Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the gathering storm clouds

An article on PJ Media here discusses the exodus of Jews from France, who have begun to wonder, “…whether classic anti-Semitism is not back with a vengeance all over Europe, after several decades of post-Holocaust toleration.”  The National Interest also asks in a headline, “Is Antisemitism Back in Europe?” and goes on to note that a quarter of European Jews surveyed avoid doing things or wearing symbols that allow others to identify them as Jewish.  A non-Jewish reporter in Sweden wore a kippah for a day to see what reactions he would get.  His conclusion: “Jews who visit Malmo, at least those who identity is visible, should be prepared for stares at least and violence at worst.”  And here in the US, we have the Onion, which is admittedly satire, publishing an article with the headline, “Redskins Kike Ownr Refuses to Change the Team’s Offensive name.” The article goes on to refer to the “hook-nosed” and “shifty-eyed” owner as kike multiple times in the story.  It’s just humor, right?  But ask yourself this: would they run a similar article with the word “nigger” in the title, or an anti-gay slur?  You know the answer as well as I do.

As I’ve written before, I no longer wonder how the Jews of Europe in the ‘30s could be so unaware of the impending disaster that awaited them.  Call me a pessimist for thinking that the storm clouds are gathering.  I wonder how many articles and how many incidents it will take before the average American Jew wakes up. 


  1. Agree with your concerns about Europe -- very very disturbing and deeply sad.

    However in the US, for the most part, I believe the climate is really very different and much more positive. The Onion piece doesn't worry me. Your argument is that nobody would dare make similar jokes regarding certain other minorities. But that's precisely why the Onion article is not evidence of rising anti-semitism in the US; if anything it is the opposite. Some minorities in the US remain more thin-skinned because (rightly or wrongly) they still feel excluded and discriminated against. Most Jews haven't felt that way in the US for at least a few decades. Whereas I suspect no similar publication in Europe would dare run a humor piece referring to hook-nosed kikes precisely because in Europe the specter of vicious anti-semitism is all too real. Nobody would laugh in Europe, except the neo-Nazis.

    I don't say "it can't happen here" because only God can say that about anything. But still I think baruch hashem (!) yes you are being very pessimistic, even a bit paranoid, if you really see gathering storm clouds in the US. We shouldn't be complacent or take our situation for granted, but I also don't think we ought to walk around frightened. It seems more appropriate and realistic to be grateful and thank God for the existence of a great country like the USA, all things considered.

  2. I agree that at this point the US is not close to the situation in Europe, but what I meant is that we should be screaming about what is happening in Europe and not sit back complacently just because we are still relatively safe. The situation there is abominable.

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  3. Mr citation omitted, even though I usually don't delete comments I have to make an exception because of the language you use at the end. I have no problem with people expressing their POV, but this is not the Onion, so I'm afraid certain terms are off limits.