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sad, sad world

Via Instapundit:

Parents shocked after scout camp features Nazis chasing Jews

I had someone actually tell me the other day that anti-semitism does not really exist, that the Jews just have "persecuted personalities."

What would one call this, then?

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Parents of more than 100 Danish scouts were outraged over a game of tag at a scout camp in which children acted as Jews wearing yellow Stars of David and tried to escape from adults pretending to be Nazis.....The school yard included a sign with the German words "Arbeit macht frei," or "Work will set you free," the infamous inscription over the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

The game was organized by the Danish Christian FDF scout organization. Jes Imer of the locacal chapter of FDF in Copenhagen said:

"I don't know whether I should apologize..I didn't want the game to hurt anyone."

What's really appalling is that this is not just the work of one person, but of an entire chapter of a scouting organization.

Anti-semitism doesn't exist? Please, not only does it exist in spades, it's more widespread and accepted than you ever imagined.


God, that's appalling. Even worse is the fact that he doesn't know if he should apologize.

I just saw that. Holy shit! Europe--

I wonder how many people in Europe will now disassociate themselves from the scouts like people did here when the Boy Scouts refused to allow gays to be Scout leaders? Actually, I won't bother to wonder -- my guess is none.

I'm willing to accept the "educational experience" excuse if they'll tell me which side was getting the education.

Oh, if only we had more Europeans supporting the USA. Imagine what wonderful things we could learn from such civilized people...not.

Simply vile. If one more person tells me I'm paranoid about anti-semitism I'm going to scream really loud.

What the hell were these idiots thinking?

I heard about something just about as bad--at a U.S. school. To better "empathize" with persecuted German Jews, children were supposed to pack the objects they would need when going into hiding. Makes it all sound like kind of fun; but very consistent with the public school trend of reducing everything to arts & crafts.

I told a (Catholic private school) teacher about this, and he said, "I know what I would have packed...a Luger."

BTW, Michele, I'm curious as to what kind of person told you that "anti-semitism does not really exist, that the Jews just have "persecuted personalities."" Was it a leftist? Rightist? Professor? High school graduate? Visible human or e-mail troll?

Remind me again...why is it we soooo value the opinion of the Eurofacists?

That is one of the most horrible things I've ever heard. How can people do something like that and then not understand what's wrong with it when they're caught?

A guy I work with, no lie, said the other day that the Jewish World Conspiracy is in full effect. They're beginning to own everything, he said, and it's only a matter of time before they get us all. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I never would have suspected him of anti-semitism.

Whoa, whoa folks...

Some creep in one organisation flips out with some freaky shit, and suddenly we're talking 'EUROfascists'?

Man, what is wrong with some of you people? Careful about tarring entire continents with the same brush. Frankly, it's idiotic, and you know it...

You know what they say about people in glass houses that throw stones...

Instapundit added some rebuttals to the article including:

UPDATE: Reader David Rosenberg says not so fast with the antisemitism charges:

I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that the people who organized this game were anti-semites.

I was a counselor at a Jewish day camp in California where we once concocted a similar game although without the props like Jewish stars etc. I think we had the kids trying to escape from Europe past the Nazi border guards.

Later on, the other counselors and I agreed that the game was too scary and totally inappropriate. But I don't think we would have thought that it could be interpreted as anti-semitic, even if it had been a non-Jewish day camp and even if we had been non-Jews.

Sure, let's hold the Germans (even Danish-speaking ones) to a higher standard, but I'd like to see more facts before I call it the A word.

I have been thinking about this story and thread all day. I wrote and discarded a personal story several times during the day...not sure if I should post it. I did.

Not in my name, not ever


In response to David's question:

BTW, Michele, I'm curious as to what kind of person told you that "anti-semitism does not really exist, that the Jews just have "persecuted personalities."" Was it a leftist? Rightist? Professor? High school graduate? Visible human or e-mail troll?

I've been told this by some of my closest friends. Not Jewish. Ivy League educated. Liberal as the day is long.

I do not think anyone who is not Jewish can understand the increasing fear we all experience these days. Living as a Jew in NYC, one would think I would not experience anti-semitism. But I do, and really, for the first time in my life here since 9/11.

gimme a frigging break Faith, living in NYC is making you fearful? not because of crime on the streets or in the subways or in the park. no not these things you are only scared because you are jewish? i think that is absolutely ridiculous. lets not over do it please.

now with that said playing that game was and is totally inappropriate. the fools that allowed children to engage in such a game should just be shot to prevent them from spreading there stupidity any further.

"I do not think anyone who is not Jewish can understand the increasing fear we all experience these days. Living as a Jew in NYC, one would think I would not experience anti-semitism. But I do, and really, for the first time in my life here since 9/11."

Sadly, I must agree. I NEVER gave much thought to my religion before 9/11, neither the religious nor the cultural aspects of it. I grew up in a mostly-Jewish suburban town, went to a very diverse NYC high school, have friends of all religions and races and political persuasions. That whole Jewish thing was, like, soooo old-fashioned to me. I was--am--an American, y'know?

I totally scoffed at my grandparents, who are active in all sorts of Jewish causes and activities, as living in the past. I actually found their concern for Israel and their insistence on remembering the Holocaust and WWII to be slightly embarrassing. For instance, they do not buy German products. At all. No German cars, ever. They've been everywhere in the world, really adventurous travelers, but they will NOT spend time in Germany nor spend money there if at all possible. I didn't use to understand this kind of a grudge. I do now. I should point out that their branches of the family, except for my grandfather's father, had been in America for 2-3-4 generations; they didn't lose ancestors or even extended relatives in WWII, as far as I know.

Another example: my grandfather was seriously worried when Lieberman ran for veep that there would somehow be an anti-Jewish backlash, whereas I (even though I"m Republican) thought it was pretty cool that he got picked. To me, it seemed like my grandfather was living in the 1940's, or at best the 1960's. Modern society surely wasn't as bigoted as he automatically seemed to assume.

And then 9/11. And then having my eyelids ripped open to the growing wave of European anti-Semitism, and to the loooong-existing anti-Semitism in the Middle East. For once, I started giving a shit what happened to Israel. And then Danny Pearl targeted and murdered for being an American Jew (a two-fer in the eyes of the Islamofascist world!). And the French and Tunisian and Finnish (!) and Canadian (!!) synagogue bombings. And the armed guards at my dinky lil' synagogue at the holidays. Just in case.

And with regards to New York City, specifically: the Muslim taxi driver who blithely told me about killing homosexuals back in his home country and who made some bigoted-but-kinda-funny comments to me when he asked me if I went to church and I told him no, I went to synagogue. And the Arab-American shopkeepers in Brooklyn and northern Jersey who cheered in the streets on 9/11. And the news stand vendors who won't sell the NY Post because they think it's too pro-Israel. And Central Synagogue in midtown with something like 10 guards around it on 9/11/02 when I went there to pray/meditate/reflect, but kept getting distracted thinking about the concrete barriers around the building meant to deflect truck bomb blasts. And my father's law firm's office in NYC, in a building across the street from a well-known Jewish charity, and how that worries me (concrete barriers there, too, disguised as large planters). (The building my uncle worked in--one Liberty Plaza--was rendered uninhabitable after 9/11. His office has since moved...to a building right near Grand Central, which is another worry for me.)

Getting the picture yet, rupert? I am/was the last person you'd think would turn into a Zionist, or care what happened to Israel, or on a more personal level even be comfortable holding up "Jew" as integral part of my identity. I never thought about anti-Semitism except as something that happened in Europe under the Nazi's, or maybe in the old Deep South. I was sheltered. I had no idea.

Ignorance was bliss. I miss it sometimes.

I grew up in the 50-60's in So. Cal. While I was raised Presbyterian, I had one Mormon grandma, went to Temple with my Jewish friends on Friday and Mass on Saturday evening with my Catholic friends and to my own Sunday school on Sunday.... My parents' best friends are Jewish...I went to seders and bah mitzvahs... in high school (68-72) when being a "reborn" Christian was riding a popularity crest, I used to get into huge arguments with the newbies over how insulting and hateful they were telling the Jewish students they were "going to hell."

This all is a rather long background to say to Asparagirl and Faith..one does not have to be Jewish to see and be concerned with the rise of anti-Semitism.

I argue, quite passionately, in different venues about Israel, its history and its right to survive...and the first statement out of many peoples mouth is "you're Jewish, right?" Some don't even ask, they just toss the word "Jew" at me like a hand grenade.

IMHO, the vast majority of Americans are not anti-Semitic. I think that's why so many don't "get it" when others, be they Aryan Brotherhood, Nation of Islam or any recent immigrant from a culture steeped in anti-Semitism run their hate campaigns just under the radar. For most Americans religion is a personal issue, nothing to get worked up over...certainly not to murder over! (goes along way to explain most Americans confusion over Northern Ireland, too)

9/11 was certainly a wakeup call for most Americans (save for the knee-jerk blame-America-first leftist crowd) on how much fundamentalist hate there can be that cannot be reasoned with.

What really worries me is this effort by some to bend over backwards to accomodate such behavior as Asparagirl described (some Arabs in America celebrating 9/11, mainstream Muslim virtual silence on Islamofascist homocide bombers, etc).

Denmark runs this little escapade and wonders what all the fuss is about.... not too far away in Norway, western women are blamed for their own rapes by Muslim men who don't know how to handle all the unseemly temptation.

But the racism goes both ways... back in the early 80's I was a ski instructor for a local bus tour company. One weekend, I met a beautiful [Jewish] girl on a trip to Hunter Mtn. We got along great and I asked her for a date. I went over to pick her up and came inside to meet her parents. Her parents started "grilling" me about my background and once they heard that I was born in Germany, they asked me to leave and to never see their daughter again. They never waited to hear that I was born and adopted by non-German parents and raised here on LI my whole life... Nope - the simple fact that I had German blood was enough to dismiss me...

That's true, Jewish people can be racist. Does that make antisemitism can better, because it's not the only kind of hate?

When I catch myself discriminating against people, or more likely caught by other people, I'm ashamed at myself. I'm simply not sure why other people aren't, as well.

For 50 years, anti-Semitism was on the decline throughout the western world.

For several hundred years, freedom of speech has, with some local exceptions, been on the increase throughout the western world.

In the last 10 years, anti-Semitism has increased sharply and freedom of speech is under attack (in Britain, a guy was recently jailed for a somewhat flamboyant defense of the rights of hunters.)

Anyone have any theories explaining this reversal in long-term trends? My own theory is that it has to do with the increasingly large numbers of "college graduates" and the pseudo-educations they have received.

I dunno if you read my rant about my fucked up sister-in-law's in-laws and how awful they were to me (and Brendan's entire family) recently, but the capper (which I left out in my post) was this:
the morning after dinner with them, and the day brefore my nephew's birthday party, for which my sister in law et all flew out from NY, the hostess, his paternal grandma (sister-in-law's mother-in-law. like this matters. I'm just trying to distance myself from them, see.), called my house to let me know that B and I, and his whole family were staying with us for the party, were not invited and that if we were planning on coming we should maybe eat first. And really there wouldn't be much room, as they'd invited all the people from their Church, so... So, fine, bitch, we ate first but we showed up anyway as we were too fucking invited.

When we arrived, we were segregated into the front room, away from the random collection of friends from the Old Country (Czech republic) and away from the baby.

I know most of these Czech biddies, we've had drinks and picked each other's brains on a handful occaisions, they adore me, and so I tried to mix it up a little. And it went pretty well; I thought I'd saved the day somewhat. Until the hostess dragged me into the kitchen for some marathon verbal pummeling, ending it by pointing at the pendant I was wearing and a declaring that I must be a Jew.

This pendant has several parts to it, layers and layers of symbolism - the filigreed background in the shape of a six pointed star, and it's topped off by a sort of no t- pentacle - but - sheriff - star thingy inlaid with onyx. I replied that I was Catholic, actually, and the great thing about the necklace is that everyone sees something different in it. And she, I guess, saw a yellow felt star sewn onto my lapel. She glared when I said I was Catholic, that could not be, she's Catholic so I must be lying. She said "no, no, I can tell: you're a Jew. Just like the rest of them."

Oh. The rest of them.
Brendan's maternal grandparents fled Austria, after the grandfather's furniture design shop was torched, and while some of us admire them as heroic for rebuilding after escaping to the U.S., some people still see them, and their progeny, as a plague to be erradicated. As it happens, his grandmother was not Jewish, so that matrilineal heritage technically stopped with them, B's mom was brought up in an environment completely sterile of that heritage, and is now a big guru worshiping hippie. But Brendan and his sister look like Grandpa Fritz (thank God, he was gorgeous). So they're Jewish. And that's bad.

I guess my blonde hair and blue eyes made me the token "looks like one of us" darling, maybe that's why they keep inviting us over, but my amulet blew their fantasy.

I should have told her it was an evil eye.

I don't know... the Danes are certainly Norse, not even remotely German except some in the Schleswig-Holstein area. This area, and by proxy the rest of Denmark, was occupied by the Nazis during WWII. A great part of the Danish cultural ethos concerns their resistance to the Nazis (much more productive than the French), and their assistance to Jews fleeing the Nazis toward Sweden. Contrary to popular opinion, the King DID NOT wear a star of david, but the efforts of the Resistance and ordinary Danes on behalf of European Jewry should not be underestimated. Look it up. It's good history. I suspect that the report of the "anti-semitic" game lost something in translation.

I consider it rather as fascinating that because a group of people does something, wich is VERY disturbing in my eyes, whole europe suddenly is anti-semit.
Like whole america must be absolutly Racist because three idiots killed an Afro-American by drawing him behind there car and whole Australia is a bunch of people doing genozid because there are still some people looking for ways to remove the last aborigine from australia.
FACE IT AND GROW UP: Bad people are everywhere, and by demonizing whole countries or continent the only thing you do is, YOU HELP THEM

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