Friday, August 25, 2017

Europe: When do we leave Europe?

Via The Times of Israel (Ari Afilalo):
“Jews are not here permanently,” the chief rabbi of Catalonia, Meir Bar Hen, declared after the Barcelona terror attack. “I tell my congregants: Don’t think we’re here for good. And I encourage them to buy property in Israel. This place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.” 
Although he later tempered his comments as a result of community pressure, Rabbi Bar Hen hit a central nerve of Jewish Exile: the question of whether persecution is afoot and we should flee before doomsday. (...)
Rabbi Bar Hen’s approach is different. He does not fear that the Spanish government will turn against the Jews. He fears that the radicalized fringe of Spain’s Muslim community will produce more terrorists like the swiftly indoctrinated Barcelona cells, with the local Jewish community in its crosshairs. 
Rabbi Bar Hen’s view is more in tune with the reality of the non-governmental purveyors of anti-Semitic hatred in the 21st century. However, he too misses out on an essential truth of today’s Diaspora: when it comes to the danger of anti-Semitism in Europe, not all Jews are created equal. 
In France, for instance, we can roughly classify the Jews into three groups: (1) the French Jewish professional, reasonably well integrated and secular enough to be “Jewishly invisible”; (2) the religiously observant Jew who can afford to live in the enclaves where Jewish life has concentrated, send her children to Jewish school, walk to synagogue, and work and dwell in relatively safe neighborhoods; and, (3) the identified Jews of the banlieues or public housing, known to their neighbors, whether or not they are observant. 
For the first two categories, the Jewishly invisible and the sheltered Jew, it is possible to go through a normal day without a spit on the ground, a dirty look, a pull of the beard, or the fear of a horrendous attack, such as that which, most recently, took the life of Sarah Halimi. 
The public housing or banlieue Jews, on the other hand, are front line targets for radicalized jihadists and the new anti-Semites. At any time, those Jews may be confronted with the indignities and dangers of Exile, not from the government but from homegrown attackers, whether they be “lone wolves,” ISIS-powered terrorist cells, or merely neighborhood thugs driven by hatred of the Jew. 
It is high time for those exposed Jews to leave their beleaguered corners of France. Although the government of France does not endorse their oppression, the France that they live in no longer resembles that of yesterday and the day before. 
Sadly, those who most need to leave likely have the least resources to do so, and find themselves stuck in hostile neighborhoods. We cannot speak in generalities about “French Jews” or “European Jewry.” We must focus on at-risk Jews; it is a Zionist and Jewish duty to lend them a helping hand.
read more

Brussels and Barcelona chief rabbis say there is no future for Jews in Europe

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