Antisemitism And The Anti-Semites

Antisemitism is an abstract construct that describes people who hate Jews and/or the Jewish State. The question here is why they are hated. To this question, there are as many answers as there are anti-Semites but there are some general categories into which Jew-haters fall. Jews need to understand that they can’t run away from anti-Semitism by being “less Jewish.” The hatred comes from the haters, whether lazy thinkers or true psychopaths, and there are many “reasons” for their essentially unreasoning hatred.

Some people dislike Jews though they have never met one. They accept the opinions of high-status haters without fully considering the merits of those opinions. The source of antisemitism here is the human foible of being unable or unwilling to think about the information they have been fed.

Many people are anti-Semites because they are afraid not to hate Jews. These include academics and business people who fear losing their positions or profits if they do not conform to the left’s demand for anti-Semitism. These spineless individuals believe the Jews’ reactions to antisemitism will be less damaging to them than the anti-Semites’ nastiness.

Some people dislike looking at Jews in their separate garb or while performing their rituals. This aesthetic sense involves a strong repulsion to differences between people. Why? Who knows? It might stem from conditioning during their teen years when only slight novelty or deviation in dress codes was permitted. For these people, passing a Jewish-looking person on the street might arouse embarrassment, extending even to revulsion. For these folks, conformity equals acceptability.

People hate Jews for nationalistic reasons or “who governs whom.” These anti-Semites, when confronted with Israel’s successfully defending itself, feel justified in attacking all Jews everywhere (even in the United States and Europe), screaming at them that they want to kill the men and rape the women. These threats a very primitive, extending from the dawn of mankind through the Dark Ages, when the easiest way to acquire wealth was to steal from the weak. Women and children were considered forms of wealth, so the trick was to kill the male protectors to acquire all their possessions. Those who yell about wanting to kill Jews and rape their wives and daughters reach far back into their hereditary history of hatred, perhaps even to a point before Jews existed. To know that such hatreds can persist unchanged, seemingly forever, is quite disconcerting.

Then there are ideological reasons to hate Jews. Jewish practice and belief compete with other belief systems for individual loyalty. Stalin killed thousands of Jewish communists because even, though they had abandoned their Jewish roots, including family ties, they were still too Jewish. How so? They continued to speak Yiddish to each other, not Russian. To Stalin, Yiddish-speaking communists were a sufficient threat to require death! No need for any more information! In some cases, the forces that killed the Yiddish-speaking Jewish communists were Russian-speaking Jewish communists. Ideological impurity cannot be tolerated because it suggests there may be a way back to sanity from feverish revolutionary commitment.

One of the most influential groups of anti-Semites can be designated as “opportunistic.” These people make their living, in whole or in part, from working against Israel. NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International would be hard-pressed to survive financially if they took an evenhanded or pro-Israel attitude towards the Israeli-Arab conflict. These people are anti-Semites because they genuinely do not care how their actions can hurt or kill Jews.

There is a group of people who view themselves as a principled opposition to Judaism and, thus, to the Jews. Jews are tolerant of homosexual behavior but remain committed to the few sentences in the Bible that see such behavior as seriously against everyone’s best interests. As well, religious Jews remain opposed to adultery, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and rape because, starting in the Bible, and extending through the masses of Jewish legal writings, these behaviors have been deemed not to advance humanity’s long-term interests.

Today, we know with great certainty these behaviors are not victimless. At the very least, the victims of these assaults have their lives degraded and often permanently changed for the worse.

There are some who dislike having Jews around because Jews make them feel guilty. For some, this is because they do believe in Jewish morality and wish they didn’t because they keep running afoul of it. For others, as someone said of the Europeans, they will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. That is, their own bad behavior toward Jews doesn’t inspire them to abandon the behavior; it just makes them dislike Jews. Often, they have some inner feelings of inadequacy. For them, it is easier to find an external scapegoat than to do the hard work required to come to a better place for their souls.

Lastly, there are political anti-Semites. These are the policymakers who construct their plans without regard to their effects on the Jews and their state. Biden desperately wants a return to Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Why is a complete mystery to me. Cui bono, who profits? We know, though, who is hurt. Either the JCPOA was designed to weaken the Jews in their state or it was a perfectly predictable side effect of the agreement. Either way, the amorality of the Iran agreement stinks like a rotting corpse on a hot summer day. Those who can completely ignore the effects of their machinations on the Jews and the Jewish state are perhaps best described as psychopathic anti-Semites

To be defined by one’s antisemitic beliefs is like a religious or existential experience gone awry. We only live once, so it is a fundamental waste of human life to be so hotly obsessed with hating Jews.

No matter what the flavor of antisemitism the haters espouse, it seems to this observer they would profit from the mental health equivalent of a car wash for their brains. I will not call for the annihilation of anti-Semites unless they take actual steps towards another Holocaust. Still, self-imposed repentance would be a very good thing for everyone concerned.

IMAGE: An antisemitic sign in a language common to all haters. Photo by Yonderboy. 

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