The Uses of Antisemitism: More from Neslon Ascher (Europundit)

THE USES OF ANTI-SEMITISM

We all have spent too much time talking about the widespread anti-semitism in the Muslim world and discovering, to our surprise, that many in the West actually share this feeling, while many more couldn’t really care less. This is a mistaken approach.

Instead of trying to understand “why they hate us” and why they (and many others) hate the Jews (something I hope we’ll still be discussing for several generations), what we have to understand right now is: what is anti-semitism good for? What are the uses of anti-Semitism?

Whether those who manipulate anti-Semitism are themselves anti-Semites (or anti-Zionists or whatever), whether they personally share the hatred, all that is irrelevant right now. The historical roots of the hatred, its psychology and so on are not questions we have time to analyse, dissect, discuss endlessly nowadays. (And we’re still debating the Holocaust, how and why it happened etc., 61 years after the end of WW2, without having reached anything resembling consensual answers.)

We are spending precious time getting surprised or scared, wondering about the hatred itself, its depth and extension. That’s important, but not what’s most important or urgent. What we need to understand is that this hatred is being once again used cynically to obtain certain results.

Besides being anti-semitic themselves, the Nazis used anti-Semitism skilfully to subvert other countries and societies. Though Nazism was (among other things) a form of German expansionism, wherever there were anti-Semites the Germans would also find collaborators. Anti-semitism was used by the Germans to undermine from the inside countries, societies and armies that could or would stand up to them.

The Nazis managed to convince millions and millions of Frenchmen and Poles, Belgians, Norwegians etc. and, yes, Brits and Americans that, since they were fighting a common enemy (the Jews), they weren’t really the mortal enemies of France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, England and the US. Untold millions were eager to believe that Germany wasn’t really threatening them and their countries, that the Germans didn’t really want to conquer, exploit and kill them. Why? Because they either thought that they could make common cause with the Nazis against the Jews, or remained indifferent, neutral and defenceless. Since, when not actively loathing or persecuting them, they were indifferent to the fate of the Jews, they also believed it was none of their problem. Many of them even turned against those in their own countries who wanted to fight the Nazis and blamed them for putting everyone else in danger just to “protect the Jews”.

In short: if the Jews were used in the beginning as scapegoats, their main use throughout the war was as a tool to “divide and conquer”. Thanks to their sincere or opportunistic ant-semitism, the Germans were able to paralyse important forces in the countries and societies they wanted to defeat and submit.

That’s just what is happening once again before our very eyes. Though the Jihadists have their own clear, even megalomaniacal goals, and while they kill thousands in the US or fight for Shari’a in Europe, while they complain about East Timor or fight over Kashmir, it is enough for them to involve the Jews, particularly Israel, in their struggle or their declared agenda to get the active support or at least the indifference of those in Europe, the US and elsewhere who would like to believe that their complaints, grievances and goals are restricted to or basically motivated by Israel. Of course, they also declare they’re waging war against America, but then, for those who hate America anyway (and often the Jews and/or Israel too), the same logic works pretty well.

The Jihadists have shown us how brilliantly they can manipulate for their own purposes something as irrelevant as half-a-dozen cartoons published in a Danish newspaper. Thus, it is rather unimportant whether Israel’s destruction is or isn’t their main goal (it isn’t). They seem to have discovered through trial and error that the hatred of Jews is alive and well in the West and, as the Nazis did before, they are using it not only to further their own different goals, but to recruit collaborators and paralyse whole countries and societies as well.

It goes without saying how terrible this is for the Jews themselves, but it is at least as dangerous for the rest of the West, for all those who are allowing anti-Semitism to be used against themselves. Hatred of the Jews and of Israel is the loaded weapon the Jihadists are putting in the hands of a civilization that’s willing (again) to commit suicide.\\

COMMENT: This is a very astute analysis to which I’d add the following points.

1) Historically, anti-Semitism has always worked to the disadvantage of those who believed it. Only zero-sum elites like the 16th century Spanish or the 20th century Arabs benefited from the expulsion of the Jews while their people suffered. Similarly, the attacks on the Jews consistently preceded the attacks on heretics that eventually produced the inquisition in Western Europe.

2) Right now, anti-Semitism (and it’s Bizarro-twin, anti-Zionism) operates as a form of cultural AIDS, blocking any criticism of eithe Islam or those radical “Left” groups that demonstrate with them. So any sane thinking in the West immediately gets labeled “Zionist” and dismissed.

24 Responses to The Uses of Antisemitism: More from Neslon Ascher (Europundit)

  1. Barry Meislin says:

    The uses of Anti-Semitism / Anti-Zionism?

    The elimination of the State Israel.

    Purely. Simply.

    (Not to mention the frissons of delight it provides those righteous perverts around the globe…but that’s an analysis for another day….)

  2. Lorenz Gude says:

    RL

    I just followed the link in your first comment above “disadvantage of those who believed it” and think it would be useful for you to elucidate further the historical processes by which you see anti-Snmitism apparently unleash further persecution that eventually turns out bad for the broader society. Generally, I would think that when things go wrong human beings tend to blame someone else and therefore fail to learn from their mistakes. That can be overdone too as we saw from the ‘root causers’ after 9/11. However, right now there is plenty going wrong in the world and many will be looking to blame anyone they can. $20 oil resulting from an Israeli strike against the Iranian nuclear program (predicted in the Jerusalem Post)might be an occasion for an outbreak of anti Semitism for example. Understanding better how persecution spreads and develops seems particularly important just now. You have done a superb job of explaining the ‘cultural AIDS’ problem in many essays showing how post colonialism fits into phenomena such as MSM complicity in Pallywood. If you have gone into the the spread of anti Jewish persecution to the detriment of the larger society elsewhere just point me to it.

  3. E.G. says:

    what we have to understand right now is: what is anti-semitism good for?

    Anti-semitism is not good for anything or anyone.
    I’d rather say what is the function of anti-Semitism? What role does it play?

    RL – point 1. Absolutely. Moreover, the benefits only lasted a short while.

  4. E.G. says:

    They seem to have discovered through trial and error that the hatred of Jews is alive and well in the West and, as the Nazis did before, they are using it not only to further their own different goals, but to recruit collaborators and paralyse whole countries and societies as well.

    Not sure it’s a discovery. I suspect it’s part of a/the Cog-War.

    I totally agree about the paralysing effect. But I don’t understand how anti-Semitism is “divisive” – it seems to be a uniting factor.

  5. oao says:

    several points:

    1. anti-semitism is scapegoating, which happens in crises. it’s easier for jihadis to attract the west to it when the west is collapsing.

    2. i don’t think there was trial and error. 2 possibilities: either it’s in the quran, but when it was raised, it took with the west; or the western roots were known to jihadis (1930’s) and they used it again.

    3. the reasons it’s disadvantageous are quite obvious. 1st, whenever you blame the wrong party for your problems, you’re not likely to solve them properly. 2nd, once you learned you can use someone as a scapegoat, you’ll find others, which is destructive (the inquisition is a good example; also hence “they came to take the jews…”). and 3rd, if it is used to undermine an enemy, then if it’s effective, it destroys him.

    in the case of the jihadis it’s even clearer, because they are open about the destruction of western civilization, but it’s more effective to start with the jews, it distracts from the total objective. the west is decadent, scared and bankrupt and it wants to believe that israel and the jews are the only problem.

  6. JD says:

    Focusing on Nazis is about as illuminative here as trying to source it to Henry Ford and Father Coughlan.

    It’s not the Nazis or nationalists. Anti-semitism is internationalist and leftist. The key year is not 1933, but 1967, the beginning of the Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda campaign in which you can find all the appelations, attitudes, and reasonings that are still rattling around in the minds of some Western left-identity people.

    There are other things too, like the latent imperialism from which Western Europeans think they have right to judge foreign action and run kangaroo war crime courts, and traditional anti-semitism, but for the most part its origin and character is of a left wing flavor.

  7. E.G. says:

    JD,

    Neither the Nazi nor the Soviet anti-Semitism is ex nihilo. They draw on previous “models”, and on each other. Whether the main ideology has a nationalist or international view is secondary: anti-Semitism was/is a tool that can be used to advance one or another such cause. Just take or make the mutation that fits best.
    At present, one can see and hear both the “go back/away (to Palestine)” Nazi variant and the Soviet inspired Israeli Nazi equivalences variant.

  8. oao says:

    actually, we’re hearing more.

    everybody and his grandmother piles on the jews whatever problems they happen to have. it’s so damn convenient, and you feel like you belong, not to mention the avoidance of responsibility.

  9. Tomcpp says:

    One thing keeps amazing though. Between these many anti-semites … you find just about every Jew in Amerika. There are positive exceptions, without a doubt, but if the west has self-loathing, it barely compares to the self-loathing the Jews have for themselves.

    I’ve asked a few I know many times why this was. They do not have an answer.

    Are these diaspora Jews stupid ? Do they simply go along with the group-think ?

    Can any Jew perhaps elucidate the point ?

  10. E.G. says:

    Tomcpp,

    I’m not sure your perceived proportions of Jewish vs. non-Jewish self loathers are the correct ones. On certains subjects, Jewish voices are more likely to be promoted because their Jewishness lends their voice extra weight (for ex., N. Finkelstein-Shoah). That effect allows many non-Jews, who would have otherwise refrained from pronouncing an anti-Semitic discourse, legitimize it by “even Jews say so”. Recall, often heard names or events are not necessarily as frequent as it seems: being visible doesn’t automatically mean being numerous.

    Regarding Jewish self-loathing, it’s a complex issue (pun intended). It’s not the whole self, but a segment – the Jewish one – that is loathed. The other segments are often inflated with love and admiration. For some it might be a desire to be distinguished according to other than a stigmatising “ethnic” criterion (paradoxically, some are distinguished because they’re some people’s “pet Jews”), for some others it might be an internalized Jewish negative stereotype – so of course they’d like to distance themselves from it. Maybe it’s also linked to 2nd and 3rd generation “post traumatic syndrom” of Shoah survivors. And there’s also some perverted guilt felt by those who did not suffer during the Shoah (they were elsewhere)… etc.

  11. JD says:

    “”Neither the Nazi nor the Soviet anti-Semitism is ex nihilo.””

    I agree, in part. But the Soviet anti-zionist campaign has more original origins.

    “Whether the main ideology has a nationalist or international view is secondary:”

    Not to understanding the breadth of current anti-Israelism.

    “At present, one can see and hear both the “go back/away (to Palestine)” Nazi variant and the Soviet inspired Israeli Nazi equivalences variant.”

    The Soviet … is just an attitude within the propaganda complex of leftist anti-semitism. The defeat of Soviet allies and war products created a panic in the Soviet nomenklatura. Nationalism, and any triumph of the same, was a unique threat to the Soviet Union–to its union. Also the ’67 defeat of Marxist allies was a reversal to Marxist eventualism, part of the self-authenticating dogma of its reason to rule.

  12. oao says:

    it barely compares to the self-loathing the Jews have for themselves.

    this is a typical diaspora jew reaction to anti-semitism, particularly the highly assimilated jew: he wants to signal to the hating goyim that he’s not like all other jews and certainly not like the bad israelis.
    they delude themselves that this will save them. just like converts to a certain religion want to prove themselves even more pious than the natives.

    this is what many jews did in the 30’s during nazism.

    of course, there are other factors which have been covered here, but this is a biggie. many jews are only nominally so (by birth), don’t care much about israel and express their “americanism” by anti-zionism. so when they sense anti-semitism they are desperate to separate themselves and to prove they’re not really jews.

    it’s one aspect that facilitates their enemies’ disgust with them as cowards.

  13. E.G. says:

    this is a typical diaspora jew reaction to anti-semitism, particularly the highly assimilated jew

    I beg to differ. This is one of the means by which some diaspora Jews (perhaps mostly being highly assimilated) cope with anti-Semitism. Denial (of both Jewishness and anti-Semitism) is another such mechanism.

    Regarding anti-Zionism, it’s also seen as a means to clarify a single allegiance rather than a suspected double one.

  14. E.G. says:

    JD,

    Let’s not forget that Nazi propagada was crushed and studied. Not so the Soviet one. And the broader Communist one.

  15. oao says:

    e.g.,

    how exactly do you differ?

  16. Eliyahu says:

    I would argue that both Communist [marxist-leninist] Judeophobia and “right-wing” Judeophobia have common philosophical roots going back to Kant, Hegel, Voltaire etc. And from them going back to Luther and the Middle Ages.

  17. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Less typical. Just one type of reaction among a few others.

  18. oao says:

    And from them going back to Luther and the Middle Ages.

    and from him going back to christianity’s origins. it is a hijacking of judaism by paul and jesus had nothing to do with it.

    i strongly urge to read THE MYTHMAKER by Maccobby.

  19. Eliyahu says:

    I’ve been reading Maccoby’s Judas Iscariot… for several years now. It’s good but you can’t read it through. At least not me.

  20. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    read the mythmaker. it’s easy to read and quite short. but it’s brillaint — one of the best scientific investigation of the origins of christianity i’ve seen.

    he has his critics and i don’t know enough to judge thoroughly, but they did not impress me and he did.

  21. oao says:

    something similar:

    The Martian invasion

    “Mr. President?”

    President Mitchell slowly turned away from the Oval Office window, to see his Chief of Staff, Bill Rojas. Rojas was clearly agitated, but these days, who wasn’t?

    “Bill, don’t be so formal. Come in, sit down. Maybe Laura can get you a coffee.”

    “No, thanks, Rob. It’s just that the Martians…”

    “Yes, I know. They are almost here. Richmond just disappeared.”

    Rojas exhaled. “And Norfolk. And Raleigh-Durham.”

    President Robert Mitchell paled slightly, but quickly regained his composure. “They aren’t invincible, you know. We just have to find out their weakness. And I think I know what we can do to stop them.”

    “Really, Rob? What is it?”

    “Give them Minnesota.”

    The room was silent for a moment.

    “Give them…..”

    “Yes, Minnesota. Look, they clearly want land, right? They aren’t conquering us for fun. The Martians have legitimate grievances against us, and it is time we treat them like human beings. We have been disrespectful to them, you know, calling them “bug-eyed” and shooting rockets at their warships – warships which are legal under international law, by the way.”

    “But Rob…” Bill sputtered. “How do you know they would be happy with Minnesota?”

    “Bill, Bill. You’ve known me for years. I didn’t become President because I did things unilaterally. I understand people, Bill! I have crafted compromises in the State Senate, in the US Congress, and I am sure I can compromise with the Martians as well! They aren’t that different from you and me, after all. They have two eyes, just like us. They like to eat, just like us….”

    “Rob, they eat people!”

    “Come on, Bill, have you never heard of cannibals? Or those people from the plane crash who were stuck in the Andes? Seriously, you have to stop being so judgmental.”

    “But, Mr. President – how do you know they would be happy with Minnesota?”

    Robert Mitchell sighed. “It is a nice place – lots of lakes, healthy people to eat, and cold, just like their planet. Besides, Minnesota didn’t vote for me,” he added with a chuckle. “Seriously, Martians didn’t build interplanetary spaceships because they are stupid. If they are that advanced, of course they will compromise with us. Minnesota is just a beginning position to bargain with. Maybe they’ll want North Dakota, too…but we’ll never know until we start a dialogue with them. And negotiation means compromise, so we have have to offer something in our opening stance.”

    Bill Rojas, hesitantly, asked, “And if we give them Minnesota – they’ll leave us alone?”

    President Mitchell straightened up to his full 6’2″ height. He never looked so presidential.

    “I am sure about it, Bill. They are an advanced people; they will negotiate with us and take only what’s fair. They aren’t savages, and they have their pride. Everything can be discussed between adults of good will.

    “We, as a people, desperately want the fighting to stop. We will have to make painful compromises for peace. But the peace, when it comes, will last forever.”
    AddThis

    Posted by Elder of Ziyon at 12:33 PM

  22. RfaelMoshe says:

    Among the most unacknowledgedly racist things that I hear leftists repeat in various forms is,”so and so CAN’T be anti-semitic, they are Jewish themselves.” Its classically racist to assert that the entirety of a person’s behavior is dictated by their genes. Simply because a person is of Jewish background, doesn’t somehow biologically preclude them holding any particular social attitude. Individuals like Tony Judt or Norman Finkelstein are using their accidental ethnic background as cover for the advancement of an un-related ideology. Its quite disingenous.

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