Saturday, May 24, 2014

More Dead Jews in Europe (Updated)

by oldschooltwentysix

dead1UPDATE: Four are now dead.

Over the news wire comes the story of three people killed and one in critical condition following a shooting at the Brussels Jewish Museum on Saturday.

Many people I know are well meaning, but ignorant. They can say without hesitation that claims of persistent and increased antisemitism are overblown. So many of them are not Jewish and exempt from feeling it, and they are immune from most other ills that trouble humankind. They are insulated and from their safe perch it's hard for them to see Jew hatred unless it shows its violent side. Even then, they are apt to call it a reaction to Zionism or occupation or due to oppression or poverty.

Ironically, lots of these same people call themselves "anti-racist" and are ever so quick to find the slightest whiff of "microaggression" when directed toward others not Jewish. They see no disconnect in the way they apply ideas. To them the tiny Jewish minority is among the privileged, the oppressors like themselves. Discrimination toward Jews is just not the same as with other minorities.

The privilege concept involved here is a recent social construct, seen as motivation of all behavior to create a system of oppression, like by the Founders, for example, and white people generally through history. To illustrate, the Enlightenment was not about the introduction of science to further human knowledge and understanding, but privilege. America was not about religious freedom and liberty, but privilege. Slavery, through the eyes of these privileged, was only a Western sin, and the West can get no credit for acting to end it.

Other instances abound where one can show how skewed perceptions have become. Current notions and norms are used as the criteria to judge what occurred in a different time. But did man invent the wheel or the plow for the sake of this notion of privilege?

Back to the subject, there are less than 14 million Jews worldwide. Six million were exterminated less than 100 years ago, while the world mostly watched. Christian and Muslim antisemitism is not a social construct, but fact. In this environment, one hopes that more people will understand that warnings of antisemitism are real and should not be dismissed, especially by claims of intent to silence critics of Israel. Jew haters say that all too often. Others should disassociate from that view, not reinforce it, and accept that, though they are not bigoted toward Jews, others definitely are, and in numbers much greater than they imagine.

11 comments:

  1. Well put, School. So many sit in their comfortable suburban US locations, going back and forth between babbling incomprehensible nonsense about a recent 'theory' which helps assuage their silly liberal guilt, while ignoring the key point of their very valued 'theory' by seeking to excuse away, or 'understand,' the world's oldest hatred, even as it is clearly stubbornly remains at high levels.

    The Forward, reporting on this (with J Street ads embedded in the article, I couldn't help but note), is currently placing all mentions of antisemitic motives in 'scare quotes.'

    Fair enough, we do not yet know all the facts. I suppose it is completely within the realm of possibility that this shooter just, say, maybe hated museums and not Jews.

    What I don't understand is, why the immediate rush by outlets like The Forward to go the extra 57 miles, and spend half an article in the immediate aftermath of this horrific crime, talking not about the crime itself, but rather about making clear the ultimately inconsequential detail that we do not know the shooter's motive yet.

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  2. "So many of them are not Jewish and exempt from feeling it,"

    Ya know, this is what really really gets me. Trying to tell Jews what is and isn't antisemitic is a mug's game. Try that with blacks and see where it gets one.

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  3. In my opinion, School, we need more of just this kind of commentary because you are direct, to the point, and you do not pull punches.

    Before we can even begin to tell non-Jews as it is, and as it was, from a Jewish perspective, we need to begin to remind ourselves of it.

    For example, thirteen long centuries of Jewish history under Arab-Muslim imperial dominance is simply wiped away in the popular political imagination throughout the west. There are a few ignored scholars who write about such things but for almost everyone else that history of persecution and submission is flushed clean.

    I maintain that speaking of the history of the State of Israel, or the history of the Jewish people in the Middle East, without speaking of the incessant persecution of the Jews under Islam would be like talking about the history of African-Americans without any reference to either slavery or Jim Crow.

    According to Karsh there were at least 200,000 Jews in the "Holy Land" at the beginning of the 7th century and around 24,000 Jews by the 19th century.

    Gee, what happened to all those lost Jews?

    We only lost 95 percent of the Jewish population in that region during that period.

    Do you suppose they just wandered away in search of pastrami?

    What do you suppose explains it?

    Typhoons?

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    1. The history is clear that both Christians and Muslims have persecuted Jews. It's perverse to make it into a contest or to use one to excuse the other.

      Beyond history is the present disparate treatment given to Jewish sensibilities, compared to other minorities, by individuals that claim to stand as guardians against discrimination and injustice in society. Who see all human action through the prism of the privileged and downtrodden.

      They can believe any narrative they choose, but they should not be more tolerant to offenses and hatred against Jews than other groups where even a perceived negative thought can bring significant consequences.

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    2. "The history is clear that both Christians and Muslims have persecuted Jews. It's perverse to make it into a contest or to use one to excuse the other."

      School, that is an interesting statement and I certainly agree with you, but I wonder why you make it.

      Do you think that in my own writings I have turned the persecution of the Jews into a contest between Muslims and Christians or are you simply pointing to the larger phenomenon?

      In truth, I never think of it in those terms.

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    3. It was an observation or, rather, a statement of fact. The point was more to say that looking at who has treated Jews worse, or using comparisons to justifying one's behavior, usually loses sight of the treatment of Jews today. Both Christians and Muslims should be ashamed of their history, yet today too many seem unrepentant and ever so willing engage in new episodes of bigotry and wrongs toward Jews.

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    4. What I find, and please let me know if you disagree, that among the major imperial powers within recent millenia, the Europeans have, in recent decades, been the most self-effacing while the the peoples of the great Arab-Muslim empire(s) are the least repentant.

      In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the Europeans have been too repentant, and too guilt-ridden, over their colonial past to the extent that it has hobbled European identity.

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    5. All I can say about Europeans is that while they lecture others about morality and getting along in this multicultural fantasy, they have created the conditions for the next great conflict. Must they be reminded where WW I and WW II started, and of whose doing?

      The Arab-Islamic culture seems to know its values, even if much remains wedded to the 7th century.

      We in the West, and especially America, could stand a refresher in the values that brought us to where we are from a progress, freedom and liberty point of view.

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  4. Blow it.

    Did a comment and it vanished into cyberspace. Happens frequently with Blogger. I usually copy it first. Not doing the whole thing again.

    The main point is that the death toll is up to 4. I'm not putting it up there's enough out there already.

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  5. There was a double or triple stabbing at a Paris shul as well, yesterday. There was a violent anti Jewish mob at the shul in Djerba Tunisia yesterday. There was a Beduin lynchmob in Israel yesterday that attacked three Haredi men. A car with a dog inside was torched.

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    1. The question is, should I go throw up now or should I save it for later?

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