Life for Jews in Muslim-Occupied France
Vanity Fair’s piece on Jewish life in France under the shadow of Muslim terror and violence is flawed, but often compelling. Interestingly enough I believe that VF was one the first major US magazines to report on the situation back around 2002 or so. These days the media embargo has been mostly broken, but the story is still full of raw elements that won’t be found in conventional media coverage.
It was Bastille Day weekend, and, on Sunday, July 13, he tracked the hundreds of protesters who rushed into the Marais, Paris’s historic Jewish quarter, stopping briefly at an empty synagogue on the Rue des Tournelles, near the Place des Vosges, and then racing, reportedly with iron bars, axes, and flags, toward the Rue de la Roquette, a boutique-and-café-lined street a few blocks from the apartment of Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Their destination was the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue. Inside, the 200 worshippers—including the chief rabbi of Paris—heard the howls from the crowd, estimated to number about 300: “Hitler was right!” “Jews, get out of France!”
Only six police officers were assigned to be on demonstration duty that day. “We are waiting for the assault police to arrive,” one told a reporter at the scene. After an hour, a counterterrorism force rescued the chief rabbi, but everyone else was left inside, behind doors barricaded from the inside with chairs and tables.
Outside, members of a special security patrol and a dozen members of the self-trained Ligue de Défense Juive began chasing off the demonstrators with chairs and tables from nearby cafés, working with a small unit from the security force. Together, it took them three hours to disperse the crowd and safely evacuate the synagogue.
We saw bits and pieces of this in video clips posted on social media, but this is a much more disturbing and comprehensive picture of what life is like for Jews. Particularly those Middle Eastern Jews who fled Muslim violence in North Africa only to reexperience it in France.
The analogy to Nazism is eerily accurate because a big chunk of German anti-Semitism derived from the civil rights that German Jews received through Napoleon. Middle Eastern Jews likewise only received legal equality with Muslims under French rule.
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