European fears about Jews confirmed

Now that I’m back in provincial Boston, one conversation from Bryce Canyon still resonates.  I got into a conversation with a political science professor who was originally from France.  How could he have foresaken a thousand years of culture and moved to the land of fast food and the strip mall?  He said, “I didn’t want my children to end up living in a Muslim dictatorship.”  How was that possible, I inquired?  “If you look at the demographic trends, the Muslims in France will grow to 30 percent of the population within 50 to 100 years.  An average French couple has less than two children.  An average North African Muslim family or Palestinian couple will have 7 or 8 children.  Through immigration and the high birth rate of Muslims already in France, it won’t be long before Muslims are the largest voting bloc.  Most citizens don’t know what they want from the government and many don’t vote at all.  A relatively small but well-organized and coherent group of voters can easily take control of a democracy.”  (See “Muslims remaking old France” from the April 10, 2003 International Herald Tribune/New York Times for more on Islamic France.)

I was reminded of some conversations from my May trip to Wales, Scotland, and northern England.  The British middle class folks with whom I’d talked were concerned about the extent to which their country is being transformed by immigrants.  “I’m not saying that I agree with them completely,” one Welshman said of the far-right anti-immigration parties in the UK, “but I can understand where they’re coming from.  I hate going to London.  All of the signs are in Arabic.  Women walk around wearing veils.  It feels like a foreign country.”

What particularly irked the British, whose standard of living is just about the lowest in the EU (the UK is slightly ahead of Spain and Portugal but almost all of its wealth is concentrated near London), is paying taxes to support “asylum seekers”, which is the EU term for illegal immigrant.  If an Afghani, for example, manages to set foot on English soil the EU law gives him a fundamental human right to remain in England at taxpayer expense: apartment in London, food, health care, etc.  In the U.S. to get political asylum he’d have to have been the head of a banned opposition party but in England he can simply claim that the local police don’t like him.  If his claim for asylum is denied he loses his rights to live at English taxpayer expense but he doesn’t get deported; he can melt away into the suburbs.  Sometimes the legal arguments that the asylum seekers use are creative.  The latest batch of Afghanis, for example, claim that they were Taliban fighters trying to kill British and American soldiers and therefore if they returned they’d face arrest by the current British and American-backed government in Afghanistan.  (see the February 16, 2003 Telegraph article Taliban refugee still sees the UK as his enemy” for example)

Europeans seem to be suffering from an ironic turn of events:  the fears about Jews that the Europeans manufactured around the turn of the 20th century have become real, 60 years after the Europeans breathed a big sigh of relief.

As soon as Napoleon began the process of letting Jews out of their ghettos, the Europeans began to quake in fear.  Jews would have lots of kids and overwhelm the native population.  Jews would be clannish and keep to themselves rather than assimilating.  Jews would wield control over their politics.  Jews wouldn’t be patriotic.  The reality was quite different, as it transpired.  The Jews had a very low birthrate and a tendency to assimilate (German Jews were the most assimilated).  The Jews had so little influence on foreign policy that they couldn’t persuade any government to act against the pre-WWII Nazis or to bomb the death camps during WWII.  Jews served with such distinction in the German army during WWI that the Nazis had a tough time justifying the dispossession, deportation, and murder of so many decorated veterans.  The manufactured fears dominated thinking, however, to a sufficient extent that nearly every European country was happy to assist the Nazis in the extermination of all of their Jewish citizens.

Fast forward to 2003.  Each traditional European ethnic group ought to be happy, each in its own homogeneous country where everyone shares common values dating back to Roman times.  But much to their consternation the cities seem to be filling up with Muslims.  Statistical birthrate data show that European ethnic groups face a real prospect of becoming demographically irrelevant within their traditional nations. Assimilation is presumably happening but more visible and striking are the thousands of streets that have taken on a purely foreign character with signs in Arabic, Islamic schools, and big mosques.  The threat of local Islamic terrorism is sufficiently frightening that Muslims effectively control many aspects of European foreign policy (see this article on France and Iraq). Europeans don’t even hope for patriotism among their Muslim immigrants, many of whom express an open hatred of the values and structure of their host societies.  How soon, they wonder, will their guests begin to demand a traditional Islamic government and a full implementation of sharia?

So there it is.  Just as they feared, the traditional Europeans do finally appear to be threatened by a fast-growing religious and ethnic minority that constrains their foreign policy and who can’t be relied upon to support their secular governments.  It just happened later than they feared and with a different ethnic group.

25 thoughts on “European fears about Jews confirmed

  1. I found various statements you made offensive and misinformed.
    1) “Asylum seekers” is not a politically correct way of saying “illegal immigrant”. There may be more support for illegal immigrants in Europe than in other parts of the industrialized world (in Australia, for example, it is acceptable for politicians to talk of sinking the ships that carry immigrants to the Australian coast) but immigration is by no means an easy transition, especially for Muslims, especially in the wake of 9/11. Italy for example has become much stricter with its new Bossi-Fini law. And as for actual political asylum seekers, they have a very hard time indeed. They are allowed to ask for asylum only from the first country they land in once they’ve abandoned their own country, a process that can take forever. And although law mandates that at international airports there should be interpreters to help in these cases, not so long ago a Syrian man was sent back home because the situation was not properly dealt with at the airport, and he was subsequently executed. Saying that illegal immigrants are maintained in London apartments etc. by British taxpayers is a ridiculous statement and a typical argument of xenophobic conservatives, and one that as an American you should be able to recognize.
    2) As an ethnic “traditional” European, I feel insulted by your generalization that everyone in Europe feared and fears ethnic minorities taking over the country over the course of the last hundred years. Even in the thirties and forties, this was not so, and a suggestion that the Europeans of today have such feelings seems to imply not only that we are the same people who elected Hitler and ran concentration camps, but that we have not had a critical confrontation with our past and you don’t concede the possibility that attitudes change attitudes over three generations and more than a half-century.
    3) There are definitely problems in working with the Muslim immigrant communities, especially in the case of individuals who oppose integration and import medieval, undemocratic values. However over time they can be expected to open up to the values of our society such as human rights and equality etc. if things are handled responsibly by our “majority” community. The problems can definitely not be discussed in the terms you propose.

    In general I enjoy your unconventional and slightly extreme takes on things, but this time I really think you’ve made a mistake. And as for the people you spoke to in Great Britain etc., their attitudes are appalling and definitely not middle-of-the-road.

  2. Yep, Alexander, +1

    “Asylum seekers” are not “illegal immegrants”. That’s an equation pushed by racists and the right-wing media. Asylum seekers are people who are seeking asylum. Some of them have a legitimate claim under various conventions, some of them don’t. But the process of getting accepted is increasingly tough and people with a genuine fear for their safety are sent back on legal technicalities.

  3. I have to agree with Mr. Greenspun. I live in Europe, and in the latest 30 years I’ve had the misfortune of having my country slowly invaded by (mainly) muslim asylum seekers. Sure, there are maybe a few genuine refugees among them, maybe one in a hundred or so, but the absolute majority of them is what I would call illegal and unwanted immigrants, and a rather large minority of them doesn’t seem to be anything else than common criminals. My country didn’t have any mafia or organised crime to speak of 30 years ago, but now it has plenty, “thanks” to these asylum seekers…

    I suppose there are terrorists among them too. A while back there were big headlines when some imam preached about the good virtues of suicide bombers, etc.

    I’m only waiting for the civil war…

  4. ‘What particularly irked the British, whose standard of living is just about the lowest in the EU’

    Surely you are going to follow this up with YABT YHL HAND?

  5. I don’t know much about Britain, but I can speak for the situation in The Netherlands, which I think is very similar to that in Belgium and Germany. The bulk of the not ethnically Dutch population in The Netherlands (check the CIA factbook on this) are Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese and Indonesians. Now how did these people get here?

    As for the Turks and Moroccans, they were recruited and encouraged to come and work in The Netherlands in the 60s and 70s, so they could do the dirty jobs no Dutchman wanted to touch. This is entirely due to the Dutch government and industry. Many of these Turks and Moroccans are from very poor and rural areas of their countries, and henceforth have a very conservative, strictly religious attitude to life. They often brought their families over once they gained residency, which is undeniably their right, and the Dutch government’s fault for getting them over here in the first place. Also, there is currently a trend for their Turkish immigrants’ daughters, who are Dutch citizens, to marry someone from Turkey. Once again something we cannot do anything about anymore, and something that was ultimately the Dutch government’s fault some 30-40 years back.

    Similar things have happened in Germany, Belgium and most other West-European countries. Industries like steel and mining were in search of cheap labour and could no longer get it from Greece and Italy. They pressured their respective governments to let in hordes of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants.

    The other three groups come from colonies. Indonesians in Holland are most often “Indo’s”, that is half-Indonesians, no longer welcome in their native country when it gained independence, and Moluccans, who fought on the Dutch side against Indonesian independence, being promised their own indepence. Similar groups of immigrants from colonies exist in other countries, normally admitted due to hairy nastiness surrounding the various independence conflicts.

    Where do refugees, the well-known asylum seekers, come in? Well, they form a considerable part of *current* immigration, but in the grand scheme of things they do not form a large contingent of the population at all. Their influx can, and has, been succesfully restricted by carefully tuning some of the statutes. I agree that there should be close scrutiny of their motives, but unfortunately Europe just happens to be closer to a lot of the real problem zones than the US are.

  6. Phil-I’m not sure I agree 100% with your methodology (you seem to be oversimplifying the issue), but you are correct to point out the severe nature of zenophobia in Europe, esp. towards Non-Christians. And the hate and fears of Jews specifically is demonstrated by the tendency of a lot of these European governments to despise Israel, which is the only functioning democracy in the middle east, and support the Muslim regimes. I’m wondering what your position is? Do you think that Europeans are wrong to fear losing their culture? You sound sympathetic.

  7. Alexander: Don’t shoot the messenger! Mostly I’m quoting Europeans themselves. My own opinions are irrelevant because I don’t “have a horse in this race” as they say out West (i.e., I don’t live in Europe or have any intention of moving there). I find your statement “However over time [Muslims living in Europe] can be expected to open up to the values of our society such as human rights and equality etc. if things are handled responsibly by our “majority” community” somewhat troubling. Doesn’t this presuppose that Western culture is inherently superior to Islamic culture? If not, why would Muslim immigrants wish to adopt the values of Christian Europeans? For example, a European might see women driving cars, working outside the home, and talking back to their husbands as examples of how advanced his country was. To a Muslim, however, these might be seen as examples of how debased and corrupt a society had become.

    Tom: As noted in the preceding paragraph, it doesn’t make sense for me to take a position on whether an Islamic dictatorship in France is good or bad because I don’t live there. Mostly I just think it is ironic that the Europeans went to so much trouble to kill and/or expel all of their Jews, who turned out to be no more than paper tigers, only to confront a much more serious problem with a minority religious community a few decades later. How the problem is ultimately resolved will be interesting, I suppose, but Americans probably won’t have much to say about it.

  8. “However over time they can be expected to open up to the values of our society such as human rights and equality etc. if things are handled responsibly by our ‘majority’ community.”

    An unnamed 15-year-old girl is assaulted by 18 boys, most of them not much older than she is. Sonia, also 15, is raped by seven of her supposed friends in the basement of her apartment building. Sheherezade, 11, is beaten and raped repeatedly over the course of a year by 12 different boys.

    (Where? Tribal Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? No… Paris.)

  9. Come on. You honestly don’t have an opinion? I agree, it’s very ironic and funny that Europe’s own hatreds are coming back to haunt them…by another group that hates Jews!

  10. You say, “Mostly I’m quoting Europeans themselves.” Well perhaps you should qualify what kind of Europeans you talked to. As for myself, I support an open society as described by Karl R. Popper. A society where people can change their government by non-violent means. A society where people can live in peace. I also like a society where minorities are protected from a majority by a constitution, so that democracy cannot turn upon itself. I couldn’t care less what passport people have, what color their skin has, what religious beliefs they have, where they came from, and how many kids they have.

  11. Here is what’s going on – Capitalism + humanity seem to have been the greatest equalizing forces in the world since WWII. Capitalism pursues the lowest cost and the highest profit, hence there is the import of foreign workers, the immigrants, legal or illegal. Nowadays it is globalization, the export of jobs from industrialized nations. Like the El Nino, it has changed the world landscape forever. None of this would have happened without the awakening of mankind from the savagery of the past.

  12. At some point you have to let it all go and realize the bigoted nature of the human species. Every group has had its time under the gun. Are the Jews filthy usurers? Are the Arabs crazed fanatic killers? In New York we have a preponderance of Jews and a lot of Arabs. They don’t seem to be very different from each other or the rest of us, trying to make a living, raise a family, have a good time. As a pagan, I am fascinated by their holy days, their calls to prayer, their rites and beliefs, etc. There are many stories for and against each group. Ultimately, if one group or another gains control or power, we will have to respect their ways as we now respect the ways of those in power in spite of the fact that they are probably not ours. It is not a person’s affiliation that concerns me as much as their complaints, the injustices they have suffered, and how they plan to rectify them. I don’t like having bombs thrown at me, just like the Iraqis aren’t too happy about their situation. We have now entered the age of terrorism, little guys have found a way to get at the big guy burrowing in like a splinter under the nail. Lot of little guys and only one big guy. I don’t think the Arabs are the last oppressed group we’ve heard from.

  13. I do not believe Phil is oversimplifying anything, in fact I feel he is complicating his depiction of racism. What human behaviour boils down to, quite simply, is that we are all slightly evolved chimps. When we, who are fair haired and blue eyed, wish to dispel jews or arabs from our midst, we are rejecting the ‘funny monkey’ from our little simian society. We are clannish and want to be with others who are like us. We females of the species are attracted to monkeys who look like us enough to be kin who will take care of us, but we also want the most virulant to protect, via brawn or $$$, us and our offspring. The succesful male monkey just wants a harem of females for regular monkey business.

    Regarding Phil’s earlier thread about the Micky-D Diet, that poses the question what does a monkey eat ? Whatever it has access to, but in nature a lot of fruit, nuts, grubs, and the occasional dik-dik (mini-antelope). But I guarantee, if the monkey had access to a McD’d drive-thru, he would super-size it.

  14. There are lots of issues thrown together here, so let’s untangle them a bit:

    First, the double presupposition that “European fears about Jews” were finally “confirmed” is justified for polemic reasons (after all that’s what this blog is all about), but otherwise it is also hypocritical: Taking an argument of some people who commited the crime as a valid category (you pretend to share as someone related with the victims the same mindset like the criminals!) and assuming that today’s immigration situation in Europe should be viewed in THAT category or light.

    In my opinion whatever that people back then have done, as they commited genocide, it is what they have DONE. In contrast, whatever they SAY or their IDEOLOGY should be solemnly be seen as enemy propaganda, because it is. Their driving force was hate and maybe pain and not reasoning. Personally I prefer to always assume the OPPOSITE of such ideology statements as true, because I feel like mostly it IS! For example there was a tendency back then in NS-times to write hate pamphlets comparing Jews to insects or the like, saying they were “parasites”, or to declare the existence of a “pure German superior race” which would be truly superior. There is a saying that those who point with one finger at others point with three fingers at themselves. So in reality, of course, the Nazis were the parasites, the Nazis were disgusting for many reasons, and the others (not the Nazis) were the “true” Germans. It doesn’t help to follow the old paths 1:1 in attempting to overcome the burdens they imposed. Rather one has to recognize that the Nazis were reckless murderers and whatever they stated doesn’t have anything to do with the truth, of course. Maybe it was a panic reaction, as they recognized themselves, and put all effort in fooling themselves about their own nature as they projected what they secretly knew were their weaknesses onto an other population group. What they lacked they compensated with high violence and by raping every civilized element, riding on the power of newly introduced mass media and artificial organization circumventing (anyway abolished) traditional structures of society.

    That’s why you’re wrong to transfer an argument of the Nazis to today’s Europe, because everyone (hopefully) will discard Nazi arguments and rather think in better categories. Also, this clogs the view on underlying problems, which are reflected by the statistics you cited, and which deserve, like every problem, a clear analysis. But get me right: I think that polemic is just fine ;-), but I never will allow it to distort my views.

    That said, I recall sitting in the subway some years ago, surrounded by lots of foreigners and the languages were plenty, but not German, except of two Germans sitting beside me looking at each other smiling and one said: “I don’t have anything against foreigners, but I believe we are in the minority!” The other said: “Long since!” While this is an extreme example it shows a tendency. The mere fact that I myself sitting there, being genetically only 25% German reflects this, too. I wasn’t thinking of any statistics of a declining society in that moment, rather what struck my attention (as I am very health-conscious) was, that these Germans were FAT! This can serve as a symbol maybe: In all (!) Western Industrial Nations traditional population is declining severely, even in the USA (note that word “traditional”). In my opinion the obesity is a visible outward sign for declining health, wrong lifestyle, wrong ethics, which make this possible, and of course, there MUST be a battery of many other reasons, too. Maybe the one meta-aspect is, that advance in technology introduces new degrees of freedom, which can work either way (good or bad), but most people are not educated, disciplined and integrated enough, to take the advantages, and thus by random law are more and more exposed to the dangers and risks, but at the same time don’t have to notice them due to comfort, social security, and lots of other artificial pleasures and ways of betraying oneself (there are plenty and humans are creative).

    But I also recall another recent scene, in fact a scene I notice almost every day. It might be only intermediate, the harbinger of dark ages, but it could also be a symptom, that in a strange ways things are working here in Germany, too. I don’t know what will turn out to be true, but this it is: Oftentimes, when I go through the subway I notice a DIVERSITY of VERY good looking people, who are doing well. Many foreigners of ALL types! But ALSO Germans, plenty, of course. It looks and feels good, at least currently and where I am. And the foreigners mostly or more and more speak GERMAN! So, maybe there is a way. Also, in a broader scope, at least where I live, there are no ghettos, but mostly all is “mixed”. It is a different approach to what you see in most countries. Maybe it is only intermediate, but maybe it is lasting. Who knows?

  15. “Each traditional European ethnic group ought to be happy, each in its own homogeneous country where everyone shares common values dating back to Roman times”
    – Hmm, IRA in Ireland, ETA in spain, FLNC in corsica, very happy people indeed.
    – What about the influence of the arab and turkish culture during the middle age in France, Greece, Spain to name a few ( ?

    “Islamic dictatorship in France”
    – How can this be? France is perhaps one of the most seculiar state in the world, the voters must be french.
    Even though “the Muslims in France will grow to 30 percent of the population within 50 to 100 years” it’s hardly a majority.

    France last presidential election has shown the importance of far-right political group, but what about all the people in the streets after the first turn result?
    What about the importance of immigration in countries not making enough babies?

  16. It is rather interesting to see one of the main threads of Patrick Buchanan’s book “The Death of the West” being debated. Of course there are many other elements in that book that would annoy and possibly enrage but at least in the area of numerical questions it does bring a lot of “facts” to the table (of course these are projections, hence the quotation marks).

  17. I’m guessing that housing would not be nearly so cheap if everything else weren’t so expensive.

    I think your comment ‘or they’d all have been homeless’ is tongue in cheek… but regardless: realistically, is it plausible for housing in an area to get expensive enough so that no one can afford to live there? Housing prices are created by demand, and they can’t reach a level beyond what there are people around actually willing to pay.

    The less advantages an area has in all other respects, the cheaper the housing will be.
    Not that I think VAT is a good way to control housing prices.

  18. >England is, by American standards, hardly large enough to qualify as a state much less a country.
    Not true. It’s about the size of an average US state, like Georgia. It’s bigger than many US states. And if you’re talking about the UK, it’s closer to 100,000 sq. miles. Besides, you demonstrate in your own statement why it’s incorrect to apply US standards of “metro areas” to the UK, you’re dealing with a completely different scale. You might want to stick to computers and leave Sociology to people who know what they’re talking about. You wouldn’t expect a Sociologist to try to write complicated pieces of software from scratch. But you’re still right about anti-semitic Europe is, despite its incredible self-righteousness.

  19. Hmmm…Along the lines of the “Dirty Pretty Things” recommendation, see the film “In This World”. It is a great film that I saw at a local film fest, it also has shown on PBS. It chronicles a refugee journey to England. Look out for it and (with luck) glean some insight from this side of the story. The director is Michael Winterbottom, of “Welcome to Sarajevo”.

  20. Around the London metropolitan area, commutes of two hours are very common. Large numbers of people (some of whom I worked with on a daily basis before moving to Norway), probably not the majority, commute from one satellite town of London to another every day for work. Ask anyone who is crazy enough to drive in along one of the major commuter highways whether two-hour commutes each-way are rare. 😉

    To address the original issue though:

    Europeans have acquired a social conscience after the events of the last few centuries, which is IMO a good thing. This is behind the generally easy immigration into European countries for those from relatively nearby very poor countries, and by geographical coincidence, this includes a lot of the middle eastern states, as well as parts of Africa.

    Now, if European states choose to admit more uneducated people than their social fabric can tolerate (uneducated people are more likely to commit crimes and avoid following the rules of the social system, which are intended to make things easier for all users of the social system, e.g. avoid paying income or sales tax whilst demanding free healthcare due to poverty), then destabilisation will occur which will tend in influence European voters (assuming they are in the majority) to restrict completely the introduction of more people who will add to this effect. There’s been a foreshadowing of this with recent political trends in Europe. I believe this is part of a natural sociopolitical cycle. To avoid this, presumably because one believes that free immigration for all uneducated and asset-less people of the world into Europe is a “right”, massively increased spending in direct, microeconomic projects in third-world countries will be required by Europe. This will require a lot of effort to implement correctly, rather than just handing money to dictators or business interests with political control (e.g. Russia, etc), so it’s generally shied away from by pro-immigration Europeans, who naively assume that someone else will take care of all the so-called problems.

    Either way, I hope the racial/cultural admixture isn’t slowed down or causes too much social unrest, as it will lead to a breakdown of barriers between cultures, which are the exact reason that Muslim populations in Europe tend to keep to themselves and harbour antipathy to their host nations, and that the indigenous populations of the host nations regard the Muslims as free-loaders and potential terrorists, which is, IMO, a bad thing born from short-term thinking and (easily-harnssed) idealism.

    Muslim immigrants to Europe might disagree with me in my presentation of the situation, but surely, if they integrated better into European society, the problems wouldn’t exist. When I move to different cultures, I make an effort to learn the language and culture; generally I’m not viewed as a threat or a free-loader by educated residents, as far as I can tell.

  21. Painfully few people actually take the time to
    read some statistics on crime, foreigners, social status, gender distribution, etc.
    Here is my extract and translation of some Swiss

Comments are closed.