Friday, November 20, 2020

  • Friday, November 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
I just came across an article by John LaFarge in Religious Education, 1944, on antisemitism. LaFarge was a Jesuit priest and a leader in fighting antisemitism and racism.

LaFarge distinguishes between simple anti-Jewish bigotry and a more comprehensive antisemitism that goes beyond other bigotries.

It is my belief, offered for what it is worth, that anti-Semitism can much more effectively be dealt with, if it is understood as something distinct from anti-Jewish prejudice, even though closely related to the same.
The causes and manifestations of anti-Jewish prejudice, are, in general, the same as those which arouse prejudice against various unlike social groups, or which develop out of them. People will be antagonistic to the Jews as foreigners, or they will attribute to an entire group the weaknesses and anti-social characteristics of individuals, or they will be influenced by legends or legendary attributes, or economic rivalry will result in racial jealousy. People will generalize from unpleasant personal experiences. They will manifest towards the Jew the spirit of vindictiveness which, under other circumstances, they show to the Negro or the foreigner. Such conduct finds its unfortunate issue in immoral or illegal discriminations. The prevalence of anti-Jewish prejudice is the natural breeding ground for anti-Semitism, but it is not yet the full-fledged article.

By anti-Semitism I would understand a distinct phenomenon or movement which is marked by the following traits:

1. A positive body of ideas: an ideology, in the full sense of the term. This body of ideas or doctrine busies itself with ascribing to Jews or to Judaism the origin of all, or nearly all, the social ills of the entire world.

2. A consistent policy derived from these ideas. Such a policy denies to Jews the exercise of fundamental human rights, as citizens, and as human beings, because of the aforesaid belief in their essential harmfulness to society.

3. The third element, which seems to be inseparable from genuine anti-Semitism, is the active propagation of these ideas and furthering of these policies. Anti-Semitism is essentially a movement, not a mere philosophy.
This is a fascinating way to look at it, because it leads up to modern anti-Zionism as antisemitism. Anti-Zionism ascribes to Israel the responsibility of the social ills of the world - American police brutality, white supremacy, environmental pollution, sexism, and many more

This leads to Israel not being treated like other countries, held to higher standards and higher scrutiny, blamed for crimes that have been created only for Israel. 

And this further leads to anti-Israel propaganda to spread the poison - as mentioned, it is a movement with "activists" and "direct action" as a major component.

This definition of antisemitism fits anti-Zionism to a T.  In fact, it fits anti-Zionism better than it fits today's traditional, far Right antisemitism.  That is more what LaFarge would call "anti-Jewish."

Which means that anti-Zionism is not just a form of antisemitism, but the actual successor of 1940's Western antisemitism! And when the socialist Left talks about antisemitism, they are making up a new definition of the phenomenon that is meant to exclude their own antisemitism.

Lafarge's further analysis of antisemitism's appeal likewise is almost perfectly descriptive of anti-Zionism:

All attempts to deal with anti-Semitism, however, are bound to fall short if they underestimate the psychological appeal and attractiveness of this ideology. Anti-Semitism offers to the human mind and emotions three very engaging things. 
First, it offers a tremendous emotional release. This is particularly dangerous in a time like ours, when normal, health)' emotions are frequently stunted by the demoralization of family life, the drabness of an industrialized existence and the tendency to seek ever greater and greater excitement. Social psychologists have observed that one of the main contributing causes to the terrible lynching evil is the quest of excitement in the emotionally starved communities of our Tobacco Road countrysides and villages. Anti-Semitism gives people such excitement, in a strong and heady dose. 

Secondly, anti-Semitism offers a certain intellectual satisfaction. The modern mind is bewildered and confused by the terrible complexity of history and contemporary events. But the doctrine of the genuine anti-Semites offers to the inquirer a simple explanation of the structure of history. History is seen to be a conflict of the bulk of the human race with the Jews. 

Finally, anti-Semitism provides in a distorted fashion, a substitute for religion itself. It has its own doctrines and codes of conduct, its own mysticism, in common with other revolutionary movements.
This applies today primarily to the anti-Zionist movement. Today's far-Right antisemitism is not nearly as widespread or as organized nor as philosophical as anti-Zionism is.  The features of all previous types of antisemitism had seemingly social, scientific or historical justifications - just like anti-Zionism does.

The socialist Left wants us to think that anti-Jewish prejudice is identical to antisemitism, because they want to keep the focus off of their new, almost religious movement of hating Israel. However, today's anti-Zionism has far more in common with traditional antisemitism than today's crude, right-wing flavors.

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.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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