Sunday, September 03, 2006

European anti-semitism

One of the things I enjoy doing while traveling in Europe is talking to people from other countries and gauging their opinions. This is sometimes difficult to do without escalating beyond spirited debate, but I generally manage.

Yesterday I was having a bite to eat and a beer at a place called Bierkrug, one of my favorite spots in Heidelberg. Their spaetzle dishes are beyond belief, but that's a post for another day. At a table next to me were a few British expats having a few beers, and one of the gentlemen started up a conversation with me. I suspect he heard me place my order and deduced from my less than perfect German that I was American.

He was really pleasant, and as is usually the case, the conversation turned to world affairs and politics. Being a Brit, he was seriously concerned about the problem of Muslim immigrants in Britain with their failure to assimilate and their tendency to murderous hatred towards their fellow countrymen. When the conversation turned to negative European attitudes towards the US, I told him I believed those attitudes were mainly informed by a European media that spins the news to manipulate those views, and gave an example of BBC's anti-US bias.

He then said that he was surprised, because "...the BBC, just like Hollywood, is controlled by the Jews". Now, here was an otherwise perfectly reasonable, thoughtful man repeating the "Jews control the media" meme.

In order to keep things civil and not have our conversation descend into a shouting match, I just said "Huh...that's odd. For Jews, they were awfully critical of and biased against Israel during the war against Hizballah". He had no response.

I don't know where this "Jews control the media" thing comes from, but it seems to be just taken as a given fact here in Europe.


isirota1965 said...

Found your blog through another blogger, and it seems like very insteresting stuff!

I was not at all surprised to read what you wrote. There's a reason why European anti-Semitism is at its highest level since the 1930's and 1940's (and it's NOT just the Muslims)............

Eric said...

Thanks! It just amazes me how some of them are so frank about it.