1. when was the last time someone in europe was murdered for being a witch?? i could be wrong, but i'm guessing it wasn't in the last, say 150 years. (ok, i just looked it up. it ended in the 1700s in europe.) 2. what is the practical difference between adapt and assimilate? some jews assimilated (or tried to) and some did not, in the modern era. but before that, none of them had the choice. they were not allowed to adapt or assimilate—by force of law. this is not a matter of european folklore and mythology, nor is it about common misunderstanding of the concept of "the chosen people". (and seriously, do europeans not think that they themselves are the chosen people? they certainly did for a long time….) 3. you refer to the "indigenous population" reacting to jews. it is telling that after jews have been living continuously in various parts of europe for 500, 1000, or 1500 years or more—they are still not considered "indigenous" by the "natives". 4. you mean like all the arab immigrants to europe are really striving to adapt themselves to the way people behave in europe? (i see all the articles about how well that's going.) and actually, many jewish immigrants to palestine in the early days were very excited to do just that. some even saw more commonality or affinity with the arab inhabitants/neighbors than with the europeans they had just left behind. 5. regarding what you said about abbas: i'm pretty sure the word for that is "lying". but regardless of what you want to call it, it does tend to make it hard to work with someone like that. it's not even a matter of being judgmental about a different culture; it's simply a practical concern: how will you guard and enforce your agreements with that person? how do you know what he really thinks and believes? he is supposed to be representing you fairly and promoting you to his people in an effort to calm tensions and ease suspicions, not the opposite. 6. finally, i thought the writer of this article actually tried very hard to be "balanced", as you say, and not some hysterical person who sees an insult or threat everywhere.
from the article: Anti-Semitism in Europe: Jews are outsiders, not equals