Understanding Anti-Semitism

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/texas-synagogue-anti-semitism-conspiracy-theory/621286/

Based on some comments recently, I think it is important for some here to read this to try and get some level of understanding concerning Anti-Semitism.

I do await the comment where one of the posters here says something to the effect of, “I’m not anti-Semitic. Some of my best friends are Jewish.” Or, “I would only trust my money management ot some old guy wearing a Yarmulke.”

28 thoughts on “Understanding Anti-Semitism

  1. It’s an interesting topic. Our generalizations about different cultures and communities come from both personal experience and hearsay. Growing up in South Louisiana, i had personal experience with very few Jewish neighbors, but I had a crush on Connie Moyer, and her mother gave me a tiny bit of insight into what it must have been like to be Black in the old South. No one ever made me feel like ‘the other’ like that before. But that was just one person, and you can’t assume that an entire culture is that bigoted.

    I idolized Moshe Dayan in the late 60s along with Israel’s courage and determined defense of their homeland. They gave “Never Again” real meaning. But I really have no idea what kind of person he was, just his heroic image. That’s kind of a hearsay image.

    But in the 90s in Norfolk I had a dental office next door to a Kosher Deli which had great lunch sandwiches and I finally had the opportunity to meet and talk with a significant number of observant Jews. My impression was of people who took knowledge and reason seriously and I enjoyed those encounters. I never discussed religion but I don’t discuss religion with anyone.

    So, based on limited experience, I would speculate that a great deal of antisemitism arises from envy, both personal and wealth envy. There is a perception, not necessarily valid, that Jews are wealthy, and a significant part of the population is afflicted with wealth envy. There is also a part of the population that envies or resents education.

    The Jewish culture holds education and intelligence in high regard, and that is commendable. But some people simply have a problem with that, probably from their own failure to make the effort themselves. They hate nerds for the same reason.

    I guess some people have some weird religious resentment, the whole ‘Christ killer’ thing, but that’s just inexplicably stupid.

    Anyway, my speculation is that a lot of antisemitism arises from cultural envy and that stand officiousness Mrs Moyer exemplifies. Beyond that, it makes no sense at all to me.

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    1. “I guess some people have some weird religious resentment, the whole ‘Christ killer’ thing, but that’s just inexplicably stupid.”

      Considering it was made common by a 1550’s Pope, is there any reason to see why some DON’T think it is stupid?

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      1. Holding Jews today accountable for the deeds of Herod 2000 years ago is too stupid to contemplate.

        Popes since then have renounced the idea, on the grounds that Christ supposedly came to redeem all of our sins and that Herod was at most God’s instrument, or so the story goes.

        Besides, in America at least, Protestants are every bit as likely to be antisemitic as Catholics, who they call Papists’ and hate just as much.

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        1. No disagreement. I was just sharing where the “Christ killer” narrative came from.

          It is very clear that there is anti-Semitism on BOTH sides of the political divide. It makes it a bigger problem as it appears to becoming more mainstream in 2022 and is quite disheartening.

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  2. The writer claims that anti-Semitism is different from other forms of bigotry because it includes an extra element of conspiracy theory. That rings true to me, but I don’t buy the writer’s contention that anti-Semitism is a good reason for rejecting conspiracy theories.

    His argument seems to be that if we allow the Jewish conspiracy theory to thrive, then other unfounded conspiracy theories will thrive and eventually everyone will become victims just as the Jews have been victims. I would counter by saying that we need conspiracy theories to understand our world. Better to create and debate them than to close our minds.

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        1. I was being facetious. Thus the emojis. I am sorry if I struck a nerve.

          HOWEVER…

          Your belief and spreading of conspiracy theories and endorsement of them is not helpful nor constructive. Unfounded conspiracies, based with cherry picked “facts” does nothing constructive in a serious discussion.

          I ask YOU the same question: What is the matter with you, Mr. Roberts?”

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “Unfounded conspiracies, based with cherry picked ‘facts’ does nothing constructive in a serious discussion.”

          I disagree. Here, for example, you suggest that people in the Forum are anti-Semitic. You offer no evidence, but share an article that connects anti-Semitism to conspiracy theories. Should we reject your post because if offers “nothing constructive in a serious discussion”?

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          1. I have seen evidence of it from some posters.

            The fact is that most anti-Semitism IS tied to conspiracy theories that have been used for centuries to scapegoat Jews. That is the gist of the post. You completely miss that point.

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    1. I grew up in a section of Brooklyn that was predominantly Italian, Jewish and a smattering of us Scandinavians. My recollection is fuzzy on details, but our family went to a dinner party at our family doctor’s home. He and his wife were Jewish refugees from Denmark and Hungary. They escaped the Holocaust, but there were other guests who were in concentration camps and survived. I recall being showed tattooed numbers on their forearms. I was probably no more than 10 or so. So it would be 1957, around 12 years since the end of WW2. I did not really grasp the significance until years later. But I can see clearly the arms and the numbers.

      I would hope that people never forget, but, unfortunately, there are those who are rewriting history today. The scope of a “final solution” is hard to fathom. And that so many millions knew, but turned their backs out of fear, acceptance or just plain anti-Semitism is a very depressing thought.

      Yet, I fear it can happen again. And it could happen here.
      Look at the civil wars in Serbia not too long ago.

      Never forget.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been to Haifa and Tel Aviv several times and had a wonderful experience talking with the people, horseback riding in the country and the night life . I was mostly struck by how up beat Israelis were in light of being surrounded by Muslim/Arab enemies wanting to destroy them. It was a little uncomfortable seeing uzis at every corner but you get used to it. That said, I have never come in contact with an anti-semite and the only ones I see or hear are Muslim/Arab including several in Congress. I am sure there are fringe organizations that are but they seem to be exceedingly rare compared to the former. Just my experience.

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      1. You are looking for conspiracy under every stone just like your quest to find racism in every white person. It’s not healthy and frankly a sign of paranoia.

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  4. BTW, what you say you are waiting for is a really stupid comment. It is a predetermination that others on this forum are closet bigots, racists and/or anti-semites waiting to pretend to you they aren’t for some reason. Not cool to make such predetermined accusations like that.

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      1. Bigoted towards Democrats? Ha ha,, So what. Pigs belong in the sty not the living room. And you are not bigoted towards GOP? Hypocrite as usual?

        That’s the great thing abt free speech, I don’t have to like everyone and say nice things abt them and don’t care to be lectured by someone who has just as much bias in themselves.

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        1. SO you are entitled to free speech, but I am not? Nice concept, but your usual fertilizer-style comment.

          As far as lecturing you, I am reminded of the comment of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. You don’t like what I have to say ignore it. If you don’t ignore it and find a way to throw daggers, I will throw them right back atcha, BOY.

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  5. Something that baffles me is the rampant antisemitism among Blacks. The Jewish community was on the front lines of the civil rights movement so I don’t see what their problem is. For that matter, I don’t get the Asian hate in the Black community either. You would think that if any group would be tolerant of other minorities, it would be them.

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    1. There is quite a bit of what you say. However, I see more teamwork between Blacks and Jews. It is more about who gets the publicity. (The bad tends to get more play than the good.)

      But both cases of what you address tends to be based on jealousy. Whereas most anti-Semitism is based on a lot more than just jealousy.

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    2. Is it rampant among Blacks? Or is a segment, particularly the Nation of Islam, preaching the evils of Judaism?

      Besides, any social structure has stratified various ethnic, racial and economic levels. Look at the disdain that you insist rural people have for the urban. There has always been a mostly friendly joshing about city slickers and hillbillies. But today that has gotten to a civil war pitch, with guns, threats and serious violence.

      Any idea what has been pushing that? After all, there is a co-dependency in which one really can’t thrive without the other. Markets for rural products, like oil and food, exist in urban areas and technology and finance have markets among the rural folks and businesses. And, of course, there is a huge middle area that blends rural and urban.

      I suspect there are political gains sought through divisiveness. Gingrich saw gold in 1995 and he continues today to draw a hard line between Americans.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Gingrich saw gold in 1995 and he continues today to draw a hard line between Americans.”

        Like his recent statements that members of the Jan 6 commission should be locked up when (if) the GOP retakes the House?

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  6. This appeared in the Wall Street Journal and I thought it might be relevant. I’m passing it on without comment

    WSJ Danger to Jews

    Well. OK, one comment. It is fallacious to treat American Jews as a collective, as though they all have a uniform opinion on all issues. In the discussions I enjoyed at a Deli, if one Jewish diner there said A=A, another would argue A=B just for the sake of a debate. That is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …” A=A, another would argue A=B just for the sake of a debate. That is a good thing.”

      It IS what we do. Even within families.😇

      The collective idea is a strange one. It is a similar thing that is related to Black American, Asian Americans, Native Americans, etc. The one collective aspect of all of those is the fact that we are all AMERICANS.

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    2. Interesting WSJ piece. Acknowledging the far left ant-Semitism is important because it does exist. I do not agree with the idea that being anti-Israeli government is akin to anti-Semitism, but it is my opinion. Ignoring anti-Semitism, regardless of where it comes from is more of a problem. Saying it is from the far right or the far left just points fingers and does nothing to truly address it or combat it.

      Combatting bigotry and hatred is important, be it racism, anti-Semitism, anti-LGBTQ+, or any other hatred towards who some would consider the “other”. Acknowledging its existence is the first step. Educating the less informed should be the next. However, overcoming years and tears of bigotry based on lies is a tough slog. But absolutely necessary and worth the effort.

      Like

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