zondag 31 januari 2016

Have Jews more to fear than other people?

One could think so. A skullcap on the head of a teacher in Marseille was sufficient grounds for an, otherwise neat, 15-year-old Muslim to stab him down. Muslim women are sometimes attacked because of their headscarves. However, that they are stabbed for that reason, I have not heard of in Western Europe.

But there is much to compensate that thought. Such as the observation that Jews are no longer the proverbial strangers they were always held for. They are now one of the many ethnic minority groups, rather a bit more integrated than other groups. Xenophobic extreme right now has to divide its attention between all those groups and therefore from that side it is relatively safer for Jews.

Indeed, in recent decades danger has been added from the side of extremist Muslims, see above. But their violence is not directed exclusively against Jews. It has also targeted cartoonists, pop concert and terrace visitors. Whether one is secular, Jewish, Christian, even Muslim, it does not matter anymore.

Also at the level of national communities Jews gain company. Where around 2005 it still was ‘unheard barbaric’ to build a security fence as Israel did, at present the list of names of countries that build walls is almost endless. Like those on the border of Tunisia and Libya, Iran and Pakistan, the US and Mexico, Botswana and South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and much more. The feeling of security that for Israel is linked to borders is not as anachronistic yet as was generally thought.

Thus, as to the wall, the international community can no longer that easily condemn it. Of course Israeli policy in the West Bank can still rightly be condemned, so from that perspective Israel and Jews remain unabatedly vulnerable.

But it could well be that the moral aspect in the  relations with Israel will weigh less heavily as the terror continues rampant in the Western world. In such circumstances a sense of kinship with Israel is more obvious. After all, Israel has been fighting since its inception - ie prior to occupancy - against terror.

That may explain why, for instance, there is a lot of attention lately to the Israeli way of securing aircraft. According to The Economist, the, until recently controversial, Israeli approach is more effective than the American. “Americans search for weapons, Israelis search for suspects.” The latter implies an approach whereby suspects or just nervous people are often subjected to humiliating search. Frustration of attacks along that way has proven more successful than by luggage control.

Would trendwatcher Adjiesj Bakas be right when, along with the ‘Surinamisation of love’, he sees coming the  ‘Israelisation of society’? Whether life will be nicer because of that, that’s a good question – but now for everyone.

Does everybody become Jewish?