Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bat Yeor, Antisemitism in France

Nicolas read a couple of my articles on Bat Yeor and thought, if I read him rightly, she was in a sense being like an anti-semite because she was arguing against the Muslims in the way that others once upon a time argued against the Jews.

Nicoloas seemed to suggest that both Bat Yeor and I might be racists.

I’m guessing Nicolas is from France, so let’s check the “racist” situation in France today. Maybe something has changed since last I checked:

http://www.jafi.org.il/education/hasbara/headlines/a4-2.html “The heads of the Jewish organizations have been talking about a revival of anti-Semitism, and liberal Jews have been discussing the violence that has been directed toward them, the source of which is poverty. Most of the incidents, they say, have occurred in the poorer peripheral cities. Politicians and senior government officials have been whispering that Israel, because of it aggression toward the Palestinians, is the cause of this wave of anti-Jewish activity.

And there are also those who are certain that the attacks against Jews stem from feelings of anger that immigrants have with respect to their new country and its cruel attitude toward the newcomers from North Africa. This attitude is the bon ton in French discourse these days. Statesmen, journalists and especially intellectuals are expressing remorse and beating their breasts about the poverty, discrimination and oppression of the immigrants from North Africa. . .”

No, nothing has changed. The French still don’t treat their immigrants well and the immigrants, being haters of Jews, are taking it out on them.

“Most of the anger among the descendants of immigrants has exploded in the peripheral cities and the poor neighborhoods throughout the country that are home to millions of immigrants. It is an open secret that incautious entry into Muslim neighborhoods could end in a violent incident. Even police hesitate to enter the neighborhoods that the French call "out of bounds." Several weeks ago, police organizations declared a general strike - the first since the French Revolution - on the grounds that they were getting inadequate backing from the political echelons and the court system. They demanded strong-arm tactics in order to control the violence in the out-of-bounds areas, but were answered by embarrassing silence.”

Gosh, Nicolas. Tell me again how Bat Yeor and I are racist for suggesting you have a Muslim problem in France?

Mind you, I’ve just done a quick check. I’ve read about anti-Semitism in France but decided to check recent articles. These are the ones that popped up first on Google.

http://www.zeek.net/politics_0311.shtml

“Is France antisemitic? Last January, the Israeli vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Michael Melchior, famously denounced France as the most antisemitic country in the West. Well, is it? Certainly, the proliferation of attacks on the Jewish community since the beginning of the Second Intifada, including the burning of a Marseille synagogue and an attempted bombing of a Strasbourg cemetery last year, have pressed the French to take a hard look in the mirror. For the most part they have succeeded in reassuring themselves that the answer is no. The perpetrators have all been young Muslims from France's rough North African neighborhoods, whose acts are excused as evidence of "the failure of the Republican model of integration" rather than evidence of real anti-Semitism. . . “

And this is pretty much what I wrote in response to Nicolas’ notes on Bat Yeor. Why he should want to place the blame for . . . I’m not sure what . . . on Bat Yeor and others for pointing to the problem France has is a mystery to me. But blaming others for your own problem is a well-known psychological device – if you can’t accept responsibility for your failures, then blame someone else. Blame Bat Yeor for pointing them out. Blame Lawrence Helm for posting notes uncritical of Bat Yeor.

Lawrence Helm

10 comments:

Nicolas Krebs said...

"Gosh, Nicolas. Tell me again how Bat Yeor and I are racist for suggesting you have a Muslim problem in France?"

Bat Ye'or is a conspiracy theorist when she claim that a secret pro-muslim government is ruling France, thus she use the same method that many antisemite before her (see also "This, as students of conspiracy theories will recognise, is the addition of the Sad Dupes thesis to the Enemy Within idea", "Bat Ye'or follows in notorious [antisemite] footsteps indeed by creating the false nightmarish image of a Europe dominated by Arabs and Muslims", "Stripped of its Islamic content, the broad contours of Ye'or's preposterous thesis recall the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the first half of the twentieth century and contemporary notions of the 'Zionist Occupation Government' prevalent in far-right circles in the US.").

"Why he should want to place the blame for [...] on Bat Yeor"

I don't place the blame on Bat Ye'or for antisemitism and Muslim problem in France.

Lawrence Helm said...

Okay, I admit that I squirmed a bit when I read certain of Bat Y'eor's arguments. I took her as being a legitimate voice of alarm, but I felt uncomfortable with some other things she said.

I am predisposed to mistrust conspiracy theories. However, she has a background that would account for her fears and some legitimate concerns in what she sees going on about her. That part I accept. As to a secret force at work in the French government, I had my doubts. I have even more doubts now that Sarkozy has replaced Chirac.

I considered Bat Y'eor to represent the same level of alarm as Oriana Fallaci. The Bat Y'eor arguments you are objecting to aren't arguments I had a way of checking; so I made a mental data point and set them aside and perhaps revisit them again if new information came to light.

My main concern was to list her with others expressing alarm at the growing Islamist problem. I haven't confidence that the French are facing this problem in a way that has any chance of success.

Lawrence Helm

Lawrence Helm said...

I just reviewed my original post, the one you initially objected to, Nicolas, and I mentioned Bat Y'eor who was someone who was worried. That worry is legitimate in my view even if her conspiracy theories are not. I mentioned Oriana Fallaci in the same sentence as someone also worried. I could list many more.

Nicolas Krebs said...

"Okay, I admit that I squirmed a bit when I read certain of Bat Y'eor's arguments." (Lawrence Helm)

Good.

"she has a background that would account for her fears and some legitimate concerns in what she sees going on about her. That part I accept."

She has a background of living a few years in a country where 90% of population is Muslim. Since 2002 (or before) she make claims about European union, where 3% of population is Muslim.

Worse than that, she lived several decades in two european countries (United Kingdom and Switzerland) with less than 5% Muslims, and she seem to think that most of the european population and government are anti-jews and antisemite, as if she were still in 1950's Egypt.

"As to a secret force at work in the French government, I had my doubts. I have even more doubts now that Sarkozy has replaced Chirac."

Which doubts and why?

Do you know that Nicolas Sarkozy has jewish ancestors, and that french foreign policy has became closer to USA, NATO and Israel since his election?

"I considered Bat Y'eor to represent the same level of alarm as Oriana Fallaci."

Me too. I can add that Oriana Fallaci made many quotes and reference to Bat Y'eor.

"The Bat Y'eor arguments you are objecting to aren't arguments I had a way of checking"

Me too. I have never see the lightest clues confirming those claims.

By example "not one single Moslem sits in France's 577-seat Chamber of Deputies" according to Claire Berlinski.

"perhaps revisit them again if new information came to light"

I suggest you to revisit them as soon as you can.

"My main concern was to list her with others expressing alarm at the growing Islamist problem. I haven't confidence that the French are facing this problem in a way that has any chance of success."

What Islamist problem in France does Bat Ye'or point, and why France could not success on solving this problem?

"I mentioned Bat Y'eor who was someone who was worried. That worry is legitimate in my view even if her conspiracy theories are not. I mentioned Oriana Fallaci in the same sentence as someone also worried. I could list many more."

In this september 13, you may know there are thousand of peoples in USA who are worried or troubled by the 2001-09-11 terrorist attack, and are believing it was an inside job. Are those worries legitimate? Are those worries suffient as evidence that the 9-11 was a federal false flag?

I don't think so.

Lawrence Helm said...

I'm less inclined to worry about France with Sarkozy as president. When I read Bat Y'eor's comments about a conspiracy between French and Muslim officials I had doubts, but I knew that Chirac had ambitions beyond France. He wanted the EU to be a counterbalance to the US and he couldn't do it with a declining population. Where would he get the population shortfall? Why the Maghreb of course.

Now if the Muslims from North Africa assimilated and became French in the same way that Muslims become Americans once they immigrated to the U.S., there would be no problem from the French standpoint. Chirac's politics might be suspect but that would be beyond this concern I have about whether your Muslims will be loyal French citizens.

However, if your Muslim immigrants do not assimilate, if they live in enclaves, then you have the sort of problem that Berlinski, Bawer, Steyn, Spencer, Selbourne and others I've read on this subject warn against.

I can see why you would be concerned about whether there is a legitimate conspracy between Muslims and French officials in France. I've read and could have mentioned others besides Bat Y'eor as warners against future Islamic problems in Europe, not just France. France has two problems that the rest of Europe doesn't have: 1) the highest Islamic presence of any European country and therefore if there is to be a problem with Islamic population, it will probably happen there first,

And 2) France was the spearhead in the planned creation of the EU as a coherent competitor to the U.S. and China. In order for that to happen, France needed to submerge its identity to some extent into the EU. Chirac and others of his class were willing for that to happen, but he was voted down by ordinary French people; which was good in my view. A submerged France isn't going to care as much about whether Muslims are assimilated as a France which wants to retain its Frenchness.

You tell me, are the Muslims living in your area assimilating or not? I can tell you that the Muslims living in the US are assimilating. Some of our illegal Mexican immigrants may not be assimilating, but many of them go back and forth to Mexico. Those who plan to stay her do assimilate.

Lawrence Helm

Nicolas Krebs said...

"He wanted the EU to be a counterbalance to the US and he couldn't do it with a declining population."

Why? Russia has a declining population, but it was not a drawback to kick the georgian ass this august.

"Where would he get the population shortfall? Why the Maghreb of course."

Why? According to Paul Belien only 16% of immigrant in Spain are from the neighbouring Morocco.

"I can see why you would be concerned about whether there is a legitimate conspracy between Muslims and French officials in France."

Really?

"France has two problems that the rest of Europe doesn't have"

Which problems?

"the highest Islamic presence of any European country"

With 3% Muslims? Are you kidding?

"France was the spearhead in the planned creation of the EU"

And not Germany, Benelux and Italy? Are you kidding?

"In order for that to happen, France needed to submerge its identity to some extent into the EU. Chirac and others of his class were willing for that to happen"

What are you talking about?

"a France which wants to retain its Frenchness"

You mean, with their "croissant", their ugly socialist health care and their 80% support to Obama?

"You tell me, are the Muslims living in your area assimilating or not? [...] Those who plan to stay her do assimilate."

I have heard the same claim about immigrants in France. And I have seen a strange Pew poll about french Muslims.

Lawrence Helm said...

I said that France had the highest Muslim population in Europe. Nicolas said, "With 3% Muslims? Are you kidding?"

I have seen no statistics to challenge this view that France has the highest Muslim population in Europe. Here is a BBC analysis of all the European nations: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4385768.stm "The French Muslim population is the largest in western Europe. About 70% have their heritage in former north African colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia." They list the percentage of Muslims in France at 8-9.6%

As to France spearheading the desire for the EU to be a counterbalance to the U.S., yes I have read that many places. This was De Gaul's ambition. Chirac, good Gaulist that he was, also pursued that. Others were heavily involved, but the vision was De Gaul's (in my opinion).

Lawrence Helm

Nicolas Krebs said...

Muslim population in Europe.
France: 2 million = 3%; Germany: 3 million = 3.6%; Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1.5 million = 40%; Kosovo: 1.8 million = 90%; Macedonia: 0.6 million = 30%; Albania: 2.2 million = 70%; Turkey: 68 million = 99%; Russia: 5 million-30 million = 3%-20%; Azerbaijan: 7.5 million = 90%.

Lawrence Helm said...

Come on Nicolas. Let's have your source. I gave you one source for what I understand is common knowledge, namely that France has the largest Muslim population in Europe. The BBC says 5 to 6 million.

Here's another site. This one says 6.12 million: http://www.islamicpopulation.com/europe_general.html

I'm just googling and taking the first references that pop up. I've never encountered anything other than numbers like these.

Lawrence Helm

Nicolas Krebs said...

"Come on Nicolas. Let's have your source."

Done.