zaterdag 28 november 2009

Antisemitisme in Europa: nieuwe vooroordelen wakkeren de oudste haat aan

 
Een zeer goed artikel over antisemitisme in Europa, ook in relatie met de islam, zonder in gemakkelijke clichés te vervallen. Hieronder een deel eruit.
 
RP
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Comment / Anti-Semitism in Europe: New prejudice fans flames of the oldest hatred
By Morten Berthelsen
 
......
That anti-Semitism is running rampant through Europe should come as no surprise. More than 50 percent of Germans equate Israel?s policies toward the Palestinians with Nazi treatment of the Jews. Sixty-eight percent of Germans say that Israel is waging a "war of extermination" against the Palestinian people. A European poll shows that the nearly 60 percent regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace, more than Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. And in a more recent survey, stereotypes prosper as one in five Europeans continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus.
 
Only there is no room for realising it, admitting it, and standing up to it. It is as if the monster of Holocaust may not be reawoken, and every reminder of the continued existence of anti-Semitism consequently hides in the shadows, chained there by denial. It is as if everything would shatter if the bogeyman was brought to life, named and allowed to breathe. Its comatose state is guaranteed by the cultural crisis and the war of values fought between Europe's Christian-traditional majority ("us") and its Muslim minority ("them"). Everything else is toned down. As if population size decides significance. At the same time Jews are a long-time exiled people that blends in and functions in all aspects of society. But they are present and have a long, tough history of managing in an eternal environment of spite. But in Israel they dominate the culture. Israelis demonstrate strength and exude power. Transformed from Shylock to Rambo, they break the unwritten European code of the underdog. And the Palestinians belong religiously to the majority-minority battle Europe keeps in focus.
 
Crosshairs on Israel
 
Anti-Semitism is to a great extent subhumed by Islamophobia as a consequence of being struck by a double-edged sword: The fear of reprisals from extreme Muslim factions ? and the fearful realisation that the fundamental European values are collapsing.
 
Aiming the resultant anger at Israel is the easy choice between two evils. The fear of "Muslim invasion and hostile takeover" on one hand is obvious in both political rhetoric and popular opinion, especially on national level all over Europe. But when the image of "Evil Israel" is simultaneously presented on the other hand, the impact of Islamophobia is mitigated and cushioned.
 
In turn, the significance of both hatreds is lost. By equating the two, you underestimate both. Amid this smelly fog floats the main differences in the European approach to the two religions. The swollen hate-language against Islam is the voice of fear. It is based on religious clashes and troublesome assimilation. The forked tongue of anti-Semitism speaks in politically correct riddles, with its foundations laid in 1948 just beneath the State of Israel. The former is the blunt weapon of the extreme right and is easily parried. The latter is a cascade of razor blades from both sides of the political sphere and thus harder to repel.
 
Also, the collective left of European media and public are hypersensitive towards Islam. They cave in to fear and shout foul at any hostile opinion delivered, such as with the Danish cartoons and the Swedish condemnation of the anti-Muslim op-ed in Aftonbladet. Editor-in-Chief Jan Helin justified in advance publication of the opinion piece, dissociating himself from the views presented. When the story on transplant organ theft by the IDF blew up, Helin hit back hard at Israel saying: "It's deeply unpleasant and sad to see such a strong propaganda machine using centuries-old anti-Semitic images in an apparent attempt to get an obviously topical issue off the table."
 
Call out the culprit
 
Biased reporting and fixation on Israeli crimes ? proven or not ? is paving the way for neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, right-wing and left-wing extremists to coalesce and form so-called anti-Zionist parties in Sweden and France. Boycott campaigns and anti-Semitic NGOs openly funded by EU member-states feed Islam's battle of rhetoric against the Jews, and it is high time the media realised the link between its inflammatory reporting on Israel and physical attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in the countries where the reports are published or broadcast.
 
And the violence has re-emerged ? this decade has seen a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes throughout Europe and exploded following the Gaza war of a year ago. The "typical" violent offender has apparently ceased to be the "extreme right skinhead' and is now the "disaffected young Muslim," evidenced by the fact that most cases occur in countries with a large Muslim population, such as Sweden and France, where Jews are often forced to hide their religious identity in public.
 
To whit, A Danish study published Friday exposes the magnitude of distrust and prejudice against Jews in Denmark. Up to 75 percent of Muslim immigrants from five different countries and approximately twenty percent of ethnic Danes possess anti-Jewish attitudes, the study shows. A figure immediately causing political uproar, with some politicians quoted as saying it is "highly disturbing" and "embarassing", calling for a plan of action to restore freedom of religion and other fundamental freedom rights. The UN commission is now being asked to recommend similar
investigations in other member states, to give the public an insight into the extent of anti-Semitism in Europe. Of Muslim immigrants questioned in the study, 31.9 percent say "there are too many Jews in Denmark." In fact, not even 6,000 Jews reside in Denmark, compared to some 200,000 Muslims.
 
In order to salvage free speech, taken hostage by nationalist preachers who call it theirs and make themselves its squires, the media of all Europe needs to develop some chutzpa and tear it from the hands of those who believe freedom of speech and of the Fourth Estate is the same as printing anything, anywhere. More worrisome is the immunity displayed throughout the European media towards the kind of callous stigmatisation seen in Aftonbladet ? no broadside, no foundations shaken. The ghost of 1930s Nazi rhetoric is one we can all see standing behind the curtain, but no one dares point a finger at it.
 

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