A friend posted the following story to his Facebook feed this week:
I almost didn’t post about this, because at first, I thought the headline writer was trying to make a subtle, “see what I did there?” point about the silliness of peoples irrationally blaming whole other peoples for their woes. But upon reflection, I’m still not convinced the headline writer was trying to do that, and even if so, I think many readers would miss the subtlety (making it ineffective advertising for an article meant to draw attention to the rise of anti-Semitism in a country).
Now, it’s true that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Greece, and this is troubling. I would never suggest otherwise, nor do I have any complaints about those who monitor such developments very carefully (a Holocaust can and should attune people to such matters!). The problem in the headline is the broad use of “Greeks,” implying that Greece in its entirety is part of this anti-Semitic wave (rather than a bigoted faction, who should rightly be called out). I don’t think that’s the case at all in the country — although it IS true that there is a rise in anti-EVERYTHING attitudes nationwide (revulsion at the European Union for effectively extending the credit card then taking it away, revulsion at Angela Merkel and Germany in general for being “austerity” proponents after taking the credit card away, revulsion at Greece’s own crony-kleptocratic political leaders, and yes, among some factions, revulsion at “the Joos” as if they are somehow to blame). None of it is wholly rational, nor is there any single “anti” thread that prevails among all Greeks — beyond the despair that many feel about their country’s current plight.
Oddly, the article’s subhead would have actually made for a much better, much more effective headline than “Greeks blame Jews”:
As Greece’s economy teeters on the brink, virulent anti-Semitism is making an alarming comeback
That’s true, so far as it goes, and describes the thrust of the article. The additional context of the rise of so much “anti” sentiment in general in Greece is probably worth noting, as well as the impact of the same on elections (who can really say WHAT “the Greeks” voted FOR in their most recent elections).