Monday, May 07, 2007

The Jewish Divide over Israel

1. The Left sinks to a new low - trotting out a Holocaust Survivor

Jewish Divide Over Israel
By Steven Plaut | May 7, 2007

Jewish Divide over Israel
By Edward Alexander and Paul Bogdanor
Transaction Books, 2006.

A little while back I was invited to address a high school class in Haifa
on the subject of Jewish anti-Semitism and Jewish Holocaust Deniers. The
students, and probably also the teachers, were astonished when the topic
was announced. Once the talk had begun, I began to name names of Jewish
anti-Semites and give details. A number of students pounced upon me with
objections. "But, but, but HE is JEWISH," they argued after each example
was named, "so how can HE possibly be considered to be an anti-Semite."
Many believed that the notion of "Jewish Anti-Semite" is in and of itself
a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron.

But not for long. I provided the high schoolers with detailed examples
not only of Jewish anti-Semitism, but also of Israeli Jewish anti-Semites
and even of Israeli Jewish Holocaust Deniers. Yes, they also exist. By
the end of the talk, and having suffered through my long list of examples
and citations of self-hating Jews, the students had swapped disbelief for
bewilderment, shaking their heads in numb sadness.

I mention this incident because those students were not the only ones
around who mistakenly believe that the idea of a "Jewish anti-Semite" is
impossible, a contradiction in terms. Despite the rapid growth in the
plague over the past two decades, many are still totally unaware of it
altogether. And that works in favor of anti-Semitism itself. The
planet's worst anti-Semites, from the communists to the Neo-Nazis to the
Islamofascists, can turn to and publish one Bash-Israel column or internet
article after the other written by Jews, each greeted with the same sense
of serendipity by nave readers, and each celebrated by anti-Semites all
over the world as yet another proof that Israel is a criminal terror state
that must be annihilated. After all, here we have JEWS themselves saying

It is for people unaware of the plague of Jewish anti-Semitism that this
superb book has been written. The book is composed of a collection of
essays composed by the very best Jewish authors in the English-speaking
Jewish world, exposing Jewish anti-Semitism and Jewish anti-Semites. It
is mandatory reading for anyone wishing to understand the madness of
Jewish self-hatred. The only thing that could make the book even more
powerful would be its speedy translation into Hebrew.

The main, but not the only, cause for Jewish anti-Semites around the world
is of course the delegitimization of Israel and Zionism. In most cases,
the villains under examination in the book do not openly declare
themselves anti-Semites, preferring the pose of righteous lovers of
justice for "Palestinians" and haters of Israeli crimes. In one of the
essays in the book, Edward Alexander dismisses such posturing as
"Anti-Semitism Denial", roughly the moral equivalent of Holocaust Denial.
The targets are almost without exception Israel-haters from the Far Left.

One amazing aspect of the book is the revelation of how many of the rogues
under investigation actually hold academic posts at major universities.
Noam Chomsky, of course, has by now become a household name for
anti-Americanism and anti-Jewish bigotry. Chomsky maintains intimate
links with Holocaust Deniers and served as apologist for the Khmer Rouge
while it was conducting genocide on its own people. Nevertheless, Paul
Bogdanor manages to shed fascinating new light on Chomsky in two of the
book's essays. In hundreds of documented facts and citations, Bogdanor
traces Chomsky's candid devotion to seeking Israel's annihilation and the
second Holocaust that would result from it. He shows how Chomsky
legitimizes each and every form of Arab barbarism and terrorism, while
promoting open Neo-Nazis and their views about Jews.

But even Chomsky cannot match the Chicago Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein,
focus of a separate essay in the book. Finkelstein, son of Jewish
Holocaust survivors, has made a career out of turning out anti-Semitic
smears for Holocaust Deniers and Islamofascist terrorists. He spent last
summer cheering on the Hizbollah's missile attacks on the Jews.
Finkelstein himself has been declared to be a Holocaust Denier by the
Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and by numerous
others, and Finkelstein is widely referred to as the "Jewish David
Irving." Perhaps that explains Finkelstein's popularity among a certain
strain of Israeli anti-Zionists, such as Neve Gordon from Ben Gurion
University, who praised Finkelstein in an essay of his published on
Neo-Nazi web sites and there compared Finkelstein ethically to the
Prophets in the Bible.

Many of the other rogues exposed in the rest of the book are relatively
unknown in Israel. Daniel Boyarin, an anti-Israel professor at Berkeley
who used to teach at two universities in Israel, is the focus of a
fascinating chapter by Prof. Menachem Kellner from the University of
Haifa. Marc Ellis, a rogue about whom I myself have written at length,[1]
is the focus of a chapter contributed by Alan Mittelman from the Jewish
Theological Seminary.

Regrettably Israeli Jewish anti-Semites play only a relatively small role
in the book, although an excellent chapter by Edward Alexander on
"Israelis against Themselves" is devoted to them. Alexander cites some of
the openly anti-Semitic comments made by Israeli "intellectuals" over the
years, some of which also appear in the wonderful collection of such filth
published by Arieh Stav of the Ariel Center. Alexander traces the
increasing hostility to the Jewish state by people like David Grossman and
Meron Benveniste, although his coverage of Israeli anti-Israel academics
could have been expanded significantly. Another excellent chapter is that
by Efraim Karsh, who has for many years tracked the career of Prof. Banny
Morris from Ben Gurion University. While Morris has recently been
attacked from the Left for moving partly away from his earlier
anti-Zionism, Karsh is not convinced the atonement is for real and
uncovers the long history of pseudo-scholarship and misrepresentation that
forms the bulk of Morris' work.

Three opening essays, including the authors' own excellent introduction,
discuss the problem of Jewish anti-Semitism in general. One of these,
"The Modern 'Hep Hep Hep'" by the renowned American writer Cynthia Ozick,
attracted enormous attention when it first appeared. ('Hep Hep Hep' was
the cry of medieval anti-Semites attacking Jews in pogroms.) Prof. Alvin
Rosenfeld, a well-known American Jewish writer about the Holocaust and
anti-Semitism, provides a chapter on the intellectual fallacies and
failures of "progressive" anti-Israel Jews. He recently made headlines
when the American Jewish Committee, itself a liberal left-leaning
organization, published Rosenfeld's devastating essay, "Progressive.
Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,. targeting liberal/leftist
anti-Israel Jews in America.[2]

Jewish self-hatred is a unique genre, a disease that does not exist among
other peoples, at least not in anywhere near the degree that it does among
Jews. It is probably not one single disease and it probably has several
different causes.

Up front it needs to be emphasized that Diaspora Jewish self-hatred is not
the same as Israeli Jewish self-hatred, a distinction that is not
adequately made clear in the book. For Diaspora Jewry, self-hatred was
largely a manifestation of Jewish assimilation and loss of Jewish identity
in any form. Once the walls of the ghetto were struck down and many of
the barriers to Jewish participation in modern society were removed, the
real danger to Jewish survival in much of the Diaspora turned out to be
less anti-Semitic violence than assimilation. The secularization of
Diaspora communities removed religion as the anchor of Jewish
consciousness for most Diaspora Jews, especially in the West.

Having intentionally misdefined themselves in order to be accepted by
gentiles as Germans of the Jewish faith, French of the Mosaic persuasion,
Americans of the Jewish religion, most of these Diaspora Jews faced a
profound dilemma once they stopped practicing the Jewish religion. They
were left as generic Germans, French and Americans of no particular
religion at all. By the late 20th century the real threat to Jewish
existence in the Western countries of the Diaspora was less the desire of
anti-Semites to murder them than the desire of gentiles to marry them.

By and large, for such secularized assimilated Jews in the Diaspora,
Jewish "self-hatred" was less a form of anti-Semitism than it was an
expression of indifference to their own Jewish roots and origins. Most
"self-hating" assimilationist Jews in the Diaspora are simply non-Jewish
Jews, people with no interest in belonging to the Jewish community or in
practicing any form of Judaism. By and large they do not actively wish
other Jews harm and most have no sympathy at all for anti-Semites.

There are of course exceptions to that last observation, and those
exceptions are the focus of the Alexander-Bogdanor book. One can of
course find examples of Jewish anti-Semites wooing gentile anti-Semites in
order to be accepted by them, going back to Greek and Roman times. But,
again, such anti-Semitic posturing should probably be seen as a
particularly obscene version of assimilationism. Such Diaspora Jewish
anti-Semites choose their Bash-Israel fashionable positions more out of
desire for social acceptance than out of a serious political outlook.
Surrounded by anti-Semites among whom they wish to mix and whose approval
they seek, they mouth the magic passwords for acceptance about destroying
Israel and opposing Zionism.

But Israeli Jewish anti-Semites are a completely different kettle of fish.
They are not posturing against Israel and against Jews because they are a
small persecuted ethnic minority in some gentile country of residence. It
is true that there is an element of seeking social acceptance for them,
attacking Jews and Israel in order to court favor among overseas
anti-Semites, especially among Israeli leftists. There is also clearly a
repudiation of all attachment to Jews and Jewishness among such people,
where "Canaanism" in the form of post-Jewish Israeliness is almost
universal among Israeli anti-Semites. But that is clearly not the same as
Diaspora assimilationism. Israeli anti-Semites may posture as "Jewish
Palestinians", but none of them are serious trying to learn Arabic or
dress and live as Arabs.

If Diaspora "self-hating" Jews are by and large simply indifferent to
their Jewishness, Israeli Jewish anti-Semites quite openly hate their own
people and country. They invariably identify with and endorse the enemies
of their country. Tali Fahima and Udi Adiv differ from other Israeli
anti-Semites only in the degree of their actual treason. Israeli Jewish
anti-Semites are not seeking social and cultural acceptance as much as
they are seeking the destruction of their own people and the annihilation
of their own country. They resemble far more Lord Haw-Haw or Taliban John
than they do the assimilated suburban American Jew.

As such, Israeli Jewish anti-Semites increasingly resemble the candidly
treasonous fringes of the American and European Left. Just like the
American Left is essentially little more than a movement of
anti-Americanism and can be counted on to endorse every enemy of the
United States and oppose American interests in everything, so the Israeli
Left is motivated by an acute desire to see its own country harmed. The
difference of course is that the anti-American Left in the United States
is harmless and an amusing distraction, whereas the radical self-hating
Israeli Left is actively collaborating with the enemies of its own country
during time of war and when the goal of those enemies is the annihilation
of Israel.

Eric Ericsson, one of the fathers of modern psychology, once wrote that
radical politics is generally a manifestation of an infantile rebellion
against one's parents. Kenneth Levin from Harvard and others have
suggested that psychological and psychiatric analysis is a better tool for
explaining Jewish self-hatred than political analysis, and I personally
think most Israeli Jewish self-hatred can be traced back to problems with
toilet training.

In any case, I can think of nothing more desperately needed in Israel than
a companion book to this excellent one, focusing on Israel's own variety
of the species exposed in it. If anything, the Israeli variety is worse
than its overseas cousins, and it is certainly far more dangerous.
Israeli "progressive" self-bigotry is more openly anti-Semitic. After
all, clueless American Jewish leftist "intellectuals" can afford to wallow
in their delusions about the Middle East without creating any clear and
immediate danger to anything. The Israeli Jewish leftist anti-Semites
are a Fifth Column, operating in a country at war and under threat of



3. The Finkelstein Promotion Process:

4. The Winograd Commission that was Not:

5. Feminuts:

6. The Olmert Doctrine:

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