Yesterday Hezbollah flags flew over London. Muslims and supporters made outrageous speeches denouncing as evil the country I live in. Each speaker projected onto a giant screen which must have cost a fortune: don’t worry, Iran picked up the tab, possibly with the pallets of cash Obama had shipped to them in the middle of the night.
A few hours later at midnight it seems someone drove his van into a crowd of obviously Muslim people outside an Islamic centre in Finsbury Park. The Mayor of London has quickly called this a terrorist attack (very quickly). This is the same Sadiq Kahn who was powerless to prevent a deadly terrorist attack outside Westminster, powerless to prevent a deadly terrorist attack at London Bridge and powerless to prevent a terrorist supporting march in London. Seems he’s powerless to prevent vans mounting the kerb in front of Mosques too.
I think we’re going to learn something in the coming years. Jews and Israelis have acted with unbelievable restraint for a century. I think the way we’ve behaved in Israel, as Jews, following our Jewish laws and values, has been at times ridiculous. We’ve been attacked every single day for over a century for taking back ownership of our indigenous land and we have barely responded. It’s obvious Israel has the military might to destroy Gaza or commit horrific atrocities this afternoon: I can tell you, as a nation, we won’t ever do that. I do believe we’d respond to a nuclear attack, but short of that, the insurgency to remove us is not going to prompt a mass slaughter of Arabs. Because of who we are and how we look at the world.
Eventually the same Europe which slaughtered millions of Jews for invented grievances and the same Europe which faught WW1 and WW2 and centuries of the bloodiest wars, eventually those people of Europe will react to Islamic Jihad. I’m not telling them to do it, I’m begging them not to. Christianity and Judaism share common roots. But Christianity is a proselytising religion and has an undeniable two millennia of history of spreading itself, sometimes violently. It has reformed a long way, but the underlying value system is not identical to Judaism.
I’m a firm believer that the values and beliefs inculcated into us by our parents, childhood friends and in general the societies we grow up in are vastly more important than our genes. While close, Judaism and Christianity are not quite the same. I will not criticise either: both have evolved and led to Western enlightenment, universal human rights and the amazing civilisations and progress. Our world largely manages to feed more people than could have been dreamt of 200 years ago and it is only the progress made by our societies that allows this.
Both Judaism and Christianity provide very strong basis upon which their adherents are steered away from murder. Murder is very different from killing in the Hebrew bible. Even in the post-religious west, where humanists claim the value of human life is obvious, it’s pretty clear our societies inherited this from our religious history. Societies which are not based on Jewish and Christian values do not always value human life equally. Whether we can retain our societies and abandon religion is an experiment we’re only just trying now. I don’t know which way it goes.
Regardless, we’re going to see now whether a largely Christian and post-Christian Europe will react to continual Jihadi provocation with the patience and restraint of the Jews in Israel. It is not just blowing up children at a pop concert, mowing down pedestrians in London, slaughtering concert goers or cartoonist in Paris or the rest of the long list: the scale of the Muslim grooming and rape gangs epidemic in the UK is only just starting to be seen. The numbers of victims over the years this problem wasn’t tackled will grow to 10’s or even 100’s of thousands. What happens when all those fathers and brothers still see little justice? Do we think similar gangs won’t be found elsewhere in Europe? I’m really not convinced European and British peoples will act with reserved restraint. It is absolutely wrong for the populace to react violently, it may be horrible, but I can’t see a growing anger and hatred being repressed forever.
We still don’t know all the details this time, was it only one man responsible, what is his state of mind, was he drunk, all sorts of questions. But I’m seriously worried about Europe and the UK. I was already very worried 8 years ago when I left. Nothing that has happened since has made me less worried for my old home.
My advice to Jews specifically? Get out of the way. You have a haven this time: you should be making plans right now.