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  • The New Anti-Semitism

    Posted by David Foster on July 19th, 2008 (All posts by )

    The modern anti-Semite looks entirely different. He does not have a shaved head. He has good manners and often an academic title as well…The modern anti-Semite does not believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But instead he fantasizes about an “Israel lobby” that is supposed to control American foreign policy like a tail that wags the dog. For the modern anti-Semite, it goes without saying that every year on January 27 he will commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. But at the same time he militates for the right of Iran to have atomic weapons.

    Henryk Broder, in a speech to the German Bundestag.


    17 Responses to “The New Anti-Semitism”

    1. Tatyana Says:

      …and they would shame you, if you call them antisemites. Their paranoia and search for Jewish conspiracies are all in the name of fairness and free speech, you see.

      Thank you, David.

    2. Zeke Says:

      So does Broder think the skinhead movement no longer exists, or that it is no longer anti-semetic?

      I love Judaism and recognize its massive, ongoing contributions to the intellectual strength of Western society and, really, every society where it has been allowed to flourish. Where would we be without Freud, Marx or Einstein, just to name three Jewish men whose ideas did so much to shape the past two centuries?

      Yet I recognize the disproportionate power of the Israel lobby in America and I oppose Zionism in general, on philosophical (not geopolitical) grounds and, specifically, I oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank on both moral and geopolitical grounds.

      I wonder if Broder thinks that makes me anti-semitic?

      There are bigots of all stripe in academia, but, then again, there are bigots in all walks of life — no line of work seems immune.

      I think we can all agree that there are the classic anti-semite is still represented in the classic ways, e.g. the skinhead, the White Supremacist, the radical Christian, the radical Muslim and so on.

      The suggestion that the debate about Israeli geopolitics has somehow created a class of people that are displacing these long-known anti-semetic groups is entirely without foundation.

      Anti-semitism is where you find it. Attempts to redefine it as a geopolitical stance are highly suspect.

    3. Tatyana Says:

      what a great illustration.

      I don’t know who I hate more – out-in-the-open arab Jew-haters or people like Zeke. Probably the latter.

      I wish you all the worse, Zeke. you, and 7 generations of your family. slow painful death is the least of what will happen to you – and it will start soon.

    4. Vince Says:

      Zeke: of course it makes you anti-semetic to oppose Zionism. Who would ever say something as silly as “I oppose the Polish people legitimate right to reside in the lands now regarded as Poland. Poland should be restored to the Soviet Union and Germany. This doesn’t mean I am against Polish people but they should go just go live elsewhere”

    5. Anonymous Says:

      At just about every leftist protest demonstration, there are signs attacking Israel, and very often these signs attack Jews in general. I don’t see many signs complaining about China’s actions in Tibet or Mugabe’s crimes in Africa or Cuba’s continuing suppression of human rights–the anger of the “progressives” is largely reserved for the U.S. and Israel.

      The people at these demonstrations usually look more like archetypal hippies than like skinheads.

      Zombie has an extensive collection of photographs taken at demonstrations.

      Let me remind everyone of the Chicago Boyz policy on personal attacks in comments.

    6. David Foster Says:

      The above comment was me.

    7. Tatyana Says:

      Yes, David, I know.

      But I also think that anti-semite should be called his proper name in his face. And that being polite played a joke on us, many times over, in the past: people like zeke think they are free to insult us.

      zke: your black blood will poison you from inside. your plazma will boil. you’ll stink so much your own mother will turn away from you. no Jewish doctor will touch you. you will rot alive.

    8. David Foster Says:

      Note this quote from a German Green Party politician, regarding the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons:

      “How can one deny Iran what one has permitted Israel or Pakistan?”

      This argument is structurally identical to the argument made by a British newspaper editorial at the time of the Nazi incursion into the Rhineland:

      “There is no more reason why German territory should be demilitarized than French, Belgian, or British.” (The Observer, quoted by historial James Pool)

      …and is also related to an earlier assertion by Lord Lothian:

      “If Germany were allowed to rearm, this would give her an “equality” that would enable her to sit without any sense of weakness or inferiority at the Disarmament Conference.”

    9. jdm Says:

      I can’t believe that Zeke wrote the comment he did after reading the transcript of the speech… or perhaps he didn’t read it. In either case, he should be aware of what a wonderful service he provided by example of exactly what Mr Broder described.

    10. Vince Says:

      “How can one deny Iran what one has permitted Israel or Pakistan?”

      This one is easy. Because Iran obligated itself to adhere to the NPT.

    11. fred lapides Says:

      Israel occupies the land it took when it was attacked and land is seldom or never given back till a peace accord has been reached…Meanwhile, Israel is doing itself no great service by extending settlements upon land that is a part of any potential peace agreement.
      Now prepare: I am very far to the Left. I love Israel. IO would support her in every effort to remain a viable democracy midst its hate-filled Arab enemies.

    12. DJF Says:

      What’s really amusing is watching the idiotic American Jewish establishment – the “liberal” religious movements, the ADL, Jewish women’s organizations, Jewish politicians, Jewish newspapers and magazines – turning themselves inside-out and upsidedown to deny the plain truth of what Broder says. They much prefer pretending that the real threat to Jews comes from white supremacists militia nuts and the “Christian right,” which are no doubt planning pogroms while hiding under our beds at night.

    13. Jonathan Says:

      FYI, “Zeke” appears to be someone who has trolled here before. He is not posting in good faith, and I would have deleted his comment if I had paid attention earlier. Please do not respond to him (he may try to comment under other pseudonyms) in the future.

      I would add that a commenter who opens with a reasonable statement and says that he loves Judaism, but who also complains about the “Israel lobby” and Zionism and Israeli settlements is more likely trying to provoke other commenters than to have a reasonable discussion.

      When another commenter writes things that seem intended to get under your skin, think twice before you reply. He may want you to reply because he is trying to start a big fight between commenters. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.

    14. Tatyana Says:

      Of course he does, Jonathan. I’m beyond trying to be careful and thinking twice, though. Lebanese were celebrating on the streets in the first show of unity since Seniora murder – celebrating what? Release of a human scam who smashed little girl’s skull with a rock. That’s their hero. And Lebanon is way more civilized than the rest of the bastards. NYTimes’ was issued that day with “Hezbollah’s victory!” headline. They had been working hard for it, too. As has been the rest of the media – BBC, CNN, all those diplomats and reasonable fair-minded western peoples: bunch of killers, all of them.

      So – I don’t care anymore if I’m being provoked on the thread. I have much more serious reasons to be provoked: by actions of various antisemites, not mere words of a cowardly “zeke”s.

      So, what I said above: a thousand times. And that’s not a threat – just a statement of fact: karma is what it is. When they start rotting from inside, they’ll remember why.

    15. Vince Says:

      Tatyana…. I totally understand your outrage. I feel the same way nearly everyday.

    16. David Foster Says:

      Fred…given that you identify with the Left: would you agree that there is a disturbing amount on anti-Israel sentiment, and outright anti-Semitism, among leftists? If so, do you have an analysis of the reasons?

    17. LotharBot Says:

      Like Zeke, I acknowledge the existence of an “Israel lobby”, but unlike Zeke, I understand that the “Israel lobby” is no different from other lobbies; it’s not particularly powerful or influential, and there are plenty who lobby against it. The reason the US government seems to come down on the side of the “Israel lobby” so often is not its disproportionate power, but simply the fact that Israel is a modern liberal democracy which stands opposed to theocracies and thugocracies. We *should* come down on Israel’s side the vast majority of the time because of what Israel is and what Israel is trying to accomplish.

      Like Zeke, I also recognize the danger of a certain “Zionist” philosophy that says a certain area belongs to a certain group by birthright and/or religious decree, and that it’s therefore acceptable to take that land by any means possible. But unlike Zeke, I recognize that it’s only a few isolated settlers who take that attitude; the majority of people within Israel are perfectly content live at peace with non-Jews, to acquire land by buying it rather than fighting for it, and so on. Complaining about the dangers of the first sort of “Zionists” is akin to complaining about the influence of “Christians” like Fred Phelps — using a small number of mostly-harmless and totally powerless nutjobs to paint an unflattering view of a much larger group.

      And like Zeke, I recognize that classical Antisemitism still exists in the form of skinheads, white supremacists, and religious radicals. But unlike Zeke, I recognize that a new form of Antisemitism has become widespread, and that it’s important to understand it for what it is, and to call it what it is. Those who treat Israel as totally illegitimate, who hold it to ridiculous standards, who justify its enemies actions as “the logical response”, who want to hamstring it so it can’t defend itself, and who generally maximize Israel’s faults while minimizing its virtues — who, in short, are offended by Israel’s very existence and want to see it destroyed — are antisemites and should be treated as such. (Though I think the appropriate response is ridicule, rather than hatred — I don’t want to see Zeke “rot from the inside”, I just want to point out that he’s utterly wrong and utterly foolish, and not at all worth directly addressing.)

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