Best Of The Web
“There is the unambiguous extremist, the sort who marches with torches in Charlottesville, and who believes, with some justification, that there is a sympathizer in the White House.
There is the utilitarian anti-Semite, “the pot-stirrer who enables haters,” whom Lipstadt finds even more reprehensible than the openly hateful ideologue, because of the way he can stealthily manipulate audiences. President Trump and British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn fit into this category.
There is the dinner party anti-Semite — the sort who knows better than to demean Jews in polite company, but who nevertheless sows seeds of contempt.
Finally, Lipstadt describes the clueless anti-Semite, who “is an otherwise nice and well-meaning person who is completely unaware that she has internalized antisemitic stereotypes and is perpetuating them.”
Based on the rhetoric I hear and read, some Jews act as if there is a fifth category: the Jewish anti-Semite. The self-hating Jew.
And they get to decide who fits the description.
I would, instead, suggest that we retire the term. Even if it has some historical or descriptive value, it has become so weaponized and partisan that it’s become a counterproductive and demeaning slur.
Yes, there are Jews who hate Judaism. There are Jews who may hate Israel. There are Jews who may hate other Jews.
In a society that values freedom of speech, conscience and expression, this ought to be allowed. You don’t have to approve of such people, or invite them to your synagogue or your Shabbat table, or cheer if they are dating your daughter. But to imply that someone is “self-hating” is impossible to prove, highly insulting and self-defeating. It gets you nowhere.
It makes you the arbiter of what it means to love yourself as a Jew, and that is not the role any human can or should play.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."
"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."
"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."
"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."
"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."
"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."
"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."
"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."