The world's reaction to the situation in Gaza has been disproportionate, bordering on absolute hysteria. True, the images from Gaza have been difficult to view. Any normal person feels pain at the sight of dead children. Unfortunately, we are inundated with images like these all the time, from all over the world -- Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sudan and Kosovo, for example. But responses to images coming from those places come nowhere close to the violent, hate-filled response, mainly in Europe, to the images coming from Gaza.
There is not enough space to cover it all. Tens of thousands of people have taken part in demonstrations in Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels and Rome -- and also even in Boston and New York. Protesters have carried signs with slogans we have not seen in years, such as "Hitler was right" and "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." Synagogues have been attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails and Jews have been beaten on the streets. In Australia, Jewish children were threatened on a school bus. In Britain, a member of parliament declared his city "an Israel-free zone." Even The Guardian, not a pro-Israel newspaper (to say the least), has been appalled by the anti-Semitic trend. The Guardian ran an article last week titled "Anti-Semitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis'" and in an editorial called anti-Semitism "inexcusable."
Let's not fool ourselves: The demonstrations across the world have not been legitimate protests against Israel's actions in Gaza. Among the tens of thousands of people who have taken to the streets in European capitals and elsewhere, there may be a few well-meaning individuals who want to express their objection to the death of children and civilians. If all the protesters were like this, there would be no problem. In democratic nations, there is freedom of speech, and people are allowed to express their opinions, even if they are contrary to our own.
But this is not what has taken place. Protests of that type would be smaller, would not pop up 10 minutes after the shooting had started and would not be accompanied by the overt dangerous violence and menacing Nazi-like rhetoric. But the protests we have seen in recent weeks have been something else entirely, representing two main things:
First, the Islamization of Europe. In European capitals, the number of Muslims has reached a critical mass. In Brussels, it is expected there will be a Muslim majority within a decade. Muslim community leaders do not hide their intentions to conquer Europe via demography -- and impose Shariah law. Radical imams (including, for example, an imam in Berlin who recently said, "Destroy the Zionist Jews. ... Count them and kill them to the very last one") are stirring things up and their followers are making sure everyone falls in line. It is no wonder then that most of the marchers are Muslims and the list of organizers of the demonstrations consists almost exclusively of Muslim organizations.
The second issue is even more serious. Operation Protective Edge has released the ancient European anti-Semitic genie from the bottle, after it was stuffed deep inside following the Holocaust. Blatantly racist remarks that no one would have dared utter a decade or two ago have all of a sudden become legitimate. In Europe, it has become fashionable again to call for sending the Jews to the ovens. There is no problem saying, shouting, writing or typing this sentiment. Perhaps the latest wave of anti-Semitism is being led by Muslims, but Europe is showing very little resistance to being dragged into an ugly, terrifying and barbaric reality. We know. We have been there before.