I never thought the day would come when I’d be lecturing other people on the subject of failing societies. But when a Syrian tells you that you are in deep shit, you may rest assured that the shit you are in is deep indeed.
What in heaven’s name happened at Copenhagen? Last week’s disgraceful events in Calgary were bad enough, but Copenhagen was a hundred times worse.
A group of 250 Jewish and Iranian activists got together infront of the Danish Parliament for a rally, the agenda of which could not have been more laudable; peace for both Israel and Palestine, with both Israeli and Palestinian flags in evidence, and a keynote speech by Denmark’s former Chief Rabbi, Bent Melchior, one of Europe’s foremost figures in interfaith dialogue.
It was exactly the kind of commendable gathering needed for these troubled times.
And, apparently, exactly the kind of rally that is impossible to hold in Copenhagen in this day and age.
Within an hour, the police had to urge the participants to disband their event and flee into the Parliament’s courtyard, as intimidation from a growing horde of “pro-Gaza” Hamas-flag brandishing “kill the Jews Allahu Akbar” thugs grew to such horrendous proportions, that the police felt that they could no longer guarantee the safety of the Jewish and Iranian participants.
Europe, do you really need someone to tell you how so very, very bad it is when honest citizens can no longer express their opinion in Denmark, of all places?
Denmark is one of the least objectionable and inoffensive societies in the world. The last time anyone ever had cause to be offended by Denmark, the Danes were in longboats and wearing helmets with horns.
I really wish I could go back to using this blog to complain about Syria every week. Although the world has demonstrated that it can, for now at least, go about its business unaffected by a Levant intent on burning itself to the ground, Europe is another matter altogether.
Last Friday’s events didn’t just concern some Jews and Iranian dissidents. One of the fundamental pillars on which a civilized community is built on had been violated in the heart of one of Europe’s most civilized societies. The extremists won that day.
And the “pro-Gaza” thugs in Paris, Holland, Germany and London, already openly testing the limits of society’s tolerance for their thuggery, will be enormously emboldened by the precedent set by their reprehensible brethren in managing to disperse a rally by Jews. On the centenary of the First World War, Europe faces a crisis as challenging as any in 1914.
Now, far be it for me to tell the good people of Europe how they should handle the ISIS-flag waving extremists in their midst. But as a matter of fact, I am going to share my unsolicited opinion, as someone who has spent the vast majority of his life living in intolerant societies, the same kind of societies those thugs shouting “death to the Jews” want to impose.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and a head-check is required if you need a Syrian to remind you of that. If you think that what happens in Copenhagen will stay in Copenhagen, then you haven’t been paying attention. Crap that happens in Gaza is used to justify all manner of extremist shit in Paris, Holland, Berlin, England and Canada.
In Copenhagen, many of the participants were elderly Jews who had survived through the Nazi occupation of their communities during WW2, but then found themselves in 2014 needing to be whisked away from the Danish Parliament in armored police buses.
If that isn’t cause enough for outrage, then frankly Europe deserves whats coming to it. Take my word for it, it isn’t pleasant, Ive lived through variations of it throughout my life.
The state, through the law, has to assert itself. But the state can only go so far without becoming draconian. Society has to protect its values by becoming a hell of alot more judgmental and unforgiving of those who would assault the values it was built on.
The victims of extremist thuggery must never be left to think that they are alone or without support. Just as a matter of principle, for every peaceful demonstration that is assaulted, another must be held in its place, supported by large numbers of like-minded members of the community. Thugs and bullies hell bent on assaulting others on the basis of their speech or religion have a habit of skulking away into the shadows when the numbers aren’t to their favor.
Those political movements and organizations that harbor such extremists must also be judged harshly by the rest of society. To hell with the concept of “just a few bad apples”. Today, those “bad apples” do the dirty work of an approving leadership that never the less craves respectability.
Respectability must be denied them. If a demonstration or organization cannot control its own participants or members, then its leadership must be held to account, every single time. The law can punish the most egregious and blatant offenders, but it requires the participation of broad segments of a society to put an end to the atmosphere and environment that allowed such misfits to flourish.
And for God’s sake, in the case of the “pro-Gaza” hordes, don’t waste anytime on any of their leaders who insist that such matters can be handled internally without resorting to the law; those organizers who call themselves “moderates” claiming to be able to influence and restrain the hotheads.
They do not get to be leaders of such “activist” groups by being “moderate”. That is not how such “activist” groups select their leaders. Do not imagine for a moment that those who would lynch a Jew in broad daylight would accept any less of an extremist mentality from those who lead them.
This summer is going to define Europe for years to come, just as the Great War did a century ago. For too long the extremists in Europe have gotten away with the very kind of barbarism that is regularly practiced in the Middle East. It’s time Europeans got their shit together, lest Europe be allowed to turn into something resembling a Middle Eastern shit-hole.