As a philo-Semite of some four decades and counting, when I read recently that Hollywood star Cameron Diaz and her beau Benji Madden had been married in a Jewish- themed ceremony, I must say I nearly choked on my latkes in sheer molten excitement.
They had the whole works: the huppa, the seven blessings, the crushed wineglass, the yihud room. Furthermore, the couple “publicly identify as Jewish,” though they have no Jewish ancestors and are not known to have converted.
Rachel Shukert, writing in Tablet Magazine, saw this as part of a trend towards philo-Semitism: “For the first time in the history of America, Jewishness – and not just the bagels-and-lox part – is aspirational.
There’s a Seder in the White House, and rabbis gave the invocation at the conventions of both major political parties… Ralph Lauren built an empire giving us all WASP anxiety; now the WASPs want to be Jews.”
That may be the case in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, but in bitter old Europe, it’s not a good time to be a Jew. The new Islamism has combined with the old idiocy and given anti-Semitism a grotesquely fresh ’n’ funky hit of new blood, leading to the recent terror in France. Even in Germany, which you’d think would pay some sort of lip service to playing nice, a survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation to gauge current German-Israeli relations ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day found that 81 percent of Germans say they want to put “the history of the persecution of the Jews behind them.” I bet they do! But as it also showed that 48% of Germans have a bad opinion of Israel while only 36% have a good one, the few Jews left with roots in Germany may not be wishing to dust off their lederhosen and mosey back to the old country any time soon – indicating, as this does, a certain clodhopping, thigh-smacking lack of sensitivity.
It’s easy for an Englisher to look down on Germany and France, but here things have been getting worse for a long time.
A Jewish friend told me that after visiting a synagogue in Barbados, she knew it was somehow different from every London shul she had ever attended, but couldn’t work out why – before it finally came to her in an awful flash: it was unguarded.
Europeans have been calling the English capital “Londonistan” for years.
When the black flag of Islamic State was flown over a housing estate a few miles from parliament last year, the slow sleepwalk towards a state of self-immolation seemed to become reality – leaving us wondering how we got into a situation where popular fast-food chains use halal-only meat, while the police ignore the mass gang rape and trafficking of non-Muslim girls by Muslim men for fear of disturbing “community relations.”
And alongside this sucking up to Islam there has grown a more vicious attitude towards Jews, in a classic move of the coward: siding with the bully in a bid to avoid being the target of his wrath. Hence the survey this week by the Royal Institute of International Affairs that showed a surge in negative attitudes toward Israel since a previous study two years ago. According to the data, 35% of Britons now say they “feel especially unfavorable towards” Israel, compared to 17% previously. This means that the Jewish state is regarded more unfavorably by Britons than Iran, while only North Korea is disliked more.
It doesn’t help that this country has always had a strange cult of Jewish journalists who never seem happier than when whipping up hatred against Israel.
After the recent events in Paris, they were out in full self-flogging force; these included Will Self, who happily tied himself in knots on the television news explaining why it was essential for fascists not to have their feelings hurt. (I suppose that when you’re such a self-loathing halfwit that you “formally resign” from being a Jew, as Self has, sucking up to those who hate you most is the logical endgame.) Like Self, Laurie Penny is a Jew who seems almost parasexually obsessed with being punished by Islamofascism.
(She once wore a hijab and gushed how happy she felt in it, the entitled asshat.) Her opinion on the Paris atrocities: “Racist trolling is not heroism. Je ne suis pas Charlie [I’m not Charlie].” On their rampage, the Islamofascists murdered, among others, a Muslim policeman, a French-Caribbean policewoman, an Algerian cartoonist and Jewish civilians.
And she calls us racist! Isn’t racism hating everyone who’s not like you? Sums up Islamism perfectly.
The most charitable view of these clowns is that they suffer from rationalist naiveté, the liberal error of believing that we are all rational actors. Whereas in fact – as with the Nazis – there are non-rational actors, who cannot be reasoned with and whose ideas must be fought to the death.
The uncharitable view is they are simply vile cowards. Never mind: As the Diaz wedding proved, the most interesting, intelligent and attractive people have long clamored to join the clan – so we can afford to lose a few spineless runts.
Over the past decade I have lost jobs and friends for my allegiance, yet it was a small price to pay for the knowledge that I can never be numbered among the grim, grinning ghouls of Jew hatred (who also sadly number a few Jews among them). If you are a Jew in Europe, best to abandon these clapped-out old kingdoms to Islamofascism: You can go to Israel. And for the first time last year, more made aliya from Western Europe than from the poorer countries.
Never mind: Europe’s loss will be Israel’s gain.
And me, I can just retreat into my own little world, the one I inhabited as a redneck teenager before I ever met you.
And dream of next year in Jerusalem. The author writes for the Jewish Media Agency. Her book, Unchosen: Memoirs Of A Philo-Semite, is published by Unbound.