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Tue Jul 31, 2018, 12:36 AM

(Jewish Group) What is a "real" antisemite?


Antisemitism is a strange form of prejudice. Rather than denigrating Jews as inferior, it casts them as maliciously superior. It’s a bias that’s as popular on the left as it is on the right. And whereas leftist politics dictates that something is offensive if the persecuted group says it is, those who otherwise claim to be progressive have a disturbing tendency to insist that, actually, antisemitism isn’t really a problem at all.

This pattern has been recently exemplified by the UK Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Earlier this year, Spectator magazine collected a list of 50 recent antisemitic incidents associated with the party, and barely a month goes by without someone in Labour making yet another prejudiced comment. Many of the offenders are still party members. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said that a Jewish journalist was “just like a concentration camp guard” and that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism. Jackie Walker, former vice-chair of Corbyn-supporting organization Momentum, questioned why Jewish schools need security and complained that Holocaust Memorial Day wasn’t inclusive enough. Under Corbyn’s leadership, both received suspensions, but were not expelled from the party. Meanwhile, according to Walker, concerns about antisemitism within Labour are driven by Israel, the Tory party, and the right-wing press as a means to attack Corbyn.


“Usually, prejudices are discourses of inferiority: women are less capable than men, sexual minorities are deviant and sinful, racial minorities are less capable,” says Eric Heinze, a human rights law professor at Queen Mary University of London and consultant on antisemitism for the London-based Media Diversity Institute. “The most powerful forms of antisemitism, including those deployed by the Nazis and the Soviet Union, are just the opposite. It’s that Jews are too clever by half, too powerful. Historically, antisemitism is the very first conspiracy theory.”

Jewish people provide a convenient scapegoat for the world’s ills, and so antisemitism persecutes Jews by insisting that Jewish people are the persecutors. As existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre wrote, “If the Jew did not exist, the anti-semite would invent him.”

The fact that Jewish people are often indistinguishable from a majority-white population further feeds conspiracy theories: Antisemitism is the fear of the outsider passing as insider, the suspicion and hatred of an invisible network pulling the strings. This dynamic is obvious in tropes about Jewish people controlling capitalism, the media, and Hollywood, and feeds into attempts to blame all Jews for the actions of the Israeli government. The narrative, which views Jews as oppressors to be overthrown, also makes it a better fit for left-wing politics than most other forms of discrimination. Hence antisemitism has been called the “fool’s socialism.”


An interesting perspective. This is a good read.

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Reply (Jewish Group) What is a "real" antisemite? (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Jul 2018 OP
MosheFeingold Jul 2018 #1

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2018, 11:17 AM

1. Very good read, indeed n/t

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