Sunday, August 31, 2014

War on Jews: Europe and now America

by Richard Baehr

The Democratic Party and its leader, U.S. President Barack Obama, have spent several years ‎developing election themes around supposed "wars" directed by Republicans ‎against particular segments of society. 

The war talk has served to fire up the base ‎among the groups supposedly under attack, and boost turnout for "progressive" ‎candidates. The most repeated and ridiculous of the war themes is the alleged "war ‎on women," supposedly manifested most recently by challenges to the new ‎contraceptive coverage mandate under Obamacare by owners of businesses ‎opposed to the new mandate on religious grounds. 

Other battles in this "war" ‎include Republicans refusing to support "equal pay for equal work" for women ‎workers, though virtually all of the alleged pay gap can be explained as having ‎nothing to do with discrimination: ‎"The [American Association of University Women] has now joined ranks with serious economists who ‎find that when you control for relevant differences between ‎men and women (occupations, college majors, length of time in ‎workplace) the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing."‎

There are other wars the Obama administration is fighting at ‎home, now that it has withdrawn from pretty much all the real ‎global conflicts, many of which have become uglier in light of ‎the vacuum created by the increasing absence of an American ‎presence in the Middle East. The recent flare-up in Ferguson, ‎Missouri, after an 18-year-old black man was shot by a white ‎police officer, was used to argue that there is a war in America ‎by white cops against black men. Although blacks comprise ‎only 13 percent of the population, they ‎commit or are the victims in about half of all murders in ‎America, almost all of which are black-on-black murders. Yet blacks represent barely 30 percent of those ‎killed by police. In addition, more than half of the shootings ‎and killings of black suspects were by black police. If anything, one might argue there is a war ‎on white suspects in America, since they are disproportionately ‎killed compared to the number of murders whites commit. 

The fake wars dominate media coverage of campaigns, not a ‎surprise, since well over 90 percent of Washington journalists support ‎Democrats according to several surveys, and see their job as a ‎way to advance the causes and candidates they believe in. ‎Nonetheless, there are actual campaigns, if not wars, against ‎groups in America that never see the light of day, and whose ‎various fronts are never connected. One of these, and in some ‎ways, an ominous, and dangerous new development, has been ‎the beginnings of what might be called a war on Jews in ‎America. ‎

Jewish history in America has, by and large, been a very good ‎one, especially compared to the Jewish experience in any other ‎place on the globe at any time (other than modern Israel). ‎Nonetheless, for many years, when the FBI compiles a list of ‎hate crimes by groups, Jews are always atop the list of those ‎targeted for their religion (66 percent of all cases in one recent year, ‎though Jews are only 2 percent of the population). Jews are also ‎targeted disproportionately compared to victims from any other ‎group (blacks, gays, Hispanics). 

When three people were shot outside a Jewish community center ‎near Kansas City this year, this confirmed that Jews are targets ‎not only for Middle Easterners or Muslims in America, but also ‎by the far Right. Hating Jews makes for strange bedfellows.‎

In the last two months, during which Israel's third war with ‎Hamas occurred, the ferocity of hatred toward Jews has risen ‎to unprecedented levels in America. Several pro-Israel ‎demonstrators in various cities were attacked by Muslim ‎counter-demonstrators, with the attacks occurring from coast to ‎coast (Seattle to Boston). In the past weeks, we have these ‎charming incidents:‎
  1. In New York, a married Jewish couple was attacked with ‎the man (wearing a kippah) beaten by Middle Eastern ‎men who exited cars and motorcycles on the ritzy Upper ‎East Side of Manhattan (the cars were decked out with ‎Palestinian flags), with insults and death threats screamed ‎at the victims.‎
  2. At Temple University, a Jewish student involved with the ‎media monitoring group CAMERA was assaulted by a ‎student with the group Students for Justice in Palestine, just the ‎latest in a long line of vile incidents associated with this ‎rapidly growing and viciously anti-Semitic organization. ‎Like all groups on campus that target Israel and attempt ‎to shut off debate on the issue, SJP has some Jewish ‎members, which in their eyes may serve to give them a ‎clean bill of health on the anti-Semitism charge. The ‎reality is that the presence of Jewish SPJ members, as well ‎as those in Jewish Voices for Peace, serves to expose ‎how toxic and conformist the Jewish Left has become, with ‎individuals primarily interested in earning the respect of ‎their Jew-hating colleagues for their breaking from the ‎pro-Israel crowd.
  3. In Miami, a visiting rabbi was shot and murdered on ‎Shabbat, following a series of anti-Semitic incidents in the ‎heavily Jewish North Miami area. While there is no suspect in custody nor a ‎motive yet established, local police seem to be hinting it ‎was a botched robbery, though that may ‎be wishful thinking.‎
  4. Then there was this Los Angles incident, which has been ‎repeated in cities across the county in recent weeks -- where ‎anti-Semitic insults and threats were screamed at Jewish ‎residents. ‎
  5. ‎An American ISIS supporter, now in captivity, threatened to blow up a "Zionist" day care center. ‎In other words, if Jews are part of something, it becomes ‎Zionist, and a target.‎
The reports of violence directed against Jews in France, the ‎Netherlands, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and other ‎charming European locales in recent weeks, are not a great ‎surprise. These incidents have been occurring for years, and ‎there were many violent attacks before the Gaza war, especially ‎in France and Sweden. These countries are filling up ‎with Muslims, as immigration continues at high levels, and the birth‎rate of the native population declines as its population ages. ‎When 16 percent of Frenchmen in a survey this week told a pollster ‎they supported ISIS, that gives you a floor on the real Muslim ‎numbers in the country, not the 10 percent claimed by the ‎government. ‎

American Jews and elected officials have condemned the ‎violence against Jews in Europe, but been very cautious about ‎sounding any alarms in the United States. Obama has not ‎spoken between rounds of golf about any new problem in this ‎area, and Attorney-General Eric Holder is too busy visiting Ferguson ‎and filing lawsuits against communities for racial ‎discrimination or religious discrimination against Muslims to take notice.‎

The number of Muslims in America has risen by over 50 percent in the ‎last decade to around 3 million, now 1 percent of the population. In 15 ‎years, their numbers are expected to double, given the number ‎of legal immigrants expected during this period based on family ‎reunification or refugee status. With the Jewish population ‎having flat-lined for 60 years at 6 million, the relative political ‎influence of the two groups will change rapidly and converge. ‎The Democrats, the party of minorities, have the winds of ‎demographic change at their back, and will attempt to ride these ‎to dominance in national politics. The concerns of Jewish ‎Americans may become far less critical. 

In Europe, the authorities have condemned violence against ‎Jews and enhanced security around Jewish institutions. But ‎when members of the Jewish community warn fellow members ‎even in ostensibly friendlier countries to not "provoke attacks" ‎by wearing kippahs, it is well past time to head for the exits. The ‎authorities and the newspapers will report attacks by "youths," ‎with the ethnic origin of the assailants often withheld. The ‎Europeans are too far down the path in their commitment to the ‎multicultural nightmare they have brought on themselves, that ‎cowardice, denial, and looking away are all that are left as policy ‎prescriptions. 

In America, the long history of acceptance of Jews, or at least ‎non-scary secular Jews (evidenced nowhere more than in the ‎high intermarriage rate, the ultimate acceptance test), provides ‎some comfort that there may be some pushback against virulent ‎and violent anti-Semitism. So too, the deluge of illegal immigrants ‎swamping the southern border, nothing if not intended by the ‎White House to create pressure on Congress for immigration ‎reform, or to provide an excuse for executive action ( the law be ‎damned), has also caused growing concern. Many American ‎realize that a country without borders is no longer a self-‎governing country, and that the wide open borders in recent ‎months not only allow in fleeing Central Americans, but ‎anybody, including potential jihadist attackers. 

The creeping growth of a political correctness designed to shield ‎Muslims and their actions has not yet reached a stage where ‎most Americans see it or are impacted. College campuses are of ‎course different, and pro-Israel students will face a very trying ‎year following the Gaza war. Young people were the least ‎supportive of Israel's efforts in the Gaza war in every opinion ‎survey. Coupled with the big money universities are earning by ‎admitting full paying students from the Middle East and ‎opening campuses in the Gulf states, the administration of ‎universities are more than just normally gun-shy about ‎addressing hostility and violence directed toward Jews on ‎campus, mainly by Muslims. They would prefer to think that ‎nothing more than a serious exchange of viewpoints is on ‎display. What is happening on campuses is a warning for where ‎America is headed. And where it is headed is the European ‎model, where Muslim numbers and threats begin to dictate ‎policy, and make Jewish security and safety no longer a given. ‎Call it a war on Jews, if you like.‎

Richard Baehr


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