Get Your Twisted Values Out of My Country!
Many years ago I went on a demonstration organized by a trade union, with the purpose of disrupting a convention of the ruling political party. Since we couldn’t get through the police lines to approach the building, we settled for burning down one of the wooden poles that carried electricity to the convention hall. The police quickly figured out what we were up to, the firemen were summoned, and tear gas was lobbed to keep us away.
But we were smart. Instructions were shouted on how to handle a live tear gas canister, and I was soon lobbing them back at the police.
We weren’t smart enough. The fire was put out, the convention went on; everybody had a good time, and we laughed and joked as we climbed aboard our chartered buses. In retrospect, the police weren’t too smart either. Why wasn’t I arrested? Why were we able to get away with such attempted sabotage?
I was on another demonstration where the police batons came out as they dispersed an unruly, indeed an
ugly mob. I saw some demonstrators climb a ladder to the roof of a building. The cops followed, and the demonstrators pushed the ladder over, policemen falling with it. The crowd cheered.
I didn’t. My stomach turned at the crowd’s joy in seeing people injured, even if they were the police, our nemesis. It was one of the last demonstrations I took part in. The youth of the 60’s were supposed to be peaceful. This didn’t fit the paradigm.
These days many demonstrations seem to have violence as their goal: the G8 (G7, after the expulsion of Russia) anti-capitalist destructive rampages, even celebrations of sports team victories somehow degenerate into opportunities for looting and vandalism. Rioters laugh, joke, and film each other as they break windows, steal clothes and electronics, or destroy cars. Destruction of property can be entertaining, especially if ennobled by some cause.
Now it’s gone beyond destruction of property, as demonstrators in major European cities, in major American and Canadian cities call for the destruction of a people. My people: the Jews. Not only are the demonstrators calling for it, they are trying to put it into effect with assaults on individuals in the streets, and home invasions. The attackers’ cry is to protest the mistreatment of their co-religionists, but we can see from their selective concern (ignoring the horrors of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, etc.), that it’s just an excuse. They want to go after the Jews, as they’ve been doing so since the dawn of Islam.
It’s not surprising when Muslims express hatred for Jews, even Muslims in countries that are Judenrein. The Prime Minister of Malaysia for example, blamed George Soros, a left-wing Jew, for his country’s 1997 economic crisis (it’s worth noting that Malaysian Buddhists are not especially anti-Semitic). Jews expect a hostile reception in any Muslim dominated part of the world.
But France? Belgium? Germany? There is native anti-Semitism, and there is Muslim Jew-hatred. Contemporary violence comes mostly from the latter. Ironically, in Britain the English Defense League, a group often depicted as far right or neo-Nazi, has been at the forefront of defending British Jews and Israel against Islamic assaults.
And Calgary? Its Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi has generally had the support of the Jewish community, but failed to point a finger after pro-Israel demonstrators were assaulted by participants in a “Gaza peace rally.”
Who are these people? What are they doing here, in countries that are generally considered as part of the western civilized world?
Well, look at the economies of their home countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Lebanon… These countries have been ruined by decades of turmoil brought about by the violence of its citizens; by their intolerance for any kind of dissent, or freedom of thought. By their constant blaming of their woes on America, the Jews, their colonial legacy. Everyone is at fault, except themselves. These people come to Europe, to North America to better their lives, but unlike past generations of immigrants, they are unwilling to give up the values which made their home countries such miserable places to live. If we let them (and many parts of Europe have), they will make our countries as miserable as theirs.
They don’t give a damn about the deaths or suffering of their co-religionists. Otherwise they’d be at demonstrations protesting the ongoing slaughters in Iraq and Syria, the turmoil in the Maghreb (North
Africa). No, the only thing they care about is the opportunity to attack Jews, following the tradition set by the founder of Islam.
Britain has a great legacy of anti-Semitism, fully expressed in its handling of the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate. Roosevelt’s antipathy towards Jews shut the doors on refugees fleeing the holocaust, condemning many innocent people to death. Canada had its infamous “none is too many” policy towards Jews fleeing Hitler.
But these countries have evolved. Western civilization has moved forward. Racial ethnic and gender prejudice are no longer acceptable. Not by law, not by culture.
So what do you do when a particular ethnic/ religious group embodies such prejudice as part of its culture? What do you do when Muslim immigrants to the West bring along their hatred, their prejudice, their misogyny? What do you do when they regularly violate our civilization’s standards of decency, of acceptable behavior, of tolerance? What should you do when there’s a demonstration in the streets of Calgary, New York, Paris or Berlin chanting “kill the Jews?”
If you’re not Jewish, you can argue that it’s not your concern. Ask the Christians of Iraq how that’s working out. Starting in nineteen forty-eight, Jews whose families had been in Iraq for two thousand years were expelled. Now, seventy years later, the same fate has befallen Iraqi Christians.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in America. As its numbers increase, what will become of America, of American values? What will happen to all the advances Western civilization has made since the onset of the Enlightenment? What will happen to the Jews of America? The Christians? Pious or secular, they are infidels according to Islam.
By the end of the Enlightenment certain values had become entrenched in Western nations. Ironically, during the Enlightenment these countries came under attack by the Muslim societies of the Maghreb (North Africa). They had been enslaving Europeans for centuries, raiding the coasts as far north as Ireland. They pirated American and European merchant ships, demanding exorbitant tribute in exchange for prisoners. America’s first international war was against North African Muslim terrorists. The ruler of Algeria accepted a treaty to end the war, but then repudiated it. The only thing that brought an end to the piracy was the French conquest; in retrospect a justifiable act of self-defense.
What is the purpose of your demonstration?
But the war continues. There was a battle in New York on 9/11, in London on 7/05, in Madrid on 3/04. In Marseilles it’s a series of ongoing skirmishes. In most cases, the attackers are citizens or at least residents of the places they attack. Centuries ago, President Jefferson tried unsuccessfully to appease them. Presidents Bush and Obama had the same failure. Each demonstration with the battle cry of “kill the Jews,” each time an American or British flag is trampled on, each demonstration where people are punched, knocked to the ground or choked, proves that appeasement doesn’t work. It shows that these immigrants aren’t here to improve their lives by adapting to their new homes. Rather, it demonstrates that they want to transform their new homes into the miserable places they fled.
And that’s the difference. When I tried to burn down a pole carrying electricity to a convention, when I threw a tear gas canister at the police, I was trying to move our society towards a better future. When a demonstration chants “kill the Jews,” it’s trying to drag us back to a time before the Enlightenment, when slavery, hate and misogyny were acceptable societal norms. When freedom of expression was blasphemous, when tolerance was forbidden.
We can’t let those demonstrations succeed.
Some sources attribute the fall of the western Roman Empire (at the time the center of western civilization) to “immigration onto Roman soil, followed by a second stage of aggressive expansion of the territory under the migrants’ control.” By the fourth century CE, the Roman armies were more barbarian than Roman. Will western civilization fall again to the same cause, or will we finally accept the paradox that the intolerance we revile is necessary to protect the values we cherish. If you want the benefits of western civilization, you must accept the ideals that made them possible.