Tuesday, March 3, 2009

French anti-Semitism rears its ugly head

I have written in depth in this blog's previous incarnation about rising anti-Semitism in France especially as that has taken shape in several French cities and especially in the suburbs of Paris. Incidents of anti-Semitism have been steadily increasing over the past ten years in France which, unfortunately mirrors events in other countries as well.

What follows was sent to me by my good friend, Bob Poris. It is an article titled "Bad news from France ...REAL BAD! for French Jews," and was written by F. M. Riley on Feb. 19.

The article confirms the information already in my possession regarding anti-Semitism in France.

"Once again, the real news in France is conveniently not being reported as it should. To give you an idea of what's going on in that country where there are now between 5 and 6 million Muslims and about 600,000 Jews, here is an E-mail that came from a Jew living in France. Please read!

"'Will the world say nothing - again - as it did in Hitler's time?' He writes: 'I AM A JEW -- therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing. Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France. In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious centre was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil - all recently.

"'A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus, in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

"'According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France. A Jewish couple in their 20's were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France (the woman was pregnant). A Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was just in the past week.

"'So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do - at least - these three simple things: First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: 'First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.'"

The letter continues with an anti-French rant, suggesting we boycott everything French and further suggesting that the French are all anti-Semitic cowards deserving of our scorn.

I personally know that is not true.

Furthermore, as Mr. Poris suggests, French President Sarkozy has declared himself a friend to Israel and the Jewish people. As I understand things, France is attempting to deal with these anti-Semitic attacks.

That does not, however, negate the problem of rising anti-Semitism in France and around the world. What it does mean is that those of us who understand that the entire world is comprised of one race - the human race, must stand together to oppose all attempts to denigrate the humanity and the rights of our fellow human beings, no matter their skin color, their religion, their ethnicity, their sex, their sexual orientation, or any other method we have of sorting people into categories.

The continuing existence of the world depends on it.

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