From the Editor : Rael Jean Isaac

 

A Europe We Can Believe In

That’s the title of what’s being called “The Paris Statement” signed by British philosopher Roger Scruton and nine other intellectuals, none of them household names here, from a variety of European countries.  For this writer there is an overemphasis on Christianity (rather than Judeo-Christianity) as the underpinning of European civilization—you’d never guess there were Old Testament roots to Western civilization from this document.  But what these writers are doing is important.  As U.S. Catholic theologian James Schall points out, what the Statement offers is not only an analysis of Europe’s dire political situation, but a call to action.

The Statement consists of a lengthy 36 articles, and can be read in its entirety at https://thetrueeurope.eu/a-europe-we-can-believe-in/.  The following are brief excerpts drawn from it.

“Europe belongs to us, and we belong to Europe.  These lands are our home; we have no other.  Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union.  The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love.

“The true Europe is in jeopardy.  As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home.

“The false Europe boasts of an unprecedented commitment to human liberty.   At the same time that we hear boasts of unprecedented liberty, European life is more and more comprehensively regulated.  And Europe now seeks to tighten existing regulations on freedom of speech, an aboriginal European freedom—freedom of conscience made manifest.  Political leaders who give voice to inconvenient truths about Islam and immigration are hauled before judges.  Political correctness enforces strong taboos that deem challenges to the status quo beyond the pale.

“Over the past generation, Europe has pursued a grand project of multiculturalism.  To demand or even promote the assimilation of Muslim newcomers to our manners and mores, much less to our religion, has been thought a gross injustice.  A commitment to equality, we have been told, demands that we abjure any hint that we believe our culture superior.  Paradoxically, Europe’s multicultural enterprise, which denies the Christian roots of Europe, trade on the Christian ideal of universal charity in an exaggerated and unsustainable form.

“Europe’s intellectual classes are, alas, among the chief ideological partisans of the conceits of the false Europe.

“There is an alternative.  We must restore a true liberalism.  After World War II Western Europe cultivated vital democracies.  After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Central European nations restored their civic vitality.  These are among Europe’s most precious achievements.

“Many wrongly think Europe is being convulsed only by controversies over immigration.  In truth, this is but one dimension of a more general social unraveling that must be reversed.

“In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders.  We rightly love our homeland, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony.”

 

The Way of Zimbabwe

The Jewish population of South Africa dropped from 125,000 in the 1980s to 74,000 in 2014.  It is likely to soon drop considerably more as South Africa heads further down the disastrous path of Zimbabwe, (a human rights and economic hellhole).   And virtually no one in the West is paying a scrap of attention.  To learn of what is happening you have to read media outliers like Breitbart or Israel’s Arutz Sheva.

Afrikaners on a food line

Mugabe began the process of turning Zimbabwe, then Africa’s breadbasket, into Africa’s basket case almost twenty years ago when he encouraged the seizing of white-owned farms without compensation by marauding blacks.  Arutz Sheva reports that in March of this year President Jacob Zuma similarly called on parliament to change South Africa’s constitution to allow the expropriation of white owned land without compensation.  Zuma doubtless sees this as a way to head off the political challenge to his rule from firebrand “Economic Freedom Fighter” Julius Malema who has travelled the country urging Black South Africans to take back land from white invaders: “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you.”

And to virtually zero international notice they’ve been taking it via town and city councils that harrass, intimidate and evict small scale Afrikaner farmers.  The result is that, as an Arutz Sheva article reports, “vast, sprawling squatter camps which lack water or sanitation are home to hundreds of thousands of destitute Boer Afrikaners.” South African-Dutch journalist Adriana Stuijt writes that it’s conservatively estimated at least one million of the 3.4 million Afrikaner population now live in dire poverty, many in these camps and in backyard shanties.

The death toll of white farmers, often horribly slaughtered and mutilated, grows by the month, to the point, Breitbart notes, that farming in South Africa has become the most deadly occupation in the world.  According to Breitbart, 1,187 farmers, 490 family members, 147 farm employees and 24 farm visitors are known to have been murdered since 1998 and the true figure is probably much larger.  In the meantime President Zuma defended the singing of the song “Kill the farmer, kill the Boer” and one of his MPs crying out “Bury them alive!” during a recent parliamentary debate.

But if the narrative is not politically correct, it can’t be told by a media that obsesses over every Trump tweet.

 

Center for (Anti)Jewish History?

Last month we reported on the appointment of anti-Israel activist David N.  Myers as president of the Center for Jewish History, which acts as an umbrella for five formerly respected Jewish organizations.  And we noted that the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), one of the five, was coordinating with the viciously anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace for a meeting (presumably of lamentation) on the occasion of this year’s 70th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.  Under overwhelming pressure, the AJHS backed out.  But now, Stephen M.  Flatow (writing for the Jewish News Service) reports that the Leo Baeck Institute, another of the five, whose stated mission is to “promote the study and understanding of German-Jewish history” invited outspoken anti-Israel New York Times columnist Roger Cohen to deliver this year’s Leo Baeck Memorial lecture.

Flatow did not attend the lecture but read Cohen’s pre-lecture interview published in the Baeck Institute’s newsletter.  Predictably Cohen lashed out violently at Israel, declaring the Jews “subject the Palestinian people to much of what we once suffered.” Flatow explodes: “Gas chambers? Pogroms? Ghettoes? Inquisitions? Which of these, exactly, does Cohen think Israel has used against the Palestinians?”

Of course the Leo Baeck Institute knew exactly what it was getting in inviting Cohen.  Just as the Center for Jewish Studies, composed of Baeck and the other organizations, knew exactly what it was getting with Myers.  It is the boards of these outfits that are responsible.  What are they aiming for? Is it Soros money? It might well be attractive for Soros to scoop up five hitherto reputable Jewish organizations for what is to him mere pocket change to promote his anti-Israel agenda.

 

Swiss Jihad

England, Belgium, France, Sweden and Germany take up most of the attention when it comes to Islamic terror in Europe.  Bruce Bawer reminds us that in Switzerland too “the hills are alive with the sound of Jihad.”

As in the rest of Europe, elites wring their hands over the perils of “Islamophobia.” At a September 11 conference Switzerland’s Federal Commission against Racism issued an alert: “Hostility toward Muslims” was rising “fed by facts that have nothing to do with Muslims themselves.” Really? What about the fact that just before the conference, the media had reported on Abu Ramadan, a popular imam who, in his sermons, asked Allah “to destroy the enemies of Islam–Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians and Shiites” and warned that Muslims who made friends with infidels were “cursed until the Day of Judgment.” Bawer observes that Abu Ramadan had come to Switzerland from Libya as an asylum seeker in 1998; his repeated visits to Libya subsequently should have been enough to negate his right to asylum.  But instead the Swiss state has over the years showered Abu Ramadan with the equivalent of $620,000 in welfare payments.

It takes a fellow Muslim to dare to speak sense.  Bawer reports that Saida Keller-Messahli, the Swiss Muslim author of Switzerland: An Islamist Hub, has been investigating institutional Islam in Switzerland for years, probing prisons as well as mosques.  In prison libraries she found hundreds of copies of jihadist works.  Messahli took part in the design and implementation of a course that warned prison employees about the dangers of Islamic radicalization.  It was, she said, “a huge success”—but an order by a Zurich court put an end to it.  “Right and center,” says Messahli, “politicians prefer to stay in their comfort zone and close their eyes.”

Bawer sees hopeful if so far rare signs of a pushback against especially outrageous behavior, e.g.  federal prosecutors have brought charges against the president and two members of the board of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland, the country’s largest Islamic organization, on grounds of making videos in Syria featuring a top Al-Qaeda member and posting them on YouTube and elsewhere.

 

Lincolnshire Rebels

Meanwhile, Bawer reports that English officialdom follows the same behavioral pattern.  Lincolnshire is a rural county in the British Midlands, heavily Conservative, that voted for Brexit by almost two to one.  After British soldier Lee Rigby was beheaded by terrorists on a London street, a Lincolnshire man was arrested.  No, it wasn’t for being involved in Rigby’s murder.  It was for mentioning online that the killers were Muslim.

Bawer reports that the Lincolnshire police has now produced a thirteen-minute video as part of “Hate Crime Awareness week” directed to the county’s children.  The video portrays a handful of supposedly noble, patriotic, caring Muslims (the kids have no way of knowing one of them is a leader of an outfit with Hamas fingerprints all over it).  Bawer writes: “In its pretty, sanitized portrait of British Islam, there are no terrorists, no friends of terrorists, no supporters of terrorists, nobody who ever so much as met a terrorist.  These Muslims are all do-gooders.”

The good news is that online comments from Lincolnshire residents have been scathing.  Bawer reports that asked about public reactions to the video, Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said he was “really disappointed.” The police have taken their disappointment a step further.  Writes Bawer: “They’ve made it clear that they’ll also police criticism of their own policing….Naylor cautioned that members of the public who are worked up about it [the video] had better keep their thoughts to themselves: the Lincolnshire Police he warned, ‘will look into any online abuse aimed at the police.’ In short: clam up, mate.  Big Brother is watching!”

 

U.S. to Aid Most Needy Refugees—Finally

A longtime criticism of U.S. refugee policy in the Middle East has been that it depends upon the selection processes of the United Nations—which systematically ignores Christians and other minorities, the very people most in need of refuge.  That will be changing, according to Vice President Mike Pence who told Christian leaders from the Middle East gathered in Washington for the In Defense of Christians Summit that “America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID….The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith.” (To be sure, when it comes to Israel, USAID’s record is anything but encouraging.)

Pence further promised that on his December trip to the Middle East “one of the messages that I will bring on the president’s behalf to leaders across the region is that now is the time to bring an end to the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities.”

Good luck with that.  But to change refugee policy is in U.S. power and long overdue.

 

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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

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