closed off from the rest of society in Antwerp, who have no sense of humour.”

Another referred to Jews as “dick cutters,” adding they are

“whiners with sausages for ears and woolly curls on their heads.”

Commenting on Jewish anger over the float, another wrote:

“Later you wonder why Jew hatred is growing …”

For Rubinfeld it is

“What’s happening in recent years at the carnival is a symptom of a wider problem, which the return of 1930s anti-Semitism, alongside the upgraded version that we’ve become used to, that targets Israel as a substitute for Jews and visa versa.”

At the moment there is an American petition concerning the Aalst Carnival on the Unesco-heritage-list to remove its status as an intangible heritage. What the carnival group the Vismooil Sunday has shown, with the Jewish decorated float, in any case does not fit with the norms and values that Unesco stands for.

We must take the “view on the Jews” seriously. We may not ignore a serious peril of a growing negative stance against Jews and Muslims. In europe there is a growing tendency to have bad jokes about Jews and to point the finger as if they would be part of the present problems.

Vile comments made by elected officials (including in the US, UK and Iran) attacking Jews and basic Jewish human rights in those two remaining outposts – and defended by senior politicians – rises to the level of attempted genocide of the Jewish people. {FirstOneThrough}

We cannot stay silent and should speak up. We also should show non-Jews that there are different Jewish communities with different lifestyles. But also Jews could come to see that in Christendom and in Islam there are very different groups with totally different ideas. Not all those different groups have a grudge against the other. There are enough religious and non-religious groups who are willing to live together in symbioses. Best way not to make people so afraid they find it better to leave the country is making sure they all feel welcome and can trust each other.

It is up to the governement to make sure that those people who are a danger for democracy are disciplined.

In Belgium the politicians and the police should also show they are taking certain matters seriously and should further protect all of the Jewish community. But also in the Jewish community Jews should make work of it to communicate better with each other and to accept the different sorts of Jews in this country.

Also let us think about why there are now 17 countries with over 25,000 Jews which is half of the total that existed when Israel was founded in 1948.

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Find to read:

  1. 25,000 Jews Remaining
  2. A Hebrew-Christian movement
  3. Jeshuaists = Juifs pour Jeshua ou Jésus Christ
  4. Marchons avec courage!

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Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

After the recent attacks on a Jewish graves and houses, last week, once again the People of God were reminded that anti-Semitism is growing again in West-Europe. In many Jewish households this brings the discussion on the table to stay more quiet and to take care not to stand out too loud.

Though those who love God should recognise all good what He has done to them and should not be afraid to tell others about it. Fear may come into our houses but our love for God and our hope for the better future should make us strong enough to tell others of the Plan of God and ho everybody should come united under the Elohim’s Guidance.

For sure those who live with the hope for a better future in the Kingdom of God, should not stay in the dark or rejoice in secret, but should share with many their hope and joy and show the world how the Most High Elohim expects more people to come to Him and to be blessed, spreading the peace by the love for others worth of God.

For sure, we do not have to be ashamed or to be afraid. Let us , who love God, all unite and blow the trumpet and let everyone know. Let us show the world Who God is and what He wants from us. And let us lift up God by our praise, not being ashamed to rejoice out loud as we remember God’s work in our life.

Insights From Tom

TrumpetersAlso at your times of rejoicing–your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God. Numbers 10:10

The world knows how to make their rejoicing about something good known to the rest of the world. Watch when their favorite football team wins the winning goal at a major game. The fans go crazy with shouting and jumping around. Social media is blown up with the news of what happened. It is no secret what happened or what is going on.

This not only happens with sports fans, but with many other major events in life. Great news is passed on very quickly with a loud noise.

God had told the Israelites that when they were rejoicing at one of the various set festivals, they…

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a Call to stop the growing anti-Semitism

It is not new. Already several months we can see there is a growing anti-Semitism again in France and Belgium. The home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, France , represents around 550,000, a population that has grown by about half since World War Two, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common. Government statistics released last week showed there were more than 500 anti-Semitic attacks in the country last year, a 74 percent increase from 2017.

Alarming it should be that it seems that the Jewish communities across West-Europe feel much more endangered that non-Jews think they are.
A 28-country survey by the European Commission, published last month, revealed a gap in perceptions between those in and out of the Jewish community.
According to the report, 89% of Jewish people said anti-Semitism had “significantly increased” over the last five years. Only 36% of non-Jews believed the same.

Among the incidents arousing worries of renewed anti-Semitism was a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters.

In recent incidents, swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil — a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. The word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris, and two trees planted at a memorial honouring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized, one cut down.

Friday , two youths were arrested after they allegedly fired shots at a synagogue with an air rifle in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, where a large Jewish community lives. Sarcelles mayor Patrick Haddad told BFMTV on Tuesday that prosecutors believe the motive was anti-Semitism.

According to sociologist Danny Trom, author of “France Without Jews,” thousands of Jewish people leave France every year because of anti-Semitism.

“This is a low-intensity war, perhaps, but let’s not forget the murder of children killed at close range by Mohamed Merah in a school,”

Trom told French magazine Telerama, referring to the 2012 slayings of three children and a teacher from a Jewish school by an Islamic extremist in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

In West Europe since the dawn of time there have been Jews. In the previous century they had a terrible time, but one would have thought after that period everyone would want that human scandal to remain covered for good. Though the last few years it seems there are again seeds of weed sawn. Now, the pressure is such that several Jews are led to consider their country inhospitable.

In a tweet last week, Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party, first called on people to gather in Paris for a protest on Tuesday. The event was later organised with the endorsement of more than 50 political parties, unions and associations.

No official number has been reported, but similar demonstrations were reported in 60 cities including Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes.

Thousands of people rallied across what should be “the Land of equality” (France) after a surge of anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks that culminated on Tuesday with vandals daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans on dozens of graves in a Jewish cemetery.

Political leaders from all parties, including former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, gathered in Paris filling the Place de la Republique, a symbol of the nation, to decry anti-Semitic acts with one common slogan:

“ça Suffit” = “It is Enough!”

Protestors during a rally in Paris' Place de la Republique

The French have enough of racist acts and of discrimination and hate for others

French President Emmanuel Macron, after he had visited the vandalized Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, a small town in the northeastern Alsace region, said he felt shame at the sight of the defaced grave markers. He clearly was very much impressed and the grieve and disgust for what had happened was on his face. Macron observed several moments of silence in front of the vandalized graves while local Jewish community representatives stood by.

“We will take action,”

he promised.

Afterwards he went to the Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust museum in Paris, to observe a moment of silence with parliament leaders, and said

“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic” is attacked.”

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*https://www.bbc.com/news/av/embed/p071cd8v/47300117*

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Martin Luther “Last Words of David” (1543) a polemical work bearing the same ugly language as in “On the Jews and their Lies” (1543)

Many people do forget how Luther did not like women, Jews and Muslims.
A Lutheran pastor but not a Lutheran scholar dares to look at the works of Luther in an attempt

to go through Luther’s works interpreting scriptures which may not be as concise as many of his theological works but give me as a reader some exposure to the evolution of Luther’s thought and theology in conversation with the Word that he cherished. {An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works}

He also thinks

it is useful as we approach each volume to honestly look at what Luther’s interpretation over 500 years ago in his earliest works might have to still contribute in our time (and some books will be better handled by Luther’s theology than others). {An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works}


Last Words of David (1543) – This is a polemical work and it bears the same ugly language of On the Jews and their Lies which appeared in the same year. This is the dark side of Luther’s Christocentric way of approaching scripture.
If you want to learn about Luther’s later views on the Jewish people and Muslims this is one of the places where his anti-Jewish views are clearly exhibited.
Luther spends a lot of time revisiting the Christological debates of the early church and attempting to argue in a way that would be unlikely to convince anyone who wasn’t already a Christian. Perhaps he was trying to erase any perception that he could have been an ally to the Jewish people from some of his earlier writings, but this is really an ugly piece.
~An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works


Martin Luther (1523) by Lucas Cranach

Martin Luther (1523) by Lucas Cranach

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French rabbis of the suburbs confront anti-Semitism

Last year 50 000  Jews left France for better pastures. In Belgium we also find many who preferred to go to Israel and to face the difficulties there between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

When rabbi Prosper Abenaim first arrived at La Courneuve’s Ahavat Chalom synagogue in 1992 there were over 4,000 Jews in the neighbourhood then and at that time it was a struggle to fit them all into the synagogue on Yom Kippur. Today, at this Paris suburb’s only Jewish facility, he serves sweet tea to his synagogue’s most frequent and reliable guests: machine gun-toting troops of the French Legion which entered the seen on January 2016 to defend Jews in this heavily Muslim and crime-stricken municipality bordering the capital. This dwindling community, which has lost thousands of congregants over the past two decades to Israel and safer areas of Paris has now on some mornings, troops outnumbering worshippers.

That wasn’t the case when Abenaim first arrived at La Courneuve’s Ahavat Chalom synagogue in 1992. There were over 4,000 Jews in the neighbourhood then and it was a struggle to fit them all into the synagogue on Yom Kippur.

“The shul overflowed onto the street,”

Abenaim recalled.

Since then, improved economic fortunes and repeated anti-Semitic attacks have driven out all but 100 Jewish families from the neighbourhood, where drug dealers operate openly on streets that residents say police are too afraid to patrol. The remaining Jews are mostly a greying bunch, stuck here for financial reasons.

“We have two big problems, extremism and criminality, and they often mix,”

said Abenaim, who lives in Paris’ affluent and heavily Jewish 17th arrondisement and has encouraged his congregants to leave for Israel.

“I understand why people don’t want to raise children here. I’m here myself only because of my duties. Otherwise, I’d be in Israel.”

Rudy Abecassis, a Marseille-born computer specialist who moved to the Paris region in 2009 to find work, had a good job at a time of rising unemployment. In 2016 his family also left behind their comfortable lives and moved to Israel, joining nearly 8,000 French Jews who Abecassis said

immigrated to Israel in 2015.

“We’re not fleeing,”

He had found a nice life in France and he loved France for it,  leaving it with sorrow. For him it being important

“to live in a Jewish country of our own, where we are not outsiders who need to be tolerated.”

Tolerance is the big word we have to look for these days. When we hear small children saying Jews are dangerous people we can wonder what they hear their Muslim parents telling about Jews.

Most Jews in France are not affiliated with any synagogue, while the majority of those who are belong to Orthodox synagogues. The third major current of Judaism in France is the Conservative or Massorti movement (with a.o. rabbi Haim Fabrizio Ciprian in Marseille). Next to them there are the Liberal and Reform Jews. The “Libérale” in French corresponds to the Reform movement in the UK and the US, though for some Americans its approach might appear to be midway between Reform and Conservative.

‘For French who do not have the American connection, if you’re Jewish, Israel is the easy place to go. Otherwise the other ambitious entrepreneurs of that age who are not Jewish and are not going to think of going to Israel tend to go to London, which is now the seventh largest ‘French’ city.”

says the American Rabbi Tom Cohen from the synagogue Kehilat Gesher in Paris’s 17th arrondissement.

In those suburbs Rabbi Michel Serfaty is not afraid to go to talk to the Muslims and to create events for Muslim kids. He also created a community or “French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association” for which he hopes to recruit several more young people to help with community outreach in the largely Muslim, immigrant communities where most people have never even met a Jewish person.

A poster for the French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association, which works in many poor, immigrant neighborhoods. – Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

 

The rabbi is convinced that Jews can live together in peace with Christians and Muslims as well with atheists. He also believes they can help and foster each other and can work together to build up France’s future.

“In these places they often have specific ideas about Jews,”

says Serfaty.

“And if they’re negative, we bring arguments and try to open people’s eyes to what are prejudices and negative stereotypes. We try to show children, mothers and teenagers that being Muslim is great, but if they don’t know any Jews, well this is how they are, and they’re also respectable citizens.”

The rabbi takes advantage of funding from a government program that helps youths without work experience find their first job. First of all Serfaty takes time for the Muslim youngster and unites them by creating opportunities to have games, like a football match together. Two days ago we could see on television how a coloured boy was proud to present his equip, which was constructed of youngsters from different origin. Serfati lets them feel how other young kids feel and have similar aspirations. He tries taking away the borders and wrong ideas their parents or some radicals imposted on them.

The rabbi offers them also tuition and for a period of three years, gives them valuable training in mediation and community relations. Serfaty’s recruits also study Judaism and Islam. And he takes them on a trip to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp.

Though French laws on secularism forbid him from asking applicants about their religion, he tries to have also Muslim employees for his work, who harbour no anti-Semitic feelings, which is not always so easy to find.

The people helping the rabbi are aware of the task to are wake up people’s consciences. They say

“This is a job that counts and we could have a real impact if there were more of us.”

Rabbi Michel Serfaty, third from right, and employees of his French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association. He says he has only grown more determined to do his bridge-building work since the terror attacks in Paris in January. – Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Now there is also signed a manifesto where is demanded that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. By the people who put their signature under it can be found politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu.

The signatories condemned what they called an “quiet ethnic purging” driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighbourhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter.

“In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated — and some tortured — by radical Islamists because they were Jewish,”

the declaration says.

Condemning the “dreadful” killing, President Emmanuel Macron had reiterated his determination to fighting anti-Semitism.

“French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,”

according to the manifesto.

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Preceding

Bringers of agony, Trained in Belgium and Syria

Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Jews In France Ponder Whether To Stay Or To Leave

When will it stop

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Additional reading

  1. 2015 Human rights
  2. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  3. As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
  4. Propaganda war and ISIS
  5. Religious Practices around the world

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Related

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  2. ‘Cowardly, Odious’ Attack on Jewish Family Condemned by French Government
  3. ‘Caught, Kicked, and Gagged’: Jewish Family Tells of Brutal Anti-Semitic Robbery Outside Paris
  4. Exodus: Jews Flee Paris Suburbs Over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism
  5. Paris Taxi Driver Threatened To Kill Passenger Because He Was an Israeli Jew
  6. Jews Are Being Murdered in Paris. Again.
  7. 300 French Personalities Sign Manifesto Against ‘New Anti-Semitism
  8. 300 French Personalities Denounce ‘Islamist Radicalisation’, Sign Manifesto Against ‘New anti-Semitism’
  9. Religious Muslims in France submit twice as many job applications as Christians to get callbacks

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