When the Turkish neighbors of Leah Rabinovitch, a Jewish woman in Amsterdam, adorned their apartment with a Palestinian flag, she did the same with an Israeli flag. Leah lives in a neighborhood where 48% of the population is of non-Western origin – many of them Muslims. Stones were thrown through her windows, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at her balcony and an anonymous letter was put in her letter box. "Hitler will be back. Death to the Jews," it said.
Fifteen different policemen, Rabinovitch says, advised her to remove the flag. She refused. She also received a letter from Rochdale, the Dutch company owning the apartment block. "Rochdale has noticed the Israeli flag on your balcony. This is a provocation," the letter said. The company then urged her to remove the flag and warned that otherwise she would have to cover all costs of vandalism herself. Did the neighbors with the Palestinian flag receive a similar letter? No, they did not. In Europe, displaying the Israeli flag is a provocation, displaying the Palestinian flag is not.
Seraphina Verhofstadt, another Jewish woman in Amsterdam, also reacted to the many Palestinian and Hamas flags in Amsterdam by displaying the Israeli flag. She received threats that her throat would be slit. When she left her apartment, she was assaulted by youths wearing Palestinian shawls and severely beaten.
In Europe, immigration has not led to integration, as the multiculturalists have wished, but to intimidation. People defending the West and its values, people who show their solidarity with the West's international allies, such as the U.S. and Israel, are threatened with vandalism and worse.
Unfortunately, at the same time, however, the defenders of Western values are also losing public support among indigenous Westerners, who no longer seem to believe that Israel has the moral right on its side.
Misled by their media, who often distort the context in favor of what seems a juicier version of the story, and the cowardice of political leaders who refuse to speak out in support of Israel, people have come to see Israel as the aggressor, bent on driving the Palestinians into the sea, while the reality is exactly the opposite.
Hamas is a criminal and terrorist organization. It aims to wipe not only Israel, but all Jews off the face of the earth. It wants to replace Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, by an Islamic state under Sharia law. Yet, our media, in Europe and America alike, tend to depict it -- after it kidnapped and murdered three Jewish boys in Israel and then, as it had been doing for years, resumed raining rockets and missiles into Israel -- as an organization that has been forced to use violence in reaction to Israeli aggression. And after Hamas deliberately committed the war crime of using its own citizens -- especially women and children -- as human shields in order to have bloodied victims for the television cameras, the media also depicted Hamas as standing for the human rights of the people in Gaza.
Not only Jews, but everyone in Europe, is threatened with messages that "Hitler will be back." He is back already. His methods have, once again, won the propaganda war. Hitler used to say that, in order to be credible, a lie had to be so big that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." In Mein Kampf, he wrote that "in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses ... more readily fall victim to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods."
Threats to our freedoms are on the rise again and already have made their first victim: Truth. The next victim will be freedom of speech: the freedom of those who speak the truth to proclaim it. Asked in a television interview why she still displays the Israeli flag after being beaten up and whether it would not be wiser to remove it, Seraphina Verhofstadt said: "If I do that, I will also lose my freedom of speech."
First we lose truth, then we lose freedoms, and finally we lose life. Europe has seen it happen before. It is time to draw the line, and stand with Israel against terrorism.