On the Non-Existence of Jewish Radicalization
On the first show of the season, the TV-show Existens on Swedish public TV surveyed radicalization in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.
Before the show had been aired, Per Gudmundson of Svenska Dagbladet expressed skepticism about the perceived attempts to stick to the “a plague on both your houses” formula (maybe the lazy man’s version of impartiality?) In this case, the researchers for the show had tried to find examples of increasing Jewish radicalization, as well as Muslim dito. Gudmundson wrote about the issue here, and I watched the show with some curiosity to see what they made of it in the end.
The show could find examples of radicalized Muslims, incarnated in the form of Muhamed Omar, whose appearance on the show I’ve written about it before.
Then they went on to find similar Jewish radicalization, which — the voice-over explained to the viewers — according to anonymous informants was supposed to be out there, somewhere.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t find any Swedish Jews, who’d become radicalized by the deteriorating situation in Gaza, so they had to remind the viewers of the existence of Jewish terror by adding a little segment on Yigal Amir and the Yeshivah where he had studied. (But unlike some Israeli leftists, they honorably enough refrained from attacking Bar-Ilan University.)
Once they had failed in their efforts on this count, they went to Britain to interview a member of a Jewish peace organization. He agreed that people who call people who look for radicalized Jews anti-Semites, are not doing the Jewish people any favors (as the voice-over explained that some — maybe the same — anonymous informants had done). But at the same time he did think that you can see a clear increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe in 2009, so the fear among many Jews is real — albeit exaggerated.
Ok, so the Jews aren’t radicalized and violent, but at least they exaggerate.
Let me just stress, before I’m counted as one of Existens’ anonymous informants, that I don’t find the “a plague on both your houses” formula anti-Semitic.