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Modern anti-Semitism has developed a seductive and deceptive newspeak etiquette to mask its linkages to discredited precursors and to disreputable objectives. To penetrate the smokescreens put up by modern anti-Semitism, it is necessary to blow away the semantic clouds it hides behind.
A fair-minded person, especially if not well-informed, may get tangled up in a web of confusing definitions when trying to identify some speech, someone or some organization as anti-Semitic.
It is easy to refer to actual Nazis, a settled matter. However, there is a carefully sown confusion today when deliberating distinctions about hard to sift through criticisms made of Israel or of Jews in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.
This blurring of the lines owes itself to the detachment of most, Jew and non-Jew, from the actual scenes of anti-Semitic behaviors and from actually feeling oneself at risk. This detachment from harsh realities is eased by the moral relativism that pervades much of Western intellectual culture, where the existence of right and wrong is increasingly a mere notion to be dismissed in almost all cases. Commonsense morality is replaced with a casualness toward insult and attack when perpetrated by some group favored due to its purported grievances. Minor factoids are blown into generalizations, while more important information is ignored, in order to fabricate misleading and erroneous condemnations.
In effect, modern anti-Semitism is a construct built upon and a part of modern moral effeteness. Those with ulterior ambitions exploit Westerners' moral relativism by creating an etiquette to deceive them and shield themselves from exposure. Perhaps most dangerously, modern anti-Semitism is a primary front and tool of today's dedicated left, to weaken and isolate the U.S. via Israel.
Those of firmer minds and character, although sympathetic to the left or antagonistic toward fascism, avoided or exited from the communist fronts of the 1930s. So should those today with actual empathy for transcendent justice be careful not to be drawn into the gingerbread house built by current enemies of the West. It is unnecessary to allow ones ideals to be contaminated, manipulated or perverted, particularly when that serves the ends of those most dangerous to those ideals.
1. Generalize: Treat Jews as a race engaged in racial behavior. Treat the behavior of all Jews as innate, common and similarly driven. The behaviors exhibited by any or attributed to any (whether the specific instance is true or not) can then be ascribed to all Jews. It ignores that Jews come from many differing bloodstock heritages, nations and cultures, exhibiting all the variations of most others in the world (except for a few isolated small tribes in jungles). The purpose of anti-Semitic etiquette is to clothe the critic in anti-racism while, indeed, being a racist in practice or trying to hide it.
2. Empathize: Claim universal empathy for purported victims of Jews. Credit with credence all the claims of those deemed downtrodden (again regardless of facts). Those deemed downtrodden are, inevitably, hostile to the West and to modernity. Others, for example, like the Montagnards or Hmong who are persecuted worse, are virtually ignored because they are contaminated by their history of alignment with the U.S. Just assert, despite evidence, that one cares about all equally. The hypocrisy is ignored that similar criticisms are not levied against others' far worse actions. The hypocrisy is evident in the feeble defense, if any, that is mounted of those suffering ethnic cleansing by states or ideologies that are part of the alliance against the West.
3. Hyperbolize: Use rhetorical exaggerations to cloud actual meaning and facts. By repetition and osmosis, flaming misrepresentations transit into common discourse. One can then feel better about the rightness of claims and delegitimize the target. Take words like "apartheid," "fascism," "racism," "atrocity" and such entirely out of context and reality to manufacture a new reality in the minds of the gullible or ignorant. One needn't even use the old libels and gross lies (e.g., "Christ-killer," "Shylock," "Kike," "Devil race," "Jews haven't been in Jerusalem for millennia and are alien colonizers," "the Holocaust is a fiction") to accomplish the same characterizations of heartless, manipulative, invasive evils by Jews. It is too easily recognized for what it is.
4. Patriotize: Claim to have the national interests of the U.S. at heart. Use the natural isolationism of some, or old-fashioned religious anti-Semitism of others (raised on Christ-killer theology) to cause loyal Americans, or Europeans, to ally with those on the radical fringes and left in denying aid to Israel and to undermining it.
5. Camouflage: Use some Jews to front for the anti-Semitism. Among any people, there are a few who will seek notoriety, position or payment to provide cover for others with more malignant ambitions. The miniscule but vocal "peace" movement within Israel is largely funded from European leftists and from speaking tours and book sales among Western leftists. The Arab-financed Middle East centers in U.S. universities provide plump stipends to those who criticize Israel. Secular Jews who haven't been affiliated in decades clothe their religion of extreme liberalism by trotting out their parents or grandparents' affiliation.
6. Idolize: Treat all heads of states with respect. No matter how outrageous their statements or actions or how hostile toward Israel their appointments to high positions, defer to high government leaders, lending credence and respectable platforms to their excuses and mendacious rationales. Their associates, who would be ordinarily be ostracized as extremists, are also given protective coloration. Excuses usually take the approaches of "he really couldn't mean that," "it's too outrageous to take seriously," "there's really a secret plan for nirvana hidden somewhere that no one else can find, it's so clever," or "...but there's another appointee or action that somehow counterbalances or restrains the sheer nuttery or malevolence" although there's no real evidence of that. When such a state leader excuses himself by saying, "I wasn't listening closely although I chose his church and sat there for 20 years," he is playing that same duplicitous card.
7. Ennoble: Claim that the focus is expanding justice. The fruits of the labor, education and courage of those who accomplish are seen as proper targets for redistribution or expropriation to feed the demands of those whose own failures to advance themselves is really at fault. Leveling in this way is presented as justice. Rather, it is another front of anti-capitalism/anti-Western civilization, focusing on gaps in possession of life's comforts instead of focusing on who creates them and how they earned them, or focusing on how some lack due to their own choices. It eliminates the talents that create wealth for more, and holds down those whose efforts would lift themselves. It entrenches the despot, while suppressing popular challenges and aspirations for freedoms.
The modern anti-Semitism is as pernicious and widespread as the older varieties, the older varieties finding comfort within its fuzzier facades. Due to its purposely confusing "newspeak" of demonization and excuses, it is even more dangerous. It wraps up old canards in purposely cute circumlocutions, to deceive and forward its deadly goal, the death of the civilized West so that backwardness, tyranny and barbarities can continue or prevail in greater safety from exposure, comparison or challenge.
Bruce Kesler is a freelance writer based in Encinitas, California who
writes for the San Diego Jewish World and MaggiesFarm.com. Bruce says
he neither deserved nor was awarded any medals for valor for his
Marine Corps service in Vietnam, 1969-70. His e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared December 1, 2009 in Family Security Matters (Family Security Matters)
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