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The Slow-Motion Exodus of European Jews

by David J. Rusin

Do Jews have a future in an increasingly Muslim Europe? Often explored by Daniel Pipes, this question recently drew a disconcerting answer from prominent Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein, who opined on the grim choices facing visible (e.g., Orthodox) Jews in his nation:


The former EU commissioner says there is no future for this group in the Netherlands because of "the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing."


He feels that this group of Jews should encourage their children to emigrate to either the United States or Israel, because he has little confidence in the effectiveness of the government's proposals for fighting anti-Semitism.


Bolkestein's remarks echo those of Benjamin Jacobs, the country's chief rabbi, who told Arutz Sheva in 2010 that "the future for Dutch Jewry is moving to Israel." Indeed, some Jews are acting. The same news service reported in December that the son of Raphael Evers, another leading Dutch rabbi, "has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism":


"It's not that you can't leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful," he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.


Next consider Sweden. Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged traveling Jews to exercise "extreme caution" due to "harassment of Jewish citizens in the southern city of Malmö." An estimated 60,000 Muslims comprise a fifth of Malmö's population and hate crimes regularly impact the lives of its 700 remaining Jews. "The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows," the Telegraph notes, "while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors." With the government's response a mix of denial and blaming the victim, many Jews are leaving Malmö and even Sweden altogether.


Recent years also have seen increasing numbers of Jews moving to Israel from France and the UK. Will this soon be the case for Jews of other European countries as well? Given the raft of worrying tales from 2010 alone Muslims assaulting Jews in Norway and Denmark, stone-tossing Arabs driving Jewish dancers from a stage in Germany, and a poll finding that 38% of Muslim youth in Austria agree that "Hitler had done a lot of good for the people" the future does not look happy.


It has become fashionable to equate the plight of today's Muslim population in Europe with that of the continent's oppressed Jews during the 1930s. However, one can tell which group faces the real threat in modern Europe by watching migratory trends. While European governments are planning fences to keep Muslims from entering illegally, Jews are exiting in droves. People vote with their feet. The results Muslims in, Jews out offer critical lessons and warnings.

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