The myth of Jewish self-hatred

Barry Rubin has a fascinating post (here) about recognizing antisemitism, and how so many otherwise smart people can’t do it.

Almost at the end he makes a significant point in an offhand way. Talking about some Jewish communists who displayed great antipathy to Judaism and were “more loyal than the king” in attacking anticommunists, he suggests that they are motivated by “ideology and selfish self-promoting … interests” rather than self-hatred, which he calls “a major myth.”

Of course. Most of the Jewish Israel-haters, from the ones who are out front about it, like Max Blumenthal, to the ones who claim to be “pro-Israel” while they do their best to subvert it, like Jeremy Ben Ami of J Street, do not have a strong enough connection to Judaism to hate themselves over it.

They are probably quite honest in expressing the bemusement they feel when they are called “self-hating Jews.” In truth, they are barely Jews at all. What’s to hate?

Marcy Winograd, a candidate for Congress in Los Angeles, gives us this perfect example:

Though I identify with persecuted Jews, I grow up longing to be part of the dominant culture. I hang little red and green lights on plastic Christmas trees and rarely visit temple except to hava nagila at the boys’ bar mitzvahs or to pray on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we never atone for the sin of theft, slaughter, or occupation.

No hate here, just indifference. Rubin’s suggestion is much more straightforward: Jewish anti-Zionists use their Jewish ethnicity to increase their power and importance, to draw attention to themselves and to gain credibility, because in the ceaseless din of the arena of anti-Zionist activism, it’s hard to stand out without a unique shtick.

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