Why Do European Socialists Like Hanukah / Emmanuel Navon

Hanukah, as we know, commemorates a miracle. This year, I witnessed one firsthand.

I just gave a lecture in Toulouse, France, on “The Political Ideology of Israel’s De-Legitimization.” On the conference’s panels were French intellectuals and public figures who refuse to write and talk in Newspeak, such as Richard Prasquier (President of CRIF), Yvan Rioufiol (Le Figaro’s least politically correct columnist), Philippe Karsenty (a media analyst who’s been fighting, with guts and resilience, the French state TV channel France 2 on the Al-Dura blood libel), Robert Redecker (a French philosophy professor who lives under permanent police protection because of a fatwa issued against him for a critical article he once wrote on Islam), and Jacques Tarnero (a French author and filmmaker who argues that European opinion makers are trying to absolve Europe from the Holocaust by accusing Israel of behaving like its former torturers).

There was also a French Senator, Jean-Pierre Plancade. Originally a member of the French Socialist Party, he is now an independent.

Plancade ended his talk by begging the Jews to bring light to the world, and he referred to the upcoming Hanukah holiday to make his point. Coming from a politician who rose within a party that is both staunchly secular and sympathetic to the Palestinian narrative, those were striking words indeed.

Why do these people side with Israel and the Jews? Because they realize that their own freedom is threatened by Israel’s enemies. As Jacques Tarnero explained during the conference, he feels like France is going through another Dreyfus Affair: The France 2 channel knows and privately admits that it is lying about the Al-Dura Affair, but the media and the Government are circling the wagons around Charles Enderlin because Raison d’État and corporate solidarity come before the truth. Who cares if Daniel Pearl was beheaded to “avenge” the blood of Muhammad Al-Dura, and if Al-Dura has become an icon to justify the murder of Jews?

The panel I attended in Toulouse was not an isolated event. More and more Europeans are speaking out against the assault on truth and freedom, against the appeasement of Islamism, and against the demonization of Israel. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar says that if Israel is vanquished, the West is finished. His “Friends of Israel Initiative” is gaining new recruits by the day. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently declared that “multiculturalism in Germany has failed” –a polite way of saying that most of Germany’s Turkish immigrants never integrated into German society. More and more political parties in Europe are gaining ground on platforms that call for a restriction of Muslim immigration and for the defense of Western values.

Merkel’s comments came in the wake of a new book that is both hugely popular and controversial: Deutschland Schafft sich ab (“Germany Does Away with Itself”) by German politician Thilo Sarrazin. Like Plancade, Sarrazin is a Socialist, a left-winger who, because he is speaking out his mind about Islam and the West, is being vilified and ostracized.

For what did Sarrazin write, after all? That Germany's immigrant Muslim population is reluctant to integrate and tends to rely more on social services than to be productive, and that the Muslim population growth may well overwhelm the German population within a couple of generations at the current rate. True, Sarrazin also made silly comments on gene and intelligence, but that’s not why he is under attack. He is under attack for addressing a topic that is unofficially but effectively banned from public discourse.

The fact that Sarrazin’s book sold out after a few days says a lot about what many Germans want to hear and about what their elites want to silence.

As Matthias Matussek from Der Spiegel wrote: "Political correctness is silencing an important debate … Sarrazin's findings on the failed integration of Turkish and Arab immigrants are beyond any doubt. He has been forced out of the Bundesbank. The SPD wants to kick him out of the party, too. Invitations previously extended to Sarrazin are being withdrawn. The culture page editors at the German weekly Die Zeit are crying foul and the editors at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are damning Sarrazin for passages he didn't even write. But what all these technicians of exclusion fail to see is that you cannot cast away the very thing that Sarrazin embodies: the anger of people who are sick and tired—after putting a long and arduous process of Enlightenment behind them—of being confronted with pre-Enlightenment elements that are returning to the center of our society.”

Instead of trying to please Europe’s appeasers, Israel should assist Europe’s résistants. As more and more Europeans are showing courage and moral clarity, let us do what they expect from us: lead the struggle of the Maccabees and dissipate darkness with the lights of Hanukah.

DR.Emmanuel Navon lctures at Tel Aviv University.

Personal permission from the auther

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.