Manchester is home to the second-biggest Jewish community in the United Kingdom. While a student in England, I regularly spent Jewish festivals with my cousins in Manchester. Needless to say, back then, even as a visibly identifiable Jew, one could safely walk almost anywhere in Manchester. For many years now, that has not been true. Starting in the 80s Muslim men attacked Jews walking home from synagogue with increasing frequency. Walking home from school became a terrifying ordeal for Jewish youngsters. Vandal attacks on Jewish property became endemic, yet the authorities did nothing. Why not? Because western leadership has become cowardly. Moslems often react violently to criticism while Jews do not so ignoring Jewish victims carried little cost. As the years went by, Moslem assailants became less fastidious when choosing their victims and the mayhem began to spread. By then cowardice was the default reaction from political leadership. Placating the Moslem population was seen as the avenue to peace. Last night the harvest was reaped. It goes without saying that not every Moslem is violent neither does every Moslem endorse violence. (Though the Palestinian Authority lends respectability to endorsing violence by compensating families of murderous terrorists.) Thought Experiment: If all the perpetrators of the last fifty savage attacks against innocent civilians happened to all be ballet dancers, how long before every ballet group in the world issued strong and definitive denunciations of terror? When a Jewish man killed 29 Muslim in Hebron about twenty-three years ago, Jews denounced him so widely you’d have thought nobody had ever done anything like this in all of human history. The government of Israel, every Jewish organization around the world and every rabbi condemned the murder. I’m just saying…
Meanwhile, Jews continue to serve the role of canary in the coal mine. I am nostalgic for the Manchester I used to know. These days large numbers of English-speaking people I meet in Israel are former residents of Manchester. Like France, Manchester is swopping its Jews for a considerably less peaceful population. Let’s hear how that’s all working out.
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