Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew: A Critique [Part Three]

“Sartre’s analysis is mere gossip parading as well-reasoned, irrefutable phenomenological argument.”
Pierre Birnbaum, 1999.

Sartre on ‘the anti-Semite’

As noted previously, the ambivalent response to Sartre’s thoughts on ‘the Jew’ is in stark contrast to the much-more positively received section of the text dealing with ‘the anti-Semite.’ Indeed, Michael Walzer states that this portrait of the anti-Semite is “rightly taken to be the strongest part of the book.”[1] Jack Kugelmass has described it as a “key text for Jewish cultural studies.”[2] Herbert Spiegelberg, meanwhile, argues that Sartre’s interpretation of the anti-Semite is “persuasive and brilliant.”[3] Such appraisals, it will be demonstrated, can be based only on the value of Sartre’s conclusions as an ideological weapon: that the anti-Semite is a highly pathological individual, and that Jews and their behavior have absolutely no bearing on the opinions of Jews formed in the minds of the surrounding population. This conclusion is nowhere summarized more succinctly than in Sartre’s formulation: “Far from experience producing his idea of the Jew, it was the latter which explained his experience. If the Jew did not exist the anti-Semite would invent him.”[4] It is argued here that Sartre’s dubious critique of ‘the anti-Semite’ has enjoyed significant praise solely because the author provided Jews with the strength of his own personal reputation as a public intellectual, as well as a relatively novel and valuable theory of anti-Semitism which denied it any social or political legitimacy and heavily stigmatized individuals associated with it. It is further argued that, in terms of methodology and historical awareness, Sartre’s ‘portrait of the anti-Semite’ is perhaps the weakest and most ignorant text ever produced on the subject of anti-Semitism.

Sartre’s anti-Semite is an overwhelmingly negative presence in society, and the philosopher’s interpretation of anti-Semitism is overwhelmingly beneficial to the reputation of Jews. Sartre argues that it is wrong to examine external causes when attempting to understand why host populations develop antagonistic attitudes to Jews. He writes that anti-Semitism cannot be explained as “an impersonal phenomenon which can be expressed by figures and averages, one which is conditioned by economic, historical, and political constants.”[5] He adds that it is merely the idea of the Jew that causes anti-Semitism and that history can tell us nothing about the phenomenon: “No external factor  can induce anti-Semitism in the anti-Semite.”[6] Joseph Sungolowsky summarizes it thus: “Sartre contends that anti-Semitism is a self-sufficient psychological process taking the form of a passion that is not motivated by any external cause, but rather the idea that has been formed of the Jew.”[7]

In Sartre’s opinion, any examination of historical, social, economic, or political contexts will lead to a neglect of the true source of the issue — the personality of the anti-Semite. Heavily influenced by Freud and by his own Marxist/existentialist ideas, Sartre concludes that the anti-Semite “has chosen hate” for reasons he never quite explains other than that the anti-Semite must love this “state of passion.”[8] The anti-Semite longs for “impenetrability;”[9] to be “impervious and terrifying.”[10] He is a wholly rotten individual, who cannot be good, or even human, in the same way as others: “A man who finds it entirely natural to denounce other men cannot have our conception of humanity; he does not see even those whom be aids in the same light as we do. His generosity, his kindness are not like our kindness, our generosity. You cannot confine passion to one sphere.”[11] The anti-Semite, in Sartre’s representation, is also a coward and a mediocre individual.[12] How anti-Semitism develops in the individual is never quite explained, though Julian Aronson suggests that Sartre’s argument is basically as follows:

Anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in humanity, a mad result of the frustrations connected with life. It cannot be explained without employing the language of social psychology, psychoanalysis, and the many Marxian derivatives that serve as background information for the understanding of the complex problem.[13]

It would be fair to state that much of Sartre’s argument is presented in a way that is deeply obscure, ideologically self-referential, and empirically untestable. It’s crucial here to reflect on Sartre’s methodology in reaching his conclusions, and subsequently to reflect on how, or indeed if, one might even assess them. Sartre explains that while he conducted no research whatsoever on the history of anti-Semitism, or on the contemporary socio-political anti-Semitism of nations other than France, he “questioned a hundred people on the reasons for their anti-Semitism.”[14] Assuming Sartre did so—highly doubtful given that his encounters bear all the hallmarks of caricature, this is surely insufficient for the broad claims he makes, and it is surely also highly problematic that he presents no material on this conversational survey that can be objectively examined.

The tenuous nature of this aspect of Sartre’s “classic” defense of the Jews hasn’t escaped criticism, even among those otherwise keen to embrace his conclusions. For example, Pierre Birnbaum concedes that most of Sartre’s “pure thought” in Anti-Semite and Jew consists of absurd anonymous “anecdotes,” involving both Jews and anti-Semites he allegedly knew. These include an anti-Semite who became impotent during a sexual episode with a woman he suddenly discovered was a Jewess, and “the intimate relations of an anti-Semitic woman whom Sartre “knew” with a Polish Jew from whom she will only accept caresses.” Birnbaum describes this collection of often ridiculous and lurid tales as, at best, “mere gossip parading as well-reasoned, irrefutable phenomenological argument exonerated from the pathetic contingencies of sociohistorical reality.”[15] He asserts that Sartre’s text is based on “more than dubious martial,” and is devoid of “any research into the existing body of scholarly works.”[16] Sartre’s disdain for facts and empiricism reminded me of the brilliant Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre’s classic no-holds-barred attack on the work of Herbert Marcuse (a huge admirer of Sartre’s work). MacIntyre noted that “Marcuse seldom, if ever, gives us any reason to believe that what he is saying is true. He offers incidental illustrations of his theses very often; he never offers evidence in a systematic way.”[17] This dubious ‘methodology’ is of course an outgrowth of the cultural Marxist belief that positivism (recognizing only that which can be scientifically verified or which is capable of logical or mathematical proof) is an oppressive bourgeois ideal.[18] The result is an overwhelming reliance on exaggerations and especially on abstractions.

Aside from serious methodological problems, where Sartre does stray from abstractions into historical claims, many of those he makes are demonstrably, even embarrassingly, false. For example, he claims that:

the anti-Semite would under no circumstances dare to act or think on his own. And the group would be unable to conceive of itself as a minority party, for a minority party is obliged to devise a program and to determine on a line of political action, all of which implies initiative, responsibility, and liberty. Anti‐Semitic associations do not wish to invent anything; they refuse to assume responsibility; they would be horrified at setting themselves up as a certain fraction of French opinion, for then they would have to draw up a program and seek legal means of action.[19]

Sartre here is essentially arguing that anti-Semites have never, and cannot, form themselves into minority political movements. In Sartre’s theoretical formulation, they are prevented from doing so because they are fixated on the idea of themselves speaking on behalf of the entire nation: “They prefer to represent themselves as expressing in all purity, in all passivity, the sentiments of the real country in its indivisible state.”[20] However, while this presumably sounded coherent to Sartre and those with no real reading in the subject, the argument is not only false, but laughable. In truth almost every country on earth has at one time had a specifically anti-Semitic minority party with a program and line of political action. In doing so, and quite contrary to the baseless assertions of Sartre, anti-Semites have indeed been extremely inventive, often assuming responsibility in the face of overwhelming odds and opposition.

In Hungarian history one might look at the example of Győző Istóczy, who in 1880 launched an anti-Semitic periodical (Twelve Circulars) before founding “The Central Association of Non-Jewish Hungarians.”[21] This political group was itself founded on the example of Wilhelm Marr’s Antisemitenliga in Germany. The Hungarian operation actively sought the political responsibility Sartre claims they would have avoided and, by 1882, Istóczy’s group succeeding in getting five members elected to parliament. By 1884 the group was openly self-describing as “The Anti-Semitic Party,” and had seventeen members of parliament. Around the same date a similar organization known as the Reformverein had been established in Austria, demanding “the expulsion of Jews from their political, economic, and social positions.”[22] In France, two anti-Semitic weekly newspapers were founded in 1881-1882, and a third, L’antisémitique, was established by a group that would go on to establish an international anti-Semitic league and organise an anti-Semitic conference. They later formed the nucleus of La Ligue National Antisémitique, essentially the French counterpart to the Hungarian Anti-Semitic Party, the German Antisemitenliga, and the Austrian Reformverein. “Eligibility for membership in the league was based on devotion to anti-Semitism, irrespective of political or religious considerations.”[23] One could continue with many more examples, but we must already ask ourselves, given the evidence, if indeed “the anti-Semite would under no circumstances dare to act or think on his own,” or if an anti-Semitic party really would be “unable to conceive of itself as a minority party,” because of its inability “to devise a program and to determine on a line of political action.” The answer must be that Sartre was utterly wrong, owing mainly to a woeful lack of even relatively recent and local (to him) historical and political knowledge.

Another of Sartre’s embarrassing historical errors is his claim that “we find scarcely any anti-Semitism among workers.…Anti-Semitism is a bourgeois phenomenon.”[24] Sartre is of course not alone in making such a statement, and this is considered the orthodox Marxist position on anti-Semitism. Marcuse, along with the rest of his Frankfurt School colleagues, held to the thesis that “Nazism represented a culminating stage in the development of bourgeois society based on a capitalist economy such that in the philosophy and theory of Nazism we find the culmination of tendencies present throughout the bourgeois epoch.”[25] A book, or perhaps even a series of books, could be written in refutation of such a thesis. Indeed, the presence, even origins, of anti-Semitism among peasants and workers in the deep past could fill the pages of several volumes.

It should suffice here to state first that the idea (much-beloved by the Frankfurt School and essential to Adorno’s theory of The Authoritarian Personality) that the National Socialists rose on a wave of a neurotic lower middle class support has been demolished in scholarship for over two decades. Shelley Baranowski writes in her review of The Rise of National Socialism and the Working Classes (Berghahn Books, 1996):

 The long-entrenched thesis that National Socialism represented the revolt of the Mittelstand has undergone decisive revision. Although few historians would deny the Nazi party’s success among the German middle classes in recruiting party members and drawing voters, sophisticated statistical work, much of it drawn from newly-explored regional archives, has shown that the Nazi constituency was much more diverse than once imagined. Recent scholarship now argues that support for the Hitler movement extended to all social classes. In short, National Socialism evolved into a genuine Volkspartei that transcended the class and milieu-based politics of the Weimar period. The implications of demonstrating the integrative character of National Socialism go beyond providing a more nuanced understanding of who voted for Hitler, who joined the Nazi party, and why. … Newer work on the social composition of Nazism has underwritten the trend away from class-based approaches, Marxist or otherwise, that once defined the debates on the rise and stabilization of Nazism.

Even more importantly, there isn’t a single historical period in which a class-based analysis of anti-Semitism could be regarded as applicable or valid. During the medieval and early modern periods, Jews were almost exclusively of financial value to elites, and were engaged alongside these elites in financially exploiting the baron class, the Church, and the peasantry. Jews were far more frequently protected by elites than victims of them (before the expulsion of 1290 the Kings of England executed significantly more anti-Semites than Jews), and the networks of status and exploitation between the two were so closely entwined that a narrative in which elites promote anti-Semitism in order to release socio-economic pressures is hardly appropriate at all. In the modern era, the idea that Jews formed part of the proletariat in Eastern Europe is, like the tale of an exclusively bourgeois National Socialism, an easily debunked myth. Indeed, the nineteenth century in particular was remarkable for the number of instances (from Prussia, to Ukraine, and Russia) of discrete (rather than propagandistic) upper- and middle-class support for the serfs and the peasantry against Jewish exploitation. In 1802 King Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia wrote to a Polish noble expressing his discontent that he would abuse his peasantry with Jewish lessees in his taverns.[26] In 1821 the Ukrainian military governor Prince Nicholas Repnin expelled the Jews from Chernigov and Poltava, explaining that “some landowners, tempted by the money they received from Jews, thoughtlessly protected them. … Being indifferent to the welfare of the peasants who belong to them, for their own selfish temporary advantage they want to have Jews present in the country in order to make money through them.”[27] Meanwhile benevolent state officials were working hard to emancipate the serfs, a move generally regarded by historians as detrimental to the Jews — a telling indication of the disparity of interests between the two. Even in the British Isles in the early 20th century the two most serious incidences of anti-Jewish agitation arose in working class areas among working class constituencies, and in response to perceived Jewish exploitation. The Limerick Boycott in Ireland in 1904 was backed mainly by local Irish population indebted to Jewish merchants and moneylenders, and the Tredegar Riots in Wales in 1911 were carried out by miners against precisely the same class of individuals. In short, Sartre’s claim that “we find scarcely any anti-Semitism among workers,” isn’t just erroneous, but almost laughable in its naivety, ideological narrowness, and ignorance of the historical data.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the reception of Anti-Semite and Jew is that most critics acknowledge it’s many weaknesses while still insisting that it is a “classic,” or even a work of genius. Michael Walzer insists that although Sartre produced a mere “philosophical speculation variously supported by anecdotes” the result is “a powerfully coherent argument.”[28] Robert Misrahi concludes that Sartre’s doctrine is ultimately “false” and that his description of the mechanics of anti-Semitism “did not correspond to Jewish reality,” but still insists that it’s a work of “good faith and good will.”[29] The merits of the work are clearly seen in its usefulness as a tool against anti-Semitism rather than in the quality of its contents.


If Sartre’s interpretation of anti-Semitism isn’t a good example of history, psychology, or sociology, then what is it? What is it a “classic” of? Walzer suggests it “should not be read as a piece of social science,” but instead as a “Marxist/existentialist morality play.”[30] Sungolowsky concludes, perhaps more strongly, that Anti-Semite and Jew is “hardly more than an abrégé of Sartre’s existentialism, for he applies to the Jewish problem such notions from his philosophical vocabulary as choice, situation, bad faith, the subject-object relationship, inauthenticity, and authenticity.”[31] In other words, Sartre moved into an area in which he had no expertise merely to narcissistically disseminate his own jargon-laden philosophy. I believe that these descriptions of Anti-Semite and Jew are accurate. I would add only the interpretation suggested at the outset of this essay — that Sartre brought many of his own personal motivations and demons to bear in the writing of this pernicious and sadly influential text. Casting a cold eye on its contents, however, we should at least be able to ask a better question of it and its author: Who’s really pathological here?

[1] Walzer, ‘Preface,’ in Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.viii-ix.

[2] J. Kugelmass, Key Texts in American Jewish Culture (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2003 ), p.93.

[3] H. Spiegelberg, The Phenomenological Movement: A Historical Introduction (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994 ), p.515.

[4] Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.8.

[5] Ibid, p.5.

[6] Ibid, p.11.

[7] Sungolowsky, ‘Criticism of Anti-Semite and Jew,’ p.68.

[8] Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.12.

[9] Ibid, p.14

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Sungolowsky, ‘Criticism of Anti-Semite and Jew,’ p.69.

[13] Aronson, ‘Sartre on Anti-Semitism,’ p.231.

[14] Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.7.

[15] Birnbaum, ‘Sorry Afterthoughts on Anti-Semite and Jew,’ p.92-3.

[16] Ibid, p.94.

[17] A. MacIntyre, Marcuse (Glasgow: Collins & Sons, 1976), p.17.

[18] Ibid, p.13.

[19] Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.22.

[20] Ibid.

[21] For more on the context of political anti-Semitism in Hungary see J. Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980), pp.273-280.

[22] Ibid, p.285.

[23] Ibid, p.297.

[24] Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jews, pp.24 &26.

[25] MacIntyre, Marcuse, p.8.

[26] G. Dynner, Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor and Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Oxford University Press, 2014), p.54.

[27] Ibid, p. 79.

[28] Walzer, ‘Preface,’ in Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew,

[29] Misrahi, ‘Sartre and the Jews: A Felicitous Misunderstanding,’ pp.63 & 67.

[30] Walzer, ‘Preface,’ in Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, p.vii.

[31] Sungolowsky, ‘Criticism of Anti-Semite and Jew,’ p.68.

33 replies
  1. dolph
    dolph says:

    Something worth noting is that it’s not necessarily easy being a committed anti semite. Aside from the obvious dangers to one’s livelihood, anti semitism takes you down a rabbit hole that sometimes you wish you never went down.

    For example, in childhood I had a toxic Muslim friend who was anti semitic. He was just a pathetic, lying, cheating creature. And yet…I’m anti semitic, but I don’t consider myself any of those things. I’ve always strived to treat everyone fairly, to be honest in dealings, to seek truth above all, etc.

    So my anti semitism puts me in league with some very questionable characters. This I have a problem with. I wish anti semitism was more open and accepted. Then, you could have quality people come out of the closet, so to say, and we could finally have a discussion and change things. But, as it is, we are relegated to the underground, and only events will prove us right or wrong. But by then it won’t matter…Jews would have already destroyed the value of the dollar and with it the American nation, and China will be the next hegemon by default.

    • The AntiLoser
      The AntiLoser says:

      You are on to something important. You know how the NRA says “if owning guns is criminal only criminals will own guns”? Because anti-Semites are seen as hate-mongers, only people willing to be seen as hate-mongers will be openly anti-Semitic. And that group is disproportionately made up of people who are a bit nutty and don’t have good jobs or families that might affected by their being “doxed”. The only way to stop it is to get a lot of respected people labeled. The power of the charge depends on not too many people being charged. The BDS movement may result in a lot of “good guys” being attacked as haters.

  2. J.Ross
    J.Ross says:

    So you could retype selections from this text, switching out “anti-Semite” for “Jew,” and people would think they were looking at an incoherently raving, bigoted pamphlet from another time.

  3. J.Ross
    J.Ross says:

    I should have said Sartre’s text, obviously.
    This year we have seen similar pseudo-intellectual gibberish devoted to analyzing “the Alt-Right” (they’re stupid and insecure, but *how* stupid? We’ll ask experts!) and Trump voters (Are they alcoholic Klansmen, or impotent Nazis — or both?). This morning BBC Radio ran a hit piece on people who don’t want newborns to get twelve simultaneous vaccinations as soon as they’re out. There was no attempt to understand them or represent their concerns, but several different experts agreed they were monsters.

  4. Lawrence Feinberg
    Lawrence Feinberg says:

    Antisemitism did not need Sartre to discredit it; it discredited itself by perpetrating one of the most appalling massacres in history.
    Antisemites are capable of formulating a program, but not a useful one. The goal of removing Jews from all positions of responsibility is a long shot. In what world would it be possible to gain the support of both Houses of Congress and three-quarters of the State legislatures for this?
    More fundamentally, a political strategy based on animus toward Jews or any other group will not succeed because it should not succeed. Lincoln’s watchword “with malice toward none” must be yours as well, if you are to have–or deserve– any hope of success. Your essential task is to rally your identity group(s) to organize and to defend their own interests. All the energy you expend bellyaching about the Jews only subtracts from that effort.


    (Mod. Note: This commenter didn’t read the mission statement and banner of TOO, did he.)

    • Franklin Ryckaert
      Franklin Ryckaert says:

      Americans could insist on ethnic proportional representation in all public functions. The Jews are a self-identified ethnic group and should be categorized as such. With only 2% of the population that would seriously reduce their influence. Insisting on such “social justice” is entirely in accordance with the spirit of the time and is attainable. Not all kinds of “anti-Semitism” are equal and not all kinds lead to genocide.

      • Carolyn Yeager
        Carolyn Yeager says:

        No, Americans could not do that bc that would be discrimination based on national origin and religion. It would never pass the courts; it would be knocked down as unconstitutional. It would not get anywhere in Congress either.
        That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

    • Trenchant
      Trenchant says:

      Jews and others died from typhus, which raged rampant through the internment camps towards war’s end, and the privations which internees, and to a lesser extent, the whole nation suffered. On the Eastern Front, Jews were frequently engaged as partisans, and as is common practice, were shot summarily on suspicion of this practice. No gassing of humans, no directive to mass murder, and no forensic evidence to back exaggerated victim numbers, render your argument void.

      Sartre didn’t write it up because the story had yet to be drafted in its final form.

      • Charles Frey
        Charles Frey says:

        At Nuremberg, the French inadvertently filed their graph, tabulated by them, showing the number of weekly deaths at the camps. Inconveniently their graph coincided with the German graphs indicating wide fluctuations in deaths, engendered mainly by typhus epidemics.

        Shouldn’t there be an almost constant line on both French and German graphs, if people were indiscriminately murdered, by all the chambers and crematoria could bear ?

    • Theodora
      Theodora says:

      Mister Feinburg:

      Jews in Holland talk about the ABC trains that brought them to the camps in Germany and Poland. ABC stands for Asscher, Baruch and Cohen – all zionists and members of the jewish council. One of the most fervent zionists in Holland was Ans van Dijk who reported for transport to the police some 700 jews in hiding.

      Now Mister, tell me, did this jewish lesbian report that many jews because she wanted them gassed? No, of course not! Mrs. van Dijk knew that the zionists wanted all the jews of Europe to migrate to Palestine to populate the coming State of Israel. And she knew as well that most European jews didn’t want to emigrate so the zionists came up with the concentration camps. And would some jew end up dead…, well bad luck then. ‘We have to sacrifice some of our lesser brothern.’ And ‘one cow in Palestine is worth more than all the jews of Poland.’

      Poor Ans van Dijk was one of the first ‘traitors’ to be executed directly after the war. Dead people don’t talk, you know.

      You should also learn about jews against zionism.

      • The AntiLoser
        The AntiLoser says:

        That’s a very interesting story. I had never heard of that. What did the Zionists think would happen to the Jews in the camps? Eventual deportation to Palestine?

        • wiggins
          wiggins says:

          Here ya go

          Look at all the holocaustianity squealing; yet absolutely nothing, nothing at all anywhere about Victor (Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, MI-5 career and communist spy, and zionist above all else, now known with little fanfare as the true 5th man from the Cambridge Ring) Rothschild’s infamous remark of record; when advising Churchill to bomb the food trains supplying concentration camps because “There will be no room for schnorrers (jewish beggars, moochers) in the new country”. It and much else like it is largely part of the unknown but easily accessible – no exotic training necessary – all you have to do is look, read, and think. Jews just accept the program thinking about free lunches or substituting emotion for critical examination. What do you know, it wasn’t the evil Germans who intended to starve valuable workers, and Rothschild acknowledged that many of the jews were in the camps not as jews but as freeloaders and criminals. Today the Germans give ’em submarines – now that’s mind control, by way of the handle on the carrot shoved up Merkel’s backside.

    • Johnny Rottenborough
      Johnny Rottenborough says:

      Lawrence Feinberg—Antisemites are capable of formulating a program, but not a useful one

      In his book Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil [p385 here], Gerard Menuhin quotes the Jewish humorist Alexander Roda Roda: ‘Anti-Semitism could really amount to something if the Jews would just take charge of it.’

      Menuhin remarks on page 389: ‘The trouble is that non-Jews can’t profit from a dedicated network. They are just ordinary people, who, despite their overwhelming majority and wish for peaceful coexistence, cannot defeat this paltry minority, for they cannot see the truth. They simply cannot conceive of such organized malevolence, raised to the level of a religion.’

      • Charles Frey
        Charles Frey says:

        Gerard, son o Jehudi, from his residence in Switzerland, wrote a famous open letter to the post-War German population, chastising them for their self-permitted, uninterrupted self-flagellation.

    • The AntiLoser
      The AntiLoser says:

      Mr. Feinberg, There are good and bad people in every race, every nation, every religion, every culture. Jews have evolved into a very distinctive position in society that puts them in some tension with the larger but besieged Christian culture. The taboos against talking about Jewish power are so strong that there must be important things to say about it! But I hope peace and harmony is the ‘final solution’ going forward! You won’t hear any blanket condemnations of Jews from me, but maybe some awkward frankness on certain topics. Thank you for your perspective.

  5. Karen T
    Karen T says:

    In 1861 Czar Alexander 11 liberated the serfs. According to Jewish Zionist scholar Josef Kastein (History and Destiny of the Jews) the Jews in Russia “offered bitter resistance to attempts at improvement.” Recruiting students and malcontents they formed the Narodnaya Volya (Peoples Will), a precurser to the also Jewish controlled SDS and SJW’s. Over the next 20 years there were four assassination attempts on the Czar. In 1881 he proposed a parliamentary constitution and was assassinated on March 1881, the same day that his proposition was scheduled to be ruled decree. His successor on May 15th 1882 enacted the May Laws, regulations against the Jews. The May Laws, contrary to popular belief, rather than being a hardship on ‘the poor, downtrodden chosenites’ provided further stimulus for Zionism. Leon Pinsker at this time published the pamphlet Auto-Emancipation, wherein he wrote “there is an inexorable and inescapable conflict between humans known as Jews and other humans…self-emancipation and restoration of the Jewish nation must be entered upon in such a spirit as to exert an irresistible pressure upon the international politics of the present.” Zionism for me communism for thee.

    • Franklin Ryckaert
      Franklin Ryckaert says:

      The reason the Russian Jews were so much opposed to the improvement of the fate of the Russian masses was that with it there was no need of their “proletarian revolution” by which they hoped to take over power, rob the nation and enslave the those very same masses they feigned to care about. In 1905 they staged a coup but failed. In 1917 they tried again and this time succeeded, and the rest as they say is history. Under “normal” circumstances the Jews take over a country by infiltrating and manipulating its elite. In Russia this was not possible, hence they played the “proletarian” card. Jews can be “capitalists”, “communists” or “Zionists” all according to circumstances. At present the Jews are for multiculturalism and for Islam in western countries, but against multiculturalism and against Islam in Israel.

      • Karen T
        Karen T says:

        “In 1917 they tried again and succeeded”. Golly gee whiz, you don’t say…wow, thanks, I never would have guessed! One learns something new every day!

  6. dolph
    dolph says:

    I agree with Lawrence only to the extent that, true, in recent times anti semitism has thus far failed or turned self destructive.

    However, let me say that first, analyzing the anti semite doesn’t say anything about the Jews. The Jews must be objectively looked at by themselves. “Anti semitism” has become a slur to defame the character of anyone who chooses to discuss the situation. Just as, for example, the opinion of whites on blacks, and blacks on whites, is valid if an attempt is made to arrive at an objective truth.

    Second, just because something has failed in the past, doesn’t mean it must forever fail. Then no possible human progress or change will occur. We are forever doomed to be to anti semites just as you will be forever Jews. Rather, we must think of what concrete steps can be taken and formulating a plan as such. This can involve anything from segregation, criminal imprisonment, repatriation, sterilization, etc. If steps are taken, in time a nation’s sovereignty can be restored, and the population of Jews reduced by various means.

    After all, what is birth control, abortion, etc., other than a sort of “final solution” for the obvious fact that human population always outstrips resource availability? We must be able to discuss these things. The Jews are not out of the question, they are not forever immune. That is the death sentence for any people that harbors them and allows their rule.

    • Michael Adkins
      Michael Adkins says:


      “After all, what is birth control, abortion, etc., other than a sort of “final solution”

      And just who is being aborted?

      and two,

      Something we can all agree on – it’s time to stop funding Japan and Israel.

  7. J.Ross
    J.Ross says:

    Sort of an update — today the Economist has a piece on how Trump “stole” the GOP away from what the Economist thinks are its values (as opposed to, say, bloodthirsty neocons and open-borders slavemasters stealing conservatism); after quoting the fleeing (and aptly named) Flake, they demurr that Trump is “the party’s Id made flesh” and compare traditionalists to a slime-covered monster from a David Cronenberg body horror classic. If anyone was to talk about any group of Jews this way they would not be published, but it’s perfectly acceptable to describe Christians as a crawling parasite that nests inside unwitting hosts and takes over their minds.

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      The Economist reportage is totally explainable if you google its ownership. Rothschild hovers around 25 % but considers the world-wide and growing entire Economist Group of Companies as his private bailiwick: deemed in good hands by the remainder of the also left-liberal, but mainly financially interested share-holders, whose membership is extremely tightly controlled.

      What better way to whitewash the fact, that he greatly profited from Khodorkovsky ‘s ca. half-trillion dollar theft of Russia’s assets; accumulated by the habitually abused people under incalculable, BUT AMPLY AND RELIABILY DOCUMENTED personal hardships. [ Solzhenitsyn; and a hundred others; including Jews ].

      Either K or one of the other then five main Jewish grand larcenists even established a bank, which then miraculously was given the right to AUCTION OFF Russia’ assets.

      Little wonder, that Harvard’s Economics Department, having concocted the privatization scheme, along with its other criminal cohorts, later issued a statement, that they regretted having done so, absent a prior legal framework. I guess their after-the-fact, hypocritical palaver Talmudically regrew their immaculate scholarly Harvard hymen.

      No premises for anti-Semitism there, Mr. Feinberg: should you still be around !

        • Pierre de Craon
          Pierre de Craon says:

          Thanks, Trenchant. First time I read this all the way through.

          No surprise, of course, in there being no mention of any Jewish angle. Still, the almost abstemious reluctance of the article’s author—presumably acting with the support of the powers that be at Institutional Investor—to speak plainly of unexampled criminality on the part of Shleifer, Sachs, and many other Harvard academic highfliers is striking, especially as I recall Bob Novak saying in only a slightly intemperate vein that summary execution would be fit recompense for Jeffrey Sachs’s crimes.

  8. Bardamu
    Bardamu says:

    (Mod. Note: “Bardamu”, TOO comments are for readers to make comments relevant to the article they are under. This service is NOT for the purpose of venting ridiculously long anti-religious screeds in the form of “questions”, especially those submitted as a challenge to the editor. “Comments” crafted to start religious controversy aren’t part of what TOO is about.)

  9. Trenchant
    Trenchant says:

    I wonder whether Dr. Joyce’s forensic skills might not be applied to the question of firearms control in Britain. Were Jewish activists and politicians critical in enacting legislation?

  10. HK Wills
    HK Wills says:

    It looks like Sartre didn’t do his homework, in fact he may not have known how. His work is wrong headed and superficial in direct proportion to it being unscientific and pre-Darwinian. Now more of a historical curio. A fine and fascinating series by Dr. Joyce.

  11. John King
    John King says:

    I just had a thought…

    In Edward Said’s piece for the London Review of Books, which can be found here (, the Palestinian activist-scholar writes of his sense of Sartre being used by the likes of Benny Levy and the others around Les Temps Modernes.

    Levy and the others sought out Said’s political support in order to legitimize a simple piece of Realpolitik: the rapprochement between Israel and Egypt, supported by US taxpayer cash.

    After remaining totally silent the whole of the first day, Sartre was coaxed into saying something on the second. As Said writes: ” Sartre did have something for us: a prepared text of about two typed pages that –- I write entirely on the basis of a twenty-year-old memory of the moment –- praised the courage of Anwar Sadat in the most banal platitudes imaginable. I cannot recall that many words were said about the Palestinians, or about territory, or about the tragic past. Certainly no reference was made to Israeli settler-colonialism, similar in many ways to French practice in Algeria. It was about as informative as a Reuters dispatch, obviously written by the egregious Victor to get Sartre, whom he seemed completely to command, off the hook. I was quite shattered to discover that this intellectual hero had succumbed in his later years to such a reactionary mentor, and that on the subject of Palestine the former warrior on behalf of the oppressed had nothing to offer beyond the most conventional, journalistic praise for an already well-celebrated Egyptian leader.”

    What Andrew here uncovers are the genuine roots of Sartre having “nothing to say” beyond “the most conventional, journalistic praise”. Instead of seeing, as Said does, Sartre as a figure in senile decline, however, Andrew has put his finger on the sheer conventionality of the Sartre at the height of his intellectual powers. That conventionality is figured in his lack of anything remotely interesting to say about “the Jewish question”. And clearly, that was then the attraction of Sartre as political-intellectual masthead for a whole generation of French Jews.

    “This man has nothing to say beyond platitudes! He has neither conducted research nor inquired closely into the issues he writes about! Jean-Paul — our comrade!”

    That might also explain why Sartre subsequently sank virtually without a trace below the intellectual and political horizon. His fame rested on the shaky foundations of an opportunistic facade built up over the intellectual ruins of the Second World War. Once the time for that was past, Sartre was allowed to be forgotten.

    If I had to hazard a guess, I would say Sartre’s moment had gone sometime between Likud forming its first government in 1977 and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Just to add a note to your excellent addendum.

      On the tenth line of your third paragraph you quote Said as referring to the ” egregious Victor “.

      ‘ Pierre VICTOR ‘ was Benny Levy’s nom de guerre during the 68 ‘ proletarian ‘ uprisings in Paris; themselves having migrated from UC Berkley’s students’ overfilled proletarian parking lots. His Maoist stage, before, with great versatility, finally settling on Jewish Orthodoxy in his adopted Jerusalem; where he co-founded some other euphonious, meaningless Institute with Bernard-Henri Levy, the carefully coiffured and manicured timber-millionaire and ” French leading public intellectual “, too often gracing American TV screens: most recently that of CNN’s Fareed/GPS.

      Twelve straps for me for presumed pattern recognition: doubled, for applying the vulgate ” Bullshit baffles Brains “, to describe intelligent persons’ pre-occupation with this obvious, programmatic and diverting trash: which does not obviate the necessity to counter this trash, lest they believe, that the ” brain-dead ” consume their ” excrementalism “; even without a liter of certified-Kosher ketchup per page.

  12. Trenchant
    Trenchant says:

    All things being equal, François Gibault will publish this May some “anti-Semitic” pamphlets written by Céline.

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