History Repeats

First time as tragedy, second time as tragedy again — Europe’s continuing estrangement from Israel:

I am standing in a queue waiting to buy a train ticket from London to Canterbury. A well-dressed lady standing behind me informs her friend that she “can’t wait till Israel disappears off the face of the earth.” What struck me was not her intense hostility to Israel but the mild-mannered, matter-of-fact tone with which she announced her wish for the annihilation of a nation. It seems that it is okay to condemn and demonize Israel. All of a sudden Israel has become an all-purpose target for a variety of disparate and confused causes. When I ask a group of Pakistani waiters sitting around a table in their restaurant why they “hate” Israel, they casually tell me that it is because Jews are their “religion’s enemy.” Those who are highly educated have their own pet prejudice. One of my young colleagues who teaches media studies in a London-based university was taken aback during a seminar discussion when some of her students insisted that since all the banks are owned by Jews, Israel was responsible for the current global financial crisis.

It’s looking like the 1930s again in more ways than one. Let’s hope it ends better this time.

8 thoughts on “History Repeats”

  1. This time, the Jews (well, except for the bien pensant American ones*) are well-armed, well-trained, and fully willing to use them.

    *Lots of American Jews, mercifully, are NOT “bien pensant”

  2. If demographic trends don’t change in Europe, the native population is headed for dhimmitude anyway. For some it will come sooner, for others it will come later, but the die has seemingly been cast.

    Perhaps the woman’s mild-mannered, matter-of-fact tone is simply her mental surrender to the inevitable in a Kent Brockmansian manner: “I, for one, welcome our new * overlords”.

  3. My understanding is that one place in Europe that you won’t hear that sort of sentiment (or at least, you’ll hear it orders of magnitude less often) is in Germany.

    Also, I have British non-Jewish friends who say that they have never heard anti-semitic ideas expressed in their presence. Their opinion is that it is not particularly common in the UK. Opinions often differ when it comes to trying to intentionally generalize and stereotype cultures, so maybe there is room for hope.

  4. Wouldn’t be the least surprising if the well-dressed lady was Jewish.

    And Bob you’re completely wrong about Germany; just like everywhere else you’ll find plenty of antisemitism (I’d go so far as to say it’s the default value) as long as you look at extreme socialists (whether they’re communist or national socialist).

    Can’t say I’ve heard people chanting “fire up the ovens!” in the streets over here, it seems to be an US thing (see how misgiving the “news” is?).

  5. Astonishing. Doesn’t she know that she’s next?

    This is Western chauvinism at its worst – the notion that all things wrong with the world are due to the sins of the West.

    This is worse than the patronizing colonial attitude common among her great-grandparents; at least they were open about their pride in the West. But this dippy comment overheard by Mr. Furedi betrays an insidious bigotry.

    Why is it that our illiberal leftists can’t understand that the would-be scourgers of Israel are sovereign human beings, ones who have deliberately decided that they want nothing of the West – save what they can conquer from it?

  6. I’ve respect for your indignation but what you mention lacks any reference to teh real world. You sau Europe os strangling Israel. I live in Belgium, the fift arms-supplier to Israël. Before the conflict started, the European community signed an agreement with Israel giving it a previliged status for trade. The MetaBlog http://thewingsofthecarp.wordpress.com/ is a gateway to information that refutes the disinformation on this Blog. I invite you to comment there the avalange of articles taht contradict what you are saying. The MetaBlog is also a member of The WordPress Political Blogger Alliance:
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  7. Mr. Verhoeven:

    You are correct, Belgium was the 5th biggest EU exporter of arms to Israel in 2007. Granted, that’s only 2.7% of the total EU arms to Israel for that year… (1)

    What you don’t mention is that it is left up to the EU member states to oversee their arms export policy. While I’m sure the 3.9 million Euros worth of drone and aircraft equipment Belgium supplied Israel is finding good use right now, that’s just a drop in the bucket.

    So let’s see what your good Dutch neighbors make of this.

    “Dutch policy on arms trade with Israel is restrictive; export licences are ‘in principle’ not granted for Israel, in line with criteria two (human rights), three (internal conflict) and four (regional conflict) of the European Union arms exports criteria. ” (2)

    Sorry, but the EU is definitely not a monolith so far as arms exports go.

    You may not be ‘strangling Israel,’ but your neighbor seems anxious to placate his angry Moslem houseguest… it was disingenuous to leave this fact out of your comment.

    As for the EU’s trade with Israel, did you not note that in 2007 Israel sat down with the EU, “Algeria, Egypt… Jordan, Lebanon… Syria… and *West Bank and Gaza.*” (emphasis mine) in order to help boost intraregional trade? (3)

    No one is preventing Israel’s 300 million Islamic enemies from equaling 7 million Israelis in trade with the EU, on a per capita basis at least. No one except the Moslems themselves.

    This favored-nation status you write about doesn’t imply any great love by the EU for the Sabras; it just reflects certain ‘real world’ realities.

    (1) See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:300:0001:0374:EN:PDF

    (2) See http://www.stopwapenhandel.org/actueel/persberichten/2009/pbgazanlb.html

    (3) See http://www.eu2007.pt/ue/ven/noticias_documentos/20070915euromedi.htm

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