It is difficult to imagine how European nations could find the will and the ways to counter the subversive forces they have invited upon themselves and allowed to flourish for more than three decades. The current phase of global jihad, already underway in the much vaunted decolonization process, coalesced with the seizure of power in Iran by Ayatollah Khomenei (who had been living as a pampered refugee in France). But the American reader should be wary of concluding that Europe is lost…and the United States is standing firm.
On the contrary, all of Western civilization is under fire. As promised during the campaign, Barack Hussein Obama is making a radical change in American policy. Not of course the glorious change his worshippers promised themselves, but a troubling shift toward dhimmitude. The newly elected president lost no time in pleading guilty as charged by Muslim authorities and promising to refrain from further rebellion in order to receive their benevolent indulgence.
Similar methods produce similar results. Jihad forces in Europe–and in the United States–used Israel’s Cast Lead operation in Gaza as a pretext to organize virulent, violent pro-Hamas demonstrations. Because Europe is further down the path to surrender, the enraged pro-Hamas mobs were more violent, destructive, and physically threatening here than in the United States. But in both cases they advanced their dominion. This should be recognized as authentic conquest of territory by enraged mobs bearing down on hapless victims in an ominous show of force and not, as claimed and widely accepted, citizen demonstrators exercising their right to free speech.
If you can carry signs equating the Magen David with the swastika, if you can scream “Jews to the ovens” in the face of Zionists in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, if you can storm into a synagogue in Caracas, Venezuela and terrorize the congregation, if you can bully the police in England, smash up the Place de l’Opéra in Paris, burn Israeli and American flags, shout Allahu Akbar without meeting resolute opposition, it means you can keep going and ultimately fulfill those murderous promises. Do American Jews understand what was acquired by these phony demonstrations that are really paramilitary operations? Wherever those enraged mobs set foot they transformed the streets into de facto waqf territory.
Each successive crisis is an opportunity to ratchet up Jew hatred and the concomitant assault on Western civilization, achieving, step by step, tacit acceptance of the unspeakable. Here is how it works: first, the provocation. Jihadist attacks—thousands of rockets launched against Israel, a few airplanes flown into the WTC, capture and beheading of hostages, roadside bombs, inhuman pizzeria bombers, nuclear weapons programs—finally provoke a riposte. Bingo! The Muslim wailing machine goes into action. It is immediately picked up by complicit Western media and transmitted, with a Good Journalism stamp of approval, to public opinion. Israel, the United States and anyone else who dares to fight back is accused of war crimes, peace crimes, and original sin. This justifies subsequent acts of subversion and aggression against the free world.
When the United States used its formidable military force and assumed its international responsibilities, European nations, with rare exceptions, exploited opposition to “the war in Iraq” to undermine the American superpower. This agitation was exploited in turn by jihad interests to advance the Islamization of Europe…and by ricochet to influence domestic politics in the United States as Obamamania surfed on the theme of repairing America’s battered image.
The European Union, with France in the lead, vaunting its diplomatic savoir faire, competes with the U.S. for influence in the Middle East, and always seems to pull in the Arab direction. French ceasefire diplomacy restrained Israel’s capacity to defeat Iranian proxies—Hizbullah in 2006, Hamas today. The harsh criticism of Israel and the U.S. that underlies this self-righteous peacemaking fuels domestic pro-jihad protest marches that end in attacks against police and property, further undermining government authority in Europe and endangering local Jewish populations.
All of this subversive activity is advanced by what I call “lethal narratives.” These are stories of what is happening generated by global jihad and relayed by Western media and officialdom. Unlike propaganda, which is used in conjunction with military activity aimed at defeating an enemy in battle, lethal narratives are used in lieu of military action. Promotion of enemy propaganda in past conflicts was limited to a small minority of traitors and fellow travelers; today, lethal narratives are swallowed by all but a minority of résistants, who are marginalized, labeled extremists, persecuted and prosecuted. Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who stormed through European cities screaming “death to Israel, death to the Jews” go scot free but Dutch politician Geert Wilders is prosecuted for “hate speech” for showing the connection between these same declarations, from Qur’anic verses to contemporary sermons, and murderous acts such as 9/11.
The lethal narrative, a tissue of lies made credible by a superficial journalistic veneer, becomes the accepted version of what is happening. G.W. Bush lied about Saddam’s WMDs, the neocons wanted a war in Iraq, torture at Guantanamo, hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, an unbeatable insurgency, the war spawned a thousand terrorists for every one that was killed, etc. Another tissue of lies was issued during the Cast Lead operation: the homemade rockets were harmless; Gaza is an open prison; the Gaza population suffered a humanitarian crisis, no food, water, electricity, medicine; Israel engaged in intentional massacre of civilians, bombing mosques, UN schools, babes in arms and, the last straw, deliberately killed the daughters of the good-hearted doctor who practices in both Gaza and Tel Aviv.
In less than a decade life has become problematic for European Jews. It started with the al Dura blood libel on September 30, 2000 and has steadily worsened since. During periods of relative calm, we tell ourselves that the nightmare is over. When the tension exacerbates, as happened during the Gaza operation, it becomes obvious that we have no future anywhere in Europe—and Europe has no future anyway!
France, with the largest Muslim and Jewish populations and the greatest diplomatic ambition, is emblematic of the Western European condition. The Sarkozy government is sincerely troubled by the upsurge of anti-Semitism—approximately 150 incidents reported since the start of Cast Lead. The president promises to put an end to this unacceptable behavior but declares, in the next breath, that “Islamophobia” will be punished as severely as anti-Semitism, falsely implying that Jews are attacking Muslims, and effectively blocking an honest investigation of the Islamic sources of Jew hatred
On another level, the “Obama effect” works against Jews in France and more generally in Europe. Thrilled by the multicultural chic of a black president in the powerful U.S., Europeans vow to give more than equal opportunity to their own “visible minorities” in the hopes of getting themselves a YesWeCan president in the near future. Unfortunately, the integration of law-abiding Muslims into European society also serves as cover for infiltration by subversive Muslims.
Political enfranchisement of European Muslims in the absence of genuine acceptance of Western values is another destabilizing factor. Instead of promoting a peaceful climate of mutual respect, the rise of Muslims into executive positions in public and private sectors may lead to ethnic favoritism that will be prejudicial to Jewish colleagues and candidates, rebuffed to get even for an alleged previous supremacy or punished whenever there is a flare-up in the Middle East. Serious problems in public education, up to the university level, further compromise the future of Europe and more precisely of European Jews.
The far left, unashamedly aligned with European jihad movements, proudly marched with pro-Hamas mobs that systematically ended their “demonstrations” with attacks against property and the police. Fearful of losing ground, the parliamentary left also sidles toward this constituency, hiding its perfidy behind dubious humanitarian concerns. CID [Centre d’information et de documentation de démocratie et de Moyen Orient] reports from Brussels that all political parties except the droite libérale marched along with the keffieh-wrapped mobs that shouted “death to Israel, death to the Jews.” Another aggravating factor is the economic crisis, exploited by the left to mobilize and channel discontent into increasingly aggressive demonstrations, strikes and civil disobedience, while the right, hungry for capital, welcomes sharia finance with open arms.
In 2003, when Jewish boys from Hashomer Hazair were beaten up by anti-war protestors, I described the incident as a “peace march verging on pogrom.” Alain Finkielkraut applied the term to the 2005 banlieue riots, then withdrew it as inappropriate. Was it an exaggeration? Or foresight? There can be no doubt that the enraged mobs storming through European and American cities will go further.
No longer content to throw fire bombs or ram burning cars into synagogues, they now want to break in during services. Thirty men traveled from Mulhouse to Strasbourg for that purpose. Their plan failed…that time. Carjackers in a Parisian suburb, discovering their victim was Jewish, slashed his neck four times with exquisite cruelty until the blood flowed. That crime was denounced as anti-Semitic but the culprits have not been found, and other incidents are left hanging with question marks, as if to calm the populace. A Jewish doctor was shot dead in another Parisian suburb, the warehouse of the biggest kosher food distributor in still another was burned down.
Europeans who do cherish their freedom try to organize, speak out, influence their governments. They see—or saw—America as a refuge, a haven, a beacon of liberty. Many see Israel as a sterling example of résistance against global jihad. Though life looks quite normal on the surface, we are living in a perilous, highly volatile situation in which, precisely, normal life is a battlefield. As these lines are written, Iran announces the launch of a satellite that could leave southern European cities no less vulnerable than Sderot. The news landed like a monster walking into a bustling café. The excited chatter about peace talks and negotiation and friendly outreached hands falls silent. If existential fear has finally stricken the heart of European governments, all is not lost.
Nidra Poller is an American who moved to France in 1972 and is a journalist, novelist, and translator.