Tag - scapegoat

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?