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Believe the Bible or not, it was prescient in its prophecy that God would bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse them.
Societies like the good and great United States that embrace Jews have thrived. Societies that turn on their Jews fare poorly.
But while there is wide agreement among Americans that Jew-hatred is bad, there is disagreement about what Jew-hatred is.
One view is that Jew-hatred is just one form of tribal hatred. In this view:
- The Jew is just an example of the powerless other.
- It’s not Jew-hatred if you hate Jews who are powerful or exceptionalist. Real fighters of Jew-haters stand with those Jews oppress.
- Jews whom Louis Farrakhan and Linda Sarsour hate are not really Jews. They are termites, not Semites. True haters of Jew-hatred are intersectionalists who hate fake Jews like those who are Zionist, rich, or Republican.
This view eliminates the Jew from the concept of Jew-hatred. Proponents of this view often stand with actual Jew-haters against actual Jews, all in the name of fighting Jew-hatred and its equivalents.
There’s another view of Jew-hatred.
It says that Jew-hatred centers on the Jews, and specifically:
- Jews’ claim to be the people chosen by the one true God to remain separate and to spread His word.
- Jews’ rejection of others’ ideas, values and gods.
- Jews’ insistence that Jews are different and special.
Jews’ who hold the first view often really hate Jews who hold the second.
The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson Tweeted yesterday about “the bizarre nexus between Israel and white nationalism” which were both forms of evil “ethno-nationalism” as “extreme right Zionists and anti-Semitic white nationalists have the same core beliefs.”
Davidson apologized for his Tweet being “unclearly written” and deleted it, and then went on to clarify that he meant exactly what we all thought he did. Davidson was not alone.
Fiction writers are taught “Capture the individual and you capture the type. Capture the type and you capture — nothing.”
This is helpful for understanding Jew-hatred. We must first understand the uniqueness of Jew-hatred and the Jew before applying its lessons to other hatreds.
The de-Judaizers see any form of recognizing differences as the equivalent of Jew-hatred. They think you’re a Jew-hater or its equivalent if you would close a border or deny same-sex marriage.
Those with a Jew-centric view of Jew-hatred see these quite differently. They’re more likely to see the equivalent of Jew-hatred in those attacking the Christian baker or the Little Sisters of the Poor. The baker and the nuns just want to be left alone to live by their understanding of the word of God, without hurting anybody else.
Those with a Jew-centric view of Jew-hatred stand with America when she is demonized for standing as a nation apart. They respect Americans’ insistence on deciding for themselves who can join their nation and how.
This rarely articulated difference in outlook splits the Jewish community.
Many Jews just want Jews to be like everybody else (though perhaps with a victim card). They find the ideas of a powerful group being separatists and exceptionalists to be repulsive, worth fighting, and the equivalent of Jew-hatred. They find it especially repugnant coming from the Jews.
On the other side, we have Jews who believe their mission is to remain a separate group that can spread the word and values of the one true God. These people think that Jews must be able to defend themselves and to live according to their beliefs. And they believe other groups, such as Americans and Christians, deserve the same rights. These views are more common among Israelis and Orthodox Jews than among non-Orthodox American Jews.
This split is central to how many Jews think and vote. For many Jews their top issue isn’t abortion, gun control, taxes or health care. It’s where do you stand on Jew-hatred and its equivalents. This may help explain why so many of the most visceral Trump-haters, including most prominent NeverTrumpers, are Jews. They see Trump as a spreader of the equivalent of Jew-hatred, regardless of Trump’s personal views of Jews specifically.
On the other side are people like Dennis Prager. Prager’s classic Why the Jews: The Reason for Antisemitism, the Most Accurate Predictor for Human Evil provides many of the ideas I stole for this piece. His view of the centrality and exceptionalism of Jews and Jew-hatred lead him to view Trump as a man who stands with the Jews against those who would destroy them.
The Tree of Life murders brought this all to a boil and showed the asymmetry. Many of the de-Judaizers of Jew-hatred hated many of the Jews who were coming to stand with them. But those who subscribe to the Jewish-exceptionalist view of Jews and Jew-hatred saw Jews murdered for being Jews, and stood with them in tears, despite the efforts of the misguided Jewish haters.
Jew-hatred is an ancient and eternal hatred. United Nations votes are just one more indication of how Jew-hatred seems to unite the world, other than the one great nation that stands with Israel. Jews and Israel are safer and stronger than they’ve been in at least two thousand years. One evil man in Pittsburgh and some false statistics spread by people trying to demonize America and her president do not change that. We will fight the Jew-haters. We will thank those who stand with us. And we will strive to fulfill our exceptional mission.Published in