Anti-Semitism

On the True Meaning of Hate Speech

“A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.”
—Joseph Goebbels, diary (April 19, 1943)[1]

‘Hate’ is such an ugly word.  And such a juvenile word.  It calls to mind the stereotypical eight-year-old girl who screams “I hate you!” to her mother when she is not allowed to join the local sleep-over.  The word is most often used half-jokingly—“I hate the Yankees!”, “I hate broccoli!”, etc.—or to describe some detested task (“I hate cleaning the bathroom”).  Or it can be used for rhetorical effect.  But the use of the term in the context of ‘hate speech’ is silly, juvenile, and formally meaningless.  We may dislike someone or some group, or be repulsed by them, or wish to dissociate from them.  But to hate them?  Seriously—what mature individual today is willing to openly and earnestly say “I hate you” to anyone?  Only a highly insecure or severely distressed person would do such a thing.  It’s a sign of weakness.

And yet today, hate seems to be the ethos of the moment.  More specifically, we seem to be surrounded by talk of ‘hate speech’ in the mass media.  To judge by various headlines and liberal pundits, hate speech would appear to be among the greatest dangers of modern existence—on par with racism and “White supremacy,” and greater than political corruption, international terrorism, global pandemics, financial instability, environmental decline, overpopulation, or uncontrollable industrial technology.  Most European countries have legal prohibitions against various forms of hate speech, however ill-defined, as do Canada and Australia.  Even in the US there is increasing pressure to create legal sanction for some such concept, the First Amendment notwithstanding.

I take this whole topic very personally.  It’s no secret that I’ve written harshly against Jews and other minorities.  It’s no secret that I prefer living in a White community and a White nation.  I have no need to apologize for any of this.  And yet, for these very reasons, some people find it appropriate to call me a ‘hater’:  “Dalton hates the Jews”; “he hates Blacks,” “he hates Latinos,” etc., etc.  But I state here, for the record, that nothing is further from the truth.  I hate no one.  I may dislike certain people, I may find them malevolent and malicious, I may want them punished, and I may want to separate myself from them; but this does not mean that I hate them.  In this era of “hate crimes” and “hate speech laws,” this requires some explanation.

As usual, we should start by knowing what we are talking about.  What, exactly, is it to ‘hate’?  The word has ancient origins, deriving from the Indo-European kədes and Greek kedos.  Originally, and surprisingly, it meant simply ‘strong feelings’ in a neutral sense, rather than something negative.  In fact, the Old Irish word caiss includes both love and hate.  But the negative connotation emerged with the Germanic khatis (later, hass), the Dutch haat, and eventually became ingrained in the English ‘hate.’

The standard dictionary definition typically runs something like this:  “intense or extreme dislike, aversion, or hostility” toward someone or something.  As such, the word is fairly innocuous; I can hate my job, hate asparagus, and even hate my boss.  But this is not at issue.  We are more concerned about hate as a mindset, and specifically as oriented toward classes of people, or increasingly, toward certain privileged ideologies.

But we immediately confront a major problem here:  Hate is a feeling, and feelings are indelibly subjective.  And anything that is completely subjective cannot be quantified in objective terms.  No one can say with certainty that “Dalton hates X.”  Only I can say, “I hate X,” precisely because it is my own feeling.  If there is one thing that I insist upon, it is complete sovereignty over my own feelings.  No one else will ever dictate how I feel about anything.

And even if I say “I hate X,” how does anyone else know that I really feel the hatred?  They don’t.  Maybe I’m being sarcastic.  Maybe I’m joking.  Maybe I’m just trying to cause a stir.  No one will ever know my actual feelings except me—precisely because they are my own.  No one will ever know if I am expressing “real” hatred, or just pretending.  (Does that even matter?)

The point here is that hatred, because it vanishes into a subjective void that is utterly inaccessible to others, can never be quantified or objectified, and thus can never be the basis for legal enforcement—at least, not in any rational sense.  Therefore, the corresponding concept of ‘hate speech,’ viewed as the expression of hatred, likewise melts into thin air.  It is, technically, an incoherent concept when put forth as a basis for law.  This fact, of course, does not stop corrupt lawmakers around the globe from trying to enforce it, though for very different reasons, as I will explain.

So, let’s take a look at how some attempt to define the indefinable.  Here is one interesting definition from the Cambridge Dictionary:  hate speech is

public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence toward a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation (= the fact of being gay, etc.)

This is a hugely problematic definition, on several grounds.  First, how public is ‘public’?  If I tell my neighbor, is that public?  If I publish something in a private chat room, is that public?  What if I mumble something aloud to a friend while in a shopping mall?  Am I responsible if a private email to a colleague gets reposted online?  And so on.

Second:  it involves the “expression of hate,” or “encouragement of violence.”  These are two vastly different things.  ‘Expression of hate’ is, as I said, functionally meaningless.  What, exactly, does it take for something to qualify as an “expression of hate”?  Presumably if I say “I hate X,” that counts.  But what else?  Does “I really, really, really dislike X” count?  Does “I’d like to see X die” count?  What about “I’d like to see X get very ill”?  Does “X is a total scumbag” count?  We can see the problems.  Incitement to violence is somewhat less ambiguous, but still problematic.  Who, for example, is to judge ‘encouragement’?  This is another highly subjective term.  And how much violence is necessary to qualify?  Is a good shove violent?  A pie in the face?  Tripping someone?  Is ‘emotional distress’ violence?  What about financial loss?

Third, we notice that it’s not violence per se, but rather violence “based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”  This is very odd.  What does the phrase “something such as” mean here?  The qualifiers mentioned are usually assumed to be intrinsic to the person or group (race, gender)—except that religion, and even sexual orientation, can be changed at the drop of a hat.  Therefore, the qualities need not be intrinsic.  So what, exactly, is this mysterious criteria, this “something such as,” that is so crucial for the whole concept?

The point here is that the whole notion of ‘hate speech,’ like hate itself, dissolves into a subjective void.  In objective terms, it is virtually meaningless.  How, then, can be it be subject to the force of law?

The UN Takes a Shot

As if they don’t have enough on their plate already, the United Nations is now highly distressed by the spread of hate speech around the world.  Recently, in May 2019, they issued a short statement called “Strategy and plan of action on hate speech.”  It included this observation:

There is no international legal definition of hate speech, and the characterization of what is ‘hateful’ is controversial and disputed.  In the context of this document, the term ‘hate speech’ is understood as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are—in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.  This is often rooted in, and generates, intolerance and hatred and, in certain contexts, can be demeaning and divisive.

The key phrases here:  “controversial and disputed” (obviously), “any kind of communication” (very broad), “pejorative or discriminatory language” (highly subjective and undefined), and “on the basis of who they are” (mostly intrinsic factors, except for nationality and religion, and possibly “other identity factors”).  And then we read the subsequent explanatory paragraph:

Rather than prohibiting hate speech as such, international law prohibits the incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence (referred to here as ‘incitement’).  Incitement is a very dangerous form of speech, because it explicitly and deliberately aims at triggering discrimination, hostility and violence, which may also lead to or include terrorism or atrocity crimes.  Hate speech that does not reach the threshold of incitement is not something that international law requires States to prohibit.

So, hate speech per se is not to be prohibited, but rather only a special kind of hate speech—“inciteful (to violence) hate speech.”  In other words, only the worst of the worst, apparently.  Clarification and elaboration would soon follow.

Also, the Foreword to the statement reveals something of the deeper motives at work here.  We find, in the opening paragraph, references to “anti-Semitism,” “neo-Nazis,” and the dreaded “White supremacy.”  Strange how we inevitably find such terms in any discussion of hate speech; more on this below.

Evidently dissatisfied with this short statement, the UN issued a 52-page “detailed guidance” report, under the same name, in September 2020.  Here they establish three levels of hate speech:  1) the worst kind: “direct and public incitement to violence” (including to genocide), 2) a grey zone of hate speech to be prohibited based on “legitimate aims” and only as “necessary and proportionate”, and 3) an unrestricted and lawful form that may still be “offensive, shocking, or disturbing.”  Level One (“Incitement”) hate speech in turn is based on, and determined by, six conditions:

  • 1) social and political context
  • 2) status of the speaker (!)
  • 3) intention of the speaker (!)
  • 4) form and content of the speech
  • 5) extent of dissemination
  • 6) likelihood of harm

Level One Hate must satisfy all six criteria, meaning (presumably): a sensitive time or social context, an influential or important speaker, bad intent, provocative style, widely disseminated, and with reasonable probability of harm.  Again, all six are required, for Level One status.  Levels Two and Three may meet some, or none, of these.  The six criteria are elaborated on pages 17 and 18 of the report.

Later in the document we find an interesting admission:  “The terms ‘hatred’ and ‘hostility’ should be understood to refer to intense and irrational emotions of opprobrium, enmity, and detestation towards the target group” (p. 13).  This is actually quite a relief; any opposition to Jews or other minorities, if rational and non-emotional (e.g., fact-based) cannot count as hate speech!  Therefore, writings by scholars, academics, or other serious researchers, who build a case based on facts, history, and plausible inference, are under no circumstances engaging in hate speech.  This is a huge loophole that somehow slipped past the ideological censors, one which we should be able to use to our advantage.

We (some of us, at least) get further relief on the following page, where we read that Level Three (allowable) Hate includes not only “expression that is offensive, shocking, or disturbing” but also covers “denial of historical events, including crimes of genocide or crimes against humanity.”  As the UN sees it, so-called Holocaust denial is permissible, or at least non-punishable, hate speech.[2]  And in Figure 4 they go further still, stating that Level Three hate “must be PROTECTED” as a form of free expression.  This is a remarkable concession.  Ah, but there’s a catch:  “unless such forms of expression also constitute incitement to hostility, discrimination, or violence under article 20 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”  This document, written in 1966 and made effective in 1976, includes these words under article 20:  “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”  So it would seem that, for example, Holocaust “denial” (whatever that means) is not prohibited as long as it avoids any connection to “incitement” of any kind.  Presumably discussing it as a historical subject is fine; just don’t implicate anyone today who promotes, exploits, or profits from the conventional Holocaust story.

“It’s always about the Jews!”

So, let’s get down to the rub.  I have a tentative hypothesis that I am willing to put forward:  Hate speech is by, for, and about Jews.  (Oops—is that hate speech?)  That is, that hate speech laws have been invented and promoted by Jews, primarily for their benefit.  I further hold that Jews are the master-class haters in world history, and that they understand the power of hatred better than any other people.  They have furthermore learned how to project their hatred onto others in service of their own ends, including by trickery and deception.  Let me marshal whatever evidence I can, mostly implicit, to build a case for this hypothesis.

Start with a little history of Jews and hatred.  Perhaps the first explicit connection came way back in 300 BC, in a short writing by Hecateus of Abdera titled “On the Jews.”  Only two fragments remain, one of which is relevant:  As a result of the Exodus, “Moses introduced a way of life which was, to a certain extent, misanthropic (apanthropon) and hostile to foreigners”.[3]  It is striking that, even at that early date, the Jews had a reputation for misanthropy—a hatred of humanity.  The same theme recurs in 134 BC, when King Antiochus VII was advised “to destroy the Jews, for they alone among all peoples refused all relations with other races, and saw everyone as their enemy.”  The king’s counselor cited “the Jews’ hatred of all mankind, sanctioned by their very laws.”[4]  Not only was their hatred notable, so too was the fact that it was “they alone, among all peoples”; the Jews were exceptional haters, it seems.

It is worth further expanding on the idea that Jewish hatred is “sanctioned by their very laws”—by which they mean, the Old Testament.  We know, of course, that the Jews viewed themselves as “chosen” by the creator of the universe:  “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth” (Deut 7:6).  Clearly, then, everyone else is second-best.  We also know that God supposedly gave the Jews a kind of dominion over the other nations of the Earth.  The Book of Exodus states, “we [Jews] are distinct…from all other people that are upon the face of the earth” (33:16).  Similarly, the Hebrew tribe is “a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations” (Num 23:9).  In Deuteronomy (15:6), Moses tells the Jews “you shall rule over many nations”; “they shall be afraid of you” (28:10).  There is Genesis:  “Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you” (27:29); or Deuteronomy, where God promises Jews “houses full of all good things, which [they] did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which [they] did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which [they] did not plant” (6:11).  And outside the Pentateuch, we can read in Isaiah:  “Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you…that men may bring you the wealth of the nations” (60:10–11); or again, “aliens shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers…you shall eat the wealth of the nations” (61:5–6).  What is this but explicit misanthropy, sanctioned by God, and sustained “by their very laws”?

Around 50 BC, Diodorus Siculus wrote Historical Library where, in the course of discussing the Exodus, he observes that “the nation of Jews had made their hatred of mankind into a tradition” (34,1).  A few decades later, Lysimachus remarked that the Hebrew tribe was instructed by Moses “to show good will to no man” and to offer only “the worse advice” to others.  And in the early years of the Christian era, the writer Apion commented on the Jewish tendency “to show no goodwill to a single alien, above all to Greeks.”[5]  Again, repeated observations of Jewish hatred toward Gentile humanity.

The most insightful ancient critique, though, comes from Roman historian Tacitus.  His works Histories (100 AD) and Annals (115 AD) both record highly damning observations on the Hebrew tribe.  In the former, the Jews are described as “a race of men hateful to the gods” (genus hominum invisium deis, V.3).  Somewhat later, he remarks that “the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity” (hostile odium, V.5).  But his most famous line comes from his later work, Annals.  There he examines the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, and Nero’s reaction to it.  Nero, says Tacitus, pinned the blame in part on the Christians and Jews—“a class of men loathed for their vices.”  The Jews “were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race” (odio humani generis, XV.44).  Clearly this was the decisive factor, certainly in Tacitus’ eyes and perhaps in all of Rome:  that the Jewish odio humani generis, hatred of humanity, was a sufficient crime to banish and even slay them.

I could go on, but the message is clear:  The ancient world viewed the Jews as exceptional haters.  I could also cite, for example, Philostratus circa 230 AD (“The Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against all humanity”) or Porphyry circa 280 AD (The Jews are “the impious enemies of all nations”)—but the point is made.

Importantly, this impression carried on for centuries in Europe, into the Renaissance, the Reformation, and even through to the present day.  Martin Luther’s monumental work On the Jews and Their Lies (1543) includes this passage:  “Now you can see what fine children of Abraham the Jews really are, how well they take after their father [the Devil], yes, what a fine people of God they are.  They boast before God of their physical birth and of the noble blood inherited from their fathers, despising all other people.”[6]  Two centuries later, circa 1745, Jean-Baptiste de Mirabaud wrote that “The Jews…were hated because they were known to hate other men.”[7]  And then we have Voltaire’s entry on “Jews” in his famous Philosophical Dictionary, which reads as follows:

It is certain that the Jewish nation is the most singular that the world has ever seen, and…in a political view, the most contemptible of all. …  It is commonly said that the abhorrence in which the Jews held other nations proceeded from their horror of idolatry; but it is much more likely that the manner in which they, at the first, exterminated some of the tribes of Canaan, and the hatred which the neighboring nations conceived for them, were the cause of this invincible aversion.  As they knew no nations but their neighbors, they thought that, in abhorring them, they detested the whole earth, and thus accustomed themselves to be the enemies of all men. …  In short, we find in them only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.[8]

British historian Edward Gibbon stated the following in his classic work of 1788, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

The Jews…emerged from obscurity…and multiplied to a surprising degree. …  The sullen obstinacy with which they maintained their peculiar rites and unsocial manners seemed to mark them out a distinct species of men, who boldly professed, or who faintly disguised, their implacable hatred to the rest of human-kind.[9]

A similar observation came from the pen of German philosopher Johann Fichte in 1793:

Throughout almost all the countries of Europe, a mighty hostile state is spreading that is at perpetual war with all other states, and in many of them imposes fearful burdens on the citizens: it is the Jews.  I don’t think, as I hope to show subsequently, that this state is fearful—not because it forms a separate and solidly united state, but because this state is founded on the hatred of the whole human race…[10]

Who, then, are the master haters in all of history?

Particularly striking are the words of Nietzsche.  A long series of negative comments on the Jews began in 1881 with his book Daybreak, where he observes in passing (sec. 377) that “The command ‘love your enemies’ had to be invented by the Jews, the best haters there have ever been.”  So it would seem that the Jews are truly best at something after all: hatred.  Then in The Gay Science (1882), Nietzsche sarcastically notes that the Jews are indeed ‘chosen’ people, precisely because “they had a more profound contempt for the human being in themselves than any other people” (sec. 136).

But the most stunning discourse appears in Nietzsche’s work of 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals, where he offers a detailed analysis of hatred from the Judeo-Christian perspective.  In short, Jewish hatred is manifested most visibly in their rabbis, religious men, and their priests.  Sanctioned by God, priestly hate is the deepest and most profound; it is the hatred of those without tangible power.  Jewish hatred then metastasized in Christianity, taking form as its nominal opposite, namely, love.  The First Essay is a masterpiece of literature and philosophy; I quote it at length:

As is well known, priests are the most evil of enemies—but why?  Because they are the most powerless.  From their powerlessness, their hate grows among them into something huge and terrifying, to the most spiritual and most poisonous manifestations.  The really great haters in world history and the most spiritual haters have always been priests—in comparison with the spirit of priestly revenge, all the remaining spirits are generally hardly worth considering.

Let us quickly consider the greatest example.  Everything on earth which has been done against “the noble,” “the powerful,” “the masters,” “the rulers” is not worth mentioning in comparison with what the Jews have done against them: the Jews, that priestly people, who knew how to get final satisfaction from their enemies and conquerors through a radical transformation of their values, that is, through an act of the most spiritual revenge.  This was appropriate only to a priestly people with the most deeply repressed priestly desire for revenge.  In opposition to the aristocratic value equations (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = fortunate = loved by god), the Jews, with an awe-inspiring consistency, dared to reverse things and to hang on to that with the teeth of the most profound hatred (the hatred of the powerless)…  (sec. 7)

But you fail to understand that?  You have no eye for something that needed two millennia to emerge victorious? … That’s nothing to wonder at: all lengthy things are hard to see, to assess.  However, that’s what took place: out of the trunk of that tree of vengeance and hatred, Jewish hatred—the deepest and most sublime hatred, that is, a hatred which creates ideals and transforms values, something whose like has never existed on earth—from that grew something just as incomparable, a new love, the deepest and most sublime of all the forms of love: —from what other trunk could it have grown?

However, one should not assume that this love arose essentially as the denial of that thirst for vengeance, as the opposite of Jewish hatred!  No: the reverse is the truth!  This love grew out of that hatred, as its crown, as the victorious crown unfolding itself wider and wider in the purest brightness and sunshine, which, so to speak, was seeking for the kingdom of light and height, the goal of that hate, aiming for victory, trophies, seduction, with the same urgency with which the roots of that hatred were sinking down ever deeper and more greedily into everything that was evil and possessed depth.  This Jesus of Nazareth, the living evangelist of love, the “Saviour” bringing holiness and victory to the poor, to the sick, to the sinners—was he not that very seduction in its most terrible and most irresistible form, the seduction and detour to exactly those Jewish values and innovations in ideals?  (sec. 8)

On this view, Christian ‘love’ grows out of Jewish ‘hate,’ like the crown of the tree from its roots.  The Jews (and Paul specifically), the master haters, purveyors of the “deepest and most sublime hatred” that has ever existed, created the idea of a saviour who loves everyone.  They did so as cover for their hatred of humanity, and as an enticement into their Jewish-inspired worldview—one of a Jewish man-god (Jesus), of Jehovah the Almighty, of heaven and hell.  These destructive and nihilistic “values and innovations” could only be foisted upon a humanity that was detested.  Christianity was thus the greatest manifestation of Jewish hatred ever conceived.

Nietzsche summarizes his thesis concisely in section 16:

In Rome the Jew was considered “guilty of hatred against the entire human race.”  And that view was correct, to the extent that we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values.

The nihilistic Christian values—based on a mythical God and an unknowable and perhaps nonexistent future life—managed to undermine and ultimately displace the superior Greco-Roman values that had flourished for 800 years and created the foundation of all of Western civilization.  Only an overthrow of Judeo-Christianity and a return to classic, aristocratic values can save humanity at this point.  The quoted passage refers, of course, to Tacitus.

We can’t leave the Genealogy without brief mention of a fascinating and humorous allegory on hatred that Nietzsche offers in section 13.  There he compares the situation between lowly (Judeo-Christian) haters and the strong and noble (Roman) aristocrats to the opposition that might exist between baby lambs and some nasty predator (Raubvogel), like an eagle.  The lambs are innocently and peacefully munching grass in a field, but live in constant fear of a predator who may, at any time, swoop in and snatch them up.  The weak lambs are haters; they hate those birds of prey.  But the noble eagles don’t hate at all.  Nietzsche explains:

But let’s come back: the problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has imagined it for himself, demands its own conclusion.  —That the lambs are upset about the great predatory birds is not a strange thing, and the fact that they snatch away small lambs provides no reason for holding anything against these large birds of prey.  And if the lambs say among themselves, “These predatory birds are evil, and whoever is least like a predatory bird, especially anyone who is like its opposite, a lamb—shouldn’t that animal be good?” there is nothing to find fault with in this setting-up of an ideal, except for the fact that the birds of prey might look down on them with a little mockery and perhaps say to themselves, “We are not at all annoyed with these good lambs.  We even love them.  Nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.”

The noble don’t hate; they rule and dominate.  Only the weak hate.  The weak haters furthermore seek to portray the strong and noble in the harshest possible terms: “evil,” “killers,” “sinners.”  But this is ludicrous, of course.  The strong are just doing what is appropriate to their nature.  The haters might then try to confuse the strong, to guilt them into changing their behavior, to get them to become ‘weak’ and ‘good’ like the haters themselves.  But this would be the death of them, just as a life of munching grass—so pleasant for a lamb—would mean death for an eagle.  Nietzsche emphasizes this very point:

[I]t’s no wonder that the repressed, secretly smouldering feelings of rage and hate use this belief for themselves, and basically even maintain a faith in nothing more fervently than in the idea that the strong are free to be weak and that predatory birds are free to be lambs: —in so doing, they arrogate to themselves the right to blame the birds of prey for being birds of prey.

Today, weak and lowly haters—Jews, Jewish-inspired Christians, and Jewish lackeys in the media—have been working hard to convince the strong and noble that they are bad, evil, bigoted, racist, and supremacist.  And to the extent that they have succeeded, it has been the death of noble humanity.  We must resist this tendency with all our might.

Hate Speech in the Twentieth Century

With growing wealth and financial clout, and with a 2,000-year history of skill in hatred under their belts, organized Jewry began to press the case for legal sanctions against their opponents.  With the flood of Jewish immigrants around the turn of the century, it is perhaps not surprising that Jewish legal advocacy took hold in the US.  In the first two decades, a number of major pro-Jewish groups emerged, including the American Jewish Committee (1906), the Anti-Defamation League (1913), the American Jewish Congress (1918), and the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).  All these groups were de facto anti-hate speech advocates, even if the federal legal apparatus did not really exist at that point.  Their focus was on so-called “group libel,” a novel legal concept that was formulated specifically to benefit Jewish interests.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Jews were making better legal progress in the proto-Soviet Union.  The rise of Jewish Bolsheviks from around 1900, including Leon Trotsky and the quarter-Jewish Vladimir Lenin, brought a new concern with anti-Semitism to the Russian Empire.  When they took power in the February Revolution of 1917, they immediately set to work to make life better for Russian Jews.  Pinkus (1990) explains that these Bolsheviks “issued a decree annulling all legal restrictions on Jews” in March 1917.[11]  He adds that, unsurprisingly, “Even before the October [1917] Revolution, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party were hostile to anti-Semitism.  Lenin castigated it in the strongest terms on a number of occasions.”  As soon as July 1918, the Soviet Council issued a decree (though without legal enforcement) stating that “the anti-Semitic movement and the anti-Jewish pogroms are a deadly menace to the Revolution”; all Soviet workers are called upon “to fight this plague with all possible means”.[12]  Lenin himself continued to press his pro-Jewish propaganda; in one short but notable speech of March 1919, he said:

Anti-Semitism means spreading enmity towards the Jews.  When the accursed Czarist monarchy was living its last days, it tried to incite ignorant workers and peasants against the Jews.  The Czarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organized pogroms against the Jews.  The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. … Only the most ignorant and downtrodden people can believe the lies and slander that are spread about the Jews.  This is a survival of ancient feudal times, when the priests burned heretics at the stake, when the peasants lived in slavery, and when the people were crushed and inarticulate.  This ancient, feudal ignorance is passing away; the eyes of the people are being opened.

It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people.  The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries.  Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority.  They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. … Shame on accursed Czarism which tortured and persecuted the Jews.  Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations.

As (non-Jew) Joseph Stalin rose to power in the 1920s, he found it expedient to continue working with the Soviet Jews and generally defended their status.  Consequently, that decade became a sort of ‘golden age’ for Jews; it saw the emergence of the likes of Lazar Kaganovich, Yakov Sverdlov, Lev Kamenev, Karl Radek, Leonid Krasin, Filipp Goloshchekin, and Yakov Agranov—all high-ranking Jews in the Soviet hierarchy.[13]  Partly because of this governmental dominance, anti-Semitism among the Russian masses continued to percolate.  Eventually, “in 1927, a decision was reached to take drastic steps to repress anti-Semitism.”[14]  Various forms of propaganda were employed, including books, pamphlets, plays, and films; the process culminated in harsh legal action against anti-Jewish hate, up to and including the death penalty.  Stalin confirmed this in writing in 1931:

Anti-Semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism.  Anti-Semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle.  Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-Semitism.  In the USSR, anti-Semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system.  Under USSR law, active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty.

The Jewish Golden Age in the Soviet Union lasted until the late 1930s, when Stalin inaugurated a retrenchment of Jewish power, apparently in response to the National Socialist stance.[15]

But the Soviet (and Bolshevik) philo-Semitic policies of the 1920s and 1930s were not lost on Hitler.  He and Goebbels were relentless, and justified, in their critiques of “Jewish Bolshevism” as a dominant threat to Germany and Europe.  Goebbels in particular noted the growing push for ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’ laws in defense of Jews in both the USSR and the UK; for him, this was proof of (a) a deep-seated and imminent mass uprising against the Jews, and (b) an over-playing of their legal authority.  Anti-hate laws are a sign of desperation; they indicate that the end-game is near.  In a revealing diary entry of 19 April 1943, Goebbels writes:

The Jews in England are now calling for legal protection against anti-Semitism.  We know that from our own past, in the times of struggle.  But even that didn’t give them much advantage.  We’ve always understood how to find gaps in these protective laws; and moreover, anti-Semitism, once it rises from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by law.  A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.  We will make sure that anti-Semitism in England does not cool down.  In any case, a longer-lasting war is the best breeding ground for it.[16]

The following month, in his published essay “The War and the Jews,” Goebbels commented on the legal situation in the USSR—the very law that Stalin described above, and that was still in force some 13 years later:

We constantly hear news that anti-Semitism is increasing in enemy nations.  The charges being made against the Jews are well-known; they are the same ones that were made here.  Anti-Semitism in enemy nations is not the result of anti-Semitic propaganda, since Jewry fights that strongly.  In the Soviet Union, it receives the death penalty.[17]

The status of anti-Semitic hate speech laws was of importance to Goebbels right to the very end.  In his last major essay, “Creators of the World’s Misfortunes” (1945), he reiterated the significance of the Soviet law:

Capitalism and Bolshevism have the same Jewish roots—two branches of the same tree that in the end bear the same fruit.  International Jewry uses both in its own way to suppress nations and keep them in its service.  How deep its influence on public opinion is in all the enemy countries and many neutral nations is plain to see: it may never be mentioned in newspapers, speeches, and radio broadcasts.

There’s a law in the Soviet Union that punishes ‘anti-Semitism’—or in plain English, public education about the Jewish Question—by death.  Any expert in these matters is in no way surprised that a leading spokesman for the Kremlin said over the New Year that the Soviet Union would not rest until this law was valid throughout the world.  In other words, the enemy clearly says that its goal in this war is to put the total domination of Jewry over the nations of the Earth under legal protection, and to use the death penalty to threaten even a discussion of this shameful attempt.  It is little different in the plutocratic [Western] nations.

Even at the bitter end, this theme still impressed Goebbels.  In one of his final diary entries, he wrote:

The Jews have already registered for the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans].  It is characteristic that their main demand is to ban anti-Semitism throughout the world.  Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the Jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.[18]

And indeed, they have succeeded, at least in part.  The postwar German Volksverhetzung and the Austrian Verbotsgesetz both stand as among the most embarrassing legal capitulations to Jewish interests in the Western world.

Thus we clearly see the origins of hate speech legislation in the twentieth century: it was first constructed by Jews and their sycophants (like Stalin), both in the US and in the Soviet Union, to quell any looming opposition to their power structure.  So intent were they on stifling objection to Jewish rule that they were willing to kill those who opposed them.

To the Present Day

With the growing dominance of Jewish influence in American government over the past five decades, and ongoing influence in Europe, calls to restrict and punish any anti-Jewish commentary via hate speech laws have become ever more strident.  The U.S. government—or at least the Republicans—have so far mostly resisted such efforts, but social media has come around to the philosemitic stance.  Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube, have all taken it upon themselves to censor hate speech, especially of the anti-Semitic variety.  Google has altered its search algorithms to de-rank offensive and “hate” sites.  All this is perfectly understandable, given the huge Jewish presence atop Big Tech; we need only mention Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Larry Page, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Sheryl Sandberg, Safra Katz, Susan Wojcicki, Steve Ballmer, Brian Roberts, Marc Benioff, Craig Newmark, and Jeff Weiner, for starters.

Parallel to Big Tech censorship, Jewish advocacy groups like the SPLC and the ADL continue to press civil cases against those ‘haters’ who they believe have violated the rights or reputation of some aggrieved party.  The SPLC has a section of its website dedicated to “anti-Semitism and hate speech,” and the ADL—well, that’s their raison d’etre.  Third-party lawsuits and tech censorship serve the purpose of implementing de facto pro-Jewish hate speech policies, at least within the U.S.

Conclusion

But to come full circle:  I began this piece with a discussion about the logical vagueness and incoherence of the concept of hate speech.  Clearly, though, many powerful, Jewish-inspired corporations and politicians find the concept useful.  For them, in the most basic and practical terms, it becomes quite simple:  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.  Yes, they may claim to hate anti-Muslim speech or anti-Black speech, but this is so only because it is a necessary corollary to anti-Jewish hate speech.  The Jews are not so stupid today as to push for uniquely Jewish, “anti-anti-Semitism” laws; those are a thing of the past.  Today, such laws require cover language that, at least in theory, includes other “oppressed” groups.  Jews and their defenders must appear universal and fair—when in reality most seem to have utter contempt for virtually all non-Jewish groups (there’s that “hatred of humanity” again).  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.

Consider:  If you hate what I say, who’s the hater?  It’s you, not me.  The fact that you may not like what I’m saying does not make me a hater.  It makes you the hater.  And if you happen to be a champion, master-class, world-historical hater, well then—it’s all hate to you.

Thomas Dalton, PhD, has authored or edited several books and articles on politics, history, and religion, with a special focus on National Socialism in Germany.  His works include a new translation series of Mein Kampf, and the books Eternal Strangers (2020), The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019), and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020), all available at www.clemensandblair.com.  For all his writings, see his personal website www.thomasdaltonphd.com.


[1] Reprinted in Goebbels on the Jews (2019; T. Dalton, ed), p. 199.  This and most other books cited below are available at www.clemensandblair.com.

[2] For the record, I am no denier.  I believe that there was a Holocaust of the mid-20th century:  it was called World War Two, and some 60 million people died as a result of Jewish-instigated actions both here and in Europe.  Jewish fatalities seem to have numbered around 500,000, according to the major revisionists.  For more on these issues, see my books The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019) and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020).

[3] Eternal Strangers (2020; T. Dalton, ed), p. 16.

[4] Emilio Gabba, “The growth of anti-Judaism,” in The Cambridge History of Judaism (vol. 2, 1984; Cambridge University Press), p. 645.

[5] Eternal Strangers, pp. 19, 21, and 25, respectively.

[6] On the Jews and Their Lies (2020, T. Dalton, ed; Clemens & Blair), p. 53.

[7] Eternal Strangers, p. 68.

[8] Eternal Strangers, pp. 70-71.

[9] The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1788/1974, vol. 2; AMS Press), p. 3.  See also Eternal Strangers, p. 59.

[10] Eternal Strangers, p. 78.

[11] Benjamin Pinkus, The Jews of the Soviet Union (1990; Cambridge University Press), p. 84.

[12] In Pinkus, p. 85.

[13] The parallels to the Biden regime are striking; see my recent piece “Confronting the Judeocracy.”

[14] Pinkus, p. 86.

[15] Postwar, Stalin’s purging of high-ranking Jews accelerated, resulting in a decade-long period of virtual state-sponsored anti-Semitism, ending only with Stalin’s death in 1953.

[16] Goebbels on the Jews, p. 199.

[17] Ibid., pp. 206-207.

[18] 4 April 1945, in Goebbels on the Jews, p. 255.

Is Jewish Leftism a ‘Reform Problem’?

“What Reform did not do, any more than the ‘Science of Judaism,’ was to solve the Jewish problem.” Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, 1987.

Sparked by Tucker Carlson’s remarkable move towards the Jewish Question, the recent condemnation of the ADL issued by 1,500 rabbis associated with the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) has once more raised the question as to whether destructive activity perpetrated by Jewish activists in America is a matter of denomination rather than ethnicity. For several years now, but increasing during the early Trump years, there’s been a quiet but growing argument from self-styled ‘right-wing Jews’ that Jewish leftist activists are anathema to Judaism, or that as adherents of the Reform movement or Liberal Judaism they are a variety of heretical neo-Frankists unrepresentative of “true Jews.” Underlying these arguments is the implication that anti-Semitic theories involving Jews as an ethnic group, perceived as uniform, rely on weak generalizations that do not take into account the political and cultural nuances of American Jews, and therefore that such theories are illogical and irrational. In the course of almost a decade of writing about anti-Semitism and historical and contemporary Jewish behavior among Europeans, I’ve addressed this issue of political nuance more or less directly in a number of essays, especially my discussion of Jewish attitudes to Brexit and Jewish Leftist activism in children’s fiction. Given the quite dramatic nature of this most recent intervention from a signification number of rabbis against one of the world’s most prominent Jewish organizations, however, I think it’s an appropriate time to tackle the subject directly.

Before beginning, it’s worth reflecting on the context of the initial contention made by self-styled right-wing Jews. These Jews, one of the most prominent being Nathan Cofnas, make the argument that Jewish involvement in the advancement of Leftism in the West is both limited (in the sense that the advancement of Leftism also involves massive numbers of Whites and other ethnic groups), and is a predominantly Reform affair, whereas Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews have a different socio-political direction entirely. In regards to the first element, the ‘limits’ of Jewish involvement, there are few, if any, anti-Jewish theories in circulation which ascribe to Jews sole responsibility for the entirety of contemporary leftist activism. What does exist, however, is a substantial volume of evidence demonstrating that individuals who self-identify as Jews have been over-represented as innovators, leaders, and funders of the modern Left, and this evidence has led to the logical and tactical adoption of an anti-Jewish political position by many conservative Europeans and those of European ancestry. To put it simply, Jews don’t need to be orchestrating a kind of solo conspiracy against the West for an anti-Semitic political position to make theoretical sense and be supported by the data, or for Jewish influence to be a reasonable and rational topic of public discussion.

In regards to the second element of the ‘right-wing Jewish’ contention, it should be understood that the trajectory of the argument is essentially diversionary. When I first read the “not all Jews” argument being employed by Cofnas against Kevin MacDonald, for example, I was immediately reminded of the historical framework of prior debates in which minor concessions on the Jewish Question appear to be made, but are then narrowed and finally diverted. Relevant examples can be found in the public debates between Christian Wilhelm Von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn[1], and between Karl Marx and Bruno Bauer.[2] In both cases, which concerned the question of Jewish political emancipation, and the undesirability of such an event in the context of negative Jewish group behavior, the Jewish participants attempted to rhetorically carve off elements of the Jewish population, scapegoating them temporarily in order that broader Jewish goals (social, political, or economic) might be achieved. Both Mendelssohn and Marx conceded that harms were being wrought by Jews, but added that this was the result of historical mistreatment that produced a class of renegade Jews (crooks and usurers for Mendelssohn; arch-capitalists for Marx). The fundamental goal of these rhetorical strategies was to defuse and weaken the anti-Semitic reaction, with both Mendelssohn and Marx keen to ease the Jewish path to full civic equality in Europe.

The modern version of these strategies appears to be the insistence that historical treatment (exclusion from the Right[3]) and contemporary circumstances (tendencies in Western liberalism) have created a Frankenstein’s monster in the form of a radical left Reform Judaism. While right-wing Jews are comfortable, to an extent, in condemning these radical Reform Jews, they insist that the host population should remain tolerant of the Jewish ethnic group as a whole and to continue to support Israel. The crucial point here is that, because of its diversionary nature, and its quite obvious side-stepping of the cost-benefit implications of philo-Semitic tolerance (as if European problems with Jews and Judaism have ever been limited to postmodern Leftism), it is inherently political to ask if Jewish Leftism is a Reform problem. It is nevertheless interesting to ask, given that it interrogates the framing of anti-Semitism and opens up valid questions about the Jewish relationship to the Left, and about the nature of the Jewish-European conflict more generally. Most pertinently we should ask, even if Jewish Leftism is a Reform problem, does it ultimately matter?

Gaining conclusive and detailed insight into the socio-political leanings of contemporary American Jews is difficult. Part of this difficulty lies in historical Jewish evasiveness when it comes to, for example, being counted in national censuses, and more general suspicions that data collected on Jews will inevitably be used against them by the host population.[4] When Jewish organizations conduct their own surveys of political, social, or cultural attitudes, the direction of analysis is overwhelmingly against the host population. In fact, surveys of alleged anti-Semitism in the host population are extremely common, if not the most common type of social survey conducted by Jewish groups.[5] Scholars have pointed out that in those instances where Jewish groups engage in surveys among their own people, these surveys are overwhelmingly concerned with population size and Jewish identity, and are often loaded with agendas, biases, and goals such as the boosting of Jewish fertility and the reduction of intermarriage rates.[6] Furthermore, in those instances when Jews have conducted social research on themselves as a means of ‘explaining’ themselves to host peoples, this has also been warped by ulterior and often apologetic motives. Hebrew University’s Sergio Della Pergola, for example, has argued that “Jewish social research was never the mere exercise of human curiosity or analytical skill. Rather it was a means of advancing specific theses regarding the nature of the Jews vis-a-vis world society.”[7] All of which is to say that survey data and social research concerning Jews should be treated with an appropriate level of caution.

It’s nevertheless clear that gaining some kind of reliable insight into the political positions and divisions of American and Western Jewry is important, if not crucial, for host nations. Since their earliest arrival in Europe, Jews have been noted as influential political actors in Western nations, and in recent decades this influence has extended even to the manipulation of the demography of those countries. Della Pergola, for example, has argued that Jewish populations “may significantly influence national population trends in order to advance their own corporate interests — for example, by advocating particular policy interventions.”[8] Della Pergola notes that Jewish populations can often be divided into at least two categories: the core Jewish population of strongly-identified, full-blooded, and often religious, Jews; and the ‘enlarged Jewish population’ which embraces all those with at least some Jewish ethnic heritage that they have consciously embraced, as well as those full-blooded Jews of a less religious inclination but who see themselves as part of a Jewish peoplehood. It’s important to stress at this stage that both divisions are fully capable of formulating and pursuing ideas of what constitutes “corporate interests,” even differing ideas, since the ultimate corporate body in both divisions is not Judaism as such but the Jewish people or even merely the idea of the Jewish people and its putative destiny.

One of the weaknesses of Della Pergola’s division of contemporary Jewry is its lack of utility in the religious sense. Orthodox and Reform Jews can only be roughly mapped onto “core” and “enlarged” categories because, in an American context in which Reform Jews are certainly an influential demographic majority, it makes little sense to argue that they are not in fact the “core” of the American Jewish community. This is where the argument of the self-styled right-wing Jews encounters its first major stumbling block, because the attempt to defend Jews in toto by scapegoating Reform Jews misses the point that Reform, for all intents and purposes, is American Jewry and will remain so demographically far into the future.[9]

The “core” and “enlarged” categories are, however, of some interest and utility when discussing survey data on Jewish political attitudes. It’s been noted that most exit polls will collect reasonably accurate data on “core” Jews because they capture “Jews by Religion” (JBR) when asking if voters are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, etc. The “core” Jewish population is more likely to include the more religiously identified Orthodox Jews, but it’s interesting that most recent exit polls (conducted by Pew Research) continue to show that even in the JBR category the party split was 68 percent Democratic, 7 percent Independent, and 25 percent Republican. Figures for “Jews of No Religion” (JNR) were 78 percent, 10 percent, and 12 percent. More than 40 percent of JBRs described themselves as liberal, while only 22 percent described themselves as conservative. The rest indicated only that they were moderate, which is open to any number of interpretations. Herbert Weisberg, writing in The Annual Jewish Year Book 2019 explained the figures as indicating that “Jews should be considered to be more Democratic and more liberal than media surveys and exit polls typically show.”[10] This would seem to be indicated also by a number of J Street exit polls which showed that Orthodox Jews are more liberal than ‘right-wing’ Jewish diversionists would have us believe. More than half of Orthodox Jews (59 percent), for example, voted for Obama in 2012, and a similar proportion (56 percent) voted for Clinton in 2016.[11] Even among the Ultra-Orthodox, normally viewed as overwhelmingly hawkish and likely to vote along with the flamboyant Zionism of the GOP, more than a third of respondents (35 percent) to one poll described themselves as Democrats.[12]

It’s important to note that the Jewish political profile is unique. While attempts have been made, by diversionists like Cofnas, to explain Jewish liberalism as an aspect of their higher educational attainment or their likelihood to be more urban-dwelling, serious scholars of Jewish demography and politics have long noted that “studies consistently find that Jews are significantly more Democratic than non-Jews with similar socio-demographic characteristics … Indeed, Wald’s calculations show they are more Democratic than the non-Jew who is their closest match on demographics and economic status.”[13] Wald and Weisberg instead argue that all Jews, whether Orthodox or Reform, “core” or “enlarged,” will vote or engage politically as part of a reaction to “the greatest perceived threat to their interests.”[14] In other words, Jewish political behavior is best explained by Jewish agency and perceptions of Jewish interests rather than cultural context.

It’s arguable that two of the most important Jewish interests are in the form of socio-economic dominance and multiculturalism, and here the unique pattern of Jewish political activity continues and amplifies. It’s extremely interesting that Jews very heavily support non-economic forms of Leftism, and are very much in favor of the expansion of government power, but are much more reluctant to back purely economic forms of socialism. In this regard they differ significantly from non-Jewish Leftists who embrace and emphasize economic socialism within their worldview. A 2012 survey found that a majority of Jews were not willing to pay more taxes in order to help the poor, were not likely to support a government health scheme, and were generally not supportive of government economic guarantees.[15] Jews have also been noted in the past as strong opponents of affirmative action, with even the ADL and the American Jewish Committee filing briefs against it.[16] This can be easily interpreted not as a method of opposing race politics, but as a means of preventing incursion into, or a breaking up of, established Jewish dominance within the professions. This would indicate that Jerry Muller’s theory that Jews have long had a “special relationship” with capitalism,[17] continues to have resonance despite the leadership of Jews in the onward march of purely cultural and political forms of Leftism—now championed by large swaths of other elite sectors of America, including large corporations.[18] The general image that emerges is one in which Jews act politically to create socially and culturally fluid societies where a façade of social justice and equality is promoted and celebrated, and in which a pseudo-elite (Whites) is attacked, but in which no real threat to Jewish privileges and socio-economic dominance is present.

Jews also quite obviously have a special relationship with multiculturalism, being Europe’s first significant minority and the passive or active cause of most of the continent’s earliest legislation on tolerance and migration. It’s an unfortunate commonplace that many of those who have criticized Kevin MacDonald for suggesting that Jews promote multiculturalism in order to feel more secure, are completely ignorant of the fact that several of his ideas are in some form or another slowly becoming fairly mainstream in the sociological study of contemporary Jews. Historian Diana Pinto, a Jewish Harvard graduate, Fulbright Fellow, and board member for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, has argued that, within a multicultural context, “Jews are no longer perceived as the only ‘diasporic’ people, or as the most significant ‘other’ in the society,” and that this “relieves Jews of burden.”[19] Any scenario in which the pluralistic principles of the host nation are fundamentally challenged, or in which demographic change could return Jews to a position of ‘burden,’ would therefore quite obviously represent a perceived threat to Jewish interests along the lines discussed by Wald and Weisberg, and the question of immigration and associated laws would be an area of political activity that one would expect to see high levels of Jewish participation. Jewish opinions on threat level can of course vary, with some Jews feeling content and secure with moderate levels of pluralism while others would feel secure only when the demographic dominance of the host population is completely undermined. If a proportion of the immigrating demographic is itself a perceived threat to Jews, for example in the case of Muslim migration to France and other parts of Europe, further division and divergence would be expected. The most important aspect of the topic, however, remains that Jews have a fundamental interest in preserving the pluralistic principles of the host nation and avoiding a return of the Jews to a position of being a salient ‘other,’ and therefore a ‘burden.’ In this respect, much as with the nature of Jewish Leftism in relation to economic and social questions, the Jewish relationship to multiculturalism is unique, and involves a blurring of the standard Left-Rright political categories that can be more crudely applied to non-Jewish political activity.

The apparent clash between the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) over Tucker Carlson presents an interesting case in which fundamental agreement on Jewish interests can be overlaid with disagreement between fringe cliques of Jews and the great majority of the Jewish population on how to best achieve those interests. The first point worth stressing is that the incident is not a straightforward case of Orthodox versus Reform. The Coalition for Jewish Values is, as far as I am aware, exclusively staffed by Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews who can be usefully described as “core” Jews. The ADL, however, cannot be neatly categorized as a Reform organization, because its most recent Directors have been Orthodox (Abe Foxman, Director 1987–2015) and Conservative (Jonathan Greenblatt, Director 2015–present), and because its behavior since its founding can be most accurately described as an expression of the “enlarged” Jewish population rather than any specific denomination within that. Further, the motivations and past actions of the CJV map comfortably within a reasonable conception of Jewish interests rather than being a novel break from them. And finally, in all such cases of division within the Jewish community, it’s important to assess where the power lies if one is attempting to discern relative influence on the wider society. The ADL, representing the interests of the “enlarged” Jewish population, is far more powerful and influential than CJV.

Even aside from the fact that they emerged from the momentum of Trumpist Zionism, it’s interesting that the CJV has rationalized its more socially conservative positions via the lens of Jewish interests. When the group filed an amicus brief in support of Christian groups fighting to keep a large cross placed on public grounds in Pensacola, Florida, for example, the CJV claimed that ruling against the right to place a cross would also “encourage the erasure of minority religions from public life.” In other words, they viewed their actions primarily as protecting Judaism and pluralistic principles in the host society, even if this commitment to pluralistic principles has not extended, as in the case of the “enlarged Jewish community,” to gays and transsexuals. The CJV may also be a response of sorts to increasing awareness among conservative Whites (like Tucker Carlson) that Jews occupy a very unique and prominent role in American Leftism. This increasing visibility would obviously be perceived as a threat by Jews. Yaakov Menken, the CJV’s managing director, has recalled a conversation with a Christian pro-Israel leader who told him: “I can’t tell you how often people ask me “‘why are you devoting so much time to supporting the Jews and Israel when Jews oppose us on our core issues?’” The potential collapse of Christian Zionism and philo-Semitism in America would obviously have significant consequences for Jewish influence globally, and it should therefore come as no surprise that an effort to heighten the visibility of a “right-wing Judaism” would be made, no matter how superficial or self-interested.

Concluding Remarks

Is Jewish leftism a Reform problem? No. The Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox have their own history of endorsing and supporting Leftism if it suited Jewish interests, motivated by their attempting to avoid or lessen perceived threats. Moreover, even if Jewish Leftism was a Reform problem, the broader causes of anti-Semitism wouldn’t evaporate with the disappearance of that denomination. The Reform movement, we should recall, began in the nineteenth century — around 2,000 years after the earliest writings against the Jewish people. Many of the major historical provocations of anti-Semitic attitudes such as high levels of Jewish ethnocentrism, Jewish economic domination and exploitation, and the special political relationship between Jews and elites, cross denominational lines and precede by centuries the emergence of the modern Left. Some aspects of problematic contemporary Jewish behavior such as slumlordism, fraud, and white-collar crime are actually found in higher numbers among the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox than among Reform Jews.[20]

In short, the case for an ethnic interpretation of Jewish behavior far outweighs that for a denominational perspective. In the end, the diversionary argument of the self-styled Right-wing Jews can only gain traction among those whose worldview is simplistic and without nuance, and who perceive all of contemporary politics under the basic rubric of Left versus Right. Among such people, it’s perfectly possible to look at the handful of anti-transsexual or anti-ADL statements of the CJV and conclude that one has an ideological brother. Among the more sophisticated, however, in which a definite sense of ethnic interests is foremost, a more nuanced approach emerges, along with a new question altogether: For how long will the politics of my nation turn on the axis of Jewish interests?


[1] Crouter, Richard. “Emancipation Discourse in the Late 18th Century: Christian Wilhelm von Dohm on the Jews (1781)” Journal for the History of Modern Theology, vol. 13, no. 2, 2006, pp. 161-178. For translated primary sources on the debate between the two intellectuals see Mendes-Flohr, Paul R. (ed) The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 27-43.

[2] See on this topic, Peled, Yoav. “From theology to sociology: Bruno Bauer and Karl Marx on the question of Jewish emancipation.” History of Political Thought 13, no. 3 (1992): 463-485; Blanchard, William H. “Karl Marx and the Jewish question.” Political Psychology (1984): 365-374; Leopold, David. “The Hegelian Antisemitism of Bruno Bauer.” History of European ideas 25, no. 4 (1999): 179-206.

[3] Although ‘right-wing’ Jews like Cofnas seem unaware of it, they’re actually regurgitating an old-fashioned and now more or less discredited theory of Jewish liberalism. See, for example, the work of Werner Cohn in the late 1950s, where he often argued that Jews had been ‘pushed’ to the left by the association of the right with anti-Semitism.

[4] For a more detailed discussion of these difficulties see Della Pergola, Sergio, “Jewish Demography: Fundamentals of the Research Field,” in Rebhun, Uzi, The Social Scientific Study of Jewry: Sources, Approaches, Debates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). Also of interest in the same volume is Saxe, Leonard et al, “Measuring the Size and Characteristics of American Jewry: A New Paradigm for an Ancient People.”

[5] Smith, Tom W. “A Review: Actual Trends or Measurement Artifacts? A Review of Three Studies of Anti-Semitism.” The Public Opinion Quarterly 57, no. 3 (1993): 380-93.

[6] Della Pergola, Sergio, “Jewish Demography: Fundamentals of the Research Field”, 10 & 23. Such studies can, for example, be designed to “greatly exaggerate” notions of Jewish population decline in order to promote endogamy and increase Jewish fertility.

[7] Ibid., 15.

[8] Ibid., 17.

[9] Although having a higher birth rate, Orthodox Jews comprise only around 10 percent of American Jewry, and around 10 percent of Orthodox youth eventually drift into more liberal Jewish milieus or forms of Judaism. The decline of the Reform population via intermarriage has rightly been described as “greatly exaggerated” by Calvin Goldscheider. See Goldscheider, Calvin, Studying the Jewish Future (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004).

[10] Weisberg, Herbert. F. “The Presidential Voting of American Jews,” in Sheskin, Ira (ed), American Jewish Yearbook 2019 (New York: Springer, 2020), 43.

[11] Ibid., 82.

[12] Ibid., 77.

[13] Ibid., 73.

[14] Ibid., 46.

[15] Weisberg, Herbert F. The Politics of American Jews (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2019),127-128.

[16] Van Horne, Winston A. Ethnicity in the Work Force (Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), 56.

[17] See Jerry Z. Muller, Capitalism and the Jews (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).

[18] Jack Dalton, “’Be Brave, Do Something’: Ashley Rae Goldenberg’s List of Corporations that Support the Riots asnd Want You Dead,” VDare (June 6, 2020). https://vdare.com/posts/be-brave-do-something-ashley-rae-goldenberg-s-list-of-corporations-that-support-the-riots-and-want-you-dead

[19] Quoted in Hartman, Harriet, “Studies of Jewish Identity and Continuity: Competing, Complementary, and Comparative Perspectives,” in Rebhun, Uzi, The Social Scientific Study of Jewry: Sources, Approaches, Debates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 93.

[20] See, for example, Rosen, Michael, “God Will Not Provide: Hasidic Jews and Fraud.” Journal of Law & Social Deviance 3 (2012): 245.

“Secure Tolerance”: The Jewish Plan to Permanently Silence the West, Part 2

Go to Part 1.

20122015: The National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance

Between 2012 and January 2015, Dinstein and three other experts on constitutional law, backed by Kantor’s ECTR developed a draft 12-page pan-European “tolerance law” for adoption by the European Union. The law was intended to “criminalize ‘group libel,’ such as negative stereotyping, target group-to-group intolerance, and ban neo-Nazi and other discriminatory organizations in Europe.” On January 27, the draft legislation debuted at the European Jewish Congress, then meeting in Prague, with Kantor presiding and throwing his “support behind the proposal, which would grant harsher punishments for hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Roma, women, and LGBQT alike across the continent.” Minor complaints came from Alan Dershowitz and Bernard Henri-Levy, who believed that an educational (indoctrination) strategy would be a more effective (safer for Jews) way of pursuing an end to anti-Semitism. Dinstein (and, one would presume, Kantor), according to Times of Israel, was “undeterred by the criticism, insisting that he would continue to promote the legislation to European governments, in the hopes that like Holocaust denial criminalization, which he said was initially perceived as a “pipe dream,” the tolerance law will ultimately take root.”

Dinstein’s document, innocuously titled “A European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance,” [full text here] but also known by the name “Model National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance,” was designed to legally implement Kantor’s ideological proposals as outlined in the 2011 Manifesto for Secure Tolerance, and made provision for the explicit criminalization of “overt approval of a totalitarian ideology, xenophobia or anti-Semitism.” It proposes to make “education in tolerance” mandatory from elementary school to college. All governments will be legally obliged to ensure their schools “introduce courses encouraging students to accept diversity. … It is very important to start such courses as early as possible in the educational programme, i.e. in elementary school.” The same measures will have to be imposed in the education of the military and the police, and for the entire professional class within society.

The statute also makes it a legal obligation for every EU country to ensure that public broadcasting “devote a prescribed percentage of their programmes to promoting a climate of tolerance.” It asserts a legally binding commitment that: “The production of books, plays, newspapers reports, magazine articles, films and television programmes – promoting a climate of tolerance – will be encouraged and, where necessary, subsidized by the Government.” Mass media will be completely given over to the development and dissemination of pro-diversity propaganda:

  • The Government shall ensure that public broadcasting (television and radio) stations will devote a prescribed percentage of their programmes to promoting a climate of tolerance.
  • The Government shall encourage all privately owned mass media (including the printed press) to promote a climate of tolerance.
  • The Government shall encourage all the mass media (public as well as private) to adopt an ethical code of conduct, which will prevent the spreading of intolerance and will be supervised by a mass media complaints commission.

In short, the proposals aim to make “commitment to tolerance” a total and legally binding principle, bringing about a revolution in culture. In other words, nations will be punished if their TV stations do not produce pro-tolerance propaganda, if they fail to indoctrinate their children in pro-tolerance propaganda, and if they fail to aggressively prosecute and imprison dissidents. In fact, it provides for the establishment of “special administrative units” dedicated to the direct surveillance of all individuals or groups deemed to possess “intolerant” views.” The statute develops a framework of “concrete and enforceable obligations that ensure tolerance and stamp out intolerance.” The proposals were also designed by Kantor and Dinstein to include explicit, special protections for Jews. Dinstein, for example, remarked at a 2012 presentation of an early draft to then-EU President Martin Schulz, that “Whilst current definitions of tolerance would preclude racism and religious-based bigotry, anti-Semitism must be individually stated as a separate definition. Holocaust denial should be a crime.”

Crucially, the statute provides for the legal protection of all standard Jewish historical narratives, not just that of the Holocaust. It asserts, for example, that “It must be understood that the “group libel” may appear to be aimed at members of the group in a different time (another historical era) or place (beyond the borders of the State).” Based on one of his most recent speeches, Kantor’s own interpretation of history leaves a lot to be desired: “Historically, Jews were always among the most loyal citizens of their countries, and did their best to integrate and to become pillars of society in all walks of life.”

Presumably, anything outside such a fantasy would be considered criminal hate speech. In other words, if a modern-day Italian made the claim that Jews were dominant moneylenders in England during the medieval period, and that they contributed to the hostility demonstrated against them during that time, and which resulted in their expulsion in 1290, this individual could be subjected to the same harsh legal penalties as someone who made “anti-Semitic” criticisms of Israel today, or “denied the Holocaust.” And these penalties are harsh. The document argues there is “no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” Group libel, “Overt approval of a totalitarian ideology,” xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and public approval or denial of the Holocaust, are all to be treated as “aggravated crimes.” Juveniles “guilty of intolerance” will avoid prison, but are to be brainwashed via “a rehabilitation programme designed to instill in them a culture of tolerance.”

Since first presenting a draft to Martin Schulz in 2012, Kantor’s ECTR has presented the Model Statute in a series of meetings and seminars with international organizations, including the Council of Europe and the OSCE, as part of an intensive lobbying effort to have it written into law throughout Europe. There is currently a joint ECTR-European Council task force which is working on its implementation. Kantor has ensured his measures are massively incentivized. He has launched a $1 million “Kantor Prize for Secure Tolerance,” an ECTR annual European Medal of Tolerance, and a research fund offering grants of “20–50 thousand Euro each” for experts who can advance the legal and cultural enforcement of diversity.


Incentivizing treason: Kantor, awarding the European Medal of Tolerance to Prince Albert II of Monaco: “Your Highness’ gesture of supporting historical truth and unveiling a monument commemorating deported Jews in World War II has been such a liberating act of contrition, all the more impressive because it concerned not only your own people, but also because of your own family’s political responsibilities for the course of events.”

20162018: Kantor, the ADL, and the War on “Cyber Hate”

Beginning in late 2015, Kantor began accelerating a more global approach to “Secure Tolerance” by building a more intensive relationships with the ADL and focusing more heavily on internet “intolerance.” In January 2016, Kantor’s European Jewish Congress and the ADL announced “a partnership to cooperate on advocacy work within European Union institutions,” that would involve lobbying for the implementation of the Model Statute and for heightened levels of internet censorship. At a meeting of the EJC’s General Assembly in Brussels, it was announced that the move would “enable the ADL to have a greater impact on E.U. policies and programs,” while providing Kantor’s policies with a pathway to U.S. legislators. ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt boasted that “Working together, we will leverage our respective strengths to pursue our common goals more effectively.” An enthused Kantor replied, “I am delighted that we are partnering with such an august institution as ADL which has a longstanding record of fighting for greater tolerance and against the scourge of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism.” Ultimately, of course, it meant the further dilution of democracy in Europe, with an unelected and unsolicited gang of American Jews now free to engage in “advocacy work within European institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Commission.”

By 2018, Kantor’s effort at international Jewish co-operation to bring about “secure tolerance” had settled on the internet as a matter of major concern and as a potential springboard for further movement on repressive international legislation. There had been earlier grumblings. In 2015, then ADL Director Abraham Foxman, and also Yoram Dinstein, had called for measures to end internet anonymity and therefore expose the “intolerant” to “the censure of society. … If you want to be bigot you have to take responsibility for it.” But by 2018 this had evolved into the quest for more systematic, legal solutions to online dissent.

Moshe Kantor and the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt

In March 2018, the sixth biennial meeting of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism convened in Israel. Run by the Israeli government, hosted by Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed by former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and staffed by a large cast of Jewish academics from around the world, the Global Forum made a priority of “fighting cyber hate.” A modern day meeting of the Elders of Zion, the number of representatives from various Jewish organizations totaled just over one thousand, including leaders from the ADL; Simon Wiesenthal Center; American Jewish Committee; Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France; the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; B’nai B’rith; World Jewish Congress; and the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy.

The Global Forum, in common with so much of what we have seen so far, is essentially a central “think tank” for the campaign to introduce internet censorship throughout the West. It devises intellectual and political strategies styled as “recommendations” for Western governments to restrict the freedoms of their respective populations. The ‘recommendations’ of the 2018 Forum included a demand that all governments adopt “a clear industry standard for defining hate speech and anti-Semitism” the latter being achieved quite quickly since the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism was devised in 2016.

The Global Forum called for the introduction of an international legal ban on “Holocaust denial sites,” and its plan to “eliminate anti-Semitism” is comprehensive. Among its more recent recommendations were proposals to establish national legal units responsible for combating ‘cyber hate’; making stronger use of existing laws to prosecute ‘cyber hate’ and ‘online anti-Semitism,’ and enhancing the legal basis for prosecution where such laws are
absent.

 

Latter-Day Elders of Zion

In much the same way that Kantor’s “secure tolerance” policy proposes that “restrictions are necessary for freedom,” many if not all of the Jewish intellectuals involved in the campaign to end free speech on the internet do so while shamelessly and hypocritically posing as the truest defenders of freedom and liberty. A classic example in this regard is Raphael Cohen-Almagor, author of Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side (2015) and a key figure in the Global Forum as well as perhaps the leading anti-free speech intellectual active today. Cohen-Almagor received his D. Phil. in political theory from Oxford University in 1991, and his B.A. and M.A. from Tel Aviv University. In 1992–1995 he lectured at the Hebrew University Law Faculty. From 1995–2007 he taught at the University of Haifa Law School, Department of Communication, and Library and Information Studies University of Haifa. He is a very strongly-identified Jew, having acted as Chairperson of “The Second Generation to the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance” Organization in Israel. He also shamelessly but aggressively postures himself as a “defender of democracy,” acting as Founder and Director of Center for Democratic Studies at the University of Haifa. He is currently Chair in Politics at the University of Hull, United Kingdom. As with other aspects of the “think tank” strategy, this is “democracy,” but not as you know it.

Cohen-Almagor’s most recent significant production, titled “Taking North American White Supremacist Groups Seriously: The Scope and the Challenge of Hate Speech on the Internet,” appeared in 2018 in the International Journal of Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy.[1] Along with an earlier piece from 2016,[2] the article is an excellent sample and summary of Cohen-Almagor’s work to date, and also acts as a remarkable and important example of Jewish manipulation of discussions of free speech and the politics of White advocacy. The article’s basic argument is that American so-called “White supremacist” websites are a hotbed of dangerous hate speech which can be conclusively linked to criminality. Since hate speech “can and does inspire crime,” it is incumbent upon governments to introduce legislation banning such speech under harsh legal penalties.

We will never know how Charlottesville might have been remembered without the incident involving James Fields and Heather Heyer, but there is little doubt that it was perhaps the greatest propaganda coup that Jewish organizations could have hoped for. It therefore comes as no surprise that Cohen-Almagor should open his article with this: “On 12 August 2017, James Alex Fields Jr rammed his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters united against a white supremacist rally, Unite the Right, in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America (USA).” Despite the extreme rarity of violence from the Alt-Right, and the many singular aspects of this particular episode, Cohen-Almagor employs the most sweeping generalizations to assert the incident “illustrates the danger that the white supremacist movement poses to American society, and the close connection between hate online and hate crimes.”

Cohen-Almagor, along with the 18 Jews from the ADL, SPLC, and similar organizations he interviewed for the paper, are aware of the objections of classical liberalism to restrictions on speech:

[C. Edwin] Baker (1992, 1997), for instance, argues that almost all of the harm inflicted by free speech is eventually mediated by the mental processes of the audience. The audience decides its reaction to speech. The listeners determine their own response. Any consequences of the listeners’ response to hate speech must be attributed, in the end, to the listeners. The result is the right of speakers to present their views even if assimilation by the listeners leads to or constitutes serious harm. Baker (1997, 2012), like many American liberal philosophers and First Amendment scholars, wishes to protect freedom of expression notwithstanding the harm that the speech might inflict on the audience. … Consequently, many of my interviewees argue that American liberals thus tend to underestimate the harm in hate speech.

The key Jewish counter-argument is to assert that speech itself can be harmful and that “the audience” can be harmed merely by exposure to it. In practical terms, Cohen-Almagor contends that James Fields drove his car into a crowd at Charlottesville solely because he was exposed to hate speech — not because of his mental health, situational factors that day and immediately prior to his conduct in the vehicle, or because of catastrophic policing failures. Why everyone else “exposed” to “White supremacist hate speech” didn’t engage in similar conduct is left unexplained. Instead, we are to agree with Cohen-Almagor and his Jewish colleagues that “hate speech should not be dismissed as ‘mere speech.’ … The preferred American liberal approach of fighting ideas with ideas, speech with speech, is insufficient. Hate speech needs to be taken more seriously by the legal authorities than it currently is.”

Just as the James Fields episode is extrapolated exponentially to define an entire movement, so the issue of “hate speech” and censorship is based on an extremely small number of exceptional cases. Cohen-Almagor claims that “internet hate can be found on thousands of websites, file archives, chat rooms, newsgroups and mailing lists,” so one might assume that his methodology and argument would involve a wide range of examples where these thousands of sources are linked to thousands of instances of violence and criminality — particularly since Cohen-Almagor argues that “White supremacist” websites are “like terrorist groups.” The problem, however, is that he does no such thing, because there are no such examples.

In order to present even the most tenuously relevant research, Cohen-Almagor relies purely on unsophisticated comments from a handful of the most extreme and obscure racialist sites on the internet, and even here the author fails to provide a single instance where a White racialist website has suggested any acts of violence. So inconsequential and amateurish were such sites that by the time of writing his article Cohen-Almagor has to concede “quite a few sites discussed here are now defunct.” Having initially made a small directory of such sites, he admits the “vast majority of the web pages in that directory are no longer operative.” It is surely a damning indictment of the state of modern peer-reviewed academic journals that someone could publish an argument against the principle of free speech solely on the basis of the putative content of obscure and minuscule internet sources which are no longer even in existence.

In fact, Cohen-Almagor can’t even come to a fixed and satisfactory definition of “hate speech” or “hate sites.” This is presumably by design, with the intention that the topic is plagued by so many gray areas that any future legislation in the area is, like all existing examples of hate legislation, destined to be rhetorically capacious enough to ensure easy arbitrary interpretation by those in control. Early in his essay he asserts that “Hate speech is intended to injure, dehumanize, harass, intimidate, debase, degrade, and victimize the targeted groups, and to foment insensitivity and brutality against them.” But he also later endorses a definition of the Alt-Right, which is routinely portrayed by Cohen-Almagor and his Jewish allies as a body of “hate groups,” as merely “critical” of “multiculturalism, feminists, Jews, Muslims, gays, immigrants and other minorities.” Criticism thus becomes conflated with hate. It goes without saying that there is a crucial difference between the two definitions, and it is in the gulf between these two definitions that these activists seek to destroy freedom of speech. Mere criticism may not “injure, dehumanize, harass, intimidate, debase, degrade, and victimize” anyone, but the existence of a legislative framework privileging minority interpretations of such criticism will surely consign it to hate speech categorization.

Cohen-Almagor and his co-ethnic activists are equally vague in explaining exactly how “White supremacist” websites are morally or legally wrong. Despite its initial claims and promises, much of the article is in fact taken up with banal observations. White racialist websites, Cohen-Almagor informs us, often have “forums, discussion groups, photos and videos.” They offer “eye-catching teasers such as symbols and pictures.” Readers of such websites “talk to each other, thereby reinforcing their commonly held views, empowering people who share their beliefs.” A key strategy involves “encouraging interpersonal socialization in the offline world.” Members “use cyberspace as a free space to create and sustain movement culture and coordinate collective action.” Website proprietors can also “make appeals for funding.” Perhaps this is quite terrifying to Jews, but as a philosophical argument for the annihilation of free speech it is catastrophically lacking.

Cohen-Almagor provides no evidence suggesting a link between even the most incendiary racial commentary on the internet and acts of violence. The only two examples he attempts to provide are almost two decades old, and concern individuals with clearly unsound mental health — spree-shooter Benjamin Nathaniel Smith having exhibited all the signs of conduct disorder and psychopathy in adolescence prior to his 1999 rampage, and Buford O. Furrow having been hospitalized a number of times due to psychiatric instability and suicidal tendencies prior to his shooting spree at a Jewish community center, also in 1999. Even the most basic critique of such a proposed link would ask why, given the proliferation of the internet and social media between 1999 and 2018, there has been a decrease in violence from the far right. Indeed, if one can excuse the continued use of the “racist” and “hate” buzzwords, it’s difficult to disagree with one University of California, Berkeley study that pointed out: “Although White racist groups have proliferated on the Internet in recent years, there appears to have been no corresponding increase in membership in these groups or in hate crime rates. In fact, one might argue that the prevalence of racist groups on the Internet works to reduce hate crime, perhaps by providing less physical, more rhetorical outlets for hate.”[3] The entire foundation of Cohen-Almagor’s argument — that there is a link between internet activity and White racialist violence — is a total fabrication.

It is a fabrication that is being used in conjunction with some of the biggest international Jewish organizations and, via the Global Forum, the State of Israel, to blackmail and deceive Western populations via a specious sense of morality (i.e., a “morality” that denies the legitimate interests of White populations in maintaining political, cultural, and demographic control) coupled with activism in the media and financial pressure on politicians. Christopher Wolf, Chair of the Internet Task Force of the ADL, argues shamelessly in an interview with Cohen-Almagor: ‘The evidence is clear that hate online inspires hate crimes.’ Cohen-Almagor writes:

Overly permissive and tolerant attitudes towards hate speech is a form of akrasia, whereby people act against their better judgment. Not just those who post but also those who allow such postings on their servers are culpable for their akratic conduct. Whether through ignorance, indifference or insistence on clinging to freedom of speech without caring about dangerous consequences, these are unjustifiable. Internet service providers are expected to abide by a basic code of conduct, one that objects to rather than celebrates violence and its promotion. When it comes to hate speech on the Internet, society and its regulators cannot continue to remain akratic and avoid responsibility for the harm that is inflicted.

Go to Part 3.


[1] R. Cohen-Almagor, ‘Taking North American White Supremacist Groups Seriously: The Scope and the Challenge of Hate Speech on the Internet,’ International Journal of Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2018), pp.38-57.

[2] . Cohen-Almagor, ‘Hate and Racist Speech in the United States: A critique,’ Philosophy and Public Issues, Vol. 6, No.1, pp.77-123.

[3] J. Glaser, J. Dixit & D. Green, ’Studying Hate Crime with the Internet: What Makes Racists Advocate Racial Violence?’ Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 58, No. 1, 2002, pp. 177–193 (p.189)

Jewish Reactions to Black anti-Semitism

“Jews often become convenient stand-ins as the purveyors of the structures of systemic racism that continue to plague Black America.”
Tema Smith, The Forward, 2019

As remarked in “Aspects of Black anti-Semitism,” it’s clear that visible and occasionally violent Black hostility towards Jews presents the latter with an objective problem in terms of their (publicly expressed) self-concept as a people and the received wisdom regarding the nature of anti-Semitism (now given quasi-legal standing in many countries via the IHRA definition). In general terms, Jews have tended to avoid any sense of responsibility for anti-Semitism by creating and promoting narratives in which they are passive victims of a phenomenon that is the result of fundamentally irrational bigotry. This is often accompanied by the insistence that anti-Semitism has its origins in what are seen as pathological elements in European Christianity and that anti-Semitism is little more than a set of ideas that act as a viral psychosis among Whites.

Since the early twentieth century, this understanding has been augmented with a variety of modifications, many derived from Marxism and psychoanalysis, but the essential argument that anti-Semitism is a White pathology has survived, and has been very widely disseminated in Western cultural, political, and educational spheres. In fact, it has been challenged in significant terms only by the rise of anti-Jewish hostility in the Middle East, but even in that instance it has been characterized by Jewish historians like Bernard Lewis as being influenced by Europeans. Within the West, and omitting anti-Semitism among Muslim immigrants, the periodic spike in anti-Jewish hostility among American Blacks represents perhaps the only persistent Western challenge to the received wisdom that anti-Semitism is a White problem, rather than a problem that originates with Jewish behavior. Black anti-Semitism also problematizes notions that Jews have been selfless and valuable allies to Blacks and other minorities, something that has been a key aspect of Jewish propaganda campaigns for pluralism in Western nations. As such, Jewish rhetorical and legal responses to Black anti-Semitism are of interest to White advocates, and to all peoples concerned with Jewish/Zionist group influence and behavior.

Victims of White Systems

One of the most prominent Jewish strategies when discussing Black anti-Semitism is the attempt to preserve both Jewish and Black senses of victimhood, and thus preserve the idea of an alliance against an allegedly oppressive White society. On the most basic level, this strategy involves denying any specificity to Black complaints against Jews and essentially involves an entrenchment of the idea that anti-Semitism is a White pathology. Black socio-economic grievances are radically downplayed or even ignored entirely in this framework, and the locus of all discussion tends to be on vague, putative historical contexts of Jewish victimhood (e.g. “This is another sorry chapter in the history of the Longest Hatred”), rather than on serious thinking about perpetrator motivation.

An excellent example in this regard is Tema Smith’s Forward article “How to talk about Black anti-Semitism.” Smith attempts to preserve both Jewish and Black senses of victimhood by arguing that “Jews often become convenient stand-ins as the purveyors of the structures of systemic racism that continue to plague Black America.” This is really a fascinating statement given that it comes in the aftermath of Black attacks on Jews involving everything from “fists and stones to machetes, automatic weapons, and explosive devices.” Despite very clear dynamics of targeted hostility, the victimhood of both peoples is preserved and asserted since the putatively passive Jews are merely “convenient stand-ins,” and Blacks are themselves “plagued” by “the structures of systemic racism.” In other words, antagonistic Jewish behaviors are either non-existent or ultimately irrelevant, while Blacks can’t be fully condemned for their attitudes and behavior because they’ve essentially been fooled by an exploitative racist system. Thus, in a context in which a disproportionately vast numbers of Hasidic Jews exploit their tenants and accumulate hundreds of building violations through sheer greed and disdain for those living in their properties, and in the process making life hell for many Blacks, the real villain of the story is somehow the White man — a figure, curiously enough, that is almost totally absent from all “Worst Landlord” lists.

In this reaction, therefore, Jews and their behaviors dissolve into the abstraction of imagined social systems—specifically “racist” systems that are part of a putative White power structure. Smith continues:

What is remarkable, though, is that a single factor underlies every attempt to diagnose a unique form of Black anti-Semitism: systemic racism. In analysis after analysis, antisemitism in the Black community is shown to be the symptom of the structures of racism in the United States—housing insecurity, lack of access to quality education, food deserts, access to political capital, discriminatory policing, and on and on. Ultimately, the conversation about Black anti-Semitism is not actually about Blacks and Jews. [emphasis added]

This is a capable use of persuasive language, but what is truly remarkable is that Smith fails to identify the true “single factor” underlying attempts to diagnose Black anti-Semitism — the stunning avoidance of any significant confrontation with the worst aspects of Jewish behavior in Black districts. Whether or not housing insecurity, lack of access to quality education, food deserts, access to political capital, or discriminatory policing have anything to do with the specific issue of Black anti-Semitism is up for debate, but what is clearly contributing to Black anti-Semitism is the decades-old prevalence of Jews as the very worst of ghetto slumlords, pawn brokers, loan merchants, and political hypocrites. Smith doesn’t provide a single reference or footnote to any of the examples of “analysis after analysis” allegedly proving a thesis that conveniently absolves Jews of provoking Black aggression because these analyses are almost non-existent outside the ridiculous offerings of the Jewish power structure’s own self-defense bodies. In fact, when serious unbiased scholarly studies are made of Black anti-Semitism they tend to overwhelmingly conclude, in the words of Ronald Tsukashima and Darrel Montero, that “economic mistreatment [by Jews] is strongly related to heightened antipathy toward Jews.”[1]

One study that concedes economic mistreatment of Blacks by Jews, but insists that Whites and their “racist system” are still responsible for the situation, is the ADL-sponsored Anti-Semitism in America (1979) by Harold Quinley and Charles Glock. In the fourth chapter of this text, “Anti-Semitism Among Black Americans,” the authors concede their findings “are consistent with a theory that black anti-Semitism is economically based,” and that having business contacts with Jews “was associated with a sharp rise in anti-Semitic responses.”[2] In particular, it was found that Jewish credit practices were one of the “principle areas in which blacks are exploited. They often end up paying exorbitant prices for inferior goods.”[3] Remarkably, however, in summarising their conclusions the authors move away radically from the specificities of Black-Jewish interactions, instead abstracting into discussion of systems of racism. In essence, they replicate the process of Jews dissolving into Whiteness. For example, they assert that “it is largely as members of the oppressive white majority that blacks seem to react to Jews.”[4] This is followed by what amounts to absolution of both Blacks and Jews, and a condemnation of Whites:

Prejudice should be deplored wherever it exists and for whatever reason. At the same time, prejudice toward the oppressor is not to be equated with prejudice toward the oppressed. The prejudice of blacks is in part a response to circumstances which white-dominated culture has imposed on them. The opposite does not apply with respect to the prejudice of whites.

The rhetorical pattern is thus replicated that negative Jewish behavior is either non-existent or irrelevant, that, in a sense, Black violence is excusable, and that the real enemy of both is White people and their culture.

The Judeo-Bolshevik Inflection

Part of the “system’s” apologetic, but worthy of analysis in its own right, is the Jewish-Marxist treatment of Black anti-Semitism. A good example of this approach was published last month at Jacobin, in the form of Aaron Freedman’s article “To Defeat Antisemitism, We Must Defeat Capitalism.” It’s long been my opinion that a significant element of historical Jewish support for Marxism is that Marxism is itself a kind of “escape into systems.” Jews have for centuries been noted as particularly negative forces within capitalism, and it would appear that Jews have much to gain by advancing the idea that it is the system of capitalism, rather than Judaism and Jewish approaches to capitalism, that is inherently bad. It is indeed a curio of history and contemporary economics that Jews have heavily accumulated, and often dominated, in those economic areas widely seen as exemplifying the worst of capitalism: usury/high interest loans, including the modern payday loan; sub-prime mortgages; tax farming; vulture funds; monopoly; fraud; Ponzi schemes; slumlordism; tax avoidance; internet gambling; and malicious bankruptcy. I’ve tackled the Marxist critique of anti-Semitism in great detail in relation to the ideas of Slavoj Zizek (who later referenced the “true anti-Semitism” of my essay at RT but—rather tellingly—offered no rebuttal, refusing even to answer the question he quotes). But here I want to discuss it specifically with reference to the issue of Black anti-Semitism.

Aaron Freedman, who lives in Brooklyn and should therefore know better, is quite unabashed in asserting that “Antisemitism endures because capitalist oppression needs a scapegoat,” which is really no more than a rephrasing of Tema Smith’s claim that Jews are merely “convenient stand-ins” for the real problem — the racist structure of White society. Freedman admits that there has been a sudden increase in Black attacks on Jews, but his first attempt at explanation can only be described as nothing less than remarkable: “A surge in white-nationalist activity since Donald Trump’s election is surely the main part of the story.”

Inserting “surely” into a sentence is a nice effort at persuasive writing, but the logical gap is so great in this instance that it resembles the rhetorical equivalent of putting a band-aid on the hull of a sinking ship. Freedman qualifies his astonishing claim only by adding “But Trump’s victory alone does not explain the spate of incidents in New York, committed in many cases by black individuals in both planned assaults and apparently random street encounters.” The confusion unfortunately escalates from there, with Freedman commenting “The Right obviously does not have an answer.” The problem here is that we obviously do have an answer for the causes of Black anti-Semitism, and like all great theses it can be summed up in a single, short sentence: “Jews have been behaving badly again.” Freedman dodges any hint at such an explanation, moving into his own breakdown of why Blacks have been attacking Jews: Capitalism.

Like all Marxist interpretations of anti-Semitism, Freedman asserts that “Its roots in the United States, by way of Europe, come from Christian discrimination against “Christ killers,” dating as far back as the 2nd century CE.”  This is, quite frankly, a nonsensical oversimplification, and the dating of the origins of anti-Semitism from medieval Christendom, rather than the ancient world, is an depressingly common feature of Jewish apologetics, a tactic that typically owes much of its development to the convenience of placing the blame for anti-Semitism on early Christianity. Most significantly, it is based on the theories of Gavin Langmuir, a philosemitic scholar who by his own admission dated his discussion of the origins of anti-Semitism to the medieval period because, “I am respectably knowledgeable only about the history of the West since the fall of the Roman Empire and am most at home in the Middle Ages.” Compounding Freedman’s gross errors, the Jacobin journalist states with brazen duplicity that Jewish financial activities in the Middle Ages were “far less oppressive” than that of other peoples (again, see my commentary on the ideas of Slavoj Zizek for historical sources contradicting such assertions), and that they were only quaintly engaged in “petty bourgeois profit-seeking.” No mention of Jewish elite status. No discussion of Jewish tax-farming. No inclusion of peasant revolts against the unusually oppressive nature of Jewish finance. Jews appear in Freedman’s narrative only as “a religious other,” picked on because they were “also very vulnerable.” So vulnerable they typically had royal protection? So vulnerable that most of the oldest residential houses in England were built for Jews, their thick stone standing the test of centuries and countless reactions from the goyim?

If by now, like me, you’re wondering what Freedman has to say specifically on the matter of Black anti-Semitism, then also, like me, you’ll be frustrated with the fact he finishes the piece without mentioning anything at all about Black anti-Jewish hostility in Brooklyn. In a grand piece of diversionary nonsense, he merely recounts the standard Judeo-Bolshevik narrative of anti-Semitism, declaring Black anti-Semitism to be inconsequential to the greater story: “the specific threat of white-nationalist organizations remains the paramount one,” and “in any society in which the few rule over the many, racist and antisemitic victim-blaming will thrive.” The message is therefore more or less identical to that offered by Tema Smith — when Blacks attack Jews it has nothing to do with either Blacks or Jews, and everything to do with Whites. The situation thus presents itself that Jewish slumlords abuse and exploit their Black tenants, Blacks react by assaulting Jews, and Whites are encouraged to chastise themselves for causing it all through their evil desire for private property.

Pleading Ignorance

In “Aspects of Black anti-Semitism,” I noted that,

A fascinating feature of coverage of the Winter 2019/2020 attacks on Jews by Blacks in New York has been the total absence of media enquiry into why the assaults took place. Like so much historiography on European anti-Semitism, there is simply no room for the question Why? As in Kiev, or Odessa, or the Rhine Valley, or Lincoln, or Aragon, or Galicia, the assaults on Jews in Brooklyn apparently emerged from the ether, motivated by some miasmic combination of insanity and demonic aggression. NBC New York reported bluntly on a “spree of hate,” but had nothing in the way of analysis of context other than a condemnation of “possible hate-based attacks” — one of the most remarkably opaque pieces of analytical nomenclature I’ve ever come across.

Mirroring media neglect of context, some Jewish reactions have consisted of feigned ignorance and bafflement at what might have caused Black anti-Semitism. In a December 2019 article for the Daily Beast, Brooklyn-based Jay Michaelson attempts to explain “What’s Behind the New Wave of Anti-Semitic Hate?” What his article in facts consists of is a series of mystifications of what is really a fairly straightforward story. For Michaelson, “speaking as a Jewish parent who lives in Brooklyn, I can tell you that it’s terrifying. It is also confusing. [emphasis added]” The only thing Michaelson seems sure of is that “hate” is involved, but he courageously probes deeper by asking: “Hate, yes, but what kind of hate?” His conclusion? “The answer is not simple.” Michaelson does concede that some of the anti-Jewish actions of recent decades contain “glimmers of ideology” — “the Crown Heights riot of 1991 was in part about city resources, housing, gentrification, policing and political power”—but he follows this by insisting that “These attacks say nothing about African-Americans or anti-Semitism in black communities. … To eradicate anti-Semitism, we must understand it—and right now, when it comes to this devastating new wave of attacks, we don’t.”

Other than blank confusion, then, does Michaelson suggest that anyone at all is blameworthy for the recent outbreaks of Black anti-Semitism? After much confusion, the fog settles and the real perpetrator comes into Michaelson’s view: Donald Trump. Michaelson unveils the villain of the story as follows:

While conspiracy-mongering exists on the left and the right, there is no left-wing or African-American equivalent of President Trump, who has freely traded in anti-Semitic stereotypes, sometimes in a joking way. … Indeed, Trump’s contribution to our conspiracy-fevered culture is broader than specifically anti-Semitic conspiracies. For example, regarding the 2016 election alone, Trump has claimed, baselessly, that it was rigged (even though he won anyway), that millions of people voted illegally in it, that Ukraine (not Russia) interfered with it, and that there are still important email servers floating around out there that we have to get our hands on. When you play with fire like this, vulnerable populations get burned. Especially Jews.

The real reason for Black attacks on Jews is thus unveiled with crystal clarity. According to Michaelson, it all began when Donald Trump made some jokes that some Jews perceived to refer to “canards” about Jews and money. The situation was compounded further when Trump complained about Hillary Clinton keeping state business on a private email server. Unable to control themselves in light of Trump’s jokes, and rendered paranoid by talk of Ukrainian meddling and the security protocols of email servers, the Blacks of Brooklyn rose up in violence against the “vulnerable population” in their midst—the entirely innocent, passive and wealthy Hasidic landlords who owned their slums and debts. Right.

Some things never change: Covers of Commentary from 1963 and 2018.

The Material Reaction

It often pays to observe what Jews do rather than what they say. Steven Gold, writing on the Jewish response to growing Black anti-Semitism in 1940s Harlem, comments:

Being well organized, Jewish communal associations took note when Jewish merchants were accused of inappropriate behavior. When African-American journalists or activists complained about the exploitative behavior of ghetto merchants, Jewish spokesmen often resisted accepting responsibility and instead labeled accusers as anti-Semites for referring to the merchants’ religion. Contending that Jewish merchants treated Blacks no worse than other Whites did, they objected to being singled out.[5]

Resisting accepting responsibility for exploitative and inappropriate behavior has long been the favored option of Jews, even when confronted with quite extreme and violent manifestations of anti-Semitism. In fact, one of the obvious themes of Jewish history is the persistence of negative behaviors amidst ever-intensifying efforts to entrench within the host society, often via radically increased security and associated privileges (e.g. restricted freedoms for non-Jews, harsh penalties for anti-Semitism). A constant of Jewish history is that in general Jews do not change behavior that is seen negatively by non-Jews; rather, they find ways to continue to engage in the behavior but avoid the consequences—a facet of aggression as a background trait of Jewish behavior (p. 26ff). As such, one would expect that Black anti-Semitism will not significantly change patterns of Jewish behavior in Black areas, and that we will instead witness Jewish communities enjoying very high levels of police protection and the promotion of the idea that Jews are a vulnerable, passive, and special people entirely deserving of special treatment. Additionally, despite Jewish rhetoric blaming Black anti-Semitism on Whites, one would expect a high level of suspicion of Blacks among Jews, and subtle attempts by Jews to punish Blacks for their aggressions.

Security for Jews has already vastly increased since December 2019, with the Guardian reporting that police have stepped up patrols in “Borough Park, Midwood, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, as well as establishing community-based neighborhood safety coalitions overseen by the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. In addition, the city announced an increased NYPD presence at houses of worship and during local events. Six new surveillance towers and additional security cameras will be installed throughout the neighborhoods.” As well as increasing security on the ground, Jewish leaders last week successfully lobbied Attorney General William Barr to announce a “zero tolerance” policy for anti-Semitism at federal level. The new, harsher approach to crimes against Jews will get its first trial in the case of Tiffany Harris, a Brooklyn-based Black woman of dubious mental health who slapped three Jewish women and now, on the orders of Barr, will face federal hate crime charges which carry a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The issue of Jewish security has also called into question the putatively selfless Jewish interest in “social justice.” Having previously backed New York’s “no bail” criminal justice reforms, ostensibly intended to stop the injustice of those in poverty (mainly Blacks) spending more time in jail than those with the funds to bail their way out (mainly Whites), Jews are now rapidly turning on the policy change and demanding that “hate crime” exemptions be considered. In other words, Jews want subtle protections and subtle punishments. The Forward reports:

People are panicking, people feel frightened,” said Chaim Deutsch, a New York City councilman who represents a Brooklyn district with a large Hasidic population. “When they see someone like Tiffany Harris is released on bail, and got released only to go assault someone again, it sends the wrong message.” Deutsch is circulating an open letter to Cuomo criticizing the new criminal justice reforms. Simcha Eichenstein, a state assemblyman who also represents a Brooklyn district, plans to introduce legislation that would remove all hate crime charges from the list of crimes that judges cannot set bail for. Deutsch told the Forward he supports Eichenstein’s legislation. Concern for the repercussions of the bail reforms is growing among politicians. Cuomo has said he wants to reconsider the rules. Even progressives like Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the New York State Senate majority leader, has signaled her willingness to look at the rules again.

A policy change that has been the cause célèbre of liberal multiculturalists for years is thus forced into sharp revision solely because it has been deemed to negatively impact Jewish security.

This is the true Jewish reaction to Black anti-Semitism, devoid of rhetorical smoke and mirrors, and steeped in centuries of tradition: Deny Responsibility; Entrench in the Society; Continue and Intensify Existing Behaviors; Increase Privileges and Protections; Punish Opponents.

What a vicious and endless circle.


[1] Ronald Tadao Tsukashima, Darrel Montero, “The Contact Hypothesis: Social and Economic Contact and Generational Changes in the Study of Black Anti-Semitism,” Social Forces, Volume 55, Issue 1, September 1976, 149–165. Although more ambiguous in their representation of findings, see also, Gary T. Marx, Protest  and Prejudice: A Study of Belief in the Black Community (New York: Harper and Row, 1967) and Harold Quinley and Charles Glock, Antisemitism in America (New York: Free Press, 1979).

[2] Harold Quinley and Charles Glock, Antisemitism in America (New York: Free Press, 1979), 57.

[3] Ibid., 66.

[4] Ibid., 72.

[5] S. Gold, The Store in the Hood: A Century of Ethnic Business and Conflict (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), 75.

Slavoj Žižek’s “Pervert’s Guide” to anti-Semitism

“ [Kevin] MacDonald’s theory is a new chapter in the long process of the destruction of Reason.”
Slavoj Zizek

“Žižek is, at his best, a posturing charlatan.”
Thomas Moller-Nielsen, Current Affairs, Oct. 18 2019.

 

This is an essay on anti-Semitism, but because it’s also about Slavoj Žižek we’re going to have to start with the subject of extra-marital affairs. Very early in my academic career, I was asked to take part in a cross-faculty seminar, where PhD students could present small talks on the development of their research. It was hoped that, as a newly-minted PhD, I’d ask presenting students some tough but helpful questions, and thus somehow contribute to a team atmosphere in my department. I was provided with a list of proposed talks and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of apathy at the litany of feminist tripe and quasi-Marxist navel-gazing, none of which was in any way related to my own fields of research. I was eager to please in my new role, however, and so I fell dutifully into line. I’ll never forget the first presentation because it was so remarkably surreal, being an effeminate young African-American who quite literally gave a performance poem titled “Black Skin” about, well, you get the idea. But the more memorable event of the day came later, when a young woman gave a presentation on gender in the media, or something to that effect. Something about her manner irritated me considerably, so I gave her a hard time during the Q & A. This was picked up on by a senior figure in the department, a soft meek-looking and much-gossiped-about English historian, who, after the seminar had finished, invited me to his office for a discussion on gender and sex politics.

I’ve been politically aware since I was a teenager. I’d read deeply about Marxism since the age of seventeen, and was familiar with its cultish elements. None of this prepared me for my adventure in this otherwise unremarkable Englishman’s office, the walls of which were festooned with small red flags and quasi-religious images of Lenin and Trotsky. So, I thought, here was a Red in the flesh. I was in the presence of a dedicated Marxist, and that right there in front of me stood a solitary tangible example of the long march through the institutions. He made tea, and we sat down. He began to talk, I listened. During his initial monologue, my host started speaking from a personal perspective, explaining that even in his private life he aimed to live in accordance with his “socialist beliefs.” Before he got married, he explained, he and his fiancée agreed that they wouldn’t take traditional vows, agreeing they wouldn’t be so possessive as to make an oath of exclusivity to one another. They might “expect” exclusivity, but they wouldn’t demand it. They believed in “freedom,” he said, and ultimately this was what social progressivism and modern gender and sex politics was all about. It wasn’t anything to get upset over, he implied, or laugh about.

Except that it was. The faculty gossip I’d heard was that the wife of this “free love” advocate had been on a short-term teaching stint in Norway and had just recently decided to permanently settle there with a Norwegian lover she’d been having an affair with for some time. She had the marital couple’s two children with her in Norway, and was making it extremely difficult for the meek, permissive, Lenin-loving Englishman to see them. The family home had also been declared off-limits, and my Marxist colleague was apparently reduced to staying in a local bed and breakfast. Tragic? Quite possibly. Hilarious? Most definitely. All of this flooded my mind as the cuckolded Leninite sat opposite me recounting his lukewarm marriage vows, tea in hand, eyes glistening with — tears? Steam from the tea he said, wiping them casually and glancing at the window. My face was stone. The time passed, and my host gradually fell silent. I thanked him most disingenuously, and made a hasty retreat, taking a deep breath as I emerged from the building. I never set foot in that office again.

What does any of this have to do with anti-Semitism? If you’re the superstar Marxist intellectual Slavoj Žižek, it has everything to do with anti-Semitism, since as we will find out, infidelity and anti-Semitism are irrefutably linked. I say “irrefutably” quite deliberately, because his arguments are irrefutable — and they are irrefutable because they are nonsensical. Read more

“The Necessity of Anti-Semitism”

“There has always been an abyss between Europeans and Semites, since the time when Tacitus complained about the odium generis humani.”
Heinrich von Treitschke, Ein Wort über unser Judenthum, 1879.

In 1989, the Jewish screenwriter and journalist Frederic Raphael was invited to deliver the 25th Anniversary Lecture at the University of Southampton’s Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. Founded by Rev Dr James Parkes (1896–1981), a neurotic Church of England minister who made a career out of the promotion of philo-Semitism in Christianity and the promotion of guilt narratives among Christians (in 1935 he was both celebrated by Jews and targeted for assassination by National Socialists), the Institute quickly became a hub for the production of scholarly-appearing pro-Jewish propaganda. Rather than offering objective analyses of Jewish/non-Jewish relations, the Institute furthered the familiar narrative that Jews were the blameless and catastrophic victims of an entirely irrational European hatred. Raphael, given the honor of addressing the 25th anniversary of this project, opted on the appointed evening to be a witty gadfly, choosing “The Necessity of Anti-Semitism” as the title of his address. It could be the title of a book, said Raphael, one that could sit in the Parkes Institute library but for the fact it had never been written, and did not exist.

In the meandering speech that followed, Raphael explored the putative contents of this imaginary book, suggesting its potential arguments, and what they might say about the author and about European culture. Confirming the opinions of everyone present, Raphael offered the assurance that although this ghostly and ghastly book did not exist, such a haunting product would not be out of place on a continent where anti-Semitism is “a constant and essential working part of Europe’s somber and unreformed logic.”[1] For Raphael and his smug audience, “The Necessity of Anti-Semitism” lay only in its utility in salving the pathological European mind. Anti-Semitism was in fact extremely illogical and, in a moral sense, completely unnecessary.

Since reading Raphael’s speech several years ago, The Necessity of Anti-Semitism has, in a sense, haunted me too. As a single book, of course, it does not exist. But it perhaps has existed, after a fashion, in the thousands of tracts, pamphlets and books on the Jewish Question that have been written by Europeans over many centuries. In this collected body of anti-Semitic apologetics, one finds The Necessity of Anti-Semitism inflected in varying religious, political, and social hues. But what would the book look like if it was in fact written today? How could any author distill the various aspects of the Jewish Question into a single volume? In the essay that follows, part literary experiment, part historiography, I want us to join Raphael in imagining that this spectral book exists, even if our approach is rather different.

I imagine our author to introduce his volume with the broad case for The Necessity of Anti-Semitism, namely the presence of Jews and their influence in the four primary cultures of White decline: the Culture of Critique, the Culture of Tolerance, the Culture of Sterility, and the Culture of Usury. Read more

Crypto-Jews, German Guilt, and the Wittenberg Jew-Pig

“Here on our church in Wittenberg a sow is sculpted in stone. Young pigs and Jews lie suckling under her. Behind the sow a rabbi is bent over the sow, lifting up her right leg, holding her tail high and looking intensely under her tail and into her Talmud, as though he were reading something acute or extraordinary, which is certainly where they get their Shemhamphoras [hidden name of God in Kabbalah].
Martin Luther, 1543 

During my early years researching the Jewish Question I was particularly struck by the strident and flamboyant nature of medieval and early modern anti-Jewish folklore and related art. I recall being fascinated at the strangeness and creativity of tales like the 16th-century Jewish woman said to have given birth to twin piglets,[1] the common 15th-century belief that Jewish males menstruate,[2] and speculation that Jews buried their dead with small rocks to throw at Christ in the afterlife. As with much of Jewish history and the historiography of anti-Semitism, the subject of anti-Jewish folklore has been dominated by Jewish scholars. My first introduction to the topic was thus The Blood Libel Legend: A Casebook in Anti-Semitic Folklore (1991) by the Jewish UC-Berkeley folklorist Alan Dundes (1934–2005), widely regarded as the field’s pre-eminent, and perhaps only, expert. In the book, as one might well expect, Dundes strips anti-Jewish folklore of context and presents instead a collection of “evil” and “dangerous” fantasies lacking any logical or rational basis.

Aside from the work of Dundes, direct scholarly engagement with the subject of medieval anti-Jewish folklore has been relatively rare, with most Jewish scholars preferring to probe medieval artistic linkages between Jews and the Devil (see, for example, the work of Robert Bonfil, Marvin Perry, and Frederick Schweitzer) rather than some of the more outlandish or colorful “memes” that then circulated. Almost all of these scholarly accounts utilize medieval anti-Jewish folklore as a means of denigrating and indicting medieval Christianity as irrational and prejudiced, and ultimately as the fons et origo of an equally irrational and prejudiced modern anti-Semitism. An explanatory account of medieval and early modern anti-Jewish folklore informed by historical context remains to be written, despite admirable and broadminded texts like The Singular Beast: Jews, Christians, and the Pig (1997) by Claudine Fabre-Vassas. This is a project I am giving serious consideration to undertaking. As luck would have it, it’s also becoming somewhat relevant again.

Of all the artistic manifestations of anti-Jewish folklore, few are more acute, vehement, and scatological than the imagery of the Judensau, or ‘Jew-Pig.’ In brief, the image, depicted in woodcuts or in stone (often on churches) between the 13th and 15th centuries, is an allegorical reference to Jews drawing sustenance from the Talmud, with Jews shown suckling from a sow and/or examining or eating its feces. The association of Jews with pigs in medieval Christian folklore was longstanding, owing something to the known aversion of the Jews to pork, and produced an array of stories and imagery that flagrantly ignored the ancient dietary commands in Leviticus. In one legend, for example, the aversion to pork dated from the time of Christ, when a sneering Jew challenged Christ to guess the contents of a barrel that the Jew knew to contain a slaughtered pig. Unknown to the Jew, the pig had been removed and his own children were hiding in the barrel. When Jesus answered that the man’s children were in the barrel, he was mocked and told there was a pig inside. “Let them be pigs then,” replied Jesus, and the children were transformed into piglets. From that day onward, so goes the tale, Jews avoided eating pork because for them that would be cannibalism. One suspects that seriousness was never a primary concern in the development of such folk tales — they served as entertaining and memorial “memes” to impart the message that Jews were different and were to be avoided. Read more