Time and again, columnists and politicians in Israel have asserted that to the Europeans, the only Jew worthy of any treatment more favorable than thinly veiled scorn is a Jew who died in the Holocaust. This assertion is backed up by referring to the change in European attitudes from vaguely pro-Israel in the state's early years to anti-Israel after its huge defeat of Egypt and Syria in the Six-Day War to pro-Palestinian from the 1975 Zionism is Racism resolution at the UN to the present.
Before World War II, the worst anti-Semitism was usually found in the Baltic states (and still is to a large degree in Ukraine and Lithuania) and even much of Eastern Europe. After the war, when much of the reckoning of the Final Solution became clear, even the Eastern Euros were chastened. After the fall of the USSR, the worst anti-Semitism became generally a feature of post-modern Catholic Europe: Spain, Portugal, Italy, and especially FRANCE.
Thus, the incident in the report linked above disgusts me. If it had happened in The Monk's presence, there would have been much harm to certain Frenchmen:
While on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday, a group of around 50 Jewish university students from Israel, the U.S. and Poland were verbally attacked by a three-member gang of French male tourists.
[Seeing] an Israeli flag wrapped around the shoulders of Tamar Schuri, an Israeli student from Ben Gurion University, the first assailant ran at the group while its members were being guided through a model gas chamber and crematoria and began swearing and hurling anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli insults.
"He told us to go back to Israel and said that we were stupid and should be ashamed to walk around with an Israeli flag," testifies Maya Ober, a 21-year-old Polish student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and member of the Polish Union of Jewish Students (PUSZ), which organized the 16-day summer learning program along with the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS).
After the initial altercation, a second assailant
grabbed Ober by the arm. "One of the guys held me by the arm and wouldn't let go," says Ober, who lost several members of her family at Auschwitz. "I was afraid. I couldn't move and I didn't know what he was going to do.
"I was shocked. Although I have met anti-Semitism many times, I never expected to meet it at Auschwitz, where so many of my relatives were killed," she says she spoke to the assailants in French and that in addition to being "brutish and vulgar," their sentiments "made absolutely no sense."
* * *
[Laurence] Weinbaum [Director of Research at the World Jewish
Congress], who has been to Poland more than 30 times on educational tours, says he never before saw anything like what happened, happen. "It was simply shocking," he says. "In some way, I felt that these men were satisfied to visit Auschwitz. This was another reminder that in Western Europe there is sympathy for dead Jews; it's just the live ones that they cannot tolerate."
"This event shocked me," adds 24-year-old tour
participant Yigael Ben-Natan from Zichron Yaacov, a recent graduate from the University of Haifa. "But, it bought into focus a small part of what it's like to be a Jew in the Diaspora today and a little bit about what it was like to be a Jew in the Diaspora during the Holocaust. . ."
See also: Allahpundit.