While many jews have been anxious to conflate anti-israel feelings and criticism with anti-semitism, many non-jews have been just as anxious to conflate the two. Riots in Belgium on New Year’s Eve beginning with a demonstration in Antwerp. Police sealed off the Jewish neighbourhood as the protest disbanded as a mob headed towards the area. You can find a video here and the associated story from December 31st here.

In Toulousse, a burning car was driven through the gate of a synagogue setting it on fire. More incidents and their dates are detailed here (though it’s only up to Jan 8th). Mark Steyn has a nice article with further details of attacks from Toronto to Brussels.

This is extremely distressing on many levels. Muffti hopes the world embraces atheism and we forget these primitive hatreds. Until then, he hopes that political discourse about Israel’s actions stays at the level of political discourse rather than the random targeting of Jews.

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16 Comments

  • “Muffti hopes the world embraces atheism and we forget these primitive hatreds. ”

    why — cause the nazis were so religious?

  • It wont solve anything.

    Do you think if the Jews stopped following Judaism that it would fix things? How naive you are!

  • muffti –

    “naively” – you want the adverb form.

    I can’t help but associate your atheist plea with the pathetic “but I’m a GOOD Jew” plaint that is often heard in liberal circles.

  • Compound nouns anybody?

    If “interpret” is used as a state verb (category: verbs of mind and perception), it collocates with an adjective; there is a tendency in American English to ditch adverbs for the sake of adjectives. This tendency has become so popular that that “swap” now even is mentioned in grammar books as a proper alternative you can use in American English.

  • The so-called “details” about anti-Semitic violence/speeches/comments at these rallies seems a bit outlandish. Regardless, I was at the Toronto one (I spent the entire day taking photos, talking to people, and watching from higher gound) and I can tell you that what Mark is reporting on (along with a whole string of blogs citing him as a reference) — is 100% wrong. NOTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENED! Not even in the least. If he’s not outright lying then he’s been terribly mislead. There wasn’t a single anti-Jewish statement/sign/action. Not one. Feel free to contradict me but you, like Mark, was nowhere near the demonstration.

  • Robert: If we stopped practicing Judaism we’d be making the situation worse.

    For the super-religious Christians and Muslims, our religion isn’t wrong, it’s just incomplete.

    If we abdicate our own religion, we’re the same as the heathens.

  • P – Maybe that’s in Toronto, but in Europe anti-semetic incidents have been on the rise the past three weeks.

  • That’s a bit odd to ask for atheism to take over when in the past 100 years some of the greatest opponents to Israel and the Jewish people have been atheists (while some of the greatest supporters of Israel and the Jewish people have been evangelical Christians). Stalin, anyone? Communist Russia, at least under Stalin, was an atheistic state and wasn’t too kind to the Jewish people.

    Regardless, I have said all along that the anti-Israeli sentiments are really guised anti-Jewish sentiments. If Israel were actually doing something shady – such as invading Iraq without a lot of evidence of wrongdoing – then the anti-Israel rallies would make sense. However, Israel was attacked, has consistently been attacked, and is finally responding to the attacks – yet people protest this response. What motivates that other than stupidity and anti-Semitism (anti-Semitism is really just a different form of stupidity)?

  • In Sweden the situation isn’t so different. A few synagogues have been torched and even a jewish graveyard chapel. Sadly enough, it’s hard to find a newspaper which reports those incidents.

    And by the way, this conflict in Israel isn’t a religious one, or at least it didn’t begin as one. i believe that antisemitism (or in it’s newest form “anti-israelism”) just “piggy backed” on that conflict.

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