Thursday, January 15, 2015
OUTSTANDING & IMPORTANT INTERVIEW WITH RABBI D. WOLPE ON ALJAZEERA TV!!!!
Rabbi the first thing I want to talk about is this tweet that we saw from Prime Minister Netanyahu. I’m going to read it to you. “To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home.” Now the sentiment there understandable but is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is certainly understandable in the wake of his attacks, is he calling Jews home to Israel?
Well it is a traditional tenant of Zionism that Israel is a homeland for Jews everywhere by I think in particular in the wake of such a terrible attack and in the wake of a whole series of attacks, because this is one of many of less severity but still one of many, that Jews in France and throughout Europe are increasingly wondering is there a home for us in Europe or must we leave the place where we have been for a long time because the hostility is so virulent and so unanswerable.
And Rabbi do you have a sense of the numbers here? Is there a year over year increase?
There has been an increase – I’m sorry – There has been an increase steadily in France of thousands over the years but I think this might occasion an uptick. Look, in the past year for example 40% of all the hate crimes in France were against Jews. They are less than 1% of the population. That argues for a degree of hostility that is very hard to live with over a long period of time.
Rabbi do you think Jews should leave France? Do you think they should move to Israel?
Well look, my – the truth is that my first reaction is to say people should stop hating. That is left wing anti-Semitism, right- wing anti-Semitism, Muslim anti-Semitism which are serious endemic problems. That’s what we should be working on a addressing, but if you can’t somehow achieve a reduction in the hatreds that are directed against Jews then I certainly think that if I had my family and felt unsafe I would seriously consider it. It’s not for me to prescribe to another community if they should leave, but it’s for me to worry about them and I think for every, not only Jew, but a person of good will to worry about the faith of the Jewish people in Europe and elsewhere.
Right and with that in mind of course people around the world are concerned about this situation, but what do we think is responsible. You mentioned the uptick in hate crimes against people of many faiths and creeds. What do we think is responsible for this?
Well I think – look I don’t want to say many faiths and creeds as though it is so generalizable. The truth is that in addition to a long history of anti-Semitism in Europe the influx of Muslim immigrants has dramatically increased anti-Semitism and throughout the Muslim world there are vile depictions of Jews. I’m not talking about specifically Israel/Palestine conflict, but of Jews with swastikas, with traditional anti-Semitic texts being distributed, with children being taught anti-Semitic images and tropes. And so if you ask me what’s responsible I would say that part of this is that now in the Muslim world there is a viral strain of anti-Semitism that it’s incumbent upon Muslim leaders and others to address.