~There were two mass shootings over the weekend, separated by an ocean and a continent. Three were fatally shot and another three fatally stabbed in Santa Barbara; four died in Brussels. The slaughter was comparable in size, but not in sensibility. In California, the killer was the usual mentally disturbed solipsistic loner seeking a primetime blow-out in a blaze of narcissistic glory. In Belgium, the killer is yet to be identified, but he selected his target precisely - the Jewish Museum in Brussels - and killed an Israeli couple and local staff, at close range.
In America, everyone leaps on a mass murder within seconds to find the political angle: Is he a Tea Party supporter angry at Obamacare? Is it Sarah Palin's fault? Something Rush said? And, as always, aside from the same old eternally neglected mental-health public-policy issues, there's no real political angle at all: The killer's a deranged loser, and that's that. In the capital of the European Union, on the other hand, the opposite process seems to be occurring: A man killed Jews at a Jewish site, and everyone's at pains not to jump to conclusions. Reuters reports "Belgian officials saying anti-Semitic motives could not be ruled out". But, on the other hand, they're not yet ready to rule them in.
I'm not sure which is the more psychologically unhealthy reaction: the American urge to politicize every apolitical nutter, or the European refusal to acknowledge an obvious and ugly truth - that the Continent is awash in the biggest resurgence of open Jew-hatred in 70 years; that it is already routinely violent and spasmodically murderous; and that in the new EUtopia there is no place for a living, honest, open Jewish community, nor even a Jewish museum.
~Do the Europeans understand what they have unleashed? On the home page of The Guardian this morning, there was a teaser: "Michele Hanson: I'm starting to worry about being Jewish."
At last, I thought. So I clicked, and, in fact, the headline to her column is "The Right Is On The Rise Across Europe", and she's worried about Nigel Farage and Geert Wilders.
Wilders loves Jews, for reasons he explains in his book. Farage, by contrast, seems not particularly interested in Jews and Jewish concerns, but even a semi-detached Nige is more honorable on the subject than most of the Euro-left. He gave a speech to the European Parliament bemoaning the "trendy new form of anti-semitism" in EU institutions. I wonder if Ms Hanson could ever imagine any of her Guardian colleagues saying such a thing. One of the prime exponents of the new trendy leftie anti-semitism is her own newspaper's acclaimed cartoonist Steve Bell. Who does she think does more to de-legitimize Jewish identity in Britain and the western world today? Farage and Wilders? Or the constant drumbeat of BDS and "Israeli apartheid", and slavering blood-dripping Jew stereotypes from "liberal" cartoonists, and Holocaust-denying imams, and French headmasters advising Jewish parents to enroll their child under a non-Jewish name, and Danish headmasters advising Jewish parents it would be unsafe to enroll their child at all, and German police advising Jews not to walk the streets with any identifying marks of their faith... Until what's left of Jewish life in Europe is walled up behind the security barricades of their remaining schools and synagogues.
And without the need for a single neo-Nazi to shave his head and grab his bovver boots...
~The main reason Michele Hanson and every other member of Britain's metropolitan elite is worrying about Nigel Farage this morning is because he and UKIP won big on election day, for all the reasons my profile from last year suggested he would. I'll have more to say about this later today.