Post Opinion, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2003
"Anti-Semitism" Europe's Coverup"
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
A EUROPEAN Union "watch dog" commission has sup pressed a report it commis sioned on anti-Semitism, because it found the conclusions of its own experts unpalatable.
According to Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), who was contacted by one of the authors of the report from the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, the study determined that most of the anti-Semitic incidents it examined were the handiwork of Muslim immigrants.
In a brush-off letter he sent to Wexler after hearing his concerns, EU President Romano Prodi huffed about "the importance of distinguishing between legitimate political expressions and criticisms of the policies of the government of Israel on the one hand, and anti-Semitism on the other." Because the report failed to do so, he suggested, it deserved the deep six.
Since when have the burning of synagogues and the stoning of Jews on the streets of Europe been "legitimate political expressions and criticisms of the policies of the government of Israel?"
The meaning behind Prodi's words should be chilling: In politically correct Europe, it's OK to attack Jews because they support Israel, but not "just" because they are Jews.
Jews across Europe are afraid for the first time since the Holocaust. In France, where dozens of synagogues and Jewish schools have been firebombed over the past three years, police have arrested young Muslim immigrants from North Africa - most of whom, by the way, have never met a Palestinian. These attacks were not aimed at the state of Israel, but against Jews. Just last month the chief rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, urged French Jews to wear baseball caps instead of yarmulkes in public, to avoid exposing them to violent attack.
Jewish teenagers I interviewed in Norway told me of being accosted on the street and in their schools. One girl said her teachers warned her repeatedly to remove the Star of David she wore around the neck, because it was "provocative."
Is Prodi suggesting that outward signs of Jewishness are no longer acceptable in today's Europe, because Muslim immigrants might take offense?
The real challenge to Europe does not lie in these violent acts against Jews, but in the failure of Europe's elites to respond to them forcefully. In 1982, when anti-Semitic vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery in Carpentras, French President François Mitterrand not only condemned the attack but immediately rushed to the scene to express his solidarity for the Jewish community. When anti-Semitic vandals shot out the windshield of a bus carrying Jewish children to school in the Paris suburb of Garges les Gonnesses in December 2000, French President Jacques Chirac remained mute, and the Socialist government then in power did nothing for nearly 18 months as the rhythm and scope of these violent attacks mounted.
The Muslim preachers of hate are vicious, ugly and violent. But the revival of Jew-hatred in Europe, under the guise of a Politically correct anti-Zionism, is spine-chilling in a continent that assisted the Nazis just 60 years ago in their attempt to exterminate the Jewish people from the face of the planet. Consider these recent events:
* In Norway, a major daily, Dagbladet, runs a cartoon at Christmas time with a headline reminiscent of the old blood libel that the Jews murdered Christ. "A child is shot in Bethlehem," the caption reads.
* In Greece, famed composer Nikis Theodorakis, calls Jews "these little people [who] are the root of evil."
* In Holland, Greta Duisenberg, the wife of the European Bank chairman Wim Duisenberg, blames "rich American Jews" for the woes of Palestinians.
Europe's best-known advocate of Palestinian rights is Terje Roed-Larsen, a former Norwegian government minister who proudly acknowledges his role as an architect of the Oslo "peace process." Roed-Larsen is far less eager to evoke his origins as a leading member of Norway's Workers Communist Party (Marxist-Leninst), when that group openly advocated the destruction of the Jewish state.
"Anti-Semitism is a non-Jewish disease that kills Jews," Swedish commentator and former deputy premier Per Ahlmark told me. "But it's our disease, so we have a responsibility to fight it." But Europe instead is sweeping the resurgence of Jew-hatred under the rug of anti-Zionism, where the embers just continue to smoulder.
Martin Luther King, Jr. called out this convenient lie 35 years ago, in a now-famous letter to an anti-Zionist friend. "You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews - this is God's own truth."
Kenneth R. Timmerman's new book is "Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America" ( Crown Forum).
MEDIA: TO BOOK KEN ON YOUR SHOW, PLEASE CONTACT THERESA BRADY AT 212 572-2598 OR BY EMAIL: TBRADY@randomhouselcom
Upcoming Media events
From the author of the national best-seller, Shakedown!
Like no other book before it, Preachers of Hate uncovers an ancient hatred that threatens the life and livelihood of every American. The "new" anti-Semitism targets not only Jews, but Americans.
It targets our values, our lifestyle, and our freedoms.
Middle EastData Project, Inc.,
7831Woodmont Ave - Suite 395ßßß