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Why the Divide Between US and Europe?

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
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    Of course the muslim population here has impact. If for nothing else, then for the cross-cultural discussions their presence has inspired.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    @Dendri - Oh, looking back I see how my post could have been construed that way. I wasn't trying to say that the Europeans were afraid of Arabs or anything like that, but rather because of a much larger Muslim population it is logical to think that there will be many in those countries that are far less sympathetic towards Israel.
     
  3. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Fear is a great motivator. Unfortunatly, it tends to lead to inaction as opposed to action. To discount fear of rioting Muslims is being foolish.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it is the only factor, but not many politicians want to risk being assasinated for the sake of an Israeli or a Palestinian.
     
  4. Dendri Gems: 20/31
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    Aldeth - nope. The whole idea that Europe is a critic of Israel to accommodate our Arab poplulation doesnt fit the situation. France leans strongly towards the Arab world, yet we all saw the riots. Germany always held a protective hand over Israel, and we are spared mobs in the streets. Furthermore, if our relationship with the Muslims living in Europe were to influence our stance on Israel... it would rather be in favour of Israel, as tensions are running high between Europeans and these immigrants in particular.

    Those are unrelated topics, speculating on our fear nothing but the outsider's opinion. Snook.
     
  5. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    I can not think of any Eurpean country and particularly not among my neighbouring countries any country that would somehow be intimidated by muslim people rioting. I think this thesis is pretty much nothing.

    Further, it's not that important what an immigrated minority thinks, if a huge majority of Europeans have their very own opinion about the politicial situation. An opinion that, coincidently, not may be similar to the current policies of some foreign countries but an opinion that is in no way not shaped by some obscure "riot-threat".

    T
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Geez, I'm still not getting my point across. I'm not saying the native Europeans are going to be swayed by the minority or some fear of riots. I'm saying that because there's 25 times as many Muslims living in Europe that there are 25 times as many people who are more likely to not support the Isaeli actions.

    I can't think of a way to say it more blatantly than this - IF there exists a:

    THEN: It stands to reason in areas where there are more Muslims there will be more hatred.

    I'm not implying anyhting about fear of riots or a 7% minority influencing government policy. It's a simple conclusion that seems logical based on the facts at hand.
     
  7. Dendri Gems: 20/31
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    Aldeth, now I got you. I thought we discussed the "native" Europeans' disposition, not that of the Muslims living here.
    Well, I havent got any doubts about how the Muslims of Europe feel about Israel. And given that more than 90 % of Europe's population isnt Muslim... and that Muslims here are somewhat isolated as a group - poorly connected (unlike the Jews of your nation)... I dont know of what consequence this all is, tbh. :p

    So yes, there are angry Muslims here. But a lot of Europeans are at odds with those people anyway, I guess, so it doesnt really matter. It is that simple.
     
  8. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    To be honest, I don't think any politician in any European country fears assassination for religious reasons... maybe except some in ex-Yugoslavia, but there there are other reasons involved. As Dendri said, in most countries there are Muslim minorities, but they have little political influence or cohesion, and many are in fact immigrants (hence don't vote).

    I guess that is the major difference - apparently Israel has a strong lobby in the US, and less so in Europe. Yet there is another related reason: much of the "fairness" behind the Israeli cause is the suffering of its people during WWII. This is acknowledged, and respected. However, in WWII, all involved nations, mostly the European ones where the war raged, suffered. There were also Russians in the concentration camps, Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, pacifists... nationals of almost every country in Europe. There were also the people who died in battle, also victims of the war. So the tragedy of the Jews was not as unique and poignant on this background. Furthermore, many European nations remember WWII as a war of aggression that started when one country, Germany, attacked another country, Poland. For most European countries, aggression is by definition unjustified; in their history, most were all too often the victims of aggression. I don't think the American history has included this formative experience. Every European country, maybe except England, has had to live in fear of an aggression by its (at some point) stronger neighbors, so any offensive operation triggered distrust. Call it an acquired cultural reflex, so to say. Plus, the period between 1914 and 1945, barely a generation, saw two devastating wars that delegitimized the bellicose point of view that seems to prevail in Tel Aviv. Violence is simply not regarded by most people as an efficient, much less moral, solution to such a problem.

    As for the whole issue of terrorism... Well, half of the countries have had terrorist groups active in the Cold war period, some even earlier; maybe not as harsh or as different as the PLO to Israel, but still. London had been bombed by the IRA, Madrid by the ETA (or however the Basques were called), in Germany there were all manner of Marxists, anarchists and the like... Yet neither of these countries cracked down on these groups so violently. Sure, it was partly because they were not so hostile as the palestinians are perceived to be to Israel, but there is still the matter of a different precedent being set. I don't know if the USA had had a terrorist group on its territory in the 20th century, or was the victim of a serious act of terrorism until the Iranian embassy crisis.

    The following is just a personal conjecture, but I think it's also that the Cold War didn't radicalize people so much; people aren't used to thinking in moral opposites. During that period, in the USA anything related to communism seemed to be an anathema - like how "left" ideas are called liberal instead of socialist, or social democratic. Maybe in order to galvanize the people behind them, the politicians created a culture that needed to differentiate the sides of a conflict on moral level; maybe there already was such a culture. In Europe, a conflict between two sides seems to have much less moral significance based on who is fighting who, and more on what is happening. The two warring sides are often seen in shades of gray than good/bad; and as such people seem to be less likely to care enough to intervene.

    My own country seems to be a little divided on the issue. The thing is, Bulgaria has a rather large Muslim minority, and it is represented in parliament, but it has little impact on the country's policy. On the other hand, historical experience (nearly 500 years as a part of the Ottoman Empire), make Bulgarians very distrustful of militant Islam. Some countries may speak about it, Bulgarians say, but we've felt Islam on our backs. Furthermore, the country has had next to no history of anti-Semitism, aside from a fringe group now and there. However, many Bulgarians, myself included, are dismayed at the degree of devastation Israel has inflicted. Israel is perceived as a "western" state, or, to use a somewhat racist but common term, a "white" country. This brings, among other things, higher expectations of civilized (and peaceful) behavior.
     
  9. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    I think this is an intersting article about attitude differences:

    http://www.policyreview.org/feb04/asmus.html

    And about some countries differences, particularly public support in Italy. Spain would also have been interesting.

     
  10. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Nice article, Iago... just to add the US stats for comparison:

    To extend the analogy, lots of the current anger among pragmatist americans at the bush regime has to do with the realization that the bushies were hawks in pragmatists' clothing... basically passing themselves off as pragmatists who would do what needed to be done after 9/11, while all along they had an ideologically hawkish (non-pragmatist) agenda, leading to disasterous results...

    How about this for a facetious comparison (you heard it here first:

    Discuss...
     
  11. Pac man Gems: 25/31
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    Erm...this may be kinda off topic here, but if black people in America are considered African Americans, does that make the whites European Americans ?
     
  12. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    No, we are typically called "honkies" or "crackers."

    I apoligize, I was watching a Chris Rock special. :D
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    The term "african american" was actually coined by Jesse Jackson in the '70's if I remember correctly. Many in the black community do not think that the introduction of this term was a good thing. As caucasion Americans have always been in the majority and have no identity issues due to the fact that the haven't had to fight tooth and nail in order to get (almost) equal rights, we use no such distinction.
     
  14. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I always thought African-American too much of a mouthful, but if "black" is believed to be unsufficiently broad and "negro" to have negative connotation (afaik), I suppose there is little else. A word has the meaning people give it. Who knows, in 20 years "asian" may be a slur.
     
  15. Pac man Gems: 25/31
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    What i don't understand is how negro can have a negative connotation, while at the same time they proudly call eachother "nigga". :shake:
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    "Negro" is a slave name. "Niggah" is the way many of the black community destroy the power that the word "negro" has. Many in the black community also dislike the use of that term. The young Black Americans that have adopted its use have no recollection of the power that word once held.
     
  17. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    A slave name, huh... I don't think I get the reasoning, but I suppose it may work that way for some people. So what was the slang before that? I've heard about something about homeboy/homegirl, but I thought that was also very recent.

    Back on the initial topic: I agree with Iago's idea; of course, there are good reasons why Europe has more doves and less hawks than the US.
     
  18. Bassil Warbone Gems: 12/31
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    Caucasian: of, constituting, or characteristic of a race of humankind native to Europe, North Africa, and southwest Asia and classified according to physical features -- used especially in referring to persons of European descent having usually light skin pigmentation.

    Negro: a member of a race of humankind native to Africa and classified according to physical features such as dark skin pigmentation.

    Asian:of, relating to, or characteristic of the continent of Asia or its people.

    Why must one be more offensive than the other?
     
  19. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    As I understand it, it is not the word as such, but the manner in which it is used. I'm sure Caucasian and Asian can be used offensively (well, I know they can).

    Regarding the divide between Europe and the USA, I would be hesitant to put it down to the different ethnic make-ups of the community. Looking at New Zealand, over issues such as Israel/Lebannon, we've sided heavily against Israel (similar to many EU nations). Yet from memory, we have a very small Muslims population with very little political power.
     
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