Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Antisemitism: An FAQ

What is antisemitism?

Hostility, prejudice, and discrimination against the Jews.

Are you sure it’s not anti-Semitism?

There are several accepted spellings. Let’s go with the single word.

How old is antisemitism?

5,774 years old.

Isn’t that also how long Jews have existed?

Funny how that works out.

Why are we talking about antisemitism now?

It’s back in the news. Antisemitism is the herpes of Western Civilization; it flares up once in a while. Another analogy might be Rocky movies or economic bubbles: you think that society has learned from its mistake, but BOOM there’s another one.

Just out of nowhere?

Oh, God no. Antisemitism is whipped up. You can turn the general public against any minority group you want, and antisemitism is–every single time–the intended goal of a small number of people for whom it would benefit.

Explain further.

Any city or nation with a sizable Jewish  population will concurrently have a smaller, but statistically predictable, group of Jew-haters. Generally, this second group is one of low status and not much political power. They’re true believers, and will merely be a nuisance unless the ruling power: A, agrees philosophically with them; or B, finds it politically advantageous to encourage them.

What happens then?

Well, your average John or Jane in this hypothetical locale doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other about the Jews. If, however, you provided John or Jane with enough evidence, told enough stories, revealed enough truth…well, John or Jane might start thinking that life would be a lot better without the Jews in it.

People are smarter than that.

No. They’re not. They never have been. History proves again and again that the hypothetical situation I mentioned is eminently doable. Turning the majority against a minority is one of the first magic tricks humanity learned.

And this has happened a lot?

This past 72 years is the longest the world has gone without an expulsion or massacre of the Jews since the 1500’s.

Really?

Yup.

Wow.

Man’s inhumanity to man, right?

What is antisemitism based on?

Historically, blood libel; recently, controlling the banks; currently, controlling the banks and the media.

What’s blood libel?

Jews stole Christian babies to use their blood in religious rituals.

Really?

No, of course not.

Why did people believe that?

People are fucking morons.

What about the banks and the media?

Okay, yeah: Jews do control the banks and the media. In our defense: someone has to. Might as well be Jews.

You’re being facetious.

I am. Jews are disproportionately represented in show biz, though. Numbers don’t lie.

And why is that?

Jews love show biz.

True.

Hey. You can’t say that. Only I can say that.

Sorry.

It’s all right.

Okay, but why is antisemitism back in the news?

Remember the hypothetical situation I mentioned before? The city or nation with the small pocket of anti-Semites that now had a ruling party in ideological agreement with them?

Yeah?

Not so hypothetical any more.

Aren’t you being a little over-sensitive?

The overly-sensitive antelope is the one who doesn’t get eaten. It’s the little things. The twig snapping, the way the sound breaks in the wind with a lion in it, what the birds are looking at; the little things. It’s the subtle acceptance and winks. It’s the hires. It’s the retweets, god help us all, it’s the retweets. One is an accident, two is a pattern, three is a strategy. Now let me turn the tables and ask you something: if any press secretary of the modern age had responded to the Anne Frank Center letter the way Sean Spicer did today, would he or she still have a job at the end of the day?

No.

No. Leaving aside the fact that no other president in modern history would have warranted the writing of such a letter.

But Donald Trump can’t be an anti-Semite; he has a Jewish daughter.

My uncle has a half-black grandson, and he’s still racist as fuck. The Jewishness of Trump’s relatives is a non sequitur. What matters is this: there is in America, like in every country in history with a Jewish minority, a group of people that want the Jews dead; the presidential administration is encouraging them.

That’s a strong accusation.

It’s not an accusation. This is what’s happening.

I was told it couldn’t happen here.

You were misinformed.

4 Comments

  1. I always figured the boldfaced interlocutor was jewish. That’s on me.

  2. The original antisemitism was “THE JEWS killed Our Savior.” Everything else sprang from that. It still is the battle-cry of the hard-core antisemites. The bank controlling, Hollywood, media and all that is just add-ons to the original hate.

    • Also, the showbiz thing… From medieval Europe and on, Jews were forbidden to own property, hold certain professions and positions, and other restrictions. Busking (street entertaining), performance arts — theater, music, etc. — was one of the few things open to them, so Jews created great music (think of the great Jewish composers and musicians, and of Klezmer music) and theater. They rocked the ghettoes. Many of the founders of Hollywood came from the great Yiddish Theater tradition of Europe, and naturally blended into and helped build vaudeville, then the movies.

      Finances and banking, similarly. Jews were forced by Christian rulers to be tax collectors and money lenders, because strict Christians were forbidden to do that work. So, the really brilliant Jews built livelihoods, and then fortunes, and you get the Rothschilds.

      In essence, antisemitism made the Jews the successes they are, disproportionally, in these fields, by blocking them from other livelihoods.

    • Let me just say, the Italians killed a Jewish/Italian rabi and blame the Jews for the next 2000 years or so.

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