Economist

Economist imperiously lectures Europe’s Jews on their exaggerated fears of antisemitism


In fairness, a characteristically anonymous article in the June 7th print edition of the Economist, titled ‘Of guns and ballot boxes‘, about European antisemitism, does partly acknowledge the seriousness of the problem – exemplified most dramatically by the recent jihadist shooting attack in Brussels (and the 2012 attack in Toulouse), as well as the success of some extreme-right parties in the EU elections.  

However, it doesn’t take long for the author to descend into PC-inspired obfuscations.

The Economist writes:

There was a time when the new Europe opening after the fall of the Berlin Wall seemed to augur a golden age for European Jewry. Jewish life was restored where it had been extinguished, and the expanding borders of a post-national Europe offered new opportunities to Jews scattered across borders. Plainly, nationalism is reasserting itself. And lingering anti-Semitism of the old, Christian-based sort is now mixed with radical Islamism among disenchanted Muslims.

However, a survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), cited by the Economist elsewhere in the article, contradicts the claim that “Christian-based” antisemitism “is now “mixed” with antisemitism by “disenchanted Muslims”.  Here’s breakdown of the relevant data from the FRA on the perpetrators of antisemitic harassment:

Perpetrators of the most serious incidents of antisemitic harassment were described by FRA respondents: Across Europe, 27% of perpetrators were perceived as someone with “Muslim extremist views”; 22% were perceived as “left-wing political views”; and 19% as “right-wing views”, and 7% as ‘someone with an extremist Christian view’.

Note that, contrary to the Economist claim, not only did very few victims of antisemitic harassment characterize the perpetrator as “Christian” (7%), but nearly 50% described their perpetrator as either a Muslim extremist or someone with “left-wing political views”.   Indeed, as should be obvious to commentators who take modern antisemitism seriously, while the extreme right continues to present a serious problem, the newly resurgent European antisemitism is increasingly a leftist and Islamist phenomenon

In addition to such rhetorical slights of hand, later in the article the Economist author begins lecturing Jews on the alleged folly of taking too seriously warnings that “Europe is no longer safe for Jews”.

Whilst the Economist putatively acknowledges Jewish fears in this passage:

A survey last year by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency showed that nearly a third of Jews had considered leaving in the previous five years because they did not feel safe. Three-quarters felt that anti-Semitism was worsening, with the situation in Hungary and France especially bad.

They then reach the following conclusion:

Yet, worrying as such changes are, they may not be a signal for Jews to pack up and leave. To state the obvious, anti-Semitism in Europe is not sponsored by governments, and there are no organised pogroms or Nuremberg laws. Berlin boasts the world’s fastest-growing Jewish community. Jews are free to stay or leave. Moving to Israel may fulfill a religious, cultural or political need for many Jews, but it is not safer than staying in Europe.

So, the Economist seems to be telling the large number of Jews (up to one-third of the total Jewish population) who have considered leaving Europe – and moving to Israel – because they don’t feel safe, that their fears are irrational.  In addition to the hubris of such a suggestion, additional data from the FRA survey paints a very clear picture of why Jews would feel freer and safer in Israel.

  • One third (33%) of Jews in the EU worry about being physically attacked because of being Jewish. The UK has the lowest levels of fear, with 28% worrying about verbal abuse and 17% worrying about physical attack. Highest is France, at 70% and 60% respectively.
  • Across Europe, 27% of Jews in the EU at least occasionally avoid local places because they do not feel safe there because they are Jewish. Belgium (42%), Hungary (41%) and France (35%) are the worst places for this.

And, most disturbingly:

  • 68% of Jews in the EU at least occasionally avoid wearing items in public that might identify them as Jewish. The figure for the UK is 59%; the highest figures were in Sweden (79%) and France (75%).

Though there are of course a small number of anti-Jewish incidents in the state perpetrated by a minuscule number of Israeli Arabs, all Jews living in Israel (and European Jews considering emigrating there) are secure in the knowledge that the government will use the power of the state – a nation whose very raison d’être is to serve as a Guardian of the Jews – to fiercely protect their freedom.

One needn’t resort to unserious hyperbole about the “return to the 1930’s” to take Jewish fears seriously, and be gravely concerned that – 70 years after the Holocaust – a disturbingly high percentage of what’s left of European Jewry once again feel themselves under the yoke of the continent’s oldest hatred.

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31 replies »

    • Many people in Europe think it strange to have Israeli leaders tell European Jews that they are in mortal danger in Europe and should seek refuge in Israel, while the same leaders tell the press that Israelis live under the threat of a nuclear Holocaust from Iran.

      • “Many people in Europe think it strange..”

        Really ‘Gey’.
        How many have you spoken to?
        Or are you relying on a survey, if so please provide a link to this survey as I would like to read it.

  1. The Economist is kidding, yes? Maybe they can run another article about circumcisions, kashrut, or something similar.

    There has never been more anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel rhetoric in my life as has occurred after 9-11. I can count 6 Jewish community centers and/or schools shot up by crazed extremists (Seattle, San Fernando Valley, Kansas City, Mumbai, Toulouse, and Belgium). Going after kids. Going after tourists. And the newspapers that run their weekly filth questioning Judaic law, or the rights of Israelis, has nothing to do with this, right?

  2. Jews are free to stay or leave.
    A familiar sound, like clenching the fist in the glove.
    In a lot of European cities the Jewish religious communties recommend their members to hide their religious signs or to avoid particular sites. Under these circumstances Jews cannot live freely, that`s why he only stated they are free to leave or stay, not that they can live here as free as in Israel.
    For assimilated it is easier, of course, but …

    • But can people live free in Israel when the country’s leaders say that Israel is threatened with a nuclear Holocaust from Iran?

      • “But can people live free in Israel when the country’s leaders say that Israel is threatened with a nuclear Holocaust from Iran?”

        ‘Gey’ why restrict the question to Israel?
        Can ANY part of the World live free when we would all be threatened by the Mad Mullah regime in Tehran acquiring nuclear weapons.

      • Thanks for the question. The leaders of Israel in order to secure that the people are living in freedom take the threats of the fanatics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, uttered since the reactionary takeover of Iran, seriously, and ought to as it is their duty to protect Jewish life.
        The leading figure of Jewish life in Iran was hanged by these fanatics, and a lot more, under the pretext of being Zionist agents. Zionism is forbidden in Iran, no joke, so most of the Jews left the country since the takover by the fanatics due to this regulation under which every Jew in Iran can be prosecuted as zionist agent.

  3. To state the obvious, anti-Semitism in Europe is not sponsored by governments…
    Obvious. Malmo in Sweden is somewhere on the Antarctica.

  4. “To state the obvious, anti-Semitism in Europe is not sponsored by governments…”
    No, the governments just fund the NGO’s to incite hatred against Israel and the ensuing soiling on European soil is a bonus.

  5. “And lingering anti-Semitism of the old, Christian-based sort is now mixed with radical Islamism among disenchanted Muslims.”
    So, Muslims are disenchanted? Now I know why they attack Jews. There not taught Jew hatred, they’re just disenchanted…with Europe…so they hate Jews. O.K. Got it!
    No mention of left-wing Jew hatred, because, I imagine, that’s an impossibility. I notice this wonderful embrace of jewishness in the Guardian and sweet, sweet kisses on college campus’s.

  6. Though there are of course a small number of anti-Jewish incidents in the state perpetrated by a minuscule number of Israeli Arabs, all Jews living in Israel (and European Jews considering emigrating there) are secure in the knowledge that the government will use the power of the state – a nation whose very raison d’être is to serve as a Guardian of the Jews – to fiercely protect their freedom.

    (a) unless you are a practicing Reform or Conservative Jew, in which case you are better off in Europe, where your religious rights are recognized, unlike in Israel.

    (b) A lot of Israeli Jews are “secure in the knowledge” that the current government is using the “power of the state” to actively promote the bi-national one-state solution, where Jews will be in a minority in their own country.

      • Israel had very accurate number sup to 1993.

        So what your saying is that Israel should annex the West Bank, then start counting the Palestinians ? I would say that is somewhat risky. Your are also forgetting the higher birthrate.

        When there is an Arab majority in the Knesset no doubt you will accept budgets that discriminate against Jewish villages, Jewish education, etc. After all, we already have the precedents …..

        • Your are also forgetting the higher birthrate
          Obviously you can`t properly read and understand what Glick has written In this case you are an idiot, useless for discussion, or you just don`t discuss arguments which threaten your prejudices and convictions which you mistake as firmly based on facts.

        • Quoting from “The National” article on Glick:

          However, it is strange that she should omit mention of highly regarded Israeli demographers and geographers (such as Sergio DellaPergola and Arnon Soffer) who are in substantial agreement with the Palestinians’ findings.

          At any rate, Glick’s proposal is intriguing. Here is a fervent Zionist calling on Israel to permanently incorporate the Palestinian-majority West Bank into its territory in order for the Jewish state to have both defensible borders and no hostile forces on the other side. Yet she also urges Israel to offer citizenship to West Bank Palestinians, which is anathema to most Israelis across the political spectrum. In the resulting scenario, Glick forecasts, “Israelis will have the same rights in Judea and Samaria, including access to state lands and the ability to purchase land, as they have in the rest of Israel. By the same token, Palestinians will have the same legal and civil rights as the rest of the residents and citizens of Israel.” The author may represent a growing trend; she cites a contentious 2013 poll showing that “59 per cent of Israeli Jews believe that Israel should apply its law to all or parts of Judea and Samaria”. (The poll does not reveal whether respondents would support granting Israeli citizenship to the region’s Palestinians.)

          Is that what you support ?

          • No barrier, no defence.
            They’ll change their minds quickly and remember what lead shamir and Rabin to kick start the Oslo accord.
            I can say it wasn’t the wish that the Palestinian will have a state of their own but rather realisation that it is in Israel’s interest too.

        • I see external. In your paradigm of an Arab majority, budgets will discriminate against Jews. That’s your solution. Great. Good luck with that idea!

        • Ignoring the birthrate argument by quoting the author biased against Glick is just repeating the fallacy of the author who doesn´t bring forward numbers, but hints to nameless, but famous demographers, according to him, naturally. Such an easy trap to avoid and you diresctly went for it.

          Palestinian Arabs, and many Western journalists seem to think that Israeli military presence means territories are “occupied,” but it does not. The military is there to protect Israeli interests while the disputed territories are engaged in ‘dispute resolution’ with interested parties. Once Israeli law is put into effect, Israel would be unilaterally affirming the end of ‘dispute’ and settling the question of control.

          With passion and care, the author reviews the pros and cons of taking such a step. She expresses a great deal of concern about the European reaction to such a move. Also, there would certainly be fallout from increasing the number of Arab permanent residents and/or citizens as part of Israeli demographics. Yet, this big step will give relief from the cul-de-sac Israel now finds itself in, where she endlessly negotiates for a two-state solution that the Palestinian Arabs do not want.

          The endgame for Mahmoud Abbas is the destruction of Israel.
          Citing the Israel National News.

          It can be a way out. I don`t support or reject, it depends on the Israeli citizens to discuss, to lay dopwn the rules and regulations and to decide.
          I support everything Israeli citizens regard as solution they can shoulder.
          It is out of question that a lot of citizens of Arab origin wil be prosecuted for their misdeeds in this process, or they choose one of the many lands of eternal Arab/Muslim brotherhood, instead of western civilization.
          Gaza is no part of this proposal, f.e.