Update 15 February 2015
After the attacks in Copenhagen over the last 24 hours, it is shame on Denmark too. A homegrown jihadi murdered two people, one of whom was a Jewish security guard protecting a bar mitzvah ceremony at a Copenhagen synagogue. They had been warned there might be an attack after the earlier shooting at the free speech seminar, but even with armed police present, the gunman attacked. The reaction here in Denmark has been wonderful. A priest led his whole flock from a nearby church to the synagogue to express their sympathy and solidarity. The prime minister went to the synagogue and made a fine speech in support of the Jewish community. That said, the leaders of the Jewish community looked so tired and saddened…
I was genuinely surprised to learn that there is a police approved community security militia – Shomrim – that patrols Jewish neighbourhoods of London. The group, a neighbourhood watch group, also has patrols in other English and US cities.
This is grim echo of a nightmarish future, like something from a Ken McLeod novel like “The Star Faction” or Neil Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age“, where communities have to protect themselves in the absence of state security. The sad reality is these Jewish communities really need this self-defence. Just as Israel tends to be the first target of novel forms of terrorism 1, Jewish communities in Europe are harbingers of what the future may look like for any minority community that finds itself targeted by imported bigotry that is not systematically challenged.
Jewish friends here in Copenhagen dare not wear Kippahs or Star of David necklaces for fear of attack. Earlier this month a Jewish journalist wore a Kippah in the souther Swedish city of Malmo (across the bridge from Copenhagen). He was verbally and physically abused by dozens of people.
The documentary (subtitled) is quite extraordinary and terrifying. Shame on Sweden:
More on Shomrim
More on Anti-Semitism in Malmo
- The recent “silent intifada” where people drive into pedestrians started in Israel before being adopted by French Islamists ↵