In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

On March 23, 2018, an 85-year old Holocaust survivor was found brutally murdered in her apartment in Paris, France. The French authorities have been loathe to call the attack anti-Semitism, and the New York Times has been similarly adamant in not mentioning that the killers were Muslim.

In an article without any pictures on page A7 of the March 27, 2018 New York printed edition, the article noted how the French did not clearly call the murder stemming from anti-Semitism, writing:

“The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday that Ms. Knoll had been killed because of her ‘membership, real or supposed, of the victim of a particular religion,’ – a roundabout way of saying she was killed because she was Jewish.”

It was appropriate that the paper spelled out what the prosecutor’s failed to state clearly – that the victim was attacked because of anti-Semitism. It is therefore surprising that the paper would similarly fail to identify the attackers in this incident – and many others in France – as being Muslims.

The Times wrote that the Paris prosecutor’s office said that the two men arrested for the murder were from “North African origin,” but failed to clarify that almost all of the men that moved to Paris from North Africa were Muslim.

When the Times gave background about the murder of an elderly Jewish woman, Sarah Halami, last year in France, it would only write that the killer was “a man of Malian origin who shouted ‘God is Great’ before throwing her out a window.” Did the paper clarify that he was Muslim, that 95% of Mali is Muslim, or that he actually said “Allahu Akbar” in Arabic? No.

When the Times wrote about the murder of four people in a Parisian kosher supermarket attack in 2015, it rightly called the attack antisemitic, but it only noted that the killer was “Amedy Coulibaly, a heavily armed Frenchman.” Did it mention that he was a pro-ISIS Islamic radical of Malian descent? No.

When the Times described the “2012 assault on a Jewish school in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, who killed three children and a teacher after killing three soldiers,” did it add that he was a Muslim of Algerian descent that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda? No.

Did the Times give any color as to root cause of the murder of an elderly Jew? Well, it did – because of perceived Jewish actions. “The suspect ‘said that the Jews have the money, and that was the reason he attacked her,’ Mr. Kalifat said [who heads a French Jewish organization.]” The problem was that Jews have the money. There was no mention of noxious Islamic Jew-hatred.

This has become standard practice for the New York Times, to conceal the background of the attackers, especially if they are Muslim.

The Times does not touch the much more prevalent anti-Semitism in the Muslim community than in France generally. The ADL released a report of Jew-hatred around the world and broke down the details by religion. The results were startling about the perception of Jews :

  • Jews have too much power in the business world: 35% of Christians; 65% of Muslims; 25% of Atheists held such views in France
  • Jews have too much power in the financial markets: 27% of Christians; 64% of Muslims; 23% of Atheists
  • Jews have too much power in the global affairs: 21% of Christians; 54% of Muslims; 19% of Atheists
  • Jews control the media: 21% of Christians; 61% of Muslims; 18% of Atheists

The disparity continued for seven other opinions. Overall, the ADL concluded that 49% of Muslims in France are anti-Semites compared to 17% of French Christians and 14% of French atheists.

The Holocaust of the Jews in Europe during World War II happened at the hands of Christians. The terrorism against the Jews worldwide today is happening at the hands of Muslim extremists. And the media is remaining silent as it seeks to curtail “Islamophobia.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Covering Racism

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

The Only Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

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Not Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the Girders

In November 2015, right after terrorists attacked Paris, France again, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the logic of Islamic terrorists killing the people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January:

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.”

The statement highlighted many flaws in Kerry’s worldview:

  • A desire to find a logic in the minds of the terrorists, with a very narrow focus (as Obama would say “legitimate grievances”)
  • An implication that the victims were to blame for causing such “legitimate grievances”
  • A desire to assume the entire world shared this flawed worldview.

DSC_0071
Part of the Eiffel Tower
(photo: First.One.Through)

As detailed in “I’m Offended, You’re Dead,” a narrow focus on blasphemy misses the bigger agenda of radical Islam. Refusing to listen to terrorist groups’ own words and charters in which they call for the killing of infidels and destruction of countries is a blindness that simply is unacceptable in the Secretary of State of the most powerful country on earth.

Kerry and the Obama administration’s hyper-narrow focus on these so-called “legitimate grievances” led them to explore ways of trying to placate terrorists:

Is the failure of the US administration’s foreign policies due to blindness from narrow-focus, open-mindedness that the jihadists have “legitimate grievances,” or just bad policies and/or implementation of those strategies?

What do you think?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Banners of Jihad

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Obama supports Anti-Semitic Palestinian Agenda of Jew-Free State

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Je Suis Redux

The famous French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) once famously said: “Je pense, donc je suis,” or in English “I think, therefore I am.” That statement as well as his other works earned him the title of the father of western philosophy.

The concept Descartes put forth of the centrality of “thinking” and “being” is profound on several levels and had a significant impact on western society.  The expression has an interesting sequel today.

thinker
French Sculptor Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker

Descartes did not call out overt action verbs like eating, running or talking to prove his existence. He argued that something as fundamental as brain activity proved that he was alive. Such an approach has led to interesting debates about brain death and the status of life today.

On a philosophical level, Descartes was plagued with doubt about everything: not just about ethereal matters such as the existence of a supreme being, but whether the world as he saw it existed at all. He considered whether it was all just his imagination, just a dream. He concluded that the actual process of considering whether anything at all existed, proved that he indeed did exist.

Je Suis 2015

The world was given a brief tutorial of French in 2015. In response to the horrible killings at the offices of Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, people around the world held signs and banners that read “Je Suis Charlie,” “Je Suis Juif (Jew),” “Je Suis Policier (Police)”. A few weeks later, when another terrorist shot people in Copenhagen, the signs “Je Suis Danois (Danish)” showed support for the people of Denmark.

jesuisjuif
“Je Suis” rally in Paris,
January 2015

The expression “Je Suis…”, “I am…” in those contexts expressed people’s solidarity with the cause for which people died (freedom of press, speech or religion), essentially reaffirming that those liberties live on. While individuals may have been killed, there are others that cherish those same beliefs who remain alive. While the victims are dead, the freedoms are not vanquished.

Je Suis…” attested to the strength of people’s convictions.  While the terrorists were killed by police in both Paris and Copenhagen, people did not deceive themselves that there were many other would-be-terrorists who might commit similar acts. Yet they stood defiantly with placards held high and passions held firm.


Consider that hundreds of years ago the father of western philosophy made a statement that was born from his complete doubt in anything and everything. He imagined that nothing was real, even his own existence. Doubt Affirmed Life.

In 2015, people rallied because of the murder of people who shared a similar western philosophy. In mourning the deaths, people realized the depth of their own convictions. Death Affirmed Belief.

The sequel of Je Suis in France may be a perfect mirror image of the original. But the central theme remains the freedom and ability to question and believe.


Other First.one.Through article:

Dancing with the Asteroids: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/dancing-with-the-asteroids/

 

Jews in the Midst

Summary: Jews are vulnerable members of society. They are not on the fringe on the one hand, nor are they just a regular part of the broader community, on the other. As such, they must be actively protected by governments and citizens alike.

copenhagen jews
Jews in Copenhagen laying flowers where a Jewish man was gunned down,
February 2015 

No Canary in the Mine

Well-meaning people have referred to Jews as the “canary in the mine” when it comes to terrorism. They argue that various attacks on Jews in Europe, Israel and Asia by Islamic radicals over the past years should be seen in the context of an oncoming onslaught on the broader civilized world.

Canaries are treated as disposal life forms that coal miners bring into mines to detect poisonous gases. They assume that if the canary is alive, the air is breathable; however, should the canary die, they should evacuate immediately. The sole role of the canary is to detect danger and benefit the people in the mine.

Jews were not brought to Europe or Asia to serve as warning signs for non-Jews. They are not inferior life forms meant to live solely for the benefit of the broader society. They are proud citizens of their home countries.

 hyperkosher
Paris kosher supermarket where four Jews were killed,
January 2015

Not a Fringe Group

Jews are integrated into society in each country where the live. They have homes in the hearts of the country; they have jobs at corporations, in the government and military. They speak the language and have employment rates that are comparable to their fellow countrymen.

Jews are not a fringe group that fails to assimilate, that doesn’t speak the language or has high unemployment. They are not financial drains on society and do not have incarceration rates above the community averages.

Jews are a fabric of society. They are “everymen,” with particular beliefs and customs.

mumbai chabad
Chabad House in Mumbai where six people were murdered,
November 2008 

No “Random” Attack

While Jews are a basic part of the fabric of society, they are uniquely targeted by Islamic radicals. Terrorist attackers who assaulted major cities including Mumbai (2008), Paris (2015) and Copenhagen (2015), took time to specifically attack this small minority.

While US President Obama and his administration initially called the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris a “random” attack, he back-tracked to corroborate the statement of the French government which clearly stated that the attack stemmed from antisemitism.

Even while embedded in society, Jews are picked out for attack for the simple reason that they are Jewish.

 bruseels museum
Attack on Jewish Museum in Brussels killed four,
May 2014

Jews in the Midst

There was a movie made in 1988 about a woman, Dian Fossey, who fought to protect gorillas in Uganda. These special creatures were a unique part of the Ugandan landscape that were singled out for slaughter. Dian fought both the government and locals to protect those “Gorillas in the Mist”.  It was a brave action on the part of an individual to take on so many to save the group from butchery.

It is the obligation of governments to protect their citizens.  The leaders in Germany and France have correctly stated that they will take action to ensure that their Jewish communities are safe.

It is time for all governments and citizens to speak loudly and act defiantly in protecting their vulnerable neighbors and countrymen, the Jews in their midst.

 scariest-riots-anti-semitism-men
Riots against Israel and Jews in France,
July 2014

Israel in Europe

The governments of Europe must do more than just assign police officers to synagogues and Jewish centers. They must also declare that Jews everywhere – including in Israel – cannot be targets of jihad.  As part of that effort, they should confront the biases in their governments that are uniquely against the Jewish State, such as:

  • delisting Hamas as a terrorist organization despite its calls to kill Jews and eradicate Israel
  • European Union blaming Israel for the failure of the peace talks without acknowledging the various actions the Palestinians took to sabotage the talks

The list of European actions against the Jewish State over the past year was long, and to an absurd level when compared to EU actions and comments towards murderous regimes such as Iran and Syria. The people in the streets noted, and held anti-Israel rallies which became anti-Semitic riots.

It was against that backdrop of both murders by homegrown terrorists and the anti-Israel actions of the governments that made Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invite the Jews of Europe to come to Israel.

The governments of Europe must declare their strong commitment to a safe and secure Israel.  Such actions should include declaring Hamas a terrorist organization and not recognizing a Palestinian state until it prohibits the promotion of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.  The governments should not pass any BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) actions against Israel any more than they do for other disputed territories such as Kashmir and Cyprus.

The leaders of several European countries acknowledge that there is a problem of anti-Semitism spreading in the continent.  They must be aggressive in confronting it in every manner possible.

Jews in the Midst

Summary: Jews are vulnerable members of society. They are not on the fringe on the one hand, nor are they just a regular part of the broader community, on the other. As such, they must be actively protected by governments and citizens alike.

 

No Canary in the Mine

Well-meaning people have referred to Jews as the “canary in the mine” when it comes to terrorism. They argue that various attacks on Jews in Europe, Israel and Asia by Islamic radicals over the past years should be seen in the context of an oncoming onslaught on the broader civilized world.

Canaries are treated as disposal life forms that coal miners bring into mines to detect poisonous gases. They assume that if the canary is alive, the air is breathable; however, should the canary die, they should evacuate immediately. The sole role of the canary is to detect danger and benefit the people in the mine.

Jews were not brought to Europe or Asia to serve as warning signs for non-Jews. They are not inferior life forms meant to live solely for the benefit of the broader society. They are proud citizens of their home countries.

 

Not a Fringe Group

Jews are integrated into society in each country where the live. They have homes in the hearts of the country; they have jobs at corporations, in the government and military. They speak the language and have employment rates that are comparable to their fellow countrymen.

Jews are not a fringe group that fails to assimilate, that doesn’t speak the language or has high unemployment. They are not financial drains on society and do not have incarceration rates above the community averages.

Jews are a fabric of society. They are “everymen,” with particular beliefs and customs.

 

No “Random” Attack

While Jews are a basic part of the fabric of society, they are uniquely targeted by Islamic radicals. Terrorist attackers who assaulted major cities including Mumbai (2008), Paris (2015) and Copenhagen (2015), took time to specifically attack this small minority.

While US President Obama and his administration initially called the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris a “random” attack, he back-tracked to corroborate the statement of the French government which clearly stated that the attack stemmed from antisemitism.

Even while embedded in society, Jews are picked out for attack for the simple reason that they are Jewish.

 

Jews in the Midst

There was a movie made in 1988 about a woman, Dian Fossey, who fought to protect gorillas in Uganda. These special creatures were a unique part of the Ugandan landscape that were singled out for slaughter. Dian fought both the government and locals to protect those “Gorillas in the Mist”.  It was a brave action on the part of an individual to take on so many to save the group from butchery.

It is the obligation of governments to protect their citizens.  The leaders in Germany and France have correctly stated that they will take action to ensure that their Jewish communities are safe.

It is time for all governments and citizens to speak loudly and act defiantly in protecting their vulnerable neighbors and countrymen, the Jews in their midst.

 

Israel in Europe

The governments of Europe must do more than just assign police officers to synagogues and Jewish centers. They must also declare that Jews everywhere – including in Israel – cannot be targets of jihad.  As part of that effort, they should confront the biases in their governments that are uniquely against the Jewish State, such as:

  • delisting Hamas as a terrorist organization despite its calls to kill Jews and eradicate Israel
  • European Union blaming Israel for the failure of the peace talks without acknowledging the various actions the Palestinians took to sabotage the talks

The list of European actions against the Jewish State over the past year was long, and to an absurd level when compared to EU actions and comments towards murderous regimes such as Iran and Syria. The people in the streets noted, and held anti-Israel rallies which became anti-Semitic riots.

It was against that backdrop of both murders by homegrown terrorists and the anti-Israel actions of the governments that made Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invite the Jews of Europe to come to Israel.

The governments of Europe must declare their strong commitment to a safe and secure Israel.  Such actions should include declaring Hamas a terrorist organization and not recognizing a Palestinian state until it prohibits the promotion of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.  The governments should not pass any BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) actions against Israel any more than they do for other disputed territories such as Kashmir and Cyprus.

The leaders of several European countries acknowledge that there is a problem of anti-Semitism spreading in the continent.  They must be aggressive in confronting it in every manner possible.

My Terrorism

The streets in Paris were full of support for the victims of terror in January 2015. An estimated 1.6 million came out along with leaders of over 40 countries to memorialize the 17 victims, with signs that included “I am Charlie”, “I am the police” and “I am Jewish” to show solidarity with the murdered people.

jesuisjuif

The unity march was highly unusual compared to the reaction to terrorism that has plagued Europe for the past decade. There were no million person-marches or signs of support when:

The past victims included people killed for their use of free speech. They also included law enforcement officers and Jews. More people were killed at some of the attacks than were killed in the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks. So why was there the unique outpouring of support in Europe in 2015? Why didn’t anyone wear a pin “JeSuisMiriam” for the 8-year old girl that was shot in the head in France in 2012?

Looking at the recent protests in many European cities could lead one to conclude that the momentum of anti-immigrant groups and political parties have gained strength and popularity. The rise may stem from the number of terrorist attacks in Europe as well as the number of Islamic immigrants which has ballooned to 20 million in Europe due to the “Arab Spring” producing asylum seekers from throughout the Middle East/ North Africa region.

But why would world leaders show up now?

There was perhaps another factor at play which has to do with a more fundamental human characteristic: selfishness.

My Terrorism

People and nations react when they feel that their interests are being attacked. While they may sympathize with murdered victims everywhere, they take action when they feel that the terrorism strikes a selfish or personal nerve.

Witness the killings and abduction in Nigeria by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. While there were murderous groups all over the world, including nearby in Sudan, there were barely any popular protests. However, when the US first lady Michelle Obama witnessed the abduction of over 200 black girls, she saw victims that looked like her own daughters and launched a “BringBack Our Girls” campaign which went viral. I do not doubt her sincerity or concern for other victims of terror including the 1400 girls who were raped by Muslim men for over 13 years in England. But it took a terrorist action that struck “close to home” against victims that resembled her own family for her to take action.

When three teenage boys were abducted in Israel a month after the Boko Haram abductions, Jews around the world and Israelis started their own hashtag campaign of #BringBackOurBoys and #EyalGiladNaftali. Israelis were obviously concerned about the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram too – indeed Israel was one of only four countries that actually sent support to find the missing girls. But world Jewry acted much more actively when it was three teenaged Jewish boys that were abducted.

In Iraq, the Islamic State/ ISIS was busy wiping out entire cities, killing thousands of Christians, Yazidis and fellow Muslims. However, it took a video of the beheading of American journalists to get America to take action against the Jihadist group. Stated differently, while Americans may have been appalled at knowing that thousands of innocents were being slaughtered in Iraq, the atrocities were viewed as distant. It took the attack on a single man to bring the conflict close-to-home, and therefore worthy of a response.


And so it was with the various attacks in Europe. While the French were likely sad about the killings of Jews over the past decade, they viewed it as a Jewish problem. The majority of French could consider those attacks as targeted against a small community that was not their problem or a threat to themselves. Jews make up 0.2% of the world’s population and 0.8% of France’s population. The French may have felt pity for 8-year old Jewish girl Miriam, but they were not Miriam; no “JeSuisMiriam” placards.

Similarly, the Europeans were likely incensed over the decade-long attacks on policemen and servicemen too. But most Europeans were not in the military. They were angry, but they were not the military. Their military was fighting wars far away.

The large scale attacks in London and Madrid were similar to the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Each nation was harmed as an entity, not just the immediate victims.

Yet the French did not march in Spain; the Germans did not march in England; and the Dutch did not march in the USA.

Lastly, free speech had been attacked before. The murder of Theo van Gogh, bombings in Stockholm (which didn’t murder anyone) and protests against the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in 2005 all stemmed from Muslims protesting the press’s postings of images of their prophet Mohammed. But the limited scale of those attacks compared to the Charlie Hebdo strike awakened a different sensibility in millions of Parisians and leaders of the western world that prize freedom of the press and speech. (Other countries that do not have freedom of speech and press attended the march as well, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to place a fig leaf over their extremist Muslim ideology, lack of freedoms and desire to ingratiate themselves with the western world). The attack on free speech spoke to the people and leaders, as a personal attack on their way of life.

When terrorism became personal, people and countries responded with actions. When terrorism seemed remote and someone else’s problem, there was inaction.

Thanks for the Inclusion

So nations, people, papers and celebrities wore the “JeSuisCharlie” to stand by the victims, and to protest the assault on their own basic freedoms. Some people extended a courtesy to the other victims of the attacks, even though they did not represent a personal attack, wearing “JeSuisPolice” and “JeSuisJuif” alongside their primary banner.

The Jews of France were happy to be included in the memorial of the anti-Semitic attack and appreciated the condemnation of the French government against the attack on their community. But the Jews of France also recall the lack of outrage at the various murders in the recent past of Jews being killed for being Jews.

In France and most of the world, Jews do not get starring roles in the rage on behalf of victims. However, the world will consider Jewish loss once they have expressed outrage for an attack on themselves. Like the five people in the background who stand behind the principal star who receives a trophy at an awards show, Jews were happy to be recognized, even if no one really saw them.

The recognition is a step forward and better than the long history of being ignored.  But everyone knows that such acknowledgement is similar to non-Jews wishing Jews “Happy Chanuka” because it comes at the same time as Christmas. Chanuka is a minor holiday compared to Shavuot and Sukkot which are unknown to non-Jews. When was the last time any non-Jew wished someone a “Happy Purim”? It doesn’t happen because it is not connected to something that they care about personally, like Christmas.

Today’s war on terrorism will continue to be waged when nations see their interests being threatened.  The outpouring of emotion will also be rooted in selfish preservation.

While it may have been called a “unity march”, the Jews of Europe have already been educated about their place in society.


Sources:

Paris march: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30765824

Madrid bombings: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/world/europe/spain-train-bombings-fast-facts/

London bombing: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/world/europe/july-7-2005-london-bombings-fast-facts/

Stockholm bombing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Stockholm_bombings

Copenhagen plot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2010_Copenhagen_terror_plot

Brussels shooting: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/01/suspect-arrest-brussels-jewish-museum-shooting

Toulouse shooting: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9154350/Toulouse-shooting-little-girl-cornered-in-school-and-shot-in-head.html

Torture of French Jew: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/international/europe/05france.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Killing of Theo van Gogh: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/11/gogh-n10.html

Muslims in Europe: http://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-immigration-and-islam-europes-crisis-of-faith-1421450060

Lee Rigby: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26357007

Michelle Obama protest: http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/05/08/michelle-obama-kidnapped-nigerian-schoolgirls-bring-back-our-girls/

Eyal Gilad Naftali: http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.de/2014/06/eyal-gilad-and-naftaliin-our-hearts.html

Je Suis Juif: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/13/world/french-jews/


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Je Suis Redux

Obama’s limit on abducted teenagers

Israel assists Nigerian search

Free speech review music video

Targeted terrorism for blasphemy

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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