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November 22, 2015 7:35 am

The Paris Attacks and Why the World Hates Israel

avatar by Jeremy Rosen

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A memorial for the victims of the November 13 Paris attacks in Moscow. Photo: Wikipedia.

A memorial for the victims of the November 13 Paris attacks in Moscow. Photo: Wikipedia.

A Flash Eurobarometer survey carried out in October 2003 for the European Commission in the 15 member states of the EU found that nearly 60% of European citizens believed Israel posed the biggest threat to world peace. The survey was carried out by EOS Gallup Europe. “The one socio-demographic characteristic that stands out is education – the more highly educated respondents (66%) are more likely to perceive Israel as a threat to world peace than those who ceased their studies at an earlier age (“16-20”: 59% and “15 and younger”: 50%).”

After Paris, you might think that there would be some soul-searching as to why such opinions are so prevalent in Europe and increasingly in the US, and why other much more murderous and dysfunctional people, countries, and religions are not considered to be so dangerous. But of course you and I know that won’t happen. Because any attempt to send hate preachers, or undesirables back home will be blocked, as they have been in the UK by protracted legal disputes and the European Court of Human Rights. So we will have a few clichés, a token closing of the border, some arrests, and then back to blaming Israel again (as indeed Sweden’s foreign minster already has).

Let us take it as read (for argument’s sake, of course, because neither I nor the facts agree with the following) that there were never any Jews or Israelites living in the Middle East before the rise of Islam. That the only reason Jews feel any connection to Israel is because of Zionism. That the only reason Jews are in Israel is because the imperialist crusading powers foisted the Balfour Declaration on them. The only reason Israel is in the Middle East is because the Holocaust gave the West such a guilty conscience that it tried to salve it by foisting this alien population on the Arab world.

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There were no Jewish Arabs, no Jewish communities living in the Middle East ever in the past, and they had all left Arab lands voluntarily and without coercion. All the wars and all the occupations were caused exclusively by Israel. Israel never voluntarily withdrew from any Arab territory and was never interested in or willing to make peace. Let us accept that Israel is the one and only source of all the evil, dysfunction, and mayhem that exists in the Middle East today. Finally, let us admit that without the United States support, Israel would have disappeared ages ago and that the United States is the evil Satan above all others. All this is the narrative that political opponents of Israel believe.

Even so, all this alone cannot explain why Israel is so hated. You may legitimately wonder why Israel has been picked on so exclusively for condemnation. Sixty percent of all motions passed in the United Nations agencies are reserved for Israel, and no other country receives more than 2% negative motions. I have no argument with labeling produce from occupied territories. But why is Israel’s reluctant occupation the only one anywhere in the world that is selected for specific export labeling, not China re: Tibet, Russia re: Crimea, Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, India re: Kashmir, or indeed Spain re: Catalonia (to give just a few examples).

The answer is obvious. There are five good reasons.

First, there are more than 1.5 billion Muslims and only 14 million Jews. From almost every economic, political, and logical point of view, it makes sense to side with such a powerful, wealthy body of opinion.

Secondly, at least half the Western world inclines to a left-wing political and intellectual viewpoint. Marxism has always been opposed to religion, and when it suits them they can condemn Israel as a religious state (as if all the other religious states did not exist).

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is no other worldwide political cause to rally round than that of anti-Israelism. The first and second reasons combine in the third factor. Marxism has always preached taking advantage of alliances, even with ones most bitter foes, in order to achieve power. Just recall Stalin’s pact with Hitler. In much of Europe today the demographics of anti-Israelism means that socialist parties wishing to achieve power as in Belgium ( the favorite bolt hole and source of arms of terrorists in Europe), ally themselves with fundamentalist Islam, which stands for everything they despise: free speech, separation of state and religion, gay rights, women rights, and equal rights of other religions. Not only, but if the state of Israel advocates such causes, the Left argues it is only to deflect criticism, not out of genuine conviction.

Fourth is the long history of right-wing fascist antisemitism and prejudice illustrated by the Ku-Klux-Klan-like websites on Google, or letters to the press excoriating Jewish control of the world.

Finally, the pervasive religious based antisemitism. Despite all the efforts of churches and governments to proscribe, it still flourishes. Much of the Christian world adopts an anti-Israel narrative, seeing Palestinians as innocents and Jews as guilty. Jesus was a Palestinian is their narrative. But of course there are other Christians, notably the Evangelicals, whose support for Israel balances the one-sided biases of most Episcopalians and Quakers.

Since such opposition is not based on logic or fact, it must rely essentially on irrational prejudice stoked by a pervasive black-versus-white narrative. If you are a student at a university where most of your contemporaries are apathetic or focused on careers and the active political groups and academics are solidly anti-Israel, or you are drinking in a pub with friends, or at business dinner where antisemitic or anti-Israel remarks are the norm, you will either fade into the background or join the rabble. Europe’s tragedy is that it will not differentiate between those who wish to immigrate and settle in order to be part of its grand, idealistic vision, and those who actively want to undermine and replace it.

But whatever tragedy happens, it changes nothing. Here is Niall Ferguson, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford:

It is doubtless true to say that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe are not violent. But it is also true that the majority hold views not easily reconciled with the principles of our liberal democracies, including our novel notions about sexual equality and tolerance not merely of religious diversity but of nearly all sexual proclivities. And it is thus remarkably easy for a violent minority to acquire their weapons and prepare their assaults on civilization within these avowedly peace-loving communities.

I do know that 21st-century Europe has itself to blame for the mess it is now in. When I went up to Oxford …We learnt a lot of nonsense to the effect that nationalism was a bad thing, nation states worse and empires the worst things of all. ‘Romans before the fall’, wrote Ward-Perkins, ‘were as certain as we are today that their world would continue for ever substantially unchanged. They were wrong. We would be wise not to repeat their complacency.’

Poor, poor Paris. Killed by complacency.

So if you listen to the French media today, after the Paris massacres, you will still hear it said that the chaos in the Middle East is all Israel’s fault. The Hamas websites, of course, claim the Paris massacres are the work of Mossad. And Russia supports them. The Swedish foreign minister says it is only because of the way Israel treats the Palestinians. What the heck is wrong with these people? They will do anything but look into their own failures. Are they really suicidal or just mentally challenged? As if Israel were the cause of the Sunni-Shia rift or the Turkish oppression of the Kurds or the Muslim massacres of Christians. It is so easy to find a scapegoat. They have been doing it for 50 years, why would they want to stop now?

Prejudice is not logical. Anti-Israelism is not logical. The crude visceral hatred, the screaming interruptions on college campuses or cultural events that do not want to hear another point of view are the symptoms of a destructive virus that every now and again infects huge swathes of otherwise normal, fair, and balanced human beings. And sadly I accept we have our own screaming houris and fanatics of the right. Action and reaction again.

So, no, I do not think Paris will change anything. Security forces will share information and try their best to avoid new disasters but the culture of Europe will not, seemingly cannot change. Europe is condemned to reap the whirlwind of its own blindness. The virus is too deeply embedded. No one whose ideas were formed by prejudice will change their views any more than most genocidal murders really know how to express regret.

The story goes that God gave up trying to change the world after Noah’s flood. But we were left with the rainbow to remind us to look and connect. Perhaps that is why humanity is such a mess — not because it repeats the wrong things but because it forgets.

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  • max

    Actually Kashmir is not occupied by India. Infact if you look at history, Pakistan , Bangladesh and Kashmir were part of India. Pakistan happened because of Jinnah and Britain. Bangladesh happened because of 1946 massacre. India deserves to have Kashmir completely but first PM of India botched it up completely, that some part of Kashmir is in Pakistan.

  • tby

    The main reason for Israel-hatred in my opinion is the one listed last: religion. And here I’m referring to Christianity. It’s not PC to say it, now that Europe is “post-Christian” and Evangelicals support Israel, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the specifically Christian flavor and form of Jew-hatred that has been around for millennia – that Jews are demonic enemies of humanity (“sons of the Devil,” per the New Testament) – is applied to Israel today. So no; don’t expect any changes to this attitude post-Paris. The double-standard toward Jews in western culture will continue to feel natural, if only subconsciously–including to many Jews themselves. But you can’t make this point because people insist that their rage at Israel springs purely from its demonic behavior; they will never ask themselves whether the behavior only looks demonic – or whether they unquestioningly believe all accusations of demonic behavior – because the state is Jewish.

  • Robert Weintraub

    Articles such as this are getting us nowhere. hate Israel because Israel defeated muslims over and over again.In addition Israel stands as a beacon of freedom and prosperity without equal in any muslim country.

    Western European countries do a great deal of profitable business with the oil Arab states. Each has a muslim population multiples higher than its Jewish population. Yet all of these countries continue to do business with Israel including muslim Turkey. All of them maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.

    If Europeans wish to debase themselves before the muslim world they will pay the price. It is our duty as American Jews to make sure that the US doesn’t follow suit.

  • Gary

    Consider that it is God who has orchestrated the current world wide jealousy of the Jews by the words of one of your own, the apostle Paul in his writing to the Romans in Chapter 11:7-16 (NASB):

    7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,

    “God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
    Down to this very day.”

    9 And David says,

    “Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
    10
    “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
    And bend their backs forever.”

    11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

    Consider also the words of A. V. Raulf concening the coming war with Israel (See link)
    “Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog & Magog”
    January 7, 2015 Author A. V. Rauf Categories Bible Prophecy, Middle East

  • rachel robinson

    Shame on you, Algeminer!!! you show that there are comments but we the readers are never shown those comments. I will ignore anything any you write until you show what the reactions of your readers are.
    I know there must be others who write comments and they are probably as upset as I am for not being able to see any of the comments.

  • “Reason in matter” The business and the scientist man, has nothing to do with “Reason in truth”, the question is, and can the global world economy grow in time of peace? I guess not, maybe yes if politicians know about the structure of the creative brains. The creative mind knows that innovation is limited which means been award of the human creative structures brains to avoid a Global war. The business man knows the past, making the masses minds forget the past for him to make money. It is all about surviving which has nothing to do with “Reason in believe” and with “ Reason in politics” All “ Reasons” are controlled by the business man which do manipulate the “ Reason in religion” where there is a “ A Muslim – Christian man” “ A Jew – Christian man” “ A Jew – Muslim man” and soon “ A Japanese – Chinese Christian man” in politics who do says clearly forget the past, which is all Business. It is why tomorrow man will blame the Jews for global warming and even polluting the outer space where god is busy with the entire universe forgetting our planet, it is why scientist are looking for other planets to poison it in time-space which is business into the birth of life – death. Minds of terrorists are manipulated who their brains do the rest, driving their minds into believing life after death in haven blowing themselves, if so, they must also know that the innocent killed people are also in haven waiting for them. Means all the terrorists’ events which did, do and will take place do not change anything at all.

  • Daniel

    Wow, straw man much? There’s no logic in this article just the “the poor Jews are so abused” because of _____________ argument.

  • Excellent analysis; thank you. The only point I would add is that the complacency you cite is a result of a pervasive nihilism that is today part of western culture. A loss of meaning; a loss of hope in the future (see, for example, André Glucksmann).

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