Archives For BBC

Who’s to Blame for the new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe?

Germany’s commissioner against anti-Semitism has issued an ambiguous warning to Jews living within Germany.

Felix Klein is reported to have told Funke Media group that he “cannot advise Jews to wear yarmulkes (traditional cap) everywhere, all the time, in Germany.”

CCN interpreted Klein’s warning as being the result of ‘social disinhibition (lack of restraint) and coarseness’, stating that his comments were in response to the ‘rise of attacks against Jews’ across Germany. Quoting Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, CNN said that ‘physical attacks against Jews rose from 37 in 2017 to 62 in 2018’. CCN attributed Seehofer as saying, that ‘90% of reported incidents were perpetrated by supporters of far-rights groups’.[1]

The BBC followed closely behind CNN, claiming that ‘the rise of far-right groups is fostering anti-Semitism and hatred of minorities throughout Europe.’ Joining a chorus of news agencies in labeling Germany’s ‘third largest group in the Bundestag’[2],  and main opposition party, ‘Alternative for Germany (AfD)’, as far-right, the BBC then insinuated that AfD was a likely key co-conspirator in the rise of anti-Semitism because AfD is ‘openly against immigration’, even though, as the BBC also noted, AfD ‘denies holding anti-Semitic views.’[3]

Germany’s taxpayer funded International broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, acknowledged similar sentiments, stating that ‘the number of attacks on Jews in Germany had increased from 1,504 in 2017 to 1,646 in 2018 – a rise of 10%.’ However, unlike CNN and the BBC, DW, noted that according to ‘analysts and experts’, the probable cause was twofold, including both the popularity of far-right political groups, and ‘the arrival of millions of “asylum seekers”, mainly from Muslim-majority countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.’[4]

DW specifically cited AfD’s alleged ‘questioning of Germany’s culture of atonement’, and the recent attack on two Jewish men, by a ’19 year old Syrian man, who hurled verbal abuse and struck one of the victims with his belt, yelling the word “Jew” in Arabic.’[5]

Alternative for Germany’ is considered as far-right by the Globalist mainstream media because of the party’s policy position on immigration, particularly Islamic migration. An example of this is The BBC, who, in trying to explain AfD are quick to pull out the far-right and “Nazi” tag, stating that the AfD’s stance on immigration, and its alleged, “extremist” language, which sees Islam as alien to German society, is tinged with ‘Nazi overtones’[6].

The AfD view ‘Islam as a danger for Europe [because Islam] is incompatible with the Europe founded on Greco-Roman antiquity, Jews and Christians, the enlightenment and human rights’[7]. AfD are also against a standing European Army, arguing that they do not want any further European bureaucratizing of Germany.

Felix Klein’s ambiguous warning about wearing the yarmulkes hasn’t gone without criticism. Klein admitted that his “statement had been provocative, but that he wanted to initiate debate about the safety of the Jewish community.”[8]

In both reports on Klein’s comments, neither CNN nor the BBC mentioned Islamic migration as playing a part in the rise of anti-Semitism. This is despite investigative reports from The Times of Israel and Jewish News Syndicate, linking Islamism (and consequently Islamic migration) with violence against Jews living in Europe.

JNS pointed to an official 40-page report from ‘Germany’s Federal office of the protection of the Constitution’, which outlined ‘in reasonable detail, the anti-Semitism among parts of the country’s Muslim community; and that Islamism (Islam in general) is a form of political extremism that aims to end democracy – anti-Semitism is one of its essential ideological elements.’

JNS also stated,

‘Many Muslims are not anti-Semitic, but the anti-Semitism problem in Islam is far from limited to people with extreme political views, or even to religious Muslims. The report notes that individuals with no known prior connections to “organized Islamism” have caused many anti-Semitic incidents. Islamism, the report says, was probably not the direct cause behind a substantial number of incidents.
The document starts by stating that for historical reasons, and in view of the country’s experience with National Socialism, anti-Semitism was long viewed as being inevitably related to the extreme right. Only gradually has it become clear that right-wing extremists do not hold a monopoly on anti-Semitism in Germany today. The report states that a pattern of common, “daily” anti-Semitism is widespread in the social and political center of German society. In addition, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism exist among leftist extremists…
The long-overdue study concludes that the more than 100 anti-Semitic incidents officially caused by Muslims in 2017 are most likely just the tip of the iceberg.’[9]

Germany isn’t alone. In July 2018, The Times of Israel, reported on anti-Semitism in Sweden, another country who has broadly applied an “open borders” policy, claiming that pressure from both Neo-Nazi, and Jihadist bullying, were an issue for the Jewish community.

The Times quoted, Aron Verstandig, president of the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, who said, “we have a vibrant community in Stockholm but even here we face multiple threats, from Muslim extremism to far-right violence.”[10]

In direct contrast to Jewish news agencies, and even Germany’s International public broadcaster, the reports from CNN and the BBC left out Islamism and anti-Zionist/anti-Israel Leftists, who are also central elements in the rise of anti-Semitism within Europe.

It’s clear that neo-Nazism is a fringe element in the West, and it would be naïve to ignore any such movement. Few would dispute this. CNN and the BBC’s selectivity, however, raise questions about who gets to define what a neo-Nazi is? It’s reckless of Mainstream media to jump to conclusions and draw false links between one group and another because they only see what they want to see. That isn’t journalism, its manipulative propaganda.

Both reports from CNN and the BBC also force us to ask how much of an impact “open borders” policies has on freedom of the press. Their selectivity is either deliberate or done out of fear of becoming a political pariah; of being mislabelled a “racist”, “xenophobic” or an “Islamophobe”. As much as it’s probably the latter, I suspect this is an exception to the rule.

Thus CNN and the BBC’s selectivity adds weight to why the current Globalist agenda should be questioned and rejected, because there is a seemingly obvious, co-ordinated effort, to slander, and therefore silence, all those who are currently not in agreement with Leftism’s Gobalist initiatives, as “Nazis”.

Such slander plays on the collective consciousness in the West about the evils of fascism, and National Socialism. All while blinding Westerners to the absence of a collective consciousness about the very real evil of Communism, and the Socialist’s own perpetual, imperial war machine.


References:

[1] Matthew Robinson, ‘German Jews warned not to wear kippahs in public following spike in anti-Semitism, CNN sourced 27th May 2019

[2] WD, What is the Alternative for Germany? Sourced, 27th May 2019

[3] The BBC, ‘German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism Sourced, 27th May 2019

[4] DW, ‘German official warns Jews against wearing Kippahs in public, Sourced 27th May 2019

[5] DW, ‘Germany: Syrian man faces charges for Kippah attack, Source 27th May 2019

[6] The BBC, 2017. ‘German Election: How right-wing is Nationalist AfD? Sourced, 27th May 2019

[7] AFD, Islam – Danger for Europe, Sourced 27th May 2019

[8] SFGate, 2019. ‘Israeli President shocked by German skullcap warning, Sourced, 27th May 2019

[9] Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, 2019. ‘German intelligence issue taboo breaking report on Muslim anti-Semitism, Jewish News Syndicate, Sourced 27th May 2019.

[10] Cnaan Liphshiz, 2018. Under Neo-Nazi & Jihadist bullying, Swedish communities are shuttering, The Times of Israel, Sourced 27th May 2019

Photo Credit: Photo by DAVIDCOHEN on Unsplash

(Originally published on The Caldron Pool, 27th May 2019)

©Rod Lampard, 2019

By no means is this a conclusive run down on what I see as the need to find, and advocate for, a fair use of the vehicles we choose to communicate, and receive information through.  By pointing out inconsistencies, and connecting them to a possible cause, my purpose here is primarily an attempt to suggest, that when it comes to social media, we practice the proverb of looking before we leap.

A few years back an incident showed me the contrast between hard reality, and cheap comment. Comments from people, who in the comfort of relative security, only seem to be far more concerned with the side of the story that sells best, than with finding balance.

Surely, this is far from what media outlets mean by the term integrity and investigative journalism? To his credit, Bennett pushes back against the leading questions made by the anchor-man, quickly realising, not without some frustration, that the interview had ended before it had really begun.

Remarking:

“…You’re invited to a situation like this..it’s just great sitting on the sidelines, just telling us how to react” {2:39} – (Naftali Bennett, Isreal’s Economic Minister)

At the time, Australian journalist and political commentator Andrew Bolt, in support of Bennett, rightly noted:

It’s easy to say “disproportionate” when you’re sitting in London

The same applies to social media. It’s easy to make criticisms when sitting behind a keyboard.

We need make room for each other. We need to look before we leap. We need to make room for giving consideration to context, details, and careful comment. Patience is the imperative (if not the virtue), mainly because we’re all still trying to figure out live in a technological society, and how to use this technological freedom responsibly.

In spite of the evidence, or any quest for the truth, and balance. Like some aspects of the main stream media, social media can become a misinformation behemoth.

In the hands of resourceful and ambitious communicators, it has the disturbing potential to become the ultimate propaganda machine.

As hashtags and memes trend towards the ridiculous. The misuse of the mechanism allows an industrial grade hysteria to push a smoke screen of emotions over the facts, extinguishing balance and respectful dialogue.

The march of memes takes to the virtual street, utilising the same mass marketing concepts of Edward Bernays (1891-1995) that was so fundamental to fascism and its control of images.

By calling upon those willing to mindlessly wave around clichés and slogans, a mob-in-revolt is created. Its cause gathers momentum, often recklessly damning anything that stands to speak freely in reasoned disagreement against it, as “hate speech or racism”.

The mob-in-revolt lowers protest to the quantity of “likes, shares or follows”. Sometimes asserting itself under a mechanic of anonymity, which denies their target of protest any right of reply.

The ivory colossus of cyber communities end up inadvertently propagating totalitarianism. Inviting a repugnant irony through the vitriolic intolerance, exhibited by irresponsible and repressive armchair activists, who live in glass houses.

With small amounts of fact, and information, these glass houses become the launching pad for mobile projectiles of shame and exclusion. The term “hate speech”, for example, is utilised as a toxic and ambiguous whip statement, and is thus thrown around flippantly and without qualification. This fuels an irate frenzy of boycotts, accusation and intolerance.

A restrained, and civilised exchange of ideas is set adrift, by an unrestrained tribalism. It’s members march alongside images, marked by oversimplification. At its core is a subjectivism,  full of dismissive ridicule and cynical discounting. Consequently, social media can tend to magnify that which is dysfunctional and shocking, over against,

‘…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,  excellent, or worthy of praise…’ (Philippians 4:8, ESV)

An ‘activism’ like this measures efficiency by vanity metrics. This is because thoughtless approval can be translated into the currency of likes, shares and/or followers. In this case, why not mindlessly wave flags and howl with the wolves? The assumption being that if the price is right, so the comment should be also. Who cares if its wrong?

The questions then are:

Does self-interest, in a quest for approval, play a role in commenting, liking or sharing? If so do such considerations hinder an authentic, responsible but also vulnerable contribution? Does it drive out self-respect the same way that the mindless-mob-in-revolt drives out  decency and the respect for others?

American President John Adams, citing the prophet Jeremiah, wrote:

‘Let me conclude, by advising all men to look into their own hearts, which they will find to be deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer.17:9). Let them consider how extremely addicted they are to magnify and exaggerate the injuries that are offered to themselves, and to diminish and extenuate the wrongs that they offer to others. They ought, therefore, to be too modest and diffident of their own judgment, when their own passions and prejudices and interests are concerned…’[i]

Adams’ caution here cries out for a fair hearing. We should not politicise the pain of others.

We can do this by removing any hint of benefit to our social standing, and unmasking the transactions that hide self-interest behind indifference, or behind a facade of good intentions. We can do this by looking before we leap; giving real consideration to context, details, and careful comment.

As Australian scholar, Dr. John Dickson, in a comment about a recent debate on Facebook, once said, “redeem the medium”[ii].

 


References:

{Dedicated to the memory of Jean Bethke Elshtain (1941-2013), a list of her works can be found here.}

[i] Adams, J. 1851 On Private Revenge http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2101 #Adams_1431-03_2153 Sourced: 23/07/2014

[ii] Dickson wrote this in response to the suggestion that he move a discussion to another site, because of the communication limitations of social media.

Originally published 23rd July, 2014, under the heading Truth & Balance Vs. The side of the Story that Sells Best. Also published on The Caldron Pool, 9th November, 2018 under the headline: Hate speech is a myth: It’s a shaming control technique used by those who can’t debate the issue.