Thinking of sending this letter to the Economist, figured I’d post it here first. It’s in response to two contradictory articles they posted; claiming the PEGIDA march is Neo-Nazi (“Gone Boy on the Right“), and saying Jews don’t have to fear Muslim attacks (“Be Not Afraid“). The irony was a bit much not to write about.
SIR – I have this game I like to play with PEGIDA march pictures, called “Spot the Nazi.” I pore through the dozens of pictures of thousands of people, trying to find a single person, a single sign, with some neo-Nazi sign or signal. So far, I’ve found nothing. So I was rather amused when a tabloid picked up some obscure picture of one of the organizers in a Hitler pose and threw it all over the place like a political football. It wound up all the way on your journal (“Gone Boy on the Right”), so kudos for that.
I say this in contrast to the “Free Palestine” marches, where a child couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a neo-Nazi reference. Really, these marches were so glutted with stark raving mad anti-Semitism that it doesn’t bear repeating. It just reminds me of what Marx said, that things happen a second time as farce.
So it is rather cute that while you take such great pains to characterize the far right parties as neo-Nazi (implying some threat to Jews), you take equal lengths (“Be Not Afraid”) to be cavalier about the plight of Jews in Europe. Indeed your tone (the Jews deserve it because of Israel, and they’re so weird looking aren’t they?) does more to reaffirm fears than assuage them.
Fear tends to anticipate the final act rather than patiently wait for it: perhaps today Jews aren’t in clear and present danger in England. But they are in France, they are leaving in droves, and already Netanyahu has plans on his desk to absorb all 120,000 French Jews into Israeli society. England is undergoing the same demographic shift as France, and if France falls to Islamism and a flight of the Jews, England is not far behind.
And ironically, it will be because of the left, not the right.