Old Europe has spent quite a bit of time lecturing Americans on our responsibilities to the International Community and the need for multilateralism in managing world affairs. It has been easy to dismiss much of their concern as motivated by self-interest of the most venal kind (see Claudia Rosett's articles on the Oil for Food scandal) but it is worth wondering if there is not something more insidious at the core in Europe which presages horrors to come.
Richard Landes at the Augean Stables is covering The Al Durah Trials: Portrait of French Culture at the Beginning of the 21st Century. If you are unfamiliar with Pallywood and the al Durah affair, please spend some time at his site to get up to speed. The current trials in France involve a legal attack on the journalists who were involved in exposing the al Durah scandal. Ace of Spades (courtesy of the indefatigable Larwyn) describes what is involved, in Pallywood on Trial? [Sobek]:
In 2000, a Palestinian cameraman got footage of what appeared to be a Palestinian boy being deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers, and shot dead. The 55-second video was broadcast around the world, did irreparable damage to Israel's reputation, and sparked a retaliatory Intifada which resulted in the deaths of 500 Israelis.
Problem is, the video was a fake.
Oh well, no harm done, right? I mean, other than all those dead Jews.
But France-2 television (which is owned by the government) has now filed a lawsuit against critics of the film who have shown it to be fake. Anyone with any integrity would admit the mistake and apologize for being an instrument in the deaths of so many innocent civilians, but we're talking about the French, here. So a lawsuit it is.
What France-2, and by extension the French establishment, is doing here is bad enough, but there is worse.
Europe has once again decided to collaborate with the anti-Semites, as has been their wont for hundreds of years, yet they remain conflicted and in denial of their anti-Semitism. Gunter Grass, who was recently exposed as a member of the Waffen-SS (HT: Siggy) manages to excuse his silence by a shameful rationalization at the same time that he denies the significance of his complicity with the greatest crimes of recent memory:
In an interview in Spain's El País newspaper, Grass replied to his critics while admitting he would probably have been involved in war crimes had he been a bit older and joined the notorious Waffen-SS earlier. "I was young, and I wanted to leave home. In my heart, it was something I agreed with," he said, explaining how he joined up as a 17-year-old in the dying stages of the war. "I considered the Waffen-SS to be an elite unit," he added. "If I had been born three or four years earlier I would, surely, have seen myself caught up in those crimes."
He kept this episode of his life, which he has now included in an autobiography, to himself for more than six decades because of a growing sense of shame.
For a man who has been famous for being the voice of European moral superiority over the decadent Capitalist West, this is not good enough.
Meanwhile, Blair urges lifting of Palestinian sanctions. Tony Blair has been stalwart in his approach to the Iraq front, yet has continued the British policy of polite anti-Semitism, disguised as "even handedness" between the genocidal murderers and their intended victims, the Israelis, portrayed in European Media as the font of all evil in the Middle East. (If only it were so, we could simply get rid of Israel and all those pesky Jews, and peace would descend upon the Middle East, and in fact, throughout the world!) Robert Avrech places the reports of a Palestinian unity government in its proper perspective:
As a Palestinian unity government is on the cusp of announcing itself, let no one fool themselves for a moment. These are the same Jew haters we are so familiar with -- only in a rotating line-up. This oily reshuffling is simply a jihadist scam so the Palis can steal more money for the EU and, naturally from the American taxpayer. Money that is never used to build a state -- only to destroy a state: Israel.
He has a great deal more, however, the Europeans and left-leaning Americans can't seem to stop themselves from being fooled time and again.
In my series on Shame, Aggression, & Demographic Suicide (Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV) I told the story of a German woman I called "Gudrun" who unconsciously expressed her revulsion, shame, and rage at the complicity of her parents and their generation in the Holocaust. The price Gudrun exacted from herself was to withdraw from history (quite literally; she decided not to have children and removed herself from the ongoing journey of mankind. This was her own "demographic suicide.") In the last part of the series, I extended some of the ideas to encompass Europe's ambivalence toward their own complicity and their barely suppressed anti-Semitism.
I have commented on the European's increasing difficulty in defending themselves. This has its roots in their revulsion and fear at open expressions of their own aggression, but its utility as a way to express their own shame and aggression is revealed in their open celebration of the aggression of chosen victims (which conspicuously does not include the Jewish people) against chosen aggressors (America and Israel, primarily.) Let me try to clarify. I suggested that the aggression that the grandchildren of the perpetrators and collaborators of the Holocaust have tried to repress (because it was so shameful and horrifying) would find ways to press for expression. In part because of their eschewal of religious belief they have no way to atone and receive forgiveness for their sins. (Perhaps they feel that a God who would allow them to perpetrate a Holocaust would be a God, like Lot's God, who would forsake them forever.) They were left stuck with the residue of guilt and shame their grandparents bequeathed them.
I also added that the "Return of the Repressed" violence and aggression was not a distant threat but of near term concern:
The humiliation and shame fueled fires of rage are escalating throughout Europe. The Europeans once again seem ready to throw the Jews under the bus to appease the haters, yet even they are beginning to realize that they will be next. What happens when the Jewish scapegoat is no longer adequate as a sacrifice to the ravenous Allah of the Islamists?
At the moment, the ground is being prepared for the eventual completion of Hitler's quest to create a Europe free from Jews. The complicity between the thinly veiled anti-Semitism of the left in Europe and the virulent and overt anti-Semitism of the Muslim world is increasingly evident.
Judith Apter Klinghoffer raises an all too easily imagined scenario, based on her recent experiences at a conference in Turkey:
Yesterday I attended a conference on antiterrorism in the US, India, Israel and Turkey. One of the most startling comments was made by Professor Deniz Ulke Aribogan of Bilgi Istanbul University. She called for a serious American marketing campaign to counter the anti-American and anti-Semitic marketing campaign that she sees flooding Turkey.
Turkey has never been an anti-Semitic country, she said. During the Ottoman period it was one of the three official religions of the empire. Indeed, it served a safe haven for Jews during world war II. I visited Turkey last month and was struck by the kind reception. It was in the middle of the Lebanon War and I made sure I told everyone I was coming from Israel, had family there and even distributed Israeli souvenirs But the venom spewed by the press was something else as were organized anti-Israeli demonstrations.
Professor Aribogan was very anxious to impress upon the audience that the obvious rise in anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism is NOT a spontaneous development but is a well oiled and financed MARKETING CAMPAIGN.
We dare to ignore her comments at our peril. Indeed, we must undertake a serious investigation to discover and expose those who direct and finance this campaign. To suspect Iran and Saudi Arabia is easy. To prove it is much more difficult, though no less necessary.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a responsible investigative press in the Western world (which still includes Europe) that could explore such explosive possibilities.
Europe's future depends on how they respond to their own resurgent anti-Semitism and how they resolve their terror and shame of their own aggressive past.
Addendum: As if to confirm my thesis from Shame, Aggression, & Demographic Suicide, Adam Kirsh reviews "Bad Faith" in today's New York Sun, The Great Evil of a Grotesque Bon Vivant:
Most biographers choose their subjects out of admiration, or curiosity, or a feeling of affinity. Carmen Callil is an exception. She regards the man at the center of "Bad Faith" (Alfred A. Knopf, 608 pages, $30) with a contempt that burns on every page.
Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, the Vichy official in charge of "Jewish questions," who was directly or indirectly responsible for the deportation of 70,000 French Jews to Auschwitz, was an evil and disgusting man. Ms. Callil's indignation is especially marked, because she did not really choose to write about Darquier. Instead, Darquier violently inserted himself into Ms. Callil's existence, in an oblique but terrible way.
The author's interest in Louis Darquier de Pellepoix was sparked by her relationship with her London Psychiatrist, Anne Darquier. The article, (now available free from the New York Sun since they made their content available on line without subscription) is a fascinating read, not least for its description of the evil that is passed along to the young from their parents' involvement in the most terrible of crimes.