Hardly anyone in the West admits to antisemitism. Everyone is convinced they would behave differently now. Everyone who is human identifies with the brave Christian and righteous gentile who hid Anne Frank's family and joined their fate when they were betrayed only to survive the war with her father to allow her story to be told.
And everyone identifies with Anne's family too. Certainly Jews do though those who survived can tell many many stories more.
It has been a staple of adolescent education in the West for decades yet as late as the sixties it could be introduced to an English class in a Queensland high school by a teacher who felt the obligation to instruct the class of young teenagers that there were claims the book to be a forgery but this did not matter because such things happened anyway.
This was something discussed in staff rooms in some Australian government schools at that time.and this type of antisemitism was prolific enough in the West to oblige the Dutch government to do this in 1989. .
I wonder when teachers in Queensland stopped teaching antisemitism and started teaching about antisemitism when introducing this book to our kids? Surely it didn't take until 1989.
In some parts they teach it still.
Even at that time these teachers would have bristled at the charge of antisemitism. On the contrary we are the opposite they would have claimed. This is a great story that should be told even if the book is a fake. We are on the side of the Jews.
Today they wouldn't bother with the mental gymnastics. They would just say they are antizionists. Everyone agrees on that. It's a safe harbour. .
Nothing irritates the typical antizionist more than the suggestion that antizionism is antisemitism. It's like ripping a teddy bear from a child. They get very angry about it and wave their arms about. It really gets up their nose.
Good. That means we are doing our job. Hopefully that means they are thinking.
Antizionism is offensive. The very notion that we should pull down this successful state and replace it with another dysfunctional horror of the kind that every other nation in the Middle East suffer under and for the reasons they give, Think about this for a moment.
This could only be the product of an obsessed bigot or a deluded Jew in a sadomasochistic bond with the bigots of a type it would be best not to know about.
Or just another cat shit dumb campus communist.
This is an edited version of a I post put up somewhere else last year on an article by Walter Russell Mead.
Identifying as an antisemite is about as fashionable as toothbrush moustaches and invading Poland. This may be appropriate because this month is the anniversary of the publication in 1925 of Mein Kampf, an occasion that American commentator Walter Russell Mead has marked with this excellent piece The Hate That Dares Not Speak Its Name.
We know how precious the Israel bashing left can get about any suggestion of antisemitism on its part. So offended and indignant they are always compelled to deny it. True. Well, pretty much always. "Just because I criticise Israel does not mean I'm an antisemite!" "Just because I am concerned for the rights of the Palestinians doesn't mean I'm an antisemite!" And on and on and on ... If you are lucky you may even get a scoffing and sniffy dismissal of the very suggestion. Fairfax does that well. Very occasionally the denial is offensive and faintly threatening. "If you suggest that by standing up for the rights of the Palestinians I am an antisemite, then so be it, I am an antisemite.!" Ahuh. The problem with all of this is that the suggestion is always theirs.
This is called the pre-emptive defensive denial and it has been talked about here before. It is part of the armoury of any typical anti-Zionist or no particular Israel basher in general. The phenomenon is so widespread it is a defining feature of the assault on Israel from Europe and the left and has been for decades. Go to anywhere indulging in a spot of nasty Israel bashing and you will see it.
Are you an antisemite?
The reason I ask is because I would prefer it if people stopped asking me. I have no idea. Just as well. That would require an exploration of the darker inner reaches of your mind and that thankfully is not my line. Ultimately it's a question for you really. Just as ultimately it's up to you to do something about it.
I do know there's a lot of it about. I also know that it inflames much of the debate on Israel/Palestine just as surely as it inflames the dispute itself.
So to help you with your question
Walter Russell Mead says:
I agree.The truth is that anti-Semitism is alive and well and not even particularly rare; it’s just that many of today’s anti-Semites like to think of themselves as enlightened, modern people and get all huffy and hissy if anyone accuses them of prejudice in any form. Many who in past times would have been open and honest about their anti-Semitism, now try to hide the truth even from themselves.
Meade has identified what he calls the "five pillars of anti-Semitism" which perhaps can be a test. These are belief in any of the following ideas:
- Jews are more clannish than other people and act in concert to support a specifically Jewish agenda.
- Jews deploy extraordinary wealth with almost superhuman cunning in support of the Jewish agenda.
- As a religious and national minority, Jews cannot flourish without attacking the traditional values of their host society. In every country Jews seek to weaken national culture, religion, values and cohesion.
- Jews are not a national group or a people in the way that others are; they do not have the same right to establish a nation state that other peoples do.
- Where Jewish interests are concerned, the appearance of open debate in our society and many others is a carefully constructed illusion. In reality, Jews work together to block open debate on issues they care about and those who resist the Jewish agenda are marginalized in public discussion.
Remember, the question is are you an antisemite not whether you are a nazi. Mead says:
You don’t have to believe them all — any one will do. Being an anti-Semite does not necessarily make you a Nazi. You are an anti-Semite. That doesn’t make you a Nazi; Hitler added a sixth pillar of anti-Semitism that the only way to successfully oppose the Jewish agenda was to kill all the Jews.
Since Hitler’s death, the world has defined anti-Semitism down. Nurturing ancient fantasies of secret Jewish cabals that control the media and play politicians like puppets on a string, and making political judgments based on these fantasies isn’t sort of or almost anti-Semitic. To believe that Jews control public discourse and the media and bend the gentile masses to their sinister agenda is the essence of old fashioned anti-Semite. In some countries these beliefs are so common that they are no longer recognized as an aggressive and communicable mental disease. These ideas have become so widely accepted that they are seldom questioned or examined; when that happens, a whole society is poisoned and distorted.
So? How did you go? I reckon Meade has got a pretty good benchmark going here. Do you have any of ideas? Any one of them?
On the anniversary of Mein Kampf‘s publication people of good will everywhere should remember the need to fight one of the most vicious forms of prejudice that the world has ever known. Prejudice never recognizes itself; anti-Semites honestly think their delusional beliefs about Jews are simple, obvious truths. They are not; all five of those beliefs are demonstrably false.
In Nazi Germany people were imprisoned and even killed for trying to fight anti-Semitism. In America we are free to fight it, but too many of us choose to ignore this hate that dares not speak its name. Anti-Semitism is real, it is murderous, and it is very much with us today. Speak the truth and shame the devil. Whatever your religion, your politics, your views about Israeli policy, fighting anti-Semitism is part of what it means to be a decent human being.
We must all do our part to keep this filthy hatred in the ignominious pit where it belongs.