The Complicated Faces of Anti-Semitism

This brings to mind a conversation I had a few years ago with a Jewish friend whose parents met in a Nazi concentration camp. We were discussing something historical, and she remarked that Jews had been persecuted by almost everyone throughout their history. Said I (paraphrasing), well, what's wrong with you? Said she, what's wrong with us? Sure, I replied, it simply isn't natural for any people to be so consistently disliked. Look at it in personal terms. If a few people I meet don't like me, I can easily say the problem is with them. But if virtually everyone I meet hates or despises me, it is pretty hard to escape the conclusion that there is something fundamentally wrong with me, or with how I behave.

Short, but brave, article. The middle east is this planet's hot spot for nonsense of all flavours, little of it amusing and much of it barbaric and medieval. There is a dichotomy that is forced on all of us - that of being either pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. There is no consideration whatsoever given to the fact that you can also be neither or even both. There is no shortage of gibberish on the topic, even here.

If it weren't for the oil, would the planet really be worse off if the entire region were nuked into oblivion ? I doubt it. The Jews cling to their precious covenant as the original Master Race, the Arabs / Persians cling desperately to some mythical past as the cradle of civilisation in complete denial that for the last 800 years they have been a failed culture, in the words of Winston, "Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Neither have contributed anything meaningful, unless you count suicide terrorism and the never healing scab of the holocaust remembrance industry.

There needs to be more articles like this, and more that take the shine off the leftist humanist daydream of the Palestinians as poor, innocent, oppressed poster children - and that they are just common thugs in a region of common thugs.

Tags: anti-semitism, arabs, gentiles, israel, jews, middle east, persians, zionism

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Replies to This Discussion

I blame the weather. After they used up all the trees in the region, it became unlivable. Hot weather uses up serotonin, so people are permanently irritable. We should just dump a lot of Prozac into their water supply. Well, maybe after we help them acquire a water supply in the areas that don't have one.
Desert memory. After a few hours on the trail in the Mauritanian desert, I saw an old herdsman traveling with his family. His young wife and his mother-in-law rode camels; his sons and daughter were on donkeys. The group carried with them everything essential to survival—and therefore to life. The sight of them gave me the impression that I had encountered a contemporary of Muhammad. Burning white sky, scattered, scorched trees, uprooted thorn bushes blown by the desert wind across unending vistas of orange sand . . . the spectacle evoked the geographical and psychological background of the Koran, in the turbulent period of camel caravans, nomad encampments, and clashing desert tribes.

I thought of the lands of Israel, Judaea and Samaria, of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, of Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. Places where the sun bakes men's heads, desiccates their bodies, afflicts their souls with thirst. Places that generate a yearning for oases where water flows cool, clear and free, where the air is balmy and fragrant, where food and drink are abundant. The afterlife suddenly struck me as a counterworld invented by men exhausted and parched by their ceaseless wanderings across the dunes or up and down rocky trails baked to white heat. Monotheism was born of the sand.

-- Michel Onfray, Atheist Manifesto
I always thought monotheism was born in the Fertile Crescent, when it really deserved its name? Ur didn't look like an oasis in the desert then, according to archaelogists. I'd bet Abraham was a nobleman who had a luxurious life, with too much idle time to spend on intellectual masturbation -- just as Siddhartha in his own time.
I don't think monotheism is that old. Much of the Old Testament seems to suggest multiple gods besides the one big one. And even Yahweh seems to be a composite, rather than a single entity. Yes, I'm aware of the royal "we", but I don't buy it. I think the Hebrews were busily amalgamating all the neighborhood gods for a couple thousand years before they settled on it being just one guy.
It seems the early Hebrews had indeed a pantheon of their own, with different local patron gods (Yahweh was popular in Samaria, for instance.) Allegedly monotheism didn't fully emerge before the exile in Babylon, when the Jews borrowed it from then-Zoroastrian Persia (6th century BCE, so relatively late in their history.)
The weather and climate probably have a lot to do with the religion that came about. People living in a harsh desert climate invented a God that reflected their environment, in comparison to people in tropical areas that invented a crazy party of polytheistic gods.
A small tactical nuke to vapourise Temple Mount / Dome of the Rock. *Poof*. Where are your god's now ?
Palestinians still treat some of their own citizens like shit--women for example. People who have mentioned this at so-called feminist conferences have been booed off stage.
Palestinians themselves are the middle east's niggers. They are treated like shit by all other muslims. They aren't wanted as refugees, the one's that are accommodated are treated as expendible slaves doing dangerous and filthy work for virtually nothing. They are treated worse than dogs or muslim women. This is the great hypocrisy - when they are being oppressed by the Jews they are sainted martyrs. When they're not, they're turds on the sidewalk.
Palestinians are the Middle East and everyone else's niggers. "We sure know you didn't have any responsibility in the Holocaust, but now you'll have to give its victims half your lands, whether you like it or not." Is there any nation on earth which wouldn't resent this as utter contempt?

As vile as it is, the neighboring muslim countries' attitude towards Palestinian refugees is at least understandable: they don't want to pay the price of nazi atrocities they played no part in, while Europe looks at that middle-eastern mess they created from afar, without having to share the burden.

Had the Great Powers showed a little more respect for muslims in the aftermath of WW2, the new state of Israel might have had Munich for capital. And its citizens would probably speak Yiddish instead of Hebrew ;-)
Palestine was never a nation. It was a region and a tribe. It was never a state any more than the Rhineland was a state. At it's most organised it was a handful of loosely affiliated city states. But never anything that could be called a nation.
You know what I meant. If you want to nitpick, then substitute it with 'a group of people with cultural ties strong enough to react to external pressure in a collective way.' Better?


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