England’s Scotland Yard estimates that security costs for anti-Israel protests last week exceeded $1.4 million. In one protest alone, more than 12,000 angry Palestinian sympathizers in London smashed windows, destroyed a car, and set Israeli flags ablaze. View blogger Jim Hoft’s video of the violence here.
Across Europe, police took to the streets to prevent full-scale riots. In Paris, 30,000 protestors denounced Israel and pelted police with stones. Norwegian police used tear gas to disperse several hundred rock throwers in Oslo. Swedish police arrested forty-seven demonstrators at an anti-Israel rally Norrmalmstorg.
These demonstrations are not surprising. The Gaza war is the latest excuse for Islamist violence on Europe’s streets. In 1989, Iran-inspired extremists firebombed London bookstores during the Salman Rushdie affair. In 2005, Muslims torched cars, destroyed property, and battled police in the Paris suburbs. In 2006, a wave of violence accompanied the Danish cartoon controversy. For more on the spread of Islamism in Europe, see the winter 2007 edition of inFOCUS.