Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Anti-Semitism In Europe

CNN released a survey of antisemitism in Europe, which I have chosen to link in the context of this essay in Tablet (a Jewish publication, if you hadn't guessed from the title.) I am letting the article speak for itself, save for a few things: I have not dug into the survey enough to get a feel for how much of this antisemitism is from newer Muslim immigrants and how much descended from the longstanding suspicion and hatred of Jews more associated with right-wing parties. Related, I don't get a sense of how much of the antisemitism is passive, a sullen resentment, and how much is active, including a desire to hurt or remove Jews.

I was not surprised to see such high numbers for Sweden, as Malmo is now quite Muslim (over 50% of schoolchildren) and Stockholm is seeing the increase now. However, that will not be the whole picture as well, as it used to be said "scratch a Swede and find a fascist" long before they encouraged significant immigration. "Fascist" is too strong a word, but the reality is on that road.  Like many northern European nations, Swedes have prized all pulling together, being one people. This is not unrelated to their strong social safety net. However, this fondness for at least a mild "socialism for the nation" is not that far from "national socialism."  They are not the same, and I am not claiming it.  They are decent people trying to do well and be kind.  Yet the two are related - hence their WWII neutrality and complete penetration of intelligence services by Nazis and communists both.

Thinking of Malmo and Stockholm led me to the fourth observation.  Jews in Europe have long lived in the cities, and recent immigrants come to cities as well.  I wonder what the numbers are like in the countryside.  Perhaps it doesn't matter.

7 comments:

Sam L. said...

I suspect the numbers in rural areas are between very low and just damned few.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I suspected the same, but reading the article caused me to double back. The old antisemitism is still there, and that would presumably include rural.

juragan herbal said...
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David Foster said...

I've not been able to find a link to the detailed survey data...nothing that answers the question of how much of the European anti-Semitism is from Muslim immigrants. The only occurrence of the word "Muslim" in the summary is in reference to negative attitudes *about* Muslims, not negative attitudes *by* Muslims.

Texan99 said...

I am so right-wing, and so pro-Semite, that I've always found this subject puzzling. Obviously the category of "right wing" has a variety of meanings.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Right-wing does have a variety of meanings, and not only in this recent populist vs country club divide. In Europe, the right wing is strongly nationalist, and that very often means tribalist as well. They mistrusted Jews because they felt they couldn't be counted on in a pinch, having loyalties outside the region. While nationalism has also had some WASPy flavor in America throughout its history, there has also been a strong "unity on the basis of values" as well. In the 19th C there was worry about Irish and Catholics because we weren't sure "they would share American values." I think that was partly what people really meant and partly just suspicion of foreigners. The cycle kept repeating with each wave of immigrants, who did actually change things a bit as they settled, but also basically did adopt American values.

I still run across right-wing antisemitism in comments sections. It is not directed at Israel so much as Jews having some hidden network of power and having tricked the rubes into granting them special status. Weird. I don't know how much is simply the old European version with an American twist and how much is a resentment because Jews in America have not only adjusted but excelled under the New World, New Rules we have here.

Texan99 said...

True, a lot of anti-Semitism comes across as typical resentment of any good-old-boys system, a clique one doesn't happen to belong to. Other anti-Semitism is straight-up distrust of a foreign tribe and its incalculable loyalties. Only a few anti-Semites broadcast that peculiar specifically racist revulsion against what evidently strikes them as a tainted bloodline, the real Nazi sickness. I understand ethnocentricism, but the whole polluted-bloodline thing is madness to me.

I was so struck, in reading the deeply weird "Last of the Mohicans," by the notion that a character might be tainted by a trace of Negro blood that wasn't otherwise apparent in her appearance or behavior, as if merely learning a secret fact of her ancestry could matter more than personal experience of her as an individual human being. It's a crazy kind of thinking also evident in the furor over Sen. Warren's 1/1024th indigenous heritage, or the enthusiasm for identifying royalty in one's distant family line.