Tablet interview: “Q&A: Benjamin Ginsberg, the Author of ‘How the Jews Defeated Hitler’”
[Tablet] One of the things that’s fascinating about my WASPy friends and compatriots is that so many dislike the State of Israel, to varying degrees. It bugs them. What interests me is trying to suss out the underlying or psychological impetus or sense of injury beneath these feelings, which are frankly less common in general among American gentiles than they are among American Jews. When I’ve asked them, “Why does this particular injustice bother you so much – why not Tibet?” the answers are very interesting. They come down to something like, “Why on one hand do you Jewish people come to us and say we have to be democratic and inclusive because otherwise we’re anti-Semites, and then back in the old country, where you go on your family vacations or Birthright trips, you get to strut around with automatic weapons and oppress everybody else, which isn’t fair, and is probably what we would want to do here, in some secret corner of our WASPy brains.”
[Ginsberg] That is a very good line, and I think it’s totally true. The animus is some form of displaced anti-Semitism.
Say what? Displaced anti-Semitism would be if these Whites used Jewish hypocrisy as an excuse from some deep irrational hatred of Jews. But isn’t hypocrisy always seen as a negative? The White Protestants who are on trial here assume a principled morality. They assume that if inclusiveness is a moral imperative in the U.S. as our intellectual elites constantly tell us, it must be a moral imperative everywhere. But many of the same people who advocate inclusiveness in the U.S. advocate oppression in Israel. And there’s resentment by many Whites because as a result of the moral imperative of inclusiveness in the U.S., they are losing the country. So, yes, there is probably a “secret corner” of their brains where they would like to reassert themselves and boot out or oppress the interlopers. But that has to remain secret on pain of job loss and social opprobrium. Because they no longer command the moral and political high ground, they don’t dare say that. Read more