Thursday, March 09, 2023

  • Thursday, March 09, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
By Daled Amos

It looks like the West is finally getting serious about fighting antisemitism.

In December, the Biden Administration declared it would confront antisemitism. Just last month several antisemitism envoys from Europe came to the US to meet with the White House to advise it and a special panel on how to combat Jew-hatred.

Rabbi Andrew Baker, the director of international Jewish affairs at the AJC, saw this as something of a twist, seeing how Europe has been slow to recognize that it had a problem:

Europe has stepped forward. I don’t want to say we became smug in America, but now we find ourselves seeking their help.

And what kind of advice is Europe offering?

Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life said in an interview that her recommendations to the US focused on “the whole range of antisemitism—online education, Holocaust remembrance, security.”

And then she said something odd:

Fostering Jewish life is central, she said, “to make sure that Jews in Europe can go about their lives in line with their religious and cultural traditions, and also free from fear.” [emphasis added]
Oystein Lyngroth said something similar. 

Lyngroth is Norway’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief and is also the head of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) delegation in Norway. She said:

There needs to be a promotion of the visibility of Jewish life. [emphasis added]

John Mann, UK government advisor on antisemitism, echoed those remarks:

Let every Jewish person, every Jewish student, be themselves, including those who identify as Zionist as a crucial part of their identity. With no negatives,” he said. “It’s a simple ask, and that’s what we’re building. That’s what I’d recommend to every American university.”

Mann, a panelist, said it’s not his prerogative, nor anyone’s, to try and define for Jewish students how they identify.

The odd thing is that based on these 3 quotes, one would assume that a key component of the European approach in addressing antisemitism is to protect and foster Jewish identity.

That sounds like a great idea, but the problem is how can they claim to be so supportive of Jewish identity, when Europe is working so hard to undermine Jewish identity?

In 2021, Greece joined 8 other European countries in banning shechitah (kosher slaughter): Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Slovenia, and Estonia who all require an animal to be shocked before being ritually slaughtered, thus making shechitah impossible.

While von Shnurbein stated that hand-in-hand with Jews being able to follow their religious and cultural traditions was their ability to live free from fear -- the current limitations being imposed or threatening Jewish communities in Europe cause exactly that. In Belgium for example:

When the Belgian laws came in, Muslim and Jewish groups feared they were being used by nationalists to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment.

And shechita is not the only practice that Europe has taken upon itself to regulate for Jews.
European countries are targeting brit milah as well.

In Iceland, a 2018 bill outlawed circumcision, unless done for medical reasons, because it violates the child's rights, and should not be done until the boys have reached an age where they can make their own decision.

In addition, the bill claimed that circumcision: 

Is comparable with female genital mutilation 
o  Is often done in homes that are not sterile
o  Is performed by religious leaders instead of doctors
Is a danger of "a high risk of infections under such conditions that may lead to death."

However, at the urging of the US and lobbying groups, the ban on circumcision was put on hold


In 2020, a proposal to ban circumcision was removed from a bill in Finland after an outcry.
o  In 2012, a regional court in Cologne, Germany, made circumcision a criminal act -- though it remained legal in Germany as a whole.
o  In 2018, a survey in Great Britain found that that 62% would support a ban on circumcision.
o  In 2017, Norway's ruling party -- an anti-immigrant party -- voted to ban circumcision for men under 16 years old.

Andrew Baker, who welcomes Europe's advice on combatting antisemtism, has himself written that the European attempt to ban bris milah is "threat to Jewish life, though barely mentioned." Hopefully, he mentioned it when he met with the European representatives.

Can this happen in the US? Circumcision is currently more accepted in the US than it is in Europe. 

However, according to the National Library of Medicine, newborn circumcision rates in the US have declined significantly in the past few decades and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1979 through 2010, the national rate of newborn circumcision declined 10%, from 64.5% to 58.3%.

It certainly makes sense that in the face of the threat of antisemitism to Jewish identity, there is a need to foster and encourage Jewish identity. But just who are our allies in combatting this threat?

Europe is portrayed as a major partner -- but as we have seen, it has threatened elements that are critical to Jewish identity.

Douglas Emhoff, husband of VP Kamala Harris, is involved in the US program to fight antisemitism -- but neither his first wife nor his second wife is Jewish, and his daughter by his first marriage explicitly does not identify as Jewish. I do not doubt his desire to fight antisemitism, but how does he define Jewish identity and what is he willing to do to support it? Meanwhile, his wife, VP Harris defended Ilhan Omar from criticism of her antisemitic remarks, saying, "I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk."

In Europe, Muslims appear to be a natural ally in fighting for shechitah and circumcision -- but according to The Law Library of Congress, halal slaughtering is performed by Muslims after being pre-stunned in a number of European countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. In 2014, approximately 85% of halal meat in the Muslim community in Great Britain was pre-stunned, according to a BBC program. (at 3:37. Warning: The video has explicit images of animals being slaughtered). The following year, in response to the controversy, there was a 60% increase in the number of un-stunned slaughtering in the Muslim community. It's not clear if this reversal has taken place across Europe and to what extent.

It seems that Jews in general -- like Israel in particular -- just cannot be too reliant on others to fight their battles.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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