Will Europe be Europe without Jews?

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176 Responses

  1. Kimmi says:

    “The whole issue of violence against Jews/Jews move to Israel/this causes more violence against Jews seems to be a cycle that is unbreakable for the foreseeable future.”

    Easy to break. Leave Israel entirely. I advocate this on a person by person basis, to be clear, even if the large scale question would naturally arise should people decide to do it en masse.

    “The kind of anti-Zionism that declares Brooklyn is better for Jews than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv because of Hamas and Hezbollah basically admits that Hamas will not be placated until it gets its way.”

    Israel will not be placated until it gets its way, and that is what scares me. [Do not mistake: I fear that Israel will not be placated. I act in order to put pressure on Israel, so that they may actually resolve inherent, systemic issues.] Paranoia in government is never a good thing.Report

  2. Kimmi says:

    A 1.4% emmigration rate is now a mass move?

  3. Tod Kelly says:

    What is an “anti-Zionist?” Is it a moniker that people use to self-identify, or is it a label that means not pro-Netanyahu, or something else?Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      It is an epithet when cast on Jews who are relatively concilatory and doveish towards the Palestinians.

      Some do self-identify, but those are generally Muslims.

      In the purest sense, it means “those people who think that Israel ought not to exist, or that Jews were wrong to emigrate to Palestine.” Everything else dissolves into minute details.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:


      Zionism is the belief that there should be a Jewish state/homeland. A kind of ethnic statehood.

      Anti-Zionism is the expression that there should not be a state based on a Jewish characteristic. I know Jews and non-Jews who identify as anti-Zionist.

      Some anti-Zionists probably would like Jews to leave the Middle East. Others don’t mind that there are Jews in the land known as Israel or in the Middle East but they would like to see Israel and Palestine become one-country that is a secular, liberal democracy. You will still see people make semi-serious or serious suggestions about giving part of Germany or the United States to the current Jewish residents of Israel and leaving the Middle East to the Arabs.

      Various Zionists like me are cynical about this option and prefer the two-state solution.

      My view is that the facts on the ground in the late 1940s indicated the need for a Jewish homeland. Europe murdered most of her Jews and many people showed brave acts of heroism to save the Jews but many others went along with the Nazis with varying degrees of willingness. Many European nations did not want their Jewish survivors to return (especially Eastern European countries), and Western countries did not want massive influxes of Jews either. This was often because of traditional anti-Semitic reasoning. For example:

      “the worst thing about Jews is that they cringe and fawn when they are weak and bully and exploit when they have the power…and there is always the Jew’s uncanny ability to see always one move ahead of his competitors.” See The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King, pgs. 369-370.

      Now it might have been better for history if all of the above was not true but all of the above is true and is a pretty damned good justification for the existence of Israel.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Even if one was to say that there should be a state that bases itself around a jewish identity, one could easily argue that Israel does not satisfy that.Report

      • Zac in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @saul-degraw “Various Zionists like me are cynical about this option and prefer the two-state solution.”

        You tell me, Saul: how’s that working out so far?

        Look, whether anybody involved likes it or not, this will end in a one-state solution. Those involved can work out the details of it such that it ends up with relative equanimity for both sides, or it can end up massively screwing one side or the other. I’m rooting for the former, obviously. But given the tenor of the history of that region, I will not be even slightly surprised if it ends up the latter.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Is “give Gaza back to Egypt, give the West Bank back to Jordan” a one-state solution?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Would the usual suspects start yelling at Egypt and/or Jordan to create second states?Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m not saying that this is the commonly accepted reality today, but you’re not the first time to suggest something similar @jaybird.

        The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

        For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

        Palestinian Executive Committee, 1977.Report

      • Mo in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @jaybird People yelled at Sudan to create a second state and they did.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Jay, first you’d have to convince Jordan and Egypt to take them. Good luck with that. I’m sure that the King Abudullah II would -love- to have even more fractious angry Palestinians in his Kingdom; and I -know- that President Es-Sisi would be ecstatic to have hundreds of thousands of Muslim brotherhood supporting Palestinians in Egypt.
        Nor, for that matter, do the respective Palestinians have any interest in such an arrangement.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Here is an example of a piece that suggests Israel should be in Germany. It was published in July 2014:


      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Why not put the Palestinians in Europe? They’ll be able to enjoy free health care, a much more tolerant society, and be able to partake in a culture with a tradition of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Arguments like this always struck me as highly stupid. By 1945, there were already 600,000 Jews in Israel/Palestine and the Zionist project was going concern since 1881. The Zionist movement already debated the possibility of building a Jewish state elsewhere and rejected it soundly. Israel/Palestine was picked because it was the only place that all Jews from around the world could feel at home. The Religious and Revisionist branches of Zionism always saw it as a pan-Jewish movement that should include all known Jewish communities rather than be limited to the Jews of Europe.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m with ya on that Lee. I’m impressed that the writer mentioned that land in Germany was worth more than in Israel so …. Jews were stupid to not take the offer? Or something? Even counterfactually the argument makes no sense whatsoever.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @stillwater nobody really takes arguments like that seriously. Its really just offered by anti-Zionists who don’t want to look to unsympathetic towards Jews circa 1945. Its a way of seeming reasonable.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Of course, moving 600,000 Jews out of Palestine would have been par for the course as far as post-World War II forced population transfers are concerned. Immoral, sure, but (sadly? disturbingly?) not as impractical as we would like to think.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @don-zeko it would be impractical because no country wanted to accept the 600,000 Jews living in Israel/Palestine or the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in Europe. Eastern Europe didn’t want them and most Jews were unenthusiastic about living under Communism, Western Europe didn’t want them, and the other Western countries didn’t want them.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Also, Jews probably wouldn’t have been particularly enthused by the prospect of living in Germany in 1946….Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        That article is so idiotic and historically ignorant that my head swam.Report

  4. Tod Kelly says:

    Other than my question above, I’ll say this:

    I ain’t one of the chosen people, so my opinion means jack squat. That being said, I’m not sure that the solution to any kind of extreme prejudice in the age of liberal democracy is to isolate a minority that faces undue scrutiny — even if tha isolation is a homeland.Report

    • Don Zeko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      And not only that, but to identify the character of the whole minority with the behavior or a specific state. I certainly don’t think that this is the whole story or the whole reason, but it’s hard to imagine the virulent anti-semitism you see in the modern Middle East would still exist had there been not been a Jewish state in the land west of the Jordan for the past sixty years.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Jews had been immigrating to the land now called Israel since the 1880s. Back then it was just a little and sparsely populated backwater in the Ottoman Empire. The British took over after WWI and created their mandate. They decided to include the Balfour Declaration which allowed for a Jewish homeland.

        After WWII, Britain was basically bankrupt and could not afford any of their Empire anymore. The UN voted for a partition and the Jews-Israelis accepted the terms and the Arabs did not.

        I’m not sure why Israel-skeptics think that the Middle East would be a happy, progressive, and secular state but for Israel. Right now Israel is the only thing close to a Western Democracy in the Middle East.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to Don Zeko says:

        @saul-degraw I don’t see what this has to do with my comment. I’m suggesting that, by putting Jews in control of a single, specific nation-state, and putting that state in conflict with its neighbors, that created a tremendous amount of anti-semitism that would not have otherwise existed. When the creation of Israel required the dispossession of thousands of people who have millions of ethnic/national/religious brethren around the region, how could this have not been the case? You’re intent on arguing that doing so was necessary and right. I disagree, but rightly or wrongly it contributed to the antipathy that Jews face today.

        So as a prudential matter, setting aside the moral aspect of the discussion, if the choice is between working on better ways for Jews to live as a minority in liberal, multi-cultural societies in Europe, North America, and so for and doubling down on the Israel project, the former is going to result in less global antisemitism than the latter.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to Don Zeko says:

        I’d add that, if the Jews that emigrated to Israel from Europe had gone (or had been allowed to go) elsewhere, the lack of peace and liberal institutions in the Middle East wouldn’t be their problem.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko says:

        it’s hard to imagine the virulent anti-semitism you see in the modern Middle East would still exist had there been not been a Jewish state in the land west of the Jordan for the past sixty years

        Where did the virulent stuff from Germany, Russia, and other wacky countries come from?

        Because I find it easy to imagine attitudes that existed prior to the existence of the state of Israel existing after its creation.

        (I do find it kinda funny how complaints about “Rootless Cosmopolitans” have disappeared and complaints about the existence of a Jewish State have arrived.)Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to Don Zeko says:

        @jaybird Why must we assume that antisemitism anywhere is the same as antisemitism everywhere? Why on earth should we assume that because the antisemitism in Europe, in Germany, etc. arose for the same reasons as the antisemitism of the people whose country is being occupied by the army of the Jewish state right now? As I said before, the behavior of Israel isn’t the only reason, and a great deal of antisemitism is not amenable to any change in behavior by any Jews anywhere. But are we really going to ignore the role of Israel’s wars with its neighbors and the occupation when we’re talking about why and where antisemitism exists? Is it a stretch to believe that people learn to hate their enemies?Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Don Zeko says:


        You are right that anti-Semitism in one place is not going to be like anti-Semitism in another place but there is also a lot of evidence about how Jews were treated as second-class citizens (at best) in Islamic countries before the creation of Israel. In some ways it was better than how they were treated in Europe and in someways it was worse but it was not equal status.

        You can also look at books like this:


        Which show how anti-Semitism bloomed in a country without any Jews.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to Don Zeko says:

        @saul-degraw , Lebanon used to function as one well, based on compromises between the Muslim and Christian populations. The consocionationalist structure used to work pretty well but it’s broken down as the Hezbollah group took over both land and power in the southern part.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Don Zeko says:

        @a-compromised-immune-system Lebanon worked as long as nobody paid attention to the demographics and pretended that Christians were a majority. Once Muslim Lebanese could no longer pretend that they were in the minority, the Lebanese system broke down. Out of all the place in the Middle East, Lebanon is most in need of separation of religion and state.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Because Iran isn’t in the middle east, suddenly?
        By all the gods, above and below… your ignorance astounds.
        (Iran even has better divorce laws than Israel.)Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Don Zeko says:

        1) Blame America and Britain. Bipolar was FAR easier for their small brains to handle than a tripolar world.
        2) No, you don’t get to just wish away people. Particularly violent people that you can’t pull out of the snakepit with a ten foot pole. Talk like that is just plain reductionist, and not very helpful. It’s one thing to work against Bibi. It’s another thing to work against Israel’s current body politik and “spirit of the times”. But just saying “wave magic wand, away goes Israel”… nah, let’s grow up a bit, shall we?Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Iran and Syria had absolutely no part in Lebanon’s troubles?Report

  5. North says:

    The European Jewish issue is a daunting one to say the least. At the root of it are questions of economics, culture and immigration. We can lay one fact out starkly; the Europeans have done an absolutely terrible job of assimilating their Muslim immigrants, as compared to their new world brethren. Some scattered thoughts:
    -National identity definitely plays a bad role here. Canada and America (despite what RWMB’s may want) have very little firm identity for Americanness or Canadianness. The French, Germans, Danes etc… on the other hand have a very old and established sense of what it means to be French, German, Danish etc… and that’s a tough thing to overcome as an immigrant.
    -Frankly jobs are important. The Europeans, and especially the French, have a system of economic regulation that makes job creation and hiring quite fraught; you hire someone you will pretty much be stuck with them until they elect to leave. With high unemployment and high stakes in who you hire that gives employers both the incentive and ability to be very picky… and that again lands with both feet right on the immigrants.
    -So you have Muslim immigrants who are unemployed and are generally packed into their suburban ghettos (the European inversion of the American Urban/Suburban paradigm is weirdly understandable) and that’s a recipe for terrible levels of assimilation and a natural incubator for the kind of antediluvian religious violence that’s redounding on the Jews of Europe.
    -This doesn’t, in any way, excuse the attackers from responsibility- they’re thuggish Muslim idiots.

    I am not sure how this ends. I can’t imagine that European Jews would make aliyah en masse no matter how sweaty and excited Bibi may get imagining it. I would hope that European Jewry will follow their historical social tradition of simply keeping their heads down and digging in (a tactic that served them very badly with the Nazi’s but would serve them very well against Muslim idiots). Given enough resilience and with the European societies responding with adequate law enforcement perhaps this wave will subside in the long term.

    In the short term the only way I see it being tackled is by Middle Eastern development (let me saddle my flying pig); European deregulation (let me saddle my other flying pig); or some kind of peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian question (I pessimistically fear it’d take more than my liberal Israeli friends votes to tip Bibi out of power but hope springs eternal).Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

      Europe also has a much, much longer history of anti-Semitism though.

      This is not to say that anti-Semitism did not exist in the United States. There was enough anti-Semitism in the United States that many Jews formed a sort of shadow culture of what was going on in the U.S. during the 20th century. The old term for this was “Our Crowd”. The WASPs had J.P. Morgan and Carnegie and the Astors and the Vanderbilts. The Jews had Goldman Sachs, Levi Strauss, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, etc. Also Jews went into the entertainment industry in droves and basically helped create the American culture that took over the world. J.P. Morgan and others still found ways to do business with Jews.

      There are still a lot of minor and right-wing nationalist parties in Europe that get as close to the Nazi line as they can and these parties always hated Jews. Le Pen the Daughter is interesting in trying to attract Jews and discard the old anti-Semitism of Le Pen the Father.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yes, granted but unless you’re alleging that European society or goverment is somehow tacitly supporting the Muslim idiots who’re attacking European Jewry then I don’t see this fact as being particularily germaine to the subject at hand.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

      @north, I am not sure that keeping head’s down low would work for European Jews under the current circumstances. The European governments aren’t going to get better at assimilating Muslim Europeans anytime soon. European Muslims are going to get more radicalized during this time period and at this point any assimilationist technique is going to invoke a lot of anger from them. The Jews are going to be on the receiving end of this anger. Also, Europe has a stronger Far Left that will actively side with Muslim idiots because it is “anti-colonial” to do so.Report

    • A Compromised Immune System in reply to North says:

      A peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian question probably involves voting Netanyahu out of power but it also requires that the governments of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are willing to go along with whatever resolution is reached and it requires that someone from the Palestinian side function as a good-faith negotiator. It’s that third one that is and always has been the killer. The Palestinians have never produced either by organizations or by their elections a true and honest negotiator willing to reach a peaceful resolution.

      In the short term, there’s also the ISIS problem to consider. Let them get much bigger and they’ve got their eyes on Jerusalem.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        I don’t find anything to disagree with here. The problem with the lack of number 3 is that it contributes a lot to Netanyahu’s continuing reign as Prime Minister. Likud looks like it is going to win reelection.Report

      • Well, at least when ISIS starts targeting Jerusalem, we’ll be able to question whether they don’t have a point somewhere.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Likud can honestly say “we tried negotiating and it went nowhere” and they’re 100% correct in saying that. They can point to the sheer number of times that the Palestinians either went back on agreed-upon steps or simply walked away from the table, and they can point to the number of times that the Palestinian leadership if one can call it that demanded concessions even to just stop some intensely murderous violence.

        While voting out Likud from the leadership is part of the answer, the Israelis have proven themselves willing to do just that repeatedly, and they’ve quite often offered some very sizable concessions to try to make peace. It’s to the discredit of the Palestinian side that such overtures have been met either with dishonest negotiation or outright slaps in the face, which causes the Israeli electorate to go back into a wagon-circling mode that results in the election of the more conservative groups that are least likely to make the negotiations successful if the Palestinians ever do decide to elect a leader able to perform as a good-faith negotiator and make some of the hard concessions that the Palestinian side will eventually have to make, such as giving up the whole “the entirety of the area from river to sea is occupied land” falsehood that is still part of both the Hamas and PNA charters.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Palestinian leadership figured out long ago that they don’t need to produce a good faith negotiator because its simply impossible for other countries to hold them responsible. Muslim-majority countries are never going to abandon the Palestinian cause. Non-Muslim countries aren’t going to just leave the Palestinians to their fate either because a substantial number of their citizens will either always insist break-downs in negotiations are always Israel’s fault and because just saying fish it to the Palestinians is diplomatic not successful for many reasons.

        For the Palestinian leadership this is perfect. They could either resist Israel forever if thats what they want. Even if they are more realistic, they know that they can’t offer anything to Israel that they could actually enforce.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        The Palestinians have never produced either by organizations or by their elections a true and honest negotiator willing to reach a peaceful resolution.

        How much of what constitutes a “god faith negotiator” is determined by Israeli leadership?

        Also, how often has Israel been a bad faith negotiator – if ever! – in attempts to attain a peaceful resolution?

        I could pull up quotes from Ben Gurion or Golda Meir if that’d help in arriving at an answer.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @stillwater a good-faith negotiator for the standpoint of an average Israeli is one that could actually accept on offer as final that leaves at least Israel intake within the pre-1967 borders.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:


        Has Israel given indications that they are willing to be constrained by those borders? Honest question, actually, since you know more about this than I d, but my understanding is that settlement building outside those borders occurs persistently. And I say that recognizing that the Israeli government has at times demolished certain settlements and prohibited development in certain areas. Is Israel currently engaging in settlement building outside those borders?

        The right to return is a big issue, no doubt. Different topic than we’re addressing right now, but one that I think Israeli policies have been poor at resolving. The opposite, in fact. (Not that I know the solution all these problems…)Report

      • Stillwater is more right than wrong here. Look around 2005 when Kadima was running things in Israel I think you could make a pretty good argument that the Palestinians were arguing in bad faith, so on and so forth. That’s not the case in 2015. With regards to the PA in the west bank we’re talking about a decade now of unprecedented security cooperation and calm in the vast majority of the territories and this is while being constantly belittled and scorned by Bibi and his clown squad. Hell Bibi flat out bragged about his many concrete actions to undermine and scuttle Oslo.

        Now let’s be clear, that wily old shyster Arafat was never going to deal but after he was gone the Israeli’s have had something approaching a plausible partner in Abbas. Yes, Abbas has played politics, hell so have the Israelis, but it’s been the Likud and the Israeli right that has squandered this time.

        Up to Likud taking over my sympathies were strongly Israeli but it’s pretty obvious that the Palestinians have played ball for their part and gotten bupkiss all for it. The worst part is that I see no indication that Bibi himself is deeply enamored with greater Israel; Bibi just wants to maintain his electoral coalition. The future of the state endangered to indulge his grasping ambition; he isn’t even worthy of being grouped with the likes of Begin and Meir.

        Now in 2015 I’d say the fault’s pretty evened out, fifty fifty and if you exclude Hamas a good case can be made that the Israeli’s are behaving worse. I am afraid that there will come a time when the Israelis will look back on the Abbas era with mournful regret at the missed opportunities.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @north the thing is that from the Israeli perspective Israel was dealing with either no attempts at negotiation or bad faith negotiations for decades that started from before Israel declared independence. Even if you limit yourself to the post-Oslo years, there is the second intifada and the post-Arafat bad faith negotiations and Hamas fanaticism. From the Israeli perspective, it makes sense to simply not trust Palestinian leadership anymore.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @leeesq Unless, of course, the Israeli perspective is one that desires peace at any point in the future. If Israelis or Palestinians won’t deal when they feel they have deep historical reasons to distrust the other side, then they won’t deal ever.Report

      • Lee, lumping Hamas in with the PA when the two were up until recently entirely seperate (and opposed to each other) is a Israeli right wing construct explicitly designed to prevent any form of advancement on this matter. The PA in the West Bank could have easily been negotiated with ignoring the Hamas idiots entirely. As for bad faith negotiating, the Israeli’s since Arafat and Kadima have been as bad at that as the Palestinians; worse perhaps- the Palestinians aren’t expanding Palestinian settlements in Israeli territories. There’s a reason Israel has been gradually losing ground in the battle for world opinion and it ain’t simply naked antisemicisim.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        then damn it all, Bibi’s in bad faith. Arab League put that on the table as a starting negotiating point. Back to pre-1967 borders, and full acceptance of Israel by the whole damn League (thank the Sauds for the idea). Not one bite from Israel. This was what, ten years ago?

        The Palestinians will not be able to “resist” forever. You’re in an increasingly unstable situation, and the end result, I fear, will be genocide.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        In Israel, Jewish terrorists are allowed to operate unhindered. Is it any surprise that “extralegal settlements” occur in the territories?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @kimmi that is not true and you know it. A quick google search will reveal that Israel prosecutes citizens that commit crimes and acts of violence against Palestinians.




      • Kimmi in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        And who the fuck said I was talking about violence against Palestinians?
        Learn to read, sucker.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Hastening to add, for the benefit of mods or whomever else might care, that I wasn’t deliberately trolling Lee.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        I’m sorry, I stopped taking you seriously when you suggested that Abbas was a realistic choice of a good-faith negotiator from the Palestinian side @north .

        In Israel, Jewish terrorists are allowed to operate unhindered. @kimmi this kind of blood libel is why nobody sensible takes the pro-palestinian side seriously.Report

      • If that’s the extent of your point then I’d say it’s your debating ability that’s compromised rather than your immune system. What’s your beef with Abbas? Other than tamping down on violent attacks against Israel (which I’m of the opinion he’s done pretty well on) he owes the Jewish state no obligation.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @north you want to know why I think Abbas isn’t a good-faith negotiator? Anyone who thinks Abbas is a valid and honest partner for peace negotiations isn’t thinking clearly.

        Exhibit 1: his dissertation, “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism”, an entire dissertation about holocaust denial and blaming Jews for World War 2 in which he claims that “Zionists” started WW2 as an excuse for the creation of Israel.

        Exhibit 2: his repeated speeches demanding that all Jews be barred from the Temple Mount, even from approaching the Western Wall. His statement of October last year where he stated that any Jewish presence whatsoever “desecrates” the entire site and that it should be defended “by any means necessary” which sparked off the present wave of terrorist attacks.

        Exhibit 3: His support of the various PNA-government television programs that continue to this day to incite terrorism and hatred, teaching children things like “Jews are Allah’s Enemies.”

        Exhibit 4: His repeated hailing of terrorists and suicide bombers as national heroes, which has continued unabated.Report

      • Chris in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Exhibit 2: his repeated speeches demanding that all Jews be barred from the Temple Mount, even from approaching the Western Wall.

        Do you have a source for the part in bold? I know that he’s said the Al-Aqsa Mosque would be Muslims’ alone, but I’ve only seen reports of him saying that the Western Wall would be open to anyone.Report

      • ACIS, that’s a whole bucket load of weak, weak tea. Abbas is playing politics and saying things the Palestinians want to hear? Such shock! Such horror! Shall we go dredging through the Israeli’s political classes pronouncements and outlaw them for all the dumb crap they’ve asserted? It’s gonna be an empty bargaining table if we do.
        I really don’t care a lot about what Abbas says; I care about what he does and what has he done? He’s stomped down hard on Palestinian militant and terrorist attacks against the Israeli’s and Israeli settlers. He’s presided over very peaceable period in the West Bank despite astonishing provocation from both the Israeli’s and Hamas. Compared to his predecessor he’s been quite a good neighbor to the Israeli’s and I think it’s plausible to think that if Likud hadn’t stormed into power he’d have eventually cut a deal with the Israeli center and left.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @chris This statement on Nov. 7th.

        “All of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including its plazas, stone benches, prayer niches and walls, including the Al-Buraq Wall, including the blessed Al-Buraq Wall – all these are waqf to us. All this is waqf and kharaj land and no one is permitted to sell it or negotiate over it or forfeit it. It is ours and will remain ours. The occupation is the one that will leave.”Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        @north The problem with Abbas is he’s the same as Arafat before him. He’s a holocaust denier who will say one thing in English and the opposite in Arabic. There’s no trusting him.

        I give you examples and you say it’s weak tea, I say that your claims about his supposed clamping down on terrorism are weak tea. He’s perfectly willing to let the dogs off their leash anytime he thinks it gives him an example, that’s what he did just a few months ago.Report

      • Chris in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Yeah, that doesn’t say what you say it says (the bold part above). It says that it’s their’s, which obviously they think it is (seriously, duh!), but it doesn’t say that Jews or anyone else will be barred from praying there. He’s pretty explicitly said that they won’t be barred, so I’m looking for some quote in which he explicitly says that they will.Report

      • Chris in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Also, looking up the quote, it’s not even from Abbas, so…Report

      • So you’re saying Arafat, who said the stuff Palestinian Politicians are expected to say and under who’s administration terror attacks from the West Bank were frequent and lethal and with whom security cooperation to prevent same was sporadic and reliable is the same as Abbas who also said the stuff Palestinian Politicians are expected to say but under who’s administration terror attacks from the West Bank have become infrequent and less lethal and with whom security cooperation has been consistantly reliable and productive?

        Help me out here.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Abbas is better than Arafat but that isn’t saying much. I think that Abbas is still mired in a lot of the previous baggage of the Palestinian national movement that prevented any sort of compromise with the Yishuv before Israel or the Israeli government in the present. Part of this is because of sincere belief, Abbas is old and long involved with Palestinian nationalism. Some of the more negative elements had to have rubbed off on him just as the more negative elements of Zionism rubbed off on many Israeli politicians, even those that want to compromise with the Palestinians.

        The other issue is that Abbas and most other Palestinian politicians are powerless to make meaningful compromises even if they want to. The most basic thing that all Israeli politicians are going to want is the knowledge that the Palestinians are going to give up demanding Israel allow millions of Palestinians to move into the Green Line. Most Israeli governments would pay good money for this. Any Palestinian leader that promises this would be met with screams of betrayal and treason across the Muslim world.Report

      • Well Lord(lady?) knows Abbas is no great blessing. That said, I still suspect that the Israeli’s will miss him sorely once he’s gone.
        With regards to the Palestinian right of return the solution there is pretty commonly know. Israel will never let the descendants of the Palestinian refugees into Israel; the Palestinians will never publicly give up on demanding it. The solution is recognizing and moving on past both, let the Palestinians demand, let the Israeli’s refuse and then the refugees move into Palestine instead. Israeli’s who refuse to deal unless the Palestinians publicly give up the right of return are just saying they don’t want a deal. Palestinians who refuse to deal unless the Israeli’s actually let the right of return happen are the same.Report

      • And Lee, what should keep Israeli’s up at night sweating is the idea of some new Palestinian leader walking into the PA, looking around and saying “Screw it, we’re shutting this all down. Israel wants the Territories, fine, it gets the people.” and shuts the PA down and begins agitating for voting rights and nondiscriminatory government from Tel Aviv.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to A Compromised Immune System says:

        Saying Abbas is better than Arafat is like saying that a car with a broken axle is better than a car with a broken axle AND two flat tires. It might be technically better but they’re both just as useless. @leeesqReport

    • Pinky in reply to North says:

      It’s misleading to talk about Europe collectively in its relationship with the Jews. There were always parts of Europe that were more welcoming or less welcoming. A Jew wasn’t a resident of Europe; he was a resident of his home country until it seemed like a good time to leave. If he timed it wrong, or chose the wrong destination, he was dead. Fortunately for us Americans, we became one of the preferred destinations when fleeing a country of origin. Now, Israel has become one.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


      Here is another interesting issue. Freddie “No Enemies to my Left” DeBoer contends that The Atlantic is wrong for suggesting that Jews under grave threat from European Muslims.


      I’ve seen this sort of thing a lot that suggests that the idea of Jews in Europe being under threat or danger is overblown and that the real prejudice is still against European Muslims.

      I don’t deny that prejudice against Muslims exists in Europe but that doesn’t change the fact that many Jews could feel threatened. I find it very strange when stuff like this happens.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @saul-degraw Freddie De Boer like many Far Leftists have always had an extraordinary difficult time dealing with Jew-hatred. This has been true since Marx penned On the Jewish Question. They always saw Jews as to ordinary and bourgeois to attract much sympathy even when Jews really needed it.

        Making matters worse is that Muslims occupy the current spot of Wretched of the Earth for lots of people on the Far Left since September 11 and especially since Iraq II. It is an article of faith among many on the Far Left that the only reason the Muslim world is going through so much problems is because of Western colonialism including Israel.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        There are two parts to this Saul. Certainly the further left, as Lee notes, has written Israeli’s out of the “unfortunate of the world” category in their collective minds so that makes antisemitism more plausible for the far left (though it’s a very hard sell on the left when it comes to non-Israeli Jews).

        The second part, however, is the conscious choice by the current administration of Israel to begin turning support for Israel into a partisan affair. If either of you would like to write a brief in support of Netanyahu’s strategy in this mind blowing madness I’d be fascinated to read it. Still, if the Israeli’s insist on making enemies of the left I don’t see how they can then howl as victims if the left takes their sentiment to heart.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Saul, I’m impressed, that is some serious vintage old school Freddie. Five parts substance-less sneering, five parts general vitriol, no parts substantive points.
        But then I should be more charitable, I have been commenting on the internet for about as long as Freddie has been writing on it* and I still regress to my old comfortable modes and tropes pretty regularly. I bet Freddie felt refreshed and vivified after he penned that screed.

        *The latter being fundamentally a more laudable and noble endeavor mind.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @north, I think the Further Left has decided that Jews are not part of the “unfortunate of the world” since the mid-19th century. The early left anarchists like Proudhoun tended towards outright Jew hatred. Marxists and Socialists were more ambivalent but still tended towards not really considering Jews to be persecuted unless you really pressured them.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        YMMV Lee, but lefties generally don’t seem to think that antisemitism is good though they’ll happily argue with you furiously on what does and does not constitute antisemitism. In fairness, some Israeli boosters use charges of antisemitism as their go to defense.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I think the whole Netanyahu speaking to Congress at snubbing Obama is a huge blunder. A really huge blunder. Not because it would isolate the DeBoers of the world but because you are right that it alienates mainstream Democrats who are generally pro-Israel because it equates Pro-Israel with Republican.

        Do you know Tablet Magazine? It is an on-line Jewish magazine. On the one hand, they seem to try to attract anyone with a connection to Judaism and have essays on how children from intermarried couples can still have strong Jewish identities and will give a Mazel Tov to Joel Grey for coming out because he is Jewish and other pro-LGBT stuff. On the other hand, they maintain a strong Likkudnik line and are dismissive of the Center-Left parties in Israel. The comment section arguments tend to be huge flamewars between Jewish Republicans and Jewish Democrats about whether someone can be Jewish and liberal.*

        *Jewish immigrants from Communist countries and times tend to be very hardcore Republican and have extreme distrust for even the smallest welfare state program. They also tend to love St. Ronnie. They forget about James “Fuck the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway” Baker.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Saul, I’ve read a few articles on Tablet but I avoid the comment sections in places like it and the Jerusalem Post. Jewish comment sections are fractious and fun to say the least but as a gentile I don’t feel entitled to to participate.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Bibi’s speech to Congress is no more stupid than blatantly supporting Romney. Please donate to the “get bibi out of office” fund.Report

      • j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        That is a perfect Freddie post in that I generally agree with the overall criticism of The Atlantic and similar media outlets, but he is way off base in the particular instance that he chose to go after. Friedersdorf just didn’t write any of what Freddie claims.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        Apparently Freddie got heat for the post and did a backtrack but not. Notice how he seems to have a high-bar for what is considered anti-Semitism.


        The issue here for the left is how to combat the right-wings Islamophobia while also dealing with the inconvenient fact that ISIS is an Islamist terrorist organization and sometimes some Muslims can committed bigoted attacks against Jews or do actions that make Jews feel unsafe and unwelcome.

        So far Freddie and much of the left is failing.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @saul-degraw that’s because they can’t find a square the circle. Freddie and others see all that is wrong with the Muslim world as colinialism’s fault.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I think that most of the further left really doesn’t care about the fate of European Jews. They generally play games of what is called whataboutery when the topic of Muslim anti-Semitism comes up because they are intent to see Muslims occupy the space of pure victim. They just don’t want to seem callous about it for the most part.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m inclined to agree. The further left has an Islam problem. Islam is, of the three big Abrahamic monotheisms, the youngest and least mature of the bunch and the one most prevalent in the least developed parts of the world. Islam in the Middle east operates like pre-enlightenment Christianity; that’s genuinely a problem for muslims and for everyone else; especially the left.
        For right wingers, of course, the solution is simple, expulsion, conversion or separation but for the left it’s a lot harder. There are a lot of knee jerk “whatever the right hates must be virtuous” impulse on the left and it’s hard to break that habit.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        The left doesn’t have an Islam problem, the liberal world (in the broad sense, not the limited American political sense) has an Islam problem. In some ways, the issues with Islamic populations are very similar to those of the issues with Jewish populations one upon a time: two groups, a middle class that’s largely assimilated, and a lower class that is largely not assimilated, combined with great deal of racism and barriers to integration in society. There are big differences, of course, but some of the major underlying dynamics are similar.

        Then there’s the instability and perpetual conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, which the Western world has done little to alleviate and much to exacerbate. So we’re deeply involved there, and it affects the Muslim population here.

        “The Left” is, of course, worried about the safety of European Jews. “The Left” just understands that their safety, and everyone’s in the West, is not separate from the issues of Islam in Europe and the rest of the world, and that our behavior toward the Muslim world has tended to make life worse, and less safe for almost everyone.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @north most Muslims are not-white and this causes many on the Further Left, especially those inclined to see Western imperialism as the source of all the world’s evil, as having no organic problems.

        One of the reasons why I think that Islam is having problems maturing as a religion was that their founder was victorious. Moses died before he could enter the Promise Land and Jesus was crucified but Mohammed saw tremendous victory in his lifetime and died peacefully in bed. This gave Islam a narrative of success that many can’t seem to get over.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Insofar as Islam has a Liberal World problem, there appears to be an impasse.

        Yes, #notallmuslims. There remains a segment of the religion that is best compared to Christian stuff like the KKK, the Crusades, Witch Burnings, and so on.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        At the turn of the last century, as Europe rapidly modernized and liberalized (itself into massive self destruction on an unprecedented scale, including the near wiping out of European Jews, but I parenthetically digress), Muslim scholars looked to their North and West and saw a direction they hoped their world could soon take. Then the Western world came to the Muslim world and helped end the oldest empire in the world, freeing Arabs from Ottoman rule, giving many hope that the modernizing and even liberalizing were near. Then the West fucked them over, repeatedly for the next century, in myriad ways. Surprisingly, then, the hope of some turn-of-the-last-century Muslim scholars for a modernized, liberalized Muslim world has only partially been realized. And now we have to face the other parts as much as it has to face us.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        What’s more, and I’m repeating myself here, the people who suffer most from Muslim extremism are not Jews, and they’re certainly not Western Christians: they are other Muslims, who are the targets of many times more acts of extremist violence than everyone else combined. More than anyone else, then, Muslims have an extremist Muslim problem. It is a flame we fan, but from the worst of which we are largely sheltered.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Also, I’m happy to see that Lee and Saul have made “the Left” the group you can talk about without knowing shit about them on OT. Since Libertarians objected so strenuously when they were the target of such nonsense, they and others had mostly stopped targeting them, leaving a sort of bullshit vacuum that they’re now filling nicely with “the Left.”Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @chris the Left seems to have no problem taking about Zionism, Israelis, or even Jews without knowing shit about them. Just denounce them as white settler, colonialist pigs and leave it at that. I’m just returning the favor.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        See, like that.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Chris, I didn’t say “the Left”, I said “Liberal World”.

        I assure you, I meant “in the broad sense” and not “the limited American political sense”.

        I apologize for not making that more clear.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Jay, oh, I meant the two people I singled out. Granted, some others have gone along with them, but the last couple weeks have been “Saul treats the nebulous, largely unspecified category he calls ‘The Left’ the way he and others used to treat libertarians” time at OT. The nonsense in this thread just put me a bit over the top, since Lee is accusing “the Left” of not caring about violence against Jewish people in Europe.

        I imagine the last people to treat “the Left” the way libertarians have been treated here would be OT libertarians. Well, a couple of them might, but not you.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        We disagree with you. So what? And I consider myself to be liberal and part of the left but reasonably so. Certainly not to any utopian sense. I see you are adopting the Freddie stance of reserving your real contempt for the center-left instead of the right-wing because heaven forbid that someone be only a liberal instead of a socialist but a full on right-winger, that is a-okay man….

        Maybe people are agreeing with me because there are a lot more people closer to my line of politics and liberal thought than yours?Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Chris, I’m largely in agreement with your analysis of Islam and Muslims. I even can read between the lines in Freddie’s fulminating and see where he’s hand waving that violence against Jewish people in Europe is so obviously unacceptable that he shouldn’t even have to deign to say as much but I don’t think he’s made that very obvious and it’s obscured by his self-indulgent full article hate on Frum, Goldberg et all. I can sympathize; he probably needed a full left cleanse to revitalize himself after his apostasy on the subject of political correctness.
        All that said he probably could have saved himself the trouble by sticking in the standard obligatory two or so sentences of criticism against Muslim immigrants who’re resorting to this violence and then going on to talk about root causes etc etc afterwards.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        North, I don’t mean to defend Freddie. For one, I don’t consider him representative of “the Left” generally or even any specific segment of it, so to the extent that I’m referring to him when I say “the Left” (and I will always use the scare quotes in this context), it’s only because he is one of many who might fall under that label. In addition, I think his criticisms of Friedersdorf were unfair, though I don’t read The Atlantic so I can’t say to what extent his criticisms of the publication in general are fair.Report

      • j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        Then the Western world came to the Muslim world and helped end the oldest empire in the world, freeing Arabs from Ottoman rule, giving many hope that the modernizing and even liberalizing were near. Then the West fucked them over, repeatedly for the next century, in myriad ways. Surprisingly, then, the hope of some turn-of-the-last-century Muslim scholars for a modernized, liberalized Muslim world has only partially been realized.

        The history of western meddling in the region is certainly a big part of the history of radical Islam and its incursions against the west. There is another way to look at this though. It is possible that Islam is already in the midst of its own version of the Reformation.

        It’s optimistic to imagine that such a movement would be a movement towards liberalism and in the long run it may. However, in the short run, this looks an awful lot like Christianity’s own Reformation. Within eighty years of Martin Luther’s death, Europe was into the Thirty Years’ War. Europe’s own history of religious reform entailed a very chaotic period in which the existing hegemony of the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire splintered and gave way to a myriad of competing religious interpretations.

        I don’t know what the Medieval European equivalent of IS is, but there’s a pretty good chance that there was one.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t know what the Medieval European equivalent of IS is

        The Crusades, I’d think.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yeah, I’m not a scholar of Islam, so I’m not sure how much sense that interpretation makes sense. It’s clear that much of the extremism is reactionary, but given that Islam has been so fractured (Shia, Sunni, Sufi, and so on) since it began, I imagine there are difficulties in applying the “reformation” model to it as a whole, but it’s certainly run itself up against the modern world and its splinters are flying in multiple directions, some of which result in conflict.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t know what the Medieval European equivalent of IS is
        The Crusades, I’d think.

        I would expected the answer to be the Spanish Inquisition.Report

      • j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m not sure how much well any of those examples compare to IS. But that is mostly because I tend to think of IS as more of a apocalyptic cult than a serious religious movement. I’m thinking more along the lines of Jim Jones or the Lord’s Resistance Army.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @j-r – I hesitate, as always, to say this, because I really do mean no particular disrespect to Islam or Christianity (or religion in general) – but I’m really not clear in my mind how much of a distinction between “Jim Jones” and “The Crusades” really exists. In both instances gullible people were led by charismatic leaders into a fools’ errand and their doom because they thought God had told them it was their duty to establish His kingdom here on earth.

        And I do worry sometimes that, even though we know full well from history that a religious/political/philosophical/ideological movement can be or become toxic to itself and others, that we give a pass to the “big” religions; whether due to their age/establishment, familiarity, or the sheer fact that they are too big to do much of anything about other than cross our fingers and hope they fix themselves.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Seriously, the sectarian religious split plus ethnic component plus failed states carved from a dead empire plus proxies and neighbor involvement makes me think that the current conflict (which stretches from the Med to the Arabian/Persian Gulf and down to the Gulf of Aden) is most like the 30 years war.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Perhaps this is ahistorical but I can’t help but see the Reformation through the lens of political machination with various Kings and Princes involved in a power struggle with the Pope that had little, if anything, to do with Biblical Knowledge.

        What I notice about the so-called “Islamic State” is that they seem to be paying hella attention to Koranic Instruction. I worry that they might actually believe things.Report

      • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Perhaps one way in which it is like the Reformation (and resulting armed conflicts) is that, during the Reformation, princes used Biblical scholars and theologians to justify their non-religious ambitions. And didn’t someone once say something like, the best politicians are the ones who believe their own lies?Report

      • @j-r Y’know, I was just about to write a comment about how the closest parallel I can think of to where Islam is today would be the Thirty Years’ War, then I saw you were already on the same wavelength. There’s lots of differences, of course, but conceptually it seems pretty close. The biggest difference, though, may be that the actors are largely amorphous movements rather than kingdoms, empires, and micro-states; that makes the problem even more intractable – it’s hard for movements to sign meaningful peace treaties, and they can’t be permanently killed off on the field of battle. At best they can be forced underground for awhile through repressive, illiberal measures that will eventually come back and haunt you – e.g., Egypt tried for decades to suppress the Muslim Brotherhood, using society-wide repression. The latter resulted in Mubarrak’s overthrow, but the former combined with the latter resulted in the MB being the only group sufficiently organized to win elections after the overthrow. Of course, once they came back out in the open and completely mismanaged the country, they were easy to suppress again after they, too, were overthrown, thus repeating the original mistake.

        Turning back to the 30 Years’ War era analogue, I suppose you could even argue that the US is sort of in the position that the Ottoman Empire was in, except if the Ottomans were generally aligned with the Habsburgs (the House of Saud).

        As for ISIS, these guys may be a good parallel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisowczycy
        In addition to their cruelty, they were also what spurred the Ottomans to get involved in the conflict: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Ottoman_War_(1620%E2%80%9321)Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m not seeing any close parallels to the Reformation and what the Islamic world is going through now. There isn’t an overall Islamic religious organization that the Islamists are protesting against the way the Protestants argued against the Catholic Church. Official Islamic establishments in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran seem less corrupt and more sincere in their beliefs than the Catholic Church in most of Europe at the time of the Reformation. There isn’t an Islamic equivalent of the sale of indulgences and other forms of religious corruption. Official Islamic clergy impose punishments that are only slightly less harsh than those imposed by the Islamic State or Boko Haram in that they are corporal punishment and imprisonment rather than automatic death.

        Like @jaybird said, the Protestant Reformation went far because a lot of monarchs and nobles saw it as good opportunity to increase their political power by breaking away from Rome. It was often, but not always, a top down affair. England went Protestant because Henry VIII needed a son. The Islamist movement seems much more of a bottom up movement.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

      @north it just occurred to me that America’s greater religiosity is one reason why we might be better at assimilating Muslim immigrants beyond more practice. By the time Muslims immigrated to Europe, Europe was already a post-religious society. This provided for a great deal of culture shock on both sides. Europeans and a lot of Americans who sympathize with the European outlook like to see this as a sign of sophistication but it is a lot easier to assimilate very religious people when you are very religious.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That may be Lee but Europe was once highly religious. Frankly I’m of the opinion that the simple fact of America’s “everyone is ultimately an immigrant*” is the basis of the easy assimilation. Also, let’s face it, it’s easier to get a job in the new world and if you have a nine to five you just have so much less time for stewing and plotting to go find some Jews to assault.

        *Excluding the first nations to at the subject of which every non first nations person averts his eyes and mumbles uncomfortably until the subject changes.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @north, I also think the poly-centric economic geography of American and Canada helps. It prevents really dense concentrations of particular communities that only associate with themselves. If one out of two Muslim immigrants decided to stay in the New York or Toronto areas than the problems might be similar.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yeah having a fish-ton of space is good for conflict deescalation in general.Report

      • gingergene in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @leeesq I take it you’ve never been to Dearborn, MI? It’s an interesting comparison to Europe, really- it’s not like Detroit is thriving right now, and there is, in fact, a huge concentration of Muslim Arabs and Arab-Americans. What is going right with that community that is going wrong in other places?Report

      • Kimmi in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Just because the First Nations walked here doesn’t mean they weren’t immigrants too. 😉Report

      • Kimmi in reply to LeeEsq says:

        How much selection is America doing on immigrants versus Europe? We may simply be getting more bourgeoisie folks…Report

      • gingergene in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @kimmi You may be on to something- the few Arab immigrants I’ve known personally tended to have left home at least partially because they felt it too illiberal. That said, I don’t know how representative they are, as I knew them through the professional setting, which may be selecting in itself.

        What kind of immigration policies does Europe have? Or does the distance between the ME and Europe vs. North America select for a certain type of immigration?Report

      • Kimmi in reply to LeeEsq says:

        figure in a place like Dearborn you wouldn’t see as much of that. (immigrant groups come together for common culture etc).

        But I know that most of Europe has policies that allow former colonies to immigrate to Europe, with relatively little threshold for “you can’t come here” if any at all. (skimming a bit, this is changing somewhat).Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @gingergene its because Dearborn is a spacious suburb with a low population density rather than a ghetto.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

        A good chunk of the Michigan Arab American community are Lebanese that fled that country during the protracted civil war of the mid 70s through late 80s. I had once read, but can’t find the cite, that 2/3 of the Arab-American population of Michigan are Christian (by birth/family tradition).

        It was also the case that the Arab-American community of Michigan was a reliable Republican voting block until September, 2001.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Lee, the idea that space eases tensions is belied by the 1865-1965 (to present) history of the rural American South, where things were even worse than the urban South.

        (and there’s other examples which I am sure are taught in all Oklahoma high school history classes, AP or not)Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @kolohe I’d argue that the rural South is a special case but that isn’t exactly what I meant. For riots and urban disturbances to happen you need a very specific type of environment of the dense, built-up urban neighborhood. It allows for the congregation of large numbers of people and for people to walk to the riot area. Riots require public areas. Suburban America tends to be relatively devoid of areas dense enough for riots or large scale protests.Report

      • gingergene in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @leeesq Detroiters would be surprised to hear that there isn’t enough population density to support a riot.Report

  6. Michael Cain says:

    Doesn’t Israel’s Jewish population have some long-term demographic problems, especially if they have to do something sane with the occupied territories? Yes, I know “occupied” is a loaded term, but I don’t think Israel can leave them hanging in limbo forever, neither fish nor fowl.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain says:

      @michael-cain, there has been a lot of arguments based on demographic trends on this issue. One problem is that nobody knows how many Palestinians live in the West Bank exactly. Evidence suggests its around 2.5 million. Another issue is that the Jewish birthrate in Israel, even among mainstream secular Jews, is above replacement level while the Arab birthrate seems to be decreasing. Many rightist Israelis believe that Israeli Jews have the demographic advantage and that if hundreds of thousands of Jews immigrant to Israel than this advantage would get stronger.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Like you said, it’s ambiguous. Birth rates change, and Israeli’s are highly mobile… if the detente fails with the PA in the West bank and the conflict there goes hot or if world opinion continues to sour on Israel the way she is behaving towards the West bank and trade contracts Israel could empty out like a bottle.Report

  7. LWA says:

    I generally avoid commenting on posts regarding Israel or Palestine, since I am not a stakeholder and don’t have the sort of depth of knowledge required.
    But the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, paired with the rise in Muslim fundamentalism, is interesting.
    Is it coincidental?
    Or is there a connection?
    Are they converting European Gentiles, but only to the cause of anti-Semitism?
    Or is it awakening what has always been there dormant?

    We hear that Europe has a problem integrating immigrant Muslims; I wonder if it also has a problem making Jews a part of the people- that they are still, after centuries, not fully members of the nation and easily ostracized.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to LWA says:

      This is part of the problem, Ernest Bevan was the Labour Foreign Secretary after WWII. He did believe that anti-Semitism was one of the causes of WWII and part of reconstruction needed to be that Jews needed to have a place in Europe. The problem was that Europe was a mess at the end of WWII and Britain had a hard enough time feeding people on the UK aisles. There was not much that they could do to help reintegrate Jews into Europe.Report

      • LWA in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Sort of tying this to my comments on the other thread about stakeholders-

        A few years back I led a Boy Scout troop. One year, by a quirk of demographics, about a quarter of the families in our troop were Jewish. As our annual Christmas party approached, I decided to rename it the Holiday party.
        I got some grumbling from some of the parents, accusing me of Political Correctness. I expected this.
        I told them the truth, that this wasn’t sensitivity on my part- it was that, the Jewish members of the troop were essential to its operation- I needed their enthusiastic support and eager cooperation in volunteering for all its various jobs. They needed to feel ownership, that this troop belonged to them, and that their customs and traditions were honored.

        What I didn’t expect was the outrage and angry phone calls from the Jewish parents. Because in my zeal, I unknowingly scheduled the Holiday party on the first night of Hanukkah.

        The point here, is that there are various levels of inclusion and assimilation. What I had was the “food and festival” level, where I benignly and magnanimously included other groups on my own terms, on conditions that were comfortable to me without offering them a voice of their own.

        Right now in America we have grown comfortable with food and festival style political correctness. We don’t call women “broads”, we don’t call Asians “Chinks”.
        But now we are moving into a deeper level. My firm has a huge client, a Chinese consortium headed by a woman.
        I’m sure she would be gratified to know that I don’t call her a “Chink broad”. But the terms of engagement between us isn’t mine to dictate anymore. She sets the agenda from a position of power.Report

      • A Compromised Immune System in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        What I didn’t expect was the outrage and angry phone calls from the Jewish parents. Because in my zeal, I unknowingly scheduled the Holiday party on the first night of Hanukkah.

        I hope that you made a quick apology, rescheduled the event, and were able to explain it as an easy enough mistake to make since the Jewish calendar doesn’t align precisely with the Gregorian calendar every year.

        Or if not, tell us what you did do? I think that has relevance to how people should treat stakeholders in society. It’s not just what you do initially, it’s how you make amends when even an understandable and non-malicious mistake occurs.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I grew up in the heavily Jewish NYC-Metro Area. NYC and many surrounding school districts turn the Jewish High Holidays into days off from school because so many students/teachers/admins would take the days off anyway that it would be hard to have classes. There are parts of Boston-Metro that do this as well.

        The SF-Bay Area is pretty liberal and reasonably Jewish but not Jewish enough to give off on the High Holidays. My parents have a house in the East Bay now and when I went to celebrate the High Holidays one year, they had a message about how roads would be inaccessible because of paving and it was Rosh Hashanah. It was the first time my parents were shocked because something like that would not happen on the East Coast during the Jewish High Holidays. My parents called up and the town was very apologetic and said others made the same calls.Report

      • LWA in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Oh, I apologized and rescheduled.
        Fortunately for me, the Jewish members of the troop were well accustomed to this .We all would regularly sit through “nondenominational” Scout services that would end with “and we ask this through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” at which point they would sigh and roll their eyes.

        Part of their cheerful acceptance of this, I believe, is that they were not threatened by it. They were fully enfranchised members of the prosperous middle class, and this was just an annoyance.

        Which is why I think oftentimes minority grievances sound so petty and overly sensitive- calling a football team the Vikings doesn’t insult Americans of Scandinavian heritage, because they are fully enfranchised and in control. For Native Americans living in poverty on a reservation its a different story.

        Its a lot easier to be broad minded once you have gained a foothold and been accepted. When you are routinely excluded and suffering real oppression, every little slur becomes the straw on the camel’s back.

        Which, working backward, means that even resolving some part of the oppression can lessen the friction for the rest and make it easier to reach accord.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        If you aren’t already familiar with the term, look into “cross cultural competency skills” (or some combination of those terms). It gets at what you discuss with regards to the different levels of connecting with people who might be different from you.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        fwiw, I wouldn’t have given you much crap about scheduling a party on the first day of Hanukkah. It’s a minor holiday, and you can just give out the presents on the second day, if you must.

        It’s not Easter, which is just one day. (nor Yom Kippur, for that matter — scheduling anything then is an Issue).Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to LWA says:

      @lwa : I don’t think Muslim immigrants are converting white Europeans to antisemitism. I think a much likelier explanation is that the presence of Muslim immigrants is spawning or empowering White Christian Nationalism, and the White Christian Nationalists hate Jews just as much as they hate Muslims.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Alan Scott says:

        @alan-scott is exactly right, here.Report

      • LWA in reply to Alan Scott says:

        Which is kinda what I thought. Which is also why I am cool to this theory I see on rightwing blogs about how its the fault of Islam that European Jews feel threatened.
        If your neighbor suddenly rips off his mask to reveal the neo-Nazi underneath, it isn’t the fault of some Muslim preacher.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Alan Scott says:

        If we keep our focus on Muslim anti-Semitism then we can keep talking about the importance of the Palestinian Occupation.

        It’s a lot harder to do that if we’re talking about Neo-Nazis.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Alan Scott says:


        A lot of the recent anti-Jewish violence has been at the hands of a radicalized and alienated Muslim minority as North points out above. There has also been a rise in far-right anti-Semitic parties though.Report

      • Alan Scott in reply to Alan Scott says:

        @saul-degraw , I was of course focusing on the latter form of antisemitism, but in no way mean to dismiss the presence or importance of the former sort.Report

      • North in reply to Alan Scott says:

        I grant your point, but until non-muslim neo-nazi’s begin either joining in the violence against Jewish people or begin actively trying to push policy imicidal to Jewish people (either by ratcheting back protection for them or providing cover for Muslim assailants) I think it’s a rather moot point. Note, please, that native European far right parties despise Muslim immigrants; most likely far more than they loath Jews. These are not natural allies.Report

      • Alan Scott in reply to Alan Scott says:

        How much does it matter that they’re not natural allies if policies dictated by nationalist impulses still harm Jewish populations?

        Consider France’s ban on religious dress in schools–clearly an anti-Muslim law, but also clearly just as objectionable to certain versions of Orthodox Judaism. In Denmark, laws regarding the slaughter of animals prevent both Kosher and Halal practices.

        Many European Jews and European Muslims hope to retain a separate ethno-religious identity while participating fully as citizens of their home countries. Laws that seek to enforce conformity to historically christian norms are going to have negative effects on both populations.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to LWA says:

      The only time I really got angry at a professor in college was during a Sociology 101 class during my freshman year. It was part of my requirements. The professor was an African-American woman and made an off-hand reference to how Europe is having to deal with racial minorities and have no experience with it. My thought was that she should speak to my ancestors.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


        If I am understanding you correctly, the implication of your comment here is that Europe has had to deal with racial minorities vis-a-vis the presence of Jews. Do I have that correct? If so, can you flesh out the concept of Judaism/Jewishness* as a race? I recognize that Judaism/Jewishness is different than most other faiths in that many who identify as such also view it as a broader culture and an ethnicity, but I have never heard it referred to as a race.

        * If one of these terms — or another — is the preferred on here, please let me know.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @kazzy yes, I’m saying that the situation of the Jews in Europe was close enough to that of African-Americans in the United States that any suggestion that European countries are having to deal with multi-cultural and racial polities for the first time in the late 20th century is laughable.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Thanks, @leeesq .

        Intentional or not, it sounds like your prof was engaged in a bit of what I’ve heard referred to as “Oppression Olympics”. It never yields winners.

        My hometown of Teaneck, NJ was unique in that it had large Black and Jewish populations (the latter split between reformed and Orthodox). I learned early about the unique relationship between Black Americans and American Jews. And that was in a community where interaction was fairly regular. It is more… interesting… elsewhere where the groups do not come into contact as regularly with one another.

        Of course, it is a common tactic of the empowered to pit those further down the totem poll against one another. Do you think it was a coincidence that Boston’s bussing program sought to integrate the poor black communities with the poor Irish communities? And are we surprised that the result was violent rioting, much of it with the latter targeting the former?

        Yea… Oppression Olympics is bad news… as tempting as it may be to play…Report

      • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

        You know who else hosted the Olympics?Report

      • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Mitt Romney?Report

      • Alan Scott in reply to LeeEsq says:

        For that matter, it’s not as though Europe suddenly encountered African immigrants for the first time at the end of the 20th century. People have been crossing the Mediterranean for as long as there have been boats.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:


        Reform Judaism and Reform Jews, not Reformed Judaism or Reformed Jews. Reformed Jews makes it sound like they are no-longer Jewish.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Gracias, @saul-degraw .Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Not to put too fine a point on this, but numbers do matter. At around 1900 the total population of people considered “Jewish” in Europe as a whole was somewhere around 2.2% of the population, and that was pretty much the height of their population numbers in Europe. Modern national Europe is looking at 4-5% of the population of each state, predominantly focused in large urban areas, being of nationalities that have less than two or three generations of life in that given state, but with much of the baggage of nationalism for them (and their surrounding populations) that comes with that. This is a substantially different situation (for better or worse) than how Europe dealt with minority populations within its states from the middle ages to early modernity.

        As a social phenomenon, dealing with racial minorities in an age of out and out nationalism and nation-states is a relatively recent development in Europe, particularly in terms of migration patterns since the dismantling of the major European multi-national states after 1918.

        And while things like Rhine Crusades and pogroms did exist, a wide nationalist rejection of Jewish people from national identity didn’t really occur until the populist national uprisings of the 1850s. There’s plenty of Prussian primary source literature, for example, in the post-Vienna period that discuss how nationalism and bourgeoise values would eventually lead to the assimilation of their Jewish population. There’s a particular reason why Zionism is a phenomenon of the late 19th century, along with all the other minor nationalist movements ranging from Catalans to Basques and the unpleasantness in the Balkans.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to LeeEsq says:

        don’t forget the Romani when you pull numbers. Jews weren’t the only ethnic minority.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:


        How exactly are we post-nation state?Report

      • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

        A post-nation state? What the hell is that? And where does Nob suggest we are one?Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I’m hard-pressed to see where you got the notion of a post national state.

        My point was that most of the history of Europe dealing with minority populations until the 20th century consisted of dealing within multi-national states such as the Hapsburg domains, the German principalities, Low Countries, Balkans, or Caucuses.Report

  8. Rufus F. says:

    I don’t really understand the idea that Jews are less safe in Europe than they would be in Israel. Certainly there are more attacks in Israel, right?Report

    • Chris in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Yes, it’s considerably more dangerous. However, I don’t think that’s the only variable in the equation. I get the sense that some Jewish people in Europe feel like they’re completely unprotected there.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Rufus F. says:

      What Chris said. Israel might not exactly be the safest place but the Israeli government is dedicated to the physical protection of Jews as it sees fit. Many Jews in European governments believe that their governments are failing to do anything to protect them from the onslaught.Report

    • North in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Perception is everything. Israel is not safer in the short term and in in great danger of being far less safe in the long run. That said Israel’s government is by Jewish people and verges on being illiberally for Jewish people; there’s no doubt they’re on the Jewish side. That means a great deal. Frankly I don’t even blame them.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to North says:

        Quite true. But then, this is also why we take our shoes and belts off in the airport.Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        Ugh, don’t get me started about security theater Don.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        Security theater is definitely what we’re talking about. The perception — and we’ve seen it here — is that European governments, and the French government in particular, are either helpless in the face of anti-Semitic crimes, or have no interest in doing anything, while the Israeli government’s primary mission is to protect its citizens, even as rockets are flying in from Gaza and Lebanon. Of course, it’s not at all true that the French government is doing nothing, but we’re talking crime, and crime is of course impossible to prevent entirely, or even in large part.

        I get the impression that France is making a move toward more theatery protection measures now.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

        @rufus-f @chris @don-zeko @north

        The perception comes because these stories seem to come up more and more frequently and it is like a train wreck. European journalist and public officials just seem attracted to wondering aloud if Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism like moths are attracted to a flame:


      • Rufus F. in reply to North says:

        Chris, Lee, North: Is that really the case though? I know Netanyahu says the European Jews feel totally unprotected, but of course he’s trying to hype Israel as a safe haven. Is there strong evidence that European Jews are en masse in agreement with that? I was living in France about seven years ago and there was a militarized police force pretty much everywhere you went, which I take it is not much different from Israel, but not surrounded by Muslim countries. Yes, they’re not going to protect everyone, but if I was a Jew who had to pick which country I’d be more likely to be killed in, it wouldn’t be a question. But, if that was the main consideration, why not move to America?Report

      • Kimmi in reply to North says:

        France has changed in the past few years. I wouldn’t be caught there wearing jewish symbols (not that i’d wear them in Israel either). France is now an actively scary place for Jews.

        (This is not to say it’s at the level of carrying personal grenades around, or anything like that. It may be bad, but I’m still talking first world bad, not Argentina bad–by which I mean Argentina’s financial crisis not contemporary Argentina)Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        Rufus, I dunno how many people believe it, but something like 7,000 Jewish people left for Israel last year, which is a non-trivial number.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


        The other thing that makes the number Chris points out as being so dramatic is that it is around or a bit more than double the number of French Jews who emigrated to Israel in the year before.Report

        • Rufus F. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Okay, it’s not trivial and it’s on the increase. It’s still about 1.6% of the Jewish population from the country that has the worst reputation for this sort of violence in Europe. So, when we talk about how what France does now to turn the tide of Jewish flight might be too little, too late, I say let’s see what they do now.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        Oh, I don’t think Europe is at risk of being without Jewish people anytime soon. The title of this piece is characteristically hyperbolic. I imagine things in France will get worse before they get better, though, as ISIS and other groups inspire (and in some cases train) home-grown terrorists there and in much of the rest of the world.

        The Iraq War may turn out to be the single greatest national and world security mistake ever.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        @rufus-f, yes many European Jews feel like they are under siege and its basically open season on them. Just do a google search. There have been near constant stories of random acts of violence against Jews and Jewish institutions in Europe for the past couple of years from Muslim Europeans and Far Right groups. Many Jews in Europe believe that what amounts to the European establishment, especially in its chattering class form, is just finding excuses to ignore the problem of anti-Semitic acts from Muslim Europeans as @saul-degraw’s link shows.

        I’d also recommended reading this series of articles from Tablet:


      • North in reply to North says:

        Rufus the sad fact is that a lot of the interested actors would like the European Jews to flee. Israel desperately wants them to help balance out their demographics (and in characteristic foolish short sighted fashion ignore what the elimination of the diaspora from Europe might mean for those governments policies towards Israel); the Islamist idiots just want to terrorize them there Jews because they’re poor, unemployed and have nothing else to do; the media wants a sad story to hype; really only the governments concerned (to their credit) are standing against the tide.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Rufus F. says:


      I will join in with everyone else. The European Jewish community feels unsafe and potentially unwelcome and even though the current French government and others are making sincere efforts to keep their Jewish populations, it seems like too little too late. Many European countries have large and angry populations that are willing to go against Jews and they can do little or nothing to prevent stuff that makes Jews feeling unwelcome. Before the current violent attacks, there were demonstrations with shouts like “Jew! Jew! France is not Yours!” and a hidden Heil Hitler gesture.

      There are also politicians in European Parties who are willing to engage in some victim blaming and say that Jews brought upon these actions themselves like George Galloway and David Wade.Report

  9. John D. says:

    Well, jews are welcome in Europe as they always be.
    The Israel prime-minister Beniamin Netaniahu, said that now when terrorist attacks in Europe have been increased, all jews are welcome home in Israel becuase only there they are well protected.
    I think that they are well protected in EUrope as well and in many other places.
    Many jews are respected scientists like Yaron Gissin which is the co-founder of the Israeli start-up Kalisaya.