With a history of hard-line Islamist preachers, and teeming with poverty and guns, the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek is once again the focus of investigations following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.The New Antisemite site shows that the Molenbeek used to be a Jewish area. You can guess what happened:
In the wake of Friday’s mass attacks in Paris, Belgian authorities are asking what makes the narrow, terraced streets of Molenbeek different from a thousand similar neighbourhoods across Europe.
Three themes emerge as Molenbeek is again in a spotlight of Islamist violence, home not just to militants among Belgium’s own half a million Muslims but, it seems, for French radicals seeking a convenient, discreet base to lie low, plan and arm before striking their homeland across the border.
The first is the difficulties faced by security services amid tensions between the country’s French- and Dutch-speaking halves. Then there is the country’s long history as a hub for fundamentalist preachers from the Gulf, and finally, its thriving black market in automatic rifles of the kind used in Paris.
Two of the attackers who killed more than 130 people, 270 km (170 miles) away in Paris on Friday night were Frenchmen residing in Belgium. Belgian police raided Molenbeek addresses and seven people have been arrested in Belgium over the Paris attacks.
Sound familiar? Muslim terrorists in training harass the Jews, and the authorities and police do nothing because, well, they are only Jews, and they sort of deserve it, because they own the media or because of "occupation" or they are socialists or they are capitalists or they complain too much when they are attacked or because they aren't nice enough to the people who are threatening them.
In 2008, the Flemish magazine Dag Allemaal reported the 'youths' in Molenbeek shouted in the streets "The Jews are our worst enemies". Jews owned shops for many years along the Prado Street and Chaussée de Gand. But, with the exception of a furniture store, by 2008, they had all vanished. And nobody cared.
The author of the article was turned down when he tried to interview the former Molenbeek Jewish merchants. They feared reprisals. One, René (not his real name) agreed to speak on condition that no pictures were taken and that he could not be identified.
In 2008, René closed his hair salon at Chaussée de Gand. There were a string of violent incidents. It started with "dirty kike" and other anti-Semitic graffiti on the facade. The worst are the 'youths' between 12 and 20 years. They shout in the streets that Jews are their worst enemies.
The campaign of hatred and intimidation waged against René culminated in a raid. Six 'youths' stormed into the salon shouting "dirty kike", breaking his equipment and punching him on the face.
After they left, René called the police. An hour later the 'youths' came back to "punish" him and smashed all the mirrors. In 35 years of hard work René had build up a loyal client base, but understandably customers were frightened by the violence and stopped coming. René had no choice but to wind down the business.
To add insult to injury former Molenbeek mayor, Philippe Moureaux (Socialist francophone), complained in 2009, that Belgian Jews "deny Muslims right to diversity".(Note: "Diversity" in this sense means "multiculturalism".)
So the Jews finally leave, and the Muslim thugs need a new target for their hate - I'm sorry, they need a new creative outlet to direct their energies towards.
It always starts with the Jews. The people behind the assassination of Meir Kahane in 1990 were also involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a link that could have saved lives had investigators had been more energetic in tracking down the leads.
So suddenly Molenbeek is in the headlines. If it would have been in the headlines in 2008 then perhaps the Paris attacks would not have been possible.
Those who believe that they are safe because the terrorists are only targeting Jews get reminded every once in a while that Jews are just the canary in the coal mine.
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