The Canary's Agony
"Oyes ...el débil trino amarillo del canario. "
("Listen to ... the feeble yellow trill of the canary.")
(Federico Garcia Lorca)
Via the blog "Norway, Israel and the Jews"
I read this short appeal to European sense of decency by the Spanish journalist and politician Pilar Rahola, about whom I wrote in the past.
Here is my translation of her article. I corrected two factual errors which I found in her account of the Eilenberg family's history and I highlighted the places of correction in green:
Many believe that this is not their concern, that it is just a Jewish problem. And as history is witness, they will be wrong. The protestant pastor, Martin Niemoeller expressed very well in regard to Nazism:
“They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Throughout history, the Jewish communities, disastrously, have been the thermometer by which the degree of tolerance in a society is gauged. Jewish persecution has always been the fever that symptomized a social disease. Somebody historically likened it to the metaphor of the canary, the bird used in measuring the levels of contamination in mines, because it is very sensitive to toxic air quality. When the canary began to die, it was a sign that the mine was dangerous. And in European history, the first to be persecuted they were the Jews, when our societies contracted the virus of the intolerance. To a certain extent, then, Jews have been the canaries of our civilization.
Are they still that canary, in our own times? Personally, I do not have any doubt, considering the evidence of hundreds of cases that scratch the skin of Europe. Let’s look at the most recent alarming example, from the model Swedish society. For a long time now, the Jewish communities feel so harassed by the radical sectors, both from the Left as well as from Islamic co-citizens that they are beginning to leave that country in droves. I read in “Haaretz” about the case of the Eilenberg family
. After numerous shocks, violent manifestations compounded by any type of insults, such as "Heil Hitler", this Malmo family has decided to immigrate to Israel. The paternal grandparents of Marcus, a lawyer of 32 years, survived the Holocaust and took refuge in Sweden in 1945. His wife’s parents came to Malmo from Poland in 1968 after the communist government there launched a [Stalinist-style] anti-Semitic purge.
[cited in the linked-to Haaretz article]
Today they go back to the suitcases and backpacks with their children, as they make their way to the ancient homeland. In their small community, scores of other families are considering exiting Sweden, as the situation gets worse by the day. Of the thousands of Muslims that dwell in Sweden, the radicals are but a minority. However, they are a large minority, encouraged by the groups of the Far Left, which have turned hatred to Israel into a gospel. Thus, everything comes together to contaminate severely multicultural coexistence. Bit by bit, a fusion takes place between the radical fundamentalism and the radicalism of the Far Left, resulting in the severe erosions of the liberties. Note the Eilenberg family, persecuted by the Nazis, persecuted by the communists, and now persecuted by Islamic Fundamentalism, with the consent of Far Leftist baiting. And all this is unfolding in this paradise of tolerance, Sweden, where the canaries never suffered… Ay!
"We are Swedish but second- or third-class citizens,” said Mohammed Abnalheja, vice president of the Palestinian Home Association in Malmo. The organization teaches children of Palestinian descent about their bond to a Palestinian homeland. “We have a right to our country, Palestine,” he said. “Palestine is now occupied by Zionists.”
Abnalheja was born to Palestinian parents in Baghdad and came to Malmo with his parents in 1996. He has never been to the place he calls Palestine.
Meanwhile, 86-year-old Judith Popinski says she is no longer invited to schools that have a large Muslim presence to tell her story of surviving the Holocaust.
Popinski found refuge in Malmo in 1945. Until recently, she told her story in Malmo schools as part of their Holocaust studies program. Now, some schools no longer ask Holocaust survivors to tell their stories, because Muslim students treat them with such disrespect, either ignoring the speakers or walking out of the class.
“Malmo reminds me of the anti-Semitism I felt as a child in Poland before the war,” she told the Forward while sitting in her living room, which is adorned with Persian rugs and many paintings.
“I am not safe as a Jew in Sweden anymore,” a trembling Popinski said in a frail voice. But unlike others, she intends to stay in Sweden. “I will not be a victim again,” she said."
Let me remind the reader of Rahola's succinct message:
"To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews."
which is a simplification of Sartre's acidic wisdom:
“The cause of the Jews would be half won if only their friends brought to their defense a little of the passion and the perseverance their enemies use to bring them down. In order to waken this passion, what is needed is not to appeal to the generosity of the Aryans- with even the best of them, that virtue is in eclipse. What must be done is to point out to each one that the fate of the Jews is his fate. Not one Frenchman will be free so long as the Jews do not enjoy the fullness of their rights. Not one Frenchman will be secure so long as a single Jew – in France or in the world at large – can fear for his life”
And speaking of canaries, here is the ultimate irony