Who Can Fight Antisemitism With Words?

France, which is the third-largest Jewish community after Israel and the United States, has been the focus of much antisemitism lately. Just a few days ago, 107 Jewish tombstones were desecrated with painted swastikas in Westhoffen, in the Alsace region of France. This was not an isolated incident, but more of a recurring crisis in a country that has seen a 69% increase in antisemitic acts in 2018.

As a result of the cemetery defacing, President Macron was heard saying that "Anti-Semitism is a crime and we will fight it in Westhoffen as everywhere until our dead can sleep in peace."  or "Those who attack them, even their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France." or even "Jews are and make France."

These words sound great if you isolate them. Unfortunately, you cannot do that because antisemitism never happens in a vacuum and has been plaguing the Jewish people since biblical days, and in many instances, much worse in France and other parts of Europe. Words are cheap, but even when Mr. Macron says that France will fight until her dead can sleep in peace, what is he really saying?

Don't quote me wrong, the departed need our utmost respect and need to be in our memories. But, instead of worrying about graves, we need to implement some real reforms so that the LIVING Jews can sleep in peace and wake -up the next morning. The French track record for fighting antisemitism is pathetic at best.

in 2012, after the Toulouse massacre that took the life of a Rabbi and three students at a Jewish school, President Sarkozy had a minute of silence for the victims and spoke of actions needed to be taken. A few Islamists were arrested in the following months. No laws were passed...people eventually forgot.

Ignoring a few other acts of antisemitism, fast forward to the terrorist attack that took place at the Hyper Kosher supermarket in Paris, in January 2015, the day after the Charlie Hebdo attack. Four Jewish people died on that Friday afternoon. A massive, impressive and potentially encouraging street demonstration took place in all of France (over two million people) the following Sunday. People held hands and corporately claimed "Je suis Juif" (I am Jewish), people sang, people brought flowers. No laws were passed...people eventually forgot.

Then there was the bloody attack at the Bataclan night club in November of the same year. 90 people died at the club which was attacked because the perpetrators hated the fact that it was "owned by two Jews." People brought more flowers and held hands again. President Hollande declared a state of emergency for a few months and asked French people to stay strong in light of terrorism. A cartoon brochure was created to help people cope with terrorism (seriously?), as well as some hashtags.  No laws were passed...people eventually forgot.

After the recent cemetery desecration, President Macron wants to create an office to fight hate crimes. The office would equally fight hate crimes against Christians, Muslims and Jews. French Prime Minister Christophe Castaner said, "To profane a grave is an expression of pure hatred." True statement, but he is missing the point. Christian or Muslim cemeteries are rarely if ever under attack, while Jewish burial sites are a constant target. A hate crime is a hate crime and France's secularism will make every effort not to marginalize any minority...at least on paper!

In reality, the new French office against hate crimes will most likely offer lip service. Some incidents will be reported, a few people might be arrested, but seldom if ever will anybody be prosecuted to the full extent of the laws, and that is for those that are reported. Again, people will eventually forget.

Christians and Muslims might become more vocal if and when they are targeted in those attacks, but Jews have learned through continued hardships that the only way you to fight antisemitism with words is at the basic–very needed– level of education. Schools need to teach about hatred, xenophobia, and Holocaust history. Education is foundational but cannot stand on its own without a judicial system in place.

Another committee to discuss how to fight antisemitism is akin to fighting a deadly virus by quarantining the infected until they die. It never solves the problem. Only eradicating the virus does. The virus is antisemitism and it is killing the Jews. Laws must be passed AND enforced in every case until those targeting Jews fear the repercussions. Until then, the only ones fearing...and fleeing France and other parts of the world, are the Jews!

We are way beyond using words only!

We will not survive in this irrational world of political correctness!

I was never a fan of French Alt-Right "Front National Party" leader, Jean Marie Le Pen and I am not a fan of his daughter who currently heads that party. Marine Le Pen might be more polished and diplomatic than her father, but she still represents an ideology that is toxic to a balanced political approach to France or even Western civilization for that matter. Even though her party is thinking of re-branding and changing its name to appeal to a broader audience, they continue to promote a highly xenophobic agenda. Although she received the most votes her party ever received in its history since the mid-1970s, Marine Le Pen lost the French presidential elections in the Spring of 2017 to "Centrist" Emmanuel Macron.

These elections were upsetting on many levels. Primarily, it was horrifying to France and much of the civilized world that an Alt-Right candidate would be in the running in the second and final round of the elections. Even though she lost, she managed to garner 35% of the votes. If I were Mr. macron, I would make sure that I remember the promises made to the voters, and I try to fulfill as many as possible. Much of Europe is very unhappy with the current migrant situation and the open borders, and that includes France. Many French people–even including some from the Jewish community– voted for Marine in 2017, that would have never entertained the idea even five years ago. If Mr. Macron under-performs, it wouldn't take much for Miss Le Pen or a successor to garner a few more points if and when they run in 2022 and tilt the scale towards a "Front National" led France, and that is terrifying! Pretty much all blacks, Arabs and Jews would end-up in a precarious situation.

The challenge with the politics of Marine Le Pen is that in the mix of her anti-immigration and somewhat racist program, she is also promoting some good ideas. But unfortunately, the voters cannot pick and choose. As would be expected, she is pretty vocal when it comes to speaking against the Islamic State and its assault on Western civilization and liberties. Who in their right mind wouldn't want to be vocal and expose the barbaric techniques used by the Islamic State or "Daesh" (Arabic Acronym for ISIS) as the French call them? From that perspective alone, I am in full agreement with Marine Le Pen, and I support her desire to expose ISIS.

Back in 2015, she posted a few graphics pictures of ISIS at their worst on Twitter. She was making an attempt at defending her political agenda after having been accused by some of being as bad as ISIS. Nobody is as bad as ISIS! So she posted some photos with the caption "THIS is Daesh!" Again, most people would disagree with much of her ideology, but in that case, we should applaud her boldness. What happened next was the epitome of political correctness.

Miss Le Pen is now being charged for those tweets and could face up to three years in prison. Is she being charged for denouncing the gruesome cruelty of ISIS? How is that a crime unless we live in an upside-down world where the new normal is the submission to cruel Islamist ideology, putting all of us in the West at the mercy of radical Islam and its worship of death? The France of Emmanuel Macron is supposed to be on its way to defeat terrorism.

Indeed, Mr. Macron has put new laws in place to fight terrorism, giving the army and the police more power to go after potential enemies of the state. I say good for him if this is true, but when I see the drastic move made against Miss Le Pen and her tweets, I doubt that France is going in the right direction. It looks more like a generalized "witch hunt" against Miss Le Pen, rather than a genuine concern for any potential damage that here tweets would have caused.

Again, I would never vote for Miss Le Pen or anybody from Front National, but I must voice my support for her attempt at exposing ISIS for who they are while much of the Western World has its proverbial "head in the sand." This is a slippery slope leading to slavery to an ideology opposed to Western, Judeo/Christian values, and I am convinced that we will not survive in this irrational world of political correctness!

Macron and Antisemitism: It is easier to agree with history rather than to make history!

Much of the world communities are still applauding French President Emmanuel Macron for the bold statement he made during the 75th Anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv round-up in Paris on July 16, 2017. In the summer of 1942,  (July 16 and 17,) over 13,000 French Jews were gathered by force inside the Paris winter stadium (Velodrome d'Hiver.) The move was ordered by the Nazi regime out of Germany and the orders executed by the French Vichy government militia under the leadership of Marshall Philippe Pétain. It led to the deportation of these 13,000 french Jews as part of the killing of a grand total of 78,000 French Jews during the Holocaust.

It has remained a dark stain in the annals of France's history since World War Two. As a matter of fact, many French presidents until Jacques Chirac (President from 1995-2007,) preferred to avoid the subject of the Vel d'Hiv round-up. Diametrically opposed to Mr.Macron, we find the leader of French Front National, Marine Le Pen who declared that France was not responsible for the horrors perpetrated by the Vichy government.

The 2017 Ceremony was the first time both a French President AND an Israeli Prime Minister attended the Vel d'Hiv Commemoration. Mr. Macron spoke boldly and declared that not one German was involved directly, thus exonerating German guilt and shifting the blame where blame was due.  But these words, as powerful, bold and healing as they might be for some of the parties involved–namely the Germans and the families of the Jewish victims– raise a few questions.

I cannot help but wonder if Mr. Macron spoke boldly against antisemitism, exonerating German guilt in the Vel d'Hiv round-up, so that he would solidify France's relations with Germany? Mr. Macron is a self-declared centrist who has ties to the French socialist government. He is also a globalist, interested in the Eurozone while his opponent, Le Pen wanted to exit the European Union. Mr. Macron needs strong ties with Germany to fulfill his agenda of "euro-globalism," and his desire to strengthen Europe. He has vowed to lift the state of emergency in place since early 2015 as well as adjusting and strengthening the laws against terrorism and radical Islam. This is–to say the least– a delicate balance between personal freedom and national security that, in my opinion, will be greatly hindered by a globalist approach. Time will tell, and hopefully without the loss of additional innocents lives.

And yet, with his bold presence at the Vel d'Hiv Commemoration, I cannot help but think that as honorable as it was, it is always easier to to agree with history in hindsight, rather than to make history. In our day and age, who would argue with the evil acts of Nazi Germany and even the Vichy government? On one hand, no one with integrity would attempt to vindicate or even exonerate the Nazis for barbarism against 6,000,000 Jews and other victims. On the other hand, it is a bit more complicated to point a politically incorrect finger at the perpetrators of a new breed of contemporary antisemitism taking place on Mr. Macron’s watch. It is always easier to point at those who did rather than those who do!

Additionally, Mr. Macron met with Mahmoud Abbas at the Elysée Palace, days before he met with Mr. Netanyahu. He reiterated his desire to achieve peace in the Middle East and condemned what he called "Israeli occupation," clearly showing his position in the conflict as well as a certain lack of understanding of the facts.

How can he possibly commemorate an event that helps us preserve the memory of the Holocaust and say "We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,AND meet with a man whose very dissertation was on the theme of Holocaust denial. There is a serious disconnect here! But in our world of politics and diplomacy, leaders take each and every small victory they can take in the global arena, so Mr. Netanyahu praised Mr. Macron for his verbal stance against antisemitism, regardless of which part of history it was referring to.

Dear Mr. Macron, I don't think that you can have your proverbial "Middle East cake" and eat it too . Genuinely fighting antisemitism, lifting the state of emergency, dialoguing with the terrorist head of the Palestinian Authority and keeping French citizens safe, while allowing France to be a relevant part of the European Union seems to be a very tall order, and one that is filled with contradictions. Something has got to give!

Do Jews Have a Future in France Under Emmanuel Macron?

On May 7, 2017, France elected "Centrist" Emmanuel Macron as their new president for the next five years. He was running against Marine Le Pen of the Front National Alt-Right party and won with 65% of the votes.  But it was two weeks ago that France truly turned a page when they brought Macron and Le Pen to the second round, thus eliminating the age old Right/Left dichotomy that the country had been used to for decades. Now what?

Mr. Macron will be sworn in exactly one week after his victory and will scramble to form a government, pulling from both sides of the establishment that his victory so boldly pushed aside. Within the next month, French people will go back to the voting booths for the "Legislative" elections. They will elect the 577 members of of the 15th National Assembly of the French Fifth Republic. The next five years of Mr. Macron's governing are hinging around the outcome of the June elections. Compromise is in the air, but how much compromise?

Emmanuel Macron re-labelled himself as a centrist, and started his new party. But all remember that he served as a Socialist minister for two years under the Hollande government. Has he truly moved towards the center of the French political spectrum? I don't think it really matters except maybe to attract supporters from both sides in the next elections. What is more important in the writing of France's future is how much of a globalist he is. He is a strong promoter of multiculturalism, and we know how well that has worked in the last few years. Ask the people of Germany or Sweden for example!

Paris' largest mosque " La Grande Mosquée de Paris" released a statement saying "It is a clear sign of hope to French Muslims that they can live in harmony and respect of French values" . Macron's victory is good news for the 6 to 7 million Muslims of France. And that is what they are, "Muslims of France" NOT "French Muslims", simply because the vast majority of them do not integrate. So much for multiculturalism! Mr. Macron is not a promoter of radical Islam, and of course not all Muslims espouse the Islamist ideology of death. Far from that! Yet, many of the Muslims living in France are not interested in "harmony and respect of French values."

Under Macron, we can expect political correctness to become the rule of law, especially as it pertains to radical Islam. We will probably soon see an influx of new migrants come to the "New France." How will that affect the 500,000 French Jews, who have already started to immigrate to Israel in large numbers over the last five years? In the near future, it would appear that the Jews of France wouldn't be at risk. After all, over 93% of French Israeli voted for him. But is it possible that they really voted against Le Pen instead?

Jewish people have a long history of being caught between a rock and a hard place. For example, before the Maccabbean Revolt (167-160 B.C. E), Jewish people were the buffer zone between the Ptolemies (Egypt) and the Seleucids (Syria), and they suffered as a result. The Jews have been the "scapegoats" of humanity for centuries. Equally persecuted for being communists or capitalists, Jewish people are too often caught in the middle. A Le Pen victory would have been disastrous for French Jews along with Arabs, blacks and any other ethnic minority in that country, so the obvious was to elect Mr. Macron, at least for now.

Macron's multiculturalism and globalism will do very little to stop Europe's Islamist invasion. As much as Le Pen's agenda was extreme in many ways, she did have the intention of controlling immigration. Macron might just open France's borders further and allow for thousands of unchecked migrants. Once again, the French Jewish community is at risk, even if the vast majority voted for Macron. It appears that they were more interested in putting a bandage on France's wounds instead of amputating the infected limb. Time will tell, but what do you really expect from a French president who claims "there is no such thing as French culture?"

Under Le Pen, French Jews would have started to make Aliyah immediately. Under Macron, they might have a little more time. But France just surrendered to multiculturalism on May 7, 2017. It is up to Emmanuel Macron to fight the good fight. It isn't even clear if he has identified it or even agreed there is a fight at all. The future is unstable for French Jews, but if Mr. Macron doesn't turn France around, the future will be very uncertain for all of France.  As a result, Marine Le Pen who garnered 35% of the French votes in 2017 could be a shoe-in in 2022 and then, whatever is left of the French Jewish community will have very little time to leave.