Writing this second part of my discussion of the impact of Isaac’s Watershed has taken far more time for me to consider than my response to her article regarding what for me is the far less controversial presentation of facts describing the impact on Jews in Western society. My hesitation is best represented by the right-wing mayor of Bézier, a town in France who, accompanied by a film crew and heavily armed police, burst into an abandoned apartment housing a young family of Syrian immigrants declaring them “not welcome in this town” and demanding they immediately leave. I am not “anti-immigrant.” The opposite, I suspect I am among those Isaac declares, “emotionally captured by a parallel with the Holocaust.” Still, my studies of antisemitism have sensitized me also to the West’s preference to not appreciate the depth of resentment by much of the Muslim world resulting from a century of Imperial exploitation and rule, a resentment centuries long and symbolized by two centuries of attempted conquest of “the Holy Land” by the Crusades beginning in the year 1096. It is this period of invasion that Radical Islamism refers to in describing its intentions regarding the Christian West as “the crusaders.”
“The majority of those currently overwhelming political borders in Europe are young men, vigorous and aggressive… while there can be no doubt that ISIS will, as it has promised, infiltrate some members, the greater danger is that over time it will find large Islamic communities a fertile soil for new recruits, especially among young people disappointed that their new home does not offer them success that lives up to their high expectations…”Isaac’s description is fairly obvious in reflecting the potential for risk for Arab Spring host countries, and more immediately for Jews living in those host countries. I endorse her description of host countries Islamic communities as, “a fertile soil for new recruits, especially among young people disappointed that their new home does not offer them success that lives up to their high expectations…” This is graphically represented by the riots in Paris and suburbs in 2005. As described in Wikipedia: “Initially confined to the Paris area, the unrest subsequently spread to other areas of the Île-de-France région, and spread through the outskirts of France's urban areas, also affecting some rural areas. After 3 November it spread to other cities in France, affecting all 15 of the large urban areas in the country. Thousands of vehicles were burned, and at least one person was killed by the rioters.” Despite a state of emergency the riots continued for 20 nights during which 8923 vehicles were burned and 1,888 rioters were arrested. “Commenting on other demonstrations in Paris a few months later, the BBC summarized reasons behind the events included youth unemployment and lack of opportunities in France's poorest communities.” Discontent in Muslim communities remained high and resurfaced in bloody riots again in 2009 and 2013. Rioting also broke out among the youth in other European countries including Belgium, England, Sweden, Germany and Spain.