Living in Forest Hills, a predominantly Jewish part of Queens (Simon and Garfunkel, the Ramones, and Jerry Seinfeld all grew up here), I have a fairly good sense of the both liberal American and rightwing Soviet Jewish opinion. Israel's Gaza offensive of the last few weeks and the anti-Israel demonstrations in Europe, which degenerated into anti-Jewish riots in a "mixed" (read: predominantly Muslim) northern suburb of Paris started a firestorm of hysteria and outrage on Facebook and other social media.
The leftists, including a typical New York Jewish university professor whose house I had the misfortune of spending a Passover meal at, wail and rail about "Kristallnacht" and being scared like it is the 1930s. And many of the rightwingers, when they do not call for carpetbombing the Gaza Strip, put the blame on Obama and the EU. Of course, both sides are missing the point.
The "youths" who torched and trashed Jewish-owned shops and tried to break into two synagogues are as French as I am Mongolian. They are the children and grandchildren of Algerian, Moroccan, and Black immigrants to France who for decades have been turning the suburbs of Paris and other French cities into crime-ridden, Islamist-dominated wastelands. It is not Pierre, Jean, and Etienne who are trashing stores, yelling anti-Jewish abuse, and throwing rocks at the police. No, this scum (Nicolas Sarkozy's term) has names like Yusuf, Bilal, and Mohammed. And the "Belgian" cafe that put up signs saying "Dogs are allowed in this establishment, but Zionists are not under any circumstances" is Turkish-owned. The Turkish-language sign replaces "Zionists" with "Jews".
(Not that Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli government mind the riots. By holding European Jews hostage to the excesses of Israel's habitually indiscriminate military offensives, they accomplish two things. First, even those European Jews who are lukewarm or even critical of the Israel's bombardments of Gaza, are forced to support them or at least keep silent. Second, every anti-Jewish riot or demonstration results in an increased immigration of Jews to Israel).
What the wailing liberals of Yellowstone Boulevard and Austin Street will never understand is that Europe 2014 is not Munich 1938. Rather it is Damascus, Beirut, Cairo, and Algiers. Besides, was it not the same Jewish liberals who are now so scared of a "second Kristallnacht" that for decades advocated for the swamping of Western Europe by the same immigrants whose children are now breaking into synagogues and torching stores? But do not hold your breath for them to admit it. Easier to blame the "anti-semitic Europeans" than to admit to the true nature of the wonderful immigrants they championed.
Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.