Monday, February 16, 2015

10 hours of fear and loathing in Paris: A reporter walks the street of Paris wearing a kipa and tzitzis

One month after the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, NRG's correspondent, wearing a tzitzit and a kippa, took what proved to be an intimidating walk across the French capital. "What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?" one little boy asked, saying it all

Welcome to Paris 2015, where soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution, and where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner. Walking down one Parisian suburb, I was asked what I doing there. In modern-day Paris, you see, Jews are barred from entering certain areas.  [...]

For 10 hours I quietly walked down the streets and suburbs of Paris, with photographer Dov Belhassen documenting the day using a GoPro camera hidden in his backpack. Given the tensions in Paris, which is still reeling from a wave of terrorist attacks (including the murder of Charlie Hebdo magazine journalists), I was assigned a bodyguard.[...]

At times it was like walking in downtown Ramallah. Most women were wearing a veil or a hijab, most men appeared to be Muslim, and Arabic was prevalent everywhere. We decided ahead of time that I was to walk through these areas quietly, without stopping anywhere, without speaking to anyone, without so much as looking sideways. My heart was pounding and negative thoughts were running through my head. I would be lying if I said I was not afraid. [..]

In one of the mostly-Muslim neighborhoods, we walked into an enclosed marketplace. "Look at him! He should be ashamed of himself. What is he doing walking in here wearing a kippa?!" one Muslim merchant yelled. "What do you care? He can do whatever he wants," another, seemingly unfazed merchant, answered. Over at a nearby street I was lambasted with expletives, mostly telling me to "go f*** from the front and the back." [...]

They made it clear to us that we had better get out of there, and we took their advice. "A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching," the bodyguard told me as we were getting into the car. "Leave this area right now."   

Is this what life is like for Paris' Jews? Is this what a Jew goes through, day in and day out, while walking to work or using public transportation? The majority of French Jews do not flaunt their religion, as the Jewish community leaders have urged them to wear hats as they walk to and from work, or go bareheaded. But what about nighttime? Well, Jews prefers to stay inside in the evening. It is safer at home


  1. Netanyahu has called on Jews to come to Israel. Hareidi Gedolim have told them not to. it is interesting that the Chofetz Chaim spoke very highly of Eretz Yisrael, and that Jews who went there would find safety from the wars in Europe.

  2. Thanks to the Zionists, the British cracked down on Jewish immigration disallowing Jews to come to Palestine.

    If European Jewry is moving due to terror fears, they should move to the U.S., Canada or Australia. Jews in Israel are subject to greater terror than Jews in Europe.

  3. Mose said: "Thanks to the Zionists, the British cracked down on Jewish immigration disallowing Jews to come to Palestine."

    RaP: False! It was the Arabs and their leader the Mufti of Jerusalem who pushed and lobbied to stop European Jews from coming to Palestine. Stop turning fellow-Jews into "criminals"!

    "If European Jewry is moving due to terror fears, they should move to the U.S., Canada or Australia."

    RaP: False! America was attacked on 9/11 and both Canada (it its capital and parliament) and Australia (in a major downtown area) recently suffered terrorist attacks from Islamic fanatics. NO place is "safe" and there are no "safe-havens"! In the past during the pre-Holocaust era the USA, Canada and Australia barred Jewish immigration -- and "the Zionists" had nothing to do with, the Americans, Canadians and Australians are capable of being anti-Semitic and hosting lots of Muslims all on their own without any "help" from bogey-men "Zionists"!

    "Jews in Israel are subject to greater terror than Jews in Europe."

    RaP: False! Israel is home to the majority of the world's Jews. It is a thriving successful and wealthy country where Jews can build a future for themselves. Israel is also the center of Torah Jewry and of the Yiddishkeit. And bottom line, in Israel Jews can defend themselves and take up arms which they cannot do anywhere else! After 2,000 years of Golus and wanderings the Kibbutz Galuyos is now irreversible, all Jews living outside of Israel will be returning soon.

    See how some famous Americans "support" Israel, and this is where you want Jews to move to? In case you don't know who it is, it's Hillary Rodham Clinton kissing Mrs. Suha (Yasser) Arafat!:

  4. the British did crack down on immigration, but your comment reveals a deep contradiction. The zionists ( frei or frum) wanted immigration. Immigration (Aliyah) is either a good thing or a bad thing. If the British crackdown was bad, that means Aliyah is good, and vice versa. It was the anti-zionists (frum and frei) that opposed aliyah. Gedolim as great as Rav Kook and the Chazon Ish and earlier generations also made Aliyah, starting with the RambaN. The story goes that the Gra began his journey to erez Yisrael but was held back for some reason. Today there is no physical barrier for any Jew in the world to move to Israel.

  5. The reasons the the Arabs lobbied for that, and more importantly the reason the British acquiesced to suppress Jewish immigration to Palestine, was due to the Zionist agitation.

    Is your reading comprehension that poor? I simply said there is more anti-Jewish terror (both proportionally as well as hard numbers) in Israel than in Europe. That is a simple verifiable unassailable statistic. More Jews in Israel are killed for being Jewish than Jews killed for being Jewish in Europe. Israel is the unsafest place for Jews to live, b'derech teva, than any other place in the world with a significant Jewish community. Simple verifiable statistical fact.

    Of course there is and always was Jew-hatred and anti-semitism *everywhere* there are Jews. But that doesn't change the above points. We live in golus and will have anti-semitism wherever we live, whether in Eretz Yisroel or in Chutz L'aretz. You can write another three pshetels with a bunch of pictures of hooey dooey but it won't change these numerical facts.

  6. it depends on how you gather your statistics - for example 9/11, Beunos Aires bombings etc. In wars there are always casualties, so look at Ukraine for example. So in actual acts of terrorism, probably you are correct, but things are getting worse in Europe, and Jews feeling less safe.

    Also if you look in the long term, then your statistics are false, and they also suggest something very worrying about the very leaders who claim(ed) to have any type of Daas Torah. If you look at the 67 years of Israel as a Medina, versus the previous 67 years in galus, it proves the opposite of what you claim. This is despite the misleading advice given by Roshei Yeshiva in europe to not leave Europe.

  7. "the misleading advice given by R.Y in europe not to leave Europe."

    @Eddie - your comment on this is problematic and you frequently bring it up as if the Rosh Yeshiva deliberately gave false advice so that people should die in Europe.

    . It is clear that in many situations it was rational advice given the facts that were known. Many people who were not followers of Rosh Yeshiva stayed in Europe assuming that WWII was basically a repeat of WWI. Many rosh yeshivos died in Europe who believed that they were better off there

    Furthermore it is not clear that if the Rosh Yeshiva collectively and unanimously said to leave Europe that the results would have been much different.

    On the other hand if you are using this to beat the daas Torah horse and the claim of infallibility - it also doesn't provide a clear cut example for that either. Again it is not clear that anything could have been done to save the majority of those that were killed by the Germans.

    Bottom line - please stop bringing this up as if it means something undisputted and you need to keep sticking it to the chareidi Rosh yeshivos to show your superiroity over them. It really just conveys the impression that you despise chareidi roshei yeshiva - which doesn't reflect well on you.

  8. Jews in Israel have been under a consistent unending threat of terror for the last 67 years.

  9. Even more, if a mass number of Jews WANTED and TRIED to leave Europe they COULDN'T. No one was accepting the Jewish masses of Europe in the late 30s or early 40s.

  10. Eddie despises chareidim in general.

  11. The better system would have been not to agitate to have a new country and think Theordore Herzle was the new Moshe Rabbeinu when in fact he was the new Korach.

  12. Except, of course, living in Israel is a mitzva.

    הדר בבורו פרק דומה כמי שאין לו אלוה

  13. Please do not invent things about Rav Shteinman. He never ever encouraged anyone to join the army. Even if they are not learning.

    Au contraire.

  14. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 19, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    2010s --> Israel's Jewish population heading for 7 million !!!!!
    It is 2015 and the Jewish population of Israel is 6.1 million. So... This is a bit of a reach.

    they now have special Charedi units that cater to frum Bochurim.

    They have a(as in 1) Chareidi unit which is full. So what then happens is that Chareidi young men who agree to accept the draft and go into the army under the promise of being in Nachal Chareidi wind up suffering in secular units. Read the story of one such young man here:

    Of course you are ignoring the inconvenient fact that anti-Jewish terror in the Holy Land increased substantially after the Zionist project started its agitations for a State compared to prior to the Zionists demanding a State.

    Yes I know it was Moe that said this, but it is still false.
    It is a piece of commonly repeated anti-zionist/anti-Israel propaganda that ignores the well documented and historically verifiable pogroms and massacres that occurred in the 50yrs before there was a thing called Zionism.

  15. I said "increased", did you miss that word? I didn't say it happened for the first time.

  16. Rabbi Tzadok,

    1) Please see the Ramak commentary on the Zohar P’ Lech Lecha. When the Zohar states that Yishmael will make trouble at the end of the Golus, the Ramak says “because they made a state”. Do you disagree with the Ramak?

    2) It is well documented and historically verifiable pogroms and massacres that occurred in the 50yrs before there was a thing called Zionism.

    Please explain and add some sources. What do you mean by Zionism? The Zionist Congress convened 1898 and made its intentions know. I would brand that time as a significant event and recognize that Zionism was certainly a growing beast by then!

    What are the historically verifiable pogroms and massacres that occurred before 1898?

    (Rav Hutner has a fascinating explanation why Edom and Yishmael “switch” their levels of hatred when a jewish state is created.)

  17. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Tzfat Massacre of 1834- was worse then the Hebron Massacre of 1929.
    Hebron Massacre of 1834.
    Tzfat Massacre of 1838.

    Those are three that come to mind immediately. There are a couple more that I am forgetting. They all occurred before Theodore Herzl was born. If you account for all the pogroms, in the early 1800s that occured in E"Y, they killed more Jews than have died as a result of Arab violence in E"Y from 1898 until present.
    I'm sorry you are ignorant of that part of Jewish history but I am going to leave you to do your own research on that.
    1) Please see the Ramak commentary on the Zohar P’ Lech Lecha. When the Zohar states that Yishmael will make trouble at the end of the Golus, the Ramak says “because they made a state”. Do you disagree with the Ramak?
    1) I haven't seen that Ramak. 2) The Arizal says not to rely upon the Ramak. So I don't see that as necessarily binding.

  18. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    I said "increased", did you miss that word? I didn't say it happened for the first time.
    I know you said that. However, to make that argument you have to discount or ignore the four major massacres of Jews that occured in E"Y in the early 1800's and the many pogroms that accompanied them.
    In short your statement in sheer numbers simply does not historically bear out. It makes for good propaganda but that is all that it is.

  19. Some sample numbers of Jewish victims of post-zionist terror:

    1929: 119

    1936: 44

    1928: 94

    1940: 137

    1947: 152

    1948: 379

    1950: 52

    1956: 53

    1968: 55

    1970: 74

    1974: 67

    1975: 39

    1978: 57

    1989: 40

    1990: 33

    1992: 34

    1993: 45

    1994: 65

    1995: 29

    1996: 56

    1997: 41

    2000: 43

    2001: 207

    2002: 457

    2003: 213

    2004: 124

    2005: 53

    Total 1920-2014: 3, 728

    This is in addition to between 1948 and 1997, 20,093 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat, 75,000 Israelis were wounded, and nearly 100,000 Israelis were considered disabled army veterans.

    Jewish victims in the post-zionism Holy Land of violence, terror and war is incomparably higher than the Jewish victims in the Holy Land pre-zionism.

  20. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 20, 2015 at 2:13 AM

    Tzfat Massacre of 1834- 500 killed.
    Hebron Massacre of 1834- over 500 killed.
    That is 1000 in a single year.

    Or we can look at the 1660 when of the 4000-5000 Jews living isn Tzfat only 1 Jew survived. In the same year a Pogrom was conducted in Tiberias which left that city free of Jews, but we do not have solid numbers on how many were killed.

    I'm sorry but historical facts and numbers do not validate your assertion that Arab violence toward Jews was at all increased by the advent of Zionism.

    You ned to account for nearly a 100yr stretch to get a number close to the lower figure of the 1660 massacre in Tzfat.

    The vast majority of the numbers that you quote as far as terror victims since the advent of Zionism, wouldn't even register as sufficiently historically significant to be recorded. Pre-Zionism, the progrons recorded have Jews dying in the hundreds and thousands in single pogroms...

  21. Tzfat Massacre of 1834

    Most contemporary accounts suggest it was a spontaneous attack which took advantage of a defenceless population in the midst of the armed uprising against Egyptian rule.

    Hebron Massacre of 1834

    The 1834 Hebron massacre occurred on 24 July 1834, when forces loyal to Ibrahim Pasha attacked the city of Hebron to crush the Peasants' Revolt. Egyptian soldiers subjected Hebron's inhabitants to violence following the fall of the city. Although the Jews had not participated in the uprising and despite Ibrahim Pasha's assurances that the Jewish quarter would be left unharmed, Hebronite Jews were attacked

    Tzfat Massacre of 1838

    The 1838 Druze attack on Safed began on July 5, 1838 during the Druze revolt against the rule of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt.

    The above quotes were taken from Wikipedia.

    These attacks - in all their horrendous brutality - were either a spontaneous attack (Tzfas Massacre of 1834), or the Jews were not the primary subjects of persecution (Hebron Massacre of 1834 and Tzfas Massacre of 1838). These were part of a revolt against the Egyptian ruler, and ever blood-thirsty Arabs decided to attack us as well, unfortunately.

    This incomparable to the current regime of Arab terror. Ever since the rise (and hijacking!) of Zionism, the Arabs have organized themselves to attempt to terrorize us. They have become progressively worse and more emboldened.

    * Hamas

    * PLO/Fatah

    * LOP

    * Al Qaeda

    just to name a few. The whole Arab world rose up against us in 1948, 67 and 73. Many of them are still spending millions and billions of dollars simply to attempt to terrorize us.

    May Hashem continue to protect us and have continuous mercy on us.

    I'm sorry you are ignorant of that part of Jewish history

    What is this comment all about, Rabbi? Is it a facetious comment or a sincere and caring one?

    I am going to leave you to do your own research on that.

    Thank you for the opportunity. I've learnt something new and am grateful for the opportunity!

  22. perhaps you have forgotten the 6 million deaths in Europe during the 9 years prior to the establishment of the Medina? And that is not taking into account the war deaths and injured of the 2 world wars, where jews also fought or were killed in bombings?

  23. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 20, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    I'm sorry Moe but correlation does not equal causation, and you are claiming that it does.

    In dealing with Islam you are dealing with a religion that believes it is a religious imperative to spread its religion throughout the world, by force if necessary.

    Jews were not welcome in Muslim lands before, and they are not now welcome after. Nothing has changed. We could talk about the various pogroms that had occured against Jewish populations throughout Muslim nations as well.

    In short Jews are safer in a Jewish nation state where they can defend themselves.

    The State of Israel is just the most recent convenient excuse. Previously it was a world Stock Market Crash(see the Holocaust). Plagues. Droughts. Earthquakes.

    Face it. The world doesn't like Jews. Without the State of Israel there would still be Islamic terrorists attacking the West(look at the history of the Barbary pirates for instance). There would still be Muslims and Christians attacking Jews. They would just need to find different excuses to justify their inner barbarity to their consciences.

  24. No, you are again completely ignoring and not even addressing the fact that over 20,000 Israelis died in war in the military conflicts alone between '48 and '97. Over 20,000! Put aside the nearly 4,000 terror victims, the 20,000+ military deaths alone are way above and beyond any all numbers of Jewish victims pre-zionism.

    The run-up to and the establishment of the State of Israel has unquestionably and unarguably caused far more Jewish deaths than if there had been no zionist movement and no demands for and establishment of a Jewish State. (Which isn't even Jewish, in any event, despite its claims to be.)

    As an aside, for 2,000+ years, up to the advent of zionism, Jews living in the Arab countries did far far better and were far safer than the Jews living in the European/Christian countries. There's no quesrtion that gentiles don't like Jews. There's no quesrtion that gentiles kill Jews. With no reason and no provocations. Whether they are Christians, Muslims or something else. But the State of Israel did not save an aggregate number of Jewish lives than the absence of that pagan state would have caused.

  25. Thanks, I just this comment.
    I would first of say that your "bottom line" comment is in actuality your top line comment, and the rest is a type of pseudo-logical retrofit to prove your beliefs.

    you are arguing that:

    a) much of the advice given by RY's was in fact logical under the circumstances.

    b) Even if they had taken a different stance there is no guarantee that they could have saved any additional lives

    c) that my claims don't really make any reliable conclusion about DaasT ideology.

    With a), if it was based on the assumption of a repeat of WW1, then you might be able to say that it was "rational" within the limited assumptions available. It is also ironic that Hareidi literature often beats another horse, and says that Gedolim had already predicted this, and for example the Chofetz Chaim said that from Berlin would come whirlwind and destroy the reform movement etc.
    There are 2 types of bad decision making made by Rebbes and RYs. One was that they told their followers not to move, eg Satmar, Belz etc. and said they would be protected, whilst the others said don't move even if it costs you your life, eg the examples i have given previously. The argument was that treif America and c'v Israel was too unholy to go to.
    So both of these approaches were wrong, and each had their own dis-merits.
    It is obvious that one great RY who did escape to America, and then played a major role in Vaad hatzoloh knew how disastrous the policies of his great colleagues were, otherwise he would have stayed put himself.

    Your claim b) is also at odds with counter claims of many Hareidi apologists, including the greatest one of all R Weissmandel. he argued that if only the British could give 20,000 trucks and a few million$$ to the germans, - yemach shemam - then all of the jews would have been saved. So a variant in the debate is that none of the Rabbinical leaders in Europe had any power, but the Zionists had all the power, and instead abused it. Whether this is factualyl true is a discussion in itself, but the point is that even the Weissmandel school of thought would refute your claim that nothing more could have been done.
    Also the case of RAK is proof that more could have been done, and indeed was. He, and Hillel Kook saved many lives.
    c) This claim is actually made by several writers, including Prof. Lawrence Kaplan. so whether or not I repeat the claim, it is nothing new.

    Finally, it is possible that we can all make terrible errors. that is human, and especially under stress and tunnel vision, be it Prime Ministers, generals, Doctors or businessmen. The issuse is that this goes against the overall ideology of Daas Torah, ie that following a certain interpretation of Torah by an elected leader is essentially infallible.

  26. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 22, 2015 at 7:26 AM

    No, you are again completely ignoring and not even addressing the fact that over 20,000 Israelis died in war in the military conflicts alone between '48 and '97. Over 20,000!
    Depends on how you look at it. Per capita, no it doesn't. Per capita by Jewish population of E"Y it is much lower.

    If you consider the Muslim violence against Jews in all Muslim lands, then you are living in a dream world. Pogroms killing hundreds and thousands were a regular part of Jewish life in Muslim lands. The Pogroms of Idris Ibn Abdallah in Morrocco for example, not only approach your numbers, but set the basic theme for Jewish-Muslim relations.

    Every would be Messiah and every revolutionary felt it was their obligation to wipe out the Jews in their nation. You simply want to ignore 1300yrs of pre-zionist Muslim-Jewish history to myopically claim that Zionism has caused an increase somehow in Arab-Jewish violence.

  27. i despise your stupidity in general. Your inference from a prat to klal is a false one.

  28. No, pograms killing thousands or even hundreds of Jews were not "a regular part of Jewish life in Muslim lands". They were by far the exception. And whatever examples you cite, their occurrences were mostly far apart from each other.

  29. That was Christian violence against Jews. As I stated, Christian violence against Jews has been far worse than Arab violence against Jews.

  30. Moe, you argued that the Zionist enterprise caused more deaths than had it not taken place. however, you try to wriggle your way out of the fact that zionism, (Binyamin Zeev herzl) was a reaction to European/christian anti-semitism, about which you are in a kind of denial.
    Herzl, through his great intuition saw the future for jews in Europe was over. He was right, and you / your colleagues were wrong.
    regarding Islamic anti-semitism, the quantity was not as great as European mass murder, but it still took place. If you know Jewish communities from Islamic lands, they all have their stories to tell, and memories of pogroms, conversions etc. Even Jews living in Eretz Yisroel during the middle ages were routinely massacred or covnerted. Many became Druze becasue they preferred not to be muslims. My own community from Iran was converted to Islam and lived as marranoes for nearly a century. There is a story that when the community came to israel, R' Herzog didnt recognize them as Jews and asked us to convert. R' Uziel , in the tradition of Rambam, accepted us as kasher Jews. But yes, there were not millions of murdered Sephardim, so the scale was nto the same as the Shoah, but the violence was still there.
    BTw, the destruction of Yemen now by Houthis is punishment for their shmad agasint the Jews, over the long time that Jews lived there, up until the murder of R' David Kapach Zt'.


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