The Times of Israel, June 30, 2016
Honestly, I was shocked about the pro-Brexit decision in Britain. Shocked, no less than that. Then, I became even more speechless when I learned how many of my Facebook friends and others in the UK, Germany, the US and elsewhere joined the nationalistic and racist wave of Brexit. How can educated or at least partly educated people vote for – or support from outside the country – the most stupid, ridiculous and outrageous lies ever heard in a UK political campaign in recent decades?
As Spiegel Online columnist Sascha Lobo points out, following Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum’s term “post-fact-world,” we are living in the “Bullshit 9.0” time. Truth and reality do not matter anymore. Tablet’s James Kirchick puts it like this – “post-truth politics”:
“Whether or not he can beat Hillary Clinton, Trump and Brexiteers have struck similar populist chords – namely, unease with globalization, immigration and elites. There’s also a deeper, and deeply worrying, phenomenon connecting the two: an utter disregard for facts. Call it “post-truth politics.”
The Brexit campaign lied about many facts. But the people on the pro-Brexit side, the “leave”-side, didn’t care at all. The silence after the vote from the protagonists, mainly Boris Johnson, speaks for itself. He knows that he is a liar and among the worst propagandists in recent British history.
And now some of the anti-Islamist activists pretend to be smart and think Brexit will help Britain against Islamism. Well: Britain is not part of the EU-Schengen treaty, which people allows to move freely inside that area in continental Europe. But Britain did not sign that treaty. Let’s have a look at the number of asylum seekers in the EU as of the first quarter of 2016 (these numbers a way lower compared to 2015, by the way). Among one million residents in the following countries there are these numbers of asylum seekers:
- Germany: 2155
- Austria: 1619
- Malta: 904
- EU: 565
- Slovenia: 236
- Great Britain: 155
- Spain: 62
- Lithuania: 13
Germany has almost 14 times more asylum seekers compared to Great Britain in that time frame. This was before Brexit. Brexit voters thought they will close the doors for asylum seekers from Syria, so that anti-ISIS people, victims of jihad, may not enter the UK. These extremely low numbers even before Brexit show: this was a lie, it was not at all about Muslims coming to the UK. Now, we have a huge increase in racist attacks in England and Britain, often directed against Polish people or citizens from Slovakia, who work in the UK.
Middle East Forum’s Tarek Fatah ignores all these facts. In the Toronto Sun he published an article about anti-Islamism being behind the Brexit vote – he couldn’t be more wrong than that. As shown, Britain already had a very low number of incoming asylum seekers before Brexit. Fatah ignores facts and seems to be embracing the “post-truth-world” so many fanatics are living in these days, mainly Brexit voters in our case.
Tablet’s Liel Leibovitz gets it equally wrong and blames the Israeli left – Zionists, to be sure – for Brexit and the ignorance of the will of the people. As if racism, nationalism and post-truth politics get more accurate when the majority of voters like it! The people is dangerous, quite often. Therefore we have parliamentary democracies in most parts of the Western world and many other parts of the world.
But there is much more behind it. Stupidity, propaganda and internet-based misinformation is one thing. And it is horrible and very dangerous. But nationalist ideology comes in addition. The rise of the New Right in Europe is a case in point. While a nation-state is essential in an extreme hostile area like the Middle East and Jews are facing persecution and antisemitism worldwide, to different degrees, Zionism is a crucial point for a nation-state. This was also the case for Herzl in 1896.
But nation-states in Europe and nationalism were the main reason for violence and war in Europe. Europe faced the most horrible wars in the twentieth century. The unprecedented crime of the Holocaust was done by the Germans (and their allies). Therefore, a supranational body is important, cosmopolitanism can at least reduce German nationalism and other forms of bigotry.
Until the horrible wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Europe was a peaceful continent, based on cooperation, more or less (even during the Cold War, which was harmless compared to our jihad driven world). Cosmopolitanism is fine and important for Europe – a nation-state is essential for Jews and Israel. Applying the nation-state concept for the entire world is misleading and very dangerous, too. Learn about European history (which is a hard thing for many on the political Right who tend to ignore reality) and you understand what I mean.
No surprise, then, that German neo-Nazis and the Far Right hail Brexit. After a rally last Monday in the infamous city of Dresden, where the weekly “Pegida” rallies take part ever since fall 2014, a neo-Nazi showed up with his T-shirts displaying acronyms of “swastika” (in German). Others at the rally had posters with “Thank you Brexit” and nationalistic speakers applauded Brexit, too.
Jihadist embrace Brexit as well, as this indicates the decline of Europe. Brexit stands for a divided Western world and three major powers want to fill the gap: Russia and Putinists, Iran and jihadists, and the New Right, Far Right, right-wing populist and neo-Nazis all over Europe.
A few weeks ago, Austria faced a right-wing extremist candidate for Presidency from the extreme right-wing FPÖ. They lost the election, but the country is divided into extreme right-wing and liberal mainstream.
The German Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has a member of Parliament in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Wolfgang Gedeon, who follows the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the worst conspiracy theory ever. This kind of neo-Nazi propaganda is ignored by many of my friends and allies in the UK, the US and elsewhere. They believe anybody who is not on the left is fine or at least a possible partner to talk to. That is a huge mistake. A huge mistake.
Most people in the AfD are enthusiastic about Brexit and wants Germany to leavie the EU, too.
Promoting Brexit, nationalism, racism and separatism will just help jihad to destroy Europe and/or neo-Nazis and the Far Right to take power. Obviously, the Far Right has no problem with Islamist antisemitism, they have the same enemy: Israel and the Jews, and America. On rallies of the AfD anti-American posters have been displayed.
“Isis has welcomed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in its Arabic language propaganda newspaper, hailing a “political crisis” and the prospect of referendums in other nations.
The article in al-Naba claimed the Brexit “threatens the unity of Crusader Europe”, according to a translation by Shiraz Maher, the deputy director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.
“It’s clear they want a weakened Europe and they see this as helping,” he wrote on Twitter.”
I make the following prediction: Europe will become either a more or less brown fascist continent (and island, taken the UK) in a few years, 5, 10, or 15 years, or it will become, slowly, a green, Islamofascist continent and region.
These are the choices as long as the democratic, sleeping mainstream in Europe does not awake. Brexit indicates a very fast turn to brown fascism. Islamist motivated attacks in Paris, Brussel, Toulouse, Copenhagen, but also Turkey and other countries, show the jihadist future for Europe, whether murderous or legally Islamist, Sharia-based and non-violent (as if Sharia is not violent).
It is not about antisemitic members of Parliament in the EU who applause antisemitic speeches by Abbas. It is not about strange rules about bananas or cucumber by Brussels. It is about the ideal of a supranational body, destroying toxic European nationalism or at least making it less dangerous. Destroying the EU from inside will be a win-win-situation for jihad – they will have even more options to kill Europeans as long as Europe is struggling with itself instead of looking for anti-Islamist policies!
Brexit-followers take aim at (mainly Christian, to be sure) Polish people. This indicates the pure racism of many citizens in the UK, Great Britain and England, plain and simple.
To praise the Far Right and Brexit as many in the anti-Islamist camp now do, is a historical mistake. It will destroy serious scholarship on Islamism as no one will take scholarship and activism against Islamism seriously, as long as the very same people embrace brown fascism, racism, nationalism or German-style Nazism, Pegida, the Alternative for Germany and their predilection for the Protocols of the Elders or Zion or Brexit.