Canary in the Coal Mine, or You Could Be Next

 

After the last attacks on Israel by Hamas, the canards began to escalate against Israelis once more: they stole the land, they abuse the Palestinians—well, the list goes on. In recent months there has also been discussion on this site about whether anti-Semitic attacks in this country are increasing or not, whether the concern was being exaggerated or should be seriously addressed.

I’ve decided to take a different approach to the “Jewish question.” From my perspective, there are three types of attacks on Jews that have a great deal to teach us and serve as a warning: (1) the relevance of the merging of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist thought in these times; (2) the subtlety of criticisms of Jews, and how Jews are adding credence to these statements, (3) the lessons that need to be learned from the current situation by Jews and non-Jews alike.

*     *     *     *

So many of the arguments denying that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same are misleading, are lies, or are trying to use current politics to attack both mindsets. I would prefer to use long-standing tropes that try to justify attacking Israel with lies and deceptions as a means to separate out the two ideas.

First, those who deny the connection say that Jews invaded Israel and essentially kicked out the Palestinians. Anyone who has studied Jewish history knows these statements are not true. The Jews have lived in that part of the world for thousands of years, and although their population decreased, they were continuously resident. The Jews repeatedly made efforts to engage the Arabs in the region, but they refused.

Second, People think that Israelis believe that criticism about them is anti-Semitic. The problem arises when the media either ignores the actions of non-Israelis in the country or distorts the information about Israel.

Third, Israel is an apartheid state. This is an illegitimate claim. The term “apartheid” was used to describe South Africa: apartheid dictated where South Africans, on the basis of their race, could live and work, the type of education they could receive, and whether they could vote. None of these restrictions apply to Arabs in Israel. Arabs can live in Israel, have full access to schools (although more needs to be done to improve education for Arabs), live in mixed Israeli and Arab communities, and the Arabs can vote.

Israel has been condemned by the United Nations more than any other nation in the world. When one considers the atrocities and repression committed all over the globe just in recent years, one only needs to look at Syria, Rwanda, Cuba, Myanmar, South Sudan, Congo and Darfur. Let’s not forget China.

There are many other claims about the legitimacy of Israel, and as long as arguments of legitimacy are used as a cudgel, the legitimacy of the anti-Zionist argument becomes moot. It is part and parcel of the anti-Semitic rhetoric

*     *     *     *

The reason I became convinced of the merging of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism was that a definition of the former is precisely the same for the latter. Bret Stephens (whether you like him as a Conservative or not), in a panel discussion with Bari Weiss (see below), defined anti-Semitism not just as racist (technically, Judaism is not a race), but in this way:

It is a conspiracy theory which holds that Jews are imposters and swindlers. If you look at the 19th century, they were considered to be imposters: they were ‘trying to be’ Germans and French, and they were ‘stealing the wealth’ of those countries”; anti-Zionism is the same.

Contemplate that definition for a moment. The definition held true in Europe, and it holds true today in Israel—and might be emerging in our own country.

*     *     *     *

It’s helpful to remember that many bigotries against Jews were encoded in law in European countries; gradually some restrictions were removed, and Jews appeared to assimilate successfully in almost every country where they lived. But the assimilation was misleading. Jews were repeatedly expelled from countries. Just under the surface, and sometimes even blatantly, Jewish hatred reared its ugly head. Some opportunities were considered unwise to pursue by both Jews and non-Jews, whether in commerce or government; Jews were concerned about being perceived as seeking to live above their station and to rekindle the hatred toward the Jewish community. And then we endeavored to survive the wreckage and destruction of World War II.

Today, only a few people unashamedly publicly attack the Jew. We see these attacks by our own government representatives. Some people are wise enough to do it in the absence of Jewish company. There may be enough people in this country who would speak out against anti-Semitic remarks. The people who are the most tolerant of anti-Semitic rhetoric: the Jews themselves. They have lulled themselves into a sense of safety and wellbeing; after all, it’s not like they wear strange clothes or mumble in Yiddish around their friends. Anti-Semitic jokes can be brushed off or ignored. Jews take off time for the same holidays as everyone else; they eat the same foods as their secular friends. In effect, they are barely Jewish. So when they find themselves in the position of having to defend Jews, or worse yet, Israel, they put on their Progressive hats so they can blend into the crowd. They take pride in the fact that they are no different than anyone else, and as Jews have done through the centuries, they fight for the underdog—the other. One has to ask in all seriousness, who is the underdog in Israel, and how is that defined?

*     *     *     *

So, where do I find myself in this discussion? If it’s possible, I’m more zealous than ever in my support for Jews all over the world, and especially for the state of Israel. I’m not going to make apologies for my stance. I am critical of Israel when it does foolish things, but I will attack the lies, too, like these:

Palestinian land (despite the fact that Israel vacated the territory from which it was subsequently attacked) and wanton violence against Palestinian civilians, particularly children (despite the fact that Israel regularly warned its targets to vacate buildings before targeting them) — can’t help but make me think of ancient libels about Jewish greed and bloodlust.

or vociferously:

For example, when you hear that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, which it of course manifestly is not, you are abusing that word and trafficking in a classic anti-Semitic trope, suggesting that the Jewish people have a particular kind of bloodlust. Or if you say that Israel or Israeli leaders have hypnotized the world to get them to do their bidding, that again, goes back to an old anti-Semitic trope.

*     *     *     *

If you’re not Jewish, why should you be concerned? Because in this country, it isn’t the Jews who have a bloodlust; it is the Progressive party. And it is against anyone who doesn’t adopt their program and its propaganda. I’m suggesting that the Jews are not the only ones in the sights of Jew-haters; they are just the canary in the coal mine. If you’re Christian, a gun owner, a Conservative, a cop or former military, get ready.

You could be next.

The one-hour panel on The Mainstreaming of Anti-Semitism: How Should We Respond, particularly the first nine minutes

.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m realizing that this post raises other questions: have you been with anyone who has made anti-Semitic remarks or what you considered to be illegitimate anti-Zionist remarks? Would you mind sharing your silent or vocal reaction? 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    You may have read my story about my dating a Jew-hating, Nazi sympathizer. I only dated him a few times. His problem was that he liked me before he knew I was Jewish. Then he told me how he’d been raised by grandparents to believe that the Jews had stolen the money of the Europeans. I guess that I wasn’t involved in those dastardly deeds wasn’t persuasive enough for him to keep dating me. Why did I date him at all? First, I was 18, a freshman in college. I was intrigued by his background. I even had a favorite professor “warn me” about him when she had dinner with my family. (My parents had no comment.) I think we only had two dates. It was enough for both of us.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Then he told me how he’d been raised by grandparents to believe that the Jews had stolen the money of the Europeans.

    So the stupidity was congenital then.

    • #3
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    “You could be next.”

    I’d say that baker Jack Phillips (below link) would give you a loud “Amen” on that one.  

    So would I…

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/colorado-just-wont-leave-baker-jack-phillips-alone

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Deny liberty unjustly to one, you deny liberty unjustly to all. Slander and libel are foundational to injustice.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    I’d say that baker Jack Phillips (below link) would give you a loud “Amen” on that one.  

    I so admire Jack Phillips, @cacrabtree, and his clear commitment to his faith. He’s a true and disheartening example of what I’m discussing. Those people who continue to go after him, and those who rule against him are so misguided, maybe even evil, to act as they do. I expect he’ll go to SCOTUS again. Is there no end to his situation??

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Deny liberty unjustly to one, you deny liberty unjustly to all. Slander and libel are foundational to injustice.

    So true. And yet I think so many believe that it’s somebody else’s problem, @rodin, and doesn’t apply to them. I can’t help asking myself, over and over, how did we get here?

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Susan Quinn: So many of the arguments denying that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same are misleading,

    So, I guess anti-Semites want to kill all of the Jews but anti-Zionists only want to kill all the Jews in Israel? Much more tolerant folk.

    Susan Quinn: Third, Israel is an apartheid state.

    Arabs that are Israeli have full rights, can even serve in the Knessett. Jews in other Middle Eastern countries . . .  Iran once had a sizable Jewish population, what happened to that?

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: None of these restrictions apply to Arabs in Israel. Arabs can live in Israel, have full access to schools (although more needs to be done to improve education for Arabs), live in mixed Israeli and Arab communities, and the Arabs can vote.

    And they can serve in the Knesset, IIRC . . .

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    So, I guess anti-Semites want to kill all of the Jews but anti-Zionists only want to kill all the Jews in Israel? Much more tolerant folk.

    I can always count on you to make me laugh in my depressing posts, @vancerichards. Thank you for that.

    • #10
  11. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    To me, not to deride the impact of the current Anti-Semitism on Jews, for they should be very afraid, this current Anti-Semitism is part and parcel of the larger, overarching  Neo-Marxist/Democrat  attack on America, it’s values and it’s Constitutional Rights . As the quote kinda goes…first they came for the Jews………

    Not only is this Anti-Semitism rank bigotry, it is also an attack on our right to Freedom of Religion for Jews should be able to practice their religion as they choose without harassment. It’s not like their Jewish orthodox religious beliefs are a direct threat to our Republic  like let’s say …..hmmmm Islam is. It is the Jew’s  right under our Constitution to practice Judaism as they choose.  But the Democrats in their fealty to the bigoted demands of the Islamic Lobby choose once again to disregard our Constitutional rights in the pursuit of a bigoted and frightening Police State that gives fealty to our enemies. 

     

    • #11
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I am a quarter Swedish, but Jewish on my Ricochet side.

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Susan Quinn: (2) the subtlety of criticisms of Jews, and how Jews are adding credence to these statements

    Did you address this? It doesn’t seem you did.

    People naturally become hostile to people who set themselves apart, in identity and culture, from the wide populace while also taking over major institutions.

    It happens in other countries, too, not just the West. The West just has a unique issue with it being Jews.

    And it seems to me that Jews have a culture of believing they are better than the gentiles around them and so that excuses them from any responsibility in being top dogs in certain institutions. It doesn’t help that a number of those institutions that they top have been very destructive to the economy and culture – like banks, the federal reserve, and Hollywood. It is immoral, by Jewish and Christian law, to practice usury, for instance. And it has been Jews that have predominately engaged in usury against gentiles because they saw gentiles as outside their group (therefore exempt from Jewish laws against usury).

    Should there be some humility and more concern for the people around them? Could that alleviate some of the animosity that has historically surrounded Jews?

    Can Jews learn from it? Because if Jews really think they are so much better than the goy and that they deserve to rule over gentiles, then maybe they all should go to Israel and simply rule over themselves and let us muddle through on our own. Because that thinking doesn’t make friends.

     

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):
    Did you address this? It doesn’t seem you did.

    Today, only a few people unashamedly publicly attack the Jew. We see these attacks by our own government representatives. Some people are wise enough to do it in the absence of Jewish company. There may be enough people in this country who would speak out against anti-Semitic remarks. The people who are the most tolerant of anti-Semitic rhetoric: the Jews themselves. The have lulled themselves into a sense of safety and wellbeing; after all, it’s not like they wear strange clothes or mumble in Yiddish around their friends. Anti-Semitic jokes can be brushed off or ignored. Jews take off time for the same holidays as everyone else; they eat the same foods as their secular friends. In effect, they are barely Jewish. So when they find themselves in the position of having to defend Jews, or worse yet, Israel, they put on their Progressive hats so they can blend into the crowd. They take pride in the fact that they are no different than anyone else, and as Jews have done through the centuries, they fight for the underdog—the other.

    I believe that many people are discrete about making these comments, too; if you’re not in the right circles, you may not

    Stina (View Comment):

    People naturally become hostile to people who set themselves apart, in identity and culture, from the wide populace while also taking over major institutions.

    It happens in other countries, too, not just the West. The West just has a unique issue with it being Jews.

    And it seems to me that Jews have a culture of believing they are better than the gentiles around them and so that excuses them from any responsibility in being top dogs in certain institutions. It doesn’t help that a number of those institutions that they top have been very destructive to the economy and culture – like banks, the federal reserve, and Hollywood. It is immoral, by Jewish and Christian law, to practice usury, for instance. And it has been Jews that have predominately engaged in usury against gentiles because they saw gentiles as outside their group (therefore exempt from Jewish laws against usury).

    Should there be some humility and more concern for the people around them? Could that alleviate some of the animosity that has historically surrounded Jews?

    Can Jews learn from it? Because if Jews really think they are so much better than the goy and that they deserve to rule over gentiles, then maybe they all should go to Israel and simply rule over themselves and let us muddle through on our own. Because that thinking doesn’t make friends.

     

    You’re serious, aren’t you? So let’s deal with this nasty insult, one point at a time–

    People naturally become hostile to people who set themselves apart, in identity and culture, from the wide populace while also taking over major institutions.

    Thank you for clarifying that, Stina. So we are to blame. And every culture that has unique and sacred practices that others show no interest in–they are to blame for being treated poorly. Also, we “don’t take over” major institutions; in many cases we had to start our own, because no one would let us in. And what about all those people we gave jobs? Do you think they were all Jews?

    And it seems to me that Jews have a culture of believing they are better than the gentiles around them and so that excuses them from any responsibility in being top dogs in certain institutions.

    I’m not sure how to respond!–that is so untrue that it borders on the ridiculous. Just because many of us are successful does not mean that we think we are better than anyone else. Where the heck did you get that? And blaming us for reaching high levels of institutions because we were successful?–Or do you think we bribed people for those positions.  Are you kidding? How does that show up?? For the record, Jews are probably one of the most philanthropic groups on the planet. And going after the bankers’ trope? Take a look at the stereotype book cover at the top of my post. You are really showing your true colors today, Stina.

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It doesn’t help that a number of those institutions that they top have been very destructive to the economy and culture – like banks, the federal reserve, and Hollywood. It is immoral, by Jewish and Christian law, to practice usury, for instance. And it has been Jews that have predominately engaged in usury against gentiles because they saw gentiles as outside their group (therefore exempt from Jewish laws against usury).

    Not sure what your definition of ‘usury’ might be…any lending, or lending at above some interest rate X?…but do you seriously believe that Jewish-managed banks lend to Jews at a lower interest rate than they lend to non-Jews?

    Also, the so-called Jewish domination of banking is a considerable overstatement.  Jamie Dimon (original name Papademetriou) of JP Morgan is not Jewish.  Neither is Brian Moynihan of Bank of America.

    (response is to Stina not to Susan…I thought nested quotes in comments would pick up original writer)

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It doesn’t help that a number of those institutions that they top have been very destructive to the economy and culture – like banks, the federal reserve, and Hollywood. It is immoral, by Jewish and Christian law, to practice usury, for instance. And it has been Jews that have predominately engaged in usury against gentiles because they saw gentiles as outside their group (therefore exempt from Jewish laws against usury).

    Not sure what your definition of ‘usury’ might be…any lending, or lending at above some interest rate X?…but do you seriously believe that Jewish-managed banks lend to Jews at a lower interest rate than they lend to non-Jews?

    Also, the so-called Jewish domination of banking is a considerable overstatement. Jamie Dimon (original name Papademetriou) of JP Morgan is not Jewish. Neither is Brian Moynihan of Bank of America.

    (response is to Stina not to Susan…I thought nested quotes in comments would pick up original writer)

    I suspect she’s thinking of those nasty Warburgs and Rothschilds, David. Judging from the seriousness of her comment, I suspect she believes all of it.

    • #16
  17. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Good to have people comfortable showing their true colors.  Good to know who despises me.  Or despises us, because it’s never “me” in the singular (one of my best friends…), but always about the us.

    • #17
  18. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I used to get arguments like that all the time. When I traveled in Russia. So let’s get this straight: The Jews don’t control the world. They don’t control America. They don’t control Wall Street or the banks. Most Jews never get near those institutions, and most bankers and financiers are not Jewish. They don’t even control Paramount Pict—

    —Okay, you got me there. Big deal. 

    Stina, you think your comments are going to do anything positive to improve inter-religious relations? Do you even care? If not, you don’t have any right to gripe that the Jews aren’t sociable enough. 

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Stina’s remarks are the most hateful I’ve ever seen on Ricochet. I’m really shocked to read them here. 

    Words fail me. 

    • #19
  20. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina’s remarks are the most hateful I’ve ever seen on Ricochet. I’m really shocked to read them here.

    Words fail me.

    Oh, I’ve seen worse.  Yes, here.

    • #20
  21. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Thank you for clarifying that, Stina. So we are to blame.

    You know, it’s really easy to do when you are the one upset, but I didn’t blame you for others treating you badly.

    What you just did is no different than woman being advised not to drink heavily around strangers who thinks if she gets raped, you would blame her.

    We are each responsible for our own actions. Certain things are part of human nature. If Americans were heavily involved in the governance of Somalia, Somalia would hate Americans. Indians would hate Britains. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

    Conservatism tries to operate in concert with human nature, not against it. There are reasons Israel was advised to handle the surrounding nations in specific ways. And there are reasons bad things happened when they didn’t.

    You think my comment makes me an anti semite, but I’ve spent decades studying the Old Testament and Israel’s ancient history specifically because I believe their history and God’s laws to Israel hold the key to peaceful civilization. How could I possibly be an anti-semite?

    I just want to know if there are lessons to be learned from your history or not.

    • #21
  22. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    David Foster (View Comment):
    Not sure what your definition of ‘usury’ might be…any lending, or lending at above some interest rate X?…but do you seriously believe that Jewish-managed banks lend to Jews at a lower interest rate than they lend to non-Jews?

    Usury is lending with interest. It is against God’s law and was against the church, too, until the reformation. In Christianity and Judaism, it was prohibited to lend with interest to brothers in faith.

    • #22
  23. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Can Jews learn from it? Because if Jews really think they are so much better than the goy and that they deserve to rule over gentiles, then maybe they all should go to Israel and simply rule over themselves and let us muddle through on our own. Because that thinking doesn’t make friends.

    Oh Please!    You have got to be kidding! Really?

    • #23
  24. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina’s remarks are the most hateful I’ve ever seen on Ricochet. I’m really shocked to read them here.

    Words fail me.

    You need to get out more. I’ve certainly read far worse.

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I used to get arguments like that all the time. When I traveled in Russia. So let’s get this straight: The Jews don’t control the world. They don’t control America. They don’t control Wall Street or the banks. Most Jews never get near those institutions, and most bankers and financiers are not Jewish. They don’t even control Paramount Pict—

    —Okay, you got me there. Big deal.

    Stina, you think your comments are going to do anything positive to improve inter-religious relations? Do you even care? If not, you don’t have any right to gripe that the Jews aren’t sociable enough.

    lol. It’s just more of the same from you, Gary. You play just as much identity politics as the left. You just defend a different tribe.

    If you guys think my comment was born in hate, then you guys are no better than the left. There was nothing hateful written. Triggering, yes. Offensive, obviously. Hateful, no.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):
    just want to know if there are lessons to be learned from your history or not.

    Yep. It’s an old lesson we repeatedly have to learn: we never know when or where anti-Semitism will rear it’s ugly head. Thus, we are vigilant

    • #25
  26. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I take Stina at her word when she says that she believes “[Israel’s] history and God’s laws to Israel hold the key to peaceful civilization, and that she’s spent decades studying it, and the OT.

    Still, I can clearly see why Susan, and others, would take Stina’s remarks as personally directed against a particular group, particularly this paragraph:

    Stina (View Comment):
    And it seems to me that Jews have a culture of believing they are better than the gentiles around them and so that excuses them from any responsibility in being top dogs in certain institutions. It doesn’t help that a number of those institutions that they top have been very destructive to the economy and culture – like banks, the federal reserve, and Hollywood. It is immoral, by Jewish and Christian law, to practice usury, for instance. And it has been Jews that have predominately engaged in usury against gentiles because they saw gentiles as outside their group (therefore exempt from Jewish laws against usury)

    Which begins by with a comprehensive accusation against (apparently all) Jews of unseemly pride in their culture, and a lack of stewardly accountability when finding themselves in responsible situations, goes on to accuse them of destroying the economy and culture in institutions that Stina says they “top” such as banks, the fed, and Hollywood, and concludes by theorizing that the Jews engaged in an immoral and usurious conspiracy against an outgroup (Gentiles) in order to profit themselves.

    And I’m left feeling rather as I feel when I see a man who claims to love the beach–except for the sand, of course.  Or the woman who loves an outdoor picnic–except for those pesky ants.  I’m afraid I’m left feeling rather as if Stina might like the idea of Judaism just fine, if only it weren’t for all those Jews.

    • #26
  27. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I am a quarter Swedish, but Jewish on my Ricochet side.

    #MeToo!

    • #27
  28. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    Iran once had a sizable Jewish population, what happened to that?

    I read an article about them, I think in the Atlantic several years ago, that I can’t find now.  They’re still there.  If you want to find out about them, search for “Jews in Iran” and prepare to be depressed.

    • #28
  29. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    “That damn Koufax!”

    • #29
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “That damn Koufax!”

    Nah. Ford was room temperature before Sandy came up.

    • #30