Posts Tagged ‘Jews’

Privilege Theory and Progressive Antisemitism

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Once upon a time, American anti-antisemitism was seen as a bastion of the poorly-educated nativist right. (This was never entirely true, as quotas limiting Jewish admissions were imposed at many Ivy league universities in the 1920s, and Father Coughlin, perhaps the most prominent American anti-Semite of the 20th century, founded the National Union for Social Justice.) But William F. Buckley was fairly diligent in excluding anti-Semites from the modern conservative movement, a vigilance that continued well into the 1990s, as Joseph Sobran and Patrick Buchanan (cast out for tiptoeing up to the line) can attest.

Conversely, antisemitism has been rising on the left, both here and in Europe, as John-Paul Pagano details:

Israel’s stunning victory against combined Arab armies in 1967 set in motion streams of hostility—some anti-Israel, some “anti-Zionist,” some anti-Jewish—which would pool, roil, and gather strength until the turn of the millennium, when the Second Intifada unleashed them in a cataract of anti-Semitism. Two groups were swept along most forcefully by the current: Arabs and Muslims; and Left-wing radicals, who took their cues on Israel and Zionism from Moscow, where “anti-Zionism” assumed a central place in the Soviet anti-colonial catechism.

That’s the first strand. Pagano then offers a section on the rise in the unassimilated Muslim immigrant population in Europe, and the increasingly open antisemitism and attacks against Jews by those populations over the last decade. Then he gets to the meat of his argument:

I think there are three main drivers guiding progressives like [Freddie deBoer] who have similar responses to the very real injuries suffered by Jews who are targeted, excluded, abused, and sometimes murdered for reasons that are clearly the result of hatred: an excess of rationalism, the way anti-Semitism short-circuits the “privilege” analysis of racism, and a prioritization of some victims of racism over others.

But it’s the “privilege” theory so beloved of Social Justice Warriors that really ties it all together:

Paul Berman made the point in Terror and Liberalism—a book the mere mention of which sends deBoer types running for the bathroom—that we in the West are inheritors of Enlightenment rationalism, and as such we find it difficult to understand and constructively respond to irrational political movements. In this respect “we are all Noam Chomsky,” Berman wrote in reference to the man who has done the most to advance this reductive Weltanschauung. In politics Chomsky proposed two warring innate ideas—an instinct for greed (embodied by the corporatized West) and an instinct for freedom (embodied by those opposing the West)—and honed this analysis by applying it to the abattoir in Cambodia during the 1970s. There have been few enormities that more clearly exhibit irrationalism than the Khmer Rouge auto-genocide; but in Chomsky’s hyper-rationalist view, no such movement of self-cannibalizing lunacy could exist (at least not among victims of American imperialism). So, he wrote that there was no genocide to speak of in Cambodia, and if there was violence, it was because greedy U.S. war-making had driven the Cambodians to it.

So too with some interpretations of crises relating to radical Islam and the Middle East. Irrationalism is the wrong explanation, because it simply can’t be right; or if violence and hatred do exist, they assume the discrete and contingent form of being a rational (i.e., predictable and understandable) response by the victims of the United States and Israel. For deBoer and the segment of the Left he represents, anti-Semitism is not a coherent and meaningful force among Muslims—that is to say, a movement; or if it is, it is not a self-sustaining irrational movement, one founded on conspiracist racism against Jews and drunk on salvationist violence. Rather it is tightly correlated to the wrongdoing of Americans and Jews themselves, and thus acute in onset and understandable.

Hyper-rationalism pairs well with the dogmatic underdog-ism of the Left, which assumes that weakness is a source or at least a marker of virtue. Yet just as the poverty of Chomsky’s political analysis became clear after the United States withdrew from Indochina, the silliness and toxicity of New Left ideas about race have become plainer as Jim Crow recedes.

Perhaps the worst of these is the formula that racism equals prejudice plus power. People of color can’t be racist, according to this definition, because they are structurally disempowered by our racist-capitalist “system.” Whites are racist, wittingly or not, because they are existentially driven to oppress non-whites in order to preserve their “privilege.” Analyses of “structural racism” and “privilege” assert a kind of Wizard of Oz sociology that exhibits some elements of conspiracy theory—false consciousness, social determinism, and peoples of good and evil locked in Manichean struggle.

In the mental shorthand of many, Muslims are people of color and Jews are white. That demarcation has fateful consequences. We in the West have a horrendous history of racism; in the United States the oppression of African Americans for hundreds of years is an enduring betrayal of liberal values. Responses throughout the educated West to the Arab-Israeli conflict have been warped by fear that Zionism is a form of racism—as the Soviet architects of that libel surely intended. We are prone to seeing Israeli violence as illegitimate per se, and to regarding violence, hatred, and illiberalism among Arabs and Muslims as a rational—predictable and understandable—response to Western and Israeli imperialism. We miss the part that is a will to power, aspirational imperialism in its own right.

The “prejudice plus power” idea erases real anti-Semitism—a construct with its own history of horrific effects, which is often lumped in with racism, but is actually something else. To borrow from comedy parlance, most racism “punches down”—an incumbent group constructs and subordinates an underclass. The stereotypes that make up such racism diminish their victims. For example blacks, to the white racist, are inferior, criminal, stupid, lazy, and lusty. Anti-Semitism is often the opposite, envisioning the Jew as a preternatural creature—as evil, brilliant, controlling, connected, rich, and powerful beyond measure. Anti-Semitism is a conspiracy theory. As such, Anti-Semitism often “punches up.”

When deBoer implies that anti-Semitism is not increasing in Europe and that the real problem is Islamophobia, he ties all of these threads together. Muslims, people of color, can’t be racist, at least not in any coherent and self-sustaining way; they are an oppressed people reacting to the depredations of Jews and other whites. Irrationalist movements that are powered by Jew-hatred don’t exist anymore; that sort of thing was the preserve of white people 70 years ago. Anti-Semitism today is embraced most frequently and fervently by people of color—but to note that is “the basic logic of bigotry,” blaming the victim while aggrandizing the powerful. As Chomsky put it himself, “Anti-Semitism is no longer a problem, fortunately. It’s raised, but it’s raised because privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98 percent control.”

Most people on the Left today prioritize the well-being of Arabs and Muslims over Jews.

Read the whole thing.

Should Jews Leave Europe?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

I was going to put this long Atlantic piece on whether Jews should leave Europe or not into the Friday LinkSwarm, but I think it deserves it’s own post.

A few excerpts:

France’s 475,000 Jews represent less than 1 percent of the country’s population. Yet last year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal. In 2014, Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish. Sale Juif—“dirty Jew”—rang in the streets, as did “Death to the Jews,” and “Jews to the gas.”

In Greece, a recent survey found that 69 percent of adults hold anti-Semitic views, and the fascists of the country’s Golden Dawn party are open in their Jew-hatred.

Yes, I think we all remember the perfidy when Jews marched on Athens and held guns to the heads of elected officials until they agreed to take loans from Germany.

Anne Frank has become an obsession of modern anti-Semites. Her story—universally known, and deeply affecting—is a threat to the mission of the Holocaust-denial movement, and her youth and innocence challenge those who argue that Jews are innately perfidious. In Rome last summer, the slogan “Anne Frank is a liar” was spray-painted on walls in the former Jewish ghetto.

Read the whole thing.

Between this and that long Grahame Wood piece on the Islamic state, it appears as though readers of the Atlantic are finally being brought up to a level of awareness of the rise of Islamic radicalism that readers of The Weekly Standard achieved some 15 years ago. Progress.

LinkSwarm for February 20, 2015

Friday, February 20th, 2015

A Friday LinkSwarm for your edification:

  • Over on Ace of Spades, DrewM wonders just what we hope to achieve by intervening against ISIS.
  • Why doesn’t Obama include Egypt in the coalition against ISIS?
  • ISIS beheads cigarette smoker. Good thing Nurse Bloomberg is already out of office. Wouldn’t want to give him any ideas…
  • Sweden’s political establishment refuses to face its radical Muslim immigration problem. “In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the police; in 2014, it was 6,620. That is an increase of 1,472%.”
  • Democrats are bracing for a backlash when the tax penalties in ObamaCare (the gift that keeps giving) start hitting unsuspecting tax filers.
  • And they just sent the wrong tax information to 800,000 ObamaCare enrollees.
  • Why did Governor SexPuppy resign? Because he tried to go all Lois Lerner on his emails. (Via AceOfSpadesHQ.)
  • DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz offers to change her position on medical marijuana if a trial lawyer would just stop saying mean things about her. Way to look both corrupt and pathetic at the same time…
  • Old and Busted: Democrats attacking the Koch Brothers. The New Hotness: Democrats attacking Democrats attacking the Koch Brothers as the reason they lost in 2014.
  • Mike Rowe on education vs. a college degree.
  • First Amendment, Empower Texans and Michael Quinn Sullivan 1, Texas Trial Lawyers Association and Joe Straus’ Toadies 0.
  • Why progressives seem compelled to lie:

    Your standard progressive activist has really done nothing very interesting, so he or she needs to get proper credentials, to show that he or she knows what’s what, and that progressivism is what the world needs to deal with “problems”–after all, isn’t life just a series of problems calling for progressive intervention? They want to see what they believe.

    We, hence, have progressives making up the sort of stuff that puts them, the elite, in the center of the battle, on the ramparts, in the muddy trenches and downed helicopters with the common schlubs–the sort of worldly experience that allows progressives to tell us how to live our lives.

    Not to mention the fact that they doubt anyone will ever call them on their BS. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Swastikas and “F#ck Jews” painted on 30 houses in: A.) Paris, B.) Copenhagen, or C.) Madison, Wisconsin?
  • Related:

  • I hope to have time to put up a separate post on the ruling against Obama’s illegal amnesty Real Soon Now…

    LinkSwarm For February 13, 2015

    Friday, February 13th, 2015

    Still recovering from this cold. Enjoy this Friday LinkSwarm compliments of the management:

  • ISIS on the run? Not so much. They just took over the Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, where U.S. troops are training Iraqi troops.
  • 45 “Asian” men arrested on UK child sex charges. And by “Asian,” they mean “Pakistani Muslim.” Et tu, Daily Mail? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yemen turns into yet another Obama Middle East foreign policy triumph.
  • “The United States has accepted two new immigrants for each additional job created since 2000, according to federal data.”
  • Will that stop the drive for Obama’s illegal alien amnesty? Of course not, since that amnesty will make it easier for illegal aliens to vote.
  • “Who wants to read the inside story of Obama’s ’08 campaign if you know the writer is committed to being kind to Hillary?
  • What’s behind the most recent uptick in job growth? Stingier unemployment benefits. Insisted on by Republicans.
  • If Putin really wants to subsidize the Greek welfare state, I say let’s kick them out of NATO and let him…
  • Indicted Democratic Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price asked for taxpayers to pay for his corruption trial defense…that is until the judge demanded a complete accounting of his net worth, and which point he dropped the request.
  • The Ghosts of Auschwitz in the Middle East.
  • The Daily Show always had limited appeal; it just happens that the appeal included the New York media elite.”
  • A look at Greg Abbott’s data-driven gubernatorial campaign.
  • So Obama’s State Department had another one of their dog-and-pony show #AskJen events, where users all over Twitter send questions in to State Department spokeslephrechaun Jen Psaki, which are then summarily ignored in favor of trivial questions from pro-Obama plants. But I was happy to do my part:

  • LinkSwarm for January 30, 2015

    Friday, January 30th, 2015

    Already the end of January? How did that happen?

    Some links:

  • Mitt Romney is not running for President in 2016. Good. Now the media can stop sucking all the oxygen out of the race running will-he-or-won’t-he stories.
  • In a way-too-early poll, Scott Walker is within three points of Hillary.
  • And speaking of Scott Walker: “In America, it is one of the few places left in the world where it doesn’t matter what class you were born in to. It doesn’t matter what your parents do for a living. In America the opportunity is equal for each and every one of us but in America the ultimate outcome is up to each and every one of us individually.” Liberal critic: “That’s racist!”
  • Swedish reporter assaulted while wearing a kippah to test attitudes toward Jews.
  • Mark Steyn: “Extending special privilege to Islam corrodes free speech.”
  • America has no strategy in the Middle East. Or much of anywhere else…
  • Actual New York Times headline: “Bomb Blast at Shiite Muslim Mosque in Pakistan Kills 56.” As opposed to all those Shiite Christian Mosques?
  • Union leader found guilty of “extortion, racketeering and conspiracy.”
  • “It’s not enough to punish men for things they haven’t done. Women must be kept away from men, for their own good, because of the crimes those men haven’t committed.”
  • Jonathan Chait is shocked, SHOCKED to discover liberals opposing free speech.
  • “I fought for women to be anything, but also for women to choose to be a stay-at-home mom.”
  • Russian bonds cut to junk grade.
  • Apple posts the largest quarterly profit in the history of the world.
  • Governor Abbott declares February 2 Chris Kyle Day.
  • Andrew Sullivan to stop blogging, an event almost as tragic as the cancellation of Cop Rock.
  • Related Iowahawk tweet:

  • Sports Illustrated lays off all its photographers. Maybe they should change the name to just Sports. Personally I stopped reading the online version when Peter King decided his column would be a fine place to pimp for gun control…
  • There was a rally in Austin for school choice:

  • I LOLed:

  • LinkSwarm for January 23, 2015

    Friday, January 23rd, 2015

    This week haw been incredibly busy, so enjoy a briefer-than-usual LinkSwarm:

  • Eric S. Raymond on how Social Justice Warriors use Kafkatrapping, which presumes you are guilty until you are proven guilty or admit your guilt.
  • Instapundit on why Jews are leaving France. “Because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe.”
  • More about Europe’s jihadist “no go” zones.
  • New York Assembly speaker and longtime Democratic Party power-broker Sheldon Silver arrested for taking over $4 million in bribes.
  • “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence” says billionaire who flew his family to Davos on his private plane.
  • I have nothing significant to say on the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Abdullah’s “reforms” were so small as to not be worth talking about, the Saudis are not our friends, they continue to export violent, backward Wahhabism, and they are occasionally useful but untrustworthy allies in a region where sometimes they are among the least horrible of possible alternatives.
  • Hillary Clinton Is George Costanza. Every decision she’s ever made in her entire life has been wrong.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Marco Rubio is in. (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • Boy does the liberal media hate American Sniper.
  • Related: Chris Kyle Derangement Syndrome.
  • Like father, like son.
  • Guess what happened at a concert against violence? Go ahead. Guess.
  • Dilbert via Twitter:

  • LinkSwarm for October 10, 2014

    Friday, October 10th, 2014

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. I think i may have to stop watch Houston Texans games for the sake of my health…

  • The American MSM may be reluctant to tell the truth about Obama’s many manifest failures, but UK’s Telegraph isn’t.
  • Most Americans see Obama as a failure.
  • I’m shocked, shocked to discover that the IRS is auditing the producer of an anti-ObamaCare movie.
  • One in five Americans will have medical bills in collections this year. Thanks, ObamaCare!
  • How do you know your foreign policy sucks? When even Jimmy Carter is dissing it. And he’s right!
  • Even Piers Morgan calls Obama’s governance as marked by “lethargy and complacency.”
  • Why Harry Reid is attacking Koch: Big money Democratic donors will spend more in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa than all RNC spending across the country combined.
  • Democrats 2014 = Republicans 2006.
  • Democrats pull out all the stops to save Kay Hagen’s North Carolina senate seat. If she wins, I’m sure her family will appreciate the opportunity for more graft in the coming years…
  • Michael Barone says that trends, with so many Democratic incumbents still polling below 45%, indicate the Harry Reid-controlled Senate is still toast. “Rewind back five years: The Obama Democrats expected their major policies to be popular. They expected that most voters would be grateful for the stimulus package, for Obamacare, for raising the tax rate on high earners. They aren’t.”
  • Obama slams billionaires while attending while attending fundraiser at the home of billionaire Rich Richman. Yes, that’s his real name. If I put that in a novel, editors would reject the symbolism as too heavy-handed…
  • Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes won’t even admit to voting for Obama.
  • While the New York Times has gotten around to talking abut American children dying from Enterovirus D68, they’re still refusing to talk about how Obama’s illegal alien influx might have helped bring it here. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten reports from SE Asia: “Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.” Except for the stupid propaganda loudspeakers…
  • Philadelphia’s deeply indebted public school system actually cancels it’s contract with the teacher’s union. “The move, in which the Philadelphia School Reform Commission invokes emergency powers, comes after the teachers’ union spent more than a year resisting concessions that the commission was seeking even though rising personnel costs have crippled the budget.” How crippling? “The schools’ budget projects spending $44,100 a year in benefits for every $68,700 in wages earned by the average teacher.”
  • NYC School therapist helps handicapped student launch successful Kickstarter. Reward? 30 day suspension.
  • John Kerry spent Wednesday consulting with allies on ISIS and Ebola. Ha, just kidding! He toured a wind turbine.
  • Islamic State supporters threaten to behead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And by “soldiers” I mean “elementary school children” and by “Iraq” I mean “Rhode Island.”
  • Remember when Bill Clinton ginned up an “epidemic” over a dozen random church burnings? Boko Haram has torched 185.
  • Brett Easton Ellis on Generation Wuss.
  • Iranian professor jailed for associating with “known Zionists.” Like Noam Chomsky. To Islamists, not even an actual hatred of Israel is enough to remove the taint of your Jewishness…
  • “That’s 21st-century U.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.”
  • Top aide to Al Sharpton and boyfriend of top De Blasio adviser in trouble with the law? Inconceivable!
  • An inside view of feminist groupthink and #GamerGate from a former social justice warrior.
  • Random meme pic I made:

  • Random Twitter exchange with Michael Quinn Sullivan:

  • BattleSwarm extends best wishes for a speedy recovery to Borepatch, who wiped out on his motorcycle to the tune of “7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung.” Ouch…
  • LinkSwarm for August 29, 2014

    Friday, August 29th, 2014

    In addition to not having a clue, when it comes to ISIS, Obama says that “we don’t have a strategy yet.” I’m sure if someone asked Franklin Roosevelt in early 1942 what his plans were for dealing with Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, he would have had a strategy. Then again, FDR’s polio probably severely curtailed his golfing

  • President of Ukraine dissolves Parliament. This happened before the latest Russian incursion.
  • Also, Ukraine seeks NATO membership. A little late for that…
  • Boko Haram beheads six year old boy because he’s a Christian.
  • Man threatens to slaughter Ohio school children with an AK-47 over Israel-Gaza conflict.
  • How and why journalists get the Israel story wrong. Namely because they want to. “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality.”
  • For all the talk of Obama’s suit, it wasn’t the worst fashion disaster this week.
  • “Women who are sane, normal and happy do not become feminists, because such women do not need feminism.”
  • It turns out that Louisiana Democratic senator Mary Landrieu doesn’t actually live in her home state. Awkward. And unconstitutional. See also: Lugar, Richard, electoral defeat of.
  • New Republic writer Yishai Schwartz wants to get rid of that fascist “innocent until proven guilty” nonsense. You know, if I were writing a piece that hinged on “the details of Missouri law,” I think I would actually cite, verbatim, the relevant sections of Missouri law that supported my central thesis. Having conspicuously failed to do so, evidently Schwartz feels that such niceties (like the presumption of innocence in criminal trials) are beneath him… (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)
  • Christian student groups are no longer welcome at Vanderbilt University.
  • You will be made to care.
  • British wind farms being paid not to produce energy:
  • A checklist for arguing with Social Justice Warriors.
  • Back when stewardesses were allowed to wear sexy uniforms. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • Everything you’ve ever known is a lie.
  • Shockingly, Bill Maher Makes Sense on Gaza

    Monday, July 21st, 2014

    Here’s something from the “Blind Squirrel Find Acorn” department: Bill Maher actually making sense on Israel’s incursion into Gaza.

    Some choice quotes:

    “If Hamas had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all. And Israel has the capability to kill a lot more and they do not. They seem victims of the soft bigotry of high expectations.”

    “Can we ask why Israel wins all the time? Because they’ve won every war. They have to. You can’t go 8-1 and be Israel. You have to go 8-0 every year to still exist.”

    “Jews have 155 Nobel Prizes and Muslims have two. Maybe it’s who you know, but that seems a big advantage for Team Hebrew.”

    Weekend Roundup for April 28, 2014

    Monday, April 28th, 2014

    Not so much a #LinkSwarm per se, as a roundup of news you might have missed over the weekend:

  • NBA owner Donald Sterling, under the spotlight for a bizarre racist rant captured on tape, is a Democrat.
  • Catholic Church canonizes Popes John Paul II and John XXIII as Saints.
  • 3,000 Florida voters are registered at a single UPS store.
  • “The Europeans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.”
  • John Kerry still pursuing the mirage of Middle East peace.
  • Obama Administration watchdog actually a lapdog.
  • Man up, Nancy Boy.
  • CNN analyst welches on Zimmerman bet.
  • William Friedkin’s brilliant movie Sorcerer is finally out on Blu Ray.