Jews in Europe targeted as Gaza anger grows

jetsetter

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updated 8:12 a.m. PT, Tues., Jan. 6, 2009

PARIS - Signs are mounting that the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in Europe's towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.

Assailants rammed a burning car into the gates of a synagogue in Toulouse, in southwest France, on Monday night. A Jewish congregation in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, also was attacked Monday night by someone who "broke a window and threw in something that was burning," said police spokesman Leif Nilsson. Neighbors alerted rescue services before the fire took hold.

Someone also started a blaze outside the premises last week. And on Sunday slogans including "murderers ... You broke the cease-fire" and "don't subject Palestine to ethnic cleansing" were daubed on Israel's embassy in Stockholm.

In Denmark, a 27-year-old Dane born in Lebanon of Palestinian parents is alleged to have injured two young Israelis last week, opening fire with a handgun in a shooting that police suspect could be linked to the Gaza crisis.

France has Western Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities and a history of anti-Semitic violence flaring when tensions in the Middle East are high. In 2002, some 2,300 Jews left France for Israel because they felt unsafe.

President Nicolas Sarkozy warned in a statement Tuesday that France would not tolerate violence linked to the Gaza crisis. A day earlier, his interior minister said she was concerned about the prospect of contagion and met with the heads of the two main Muslim and Jewish groups and police officials to stress the need to "preserve national unity."

Damage to the synagogue in Toulouse was limited to a blackened gate, and there were no injuries even though a rabbi was giving a course to adults inside, authorities said. They said unlighted gasoline bombs were also found in a car nearby and in the synagogue's yard. A local Jewish leader, Armand Partouche, said he believed the assailants had planned to torch the synagogue, but fled when the building's alarm went off.

"It could have been very, very serious," Partouche said in a telephone interview. "There were people inside; there could have been deaths."

He said Jewish leaders are asking Toulouse authorities for reinforced security for the city's synagogues.

"We really fear that anti-Semitism will spring up again and that the current conflict will be transposed to our beautiful French republic," he said.

In Britain, the Community Security Trust, a Jewish defense group, said it had seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents since the start of Israel's offensive against Gaza. The group said it had recorded 20-25 incidents across the country in the past week that it believed were connected with Gaza, including an arson attempt on a synagogue in north London on Sunday.

London police are investigating the attack, in which suspects splashed flammable liquid on the door and set it on fire.

'It could get worse'
Community Security Trust spokesman Mark Gardner said that in another incident last week a gang of 15-20 youths walked along the main street in Golders Green, a largely Jewish neighborhood in north London, shouting "Jew" and "Free Palestine" at passers-by.

"It could get worse," Gardner said. "We tend to see these things happen in waves."

The government in Belgium on Tuesday ordered police in Antwerp and Brussels to be on increased alert after recent pro-Palestinian protests ended in violence and dozens of arrests. Police said burning rags were shoved through the mailbox of a Jewish home in Antwerp last weekend. Damage was limited and no arrests were made.

In the Danish shooting, one Israeli man was shot in the arm and another in the leg as they were selling hair care products in a shopping mall. Eli Ruvio, who owns the company that operated the stands, said his employees have been harassed by Muslim youths since they set up three kiosks in the shopping center in August.

"They kept cursing and shouting at us," Ruvio told The Associated Press. He added that the Muslim youths also threw mud and firecrackers at the employees and spat at them.

Ruvio recalled an episode Dec. 27 when some of the youths shouted "slaughter all the Jews."

"I told my employees not to speak in Hebrew and lie about where they come from, they should say there were from Spain or somewhere else. If people ask you where you are from, never say you're from Israel," he said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28522118
This shouldn't be happening. If some want to blame Israel I can't agree because the situation described above is not Israel's fault. What is at fault is the immigration and policing procedures in various European countries.
 

Firecat

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Absolutely disgusting. Here in Orlando there is a mosque and synagogue practically across from each other, and I haven't heard of a single incident ever. So on the bright-side, we all can live together and get along....the conditions just need to be present, and it is in the United States at least.

When people blame Islam when discussing muslim extremism, I point out that muslims in the United States don't have the same attitudes.

I recall reading an article a while back (maybe it was posted here as well) about how anti-semitism has grown in Canada.
 
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D-Fence

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This shouldn't be happening. If some want to blame Israel I can't agree because the situation described above is not Israel's fault. What is at fault is the immigration and policing procedures in various European countries.
I am certainly not a fan of loose immigration laws (I still stand up to immigrants having to pass a language test after 1 year living in the country and being sent home when criminal), however, I think it is wrong to blame immigration laws for antisemitism. Stupid morons exist everywhere, attacking Jews who are non-political normal citizen like you and me is the same level of stupidity like wearing a white hood and killing black people or slaughtering white farmers in Africa. In Germany (even if not mentioned above) the main problem is, because of our history, the Jews are immune to any critic. Hell we even have the "Zentralrat der Juden" whose only sense in life is to criticize EVERYTHING remotely offending Jews (example: last year they wanted to forbid a traditional (~since 1600) halloween like parade in one region because it fell on the date of a Nazi crime) And as soon as you criticize other immigrants you are racist.
I personally say SCREW THIS just ignore religions, nationalities and do whatever police and judges have to do, Hitler is long dead and we have 2-3 generations of citizens that did NOT live during the Nazi regime.

The Gaza conflict is a political minefield, so I am now saying my PERSONAL opinion:

Israel is right to attack the Hamas, because the Hamas attacking Israel is just bullshit. HOWEVER, it is NOT right for a civilized country to trap 1 Million civilians in a warzone without any support. And I also think without the US Military & Money behind them, Israel had seized to exist long time ago. I am personally pissed, that money the EU gave to the PEOPLE of Palestina to rebuild their homes and schools is blown up by Israel and nothing happens. They should at least be held responsible for the infrastructural and civil damage they do and rebuild it.


To sum this up:

Fanatically religious people are annoying as fuck. However, there are 99% of religious people who are just normal and don't care if the guy they are jsut having a beer (or soda, for the muslims ;)) with is muslim, jew, christ, buddhist, homerist or whatever. We only agree Scientology is stupid :p
 

nomix

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Completely unacceptable.

Sadly, there will always be individual acts of terrorism, and there's little one can do with that.

Jews are not to fault for the acts of Israel, and that's an end to it.
 

Firecat

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I don't think it's an issue with immigrants per se, but rather a question of assimilation. Although it's possible that local neo-nazi type groups could be involved....and that's something different entirely.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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To sum this up:

Fanatically religious people are annoying as fuck. However, there are 99% of religious people who are just normal and don't care if the guy they are jsut having a beer (or soda, for the muslims ;)) with is muslim, jew, christ, buddhist, homerist or whatever. We only agree Scientology is stupid :p
Perfectly stated. LOL!:+1:
 

tigger

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Well that's just fucking brilliant. I can't even be tactful about it, I'll just stop.
 

Jacobfox

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It's apparently spread to chicago now. Three synagogues and a couple of schools were bricked and vandalized. Someone blew up a firebomb at a synagogue a couple of weeks ago. Whether or not you agree with what Israel is doing, committing hate crimes against unrelated Jews is absurd.
 

nomix

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It's absurd, moronic and criminally insane.

What's as sad is that it's doing as much good for the ACTUAL fight for liberty in Palestine as the terrorist acts of Rote Arme Fraktion did in the 70s and 80s.

They are also barking up the wrong tree, if they were to attack anyone who actually DOES support Israel without any conditions, they should go after those extremist christians.

And even then, it would be so effing wrong and moronic that I'm lost for words.

They are a bunch of stupid arrogant moronic assholes that need to blow up their own assholes.

/rant
 

Rokovak

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There's only one true solution to the madness, and I hope it doesn't come until long after I'm dead!

 
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