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Israel unrest: Anti-Semitic attacks rise as Gaza conflict continues

It didn’t take long for Hamas to make a mockery of President Obama’s efforts to get a ceasefire in Gaza. The rulers of Gaza are nothing if not consistent. In genocidal word and terrorist deed, Hamas has one goal—the eradication of the Jewish State and its 8 million citizens. To that end, it has gone beyond kidnapping and murder, suicide bombing and missiles and rockets. Gaza’s democratically-elected government has rewarded its constituent’s trust by making them human shields and cannon fodder for its martyrdom on-demand campaign for 24-hour news cycle feeds and social networking platforms.

Thus far Hamas’ murderous gameplan, has been largely thwarted by Israel’s Iron Dome, her people’s iron will, and the IDF’s warnings via cellphone, text and leaflets in advance of attacks to minimize civilian casualties.

But there is no iron dome technology that can slow Hamas’ other long-distance campaign—the unleashing of history’s oldest hate—anti-Semitism-- on every continent.

But there is no iron dome technology that can slow Hamas’ other long-distance campaign—the unleashing of history’s oldest hate—anti-Semitism-- on every continent.

There are precious few Jews left in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Most were driven out as a result of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Morocco, once home to a magnificent Jewish community and respected subculture, still has 3,000 Jews. Last week, a Rabbi in Casablanca was severely beaten, his cries for help from passersby went unheeded.

Last Saturday, Frankfurt police’s contribution to keeping the peace was to allow a pro-Hamas speaker to climb on their police car and use its megaphone, so that he could whip the anti-Israel demonstrators into an ugly mob. They followed their Pied Pier atop the police car to his shouts in both Arabic and German “child murderer Israel” and “Allah Akbar!”

Meanwhile, 500 protesters rallied in Antwerp, capital of Belgium’s Flemish region, where one of the speakers used a loudspeaker to chant in Arabic, “slaughter the Jews.”

The situation in Paris was far more serious where a mini-pogrom took place over the weekend. There, thousands of mostly French Muslims—from groups with names such as Union Générale des Etudiants de Palestine-GUPS Paris, Mouvement des Jeunes Palestiniens-PYM France, Fatah France; Génération Palestine, Parti des Indigènes de la République, Campagne BDS France, and Europalestine—marched toward the Bastille shouting “Allah Akbar” and “Death to the Jews” as well as “End the Occupation.” Then at least 150 veered off toward the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue where they used baseball bats and clubs broken off from outdoor restaurant furniture as well as axes and knives to besiege about the same number of Jewish worshippers who were attending a service in memory of Israel terror victims. All that prevented a 21st century Kristallnacht were five French gendarmes who ran interference long enough for reinforcements to arrive and prevent the destruction of the synagogue with the worshippers inside. Even so, with standing orders never to arrest protestors, these policemen acted more like refs trying to control a World Cup soccer match than vindicators of France’s honor against anti-Semitic thugs. Four Jews were injured, and Western Europe’s largest Jewish community left traumatized. Pro-Hamas mobs also marched on the Synagogue de la Roquette in central Paris, where there was a gathering promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace as well as the synagogue at la rue des Tournelles. Incendiaries also firebombed the Synagogue of Aulnay sous Bois. And the media? Both French and western outlets preferred to emphasize that before the premeditated violent climax, the demonstration has been “generally peaceful.” 

And it gets much worse. Political leaders like Green leader Pierre Minnaert, tweeted thus,  “I don’t see how we can fight the anti-Semitism of kids from the suburbs when at the same time synagogues are backing Israel.”  Many other French officials combined condemnations of the violence with neutrality about who is responsible for events in the Holy Land.

In South Africa, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) slandered Israel, alleging the Jewish state was running “outdoor death camps”. Not to be outdone, the social media manager of an ANC affiliate posted a Facebook message displaying a picture of Hitler and lauding his genocide against the Jews. The title read, “Yes man, you were right…”

Things are also heating up here in the USA. With an administration supporting Hamas’ inclusion in the Palestinian Authority’s unity government, with major wire services and other media outlets often placing Israel and Hamas on the same moral plane, anti-Israel groups feel, not shamed, but energized. There have already been over 50 anti-Israeli rallies with placards, chants, and speakers, denouncing Israelis as Nazis. At a pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles I attended, a Homeland Security Officer fired his weapon after a violent pro-Hamas supporter who had jumped from a van to attack local Jews, nearly hit a police officer. Meanwhile, downtown Seattle erupted in a veritable hatefest with a blizzard of handwritten signs equating Jews-not only Israelis- with Nazis. In Boston, pro-Israel marchers were greeted with taunts of “Jesus-killers.”

We have been down this road before. Hamas decisively losing on the military battlefield, but succeeding in implanting hatred of Jews, far and wide. And they will continue to succeed in that arena so long as twenty-two French NGOs support the hate march in Paris that resulted in a near-pogrom at a synagogue; so long as mainline Church leaders remain mute over Islamist atrocities targeting Jews and Christians; so long as Hamas missiles launched against civilians are not immediately denounced by NGOs and the UN as punishable war crimes; and so long as academics continue their intellectual gymnastics to cast victimizer as victim and victim as criminal.

As long as Hamas can continue to win this war, their hate, mayhem, and murder will never end.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter.