Okay, I thought I wanted to try something new, making my blog a little more relevant for those who don’t find the nerdy studies of religion interesting. I still want to keep the Jewish twist, as well as the focus on religion, so I was thinking about making a news-update on what’s going on in the Jewish religious world. The first post though is not so connected to religion, as it is to the political changes around in the world. Just needed to write a little about it.
Changes are happening around the world, not only in the Arab world but certainly also in Europe. These changes probably don’t come as any news for most, considering that we are talking about Tunesia, Greek, and Hungary, or at least these are the countries that will be focused upon a little here.
Greek is in tumult, something it has been almost since the financial crisis broke out some years ago. The country is moving towards an election, and not all parties are equally democratic and embracing in their world view. Take for example the party “Golden Dawn,” considered neo-Nazi and has such wonderful points on their charter as the exclusion of “non-Aryans” from their party. The lack of democratic thought in this should be obvious, it doesn’t matter whether you agree in their views or not, you’re simply excluded alone based on an outdated belief in human races.
In Hungary a political party called Jobbik, which is anti-Jewish and anti-Gypsy, entered the Hungarian parliament already two years ago. And having the country being in a situation where people want scapegoats, the party certainly is doing its best to point out who they believe is the cause of the bad financial situation. Yes, you guessed it, the Jews.
Tunisia is a different chapter, having gone through its changes not based on the finance crisis, but rather, well, the Arab world’s crisis of dictators. And as such the picture is also different, but still rather unsure when it comes to the Jews. The around 1,000 Jews who are living in Tunisia seem positive, though cautious, believing and hoping that the changes will be for the best. The Tunisian tourist minister, Elyes Fakhfakh, has done his to make the Jews feel at least a little more secure, appearing to the feast which is part of the Lag Ba’Omer, showing his positive attitude to the Jews’ role in Tunisia. But yet some recent incidents have done theirs to put emphasis on the unsure position of the Jews, as the vandalizing of Christian and Jewish cemeteries some time ago, as well s the thought of Islamists running the country doesn’t make the Jews feel any more secure.
Jews around the world are worried, not only in the mentioned countries. Though some people, of obscure reasons, attempt to deny the extent of the problem, the Jews in Malmo are leaving. On the other side of Øresund, the strait between Denmark and Sweden, the Jews of Copenhagen also feels the growing radical tendencies. I could mention a lot of places in Europe, having Jews being singled out not only on the streets, but also in other places such as university campuses.
I do want to be positive, but I don’t think the situation will change for the better, at least not before it has become worse. It is natural that crises strengthen radicalism, that we have seen time and time again through history. Apparently it is also very natural that that has to come out through hatred directed against minorities, especially Jews and Gypsies (in Europe), nothing new there. When it comes to Europe I certainly am pessimistic.
When it comes to the Arab world, on the other hand, I might not be outright optimistic, but I’m certainly more curious as to what will be. Europe does have a long history of antisemitism, while the Arab world might have presented the world for harsh degrees on Jews, but nothing like European antisemitism. I’m wondering what will happen within the next ten to twenty years, hopefully a better and more wise world will appear. But I fear what will be in the meantime.
A couple of articles on the subject: