Ironic Consequences of Europe’s War Guilt

 

Adam Armoush.

Adam Armoush is, for the moment, the most famous Jewish victim in the world – and he’s not even Jewish. He’s a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who was visiting Berlin with his friends and decided to test their suspicions that it was unsafe to don a kippa (skullcap) in public. Strolling down the street in the Prenzlauer Berg, a gentrified neighborhood, Armoush was attacked and beaten with a belt by a Syrian refugee who shouted “Yedudi!”

Anti-Semitic attacks have become increasingly common in Germany and throughout Europe. The roster of homicides in France, for example, includes the 2015 murder of four shoppers in a Paris kosher supermarket, the 2012 murder of seven, including three children, at a school in Toulouse, and the stabbing murder and burning of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor last month, to cite just a few. Jews also suffer nearly daily threats and contempt from their neighbors. Many French Jews have pulled their children from public schools due to harassment by other students.

A 2013 survey by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) asked Jews whether in the past year they had “personally witnessed anyone being physically attacked because he or she is Jewish.” Among the French, 9.7 percent said yes. Among Swedes, 6.7 percent said they had. In 2016, majorities of Jews in a number of European countries including Germany, France, and Sweden said they sometimes or always avoided displaying clothing or other items that identified them as Jewish (the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany cautioned Jewish men this week to hide their kippot), and large numbers say they’ve considered emigrating. In the past 12 years, more than 40,000 Jews have fled France. Most settle in Israel.

The response among European leaders has varied. Some avoid the question or retreat to platitudes. Some police forces are reluctant to label attacks as “hate crimes.” Jeremy Corbin, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, is quite comfortable with leftwing anti-Semitism, which tends to bleed easily into every other kind. He defended the artist who painted a mural showing hook-nosed capitalists playing Monopoly on the backs of naked workers. He also calls Hezbollah and Hamas “friends.” France’s Emmanuel Macron has been much better. In January, when an 8-year-old Jewish boy was attacked in Sarcelles, Emmanuel Macron called it an “attack on our whole country.” Angela Merkel, addressing a crowd of 5000 who turned out to condemn bigotry, avowed that “Anyone who hits someone wearing a skullcap is hitting us all. Anyone who damages a Jewish gravestone is disgracing our culture. Anyone who attacks a synagogue is attacking the foundations of our free society.”

How can it be that only 70 years after the Holocaust, Europe’s Jews do not feel safe?  It’s ironic, but one reason is guilt. Eager to live down their histories of colonialism and racism, Europe has welcomed millions of immigrants from the Third World. That’s admirable, since many of these migrants are grateful to receive asylum (and most never commit any crime, far less a hate crime). But for the Jews, tormented more than any other group in Europe’s history, this expiation comes at their expense. Many of the Muslim immigrants arrive with anti-Semitic animus. A recent survey in the United Kingdom found that 55 percent of Muslims harbored anti-Semitic attitudes, compared with 12 percent of the overall population. Asked whether they agreed that “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars,” 6 percent of Britons said yes, while 26 percent of British Muslims agreed.

Most of the anti-Jewish violence in Europe is the work of Muslim extremists. In France, for example, victims reported that 53 percent of their attackers were “people with extremist Muslim views,” 18 percent were “people with extremist leftwing views,” 4 percent were “people with extremist rightwing views,” and 3 percent were “people with extremist Christian views.”

Some call attacks on Jews and synagogues “anti-Zionism,” and strain to find justifications arising from the Middle East conflict. But Swedish Jews do not attack mosques in Malmo to protest Palestinian violence in Gaza. Imagine if such an attack did occur and the perpetrators claimed it was not anti-Muslim, but just “anti-Palestinian.”

The influx of immigrants has helped to spark the resurgence of rightwing nationalism in Europe, which is also chilling for the Jews. The Alternative for Germany is now the third largest party in Germany. Marine Le Pen heads the National Front, France’s second largest party. Hungary is led by an increasingly open fascist, Viktor Orban, and the Sweden Democrats (who are the opposite of their name) received 14 percent of the seats in the latest parliament.

Seventy-three years after the fall of the Third Reich and 27 years after the implosion of the Soviet Union, the western world is forgetting what can happen when the center does not hold. The Jews are now, as they have always been, a bellwether.

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  1. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Mona Charen: The influx of immigrants has helped to spark the resurgence of rightwing nationalism in Europe, which is also chilling for the Jews.

    I have an idea. Having a lot of Jews, or letting in a lot of Jews is not a complicating factor for a country. IMO, it improves the place, everywhere, all of the time. OTOH, Being stupid about the cultures of who you let in degrades Western civil society, which has a real cost. 

    I am sick of this stupidity.  

    • #1
  2. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Can we take Europe-fleeing Jews instead of Middle-East fleeing Muslims? 

    • #2
  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Can we say “Jerusalem”?

    • #3
  4. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    My wife and I took our family from London back to the States, in no small part because it was clear that Europe has no future that includes Jews. That was 2004.

    • #4
  5. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    “How can it be that only 70 years after the Holocaust, Europe’s Jews do not feel safe? It’s ironic, but one reason is guilt. Eager to live down their histories of colonialism and racism, Europe has welcomed millions of immigrants from the Third World.

    That’s admirable, since many of these migrants are grateful to receive asylum (and most never commit any crime, far less a hate crime). But for the Jews, tormented more than any other group in Europe’s history, this expiation comes at their expense.”

    Yes, it comes at their expense and the expense of the rest of the population and the entire civil ethic. It’s not admirable at all to admit a population that that has so many anti-semites embedded within . For any Muslim population, there are people who are radical troublemakers, another subset of people who won’t act personally while not minding the fact that others do, another subset who are basically neutral and don’t care( about anti-Semitic attacks!) and a tiny subset who will actually advocate against anti-semitism within their pun group.Most of the later are either famous or dead. It’s extremely small. 

    Its not admirable, it’s madness or blatant hostility to existing citizens and their culture. 

    These guilt-ridden leaders are playing out their own psychological needs at the expense of innocent people. Europe is no longer any kind of democracy; it is a bureaucracy masquerading as a democracy. Jews had no say in who, what or where, and no one else did either. 

    So of course a backlash is inevitable. And  who’s responsible for this? The architects and planners, the politicians and bureaucrats. They would like to now posture and lecture these newly radicalized groups of “bigots” who object to an alien ( yes, Islam is alien and incompatible with Judeo-Christianity and Western Civilization) invasion. They get yet another chance to parade their virtue and tolerance, while pretending they couldn’t foresee the natural outcome. They deliberately destabilized their own countries. If that’s not the case, then they are complete morons and should take up a trade, like driving a lorry( and should be forced to travel through the local no-go zones)

    When you enact a policy that drives 40,000 good citizens out of your country, subject your police to extremely difficult work – as well as your teachers and make your entire population adjust to an alien culture antithetical to most of the country’s  existing values, angered otherwise happy citizens,you have really screwed up. 

     

     

     

     

    • #5
  6. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    It is not guilt—very few of these people feel any *personal* sense of guilt for what their countries did 70 years ago.  Rather, it is in most cases posturing–an assertion of *moral superiority* over the unenlightened.

    C S Lewis addressed this phenomenon incisively in a 1940 essay titled “Dangers of National Repentance.”  Apparently, there was a then movement among Christian youth to “repent” England’s sins (which were thought to include the treaty of Versailles) and to “forgive” England’s enemies.  

    I excerpted the essay at my post No, they are not (for the most part) ‘self-hating’

    • #6
  7. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    David Foster (View Comment):

    It is not guilt—very few of these people feel any *personal* sense of guilt for what their countries did 70 years ago. Rather, it is in most cases posturing–an assertion of *moral superiority* over the unenlightened.

    C S Lewis addressed this phenomenon incisively in a 1940 essay titled “Dangers of National Repentance.” Apparently, there was a then movement among Christian youth to “repent” England’s sins (which were thought to include the treaty of Versailles) and to “forgive” England’s enemies.

    I excerpted the essay at my post No, they are not (for the most part) ‘self-hating’

    No, it’s guilt. Maybe the people in charge don’t feel the guilt themselves, but they nevertheless thrive off it. The generalized sense of guilt makes it impossible for large numbers of citizens to unapologetically and unequivocally resist the importation of anti semites into Europe. (In America, the guilt virus comes from slavery. Had it not been for slavery, the entire American liberal narrative could not exist. And that narrative is what led to same sex marriage and wherever we are going with gender interchangeability. In that sense, these perversions may rightly be viewed as national punishments for slavery, since they would not exist if slavery had not happened.)

    • #7
  8. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    If Germans wanted to reject the hatred of their past, they could all do what this kid did. German women could participate by wearing the Star of David. Angela Merkel could always have the Star of David necklace on in public. That would do, more than anything they could say, to tell the immigrant population that attacking people for being any race or ethnicity is now unacceptable in Germany.

    I sometimes wonder if the Germans and French aren’t unconsciously attacking the Jews vicariously through these immigrants.

    • #8
  9. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Who wants more Muslim immigration?

    • #9
  10. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Bob W (View Comment):
    No, it’s guilt. Maybe the people in charge don’t feel the guilt themselves, but they nevertheless thrive off it.

    Thriving off of someone else’s sense of guilt is IMO something very different from feeling guilt oneself…but even that isn’t really what’s happening:  relatively few of the Someone Elses feel guilt themselves, either, they just think they have to position themselves that way for social acceptance.  

    • #10
  11. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re # 10

    Maybe it’s not guilt about the WW2 past so much as it’s shame or embarrassment.  (We do irrationally resent and blame people who expose us, however inadvertently, to ourselves and others as cowardly, cruel and hateful, simply by being the targets or victims of our cowardly, cruel or hateful  behavior. I know this sounds weird, but the Germans may resent the Jews for the way their horrible crimes against the Jews exposed Germany to itself and the world. )

    Then too, for all I know, Germany, like France, may have buried memories of something they did to themselves, much earlier than WW2, that still haunts the country. Did anyone else read Claire Berlinski’s piece in The American Interest about France’s unacknowledged and largely forgotten or misunderstood past ? It’s riveting.

     

    • #11
  12. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    David Foster (View Comment):

    It is not guilt—very few of these people feel any *personal* sense of guilt for what their countries did 70 years ago. Rather, it is in most cases posturing–an assertion of *moral superiority* over the unenlightened.

    Yeah, I agree with this.

     

    • #12
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    Who wants more Muslim immigration?

    Mostly Muslims. Oh, that’s emigration. 

    • #13
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Maybe it’s not guilt about the WW2 past so much as it’s shame or embarrassment. (And we do irrationally resent and blame people for exposing us, however inadvertently, to ourselves and others, as cowardly, cruel and hateful, simply by being the targets or victims of our cowardly, cruel or hateful behavior. I know this sounds weird, but the Germans may resent the Jews for exposing them to themselves and the world.)

    Sounds human to me. And dangerous, as the ubiquity and depth of shame likely correlates to the ubiquity and depth of any resentment. 

    • #14
  15. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Regarding the guilt vs. moral posturing debate here, I would say that guilt feelings lead to moral posturing.

    • #15
  16. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re : 15

    Maybe. Unacknowledged feelings of guilt perhaps would.

    Come to think of it, it’s impossible that the Germans who know about it don’t feel something like guilt  over the fact that, leading up to or during WW2, Germans also executed their own children for the crime of telling them the truth.

    I’m thinking, for instance, of that Christian girl who was part of something called the White Rose, the one who was beheaded for handing out anti-Hitler pamphlets. Does anyone here remember her name ? I can’t, right now.

    • #16
  17. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Moderator Note:

    Personal attack

    Mona cites Muslim immigration as a major cause in the rise of anti-Jewish animus in France and Europe. She writes that 40,000 Jews have left Europe this century, most emigrating to Israel.

    Mona also cites Muslim immigration as a contributing cause for the rise of right wing nationalism in France, Germany, Sweden and Hungary, which is also “chilling” for the Jews in those countries.

    But to what nation of Hungarians are the people of Hungary supposed to flee to? To what country dedicated to the French people are Frenchmen expected to go?

    Yes, Merkel says that attacking Jews is synonymous with attacking all of society. A commenter above @ansoniarecommends that Merkel should always wear a Star of David to show solidarity with Europe’s Jews.

    But it was Merkel who sanctimoniously and stupidly opened her own borders to a flood-tide of Muslim immigrants, precipitating the very crisis she – and Europe – now faces. Who gives a goddamn what she says or wears after that? She’s the Quisling of the 21st Century.

    In the coming years more of Europe’s Jews will be fleeing the continent to their safe haven in Israel, where, as with the Gazans, the nation’s leaders know how to deal with a mass of Muslims trying to get past the border. Lacking a similar bolthole, the people of Europe should be allowed to devise their own democratic solutions, [redacted]

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Mona cites Muslim immigration as a major cause in the rise of anti-Jewish animus in France and Europe. She writes that 40,000 Jews have left Europe this century, most emigrating to Israel.

    Mona also cites Muslim immigration as a contributing cause for the rise of right wing nationalism in France, Germany, Sweden and Hungary, which is also “chilling” for the Jews in those countries.

    But to what nation of Hungarians are the people of Hungary supposed to flee to? To what country dedicated to the French people are Frenchmen expected to go?

    Yes, Merkel says that attacking Jews is synonymous with attacking all of society. A commenter above @andonia recommends that Merkel should always wear a Star of David to show solidarity with Europe’s Jews.

    But it was Merkel who sanctimoniously and stupidly opened her own borders to a flood-tide of Muslim immigrants, precipitating the very crisis she – and Europe – now faces. Who gives a goddamn what she says or wears after that? She’s the Quisling of the 21st Century.

    In the coming years more of Europe’s Jews will be fleeing the continent to their safe haven in Israel, where, as with the Gazans, the nation’s leaders know how to deal with a mass of Muslims trying to get past the border. Lacking a similar bolthole, the people of Europe should be allowed to devise their own democratic solutions, [redacted].

    I can’t stand anti-Trump-ers and everyone related to that can’t reflect on “How did it come to this?” Immigration, Keynesianism, centralization, cultural marxism are out of control. 

    • #18
  19. Bill R Member
    Bill R
    @BillR

    I was in France in 2016. I loved it except  I saw many closed Jewish businesses, usually covered with anti-semitic graffiti.  Is this the work of Muslim immigrants or have guys with names like Marcel and Pierre joined the party?  Either way, if the French are exchanging Jewish people for Muslims, they are making a very poor bargain indeed.

    And if they MUST do this. Can we make it clear that these folks are welcome in the United States?

     

    • #19
  20. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Franco (View Comment):

    “How can it be that only 70 years after the Holocaust, Europe’s Jews do not feel safe? It’s ironic, but one reason is guilt. Eager to live down their histories of colonialism and racism, Europe has welcomed millions of immigrants from the Third World.

    That’s admirable, since many of these migrants are grateful to receive asylum (and most never commit any crime, far less a hate crime). But for the Jews, tormented more than any other group in Europe’s history, this expiation comes at their expense.”

    Yes, it comes at their expense and the expense of the rest of the population and the entire civil ethic. It’s not admirable at all to admit a population that that has so many anti-semites embedded within . For any Muslim population, there are people who are radical troublemakers, another subset of people who won’t act personally while not minding the fact that others do, another subset who are basically neutral and don’t care( about anti-Semitic attacks!) and a tiny subset who will actually advocate against anti-semitism within their pun group.Most of the later are either famous or dead. It’s extremely small.

    Its not admirable, it’s madness or blatant hostility to existing citizens and their culture.

    These guilt-ridden leaders are playing out their own psychological needs at the expense of innocent people. Europe is no longer any kind of democracy; it is a bureaucracy masquerading as a democracy. Jews had no say in who, what or where, and no one else did either.

    So of course a backlash is inevitable. And who’s responsible for this? The architects and planners, the politicians and bureaucrats. They would like to now posture and lecture these newly radicalized groups of “bigots” who object to an alien ( yes, Islam is alien and incompatible with Judeo-Christianity and Western Civilization) invasion. They get yet another chance to parade their virtue and tolerance, while pretending they couldn’t foresee the natural outcome. They deliberately destabilized their own countries. If that’s not the case, then they are complete morons and should take up a trade, like driving a lorry( and should be forced to travel through the local no-go zones)

    When you enact a policy that drives 40,000 good citizens out of your country, subject your police to extremely difficult work – as well as your teachers and make your entire population adjust to an alien culture antithetical to most of the country’s existing values, angered otherwise happy citizens,you have really screwed up.

    This comment should be a whole post – it sums it up well.

     

     

     

     

    • #20
  21. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Ansonia (View Comment):
    I’m thinking, for instance, of that Christian girl who was part of something called the White Rose, the one who was beheaded for handing out anti-Hitler pamphlets. Does anyone here remember her name ?

    Her name was Sophie Scholl, and her brother, Hans, was also a leader of the group.  Some information here.

    There is a 1982 German movie based on the White Rose group, outstanding acting, very worth seeing.

    I wrote about another member of the White Rose here:  Saint Alexander of Munich.

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    TBA (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):

    Who wants more Muslim immigration?

    Mostly Muslims. Oh, that’s emigration.

    It’s a failure of foreign policies over the years by all of the western powers to actually help the countries whose citizens are migrating out in record numbers to the west.  They kept doing the same things expecting different results, not expecting anything for large amounts of money, food, medical and soldiers – how have things improved?  Same wars, persecution, no opportunities for work, and worse – sex slavery, ethnic cleansing, torture. 

    The thousands of “migrants” look healthy, mostly men, look at the caravan on our border – how many of these families would rather be in their own country, living with some peace and a way to have food and shelter and work – the basics?  Their leadership takes, but doesn’t give. 

    • #22
  23. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re #21

    Thank you, David Foster.

    • #23
  24. Gumby Mark Thatcher
    Gumby Mark
    @GumbyMark

    While anti-semitism has accelerated in recent years in Europe in part due to Muslim immigration and the radicalism of the left (see, for instance, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK), the turning point was much earlier than Mona thinks.

    It was the Arab-Israeli War of June 1967.  For twenty years Europeans had to bite their tongues about the Jews and pay lip service to being sorry about the mass murders of WWII, murders that many across the Continent played a role in.  With the success of Israel in 1967, Europeans could now be free to portray the Jews as the new Prussians.  If you go back to the late 1960s and 70s you will see the outbreak of anti-Jewish sentiment in the guise of anti-Israeli sentiment.  You can trace it in public statements and in UN votes.  During the 1973 war, when Nixon authorized the emergency airlift of military supplies to Israel, every European country denied overflight and refueling permission to the U.S. with the exception of Portugal.

    • #24
  25. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    What the Euro bureaucrats understand that almost no one else acknowledges is that the indigenous populations of most European countries have birth rates far below replacement.   Euro/Socialism is unsustainable in an environment where each successive cohort is smaller than the last.   There just would not be sufficient new indigenous taxpayers to foot the bill.   So populations must be imported.    

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    What the Euro bureaucrats understand that almost no one else acknowledges is that the indigenous populations of most European countries have birth rates far below replacement. Euro/Socialism is unsustainable in an environment where each successive cohort is smaller than the last. There just would not be sufficient new indigenous taxpayers to foot the bill. So populations must be imported.

    I love thinking and learning about all of the facets of this stupidity and how it marches through time. Centralized power and socialism is worthless.

    • #26
  27. Mikescapes Member
    Mikescapes
    @Mikescapes

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    What the Euro bureaucrats understand that almost no one else acknowledges is that the indigenous populations of most European countries have birth rates far below replacement. Euro/Socialism is unsustainable in an environment where each successive cohort is smaller than the last. There just would not be sufficient new indigenous taxpayers to foot the bill. So populations must be imported.

    This an old theme song. I recall, too long ago to admit to, Europeans playing this tune. At the time the immigration was between continental countries. For example, Switzerland was losing population so poor Spanish workers were imported. Later the European countries started importing people from Muslim countries. But what was behind it was not fertility rates. Rather, they wanted people to do the work lazy Euros didn’t want to dirty their hands with. It was Socialism the propelled this change, not population loss. I distinctly recall conversations about a shorter work week, more vacation time, etc. As to new taxpayers footing the bill, take a look at the cost of social benefits (welfare) associated with the refugee influx.

    Mona’s comments are on target. The only point I somewhat disagree with is her fear of the Nationalist Parties. I don’t think antisemitism is a real danger from Le Pen. Rather, her and Orban’s parties are a reaction against waves of Muslim immigration changing their cultures. The same people who harbor the antisemitic views Mona describes so vividly. So, I’m willing to let Marine off the hook for the sins of her father.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Social insurance, centralization, and Keynesianism change people. 

    • #28
  29. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    I don’t like Islam. Never have, never will. I want as few Muslims in my country as possible. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks about it. I’m not gonna change my mind.

    • #29
  30. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Mona gets everything right then completely misses the whole point.    Elite guilt and cowardice  prevent Europe from dealing with it’s Muslim population and immigration policies  not normal non elite  citizens  whom we dismiss by calling them right wing.   Muslims are a problem, that most don’t murder others is beside the point in the same way most illegal immigrants in the US don’t habitually commit felonies.    The effects of the propaganda drum beat here and there have real lasting effects.   We should know better.   It’s not racism to respond rationally to these massive and destructive population migrations.  

    • #30

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