Sometimes you see something that is breathtaking, but also makes you realize some of the bigger truths out there. First, let’s remember that we are slowly being trained by people NOT to call antisemites on their antisemitism lest we be accused of chauvinism and a desire to restrict their speech. Under this rubric, you sometimes get people criticizing Jews, Jewish organizations and the Jewish state in open terms that single out Jews, Jewish organizations and the Jewish state egregiously but the response of calling them or their words antisemitic is deemed to be the true affront.
In this respect, some Jews and Jewish organizations should accept some of the blame in that we have to be judicious, precise and cautious before labeling anybody or their words antisemitic…but some of us haven’t been. For example, Will Smith makes a silly remark without meaning anything by it, and suddenly he is pounced on in the same way that a truly hateful person might be pounced on. This has weakened the term antisemite and permits antisemitism to grow precisely because the use of the term causes resentment when it is unfairly ascribed to people.
On the other hand, sometimes antisemite is fairly ascribed but those who support the views of that individual take offense and reject the term.
It is because of this that antisemite has become a word of refuge for many who seek to attack Jews, Jewish organizations or the Jewish state. One often sees a preamble to their statements that goes something like this: “I will be attacked as an antisemite for saying what I’m about to say, but I’m not one at all and what I’m about to say is the unvarnished truth and I will be victimized for no reason by attacks because I have spoken the truth.” They then proceed with their attack on Jews, Jewish organizations or the Jewish state using unfair or hateful standards or generalizations. Those who recognize the antisemitism are left in a bind. If they respond by calling the person an antisemite, they prove that he was right. If organizations take a stand, they prove that his conspiracy theories may be correct as well. If they do nothing, he gets away with it.
Well, here is an example of antisemitism as posted at the Washington Post:
Jewish Identity Can’t Depend on Violence
Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience — a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.
The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs. In Tel Aviv in 2004 I had the opportunity to speak to some Members of Parliament and Peace activists all of whom argued that the wall and the military build-up was necessary to protect the nation and the people. In other words, I asked, you believe that you can create a snake pit — with many deadly snakes in it — and expect to live in the pit secure and alive? What do you mean? they countered. Well, with your superior weapons and armaments and your attitude towards your neighbors would it not be right to say that you are creating a snake pit? How can anyone live peacefully in such an atmosphere? Would it not be better to befriend those who hate you? Can you not reach out and share your technological advancement with your neighbors and build a relationship?
Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.
Who wrote this crap?
President and co-founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, named for his grandfather, Mohandas K. â€œMahatmaâ€ Gandhi.
Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun Gandhi is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. â€œMahatmaâ€ Gandhi. He is president and co-founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, now at the University of Rochester in New York. He is a regular participant in Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other Rhodes Scholars. He worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India. He is the author of several books, including “A Patch of White” (1949) and “The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi,” which he wrote with his late wife Sunanda.
So far, there are 385 comments in the discussion that follows this antisemitic post. It includes many loonies, but unfortunately also includes some normal people who consider this a legitimate post. We can thank people like Jimmy Carter, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt for taking the hateful bile from the fringes and putting it smack into the middle of the mainstream. If a former President and two scholars from top universities can cast aspersions on Jews – no, not Zionists and not Israel, but Jews – than why not M.K. Ghandi and the Washington Post?
Just in case you forgot already, what this antisemite actually said and the Washington Post published is, “We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
That, ladies and gents, is antisemitism.