Sunday, June 04, 2023

New antisemitism survey still asks the wrong questions, and does not disprove the "horseshoe theory"

From The Forward:
A new study is casting doubt on the idea, held by some but not most American Jews, that antisemitism is just as prevalent on the far left as it is on the far right. Though far more American Jews consider the far right as the greater antisemitic threat, some academics and Jewish leaders have embraced horseshoe theory — the idea the opposite ends of an ideological spectrum are similar — and applied it to antisemitism.

Though the Anti-Defamation League, for example, has identified the far right as far more threatening to American Jews, its leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, has compared far-left critics of Israel as the “photo inverse” of the extreme right.

While antisemitism on the right tends to focus on conspiracy theories about Jews being disloyal to white people or rejecting conservative values, on the left it’s often tied to blaming Jews for actions undertaken by Israel.

A paper published in June in the journal Political Research Quarterly found that anti-Jewish beliefs are far more popular in right-wing circles, particularly among young people. 

The results show that “there’s a problem on the young right,” said study author Eitan Hersh, an associate professor of political science at Tufts University. “It’s very interesting and, I think, concerning that we have this rare form of prejudice that is more common among young people and old people. It’s kind of shocking because if you look at other forms of prejudice, like racism, sexism, anti-gay attitudes, they’re just way higher among older people than younger people.”

For the study, a survey was sent to 3,500 American adults, 2,500 of them between the ages of 18 and 30. Respondents were asked to reply to a series of questions, such as whether they believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; if it’s appropriate to boycott Jewish-owned businesses to protest Israeli policies, and whether Jews have too much power. They were also asked questions to test for a double standard. For instance, one question would ask whether Jews who want to participate in activism must first denounce Israeli actions against Palestinians, and then a similar question was posed about Muslims denouncing a Muslim country’s actions. 

Hersh said he was surprised by the results. Those on the left were less likely than even political moderates to believe Jews were more loyal to Israel. They were also less likely than moderates to think Jews have too much power or that boycotting Jewish businesses to protest Israel was acceptable. Young adults who held the most conservative views were almost five times more likely to say it was acceptable to boycott Jewish businesses than those on the farthest left and almost 10 times more likely to say Jews had too much power. 
I'm not quite sure why this is being published now - the survey was published nearly a year ago.

The people behind the survey, while trying hard to make it as scientific as possible, are still missing the nature of modern antisemitism of the Left. So is The Forward.

The far-Left (in the US) is conditioned to be against traditional antisemitism. They know "hating Jews" is a bad thing. They know the Holocaust was a horrible event. Their visceral hatred for Nazis means that are never going to say that they will boycott Jewish-owned businesses or that Jews have too much power.

That is because they have replaced the object of their irrational hate from "Jew" to "Zionist."

The surveyors should have asked the identical questions across the same groups with the word "Zionists" instead of "Jews:"

1. US Zionists are more loyal to Israel than to America.
2. It is appropriate for opponents of Israel’s policies and actions to boycott Zionist American owned businesses in their communities.
3. Zionists in the United States have too much power.
Even though they don't want to admit it - certainly not to a survey - "Zionist" has become a useful replacement for "Jew" in their own bigotry. "Zionists" are excluded from progressive clubs, not "Jews" - but there is essentially no difference between the two. Jews are expected to denounce Israel as a precondition to being accepted in some campus spaces, but members of other religions aren't given the same demands. 

If the far-Left were given similar questions to those the ADL asks about Jews in their antisemitism surveys but using the word "Zionists" instead, then we would learn how congruent their hate is with right-wing antisemitism. In addition to the questions above, they should specify whether the responders agree:

Zionists have too much power in the business world
Zionists have too much power in international financial markets
Zionists talk too much about the Holocaust
Zionists don't care what happens to anyone but their own kind
Zionists have too much control over global affairs
Zionists have too much control over the United States government
Zionists think they are better than other people
Zionists have too much control over the global media
Zionists are responsible for most of the world's wars
People hate Jews because of the way Israel behaves
If far-Left responses to classic antisemitic tropes repurposed as "anti-Zionist" are similar to far-right answers to those tropes with Jews, that would be strong proof that the "horseshoe theory" is correct - and that the Left has simply recast Jews as "Zionist" while denying any connection between the two. The crazed prejudice is the same, just recast as a rational, political position rather than an irrational racist position. 

My theory that the far Left tries to bury antisemitic attitudes behind other concerns is supported by a survey done in 2021 that showed a correlation between education and antisemitism, using a brilliant methodology where the people being polled would not know that their answers would indicate prejudice - something the Left is sensitive to. 

I'm not saying that the far Left is just as antisemitic as the far-Right. We don't have the data. I'm saying that the methodologies in the surveys we know of that make the claim that there is little far-Left antisemitism have all been flawed. 

It would be similarly instructive to see the far-Right responses to the same questions on "Zionists," because while the Left tries to paint the right-wing antisemites as Zionist, the reality is, I believe, quite different (just look at David Duke's writings about Israel for an example.) 

Maybe I should raise the money for a proper survey to see if I am right or not. Because the professionals and academics are still missing the boat.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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