A three-day long controversy broke out recently over the use of the term “No-Go Zones” with regard to certain European cities in light of the Charlie Hebdo and HyperCasher supermarket attacks by Islamic radicals.
Steve Emerson of The Investigative Project, a longtime expert on terrorism and its connection to Islamist radicals, made a misstep when he overstated the case while appearing on Fox News. That created a near-perfect storm of groups just waiting to jump all over him: Fox News haters like the NY Times (even though it previously used the term) and the liberal entertainment media; British and European politicians who prefer not to deal with the sources and implications of domestic terror; and groups that have made professions of tarring people with the Islamophobia epithet.
Emerson handed it all to them on a silver platter, as Theodore Dalrymple at City Journal explains:
Steven Emerson, the expert on terrorism, has caused a sigh of relief among the bien pensants of the Western world. By making inaccurate and false claims on Fox News, he has enabled them to pour righteous scorn on him and thereby avoid thinking about uncomfortable social realities.
A defense of Emerson’s basic point, if not his specific description, is provided by the Gatestone Institute, European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 1, France. (added) See also, Jonathan Tobin, ‘No-Go Zones’ Are Not a Conservative Meme.
Regardless of whether “No-Go Zone” is a proper term in a general way, there is no doubt that there are cities and sections of many cities in Europe which are no-go zones for those publicly identifying as Jewish by dress (e.g., wearing a kippah/yarmulke) or symbols (e.g. wearing a Star of David) or appearance (e.g., long beard in combination with dress and symbols).
We have explored the problem of Walking While Jewish repeatedly over the years, including recently regarding “Kippah Walks” in placed like Copenhagen to protest harassment of Jews on the street, frequently by groups of Muslim young men.
Though it’s not only men, as this woman in Copenhagen demonstrated with her Heil Hitler shout when she spotted Jews at a restaurant:
The harassment and attacks on Jews in Europe go hand-in-hand with the rise of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, whose banners and shirts accompanied anti-Jewish attacks in Paris this summer.
One place we have focused on for several years is Malmö, Sweden, because the situation there brought together the worst of Islamist Jew-harassment and Leftist political indifference if not encouragement:
- Malmö Syndrome
- All Swedes Are Malmö Jews Now
- “Kippah Walk” in Malmö in solidarity with Jews persecuted in … Malmö
- More anti-Israel violence … in Malmö, Sweden
- The anti-Semitic shame of Malmö, Sweden continues with attack on Rabbi
That Malmö has become a No-Jew-Go Zone is demonstrated in the video below by a non-Jewish Swedish reporter who put on a Kippah and walked the streets, thereby experiencing the harassment, name-calling and threats that come with walking while Jewish.
Our mission was to spend a week in Sweden’s third largest city, dressed with Jewish symbols. On his head reporter Petter Ljunggren wore a kipah. Around his and his colleague True Klinghoffers necks were hanging Stars of David.
The reporters are usually treated kindly, but every now and then, a look, a comment or a solicitation to leave the area. The worst comes on the outskirts of the city, and in some places the reporters have been warned to stay away. In Lindängen center they are called “fucking Jew swine” from a person. Another man stops – almost shocked – when he sees the reporters with a kipah and Star of David.
Here is a clip from the video (click image for video – no translation needed) (full video with computer generated captions at bottom of post):
Scott Johnson at Power Line describes the context:
John Howard Griffin famously enlisted the assistance of a dermatologist to have his skin darkened so he could pass as a black man traveling in the deep South for six weeks in late 1959. He reported his experiences in Black Like Me. Based on the journal he kept, the book has sold more than 10 million copies and remained continuously in print since its publication in 1961.
Swedish journalist Petter Ljunggren had a similar idea, though he didn’t have to go to Griffin’s lengths to conduct the experiment. Replicating the experiment conducted by journalist Patrick Reilly in October 2013, Ljunggren donned a kippah and a Star of David to walk the streets of Malmö, Sweden, with its large Muslim population. Captured with a hidden camera, the experience depicted is not horrible, but rather unpleasant and threatening (at 17:50 and 29:30 or so in the video below).
JTA via Times of Israel provides more explanation of the video content:
In one scene, Ljunggren — who, in addition to wearing a kippah was also wearing Star of David pendant — was filmed sitting at a café in central Malmo reading a newspaper, as several passersby hurled anti-Semitic insults at him.
Elsewhere, one person hit his arm, the reporter said on camera, though this was not recorded. One of the people who cursed Ljunggren called him a “Jewish devil,” “Jewish shit” and another told him to “get out.”
One person on a scooter approached Ljunggren to warn him to leave for his own safety. In the heavily Muslim Rosengard neighborhood, Ljunggren was surrounded by a dozen men who shouted anti-Semitic slogans as eggs were hurled at his direction from apartments overhead. He then fled the area….
Dozens of anti-Semitic incidents are recorded annually in Malmo, a city where first- and second- generation immigrants from the Middle East make up one third of a population of roughly 300,000. Several hundred Jews live there.
Fred Kahn, a leader of the local Jewish community, told JTA that most incidents are perpetrated by Muslims or Arabs
There are No-Jew-Go Zones in Europe.
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