Monday, May 14, 2007

Anti-Semitism In Europe: Myth Or Reality?

If you ask Europeans about anti-semitism or anti-Jewish sentiment, there are those that will downplay it as though it is something of a myth or is simply over-exaggerated. They may cite some polls here and there like one in this report, showing favorability ratings of French views on Jews as being:

Very Favorable 28%

Somewhat Favorable 53%

Unfavorable 11%


Now, at a glance it doesn't look so bad in France, does it? But if we take a glance at this article, we see quite a different picture from the French, themselves.

Two thirds of French people think that anti-semitism is on the rise in France, despite recently released government statistics illustrating a downturn.

Among the 1,005 people polled for the weekly magazine Paris Match on 2 and 3 March, 64 percent said they think the problem has increased, with more marginally women than men recognising the recent upsurge in anti-Jewish hatred.

To France's credit, they have tried to fight anti-semitism. But despite it's best efforts, it's very difficult to reverse attitudinal trends simply by enacting laws forbidding them.

Currently, in most of Europe, it is against the law to deny the Holocaust. Here is one case from last year, worthy of some consideration.

An Austrian court has sentenced the British historian David Irving to three years in prison for denying the Holocaust while in Austria in 1989, dismissing his argument that he had changed his views.

While I think this law goes way too far, I think it is somewhat of a sign there is a consensus among those in power; they do not want to go back down the road taken by Germany in the early part of last century (one that led to the systematic slaughter of people, simply for being Jewish). The reason I say this is because you cannot legislate attitudes or morality. And if someone has an offensive attitude, I feel it's best to allow them the right to express it, so that the rest of us can see who it is and use it as a teaching tool for others that are forming their opinions (especially young people, in the formative years of their lives).

But this attitude is certainly not limited to France. In this article published today in the Jerusalem Post, we see there is cause for concern in other countries in Europe, as well.

Thirty-nine percent of Europeans believe Jews have too much power in the business world, while 44% think Jews have too much power in international financial markets, according to the results of a survey published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday.

The survey of five European countries - France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland - showed that a large number of Europeans continued to harbor anti-Jewish attitudes, holding on to the classical anti-Semitic canards and conspiracy theories that have haunted Jews through the centuries.

If this poll has any measure of accuracy at all, 44% is a rather large number. Another interesting thing to note is, four of the countries surveyed are predominantly Catholic.

But, if that is not enough, here's another fly in the ointment from the same article:

The survey also showed that large portions of the European public continue to believe that Jews still dwell too much on the Holocaust. Overall, 47% of those surveyed thought the statement was "probably true."


On one hand we have the "powers that be" prosecuting those that deny the Holocaust and on the other, we have people that think Jews ruminate too much on the subject. One must pose the question: How much of this is due to the ridiculous law or more plainly, is this a backlash of that law?

But back to the Catholic issue.

Historically, Jews in Europe have suffered persecution and discrimination, because of early church views that Jews were guilty of crucifying Christ. It matters not that the church teaches that Christ willingly laid down his life for all of us, they still bore then and still bear today, the brunt of that event:

In addition, 51% said they believed Jews were more loyal to Israel than to their country and 20% of those surveyed continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus.

And if that is not enough, there's this little issue of Israel's existence and its resolve to defend itself, from those that seek to destroy it:

Meanwhile, 25% said that their opinion of Jews was influenced by Israel's actions and of those, 52% said their opinion of Jews was worse as a result of the actions taken by Israel.


How many times have we all heard that being anti-Israel is not the same as being anti-semitic? I know that I have personally read and heard this argument before. And while this may be the case in some people's view, this point bears out that it is not necessarily true in all cases.

Here's the point, I want to make in all of this.

Being something is never a cause to hate. And while some people's attitudes are offensive, they should have the right to express them. But equally, those that are the targets of such hate speech certainly have the right to form their own opinions and express them, as well. In the grander scheme of things, words of hate are bad enough (this much is true), but they are preferable to acts of hate. It is there, where we must concentrate our efforts.

If someone is found guilty of an act of violence against someone merely because they are who they are, then the penalty should be severe enough to discourage others from doing the same thing. Everyone has the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not infringe on others' rights. But even more importantly, we have to recognize the problem, before we can fix it. And clearly from all of the data I have seen, there is a problem in Europe that many Europeans either refuse to accept, or try to explain away with some feeble reasonings, by using obscure polls that are not necessarily reflective of the real situation.



35 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

The reason why I pay little attention to polls is because each poll can be skewed depending on how the question is asked. The same thing with data. I've heard from many that the incidence of anti-semitic crimes is not that high in France. But then I've also read that many times the police in France don't report a crime as anti-semitic even when it clearly shows that it was. So who do we believe? The statistics that are given us by the police/government? Or those who feel they see the hatred lobbed at them everyday, in the workplace or public places?

I think France is just as anti-semitic towards Jews as we in the US are racists against blacks. It's there, maybe not on the surface, but the feelings are there. It's easy to discriminate without being obvious and that may be what is happening in France, just as it happens in the US towards blacks, women, Muslims, and gays.


Being something is never a cause to hate. And while some people's attitudes are offensive, they should have the right to express them.

I can understand why, in Europe, they have the laws to protect those who are Jewish. I can understand their reasons for making it unlawful to fly the swastika flag or write derogatory things about the Jews or the Holocaust. It's the spreading of hatred towards a race of people through visual (flags or swastika's) or the written word that keeps the population from being lulled into compliance of treating Jews as less than human, as did Hitler.

Of course in the US we have freedom of speech, but with that freedom comes responsibility. If someone is using race baiting techniques in their workplace, radio or tv, I think they should be punished. Maybe not three years in prison, but certainly some community service working with the group of people that they targeted wouldn't be a bad idea. Often times, the courts in the US force a person who has been arrested for a crime to participate in anger management classes or other public services. This doesn't take away their freedoms to express themselves, it just teaches them to be responsible and control themselves.

The KKK may have the right in the US to burn their crosses and wear their white sheets, but I have to think that the person who is on the receiving end of their "freedoms" wouldn't mind seeing them thrown in jail....especially before they turn more people against them who won't think twice about stringing them up to the nearest Oak tree.

The survey also showed that large portions of the European public continue to believe that Jews still dwell too much on the Holocaust. Overall, 47% of those surveyed thought the statement was "probably true."

I wonder if that same survey was taken in the US and worded with "Do you believe that the blacks dwell too much on the days of slavery?", if he results would be the same?

LASunsett said...

ME,

//I wonder if that same survey was taken in the US and worded with "Do you believe that the blacks dwell too much on the days of slavery?", if he results would be the same?//

Good question.

I am sure there will be some white Americans that feel that way. How many? It's hard to say.

There are some differences in the two situations that I feel are worthy of consideration.

While slavery was not a good thing, it did happen long ago enough that those that suffered under it are all dead and their children, as well. In fact, there have been several generations that have passed since then. In the Holocaust, we still have some survivors alive. So, it's fresher in their minds. (And so is the hatred.)

I am not altogether sure of how many blacks are still ruminating on slavery, although I am sure there are some that still do. Farrakhan's outfit does, as well as others that are calling for reparations. But I do not think that it's a particularly large number.

With that in mind, I would submit that Jim Crow is different. That is fresher in the minds of blacks, because there are many still alive that remember those days. While Jim Crow was not good, it was a bit better than being owned and mistreated under slavery.

The other thing we have to remember is, Europeans operated under a social structure of slavery too. France benefited from slavery and banned it in 1848, 8 years before America did. I wonder how blacks in France and other countries that used African slaves feel at this point in time towards those nations.

Another difference between the two groups is the discrimination that occurs towards both Jews and blacks today. I suspect it is worse with blacks. While I do hear many Jews that continually dwell on the Holocaust, many of them are successful and have had opportunities for good lives in the time since then. Blacks on the other hand have had it rougher. I would bet the incidence of someone not getting a job because they are Jewish is far greater per capita than blacks.

I think in both cases, great strides have been made and we are nowhere near the point we were when the Holocaust and slavery was practiced. Yet, we still have a ways to go.

I am not sure that prejudice, bigotry, and racism will ever be totally wiped out. All we can do is try to understand and do what we can to teach a new generation that to have a peaceful society, we cannot have it. But we cannot have it, if certain individuals are bent on being jerks. To do that we must know who they are. If we drive them underground or worse yet, pretend it doesn't exist, then we can never be successful.

LASunsett said...

Correction:

I would bet the incidence of someone not getting a job because they are Jewish is far greater per capita than blacks.

Should read:

I would bet the incidence of someone not getting a job because they are black is far greater per capita than those that are Jewish.

Too damn many interruptions during the typing of that response (sheesh)

Mary Ellen said...

LA

I might also add (which you probably know already) that the Catholic Church, during the reign of Hitler was not friendly towards him, as reported by many who are not familiar with the history of the Catholic Church. Here is a brief except from a book about Pope Pius XII:

"In 1937, the encyclical was written which was called Mit brennender Sorge – this described Nazi pressure on Catholic officials to disown their faith as “base, illegal and inhuman;” it condemned the “spiritual oppression in Germany such as has never been seen before”, and it attacked Hitler for his “aspirations to divinity”, “placing himself on the same level as Christ” and as being a “mad prophet possessed of repulsive arrogance”. These were hardly the words of an admirer of Hitler, as Cornwell claimed! The encyclical was written in German, and not Latin, as Cardinal Pacelli was fluent in German and knew that it would have far greater impact. "

Unfortunately, the Vatican underestimated the propaganda machine of Hitler who did not allow this to be reported by the journalist of the newspapers. All encyclicals were confiscated and not allowed to circulate. Anyone who was caught repeating this, were arrested.

Few people also know that Pope Pius XII actually hid many Jews in the Vatican to keep them from being seized by the Gastopo. If he had been caught, he would have been thrown into a death camp himself. He took the risk of not only his own life, but future of the Vatican, itself. There are testimonials written by some of the Jews that were hidden by the Pope that praised his bravery. Of course, you don't hear too much about that by many.

I was never taught as a child that the Jews killed Jesus. Maybe that was done before my time, or I was lucky enough not to have been exposed to a priest or nun that believed in that nonsense.

I did, however, see some racism towards blacks. Not so much coming from the church, but from some of the parish members. I remember when I was about 10 or 11 and I went to early Mass before school started and there were about 4 black women sitting in the pews in the back. I guess they worked in the area and wanted to go to Mass before work. Well, there were some busybody old ladies sitting behind me who were complaining that "those people" shouldn't be in "our" church. I think that was the first time that I was exposed to any type of racism. It just blew me away! They even complained to the priest after Mass. He told them that they were welcome to be there and they should mind their own business. I noticed that the women didn't return after that and I wondered if the old ladies said something to them. I wish I were older or mature at the time, I would have told those two old biddies to stuff it...but I was just a kid and still too afraid to speak my mind. Not like I am now, eh? :-)

LASunsett said...

ME,

You are correct in your assessment of Pope Pius XII. Most of the persecution of Jews by the church that I speak of, was done over a period of time from medieval times up until the time of the Papal States in the late 1800s.

The thing about the church in Hitler's Germany, those local parishes were under Hitler's control more so than the Vatican's. To be sure there were some that helped some Jews, on the sly of course. To do so risked death.

LASunsett said...

Addendum:

And by persecution I do not necessarily mean killing them. The goal of the church was to convert them to Christianity. When they would not, then it got hairy. Not all Popes were hostile either.

It is also important to note that Martin Luther at first believed that the oppression of the Vatican was the cause for Jews not converting. When he tried to convert them and they would not, he then turned on them too. So, it wasn't just a Catholic thing.

Greg said...

My experience is that there is indeed an issue with antisemitism in France. I was stunned and confused when I was subjected to it several times during my brief time living there.

But it never came from people whose parents were born in France. It's from those who come from outside - and reject - French culture that are the perpetrators.

Specifically, I am speaking of the Muslim population in France, a radicalized and racist group that has imported neo-nazi ideology - mainstream in the arab/muslim world today - into France. Sure, there is some proportion of this population that is tolerant/indifferent to jews. But, a large proportion hate the jews. Really, really really hate them.

Nazism is alive and well today, thanks to the radical imams that are the majority in the middle east, and exist in large numbers in Europe.

I know I'm not supposed to say this, but it is the truth. I think I hear the thought police coming for me now....

ms. miami said...

I wonder how blacks in France and other countries that used African slaves feel at this point in time towards those nations.

las- i can't really answer this directly, but can tell you that the situation is quite different.

although france was heavily involved in the transatlantic slave trade (among others), very few black slaves ever lived in france (there were occasional domestic slaves). there was never the need for social policies to 'manage' a slave population as happened in the americas.

it's a common stereotype today that a black person will face less discrimination in france than an arab since the decolonization process was much more intense in north africa, with thousands of white french having to flee their homes in algeria.

also, in the americas, the practice of slavery was somewhat different from the american institution. the french (like the spanish) established the 'code noir' in the 17th century, which severely stratified the african population by shade. every shade lighter meant increased social and economic advantage, even leading to light-skinned 'blacks' owning darker-skinned 'blacks' as slaves.

in the u.s., on the other hand, we had the 'one-drop rule,' which led to across-the-board discrimination (not that stratified discrimination is better).

ms. miami said...

greg- sure, there is a radical strain of islamism in france, but it's not nazism. antisemitism was only one aspect of nazism.

i doubt that these radical groups are interested in creating an teutonic-aryan fourth reich..

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//Specifically, I am speaking of the Muslim population in France, a radicalized and racist group that has imported neo-nazi ideology - mainstream in the arab/muslim world today - into France.//

I think you bring up a good point here, in the case of France. Since France does not keep track of demographics the way we do, it's harder to tell where the bulk of this thinking lies. In France, my understanding a Frenchman is a Frenchman, no matter the place of origin. As long as he/she is a French citizen, there is no distinction made.

But what about the rest of Europe? How does that play out in say Germany, Italy, Poland, and others?

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//the french (like the spanish) established the 'code noir' in the 17th century, which severely stratified the african population by shade. every shade lighter meant increased social and economic advantage, even leading to light-skinned 'blacks' owning darker-skinned 'blacks' as slaves.//

An interesting BBC article a while back addressed this very topic, as it occurs in present day Mauritania. Here it is.

Mary Ellen said...

//Specifically, I am speaking of the Muslim population in France, a radicalized and racist group that has imported neo-nazi ideology - mainstream in the arab/muslim world today - into France.//


I see where you are coming at, Greg, regarding the Nazi ideology. In terms of ideology, Nazism was a belief in the superiority of an Aryan master race. The radical Muslims believe that it is their religion that is superior to any other and think that all others should be wiped off the face of the earth. Not unlike Hitler, who thought all Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth.

ms. miami said...

How does that play out in say Germany, Italy, Poland, and others?

las- in my experience, although french people claim the ideal that anyone can be 'french,' the germans still hold that you need to be german 'by blood.' this leaves a very large turkish population (among others) on the social sidelines.

thanks for the link. i run into a lot of these ideas with caribbeans in miami- there is a big focus on light vs. dark.

greg/me- on nazism and islamism, of course they share certain traits. i realize that 'nazi' and 'facist' get thrown around a lot, but technically these terms only refer to specific political movements in europe.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//i run into a lot of these ideas with caribbeans in miami- there is a big focus on light vs. dark.//

I think it goes on here, in much of the black community today, as well.
The "Magic Negro" thing with Obama is one example here in the US.

In the Sudan, we see a similar attitude with Arabs of the north committing atrocities against blacks of the south. It just goes to show there are many different forms of racism and not all of it involves Caucasians.

Greg said...

Miss: it's no coincidence that the Palestinians begged Hitler to come kill the Jews in "Palestine" for them. Hitler considered the arabs part of the aryan race and set up an office for some of them in Germany, so they could be trained in nazi ideology. Over half a century later, they carry on Hitler's legacy. Virtually all of the problems in the middle east (and the world, really) can be traced back to classrooms and madrassas throughout the Muslim world, where it is taught that Jews are inferior, apostates, and deserving of extermination. No need to split hairs - they are nazis by a different name.

Sure, they don't dream of a 4th Reich ruled from Berlin. Now, they dream of a caliphate ruled by racist mullahs. Their aspirations have actually grown from hoping to be part of Hitler's final solution, to building one of their own.

It's not just going on in France, of course. Did anyone else read this frightening story about "Islamberg."

http://tinyurl.com/yr4kqe

Anonymous said...

Talk about over-simplification, jeez.

Greg said...

Here's a short article analyzing a small piece of nazi-palestinian cooperation.

http://tinyurl.com/3x2wup

Oversimplification my ass. Who's committing genocide these days? In Iraq. In Darfur. If they only had their way in Israel. While the world slumbers or looks the wrong way (towards "the jews and their patrons" - everyone here knows the lingo, right?). Sometimes I think the nazis won.

Imagine a world where muslim kids aren't taught in public schools that jews descend from pigs and dogs. Where cartoon characters aren't used to teach kids how fun it is to die murdering jewish civilians. Where public news outlets don't inform the muslim masses - every single year - that jews drink the blood of children in Passover celebrations. Just imagine such a world. So many fewer problems. It really is that simple.

Or we could try it the European intelligensia's way - abolish Israel and disarm America.

LASunsett said...

Anonymous,

//Talk about over-simplification, jeez.//

Welcome to PYY. Your opinions are welcome here.

But if you could, can you explain further as to why you think this is an over-simplification?

LASunsett said...

Greg,

Here is more on the Hitler-Palestine connection. The Grand Mufti was a guest of Hitler's at one point during Hitler's reign.

Mary Ellen said...

Wow, Greg, that story about Islamberg really gave me the creeps! I'm assuming the government knows it exists. If they do,my question would be, have they had access to check the place out? If not...why not? Whatever happened to our so-called "Homeland Security"?

LASunsett said...

//Did anyone else read this frightening story about "Islamberg." //

Damn, Greg. Where do you find this stuff?

So, to go with the hundreds of Jew-hating Aryan supremacist compounds in the west, we now have one in NY run by black Muslims?

Amazing.

Anonim said...

This Islamberg thing is really amazing. I tend to think, partly in connection with the developments in Turkey that LA touched upon in the other message, that the West (hell, most of the world) is extremely confused. I don't know why. Well, maybe I know or have a hunch or two... but it's a long and tired story. I wish the EU's democrats and the US's Condies would leave my country out of their plans to make a model moderate Muslim democracy.

LASunsett said...

Hi Anonim,

//Well, maybe I know or have a hunch or two... but it's a long and tired story.//

If you post it, we'll read it. ;)

Anonim said...

LA, I don't think I have much to say that you don't know or couldn't say yourself. But if you read enough Western commentaries on the secularist rallies in Turkey, you would see that, by and large, the rally-goers are portrayed as backward and impeding progress (if not fascists) and the Islamists which they are protesting are portrayed as democrats and progressives. I kinda see this as supremely naive; sort of like, we are failing to bring democracy to the lands of Islam, let's help bring Islam to democracy.

LASunsett said...

Anonim,

//But if you read enough Western commentaries on the secularist rallies in Turkey, you would see that, by and large, the rally-goers are portrayed as backward and impeding progress (if not fascists)//

Kind of like Republicans here in America, no? They are backward hilljacks that are missing teeth, can't think for themselves, and are impeding progress for the cultural elitist progressives, right? ;)

Anonymous said...

LA:
France benefited from slavery and banned it in 1848, 8 years before America did
I have a feeling this is a very misleading abrigment of the story which seems to make believe the situation in France regarding slavery was more or less the same as in the US prior to the official abolition (I thought it was 1863)

France abolished slavery February the 4th of 1794. As a matter of fact, slavery was practised only in the Carribean possessions of France but never in the mainland. There were very, very few black people and those who lived in France were servants of the aristocrats, on the same level than other servants. They were rather a token of enlightment (strange as it may seem) for people who wanted to show how open-minded they were, making no distinction between their valets footmen etc. Black people didn't really "belong" to their masters, no more than other white servants. Black people were seen as "curiosities", like Indians from America were.
There definitively was no industrial (before the industrial revolution of course) or even economical exploitation of black slaves in the sense that an American of the XIXth would understand the word. For example there were no black people working in the fields or employed in the agricultural business.
Indeed there has been an attempt to reestablish slavery in the Caribean territories through a decision by Bonaparte, Mai the 20th 1802.
Also keep in mind the first law was voted by the Convention issued from a proletarian mouvement and the second "law" (it wasn't voted by any Assembly but decided by the Emperor) was enacted to please the local bourgeoisie.

The French law of April 27 1848 which officialy abolished slavery was aimed at the Carribean possessions. Now, I don't know the extend to which slavery was practised in the French colonies?

To make a long story short, saying slavery was abolished in France 8 years before the US is technically correct but one would be very misled if he was to believe the situations were more or less the same in the 2 countries until then.
There has never been slaves in mainland France AFAIK.

Flocon

ms. miami said...

Now, I don't know the extend to which slavery was practised in the French colonies?

flocon- slavery was practiced very extensively in the french west indies- at least hundreds of thousands of slaves, if not millions. at points, more than 90% of the population of haiti were slaves. conditions for slaves depended upon the island and the individual plantation, run by frenchmen, of course.

i've done quite a bit of research regarding st. domingue (haiti). sometimes, slaves became important managers on plantations and lived rather comfortably (eg. toussaint l'ouverture), sometimes they were treated in unspeakably brutal fashion.

the 'code noir' was established to regulate conditions, but never managed to prevent a lot of torture.

LASunsett said...

Hi Flocon,

//There were very, very few black people and those who lived in France were servants of the aristocrats, on the same level than other servants.//

Maybe not in modern France, but back in the eras that preceded it, there most certainly was slavery practiced. The Visigoths were known to have slaves. And if you really want to get technical, serfdom under feudalism was a form of slavery. Not only that, people of African origin were not the only ones that were slaves. The conquered Slavs were used by many that conquered them, hence the derivative term, slaves.

But your point on the dates are well-taken. I will have to look at the specifics later.

Thanks for stopping by, sir.

Anonymous said...

Hi ms.miami. ;-)
Thanks for the information regarding the extent of slavery in the carribean islands. I had no idea. I guess this point isn't put much emphasis on in our Histoire de France teaching...

LA. Your reference to the Wisigoth is interesting as is the mention of feudalism etc. but now you're talking of the history of slavery in general.
By the way, the Wisigoths occupied the south of France and the whole of Spain about 1200 years before France conquered the west Indies... So, mentionning them as some sort of evidence slavery has been common practise in France is quite an abrigment ;-) (no offense intended, it's not my kind)


Feudalism wasn't specifically French nor European but a particular stage of humanity.
The Chinese went through feudalism, like many other civilizations. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Pre-Columbians the Africans etc. all people indeed experienced slavery. It's been a universal practise. No civilisation has been immune. Nothing you don't know of course.
Now, if we concentrate on modern times (which was the first concern of your post) there has been no slavery in France, save for the Carribean islands, which is bad enough indeed.

Flocon

Anonymous said...

Also, to stick back to the very topic of your post, anti-semitism in Europe and in France:
Our newly elected president, Nicolas Sarkozy, not only is the son of an immigrant Hungarian but his grandmother was Jewish (I think she converted to catholicism, but who cares?).
These 2 issues didn't play absolutely any role at all whatsoever before, during and after the election campaign.

Flocon

LASunsett said...

Flocon,

//These 2 issues didn't play absolutely any role at all whatsoever before, during and after the election campaign.//

I am sure they didn't. I do not recall any media coverage here about it (and I am sure we would have heard it here as negative as the American media is towards France).

But nevertheless, the two articles that I highlighted were a bit troubling, provided they are accurate. Half of the country is still half of the country. If the numbers were off a bit and it's closer to a third, it's still troubling don't you think? Remember, these were French people polled.

Everyone knows I put little confidence in polls. But, I still think there are problems, just as there are here in the States. We all have our faults and skeletons of our past to contend with. We are all human.

Scratch the skin of a Caucasian American and you'll get European blood. Me? Scratch mine and you'll get French, English, Irish, German, and American Indian. That means I am a mutt. And nothing is more faithful of a dog than a mutt. ;)

Anonymous said...

A last word for today (it'past 1.am in Paris)
About Sarkozy's hungarian-Jewish origin.
"See" you tomorrow...

Flocon

LASunsett said...

Come on Flocon. Get tough. I have seen you on SF at 0300 Paris time, before. ;)

Seriously, thanks for your input, my friend.

Anonim said...

LA,

//Kind of like Republicans here in America, no?//

Yes, kind of like that.

Mycos said...

Homeless In Gaza Times UK, 1951

"To most people the name of Gaza brings a picture of blind Samson
pulling down the pillars of the house upon the Philistines and
himself. To-day the reputed tomb of Samson is inhabited by a family of Arab refugees. They form part of the horde of some 200,000 people from Palestine who poured into the " Gaza Strip " in 1948, during the troubles between the Arabs and Jews which broke out after the partition plan was announced. Many moved out under orders from their leaders, although implored to stay by Jews with whom they had been on friendly terms for years. Others, particularly the townspeople of
Jaffa, were driven to flight by the brutality of the Irgun terrorists, and a massacre of innocent villagers at Dir Yassin, magnified by rumour, struck panic into the hearts of thousands. cont...

http://tinyurl.com/ay6lcm