Beyond the Cusp

November 11, 2013

A Look at the Future for the Jews and Christians of Europe

There have been numerous studies and commentaries pertaining to the rising anti-Semitism in much of Europe. There have also been eulogies for the Christian and Catholic Churches in Europe and often mentions of another church or cathedral being put up for sale and often being transformed into Mosques. This transformation mirrors the events in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Spain, Turkey and other locations where Islam spread during their periods of expansion as they conquered these lands and transformed them from Christian nations into Muslim majorities and dwindling Christian presence. Similar such occurrences are currently being witnessed in Egypt with the Coptic Christians, the Christians of Lebanon and the Christians of Bethlehem under Palestinian autonomy. The story is often told about the empty pews of the churches throughout most of Europe and the advance of secular statist humanism where the human is worshiped as the ultimate pinnacle of creation and the State is seen as the end all and arbiter of rights, privileges and petition which is nothing more than another variation of worship. The Christians have yet to face the animus which is being felt by the Jews in Europe.

That is where a recent survey taken of European Jews reveals the extent of the discomfort, one could say persecution, felt by the majority of Jews in Europe. Some of the statistics from the survey found that sixty-six percent of European Jews considered anti-Semitism “a fairly big or very big” problem in their country; seventy-six percent said anti-Semitism had worsened in the past five years, with abuse especially prevalent on the Internet with it particularly present in social media, especially where aliases hide the perpetrator’s real name; France, Belgium and Hungary reported the highest rates of anti-Semitism in the media and political life, as well vandalism and open hostility in public; twenty-one percent of people said they had experienced verbal or physical abuse in the last year for being Jewish; almost half feared experiencing public insults or harassment in the next year, with as close to twenty-three percent saying they purposely avoided Jewish sites or celebrations as they might not be safe; eighty-two percent of people did not report abuse or discrimination they had experienced to the authorities feeling it would be useless as nothing would be fully investigated and it would have no real effect on their situations; large number of European Jews are considering leaving because of the persecution they experience in the countries; the belief was found to be valid that a clear link between the demonization of Israel and attacks on Jews in Europe exists; sixty-eight percent of the Jews reported they have avoided appearing identifiably Jewish in public for fear of attack or harassment; eighty-two percent of those surveyed say they have heard Israelis being likened with Nazis; many of those respondents who had witnessed anti-Semitism saying that it had come from the Left with fifty-seven percent of those in Britain, sixty-two percent of those in Italy and sixty-seven percent of those in France said they had heard anti-Semitism from someone on the Left; racism against Jews from the Muslim community was reported by fifty-one percent of Jews in Sweden, fifty-six percent of Jews in Britain and seventy-three percent of Jews in France; and thirty-one percent of Jews had either considered or attempted emigration specifically as a result of anti-Semitism, while in France the figure is just below half.

Between these numbers and the known high rate of assimilated Jews who no longer practice their religion and the high rate of intermarriage, it is very likely that the end of a Jewish presence beyond some small communities of Orthodox and Hassidic Jews will remain in Europe by the middle of this century and certainly by its end. The truly frightening revelation is that the Jews in the United States are following this very trend, though with far less prevalence of the anti-Semitism, and outside the very religious communities the numbers of practicing and Shabbat Synagogue attending Jews is rapidly dwindling where these communities may soon also disappear. The one thing that might change these trends and force many Jews back to their faith is the rise of anti-Semitism, oddly enough. Should it become systemic and be enacted into law, something which has already begun in Europe with the bans on Kosher slaughter (Shechita) as well as bans on Circumcision, two basic tenets of the Jewish faith, the Jews might, as has occurred numerous times in their history, return to their religion and reestablish close communities living as separate from the mainstreams of society and eventually relocating most likely to Israel. Some might claim that this is exactly what was predicted would occur once the Jewish State was reestablished and that all of this is simply coming to fruition of the ingathering of the Jews to Eretz Yisroel. They would also point to the return by the Ethiopian Jewish community, the Bnei Menashe Jews from India and the Yemeni Jews to Israel in the recent past and still continuing in the present and many expect that more of the lost tribes from the northern kingdom of Israel (also called Samaria) will be found and brought home as well as the rest of the Jews from the southern kingdom of Judah. That is an area where I must depart as such events are beyond the reach or control of mortal humans and as such must simply be hoped for and attempt to assist where and when able but not to the point of believing that our actions can produce such results, that is decided in another dominion.

Beyond the Cusp

July 17, 2013

European Union Curses Israel as It Approves Hezballah

The European Union took a number of interesting stances and steps this past week concerning interests and recognitions for entities, states and organizations in the Middle East. Once again the European Union voted on whether or not to recognize Hezballah for being a terrorist group thus joining with Israel, the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Oman and other nations. Predictably the European Union was unable to fully agree and continues to refuse to call Hezballah out for what they are. The European Union also voted this week on how to address Israel and those Jews who live or work in what the Europeans have recognized as the lands set aside solely for the formation of a Palestinian State. Their decision was that Israel has no rights or claims whatsoever to any lands beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines and that any product manufactured by an Israeli company in these contested areas must be labeled as being made by settlement industries and thus be considered unlawful produced goods. Once again the Europeans have found some manner to show approval for Hezballah while finding ways to disassociate from Israel.

In once again rejecting a motion to recognize Hezballah for what they are, one of the world’s leading terrorist groups with a record of murderous attacks including two massive bombings of Jewish buildings including the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) headquarters and the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as the attack on a tour bus in the airport of Burgas, Bulgaria. The reason given by those member states of the European Union refusing to call terrorists as terrorists was that Hezballah is heavily represented in the democratically elected government of Lebanon. Using an election where a terrorist group threatened voters, committed fraudulent practices, assassinated opposition candidates and literally bullied and stole an election as becoming the rightful government of a nation, then I guess the European Union should reassess their positions on North Korea, Iran and other nations whose elections are little more than a sham where the results could be made available days, if not weeks or months, before the actual voting takes place. The truth behind the European Union cowardice is they are aware exactly what Hezballah consists of and understands that they are simply placating the alligator in the hope it eats them last. Perhaps somebody should tell them the importance to the mindset of many throughout the Middle East that chooses the weakest to attack first, kind of taking the low hanging fruit from the tree first, and that all the European Union is doing by not condemning Hezballah is weakness and asking for them to kick Europe first.

The European Union deciding to boycott as much as possible any Israeli products coming from lands beyond the Green Line which demarks the 1949 Armistice Line is not the simple choice they have made it out to be. They do not care that they are hurting the very Palestinians they seek to support as many of them are employed by these very companies and factories which the European Union has now blacklisted. They ignore that those very Palestinians make anywhere from two to five times the salaries than their neighbors who work for either Palestinian companies or the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians hired by these Jewish companies in places like Ariel and Beit-El even make more than do the security and terrorist prisoners who receive special premium monetary compensation directly from the Palestinian Authority who provide these prisoners with salaries higher than all but the top echelon leadership of the Palestinian authority. It is further proof that the second highest paying positions a Palestinian can pursue is to be a terrorist attempting to murder Jews while those working in the Jewish industries and other businesses still earn higher salaries. The European Union has decided to designate the Green Line as the recognized and official boundary between Israel and Palestine despite their not having yet recognized the actual existence of Palestine.

What is interesting about their view of Israeli borders contradicts treaties, conventions, and declarations which were signed by most of the European governments which make up the European Union as well as directives from the United Nations. But duplicity is in the running for the highest and most preeminent of practices defining the European Union and the majority of the member states while honoring traditions and previous promises we find the European Union taking far more flexibility as we need to understand their nuanced views that things are fluid, changeable, you know, finding expedience is far preferable than taking principled stances. Europe has long past its being an eminent and consequential force on the world’s stage and now resembles the remnants of the Ottoman Empire after 1492 and the Reconquista in Spain until its demise in World War I which lingered on well past its demise as the powerful force of empire simply because nothing had come along and finished off the injured beast that once set terror in the hearts of those who would challenge them. Will Europe ever reassert itself and take back some of the shine of her glorious history? Perhaps, but first they will need to reverse themselves from the disease of decrepitude whose most debilitating symptom is declining societal birth rate. Until Europe can reproduce at levels to, at the very least, replacement rates, they will suffer from loss of identity with their past as they import an alien culture which will eventually supplant their former culture. Once the new culture gains sufficient percentages that their active culture supersedes the old culture, turning back becomes impossible. Decisions like the two taken this week by the European Union are signs that they have already begun to adopt a new culture and are turning their backs on their former culture. If there is still a spark of hope for a European recovery, it will be found in the pews of the great Cathedrals of Europe. Unfortunately, those pews are empty and slowly, one by one currently, those very same Cathedrals are being sold and converted to Mosques, the new culture supplanting the old in as grand a spectacle as possible.

Beyond the Cusp

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