Anti-Semitism goes to school

Stop the world. Draw breath. Maybe grab a coffee or tea, or a cup of water. Take time out. And read this:

“War differs from other forms of human interaction in dividing us into those for and those against. The organization of politics against the Jews constitutes an unusual form of warfare in that all the aggression is on one side and all the hunger for resolution on the other. The desperation or “pessimism” that is generated by this genuinely irrational barrage has tempted some Jews to hold other Jews responsible, preposterously, for the suffering of Palestinian Arabs. Anti-Semitism thrives on the “hopeful” idea that if Jews are responsible for a crisis, it can be easily solved by the Jews’ transformation, or elimination. Some Jews, seduced by this irrationality, help to stoke its fires.”

Jews seduced by irrationality? It’s as good an explanation of the self-hating anti-Israel Jew as I have seen.

Hold on for another paragraph:

“When the current enemies of the Jews first chose the universities as a primary battleground in America, they met little or no opposition from liberal administrators or faculty, including Jewish faculty. Anti-Semitism, after all, is just an idea—is it not?—and ideas, which is what universities traffic in, can be the springboard for the best of human endeavors. Indeed they can; but they are also the springboard for the worst, and not even God can help those who fail to distinguish between the two. Anti-Semitism, among the very worst of human inventions, has by now thoroughly corroded Arab societies and with great force and determination is making its way back into Europe. Can America prove exceptional by recognizing the threat and fighting it off?

Thus writes Ruth Wisse at Mosaic, in a wide ranging, thoughtful, and important piece. (Read it all, here.)

First, I broadly agree with the analysis and the commentary.

Second, reading the piece reminded me of how complex the issue was. This just scratches the surface – not a criticism – but will already overwhelm many readers. That underlines how challenging the problem is.

Third, there are no solutions offered. On the assumption there are solutions, what are they, and who will put them into action?

Finally, I cannot resist one more extract which merits highlighting:

“At the government level, more ominously, and perhaps for the first time in recent American history, it is the White House, rather than the once notoriously Arabist State Department, that has taken the lead in threatening to isolate the Jewish state. President Obama’s frankly contemptuous treatment of Israel’s prime minister smacks more of the university than of the Senate in which he once served, but he is the president, and his words and actions give license to others.”

In actuality, regardless of intent, Obama’s seder celebrations, Holocaust condemnation, and the like all seem to be a form of camouflage that excuses the marginalization – almost demonization – of the Jewish State. And it is his stance towards Israel – whether he like sit or not – that empowers, encourages, and arguably legitimizes antisemitism. Do remember, as has been commented on before, Obama and crew – and much of the western world – ignore the existence of embedded antisemitism in the history and culture and media of the Arab and Muslim world. Lashing out at Israel is welcomed by the propagators of the ancient hate.

Maybe that is a hint at a solution, or a step towards a solution: get the western world to acknowledge the issue of antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim world, to condemn it, to expose it, and to tackle it. Free speech? Fine. But if the official media engages in antisemitism, there should be consequences. Until there are, things can only get worse.

[A big thanks to Daphne Anson, at whose site I first saw this.]