The Relocation of Anti-Semitism
Published on: May 30, 2012
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  • WigWag

    Walter Russell Mead has written brilliantly on the subject of antisemitism and antizionism. To see for yourself, go here,

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/13/the-bbc-and-the-jews/

    and here,

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/03/methodists-reject-anti-israel-boycott-by-crushing-margin/

  • WigWag
  • WigWag

    Two final interesting essays by Professor Mead on the subject are here,

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/04/18/german-anti-semitism-and-what-must-be-said/

    and for what I think may be the single best essay ever to appear on his blog, go here,

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/05/25/the-dreamer-goes-down-for-the-count/

    I hope, Professor Berger, that you don’t mind me using your blog to cite Professor Mead’s work on the subject that you are talking about.

  • Thank you, very interesting.

    It is not necessary for many Christians to take a “literal” view of the covenants to Abraham and therefore to the State of Israel to know a deep kinship with Judaism.

    The New Testament has such roots in the Old, its terms and ideas so identical, that from my perspective one is unintelligible apart from the other. From the history of the patriarchs, to the institutions of Judaism, for many Christians you cannot dispense with the one without the other.There are over 600 expressions shared by both. Example of verses I understand in the New taken from the Old are the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55 and the Family Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.

    I personally spend hours and hours appreciating the Psalms of David, am grateful for and mesmerised by the lessons from Job, take great comfort from the faith of Abraham and more. The link is too deep and there is deep gratitude and thanks for the preservation of these Scriptures even if there are such differences, too.

    But what is and ought to be very important to me as a Christian is that the rights of nations should be decided by principles of compassionate and public justice. It is in my view the loss of reason in the West that has removed much of the substance of those principles and led to a lot of the hatred and irrational views now being regarded by too many as normative particularly against Israel, tragically and sadly.

  • Anthony

    Peoples and nations have a habit of thoroughly hating everyone’s nationalism but their own…. Knowledge is power and cultural nationalism redounds to pre-1948 Irgun Zvai Leumi et al. (which helped to force the 1917 Balfour Declaration).

  • Hugo de Toronja

    Just so long as one is entirely comfortable acting in utter bad faith, there’s nothing at all wrong with Jews and Evangelicals “collaborating” in whatever political project they perceive, at least temporarily, as mutually beneficial.

    The trouble, however, is that Jews do not, and cannot, believe that Jesus is G-d. And Christians, particularly Evangelicals, do not, and cannot, believe that Jesus is not G-d.

    And so “collaboration” between the two necessarily engages a rather large amount of denial, make-believe, and outright dishonesty. (All of it engaged in with the very best of intentions. Of course.)

    And history would indicate that such arrangements aren’t, in the long term, roundly satisfying for all parties concerned.

    Not so very long ago, for example, ardent young Persian communists were convinced they’d found a best friend in Ayatollah Khomeini. And the Ayatollah, too, found the ardent young communists to be especially useful.

    But, ultimately, upon the Ayatollah’s arrival in Tehran, all manner of scales fell from a great many eyes. And from as many eyes fell a great many tears. Rather more from the eyes of young communists, as it turns out.

    Or at least from the eyes of those young communists who were fortunate enough to have time to cry before they were summarily executed by the Ayatollah’s faithful.

    Honesty, it would seem, is always the best policy.

  • Omar Jayyam

    Writing from Spain, here antisemitism, long ago the exclusive domain of far right, is nowadays prevalent on the left. And not by any means the left as in “far-left-resembles-far-right”, but mainstream left, with well known spoke persons in the mass media. I’m inclined to think that the left discourse has provided a respectable vehicle for long-standing prejudices, such as “jewish-bankers-rule-the-world”. It’s been reported how the major leftwing newspapers in Spain, “El País”, has repeatdly published demeaning cartoons not much different that those found in german press in the 30’s, but almost no one has make nay comment on those self-appointed progressives who so greatly resemble the fascist of days gone by.

  • Dr Christian Chan

    From Asia: There is no rational reason for anti Jewish feelings other than simple envy and jealousy!

  • Dr Christian Chan

    From Asia: In the end Israel will prevail simply because the Jewish people are forward looking but their enemies are backward looking its as simple as that!You people make it so complicated! Dr C Chan Singapore HK Manila

  • Kris

    WigWag: One of my favorite WRM passages is: “To deny the right of the Jews to a state is to deny them a basic human right on account of their nationality; I’m sorry, but this is anti-Semitic behavior. If you work very hard, and are very clever and exceptionally careful in your moral and political judgments, it is technically possible for a gentile to be an anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite, but this state of mind is not as easy to achieve as many people think. Many and perhaps most of those who insist so self-righteously on this precious distinction haven’t worked nearly hard enough to earn it.”

    [email protected]: One special phenomenon is hating (some) other nations more than you love your own. No good emerges from this.

    [email protected]: The standard joke is: “We’ll wait until the Messiah arrives, and then we’ll simply ask him if it’s his first or second time here.”

  • Snorri Godhi

    It’s not antisemitism that has relocated from “right” to “left”: it’s that the meaning of “right” and “left” have been swapped over the last century … mostly due to American charlatans, I am afraid.
    It used to be that the Right was the party of the State (even Mussolini used the word in that sense), and the Left the party of freedom and equality. Now it’s the other way around, especially in English-speaking countries.
    Herbert Spencer warned about this a long time ago, in his essay “The New Toryism”.

    What Jews and those who fear antisemitism have to realize, is that almost all antisemites are anti-capitalists, and all anti-capitalist movements tend to become antisemitic. All this hogwash about “left” and “right” can only delay recognition of this reality.

  • Hugo de Toronja’s comments are a non-sequitur. Why does “collaboration” “engage” “denial, make-believe, and outright dishonesty”?

    Two set of people with differing religious views have common worldy goals. The comparison to political or sectarian history, recent or otherwise, is only relevant if Mr. Toronja believes that the Millenium is upon us. Neither Jews nor Evangelicals need be concerned about a parting of the ways, ideologically, until such time as the political effect of the revelation as to which of them is right is quite besides the point.

    Frankly the greater problem is the gap in theological commonality between Evangelical Christians and orthodox Jews on the one side, who all believe in the Divine origin of the Bible and much else besides, and the vast majority of non-religious (and anti-religious) Jews in Israel and abroad. It is there that a breach in common cause, prior to the end of days, is more likely.

  • Ian

    “Is there an unconscious anti-Semitic DNA in the European psyche? I doubt it. And the policies of the Israeli government toward the Palestinians, especially in the West Bank, have caused revulsion by even committed friends of Israel (not a few Jews among them). ”

    Antisemitism IS deeply ingrained in the European psyche. To think otherwise is simply being willfully blind.

    Also,I find the use of the term “revulsion,” itself offensive. Only the ignorant and uninformed can be “revolted,” by the fact that Israel treats the so-called “Palestinians,” better than their own fellow Arabs do…

  • Greenbird

    vs Hugo de Toronja: Why is total agreement in religion required for continued “collaboration” in politics? Haven’t you ever heard of tolerance? You talk as though Jews are just waiting for the opportunity to tell Christians :convert or die” and vice versa. Tolerance is deeply embedded in both Christianity & Judaism, though both have sometimes departed from that. Unlike Islam which seems to have the opposite tradition. Of course, many on the left preach tolerance but mean only that they “tolerate” those who agree with their leftism while scorning (or worse) those who disagree with their world view. Maybe that’s your problem Hugo? Those who are intolerant themselves can never imagine that others could be truly tolerant.

  • Grant

    Just be careful in how far you see ‘anti-Jewish’ sentiment. I dislike the state of Israel, I don’t like it’s policies and I think it’s going to cause my country (the U.S.) even more trouble in the future. I still have no problem with Jews living in Israel, Jews living in the U.S. or in fact Jews living anywhere. As far as I’m concerned, Israel’s actions are not the natural extension of having a Jewish population.

  • doc feelgood

    I would depict these “christian zionists” as actually closet antisemitic. That sort of over protective propaganda is highly suspicious. You have already described the origins of that phenomenon, the second return of Christ, which means a desire of messianic mass conversion of the jews.

    It is also important to criticize the rather naive representation anti-zionism equals anti-semitism.
    This is pretty immature a statement when it is about people who are positively oriented toward the jews and the state of Israel but, at the same time, can be skeptical toward some ethnocentrically based policies in clear dissonance against the will of the constitution of the state.

  • I would like to point out a common misconception held by some Jewish religious. Christian people believe that Jesus is the Messiah and therefore one with G-d. Christians believe in one G-d. There are various dogmas which confuse some people. Jews should be tolerant and respectful of the beliefs of others. The problem with some evangelicals is that they are very intolerant of the beliefs of others.
    Some have brought up the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition was not against Jews but against Catholics who were accused of heresy. These were mostly Catholics of Jewish descent. It is a terrible sin in Catholicism to make holy vows which are false. It is also in Judaism. These crypto-Jews were not only not observing even the basic tenets of Judaism but were living a lie. Of course some former Jews were living genuinely as Chrisitians. The famous Torquemada was said to be of Jewish descent. Some of you may not be aware that Catholics of Jewish descent climbed to the highest levels of the church. Historical representations on such venues as PBS in the U.S. did not fully or accurately explain what really happened in Spain. Of course it was wrong and the various Popes fought the inquisition, however, they had very little power over Spain. I would note that some commentators in venues such as the Jewish Press are very anti-Christian and make comments such as the “Christian Deity” in referring to Jesus. I would like to remind all of you that it was Christian people who came to the aid of the Jews in Europe when the hater of religion, Hitler, was on his rampage. In conclusion, I would state that Jews and Israel cannot survive without Christian support.

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