The latest proposal of our fascists, straight from the mouth of Avigdor Lieberman, is to abrogate Rabin's crowning achievement: the Oslo agreements. So we come back to Oslo.
WHEN I first heard the news about the Oslo outrage, I was afraid that the perpetrators might be some crazy Muslims. The repercussions would have been terrible. Indeed, within minutes, one stupid Muslim group already boasted that they had carried out this glorious feat. Fortunately, the actual mass-murderer surrendered at the scene of the crime.
He is the prototype of a Nazi anti-Semite of the new wave. His creed consists of white supremacy, Christian fundamentalism, hatred of democracy and European chauvinism, mixed with a virulent hatred of Muslims.
This creed is now sprouting offshoots all over Europe. Small radical groups of the ultra-Right are turning into dynamic political parties, take their seats in Parliaments and even become kingmakers here and there. Countries which always seemed to be models of political sanity suddenly produce fascist rabble-rousers of the most disgusting kind, even worse than the US Tea Party, another offspring of this new Zeitgeist. Avigdor Lieberman is our contribution to this illustrious world-wide league.
One thing almost all these European and American ultra-Rightist groups have in common is their admiration for Israel. In his 1,500 page political manifesto, on which he had been working for a long time, the Oslo murderer devoted an entire section to this. He proposed an alliance of the European extreme Right and Israel. For him, Israel is an outpost of Western Civilization in the mortal struggle with barbaric Islam. (Somewhat reminiscent of Theodor Herzl's promise that the future Jewish State would be an "outpost of Western culture against Asiatic barbarism"?)
Part of the professed philo-Zionism of these Islamophobic groups is, of course, pure make-believe, designed to disguise their neo-Nazi character. If you love Jews, or the Jewish State, you can't be a Fascist, right? You bet you can! However, I believe that the major part of this adoration of Israel is entirely sincere.
Right-wing Israelis, who are courted by these groups, argue that it is not their fault that all these hate-mongers are attracted to them. On the face of it, that is of course true. Yet one cannot but ask oneself: why are they so attracted? Wherein lies this attraction? Does this not warrant some serious soul-searching?
I FIRST BECAME aware of the gravity of the situation when a friend drew my attention to some German anti-Islamic blogs.
I was shocked to the core. These outpourings are almost verbatim copies of the diatribes of Joseph Goebbels. The same rabble-rousing slogans. The same base allegations. The same demonization. With one little difference: instead of Jews, this time it is Arabs who are undermining Western Civilization, seducing Christian maids, plotting to dominate the world. The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.
A day after the Oslo events I happened to be watching Aljazeera's English TV network, one of the best in the world, and saw an interesting program. For a whole hour, the reporter interviewed Italian people in the street about Muslims. The answers were shocking.
Mosques should be forbidden. They are places where Muslims plot to commit crimes. Actually, they don't need mosques at all -- they need only a rug to pray. Muslims come to Italy to destroy Italian culture. They are parasites, spreading drugs, crime and disease. They must be kicked out, to the last man, woman and child.
I always considered Italians easygoing, lovable people. Even during the Holocaust, they behaved better than most other European peoples. Benito Mussolini became a rabid anti-Semite only during the last stages, when he had become totally dependent on Hitler.
Yet here we are, barely 66 years after Italian partisans hanged Mussolini's body by his feet in a public place in Milan -- and a much worse form of anti-Semitism is rampant in the streets of Italy, as in most [or "many"?] other European countries.
OF COURSE, there is a real problem. Muslims are not free of blame for the situation. Their own behavior makes them easy targets. Like the Jews in their time.
Europe is in a quandary. They need the "foreigners" -- Muslims and all -- to work for them, keep their economy going, pay for the pensions of the old people. If all Muslims were to leave Europe tomorrow morning, the fabric of society in Germany, France, Italy and many other countries would break down.
Yet many Europeans are dismayed when they see these "foreigners," with their strange languages, mannerisms and clothes crowding their streets, changing the character of many neighborhoods, opening shops, marrying their daughters, competing with them in many ways. It hurts. As a German minister once said: "We brought here workers, and found out that we had brought human beings!"
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