Your old pal BTL is in a bit of a quandary. He finds the bloated, smug, distant, and undemocratic rule of the European Union repugnant. Yet he finds the Leftist rebellion against it even worse.
What’s a PhD in schadenfreude to do?
Greece says (in the words of the UK’s Sun) “Up Yours, Delors”:
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis replied that the government would no longer engage with officials representing the country’s despised ‘troika’ of lenders – the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
Instead, the new government – which swept to power last weekend on a promise of ending years of austerity – would talk directly to other EU leaders to try to write off more than half of Greece’s £179 billion in rescue loans.
In fact, Tsipras was elected because he vowed to reverse the kind of austerity measures prescribed by Berlin.
To which Berlin (which is Europe, let’s be honest) responded, not so schnell, Zorba:
Germany’s Finance Ministry denied that Berlin is ready to discuss a new 20 billion Euro aid package if Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted supervised economic reforms.
A spokesman claimed it was ‘pure speculation’, adding: ‘That is not on the agenda at all.’
Norbert Barthle, the parliamentary spokesman on budgetary affairs for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, told the business daily Handelsblatt there would be ‘serious consequences’ if Athens refused to cooperate.
Hearing that from a German must still make European bowels loosen just a bit, nein?
But he clarified:
He said: ‘There are clear rules and we have legal stipulations about the conditions for giving European credit assistance.
‘If Greece can’t accept these conditions, it must find the necessary funding on the capital markets.’
Which is good. That’s how a capitalist should answer socialist twaddle. But in addition to hunger pangs, there will be blood. And you know whose blood it almost always is:
A Greek politician who claimed that Jews “don’t pay taxes” has been elected as Defense Minister, Greek media reported Thursday night, amid already-high concerns over rising anti-Semitism in the country that is only expected to worsen following recent elections.
Panos Kammenos of the Syriza party made the comments during an interview with Greek Ant-1 TV, according to New Greek TV, on December 18 – just days after the drive-by shooting at the Israeli Embassy in Athens.
Local Jewish leaders were outraged at the comments.
“It is a disgrace that a leader of a party in Parliament does not know that Greek Jews are equal citizens and subject to the all the rights and obligations of every citizen,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece stated in response at the time…
With the utmost affection and respect to my Greek Jewish friends, so the [bleep] what? Weren’t Weimar Germany Jews “equal citizens and subject to the all the rights and obligations of every citizen”? And French Jews? And Polish Jews? And Dutch Jews? And even Greek Jews? You can’t argue away vile antisemitism: as Israel has shown, you kill it dead.
You can see BTL’s derriere pierced by the horns of a dilemma. Which is more detestable—the statist bureaucrats of Brussels (aka Berlin); or the neo-Nazis (short for National Socialists) of the fascist Left? It is with a heavy heart that I must side with gray suits over the brown shirts.
But it may be too late:
Tens of thousands of people have massed in central Madrid for a rally organised by radical Spanish leftists Podemos.
The “March for Change” is one of the party’s first outdoor mass rallies, as it looks to build on the recent victory of its close allies Syriza in Greece.
Podemos has surged into the lead in recent opinion polls, and says it will seek to write off part of Spain’s debt if it wins elections later this year.
Podemos says politicians should “serve the people, not private interests”.
Note to Spanish Jews: you may want to start packing your bolsas de viaje now.
PS: I know we’re hard on British antisemites here, and with good reason. But Britain’s reaction toward the EU’s hegemony has been to push back, and to listen to those arguing for greater distance from Berlin (aka Brussels), namely Nigel Farage’s UKIP. There’s the odd nutter in the party, but the Tories, Labour, and the Lib-Dems are no better, often worse. There’s a certain kind of crazy that effects the continent that doesn’t effect the UK.
PPS: Or does it?
The Church of England has launched an investigation into charges of anti-Semitism made against one of its more controversial vicars, Dr. Stephen Sizer.
Sizer, it would seem, has joined the ranks of what the Americans call “truthers” – those who insist that the truth has been concealed regarding who was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Most truthers promote theories that the US government itself was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. But Sizer has endorsed a smaller group of truthers who, in medieval blood libel fashion, say the Jews did it.
Sizer this week posted to Facebook a link to an article titled “9/11 Israel did it.” In text accompanying the link, Sizer wondered, “Is this anti-Semitic?” Whether or not it is didn’t seem to matter to Sizer, in whose mind the link in question “raises so many questions.”
PPPS: Never mind:
Britons feel more “unfavorable” to Israel than any other country worldwide except North Korea, a survey found.
The survey — taken in August and published Thursday by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs — showed a massive surge in negative attitudes toward Israel since the previous such study, two years earlier. Thirty-five percent of Britons said they “feel especially unfavorable towards” Israel in the 2014 survey, compared to 17% in 2012.
That figure meant that Israel is regarded more unfavorably by Britons than Iran — 33% in the 2014 survey, compared to 45% in 2012. Only North Korea fares worse — regarded as especially unfavorable by 47% in 2014, compared to 40% in 2012.
At least Britain doesn’t have antisemitic politicians spewing ignorant hate speech.
PPPPS: Never mind—again:
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a member of Britain’s House of Lords with a long record of inflammatory, often antisemitic, statements against both Israel and the British Jewish leadership, has again been pressuring British Jews to collectively condemn Israel.
Earlier this week, Tonge tabled a written question in the House of Lords in which she asked “Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights.”
Tonge’s question, which comes against the background of rising antisemitism in the UK, was quickly condemned by Jewish campaigners.
Jonathan Sacerdoti of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which recently published a disturbing survey about the current levels of antisemitism in the UK, told The Algemeiner that the “widely accepted” definition of antisemitism coined by the European Union Monitoring Center “specifies that it is antisemitic to hold Jews collectively responsible for any action of the State of Israel.”
“Baroness Tonge has a long history of making these sorts of remarks,” Sacerdoti said. “It is despicable to see her using the House of Lords to try to harass Jewish people.”
I think I’ve said enough. I’ve certainly read enough.