Gideon Rachman, writing in the Financial Times, uses a classic Goy guilt opener.
The migration of Africans, Arabs and Asians to Europe represents the reversal of a historic trend. In the colonial era Europe practised a sort of demographic imperialism, with white Europeans emigrating to the four corners of the world. In North America and Australasia, indigenous populations were subdued and often killed — and whole continents were turned into offshoots of Europe. European countries also established colonies all over the world and settled them with immigrants, while at the same time several millions were forcibly migrated from Africa to the New World as slaves.
... One possible reaction for Europe is to accept that migration from the rest of the world is inevitable — and embrace it wholeheartedly. Europe’s debt-ridden economies need an injection of youth and dynamism.
Who will staff their old-age homes and building sites if not immigrants from the rest of the world?
But even those Europeans who make the case for immigration tend to argue that, of course, newcomers to the continent must all accept “European values”. That may be unrealistic, partly because many of these values are of relatively recent vintage.
In recent decades, feminism has made great strides in Europe and attitudes to gay rights have been transformed. Many immigrants from the Middle East and Africa bring much more conservative and sexist attitudes with them. It will take more than a few civics classes to change that.
Europeans are profoundly confused about how to respond to these new challenges. In the age of imperialism, they justified settling foreign lands with the confident belief that they were bringing the benefits of civilisation to more backward parts of the world.
But post-imperial, post-Holocaust Europe is much more wary of asserting the superiority of its culture. It has replaced a belief in its civilising mission and the Bible with an emphasis on universal values, individual rights and international treaties.
The big question in the coming decades is how Europe’s faith in universal liberal values will withstand the impact of mass immigration. A battle between nativists and liberals is beginning to shape politics.
In the long run I expect the nativists to lose, not because their demands are unpopular but because they are unenforceable. It may be possible for island nations surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, such as Japan or Australia, to maintain strict controls on immigration. It will be all but impossible for an EU that is part of a Eurasian landmass and is separated from Africa only by narrow stretches of the Mediterranean.Source
Gideon, an avowed secular Jew, started his current role at the FT in July, 2006. He had hoped, though it now seems foolish, not to have to comment too much on the quarrelling Middle East, having had no experience in the region. But fate has been an angel and a devil to the 48-year-old. The same week he joined, Israel invaded Lebanon following the abduction of Israeli soldiers.
Despite fearing his Jewish heritage could preclude readers from respecting his opinion on the conflict, the father-of-four grabbed his new keyboard and "directly addressed the issue". He said: "It is a difficult issue for me. I'm the chief foreign affairs commentator - an opinion columnist.
"I have to make sure those opinions are derived from principles rather than ethnicity.
"I always want to try to reach an opinion that is not based on nationalist prejudice but a coherent point of view.
"I'm very conscious of the fact that if you're writing about Israel, people may discount what you say because you're coming from a particular point of view due to your name."
... His is a passionately liberal South African-Jewish family and his heritage is ingrained in his DNA. "I've always been conscious of being Jewish," he explained. "It's part of my identity. "That said, it is baffling. It's amorphous, it's hard to pin down but there is something there."
He was born in England but spent some of his childhood in South Africa, where his parents came from. The Rachmans returned during the "height of apartheid", but his parents were closely tied to the movement to bring it down.
"The Jewish community was disproportionately involved in the anti-apartheid movement," he recalled.
"I'm conscious of it and proud. Quite why they were involved, I'm not sure. "Friends of my parents had been arrested with Nelson Mandela and another family had Steve Biko staying with them."Source