As the sons of Abraham chosen to be a blessing to all humanity, we are obliged to think of ways of helping Europe face the threat of Islam * Western experts fail to understand the root of the problem * In which direction will the conflict between the West and Islam go? Two possible scenarios * Right-wing movements in Europe support Israel, and stand firm on the right of Europe to maintain its identity and culture * Israel is able and should make contacts with Right-wing movements in Europe that attempt to rid themselves of their anti-Semitic past * Muslims can integrate in European countries according to the Torah’s model of ‘ger toshav’ without harming the identity and culture of their host country
Jews are concerned about Europe. Since the days of Abraham, we, the Children of Israel, are accustomed to worrying about all nations and all peoples. Our forefather Abraham even sought to defend Sodom. This is the task God intended for us, from the moment He commanded Abraham, “Go away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you great. You shall become a blessing … all the families of the earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3). To paraphrase – leave your narrow, national life to go the Promised Land, so as to establish a global, universal nation that will spread the word of God to the entire world from the Land of Israel. Similarly, God said to our forefather Jacob: “I will give to you and your descendants the land upon which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth. You shall spread out to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south. All the families on earth will be blessed through you and your descendants” (Genesis 28:13-14).
Furthermore, seeing as for generations numerous Jews were exiled to European countries, we are concerned about what is happening there. And although on the whole our lives in Europe were not easy, there were some good times. And the Torah teaches us that even the Egyptians who enslaved us with hard labor should be treated in a positive manner because we were strangers in their country (see, Deuteronomy 23:8-9). What’s more, events occurring in a neighboring and powerful Europe are liable to affect us as well.
The Problem of the Western Experts
Western countries invest a fortune funding thousands of researchers on the topics of history, religion, society, and mass-psychology. They employ thousands of ambassadors and foreign relations consultants. Despite all this, they have difficulty understanding the threat currently facing them.
Their problem is a fundamental one. They attempt to view the situation from an objective approach, devoid of religious faith and national identity. But it is precisely this position that prevents them from penetrating a complete understanding of human motivations, and all the more so, those of religious people and entire nations.
A Realistic Prognosis
Anyone not afflicted by the conceptual blindness of the “experts” understands that a confrontation between Islam and the West is currently in progress. The blindness of Western “experts” provides Islam with a huge advantage at the opening of the battle.
It is difficult to assess how it will all end. If the West’s blindness continues, Europe will gradually become Muslim. At first, by means of Muslim immigration to Europe, while exploiting the human right of natural population growth, and the dissemination of Islam – which poses a moral and religious alternative to the gaping secular abyss created in Europe. All this, combined with violence to reinforce the Muslim communities and intimidate their neighbors. In the end, everyone will be driven to convert to Islam by force, because the law of Mohamed is by the sword.
In a more realistic scenario, life will gradually become more difficult. Governments will stand helpless opposite Islamization and rioting. The countries’ economic situation will deteriorate. Violence and street crime will increase up until the hatred for Muslims becomes so strong that nothing will be able to prevent European barbarism from erupting once again. At that point in time the Europeans will begin killing Muslims, as was their custom of fighting and killing for over a thousand years. The police will try to prevent it, but will be unsuccessful. Even Muslim-haters around the world will have pity on them, because they will be slaughtered, raped, burned alive, deported, and drowned in the rivers. From a historical point of view, the Europeans were no less professionals in the field of bloodshed than the Muslims.
In the two scenarios, as well as a combination of both, Europe will sink morally, socially, scientifically and economically.
Specifically, it is the extreme Right movements that have a better understanding of the situation, and perhaps with their inclusion in various governments, a reasonable solution to Europe’s serious problem can be found. However, this poses a difficult dilemma.
The Extreme Right Movements in Europe
I approach the question of proper relations between Israel and Right-wing nationalist movements in Europe with trepidation. On the one hand, the prevailing view among many Jews and moral people maintains that we should loathe these movements, because they are guilty of racial intolerance and anti-Semitism, and history has taught us that such hatred is liable to lead to the most terrible consequence of all – the Holocaust. Even after the Holocaust, there were Right-wing movements in Europe that continued totally supporting the Nazi’s, or at least partially. And although most of their leadership and members repudiated the Nazi’s and the Holocaust, Right-wing movements continued serving as a hotbed for the wicked who justify the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust, deny its extent, or diminish its severity. One can still find young, violent, neo-Nazi skinheads, haters of foreigners in general, and Jews in particular, who support the idea of the superiority of the White Aryan race that justifies all types of discrimination or harassment of members of other races, regardless of their views or actions.
On the other hand, over the years the extreme Right-wing movements have undergone a process of change. Leaders arose who openly renounce the racist Nazi legacy, and openly support the State of Israel. They unashamedly removed neo-Nazi anti-Semites from their movements. Today, Right-wing movements have a better understanding of the Muslim problem than others. They understand it is a comprehensive, cultural war versus Islam, and not the terrorism of extremists who happen to be Muslims. The Right-wing movements are also justified in their demand to maintain the national and religious-cultural identity of European countries. Just as it is forbidden to steal the property of a private individual as did the Communists in the countries over which they gained control, it is also forbidden to deprive people of their national and religious identity.
The Leftist movements deny the significance of national and religious identity. Accordingly, they support the absorption of foreign refugees and their right to publicly express their identity, even when it opposes and undermines the national identity of the locals.
As a rule, Jews who lived in European exile recognized and respected the national and religious identity of the native citizens. True, we must admit that in modern times throughout all of Europe and particularly in France, assimilated Jews and those alienated to the values of Judaism as a people and as a religion, were the leaders of the left-wing liberal and cosmopolitan movements that attempted to blur national identity and emphasize the universal, human values of individual rights and equality.
We, the Jews, are also victims of the positions of Leftist movements. Their representatives blatantly criticize Judaism and the State of Israel. Representatives of leftist movements here in Israel also gnaw away at our national and religious identity, oppose the definition of Israel as a Jewish state, and object to granting special status to the Hebrew language, and Jewish heritage as its cultural and legal foundation. This, despite the fact that for some strange reason, they recognize the fictional identity of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, not unlike the way their friends in Europe are more willing to support Islam than the majority culture.
The Correct Relationship with the National Right-Wing
In light of the reality facing us, it would be fitting to examine networking with the Right-wing movements in Europe, with each case being scrutinized individually. A movement which completely repudiates anti-Semitism and racism is deserving of respect and cooperation. The consensus should be that the just struggle against Islam or anyone who threatens their national identity is defined as a struggle for maintaining law and order and for establishing a clear national identity for the state, and definitely not due to xenophobia.
Marine Le Pen
Unfortunately, the State of Israel has failed to lead an appropriate dialogue with national Right-wing movements in Europe. Instead of supporting the reasonable national and moral positions, and strengthening the policy rejecting racism and hatred, we have chosen to support those who blur identities. Those who are unable to deal properly with any problem, and also harm the State of Israel, standing at the very same frontline in the war for its existence and identity.
For example, the leader of the French right-wing party, Marine Le Pen, sought to make contacts with Jews and the State of Israel, and instead of conducting a respectful dialogue with her, she was ignored. The National right-wing party in France ousted its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father, because he refused to retract his anti-Semitic statements denying the Holocaust. Doesn’t that prove the party’s intentions? The bond that Jews and the State of Israel can tie with this party will enable it to strengthen its moral position, for the good of both France and Israel.
The ‘Resident Alien’ Prototype
The contribution that Judaism can offer Right-wing movements in Europe is adopting the model of “ger toshav” (resident alien) as a condition for obtaining the rights of a citizen, without compromising the national identity of the majority.
There are two principles the ‘ger toshav‘ must accept upon himself: 1) recognition of the national and religious identity of the natives, and bearing the burden of national challenges facing the enemy. 2) acceptance of the Seven Noahide laws, comprising of proper moral behavior. These are the seven commandments: a) monotheism and the prohibition of idolatry, b) prohibition of incest, c) the prohibition of murder, d) prohibition of blasphemy of God’s name, e) the prohibition of theft, f) respect for the law and the judicial system, g) prohibition against eating a limb of a live animal, i.e., acceptable behavior of good manners (Maimonides, Laws of Kings 9:1).
Inspiration for our Times
A person who accepts upon himself the rules of a ‘ger toshav‘ should be granted full rights, and regarding him the Torah says: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (Leviticus 19:34). Nevertheless, when the absorption of an excessive number of resident aliens poses the danger of obscuring the identity of the state, the state is entitled to limit the number of those absorbed, even if they are willing to accept the principles of ‘ger toshav‘.
It is noteworthy that Jews in the Diaspora behaved towards their host countries as ‘gerim
toshavim‘, with the exception of modern leftist Jews who scorned the natives’ religion, and undermined them by establishing revolutionary movements.
But those who are unwilling to accept the rules, to respect the culture of the majority and its moral policies and not to preach against it in the mosques – all the more so, those engaged in theft, the selling of drugs, false reporting to the authorities, and obstructing police activities – are not entitled to the rights of citizens, and deserve to be respectfully returned to their countries of origin.
In the meantime, until the status of immigrants already granted civilian rights is determined, it would be fitting for Europe to abstain from absorbing additional immigrants. The desire to help them is positive, but should be implemented in their countries of origin.
This article appears in the ‘Besheva’ newspaper, and was translated from Hebrew. Other interesting articles by Rabbi Melamed can be found at: