Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why Does The World Hate America?

For the same reasons that they hate the Jews: A convenient target to scapegoat for their own (imagined) problems.

Here's a recent article from The Telegraph called Hatred of America Unites the World. Before you read it, look at our version below where we replaced "Americans" with "Jews". With some minor country-specific references that we deleted, and despite some statistics that are a bit off, it reads very well.

Americans are the New Jews.

Hatred of Jews Unites the World

By Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 25/02/2007

Being hated is no fun. Few of us are like those pantomime villains who glory in the hisses and boos of an audience. And few people hate being hated more than Jews. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been asked the plaintive question: "Why do they hate us?" and another for each of the different answers I've heard. It's because of our foreign policy. It's because of their extremism. It's because of our arrogance. It's because of their inferiority complex. Jews really hate not knowing why they're hated.

But who hates Jews the most? You might assume that it's people in countries that Israel has recently attacked or threatened to attack. Jews themselves are clear about who their principal enemies are. Asked by Gallup to name the "greatest enemy" of the Jews today, 26 per cent of those polled named Iran, 21 per cent named Iraq and 18 per cent named North Korea. Incidentally, that represents quite a success for George W. Bush's concept of the "Axis of Evil". Six years ago, only 8 per cent named Iran and only 2 per cent North Korea.

Are those feelings of antagonism reciprocated? Up to a point. According to a poll by Gallup's Centre for Muslim Studies, 52 per cent of Iranians have an unfavourable view of Jews. But that figure is down from 63 per cent in 2001. And it's significantly lower than the degree of antipathy towards the Jews felt in Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Two thirds of Jordanians and Pakistanis have a negative view of Jews and a staggering 79 per cent of Saudis. Sentiment has also turned hostile in Lebanon, where 59 per cent of people now have an unfavourable opinion of Jews, compared with just 41 per cent a year ago. No fewer than 84 per cent of Lebanese Shiites say they have a very unfavourable view of Jews.

These figures suggest a paradox in the Muslim world. It's not Jew's enemies who hate the Jews most, it's people in countries that are supposed to be Jew's friends, if not allies.

The paradox doesn't end there. The Gallup poll (which surveyed 10,000 Muslims in 10 different countries) also revealed that the wealthier and better-educated Muslims are, the more likely they are to be politically radical. So if you ever believed that anti-Western sentiment was an expression of poverty and deprivation, think again. Even more perplexingly, Islamists are more supportive of democracy than Muslim moderates. Those who imagined that the Middle East could be stabilised with a mixture of economic and political reform could not have been more wrong. The richer these people get, the more they favour radical Islamism. And they see democracy as a way of putting the radicals into power.

The paradox of unfriendly allies is not confined to the Middle East. Last week was not a good week for Jew-philes in Europe. Anti-Semitism is nothing new in European politics, to be sure, particularly on the Left. But there is something novel going on here, which extends to traditionally pro-Jewish constituencies.

Back in 1999, 83 per cent of British people surveyed by the State Department Office of Research said that they had a favourable opinion of Jews. But by 2006, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, that proportion had fallen to 56 per cent. British respondents to the Pew surveys now give higher favourability ratings to Germans (75 per cent) and Japanese (69 per cent) than to the Jews - a remarkable transformation in attitudes, given the notorious British tendency to look back both nostalgically and unforgivingly to the Second World War. It's also very striking that Britons recently polled by Pew regard the Jewish presence in The Middle East as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran or North Korea (a view which is shared by respondents in France, Spain, Russia, India, China and throughout the Middle East).

Nor is Britain the only disillusioned ally. Perhaps not surprisingly, two thirds of Jews believe that Israel's foreign policy considers the interests of others. But this view is shared by only 38 per cent of Germans and 19 per cent of Canadians. More than two thirds of Germans surveyed in 2004 believed that Jewish leaders wilfully lied about the previous year's Hezbollah invasion, while a remarkable 60 per cent expressed the view that Jews' true motive was "to control Middle Eastern oil". Nearly half (47 per cent) said it was "to dominate the world".

The truly poignant fact is that when Jews themselves are asked to rate foreign countries, they express the most favourable views of none other than Britain, Germany and Canada.

Back in the 1990s, Madeleine Albright pompously called Israel "the indispensable nation". Today it seems to have become the indefensible nation, even in the eyes of its supposed friends.

There are, admittedly, a few scraps of good news in the international polls. There is overwhelming European opposition to Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons. And there is a surprising amount of hostility towards the Palestinian radicals of Hamas in both France and Germany. But look again at some of Jew's supposed allies. One in four Indians, two out of five Egyptians and one out of every two Pakistanis favour a nuclear-armed Iran. A third of Britons, half of all Indians and three quarters of Egyptians welcomed the success of Hamas in last year's Palestinian elections.

It's not for nothing that they say it's lonely at the top.

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