Europe, less secular than you think

It sometimes surprises Americans to learn that “secular” Europe isn’t as secular as it might seem. It has less to do with Italians attending church on Sunday (which they do in ever-fewer numbers) than just how pervasively the state ensures Europe’s religious infrastructure. Europe has no American-style church-state separation. Even two of the world’s most secular nations — Denmark and Sweden — have state-funded churches.

Italy gave up Roman Catholicism as its official state religion in 1984. In its place came the obligatory “8 per mille” (eight one-thousandths) religious tax, which permits the state to apply .8 percent of all taxable earnings to charitable religious works.

But the “8 per mille” concept so bewilders taxpayers that most don’t even bother choosing who gets their “donations.” In a recent poll conducted byOcchiopermille, a website created by the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR), 60.4 percent of a sample of 2,000 people said they simply ignored the question of where the money should go. Another 4.07 percent choose the state, while 34.56 percent indicated the Catholic Church. This in a country that’s often labeled “95 percent Catholic.”

At first glance the “8 per mille” sounds reasonable, even fair. Eight one-thousands of what you earn is a pretty small amount of money, right? And you get to choose your confession (if you have one), right?

Well, yes and no.

The form is friendly if you’re Jewish, Waldensian, Adventist, Catholic, Lutheran or a member of the Assemblies of God. But what if you’re Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Methodist, Wiccan or one of thousands of other religious confessions? None of these religions are represented on tax forms. They can’t receive your money (at least not your tax money.)

What if you happen to be an atheist, agnostic, or simply don’t want to participate in tax structure dedicated to supporting religion? You can give your money to the state. But based on UAAR polling figures only about four percent of Italians actually choose that option (just as well, since the state turns funnels a part these earnings to none other than the Catholic Church). The 60 percent who stand pat probably do so because they have no idea what they’re expected to do or why it matters. The Italian state is notoriously corrupt, which doesn’t make contributing to it particularly appealing.

So what happens if you don’t choose? The state distributes the income in proportion to the percentage of people who actively choose a specific confession. That works out to roughly 87 percent for the Catholic Church, 10 percent for the state, and about three percent split by the other five confessions allowed to partake. In essence, the Catholic Church ends up with the lion’s share of the money, about €1 billion a year — even when most people don’t explicitly want them to have it.

It’s an elegant system, at least in the way viruses may be said to be “elegant.”

But how does the Catholic Church spend the money? On the poor and needy, surely? As Raffaele Carcano writes, in the magazine L’Ateo:

“The billion euro that the Church obtains thanks to the 8 per mille is destined for things like the salaries of priests, the building of new churches, etc. for which the state already provides financial help. Nonetheless, the annual report of the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference) is succinct, opaque and doesn’t mention the enormous amount spent on the relentless ad campaigns… misleading ads, focused as they are exclusively on charity and relief in developing countries, on which only a fifth of the received funds is spent.”

Carcano concludes:

“The picture is so negative that the UAAR has no choice but to intensify its information campaign… the 8 per mille is an authentic calamity for non-believers…who have to pay to explain a mechanism that discriminates against them in every way.”

For the skeptical UAAR, the discrimination consists in citizens being forced to finance a religion that is not theirs, which they do not want, and which discriminates against them at every opportunity.

As bleak as this reality may be, the website Concordat Watch suggests that the situation in Germany isn’t much better:

“In Germany church and state are interwoven such that the sacrament of baptism automatically places you in a tax category. That ceremony can oblige you later on to pay taxes to the church and force your employer to withhold church tax prepayments from your income. In 2010 this brought the German churches €4.794 billion. The only way to end this is to formally leave the church.”

In Switzerland “church tax is levied by each canton for the religious groups it recognizes. And it’s not just people who have to pay. In 18 of the 26 cantons firms must also subsidize the churches, even though they’ve never been baptized and they can’t leave the church. This is now being challenged by a computer specialist who belongs to no church himself, but must still pay church tax for his one-man company. In September 2010 the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that [the law] was constitutional and now he is taking his complaint before the European Court of Human Rights.”

Given the European court’s March ruling that the presence of crucifixes in Italian schools was perfectly consonant with secular principles and didn’t violate the European Convention on Human Rights, I wouldn’t get my hopes up that legal challenges are going to get very far any time soon.

Published in The American

Judeo-Christian roots? There’s no such thing

The pope is naked. Judge Luigi Tosti has torn his dress off and thrown it to the wind. And along with it goes the masquerade of Europe’s “Judeo-Christian” roots.

I asked permission to place a menorah next to the crucifix as a reminder of pope Ratzinger’s words, which assert Europe’s “Judeo-Christian” roots. I did this because I know that Catholics are racist hypocrites and they’d never have allowed a Jewish symbol to be placed by the crucifix.

It’s a pity, really. A lot of people seem to like the idea that Europe’s once-Christian majority decided to share its cultural wealth with the Jews. Of course, that was after centuries of the most terrible persecutions and having denied them just about everything imaginable in the realm of rights. After Nazi Germany, Europe could no longer bury its head in the sand.

One problem is that Europe is no longer very Christian. And it hardly has any Jews left. So – from a Jewish perspective – it’s too little, too late.

Another problem is that if anything unites the European Union, it is certainly not adherence to biblical authority. That, after all, is what is implied by the term “Judeo-Christian roots.” It’s a trope, and a clever one; however, Jews and Christians disagree on the most fundamental things – those very things that keep Jews Jewish and Christians Christian.

What about the Greeks and the Romans? Didn’t they help to lay the foundations of what we now call European civilization? Christianity was late in the game, picked up the pieces of a broken empire, and proclaimed itself ruler over Jew and Gentile alike. The Gentiles were Christianized by the sword; the Jews, persecuted, massacred, coverted by torture and ghettoized by the same Christians that now wish to share their bounteous “roots” with them. Again, too little, too late.

We’re so used to hearing “Judeo-Christian roots” that it no longer even registers. Besides being an exercise in phony diplomacy, it’s exclusionary towards anyone neither Jewish nor Christian.

Another use of the term is as a weapon against that very secularism that binds Europe. It’s a favorite of Catholics, for instance, who wish to defend their theocratic ambitions in Italy. “Judeo-Christian” lets them sound ecumenical to the uninitiated. It lets them play peace-love-and-understanding. But it’s pure unadulterated bullshit.

Judge Tosti knew this when he asked permission to place a menorah next to the crucifix in his courtroom. He knew his request would be denied. He knew those smooth-talking Catholics were hypocrites who don’t put their money where there mouth is.

I submit that the only Europe worth living in is a secular Europe. The Enlightenment project is what allows Jew, Gentile and everyone else to live here together without a holy war in every city. It’s hard enough, but its the best way we’ve ever discovered.

Today the pope is naked. No amount of fancy dress will cover up that fact.

No disagreement here: Garton Ash vs. Hirsi Ali

Another long, eight-part debate, this time between Timothy Garton Ash and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Garton Ash is a master of backpeddling and the “veiled compliment” (you’ll have to watch the whole thing for Hirsi Ali’s rejoinder and Garton Ash’s embarrassing comeback quip). He insists they agree 100% on everything – except what they disagree on. Also, around the end of part six – assuming anyone reading this is as interested as I am in watching the whole thing – Hirsi Ali says something I can’t make out, which is followed by a long bleep-out of Garton Ash’s reply. At the end of part eight, it is explained that this had nothing to do with the debate and was omitted at Garton Ash’s request. Does anyone know what was actually said? If so, please share this tidbit of information in the comments section below.

The Crucifix Debates: No End in Sight

Can it be uprooted?

In 2003, the year I moved to Italy, I witnessed my first “crucifix debate” on television. Adel Smith, the controversial protagonist of that episode and the founder of the Italian Islamic Party, had caused a stink by demanding that all crucifixes be removed from public buildings in Italy. They apparently offended him, though he was raised as a Catholic. He even threw one out the window of his mother’s hospital room. Religious conversion is strong medicine.

Six years later, the debate is back. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France has ruled that crucifixes in Italian schools violate the religious and educational freedom of children. At the center of the debate this time is a non-religious Italian family who don’t want their children to be conditioned by religious symbolism in what is nominally a public classroom.

Some readers might be asking themselves, “But why are there crucifixes in public schools in the first place?!” To an American, this is unthinkable. But the Vatican is not in New York City. And it’s where the trouble began more than 80 years ago with what is known as the Lateran Treaty.

The Treaty was devised under the Fascist government of the 1920s, and it stated that Catholicism was the sole state religion. Part of the agreement stipulated the presence of the crucifix in all Italian schools and public buildings, where they remain to this day, and “religion hour” — the teaching of the Catholic religion in all public schools. The religion teachers are handpicked by the Vatican and paid for by the state. Roll over, Thomas Jefferson.

All of this flies in the face of the Risorgimento, of course. Italy, as an autonomous nation, was founded in direct opposition to the Church. The integralist Pope Pius IX famously referred to himself as a “prisoner of the Vatican,” and no pope after him — until the agreements with Mussolini’s government — would set foot on Italian soil. In a country proud to have moved past the Fascist era (there is even a national holiday to this effect), it is perhaps anachronistic that Article 7 of the Constitution proclaims: “relations [between the Catholic Church and the State] are regulated by the Lateran Treaty.” Why not overhaul that as well, one wonders?

What we have on our hands is essentially a human rights issue. Is there a place for religion in the public sphere of a secular democracy in the 21st century? Religious apologists have remarked that we might as well tear up the Union Jack and the Finnish flag (and the Danish one, I suppose, that bastion of secularism), all of which have crosses. They’ve also suggested that the flag of the European Union has an encrypted Madonna and child among its 12 stars. Or that Europe has non-negotiable “Christian roots.” In these claims one hears the pronounced voices of reactionary bishops more than those of civil servants in a modern democracy. Yet Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini and Italian Senator Rocco Buttiglione all made them, among others. Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa, topping them all, said recently that the EU court could “…go to hell. We’ll never take down the crucifixes.”

Even more telling are the attempts made by some Catholics to separate the crucifix from its religious context. As the Italian Bishop’s Conference put it, “The multiple significance of the crucifix, which is not just a religious symbol but a cultural sign, has been either ignored or overlooked.” Which raises the question: what culture are they referring to?

Italian culture is, like all other cultures in all other times, a grab-bag of goodies. Of the 3,000 or so years of recorded Italian history, Christianity has decidedly marked the last 2,000. But Judaism, it is often pointed out, has a longer history on the peninsula than the offshoot sect. Should Jews then insist mezuzahs be nailed to every doorpost of every public building from Bolzano to Syracuse? They have as good a case as anyone.

Of course, no one will take my little provocation seriously. After all, there are Jewish schools that cater to the needs of religious Jews. The same should be expected of Catholics.

Public spaces are for everyone. They are not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan or Buddhist. Taking crucifixes off the walls (Buttiglione comically suggests that a plethora of symbols should go up instead — a solution even more risible than their elimination) does not condemn Catholics to atheism. This conveniently misses the point. Religious freedom includes freedom from religion as well as the freedom of religious affiliation. People in their homes may display any symbols they desire, or even a multitude of them. They may frequent any house of worship or none at all. They may read the Gospels or the speeches of Robert Ingersoll. On this, I think, we all agree.

The promotion of the crucifix from a strictly Catholic religious symbol (Protestants don’t use it) to a “universal” symbol of inclusion and suffering is dishonest sidestepping. The conflation is simply insulting. Nothing could be less universal than a religion, especially one with an unbroken tradition of obscurantism, religious warfare, persecution and anti-modern policies. Besides, nearly all Catholics in the developed world flout Catholic dogma when it contradicts their immediate personal interests — without so much as flinching before the eternal fires of hell.

What more proof do we need that the European Union is bound by the modern secular principles of human rights and not the by cross (much less the crucifix)? Why not cut the head off the bull, as they say here in Italy, and abrogate the Lateran Treaty once and for all?

Published in The American

Go to Hell! We’ll Never Take Down Our Crucifixes!

Italy’s getting scary again.

Ignazio La Russa, who has no degree in science and is therefore unworthy of having views on religion, went off his nut on Italian tv the other evening. The debate over the EU court’s judgement that crucifixes in public classrooms are a bad idea is off and running. Berlusconi has said that Italy will defy the court and the EU, and that no crosses are coming off the walls of any classrooms.

His position was backed up by the homophobic, conservative Catholic politician Rocco Buttiglione. Buttiglione’s brilliant solution to the problem of religious symbols contaminating public spaces is apparently to multiply them. The more, the merrier, he said. Just don’t take down them crosses! Perhaps my mezuzah proposal wasn’t too radical, after all.

Even if you don’t understand a word of Italian, you can grasp the meaning of what La Russa is getting at here. He calls Piergiorgio Odifreddi, a well-known mathematician and one of Italy’s only public atheists, a man without a degree (!) who “puts up and takes down crucifixes as if they were bath towels.” He then castigates the show’s host for not standing up for the dignity of the cross, telling him he is beyond absolution for his sin of silence.

Of course, he’s no Christian integralist, an afterthought he throws in as a final consolation. In case you thought maybe he got off on the wrong foot. “They (the EU?) can go to hell! Well never take down our crosses!!”

Why Are We Still Arguing About This?

Today the European court made an important ruling against the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools, saying that “the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms.” Right. But the Vatican doesn’t see it that way. In fact, they (and most Italian politicians who either believe this hooey or don’t have the balls to stick up for their country against the bishops) are even trying to twist the crucifix into a universal, non-denominational “cultural” symbol. As Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini puts it:

”In our country nobody wants to impose the Catholic religion, let alone with a crucifix, but it is not by eliminating the traditions of individual countries that a united Europe is built.”

The Bishops’ Conference added:

”The multiple significance of the crucifix, which is not just a religious symbol but a cultural sign, has been either ignored or overlooked.”

Don’t be fooled. Europe is no more united by the crucifix than the United States are by the Ten Commandments. In fact, if anything unites the countries of the Euopean Union, it is a collective desire to get beyond the stifling, warring factionalism of inter-Christian warfare. The Catholic church imposed itself on Europe (and much of the rest of the Christianized world) largely through religious war and political domination, extirpating all other religious denominations except for Judaism, which was left to suffer beneath the heel of the Church as a “living witness” to Christ. Ghettoized, expelled, forced to convert, stripped of their rights and property, they were prepared for the slaughter of crusades, pogroms and – given enough time – the unprecedented carnage of the Shoah. This is the legacy of the Christianization of Europe and the universal values of the Catholic church.

It’s time Europe left them behind for good, making Christianity just another one of the many competing religious and non-religious identities on the continent. Everyone has the right to choose a religion and practice it, believe in it and love it. But no one has the right to impose that religion (yes, Christianity is a religion) on anyone else. Italy is a secular country, born in strict opposition to the totalitarian dogma of the late 19th century church (infallibility, et al). Under Mussolini, the church was given new life as a de facto state religion. The Italian constitution has upheld these agreements to this day.

The time has come for them to be abrogated in the name of humanism and a pluralistic, secular Italian state with freedom of religion for all and privilege for none.

Homeless Chic: Europe’s Punkabbestia Subculture

Punk indeed
Punk indeed

I used to think that the punkabbestia — dubiously dubbed “gutter punk” in English — were an Italian phenomenon. Strolling across Ponte Sisto, one of Rome’s most attractive old bridges, I would lament their occupation of the bridge (occupation is the perfect word in many ways) and its subsequent transformation into a kennel.

They were everywhere in Rome, and if one asked you for a euro and you didn’t hand it over, the first word to slip past the pierced lower lip was nearly always stronzo, or Fascist (at least ideologically). To not support their cause — inasmuch as there was one —was to be the automatic enemy, the political other, the bourgeois-Fascist so despised by the radical European left.

(Note: If Wikipedia is to be believed, there is even a debate over the etymology of the term punkabbestia, basically over whether or not the “bestia” in question is a reference to their pets or just some Tuscan slang meaning “superpunk.” There is nothing really punk about them, however, in the sense that I or anyone who has ever read Lester Bangs understands as “punk.” There isn’t even the slightest intellectual pretense about these punks, and Sontagism was key to the original formation of what became punk in the mid-70s. I bet none of these ardent young radicals has ever read “Notes on Camp,” or even Rimbaud.)

Rather, the punkabbestia resembled the Deadheads, an aesthetic relic of something that lost its sense long ago, a throwback to some vague, perpetual revolution that never was more than a flash in the pan of popular culture.

I think what bothered me most about them, however, wasn’t their self-inflicted griminess or even their rottener-than-thou snottitude. I was a retro-punk once, too. I understood that stuff, and I understood that most healthy people grow out of it after the brief flirt fizzles out. Even Johnny Rotten became John Lydon again within a year of the Sex Pistols’ first — and only — album.

What bothered me most about them were their dogs: starved, lactating and working on shabbos. Animals without which nobody would fork over a thin dime to these angry street youths, all of who probably had families and a clean pillow on which to lay their heads. They may have been slumming, but their animals were suffering acute humiliation and degradation. Where were the animal rights activists on Ponte Sisto?

The truth is that, after six years, they had become as much a part of my Roman landscape as the Pantheon. I hardly even noticed them anymore. Until I went to Spain, that is.

The Spanish city of Granada, in Andalusia, is heavy punkabbestia stomping ground. In fact, it’s difficult to enjoy the delights of the Albayzin — Granada’s historic Moorish quarter facing the Alhambra — without running into hoards of dreadlocked street musicians plucking out chords for change. The plazas after dark are strewn with groups huddled together on the pavement, their dogs humping and whining. You have to step over them, as if they were cadavers after a massacre. The graffiti is so thick that my wife quipped, “I feel like we’re in the Bronx.”

One Moroccan restaurateur told us that he is moving his restaurant to another part of the city because he has lost most of his business. He said that the tourist board of Granada tells the city’s visitors that the Albayzin is dangerous. “No one wants to come through here at night. The restaurants are all suffering.” The punkabbestia have taken over.

Even our trusty guidebook had this to say about the caves of Sacromonte, near the Albayzin: “…a few [Gypsies] still live here, as do a number of cave-squatters whose bohemian lifestyle is legendary in the city. The zone is now UNESCO protected…and law requires that all caves must be fit to live in.”

Does this mean that the squatters and their “bohemian lifestyle” are actually protected by law? No wonder they proliferate. I remember reading, back in the mid-1990s, of the squatter wars on New York’s Lower East Side. The city was trying very hard to root them out of the old tenements that they had turned into illegal outposts, complete with water and electricity that no one was willing to pay for. Today, in Granada, they are state-funded.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to suggest these good-natured young people should be rooted out of our beautiful European cities. But I do question the sagacity of such laissez-faire. There is real homelessness in the world, so why bend over backwards to accommodate such homeless-chic? Does the choice to live like a bum really constitute an “alternative lifestyle?”

If they wish for independence, they should know it has a price tag. If you want your freedom, you must pay for it. Most of us work and pay rent (or a mutuo), which isn’t exactly an illustrious lifestyle by punkabbestia standards. Nobody will hire you with piercings covering most available lobes and orifices, and unwashed hair grown knotty with time. But those are the breaks, kids. You can’t live off free beer forever.

The sobering conclusion is that this is, at the very least, a pan-European phenomenon. Many of us are quick to blame Italy as a kind of “capital of the Third World,” but for all I know similar phenomena exist in far-away places like Japan and Israel. A recent film, “Someone to Run With,” opens a window on Jerusalem’s punkabbestia subculture. We may not like them much, but they are here to stay. I just wish someone would take care of their dogs.

Published in The American

Israel Excluded From the “Mediterranean Games”

Supporters of Israels right to compete, Abruzzo
Supporters of Israel's right to compete, Abruzzo

This weekend Italy is hosting the so-called “Mediterranean Games” in Pescara. These games have been going on since 1951, and since that year Israel has never been allowed to join them. Sounds like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, excluded from all the reindeer games.  Franco Frattini, Italy’s Foreign Minister, has said that “these will be the last Mediterranean Games without Israel.”

And, clearly, the Palestinians.

Memoirs of an Anti-Anti-Semite

David Mamet, in his 2006 book The Wicked Son, throws out a Molotov cocktail in his first paragraph: “The world hates the Jews.” That’s strong language, and one needs to back it up these days in order not to be called an anti-anti-Semite.

What’s an anti-anti-Semite, you ask? Someone who has it in for anti-Semites and their nasty world view. Spotting anti-Semites used to be easy, before they went underground. Anti-Semitism used to be quite common, especially here in Europe, where most countries decided at one point or another in their history that the Jews living within their borders were far too many. These people didn’t want to live near so many Jews, so they periodically drove them out or killed them. This was the opposite end of the spectrum from “light” Jew-hatred, as in T.S. Eliot’s poem “Burbank With a Baedeker:”

The rats are underneath the piles.
The jew is underneath the lot.

As if to amplify his hatred through orthography, note that Eliot wrote “jew’ and not “Jew.” The Nazis would perfect the dehumanization process within a few decades of the publication of Eliot’s poem. For further discussion of Eliot’s anti-Semitism, see Anthony Julius, T.S.Eliot, anti-Semitism, and Literary Form.

This is just a brief reminder that anti-Semitism was once a commonplace in “civilized societies.” It went out of style after the Shoah,  because the anti-Semites were forced to recognize the consequences of their hatred. Or perhaps because a new culture of “human rights” was developed to safeguard the world against future genocides (the term was coined by Raphael Lemkin). This new culture is embodied by the UN, an organization which has spent more time condemning the State of Israel for long-term border disputes than any other country or conflict on earth.

Which brings us to anti-Zionism, which replaces anti-Semitism through the use of a “legitimate” target: Israel. As a modern state, the logic goes, Israel shouldn’t be exempt from criticism. Agreed. But it isn’t as if Jews, before Israel came into existence, had been exempt from criticism–quite the opposite. So now the game is to suffocate the Jewish State with lawfare, beating the ploughshares of “human rights” discourse into the swords of anti-Zionism. But even so, is anti-Zionism simply anti-Semitism in disguise?

We live in an age when many people have a romantic idea of murdered Jews. Europe is positively in love with the concept of the “diaspora Jew,” the embodiment of the rootless cosmopolitanism which has become the new European dream now that nationalism is–ahem–dead. No matter that this same “international Jew” was the target of Henry Ford, Stalin and Hitler. But a Jew-free Europe is a nostalgic Europe (except for France and England, there are only negligible Jewish communities in Europe today–and take a look at France and England to see how they adore their Jews).

Paul Kriwaczeck, in the opening pages of his book Yiddish Civilization, writes of an elderly Polish woman who makes a living handcrafting wooden figures of Hasidic rabbis. The author notes that “such a gift at Easter is supposed to bring good fortune.” That the craftswoman may never have seen a Hasidic Jew in the flesh is no matter. “They are part of our culture,” she says. A taxi driver elaborates: “In the distant future Polish people will recount to each other stories about a time long, long ago when Jews lived among us. But they will be like the folk tales other nations tell their children about ogres, giants and fairies.”

So in a world without Jews, one must simply invent them. If you can’t take them in person, perhaps a lucky figurine will be easier to swallow. Israel makes things a lot easier in another respect: you can hate the Jews from afar, without ever having to come into contact with them face to face. In Arab and Muslim countries where millions revel in anti-Semitic propaganda a la Der Stürmer, the revelers have probably never seen a Jew, much less an Israeli. They get their rocks off hating an image.

All this to say that spotting anti-Semites is hard work. Even the real ones hide behind more acceptable ideologies today. Their venom is still poisonous, mind you. It’s just that it takes a detective to root them out. Once you’ve got one pegged, however, watch your tongue, because calling an anti-Semite by his real name will only get you a libel suit. “Anti-anti-Semite!” Right back at ya’, babe.

So if you write something criticizing Israel’s critics for their lack of precision, invention and originality, or because they criticize Israel for stuff everyone does worse, or for things that simply ain’t true, you get called an anti-anti-Semite. The Israel Lobby has become the “acceptable” version of this knee-jerk defense mechanism, counter-criticism to silence all criticism.

It has been pointed out recently on this blog (see comments) that Israel is a racist country because it is impossible to become a citizen unless you are a Jew. I don’t have to tell you that there are around a million Arab citizens of Israel for you to know this is bull. What lies beneath this canard, however, is strange and disturbing. Let’s get this straight: for centuries, millennia even, Europeans ghettoized, expelled and murdered Jews so as not to have to live with them in peace. Muslims were better, as long as Jews knew their place and kept to it. Now there are very few Jews left in any Arab-Muslim lands. Most of the world is happily judenrein. And now that the Jews are gone, they bitch because they can’t all move to Israel and become Israeli citizens? Since when does everyone want to live in a Jewish neighborhood, anyway?