Can the Jews of Europe be saved?

The Jewish community of Denmark has nowburied its dead. The latest lethal antisemitic incident in Europe followed the pattern set in Paris a month earlier.

A brazen attack on a prominent symbol of free speech - in this case, a symposium hosted by the controversial cartoonist Lars Vilks, was followed immediately, inevitably, by a shooting at a gathering place for Jews, the Copenhagen Synagogue.

Artists and thinkers were targeted because of what they do, and a Jewish volunteer guarding the Synagogue was targeted because of what he was.

In Paris a month earlier, Jews were killed shopping in a kosher store on the eve of the Sabbath. Just a month earlier in the same city, a young Jewish woman was subjected to a brutal rape during a home invasion. It emerged that the assailants had targeted the home because they knew the family to be Jewish.

In May 2014, a gunman, recently returned from Syria, murdered four people with an assault rifle at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. Two years earlier, another jihadist, coolly alighted from his scooter outside a Jewish day school in Toulouse and shot three Jewish schoolchildren and their young Rabbi at point

blank range.

On the same day that Dan Uzan was murdered outside the Copenhagen Synagogue, hundreds of Jewish graves were smashed and daubed with swastikas in eastern France.

The Jews of Europe have now been targeted in their places of worship, their shops, their community centres, their schools, their homes and even in their graves.

The recent history of deadly antisemitism in Europe has the Jews questioning whether basic rights to assemble, to worship, to live freely in peace still extend to them. Consequently, they have come to question their place in a new Europe, with its entrenched pockets of barbaric Islamist killers and those who support, educate, finance and shelter them.

The perpetrators in each case fit the same profile. Young Arab men, failures in the free societies of endless opportunities in which they are fortunate enough to live, groomed to become remorseless killers by agents of the fascistic, fanatical movement that sees violent antisemitism as its rallying cry.

It is in this context that Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has urged Europe's Jews to leave for Israel. Netanyahu's calls have been widely criticised. European governments have resented the implication that they cannot contain radical Islam and are incapable of protecting some of their own citizens. The Jewish communities themselves have seen the call to emigrate as Netanyahu asking them to do something that he himself never would - surrender to terrorism.

But viewed objectively, no one should be surprised by Netanyahu's statements, particularly in the context of Europe's blood-soaked history of racial and religious persecution, especially of Jews.

Until European governments demonstrate that they have an effective antidote to the growing wave of anti-Jewish hatred and violence in their countries, emigration to the Jewish State will look an increasingly attractive option. Indeed, the focus should not be on the welcoming embrace of Israeli leaders to these beleaguered communities, but on the failure of European governments to contain the antisemitism that threatens to drive them away.

The response of world leaders in combating the scourge of violent antisemitism will be crucial. Words can be as significant as deeds, particularly at a time when moral clarity is at a premium. In the wake of the Paris killings, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls gave a landmark speech denouncing antisemitism. Valls decried the revival of antisemitism in France as a symbol of the crisis of democracy and the Republic. "When the Jews of France are attacked, all of France is attacked, and so is the universal consciousness," he said. "We must never forget that."

The Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt conveyed similar sentiments. "When you attack the Jewish community, you attack our democracy," she said in the hours following the Copenhagen attack.

Yet before such messages begin to have an impact more widely, they are invariably distorted, inverted and corrupted by the chattering classes and lost in a hail of nonsense on social media.

So, immediately, pathological haters of Israel will link the slaying of a Jew in Copenhagen to events in Gaza or rail against the "hypocrisy" of daring to condemn this later terror attack while Israeli houses creep beyond that defunct armistice line known as the "Green Line."

A show of solidarity with the beleaguered Jews of Europe will be turned into another pre-emptive campaign against the prospect of an Islamophobic "backlash" - which thankfully never materialises. What does materialise, however, is the next "lash" - the next deadly attack on a Jewish gathering place.

What resulted from the Toulouse massacre was not Islamophobia, but a new surge in antisemitism. In the six weeks following the attack, 43 violent antisemitic incidents were reported. It was almost as though the warning of a backlash encouraged antisemites to strike first in their phony war, again.

Exemplifying this mindset, the prominent barrister Julian Burnside recently claimed that "Islamophobia is the new antisemitism." The facts tell a different story. In Britain, a Jew is four times more likely to be attacked than a Muslim; in the United States, six times more likely. Far from being eclipsed by other forms of prejudice, it is antisemitism itself which has mutated into new and more virulent forms.

Burnside has expressed this uninformed view before, tweeting the same words in August and September 2014. It seems that the murderous attacks on the Jews of Paris and Copenhagen in the intervening period have done nothing to change Burnside's mind - or perhaps his sympathies are selectively applied.

Elected leaders, human rights activists, people of prominence with a voice and a platform fall silent when they are needed most. Fearful that voicing sympathy for the slain Jewish civilians will alienate their supporters, or undermine their anti-Israel and anti-Western credentials.

In some cases these elites have reverted to self-flagellation, blaming the diseased mind of the jihadists on Western intolerance, Israeli settlements, Woodrow Wilson, "the Murdoch press" - anything or anyone but the perpetrators themselves and the ideas by which they define themselves.

In this fog of lost morality and reason, the causes of the problem become impossible to identify and the solutions therefore remain elusive. What is clear is that until the movement known as radical Islam or Islamism is eradicated, more Jews will die in the cities of Western democracies, and democracy itself will continue to be eroded.

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