Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Weak Diaspora Jewish Survival Instinct

Michael L.

franceI sometimes wonder if diaspora Jews actually have an instinct for survival?

Given the fact that the great majority of American Jews supported a president of the United States that favored the Muslim Brotherhood, a genocidally anti-Semitic organization, it is difficult to imagine that they do have a survival instinct.

Let me give you one small example.

Over at the Times of Israel, Richard H. Weisberg, a professor of Constitutional Law for Yeshiva University and a published expert on French anti-Semitism, has a piece entitled Betting on France.  In this article the professor argues that right-wing anti-Semitism is worrisome, but that reports of anti-Semitism in France, according to a cross-section of his French acquaintances, are greatly exaggerated.

Boy, am I relieved!

Weisberg writes:
Indeed, a cross-section of my Parisian friends agreed that American talk of France having become anti-Semitic was grossly exaggerated. So in polite conversations back in the States, my wife (a French teacher in Manhattan) and I had already noted what we felt were overstatements, given our own experiences and observations during frequent visits in various parts of France. We chalked up some of the feverish American talk to the persistent Francophobia that too often marks political commentary about France in the United States. The French, after all, have long been targeted for American criticism.
Although he does make a passing reference to "sporadic" attacks by French Muslims, he gives considerably more weight to Le Pen and France's right-leaning National Front party as a source of veiled anti-Semitism and zero credit to the anti-Zionist French Left for spreading an environment of hatred toward Jews.  In fact, Weisberg is even so bold as to say:
Attitudes toward Jews are changing for the better in France. There will be tragic eruptions to the contrary. But France is not an anti-Semitic country. It remains, as it finally comes to grips with its Vichy past, a bastion of equality and hope for its Jewish population.
A bastion of equality and hope, eh?

Meanwhile, we read in the Jerusalem Post:
A report on anti-Semitism presented on Sunday to the government found that France was the most dangerous country for Jews in the world in 2014. During the past year, levels of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews in France reached new records, according to the report prepared by the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in cooperation with the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitsm (CFCA)...

Anti-Semitic incidents in France rose by 100 percent in the last year, with half of the racially related incidents in the country being directed at Jews, despite the fact that Jews make up less than one percent of the French population, the report found. 
It is hard to imagine that someone of professor Weisberg's status could be quite as myopic as his words suggest.  This is a man who wrote a book entitled, "Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France," after all.

We are thereby supposed to believe that France is simultaneously the most dangerous country for Jews in the world while remaining a "bastion of equality and hope for its Jewish population."

And I am to believe that this gentleman does not have his head buried firmly in the sand?

I cannot help but wonder if so many centuries of cringing diaspora Jews getting kicked in the head has not trained many of us to accept the Jewish role of agreeable punching bag?

Weisberg's conclusions concerning the great love of the French for the Jewish people is not grounded in anything resembling analysis or even, given events of the day, basic common sense.  The guy's wife teaches the French language in Manhattan and he is familiar with the country and likes the people and that is that.  His French friends tell him that reports of French anti-Semitsm are greatly exaggerated as they kiss him on both cheeks and pat him on the head.

I have much more faith in the Israelis.

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