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Resisting ethnic prejudice by other means

Germany resists islamophobia. German law seeks to purge the public domain of such offensive views.

Germany also resists anti-semitism. The German government’s anti-semitism commissioner has warned Jews to avoid being Jewish in public.

The BBC sees the German far right behind the rise in anti-semitism that prompted the commissioner’s advice. Is it just me or are they ignoring a rival explanation?

Also, is it just me, or is the German method for resisting anti-semitism rather different from the German method for resisting islamophobia – so different, in fact, that their advice to Jews resembles what their law demands of ‘islamophobes’: become invisible in the public domain lest you cause offence?

I wrote a poem about this a while back.

Do please feel free to say that it’s just me and there is really nothing more to see here. After all, I expect that’s what the German government’s anti-semitism commissioner would say – but he might be only obeying orders, or only obeying the anti-islamophobia law.

67 comments to Resisting ethnic prejudice by other means

  • Mr Ed

    I do hope that the next Prime Minister of the UK directs that a Trident be kept targeted on Berlin as a precaution, it seems that whilst attitudes may have changed, approaches have not. I fear where this might end.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I used to view modern Germany in a broadly positive light, and thought that the Germans were unfairly blamed for policies that the French ruling class forced on them; but by now i have had enough.

    It seems to me that an important divide in the EU is between countries where EUrophobes/”islamophobes” have been in government, or supporting the government; and countries where they have not. In the former set of countries, even if the “islamophobes” are no longer in government, an open debate remains possible, about Islam and about the EU.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    As I said in another forum, imagine someone saying, “I cannot recommend to Muslims that they wear the hijab at all times everywhere in Germany.”

  • Fraser Orr

    I find it a curious thing about western democracies in general — that is their need to self flagellate. The idea that the idea of antisemitism is deeply rooted in the German culture seems to me to be the opposite of true. Of course they have a horrifying history, but surely the lesson of post war Germany, in for example their laws against Nazi symbols etc., the lesson is specifically that the German people are horrified at what they did and have gone to the extreme limits, even curtailing their own freedoms, to purge the demon from themselves.

    Only to turn around and open their society to a people who have no problem whatsoever with antisemitism.

    What is it about western democracies that seems to force them to demand that all the success they have as a result of free societies and free markets must also be accompanied by this self flagellation? Perhaps it is that the academics, isolated in their ivory towers, still clinging to the idea of the philosopher king, must find an alternative explanation for the success of the Western model by replacing the success of freedom with the meme of oppression?

  • Mr. Caligari

    I feel sorry for the vote of my people.
    But it’s still true that the greatest part of the German voters choice this kind of policy.

    You can see it in the European election and in the federal (Yes, Germany is a federation like the United States) election, too.

    In my opinon, we should be mellow enough to live side by side without fear and hate, so it should be no problem if somebody write a critices concerning another religion. Too bad, in the real live…

  • Itellyounothing

    Looks likes the big post BREXIT issue for Europe is shaping up to be Pro vs anti Islam is forming up.

    Is that because constitutional reform is even more hated or because ordinary folk don’t look very far down a chain of causality?

  • Nullius in Verba

    This is a long read, but I thought worthwhile.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/magazine/anti-semitism-germany.html

    “The BBC sees the German far right behind the rise in anti-semitism that prompted the commissioner’s advice. Is it just me or are they ignoring a rival explanation?”

    There are anecdotal reports that there is a mixture of the residue of the Nazi far-right, the anti-Israel far-left, and Islamist Muslims. I doubt it’s anything like so simple as having one identifiable cause. (It would be just as prejudiced to assume it’s all Muslims and ignore other possible sources as it would be to assume it’s all the far-right.)

    “Also, is it just me, or is the German method for resisting anti-semitism rather different from the German method for resisting islamophobia – so different, in fact, that their advice to Jews resembles what their law demands of ‘islamophobes’: become invisible in the public domain lest you cause offence?”

    I don’t think so. I understand anti-semitism is officially as frowned upon as Islamophobia in Germany – given its history, possibly even more so. But the fact is that the authorities cannot guard people of persecuted minorities all the time, so from a safety point of view it’s sensible to take precautions and keep behaviour or appearances that will make you a target to a minimum. Muslim groups would presumably give the same advice to young Muslims, and so on with other targeted minorities, like the LGBT. It’s the equivalent of saying: if you’re a rich tourist, don’t walk round the poor part of town flashing your money around. It doesn’t mean they don’t intend to do everything they can to stop tourists being mugged, or think that this is in any way a desirable or just situation.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I am appalled at the blatant irrationality (incongruence) and outright favoritism of the German government as reported in Niall’s posting.

    (Niall, I see from your link that you do get around. Legal Insurrection, indeed!) (Instapundit is a Citizen of the World, or at least the Anglosphere, I guess, so it doesn’t count. 😀 )

    .

    I have no explanation for why we Westerners put up with this stuff. Maybe it’s a case of willful ignorance — elective blindness — in the hope of avoiding dissension among ourselves, and possibly war as well; maybe it’s out of an over-concern with moral clean hands and also with tolerance, and our social training to regard others from an attitude of benevolence and a presumption that they are Good People (in other words, “Play nicely with others”); maybe for some of those to whom either status or power is important, it’s a case of avoiding offending those who might challenge your power.

    Probably all of those, to some extent or other.

    And for some, it’s probably naked fear.

    Rationalism can feed into this as well.

    End of today’s psychologizing.

    .
    ETA: I note also that plain Germans are at risk from some varieties of Muslims.

  • Julie near Chicago

    It would probably be a good idea to protect non-Muslim schoolgirls by having them wear the burkha to school.

    From Niall’s Legal Insurrection link, with added boldface:

    “The authorities apparently tried to downplay the incident, with school headmaster initially describing the death threat issued to the Jewish girl by her Muslim classmates as a conversation “on the topic of faith and religion.”

    According to local media reports, this nature of ‘religious’ bullying is not limited to the Jewish students alone and is exclusively carried out by their Muslim peers.”

    Read the Whole Thing. (Not terribly long. Some interesting comments, too.)

  • Deep Lurker

    I have no explanation for why we Westerners put up with this stuff.

    One theory is that it’s “Gramscian Damage” – victims of Soviet disinformation warfare, shambling on after the end of the Cold War in zombie-plague style.

    Another is that the only sin recognized by the Western Left is to be ‘Right Wing’ – “You can be a robber, or rapist, or a murderer, or a tyrant, or a slaver, or an architect of genocide, and it’s all good – as long as you are not right wing.

  • bobby b

    Progressives constantly seek out new paranoid-feeling minorities with whom to ally.

    Who should they pick as their friends – the smaller, ever-decreasing group which constituted (in 2017) approximately 0.2% of their population, or the quickly-growing group which constituted (in 2017) about 6%-7% of their population?

    It’s all about the votes. They can’t choose to befriend both groups – one of the groups wouldn’t stand for that.

    (How does “don’t wear skull-caps” differ from “don’t tempt rape by wearing short skirts”? Try using that line on a woman today.)

  • Gavin Longmuir

    “… it’s all good – as long as you are not right wing.”

    Back when Yeltsin was wrestling with the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, National Public Radio (The US’s pale shadow of the BBC) referred to the hard-line Communists who were resisting him as “Right Wing Communists”.

    “Right Wing” is just a dog whistle to let the usual suspects know who they can safely hate. It has no other meaning.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gavin Longmuir
    referred to the hard-line Communists who were resisting him as “Right Wing Communists”.

    That is interesting, do you have a link to this information or are you just going from memory?

    “Right Wing” is just a dog whistle to let the usual suspects know who they can safely hate. It has no other meaning.

    I think you and I are largely in tune, I have certainly enjoyed your comments here. So I would appeal to you to not use that term “dog whistle” which seems to have come to the fore in the world of Trump. I think it is a really dishonest term. What it means is “I am going to interpret what you say to mean what I wish you had said and be horrified by it, even if what I am claiming you said bears absolutely no semantic similarity to what you actually said.” It allows every statement made by the non left to be interpreted as a horrifying attempt toward tyranny. Somehow “I think fuzzy puppies are adorable” becomes an appeal to the “alt-right gun nuts” to “overthrow the government violently” and “put all the Jews and swarthy skinned people, and gays, and lesbians in concentration camps.” And should you question the relationship of fuzzy puppies and concentration camps you are dismissed with a sneer and a “how can you be so naive as to miss it?”

    Oh, BTW, I think “alt right” is a similar term, it can be applied without any justification to make anyone you mildly disagree with seem like a combination of Hitler and Stalin. Or the similarly ridiculous claim that fascism is somehow an extreme right wing ideology when in fact it is just a slightly modified version of socialism, or communism. Eric Raymond actually wrote a really interesting analysis of this recently here.

    (And since I am complaining about vocabulary let me add once again my deep dislike of the term “capitalism”… much as I advocate free markets… but now I am ranting.)

    I guess because the media is owned by the left, we have also allowed them to own vocabulary, and I suggest we fight back hard. They are already in the middle of implementing Newspeak. Double plus ungood.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby,

    “(How does “don’t wear skull-caps” differ from “don’t tempt rape by wearing short skirts”? Try using that line on a woman today.)”

    Are you old enough to remember when we were hit, out of the blue, with

    Don’t make a good boy a thief: Lock your car.

    in the early-ish ’60s? I was shocked and appalled at the time. And I still am. How could anybody mouth* such garbage?!

    Making decent people believe they’re responsible for the sins of others because they fail to hide under the bed.

    Sure, some precautions are sensible, such as not walking at night into the middle of the worst part of the Tenderloin flashing your roll. But the purpose of civil society’s laws is to try to make even the denizens of the Tenderloin mind their manners — not to put the burden on Joe Sixpack by having what amount to no-go zones, and telling him not to invite mayhem by his dress.

    And in the present case, the excuse is the one given by somebody above.

    .

    *Fraser,

    I wouldn’t want to go altogether O/T, but as I was typing the first part of this comment, I really wanted to write “mouthe” and not the common “mouth,” because the convention is that to make the verb form of a noun ending in th, you add an e at the end to signify the hard-th sound as in this instead of the soft th, as in thistle.

    As for capitalism, it seems to me that nobody knows what the hell it means. [Exaggeration/slight misstatement for effect.]

    .

    Thank you for explaining “dog whistle.” I’ve been bugged by my cluelessness as to what the heck it’s supposed to mean. Now I see, I guess. (I never understood “red-baiting” or “race-baiting” either. If you were a Red or a racist, what is the bait? Maybe a Red-baiter is somebody who just wants to get the Reds riled up? Then are we here Proggie-baiters?)

  • chip

    Europe receives millions of migrants from countries that eradicated their Jewish populations.

    Anti-semitic violence then rises in Europe, causing Jews to essentially evacuate cities like Malmo.

    The media blames the far right.

    Makes sense.

    More seriously though, is there a less serious country than Germany these days? And I don’t just mean importing enmasse a million illiterate young males. They dismantled their energy industry, which has hit industrial competitiveness and led to dependence on Russia for gas.

    My mother is German so it’s with a good deal of sadness to witness Germany’s descent into silliness.

  • Julie near Chicago

    More good links:

    Fraser, to Eric Raymond’s piece “Spotting the Wild Fascist.” I keep an eye on esr.ibiblio.org, but somehow I missed that one. Thanks, Fraser.

    Deep Lurker, to the piece “The Death of Atheism.” The website is new to me, glad to make its acquaintance. I’m not so sure that “Atheism is Dead,” being very much alive myself, but the posting is very, very interesting, and I’m pretty allergic to the same folks who get him riled up, as well as to the continued put-down of religion. To me it smacks of a certain snobbishness toward the Unwashed who haven’t availed themselves of the sunlit uplands of the Intellectual Elite.

    The trouble with the piece, Lurker, is that it contains links to what look to be further interesting postings. I know about that chain of links. One requires following another, and so on, and before you know it it’s way past your bedtime. Don’t people know I’m trying to have a life here? ;))

    .

    Chip — Good observation.

    . . .

    Re “Proggie-baiting”:

    Not that we here voice our thoughts and opinions in order to upset the opposition — we don’t. We’re just trying to make sense of ItAll. And to voice a bit of sadness and uneasiness.

  • Fred Z

    I’m first generation Canadian of German extraction. Dad came here as a POW.

    He ended up despising Germany and German ‘culture’. The mildest thing he could say about them was arshloeche.He said they’d do it again given the slightest excuse or opportunity. He said, and he’s right, that the best of German-ness wound up in the Anglosphere.

    I doubted him until I went back several times to meet cousins, aunts and uncles.

    Fucking Mordor, and don’t anyone forget it.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Julie because I am rather nerdy about these things your question about “mouthe” got me thinking. My immediate reaction was “yes, you are right about the e lengthening the preceding vowel” but then I couldn’t think of any examples where it actually happened in verbs ending th. So I dug and I think it is actually about 50/50 for this change when going from a noun to a verb: bathe, clothe, breathe, sheathe, teethe. But berth, birth, earth (as a verb), froth, sleuth, smooth, betroth and bequeath. My gut says you are right, but perhaps my gut is remembering Mrs. Glekin in second grade fad/fade, gat/gate, hat/hate, dud/dude.

    Which only goes to prove that English is a bizarre mongrel of a language, and that saying “I wouldn’t want to go altogether O/T” almost guarantees that you (and your respondents) will.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Hm. Interesting, Frasier. I have some thoughts which may or may not be pertinent, but I’m too tired now. :>(

    I do agree we have a mutt of a language, for which many English-loving writers have given thanks. Me too, but I’m glad I didn’t have to learn it as a second language!

    Now if you really want to get into the weeds, we can discuss the outright amputation that words have undergone in the last 40 years or so. S/b “traveller” not “traveler,” “combatting” not “combating” (s/b pronounced “combayting” if you don’t double the t, and lord only knows what it means), and I would assume “rating” no longer spelled “ratting,” which if so spelled would invite all sorts of mischief, and so forth. :>(((

    I would never ever want to lead anyone down the O/T path to Perdition, but if others insist on following me there, what am I to do? more :>(((

    (Except welcome them along for the ride, so to speak. 😀 )

  • Mr. Caligari

    @Fred Z:

    He said, and he’s right, that the best of German-ness wound up in the Anglosphere.

    Not all, but the German government working on it. Looking to the migration reports, a great scope of German scientists and technicians leave Germany.
    They have lots of reasons (good reasons, btw) but one of the best of them are the fact that Germany don’t want to be a industrialized nation anymore. It is a result of this fact that the party “Bündnis 90/ die Grünen” wins a election after another and are part of the State Government in 10 from 16 states. (Yes, Germany is a federation like the United States.)
    A sooner reason may be that some scientific investigations, such as embrional stem cell research, aren’t legal in Germany.

    The German press, of course, did like more to argue the positive results of the new climate policy or something else.

    So, more and more intelligent and educated people in Germany want to go to anglophone countries like Canada or California and so on…

  • bobby b

    “I would never ever want to lead anyone down the O/T path to Perdition . . . “

    Now you’re just herding smitecats.

    😀

  • Julie near Chicago

    😉

  • bobby b

    ” . . . “Right Wing Communists”.”

    When your political continuum looks like this:

    Hard Left————–middle left————–Centrist left—-(here there be dragons . . . .)

  • Rob

    That BBC article is shamelessly, astonishingly dishonest. The weirdest part is that Jews in many parts of the world are complicit in the same lunatic cover up – n the USA and Canada, for example. It is completely incomprehensible.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby — Excellent map. :>)

    Rob — Agree.

  • Snorri Godhi

    As a matter of fact, Lenin was indeed a “right-wing” communist. At least, that is the implication of the title of his 1920 book, “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder.

    I don’t think that that is what the idiots at NPR were referring to, however.

  • Fraser Orr writes on May 27, 2019 at 4:25am:

    your question about “mouthe” got me thinking …you are right about the e lengthening the preceding vowel”

    This is not really the correct explanation. The mouth/mouthe primary difference is that the dental fricative (the ‘th’ sound) goes from being unvoiced in ‘mouth’ to being voiced in ‘mouthe’. This where voicing means with vibration of the larynx. There is the same change between ‘s’ and ‘z’ (in their simplest usage).

    Best regards

  • referred to the hard-line Communists who were resisting him as “Right Wing Communists”.

    That is interesting, do you have a link to this information or are you just going from memory (Fraser Orr, May 27, 2019 at 2:52 am)

    Fraser, if you are asking just for conformation, then my memory confirms Gavin Longmuir’s memory. Gorbachov’s opponents were routinely referred to as ‘right-wing’ on the BBC, in the Guardian, and beyond in British media. In those days before the web, the absurdity of it was very occasionally commented on, but most media seemed to have feel no mental conflict in moving from stories about right-wing Thatcher and Reagan and their warmongering conflict with the Soviet Union to stories about right-wing communist hardliners opposing reform within said Soviet Union.

    If you were seeking an online link then, since these were the days before the web, your best bet is a well-indexed news archive with OCR scans of old papers and/or indexes of BBC nine-o’clock-news reports. The US media also used the style – you could try a US archive.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “(How does “don’t wear skull-caps” differ from “don’t tempt rape by wearing short skirts”? Try using that line on a woman today.)”

    People do use it. And I hope the reaction would depend on whether it’s being used as a helpful safety warning, or as an excuse for not doing anything about rapists and ‘rape culture’.

    And of course the opposite line – expressing outrage that anyone should try to blame the victim – is used by those who seek to fight ‘rape culture’ by eliminating ‘male culture’. All rapists are men, therefore all men are rapists, therefore we need to ban, exclude, suppress, convert, feminise, reform, re-educate, and control all men.

    The problem civil society has is that men have rights and freedoms too, and almost all of them are innocent. Most men are not rapists. But you can’t tell the difference until they actually do something bad, and the authorities can’t be everywhere, guarding every single woman all the time. You can either grant men their rights, presume they are innocent until proven guilty, apply no collective punishments, give them a fair trial, and only punish them for things they have actually done. All that ‘civil rights’ stuff. And that will mean some women get raped for wearing short skirts, and you’re not going to crack down on all men when it happens. Or you can say ‘stuff their civil rights’ and bring in restrictions, controls, exclusion zones, re-education programmes, and cultural modification to eliminate the entire ‘male culture’ belief system that goes with the “short skirts are asking for it” attitude. There’s no “presumption of innocence” here! Hence: “The War on Men”.

    Certainly you have to teach men who don’t already know it that raping women is wrong, and short skirts don’t excuse it. But you also have to teach women that men have rights too, and action should only be taken against actual rapists, not innocents who happens to be of the same genital configuration as them.

    I’m sure you see the analogy…

    “Sure, some precautions are sensible, such as not walking at night into the middle of the worst part of the Tenderloin flashing your roll. But the purpose of civil society’s laws is to try to make even the denizens of the Tenderloin mind their manners — not to put the burden on Joe Sixpack by having what amount to no-go zones, and telling him not to invite mayhem by his dress.”

    Civil society need to combine them with an “and” rather than an “instead of”.

    But the answer is not to jail everyone living in the Tenderloin on general principle, which is what some would like to do.

    ” Gorbachov’s opponents were routinely referred to as ‘right-wing’ on the BBC, in the Guardian, and beyond in British media. In those days before the web, the absurdity of it was very occasionally commented on, but most media seemed to have feel no mental conflict in moving from stories about right-wing Thatcher and Reagan and their warmongering conflict with the Soviet Union to stories about right-wing communist hardliners opposing reform within said Soviet Union.”

    As I noted in a recent discussion, the terms “left” and “right” are associated with a grab-bag of concepts that don’t always go together. A more accurate translation would probably be “conservative” – someone who wants to keep the rules of society the way they currently are. When Communist Party officials set themselves up in the place of the aristocracy, then the ones fighting to keep the new aristocracy in power correspond to the royalist right, and those who want to overturn that social order and make people more equal on the revolutionary left.

    Political belief is a multi-dimensional entity. One can be left-wing on some axes, and right-wing on others. It depends how you look at it, and which aspect you want to emphasise. I agree it sounds strange, but it’s arguable.

  • jmc

    Another poster mentioned die Grünen, the Green Party. I think the best description of their politics is they are the Avocado party. Green on the outside and Brown on the inside. Germans using color as a shorthand for political orientation. The SPD are Red, the FDP are Yellow etc. And Brown in German politics refers to the NSDAP. Who were in power during the 12 “Unfortunate” Years.

    Die Grünen are the true heirs of the NSDAP. With millennialism radical ecology replacing blood national identity. Same pseudo scientific justifications. And they hate the Jews too. But now its call anti-Zionism. They have exactly the same totalitarian anti business anti science attitude as the NSDAP did at the state level back in their heyday.

    All you need to know about the current state of the German political collapse is that the right wing loonies and left wing loonies got about 40% of the vote in the last couple of state elections. Just like they did in the 1932 federal elections.

  • Marius

    and the authorities can’t be everywhere, guarding every single woman all the time

    But they can restrict the influx of low IQ peasants from violent patriarchal sh*tholes.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “But they can restrict the influx of low IQ peasants from violent patriarchal sh*tholes.”

    ‘Men’, you mean?

    That’s pretty much how the ‘woke’ describe the masculine culture of college fraternities. So can I take it you agree with them?

  • Fraser Orr

    @Nullius in Verba
    And that will mean some women get raped for wearing short skirts, and you’re not going to crack down on all men when it happens.

    I’m not a girl, but it seems to me that the major challenge for a woman in this regards is that it is pretty hard to conceal a Glock when one’s clothing is skimpy or one’s dress is diaphanous.

    Perhaps the advice should be “wear a skirt long enough to conceal your holster.”

    (Though just as I am about to hit “Post Comment” and thinking about it again, that might be taken as a double entendre.:-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I’m not a girl, but it seems to me that the major challenge for a woman in this regards is that it is pretty hard to conceal a Glock when one’s clothing is skimpy or one’s dress is diaphanous.”

    Why conceal it?

    You want one of these.

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – the Germans have fine qualities. A German in my position would put me to shame – this house would be CLEAN for a start.

    However, Germans (for all their wonderful qualities) seem to have an even more confused view of politics and law than other people do.

    Germany faces a threat from Islam – so it makes it a crime to oppose Islam (what? WHAT?).

    Germany faces no threat from Jews – yet the German government “advises” Jews to not wear Jewish clothing, and not to tell people that they are Jewish.

    I am sure that Mark Z. of Facebook (himself from a Jewish family) thinks that the German policies are perfectly sensible – but these policies are actually bat-shit-crazy.

    As is the German policy of saying there is a terrible problem of C02 – and then GETTING RID OF nuclear power.

    Germany is a major INDUSTRIAL power – and yet the people are now voting “Green”.

    What the bleep?

    Politics in most countries is weird – but in Germany politics is especially weird.

  • Paul Marks

    “Let us oppose hatred of Jews”.

    “Let us let in millions of Muslims – many of whom want to murder Jews”.

    Even by the low standards of reason in politics – German politics is insane, as it does not see the CONTRADICTION here.

    Also insane is the German legal policy (that Mrs May so wants to copy) that just typing what I have just typed (and supporting it by pointing out Islamic teachings about how even the rocks and trees will call out to Muslims to kill Jews hiding behind said rocks and trees, and pointing out the personal example of Muhammed-Mohammed of wiping out whole Jewish communities – to whom he had promised peace and friendship) should be a CRIME.

    Telling the truth a CRIME – that is German law now, and Facebook, Twitter and co (and the banks and so on) would like telling the truth to be a CRIME everywhere. Not “just” on Islam – but on many matters.

  • I never understood “red-baiting” or “race-baiting” either. If you were a Red or a racist, what is the bait? Maybe a Red-baiter is somebody who just wants to get the Reds riled up? Then are we here Proggie-baiters? (Julie near Chicago, May 27, 2019 at 3:29 am)

    ‘Bait’ is one of those words whose various meanings almost include opposites. It can mean looking after some person or animal, feeding and watering them, etc. It can also mean to hunt with dogs, to worry, to wear down, e.g. so hunters following behind can make the kill, etc. When Dorothy Sayers has her detective hero write “Good baiting at the Bull” in the visitors book after tracking down one of the “Five Red Herrings”, she is punning on these clashing meanings.

    The most usual meaning of bait – the worm on the hook that tempts the fish to bite – strangely combines the two meanings of to feed and to hunt.

    The German state feeds and waters migrants from Jew-hating countries, while worrying and wearing down anyone who warns of the dangers of this. And it tempts Jews to swallow the dangerous idea that becoming quieter and less visible is the way to respond. That’s three examples of baiting – it’s a versatile word.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall,

    Very interesting! I’ve never come across “bait” as meaning anything but “food used to set a trap,” nor “to bait” except as “to lure with food for the purpose of catching or killing.” I suppose using it to mean “to tempt” could be a fairly obvious metaphorical usage. (“In a classic honeytrap operation, the detective used her as bait to get Widwallow to incriminate himself; and when the scoundrel had succumbed to temptation and done so, he sprang the trap.” — Never let it be said that I can’t write Purple Prose with the worst of them! 😆 )

    Thanks for answering my question. 🙂

  • Sonny Wayz

    “That’s pretty much how the ‘woke’ describe the masculine culture of college fraternities”

    I don’t recall frat boys being described as ‘low IQ peasants’, but it’s a big internet. The usual epithet is ‘privileged’, not ‘peasant’.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I don’t recall frat boys being described as ‘low IQ peasants’, but it’s a big internet.”

    🙂

    The usual epithets are “stupid” and “dumb”. But like you say, it’s a big internet.

    https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/frat-boy
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/frat-boy
    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fratboy

  • the other rob

    Julie

    When I was growing up, one’s bait was the the packed lunch (typically sandwiches) that one took to work or to school.

    I shouldn’t imagine that such usage is still current, however. A lot of the old terms seem to have vanished, over time.

  • staghounds

    “don’t tempt rape by wearing short skirts”? Try using that line on a woman today.

    Well in Bradford and Dearborn…

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Fraser Orr, re “Right Wing Communists”: “… do you have a link to this information or are you just going from memory?”

    My apologies, no link — only my often-fallible memory. Although it is many years since the USSR broke up, I remember this being said on National Public Radio because I was on my daily commute at the time … and nearly drove off the road in astonishment at the remark. I subsequently went through a successful deprogramming exercise and now no longer listen to NPR.

    Thank you for pointing out the downsides of ‘d*g wh**tl*’. That has now been deep-sixed from my vocabulary. 😛

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gavin Longmuir
    My apologies, no link — only my often-fallible memory.

    You mean it happened before the “web”? Like in pre-history? Perhaps there are some clay tablets in the British museum recording it?

    (BTW, np, what you said sounds plausible, it just would have been interesting to read a bit of back story.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    other rob, that’s interesting, thanks. Did you go to school in Britain? Just thinking of “two countries separated by a common language.”

  • Nullius in Verba

    “BTW, np, what you said sounds plausible, it just would have been interesting to read a bit of back story.”

    Could they have been talking about these guys?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Opposition

  • Gavin Longmuir

    NIV: “Could they have been talking about these guys?”

    In the context of NPR in the 1990s, I do not believe it was anything so historically-based. The reforms in progress in Russia following the break-up of the USSR were being opposed by hard-line Communists who apparently wanted to go back to the days of a Party elite ruling with an iron fist and a 5-Year Plan. Those were the Russians whom NPR described as ‘Right-Wing Communists’. We hapless listeners were simply being told it was OK to disapprove of those people.

  • Julie near Chicago

    My! Apparently Herr Klein has done a 180 on the “don’t wear the kippot” advice:

    “Germany changes course on warning against wearing kippa”

    https://www.thelocal.de/20190528/german-gov-urges-wearing-of-kippa

    H/T thenewneocon.com

  • Paul Marks

    Good news Julie.

    Perhaps the German government will now change course on other things as well – starting with Freedom of Speech.

    Telling the truth, or even making an honest mistake, should NOT be a crime.

    And the position of the left is also contradictory.

    For example, how can the left (including establishment “Progressive Conservatives” such as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of Germany) stand for “Gay Rights” and yet forbid opposition to a person (Muhammed-Mohammed) who said (according to the relevant hadiths and Commentary) “kill the one who does it, and kill the one to whom it is done”.

    And how can they oppose “racism” – when they forbid opposition to a man (Muhammed-Mohammed) who was known for being very white and for calling black people “raisin heads” and claimed they looked like Satan – as well as being a Slave Trader himself.

    No person should be above criticism – for example I have watched television programmes (for example a series offering a military interpretation of the Bible) which condemn (in very strong language) some of the deeds of both Moses and Joshua as MASS MURDER.

    If someone wishes to make the claim that Jesus Christ was a mass murderer they should also be free to make their case.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “For example, how can the left (including establishment “Progressive Conservatives” such as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of Germany) stand for “Gay Rights” and yet forbid opposition to a person (Muhammed-Mohammed) who said (according to the relevant hadiths and Commentary) “kill the one who does it, and kill the one to whom it is done”.”

    It’s an interesting analogy you draw with the LGBT group. The argument back in the day was that they should ‘come out of the closet’, be open about what they were, be proud of what they were, withstand the hatred, violence, and discrimination until society got used to the idea, and then we could all enter the sunny uplands of freedom where everyone can safely live their own life as they want to.

    So we’re basically telling Jews to ‘come out of the closet’, now! That still takes a lot of bravery. Let’s hope it works out better for them this time.

    “If someone wishes to make the claim that Jesus Christ was a mass murderer they should also be free to make their case.”

    The Book of Revelations suggests that he will be! But that’s another debate entirely…

    We’ve got to that point with Christianity, where you can. People can argue for it, or against it, and nobody much cares. You would not have survived doing that in the 1400s! We’re nearly there on the LGB part of LGBT. And we’re slowly making progress on being able to talk freely about Mo. But you can’t do it all at once. You have to take small steps, or things blow up.

  • The depth of the double-think on this issue is well illustrated by the Julie near Chicago (May 29, 2019 at 2:56 am) link. In the only actual incident described, a

    Syrian man was convicted for assault after lashing out with his belt at an Israeli man wearing a Jewish skullcap while shouting “yahudi”, Jew in Arabic

    but blame is thrown on

    The arrival in parliament of the far-right AfD party, whose leaders openly question Germany’s culture of atonement for World War II atrocities

    What particular act of ‘atonement’ do the AfD most oppose? Would it not be the importation of a million people from an anti-semitic culture? The German government offers, as the evidence of the AfD’s anti-semitism, their questioning the logic of Merkel justifying the immigration of these people as an atonement for the holocaust, rather than as an example of importing people to do the jobs Germans will no longer do.

    A different kind of double-think – or double-unthink – is shown by the fact that Herr Klein did not see this coming. I’m glad the public domain can still force him to back off (in words at least) but it’s clear that the German government’s anti-hate-speech culture insulates him and his bureaucratic advisers from that public domain so well that the most obvious responses are unforeseen.

  • Snorri Godhi

    For example, how can the left (…) stand for “Gay Rights” and yet forbid opposition to a person (Muhammed-Mohammed) who said (…) “kill the one who does it, and kill the one to whom it is done”.

    The above has been said before, of course, and not only on this site. In fact, in the Netherlands most gay people now support “the right” (VVD and PVV, and now i suppose also the Forum voor Democratie).

    Still, i’d like to point out that opposing both “homophobia” and “islamophobia” is not at all contradictory, if said phobia-words are understood in Newspeak:
    homophobe: enemy of the ruling class;
    islamophobe: enemy of the ruling class.
    So homophobes and islamophobes are actually the same people.

    One could go on with a Newspeak dictionary:
    racist: enemy of the ruling class;
    antisemite: enemy of the ruling class;
    transphobic: enemy of the ruling class;
    anti-feminist: enemy of the ruling class;
    fascist: enemy of the ruling class;
    right-wing: enemy of the ruling class;
    far-right: utter enemy of the ruling class;
    alt-right: utter enemy of the ruling class;
    conservative: enemy of the ruling class;
    neo-con: (obsolete) utter enemy of the ruling class.

    That’s not to deny that there are fascists, racists etc in the early xx century meaning of the words; but that has nothing to do with the way the words are used in the Anglosphere media and academia.

  • rosenquist

    Although in recent years Islam has eclipsed antisemitism as the idee fixe of the European far right, antisemitism still remains very much imprinted on the DNA of parties such as the Afd and FN.

    What one notices more and more on the far (or Alt) right are simultaneous pro-Israeli and antisemitic expressions. For parties such as the Afd proclamations of standing with Israel serve the purpose of legitimizing an anti-immigrant, ethno-nationalist ideology.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Still, i’d like to point out that opposing both “homophobia” and “islamophobia” is not at all contradictory, if said phobia-words are understood in Newspeak”

    They’re not contradictory if understood in ‘libertarian’, either.

    You have groups who wish to practice certain minority lifestyles, and you have groups who wish to police the lifestyles other people may have, and you have people who wish to police the policing, and so on. The principles applied must be the same for each.

    So suppose people have freedom of belief/lifestyle, and freedom to practice their beliefs/lifestyles so long as they’re not imposing on others. Then people can be homosexual. People can be Muslim – so long as they leave out the bits where they coerce others to follow their rules. People can be homophobic – so long as they leave out the bits where they coerce others to follow their rules. People can be Islamophobic about the non-coercive bits of Islam – so long as they leave out the bits where they coerce others to follow their rules. People can be Islamophobic about the coercive bits of Islam – and enforce that. People can oppose the non-coercive version of homophobia – so long as they leave out the bits where they coerce others to follow their rules. People can oppose the coercive bits of homophobia – and enforce that. People can oppose non-coercive Islamophobia (of either sort) – so long as they leave out the bits where they coerce others to follow their rules. People can oppose coercive Islamophobia against the non-coercive bits of Islam – and enforce that. People can oppose coercive Islamophobia against the coercive bits of Islam – but can’t enforce it. And so on.

    All you have to do is separate the coercive and non-coercive bits of Islam, and then come up with a different name for each bit. Islamophobia against one is not the same as Islamophobia against the other, and that’s where the whole confusion arises. Because in the new PC paradigm, ‘Islam’ is just the non-coercive bits.

    I’m sure that’s made it all perfectly clear. 🙂

  • Snorri Godhi

    Obviously, rosenquist is a tool of the ruling class!

  • Rosenquist

    Perhaps, but certainly preferable to being a tool of ethno-nationalists.

  • neonsnake

    but certainly preferable to being a tool of ethno-nationalists

    Well said.

  • Snorri Godhi

    certainly preferable to being a tool of ethno-nationalists

    And how am i to know that the AfD and FN are “ethno-nationalists”? They might well be, for all what i know, but you give zero evidence for that. Nor did you give any evidence that they are antisemitic. You are just regurgitating ruling-class propaganda.

    Is “ethno-nationalist” another word for “enemy of the ruling class”? It sounds like it.

  • I’ll add to this thread a quote that indicates what the German anti-semitism commissioner (how appropriate that name is – by advising Jews to disappear he commissions anti-semitism) has as a basis for his work.

    A year ago, I visited the German concentration camp Dachau. Our English-speaking guide, a retired army colonel, began by reminding us that Adolf Hitler came to power with a single compelling message: to “make Germany great again.” He repeated that comment and paused long enough to allow it to sink in before commencing a tour that chronicled the lunacy of a nation devouring its own.

    Trump, with his Jewish daughter and grandchildren, and his support of Israel, is now the excuse for Germans to see their past as no worse than the US’ present. This German army colonel (retired) demonstrates how a certain kind of German can indeed

    openly question Germany’s culture of atonement for World War II atrocities

    (see above at Niall Kilmartin, May 29, 2019 at 12:57 pm) but I seriously doubt that anyone who rose to the rank of colonel under Merkel’s defence minister supports the AfD, or got this excuse from that source.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Trump, with his Jewish daughter and grandchildren, and his support of Israel, is now the excuse for Germans to see their past as no worse than the US’ present. This German army colonel (retired) demonstrates how a certain kind of German can indeed ‘openly question Germany’s culture of atonement for World War II atrocities'”

    That wasn’t what he was trying to say at all! His point is that this is how Hitler started. Blame your economic and political problems on foreign immigrants taking jobs and lobbying for political influence, unite the people in opposition to them, win popular power to make the nation great again by defeating both the internal enemy (illegal immigrants) and the external enemy (foreign nations engaged in economic warfare against the nation). For Hitler it was Jews and war reparations from the treaty of Versailles and colonies and so on. For Trump it’s illegal immigrants from Mexico and beyond, and the trade war with China.

    The point the German colonel was making is that this can happen again. We have to be constantly on guard against it, watching for signs of its return, because human nature hasn’t changed, and the Germans didn’t think Hitler was evil at the beginning of the story. He’s not saying ‘This is who you are’ or ‘You’re as bad as we were’. He’s saying ‘Don’t go there. Terrible things lie down that path.’

    We always read history with twenty-twenty hindsight. We read about the rise of Hitler, we see the evil developing, and the mystery from our perspective is how could the German people – a civilised Western nation in the heart of Europe – not see as clearly as we do where he was going and put a stop to it? How could they support him? And this is the thing that the history books fail to explain, which is that the message of both Nationalism and Socialism are on the surface very appealing and persuasive. Who doesn’t want to support their own nation, their own tribe? Who doesn’t want to aid the poor and downtrodden? Who doesn’t want to make the world a better place? Who doesn’t get angry about all the wrongs and unfairness of the world, and want to fix them all by smashing the bad guys with a big hammer? Such blind spots are deeply rooted in human psychology.

    Many of the people who follow evil do not knowingly have evil intentions. They believe themselves to be good people. And because that is so, we always have to be on guard over our own behaviour and beliefs to be sure we’re not falling into the same sort of trap. Just because there are a few similarities doesn’t mean we are. But just because we know we’ve got only good intentions doesn’t mean we’re not. Don’t dismiss the suggestion out of hand – think about it.

    And having thought about it, you may conclude as I do that the worst fears are groundless in the case of Trump. (And possibly not so groundless in the case of Antifa and the SJWs, who are likely to gain power eventually.) But never, ever assume. We’re all human – we’re fallible and can be fooled too.

    ‘A culture of atonement’ for the past is all very well, but vigilance against another repetition is more important.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Nullius:

    And having thought about it, you may conclude as I do that the worst fears are groundless in the case of Trump. (And possibly not so groundless in the case of Antifa and the SJWs, who are likely to gain power eventually.) But never, ever assume. We’re all human – we’re fallible and can be fooled too.

    (My emphasis.)
    You could have started with that disclaimer, then we would have read your comment without worrying about your trajectory 🙂

    Speaking for myself, i am well aware that all political movements turn bad eventually, and some can turn very bad very fast. The reason why i am not worried about Trump, is that Mueller has had to admit that he is innocent, and still the Democrats want to impeach him. Compare that to Hitlery, whom Comey basically declared guilty but not deserving prosecution!
    Clearly, the Democrats and the Deep State (but i repeat myself) are still the greater danger. Besides, there is no way that Trump can stay in the White House for more than 8 years.
    (European “populists” likewise seem far from being able to set up dictatorships.)

    As for the retired German colonel: as much as i like the Germans when taken individually, Niall’s interpretation seems more likely than yours.
    But there is another interpretation that i like even more. The words of the retired German colonel are “reported” by a journalist on the WaPo. It might be actual reporting, but there is a fair chance that it is bullshitting.

  • Snorri Godhi

    PS: ever since watching the last episode of Game of Thrones, i have waited for the opportunity to comment on it on Samizdata. Earlier today, Nullius gave me that opportunity, and i did not notice it!

    Daenerys turning to the Dark Side is exactly what Nullius warns about. And it is a great lesson in political philosophy: Daenerys had been talking for years about “breaking the wheel” but has had no concrete strategy for doing so, other than another turn of the wheel, so that she gets on top. She had no conception of constitutional checks+balances.

    Note also the quasi-nazi imagery of her victory speech; and her talk of “a good world” could have come equally well from a nazi, from a commie, or from an American “progressive”.

    No wonder the episode received such a poor rating! Too many people found it deeply uncomfortable to have to think.

  • Comments on this thread will one day close, so it can no longer be used to document the OP point. Till then, relevant information arrives almost every day. (And after then, there will sooner or later – probably sooner – be another event sufficiently absurd or dishonest or evil to require another post.) This article (h/t instapundit) contains some background data on where Jews feel safe and where they do not, in relation to density of populist right versus density of muslim immigrants. The trend should, of course, be no surprise to anyone.

    And having thought about it, you may conclude as I do that the worst fears are groundless in the case of Trump. (Nullius in Verba, May 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm)

    Nullius, if you had written

    And having thought about it, you may conclude as I do that the worst accusation Hitler made against the Jews – that they started WWI – is groundless.

    then I would of course be happier to read that than to read that you were still keeping an open mind on the matter, but I would nevertheless feel the lack of a sense of reality in the whole way of thinking that could come out with such a sentence. When a nation issues the first declarations of war, does the first invasions, and then, in 1919, suddenly informs the world that they were tricked into it by those wicked Jewish financiers, a more natural sentence would be

    I saw at a glance how convenient to the political need of the moment this new idea was, how unlikely to have any content at all, although, thorough pedant that I am, I nevertheless did due diligence on it.

    In the same way, when the party whose president mocked the idea of Russia as antagonist (“The 80s are calling for the foreign policy back.”) and was caught on mic giving substance to that view (“I can be more flexible after the election.”) suddenly trot out a Russian agent idea against a man whose character flaws, never mind his virtues, militate wildly against the idea of his being an agent for a foreign power, then the contrasting phrasings become similarly less and more appropriate.

    These thoughts are relevant to what the colonel can reasonably be assumed to be thinking and failing to think. The most revealing part of the whole episode of the OP is that Herr Klein did not see the reaction coming! A similar point can be made about the colonel (and the Trump-hater who approvingly quotes him).

    – Germany history has no ‘great’ that it can ‘again’ be made. In 1942 Germany was great in evil, through trying to improve on the lesser but still great evil it was in 1916.

    – In 1942, the US was a great force for good. As Chuchill put it, “You can always rely on the Americans to do the right thing – after they have tried everything else.” The US did great good to the world in those days.

    That Der Spiegel’s fake articles about Trump’s America could be believed so unquestioningly in Germany is intimately related to colonel’s comparison. It is sometimes quipped

    The Germans will never forgive the Jews for the holocaust.

    It is less often said

    The Germans will never forgive the Americans for stopping it.

    These bitter jokes speak to the anti-American and anti-Israel prejudice of Germany’s ruling class – and they also speak to the fact that ‘Make my country great again’ means one thing in Germany, with its history, and another in the US, with its history.

    I take Snorri’s point (Snorri Godhi, May 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm) that the Trump-hating journalist may have made the whole thing up. But I find the incident all too plausible in today’s Germany, where the alleged ‘culture of atonement’ has in fact been conveniently morphed, to a significant degree, into a fraud that lets them indulge prejudice against the US and Israel. No-one told the colonel that the ‘greatness’ of Germany in his parents day looked rather different from the greatness of the US at that time, but I suspect he would not have seen that retort coming.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Maybe nobody will read this comment, but i feel the need to go on record to say that i disagree with Niall about German antisemitism. Surveys by the Pew Research Center and Anti-Defamation League suggest that
    * Germans who have (or at least declare) a positive view of Jews, outnumber Germans who have a negative view by double digits in percentage;
    * German antisemitism is much less than antisemitism in Arab countries — and Germans have much less sympathy for Muslims than for Jews;
    * Germans stand out in Europe as sympathizing more with Israel than with the Palestinians: that is the opposite of the case for Britain.

    Mind you, some of these stats are over a decade old.

    My main criticism of the German character is not about any specific issue, such as anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism: it is about a tendency to dogmatism. For instance, if they are told that opposition to immigration is xenophobic, then they’ll never mention the negative consequences of immigration. (Vice versa, if they are told that immigration is bad, then they’ll never mention the positive sides of it.)

  • Maybe nobody will read this comment (Snorri Godhi, June 2, 2019 at 7:11 pm)

    Be assured that I read it, even if no-one else does. (I agree this thread is getting to a length where perhaps few will. As the OP, I am notified of every comment.)

    I’m not sure some of your figures and my statements directly disagree. My point about how the

    ‘culture of atonement’ has in fact been conveniently morphed

    means that Germans can vehemently reject everything explicitly Nazi in words – not consciously false words – while nevertheless doing nothing (or less than nothing) as their country becomes less safe for its Jewish nationals.

    I wholly agree that modern Germans are far less anti-semitic – and, even more so, far less physically dangerous to Jews – than Arabs. The absurdity of the German government blaming recent anti-semitism on the German far-right rather than on the immigrants they have invited is an example of this – but its self-indulgence is also an example of my point.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Niall: thank you for your reply, and for letting me know that there is always a good chance that at least one person reads my comments!

  • I note another relevant article, mostly about Merkel’s anti-americanism, though its throwaway line

    Trump is too close to Israel for Germany’s comfort.

    is also on-topic.

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