Sunday, May 29, 2011

At Hudson New York, Guy Millière describes the return to Europe of toxic anti-Semitism:
Hatred towards Israel is now the most widely shared sentiment among Europeans, whatever their place on the political spectrum. . . .

[A]n increasing number of Europeans seem quite ready for another Holocaust: one that would be the annihilation of Israel.

If sacrificing Israel allowed non-Muslim Europeans to see Muslim anger disappear, they would be willing to make the sacrifice immediately. If, in order to accept the sacrifice with a clear conscience, non-Muslim Europeans have to caricature Israel ignobly, they will -- and do. . . . The Israeli army is often compared in European media to the Nazi army. The comparison is fully playing its role: if the Jews are Nazis today, it means that the Europeans did the world a favor in killing six million of them, and that the Europeans are not really guilty.
Millière's analysis reminds me of a point Thomas Sowell has made often, for instance here, about slavery in the pre-Civil-War US:
If all men were created equal, as the Declaration of Independence proclaimed, then the only way to justify slavery was by depicting those enslaved as not fully men. A particularly virulent form of racism thus arose from a particularly desperate need to defend slavery against telling attacks that invoked the fundamental principles of the American republic.
To reconcile slavery with American principles, its supporters had to make and defend the absurd, reprehensible claim that blacks were less than human. And now, to render another Holocaust morally acceptable, Europeans need to perform (in Melanie Phillips's term) the moral inversion that turns genocidal Muslims into victims and civilized Israelis into barbarians. It's a shameful tide of thought, if such can be called thought, and it deserves relentless and unstinting condemnation.

And in case you think I'm likening Western enemies of Israel to antebellum proponents of slavery: Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing. Glad you've caught on.