Jewish anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

A new book, reviewed:

Even as their distance from Jewish values demonstrates that they are not legitimate heirs of the Jewish prophets, their role in providing cover for anti-Semitism cannot be dismissed or underestimated. The only Jew anti-Semites can tolerate in their midst is a Jew who has abandoned all the vestiges of Judaism and shows no traces of identification with the Jewish people. Promoting the abandonment of Judaism has always been high on the agenda of Jew-haters: From conversion to assimilation, no version of anti-Jewish sentiment has ever left the Jews with the option of defining their own identity on their own terms. If they wanted to survive, they had to accept what the outside world wanted them to be. And even as our age celebrates cultural diversity and religious freedom, the Jews are nonetheless barred from defining themselves in national terms. Some Jewish intellectuals, therefore, embrace anti-Zionism in order to become accepted in their liberal and progressive circles, where hatred for Israel is most rampant.

And this is highly convenient for the anti-Semites. It is no coincidence that the accusation that Israel was “born in sin” — on account of its responsibility for the birth of the refugee problem — has recently gained much currency in the West. For decades, Palestinian propaganda made that charge, with little success. But once Israeli historian Benny Morris came along and coined that “born in sin” expression, the charge gained credibility: This was an Israeli Jew, after all, with all the academic apparatus and footnotes. (The charge itself, I am at pains to point out, is still as false as it ever was. In The Jewish Divide, Efraim Karsh exposes the farrago of distortions and fabrications still peppering Morris’s work even after Morris took Israel’s side after October 2000.)

Read the whole thing. Then get the book.

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6 Responses to Jewish anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

  1. Yankev says:

    My favorite observation:

    Promoting the abandonment of Judaism has always been high on the agenda of Jew-haters: From conversion to assimilation, no version of anti-Jewish sentiment has ever left the Jews with the option of defining their own identity on their own terms. If they wanted to survive, they had to accept what the outside world wanted them to be. And even as our age celebrates cultural diversity and religious freedom, the Jews are nonetheless barred from defining themselves in national terms.

    That pretty much nails the missionaires and the Jews for what-is-name who try to tell us what “real” jews are, and every fool who objects that Judaism is a religion and not an ethnicity, or an ethnicity and not a religion, or who tells us that “We could tolerate you Jews if only you did not insist on” denying whats his name or eating only kosher food, or not intermarrying, or being so clannish, or supporting Israel, or whatever the excuse du jour might be.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Some Jewish intellectuals, therefore, embrace anti-Zionism in order to become accepted in their liberal and progressive circles, where hatred for Israel is most rampant.”

    I doubt this is true, for as far as I can tell almost everyone in progressive and liberal intellectual circles supports a two-state solution. People who advocate a “binational solution” (like Noam Chomsky and Tony Judt) are few and far between. What the reviewer mistakes for hatred of Israel is mostly frustration at Israel, born from postcolonial guilt and a naive belief that Israel’s troubles would be over if only Israel would retreat to the ’67 boundaries.

  3. michael says:

    “a naive belief that Israel’s troubles would be over if only Israel would retreat to the ‘67 boundaries.”

    This is beyond naive. If Israel withdrew to the pre-’67 borders, our troubles would be only just beginning.

    What the Jewish anti-Semites, anti-Zionists keep forgetting is that the Kapos weren’t immune from the death chambers.

    Going along with the haters and the killers buys a few people a little bit of time, but the only true way to stop evil (and virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are based on evil) is to resist it. With force, when necessary.

  4. I agree with the premise of this piece, in that some of the worst anti-Zionists are themselves Jewish, and that a key contributing factor is these people’s general non-practice of Judaism.

    So what’s the solution? Get them more Jewishly involved and teach them about Judaism’s values and religious/spiritual aspects. Of course this is much easier said then done, but I still think it’s worth trying.

  5. Rabbi Berel Wein points out that many of the “Enlightenment” internalized the claims of the antsemites so that they felt that unless they destroyed Judaism, they could not survive. Every Jew has within him (no matter how buried and no matter how unrecognized) a spark from his attendance at the Revelation of Sinai. It is this spark that generates the conflict caused by the self hatred that he carries around. It is this internal conflict that causes people like Noam Chomsky to suffer in his soul. It is like Elie Wiesel and Dr. Mengele existing in the same person.

    Of course, this also reminds me of the story of four converts from Judaism speaking to each other in Czarist Russia about why they converted.

    On said: I fell in love with a Christian woman and had to convert to marry her.

    The professor said: I had to convert to be admitted to the University and to obtain tenure. Now I can do my research in peace.

    The businessman said: I had to convert in order to build my business. Now I am wealthy and accepted in the best social circles.

    The fourth person said that he had converted because he had been convinced that Xianity was tru.

    The other three turned to him and said “Tell it to the goyim”.

    No matter how much a person tries to convince himself that he is justified, the still small voice telling him that he is wrong can never be silenced. It is this suppressed truth that sours him, destroys his enjoyment of life, and leads to the excesses of trying to destroy those who will not admit that he is “correct” in his antisemitism.

  6. Joel says:

    I am glad to see that pseudo historian Benny Morris has seen the light. He and his band of merry revisionists have done great damage to the Jewish nation.

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