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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The "New" Anti-Zionism and the "Old" Antisemitism/Judeophobia

UPDATING with illustration 7-16 & 7-18 & 7-21-2008

The "new" anti-Zionism is not fundamentally different from the "old" antisemitism/Judeophobia. This is particularly true in the themes and claims made by today's and yesteryear's Judeophobes. Then, before World War One, the Jews were held as not being true Europeans, which meant true French, German, Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, Polish, Russian, Rumanian, etc. Rather, 100 years ago, Jews were explicitly viewed as Orientals. Now --presto changeo, hocus pocus-- Jews are held as not being true Middle Easterners, not being "authentic" inhabitants of "palestine" [a geographic notion alien to the Arabs, by the way].

The Euro-Judeophobe around 1900, perhaps someone like George DuMaurier, author of the Judeophobic novel Trilby [the villain is a swarthy Polish Jew], at least had his history right. The Jews in Europe [albeit not a pure race] did not originate in Europe but were on the whole descended from migrants, refugees, slaves captured in the Roman-Jewish wars, etc., although they had been in Europe since Roman times whereas Jewish migration to Europe from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East continued through the Middle Ages [Cecil Roth, Simon Schwarzfuchs]. Maybe the migrants in the Middle Ages were getting away from the Arabs. Another Judeophobic novelist was the immensely popular John Buchan and his 39 Steps concealing a Jewish conspiracy. Buchan was later rewarded by nomination as governor-general of Canada. In Thackeray's Vanity Fair, one of the characters least loved by the author is a girl from the West Indies, half Jewish and half Black.

DuMaurier was also an illustrator for the British weekly Punch. This is his own depiction of what Svengali, his Jewish villain, and Trilby, the pure white maiden, looked like to DuMaurier himself. Note the contrast betweenTrilby's pale whiteness and Svengali's darkness, which is further intensified by his placement in the shadows. Curiously, many Judeophobic cartoons in the Arab press show Jews looking much like Svengali. [See A. Stav, Peace, The Arabian Caricature, 2000][picture source: Mystic Bourgeoisie] Can today's anti-Zionists deduce from this picture that Jews were considered "Europeans" just like everybody else?

Today's Judeophobes in their "anti-Zionist" guise get even their history wrong, sometimes claiming --in so many words-- that the Israelis are really true Europeans, the truest of Europeans --thus, the whitest of the white, the most Nordic of the Nordics, as it were-- and the most guilty, therefore, of colonialism, imperialism, racism, apartheid, etc. Here, the geographically alien nature of the Jew has been transposed from Europe to the Middle East, while --in addition-- specifically European/Western sins have been unloaded from the Europeans and laden onto the Jews. These claims are probably made more often by insinuation than by direct assertion. Yet, they are commonly expressed in the most politically correct Euro company.

Today, as then, highly prestigious spirits in the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, etc., Nobel-prize winning novelists and the like, suspect a Jewish conspiracy behind whatever displeases them throughout the world, and they compulsively identify Israel with the Nazis. This is in order to recover their sense of moral superiority to the Jews, temporarily tarnished by knowledge of the Holocaust. Before and during the Vichy regime in France, pacifists and socialists, as well as Rightists of the Maurras stripe, wanted peace with Hitler, with the Nazis, and then collaborated in the Vichy regime and persecution of Jews. On this see, inter alia, a recent book by Simon Epstein, Un Paradoxe français. As far back as the 19th century, the German socialist August Bebel, described antisemitism as "the socialism of fools." Today, anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools, albeit a Nobel prize winner is not so foolish as to be unable to count the prize money awarded to him.

To conclude, would it be unfair to the Arabs to mention the plentiful evidence from DNA studies of Jews, Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Mizrahim [Oriental Jews] and comparisons with other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean peoples??

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Brian Cheyette,"Neither Black nor White: The Figure of 'the Jew' in Imperial British Literature," in L Nochlin & T Garb, eds., The Jew in the Text (London 1995); also see writings here by Linda Nochlin, Tamar Garb, Kathleen Adler, etc.
Montagu Frank Modder, The Jew in the Literature of England (Philadelphia: JPS 1939, 1960), pp 300-301.

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Coming: Jews caught up in the Armenian genocide, Jews in Hebron, Jerusalem and the Land of Israel, peace follies, propaganda, etc.

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  • Eliyahu - a question regarding your correction of the term metumtam [מטומטם ]= foolish (thank you) . . .

    In my frustration to effectively express disgust with Prof. G I searched online for an appropriate Hebrew term to use. I do not speak or read Hebrew. The link at which I found the term "metumtam" was not hyperlinked as it contained many unsavory insults and images inappropriate for JW/DW.

    There were however, two phrases which were mild enough to save and potentially use in the future . . .but I would appreciate confirmation of their meaning.

    The transliterations were as follows:

    Im hatimtoom haya tippa, ata hayita okianoos! = If dumbness was a drop, you would have been an ocean!


    Im hatipshut hayta etz, ata hayita chorshat kakal! = If stupidity was a tree, you would have been a forest!

    Are you familiar with such sayings in Hebrew or Yiddish? Are the interpretations accurate? If so, which language do these phrases belong?

    By Blogger heroyalwhyness, at 1:44 AM  

  • both phrases are Hebrew. Translations are OK.
    Hhorshat kakal actually means a "grove {or forest} of the JNF." [JNF = Jewish National Fund which planted many forests in the Land of Israel going back long before statehood, because centuries of Muslim/Arab rule had left so generally barren]

    By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at 4:39 PM  

  • Your clarification is very much appreciated. Thank you.

    By Blogger heroyalwhyness, at 8:25 PM  

  • israel is also accused of not being true europeans. tony judt et al., love to say, oh, the europeans have given up imperialism and colonialism, and the israelis are the 21st century anomaly, still pursuing stuff "we" gave up long ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:18 PM  

  • Yes, emet, Jews were once considered blacker than black; now whiter than white.

    Once alien, intrusive, predatory non-European (and, to a lesser degree, non-Arab) semitic Palestinians.

    When largely in Palestine, alien, intrusive, predatory non-semitic, non-Palestinians.

    By Blogger zachary esterson, at 12:26 PM  

  • The new anti-Zionists forget or erase from history through omission the very reason how and why Israel is the second or largest Jewish community in the world, and certainly most obviously Jewish.

    They also love the few European Jews left who are near, and hate the millions that are far off.

    Even as their predecessors happily hated the millions of the former heartland of the world's Jews, in Eastern Europe.

    By Blogger zachary esterson, at 12:29 PM  

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