69 million page views

The European World View

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by Gary Vineberg (United States), Jul 29, 2002 at 02:50

After much thought, I've concluded that the divide between Europe and the U.S. vis a vis Israel (among other issues) is often due to a European world view that is quite different from our own. In some important ways, it is closer to that of the Muslim Middle East.

It seems paradoxical to many North Americans that the native French, just for one example, can be both hostile to Israel in foreign-policy terms and anti-Arab domestically. But why not? Beneath the leftist, anti-Jewish traits in European society, there is a traditonal view that Europe is Christian, the Middle East is Muslim, and the Jews have no business upsetting this arrangment by asserting their national aspirations. The Arabs aren't the only ones who remember the Crusades.

Christian Europeans may be more tolerant of Jews and other religious minorities today, but Muslim Arabs were more tolerant 800 years ago. (How soon the Europeans have forgotten that without Nazism and fascism, there might not have been the urgent need for a Jewish state.) Unlike the United States, Europe does not truly subscribe to religious pluralism; if it did, would the British Prime Minister select the Archbishop of Canterbury? Further, with the exception of the English-speaking countries, radical ideologies have given liberal democracy a run for the money in the West, which can thank America for the benevolent governments of today.

In short, the Europeans don't share our perspective that countries should either be pluralistic and multicultural, or carve out some space for those peoples who are unwelcome as equals. Hitler solved their "Jewish problem," so now the goal seems to be preventing the Muslims' agitation over Israel from disturbing the comfortable way of life in Europe.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The European World View by Gary Vineberg

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)