The unwillingness of Antisemitism conferences to recognize the Islamic threat against Jews represents an appalling betrayal of Jews who have fallen victims to Muslim Jew hatred.
On Friday night, the charred body of 85-year old Holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, was found in her incinerated Paris apartment. Her 35-year old Muslim neighbor, who had threatened her for months, reportedly stabbed Mireille Knoll 11 times and then set her apartment on fire.
The police ignored the threats, even though a Muslim had tortured and murdered Sarah Halimi – throwing her out of the window while yelling ‘Allahu Akhbar’ – only a few hundred meters from Knoll’s home in April 2017.
A few days before the murder of Mireille Knoll, a large antisemitism conference, the Sixth Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, took place in Jerusalem. European and Israeli ministers, as well as Jewish and non-Jewish dignitaries and leaders from all over the world attended the conference, which lasted nearly three days.
The conference featured sessions on topics such as ‘Antisemitism and the Rise of Far Right Politics in Europe: Defining the Threat and Means of Societal and Political Response’ and ‘Confronting Neo-Nazism and Antisemitism of the Extreme Right in the United States and Elsewhere’. It also presented a session about ‘Antisemitism in the Far Left: Intersectionality as a Cover for Hate Speech in Current Progressive Activism’, and even ‘The Persistence of Christian Theological Antisemitism in the Mainline Protestant Church: Coping with Bigotry and Hate in the Spiritual Realm’.
There was no session on the recent calls for murder of Jews in six different mosques in the United States — calls that have long been known in European mosques – or on the violent Jew hatred of the Koran, which curses Jews as ‘apes and pigs’.
Remarkably, the only item on the agenda of the conference to come vaguely close to anything approximating Muslim antisemitism was a session on ‘Antisemitism in Arabic Language Media’. While the issue of Islamic Jew hatred was touched upon in some sessions – and in the concluding speech of former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls – the unmistakable signal that this conference sent was that Muslim antisemitism is not the main problem, anywhere.
Israeli history professor Yehuda Bauer appeared to share the sentiment that the conference placed too little emphasis on Islamic antisemitism. In a session about the ‘Working Definition of Antisemitism’ he said that the “real danger comes from radical Islam, which espouses explicitly Nazi and Bolshevik antisemitism”.
A recently held large antisemitism conference in Austria also focused disproportionately on right-wing antisemitism, as if it were still 1938. As Daniel Krygier pointed out, “Yes, right-wing extremism remains a problem. However, it is now 2018 and the epicenter of current Jew-hatred is in the Islamic world and the increasingly radicalized Muslim communities in the West…the main threat facing Israel and the Jewish people today emanates from an Islamist-Leftist alliance stretching from Iran to the streets of Western capitals”.
The unwillingness to address Islamic Jew hatred at conferences dedicated to exploring the topic of antisemitism does not only represent an astounding pandering to the worst kind of political correctness. It depressingly mirrors the extent to which governments all over the world barely dare to mention the issue of Islamic Jew hatred and supremacism, without performing a little dance of dhimmitude every time they are confronted with the issue, professing that Islam is not the problem.
Most of all, however, the unwillingness of these antisemitism conferences to recognize the Islamic threat against Jews today represents an appalling betrayal of fellow Jews who have fallen victims to Muslim Jew hatred. They send the unmistakable signal to especially European leaders that they can go on pretending that the criminal acts perpetrated against European Jews by local Muslims have nothing to do with Islam and that they should just keep focusing on right wing antisemitism.
What are the relatives of Mireille Knoll and Sarah Halimi supposed to say about the tragic farce that distinguished professors and dignitaries keep playing out at these conferences? Or the parents of Ilan Halimi who in 2006 was tortured to death over a three week period by Muslims and thrown in a ditch, where he was left to die?
What about the families of the three small children and a father brutally hunted down at their school and shot to death by a Muslim in Toulouse in 2012? The relatives of the four visitors to the Jewish museum in Bruxelles, who were shot to death by a Muslim terrorist in 2014? The parents and sister of the Jewish guard shot to death in the head by a Muslim in front of the Copenhagen synagogue in 2015?
How about Jewish children in France, who risk being assaulted by Muslims in certain areas when they walk home from school or play in a park? Most recently, a gang of Muslims attacked a sister and brother playing in a park, calling them dirty Jews. The French court, however, refused to treat it as a hate crime.
What are all those lives ruined by Muslim terrorism – and this is just a tiny selection – supposed to make of the fact that the largest gatherings of ‘experts’ on antisemitism, largely ignore the cause of their predicament?
How many more Jews will have to be harassed, assaulted, tortured, and killed before the obvious becomes apparent to those who profess to be fighting antisemitism?
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst
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