The Laws of Action and Reaction

Over on Son of Hel Lucius Svartwulf Helsen has offered a rejoinder to my rejoinder.  His entry is well worth reading: his vision is a bit darker than mine but he raises many points to support his chilling conclusions. I would like to offer my thoughts on his work in the very near future.  But first, in the interest of creating the dialogue and honest discussion I’ve been calling for, I would like to offer my polite if blunt thoughts to Israeli writer and activist Hen Mazzig.

In an interview with British website Spiked, Mazzig complained about the rise in what he termed “left-wing anti-Semitism.”  As Mazzig explained:

The problem is they don’t even consider what they say to be anti-Semitic. I’m reading these articles about a ‘new phenomenon’ of anti-Semitism as if people in left-wing circles are surprised that there is any anti-Semitism at all. It is because these people generally speak in a coded fashion… You never hear them say the word Jew, they say Zionist. But it is a codeword for Jew: the majority of America’s Jews are Zionists and half of the world’s Jewry is in Israel. If you say you are anti-Zionist, you are really saying that you are anti-Semitic.

A majority of American Jews vote Democratic and half of all donations to the Democratic Party come from Jewish Americans.  If I criticize Democrats, am I really criticizing Jews?  Jews were significantly overrepresented in the ranks of the Communist Party and Communism was created by a rabbi’s grandson.  Am I attacking Jews every time I find fault with gulags and purges? Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies inspired George Soros to create a world with more diversity and less borders.  Should we refrain from complaint because both the author and his acolyte are Jewish?

At David Arenson and Simon Grynberg note:

The claim that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, but a legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies, is difficult to understand in the context of the anti-globalization movement making no other pronunciations about any other country in the world. Why is Jewish nationalism described as racism — do Jews not deserve a national homeland?

I might rephrase that question: why is White self-identification described as racism? Do White Americans not deserve a say in the future of their homeland?  If you respond “No” is your conclusion driven by anti-European prejudices which paint all Europeans as rapacious colonizers and oppressors?  And can you understand why Jewish hostility toward Gentile Nationalism might make us feel less than charitably disposed toward Jewish Nationalism?

shlomo borzoi

Another interesting passage comes from Dr. Alex Joffe at the Begin/Sadat Center for Strategic Studies:

Few nations have repudiated their histories with the speed and anger of Britain, and post-imperial and post-colonial Britain possesses a deep self-loathing of its history and culture. Few cultures are so explicit about guilt and repudiation, although this is matched by the American far left, which sees the country’s founding as Original Sin. These are elite formulae that have been disseminated to the middle class through the educational system and media.

Self-hatred (indistinguishable from overweening expressions of self-righteousness and self-love) also partially explains British and European attitudes towards Islam. Official multiculturalism of the 1980s and later was designed precisely to weaken the position of ‘white’ Europeans in their own countries, both demographically and culturally, and was cast in the guise of progressive enrichment and post-colonial restitution.

Is stating “the American educational system and media have promoted feelings of guilt, shame and self-loathing in White Americans” an anti-Semitic statement?    Is Dr. Joffe a crypto-Nazi or a self-hating Jew — or just an honest scholar willing to face inconvenient facts?

Then we have this famous quote from Barbara Lerner Spectre, the director of Sweden’s Paideia Institute for Jewish Studies:

I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.

If “Zionist” and “globalist” has become a dog whistle for “Jew,” it is because there are an awful lot of Jews involved in Zionism and globalism.  Many who wish to comment on these issues have no particular animus against the Jewish people.  But their efforts to focus on issues rather than ethnicity get dismissed out of hand as “veiled anti-Semitism” by critics who have a vested interest in discrediting them.  This not only leads to resentment: it evokes Aesop’s Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf.’   When everybody who disagrees with Israeli settlements or with Neoconservatism is an “anti-Semite,” what words do you use for a Robert Bowers?

Let us return again to Hen Mazzig:

This week, I was invited to Washington University in St Louis. There were about 100 people in the room for my talk and two rows of people with ‘Free Palestine’ shirts. They came prepared, they knew what they were doing. In the middle of my talk, I started speaking about the Pittsburgh shooting. I said that attacks like this start way before someone thinks to take out a gun. It starts with hatred and intolerance. Then, I was telling the story about how I came out of the closet while I was a soldier in the IDF. At that point, protesters started shouting ‘No pride in Apartheid!’ as they left the room.

I’m all for open debate – most of my talk is spent answering questions from the floor. But it was disturbing to think that just two days after the shooting of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, that people would want to shout at me and disrupt my talk. The protesters posted on their Facebook account that they were protesting ‘white supremacy’ and that they stand with the Jewish community. They say I am using my queerness and am describing myself as a person of colour to whitewash Israel. They would never say anything like this about another LGBT person or person of colour, but because I am Israeli, it is somehow legitimate.

So those earnest young students accused you of supporting brutality against Palestinians just because you are an Israeli. Every time you tried to defend your position they accused you of ‘deflecting from the issue.’  And when you tried to get a word in edgewise they belittled you and showed no sympathy for your feelings nor willingness to hear your side of the story.

I can see how you would find that annoying, Hen.  Lots of White Americans can commiserate with your suffering.  Welcome to the American Left: you’re being held to a standard which was largely created by your people.  If it seems unfair when you’re on the receiving end, perhaps you can better understand our feelings now.

3 thoughts on “The Laws of Action and Reaction

  1. I’d have a lot less difficulty reading these and other posts discussing racial issues if you and other writers stopped capitalizing races. In English, white and black are common nouns, not proper. Ethnicities are specific names and thus are capitalized; talk about European and African and you’ll get no argument from me, but racial characteristics lumped into mushy color characteristics – black and white and yellow and red and brown – simply do not. A lot of the folks engaged in this debate are either ignorant of this fact or believe on some level that capitalization confers some sort of status, the way Christians use it with their god and far too many pagans and polytheists ape because they feel it’s a term of respect. It is not a term of respect or of art, it is an error which makes the writers seem far less educated than they likely are.

    In terms of race it is even more pronounced in writing of people like T Thorn Coyle, who capitalizes “black” but not “white;” I interpret this as a vapid attempt to convey disrespect in accordance with the “whiteness does not exist” argument. (I cannot help but notice that the same people who proclaim that there is no whiteness nevertheless acknowledge the related privilege and supremacy; they even – as you do – incorrectly capitalize those terms as well, but I digress.)

    A good rule of thumb is to imagine the blind reader of one’s words. Capital letters are not pronounced any differently, and convey nothing when read aloud. Don’t confuse an orthographic oddity with the hard work of choosing one’s words with care. Regardless of the position, that tactic serves only to undermine it.


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