One of the most chilling phenomena of our time is the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The dirty work, the threats and violence that are causing Jews to leave Europe, is carried out more or less exclusively by young Muslim immigrants. But implicit sanction for anti-Semitism comes straight from the top, as top European political, business and social leaders make little effort to hide their contempt for Jews.
The most recent case is that of Karel De Gucht, the European trade commissioner. On Thursday he gave an interview to a Belgian radio station, in the course of which he volunteered his opinions on the Jews:
On Thursday, with the Middle East peace process in the news, Mr. De Gucht picked yet another fight. Jews, he told Belgian radio, have a “belief” that they are “always right.” He described his frustration at debating the Middle East because “it is not easy even with a moderate Jew to have a conversation.”
He continued: “Don’t underestimate the power of the Jewish lobby in the capital. That is best organized lobby in the states. And they have an influence on politicians, Republicans and Democrats.”
The unreasonableness of Israeli Jews, as best I can understand it, consists of not wanting to be bombed or shot. When De Gucht’s observations were criticized, he followed up with the usual pro forma apology:
“I gave an interview yesterday to the Flemish radio. I was also asked about the Middle East peace talks. I gave my personal point of view. I regret that the comments that I made have been interpreted in a sense that I did not intend. I did not mean in any possible way to cause offense or stigmatize the Jewish Community. I want to make clear that anti-Semitism has no place in today’s world and is fundamentally against our European values.”
I suppose Jews can be excused for questioning whether history supports the claim that anti-Semitism is “fundamentally against…European values.” For whatever reason, we don’t seem to see the same resurgence in the U.S. that is happening in Europe. I would say with considerably more confidence that anti-Semitism is fundamentally against American values.