Islamophobia: Bad For The Jews

Continuing on the subject of Eli’s last post, it might be worthwhile to examine in more depth the burgeoning alliance between right-wing supporters of Israel and the European far right. The importance of this topic was driven home by the publication of a new Gallup poll on Americans’ attitudes towards various religions. The poll, which found that over half of Americans view Islam unfavorably, also found that “the strongest predictor of prejudice against Muslims is whether a person holds similar feelings about Jews.”

While the poll deals with the American rather than the European context, it is a reminder that Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have typically gone hand in hand. This is worth remembering when looking at the rise of European far-right leaders like Jean-Marie Le Pen of France and the late Jorg Haider of Austria. Hostility to Muslim immigrants forms the centerpiece of their political stance, but their parties have also tended to espouse anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial — a reminder of their neo-fascist roots.

But this anti-Semitism has quite naturally prevented them from making common cause with neoconservatives and other right-wing Zionists in America, whose militant stance towards “Islamism” (very broadly defined) would otherwise make them natural allies of the European far right. Hence we have seen in recent years that the savvier of the European far right leaders — such as Filip Dewinter of the Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang (VB) — have dropped the explicitly anti-Semitic elements of their platforms and doubled down on Islamophobia. They realize that by portraying themselves as staunch supporters of Israel and allies in the war against Islamofascism, they can acquire a new set of influential and well-connected supporters in America — the likes of Daniel Pipes, Mark Steyn, Frank Gaffney, etc. (Eli, Ali and I wrote about the connections between Wilders, his U.S. supporters, and the VB this past February.)

While focusing on Islamophobia rather than anti-Semitism is certainly a savvy move, whether it is sincere is another question. The VB, for example, is a successor to the Vlaams Blok, which disbanded in 2004 after being convicted of “repeated incitement to discrimination”; its fall was precipated by top VB official Roeland Raes’s widely-publicized Holocaust denial on Dutch television. Despite the VB’s claims to have cleaned up its act since the Raes scandal, the Belgian Jewish community isn’t buying it. They maintain that, regardless of whatever philo-Semitic noises the top leadership makes in public, the group has a clear pattern of associating with anti-Semitic and neo-fascist elements. (Right-wing apostate Charles Johnson has in recent years provided the most thorough coverage of the devil’s bargain that the American Islamophobic right has made with the European far right.) Similarly, although Wilders himself does not come from the neo-fascist milieu, there can be little doubt that his base of popular support contains many of the same elements as Le Pen’s and Haider’s.

All this is to say that Daniel Pipes and his compatriots are playing with fire when they embrace Wilders and other European Islamophobes. While the European far right has proven increasingly willing to say the right things about Jews for tactical reasons, all indications are that hatred of Muslims frequently goes hand-in-hand with hatred of Jews.

32 thoughts on “Islamophobia: Bad For The Jews”

  1. Interesting that American bigots can see that Israelis and Arabs are closely related Semites and thus, if they hate one group they'll hate the other. Yet the Israelis and Arabs themselves don't see how much in common they have as Semites. This commonality is all the more so if one accepts biblical genealogy.

    I guess there's no bitterness like bitterness between relatives.

  2. The Arabs are not related to the 'Khazar' Israelis who are eastern European converts to Judaism and who run the 'show' there, this fact is not lost on the 'far' right in Europe. ' The Khazar' Israelis and the Europeans are probably related by blood.

  3. Semites means Arabs. Now try calling any "chosen ones" as arabs and see their re-action. How about–anti-Chosenism

  4. If you move into a neighborhood and you hate all of your neighbors and they hate you – you have not “come home”; you are someplace you are someplace where you don’t belong..
    It is time to call Israel a failed experiment. Those Jews who don’t mind rubbing shoulders with Arabs should stay but those racist, Arab-hating, land stealing Zionists need to go back to the West. Maybe back to Germany and Russia where they were abused and taught to be such jerks.

  5. It is most likely that the Zionist Jews in Israel have NO relationship to the Israelites of the Old Testament.

  6. BLOODYISRAEL is the biggeest TERRORIST of the world! A failed non-state, run by the Reichwingers of BLOODYISRAEL the exact same population that got most of E. European Jews murdered in Germany!!!! The only thing I want to hear abt. BLOODYISRAEL is it's closijng!!, as a MIC tool. Close the whore house!

  7. Well… I guess the only thing keeping Jews and Muslims from standing up to non-Semites rampaging through their communities is that little, insignificant Israel thing. So… the “Kumbaya” moment will have to wait. The Gallup Poll is somewhat misleading, on close inspection, in noting that 53 percent of respondents view Islam “unfavorably”. Regarding Islam as religion, I guess that includes me, since I view it as yet another silly Middle Eastern fairy tale that has diminished for far too long human capacity to fully review ourselves and and our place in the cosmos. But that’s a far cry from mistreating Muslims, or even wishing them ill. Religion, people. Apples, oranges.

    OK. Muslims “are thought to suffer more discrimination than any other U.S. religious group”, seconded by Jews. Again, misleading. Do these groups really suffer such discrimination? In this country? The poll indicates this is prevailing public perception, which is meaningless. That people believe any group is so bedeviled doesn’t make it so. Most of the public “perceives” we are visited regularly by UFOs – unsupported by any reliable evidence. The slim little “finding” that people who dislike Jews also dislike Muslims proves some people are prejudiced; they probably dislike anyone not in their particular ethnic group. Astounding! Out here in L.A., this tidbit must be a bright ray of inspiration to those anguishing in the hellhole ghettos of Brentwood and Malibu, but is this really what passes for “news” these days?

  8. The VB were wrongly smeared by the powers that be In Brussels who didn't want to lose their hold on power (the Francophone minority that run Belgium).

  9. There is certainly a connection between far right wingers in Europe and Judeofacism that now exists in Israel.

  10. Roughly half of Israelis stem from Middle Eastern countries, most of them from Judeo-arabic speaking ancestors.

  11. Go to the homepage of Google (founded by two Jews) and type in Christianity is and the suggestion drop-down box says Christianity is bullshit (1) Christianity is not a religion (2) Christianity is fake (3) Christianity is a lie (4)…you get the Idea. Now try it by typing in Islam is and see what (doesn't) happen. But of course, its people who don't like the Muslims or Jews who are the problem….

  12. I'm not sure I buy the whole Khazar thing for all European Jews. There is a historical record of Jews coming from the Mediterranean too. In fact, the National Geographic Genealogical project shows that many Jews share a common Y chromosome with Egyptians, Greeks and Sicilians (Sicily has had a lot of Islamic occupation over the centuries). This feature is known as the Cohen Modal haplotype and it is as much a marker as the Atlantic Modal haplotype for western Europeans. But it is also true that intermarriage took place in Europe, resulting in people who have a lot in common with those among whom they lived for centuries (blond hair, light skin, blue eyes, Hungarian blue spot on infants from the earlier Magyars). I don't buy it that Jews were just "raped by Cossacks." I think a lot of this has been voluntary over the ages, because people today are just the same. Always beware of simplified single explanations for things, coming either from the right wing of Europe or from the anti-assimilationists of Israel (who are far more inclined to accept European converts than they are to accept black Jews from Africa as members of the in-group).

  13. While I would agree that people who tend to hate the “different” tend to hate all or most differents. ..I doubt this poll reflects “most” people opinions.

    Speaking for the average person since I consider myself one of those, I don’t care about a person’s reliigon..none of my business…as long as it doesn’t produce inhumane actions.

    When the GWOT bogga boo started I read the Korean and found it actually mild in violence compared to the bible, which is quite bloody.

    I also don’t think present day anti semitism has anything to do with Judism. Where it exist it is more about the jewish “culture” or “mentality”as we see it exhbited in Israel than the religion.
    And even then we have to seperate this jew from that jew ….some sects of Judism are quite different from the religious fanatism we see in others.
    The jewish group that has engended the most anti semitism are the political “nationalistic” secular jews who use religion or ethnicism to rally jews to their cause. Same for the more radical elements of islam that use Islam as a rallying cry for the masses.

    It’s the fanatics of religions that arouse hatred or resentment.

  14. I am not sure that Zionism is all about Judaism. I think Zionism is more about the Holocaust than anything else. As others have pointed out, the “oriental” or Sephardic jew has always lived and coexisted with Arabs. It is the Zionist who hates the Arabs and feels no shame stealing the Arab’s land or slaughtering them. These actions are not religious; they come more from paranoia. Paranoia justified by constant fixiation with the Holocaust and the czarist pogroms, i.e.. if you are the ultimate victim, you are entitled to ultimate revenge. No-one can question your motives or methods. You don’t even have to direct your revenge at the appropriate target. You can just destroy, destroy, destroy in your unquenchable need for revenge. Your grandparents paid for that entitlement.
    Not all Zionists are religious Jews, many are atheists. But what they all worship is the exclusive rights that they inherited from the Holocaust. That is why Holocaust deniers go to prison.
    But isn’t Zionism a stupid way to say “Never Again!”

  15. Ironic how the socalled democratic Western world enjoyed its role as "sahib, effendi and/or master" when it ruled Arab, Asian and African countries. Now that some of their "slaves" have acquired "British citizenship" as well as in other European nations the saying of what "goes around comes around" is anathema to the ex-colonialists.

    Its been reported in mostly European media that the Jews from Moldavia and other Euro. countries look down on Jews that are from North Africa, the Middle East and even parts of Europe.

    As prime promoters of one "world government" several economists have suggested that Israelis in particular will be experiencing a backlash from a number of nations in the not too distant future. So much for anti-ism.

    1. We need to get the West out of the third world and get the third world out of the west. Britain left India. When are Indians going to leave Britain?

  16. Dear Schmuck,
    Why do you call yourself a Yiddish name that means “offensive prick”?

  17. Two things: the far right in Europe is essentially nationalistic. Thus, there is nobody they hate more than each other! That effectively prevents them from becoming a Europe-wide force. The other thing is that "Muslim" tends to mean people from the Middle East or North Africa. Thus, the very characteristics that cause Europeans to dislike people from those regions are exactly the same as those which have traditionally made Europeans dislike Jews! Thus, if it's now OK to dislike "Muslims", then it's once again OK to dislike Jews! People like Pipes didn't foresee that kind of blowback, essentially because Americans tend to see Europeans as merely Americans who talk funny and are totally ignorant of the European reality.

    1. Not so sure about that. The reason Muslims are disliked is mostly because they (except on the Balkans) are immigrants, or descended from immigrants. Secondly, because they tend to be socially conservative. Jews, on the other hand, are not considered immigrants, and don't tend to be socially conservative and traditionalistic, at least not to the same degree.

      More importantly, what is called "far right" is a diverse group of parties. Opposition to mass immigration (at least of non-Westerners) are probably the only thing that unites them. Some have fascistic and antisemtitc roots. Others are very pro-Israel and neoconservative. The latter varity dominates in Scandinavia, and they all support American, Israeli and NATO wars.

      1. And I could add that, with the exception of some very small parties, European far right parties are not neonazies. Their policies are comparable to the Republican Party in the USA. Now, we all now that the Republicans are not exactly harmless (remember George W. Bush?) so this is not meant as an endorsement. The European far right is not as bad as Hilter, but they are as bad as Bush (and perhaps as bad as Obama)!

        In fact, the policies of the Progress Party in Norway, are quite similar to the Republicans under Bush. Cut taxes, increase spending, invade Iraq and support Israeli atrocities. All served in a populist mixture of conservative, libertarian and social democratic ideas.

    2. I'd say Europeans have very good cause to be very deeply concerned about the very undesirable movement of muslims into their lands.

  18. The claims that Israelis are Khazars is propaganda. First of all, a large percentage of Israelis came from Arabic countries and fled to Israel. These were Sephardic (Spanish) and Mizrahi (Arabian) Jews. They are a very large percentage of israelis. The Ashkenazi Jews are a mixture of Sephardic Jews that lived in Europe during the Roman Empire and the Rhine and the Netherlands and also Eastern Jews who went to Russia. There would be some Khazar ancestry, but those who talk about the Khazars ignore the fact that a lot of European Jews have Sephardic ancestry. It's a fact. I say that as a person who doesn't like Israel or Zionism, and I am Arab. I support Palestine. my fight with Israelis is not based on being khazar or Sephardic.

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