What The Reactionary Anti-Semitism Gets Right

 

flag-408317_1920Growing up, my South African father used to remind us American kids that “There are only two types of people in the world: Jews and anti-semites.” This used to upset us terribly. It’s patently false, we would think. Our experience shows our society to be tolerant and kind. Where in the United States is friendlier and more welcoming than suburban Atlanta? Of course, the specter of Leo Frank’s lynching always hung like a shadow in the backs of our minds. But that was a long time ago. Surely, that old hatred is dead.

But it’s starting to look like dad was right after all. From Islamists, to progressive Europe, to the dregs of the Alt-Right on Twitter, we Jews are surrounded by a resurgent tide of anti-Semitism.Which leads to the question my progressive neighbor likes to constantly ask: “Why do they hate us?”

When it comes to explaining Jew hatred, the safest course of action is probably to declare it an uncaused historical constant. After all, what can be the reason for a hatred that has spanned millenia, civilizations, classes, religions, and practically every other boundary that divides man from man?

This is not to say, of course, that all men or even all societies hate Jews. Rather, anti-semitism remains latent until there arrives an excuse to hate someone. It could be that your country is impoverished after a disastrous treaty at Versailles, or that you are terrified of counterrevolutionary activity, or that jihad must be waged somewhere.

But what, one wonders, is the underlying structure of the emergent American anti-Semitism that Claire Berlinski wrote about on Friday? Every politically-involved Jew has noticed it by now: the absolute, almost flippant hatred of Jews that so pervades Twitter users with certain red caps in their profile pictures. We have watched Milo Yiannopoulos explain away their behavior as kids trolling. We have read the invitation for Ben Shapiro’s newborn son to join his entire family in the gas chambers. Why?

However, this new anti-Semitism among Republican voters is not as sudden or mysterious as it appears to be. It can be easily understood if we take into account the political climate, the nature of the “Trump Revolution,” and the prevailing conception of tolerance that has supposedly been the Western bulwark against anti-semitism since WWII.

Here’s the first hint: In between the holocaust memes and the talk of shekels on Twitter, there is usually an accusation that runs along the lines of “putting Israel/Zionism before the United States.” Now, accusations of Jews having split allegiances are as old as Jews are; they are even in the Bible. But these claims tie into a central principle of the Trump campaign that has so vivified all these anti-semites: The idea that until now, under the progressive regime, America has always been a secondary concern of our ruling class. For the Left, leftism always comes first, and the country comes second. Trump, however, promises to Make America Great Again.

It happens to be that this claim is true.

Leftism is a universalist philosophy. In pursuit of government-mandated utopia, the needs of any individual nation come second. The Left thinks that the natural state of the human being is one of harmony with others, and that only our societal and cultural failings stand in the way of peace and love between all men. The country is essentially a construct (like gender) that stands between all of us uniting in harmony. This is why President Obama constantly apologizes to the entire world; after all, shouldn’t our shared humanity transcend tribal needs?

All it takes is one savvy businessman to realize just how grating, unnatural, and suicidal universalism is. And then there is the reaction: 2016.

So,this is the first piece of the reactionary anti-semitic puzzle. Trump’s followers are nationalists who want to put to bed the universalist notion of being a human being first — and an American, or a man, or a family member — second. At a deep level, they feel that the differences that divide us are real and can be ignored only at our own peril. But what does all of this have to do with anti-semitism?

The second piece of the puzzle has to do with the way Jews have dealt with the Holocaust. As Daniel Greenfield writes, there were two Jewish responses to the modern Jewish calamity: “Never Again,” and “Teach Tolerance.” The former was nationalist, the latter, universalist. Some Jews after the Holocaust said, “We are not the same as everyone else, and our experience has shown us we cannot trust the world to accept us. We will form our own country, where there will never be a Holocaust.” Other Jews said, “We are human beings like all others, and the only way to prevent another Holocaust is to educate people to be tolerant of other human beings.”

The first group said that the crime of Hitler was Jew hatred and Jew genocide; the second group said that Hitler’s main crime was being a nationalist, of putting German identity before his humanity. While the “never again” group sought peace through strength, the “teach tolerance” crowd asserted that strength and tribalism only further perpetuated the false notion of divisions between people.

Among American Jews, “teach tolerance” prevailed. The Jews became, after the war and long before the civil rights movement, the very first modern beneficiaries of leftist tolerance. We made sure the Holocaust got put in all the school books and that anti-semitism slowly became verboten in American life, not because Jews were different than everyone else and respected, but because we were the same as everyone else. Support of Israel was possible only through cognitive dissonance, viewing the country as a sort of humanitarian project that embodied all the “good” parts of the United States and acted as a de facto extension of US leftism in the middle east.

Not long afterward, African Americans joined us in the fight to make sure everyone else declared us the same as everyone else. Soon after came homosexuals, illegal immigrants, the mentally handicapped, transexuals, etc. You know how this story goes.

Throughout this process, there have always been nationalist or tribal voices. Malcolm X is an obvious one. Rabbi Meir Kahane is another. These men endeavored to bring the American public around to the idea that, in fact, Jews are not African Americans, Whites are not Jews, and that there is more to being a Zionist than believing in democracy. They thought that our tribal and national identities are undeniable fact and must be dealt with as such. But since that upset the fundamental principle of leftism, that we are all human beings first, they were always viewed as radicals by the majority of Americans.

Until, perhaps, now.

On both the Left (Black Lives Matter) and the Right (the “white genocide” crowd) we have seen a sudden uptick in nationalistic, tribal rhetoric. It is almost as if a large swath of America woke up one morning and realized that love is not, in fact, all you need. To whit: many African Americans have been the beneficiaries of leftist “tolerance” for decades, and their culture has been left in ruin and their people impoverished. They decided, quite logically, that their own interests should come before the universal leftist interests. Almost simultaneously, some number of white people realized that, for decades, they have been told they are the oppressor and made to scrape and bow in the name of the same universalist goal (only through reparations will the societal rift be mended), and if the nominal beneficiaries of those efforts reject its benefits, why should they continue to pay in? They, too, begin to play the game of racial tribalism. The actual liberal (if any remain) is aghast at such roadblocks to universalist utopia, but everyone else is so busy suddenly rediscovering their own identity that they haven’t noticed.

Thus, we see the two pieces of the reactionary anti-semitism joined. The Trump movement — or, at least parts of it — has inspired others to abandon universalism in the name of nationalism (so they suddenly see the United States and Israel as separate entities), while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism (so Jews are suddenly unmasked as not being true Germans Americans).

The anti-semites on Twitter are equal-opportunity tribalists. They ask, “Why is the special dispensation for Jews any different than the politically correct forced tolerance of other minorities that have been forced down our throats for years?”

And the answer is, it’s not.

You see, the conservative answer to this anti-semitism should be to encourage it. You’re right, Twitter anti-semites. You have been educated in a false paradigm. People are not, in fact, all the same. The United States should come first. Your cultural identity should be your primary concern, before the financial or emotional needs of other groups’ members. But this does not need to result in racism or anti-semitism. You see, back before the liberal regime and the inception of the universalist lie, there were actually groups of people who were different from one another, yet lived side-by-side in peace. Once upon a time, humanity was focused not on the ridiculous utopian ideal of homogeneity, but the idea of true tolerance, of being able to respect someone different than you without feeling the need to destroy them.

You, Twitter anti-semite, don’t know any of that. You think that with the fall of liberal universalist tolerance, all must revert back to hatred and violence and vying for power. Decades of liberal thought have taught you that it is either universalism or chaos.

It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

There are 129 comments.

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  1. Hammer, The Member

    Tzvi Kilov: But what, one wonders, is the underlying structure of the emergent American anti-Semitism that Claire Berlinski wrote about today? Every politically-involved Jew has noticed it by now: the absolute, almost flippant hatred of Jews that so pervades Twitter users with certain red caps in their profile pictures.

    hmm…

    I didn’t read Claire’s piece, and I’m only scanning because I have to run out in a minute, so forgive me if I’m missing the point. My complaint about the Jewish cry of anti-semitism is pretty much the same as my complaint about BLM, or american-indians or mexicans where I live. When it comes down to it, people just love to talk about their minority status as if it matters a lot more than it actually does. The fact of the matter is, though, that people are like children, who just pick out the most obvious mean thing to say about a person and say it. I’ve never met a person who hates Jews, and I don’t think it’s quite as prevalent as some suggest. But when you’re mad, you just say the meanest thing you can think of. The obvious example is Michael Richards, who used “

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    ” at some black hecklers. He was trying to think of something outrageously mean. Later, he was flabbergasted – “I must have snapped, it must have been latent racism,” he said… liberals want people like that to go to rehab (cont…)

    • #1
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:15 AM PDT
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  2. Hammer, The Member

    (…cont from #1)

    When, in reality, he was just trying to be super mean to hecklers who were being pretty mean to him. Same goes for twitter. People throw around “Jew” in much the same way… mostly because it’s obvious. If you’re overweight, it would probably be “fat Jew,” and that doesn’t mean they hate fat people. It’s just the obvious stuff. The history is what makes it somewhat different, but I don’t think that – today – it should truly be all that different. When a black person gets really pissed at a white person, you can bet that “whiteness” will feature prominently in the rant. Is that person racist? Maybe we’re defining racism a bit too broadly in the first place.

    But I’d amend your Dad’s comment to say this: There are a million different types of people in the world.

    Christians and anti-Christians, Blacks and racists, whites and racists, mexicans and racists, Jews and anti-semites, Muslims and islamophobes, gays and homophobes, women and sexists…

    meh – it just means that we’re all different, and when we get angry, we tend to highlight those differences, whatever they are.

    (all that aside, I do think the real problem of anti-semitism comes from Islam, which is both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian to a lesser extent, and that should be taken pretty seriously).

    • #2
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:20 AM PDT
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  3. Hammer, The Member

    Just finished reading the whole post, Tzvi. Very interesting post, and I think there is much to agree with… more positively than normatively.

    It seems that this tribalism is a result of liberal overreach, and therefore understandable, but still not good.

    Perhaps allowing individual cultures is a good thing (I’ve long argued that it is), though recognizing that differences may not always be attributed to an “…ism.” Different cultures will always stereotype or joke about one another.

    But the tribalism pendulum can also swing in too far in the other direction, with things like cultural appropriation. The United States is something different, conservatism is something bigger, than individual cultures. In that sense, we’re a melting pot. But it seems foolish to think that we can melt entirely – or that the analogy really even works all that well. We’re a collection of separate groups with a common interest (kind of like Ricochet), but we’re not all the same, and that isn’t a bad thing, nor does it make us all racists and -phobes.

    • #3
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:26 AM PDT
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  4. Larry3435 Member

    Tzvi Kilov:It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I think you have your causation backwards. The hate comes first. It just needs the right person to grant it permission to show itself.

    • #4
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:26 AM PDT
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  5. Hammer, The Member

    Larry3435:

    Tzvi Kilov:It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I think you have your causation backwards. The hate comes first. It just needs the right person to grant it permission to show itself.

    I don’t know, though, Larry. I think that is maybe the best sentence in this piece. Unfortunately, it is less of a conclusion and more of an invitation for a far bigger discussion. Namely, what is it that can actually bind us together enough for that “spell” to actually be broken?

    i.e. it maybe takes for granted two major important questions: “what does it mean to be American, and What does it mean to be human?”

    • #5
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:33 AM PDT
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  6. Zafar Member

    RyanM:

    People throw around “Jew” in much the same way… mostly because it’s obvious. If you’re overweight, it would probably be “fat Jew,” and that doesn’t mean they hate fat people. It’s just the obvious stuff.

    So how come nobody gets called a skinny white Christian as an insult?

    Iow what’s more “obvious” about being Jewish or fat than being slim and white? All of these are obvious, but only some of these are casual insults

    (all that aside, I do think the real problem of anti-semitism comes from Islam, which is both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian to a lesser extent, and that should be taken pretty seriously).

    Sure thing.

    Relax, people. It’s the Muslims, not you

    • #6
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  7. Austin Murrey Inactive

    RyanM:

    Larry3435:

    Tzvi Kilov:It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I think you have your causation backwards. The hate comes first. It just needs the right person to grant it permission to show itself.

    I don’t know, though, Larry. I think that is maybe the best sentence in this piece. Unfortunately, it is less of a conclusion and more of an invitation for a far bigger discussion. Namely, what is it that can actually bind us together enough for that “spell” to actually be broken?

    i.e. it maybe takes for granted two major important questions: “what does it mean to be American, and What does it mean to be human?”

    Tzi’s recommendation reminds me of Rick Perry’s analogy of the states as laboratories of democracy: let different people do different things and the best things will spread and the bad things will die.

    In a left-liberal transnationalist cosmopolitan worldview all people will do the exact same thing the same way or be punished.

    • #7
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  8. Austin Murrey Inactive

    Zafar: So how come nobody gets called a skinny white Christian as an insult?

    They do.

    I’ve been called both a “cracker” derogatorily as well as a “breeder” for being straight (my all time favorite moment of being insulted).

    And some of the rants about Catholicism, hoo boy.

    • #8
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:40 AM PDT
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  9. Aaron Miller Member

    Tzvi Kilov: But when it comes to explaining Jew hatred, the safest course of action is probably to declare it an uncaused historical constant. After all, what can be the reason for a hatred that has spanned millenia, civilizations, classes, religions, and practically every other boundary that divides man from man?

    From a Christian perspective, I’d say the answer is supernatural. I can understand that such an explanation makes more sense with the Christian perception of Satan (a personal being, rather than “satan” as a concept of Man fighting against his own nature). But it’s still surprising, even in our secularized culture, to see Jews consistently seek explanations of anti-Semitism apart from their special relationship with God.

    That said, you might be onto something.

    • #9
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:46 AM PDT
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  10. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    RyanM:Just finished reading the whole post, Tzvi. Very interesting post, and I think there is much to agree with… more positively than normatively.

    It seems that this tribalism is a result of liberal overreach, and therefore understandable, but still not good.

    Perhaps allowing individual cultures is a good thing (I’ve long argued that it is), though recognizing that differences may not always be attributed to an “…ism.” Different cultures will always stereotype or joke about one another.

    But the tribalism pendulum can also swing in too far in the other direction, with things like cultural appropriation. The United States is something different, conservatism is something bigger, than individual cultures. In that sense, we’re a melting pot. But it seems foolish to think that we can melt entirely – or that the analogy really even works all that well. We’re a collection of separate groups with a common interest (kind of like Ricochet), but we’re not all the same, and that isn’t a bad thing, nor does it make us all racists and -phobes.

    This is kind of what I’m saying. We need to look at how things were done classically, before all of this universalist nonsense started. How did the founding fathers think this was going to work? They certainly were not universalists, yet they imagined the American endeavor would be successful. There must be another way.

    • #10
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:53 AM PDT
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  11. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    RyanM:

    (all that aside, I do think the real problem of anti-semitism comes from Islam, which is both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian to a lesser extent, and that should be taken pretty seriously).

    The prevalence and universality of anti-Semitism in history are the main evidence that this claim is untrue. Islamic anti-semitism is a modern phenomenon (at least in practice — ignoring the quoran for a moment); in the middle ages the most Jew-friendly societies on earth were all Islamic, while Crusaders slaughtered Jews by the thousands. This is why it’s easier to view at as a constant and not try to explain it with any particular cause.

    • #11
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:56 AM PDT
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  12. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    RyanM:

    I don’t know, though, Larry. I think that is maybe the best sentence in this piece. Unfortunately, it is less of a conclusion and more of an invitation for a far bigger discussion. Namely, what is it that can actually bind us together enough for that “spell” to actually be broken? i.e. it maybe takes for granted two major important questions: “what does it mean to be American, and What does it mean to be human?”

    Exactly! Well-said!

    • #12
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:57 AM PDT
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  13. Larry3435 Member

    RyanM:

    Larry3435:

    Tzvi Kilov:It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I think you have your causation backwards. The hate comes first. It just needs the right person to grant it permission to show itself.

    I don’t know, though, Larry. I think that is maybe the best sentence in this piece.

    Well, it’s a nice thought, but to me it echos the leftist Utopian sentiment… “Imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer…” Yeah, John, you were a dreamer. A very rich dreamer too.

    • #13
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:57 AM PDT
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  14. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Aaron Miller:

    Tzvi Kilov: But when it comes to explaining Jew hatred, the safest course of action is probably to declare it an uncaused historical constant. After all, what can be the reason for a hatred that has spanned millenia, civilizations, classes, religions, and practically every other boundary that divides man from man?

    From a Christian perspective, I’d say the answer is supernatural. I can understand that such an explanation makes more sense with the Christian perception of Satan (a personal being, rather than “satan” as a concept of Man fighting against his own nature). But it’s still surprising, even in our secularized culture, to see Jews consistently seek explanations of anti-Semitism apart from their special relationship with God.

    That said, you might be onto something.

    I agree! I am not here trying to explain anti-semitism. I’m explaining why it’s expressing itself so virulently at the current crossroads.

    • #14
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:58 AM PDT
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  15. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Larry3435:

    RyanM:

    Larry3435:

    Tzvi Kilov:It is time to break the spell. It is time to learn how to be both American and human, that you and I can live in one nation, under God, in peace and prosperity.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I think you have your causation backwards. The hate comes first. It just needs the right person to grant it permission to show itself.

    I don’t know, though, Larry. I think that is maybe the best sentence in this piece.

    Well, it’s a nice thought, but to me it echos the leftist Utopian sentiment… “Imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer…” Yeah, John, you were a dreamer. A very rich dreamer too.

    I don’t think a respectful peace among different peoples is utopian. It will not be a permanent peace and there will always be problems. But we can endeavor to live with those problems outside of a universalist framework. That’s all I’m saying, and I think that’s what the Bible says as well. Just because you will never be perfect doesn’t excuse all actions. Even the constrained and the fallible have responsibilities to their fellow man.

    • #15
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:00 AM PDT
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  16. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    Tzvi Kilov: You see, back before the liberal regime and the inception of the universalist lie, there were actually groups of people who were different from one another, yet lived side-by-side in peace. Once upon a time, humanity was focused not on the ridiculous utopian ideal of homogeneity, but the idea of true tolerance, of being able to respect someone different than you without feeling the need to destroy them.

    Provide some examples of this living side-by-side in peace period please.

    • #16
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:08 AM PDT
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  17. Man With the Axe Member

    Why is it always the Jews?

    Well, it isn’t always the Jews that are targeted by intense and unwarranted hatred, but it is often them, but often it is other peoples who are similarly situated.

    I think of the Tutsis in Rwanda, or the Ibo in Biafra, or the Indians in Fiji and Uganda. Whenever an ethnic group does really well (especially if they are outsiders) with much higher than average success financially and academically elements of other ethnic groups start to develop antagonism against them, accusing them of the worst kinds of conspiracies. But this is not news. In the old days it was drinking the blood of Christian children. Today it’s being responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

    What might be happening at our current moment in the US is the feeling among some that such conspiracy theories and general hatred will receive wider acceptance than they would have previously. It’s always been there. It’s just now reaching a wider audience.

    I have someone in mind to whom I would assign some of the blame for this degradation of our political discourse, but why name names?

    • #17
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:10 AM PDT
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  18. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Herbert:

    Tzvi Kilov: You see, back before the liberal regime and the inception of the universalist lie, there were actually groups of people who were different from one another, yet lived side-by-side in peace. Once upon a time, humanity was focused not on the ridiculous utopian ideal of homogeneity, but the idea of true tolerance, of being able to respect someone different than you without feeling the need to destroy them.

    Provide some examples of this living side-by-side in peace period please.

    Okay, perhaps “in peace” is an exaggeration. “Without feeling the need to destroy each other” is probably more accurate. Obviously, peace on earth has never existed in the full sense of the term. Edit: And there will always be those who look to exploit or otherwise harm those different than themselves. But overall — how about how Jews lived in New York City before the war? Poor, yes. Second-class citizens? In some ways. But they were in no danger for not assimilating, and there was (among many) a certain mutual respect. I think the case was similar with other immigrant groups if I’m not mistaken. From what I hear, Jews in the Shah’s Iran, for example, were in a similar state. Distinct but in a position of general mutual respect with their Muslim neighbors.

    • #18
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:12 AM PDT
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  19. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    I guess that makes me a Jew, then?

    • #19
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  20. Hammer, The Member

    Zafar:

    RyanM:

    People throw around “Jew” in much the same way… mostly because it’s obvious. If you’re overweight, it would probably be “fat Jew,” and that doesn’t mean they hate fat people. It’s just the obvious stuff.

    So how come nobody gets called a skinny white Christian as an insult?

    Iow what’s more “obvious” about being Jewish or fat than being slim and white? All of these are obvious, but only some of these are casual insults

    (all that aside, I do think the real problem of anti-semitism comes from Islam, which is both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian to a lesser extent, and that should be taken pretty seriously).

    Sure thing.

    Relax, people. It’s the Muslims, not you

    Actually, people do get called both white and skinny as insults. Those obvious things that separate you from the other person… so, in a tirade of insults, generally it is the uncommon (or at least different from the person insulting you) traits you have that will get picked out.

    Regarding Muslims, I am saying that Jews have more to fear from Islamic anti-semitism than they have to fear from the casual sort of American (or Twitter) meanness that often involves their being Jewish. There is a difference in kind. Do you disagree?

    • #20
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  21. Austin Murrey Inactive

    Man With the Axe:

    I have someone in mind to whom I would assign some of the blame for this degradation of our political discourse, but why name names?

    You don’t have the money to buy a vowel, do you?

    • #21
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:14 AM PDT
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  22. Hammer, The Member

    Man With the Axe: I have someone in mind to whom I would assign some of the blame for this degradation of our political discourse, but why name names?

    Hah! I’ll back you up one step and say Obama. What follows is a fairly natural and expected (though equally despicable) next step.

    • #22
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:17 AM PDT
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  23. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    RyanM:Regarding Muslims, I am saying that Jews have more to fear from Islamic anti-semitism than they have to fear from the casual sort of American (or Twitter) meanness that often involves their being Jewish. There is a difference in kind. Do you disagree?

    Now, for the moment, no. Historically, yes! Anti-semitism has a rich history in most world societies and religions. That Muslims are the ones actively trying to kills Jews right now is, in the long view at least, incidental.

    • #23
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:19 AM PDT
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  24. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Man With the Axe:

    What might be happening at our current moment in the US is the feeling among some that such conspiracy theories and general hatred will receive wider acceptance than they would have previously. It’s always been there. It’s just now reaching a wider audience.

    So, if the political discourse has been degraded by President Obama (it undoubtedly has), why is it those who hate him who are so specifically expressing these views? If it were merely that “anything goes now,” why do they come from people who all have roughly the same political vision of what this country should be?

    • #24
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:23 AM PDT
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  25. Man With the Axe Member

    To substantiate the jealousy theory of anti-Semitism I offer this chart:

    Screen shot 2016-05-20 at 1.24.39 PM

    Check out the link. This is from the website of that guy that supports that other guy.

    • #25
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:28 AM PDT
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  26. Susan Quinn Contributor

    What’s being left out of the discussion is the very long history of scapegoating the Jews in particular. As I mentioned in Claire’s post, people in this country are really angry–at inept government, the poor economy, Obama specifically, our soldiers still dying, people dropping out of the workforce and just plain giving up. The myth of Jews controlling the world economy will be next. It is (unfortunately) human nature to blame others, and when things get worse, to find more people and forces to blame. With the Jews, it’s a tradition.

    • #26
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:33 AM PDT
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  27. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    …while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism…

    Minor quibble: Tolerance and tribalism are not mutually-exclusive concepts. True tolerance is about recognizing the right of the “other” to exist, not about denying the existence of differences between groups, nor about forbidding debate about the relative value of those differences.

    One can be a tolerant nationalist and/or a tolerant tribalist. IMHO.

    • #27
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:34 AM PDT
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  28. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Let’s say that chart is true, and that what it says is a problem. There are two ways to react to it.

    The first is: We, as non-victim white people (or Asians, or whatever) need to stop pretending we are not discriminated against, get tribal, and fight for our own rights. This is essentially the Trump follower’s position.

    The second is: This whole idea of our group needing to vie, as a tribal group, with others, derives from the basic lie of progressivism, which is that we will reach universal equality if only we can impose upon different groups a corrective action to make up for their disparity, which we can measure and adjust for. But if disparity is an unchangeable constant of human nature (as is the actual conservative position) than the solution is to seek out a system which is equitable to all comers, which requires rule of law above all else, which is what the Constitution and the USA are supposed to be all about. That is, nationalism and tribalism need not necessarily descend into a power struggle, because all of life is not defined by a power struggle, because godlesss leftist materialism is a lie. This is the position I wish people would take.

    • #28
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:41 AM PDT
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  29. Tzvi Kilov Inactive
    Tzvi Kilov Post author

    Misthiocracy:

    …while there is already a cultural shift away from tolerance to tribalism…

    Minor quibble: Tolerance and tribalism are not mutually-exclusive concepts. True tolerance is about recognizing the right of the “other” to exist, not about denying the existence of differences between groups, nor about forbidding debate about the relative value of those differences.

    One can be a tolerant nationalist and/or a tolerant tribalist. IMHO.

    Absolutely agree.

    • #29
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:42 AM PDT
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  30. Hammer, The Member

    Tzvi Kilov:

    RyanM:

    Now, for the moment, no. Historically, yes! Anti-semitism has a rich history in most world societies and religions. That Muslims are the ones actively trying to kills Jews right now is, in the long view at least, incidental.

    Sure, if you’re doing a historical survey. But why do you think Donald Trump is so popular among many whites? In part, it is because whites are pretty sick of being the only default guilty-offender when it comes to any of the -isms and -phobias. And when Jews aren’t exactly a marginalized group in the United States (where it is perfectly ok to talk about rich white men, it’s not quite as ok to refer to the power and influence of Jewish Americans – not sure about elsewhere in the world), it isn’t particularly endearing to hear the constant cries of anti-semitism because people are mean on twitter. So, to that, I say that Jews are not in any more danger in the United States than literally any other group of people (there are places in Washington State where I would not want to walk alone), but the threat to Israel in the middle east is very real. I one time wrote a post about John Podhretz, encouraging him to stop being the boy who cries wolf in a world where actual threats exist… that post wasn’t particularly well received, if I recall.

    • #30
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:43 AM PDT
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