Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Naive compassion for some people endangers the safety of others.
BIG PICTURE: Jews in Germany are now being urged not to wear religious caps called kippahs/yarmulkes in public. Doing so could make them a target of violent assault. In a recent television interview, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed dismay that Jewish daycare centers, schools, and synagogues now require police protection.
This violence isn’t being committed by longstanding German citizens, but by recent immigrants from countries where anti-Semitism is commonplace. Merkel bears huge responsibility for this situation. In 2014 and 2015, she rejected concerns that too many refugees/asylum seekers were being welcomed into Germany too quickly.
Half of those refugees came from three troubled countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As I’ve previously remarked, tolerance toward Jews isn’t the norm in that part of the world. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to imagine that a huge influx of people with profoundly different values might cause problems. Nor are these problems confined to Germany.
Last month, 30,000 Parisians marched in the streets after an 85-year-old Jewish woman was stabbed to death and set alight in her home. In January, a kosher grocery store in the same city was gutted after an arson attack. Hundreds of prominent French individuals have signed a manifesto denouncing anti-Semitism. French Jews, it says, are 25 times more likely to be attacked than are French Muslims. In other words, tolerance is not being repaid with tolerance.
The New York Post recently profiled three women who have fled France for America. Geraldine Chetrit, 42, is quoted as saying: “Everyone with kids is thinking how to get away. You hear ‘sal Juif’ [‘dirty Jew’] all the time.”
22-year-old Hanna Chicheportiche reports that Jewish teens were warned by French police to avoid a local park, “because the Muslim aggressors came with bats.” And 29-year-old Julia Buchwald says: “I don’t feel safe having children in France. There are armies standing guard outside of every Jewish school.”
TOP TAKEAWAY: There is a direct connection between anti-Semitic immigrants and the fact that European Jews are once again living in fear.
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