Europe: A Continent in Flight

FrontPage Magazine 26 February 2013
By Bruce Bawer

Different parts of Europe, same story

Let’s start with France, where a new report by a Jewish community group, Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ), says that anti-Semitism in that country has gotten so much worse in the wake of last year’s Toulouse school massacre that the number of Jews who are "crossing the Channel to find safe haven in the U.K.” is skyrocketing.

One sign of the trend: "St John’s Wood Synagogue in London has set up a separate French minyan, attended regularly by 120 people on Shabbat,” with new faces showing up every week. A February 21 piece in the Jewish Chronicle about the SPCJ report noted that while anti-Semitic "incidents” in Britain and France are roughly comparable in number, those in France "are far more likely to involve violence.”

It also quoted Britain’s Chief Rabbi as warning that "the position of Jews in Europe today is very difficult….Jews in Europe have begun to ask, is there a place for us here?” Perhaps the most telling detail in the Jewish Chronicle article was this: while the SPCJ report "originally stated that in over three-quarters of the antisemitic incidents the perpetrators were reported as being of North African origin,” this fact was later deleted from the text.

While French Jews flee to London, Londoners are scurrying elsewhere. On February 19, the BBC reported that over 600, 000 ethnic Brits have moved out of the capital in the last decade. Predictably, BBC editor Mark Easton spun this on the Beeb’s website as a positive development, arguing that all this relocation is a sign of "working class aspiration and economic success.” In other words, "in the first decade of the 21st Century, the dream of escaping to the country became a reality for tens of thousands of urban white Britons,” who "prospered from the housing boom and the capital’s economic growth” and "bought themselves that little cottage in the countryside or by the sea.”

Easton’s piece garnered over two thousand reader reactions before the BBC shut down comments. A large percentage of them were removed for violating the "house rules.” Of those that were permitted to remain, the following expressed what was by far the majority view:

• "Native Londoners are being driven out because their neighbourhoods are being overrun by cultures that are very different to, and sometimes openly hostile to their own….Politicians continue to sell this country’s future to advance their own political careers.”

• "Labour mis-sold multiculturalism as a pipe dream of diverse, thriving communities enriching each other’s cultures, when in reality it is much, much different.”

• "I challenge any MP (preferably Labour or Lib Dem) to go live in Peckham for a week, without your drivers or bodyguards, and then come back and tell me that multiculturalism is a good thing.”

• "Only this type of BBC/Guardian liberal could put the gloss of ‘success’ and ‘aspiration’ on this story….People are sick of this social experiment. They are voting with their feet.”

A considerable minority of commenters, to be sure, reliably dismissed such attitudes and concerns as "racist.” Yet when the Daily Mail asked Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think tank, what he made of the situation, he averred that the BBC was making "a very serious mistake in addressing an issue of such importance to the British public in such a trivial and superficial manner,” adding that it was "surely obvious that…people are not willing to live in an environment which has changed beyond recognition and against their own wishes.”

(One quick note before I move on: how frustrating it is that so many British critics of Islam have been brainwashed by their media into using the terms "white” and "Asian” when discussing subjects that have nothing whatsoever to do with skin color or continent of origin!)

All this fleeing, of course, is nothing new in Europe. Norwegians have been saying ta-ta to certain east Oslo neighborhoods for years. A couple of years ago the Danish newspaper Politiken ran an article headlined "Christians and Jews are fleeing from Danish ghettos,” noting that in Vollsmose, a suburb of Odense, Jews and Christians were clearing out because they were being threatened with beatings, while in Muslim-heavy areas of Copenhagen, Jewish kids were being advised to apply to schools in other parts of town.

The only surprise was the article’s appearance in the ordinarily PC Politiken – that, and the willingness of a political scientist at Aarhus University to finger Islam as "a major part of the problem.” Jews, he worried, might well start emigrating from Denmark. A young Jewish man told Politiken that on several occasions Muslim neighbors in Vollsmose had offered him the explicit choice: leave town or get beaten up. He left.

The situation in Denmark has only gotten more and more rotten. Yesterday, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten ran an article headlined "Why you can’t be a Jew in Copenhagen,” in which Martin Henriksen, immigration and integration spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, bluntly noted that owing to Muslim anti-Semitism, schools in Copenhagen "encourage Jewish parents to find other pastures” for their children. "We haven’t witnessed anything like this since the Occupation,” he wrote. (continue reading...)