Anti-Semitism is justified: views on the war on Jews and its causes
Thoughts on anti-semitism. One thing a Jew cannot do is fail. The other thing a Jew can always do is be held responsible for what their co-religionists do.
Rev. Bruce Shipman echoes the BBC’s man on the scene in an open published in the New York Times:
To the Editor:
Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.
(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014
Bruce Shipman is Episcopal chaplain at Yale.
Jews will spot the codes in his letter. Jews must pay for whatever another Jew does.
Anti-Semitism is justified.
His words and his tone are not untypical of the ‘knowing’, they who can empathise and set about teaching the Jew how to see suffering.
Mrs May said the attack on the supermarket in France was “a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we sadly have seen in this country.
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful and you’re saying that you’re anxious for your families, for your children and yourselves.
“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom”…
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain – without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
She said she was “deeply distressed” by the YouGov survey showing a large proportion of Britons holding antisemitic views.
Antisemitic views have been shown to be rampant among British people according to the results of a new polls.
One in four Britons were shown to believe that Jews ‘chase money more than other people’, according to a poll by YouGov.
Meanwhile the new survey showed that 17 per cent of respondent believe that Jewish people think themselves better than others.
A similar proportion felt that Jewish people have too much power in the media.
A separate poll also revealed that more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism has begun to echo the widespread anti-Jewish hatred of the 1930s, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).
France has the largest Jewish community remaining in Europe, but Norman Lebrecht, a French Jew whose family has been in France at least since 1727 (when the first records exist), decided last week that he is leaving. Nor is he alone…
French Jews are leaving for two main reasons: because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe. They don’t feel welcome because a rising tide of anti-Semitism has poisoned the atmosphere in France over the past couple of decades. It’s not so much the old anti-Semitism of the pre-War variety as a new anti-Semitism brought on by a wave of Muslim immigration, though the two have reinforced one another.
And they don’t feel safe because of attacks on Jews. As the Chief Rabbi of France,Haim Korsia, notes, it’s not just last week’s attacks on a Kosher deli and on the Charlie Hebdo news weekly: “Jews have been killed and there were the shootings in Toulouse and in Brussels. In general, Jews feel vulnerable in our society. The Jews who were murdered were targeted specifically because they were Jewish.”
… European nations are facing population deficits, and they’ve replaced those missing Jews with Muslim immigrants who — unlike the Jews — are for the most part far less educated, don’t really consider themselves part of European society, and have no particularly strong desire to integrate into it, which bodes poorly. As Eugene Volokh — himself an immigrant to the United States — observes, in a democracy, when you let in immigrants, you are letting in your future rulers.
An exodus of French Jews is already underway and accelerating rapidly. In 2012, there were just over 1,900 immigrants to Israel from France. The following year nearly 3,400 French Jews emigrated; in 2014 approximately 7,000 left. For the first time ever, France heads the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, and the ministry of immigration absorption expects another 10,000 French Jews to arrive in 2015.
That would mean more than 22,000 Jews fleeing France for Israel in the space of just four years, nearly 4.5 percent of the country’s Jewish population. The departure of 100,000 French Jews might once have been inconceivable. No longer. In a survey last spring of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, three out of four respondents said they were considering emigrating.
These are staggering numbers — all the more so in a “Jewish community that has been in place for centuries and feels itself deeply attached to being French,” as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written. But what is driving so many Jews to leave “is not Israel’s pull…. It is France’s push.”
Over the past 15 years, that “push” — violent eruptions of French antisemitism — has grown relentless.
Many of your fears about becoming a victim of terrorism are invented. So long as you are not Jewish.
Whenever Martin Niemöller’s warning is quoted, it is always used in the past tense. But as the Paris attacks proved, they are still coming for the Jews. In reality, they have never stopped coming for the Jews…
The reaction from outside the Jewish community follows the same pattern. Like Simon Jenkins and Polly Toynbee, we try to hide behind a veil of self-centered proportionality. Or, we cry “look over there!” Yes the Jewish community is under threat, but what about the “revenge” attacks being launched against the Muslim community? Or we deploy the “some of my best friends are Jewish” argument. Yes some Jews are being targeted. But look at what’s happening to the Palestinians. Should we really be surprised? Yes, obviously we must condemn the “terrorists”. But don’t we have an obligation to try to understand them as well?
And what lies at the heart of this response? If we’re honest, if we’re really honest, it’s that those of us who are not part of the Jewish community have subconsciously – and shamefully – come to the view that being a target of terrorism is merely one of the occupational hazards of being a Jew…
We need to say: “They came for the Jews. And I spoke out. Because I am not a Jew”.
A lot of progressives seem to think they are immune from anti-Semitism, or even being tolerant of anti-Semitism, because they have neither racist nor Christian antipathy to Jews, the two most recently prominent forms. They, in other words, do not consciously hate, or even dislike, Jews. But when the Left has decided that colonialism, fundamentalist religion and ethnic nationalism are the great evils of the modern world, and then so many “progressives” focus on Israel as the exemplar of these evils, despite many, many other more worthy choices, one wonders if they fully understand what anti-Semitism is really all about.
Matti Friedman wonders why Israel is always at the top of the news cycle. Why Hamas, a group that pledge to kill every Jew, is not framed as an enemy to things we should hold dear.
For centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. They were a symbol of things that were wrong. Did you want to make the point that greed was bad? Jews were greedy. Cowardice? Jews were cowardly. Were you a Communist? Jews were capitalists. Were you a capitalist? In that case, Jews were Communists. Moral failure was the essential trait of the Jew. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.
Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.
When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.
Some readers might remember that Britain participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fallout from which has now killed more than three times the number of people ever killed in the Israel-Arab conflict; yet in Britain, protesters furiously condemn Jewish militarism. White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine. Russian reporters condemn Israel’s brutal military tactics. Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans. When Israel opened a transportation service for Palestinian workers in the occupied West Bank a few years ago, American news consumers could read about Israel “segregating buses.” And there are a lot of people in Europe, and not just in Germany, who enjoy hearing the Jews accused of genocide.
You don’t need to be a history professor, or a psychiatrist, to understand what’s going on. Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits. The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself and your own country. The tool through which this psychological projection is executed is the international press.
The first head of the hydra-like monster of medieval anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was the implied parallel between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. This is a de facto cousin of Holocaust denial, as it diminishes and trivialises what really happened then…
Since 9/11 and Iraq, a millenarian cauldron of old-fashioned anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claims that secretive Jews (the wicked “neo-cons”) are controlling Bush, Blair and the media, and even arranged 9/11. Anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become interchangeable…
Until 9/11, Anglo-Jewry had become accustomed to prejudiced coverage of Israel. But if you were not a Zionist, as many Jews are not, you did not need to worry. Since 9/11, and particularly post-Iraq, we have witnessed a sea change. It is as if, in the mythical scale of 9/11, al-Qaeda had unlocked a forgotten cultural capsule of anti-Semitic myths, sealed and forgotten since the Nazis, the Black Hundreds and the medieval blood libels. Just words? But words matter in a violent world. This weird and scary nonsense is an international phenomenon, not a British one. Despite it, Britain retains the easygoing tolerance and pragmatism, the sources of her greatness. It is still better to be a Jew in England than anywhere else
And that’s true…