Sunday, September 13, 2015
Sweden and the Disease of Prejudice
A prominent peacenik whose family had survived the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Jews of Hebron in 1929 was being interviewed by Swedish TV at the start of this century. Suddenly and without warning this also prominent Swedish journalist verbally attacked him. More than most of us, this man of peace should have had a response but he was shocked and had no response to his Swedish abuser. Palestinian suffering had become the unquestioned fact of European (and much of the rest of the world) orthodoxy.
The problem is that then as now, Sweden like much of Europe has a national identity that is increasingly porous and ill-defined and progressively more schizophrenic. In its eagerness to appreciate the cultural eccentricities of its newest inhabitants and in deference to those differences, many states in Europe have created a two tier legal system that forgives or turns a blind eye to many crimes that may be attributable to cultural or religious differences.
And a simple example will suffice. Aside from South Africa / Lesotho (depending on the report) either country of which has an even higher incidence of rape than Sweden has, Sweden is now by far, the rape capital of the rest of the world. Even worse – reports suggest that the Swedish statistics hide under-reporting of rape by somewhere between 400% and 900%. At the current rate it is believed that one in four Swedish women will be raped at some time during their lifetime. That includes those who were children when they were violated.
In 2002 it emerged that 85% of convicted rapists were identified as immigrants or second generation Swedes. And that figure has continued to go up but no official reports are now allowed to tell the story.
Some forty years ago I was living on a kibbutz and we had some Swede’s temporarily living amongst us. The atmosphere was international and it was exciting but sometimes we even managed to discuss issues of a serious nature. So our Swedish friends said that in their country there was nothing happening to agitate popular emotion and sometimes there was a feeling that Sweden needed a war to awaken its people from their emotional torpor, their intellectual indifference. Sweden has not fought a war for some 200 years (The Swedish–Norwegian War of 1814) nevertheless in this expression of collective Swedish insanity lies the reason behind Israel’s European misfortune.
The traditional Jewish bogeyman is the perfect animator for Sweden’s bored citizens and it allows them to forgive the rapist. It does not mean that we have supplanted the Muslim immigrants’ crimes against women but they can forgive the rapist; it is just Jews (or Zionists) that must bare collective guilt for Sweden’s debasement. Hence the verbal and physical attacks on Jews and Zionists that occur in Swedish society across the board: The Swedish Church, the Swedish Press, its monarchy and its government. No narrative that differs from the Palestinian one is permitted in Sweden. A self-image based on absolute tolerance, ironically, cannot suffer disagreement. But even the Swedes must have their object of hate to alleviate or distract them from the tensions within Swedish society which were brought about by all the impossible contradictions created by a Muslim immigration that rejects much of the fundamental bases of that same Swedish society such as equality and tolerance.
And the Jewish people are a minuscule percentage of the global human population so it does not matter at all what technologies or medical discoveries emerge from Israel. While every year the world’s Muslim population increases at three times the global Jewish population the economic and political power that is represented by that Muslim growth far outweighs any Jewish contribution to global society. That is the painful reality that Israel must come to terms with.
If Sweden and in fact Europe is a lost cause then Israel must disentangle itself from its European connection and actively examine its relationship with the remainder of global society.
In practical terms it means that in the Western world and at the United Nations antisemitism and its proxy anti-Zionism are both given free range without negative consequences. It means that every lie becomes the new truth. It also means that there are no negative consequences to the inflated Muslim self-image and Islamisms' associated LibLeft fascist accomplices.
To return to the Swedish failure, if all truth is relative to the situation as presented then there is no truth, only narratives. If history is trivialized then there are no lessons to be learnt from it. Under conditions such as these, the Swedish acceptance of a radical racist Islamic or Arab nationalist narrative is both understandable and almost irredeemable. This is the sickness that afflicts all of Europe. The continent that nurtured Western Civilization is dying.
Sweden rediscovered its sense of purpose when it embraced its refugees and their often spurious narrative of victim-hood. Its intoxication with a liberal democratic but essentially amoral social model meant that blame became a non-word in the Swedish lexicon. Such generosity had to have its scapegoat to distract the people from the negative consequences of their failed social model.
If possession of a holistic group identity is anathema because in a globalized world, nationalism is viewed as a anachronism and therefore it is understood to create a negative emotional space around which nothing good can flourish, then by doing away with the greater national group identity, all crimes can be forgiven because they are the product, not of the group, but of aberrant individual behavior. According to this narrative, “ethnic identity politics” is good because it is not European while European nationalism is bad because it is imperialistic. This manipulation of identity makes antisemitism all the more puzzling except when it is viewed as an attack on the individual and not the group. Zionism is damned because according to the prevalent anti-Western narrative it is an expression of a particular European group identity which should have been suppressed because of its "inherently imperialist nature". Jews are all “European” (incorrect, but facts are unimportant). Jews have suffered because of European nationalism so they have no excuse for possessing any belief. The retention of any antiquated concept as part of personal identity simply reinforces the religious prejudices of the morally self-superior Swede. It is a truly all encompassing narrative that reinforces not just Sweden’s but most European antisemitic thinking.
Pan-Arab, Palestinian and greater Muslim group identities are more difficult to brush aside. Muslim antisemitism is based on a theology of conquest, dominion and domination. It is therefore inseparable from the Arab and greater Muslim anti-Zionist narrative. It is impossible to disassemble that paradigm from its religious roots without denying their legitimacy (which would be heresy). It may be easier to reject the contemporary historical lies which most Muslim are fed.
But in any debate on the issue of Israel-Palestine or inter-religious dialogue there will always be a closed mind that accepts no debate around any inconsistency of approach. To allow for self-doubt within an atmosphere of political orthodoxy would destroy a consensus that unites a nation whose tremendous internal problems it is unwilling to face up to.
As Pascal Bruckner has written:
“The die-hard student radicals that Bruckner (a French philosopher) knew in Paris shared a few traits with his father (a French Nazi collaborator), on the other end of the political spectrum: self-certain, righteous anger and the will to expose world-historical villains. Not for nothing was the extreme left infected by antisemitism, because the anti-Semite always knows exactly who is guilty.” The extreme left and the extreme right are but two sides of the same coin. Their poison has leached into and polluted the centre ground.
Sweden’s malignancy infects the rest of Europe because Europe’s separate societies have steadfastly refused to inoculate themselves against the antisemitic contagion. The Muslim demographic expansion into Europe has only accelerated the re-oxygenation of this infestation. I see little chance of any remission in this disease and the current refugee crisis will only exacerbate its symptoms.