5 Ways to Use Antisemitism Against Antisemites
"There are three major strains of anti-Semitism circulating, different in kind and virulence, and requiring different responses."
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Two Jews walk into a bar…
One of them, citing Haaretz, is in despair, lamenting the latest onslaught of attacks on Israel, and a consequential spike in anti-Jewish violence across European and U.S. cities.
The other Jew, referencing the Iranian press, is delighted by tales of Jewish power, as he reads aloud that the Zionists control Washington, Wall Street, Hollywood, the global financial markets, and the media.
Hah! If only we were that powerful.
Now, in actuality, and unfortunately, this is not a joke. Antisemitism is real, and it comes nicely packed in various shapes and sizes, as New York Times columnist David Brooks pointed out:
“There are three major strains of anti-Semitism circulating, different in kind and virulence, and requiring different responses.”1
To use antisemitism against antisemites, first we ought to understand the three main types of antisemitism. They are:
1. ‘A Response to Alienation’
In Europe, antisemitism looks like “a response to alienation” and is particularly high where unemployment is rampant, according to Brooks; roughly half of all Spaniards and Greeks express unfavorable opinions about Jews.
Such was the German precursor for the Holocaust. During 1929 and 1932, unemployment in Germany rose from just under 1.3 million to over six million, corresponding to a rise in the unemployment rate from 4.5-percent to 24-percent.2
Nowadays, the plague of violence in Europe “is fueled by young Islamic men with no respect and no place to go,” Brooks wrote.
2. Paranoia and Victimhood
In the United States, the problem is the number of people who can’t fathom what antisemitism is or “who think Jews are being paranoid or excessively playing the victim,” Brooks purported, adding that there are others who see antisemitism as another form of bigotry.
“But these are different evils,” he wrote. “Most bigotry is an assertion of inferiority and speaks the language of oppression. Anti-Semitism is an assertion of impurity and speaks the language of extermination. Anti-Semitism’s logical endpoint is violence.”
Speaking of violence, a new Tel Aviv University study found a record-high amount of antisemitic activity throughout the world in 2021. Much of this activity is tied to the bloody conflict between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip in May of that year, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the report’s authors.3
3. The Jew as an Idea, Not a Person
Across the Middle East, Brooks added, antisemitism “has the feel of a deranged theoretical system for making sense of a world gone astray.”
“The Jew is not a person but an idea,” he continued, “a unique carrier of transcendent evil: a pollution, a stain, a dark force responsible for the failures of others, the unconscious shame and primeval urges they feel in themselves, and everything that needs explaining. This is a form of derangement, a flight from reality even in otherwise sophisticated people.”
Now that we understand the three main types of antisemitism, here are five ways to use antisemitism against antisemites: