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Europe and The Jews


From PJ Media David Goldman, a.k.a Spengler, writes Election Envy: The Europeans and the Jews

Europeans adore secular Israelis who wallow in existential doubts, for example, the novelist Zeruya Shalev, a bestseller in Germany and the winner of any number of European literary awards. I’ve never read Shalev, but then again, Idon’t like fiction. Jews like Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister and leader of the Jewish Home party, give them the creeps.

When real Americans — the kind of Americans who identify with the American Founding — meet real Jews — the kind of Jews who embrace Israel’s past and future — there is an instant sympathy, for Jews remind Americans of what is best in their character: the new mission in the Wilderness, the vision of a new City on a hill. New England was settled in response to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, and as many German Protestants — the losers in that war — came to America as Englishmen. When Europeans meet Jews, we remind them of what was worst in their character: the lampoon of Jewish identity that infected European nationalism. The Nazi delusion of a “Master Race, ” after all, was a satanic parody of the Election of Israel. In the past, each European nation that fancied itself God’s instrument on earth set out to humiliate, expel, or even exterminate the Jews, for how could France or Spain or Russia or Germany be the Chosen Nation when the Jews claimed that status? Old Europe hated the Jews because it envied election; New Europe hates the Jews because it eschews election altogether. The old hatred suppurates and boils under the ectoderm of the new hatred.

After three devastating wars lasting two generations each — the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, the Napoleonic Wars of 1799-1815, and the two World Wars of the 20th century — the Europeans grew weary of their contentious national identities. They agreed to become nothing in particular. Patriotism is an obscenity in Germany, a joke in Italy, a curse in Spain, a relic in England, and a faux pas in France. To declare one’s self a Jewish patriot, a Zionist, transgresses the boundary of civilized discourse in today’s Europe. Personally, I find this disappointing; I speak three European languages apart from English and have nothing to say to anybody in any of them.

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The Root of the Attacks in Paris


from the Wall Street Journal editorials, Ruth R. Wisse writes Anti-Semitism Is Never Solely About The Jews:


The PLO was founded in 1964—three years before the war launched by the Arab states from which Israel emerged in possession of some disputed territory on the west bank of the Jordan River. Until 1967, the PLO and its offshoots had existed in Jordan but been suppressed; after the war, as the PLO focused its terror exclusively against the Jews, money began to flow to the organization from the Arab states. A pure product of ideological anti-Semitism, the PLO and its terrorism formed but one weapon in the Arab war that was failing to destroy Israel by other means.

Here we reach the heart of the matter. Opposition to Israel was the unifying feature of an otherwise splintered Arab League that found in anti-Zionism the same ideological energy that Europeans had found in anti-Semitism. Other ideologies pit left against right; religious against secular; reactionaries against progressives. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism unite otherwise contentious parties against a common target.

After World War II, Arab leaders in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere welcomed fleeing Nazi officers for their military, technological and political expertise. The radical differences between the two cultures did not preclude collaboration in a unified strategy focused on the same Jewish target.

Those Arab leaders made a poor choice. With their countries almost unscathed by the war, they might have concentrated on regional improvement, following the lead of Jordan’s King Abdullah I, who was prepared to settle for the lion’s share of Mandate Palestine. Instead they found in Israel a scapegoat and, in the Palestinians, a pawn whom they condemned to perpetual refugee status as a pretext for their own perpetual belligerence. No doubt they believed they could control potential domestic unrest by channeling popular anger at a foreign “invader.”

But deflecting dissatisfaction does not arrest it. Ignoring crises does not eliminate them. Appeasing terror does not defeat it. Arab leaders would have done better to resist the temptations of anti-Semitism and follow the Jews’ example. The recovery of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel showed, and continues to show, the possibilities of creative renewal. Who knows what Arab societies could accomplish if they likewise had the confidence to look inward and undertake serious reform?


The Israelis have dealt with thousands of attacks like the one in Paris.  Did anyone before WWII really think that their hatred would stop at their borders?

Did we learn from that failure?  Jimmy Carter may have failed, but there is hope for the rest of us.

Anti Semitism exists because it was politically useful.  Israel is merely the canary in the coal mine.


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Armed Yids


from the Washington Free Beacon, Europe’s Leading Rabbi: Jews Must Begin Carrying Guns

The EU, which has enacted very stringent gun control laws, should empower and train Jews to be proficient with guns in order to maintain their safety, according to Margolin.

“The Paris attacks, as well as the many challenges and threats which have been presented to the European Jewish community in recent years, have revealed the urgent need to stop talking and start acting,” Margolin writes.

“We hereby ask that gun licensing laws are reviewed with immediate effect to allow designated people in the Jewish communities and institutions to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities, as well as receiving the necessary training to protect their members from potential terror attacks.”


Count me in.

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…Then They Came for the Cartoonists


from the Wall Street Journal editorials, Ruth R. Wisse writes Anti-Semitism Is Never Solely About The Jews:


If we mistakenly imagine that this is “about” the Jews, however, we fall into the trap that anti-Semitism sets for us by deflecting attention from perpetrators to victims. The trail of terror leads not to the Jews but from those who organize against them. Fingering the Jews—in their homeland or elsewhere—is a pretext. In every case, Jews are convenient targets standing in for the liberalizing aspects of individual freedom, democratic governance and modernity complete with its anxieties. Anti-Jewish politics aims at the tolerant societies in which Jews flourish.


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Favorite Writers of 2014

As a blogger with a day job, I often find myself curating other posts- selecting and  commenting.  Over the years I have found a few writers that I frequently return to.

My Favorite writers for 2014:

1. Kevin Williamson- National Review

favorite article: Welcome to the Paradise of the Real


None of those problems facing the poor — and they are the key problems — is an economic problem. All of them are political problems. For progressives, the obvious solution to that is less economics and more politics. The possibilities of economic division will always be limited by what there is to divide — so many houses, so many cars, so many apples and oranges, so many SweeTarts. Progressives don’t care what’s in the bag, so long as they get to be in charge of it. It is no accident that they talk about the “distribution” of wealth and income as though those things were literally distributed, like candy out of an Easter basket, by the distribution fairy.

2. Daniel Greenfield in Sultan Knish.

favorite article, The Left Is Too Smart to Fail


Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.

A companion piece from Daniel is Science is for Stupid People


What the left calls science is really a hypothesis accepted as a fact without the skepticism. Its intelligence is a conclusion without bothering to determine whether it’s true. Science and intelligence are perpetual processes that are never truly settled. But in law and government, as in all other fields, the left discards the process and asserts an inevitable outcome by virtue of its superiority.

Also How To Write About Israel

 Weigh every story one way. Depersonalize Israelis, personalize Muslims. One is a statistic, the other a precious snowflake. A Muslim terrorist attack is always in retaliation for something, but an Israeli attack is rarely a retaliation for anything. When Israeli planes bomb a terrorist hideout, suggest that this latest action only feeds the “Cycle of Violence” and quote some official who urges Israel to return to peace negotiations– whether or not there actually are any negotiations to return to.

3.  Jonah Goldberg in Commentary (often in National Review)

favorite article Mr. Piketty’s Big Book of Marxiness 


Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Fred Smith, and others became billionaires because they created goods and services of real value to consumers; there was nothing “arbitrary” about it. In fact, most of them didn’t achieve their wealth, strictly speaking, from “capital” in the Pikettyesque sense at all. They mostly earned it from technological innovation. Piketty seems to believe, without marshaling much if any evidence, that such accretions of wealth undermine meritocratic values—when in fact, in a very real sense, the wealth creation over the past 30 years collectively constitutes the most extreme example of meritocratic advancement the world has ever seen.

4. John Cochrane in his blog The Grumpy Economist, Why and How We Care about Inequality


Why are otherwise generally sensible institutions like the IMF, the S&P, and even the IPCC jumping on the “inequality” bandwagon?

That answer seems pretty clear. Because they don’t want to talk about Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, bailouts, debt, the stimulus, the rotten cronyism of energy policy, denial of education to poor and minorities, the abject failure of their policies to help poor and middle class people, and especially sclerotic growth. Restarting a centuries-old fight about “inequality” and “tax the rich,” class envy resurrected from a Huey Long speech in the 1930s, is like throwing a puppy into a third grade math class that isn’t going well. You know you will make it to the bell.

5.  Victor Davis Hanson in The National Review, Lying for a Cause- If myths do more for social progress than facts- then why worry?


From the details of Rigoberta Menchú’s memoir, to Tawana Brawley’s supposed rape, to the O. J. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” myth, to the open-and-shut case of the hate-crime crucifixion of Matthew Shepard by savage homophobes, to Dan Rather’s fake but accurate National Guard memo, to the Duke lacrosse team’s supposed racist raping, to Barack Obama’s autobiographic interludes with his girlfriend, to Scott Beauchamp’s “true” stories of American military atrocities in Iraq, to Lena Dunham’s purported right-wing sexual assaulter at Oberlin College (home of the 2013 epidemic of pseudo-racist graffiti), to the pack of University of Virginia fraternity rapists on the loose, to “Hands up, don’t shoot,” we have come to appreciate that facts and truth are not that important, if myths can better serve social progress or the careers of those on the correct side of history.