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Where and How European Jews Are Winning

July 22nd, 2014 - 3:29 pm

The biggest difference lies in the behavior of the Jewish communities.  The Italians faced an active neo-fascist movement after the war, and quickly figured out they could not rely on the state for decent security.  Jewish leaders knew they would have to do it by themselves.  Led by the chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, the Jews organized an underground defense organization and created new, small synagogues  to nurture and train young men.  This organization, led by tough-minded rabbis (the “political” leaders of the Rome community were generally fashionable leftists who had no stomach for fighting.  This changed in recent years), defended the Jews and attacked the neo-fascists and neo-Nazis (breaking into their offices, seizing and publicizing their documents, and attacking them in the streets).

The result?  Today, Italian antisemites — who certainly exist — are very careful.  They do not expect to win either a political confrontation or a street fight.

The French Jewish community, including much of the rabbinate, relied much more on the state.  The “political” leaders, as in Italy, catered favor with the government, and there was no organization of the sort that blossomed, and eventually won, in Rome and elsewhere on the peninsula.  To be sure, there are defense organizations — notably Betar and the Jewish Defense League, as we saw last week when they defended the synagogue in Rue de la Roquette in Paris — but they are not integral parts of the community.  If anything, they are often shunned by community leaders.

One hears a great deal about the presumed doom of the Jews of Europe, and undoubtedly Jews are under attack in many quarters of the old continent.  But we would do well to avoid generalizations about the condition and future of “European Jews,” and look more closely at specific cases.  The picture is not entirely gloomy.  Judaism is flourishing in Italy, both religiously and politically.  We should learn.

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Top Rated Comments   
95% of the demonstrators (rioters) in France are Muslims.The French don't hate just Jews , the hate everyone equally.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, it probably doesn't help that French Jews are French either. Whether Jew or gentile, a surrender monkey is a surrender monkey.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
To be fair to Ledeen though, I would much rather be in Italy than France, as a Jew that is. True enough. Italian Jews were mass murdered in the Holocaust by the Germans, despite brave resistance by many Italian gentiles. Actually even if not a Jew I would prefer Italy to almost any place in Europe. And the women are stunning.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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You will recall that it was the French who came up with the idea of importing workers from Muslim countries when the French low fertility rate started to create a lack of workers problem.

The land will endure. But how much longer will it be occupied by the French?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
French is such a dominant and compelling language/culture that in Canada: the French need a law to force government to use French. Now the Italians in Canada continue with their thriving culture, but without any laws to force people to use Italian!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Simply put, Italians are far more tolerant than the French. As an American, travel in both countries and see where you are treated better.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

I watch France24's news programming pretty regularly, especially its "The Debate" segment hosted most often by M. François Picard. Besides the obviously European perspective, he does a good job regulating his guests whom often comprise a pretty wide political spectrum.

A couple of days back, "The Debate" focused on the demonstrations in France and particularly what was once Gay Paree and is now more gay Paris. What struck me was how five seemingly intelligent people could discuss those circumstances and do nothing as to delve into the mysterious mysteries that are Islam. The guests included a Zionist Jew, a Peacenik Jew, an aggressive North African "Palestine" supporter, and a kind of center-of the road academic yet none overtly made the connection be anti-semiticism Muslims, Islam, and Koranic teachings. The proverbial "Don't go there." moment.

Islam is the millstone. It is nothing more than the globalization of the predatory 7th Century A.D. (if I may) Arab tribal culture under a thin veneer of religion. If you plan doesn't include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don't have a plan. What you have is a hope.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Define "mass antisemitism, Michael. More than 51% of the population polled are Jew-haters? 75%? Riots and pogroms are sparked by government or religious leaders. Pogroms in Europe traditionally took place on Christmas Eve and began with a fiery speech from the pulpit after which the drunken mob followed its drunken priest into the Ghetto to avenge the murder of Christ by the Jews. The masses are merely a herd of sheep. Turning them into a pack of wolves requires a wolfganger usually disguised as a religious shepherd.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once again, history shows that the only defence for Jews, is Jews. The state will not defend Jews (especially a European state), so we must defend ourselves.

Krav Maga was founded in this need. So was the Palmach, teaching Jews to defend themselves when governments, including the enlightened British Mandate in Palestine, not only wouldnt, they gave support to those trying to harm Jews.

Never Again!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"We should learn"? Oh, come on... what should we learn? That people who rely on the government for protection will eventually get shafted, while those who learn to defend themselves are much more likely to persevere? That's just crazy talk.

Next you'll claim that politicians are not to be trusted, or something like that. Oh, wait...
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...The biggest difference lies in the behavior of the Jewish communities...We should learn..."

Nonsense. I agree that we Jews should be self reliant and proactive in our defense. But Jewish behavior has little influence on whether or not Jew-haters prevail. Jew haters dominate where they have the support of government. French Jews are leaving France because the French government is not protecting its Jewish citizens. Jews are leaving because the French government and the French elites are happy to see the back of them.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are right about the French government and elites they have been anti Semitic for hundreds of years. During WWII French police were only too happy to do the dirty work of the SS and round up Jews for deportation "to the east" although to be fair they first concentrated on "foreign Jews" (immigrants from Poland, Germany, Austria, etc). Native born French Jews were less likely to be deported. Jews everywhere not just France must be much more pro-active defending themselves; do whatever it takes to defend yourself and your family. I myself have obtained a concealed carry license. However the continent of Europe is soaked with the blood of Jews and there really is no place in Europe for Jews. I hope all French Jews migrate to Israel.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Muslim scum terrorists (but I repeat myself) are comfortable attacking Jews, because there is little risk to themselves.

When Jews are free to defend themselves, terrorists are slinking away, finding lunatics to strap on a bomb vest.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, i know that antisemitism is an old evil. But mass antisemitism is important, and different. It's not pogroms. It's a huge step toward the Holocaust.

Sometimes we historians actually know things. Even grammar. "a millenium," not "millenia."
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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