April 01, 2004


Europe just keeps getting more and more sophisticated:

The number of anti-semitic attacks in Europe has soared in recent years, with a report by the EU's racism watchdog naming five countries - Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Britain - for particular concern.

Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Britain have seen a notable rise in anti-Jewish attacks over the last two or three years, said the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) report.

That conference was hastily organised after a shock opinion poll in November which found that Europeans saw Israel as the biggest threat to world peace, ahead of countries such as North Korea and Iraq. The United States came second.

This all might depend on your definition of "peace". Who the hell knows what that word means in France these days? According to the report:

In France there was a sixfold increase in anti-semitic incidents in 2002. "There were many incidents of Jewish people assaulted and insulted, attacks against synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish property," it said.

But peacefully. Always peacefully.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 1, 2004 01:32 AM

Everything would be fine if those Jews would just go back where they came fro...oh, wait...they are where they came from.

Posted by: Ken Summers at April 1, 2004 at 01:56 AM

Maybe if the Jews in Europe went back to Israel and the Jews in Israel went to Europe, the Arabs and the Europeans would be happy.

Posted by: JEM at April 1, 2004 at 02:03 AM

Did you catch the other week what our sister democracy France was up to, just in time for Taiwan's elections?


Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at April 1, 2004 at 02:08 AM

Interesting point made by the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (at www.bicom.org.uk):

An EU commissioned report on anti-Semitism to be presented today finds that anti-Semitic attacks in Europe have surged over the past few years. The report concludes, however, that there is no clear evidence indicating that Muslim elements are responsible for the increase. The report singles out Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK as countries that saw increases in anti-Semitic attacks in 2002 and 2003. The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), which compiled the report, was subjected to fierce criticism last year after it was revealed that it had suppressed a previously commissioned study when researchers found that Muslim and pro-Palestinian groups were largely responsible for attacks. It appears that the Centre has adopted a different methodology this time in conducting the research. In a move likely to arouse controversy, researchers did not include incidents in which Jews were targeted as ‘Israelis’, whether or not they were in fact Israeli citizens. The report claims that incidents of this kind are not anti-Semitic, because the “hostility is not based on the anti-Semitic stereotyping of Jews.”

Posted by: Martin Morgan at April 1, 2004 at 02:40 AM

Tim, I know this is only related in spirit to the post about the treatment of Jews in Europe but I just have to let off steam about this.

There is a tendentious lunacy abroad everywhere these days, not just in Europe. Yesterday in the Commonwealth Parliament the Opposition Leader attempted to move a motion of censure against the Prime Minister, the proceedings having begun as a censure against himself. Latham's case was built on more lies - this time about the true nature of earlier Opposition demands for the withdrawal of Australian troops.

As everyone knows, those demands were made in the context of Labor policy to wait for UN approval for war in Iraq, not in relation to their withdrawal post-bellum, in the context of ongoing peace-keeping, policing and rebuilding. Latham also claimed that during his 'briefing' with a senior defence chief, that chief had privately criticised Government policy regarding Iraq - a disgraceful, probably untrue and astonishingly reckless thing to have said. But, Howard detactors will say, didn't the PM politicise the defence/intelligence community by presenting all those letters which stated Latham had not sought any briefings from them on Iraq? In fact, all the PM did was seek information on whether or not Latham at some point in time had been in any kind of pre-arranged proximity to any defence and intelligence chiefs whatsoever with a view to receiving advice on whether or not the present state of things in Iraq is conducive to a withdrawal of troops "before Christmas." Some politicisation. Is the Leader of the Opposition's physical whereabouts a matter of national security?

And the throw-away line about the PM not having visited Iraq - unlike Rudd - was simply pathetic. As I recall, President Bush's visits to Iraq where decried and ridiculed as opportunistic, macho etc. Imagine if the PM had gone to Iraq! The commentariat would have had a collective stroke from acute moral indignation. My guess is that Howard would actually like to go still.

Watching Latham in Parliament yesterday was informative. The man tells lies, then comes to believe them himself, then contrivedly finds the merest historical obiter dicta to dress up the straw dummie his imagination has constructed, then defends his righteousness with what one senses is an imminent and scarcely restrained violence. I almost expected him to start banging the dispatch box with one of his shoes, qua Kruchev or break someone's arm. The man is pathological.

Which brings me back to your post on the situation for Jews in Europe today. With so much violent, willfully ignorant and blindly prejudiced agitprop being put about the world at the moment, is it any wonder Jews are assaulted? There is an intellectual pogrom under way as we speak: its practitioners are mad-keen to kill off the heroic notion and reality of Zionism, kill off any acknowledgment of Israeli fortitude in the face of incredible odds for more than fifty years, and kill off the natural sympathy for women and children which might normally attend the contemplation of their mass murder on a street or in a bus. The depth and complexities of motive would require the brain of a Goldhagan to disentangle. It's beyond me. But I'm guessing most of it in Europe isn't coming from Muslims at all. It's coming from local wannabe radicals.

Perhaps, though, the Jew and Allied Coalition haters of the left are externalising their own intellectual and spiritual impotence. They don't believe in anything any more so when September 11 gave a bit of a kick-along to history they looked around depressively and lamented the fact that the Anglophone world was in the hands of right-wing parties, led - to make matters more distasteful to them - by proudly Christian leaders. The response was remarkably uniform and swift: despite Saddam's record, despite his atrocities, they wanted to spoil the Great Response - because they weren't a part of it.

The greatest irony is that these nihilists give succour and support to the most bigoted belief-laden fanatics in the world today. Oh, and the latter hate the former. That's self-loathing of world-historical proportions.

And yes, this disease exists here in Australia too, as does campus and media ant-semitism and the widespread loathing of Western civilisation itself. In such times you see an Opposition Leader telling lies in Parliament to get himself out of having told lies in Parliament. You get the castigation and denigration of the only PM in Australian history who saved a country and its culture (Timor) of his own personal volition.

You get violence from peace activists, obscurantism from university students, partisan dissembling from journalists.

And Mark Latham.

Posted by: Murpho at April 1, 2004 at 03:01 AM

But peacefully. Always peacefully

Many puzzled, but sophisticated, European intellectuals keep asking, “Why can’t the Jews just peacefully acquiesce to their extermination?”

Posted by: perfectsense at April 1, 2004 at 04:49 AM

Counting down the time till the trolls come in and say there is no anti-semitism...then counting in till the time Miranda comes in and says "RAWK! Me too! Blogmire RAWK!"

Posted by: Quentin George at April 1, 2004 at 06:37 AM


Posted by: Sortelli Divide at April 3, 2004 at 02:09 AM