Election Envy: The Europeans and the Jews

Europeans feel their skin crawl in the presence of the sort of Jews who represent the future of the Jewish people

By David P. Goldman (Spengler), PJ MEDIA

Why do Europeans feel such revulsion toward Jews? At a certain level, to be sure, European leaders deeply regret the new persecution of Europe’s Jews. Many share the sentiment of European Commission Vice-Chairman Frans Timmermans, who warned yesterday that an exodus of Europe’s Jews would call into question the premises of European society. Last September, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told a rally in Berlin that it was the duty of every German to fight anti-Semitism. Nonetheless even the best-intentioned Europeans feel their skin crawl in the presence of the sort of Jews who represent the future of the Jewish people: those who follow Jewish tradition, raise Jewish families, and embrace the cause of Zionism. Europeans adore secular Israelis who wallow in existential doubts, for example, the novelist Zeruya Shalev, a bestseller in Germany and the winner of any number of European literary awards. I’ve never read Shalev, but then again, I don’t like fiction. Jews like Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister and leader of the Jewish Home party, give them the creeps.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter much whether the assimilated, secularized Jews of Europe stay or leave, for most of their children and very few of their grandchildren will be Jewish. Among non-Orthodox French and British Jews,intermarriage rates are around 45%, not as alarming as the 71% among non-Orthodox U.S. Jews and 80% among Russian and Ukrainian Jews, but high enough to sharply reduce Jewish numbers over a generation or two. Except for a minority of non-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews, the impassioned and engaged Jews whose children and grandchildren will be Jewish identify strongly with the state of Israel. The infertile and feckless Europeans don’t have much of a future, either; at present fertility rates, the German and Italian languages will disappear altogether in two hundred years. It is easy for them to swap existential spit with denatured secular Jews who don’t have a future, either. Religious Jews are most likely to leave, for they depend on communal institutions — synagogues, schools, kosher food providers, and so forth — that offer easily identifiable targets for terrorists.

It’s been so long since Europeans took their own national identity seriously that it’s hard for them to remember why it is that they can’t stand the sort of Jew who represents the Jewish future. One has to put them on the proverbial couch and coax it out of them: Europeans hate Jews because European national identity from the outset was a dreadful parody of Jewish identity. One learns this most clearly from the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, who argued the secret of European identity was the desire of every nation to be chosen in the flesh. As I wrote in this space on the anniversary of the First World War, “The unquiet urge of each nation to be chosen in its own skin began with the first conversion of Europe’s pagans; it was embedded in European Christendom at its founding. Christian chroniclers cast the newly-baptized European monarchs in the role of biblical kings, and their nations in the role of the biblical Israel. The first claims to national election came at the crest of the early Dark Ages, from the sixth-century chronicler St Gregory of Tours (538-594), and the seventh-century Iberian churchman St Isidore of Seville….Saints Isidore of Seville and Gregory of Tours were in a sense the Bialystock and Bloom of the Dark Ages, the Producers of the European founding: they sold each petty monarch 100% of the show. One hardly can fault them. Transmuting the barbarian invaders who infested the ruined empire of the Romans into Christians was perhaps the most remarkable political accomplishment in world history, but it required a bit of flimflam that had ghastly consequences over the long term. The filth of the old European paganism accumulated in the tangled bowels of Europe until the terrible events of 1914-1945 released it.”

When real Americans — the kind of Americans who identify with the American Founding — meet real Jews — the kind of Jews who embrace Israel’s past and future — there is an instant sympathy, for Jews remind Americans of what is best in their character: the new mission in the Wilderness, the vision of a new City on a hill. New England was settled in response to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, and as many German Protestants — the losers in that war — came to America as Englishmen. When Europeans meet Jews, we remind them of what was worst in their character: the lampoon of Jewish identity that infected European nationalism. The Nazi delusion of a “Master Race, ” after all, was a satanic parody of the Election of Israel. In the past, each European nation that fancied itself God’s instrument on earth set out to humiliate, expel, or even exterminate the Jews, for how could France or Spain or Russia or Germany be the Chosen Nation when the Jews claimed that status? Old Europe hated the Jews because it envied election; New Europe hates the Jews because it eschews election altogether. The old hatred suppurates and boils under the ectoderm of the new hatred.

There is a lot more to it, to be sure: the old Kantian illusion of perpetual peace, what Germans call the “Multi-Kulti” belief that all cultures must have equal outcomes as well as equal opportunities, the whole ideological apparatus of social engineering — these all influence European thinking. But what rattles around in the European cerebrum is less important than what ferments in Europe’s viscera.

After three devastating wars lasting two generations each — the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, the Napoleonic Wars of 1799-1815, and the two World Wars of the 20th century — the Europeans grew weary of their contentious national identities. They agreed to become nothing in particular. Patriotism is an obscenity in Germany, a joke in Italy, a curse in Spain, a relic in England, and a faux pas in France. To declare one’s self a Jewish patriot, a Zionist, transgresses the boundary of civilized discourse in today’s Europe. Personally, I find this disappointing; I speak three European languages apart from English and have nothing to say to anybody in any of them.

So when we hear expressions of sympathy from European leaders who treasure their Jewish communities, but tell Israel not to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, and propose to concoct a Palestinian State without an end-of-hostilities agreement from the Arab side, our instinctive and correct response is to send them to hell. We well knowwes Geistes Kind es sei.

January 24, 2015 | 15 Comments »

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15 Comments / 15 Comments

  1. Reader Said:

    The author doesn’t seem to realize that ALL non-Jews dislike (to put it mildly) ALL Jews,

    My experience does not agree with your statement

  2. Reader Said:

    I think it is totally illogical to blame the Europeans for the desire to be “chosen” but to make an exception for Americans.

    I dont understand this comment. Please explain.
    Reader Said:

    American exceptionalism has caused nothing but endless wars,

    the most devastating “endless wars” arose from europe and europeans.

    …three devastating wars lasting two generations each — the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, the Napoleonic Wars of 1799-1815, and the two World Wars of the 20th century…..

    for starters, we are all still living today with the European colonial repercussions with the sykes picot borders in the ME and the various sub conflicts in their former colonies. Cobbling together nations which tended to maintain ethnic divisions rather than to arrange nations around ethnic groups appears to be an intentional divide and conquer policy that still plagues us today.
    Reader Said:

    it is wishful thinking to imagine that “real” Americans feel any sort of sympathy toward “real” Jews or any Jews, for that matter.

    there is some truth in what you say but he is explaining the different perspectives of the euro and american collectives to the Jews which I agree are different. As to why I am not sure, I gave one of my reasons regarding the culling of the europes most adventurous genes through emigration. I agree that the Americans likely prefer pioneering adventurous winners rather than shtetle jew losers and victims. They gravitate to winners. The euro experience of their Jews might be more similar to the US experience towards their ex slaves: the euros probably prefer compliant, obedient, shtetl Jew losers like the ex slave holders probably prefer obedient ex slaves. The disobedient Jew is probably the euros “uppity nigger”. The jews got respect in america when they kicked butt in 67 whereas the euros probably saw them as uppity jews.

    The stinking euros throw around the words illegal settlement and should have their collective faces rubbed in shit for it. those stinking eurodogs signed and guaranteed jewish settlement in israel and then reneged and had the temerity to switch their crime of swindling and reneging and cast it instead as a Jewish crime of illegal settlement.

    The only “illogical” thing is that europe has not properly gone up in flames for its continuing swindling and libeling of the Jews and Israel. I am hoping that the honor killers burn it to the ground but I will be satisfied with Vlad kicking their sorry butts.

  3. The author doesn’t seem to realize that ALL non-Jews dislike (to put it mildly) ALL Jews, and this includes non-Jews who are happily married to Jews (they make an exception for their spouse but not for the spouse’s “people and kindred”). Every anti-Semite has his favorite Jew.

  4. @ bernard ross
    I think it is totally illogical to blame the Europeans for the desire to be “chosen” but to make an exception for Americans.
    American exceptionalism has caused nothing but endless wars, and it is wishful thinking to imagine that “real” Americans feel any sort of sympathy toward “real” Jews or any Jews, for that matter.

  5. bernard ross Said:

    @ yamit82:
    on a separate issue troubling me lately which I raised with ted but never finished on the whole west bank withdrawal notion.
    -it appears to me that 242 is no longer relevant to the west bank and only to the golan border with syria.
    -242 was entered into as a cease fire agreement with withdrawal to be negotiated between the states involved and on the west bank those states are jordan and israel. there was no interest regarding land agreed with the PLO in 242 and the PLO was not a party.
    -242 gained its legal imperative because it was more than a resolution.. it was a signed agreement between the parties and therefore had the weight of treaty and contract in law. Any variation, change or material breach would nullify the agreement.
    – the Jordan Israel treaty supersedes and renders moot 242 wrt the west bank because they agreed on borders at the Jordan river. this treaty is internationally recognized and stipulates Israels border at the jordan river and is the only legally binding document which has force regarding borders and land. The Jordan Israel treaty resolved the conflict between the signatories which 242 was put in place to resolve. There is no PLO interest in land stated in 242
    -It is said that Jordan transferred its rightsin the west bank to the PLO but I find no legal document to that effect. All I find is a PR announcement to that effect by the King. However, the subsequent treaty made no mention of any interest of the PLO in the land abdicated by Jordan and Jordan clearly specified its border with Israel at the Jordan and NOT the PLO. If its “assignment” was intended to be more than PR it would have mentioned and secured the PLO interest in the land in its treaty with Israel. Furthermore such an assignment of rights in the 242 agreement would require the consent of Israel as assigning rights to a non state actor incapable of guaranteeing any performance and at the time regarded as a terror org by israel would render any such agreement unenforceable.
    -any recognition of a pal state within the internationally recognized borders of Israel must be self evidently illegal and erroneous. Israel already has a recognized eastern border so talk of 67 lines are absurd.
    -the plo has no legal claims on the west bank other than a claim for self determination just like the basques might have. they are in effect a hostile enemy citizenry and population, similar to the pal refugees in surrounding arab states who also have no legal claims to the land of those states.
    My view is that there is no legal basis for calls for withdrawal under 242, that 242 wrt the west bank has been completely resolved and superseded by the Israel Jordan treaty and that there has been no legal transfer of jordans rights to the PLO. If there had been such a transfer then Jordan would not have been legally in a position to negotiate a border at the Jordan with Israel if Jordan instead was recognizing the PLO as being their successor to that land.
    I wonder what legal mavens would say to this?

    I have to jog my memory for an answer to your good questions
    Get back to you on this.

  6. @ yamit82:
    on a separate issue troubling me lately which I raised with ted but never finished on the whole west bank withdrawal notion.
    -it appears to me that 242 is no longer relevant to the west bank and only to the golan border with syria.
    -242 was entered into as a cease fire agreement with withdrawal to be negotiated between the states involved and on the west bank those states are jordan and israel. there was no interest regarding land agreed with the PLO in 242 and the PLO was not a party.
    -242 gained its legal imperative because it was more than a resolution.. it was a signed agreement between the parties and therefore had the weight of treaty and contract in law. Any variation, change or material breach would nullify the agreement.
    – the Jordan Israel treaty supersedes and renders moot 242 wrt the west bank because they agreed on borders at the Jordan river. this treaty is internationally recognized and stipulates Israels border at the jordan river and is the only legally binding document which has force regarding borders and land. The Jordan Israel treaty resolved the conflict between the signatories which 242 was put in place to resolve. There is no PLO interest in land stated in 242
    -It is said that Jordan transferred its rightsin the west bank to the PLO but I find no legal document to that effect. All I find is a PR announcement to that effect by the King. However, the subsequent treaty made no mention of any interest of the PLO in the land abdicated by Jordan and Jordan clearly specified its border with Israel at the Jordan and NOT the PLO. If its “assignment” was intended to be more than PR it would have mentioned and secured the PLO interest in the land in its treaty with Israel. Furthermore such an assignment of rights in the 242 agreement would require the consent of Israel as assigning rights to a non state actor incapable of guaranteeing any performance and at the time regarded as a terror org by israel would render any such agreement unenforceable.
    -any recognition of a pal state within the internationally recognized borders of Israel must be self evidently illegal and erroneous. Israel already has a recognized eastern border so talk of 67 lines are absurd.
    -the plo has no legal claims on the west bank other than a claim for self determination just like the basques might have. they are in effect a hostile enemy citizenry and population, similar to the pal refugees in surrounding arab states who also have no legal claims to the land of those states.

    My view is that there is no legal basis for calls for withdrawal under 242, that 242 wrt the west bank has been completely resolved and superseded by the Israel Jordan treaty and that there has been no legal transfer of jordans rights to the PLO. If there had been such a transfer then Jordan would not have been legally in a position to negotiate a border at the Jordan with Israel if Jordan instead was recognizing the PLO as being their successor to that land.

    I wonder what legal mavens would say to this?

  7. @ yamit82:
    also part 3 is good. It included the milosveic trials whereby milosevic was held for 8 years, denied medical treatment for his heart, denied his own defense when effective and forced to accept counsel, then died after 8 years Never having been convicted.

  8. David P. Goldman (Spengler)

    I have always been a fan of Spengler (Goldman) long before he came in from the cold now using his own name,

    IMO he is the best of the best of his genre’ and I seldom disagree with his analysis and opinions and conclusions.

  9. When real Americans — the kind of Americans who identify with the American Founding — meet real Jews — the kind of Jews who embrace Israel’s past and future — there is an instant sympathy, for Jews remind Americans of what is best in their character: the new mission in the Wilderness,….. When Europeans meet Jews, we remind them of what was worst in their character: the lampoon of Jewish identity that infected European nationalism.

    interesting perspective on the difference regarding Jews. An additional perspective is that euros are cowards; that the best of europe’s genes, the most adventurous, courageous and strongest, left europe behind to the weak and cowardly who populate it today until the honor killers make them slaves.