Feb. 9th, 2017

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me: says literally anything
me in my head: that was stupid and now everyone hates u. congrats
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via http://ift.tt/2kwn3UG:Opinion | Five myths about anti-Semitism:


…In my time reporting on anti-Semitism, I’ve often encountered a certain well-meaning skepticism: Didn’t the Holocaust, with its shocking horrors, finally compel society to stamp out anti-Jewish bigotry? Sophisticated people don’t write this idea down, but it’s one I hear constantly in my reporting.

This is profoundly, depressingly wrong. According to the FBI, Jews in the United States are annually subject to the most hate crimes of any religious group, despite constituting only 2 percent of the American population. 

…These facts underscore a crucial point: It’s wrong to subsume anti-Semitism under Nazism, its worst manifestation, when the centuries-old prejudice usually takes less extreme or exterminationist forms. The end of American slavery did not mean the end of American racism; likewise, the end of Nazism as a dominant political force did not silence anti-Semitism.

…This past election season, the ascendant alt-right, a band of reactionary white nationalists with a penchant for harassing Jewish journalists, filled Twitter with neo-Nazi memes, Photoshopped reporters into gas chambers and concentration camps, and chanted anti-Semitic slogans at political rallies.

…But anti-Semitic outbursts were taking place on the left at the same time. …During the Democratic primaries, Jewish candidate Bernie Sanders was confronted by a questioner who declared that “the Zionist Jews … run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.” Surveying this scene, TBS comedian Samantha Bee aired footage of an anti-Semite ranting at a Trump rally, then cracked, “To find anti-Semitism that rabid, you’d have to go to, well, any left-leaning American college campus.”

This bipartisan bigotry shouldn’t surprise. Anti-Semitism could never have attained its impressive influence without forging coalitions across ideological and religious lines. Hatred of Jews has long thrived on its ability to ensnare utterly opposite worldviews. Thus, the 2013 E.U. survey found that Italian and Swedish Jews perceived more anti-Semitic statements coming from the left, Hungarian Jews heard them overwhelmingly from Christians and the right, and French Jews reported abuse largely from Muslim extremists. It’s tempting to cast anti-Semitism as the sin of other people, but that’s usually a way to avoid confronting the problem within one’s own community.

…Most bigotries debilitate their targets while empowering their disseminators, much like slavery and redlining enriched America’s white majority at the expense of its African American minority. Many successful societies have been built atop prejudices.

Anti-Semitism, however, is a unique case — and uniquely corrosive to those societies that embrace it. That’s because it often takes the form of a conspiracy theory about how the world works. By blaming real problems on imagined Jewish culprits, anti-Semitism prevents societies from rationally solving them. In one of the most famous examples, Nazi scientists shunned Einstein’s advances as “Jüdische Physik,” as opposed to “Deutsche Physik,” enfeebling their understanding.

As Bard College’s Walter Russell Mead has put it: “People who think ‘the Jews’ dominate business through hidden structures can’t build or long maintain a successful modern economy. People who think ‘the Jews’ dominate politics lose their ability to interpret political events, to diagnose social evils and to organize effectively for positive change. People who think ‘the Jews’ run the media and control the news lose the ability to grasp what is happening around them.”

Read Yair Rosenberg’s full piece, detailing all five myths, at The Washington Post. (But for all that is good and holy, don’t read the comments. It’s a cesspool of antisemitism, philosemitism, Islamophobia, and bigotry.)


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