Thursday, March 29, 2018

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


Western Jew-hatred is making a major comeback today on both sides of the Atlantic.

Muslim antisemitism, which is written into the Qu’ran, has always been there, has always expressed itself violently, and is only attracting particular attention today because of the increasing number of Muslims in Western countries.

But non-Muslims in greater and greater numbers, in Europe and North America, have recently been discovering the joy of hating Jews. There are various reasons for this. One is contagion from Muslims. This particularly applies to the political Left, which is rushing to embrace what they see as the oppressed, colonized Muslim world, despite the clear evidence that its culture is generally violent, anti-democratic, misogynistic, homophobic, and almost everything they purport to despise. Muslims, for their part, have been quick to pick up anti-Jewish themes that first developed in Christian Europe – and  then these ideas get fed back to post-Christian progressives, who lap it up.

The documented horrors of the Holocaust for a time served to immunize the West against traditional Jew-hatred (this is why Gen. Eisenhower went out of his way to publicize the atrocities of the Holocaust). But constantly repeated descriptions of horrible events caused those descriptions to lose their impact; and even had the opposite of the desired effect, causing recipients – especially in Europe where there are residual guilt feelings – to say “shut up, we’re tired of hearing about it.”

This is the paradox of “Holocaust education” and why there can be too much of it. On the one hand, it’s important to know the historical facts and to understand how genocide develops from popular hatred plus governmental, connivance (South African whites should pay attention to this dynamic). On the other hand, it can dull the feeling of horror evoked by those facts and even produce more hatred of targeted groups like Jews. Look at the veneration of Hitler by some Muslim students, or the prevalence of Holocaust denial in both traditional “right-wing” Jew hatred and the Islamic variety.

In recent years, the memes of Jew-hatred mutated into anti-Zionism. Instead of hating individual Jews, which is taboo, it’s possible to hate their collective expression of identity in the form of the Jewish state. This mutation did not trigger the same immune response, and anti-Zionism became the most common expression of Jew-hatred by progressives who wouldn’t be caught dead on the Stormfront website. But an interesting thing happened: hating Israel led to hating Zionists, and what is a Zionist but a Jew? Some of the old themes came back, like the blood libel – only instead of making matzot from the blood of Christian children, the IDF was accused of stealing organs from dead Palestinians, or deliberately targeting Palestinian children.

On the right, the themes are reminiscent of the 19th century political antisemitism that Hitler adopted. It features hook-nosed Jewish financiers (“Rothschilds”) running the world, financing wars and revolutions, Jews controlling media, the arts and education, “polluting” the culture with sexual deviance, atheism, and of course communism. Tying it all together is an overarching conspiracy.

Today’s proponents of this theory blame the Jewish conspiracy for trying to destroy “white” culture by importing Muslims into Europe and the US, and empowering racial minorities (exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives in the US). They point to the over-representation of Jews in finance, media, academics, and – importantly – leftist political movements. As the taboos against individual Jew-hatred have weakened for Muslims and the Left, they have also been lifted for the extreme Right.

The explosive growth of social media has been accompanied by an ideology that nothing is out of bounds anymore. The internet’s filter bubble effect has driven both Left and Right to greater extremism, and the widespread reach of the net, augmented by Twitter and Facebook, has resulted in a perfect storm of Jew-hatred in the developed world.

An interesting example is the controversy over an article by the conservative psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, in which he tackles the question of whether the theory of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy makes sense. Peterson grants the over-representation of Jews in critical areas, but argues that the explanation lies in the higher average intelligence and prevalence of the personality trait of “openness to experience” (in part, creativity and intellectual curiosity – here is a test for this trait*) in Ashkenazi Jews. Combined with the principle that one should favor the simplest explanation for a given phenomenon (“Occam’s razor”), he concludes,
So, what’s the story? No conspiracy. Get it? No conspiracy. Jewish people are over-represented in positions of competence and authority because, as a group, they have a higher mean IQ. The effect of this group difference (approximately the difference between the typical high school student and the typical state college student) is magnified for occupations/interests that require high general cognitive ability. Equal over-representation may also occur in political movements associated with the left, because high IQ is associated with Openness to Experience, which is in turn associated with liberal/left-leaning political proclivities.

There is no evidence whatsoever that Ashkenazi Jews are over-represented in any occupations/interests for reasons other than intelligence and the associated effects of intelligence on personality and political belief. Thus, no conspiratorial claims based on ethnic identity need to be given credence. [emphasis in original]

As you can read in the comments to Peterson’s article, many of his readers (and almost all those who commented aren’t buying it). Some of them argue that the over-representation of Jews is a result of “cultural nepotism,” the propensity to hire or appoint people that are like yourself. There is a great deal of offensive antisemitism in the comments, but cultural nepotism is real and can’t be discounted. I have noticed that Hispanics are over-represented in non-academic staff at Fresno State University, and Yemenite Jews among municipal employees here in Rehovot. These are not exactly conspiracies, but they didn’t happen by accident either.

However, regardless of the way the over-representation developed, it is not proof of a conspiracy. As Peterson implies in the second paragraph above, a conspiracy is collusion for a purpose, and there is zero real evidence for such collusion. In addition, there is one very important personality trait that characterizes Jews which both Peterson and the conspiracy theorists ignore.

That is what I call, for lack of a better word, the fractious nature of the Jewish people. Everyone knows the joke about the two Jews marooned on a desert Island who immediately build three synagogues: one Ashkenazi, one Sephardic (a variation has Orthodox and Reform), and one that neither will set foot in. Jews tend to violently disagree about almost anything – a visit to Israel’s Knesset will establish this – and especially politics.

In particular, they disagree about Israel. The greatest anti-Zionists are always Jews: two newspapers that attack the Jewish state on a daily basis, the New York Times and Ha’aretz, are both owned by Jews and have numerous Jews on their staffs. Jewish anti-Israel organizations include J Street, If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, and more. Anti-Israel Jews in more mainstream organizations like university Hillel Foundations and Jewish Community Relations Councils work to subvert previously pro-Israel groups.

Virtually all the Jewish Hollywood moguls that are often cited by conspiracy theorists supported the presidency of Barack Obama, the US president least friendly to Israel since its establishment.

Even inside Israel, there is an active contingent of Jews who work for Israeli NGOs that accept funding from hostile foreign governments to produce propaganda against the state and to promote “lawfare” against  the government and the IDF.

The state is just one of the subjects that Jews bitterly disagree upon, but it is central to the conspiracy theories. One of Israel’s greatest enemies, the financier George Soros, is of Jewish extraction (although he is not a practicing Jew in any sense). Conspiracy theorists who almost always include Soros as one of the leaders of the conspiracy also believe that the conspiracy influences the US to provide military aid to Israel. Believe me, no conspiracy that included Soros would do that!

The Jew-hating Right and Left are often in violent opposition, but they came together in the Occupy Wall Street movement, which I was surprised to find was supported by the American Nazi Party and David Duke, as well as leftist groups, Hezbollah and the Council on American-Islamic relations.

Similar conspiracy theories have been around since the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were forged in the 19th century, and probably before that. The Protocols themselves, although known to be fiction, are still popular, especially in the Arab world but also in the West.

There have certainly been conspiracies in history, but the idea of a massive, worldwide cabal with great power that would have to include hundreds of members, and yet about which there is no real, documented evidence – although plenty of made-up stories – is so unlikely as to be considered impossible.

Peterson notes that “It hardly needs to be said that although conspiracies do occasionally occur, conspiracy theories are the lowest form of intellectual enterprise.”  He’s right.

_________________

* I took the test and came out “average,” because my high intellectual curiosity was balanced by my preference for routine and my conservative politics! So I am not sure about the utility of this concept.




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive