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“The ugly return of anti-Semitism”

September 2nd, 2014 - 6:15 am


The headline is in quotes because I borrowed it directly from a CNN report by British historian Timothy Stanley. Read:

On Sunday, there was a rally in London to protest something I never thought would need protesting in modern Britain: the rise of anti-Semitism.

The rally was in reaction to a series of strange, unsettling incidents that took place during the recent demonstrations against Israeli military actions in Gaza. In one case, the manager of a supermarket in London decided to take all the kosher food off the shelves. He apparently feared that demonstrators outside might trash the shop; one member of the staff reportedly said, “We support free Gaza.” The supermarket chain called it “an isolated decision … in a very challenging situation.”

Isolated it may have been, but it is part of a bigger picture. There have always been people in the West who disagree with aspects of Israeli foreign policy and there has always been a peace movement ready to protest Israel’s actions. But what has made the 2014 protests different is the growing conflation of Israel in particular with Jews in general.

Not all kosher food comes from Israel, not all Jews who eat it agree with the assault on Gaza. Yet such an important distinction between state and racial identity has begun to erode. The result: a return of low-level anti-Semitism to public life.

Of course, some of it has never gone away.

You could make the case that antisemitism — Jew-hatred, really — never went away at all. In the decades after the Holocaust, it had to go underground, become more coy, hide behind fancy language. But it was always there, always been a part of the thinking of Europe’s ruling class. The only difference is that now it is bubbling back to the surface.

What changed?

All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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You are right -- it's not anti-semitism, but Jew-hatred. After all, Jew-hating Arabs are Semitic people. (Anwar al-Sadat reminded people of the distinction when he stated that he was not anti-semitic, being, himself a Semite.)

I think the Holocaust was a good portion of both, with all that skull-measuring and eyebrow-calibrating. I suppose some Europeans retain those sentiments, but I wonder how they regard the new, Semitic Jew-haters in their midst. Honorary Aryans?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
What changed is on top of the elements offered by the other commenters, the U.S. is no longer acting like it has Israel's back. When overt judenhaƟ is found even in the Oval Office, the holocausters feel the wind at their backs.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment

Why now? Economics. Europe faces a massive, deflationary debt implosion within the next few years--you can read the white papers going around now planning for a 10% haircut on all bank deposits and a 15% haircut to creditors. It's going to be Cyprus writ large.

You can't pull off something like that without a good scapegoat, and it looks like there's a high probability that the Jews are once again the chosen people.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
What changed? Direct witnesses to/victims of the Holocaust are slowly passing away. My father-in-law will turn 90 this winter. His father escaped from a camp in 1938, shortly before the entire family left Germany. Many extended members never made it out.

The story of the Holocaust is transforming from "I was there" to "my father was there" to "this is part of our family history." The directness of the horror is subsequently losing its power. That buffer against the natural tendencies of European Jew-hatred, supplemented over the last decades by the influx of Islam-based Jew-hatred, is fading away.

"Never again" is now a trite phrase, rather than a rallying cry, for most Europeans. Israel itself, being on the front line, is really the only place where the immediacy of ignoring that dire call has potent consequences.

We live in a hate-filled world. It may be that the post-WWII calm was simply a brief prelude before this hate reared its ugly head again. A strong Israel is our only hope. Which, of course, is why the haters are so intent on destroying its viability.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Umm, the demographics in the EU are getting more judenrein friendly? They think the muslims have their backs? Guess they never heard of the fox and the scorpion.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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