In Great Britain, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has just identified a dangerous enemy of organized Jewry: it’s none other than Samuel Hayek, the head of the UK’s branch of the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK). Writes Hugh Fitzgerald
In Great Britain, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has just identified a dangerous enemy of organized Jewry: it’s none other than Samuel Hayek, the head of the UK’s branch of the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK). Hayek, you see, dared to publicly suggest that the increasing number of Muslims in the U.K. could make life very difficult – nay, someday soon even intolerable — for British Jews. A report on the Chief Rabbi’s furious response to Hayek’s melancholy thoughts on the future of Jews in the U.K. is here: “Chief Rabbi condemns JNF UK chair Samuel Hayek’s ‘no future for Jews’ claim,” by Lee Harpin, Jewish News, January 7, 2022:
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis this week heaped further pressure on JNF UK by saying its chairman Samuel Hayek is “entirely wrong” to suggest the future of British Jewry is under threat as a result of Muslim immigration.
In a significant intervention, Rabbi Mirvis told Jewish News he believes Jews in the UK “are blessed to live in an overwhelmingly welcoming nation as one of the most vibrant, confident and contented Jewish communities in the world.”
Mirvis is not a Daniel, but a Pollyanna come to judgment. For the same might have been said of German Jewry in 1925: they were living in “one of the most vibrant, confident and contented Jewish communities in the world.” Hyperinflation, mass unemployment, the stab-in-the-back theory to explain Germany’s loss in World War I, the Versailles reparations payments, and a hypnotic Hitler able to mesmerize the masses changed all that within ten years, and that “vibrant, confident, and contented Jewish community” was well on its way to what would become its total destruction.
Samuel Hayek neither accepted, nor denied, ghat some British Jews were, as of now, “vibrant, confident, contented.” He was making a prediction that the present state of affairs would not last in the face of a growing Muslim population. He was sounding an alarm, and was no doubt prepared to present his supporting evidence, but instead of rationally debating the matter with him, there was no debate at all, and from the grand panjandrums of British Jewry, headed by the authoritarian and bullying Chief Rabbi Mirvis, so very different from his predecessor Rabbi Sacks, there were furious calls for Hayek to be fired from his post as head of the Jewish National Fund UK.
What did Hayek do to deserve this outcry? He had taken note of what had been happening to Jews in the U.K. as the Muslim populations grew, but not only in the U.K. He surely also saw what was happening to Jews elsewhere — in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark. He knew that Jews everywhere in Western Europe had been enduring an upsurge in attacks by Muslims. He thought that this situation could only worsen for Jews in the U.K., and in an interview with Jewish News he predicted a bleak future for British Jews:
The process is that maybe in 10 years, maybe less, who knows, Jews will not be able to live in the UK. I don’t think anybody can stop it [the effect of more Muslims living in the U.K.].
Assaults are part of the major increase in the number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom this year by the Community Security Trust watch group. In the first half of 2021, CST recorded the highest-ever number of antisemitic incidents in any six-month period since it began monitoring the issue in the 1980s. The tally for January through June in 2021 was 1,308 incidents, compared to 875 in the corresponding period the previous year. The total for 2020 was 1,668 incidents. The figures for 2021 have not yet been released, but it is believed, based on those for the first six months, that they will approach 2,500. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the House of Commons that there had been a “deeply disturbing” upsurge in anti-Semitism in recent years, particularly on social media. But Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis may not have gotten the word; after all, he sits not in the House of Commons but in the House of Lords.
Numerous physical attacks on Jews have been reported in London: an elderly Jew was punched in the face and fell, breaking his ankle, a 14-year-old was knocked to the ground and then kicked,, a woman was punched repeatedly, a man had a bottle smashed on his head, a rabbi was bashed on his head by a brick-wielding Muslim as he stood outside his synagogue. Jews were the subject of attack by Muslims in all over the U.K., and so many hundreds more. Assaults have increased especially in Greater London, Greater Manchester, and Hertfordshire. Some assaults have been not physical, but intended to terrorize, like those committed by the Muslims who drive through such Jewish-populated areas as Golders Green and St. John’s Wood, screaming antisemitic curses, uttering threats of murder and rape, and slowing down to taunt any visibly Jewish person who might be out walking. And on social media, every day brings a new tsunami of antisemitic hate directed at the Jews in the U.K.
It’s the same story elsewhere in Western Europe. In Berlin, Jews have been set upon, not by neo-Nazis as some naively assume, but by Muslims. Kicked, spat on, shouted at, attacked with sticks and bricks, whipped with belts, beaten up. Many Jews in Germany – and in the U.K. –report that they are now afraid to go out wearing kippahs or other garb that would identify them as Jews. Security in Germany has had to be increased around synagogues and Jewish schools. As early as 2018, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, warned Jewish men “not to show themselves openly with a kippah in the metropolitan milieu in Germany.” And there have been many more attacks since then, raising the level of fear among the Jews of Germany.
In Sweden, the third largest Jewish community is in Malmo. Until a decade ago they felt safe. But there are now 100,000 Muslims in Malmo out of a total population of 300,000, and attacks on Jews have skyrocketed. The Jewish community has fallen from 1,200 a few years ago to less than 800 today. Jews have been moving out as what is delicately known as the “security problem” increases. The government refuses to pay for security for synagogues and Jewish schools; Jews must pay for it themselves. The Jewish community in Malmo is expected to disappear within five years. Some speak of Jews disappearing altogether from Sweden by 2029. Jews in Sweden who were once, like Chief Rabbi Mirvis’ claim for British Jews, “vibrant, confident, and contented community,” instead are now worried, even scared, of what the future holds.
In France, the largest community of Jews in Europe are having a traumatic time. There have been in the past few years more than a dozen high-profile murders of Jews by Muslims, who killed them precisely because they were Jewish. Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured by a Muslim gang for more than two weeks, then left to die from his wounds. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and three little Jewish children, two of them his — a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old –were murdered by Mohammed Merah outside a Jewish school in Toulouse. 65-year-old Sarah Halimi was beaten to death and then defenestrated by Kobili Traoré, a Muslim who shouted “Allahu akbar” as he beat her. 84-year-old Mireille Knoll, a survivor of the Holocaust, was stabbed 11 times by Yacine Matoub, a Muslim whom she had befriended when he was still a boy, even serving as his surrogate grandmother. Four Jewish shoppers were murdered by Amedy Coulibaly at a kosher supermarket in Parisin 2015. The French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut said in 2018: “We [French Jews] should not leave,” he said, “but maybe for our children or grandchildren there will be no choice.” What does Chief Rabbi Mirvis have to say to that? Is Finkielkraut a “bigot,” a “racist,” an “islamophobe,” just like Samuel Hayek?
In Denmark, one Jew was murdered when a synagogue was attacked by a Muslim in 2015. Jews in Copenhagen have been physically attacked.. The imam of a major mosque, Mundhir Abdallah, who preaches in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Norrebro at the Masjid Al-Faruq mosque, has been accused by the police of citing a hadith or koranic narrative calling for Muslims to rise up and kill Jews. “Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them,” Abdallah said in a Facebook and YouTube video post this March.
Jews in Denmark are frightened of Muslims, as answers to a recent questionnaire make clear:
“One of the fundamentally biggest problems for Jews in Denmark is that we do not dare visibly show our Jewish identity in public, at school, at the gym, etc. for fear of antisemitic statements, unfortunately, in particular from our Muslim neighbours.”
“One other time,I was surrounded by a group of young immigrants –Muslims — right next to the synagogue. I got rid of them by giving them my money – and was ready to fight for my life. I was ready to die, and they gave up.
“I am very scared about my children’s future, since “Jew” is an invective in my district, and Muslim people hate Jews so much that life means nothing. We are scared that our children will be attacked one way or another.”
“Unfortunately, the development over time has been for the worse. For many years, being Jewish in Denmark was not a problem. In this millennium, we have started to see threats, offending statements and terrorist attack against persons characterised as Jews. The majority of these have been initiated by people of a Muslim background.”
The reports on these countries, including the U.K., where the Chief Rabbi Mirvis claims everything is going so well for Jews, provide conclusive evidence of the danger to Europe’s Jews from the Muslims who have come to settle. But Mirvis won’t hear of it. He doesn’t want to discuss this problem, because it would undermine his insistence, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that there is nothing to worry about.
One wonders if Rabbi Mirvis has taken the time to read the Qur’an. I suspect he has not. Had he done so, he would have discovered what disturbing things are said about Jews in the Muslim holy book. Robert Spencer’s useful compilation provides a startling picture of profound antisemitism:
“The Jews in the Qur’an are called the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).
One wonders how Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis would explain away such Qur’anic passages to those British Jews who have been so quick to emulate him in denouncing Samuel Hayek for “racism” and “Islamophobia.” Or does he think Muslims don’t really believe what is written about Jews in the Qur’an?
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