ANTIGONOS' BRAIN

Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance. You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver. You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Nature of Anti-Semitism

This is a very important article. The late rabbi of the West London Synagogue, Hugo Gryn, z''l, himself a survivor of Auschwitz, once said to me that since the founding of Israel, "Jews have begun to believe they can escape history". What he meant was that, now that anti-Semitism is an acknowledged fact, Jews find it comforting to feel it can be eliminated by legislation and social pressure. Historically, this has not been true, and there are a great many anti-Semites out there who are unconscious of their real attitudes. They will say they have nothing against Jews, but against Israel's actions. In fact, it is a distinction without a difference. When a non-Jew demands that Israel use only stones against Hamas because Hamas-niks are throwing stones and anything more is "disproportionate" violence, it is really anti-Jewish feeling (often accompanied by the virtuous Christian sentiment that since Jesus advocated turning the other cheek, and he was Jewish, it behoves the Jews to "set an example to the world". In other words, be martyred.) Stones kill. Kassams kill. Granted, Kassams are highly inaccurate, whereas the IDF isn't, but that is meaningless, really. We'd have to be nuts to stuff explosive into pieces of pipe and shoot it into Gaza (where, btw, it would almost certainly do considerable damage due to the population density)

I've frequently tried to point out, on a forum I'm part of, which discusses politics, just how subtlety anti-Semitism informs the media, and then becomes part of one's "informed" opinion. Usually, my correspondents tell me I'm paranoid. They are completely unaware of how they've been affected. (Towns and villages in Israel are often called "settlements", as if they are impermanent, even within the Green Line, or the PA has "militants" instead of "terrorists" but the IRA only had "terrorists"; news reports avoid discussing Hamas-Fatah violence, give PA "ministers" the status of being officials in an existing sovereign state, etc.)

Where anti-Israelism becomes anti-Semitism is, for example, when it is suggested that Israel is not attempting to limit civilian casualties but is actually trying to maximize the count, and when Hamas' tactic of using the civilian population as human shields is discreetly not mentioned. The inescapable conclusion is that Jews like killing non-Jews. Hence the comparisons with Nazis. Indeed, in a way, what the Nazis did to the Jews is being justified, since anyone who enjoys killing must themselves be not quite human. And this type of anti-Semitism goes a long way back: Josephus wrote "Against Apion" to rebut it only about 50 years after Jesus lived.

As long as there have been Jews, there has been anti-Semitism. The "self-hating Jew" is an anti-Semite just as much as the Christian or Moslem who hates the Jew for willfully denying "the truth" which they believe is in their respective religion. It is protean. Jews are poor and dirty and spread disease amongst the Gentiles; they are vastly wealthy and control the world via financial markets. And so on.

It's not going to go away.

1 comment:

Myriam said...

Excellent sober and thorough article by Frank Furedi, who I've never come across before. I love his writings about parenting too. Will definitely be checking out some of his books. Thanks for the link.