In an interview with former President Jimmy Carter earlier this week, Marc Lamont Hill asked him to comment on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s open invitation to French Jews to come live in Israel. Carter responded:
My guess is that the Jews who live in France will maybe not take this as a positive step, and say the only way you can be safe is to go to Israel. I would guess that you may be, on the average, maybe safer in France than some places in Israel, but I’m not trying to make a judgment.
Now why would anyone think Carter was trying to judge Israel? He only blamed the Paris attacks on “the Palestinian problem” during an interview with Jon Stewart on Monday and has now said Israel should be brought before the ICC (along with Hamas) for war crimes.
If I had an audience with Carter, I would ask him the following question: If you believe that Jews are safer in France than in parts of Israel then why do French authorities tell Jewish children not to wear their yarmulkes in public?”
Of course, this problem isn’t confined to France. Jews throughout Europe are compelled to be circumspect when it comes to wearing yarmulkes or a Star of David necklace. The same cannot be said for Jews living in Israel. European Jews are fortunate to have the option of starting a new life in Israel. Needless to say, this option was not available to European Jews circa 1939-1945,
Although the State of Israel rose out of the ashes of the Holocaust, let us never forget that modern Zionism was born in no small part due to the anti-Semitism which reared its ugly head in France as a consequence of the Dreyfus Affair. The conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus on trumped up treason charges inspired chants of “Death to the Jews!!!” When pro-Hamas thugs trapped Jews in a Paris synagogue this past summer, they too chanted, “Death to the Jews!!!”
French Jews are no safer today than they were during the Dreyfus Affair. The only difference is now is that French Jews can find sanctuary in Israel despite what Jimmy Carter might think. Thank God.
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