By Barry Rubin

People in English-speaking countries are often horrified and outraged by what’s published in their language’s mass media. They have no idea what’s being published in other European languages!

This article isn’t typical but it shows the kind of lynch-mob insanity seizing much of Western Europe’s intellectual and cultural elites. I’ve written about a similar example here and let’s not forget the top-circulation Swedish newspaper that prominently published an article saying that Israel murdered Palestinians to steal their body parts.

De Volkskrant is one of the largest Dutch mainstream newspapers. It’s leftist but regularly publishes columns from people with an opposite view point.

Thomas von der Dunk, a historian and Labour party member as well as an influential intellectual (he’s weirdly eccentric but that isn’t so unusual in such circles), made the following points in an op-ed piece:

  • What Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi has done in his country is less bad than Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip in 2009.
  • –Nobody should be outraged of the murder of the Fogel family, the parents and three of their little children, because they were living in a West Bank settlement on land stolen by an illegitimate government.
  • Israelis living in land from which Palestinians have been driven out are like a Dutchman who in 1944 lived in the home of Jews deported to concentration camps. (There are probably far more Muslims living in Arabic-speaking states living in homes from which Jews were driven out–BR).
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are criminals as bad as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Qadhafi.
  • Israel is an apartheid state and not a democracy or a state where law prevails.
  • Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad could learn from Israel how to organize phony, pro-regime demonstrations.

In short, what we have now is not criticism of Israel or of its policies but a demonization of Israel by much of the European left that is starting to approach the hatred daily projected in Muslim-majority dictatorships.

Obviously, there are other voices heard, too, but in large sectors of the opinion-making elites—and every country is different of course—the level of irrational hatred is growing frightening. And for local Jews, the choice is to join the chorus, remain silent, leave, or face intimidation.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The GLORIA Center’s webside is: His blog is on PajamasMedia:
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