Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Jim Shipley
Shipley speaks 

An old threat in a new time

 


In the 1920s, Vladimir (Zev) Jabotinsky traveled through Eastern Europe trying to warn Jewish communities of a coming disaster. His was a lone voice in the wilderness. Jews knew of pogroms under the czar of Russia who was now gone. They were aware of the extreme anti-Semitism of the Catholic Church, which seemed to be under control.

They lived mostly in the shtetls, the little towns or villages surrounding the large cities of the time. Those who lived in the cities such as Budapest in Hungary or Warsaw in Poland lived a fairly good life. They had their own schools—Jews for the most part were not permitted in the gymnasiums as they were called, which were the secondary schools of the gentile population. Jews who were affluent, and many were, worked at banking or trade or the other businesses in which Jews of Eastern Europe were permitted.

But still, life was okay. Not great, but okay. Yes, many of their kinsmen had departed for the “Golden Medina,” the United States. But, life was okay and for the more wealthy, even excellent. Or so they thought. Jabotinsky saw something different. He knew that the sanctions imposed on Germany at the end of World War I were crippling the economy of Europe. The victors—France and England were not feeling it, but Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, oh yes.

And Jabotinsky knew that when trouble came, when poverty or depression bit deep, the people looked for a scapegoat. And he knew that 10 out of 10 times, that scapegoat would be the Jews. He had a feeling that this time it would be closer to the Crusader time when entire Jewish populations were wiped out as the Catholic soldiers marched from Europe to take back the Holy Land.

We know how right Jabotinsky was. He pleaded with the Jewish people to do one of two things. Either arm yourselves so you can defend your lives, or follow me to Palestine where we will reconstruct the Jewish Homeland of Israel. Most did neither.

The result of course was the Holocaust. While Adolph Hitler and his minions might have been the architects of the slaughter, they had willing accomplices from Ukraine to the north to Hungary, Poland and even France.

The people were looking for someone to blame. They found, once again, the Jews. As the Nazi army rolled on, it became easier to blame the Jews for everything that went wrong during and since the war.

So, Jabo was right.

What would he say of Europe today? Not just Eastern Europe but again, Germany with its strict anti-Nazi laws, France with its Jewish ambivalence have begun a new anti-Jewish campaign. This time it is called not anti-Semitic, but anti-Israel. We know, from tragic experience that anti-Israel translates to anti-Jew.

At the time of European discontent after the first World War, there was frustration and anger. With the impetus of the Third Reich it was easy to direct it at the Jews. This time there is a new source of the anti-Jew/anti-Israel wave. It comes from the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have become a real factor in Europe as they run from their repressive regimes in the Middle East.

Urged on by the Wahhabi-trained Imams they very often directly call for the death of Jews. In the more subtle campaign, it is not stated to make Europe “Judenfrei” which was the Nazi call to free Europe of its Jewry. No. This time the target is the homeland of the Jewish People. The goal now is to make Europe “Israelfrie”—as the Wall Street Journal titled it in an article recently.

They want all Israeli products banned from Europe. The innocent tulips that come in before those in Holland are ready, the kosher beef and Hummus and all other branded products to be boycotted and banned from European markets.

That is the goal of the anti-Semites and the growing Muslim population. Well, okay then. How about all the medical technology that saves the lives of sick Muslims and anti-Semitic Europeans? How about what Israel (and the Jews) bring to their societies that do not have the noticeable Israeli labels on them which enhance and even save their lives?

Can you name one Arab Nobel Prize winner? Can you tell me of the Muslim contribution to the quality of life in the world since the 12th century? Good Muslims? Millions and millions. Bad Muslims? If there are over a billion Muslims in the world and one percent are radical, that is 10 million radicals. And if one percent of those become jihadists in one form or another, that is one hundred thousand ready to take up the Isis flag, or commandeer a restaurant or blow up a hotel or run a car into a bus stop full of Jews.

Europe is showing its dirty anti-Semitic underwear and doing it under the guise of an Israel boycott. We remember Kristallnacht. That was directed at synagogues and businesses. Is that next?

 

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