Enthusiasm is a learnable skill. And the best people to learn it from are those who are already enthusiastic. Even if someone else is enthusiastic about a specific matter that you have no interest in, you can still pick up from that person how to be more enthusiastic in ways that are suitable for you.
When you were young, you learned from those older than you how to walk, talk, and do many actions. This process came about because we all listened and observed. Utilizing this ability, we can become more enthusiastic by modeling people who are enthusiastic.
Whenever you encounter someone who is enthusiastic, look and listen. See the expression on their face. See how animated they are. Note specifically the nuances of what they do. Listen carefully to their tone of voice. Hear the expressions they use.
Then try it out. As an experiment imagine for a little while that you are this enthusiastic person. What attitudes enable you to be enthusiastic? What is your thinking patterns? In what ways are you speaking and acting differently than usual?
Love Yehuda Lave
Europe, the Holocaust & Today's Anti-SemitismIt is not surprising to see an increase in Jew-hatred in western Europe.
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Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews? Why have we seen such an increase in anti-Semitism and irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in western Europe?
To answer these questions, a myth must first be exposed. That myth is the one perpetrated by the French, the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, and many other western Europeans: namely that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.
The Holocaust was perpetrated by Europeans: by Nazi sympathizers and collaborators among the French, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss, Belgians, Austrians and other Europeans, both Western and Eastern.
If the French government had not deported to the death camps more Jews than their German occupiers asked for; if so many Dutch and Belgian citizens and government officials had not cooperated in the roundup of Jews; if so many Norwegians had not supported Quisling; if Swiss government officials and bankers had not exploited Jews; if Austria had not been more Nazi than the Nazis, the Holocaust would not have had so many Jewish victims.
In light of the widespread European complicity in the destruction of European Jewry, the pervasive anti-Semitism and irrationally hateful anti-Zionism that has recently surfaced throughout western Europe toward Israel should surprise no one.
"Oh no," we hear from European apologists. "This is different. We don't hate the Jews. We only hate their nation-state. Moreover, the Nazis were right-wing. We're left-wing, so we can't be anti-Semites."
The hard left has a history of anti-Semitism as deep and enduring as the hard right. The line from Voltaire to Karl Marx, to Levrenti Beria, to Robert Faurisson, to today's hard-left Israel bashers is as straight as the line from Wilhelm Mars to the persecutors of Alfred Dreyfus to Hitler.
The Jews of Europe have always been crushed between the Black and the Red – victims of extremism whether it be the ultra-nationalism of Khmelnitsky to the ultra-anti-Semitism of Stalin.
"But some of the most strident anti-Zionists are Jews, such as Norman Finkelstein and even Israelis such as Gilad Atzmon. Surely they can't be anti-Semites?"
Why not? Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas collaborated with the Gestapo. Atzmon, a hard leftist, describes himself as a proud self-hating Jew and admits that his ideas derive from a notorious anti-Semite.
He denies that the Holocaust is historically proved but he believes that Jews may well have killed Christian children to use their blood to bake Passover matzah. And he thinks it's "rational" to burn down synagogues.
Finkelstein believes in an international Jewish conspiracy that includes Steven Spielberg, Leon Uris, Eli Wiesel, and Andrew Lloyd Webber!
"But Israel is doing bad things to the Palestinians," the European apologists insist, "and we are sensitive to the plight of the underdog."
No, you're not! Where are your demonstrations on behalf of the oppressed Tibetans, Georgians, Syrians, Armenians, Kurds, or even Ukrainians? Where are your BDS movements against the Chinese, the Russians, the Cubans, the Turks, or the Assad regime?
Only the Palestinians, only Israel? Why? Not because the Palestinians are more oppressed than these and other groups.
Only because their alleged oppressors are Jews and the nation-state of the Jews. Would there be demonstrations and BDS campaigns on behalf of the Palestinians if they were oppressed by Jordan or Egypt?
Oh, wait! The Palestinians were oppressed by Egypt and Jordan. Gaza was an open-air prison between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt was the occupying power. And remember Black September, when Jordan killed more Palestinians than Israel did in a century? I don't remember any demonstration or BDS campaigns – because there weren't any.
When Arabs occupy or kill Arabs, Europeans go ho-hum. But when Israel opens a soda factory in Maale Adumim, which even the Palestinian leadership acknowledges will remain part of Israel in any peace deal, Oxfam parts ways with Scarlett Johansson for advertising a soda company that employs hundreds of Palestinians.
Keep in mind that Oxfam has provided "aid and material support" to two anti-Israel terrorist groups, according to the Tel Aviv-based Israeli Law Group.
The hypocrisy of so many hard-left western Europeans would be staggering if it were not so predictable based on the sordid history of western Europe's treatment of the Jews.
Even England, which was on the right side of the war against Nazism, has a long history of anti-Semitism, beginning with the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 to the notorious White Paper of 1939, which prevented the Jews of Europe from seeking asylum from the Nazis in British-mandated Palestine. And Ireland, which vacillated in the war against Hitler, boasts some of the most virulent anti-Israel rhetoric.
The simple reality is that one cannot understand the current western European left-wing war against the nation-state of the Jewish people without first acknowledging the long-term European war against the Jewish people themselves.
Theodore Herzl understood the pervasiveness and irrationality of European anti-Semitism, which led him to the conclusion that the only solution to Europe's Jewish problem was for European Jews to leave that bastion of Jew hatred and return to their original homeland, which is now the state of Israel.
None of this is to deny Israel's imperfections or the criticism it justly deserves for some of its policies. But these imperfections and deserved criticism cannot even begin to explain, must less justify, the disproportionate hatred directed against the only nation-state of the Jewish people and the disproportionate silence regarding the far greater imperfections and deserved criticism of other nations and groups including the Palestinians.
Nor is this to deny that many western European individuals and some western European countries have refused to succumb to the hatred against the Jews or their state. The Czech Republic comes to mind. But far too many western Europeans are as irrational in their hatred toward Israel as their forbearers were in their hatred toward their Jewish neighbours.
As author Amos Oz once aptly observed: the walls of his grandparents' Europe were covered with graffiti saying, "Jews, go to Palestine." Now they say, "Jews, get out of Palestine " – by which is meant Israel.
Who do these western European bigots think they're fooling? Only fools who want to be fooled in the interest of denying that they are manifesting new variations on their grandparents' old biases.
Any objective person with an open mind, open eyes, and an open heart must see the double standard being applied to the nation-state of the Jewish people. Many doing so are the grandchildren of those who lethally applied a double standard to the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. They must be shamed into looking themselves in the mirror of morality and acknowledging their own bigotry.
This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School, served as an attorney in several high-profile court cases, and is a sought-after commentator on the Arab–Israeli conflict. He is the author of some 25 books, including The Case for Israel.
by Guy Millière
| ||After WWII, European anti-Semitism seemed to disappear. It's back, to a very disquieting degree. |
On April 19, the Corfu synagogue, in Greece, was burned. How many Jews live in Corfu today? One hundred and fifty. How many Jews live in Greece? Eight thousand, or about 0.8% of the population. For some, it seems these figures are still far too high. Two other synagogues were burned in Greece during the past year. Anti-Semitic graffiti on the walls are spreading all over the country.
What happened in Greece is happening everywhere across the European continent.
During the last decade, synagogues were vandalized or set on fire in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, France. Anti-Semitic inscriptions are being drawn on building walls in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Rome. Jewish cemeteries are being ransacked. Jews are being attacked on the streets of most major cities on the continent. In the Netherlands, the police use "decoy Jews" in order to try arrest the perpetrators red-handed.
Jewish schools are being placed under police protection everywhere, and are usually equipped with security gates. Jewish children in public high schools are bullied; when parents complain, they are encouraged to choose another place of learning for their children.
In some cities such as Malmö, Sweden, or Roubaix, France, the persecution suffered by the Jewish community has reached such a degree that people are selling their homes at any price and leaving. Those who stay have the constant feeling that they are risking their lives: they must be extremely streetwise and carry no sign showing who they are. In 1990, approximately 2000 Jewish people lived in Malmö; now there are fewer than 700, and the number is decreasing every year.
Jews now, in fact, have to be streetwise in all European countries: men wearing a skullcap usually hide it under a hat or a cap. Owners of kosher restaurants located on avenues where protests are organized close their facilities before the arrival of the participants -- even if the protest is about wages or retirement age. They know too well that among the demonstrators, there will always be some who will express their rage at the sight of a Jewish name or a star of David on a store front. In Paris, on Labor Day, May 1st, in front of a Jewish café on Avenue of the Republic, several hundred demonstrators stopped and began to boo "Jews" and "Zionists." A man coming out of the café was assaulted until police officers arrived on the scene.
A few weeks ago in Norway, when Alan Dershowitz was banned from giving lectures on the conflict in the Middle East, the professors who supported the ban used anti-Semitic stereotypes in their remarks. What happened to him is now commonplace. In many universities in Europe, giving lectures on Jewish culture has become risky, and giving lectures on Israel anywhere -- without being clearly « pro-Palestinian » - is even more risky, or impossible: Once the event is announced, the organizers and the lecturers immediately receive explicit death threats by mail or by the internet. The day the lecture takes place, "anti-Zionists" organize violent protests, try to prevent people from entering the hall, and physically attack the lecturers. The only way to avoid this type of situation is to organize the lecture by invitation only, without ads.
After World War II, anti-Semitism seemed to disappear in Europe. It is back, to a very disquieting degree.
Although it is not exactly the same anti-Semitism that in the 1930's, it is not fully different.
It is an anti-Semitism that is widespread in the Muslim population that settled in Europe, and it would be easy to think that it is strictly an Islamic phenomenon, but the anti-Semitism as it exists today in the Muslim world was heavily influenced by the old European anti-Semitism. And what the Muslim immigrants bring with them can easily find resonances in European non-Muslim populations. Copies of fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Arabic are sold in Islamic bookstores from one end of the continent to the other, and they also circulate abundantly again in many European languages, under the mantle or via internet.
It is also an anti-Semitism that allows the far right to restate its rejection of "cosmopolitanism" -- an adjective on the European continent that has always been used to point out the Jews -- in a context where, because of the European economic decline, nationalist tensions and isolationism sound more and more seductive. It is an anti-Semitism that the left does not want to fight, because for it, the Muslims are oppressed, and the left is always on the side of those it defines as oppressed, whether or not the oppression is caused by the terrible governance inside those countries, or scapegoated onto someone else. European anti-racist movements say they are very concerned about "Islamophobic racism," but they are totally reluctant to discuss the anti-Semitism in the Muslim populations.
The new, current anti-Semitism now adds on to the old kind, the demonization of the State of Israel. The Islamic view of Israel is now the dominant view of Israel in Europe. The idea that Israel is a "colonial power" that has "robbed" people of their land, and is an "artificial State", even though the Jews have been on that land for three thousand years -- and even though many states in the area, such as Jordan and Libya, and Iraq are even more illegitimate, their borders having been drawn on papre by the British in the 1920s -- is a commonplace among journalists.
Hatred towards Israel is now the most widely shared sentiment among Europeans, whatever their place on the political spectrum. It is now through hatred of Israel, that hatred of Jews as annoying "troublemakers" can again express itself.
European Muslim populations hate Israel and seek its destruction. European non-Muslim people seem think that if Israel did not exist, tensions with Muslims would be less, and they attribute to Israel all the responsibility of the tensions, even though , since most of the Jews have fled from countries in the Middle East, it is now the Christian Copts in Egypt and the Christian Assyrians in Iraq who are being attacked by Islamic mobs. As the Arabic saying goes, "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people."
As Israel is a Jewish state, European Jews are asked to be « good Europeans », and to disavow Israel. If they refuse, or worse, if they say they still support Israel, they are considered untrustworthy.
In the 1930s, Jews were accused of not being full members of the country where they lived. Today, the same criticism rises in a slightly different form: Jews are accused of the existence of a Jewish state, and are suspected of being too tied to that state to be full members of the country where they live.
More deeply, the non-Jews of Europe might feel that if they can paint the Jews as evil, then perhaps what their parents and grandparents did to them during World War II was not really so bad after all; you could even say they deserved what they got. As some Scandinavians put it, The Jews killed Christ; at least the Muslims did not do that.
The anti-Semitism of the 1930s led to the Holocaust, which led the Jews to flee to Israel, the only country that would take them in and not let shiploads of fleeing Jews sink at sea. Now, European anti-Semitism accuses the Jews of Israel's existence, and of reminding them of the Holocaust by remembering it themselves. Meanwhile, an increasing number of Europeans seem quite ready for another Holocaust: one that would be the annihilation of Israel.
If sacrificing Israel allowed non-Muslim Europeans to see Muslim anger disappear, they would be willing to make the sacrifice immediately. If, in order to accept the sacrifice with a clear conscience, non-Muslim Europeans have to caricature Israel ignobly, they will -- and do. Anti-Israel cartoons fill European newspapers from London to Spain, and even receive awards. The Israeli army is often compared in European media to the Nazi army. The comparison is fully playing its role: if the Jews are Nazis today, it means that the Europeans did the world a favor in killing six million of them, and that the Europeans are not really guilty.
If Israel can be portrayed as a Nazi state, its destruction is acceptable, maybe even legitimate, maybe even desirable. The fact that Mein Kampf is a bestseller in the Palestinian territories and in most countries of the Muslim world is totally left out, just like the fact that many Jews living in Israel are survivors of the Holocaust committed in Europe sixty five years ago.
A survey conducted last year for the Friederich Ebert Foundation, a German think tank linked to Germany's Social Democratic Party, was eloquent. To the question: « Do you think that Jews abuse their status as victims of Nazism ? » , positive responses reached proportions hardly imaginable: 72.2% in Poland, 48% in Germany, 40.2% in Italy, 32.3% in France. Another question, « Do you understand why people do not like Jews », generated results that must be faced. Number of positive responses: 55.2% in Poland, 48.9% in Germany, 40.2% in Italy. The question was not asked in France. In several polls conducted in Europe over the last decade, Israel was identified as the most dangerous country for world peace, tied with Iran.
The question: "Are you anti-Semitic" was not asked anywhere. I have no doubt that, if asked the question, those who understand that "People do not like Jews," and who probably do not like them either, would have said that they were not anti-Semitic.
The question, "Do you think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians," was asked. Positive responses : 63% in Poland, 47.7% in Germany.
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, called the poll "very disturbing. The governments of Europe, and the European Union," he said, "would do well to wake up to this problem before it is too late."
This article originally appeared in Hudson New York.
Guy Millière, who has worked for several think tanks, is Professor at the University of Paris. He has published 27 books on France, Europe, the United States and the Middle East. He is the authors of thousands of articles published in France, Israel and the United States. His last book, The Resistible Rise of Barack Obama, is an analysis of the policies and consequences of the Obama administration. He is working on an autobiography, Dissident, that will be published next Spring.