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The Old and New Terrorists Speak the Same Words

Israeli troops overlook Jerusalem’s Old City, during the Six-Day War, June 1967. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgIn the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre, the radical left unabashedly aligned itself with Hamas. Many were shocked by the wave of genocidal antisemitic propaganda that followed, but the tropes employed by the leftist antisemites, from talk of a “global imperialist conspiracy” to the “perfidy of the Zionists” were not new. They were yet another iteration of the unfortunately successful combination of classic Jew-hatred and Soviet antisemitism.

This explosive mix was present in Europe throughout the 20th century but, following the 1967 Six-Day War, it was vigorously embraced by the European left. The left drenched itself in Soviet propaganda that depicted Israel as a colonial outpost of Western imperialism and Jews as bourgeois capitalists. Over time, a culture of systemic antisemitism developed on the European left that today has come into its own.

In Italy, where I live, a terrorist group called the Red Brigades committed atrocities throughout the 1970s. It was responsible for numerous kidnappings and murders, including the leader of Italy’s Christian Democratic Party and former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978.

The Red Brigades pretended to be a new kind of radical group, but in an article published in 1978 in the leftist newspaper Il Manifesto, the former communist politician Rossana Rossanda wrote, “Anyone who was a communist in the 1950s recognizes the new language of the Red Brigades at first glance. It’s like leafing through the family album: There are all the ingredients that were proposed to us in the Stalin and Zhdanov courses of blessed memory.”

The present surge in antisemitism is exactly the same. It claims to be new and dedicated to new principles, but it is nothing but the family album of classic Soviet antisemitism.

It would be enough to take any of the Red Brigades’ manifestos and replace words like “Christian Democracy,” “state” or “our country” with “Israel,” “Zionism” and “Palestine” to see this. One would produce rhetoric like: “Israel and its accomplices have taken on the task of keeping Palestine under the imperialist yoke and unleashing terror and massacres by Zionist killers whenever the Palestinian struggle has called their power into question”; or “The essence of the Imperialist State, of which Israel has always been the maximum representative, is now before our eyes in all its evidence, without the misleading veil of a formal ‘democracy’ with which it had clothed itself: mass roundups and arrests, siege, special laws, special courts and concentration camps.”

It is also instructive to examine the attitude the Italian Communist Party held towards the Red Brigades, as it is remarkably similar to the attitude taken by the moderate institutional left towards radical-left antisemitism and Hamas.

While some members of the Italian Communist Party condoned the Red Brigades’ terrorism, the majority downplayed it. Their ignorance was willful. It was necessary to avoid recognizing that that the left was capable of fostering and committing acts of horrific violence. This is uncannily similar to the Western left’s refusal to recognize antisemitism in its own camp, denying and downplaying it as acceptable “anti-Zionism” in order to avoid facing it head-on.

Even more striking is that some Italian communists claimed that a conspiracy led by American imperialism, fascists or the intelligence services was behind the atrocities attributed to the Red Brigades. We see exactly the same conspiracy theories today, with some even denying the Oct. 7 massacre happened at all. Other claim that the massacre was perpetrated by Israel as an excuse to attack Hamas or that Israel’s defensive war against the terror group is controlled by American “imperialism.”

Italian left-wing intellectuals also spoke of the Red Brigades as “comrades who are wrong.” In effect, they considered terrorism a tactical error but agreed with the totalitarian ideology that caused it. This is the same stance taken by those who today condemn Hamas and its atrocities but endorse the idea of destroying Israel. The old communists declared that they were “neither with the Red Brigades nor with the state,” effectively creating a moral equivalence between the two, just as leftist antisemites seek to put a terrorist organization on par with Israel’s democracy.

Western nations must take this threat seriously. A society in which students speak about Jews and Israel the same way a 1970s Marxist-Leninist terror group spoke about its own targets is diseased. When we hear educators, politicians or intellectuals speak this way, we know this disease is potentially terminal. The democracies must respond to this infection with the vigor required to eradicate it, if only for the general good of a society that wants to protect its intellectual and political liberties.

The post The Old and New Terrorists Speak the Same Words first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Kosher organizations go to court, arguing that current meat production regulations jeopardize ritual slaughter practices

Canadian kosher organizations were in court in Montreal this week, asking for an injunction that would allow them to continue the practice of shechitah, or Jewish ritual slaughter, amidst newly imposed regulations by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In a hearing before the Federal Court on July 10 and July 11, the Jewish Community Council […]

The post Kosher organizations go to court, arguing that current meat production regulations jeopardize ritual slaughter practices appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Hezbollah’s Deadly Rocket Attacks Raise Questions About New Tactics

A general view shows the town of Majdal Shams near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights March 25, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JNS.orgIn the past seven days, two rocket attacks by Hezbollah targeting moving Israeli vehicles—one military and one civilian—in the Golan Heights have prompted a review within the Israel Defense Forces.

The attacks, which resulted in the deaths of a civilian couple on Wednesday and an IDF major on July 4, have raised serious questions about the operational capabilities of Hezbollah and local Israeli air defenses.

The first incident occurred on July 3, when a rocket struck a vehicle at a military camp, killing Maj. (res.) Itai Galea, 38, a deputy company commander in a reserve armored brigade.

The attack was launched by Hezbollah in response to an Israeli targeted killing of senior Hezbollah commander Muhammad Nimah Nasser, head of the territorial Hezbollah Aziz Unit. Nasser was killed in an airstrike on his vehicle in the Tyre region of Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah fired more than 200 rockets and 20 drones at locations in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, with one rocket striking Galea’s vehicle.

On Tuesday, reports emerged that an airstrike in Syria on the Damascus-Beirut highway killed Hezbollah operative and former Hassan Nasrallah bodyguard Yasser Qarnabsh, with I24 News reporting that a second casualty of that attack was an officer of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Saudi state-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported on Wednesday that Qarnabash was responsible for transporting personnel and weapons to Syria.

Following that attack, Hezbollah unleashed a barrage of rockets targeting the Golan Heights on Tuesday, killing Israeli couple Noa and Nir Barnes, from Kibbutz Ortal in the northern Golan Heights. The attack left three children orphans.

Military investigations are underway to determine whether Hezbollah used any line-of-sight or drone-assisted targeting for these strikes.

The IDF’s initial findings suggest that these were not precision-guided munitions but rather parts of larger salvoes aimed at Israeli targets in the area.

But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that Hezbollah used lookouts or drones to help guide its barrages against moving vehicles.

The twin incidents have led to outrage and frustration among residents and local officials in the Golan Heights.

Living under threat

Katzrin Mayor Yehuda Doa expressed anger at the government’s lack of a clear strategy to deal with the persistent threat from Hezbollah. He emphasized the daily reality of living under the threat of rocket fire, which has become a grim routine for the north’s inhabitants.

The IDF’s air defense system has also come under scrutiny. The road where the Barnes couple was killed, near the Nafah Junction, was classified as an open area by the Israeli Air Force’s air defense network.

This designation could mean the rockets fired into the area were not intercepted because they were expected to strike uninhabited terrain. However, the road in question, Route 91, is a major road in the Golan Heights, frequently used by residents, raising concerns about the criteria used to classify areas for rocket interception.

Air defense policy generally avoids intercepting rockets aimed at open areas to conserve interceptor missiles.

The IDF has confirmed it is performing a thorough review of recent attacks to ensure improved protection.

Another layer of complexity is added by the GPS disruptions common in the Golan Heights, Army Radio noted. These disruptions can prevent the IDF Home Front Command’s alert app from functioning correctly, making it difficult for residents to receive timely warnings of rocket attacks. This technical issue may have played a role in the failure to alert residents in the targeted area about the danger they faced.

While the Home Front Command has recommended marking areas of interest on its official application for better alert coverage, this advice would not be relevant if the area in question is designated as “open.”

Ultimately, as Israel continues with its targeted killings of senior Hezbollah terrorists, the Lebanese organization has proved its ability to exact painful prices, leading to wider strategic questions about Hezbollah’s ability to absorb the deaths without losing most of its core terrorist–military capabilities.

The post Hezbollah’s Deadly Rocket Attacks Raise Questions About New Tactics first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Jews in Europe ‘More Frightened Than Ever Before’ Amid Surging Antisemitism, New Survey Finds

Sign reading “+1000% of Antisemitic Acts: These Are Not Just Numbers” during a march against antisemitism, in Lyon, France, June 25, 2024. Photo: Romain Costaseca / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

A striking 96 percent of Jews in Europe had encountered antisemitism in their daily lives even before the historic surge in anti-Jewish hate crimes that followed the outbreak of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, according to the European Union’s rights watchdog.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on Thursday released an extensive survey of nearly 8,000 self-identified Jews from 13 European countries that found shocking levels of antisemitism across the continent. The largest participant countries in the survey were France, Germany, and Hungary.

“Jews are more frightened than ever before,” FRA director Sirpa Rautio said in the survey’s foreword. “We need to do more to ensure the safety and security of our Jewish communities. The EU and Member States must remain firm in their commitment to stem the rising tide of antisemitism. They must ready themselves to respond to heightened intensity and threats.”

According to the results, 80 percent of Jews surveyed said they feel antisemitism has worsened in recent years, while 76 percent of respondents reported hiding their Jewish identity “at least occasionally.” Meanwhile, 34 percent said they avoid Jewish events or sites “because they do not feel safe.”

About 60 percent said they were not satisfied with their national government’s efforts to combat antisemitism. The same number expressed concern about their family’s safety and security.

While nearly all Jews in the survey — 96 percent — said they had encountered antisemitism in the 12 months before the survey, 64 percent reported encountering it “all the time.” The most common occurrence was experiencing negative stereotypes about Jews, such as “holding power and control over finance, media, politics, or economy.” Some 37 percent of respondents said they were harassed over the past year, and 4 percent said they had experienced antisemitic physical attacks in the same period.

Because of antisemitism, 45 percent of European Jews reported that they had considered emigrating from Europe, mostly to Israel.

The survey of European Jewry was conducted from January through June of last year, before the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7 and the start of the war in Gaza. Several European countries have experienced record spikes in antisemitic incidents since the atrocities of Oct. 7.

Of note, the shocking report — which includes some information on antisemitism collected from Jewish organizations this year — employed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Beyond classic antisemitic behavior associated with the likes of the medieval period and Nazi Germany, the IHRA definition includes denial of the Holocaust and newer forms of antisemitism targeting Israel such as demonizing the Jewish state, denying its right to exist, and holding it to standards not expected of any other democratic state.

In the past few weeks, leaders of European Jewry have echoed the sentiment found in the FRA’s report.

“It seems France has no future for Jews,” Rabbi Moshe Sebbag of Paris’ Grand Synagogue told the Times of Israel following France’s recent parliamentary elections. “We fear for the future of our children.”

Meanwhile, Belgium’s only Jewish member of parliament, Michael Frielich, sounded the alarm to Mishpacha Magazine. “The situation is so awful [in Belgium] that at a meeting I attended at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, I told those present, ‘The whole well here is poisoned,’” he said. “People drink the anti-Israel claims in the media all day. And even if we try to explain things, however gently — they are hardly accepted.”

A top European Rabbi recently called on Israel to “develop a practical contingency plan for the absorption of European Jewry in Israel,” as antisemitism spreads across the continent.

“We are in a battle for the continuation of Jewish life in Europe,” European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said last month. “Jews in traditional dress or those with mezuzahs on their doors are experiencing relentless harassment. Jewish students face threats to their lives and are excluded from university courses, while hate slogans are freely scrawled on Jewish homes, synagogues, and cemeteries.”

The FRA’s report included a section incorporating data compiled after Oct. 7. Each European nation that was featured in the survey reported a shocking increase in antisemitic incidents in the wake of Hamas’ atrocities in Israel — in some cases by over 1,000 percent.

The post Jews in Europe ‘More Frightened Than Ever Before’ Amid Surging Antisemitism, New Survey Finds first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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