Monthly Archives - March 2015

Michael Douglas on rise of antisemitism in Europe

Three reasons are outlined  by the Hollywood actor and UN ‘Messenger of Peace:’

“In my opinion there are three reasons anti-Semitism is appearing now with renewed vigilance.

The first is that historically, it always grows more virulent whenever and wherever the economy is bad. In a time when income disparity is growing, when hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty, some find Jews to be a convenient scapegoat rather than looking at the real source of their problems.”

In other words, times of austerity bring a need for people who are suffering and struggling to look for someone else to blame. (Does human nature really fall that low every time?)

“A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national-policy decisions. Does anyone really believe that the innocent victims in that kosher shop in Paris and at that bar mitzvah in Denmark had anything to do with Israeli-Palestinian policies or the building of settlements 2,000 miles away?”

In other words, people import the conflict from Israel-Palestine into their cities in Europe due to… perhaps a sense of outrage at perceived victimhood of Palestinians. We should ask ourselves, what moral outrage happens in Europe about Nigeria, China, Darfur, Somalia, Dominican Republic? In any case, the dislike of Israeli politicians transforms into hate crimes against the local Jewish population who had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than perhaps sharing the same religious heritage or culture.

“The third reason is simple demographics. Europe is now home to 25 million to 30 million Muslims, twice the world’s entire Jewish population. Within any religious community that large, there will always be an extremist fringe, people who are radicalized and driven with hatred, while rejecting what all religions need to preach — respect, tolerance and love. We’re now seeing the amplified effects of that small, radicalized element. With the Internet, its virus of hatred can now speed from nation to nation, helping fuel Europe’s new epidemic of anti-Semitism.It is time for each of us to speak up against this hate.”

I disagree. Just because a group is in a small minority (Jews) does not mean it will be hated. And just because a group is large does not necessarily mean than it must give rise to an extremist fringe…

What do you see in his words?


Gandhi’s letter to Hitler in 1939

This week the Prime Minister David Cameron and Indian dignitaries unveil a statue of M.K Gandhi in London.

This is apparently the letter sent by Gandhi to try to avert war at a time when Hitler was ambitiously pushing into Eastern Europe: 

According to the MKGandhi website “the diametrically opposite ideologies adopted by both the leaders prompted Gandhi to write to Hitler to dissuade him from a bloody campaign against humanity.”

The above first letter was written on July 23, 1939 before the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, while the second was written on Christmas eve in 1940.

Addressing him as ‘Dear Friend’, Gandhi wrote “Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success?”

The second letter in December 1940, 17 months later, shows Gandhi clearly stating how appalled he is at Hitler’s conduct while not yet being willing to agree with Hitler’s critics that he is a ‘monster.’  Here is an excerpt:

“We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents. But your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity, especially in the estimation of men like me who believe in universal friendliness. Such are your humiliation of Czechoslovakia, the rape of Poland and the swallowing of Denmark. I am aware that your view of life regards such spoliations as virtuous acts. But we have been taught from childhood to regard them as acts degrading humanity. Hence we cannot possibly wish success to your arms.”

to see the full two letters as well as description of the film, ‘Gandhi to Hitler,’ see