Are Jews Different from History’s Other Victims?


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I believe that most Jews are instinctively aware of the world’s undying hatred and misprision, but few are willing or capable of consciously acknowledging the scope of so unpalatable a truth. As Sarah Honig astutely writes, it is “disagreeable to realize that de rigueur Israel-bashing has unleashed latent predilections which, despite their transitory abeyance, festered beneath the floorboards of human decency.” The allusion to the great but antisemitic Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is apt. In Notes from Under the Floorboards, Dostoevsky depicted in the novel’s protagonist an insectal longing for abasement and a contempt for all that is good, decent and noble in life, an embodiment of moral catastrophe. “I am angry,” the character says, “my irritability keeps me alive and kicking.” This tendency is, to use Dostoevsky’s term, “representative.” It appears to be inherent in the human psyche, and the Jew has ever been its most reliable outlet.

Norman Cohn refines the diagnosis for the modern age. “The drive to exterminate the Jews,” he writes, springs from “a quasi-demonological superstition,” namely, “the myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy…set on ruining and then dominating the rest of mankind.” The myth, whose chief repository is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery dating back to the early 20th century, is “designed to appeal to all the paranoid and destructive potentialities in human beings.” And myths, as we know, guarantee longevity of belief, precisely because of human credulity and innate aggression.

But we can go further and posit that Jews have ever been the casualties of one or another myth, which are constantly pupating from one form into another, whether of plotting world conquest, or of poisoning wells, or of baking the blood of Christian children into Passover matzot, or of being the carriers of diseases—or of robbing the Palestinians of their land irrespective of the fact that, as Joan Peters, among other respectable scholars, has convincingly shown in her seminal study, From Time Immemorial, a substantial influx of Arab migrants, late arrivals to the region from the surrounding Arab countries, appropriated the identity of “Palestinians.” One myth will replace another to ensure that the engine of hatred keeps running and that a destination for bigotry and delirium remains always attainable.

The current myth, as we have noted, is that Jews are usurpers—in the very land in which they have maintained a continuous presence for 3,500 years and which, despite the vicissitudes of history, bears archeological, textual and demographic witness to their tenure from antiquity to the present moment. As the Reverend James Parkes spells out for us in his scrupulously researched Whose Land? A History of the Peoples of Palestine, the Jewish connection with the land “has been continuous from the 2nd millennium B.C.E. up to modern times.” Recent genetic findings have reinforced the evidence for geographical origins. But myths are insidiously potent. “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” as notorious Press Corps reporter Helen Thomas recently demanded. Not to be undone, deputy leader of Canada’s National Democratic Party Libby Davies parroted Thomas’ ultimatum a few days later, asserting that Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian lands” began in 1948 with its formal recognition as a legitimate state—a tirelessly reiterated jihadist theme. We cannot predict what the next such myth will be. We can only be sure that anti-Jewish myths, bordering on caricature, multiply like rabbits on aphrodisiacs.

This is what makes Jews, wherever they may find themselves, different from history’s other genocidal victims: they must always prepare for yet another round of social resentment, another irruption of ostracism and rejection, another flotilla (really an armada) of bogus “peace activists” aimed at dislodging them from their toehold on the Mediterranean, another barrage of denunciations from the so-called “international community,” and another calamity waiting in the offing. For what sets Jews apart from other victims of human malignancy is that the hatred and violence, the demonising, never go away.

Such is the nature of antisemitism: it is not a singular event but a perpetual sentence of condemnation. It is what we might call an ontological compulsion, an antipathy that has been reified. Regardless of the effort of Jews to assimilate, to forget the past, to deny their heritage or even to work against the very existence of the Jewish state and to trivialize the Holocaust, and despite the protestations of Western intellectuals and scions of the Enlightenment, who disingenuously claim they are not anti-Jewish but only anti-Zionist, the return of the same, or the will to re-enact it, is preordained.

And this is what makes numbers, methods, reasons and intentions as a medium of comparative judgment—albeit factors by no means insignificant in themselves—in the deepest sense irrelevant in determining the relative weights of the ordeals of peoples. For others who have suffered the saturnalia of blood, what happened once is always remembered; for Jews, what is remembered has occurred not once but many times before, in greater or lesser measure, and always threatens to recur. The essential difference resides in the unbroken cycle, the periodicity of the world’s “longest hatred,” the irresistible urge toward the replication of the unthinkable. What happened in the Treblinka of God’s eye was prepared in the crucible of time by hideous increments and may conceivably happen again.

Saramago, like so many others, lashes out at the Jews as “contaminated by the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’…that there exists a people chosen by God.” Deeply religious Jews certainly believe they have a special relationship with God, which is exactly why the Holocaust continues to defeat their understanding, no matter how they struggle to explain it. Secular, Reform,  Reconstructionist and Sabra Jews, by far the majority (I am not speaking of the apostates), do not place particular emphasis on this biblical tenet. They do not regard themselves as better or worse than anyone else but as a coherent people upholding a cultural tradition and a ritual sense of patrimony. They are not so much baffled by the Holocaust—human evil, after all, is pandemic—but horrified by both its occurrence and its possible imminence. This is what makes the Jew different and constitutes the real meaning of “chosenness.”

In other words, unlike other peoples, Jews have been selected for vilification, injury and even destruction from time immemorial. Or to put succinctly, the Jewish people bleeds history.

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  • http://www.samanthamilner.com fclm27

    A lot of other races have been persecuted, not only the Jews, since antideluvian time. And for us being so proud to call we're on a much better & modern civilization, maybe it's time to stop all these racism & just come to terms with each nation's differences. Talk of Global Unity, not spend hours pouring on warfare strategies.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/seadog1946 seadog1946

    To paraphrase on old show tune… "There's no business like Shoah business…".

    Please, please… just one more u-boat, just one F-22… it's only for the IDF.

    • dgross

      The F22 was not sold abroad, retard. Get your head out of your ass.

    • MixMike

      I didn't know Normal Finkelstein posted on FPM!

  • guest

    As an American black child growing up in the South, I experienced all the charm of white on black racism. I learned that whites hated blacks (I never understood why); but what confused me the most was that the same whites that hated blacks hated Jews even more.

    To my little mind, since Jews were white, what was the problem? People later told me that the Jews killed Jesus. I said but wasn't that a long time ago.

    Later, as I became less naive, I began to learn about pogroms. These all involved Jews. I learned how Jew were kicked out of many countries but I couldn't quite understand the reason except that Jews worked harder and were more successful than the local population. It seemed that as the Jews got rich, people got upset.

    Finally, when I went to college, I learned that only when the Jews got their own land, did they feel safe. That made sense to me.

    I know all the arguments about the Palestinians also living in the same area. From an historical point of view, shit happens. There is not one country that has not usurped land from another group. But for whatever reason, the world makes a big issue about how Israel was established.

    To make a long story short, I believe Israel has the right to exist. I believe the Israelis have the right to defend their land. I also believe that Israel makes a big mistake by letting the US and the UN interrupt a war before its natural completion.

    When Israel has to fight the next war, it should be a total, absolute war without end until the Arabs and their allies realize that Israel has a right to live in peace.

    Israel should not worry about world criticism – the world will criticize Israel no matter what it does. The next war should be the final war that establishes peace for Israel or the destruction of all. If Israel is to be destroyed than the entire Arab world should also visit Allah at the same time.

    • Jim C.

      Great post. I agree: Israel is in the unfortunate position of having founded its country in modern times the way every other country did in history. It is a ridiculous double standard.

      • Ron Grant

        "Great post. I agree: Israel is in the unfortunate position of having founded its country in modern times the way every other country did in history. It is a ridiculous double standard."

        Ridiculous double standard,Jim C? I don't think so. In the aftermath of WWII,man,including Jew and German,should have learned something from history,i.e.more specifically,racism and the Holocaust.But what did Jews,the very victims of a brutal and horrific nationalist regime,do immediately after being brutalized at the hands of the Nazi's.Turned around and without missing a step brutalized in turn the Palestinians.Worst still,they have rationalized that brutality and continue it to this day.Past examples of occupation and oppression,i.e.imperialism and colonialism,occurred when man knew no better.It is both ironic and tragic that European Jews occupied Palestine at a time when decolonization was just beginning worldwide e.g.India,Africa.Muchiboy.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/DunanIdaho DuncanIdaho

          Ron,
          I’m not sure I understand your use of the words colonialism and imperialism. David Solway’s article and his references makes a good case that Jews are native to Israel so even taking the Palestinian counter claims at face value how can you call it colonialism? If the Jews had accepted Uganda from the British, that would be an example of colonialism. What is your definition of imperialism? Is it Israel’s’ ambition to build an empire from the Nile to the Euphrates? Or is it just one group ruling another? I don’t see you getting hot about the Alewites rule over Syria (and Lebanon) or Turkeys occupation of Cyprus or any other example of an occupation that took place after we all became enlightened.

          • Ron Grant

            "I’m not sure I understand your use of the words colonialism"

            I consider the re-creation of the biblical state of Israel by tens and hundreds of thousands of European Jews as a special case of colonialism,Duncan.While in some important details unique,the colonization of Palestine shares core characteristics with other cases or examples of colonialism.e.g.occupation,oppression and arrogance.

            "If the Jews had accepted Uganda from the British, that would be an example of colonialism."

            And if Israel had been re-created on the banks of the Rhine,that would be an example of poetic justice.And the Six Day war would have been more interesting.

            "What is your definition of imperialism?"

            You can't easily separate British and European Imperialism from the re-creation of Israel.An interesting link follows.

            "Different persons in the British government probably supported the Balfour Declaration for different reasons. The most potent among them seem to have been guarding the Suez Canal, blocking French ambitions and personal commitment to restoration of Jews both as a religiously motivated policy and because the cause was thought to be popular in Britain. It is therefore fair to say that in part, the Balfour Declaration was an instrument of British imperialist policy. However the Zionists, while they sold the declaration to the British in that way, and used the word "colonial" in their institutions, especially prior to World War II, certainly did not see themselves as "colonialists" in the ordinary European sense of foreign "white persons" seeking to exploit a native population, or as instruments of British colonialism." http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East-Encyclopedi

            "I don’t see you getting hot about the Alewites rule over Syria (and Lebanon) or Turkeys occupation of Cyprus or any other example of an occupation that took place after we all became enlightened."

            My interest in the Palestinian cause came about from a grandfather borne in Bethlehem who later immigrated to Nova Scotia where he worked as a coal miner.Another cause is the rescue of senior and disabled dogs.Unfortunately I do not have the time nor resources to support nor argue for any or all good causes.Pity.Muchiboy

          • MixMike

            I consider the re-creation of the biblical state of Israel by tens and hundreds of thousands of European Jews as a special case of colonialism,Duncan.

            Israel was built on legally purchased, tenant-free land by 600,000 + Jews. Subsequent Jews came from the Middle East after over 800,000 were forced from their homes by the Arab states. As demonstrated in my other post, Israel cannot even be described as a special case of colonialism, as the comparison is a myth.

            "While in some important details unique,the colonization of Palestine shares core characteristics with other cases or examples of colonialism.e.g.occupation,oppression and arrogance."

            You're right, the Israelis are arrogant to believe that if they provide the Palestinians with tons of aid they will get peace instead of more murder.

            "You can't easily separate British and European Imperialism from the re-creation of Israel."

            Sure you can, here is an even better link:
            http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_mandate_colonial

          • old white guy

            it would seem you are using words to disguise your anti semtic feelings.

        • MixMike

          "But what did Jews,the very victims of a brutal and horrific nationalist regime,do immediately after being brutalized at the hands of the Nazi's.Turned around and without missing a step brutalized in turn the Palestinians."

          The Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians is not even comparable to the Nazis treatment of the Jews. As stated before, the Palestinian population has increased exponentially while Israel has managed the W. Bank and Gaza. Israel transferred over a million tons of aid to the Palestinian in the past year and a half. Arabs live as free and equal citizens in Israel. Palestinians in W. Bank and Gaza can petition Israeli courts. Get over it, the real Nazis are the Palestinians, starting with the Grand Mufti who was buddies with Hitler. Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror groups are some of the largest exporters of anti-semtism in the world. They openly boast about murdering Jews and committing a 2nd Holocaust. Israeli leaders on the other hand boast about forging peace and economic ties with the Palestinians. Get a clue.

          "It is both ironic and tragic that European Jews occupied Palestine at a time when decolonization was just beginning worldwide "

          Good thing that Israel is not a colonist entity. The Jews who immigrated to the Land of Israel never represented an alien colonizing power. Jewish immigrants did not acquire land by force; they purchased it. Israel was built on legally purchased and tenant-free land. Jews didn't impose Judaism on the local Arab population. Comparing Israel to colonialism is an old Arab propaganda myth.

          Interestingly enough, a glaring example of colonialism in the region are the Arabs, who originated from the Arabian peninsula, who colonized Israel and the surrounding areas.

          Worst still,they have rationalized that brutality and continue it to this day.Past examples of occupation and oppression,i.e.imperialism and colonialism,occurred when man knew no better.It is both ironic and tragic that European Jews occupied Palestine at a time when decolonization was just beginning worldwide e.g.India,Africa.Muchiboy.

    • Ron Grant

      " From an historical point of view, shit happens."

      Justifies just about everything,guest.Slavery,the holocaust ,Apartheid,wartime rape,Idi Amin,ethnic cleansing,9/11,global warming,mans hunting to extinction of other species,etc.Suggests more an attitude then anything else,like asshole.Muchiboy.

      • old white guy

        shit happens and quite often cannot be changed.

  • http://ashkenazijews.blogspot.com/ Female Gentile

    "… which is precisely the factor that differentiates the Jewish people from other peoples on the historical continuum of human ignominy. It keeps happening…"

    Yet no one ever questions "why it keeps happening" least of all the Jews.
    I would like to add that the Black Holocaust surpasses that of the Jews. Between 50 to 100 million slaves died – and they were singled out entirely on the basis of race. Discrimination of Blacks did not end with the conclusion of the Slave Trade but only some 50 years ago.
    People do get fed up with the extent to which Jewish people seem to gain some satisfaction from feeling persecuted. It's bizarre. One suspects it's almost like a cultural heritage to be frank!

    • Clay Cole

      You are wrong. Black slavery is still going on in Muslims lands.

      The big problem with your propostion is that int he past it was Blacks selling Blacks into slavery to whites and Arabs. Funny just like whites sold whites into slavery for thousands of years.

    • Stern

      Okay, Female Gentile, come out and say it. Tell us why YOU think it keeps happening. What is it about the Jews that makes folks want to keep killing them. I really want to know what you think.

      • KAR

        But who is killing them?. They are killing the Palestenians and driving away from their home land.

        • Stern

          KAR, you read the wrong media. go and educate yourself before you come here and sprout your garbage.

        • MixMike

          "But who is killing them?."

          Um Hamas, Islamic Jihhad, Fatah, Hezbollah, PLFP, Al Asqa Martyrs Brigade… need I really go on? When will Palestinians give up their dream of committing another Holocaust and "driving the Jews" from their homes "into the sea"?

    • Lo Ma Sek To

      Well said Female Gentile!

    • ajnn

      "Jewish people seem to gain some satisfaction from feeling persecuted" – I am jewish and i get no such satisfaction. Nor does anyone i know.

      wacky stuff.

    • chileau

      It is as if you did not understand one word of the article. Each one of the cannards used by every antisemite , YOU HAVE USED!

  • http://www.lifeshaven.net Utopian

    Those who believe in the existence of Satan and how all suffering comes through his abusive jurisdiction understand precisely why the Jews have been singled out for extermination. To the Christian, the family of Abraham was the family through which the Son of GOD was sent to come and stand among them. For 1,875 years GOD cultivated the Hebrew people to recognize and embrace the Messiah when He would come to stand among them (Daniel 9:24-27). This immeasurable honor given to the Hebrew people was not recognized by those in power (both Jew and Roman); and that precious truth which should have brought tears of humility and joy that "GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" was instead used to foster arrogance and pride. Yes, the Jews have provided their enemies ammunition against them! Yes, they have contributed to the persecution against them. Nevertheless, when I consider the reason modern Israel exists, in light of GOD'S salvation, it is to restore to public display the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandment Law, hewn by Moses, and inscribed by GOD. Hidden in Jeremiah's grotto since the fall of Judah, the day will come when they will be restored, convicting all men of the words, "ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16). These Laws of Utopia rebuke the world's course of action because all heartache, suffering and death result from their rejection.

  • PAthena

    The self-designated "Left," are heirs of Karl Marx, an anti-semite, and of the Soviet Communist party, heirs not only of Marx but of traditional Russian anti-semitism.

    • Jim C.

      Oh, whatever. Jews (you know–"pro-semites") have always been bastions and mainstays of "The Left," and no, that is not changing anytime soon. Nice try.

      • MixMike

        That is why it is so strange that Jews are "mainstays" on the left. Fascism and Communism, both inherently antisemitic movements, were both born from the left.

  • Ageofreason

    Did you not read and understand what David Solway writes? To reiterate, Black people were not killed to exterminate all Black people. The Ukrainians were not murdered by Stalin to eliminate every last breathing Ukrainian. The world maintains no consistent, persistent, recurring hatred for the death of Ukrainians, Armenians, or Black people. The Jews have done nothing to invite what has been visited upon them, nor could it be even possible to deserve such murderous vitriol. What the Jews have done that so antagonizes so many is survive and flourish. How many times must it be said to be understood? At the core of the hatred, three issues stand out: envy of Jewish success, religious hatred, and the vulnerability of Jews (in the absence of Israel) which allowed Jews to be scapegoated by every intellectually bankrupt politician and thuggish dictator. The Jews are a small people with confidence, decency, energy, and independence. And those same qualities of character are exactly, by the way, why America is also hated.

    • Lo Ma Sek To

      Boy are you stupid! The Jews have done nothing? Where are your powers of observation? Who do you think were the greatest criminals in 30s Germany?
      Who are the biggest white slavers and dope dealers right now? You are one dumb bunny babe! Please do not bother to reply with your empty rhetoric.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Ageofreason Ageofreason

        Your argument and debate points are cogent, insightful, detailed, and unassailable. I stand in awe!

        • Lo Ma Sek To

          As indeed you should.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Ageofreason Ageofreason

            You noticed the irony, or course. I see no point in responding to personal attacks with attempts at rational debate.

      • MixMike

        "Who do you think were the greatest criminals in 30s Germany?"

        It certainly wasn't the Nazis I'm sure. They were so busy murdering their countrymen (Jews, Gays, Gypsies and other degenerates), they didn't have time to commit any REAL crimes.

        "Who are the biggest white slavers and dope dealers right now?"

        The biggest exporters of slavery are Sudan and Mauritania both Muslim countries. As for dope, it depends on what you're looking for but I believe Afghanistan is home to Opium, and SE Asia and S. America has most of the cocaine and heroine. But I am sure the Zionist international somehow has its hands in the mix too, how could we miss an opportunity to blame the Jews?

        • Lo Ma Sek To

          By far the biggest market in drugs today is for ecstasy and other less famous drugs, and kiddo: even the rabbis are involved. FACT! As to the dangerous drug trade: at the point of sale many of the profits go to the Russian (read East European Jewish Mafia).
          No one mentioned the Zionist International son, but if you think the cap fits…
          Sad that you think people just hate the jews for no reason. In a way that is an insult to everyone who is not a jew!
          Check out the meaning of the verb 'to jew'. Ask yourself: 'How could such a thing have happened?'

          • MixMike

            "As to the dangerous drug trade: at the point of sale many of the profits go to the Russian (read East European Jewish Mafia)."

            Listen up kiddo, the Russian mob is made up of mostly ex-KGB members, most of whom were not Jews. But of course everything wrong with the world is somehow related to the hands of the Jews.

            "Sad that you think people just hate the jews for no reason. In a way that is an insult to everyone who is not a jew!"

            You've proved my point son.

  • Stern

    Not so sure Ageofreason has quite got the answer. Suggest everyone take 10 minutes to check out: http://www.aish.com/sem/wtj/

    • avibarzel

      Kudos to Aish for attempting a straight Orthodox answer. Nevertheless, Ageofreason has done a spiff job, you must agree. The key question is whether one can reach an understanding through secular models. Even while I prefer the Aish answer, I would say that yes, antisemitism can be understood in purely secular terms as well, and Age has done one of the best jobs.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Ageofreason Ageofreason

      Checked out the link. Thank you, Stern. It is very insightful, and gave me lots to think about. It makes a great deal of sense.

  • Susan

    Leftists have adapted their anti-semitism to anti-Mormonism. Earlier on it was the Christians that burned and murdered the Mormon's out of Missouri, and 20,000 freezng in the dead of winter on the banks of the Mississipi after they were run out of Kirkland, Ohio.

    And then 10's of thousands ,again run out of Nauvoo, iL in the dead of winter after a few of the Mormon leaders had been murdered by mobs.

    Yet, anti-mormons write of the "Mormon persecution complex." Here is a sample in response to a Wall Street Journal article detailing the history of persecution against the Mormon's which continues to this day, ie. Prop 8 vandalism, and anti-mormon marches and hostile media.

    Persecution complex article: http://www.lds-mormon.com/tmpc.shtml

    Recently my daughter's high school featured an visit with an ant-Mormon author. In her book, the crazed-mormon teenage girl, filled with rage, decides to shoot up her congregation and murder her parents – or commit suicide. She can't decide which – that's the cliff hanger. The book, BURNED, by Hopkins contains page after page of anti mormon propoganda with the protagonists being the ex-mormon aunt, and the abused Mormon girl.

    My husband -a 6th generation Mormon (I am a convert) shivers when he contemplates the persecution that will follow us if Romney becomes a serious candidate again.

    • Jim C.

      The Left? Hello?! There's a reason Romney didn't make it the first time around–the Right is not exactly Mormon-crazy, either.

      It doesn't help that Romney never met an ideology he couldn't change depending on the wind's direction. But maybe you missed the last primaries?

  • Ron Grant

    " Yet, as with Stalin’s policy concerning the Ukrainians, Mao did not set out to liquidate the Chinese people. Neither wanted to erase a “nation.” Hitler did. This is a fact that cannot be scanted and casts its lurid shadow over the Holocaust"

    Let's take it to another level or two again,call it "speciecide" ,i.e. extermination of a non -human species by humans.Absurd? Maybe not.Muchiboy

    • Stern

      So Jews are non-human? Finally you admit how you really feel.

      • Ron Grant

        "So Jews are non-human?"

        I'm talking about Dodo birds,Stern.If Jews were non humans,we might be able to grant them more protection as an endangered species.Muchiboy

    • ron

      mao did signify a culturally defined segment of the population to be liquidated /exterminated. the intellectuals and academics and as such no difference as you say. it is a group proper and need not be defined by professing faith in a religion only. there are ethnic cultural national and religious groups or populations and the religious designation does not confer superiority in any way except in the eyes of the believer

  • avibarzel

    Thank you for an excellent and much needed article, Mr Solway. At the same time I can't help notice and respectfully object to your final observation about the issue of “chosenness,” and how it impacts Jews.

    …../continues in next post

  • avibarzel

    …./ continued 2

    As we can all see from some of the comments here, the “chosenness” concept is a contentious issue. Friends squirm, the secular attempt to justify and qualify, and enemies go rabid and spew their usual idiocies. Indeed, it is this “biblical tenet” which divides what you consider “deeply religious Jews” and the secular groups you have lumped together.

    …/continues in next post

  • avibarzel

    …./continued 3

    In a nutshell: Religious Jews never interpreted chosenness in terms of making one "better" or "worse." That is a charge by the non-religious, the uninformed and the hostile. Religious Jews see the burden/blessing of chosenness not as an archaic, mythical or vaguely chauvinistic abstraction…or an antiquated "biblical tennet," but as the central and defining feature of Jewishness and Judaism. To the religious Jew, it is a real, precisely spelled out contract with the Almighty. It is to be studied, discussed and spiritually and physically acted on. There is no great mystery to the details in this "chosenness contract;" it's been spelled out in the Torah, written about in countless books and can even be googled. Neither is it exclusive, as anyone who wants…or has a powerful need… to take on a bundle of difficult and at times incomprehensible commandments and a lifestyle with few benefits and entitlements attached, is certainly free to approach a rabbi about it.

    …continued (one last time, really!)

  • avibarzel

    …/continued 4–that's it!

    It is precisely because religious Jews understand this chosenness, that they are far less confused about the long chain of persecutions than their secular brethren. While it saddens and horrifies the religious as well, the Holocaust does not "defeat their understanding." In yet another nutshell, the Holocaust is understood by most religious Jews as the latest violent reaction of the world against this chosenness, which is the Jews’ explicit mission to uphold, repair, improve and sanctify themselves and the world through the Torah. And while such an explanation may appear preposterous to the modern secular mind, I would challenge anyone to honestly search for and find an alternative explanation which makes more sense.

    • MixMike

      As I have explained previously, the term "chosen people" isn't a Jewish self-delcaration of supreme awesomeness. Under Jewish law it means Jews are chosen to follow g's laws, all 500+; whereas non-Jews need only follow 7 of the noahide laws (part of 10 commandments).

  • Jewish American

    It is an utter shame that a supposedly "conservative" piece on at least two occasions slanders the innocent Serbian people. I am wondering if Mr. Solway would prefer to live under the Croatian Nazi-Ustase, or the Bosnian Muslims who have now turned Bosnia-Herzegovina into one large Jihadi training camp on Europe's doorsteps, and who slaughtered Jews alongside the Nazis during WWII. Let's not even talk about the Albanian Muslims, who recently burned hundreds of churches and monasteries, some of them among the oldest in Europe. Were I to read this anti-Serbian vitriol on the BBC, I would not blink and eye. But coming from a supposed "conservative" and friend of Israel, I find this lack of historical knowledge shocking. Serbia's fight is Israel's fight. Just as the heartland of Israel has been and is now again occupied by Muslims, so too is the heartland and birthplace of Serbia (Kosovo) now occupied by Muslims. So, too, did Serbia live under Muslim oppression (the Ottomans). And like Israel, Serbia is constantly being condemned by the West for defending itself – like in this awfully-written piece which belongs on the front page of the NY Times, not on FrontPage! The dead Muslims you saw on the news during the Bosnian War were not innocent civilians, they were jihadi fighters killed in battle. Just like the "Palestinians" who die when Israel defends itself are not innocent, but rather terrorists. Please learn the truth before you write a piece Mr. Solway.

    • ron

      agree with you completely

    • spbenny

      FINALLY. I thought I was the only one in the U.S. or even the Western World that remembered the 100's of 1,000's of Serbs killed by the Croats, Bosnian Muhammadans and just general run-of-the-mill german nazis. I am an Italo-American gentile and I love history.

    • Liz Wagner

      Your point is valid, but don't dismiss the entire article on the basis of this one misstep. Hey – he never even mentioned the vicious, even diabolical, U.S. government-sponsored genocide against Native Americans. Also, I am not well-read on the conflict, but consider this: what started out as a legitimate response to Muslim aggression deteriorated into mass slaughter, based on religious affiliation. Western, especially European, self-hatred immediately reduced the situation to more "white Christian instigated genocide," but that's also part of the world's sickness today. This is a complex subject Solway took on, and he did an incredible job. Thanks for making your point, though. I would have missed it, otherwise.

  • Mike C.

    Susan, the mantle of victimology the Mormons have appropriated for themselves becomes very unappealing after one studies the terrible background of the Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857.

    • ajnn

      150 years ago.

      Why are we re-living events that are forgotton by all except those that are 'uncomfortable' with Mormons. Sounds just like classic jew-hatred to me, except the massacre actually happened. But it was still 150 years ago.

  • scum

    The primary difference is that the Jews were targeted not because they were marginalized outsiders, but because they were economically quite successful. It puts them in a category with the Tutsi, who were a minority group but were quite 'successful' (but in the case of the Tutsi, they ran the government, as they do now, again). What's critical is that we stop using victimization to identify a group. Doing this ignores cultural achievements and focuses on actions committed by another, against one's will. The Holocaust was horrible, and will never be forgotten, but we don't need to hear the phrase 'We will never forget' over and over again.

    • ajnn

      "because they were economically quite successful" – a variation from a judeophile on 'its the jews own fault'.

      Too many explanations. Can't er just agree this is the face of evil?

    • Lo Ma Sek To

      Economic success is the measure? Oh then the Mafia are good guys too! That means the police want to arrest them because they are so clever and nice! Got it!

  • avibarzel

    Scum writes "The primary difference is that the Jews were targeted not because they were marginalized outsiders, but because they were economically quite successful. "

    On the contrary, while it is true that their persecutors often justified themselves on these grounds, in the vast majority of persecutions Jews were almost uniformly tolerated and even protected when they were economically most successful, but were most often attacked when they were at their poorest. Such "against the grain" anomalies and paradoxes as these abound in the case of the Jewish people.

  • ron

    in the written records of history, the jewish suffering is well documented but certainly NOT unique. it is dehumanizing to other genocide or persecution victims and us their descendants to keep rattling about how "superior" jewish suffering is. it is so offensive that it will produce a backlash if it already hasnt .
    the core question for jews is why do they see their suffering as "more" or in any way unique. even this very article is yet another attempt to somehow force upon the world that somehow, even in suffering , jews are different.? something in the collective jewish psyche needs to be treated and healed as this constant droning signifies a psychological problem aside from the well documented suffering.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CanadConserv CanadConserv

      You've failed to address even one point teh article makes.

  • polipath

    "This anti-Jewish proclivity and “envious hatred,” Bruckner contends, is really a movement to confiscate the Holocaust for disreputable purposes, ……"
    ****
    At last someone has dropped the disingenuous use of "anti-semitism" when referring to what is specifically an anti-Jewish, and not anti-Arab, hostility. Now what's needed is a meaningful description of what it means to be a Jew. Is it religious, political, a self-identification or what? In other words, just what is it that an anti-Jew hates?

    • avibarzel

      Polipath,

      "Antisemitism" always meant specifically Jew-hatred, until Islamists thought they'd be clever and say that they, as "Semites," must be included as its victims as well. The term has little to do with "Semites," and was coined by a notorious German Jew-hater in the 1880s, one Wilhelm Marr, who needed a more "genteel" and "scientific" term than the current *judenhasse* (Jew-hatred).

    • TMAY101

      Polipath : "What is it that an anti-Jew hates?"
      An article on Aish.com “Why the Jews” 7/18/2010 wrote that Hitler wrote
      our Nationalist Socialist Movement
      "It is more even than a religion – it is the will to create mankind anew.
      How is this renewal of mankind to take place? To Hitler, it was obvious. He told his people:
      The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us – between Germans and Jews. All else is facade and illusion.
      He fashioned his own brand of religion out of a philosophy based on indulging all of man’s basest desires.

      “The "Hitler Youth" sang this song:

      We have no need for Christian virtue.
      Our leader is our savior;
      The pope and rabbi shall
      be gone. We shall be pagans once again.
      "They refer to me as an uneducated barbarian," Hitler said. "Yes we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians; it is an honored title to us. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end."
      Hitler told his people:
      Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortifications of a false vision known as conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear.
      Regarding a Bible's influence on culture, Hitler said,
      "The Ten Commandments have lost their vitality. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is a blemish, like circumcision."
      He said:
      “If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition. If even one Jewish child survives, without any Jewish education, with no synagogue and no Hebrew school – it is in his soul.”
      “The internal cleansing of the Jewish spirit is not possible in any platonic way. For the Jewish spirit is the product of the Jewish person. Unless we expel the Jewish people soon, they will "Judaize" our own people within a very short time.”
      "Even had there never existed a synagogue or a Jewish school or the Old Testament, the Jewish spirit would still exist and would exert its influence. It has been there from the beginning, and there is no Jew – not a single one – who does not personify it." (Torah was given at Sinai and Hebrew word for hatred is Sinah hatred. not a quote but the idea was expressed.)
      Sigmund Freud recognized this tendency, and explained: "Jews are hated not so much because they killed Jesus, but because they produced him."
      John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote to a friend:
      I insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men that any other nation . . . they are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this earth … They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe, and have influenced the affairs of mankind more, and more happily, than any other nation, ancient or modern. (Letter of John Adams to F.A. Van der Kemp, 1808; Pennsylvania Historical Society)
      Christian scholar and historian Paul Johnson wrote in his bestseller, History of the Jews:
      One way of summing up 4,000 years of Jewish history is to ask ourselves, what would have happened to the human race if Abraham had not been a man of great sagacity; or if he had stayed in Ur and kept his higher notions to himself, and no specific Jewish people had come into being. Certainly the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place.

      All the great conceptual discoveries of the intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they have been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the ideas of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience, and so of personal redemption; of the collective conscience, and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal, and love as the foundation of justice; and many other items which constitute the basic moral furniture of the human mind.”

      The article this week by Caroline Glick "Delegitimizing the Delegitimizers" http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4204… or http://carolineglick.com/ details how Israel is very much alone now,especially after the UNESCO move. Israel is facing Iran. Israel and the US have a lot in common, however Pres Barack Obama and his financier George Soros don't get it. According to her, Obama is going around apologizing and manipulating to change the US law, passed 15 years ago, which law states that the US will not give money to UNESCO if it would recognize a Palestinian state unilaterally. We need to be writing our legislators telling them to not change the US law but enforce it.(BTW the article on Soros on Front Page Magazine is excellent. "Occupy Wall Street and Soros' Fingerprints" ) http://frontpagemag.com/2011/11/04/occupy-wall-st

  • Cat

    No, I don't assume they are correct and why would you? (page 1)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/FBastiat FBastiat

    Coming from a "conservative," this argument is no less wrong than when it came from a "liberal":
    http://discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile….

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/cweinblatt cweinblatt

    A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. We must insist that religious, racial, ethnic, gender and orientation persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny's only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, "Jacob's Courage" http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/

  • Dunnie

    You conveniently leave out some salient data their, Fred
    Why don't you first start with how a person becomes a Jew
    When you leave out the artificial blood selection process and the genital mutilation process you appear to be attempting to deceive
    so start again
    explain how you can't be a Jew unless your mother is a Jew
    explain genital mutilation

    Explain non assimilation

    • MixMike

      "explain how you can't be a Jew unless your mother is a Jew"

      Judaism is maternal in descent, then of course many other religions use maternal and paternal descent do determine the religion of children. That said, anyone can convert to Judaism if they are willing to learn Torah and be converted by a Rabbi. The level of learning required depends on the sect of Judaism (reform, conservative or orthodox etc).

      "explain genital mutilation"

      Circumcision (not mutilation as it doesn't damage the organ or affect its function or sexual pleasure) is practiced not just by Jews but by Muslims (as expressed in Surrah) and some orthodox Churches.

      "Explain non assimilation"

      To get away from idiots like you?

      • guest

        "Circumcision (not mutilation as it doesn't damage the organ or affect its function or sexual pleasure)"

        Very true. Hasn't hurt me one bit and I'm not Jewish either.

  • http://www.ezracanada.org roy

    Great article; For the less informed (your comments give you away) the Jew is the ONLY race to be persecuted, hated and attacked constantly, consistently and relentlessly for 2,000 + years. Every society from the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek empire, the Roman Empire to the Nazi Empire, (and others in- between) have attempted to eradicate the Jew from the face of the earth. The Moabites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Philistines etc. etc. have all done their ABSOLUTE BEST to utterly destroy the Jewish nation, usually with vastly superior arms and numbers. BUT, they are all dead and buried in the dust of history while Israel remains, strong, vibrant and alive. Wanna know why??? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is their protector and provider, even though the majority of the Jews are secular today. He "will never leave them nor forsake them". That is why Ahmenadinejab does not have a chance to succeed with his evil plans.
    Iran- 70 million…Israel…7 million + God. Not a fair fight at all. Iran is beat before it starts. Read all about it in Ezekial 38-39 and Daniel, etc.
    Another Persian named Haman tried to do the same, and he lost as well, hung on his own gallows he had built for the Jews.
    By the way, I am not Jewish.
    Rev. Roy…<><

    • Ron Grant

      "the Jew is the ONLY race to be persecuted, hated and attacked constantly, consistently and relentlessly for 2,000 + years."

      If you say so,Rev.Roy.And if true,humanity has a lot to answer for.But my concern today centers mostly on the treatment of Palestinians and how Israel and the Jews deny them their birthright and homeland.If your argument is that God has taken sides in the dispute between Arab and Jew based on biblical scripture and the throwing of bones then the question is "How do we have a reasonable,rational argument in an honest way to resolve the conflict fairly and ethically.Muchiboy

      • MixMike

        "But my concern today centers mostly on the treatment of Palestinians and how Israel and the Jews deny them their birthright and homeland."

        Tell that to the 1.5 million Arabs that live as equal citizens in Israel and enjoy more civil rights than any Arab/Islamic country in the world.

        "If your argument is that God has taken sides in the dispute between Arab and Jew based on biblical scripture and the throwing of bones then the question is "How do we have a reasonable,rational argument in an honest way to resolve the conflict fairly and ethically."

        Actually, all of the arguments show that Gd taking sides isn't necessary, archeology, history and international legal principals all come down on the side of Israel (or 'the Jews' as you refer to them).

  • Clay Cole

    People like Ron Grant and Femail Gentile need to learn history. Reading their post can be very frightening. I think the greatest ignorance shown is this idea that the Jews took the land from the "Palistians" (a people that have never exsited). All of the land that the Jews owned in Israel was purchased from its owner. The Jews asked the Muslim population to stay in Israel and build the nation Israel with them. The leaders of Muslim nations answered this request by telling the Musliums to leave Israel while they drove the Jews into the sea. After that the Muslims could come and claim the property of the dead Jews. The forefathers of the people living in the West Bank and Gaza departed Israel out of greed and lust for Jewish property. Not because they were driven out.

    People who support the the so call "Palistians" must have very dark hearts. They support people who'se stated goal is the irradication of the Jewish people from the face of the earth and oppose a people who just want to live.

    If the Muslims in the Middle East put down their arms today there would be peace. If the Jew put down their arms there would be a lot of dead Jews.

  • Ron Grant

    "People who support the the so call "Palistians" "

    Prior to 1948 there may indeed have not been a "Palestinian" people.That happened the day Zionism proclaimed the re-created state of Israel.Ironic,eh?Zionists created the very people they now deny exist.Beware the worm turning.Muchiboy

    • Clay Cole

      You admit your arguments don't have a leg to stand on and still attack Israel. You do reveal yourself. Please post more. People like you are the best evidence that Israel must exsit.

    • Stern

      Actually, Muchiboy, you're wrong again (big surprise). Prior to the creation of Israel, anyone referred to as a "Palestinian" was Jewish! From 1948 until 1964 (with the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization), there was still no "Palestinian" people. If there was, surely they would have been asking Jordan for independence on the West Bank, and Egypt for independence in Gaza. But they didn't – which makes you arguments really seem rather silly.
      I also suspect, Muchiboy, that you haven't looked at a map lately. See the tiny little strip of land called "Israel"? Yup, that's all it is. See all the huge areas of surrounding land? That belongs to Arabs – people who are ethnically, religiously and culturally identical to the "Palestinians" whose cause you champion.
      Now ask yourself this. If Israel, which was even smaller at the time, was able to absorb 800,000 Jewish refugees from the Arab world post-1948, why has the Arab world been unable to absorb 400,000 – 600,000 Arabs? Why is it that today, in Lebanon for example, "Palestinians" are not allowed work permits and are not considered permanent residents? Israel's fault? Hmm, surely even you can't argue that.

      • MixMike

        The word "Palestine" is derived from "Philistine", an ancient biblical civilization long gone. The biblical Philistines "were not Arabs nor even Semites, they were most closely related to the Greeks originating from Asia Minor and Greek localities."

        In the 2nd century, after a Jewish revolt against Rome, the Emperor Hadrian wanted to "blot out the Jewish name" of the area so he renamed it "Provincia Syria Palaestina", the Latin version of the Greek name for the Philistines as a way to insult the Jews (for revolting). The name was subsequently shortened to Palaestina, and eventually the English "Palestine" was derived.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/seamusnh seamusnh

    I guess that Jews has been discriminated against longer than others. The Irish were under the British command for 700 years, More Jews died in the holocaust than in similar genocides. Ireland lost 3 million people in the mid 1800s due to the English and another million died. I always thought that Jews were persecuted by people for religious reasons (Jesus Christ's death) and by countries as they had no country that would retaliate. Hitler may have not decided to kill all the Jews in Europe if the Jews had a country that would attack Germany. As it were, there was no one to stand up to the Germans until it was too late.

  • Ron Grant

    "it would seem you are using words to disguise your anti semtic feelings."

    A complete stranger tells me what I am thinking and feeling.You should have a column,old white man.Muchiboy

    • MixMike

      This coming from someone who cites jewwatch (a neo-Nazi website) to support his claims that Jews (er… Israelis, it was a typo, honest!) are evil.

  • Stern

    Actually, Muchiboy, you tell us exactly what you think and feel with your posts. You don't even try to hide your bigotry, so don't complain when you get called on it.

  • max roytenberg

    The whole dialogue is depressing. We are what we are we jews, and people are what they are. We must ensure that Israel survives and the Jews maintain their mission. They are the Chosen, the canaries in the mine. If Jews are not safe then no one is. Although six million Jews were slaughtered, the Nazi project resulted in the slaughter of an additional thirty million, who would have peacefully lived out their lives if the Nazi project had been halted by concerted opposition at an early stage. We need the same ro happen in the face of the Islamo-fascist worldwide crusade.

    MMR

    • max roytenberg

      Dunnie,

      You imply there is something subversive in using the matrilinear lineage to determine Jewishness. It was a rule established by the Rabbis to eliminate discrimination against children born as a consequence of the rapes of Jewish women during the crusades.

      As for circumcision, many would claim that Jews knew something about human nature that others would not admit. A desensitzed penis of the circumsized has led over the centuries to little rape in the Jewish community, and in recent times a lower incidence of Aids among Jews. You can hardly compare it to the mutilation of women which removes a woman's clitoris (with all the fallout on normal functioning from that,) done with a piece of broken glass.

  • jimmy joe

    the bible made clear the nations that divide israel against my people wil be cursed,and those that bless my people,their nation shall be blessed;america has been richly blessed for standing by israel,that is until now;truth is israel should have never given back land for peace,after the palestinians refused,after the 1948 agreement,was rejected by the muslim world;and especially after the 1967,6 day war;after awhile common sense dictates some people just can't be satisfied.especially when their sic-ophant pedophile prophet,and genocidal god,demands all that refuse to agree or submit to these religious fanatics,on steroids;do not have a right to exist;isn't it ironic that liberalism has the same pathetic perverted,hatred of human life and liberty of any that refuses to exalt liberalism above their own beliefs as well;the good news is god will draw them all to meggido against israel;then intervene slap down lucifer's two favorite religion's;islam,and liberalism/communism;they lose,we win;we reign for a thousand years,over the nations;with jesus;afterwards judgement day;their party over,our eternity begins;learn,or burn;its as simple as that folks;i pray you learn now;jimmy joe;"the liarfryer;"

  • Max Roytenberg

    That we have to discuss this ad infinitum is the most depressing.Our mission is always remember and not allow the world to forget because Jews are the canary in the coal mine. Where Jews are slaughtered there will soon be many more victims among those who remain silent. Our unique historiography as the object of persecution, and the persist drive to eradicate Jews from the world, most recently through the Hitlerian project carried out with industrial efficiency, speaks the unique nature of the Jewish experience,and the Shoah. We do not talk about it because we want to remember, but because we do not want you to allow yourself to forget.