The current TOO article discusses Chapter 23 of Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together. I solicit comments here. The main theme is Jewish self-deception–the inability to see things without ethnic blinders, in particular, the history of the Jews in the USSR. After writing it, another example surfaced—they’re not hard to come by—although, as usual, it’s hard to know if it’s more a matter of aggressive intimidation than self-deception. Yet another government official has gotten in trouble for saying the obvious. This time it’s Karel de Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner (“EU Trade Commissioner Apologizes for Jewish Comments”).
The European Jewish Congress, an umbrella group, had demanded a retraction of De Gucht’s remarks in which he maintained that Israel frustrates U.S.-led peace efforts and warned not to “underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill.”
“That is the best organized lobby that exists there,” the former Belgian foreign minister said in the interview with the Dutch-speaking VRT radio network.
“Don’t underestimate the opinion … of the average Jew outside of Israel,” he said. “There is, indeed, a belief, I can hardly describe it differently, among most Jews that they are right. So it is not easy to have a rational discussion with a moderate Jew about what is happening in the Middle East. It is a very emotional issue.”
De Gucht was saying (he’s since apologized profusely) that Jews honestly believe what they are saying is true, so it’s pretty much impossible to have a rational discussion–self-deception by any other name. It’s the same with the history of the Jews in the USSR—and a great many other things.
The official Jewish reaction has been to see De Gucht’s comments as an example of “a growing wave of anti-Semitism in Europe,” explicitly said to be on a par with Thilo Sarrazin’s comments on Jewish genetics. Again, there is a blind spot where facts are irrelevant. In a comment that is worthy of Abe Foxman, Moshe Kantor of the European Jewish Congress stated, “It has somehow become acceptable to attack Jews through Israel, even at the highest levels,” said Kantor. “The old anti-Semitic libels of the all-powerful Jewish cabals, the recalcitrant Jew and the irrational Jews only caring for their own, are remade to fit 21st- century hostility to the Jewish State.”
Of course, besides self-deception there is the very real possibility in this case that Kantor knows full well that this is just bluster and intimidation attempting to prevent public discussion of Jewish power and relying for its effectiveness on cowed European elites whose defining characteristic since WWII has been terror at being labeled an anti-Semite. Tough call.