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"Screw the Jews, they don't count anyway"

Ever since I first heard of the "Jews as canaries" idea, I rather liked it. It states that the way a place treats Jews is a good indicator of how other groups will be treated down the line, and when things start getting bad for the Jews, it's gonna start going downhill for a lot of other people in fairly short order.

However, the idea of looking at the Jews and using them as a barometer for how things are going, no matter how practical it might seem, doesn't appear to be taking much hold in the world. In fact, just the opposite seems to be developing -- problems for the Jews tend to get swept under the rug.

Let's look at a few examples. Recently, the London tabloid The Sun put up a graphic charting Islamic terror attacks since 1993 -- and didn't include a single incident in Israel. (Online story has expired, but discussion here.)

How about another? OK, let's look more historically. The creation of Israel in the 40's led to a great number of refugees created. The United Nations has two organizations devoted to helping refugees -- one for the 800,000 Palestinians displaced at that time and their descendants, one for everyone else. But neither group ever troubled itself with the 800,000 or so OTHER refugees created at that time -- the Jews who lived in Arabic and Muslim lands who fled TO Israel, often with barely the shirts on their backs. Those people are essentially lost to the world. It's like they never existed.

But that's all right with them. To them, "refugee" is synonymous with "victim," and they don't want to be considered victims. They looked at their situation, shrugged, and GOT ON WITH THEIR LIVES. They decided that they weren't going to be Egyptian/Jordanian/Lebanese/Syrian/Iraqi/Iranian/Moroccan/whatever refugees; they would leave that all behind with barely a backward glance and become ISRAELIS. They gave up everything they ever had and, with the help of their new homeland, started living. The greatest tragedy of the Palestinians is that the places that gave them shelter refused to let them get past their victimhood and become part of their nation. And let's not forget that Jordan killed far more Palestinians than Israel ever did when the Palestinians attempted to overthrow their government in the Black September uprising of 1970-1971.

OK, how about a third example? People often say that since September 11, 2001, there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. While that's largely true, apparently nobody else remembers an Egyptian man shooting up Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002, killing three people before a security guard killed him. I wonder if the fact that the part of LAX he shot up was the El Al ticket counter, and it was an El Al security agent that killed him (after being wounded himself) is what allows this incident to fall down the memory hole.

OK, a fourth demonstration. Here's something from the "Standing Headlines" drawer -- "Terrorist attack in Israel threatens fragile cease-fire." Let's look at that carefully. If there's a cease-fire, that means that both sides stop attacking. If one of them attacks, then the cease-fire isn't THREATENED, it's OVER. But by couching the incident in those terms, the implication is that one side can attack without violating the agreement, but any retaliation would irrevocably shatter the "delicate truce."

And all those calls for "Israel to show restraint" or "demonstrate patience" makes me wonder if we are witnessing a new low in language. "Patience" and "restraint" are now to be measured in dead Israelis, and seem to be pushing the idea that there is a "tolerable" level of terrorism against Israel -- that it should only be taken seriously when it reaches certain levels, but a few dead here and there are simply part of the routine cost of living. I've tried to find an explanation that doesn't reek of cold racism and anti-Semitism, but I've failed.

(added at last minute before publication) Today provides a perfect example. There was a suicide bombing in Israel recently, killing numerous innocent people. There also have been literally dozens of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel in the past week or so. This morning Israel blew up a van carrying four Hamas terrorists and a cubic assload of homemade rockets. Naturally, it's that last action by Israel that is "threatened an already tattered truce."

I've said many times before I consider myself a Zionist, but apart from principle, there's a strong element of pragmatism behind my support for Israel. History has shown us time and time again that the "canary in a coal mine" rule of thumb holds a lot of merit. Having the Jews around to let us know when things are going bad is a very, very useful thing. And to let that incredibly useful barometer be destroyed would be the ultimate proof of its truth.


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Comments (19)

Yeah, I told my husband tha... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I told my husband that I will never visit a country where it's not safe to be a Jew. Because if you're not safe as a Jew, chances are a lot of other things are wrong with that country and non-Jewish tourists are likely not safe.

Luckily, the U.S. is a huge country and offers plenty of vacation opportunities.

This would be an excellent ... (Below threshold)

This would be an excellent time to remind everyone that Saudi Arabia does not allow Jews to set foot on their soil for any reason. This is the law there because it's the home of Mecca, but if Israel was to try to enact a similar law barering Muslims the UN would start issuing resolutions at about the same rate lefties are turning up justifications to hang Rove.

Welllll...I agree that to b... (Below threshold)

Welllll...I agree that to be Jewish today is to be the flare point for nearly all things controversial as to nationalities and racism. I don't know why that is, and I've never associated, nor sympathized, with any of the lack of tolerance interests.

But, as to "Jews as canaries," why not canaries themselves?

Because, the idea that those who are Jewish should be the test case or the flint for the possible flare, or whatever...seems somewhat, well -- how to say this -- seems somewhat racist in and of itself.

I think it would be worthwhile to identify what aspect to the dislike where the Jewish are concerned is the upset for and about specific other nationalites, is my point. Because, otherwise, the issue gets reduced to assumed racial characteristics and the morethanlikely more specific aspect/s are not discussed.

All those millions are upset about: ___________________ where Israelis are concerned.

All those millions are upset about:
____________________where the Jews as a race are concerned.

I mean, otherwise, to generalize "the Jews" as being "test cases" ("canaries") as to problematic nationalities/racial types is just too nebulous an issue to discuss.

Me, I don't have a clue what is quite so awful that people are blowing themselves up and destroying neighborhoods and nations over. I mean, I really don't understand what any specific argument is actually about.

What about the DC sniper? I... (Below threshold)

What about the DC sniper? I forgot the details...

and -S-

His point is observational. He's not condoning the "use" of Jews as canaries. Rather, he's observing that as a nation/race, Jews are the most universally persecuted group, and the level of persecution to Jews in any one area of the world provides an indicator as to how other minority groups will be treated in the future.


The canaries in France aren... (Below threshold)

The canaries in France aren't doing so well. In fact, most of them throughout Europe are ill, indeed. To paraphrase something I saw at The Anchoress's site: God must love them terribly, to let them suffer so!

What about the DC sniper... (Below threshold)

What about the DC sniper?

NewEnglandDevil, did he ever clarify his motives?
Pissed at the ex-wife or killing for Allah? Probably a little of both as Allah would most likely grant permission to kill the ex-wife.

Amazingly, knowing what we know now about the Islamic mindset that Israel has survived to date. God bless them.

God, I'd love to put those vermin at Gitmo on a bagel and water diet.

The DC sniper belonged to t... (Below threshold)

The DC sniper belonged to the Nation of ISLAM. Which, coincidently teaches and promotes anti-Semitism. So, you could consider the DC sniper an actual Islamic attack on U.S. soil, even though it was home-grown, and not imported. Just like London.

Thanks, Ed.Islam..... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Ed.

Islam.....a fast growing religion behind bars. You are forgiven your serial killing or anti-social ways if you follow Mohammed's format. Conscience not required. Seen it firsthand....as a psych nurse, not a felon.

NewEnglandDevil...I KNOW th... (Below threshold)

NewEnglandDevil...I KNOW that. I am familiar enough with JayTea to know he isn't suggesting parading actual human beings who happen to be Jewish out into some mine field or target range or mine filled with gas and then asking them to "just breathe" nor anything figurehead/representatiional like those horrors....

I was only making the point that it seems to indulge the point that Jay Tea objects to (as do some of us others), and that is suggesting based upon a nationality (Israelis), and/or racial type (Jews) that they be "used" to represent/indicate certain problems.

I mean by that that the actual problems where the Israelis are concerned and the Jewish people are concerned (variations of problems, respectively) are varied and remain nebulous to the world's view. Certainly to mine.

I can understand somewhat the terrible strife between the two bordering nations of Israel and Palestine but I have to admit that I cannot understand why that strife is so severe as to cause people to take their own and others' lives. To blow up buildings, to run in the streets and throw stones, all that.

On a world community level, I also don't understand what the issue is that produces all the hateful strife about Israelis and the Jewish people where other nations and races are concerned.

I ask honestly because, honestly, I just don't understand what the problem/s is/are, that would produce such horrific responses and conditions.

But, as to Jay Tea's idea, I think that by suggesting Jews be used as canaries, just emphasises a sort of usery based upon racial type, is my point. Thus, I write, why not just use canaries themselves or forego the idea?

Because, you know, the Jewish people had to overcome their "usefulness" to the Egyptians along the same lines...

Okay, I don't want anybody ... (Below threshold)

Okay, I don't want anybody to get hysterical and foam at the mouth, but...Jews are not a race! Please, as a Jew, I don't consider my religion my race. Jews are, were, and always will be a nation. Says so in the Jewish Scriptures. Jews come in all races, but they belong to the Jewish nation. Thank you, and I hope no one was offended by my correction.

-S-Maybe I'm being... (Below threshold)


Maybe I'm being hypersensitive here. Are you asking whether we should look at the Jewish people to see what they do do make others react negatively? Or, to put it another way, if so many for so long so consistently have acted against the Jews, there must be something about the Jews that evoked those responses? Sort of "Why do we (not you, I'm sure) hate them? Because if that's your question, say it clear; I'm sure you'll get answers.

Jews are a PEOPLE. Not a r... (Below threshold)
Captain Queeg:

Jews are a PEOPLE. Not a race, not a Relgion a People.

Captain Queeg

Ed: I know that too (Jews ... (Below threshold)

Ed: I know that too (Jews are not a race), but I have long since caved in to popular colloquialisms just to get a point across. I know, I know, I know, but most don't, so I just say, O.K.,...

alene: NO, I am NOT suggesting that! No way, no how!

But, ha, I was just laughing a bit at that notorious "Jewish guilt" peeping forward in between the lines of what you've written, assuming I'd be anticipating that, to the effect, "Jews explain what they've done to create the animosity," while, NO, what I was suggesting was that there be some SPECIFIC discussion as to whatever the problems are related to/about people who are Jewish in what Jay Tea refers to as the world wide nations.

I mean, I just don't have a clue why there's discord about anyone being Jewish, is my point. However, NOT anticipating that Jews/the Jewish people "explain" why they have -- ha -- "caused" everyone/anyone ELSE to respond badly.

Eeek, no. Perhaps more of an idea as to someone just trying to discuss, whether Jewish or not, what the problems are and where and why, that are related to those persons who are Jewish.

I in no way suggest that there's some innate quality to and about the Jewish people that "causes" them to "cause" people to respond badly, just saying a discussion from whomever, Jewish or not, about the nature of the strife about the Jewish people.

Quite sincerely, I do not have a clue as to what it is, beyond a territorial thing between Israel as a nation and Palestine as a nation and their border and property arguements. Which seems, actually, rather a small thing in relationship with the greater, more awful strife that exists. All that heat and animosity over a border? I mean, I don't get it.

Not being disrespectful or insensitive, just asking. In my experience, just posing this question brings down something awful upon the hand of whoever writes it, which is, again, something I don't understand.

I just don't understand why the issues can't be discussed without hurling rocks, shooting bullets, and worse. By anyone. Of any nationality.

-S-OK, so I take it ... (Below threshold)

OK, so I take it you don't know much about the history, and it's an honest inquiry. The answers are too many and too long, and noone of goodwill ahould have to learn them;) A few hints follow.
1. Statelessness in a world of nation-states, most of which were blood/soil systems. Some tolerated strangers better than others, but the outsider depended on the sufferance of the ruler. When times get tough, cast out (expulsions Spain, Great Britain, lots more) or kill (see, e.g., Germany, pogroms).
2. Christianity and Islam both supercede Judaism. Jews killed one Lord and betrayed the other, according to scripture. That's a deep well to draw hate from.
3. Jews, despite limited rights, often were relatively successful Success breeds resentment, especially when the less successful believe themselves superior.
4. Related to 3), Jews were often conspicuous in ideological movements, like communism, where ideally all would be treated alike. So given 1&2, you could damn them for capitalists or communists, and people did.

No answers, just some things to think about. Not, sadly, irrelevant today, and thus the "canary".

Really excellent and origin... (Below threshold)

Really excellent and original thinking. Like America and most civilized nations, Israel defends herself when attacked but generally tries very hard not to take innocent civilian lives.

Terrorists, on the other hand, quite deliberately target and murder innocent men, women, and children. Not just once. Over and over again. Year after year. Decade after decade. Country after country. Excuse after excuse.

When Israel builds a wall to save its own civilians from slaughter, Israel is criticized. Meanwhile, the media strive to "understand" and "explain" terrorism.

Apologists and excusers for terrorism do almost as much harm as the terrorists themselves.

Those of us who can see the clear moral distinction between (for example) -- (1) deliberately murdering innocent civilians and (2) building a wall to stop deliberate murder of innocent civilians -- need to speak up for what is right.

About one of alene's points... (Below threshold)

About one of alene's points...

"Jews killed one Lord..."

Please allow me to express this in the hopes that Jewish people can understand this concept (it requires an exercise in faith):

Christianity does not teach that "the Jews killed Jesus Christ" (the Lord you refer to),

but that HUMANITY KILLED Christ. It was a murderous act from within humanity that killed the human life of Jesus Christ.

That the immediate culture at the life and time of Jesus Christ was Israeli -- from whence He was born and about which He was because of that -- the HUMANITY that peopled His human environment was Jewish and/or Roman, for the most part.

Thus, the two cultures present at that time of crises coincided and concluded that Jesus should be put to death. BUT THE POINT IS that it was and still is humanity -- MAN -- who took those actions, who reached those conclusions.

The only way to single out the Israelis as being responsible for Jesus' death in these terms is to posit that the Israelis' were not part of humanity. Which is nonsensical on a physical level and idiotic from a point of history.

Thus, the ACT that took the life of Jesus Christ was the responsibility of humanity, exacted by Man in that capital sense. Mankind took the life of the Lord, not "the Jews."

That some Jews continue even today to hold that act up, falsely, as some sort of issue between Christianity and the Jews is completely false. It was also the loudest yelling point used by some to criticise Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ," but yet, they missed the entire premise/point of the film and of the real story itself and that is, it's not "the Jews" who killed Jesus Christ, but humanity. It was an act of mankind that required his life to end and which asked for the murder of the Lord. And it is that act and about that requirement that Jesus died to correct: His death "paid for" the error. He died for that sin, the corporal sin of Man.

And yet did not die but triumphed over that death. Thus, He "saved" the suffering for all of Mankind, including the Jews.

Jesus titty-fucking ... (Below threshold)

Jesus titty-fucking Christ! You guys just love mouthing the same inanities that everyone else has mouthed before you. Do you ever, I mean EVER think for yourselves, or maybe head over to the bookshelves to see what the FACTS have to say?

My deary morons, I don't know exactly what a race is but I'd imagine that by your definitions it's something like Santa Claus, in other words, whatever Jews ARE proved to be you will say, "aha! but that's not a race...". That's because you're idiots. Hitler said that Jews area race and he killed them so let's say that Jews ARE NOT a race, regardless of what the word race means.

So rather than getting into some silly argument on exact definitions I'll say only this.

Genetic testing has shown there to be only a small amount of intermarriage into the Jewish gene pool over the years.

All known Jewish communities, with the exception of Ethiopian Jews and a Libyan Jewish community, are shown to be closely related. Jews are an ethnic group by every definition of the term.

They are, on average, more likely to be highly intelligent than other Caucasians and more likely to carry the Tay-Sachs gene.

Whether you like Jews or dislike Jews, claiming that they don't exhibit - on average - certain physical, medical or intellectual traits, may make you feel better in some primitive way, but it is nonsense.

And for the love of christ, buy a fucking mind of your own!



mnuez,As far as Ta... (Below threshold)


As far as Tay-Sachs goes, only Jews of Eastern European decent have a propensity for Tay-Sachs. It's pretty much unheard of in Jews from North African/Middle Eastern (Sfardi) heritage. As to the point of being on the average more intelligent, a few thousand years of selective breeding helps. Not to rank out on the Church or anything, but having your best and brightest removed from the gene pool isn't the sharpest way to get smart. While Jews, as general rule, looked upon the best and brightest as the best candidates for marriage.

I thought it strange as I r... (Below threshold)

I thought it strange as I read this post, the ad to the left on the blog is to support the "carter center"






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