Monday, December 04, 2017

Anti-Semitism Of Things, Of Men and Of Identity

As Margaret McGlynn writes in her The Royal Prerogative and the Learning of the Inns of Court on page 222 in a chapter on 'the Fallacies of Realpolitik':

I've mentioned that categorization previously.  The text of the two chapters published in his The Jewish War front is here.  The definitions again:

There are two distinct forces at work within the general phenomenon called Antisemitism:  the one is a subjective repulsion, strong enough and permanent enough to become anything from a hobby to a religion; the other is an objective state of things which tends to ostracize the Jew almost independently of whether his neighbours like or dislike him. We shall call the first category "the Antisemitism of Men' and the second "the Antisemitism of Things'.

He railed against Germany:

There and not elsewhere was the discovery made, and the principle proclaimed, that the objection to the Jew is not religious but racial, and he must therefore be persecuted even if baptized. There and not elsewhere was antisemitism sublimated to the rank of a scientific philosophy.

and also postulated that there are facts and objective truths which lead others to adopt anti-Semitic posturing for:

in some countries the decisive factor is not the antisemitism of men but the antisemitism of things...[we need] realize that the fundamental curse of Jewish existence in the central zone of distress is due to something infinitely deeper than policies or ideologies or propagandas, whether anti or pro...

He further explains that

there are certain inevitable aspects in the normal social evolution of Eastern Europe (the words "inevitable" and "normal" should be emphasized) which are inherently, objectively, and organically fatal to the Jews' existence. 

...human anti-semitism is an active enmity, a constant urge to harm the hated race, to humiliate them, to see them squirming and writhing beneath one's feet...even at its strongest only a leading minority manifest it in its greedily acute stage; the majority just follow suit and mildly enjoy the fun. Being thus of a somewhat elastic nature, the "Antisemitism of Men" can sometimes be fought with a measure of success;

I wish to add a third category:

The Anti-Semitism of Identity 

It is one rooted in jealousy, in a feeling a self-cognizant deficiency, an overwhelming emotion that one can never match the challenge of confronting a rival, a counterpart, a competitor.

The hatred there grows is nourished by realization that one's identity is not as one supposed, imagined or believed in. One assumes he is a Palestinian when his identity was as a Southern Syrian into the 1920s. One assumes there was no Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah but always a mosque built by Abraham Ibrahim.  One assumes Muhammed flew on a winged creature, tethered it to a wall (which was not the Western Wall of Herod's Second Temple) and stepped on the a rock (which was not the Foundation Stone of Aravna's threshing floor upon which the Altar was built) all in Jerusalem when he really never was in Jerusalem.  "Palestinian Arabs" are either Canaanits, Jebusites or, in the words of Saeb Erekat, Natufians.

The frustration growing out of the realization that these lies, myths and calumnies they have propogated for decades are simply not truly altering the ability of Zionism to continue and build up and strengthen the Jewish state in the historic Jewish homeland they resort to a new tactic of "protecting free speech" as, for example, expressed in a letter to the Guardian in October protesting what the signees termed Professor Moshe Machover's insistence that anti-Zionism and support for Palestinian rights are not antisemitic which read in part

“Misusing the term antisemitism for pro-Israel political purposes deprives it of its charge and its critical role in naming those who hate Jews because they are Jews. Real antisemitism is obscured by this self-serving redefinition of the term.

They see themselves as  combating attempts to "suppress solidarity with Palestine by conflating criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry".

Another formulation of this redefinition so as to permit themselves to hate Jews for being Jews while not being tainted with a charge of anti-Semitism is here describing the remarks of a professor at UMass, Sut Jhally, who said he

believes that the...discussion [over Palestine] is often halted through accusations of anti-Semitism and racism toward those who are critical of Israeli policy, specifically right-wing Israeli policy...[this is] a very, very effective silencing mechanism


it silences those accused for the fear of being deemed a racist or anti-Semite...[it] manipulates the oppressive, violent and fearful history of Jewish people and distracts from what the state of Israel, not Jews, what the state of Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

At the notorious New School panel, a discussion of a new book from Jewish Voice for Peace 'On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice' co-sponsored by the New School Creative Publishing & Critical Journalism program with moderator Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now!, Leo Ferguson, Lina Morales, Linda Sarsour and Rebecca Vilkomerson, and which elicited an official institution responsethere was this:

Panelist Lina Morales, a member of the Jews of Color and Mizrahi/Sephardi Caucus of JFREJ, called Zionism “a mistake” that “has led us down a dangerous and horrible road,” while Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the pro-BDS Jewish Voice for Peace, described the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “apartheid.”

Lying and misrepresenting is a basis of anti-Semitism since the object is to create a false picture so that someone can more comfortably and confidently hate Jews. As an audience member noted, the panel avoided the 

ideological purity tests on the left...the idea that if you’re Jewish you have to affirmatively prove your anti-Zionist bona fides before you’re let into any leftist space regardless of the causes

Denying to Jews the right to promote a nationalism, Zionism, one that is based on a 3000-year history, culture, religion and literature, that had received international legal support in 1919, 1920, 1920 and 1947 and that is evident by archaeological findings and external non-Jewish sources is an anti-Semitism of identity denial while promoting another identity paradigm that is unequal in all spheres to Zionism.

Attempting, and too often violently, to supplant one identity over another, as the Arab Palestine movement seeks to do, and which is underscored deeply by unadulterated anti-Semitism, with support from anti-Semites as in the case of the British Labour Party and anti-Zionists, is an evil and those espousing that track know full well what they are doing.

This is the new face of the oldest hatred.


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