January 14, 2009

The Oldest Hatred

Europe is convulsing with anti-Semitic hatred and violence again. I hardly even know what to say. Marty Peretz at The New Republic should be required reading right now: "If you are not shocked by the replenishment of the oldest hatred you are shocked by nothing."

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2009 2:37 PM
Comments
Who could be shocked? Who could pretend to be shocked? It's really as predictable as atomic decay. Appalled, horrified, disgusted, yes, but shocked? As in, surprised?
Oh, yeah, France will save us... They can't even save themselves. You could stop those French car-b-ques in a week. But you'd have some blood in the streets. Apparently no one in charge can wrap their minds around that notion anymore.
Posted by: Nichevo at January 14, 2009 3:12 pm
Europe is "convulsing"? Doesn't that strike you as a trifle overwraught? It is a big continent. I think Mr. Kern's reliability can be judged by one of his concluding sentences - "Of course, the European political left is also pursuing an ideological battle to eradicate Judeo-Christian influences from European culture."
Really? Would he like to present any evidence for that? How would you actually separate European culture from Christian influence? And of course the very idea of "Judeo-Christian" is American as apple pie. Franco or Savonorola or Luther or pretty much any Pope before Vatican II would have considered that combination practically heresy. And given that anti-Semitism was in fact a very Christian attitude heavily promulgated by the Church for centuries you could argue that anti-Semitism is a return to old fashioned traditional European values, not necessarily a move to the left. I'm being facetious here, I hope obviously, but my point is that Kern's inaccurate ahistorical hysterics are really unhelpful.
Posted by: Dyadya Vanya at January 14, 2009 3:43 pm
Anti Jewish sentiment is a big problem in America too. Its a huge problem in Europe. Anti Jewish sentiment is less severe in Asia. Many Indians and Chinese for example are not sure about the differences between Jews and Christians.
Among muslims, anti Jewish sentiment is less severe among Kosavans, and many Asian muslims (former Soviet, Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian.) Note I am not saying that anti Jewish sentiment is not a large problem among Asian muslims--it clearly is--but it is less severe than it is among Arabs and Pakistanis.
I wonder, would it be fair to say that anti Jewish feelings are more pronounced in Spain, France, and some other parts of Europe today than anti Jewish sentiment is among Iraqis and Iranians (I mean ordinary citizens)? It certainly seems so.
Posted by: anand at January 14, 2009 4:23 pm
Average Lebanese (not Hezbollah) say they are less anti-Semitic than Europeans. Sometimes I don't beleive that, but sometimes I do. Today I might.
I very rarely hear anything in Lebanon that sounds anti-Semitic. Almost never, in fact, unless it's Hassan Nasrallah yelling on television.
It's not as bad in some parts of the Islamic world as it sometimes seems it should be, and it's worse in Europe than it should be. It's hard to compare and contrast, though.
An Albanian friend of mine was just in Tirana and said 100 percent of the people she talked to support Israel in Gaza. And Albania is a Muslim-majority country, albeit a very secular one.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 14, 2009 4:49 pm
I think Mr. Kern's reliability can be judged by one of his concluding sentences - "Of course, the European political left is also pursuing an ideological battle to eradicate Judeo-Christian influences from European culture."
I don't know about Mr. Kern's reliability, but I just made a judgment about yours, based on your ridicule of what seems an obvious truth to virtually all Christians (European Christians included).
How would you actually separate European culture from Christian influence?
By promoting militant atheism, perhaps? I've been reading political blogs for 5+ years now, and I just assume that any European I encounter is an atheist. I've been wrong once.
Are you an atheist, by the way?
And of course the very idea of "Judeo-Christian" is American as apple pie.
Ridiculous. Jesus was a Jew, born and raised. Everything he taught came from Judaism. Christianity cannot be detached from Judaism, and anyone who thinks it can is no Christian.
Franco or Savonorola or Luther or pretty much any Pope before Vatican II would have considered that combination practically heresy
Well, all of those but Luther was catholic, right? A lot of Christians think most of what Catholics believe is "pure heresy" - including Luther, eh? :P
Strange twist to use historical Catholic anti-semitism to defend modern atheistic anti-semitism, though. When did atheists start respecting Catholics? Or is it just a one-time deal?
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 14, 2009 6:03 pm
Craig,
Two cents worth:
This american conservative atheist raised Roman Catholic (parochial school 8 years, altar boy for 3) respects any belief that doesn't annoy, or worse, threaten others. I've always been curious about the roots of any atheist's militancy, suspecting it's a reflection of some unresolved conflict. I have great respect for the believers I've known; I'm happy that their faith gives them happiness, peace, purpose and strength.
Heather Mac Donald (fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a Contributing Editor to City Journal) articulates atheism from a conservative's perspective better than anyone else I've read.
Posted by: Paul S. at January 14, 2009 8:42 pm
I agree completely with programmmer_craig.
Posted by: anand at January 14, 2009 11:03 pm
Hey Paul,
I was agnostic for a while, when I was a teenager. But even then, I didn't "get" atheism. I still don't. But that doesn't really matter, everyone is free to believe in whatever works for them as far as I'm concerned. What bugs me is when atheists feel they have to attack other people's beliefs... what is the point of that, other than to offer them (the atheist perp)a sense of vindication? And if the only way they can convince themselves of the truth of their conviction that there is no God is to try to destroy other people's spiritual beliefs, then they must not be very sure of themselves. Which would kinda mean they are actually agnostic, wouldn't it? But being an atheist is so much cooler, these days! Damn, I'm getting a headache... so, anyway, back on topic... I actaully don't think there is any connection between atheism and anti-semitism (or anti-americanism) in Europe. Nor do I think it's driven by the cultural/intellectual elites. We have the same problem here in the US... our universities are filled with utopian socialists who have exactly the same opinions as their European counter-parts. And given enough time (a couple more generations?) I'm sure they will succeed in turning the masses in the US into the same kind of self-righteous morally ambiguous and quite poorly educated citizen that the Euros have.
Or, maybe not. The US doesn't have as much in common with Europe as it used to. I kinda have a feeling that we are going to be going our own way with a bigass "asta la vista, baby" to (Western)Europe in the future. We have better and more important allies elsewhere, and there is only so far we can go just for old time's sake.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 14, 2009 11:07 pm
The US doesn't have as much in common with Europe as it used to.
"Used to?" We have more in common with parts of Europe than with, say, Japan, but I don't think there was that much in common even in the beginning. And we have been diverging ever since. To read stories in European papers about the US is to read about a country that doesn't exist.
Posted by: chuck at January 14, 2009 11:59 pm
Craig,
Man, I hope you're right about America vis-a-vis Euros. I worry that it has a seductive attraction, particularly for the younger "world community" idealists.
I read and hear less critical thinking and more belief every year, it seems, so I'm pessimistic. Nothing wrong with belief in and of itself, of course, as I was commenting above; it's when it supplants critical thinking as a primary guide to decision making that a dangerous, slippery slope opens up---for all of us, actually. Facts may be brutal and reality downright distasteful to contemplate, but looking away doesn't make anything go away.
Posted by: Paul S. at January 15, 2009 12:33 am
We Americans need to hitch our wagon to the great emerging powers.
China buys three times as much copper per year as America does. China buys more oil from Saudi Arabia than America. We need to reach out to the great Asian powers, Brazil and Mexico.
Posted by: anand at January 15, 2009 12:38 am
Craig,
You are spitting in the face of 2000 years of Christian tradition with a sentence like Christianity cannot be detached from Judaism, and anyone who thinks it can is no Christian.
You could say the same about Islam which is also an Abrahamic faith - you've made a meaningless statement to make you feel good about your ecumenism.
No wonder you like Kern, you seem to have no idea about European history. People in Europe simply do not identify with Israel the way Americans do, not on any side of the political spectrum. You've filled your head with phantom images of radical left-wing European atheists running amok, ignoring inconvenient facts such as the fairly large number of atheists on the political Right in Europe, the fact that most European Christians do not support Israel regardless of their political beliefs, the fact that the European moderate left has traditionally the been among the most strongly pro-Israeli faction in European politics, and the fact that church going has been dropping in the US almost as quickly as it has in "atheistic" Europe. Inconvenient for you that Tony Blair - a man of the left - is neither an atheist (oh, but he's converting to Catholicism, so I guess you think he's a heretic) or anti-Israeli. But you can't pigeonhole Europeans into the same slots into which you pigeonhole Americans, it's a completely different political culture. And personally I've never met an "atheist anti-Semite" in Europe, while I'm sure you could find some, particularly in France. I've met many Muslim anti-Semites and Christian anti-Semites.
Posted by: Dyadya Vanya at January 15, 2009 6:10 am
Dyadya Vanya: "And personally I've never met an "atheist anti-Semite" in Europe" :lol: nough said.
"Christianity cannot be detached from Judaism, and anyone who thinks it can is no Christian." Dead right.
"church going has been dropping in the US almost as quickly as it has in "atheistic" Europe." :lol:
Western Europe is one strange place. In most of the world (most of the world's population lives in Asia) there is great apathy towards Israel and Palestine and the fight between them that few in the world can understand. In fact this describes the large majority of "AMERICANS" I interact with. Most people everywhere get a headache as soon as the Palestine Israeli conflict is mentioned.
Why would the large majority of Western Europeans have a dog in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Being so worked up about Israel/Palestine is not normal. There is something desperately wrong in Spain, parts of France, and in some other parts of Western Europe. It is the old hatred of Jews. Many quietly ask, why do people hate Jews so much? Haven't you been quietly asked this question Dyadya Vanya?
Dyadya Vanya, it isn't that West Europeans (across the political spectrum) don't support Israel, it is that they hate Jews. The funny thing is that many of these Jew haters feel the same way about Palestinians. Many West Europeans are a strange bunch.
Posted by: anand at January 15, 2009 8:08 am
Vanya;
Attendance may be dropping in the traditional American churches, but belief in a higher reality has not. The percentage of atheists in the US remains in the low single digits. Detachment from organized religion is not non-belief.
Posted by: Boojum at January 15, 2009 8:40 am
Detachment from organized religion is not non-belief.
I agree, and the same is true in Europe. There are not a lot of true atheists in Italy, Germany or France. There a lot of people who believe in vague new age mysticism, there a lot of people dabbling in Buddhism, and Islam. There are a lot of people who have adopted environmentalism as a religion and seem to believe in a vague guiding spirit of nature, or whatever. It's just innacurate to call Europe an atheistic society.
Anand or Craig - please explain how the statement "Christianity cannot be detached from Judaism, and anyone who thinks it can is no Christian" makes any sense. Would you also say that "Islam cannot be detached from Christianity, and anyone who thinks it can is no Muslim?" But I gather that Craig, at least, does not believe Catholics are Christians, so we probably won't be able to find much common ground. To me that statement smacks of both the left-wing Americanist heresy - that any religion is fine as long as we believe in God, and no theology can be judged inferior to another, and the right-wing Americanist heresey - that Americans are also a "chosen people" with a special destiny who enjoy special favor in the eyes of the Lord. I find both those heresies very unChristian. Also, having worked closely with Hassidic Jews, I can tell you that many Orthodox believers also scoff at the idea of a shared "Judeo-Christian" religious tradition.
Posted by: Dyadya Vanya at January 15, 2009 8:58 am
You are spitting in the face of 2000 years of Christian tradition with a sentence like Christianity cannot be detached from Judaism, and anyone who thinks it can is no Christian.
Really? That's strange, since 2000 years ago there were no Christians... only Jewish disciples of Jesus.
You didn't answer my question: Are you an atheist? Because, I'm not, I'm Christian... and I get a bit peeved when somebody I believe to be an atheist is telling me what a bad example of my religion I am :P
You could say the same about Islam which is also an Abrahamic faith - you've made a meaningless statement to make you feel good about your ecumenism.
I'm not a Muslim, so I don't get to make that call. But, since the first thing Arch Angel Gabriel did when he appeared to the Prophet Mohamed was to confirm the validity of the previous scriptures (Judaism and Christianity) I would guess most Muslims do not believe Islam can be detached from Judaism and Christianity. Unless they are big fans of heresy, eh?
Note, this works only in one direction. Islam has no special place in either Judaism or Christianity, and Christianity has no special place in Judaism. So saying "Judeo-Christian tradition" only works for Christians. That phrase would have no meaning to Jews.
No wonder you like Kern, you seem to have no idea about European history. People in Europe simply do not identify with Israel the way Americans do, not on any side of the political spectrum.
That was pretty obvious in the 1930s and 1940s. Pretty obvious now, too. That was the point of MJT's post, and the point of the articles linked. So, what is YOUR point?
You've filled your head with phantom images of radical left-wing European atheists running amok, ignoring inconvenient facts such as the fairly large number of atheists on the political Right in Europe
You mean, like Hitler? :o
Right-wing extremists seem to be about as rare in Europe as Left-Wing extremists here in the US. Which means they are, for the most part, irrelevant. That's why nobody talks about them much.
OK, enough for one comment.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 15, 2009 1:31 pm
Also, having worked closely with Hassidic Jews, I can tell you that many Orthodox believers also scoff at the idea of a shared "Judeo-Christian" religious tradition.
I would think all Jews would. To claim Judaism is "Judeo-Christian" is ridiculous, on its face. How much do you think about things before you jump to conclusions? That one seems like a no-brainer. If I ran into a Jewish person who started telling me how much Judaism has in common with Christianity, I'd think he was trying to con me. If Jews had accepted the teachings of Jesus, they wouldn't be called Jews... they would be called Christians. Jesus was never attempting to create a new religion... he was attempting to reform Judaism. The majority of Jews rejected his teaching (pretty clearly!) which resulted in his death, and the exile of his followers.
This is Christianity 101 here, man. Do you really feel qualified to discuss this?
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 15, 2009 1:40 pm
Posted by: Persephone at January 15, 2009 4:39 pm
The protests in Europe are against official Israeli policy, not against Jews per se.
Attacks on Synagogues and the beatings of French Jews(and etc...) are protests against official Israeli policy? You're kidding, right? Please say that you are. If we're going to go that route, there are some Arabs in my neighborhood that I need to go kick the hell out of as my form of protest against official policy of Saudi Arabia.
But, you were only kidding.
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 15, 2009 10:02 pm
Persephone, anti Jewish bigotry is a huge problem in many parts of the world, including Europe . . . especially Spain, but also parts of France and other countries.
Posted by: anand at January 15, 2009 10:35 pm
Posted by: Persephone at January 15, 2009 4:39 PM
Persephone, do you think that by saying these things, they become facts? I'm trying hard not to call you a liar but you are saying things that are just not true.
Who are you and where do you come from that you are so poorly informed? What country's schools and media can we blame for your intellectual failings? Where in Europe did you have your skull filled with mush?
Or, as craig says, are you JK LOL ROFL?
Or are you just full of it?
Posted by: Nichevo at January 16, 2009 3:25 am
To all those think that anti-Jewish bigotry is a European monopoly:
The Anti-Defamation League in 2002 found that 17% of Americans hold Strongly Anti-Semitic beliefs (tendency: increasing), whereas a 2004 study showed that about 24% of Europeans (averaged over 10 countries in Europe) hold Anti-Semitic views (tendency: decreasing). Interestingly enough, since 2004, most Jews that emigrate from former Soviet-Union countries prefer to settle in (relatively) anti-semitic Germany, rather than in Israel. Why would that be? Germany tightened its Jewish immigration quota (with support from Israel) because more Jews settled in Germany than Israel. Surely the heroic (F16s against civilians) Israeli war in Gaza will change that, right?
BTW: My first-hand experience living in European countries was in those less anti-semitic than the current U.S. average. Europe is a pretty heterogeneous place compared to the U.S.
Posted by: Persephone at January 16, 2009 5:54 am
Europe is a pretty heterogeneous place compared to the U.S.
Either "heterogeneous" has a different definition, wherever you came from, or I will again have to ask if you are joking?
The Anti-Defamation League in 2002 found that 17% of Americans hold Strongly Anti-Semitic beliefs
That's pretty low! I bet a larger number of Americans have strongly anti-white beliefs. Such as our future first lady, and Pastor Jeremiah Wright. They aren't alone, you know.
It isn't possible to control people's thoughts, Persephone. But when a society strongly condemns bigotry, in no uncertain terms, it becomes much more unlikely that those thoughts will be translated into actions. In Europe, it seems that societies are approving of anti-semitism, and it shows. Speaking of which, I'm still waiting for an explanation of how hate crimes can be described as a protest against a foreign government's policy?
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 16, 2009 8:36 am
I looked it up for you. Look at the definition they give? :D
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heterogeneous
Adj. 1. heterogeneous - consisting of elements that are not of the same kind or nature; "the population of the United States is vast and heterogeneous"
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 16, 2009 9:11 am
Persephone
The poll is taking liberties by equating criticism of Israel (or the Israel lobby
Posted by: Boojum at January 16, 2009 9:34 am
programmer_craig:
I bet a larger number of Americans have strongly anti-white beliefs. Such as our future first lady, and Pastor Jeremiah Wright. They aren't alone, you know.
In Europe, it seems that societies are approving of anti-semitism, and it shows.
I give up and bow to your superior reasoning power.
Posted by: Persephone at January 16, 2009 9:37 am
I wasn't asking you to give up, I was asking for clarification of your claim that hate crimes were a valid form of political protest :)
Posted by: programmmer_craig at January 16, 2009 2:08 pm
Persephone, you can bow to this:
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/01/masked-thugs-repeatedly-stab-man-for.html
Masked Thugs Repeatedly Stab Man For Wearing Jewish Symbol in France
A policeman stands on Friday in front of an inscription reading "sionist - nazi", painted overnight on a wall in Toulouse, southern France. France has been hit by around 60 anti-Semitic attacks since the start of the Israeli military operation in Gaza. (EJP)
A man was repeatedly stabbed for wearing a Jewish symbol in France.
IHT reported, via ROP:
France's interior ministry says masked thieves who attacked a young man east of Paris to steal his car repeatedly stabbed him after noticing he was wearing a Jewish symbol.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has condemned the "revolting attack" in the suburban town of Fontenay-sous-Bois and says authorities are working to find the perpetrators.
The ministry said in a statement Friday that the attackers shouted anti-Semitic threats at the man as they stabbed him four times with a knife in the Thursday evening attack.
The European Jewish Press has more on the anti-Semitic attack:
The 24-year-old man was beaten up late Thursday by two robbers who wanted to steal his car and, after they discovered he was Jewish, pulled out a knife and stabbed him, in the latest in a spate of such attacks.
"After noticing he was wearing a Jewish religious symbol, the aggressors made anti-Semitic threats and stabbed him four times with a knife," Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in a statement.
The man suffered minor wounds from the attack in Fontenay-sous-Bois, southwest of Paris, according to police sources.
There have been 60 anti-Semitic attacks in France since the start of the Gaza War on December 27th.
Posted by: Nichevo at January 17, 2009 2:00 am
Nichevo, it is not anti-semitism but anti-Zionism. The assailants really love Jews and are just trying to save Israel from itself.
Posted by: Gary Rosen at January 17, 2009 1:06 pm
.
Of course the Leftist media is blaming "the far Right". Hamas will never honor a ceasefire, and as soon as they start firing rockets again, Israel must too.
These people equating Israel with the Nazis have to be insane, and they are mostly from the Left. The Left acting like Nazis and calling for a new Hitler, and for the Jews to go to the ovens, wow! Hitler, someone even most of them would say they hate. The Left, many are anti-semitic Nazis, they should be so proud. The truth is coming out, it is getting harder to hide.
The MSM is insidious, they are instrumental in fanning these flames. We must keep trying to de-brainwash as many people as possible. As the brave Geert Wilders put it recently, "To begin with, there is already a Palestinian state, and that is Jordan. This land covers nearly eighty percent of the historic Palestine. Most residents of Jordan are Palestinians, for instance queen Rania."
Why doesn't Jordan take the poor Palestinians in the West Bank and Egypt control the nut jobs in Gaza?
They don't want them, that's why. They should be made to take them. That may be the only answer.
Hamas is what makes Gaza much worse than it could be. If they would give up the dream of destroying Israel and the Jews and stopped all missiles and suicide bombers, and all terrorist attacks, Israel would welcome doing business with them, and things would be peaceful. But they can't do this as long as they follow their Koran strictly.
There is no negotiating with a mad man, or with Jihadis who want to die to go get their 72 virgins.
I hope Israel doesn't quit too early. If Israel is destroyed, terrorism in the rest of the world will just increase, it will never stop, as long as there are Radical Muslims, or rather, Muslim Fundamentalists; who are appeased, defended, and kissed up to.
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let someone hit you
over and over again
and NEVER hit back harder
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
DO NOT defend your country
from terrorist monkeys
just let them bomb you at will
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
blame your failings on the Jews
for a few more thousand years
they are Earth's scapegoats
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
give Israel away
to appease her enemies
dishonor ALL Jews
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never mock Hamas
it's just their religion
you RIGHT-WING INFIDEL
.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
.
What Really Happened in the MidEast?
.
Help Stop Terrorism Today!
.
USpace
:)
.
Posted by: USpace at January 18, 2009 3:12 pm
If anyone is actually interested in intelligent discussion from a conservative point of view (both atheist and Christian) of the problematic use of the term "Judeo-Christian" check out some of the discussion


Posted by: Dyadya Vanya at January 19, 2009 12:39 pm
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