When considering your future as a Jew living in a western nation, do you find yourself doing it more often these days? Are you concerned at some of the changes taking place around you – at work or in the institutions you partner with?
It was with that inner dialogue bouncing around my mind that I was pleased to secure a podcast interview with the acclaimed bestselling author Douglas Murray, on his latest book, “The War On The West, How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason”.
Both Douglas and I grew up in a post-racial England of the 1980s. We didn’t bat an eyelid at black newsreaders on our main channels, our pop bands had multiracial lineups and our school friends came from all four corners of the world.
But since then, something seismic has shifted in our society.
It’s as though the progress of our generation’s post-racial society, an outcome that was never guaranteed, never actually happened.
All the narratives and the norms, the assumptions which underpin our understanding of the societies we grew up in are under attack – from within.
And our generation are really poor at describing how it was.
Douglas is the best-selling author of The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity and Islam and The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity.
The “War on the West” examines how Western civilisation and its achievements in culture, science medicine and free thinking, not to mention how these values were so hard fought for and won – are being torn up by universities, corporations, broadcasters, religious institutions and the public sector in what feels like a wilful self-immolation.
Much of it is being fought through just one prism, race – and these anti-western slanders also attack Jews and Israel.
”The terrifying nature of antisemitism is the way it shapeshifts from left to right. It can attack Jews for being too well off or being too poor, for being too assimilated or for not trying to assimilate, Jews will get it from every direction. Antisemitism is far too perennial and entrenched, you can keep it down, but you’ll never destroy it once and for all”, he told me on my podcast.
But his view isn’t one-sided. He welcomes a debate based on reckoning – but not revenge. He accuses his opponents of a flat-refusal to accept the counter view.
But what’s the purpose of it? When will this “debt” of original sin be paid off by western nations and their biggest populations? What’s the end game – and what are the consequences? Is this how civilisations come to an end?
And as Jews in nations with a majority Christian population, shouldn’t we look to the host culture to stand by their own Judeo-Christian values so we might live by ours?
As an Anglican, brought up in the Church of England, Douglas asks “what are they doing?” of his Church’s leadership, who are seemingly abandoning their long held values “for new ones of just a handful of years old”, concluding they are racist “by their own estimation”.
“Claiming racism is whispered in our pews! No, it’s not, that’s a lie! Why would you join something claiming to be the KKK at prayer? Why would you bother?!
Jewish people look to the establishment of the countries that we live in to “stand by their beds” to uphold the values that tolerated our acceptance among the people and its institutions, be they government, educational or even private sector.
So what do we do? Is there a way to reset? And if some of these progressive arguments prevail, can we all continue to live together in a spirit of tolerance?
Before you pack your bags, Douglas presents his arguments with vigour and clarity and holds up Israel as an example to every other western nation in “bucking the trend”.
“Israel is a rare country in the West. there isn’t a fertility rate problem in Israel, for instance as there is in other European countries. There is a strong feeling of nationhood and of the debt that the country needs to call upon in order to unite its people”.
Despite the very worrying and serious nature of the book’s subject matter, Douglas writes with characteristic humour and describes the culture wars as “winnable”, offering ways out of it which we can all practice, be it in our social circles, our social media groups or in our own lifestyles.
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