France’s Anti-Semitism Problem Continues to Worsen, While Its Government Continues to Do Too Little

According to a recent and still unpublished report on anti-Semitism in eleven European countries—based on two years of research overseen by the former New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly—France is the nation most dangerous for Jews. Judith Miller writes:

Attacks and threats against French Jews surged 74 percent from 2017 to 2018, . . . and preliminary data for the first half of 2019 indicate “further intensification,” with another 75-percent increase last year. Moreover, the official estimates of some 500 attacks and anti-Semitic acts per year are “notoriously underreported,” according to the study.

Kelly and [his collaborators] blame the French government for failing to respond to the almost constant violence against, and harassment of, French Jews. Government funds to the Jewish community total just $3.7 million a year—“about one-fifth of what British Jews receive from their government, though France’s Jewish population is roughly double that of Britain.” . . . What the report calls the police’s “catch-as-catch-can” mobile deployments to protect synagogues and other Jewish facilities “provide little or no police presence and deterrence.”

To justify such indifference and what the report calls the public and private sector’s “inadequate” response to the growing threat, Paris hides behind its “lip-service to France’s secularism.” Requests for additional government funding to address security shortfalls would likely be rejected, prominent French Jews complained, . . . since France’s political, judicial, and law-enforcement establishment interpret their country’s “secularism ideology” to mean that the state “cannot give ‘special’ attention to one ethnic or religious group over another, even in the face of disparate threat or dangers.”

[T]he report stresses that the “single greatest threat of violence” against French Jews emanates from radicalization among portions of a growing French Muslim population, [which is in part] due to France’s failure to assimilate Muslims and to “anti-Semitic social media and satellite TV from the Arab world.” . . . Overall [its tone is] pessimistic. “Radical Islam is universally seen in France as a physical threat,” Kelly and his team conclude. “And this [kind of] more violence-prone anti-Semitism is certain to worsen.”

Read more at City Journal

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, France, French Jewry

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion