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“Paul”

There’s a commenter on various threads who calls himself “Paul”.

His thesis is that Jews have become an isolated and dangerous minority within Europe, who are bolstering Xenophobia and hatred of Muslims. He thinks that Jews will “inevitably turn to violence”.

Below are a couple of comments from the Lush thread, in which Paul makes his case.

I’m interested in your reaction. My view is that he is (to put it politely and as neutrally as possible) a wind up merchant. For a start, all Jewish organisations of substance are quietist. All are outspoken in their opposition to racist and extremist politics, and are deeply involved in mainstream anti-racist organisations.

To be frank, I don’t think that the points “Paul” makes are being made seriously. What I think these comments boil down to is:

“haha, Jews! You’ve been whipping up hatred against Muslims. Well, perhaps it is now time for you to get a little bit of the old anti-terrorism scrutiny, eh?”

But who knows.

Why am I posting this? Well, I suspect you’ll see more of this sort of free-ranging musing about Jews. Note how elements of the far Left and far Right, and indeed the far Green have all painted Breivik as Mossad-controlled, or somehow acting for Jews: despite the fact that he regarded the presence of Jews in any more than tiny numbers to be a “problem“.

It is always useful to get a feel for how this sort of discourse is developing.

Paul says:

If Lush is part of the new antisemitism, and the new antisemitism is the same as the old antisemitism, and the old antisemitism lead to the Holocaust, then presumably it would be morally acceptable to bomb Lush stores to prevent a new Holocaust.

One of the EDL supporters (who were recommended to read this post) just might. What would Saul O. say then? Probably: “I can not be held responsible for the actions of a madman”.

I don’t know if most of the comments in support of the post come from Jews. However, they do seem to illustrate how European Jews have painted themselves into an ideological corner, and are increasingly detached from the political life around them. What Saul calls “double standards” on Israel are simply what you can expect, given the widespread hostility to the state of Israel and its policies.

If Jews in Europe won’t accept that, and the evidence suggest they will not, then they will become an increasingly isolated, bitter and frustrated minority. That is already the case for many Jews, and that obviously contributes to the rise of the Eurabia theory, the increasing hatred of the left and Muslims, and the increasing willingness to ally themselves with xenophobic populists and nationalists.

This is one of many posts at this blog which illustrate this trend. Bitter, frustrated, angry, self-righteous, hostile minorities, isolated from the society around them, are a danger to that society. That is not an ethical judgement: the mainstream society could also be morally abhorrent. It is a judgement on the degree of polarisation.

He also says:

It is relevant to consider whether the comments in support of this post, and many similar comments at this blog are from Jews. It is relevant, because the issue is whether they represent trends in Jewish opinion in Britain. This blog attract comments from US and UK right-wingers, whose support for Israel is a banner (as it is for the EDL).

If no Jews held the kind of views you see expressed in those comments – about the complicity of the left in a second Holocaust, and how the left control the media and indoctrinate the public, and so on – then it would be wrong to draw conclusions about the Jewish minority in western Europe. However, the same pained, bitter, angry, uncomprehending attitude is visible in statements of Jewish organisations, and on specifically Jewish blogs.

In earlier comments on Anders Breivik, I noted that you would expect Jews and conservative Christians to be over-represented among the adherents of his ideology, because it seeks to defend their values (against perceived Islamisation). Anger, fear of imminent annihilation, apocalyptic visions of the near future, and a refusal to accept any other ideology as legitimate, these things drive a trend to violence.

In other words, the Jewish community, and the looser category of orthodox / traditionalist / evangelical Christians, are coming to resemble the former target of anti-radicalisation policy: young Muslim males. The fear of west European governments was (and is) that these men are alienated from society, have political goals that are beyond realistic implementation, reject the political process, and are driven by intense convictions that are not open to argument or discussion. Consequently, the argument was, they would inevitably turn to violence, unless the state intervened.

It would be a great shock for Jews and conservative Christians to be treated in the same way, especially considering some of the tactics used (think of police camera surveillance of Jewish neighbourhoods and evangelical churches). These are indeed people who generally see themselves as ‘law-abiding’. However, it is no longer possible to claim that the pro-Israel, pro-Christian, anti-left and anti-Islam right “never uses force”. Theyare a threat, and that is related to their detachment from the political process.

The claims in some of the comments above, that the left are planning to kill or expel the Jews of Europe, underline that assessment. If people think like that, then violence is the logical consequence. The issue is how many Jews in western Europe would go this far, and how many have adopted more comprehensive violent ideologies, such as the Eurabia theory of Bat Ye’or.

I understand that Jews don’t like being looked on as a deviant or threatening group, given the history of persecution. However, it is right to consider if these “bizarre and grotesque” ideologies have significant Jewish support.

Thoughts?

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