Prior to 1948 anti-Semites stuck out a mile. Jews were the wrong religion or the wrong race, and if you considered them in that light the game was up. So it was for Nobel Prize poet TS Elliot with his caustic comment that, “Reasons of race and religion combine to make free-thinking Jews undesirable.”
Then Israel was born, and antipathy shifted from the Jews to what Philip Luther calls the “Israeli state’. If the concocter of Amnesty International’s ‘Apartheid report’ cannot give Israel a sinister name, who can? It delivered the preordained verdict. But the remarks its authors made at a briefing found Israel guilty not just of committing a grievous crime but of being a grievous crime. BACK
The idea is remarkable. The verdict is less the conviction of a kangaroo court than a decadent curse. Israel is guilty of being there. The Jew among nations had no right to survive – a decree right out of the Hitler stable. It happens to be also the bedrock of the new oldest hatred.
Not so long ago in the West it was improper and quite punishing to flaunt the calloused psyche of an anti-Semite. Jews therefore had to be hated via proxy targets. The boldest bigots David Miller and Jeremy Corbyn felt constrained to attack the Zionist lobby as a bogus proxy.
The Wokes replaced this creaking culture with a crackpot one. With it came a manual of ludicrous rules which decked out the oldest hatred in spanking new clothes. We had to expect it would. Revolutions of ideas, from the Enlightenment to Communism, from Nationalism to Nazism, never left the oldest hatred looking drab. The Wokes did it better, dressing up anti-Semitism in drag.
The gravest of all crimes that Israel committed is the power it had to survive, let alone to thrive.
‘Promiscuous’ may sum up their ideals, values and strictures. More than permitting Jew-baiting slander, Woke culture indulges it and even vaunts animus like drag queens in Gay Pride. But try pushing back against the besotted belief that males can menstruate and women are mere ‘birthing people.’ Your career will be in jeopardy, let alone your Twitter account. Not so giving Jews or Israel lobbies a tongue lashing. In that case the world is your oyster and Woke companies of the order of American Express and Disney beckon.
It all amounts to a stalemate in which calling out anti-Semites means nothing and leads to nothing. What a delicious opportunity for libeling a minority without blotting your record.
“Once truth is up for grabs,” says KATHLEEN HAYES, “all truths are up for grabs. A mind that rejects the reality of biological sex is one unlikely to recognize facts about the Holocaust, about Jews and about Israel.”
Her discernment that anti-Semitism is domiciled in Woke ideology is too important to overlook. Alone it would be something of a damp squid. Anti-Semitism has to be a movement to be a national threat. And to be a movement it has to be an ideology; which, to follow Rabbi Lord Sacks it can’t be because, far from having a coherent set of beliefs, anti-Semitism is self-contradictory.
“Jews were hated because they were rich and because they were poor; because they were capitalists (Marx) and because they were communists (Hitler); because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they held tenaciously to a superstitious faith (Voltaire) and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing (Stalin).” Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
To this litany can now be added, ‘Jews are hated because they are white, privileged and powerful.’ (Wokes)
To pose therefore a real danger anti-Semitism must be part of some political movement. In The Suicidal Passion RUTH R. WISSE writes that it, “had such advantages over other political movements like fascism, nationalism and communism that they incorporated elements of anti-Jewish politics (in their) programs.”
In that sense anti-Semitism can be defined as the organization of politics against the Jews while anti-Zionism is the organization of politics against Israel. The one is aimed at Jews in their dispersion while the second is aimed at Jews in their homeland.
Exactly how does the Woke program incorporate Wisse’s ‘anti-Jewish politics’? It does so through the Woke ideology of group identity. To make ‘Yids’ hate-worthy the ideology dumps them into the most detested group of all, at the bottom of a pyramid built on victimhood. The bigger the victim, the higher up its group position on the pyramid. Hence the LBGTQ and black groups near the tip get first bite at the protection and privileges and employment that government and business have to offer. Jews being White and Privileged and Powerful, get zilch but brickbats and blame.
No matter that Jews come in all colors and classes; for Wokes they are white and well-fed Ashkenazi. The poor and working-class Jew is non- existent. The stereotype Jew alone is real: the boss in business, the politician in government, the owner in the media. In every sphere the Super White Jew manipulates the levers of power. How can one ever be a victim.
Evidence to the contrary may be on screen, but try pointing it out to an anti-Semite. Show Navi Pillay at the UN footage of Hamas firing rockets into Israel. Her vision and her mental process are blocked by the belief that Jews can’t be victims because Jews are white and powerful and privileged. And so back to that Amnesty verdict. The gravest of all crimes that Israel committed is the power it had to survive, let alone to thrive.
Wokeism is a typical ideology. Like Communism and Nazism it boasts a body of feisty beliefs able to mobilize the masses. The beliefs have religious power; they are cast on stone, canonized and protected by penal codes leading to excommunication or prosecution or confession. Communism told the faithful to believe in a struggle between classes for political and economic power. Nazism demanded belief in a struggle between pure and impure races for world domination.
Wokeism is committed to rolling back the Enlightenment and arraying identity groups against one another. A pathetic points system determines layer upon layer of victimhood. Queers and blacks rack up the most victim points. Other identity groups fight it out for the lower rungs at the base of the pyramid to which blame and shame inexorably filters down.
If such baby make-believe makes you gag and gasp from disbelief, sober up at the warning books which George Orwell left to posterity. They warn that idiocy is the placenta out of which pop bloody revolutions.
Never take idiocy with a pinch of salt. Americans under President Biden are living by rules compared to which those of Karl Marx or Pol Pot made hard common sense.
Steve Apfel is an authority on anti-Zionism and a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. His blog, ‘Balaam’s curse,’ is followed in 15 countries on 5 continents