Monday, November 07, 2005

Be not afraid

From Ynet News via alert reader Tom P.: French authorities have advised Jews not to let anyone know about their fears, since that could encourage attacks on Jews and their community buildings.

A snapshot of daily life shows that have a great deal to fear:

«Jacki Brami, Garges’s rabbi, and his sons have been, "as usual", insulted, according to the anti-Semitism vigilance bureau.

“It’s business as usual,” Samy Ghozlan, head of the anti-Semitism vigilance bureau told EJP. “These communities are used to these daily assaults. It’s worrisome, but we fear the worst is still to come.”

“Now that the media decided to reduce coverage of the riots, the thugs may intensify the violence against the Jews, to regain media attention," he added.

French authorities advised Jewish security officials not to publicize their fears, as such declarations could encourage rioters to attack Jews and Jewish community buildings.

The Jewish community has kept a low profile since the violence broke out. The only official reaction came from the chairman of the Paris consistoire, Moise Cohen, who wrote to the head of the French Muslim council Dalil Boubakeur.»
One one level trying to take reasonable fears out of the front of public mind might make them less vulnerable to attack. But since there have been many attacks on Synagogues in France in the past, some friction might be inevitable. The rioters are a little like the classic sociopath in that they certainly don’t seem to share the public’s idea of morality. People who trash their own neighborhoods never do.

NOT discussing this possibility might just make the vulnerability of Jews less important to the public at large. As a result they might not be forced to consider Jews as citizens who are at risk right now, possibly discount them as a “group” and not seeing them as individuals. On top of that the public may never rethink their own petty prejudices as well.

It's pure foolishness to have to hide oneself as security officials seem to be suggesting, but approach is only right in one sense: this is not a time to show any fear. Individual morality has to intervene where social programs and platitudes have failed. That's always been the only thing that kept a crisis from turning into a panic.

No comments: