Anti-Semitism is it a by-product of the EU? What now?
Sunday, February 22, 2004
A First Anniversary look at Europe
Ironies will be one year old tomorrow. Time to consider why I blog and whether or not I should continue?
As the European Union broadens and deepens, and refuses to confront the consequences of its non-democratic structures; instead substituting individual freedoms and pride in national achievements with a false sense of 'Europeanness' and affection for symbols and anthems that strike no chords in peoples' hearts, a strange tendency towards unspoken and therefore hypocritical intolerance is in danger of being fostered among its people.
Lack of accountability from its leaders, with the blurred edges of responsibility between national and european bodies, allows festering sores to grow within society as exampled by the decision last week to expel 25,000 failed asylum seekers from Holland. Politicians both national and european are therefore inevitably being seen as the cause of the problems and increasingly also sickeningly corrupt.
In a church in Toulouse, the Christmas before last, I saw around a nativity scene and in various other parts of the church, supposed Christmas decorations in the form of drawings and paintings from school-children, who I would guess would have been aged between seven and twelve, depicting in gruesome detail scenes from the Middle-East that could only be described as 'bloodily anti-semitic'. I was horrified and the memory and fear of the consequences of such subliminal propaganda has no doubt been sometimes reflected in the postings to this blog.
The following report is taken from "The Times" and must serve as a warning to us all:-
EU challenged to stamp out anti-Semitism
From Rory Watson in Brussels
JEWISH leaders challenged the European Union yesterday to begin a campaign to remove the 'monster' of anti-Semitism from the Continent. Cobi Benatoff, president of the European Jewish Congress, told a meeting of political, religious and community leaders that the history of prejudice and persecution that had afflicted Jews through the centuries was repeating itself. "We bring a warning cry. We European Jews are not able to live our daily lives like other European citizens. Anti-Semitism and prejudice have returned," he said. "The monster is here with us once again and what most concerns us is the in- difference of our fellow European citizens." He insisted that the EU could not allow anti-Semitism to survive and grow. The call for action came against the background of an increase in attacks on Jews and their property in countries including France, Italy, Belgium and Britain. Elie Wiesel, the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, yesterday accused left-wing groups of fuelling the climate of hate with provocative language against Israel. "No country, no region and no person is above criticism. But what the extreme Left is saying about Israel is couched in the language of the Holocaust," he said. In a newspaper article last month, Mr Benatoff and Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, had attacked the European Commission for not doing more to confront the problem. "Anti-Semitism can be expressed in two ways: by action and inaction. Remarkably, the European Commission is guilty of both,? they wrote. In particular they criticised the Commission for publishing a survey indicating that European public opinion believed that Israel was a greater threat to world peace than the 'axis of evil' trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea. They also accused it of preventing publication of a study by the Vienna-based monitoring centre on racism and xenophobia, which linked Islamic minority groups to the rise of anti-Semitism. Romano Prodi, the Commission President, whose first foreign visit after taking office in 1999 was to the remains of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland and who has developed close links with Jewish leaders, was outraged by the criticism. Mr Benatoff praised Signor Prodi yesterday for his 'courage, vision and wisdom', and urged him to lead the fight. Speaking at the meeting, Signor Prodi condemned attacks against synagogues, desecration of Jewish cemeteries and physical assaults on Jews. But he spoke forcefully against the danger of equating recent incidents with the organised policies pursued by Hitler and Stalin.
The number of anti-Semitic attacks in Britain increased by 7 per cent last year. There were 375 incidents recorded, compared with 350 the previous year.The worst month of 2003 was October, when 57 incidents were recorded, the second highest monthly total since records began in 1984.
The EU is taking Europe in a direction that its citizens are increasingly showing signs of not wishing to go. The history of the continent stands witness to the lack of importance European leaders are inclined give to the wishes or best interests of its citizens. It also shows that its peoples can periodically be led in directions for which they later feel great shame.
I do not hold that any one religion has greater truths or worth than any other, nor do I believe that any race or nation nor any colour of person has a monopoly or preponderence of virtues or vices than any other. I support the nation state not from nationalism or excess of patriotism, but rather because history has so far demonstrated that the presently existing nation states have generally speaking proved to be the largest units able to uphold the democratic rights and freedoms of their individual citizens. I believe therefore that the nation state needs protecting and that the open threats now being mounted against its structures, particularly by the European Union, represent the greatest possible danger to all European citizens, their individual rights, democratic liberties and the fundamental decency that can only flow from the maintenance of such values through an open democratic system, where the real rulers can at regular set intervals be bloodlessly approved or removed!
I do believe the revolution in information technology provides huge opportunities to extend the democratic element of major policy making and decision taking, and am dismayed that no attempt is yet being made to apply those opportunities in the growing intranational bodies that are becoming an increasingly burdensome part of everyday life due to the demands of globalisation.
Tomorrow, the first anniversary of my first post, I will review the past year on this blog!
posted by Martin at 2/22/2004 05:09:00 AM