November 25, 2002
No anti-semitism to see here, please move on

American commentators have been pointing out the resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe. The response from European politicians has mostly been one of denial. No anti-semitism here, please move on.

To combat this non-existent anti-semitism, the Anne Frank Foundation is launching a new campaign and a book. The Dutch daily Parool carried this article with the following quotes:

"More and more, the Anne Frank Foundation is receiving signals from teachers who for instance in their lessons on the Second World War and the persecution of Jews are confronted with anti-semitism under their pupils. [...]" says the Foundation.

Teachers are afraid to give lessons on the holocaust and the hatred of Jews, because half the class will walk out, says Jan van Kooten, head of education at the Anne Frank Foundation. "Another example: pupils from Monnickendam were not allowed by their parents to visit the Jewish Historical Museum, because they did not want their children to learn about Jewish culture, 'because Jews are bad.'"

[...] "Many groups in the Netherlands have feelings of loyalty to the Palestinians and are therefore by definition against Israel and the Jews. Hatred of Jews and the policies of Israel are thus becoming entangled. As far as I'm concerned, anyone can say that he's opposed to Israel's policies, but that can't mean that every Jew in the Netherlands becomes the victim of that. Just as it is wrong to hold all Muslims responsible for the actions of Bin Laden," according to van Kooten."

The Anne Frank Foundation does a lot of good work in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, and it's needed too. But I do wonder how effective they can be if their own spokesmen blithely trudge down into the morass of moral equivalence, equating Israel's self-defense with Bin Laden's acts of barbarism. Of course it's true that not all Muslims should be held accountable for Bin Laden's acts, but the fact is that many of them are cheering him on, even those living in the west. If you can't tell the difference between the deliberate mass murder of civilians on the Islamofascists' part, and Israel's self-defense (which seeks to avoid civilian casualties), then you have no business being in charge of education at a foundation like Anne Frank.

Not only is anti-semitism alive and kicking, but even those fighting against it suffer from the European disease of Muddle-Headedness.

Posted by qsi at November 25, 2002 12:27 PM | TrackBack (0)
Read More on Anti-Semitism , The Netherlands

I am not a Jew, but I am a settler, or, at least, a descendant of settlers. My ancestors settled in North America in the 19th Century from places like Naples and Suwalki, and I hold and live on land siezed by the same right and by the same means as the state of Israel. I wonder what the Dutch and that ilk think of me?

Posted by: Lou Gots on November 26, 2002 12:21 AM

One can oppose specific Israeli policies without being anti-Semitic or lowering oneself to the level of moral equivalence. I believe Israel's West Bank settlements are wrong, but this does not in anyway mean I put the settlement policy on the same moral footing with the inhuman, ghastly behavior of the Palestinian homicide bombers and their supporters. As one who was brought up on the exquisitely fine distinctions among sins in Catholicism, I can state that Israeli settlements are relatively light grey venial sins compared to the pitch-black mortal sins of Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.

Posted by: Mike Lutz on November 26, 2002 01:06 AM

Can anyone explain what Lou is talking about? Is it a syntactical problem? Lousy logic, or just confusing? Living in NY, course I live on land legally purchased from previous owners. Just when and how do we date exactly the rights of ownership? 100 years? 1000? Nearly every bit of real estate on this globe was previously occupied by another group...should England give back their land to the original Celts or Picts? What about empty land? Did the empty unsettled tracts of North America (check your geographical history) belong to small tribes living hundreds of miles away? By what rights did secure deeds of ownership to land they never inhabited?

Posted by: John on November 26, 2002 04:21 AM

Mike explain exactly why Israeli West Bank settlements are wrong. The Jordanians sided with the Eqyptians in the 6 day war in 1967. After they got their asses kicked this territory has been in dispute. Jordan does not recognize Israel and there has been no attempt to resolve the conflict and there is no legal claim to the land that the settlers have occupied. If there were a settlement ownership of this territory would be addressed. If it were then at least amongst civilized parties there would be some legal recourse where either the settlers would become occupants of whatever country had legal claim to the land or they would be evicted if there were other rightful claims. Oh, but I forgot we're not dealing with civilized people, we're dealing with psychotic religious murderers. The PA holds the death penalty for anyone who sells land to a Jew. Now explain to me who's wrong?

Posted by: Jack Tanner on November 26, 2002 01:57 PM

jack - a couple of points: i believe jordan does recognize israel. but that is besides the point. after the 6 day war (where israel won, fair and square gobs of land) the arab league as a reward (if you will) to egypt and punishment to jordan took the formerly "occupied" egyptian gaza strip and jordanian west bank and gave it to the non-entity palestineans. thus, israel can not negotiate with egypt or jordan to have them take back the land (even if they wanted to). as an aside in the 77 camp david accords (or 79)assad refused to deal with the issue of the strip with the sinai and instead put it off for a later date. however, he was subsequently assasinated by the muslim brotherhood (for amongst other things making peace with israel) and mubarak is to much of a coward and civil servant to do anything bold such as reaching a real peace with israel or assisting in the problems of the territories, but that is neither here nor there. IMHO.

lastly, the settlements, if so evil should be dismantled as the same time every non jew leaves israel - who thinks the world will accept that?

Posted by: henry on November 26, 2002 04:03 PM
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