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Europe: A Continent in Flight
by Bruce Bawer
Different parts of Europe, same story.
Let's start with France, where a new report by a Jewish community group, Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ), says that anti-Semitism in that country has gotten so much worse in the wake of last year's Toulouse school massacre that the number of Jews who are "crossing the Channel to find safe haven in the U.K." is skyrocketing. One sign of the trend: "St John's Wood Synagogue in London has set up a separate French minyan, attended regularly by 120 people on Shabbat," with new faces showing up every week. A February 21 piece in the Jewish Chronicle about the SPCJ report noted that while anti-Semitic "incidents" in Britain and France are roughly comparable in number, those in France "are far more likely to involve violence." It also quoted Britain's Chief Rabbi as warning that "the position of Jews in Europe today is very difficult….Jews in Europe have begun to ask, is there a place for us here?" Perhaps the most telling detail in the Jewish Chronicle article was this: while the SPCJ report "originally stated that in over three-quarters of the antisemitic incidents the perpetrators were reported as being of North African origin," this fact was later deleted from the text.
While French Jews flee to London, Londoners are scurrying elsewhere. On February 19, the BBC reported that over 600, 000 ethnic Brits have moved out of the capital in the last decade. Predictably, BBC editor Mark Easton spun this on the Beeb's website as a positive development, arguing that all this relocation is a sign of "working class aspiration and economic success." In other words, "in the first decade of the 21st Century, the dream of escaping to the country became a reality for tens of thousands of urban white Britons," who "prospered from the housing boom and the capital's economic growth" and "bought themselves that little cottage in the countryside or by the sea."
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