The truth is that it doesn’t matter much whether the assimilated, secularized Jews of Europe stay or leave, for most of their children and very few of their grandchildren will be Jewish. Among non-Orthodox French and British Jews, intermarriage rates are around 45%, not as alarming as the 71% among non-Orthodox U.S. Jews and 80% among Russian and Ukrainian Jews, but high enough to sharply reduce Jewish numbers over a generation or two. Except for a minority of non-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews, the impassioned and engaged Jews whose children and grandchildren will be Jewish identify strongly with the state of Israel. The infertile and feckless Europeans don’t have much of a future, either; at present fertility rates, the German and Italian languages will disappear altogether in two hundred years. It is easy for them to swap existential spit with denatured secular Jews who don’t have a future, either. Religious Jews are most likely to leave, for they depend on communal institutions — synagogues, schools, kosher food providers, and so forth — that offer easily identifiable targets for terrorists.

It’s been so long since Europeans took their own national identity seriously that it’s hard for them to remember why it is that they can’t stand the sort of Jew who represents the Jewish future. One has to put them on the proverbial couch and coax it out of them: Europeans hate Jews because European national identity from the outset was a dreadful parody of Jewish identity. One learns this most clearly from the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, who argued the secret of European identity was the desire of every nation to be chosen in the flesh. As I wrote in this space on the anniversary of the First World War, “The unquiet urge of each nation to be chosen in its own skin began with the first conversion of Europe’s pagans; it was embedded in European Christendom at its founding. Christian chroniclers cast the newly-baptized European monarchs in the role of biblical kings, and their nations in the role of the biblical Israel. The first claims to national election came at the crest of the early Dark Ages, from the sixth-century chronicler St Gregory of Tours (538-594), and the seventh-century Iberian churchman St Isidore of Seville….Saints Isidore of Seville and Gregory of Tours were in a sense the Bialystock and Bloom of the Dark Ages, the Producers of the European founding: they sold each petty monarch 100% of the show. One hardly can fault them. Transmuting the barbarian invaders who infested the ruined empire of the Romans into Christians was perhaps the most remarkable political accomplishment in world history, but it required a bit of flimflam that had ghastly consequences over the long term. The filth of the old European paganism accumulated in the tangled bowels of Europe until the terrible events of 1914-1945 released it.”