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Published on: March 27, 2012
History Repeats: In Europe, They Want Jewish Blood

When a self-proclaimed jihadist slaughters Jewish schoolchildren in France on account of events in the Middle East, the proper response is collective horror and serious societal soul-searching. Via Meadia highlighted one laudable example of this in the form of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and there have been many more in France.  Unfortunately, there are […]

When a self-proclaimed jihadist slaughters Jewish schoolchildren in France on account of events in the Middle East, the proper response is collective horror and serious societal soul-searching. Via Meadia highlighted one laudable example of this in the form of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and there have been many more in France.  Unfortunately, there are those in France and elsewhere who do not see the Toulouse attack as an anti-Semitic hate crime to be forcefully condemned, but rather as an event to be “explained,” whitewashed or even celebrated.

Take Tariq Ramadan, professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, who writes of murderer Mohamed Merah,

His political thought is that of a young man adrift, imbued neither with the values of Islam, or driven by racism and anti-Semitism … A pathetic young man, guilty and condemnable beyond the shadow of a doubt, even though he himself was the victim of a social order that had already doomed him, and millions of others like him, to a marginal existence, and to the non-recognition of his status as a citizen equal in rights and opportunities.

…he was French, as are all his victims (in the name of what strange logic are they differentiated and categorized by religion?), but he felt himself constantly reduced to both his origin by his skin color, and his religion by his name.

Ramadan in no way condones or approves of these murders, but his response still falls short. Ramadan sees no anti-Semitic executioner here, only an oppressed soul driven inexorably by unfair social forces to murder others — most of whom, irrelevantly, happened to be Jews.

This response fails to reach the level of the event. There is no doubt that while the murderer killed some people simply because they were French soldiers, the kids were killed because they were Jewish; it isn’t “strange logic” to introduce this vital fact in the discussion. It is strange logic to think it can be ignored, that the Jewish identity of the victims was an irrelevant detail. If they hadn’t been Jewish they would be in school today, worried about their homework and about what their friends thought of their latest haircut.

Ramadan seems fundamentally uncomfortable with the fact that this was a hate crime, and that it was unreasoning blind hate that led the murderer to choose his targets and pull the trigger. Ramadan also seems almost willfully naive about hate; hate doesn’t appear in a vacuum. Like all hatred, the killer’s hate had many roots — in social conditions, historical facts, personal pathology, failures of the wider society and failures of the individual himself — but that is what hate is, and prominent among the hatreds that tormented this twisted, distorted soul was a special hatred of Jews.

The killer was not, as Ramadan acknowledges, an original thinker or in any way a teacher or leader. He was weak, blind, overwhelmed by events and by forces beyond his understanding or control. But Ramadan cannot or will not draw the obvious, vital conclusion: this young man did not invent or discover Jew hatred on his own. He was a reflector, not a creator, and he absorbed his Jew hatred from the milieu in which he lived. Something terrible and poisonous is at work in contemporary France; Mohamed Merah came down with Jew hatred because the bacillus was in the air.

Ramadan calls it “strange” to advert to the Jewishness of the dead. Why? Is it not stranger to turn from a vital fact?

That aside, Ramadan devotes most of his essay either to expressing regret that the events seem to have strengthened the political position of Nicolas Sarkozy or to schooling France on the way that the social conditions in which they live are creating serious problems for young people from immigrant communities. He is right to remind France (and Europe) that it is sitting on a time bomb. Europeans have committed an act of criminal folly: they opened their doors to an immigrant population they were not prepared to accept, and they have carefully erected a series of policies and laws that create sky high youth unemployment — a burden that falls disproportionately on immigrants, who are younger than the rest of the country, more inclined to bring children into the world and, as Ramadan tirelessly reminds his readers, suffer discrimination and marginalization in the wider society.

In rage, confusion and hatred, some of these young people may focus on Jews when they lash out, but it will not only be Jews who reap the harvest of dragons’ teeth that Europe in its blindness has so thoughtlessly sown. Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.

Ramadan’s response to Merah’s crime, which we shall categorize no farther than to call it incomplete, is far, very far,  from the worst of the responses on display in France.

Many observers seem more concerned that the French far right will use these events to fan hatred against Muslims than with the actual event that took place or the clear evidence that the murderous hatred of Jews has been reborn on French soil. These philanthropic and liberal souls worry more about the hypothetical possibility of future aggression against Muslims than about the factual aggression against Jews — not only in this attack but in the general climate of fear in which many French Jews now live.

Ramadan apparently does not find this strange, but I do. It is as if the press commentary about an epic pogrom in Czarist Russia focused on the danger that innocent Russians around the world might be subjected to discrimination or worse as word of the atrocity spread. It is as if the news of anti-apartheid hero Steven Biko’s murder in a South African prison was greeted with concern that perfectly innocent white South Africans would be made to feel unwelcome at international gatherings. It is as if the primary response to the Irish potato famine was to worry about the pain and sorrow that innocent members of the English public would suffer as a result of the unfavorable publicity.

I wish this sort of inverted logic were the worst response to the madness in France. But it isn’t: some people aren’t explaining the crime away or worrying about its impact on innocent Muslims — because they are celebrating the murder of innocent Jewish kids and honoring the killer. Reuters reports on the vigils being held in Toulouse … for Mohamed Merah:

Thirty young people, mostly girls, gathered Saturday in the district of Toulouse, where Mohamed Merah grew up, to honor the memory of the killer of seven people shot dead by police Thursday.

French weekly Paris Match adds:

This is not the first tribute to the architect of the murders of three soldiers and four of the Jewish faith, including three children. Just hours after the death of Mohammed Merah, several Facebook pages have been created in his honor. Graffiti “Viva Merah”, “Vengeance” or “F**k the kippa” were also identified and cleaned.

I rejoice that the graffiti were cleaned, and not, as in Vienna after the Anschluss, by elderly Jews forced to scrub walls and curbs by howling mobs. But that there is a certain population in France, a minority of a minority to be sure, small but not invisible and determined to be heard, that rejoices when Jewish blood is spilled in French streets cannot be denied. The bacillus of a murderous, unreasoning hatred is in the air. And it also cannot be denied that the authorities in France have no idea what to do about this problem or how to combat it. (The French police, to give them their considerable due, have done a good job over time at preventing more incidents of this kind, but France has no viable plan or even workable vision for how to address the roots of the Jew hatred that inflames a small but not insignificant subset of its people.)

Seventy years after Hitler, anti-Semitism of the worst and most violent kind walks the streets of Europe once more. And once again the educational, religious, cultural and political institutions and leaders of Europe are ineffective and paralyzed: like a rabbit frozen with terror in the presence of a rattlesnake, the European establishment is unable to act. Its follies and errors have created a trap from which it can see no escape.

[Star of David imprint from Shutterstock.]

show comments
  • Richard F. Miller

    Deconstructing, or better put, decoding Ramadan has become a cottage industry in France. (For one of many examples, see Caroline Fourest’s “Brother Tariq.”) Ramadan is understood by his critics as being a jihadi apologist and the western-friendly face of the MB wrapped in the seductive language of multi-culturalism and human rights.

    This is apparent from the passages quoted above.

    Ramadan exploits the frame handed to him by his Western enablers–moral equivalence. Thus, while he comforts his readers with condemnation of the act (how could any appeal to bien-pensants do otherwise?) he uses the moral equivalence argument to diminish the crime (and its victims) while avoiding the one elephant in the room that Ramadan’s entire project is dedicated to dismiss: the true nature of radical Islam and the genuine threat it represents to the West.

  • Anthony

    Poignant piece WRM. Striking clause: this response fails to reach the level of event; and apropos phrase of societal overview: a reflector not a creator…

  • Fred

    From what I’ve read, Europe has the worst of all possible worlds when it comes to Muslim immigration. They are too racist and chauvinist to assimilate them and too weak to discipline them. So they have a large, undigested lump of wild creatures tearing things down, blowing things up, and committing crimes like the one in Toulouse.

  • WigWag

    Everything that Professor Mead says in this post is absolutely true, but as an American, what I find even more disturbing is the response to this incident and similar incidents by the American left.

    After the murder of the Jewish children first took place, the New York Times worked overtime to avoid mentioning the fact that the murder may have been a hate crime and that the family was targeted because they were Jewish. Before the perpetrator was captured there were initial reports that he might have been a neo Nazi; you could practically hear the editors at the Times praying that he was a right wing goon not a Muslim.

    As we speak, isn’t it almost certain that Roger Cohen is desperately trying to come up with a column that downplays the fact that the victims were Jews and the murderer was Islamic? Can’t you just see him staring at his keyboard trying to come up with a rationale that passes the smell test?

    Does anyone doubt that upon reading this post by Professor Mead that M.J. Rosenberg will conclude that Mead is making way too big a deal over the whole thing and that he plans to ensconce Mead in his rogue gallery of “Israel-firsters?”

    Can’t you just see Robert Wright getting annoyed that this murder of Jewish children distracts from his attempt to put the onus on Israel for every bad thing that happens in the Middle East?

    Shall we count the hours before Andrew Sullivan explains to us why the murder of Jewish children in France is really all the fault of Prime Minister Netanyahu? Sullivan is an interesting character; isn’t he? When your mentor (Leon Wieseltier) calls you an anti Semite and a journalist just granted an interview by the President (Jeffrey Goldberg) calls you a “Jew-baiter” do you think there just might be something wrong?

    As he sojourns on his book tour can’t you just hear Peter Beinart complaining that if it wasn’t for the settlements terrible incidents like this would never occur?

    The case of Tariq Ramadan is an interesting one. It’s easy to understand why he is a vicious, if modern-looking, Jew hater; it’s in his pedigree. His father and grandfather were too.

    Paul Berman wrote a fascinating account of Ramadan and the shame of the leftist intellectuals who are besotted with him. The well-researched book, “The Flight of the Intellectuals” is an extraordinary indictment of the left’s proclivity to multiculturalism and its willingness to make excuses for almost any type of behavior as long as the behavior is committed by Muslims or other third worlders.

    Two truly repugnant European journalists are highlighted in Berman’s book. Timothy Garton Ash, a journalist and Professor at Oxford, got Ramadan a job teaching at Oxford after George Bush refused to grant Ramadan a visa so he could accept a job at Notre Dame. Of course the left was aghanst that Bush would prevent the terrorist-sympathizing Ramadan from entering the United States to take a teaching position. Not surprisingly, one of the first things Obama and Hillary Clinton did was grant Ramadan a visa but by then Garton-Ash had already secured an Oxford professorship for Ramadan.

    Dutch writer Ian Buruma, who is currently the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Professor Mead’s institution, Bard, is another defender of Tariq Ramadan. At the same time that he makes excuses for Ramadan’s terrorist sympathies and Jew-baiting, Buruma excoriates brave intellectuals like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who literally has to live in hiding because much of the Muslim world thinks she should be killed for the crime of apostasy. What was Hirsi-Ali’s crime? Criticizing female genital mutilation, the Islamic practice of turning women into chattel, and the violence that imbues much of Islamic culture in the contemporary world.

    The fact that Garton-Ash and Buruma love Ramadan and excoriate Hirsi-Ali tells you everything about them that you need to know. Sadly, Buruma and Garton-Ash provide the perfect metaphor for today’s American and European left. It tells you how much the world has changed that the women of African decent who speaks up for the rights of Muslim women and criticizes female circumcision is now considered to be on the political right and the authors who make excuses for female circumcision and the Islamic oppression of women are now considered to be on the political left.

    Berman’s book is a must read. More information can be found here,

    http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Intellectuals-Paul-Berman/dp/1933633514

    In 2007 the late Christopher Hitchens wrote an article for Slate about Garton-Ash’s and Buruma’s disdain for Hirsi-Ali and their sympathy for the likes of Ramadan. It is well worth a look. It can be found here,

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2007/03/shes_no_fundamentalist.html

    The Jew hatred of the left in France and elsewhere in Europe is troubling. The Jew hatred of the America left, masquerading as something more benign is equally troubling.

  • http://www.martinbermangorvine.com Martin Berman-Gorvine

    An excellent piece from Professor Mead. Mr. Miller is quite right that Tarqi Ramadan is a faux naive with an insidious agenda of playing the apologist to radical political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood stripe. Also see my blog entry on Moment Magazine’s site, http://momentmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/murder-is-the-message/

  • John Barker

    I think that the situation is hopeless for Jews in Europe. This time we must make certain our doors are open for asylum seekers. Never again!

  • Geoff M

    And the cherry on top is that Merah’s father is threatening to sue France for killing his son. He puts the gall in Gaul.

  • vanderleun

    France would be better off heeding the advice of Kurtz in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness than spending a minute contemplating the extrusions from Ramadan’s insect soul.

  • Jeff

    “[T]his young man did not invent or discover Jew hatred on his own. He was a reflector, not a creator, and he absorbed his Jew hatred from the milieu in which he lived.”

    Agreed. But which milieu is that, Mr. Mead? You give the impression that the poorly-integrated Merah absorbed his Jew-hatred from post-war, secular French society, rather than from the Koran.

  • Jim.

    “Ramadan also seems almost willfully naive about hate; hate doesn’t appear in a vacuum.”

    Sometimes it does. You don’t remember being a kid, do you. You’re in a group of other guys that work and play together every day, and then something goes twist, something else goes snap, and suddenly one of you is getting beat up by the others for no reason anyone can remember except it seemed like a good idea at the time. Some days you’re the one taking the beating, and some days you’re the one dishing it out.

    I’m not saying that this sort of “acausal” mischief is applicable in the case in question. Far from it — from here, the evidence looks very strong that Merah’s atrocity was motivated by virulent Anti-Semitism.

    But a generalization is so sweeping — and so wrong — weakens the overall argument and risks sending us down a tragicomical path of ultra-refined political correctness, which is exactly what is being decried here.

    If Anti-Semitism grows in a medium of criticism against Jews, then it follows that equally destructive “Anti-Muslimism” would grow in a medium of criticism against Muslims. That is the rational basis of the silliness that people like Ramadan are spouting.

    The solution? If there’s no question that he’s the one that did the killings, put the bastard to death, particularly if he’s unrepentant. Make it clear that France won’t stand for this, no matter what demographic is doing the killing or what demographic is doing the dying, and ignore feckless intellectuals like Ramadan as they babble out their excuses.

  • Y. Elkin

    Thank you for this poignant piece, Prof. Mead.

    Being Jewish – even minimally – demands a fluency in History and a perspective that spans the ages. And so observing recent events in Europe recalls not only 1930s Germany, but 18th-19th century Russia, late 15th century Spain, 13th century England, and on over 2 millenia of Jews being harassed, persecuted, murdered en masse with impunity and inevitably expelled. When I was younger, it seemed like I was privileged to be born into a truly new world that had sloughed off the fears and bitter memories of my grandparents’ generation. While that remains so in many ways (e.g. there is a Jewish state today), too many trappings of their world endure.

    I am reminded of Orianna Fallaci’s more recent works, in which she lamented the choice European leaders have made over the past century, essentially trading the highly integrated/assimilated Jews for Arabs that have not blended with any European host country. She notes that this was essentially announced as a matter of policy (2nd OIC Conference, Lahore, 1974) on the part of participating Islamic states, with results 1-2 generations later that should surprise no one.

    @Jeff, you are absolutely right. French society’s myriad failures by no means detract from Merah’s freedom to act as his own independent moral agent. He was not hypnotized or coerced into the murders he committed. He chose to be a killer of children, whose memory should stain the faith in whose name he acted. His father’s actions are similarly disturbing. As Golda Meir said, “there will never be peace until the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”

    Mark Steyn has written several times that, in Europe, after so many European Jews were encouraged to decamp for more hospitable locales, this repeat performance of the 1930s will perforce require some tweaking of the cast. On this topic we can ask gays in Amsterdam or insufficiently-covered women from Birmingham to Bucharest what happens when they first come for us: in this remake of the 1930s, it’s the Europeans who will play the Jews.

    @WIgWag, just watch, as it unfolds, the professional Left will find increasingly preposterous ways to blame the death of Europeans at the hands of xenocidal Islamists on farmers in Judea. In essence, the matchbox of Israel on the football field of the Middle East is the problem. I wonder what Martin Niemoller is thinking now.

    But WRM’s recent piece on Fayyad was indeed a potential glimmer of light and perhaps even a spark of hope that things might be changing and Arab Muslims could – one day – accept a Jewish state in their midst. That said, with History as our guide, statements that Arab leaders make in Arabic, not English, tend to be much more indicative of their true intentions so it’s tempting to dismiss. That said, being Jewish means being hopeful, as well. In this case, I’m hoping – against History – that this world is indeed different enough.

  • Beauceron

    I commend you for standing up to the likes of the Left and Ramadan who as usual seized this crime as an opportunity for one of their patented “teaching moments”, but it’s curious that you can’t seem to even name what was very likely at the core of his hatred for both jews and the French state– “the killer’s hate had many roots — in social conditions, historical facts, personal pathology, failures of the wider society and failures of the individual himself”– namely Islam, or at least that particular strand of militant, radical Islam embraced by too many young men both in Europe and the middle east. Whether or not he was an official member of some radical group, it’s clear he was influenced by and embraced their teachings.

    When we cannot even bring ourselves to name the problem, there is no way we are going to be able to deal with it in a reasonable, thoughtful way.

  • EvilBuzzard

    Why “clean” the Facebook pages? Sunlight is the best weapon against bigotry. Advertise who these people are and what they believe. Make them own it the way the Nazis were forced to own Triblinka.

  • juliuscancer

    It is one thing to entertain the hypothesis that the individual may be a mirror (reflector) of society’s disease, but another thing all together to correctly identify the malformed reflection. Classical liberalism locates injustice in society — the body politic is diseased with poverty and prejudice, injustice induces injustice among those faceless victims at the margins (think of Richard Wright’s Native Son). Similarly, liberal analyses of the GWOT locate the causes of terrorism in the injustice witnessed at the margins and (contested) frontiers of the American order (in this schema, the injustice Americans suffer is rationalized as ‘just’ or fitting — chickens coming home to roost).

    An apologist claims the perpetrators possessed limited (if any at all) agency/culpability; rather, their actions are symptoms of a root problem in society. This mechanistic logic is the inverse of the Newtonian law — for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: for every instance of violent injustice there is an equal (greater?) and opposite injustice.

    Bravo Professor Mead, for fully teasing out the implications of classical liberal apologetics. Oh, Ramadan is right — society is very much to blame — but he is blind to the implications of this argument:
    “This young man did not invent or discover Jew hatred on his own. He was a reflector, not a creator, and he absorbed his Jew hatred from the milieu in which he lived.”
    Ramadan seeks to explain this murder as the equal and opposite reaction to systemic injustice of the French republic, thereby whitewashing the motivations of the killer. Yet the liberal critique is a double-edged sword which may be turned against apologist to reveal the culpability of a different root cause in society. One cannot intelligently deploy this argument without risking rebuttal. To argue that this murder was catalyzed by the reagents of antisemitism and violent islamism is nonetheless to uphold and affirm the classical liberal position that maladies of the body politic (such as the insidious acceptance of antisemitism in learned discourse) effectively poison the individual perpetrators. In this case, it is not the republic’s imperfect opportunity that is the cause, but rather, the cancerous ideology of jihad and martyrdom, and those feeble intellectuals who try to rationalize, and therein trivialize it. Ramadan has made his bed, now he must lie in it.

  • joe davis

    Never having killed anyone let alone children let alone having to reload while holding a squirming panic stricken little girl still and then firing again into her head never mind filming it all I can’t quite grasp how a ‘weak, blind[boy], overwhelmed by events and by forces beyond his understanding or control’ could do such a thing. What is expected is a hardened professional or a practiced pathological murderer but these were (as far as I can tell) his only violent crimes. Such a boy might paint a wall or throw a stone. But this was no boy- it was a monster.

  • hepzeeba

    The bacillus of a murderous, unreasoning hatred is in the air.

    Thank you for speaking out, WRM. This subject has been ignored or, worse, whitewashed for long enough.

    WigWam @ 4

    It tells you how much the world has changed that the women of African [descent] who speaks up for the rights of Muslim women and criticizes female circumcision is now considered to be on the political right and the authors who make excuses for female circumcision and the Islamic oppression of women are now considered to be on the political left.

    Indeed.

    And Berman, the lone old school “leftist” to point out this obvious, and frightening, new trahison des clercs has been totally marginalized.

  • Jack

    Main stream media and Muslim groups concerned about backlash because of next week’s mass killing of Jews in France.

    Back lash? What backlash?

  • gs

    Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.

    1. I suspect that the Europeans who first invited mass immigration for cheap labor were ruthless enough to keep the newcomers in line, and all concerned knew it. Those Europeans might have little sympathy for their contemporary descendants who are neither enlightened nor ruthless.

    2. OT: The WRM passage I quoted is a rather obvious warning for the USA wrt illegal Hispanics and, perhaps, more recent populations. It’s been said that God looks after fools, drunks, and the United States of America, but presumably even His patience is not inexhaustible.

  • FrankL

    What is it with Mead and Jews? He’s a much more fanatical philo-Semite than most Jews themselves are.

  • joe

    Re: WigWag

    Yeah, Timothy Garton Ash hasn’t squandered a chance to be on the wrong side of the fence during the last decade. Despite his work on central Europe when he called A.H Ali an “Enlightenment fundamentalist”, I sadly put him in the Sully pile.

  • Gerry Van Kessel

    It is instructive to examine how Europe got itself into its current immigration mess. With economic recovery after the war more labour was needed and the solution was guest workers, mostly from North Africa and Turkey . The key word is “guest” as the policy assumption was that as is the case with guests they would leave after a temporary stay rather than stay permanently. Of course they stayed, all the while European governments stating they were temporary and adopted policies reflecting this false assumption rather than the reality of permanent stay. This meant that even the third generation was considered temporary. At the same time the guest workers brought their families from their homelands and formed growing and “temporary” communities.

    Beginning in the mid 1980s very large numbers of asylum seekers mostly from Africa, the middle east ans Asia and then in the 90s from the Balkans and Turkey started to arrive. A very small percentage were found to be actual refugees but all were allowed to remain and as well bring their families. The numbers were in the millions.

    Governments publicly announced they were opposed to immigration yet the ethnic composition of their cities changed rapidly. The number of foreign born in western Europe equalled those of Canada, the US and Australia. The difference is that the latter had legal migration while the latter had immigration by stealth; European governments said one thing but did another, hardly a sound basis for getting acceptance of such fundamental change in population. Asylum immigration was in reality economic immigration. These governments fooled their publics by saying they were opposed to immigration yet allowing in large numbers of immigrants. Their publics opposed asylum not because they were against refugees but they were against the abuse of the refugee system and it’s covered as a source for economic immigration.

    Had these governments been honest with their publics what would have been different? Most likely, the public would have forced a stop to immigration which is what they originally thought their governments favored. Or the governments would have been forced to seek a mandate for immigration and supporting integration policies. At the very least there would have been governments more in step with what their publics.

    Now governments have to deal ith the esult fo their inaction and obfuscation. The rightward movement in European politics is a reflection of politics moving to get back in step with the public. At the very least governments may start again to reflect what their public demands which basically is that their views have to be taken into account. What cannot be known is whether the damage can be undone. It is not that the average European is anti-immigrant but that he is against a form of immigration that appears designed to stop him or her being what he and she is and wants to be.

  • Albert

    Ramadan is never naive about anything. His writings have the object of lulling the kaffir to sleep so that the poison of Islam can continue to spread in Western countries. It is his contribution to his family’s opus.

  • FrankL

    >”Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.”

    How is this any different from the US? We’ve already had widespread problems from Muslim immigrants, and we’re reacting by increasing Muslim immigration rather than by curtailing it.

    Of course the strongest backers of the open borders project, in the US and in Europe, tend to be Jews.

  • FrankL

    >”Seventy years after Hitler, anti-Semitism of the worst and most violent kind walks the streets of Europe once more. And once again the educational, religious, cultural and political institutions and leaders of Europe are ineffective and paralyzed”

    That which paralyzes them is the justified fear that they will be called Nazis, by Jews, if they try to either exclude Muslims or to assimilate them.

    Mead is a not a stupid person. On some level he already KNOWS this. There must be some deep-seated psychological reason why he cannot acknowledge it.

  • gringojay

    Religion of Peace can actually claim trademark infringement by the European anti-jewish practitioners based on having their written extreme prejudice sanctions on file first in the Koran.

  • CatoRenasci

    Most Europeans are still reflexively anti-Semitic on a deep level, and will never forgive the Jews for having survived the Holocaust. The Jews remind Europeans of their own past failures (as blacks do some Americans) and refuse to do the decent thing of going away.

  • http://www.likelihoodofconfusion.com Ron Coleman

    FrankL thinks you have to be a philosemite to be against murdering Jews because they are Jews. This says just about all you need to know about the validity of his perspective, but I have to ask, who are these Jews who he says are the “strongest backers” of open borders? George Bushowitz, Barack Obamastein and Nancy Pelosawitz?

  • Passingthru

    FrankL doesn’t think you have to be a philosemite to be against murdering Jews. He is a Jew-hating troll:

    “That which paralyzes them is the justified fear that they will be called Nazis, by Jews, if they try to either exclude Muslims or to assimilate them.”

    Those are the words of a person who has been called Nazi many times.

  • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

    Your invocation of marginalization and discrimination needs an asterisk at the least. It is a curious species of these vices that makes full citizenship available to foreigners that need demonstrate no allegiance to the nation and indeed indulges bilious and continuous hostility. While opening their gates to indiscriminate immigration from even the most hellish holes on earth the French have fed and housed these millions in banelieus that are more retrograde, often, than the blighted pits of violence and poverty they have come from. It is a small world after all but that is a fact to be cautiously recognized not mindlessly celebrated and certainly not in intentional ignorance of the murderous nature of this population at large. Gloss that if you will. And lament not the so-called Hard Right. They are all that will save your lily white [donkeys] in the end.

  • Petras Vilson

    Its commendable that the Palestinian PM Fayyad condemned the murders…

    Tragically I’ve read elsewhere that Fayyad is loathed by most Pals as a Western puppet…and marginalized because he has never killed any Jews…

    Also Hamas – the new Unity Pal Gov Parter – wants his job and his head.

  • FrankL

    >”FrankL doesn’t think you have to be a philosemite to be against murdering Jews. He is a Jew-hating troll”

    I’m sure that in your own mind, you are a profoundly intelligent person, and that this justifies you in substituting hateful ad-homs for rational thought.

    If I am wrong in my contention it should be a trivial task for you to find examples of European Jews imploring European politicians to please, PLEASE stop allowing Muslims to immigrate to Europe, and American Jews doing the same thing in America.

    But I guess that’s a much less less trivial task than calling somebody names. “Shut up” has always been the lefts answer to facts it does not want to hear.

  • Exurban

    This post is misguided. My wife and I watched the French television coverage of the Toulouse murders. Before it was discovered that the killer was a Muslim of Algerian descent named Mohammed, both channels we watched had regular denunciations of anti-Semitism and intolerance, and regular displays of photographs of the murdered soldiers and the murdered children from the Jewish school. After the identity of the killer was announced, the word anti-semitism was never heard again and there were no more displays of the victims. The only photograph shown was the same smiling photo of Merah. French media were thrilled to denounce anti-Semitism when they thought it was coming from a neo-Nazi, but totally unwilling to denounce any kind of hate coming from Muslims.

    In retrospect, it’s remarkable that they entertained the idea that the killer was a neo-Nazi for so long. Surely the Jewish school attack was a heavy clue that this was jihad — when exactly was the last time that right-wing extremists attacked religious Jews in France?

    Poster WigWag decribed Ian Buruma as a “Dutch writer”. You might be interested to know that he is the nephew of the late British film director John Schlesinger. BTW I share WigWag’s low opinion of Buruma’s political writings.

  • Kris

    More strange logic: thinking that what makes people “Islamophobic” is cartoons of Muhammad, as opposed to one terrorist act after another being committed by people called Muhammad.

    WigWag@4: This is one of the instances when I fully agree with you. Note also how several commentators have been trying to push the laughable hypothesis that the murderer did not a-priori target the Jewish school, that this was a spur-of-the-moment improvisation. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this very same argument was made regarding the murders at the Jewish community center in Mumbai. Isn’t it strange how Islamic terrorists keep somehow running into Jews in the oddest places?

    Which reminds me of the old joke: A man is walking through the streets of Belfast. Suddenly he feels a gun put to his head and a voice asks: “Protestant or Catholic?” Thinking fast, the man replies: “Jewish!” “Allahu Akbar!” says the gunman, “I must be the luckiest Muslim in all of Ireland!”

    FrankL: Being opposed to the murder of Jews and rejecting apologia for such makes one a “fanatical philo-Semite”?! [I just had to google that unlikely phrase, incidentally.) Do you have any “deep-seated psychological” issues you wish to share?

  • Thom Seaton

    As usual, WRM is simply an invaluable observer.

    I cannot add to the excellent posts about Ramadan and those who apologize for his views. I note that CNN reported that Merah’s stepfather, “Sabri Essid, [was] a member of a Toulouse network that tried to recruit fighters to join al Qaeda in Iraq. Essid was convicted in a French court in 2009 after being detained in Syria in 2006 where he was running an al Qaeda safe house.” On Tariq Ramadan, I note that the NY Times ran a flattering piece on him by Ian Buruma in 2007 and the New Yorker published a piece in June 2007 excoriating those such as Berman who have harshly critiqued the Oxford professor. I admit that I am suffering from “NY Times/New Yorker Magazine Derangement Syndrome,” but sometimes I feel that as far as those enlightened publications are concerned, Jewish lives are simply expendable on the altar of tolerance for the “other.”

  • Richard F. Miller

    @Ron Coleman:

    You forgot to add the largest institutional promoter of open borders: the Catholic Churchowitz

  • Maid Abusing Socialist

    Uh, forgive me for dumbing things down a bit: Ayaan Hirsi Ali–Smoking Hot; Tariq Ramadan–Squalid Cretin.

    Any real wonder why Timothy Garton Ash expounds as he does about whom?

  • Snorri Godhi

    “Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.”

    That “they” did neither is easily explained when you remember that it was the ruling classes that let in the Muslim immigrants, and the people who would have kept the immigrants out, and did not welcome them in.

    (That is just a bit unfair to the ruling classes, though: perhaps only The Netherlands and Scandinavia _deliberately_ let in Muslim immigrants who did not fill a gap in the demand for labor, and did not come from former colonies.)

    Once the trouble started, the ruling classes figured that they could exploit it for their own advantage, by taking on the mantle of “anti-fascism”. This fiction can’t go on forever, but the ruling classes have nothing to gain and much to lose if they stop playing this tune now.

  • hepzeeba

    WRM’s case in point, from today’s [3/28] NYT:

    After Killings in France, Muslims Fear a Culture of Diversity Is at Risk

  • FrankL

    >”FrankL: Being opposed to the murder of Jews and rejecting apologia for such makes one a “fanatical philo-Semite”?!”

    If you take the trouble to read, I said that Mead is “a much more fanatical philo-Semite than most Jews themselves are”. (See the second part of that and understand it) Which is true, and which is based on the many articles such as this which Mead has written.

    There is nothing wrong with objecting to people being murdered. I encourage MORE such objections. But reading Mead you get an oddly distorted view of who is being murdered. Reading Mead on Jews is like reading Al Sharpton on blacks – take the two men seriously and you come away with an incorrect picture of the way the world actually works. Contra Sharpton, black men are not being murdered by whites. Contra Mead, Jews are not the victims of European anti-Semitism.

  • J R

    I love Prof Mead’s work, but this entire piece is a bit misleading.

    There is plenty of anti-Semitism in Europe, but very little of it comes from actual Europeans. Nearly all of it emanates from Muslims, either immigrants or first-generation “Europeans”, who have failed to accept what is obvious to most Europeans after 1945.

    Merah was scum, I am glad he is dead; I am only sorry he didn’t die before he took innocent lives – especially the lives of children. I cannot get over the image of a young “Frenchman” killing children in cold blood – that they were Jewish is an unimportant detail (except to Jews and Muslims; I’m neither).

    But we need to be fully honest here. There are plenty of “Europeans” who think what Merah did was exemplary.

    And who has advocated ceaselessly for Muslim demographic overwhelming – sorry, “immigration” – of Europe? The Left, including in that grouping a high percentage of Europe’s Jews, who have with lamentably few exceptions sided with the newcomers.

    Karma is indeed a [profanity removed].

    So I can only feel so sorry for Europe’s Jews, who as a group have been deeply complicit in Europe’s sinking in a Muslim sea.

    Perhaps they will learn, finally. Not all goyim are the same – none may love you, but only some will kill your little children. And, today, in 2012, the killers are all Muslim.

    Get it, now?

    PS Despite it all, I don’t understand why Jewish lives, even those tragically and barbarically ended in Toulouse, are worth more than Palestinian children, who die all the time at the hands of the Jews. I suggest, as a European, that the Jews and Muslims do this elsewhere, and leave the goyim out of it altogether.

  • Kris

    FrankL@31:

    I assume you’ve read Bat Ye’or’s books.

    Let me guess, she’s just an exception. As are any other names I could bring up.

    I find it amusing that you try to take the high road and complain about ad hominems after you call our host a “fanatical philo-Semite,” diagnose him as suffering from “deep-seated psychological” issues, and compare him to Al Sharpton.

    JR@40: “I don’t understand why Jewish lives, even those tragically and barbarically ended in Toulouse, are worth more than Palestinian children, who die all the time at the hands of the Jews.”

    Are you among those who minimize 9/11 by arguing that more people die in traffic accidents?

    “I suggest, as a European, that the Jews and Muslims do this elsewhere”

    I am sure that Jews will be most willing to accept your suggestion not to get murdered in Europe.

    “leave the goyim out of it altogether.”

    I learn something new every day: it now seems Muslims are actually Jewish!

  • Adam Garfinkle

    I certainly share your assessment of Tariq Ramadan. But I think some clarifications are in order here, both to what you wrote, Walter, and to what some other commentators wrote.

    I don’t deny that there is generalized anti-Semitism in the European population today, but I do think it is true, as commentator #41 says, that the vast majority of the murderous kind comes from second and now third-generation Muslim immigrants who have had a hard time in France and other European countries. I even think that because typical Europeans harbor such dislike and fear of their Muslim immigrant populations that, according to the law that the enemy of thy enemy is thy friend, some Europeans, at least, incline to think better of Jews in their midst simply because the Muslims in their midst hate the Jews. life can be weird like that.

    On the other hand, the idea, also expressed by commentator 41, that Jews in France are responsible in large part for that country’s failure to develop realistic policies regarding immigrant communities, strikes me as, well, crazy. Jews are not good at leading xenophobic movements in European countries. Any European who fails to understand why this is needs remedial history lessons.

    And while I am discussing commentator 41, let me answer his question as to why the life of the Jewish child in France should be considered above the life of an Arab child in Gaza. I don’t know anyone who thinks this. I do know, however, two things. First, some of the tragic deaths of children in Gaza that have been ascribed to Israeli actions have in fact been fabricated. Second, it does seem to me that there is a difference between deliberately targeting and killing children, and accidentally harming children as a result of military action taken, in my view, in legitimate self-defense. The idea that the Israeli government, even this government, which is not my favorite, or any Israeli soldier, positively revels in the idea of killing Palestinian children is calumny. A flat lie. That does not make the life of the Jewish child more precious than the life of the Palestinian child, but it does introduce an element of context that certainly should inform our processes of moral reasoning.

    Finally for now, it is a nauseating irony that contemporary Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism amounts to a re-exporting of European anti-Semitism of the pre-World War II era back into Europe. A century or two ago, there was no Muslim anti-Semitism if we define the term in the proper clinical sense. There was anti-Jewish cultural bias, of course, and there was discrimination––one can easily exaggerate talk of a Golden Age among Jews and Muslims in the long ago. But the specific nature of Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism today is an import from Europe that Arab and Muslim immigrants into Europe have now brought back to the place of its origin. The Protocols, after all, which is for sale in practically every bookstore in the Middle East, was not written there. In this sense, perhaps, history is repeating itself, with a twist. But in the broader sense implied by the title of the article, well, I’m not so sure.

  • hepzeeba

    Adam Garfinkle @42

    The denial of the anti-Semitic character of this incident and many others is, as Larry Summers once referred to this phenomenon,
    “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent.”

    Summers was president of Harvard at the time. He was talking specifically about the issue of anti-Semitism vs. let us call it anti-Israelism, shall we?

    That was in September 2002.

    The journalist and narrative nonfiction author Ron Rosenbaum compiled an anthology on the subject of the (new [everything old is new again]) anti-Semitism in 2004: Those Who Forget the Past. It was comprised mostly of essays written after 9/11.

    This is not a new phenomenon. What’s new is that American public intellectuals like WRM are speaking out about it.

    Finally, WRM’s main point is that their is a logical fallacy, not to mention a questionable moral judgment, in suggesting that it’s okay for second- and third-generation Muslims in France, or elsewhere in Europe, to “lash out” against their European Jewish neighbors because of the terrible things that happen in the Middle East.

    The British “intelligentsia” is the most culpable in marketing this perverse notion. My opinion only, of course.

  • Jim.

    @Adam Garfinkle:

    If #41 believes that the best approach to immigrant populations is to assimilate them to the national culture / religion, it is not so surprising to find Jews who work steadily against his point of view.

  • J R

    @Kris41: “Are you among those who minimize 9/11 by arguing that more people die in traffic accidents?”

    No, I’m not. Thanks for being so perfectly vile to ask.

    So I ask you, are Jewish lives more valuable than goyish lives?

    Moreover, since you were nasty enough to infer I’m some sort of 9/11 downplayer – since I fought in Afghanistan, why don’t you tell us what YOU have done to avenge 9/11 and fight jihadism.

    Nothing, I expect, unless you count blog postings.

  • Jim.

    @FrankL, 19:

    As far as I can tell, Prof. Mead regularly argues points upon which he believes his fellow Democrats hold the wrong point of view — the viability of the Blue Social Model being one of them, the strategy of the environmental movement being another, and skepticism of Israel being a third.

    It is important to him to change peoples’ minds on these subjects, so he brings them up repeatedly.

    At least, that’s what I can tell from the evidence available to me. WRM, if you’d like to correct me, by all means do so.

    Still and all, it’s amazing to me that he can spend the week that the Supreme Court reviews ObamaCare talking about anything other than the future of the Blue Model.

    Has he said a word about ObamaCare since the SCOTUS took up the question?

  • Kris

    Note: the references to comment #41 should be to comment #40.

    Some fascinating comments here. In response to a post criticizing those who want to make the murder of Jews about everything/anything other than that, we have commenters offering themselves up as prime exhibits. Yes, of course murdering children is bad, but why are you focusing on the Jews? And didn’t the Jews kind of bring it on themselves?

    JR@45:

    “Are you among those who minimize 9/11 by arguing that more people die in traffic accidents?”
    No, I’m not. Thanks for being so perfectly vile to ask.

    That got your hackles up, eh? And yet you see it fit to compare the Toulouse murders to unintentional casualties of Israeli military activities.

    “So I ask you, are Jewish lives more valuable than goyish lives?”

    Answer: of course not. Now I ask you: are the lives of 9/11 victims more valuable than that of traffic casualties? Since you claim you fought in Afghanistan, are the lives of 9/11 victims worth more than those of Afghan collateral casualties?

    I note you didn’t address my other points.

  • Kris

    Jim@46: “Has he said a word about ObamaCare since the SCOTUS took up the question?”

    Not that I’ve seen. This must mean he’s a FANATIC PHILO-BLUE!!!!1!!

  • ARH

    “The fact of the matter is that there is a little bit of the totalitarian buried somewhere, way down deep, in each and every one of us. It is only the cheerful light of confidence and security which keeps this evil genius down at the usual helpless and invisible depth. If confidence and security were to disappear, don’t think that he would not be waiting to take their place.”
    -George Kennan

    WRM makes his best point that Europe allowed mass immigration without the requisite economic dynamism to absorb and assimilate the cultural differences. The Muslim world, particularly the Arab Muslim world, lacks the cheerful light of security and confidence in both Europe and their native lands; their inner demons can be easily awaken, and all to often, worldwide Jewry is the target.

    In situations like these, the left fears that the natural and justifiable outcry will fuel man’s already natural inclination to divide itself along sectarian lines. Additionally, the horror of individual acts is swept under the rug due to a larger fear that the right will use said acts as a pretense for “discrimination” (self defense???) on the domestic front, or overseas adventurism on the foreign front.

    The flaw of the left is to seek harmony at the expense of generally agreed upon moral absolutes. Without generally understood absolutes, there is no yard stick by which to guide personal behavior in pursuit of order.

    The flaw of the right is to seek moral judgement at the expense of congruence. Xenophobia is a trait more comfortably at home in right leaning movements. This inclination is antithetical to the concept a trust, another element indispensable to order.

    Ironically, or perhaps naturally, these two elements of social order split into different camps where champions trumpet one at the expensive of the other. Perhaps a broadly fought tug of war is how societies maintain a balance between the two. Perhaps it works better that way than to expect each individual man to fully balance the wider society’s need for moral guideposts AND trust.

    We are a deeply flawed species, but such is our plight.

  • J R

    All human life is valuable. You are the one who seeks to make distinctions.

    The way that you speak so cavalierly about certain lives indicates you’ve never been anywhere near any war.

    Am I correct? Still not gonna answer that, are ya? :)

    And if you think all Palestinian deaths at Israeli hands are “unintentional” you have shown your biases in full.

  • Kris

    JR@50: “All human life is valuable.”

    You have an impressive talent for jousting with straw men (and scarpering from uncomfortable questions). Though I’m puzzled how to reconcile this sentence of yours with the previous: “I suggest, as a European, that the Jews and Muslims do this elsewhere, and leave the goyim out of it altogether.”

    “you’ve never been anywhere near any war. Am I correct? Still not gonna answer that, are ya?”

    I am indeed not going to answer. What would be the point?

    “And if you think all Palestinian deaths at Israeli hands are ‘unintentional’ you have shown your biases in full.”

    Caution, moving goalposts! We were talking about Palestinian children; please keep your arguments straight. And I indeed believe that Israel does not deliberately target innocent children. If only I could be as unbiased and objective as you and just know otherwise!

  • http://www.pacrimjim.com PacRim Jim

    Europeans are self-contemptuous to the point of suicide.
    They supported the Soviet Bloc against their own better interests. They now support Islamic tyranny that would extinguish every freedom Europeans have died for over the centuries.
    Perhaps all the rational Europeans have emigrated.
    Perhaps Americans no longer care whether Europe lives or dies.

  • Kris

    PacRim Jim@52 mention of the Soviet Union reminds me of something: Back in the days of the Soviet Union, some Jews in the West were hard left, and were criticized for undermining our national will against a dangerous enemy. Other Jews actively campaigned for human rights in the Soviet Union. Response? They were labeled ethnocentrists who were selfishly ratcheting up tensions with the USSR. Can’t win.

    Similarly, if Jews don’t take a sufficiently hard-line position with respect to Muslim immigration, well then, they are practically the author of their own misfortune, Toulouse-style. And if Jews do take such a position, well! Of course Muslims will respond negatively. Since them Jews are so smart, surely they should have foreseen that!

    Apart from questions of morality, that’s my main problem with antisemitism. It is an unfalsifiable prejudice that will promiscuously seize upon any available rationalization.

  • J R

    Nice dodge, Kris – you so funny!

    Now go back to your avid fantasy life of murdering Arabs, and leave wars to real men.

  • ErisGuy

    Why should French society do any soul-searching?
    Our elected leaders (Pelosi, et.al.) see no limits on their authority. Instead of soul-searching, we re-elect them. I’m sure the French people will continue to re-elect politicians who invite Moslems to replace the declining native population and who continue their socialist policies of economic privilege and decline.

    I’m sure after Kristallnacht, people were worried about possible future agression against Nazis. And they were right to worry. The Nazis did not give up their attack on Jews, and the “possible future agression” became WW2. What will the future bring to Islamic anti-Semitism? Similar acts and policies deserve similar responses, do they not?

    It has been the EU states policies–and the French elite in particular–to posture as the friend and ally of Islam. It’s French policy to fund the killing of Jews by proxy through its subsidization of the Palestinian Authority. They’re only embarrassed about it because it happened in Toulouse instead of Tel Aviv.

    It is a pernicious lie that discrimination and marginalization are the cause of Moslem rage and murder against Jews and Christians. Allah commands the humiliation of Jews and Christians. Even when Moslems were powerful and prosperous in their own lands they slew Jews and Christians. Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islam. The end of Nazi anti-Semitism was not reform Nazism. The end of Islamic anti-Semitism will not be reformed Islam.

  • Chico sajovic

    A fine article, but i have a few quibbles:
    1. who is this tariq guy and why does anyone care what he thinks let alone WRM?

    2. History never repeats itself.

    3. There arn’t even parralels with 1930s europe. The vast majority of non jewish europeans and jewish europeans live together in harmony. The actions of a fringe group of a discrimated against minority does not equate to state sponsored genocide.

  • Luke Lea

    This appears to be a Muslim not a European phenomenon.

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