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Wed Feb 15, 2017, 09:50 PM

Hate Jews, Love Israel: The Logic of American Anti-Semitism

Last edited Thu Feb 16, 2017, 06:24 PM - Edit history (1)

Seeing the surreal press conference with >Redacted< and Netanyahu today was jarring, to say the least.

The contrast between escalating manifestations of grassroots anti-semitism experienced by Jewish Americans, and the heartfelt rah-rah jingo embrace of Netanyahu's Likud vision for Israel practically defines 'cognitive dissonance'.

How is it possible?

The easiest trope to understand is the extreme Christian Millenialist viewpoint, in which the existence of Israel is a necessary precursor to the apocalypse that will 'rapture' them to their luxury seats in the Skybox of heaven- the ones with a panoramic view of the unbelievers suffering unspeakable tortures, and angelic waitresses to bring them snacks and cocktails. The Millenialists believe they have the libretto, and they're anxious to hurry the action along to get to the good part.

In the Millenialist view, "Israel" doesn't actually have much to do with Jews except insofar as it provides the catalyst for them, as Christ-killing sinners, to get What's Coming To Them when Payback Jesus finally shows up. Which can only happen in Israel, so, yeah... They're total besties with the State of Israel and are eager to do whatever it takes, up to and including kicking off The Big One, to move the show along.

Oh, and in the mean time, having a place that has to take in Jews just because they're Jewish? Two-fer... we can 'encourage' all the world's Jews to go there, which will make it extra convenient for the Destroying Angel to visit them with heinous plagues and so on.

This is the "put all your eggs in one basket, and then drop the basket" genocide strategy. We'll get back to that later, it's the centerpiece of another American anti-semite trope. For now, it's enough to note that there are plenty of opportunistic politicians in Israel who are perfectly well-aware of the Millenialists' motivations but are happy to take their handouts for all they're worth.

The "eggs/basket/drop" strategy is at the heart of the broader American neo-nazi racist version of anti-semitism. If Israel is the Jews' rightful homeland, then it's perfectly logical to convince them to get the hell out of America, and go there. Where, presumably, they and those other non-Aryan non-Christian people will annihilate each other, problem solved. We can go in and take the oil when they're all dead, and the sooner they get on with it, the better.

So, in the mean time, while we're convincing all the Jews in America that they're not welcome (to say the least), these latter-day Final Solution fans support the existence of Israel as a sort of one-stop, voluntary concentration camp.

Finally, there's the more nuanced and sophisticated approach of the old WASP elite. The "gentleman's agreement" they've reached with Israel is, essentially, to be their proxy bulwark maintaining the established order in the Middle East. Their anti-semitism is the most genteel and subtle of the lot. They even allow their children to marry into Jewish families-- wealthy and well-connected ones, anyway. There's always been an appreciation, among the ancient WASP elite, of the role those wealthy and well-connected Jewish families can play in enabling the upper echelons of legal and financial legerdemain, while keeping Jews as a group in reserve for scapegoating when required.

If support for Israel is the bargaining chip for the old WASP elite to enlist that cooperation, they're reasonably happy to oblige. After all, it also provides useful political cover for them. How can they be anti-semitic, when they're such Good Friends of Israel?

In the mean time, the synagogues receive their bomb threats, the flow of vile hate mail ticks up, and Palestinians see their hopes receding. And Jewish Americans who encompass a whole range of political, philosophical, ethical and moral viewpoints on Israel, peace in the Middle East, and America's role there, have frustratingly little success in being heard.

observantly,
Bright

P.S. Many thanks to all my heart donors! I'm so touched and honored by your kindness.



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Reply Hate Jews, Love Israel: The Logic of American Anti-Semitism (Original post)
TygrBright Feb 2017 OP
HoneyBadger Feb 2017 #1
TlalocW Feb 2017 #2
TygrBright Feb 2017 #3
Behind the Aegis Feb 2017 #4
TygrBright Feb 2017 #5

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 10:05 PM

1. Since when did Jews become monolithic?

 

There are many factions, the old school being Israel based, and new school settling on the Upper East Side. Anti semetism has traditionally meant being anti old school or anti Zionist. But American reform Jews have attempted to redefine, along which much of Judaism....I believe that is where "reform" comes into play. Note the last sentence.


Reform Judaism emphasizes the ethical facets of the faith as its central attribute, superseding the ceremonial ones. Reform thinkers often cited the Prophets' condemnations of ceremonial acts, lacking true intention and performed by the morally corrupt, as testimony that rites have no inherent quality. Geiger centered his philosophy on the Prophets' teachings (He named his ideology "Prophetic Judaism" already in 1838), regarding morality and ethics as the stable core of a religion in which ritual observance transformed radically through the ages. However, practices were seen as a means to elation and a link to the heritage of the past, and Reform generally argued that rituals should be maintained, discarded or modified based on whether they served these higher purposes. This stance allowed a great variety of practice both in the past and the present. In "Classical" times, personal observance was reduced to little beyond nothing. The postwar "New Reform" lent renewed importance to practical, regular action as a means to engage congregants, abandoning the sanitized forms of the "Classical".

Another key aspect of Reform doctrine is the personal autonomy of each adherent, who may formulate his own understanding and expression of his religiosity. Reform is unique among all denominations in placing the individual as the authorized interpreter of Judaism.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 10:15 PM

2. There's the whole wiping out of Jews thing

But there's also the need for Israel to continue in order to give credence to the claim that Israel's reformation is predicted in the Bible, and that it will persist until the end of time.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 10:18 PM

3. ah, yes... thanks for the reminder.

I was forgetting the "The only good Jew is one who isn't a Jew anymore" trope...

apologetically,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 10:18 PM

4. Interesting read.

However, it should be titled: Hate Jews, Love Israel: The Logic of Right-wing American Anti-Semitism, as it only covers the anti-Semitism from the right, with the exception of the neo-Nazis and their ilk who neither love Jews, nor Israel. Also, for the most part, the only Jews who have had an success in being heard in most arenas, especially Republican ones, take a very hard right position, like the minority they are within our own small minority.

The one thing about anti-Semitism in America which I find to be true, is the lack of interest most people have in it. It isn't seen as a "real" bigotry, for various reasons to various hate groups and individuals which ascribe to some of those views. The other thing I find to be true is the completely lack of knowledge about anti-Semitism and Jews, as a people and culture. That is usually from anti-Semites who aren't right-wing oriented.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 10:21 PM

5. Very good points, thank you.

I have never understood the "not real" thing, but it is very pervasive in some areas. ::sigh::

My inlaws could never understand why it was a bad thing to tell Jewish jokes, since they didn't consider themselves anti-semitic.

Lifelong liberals, loyal Democratic voters.

::bangs head gently on desk::

apologetically,
Bright

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