The Longest Hatred

Monday, December 05, 2005
The longest hatred is phrase coined by historian Robert S. Wistrich to describe antisemitism.

I would say it is back, but the truth is it never left. From the Black Death to the Great Depression to Islamic radicalism, hatred of the Jewish people excuses and placates bigots of all stripes.

It also seems that it is catching, now the Americans are the new Jews and some people have wondered if the Iraqis might be the next Other, to be shunned and despised.

Recently I noticed that David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan has joined ranks with Cindy Sheehan in his screed Cindy Sheehan is Right. The villain? Well of course it is the Jew and his desire for world domination.

I read some of the ravings of the early Nazis in Wistrich's Hitler and the Holocaust and I could not help but notice the same kind of unreasoning hatred, mindless bigotry and affinity for paranoia which seems to be so much a part of the the antiwar movement. The Nazis were able to do the things they did because they believed they were saving the world, they too were convinced of the essential rightness of their insane Final Solution.

Today much of that same hatred can be seen in the left, both here and in Europe. People will deny this, but answer this..if the young people rioting in France had been Jewish, would people have hesitated to name their race or religion or creed? Or would it have been considered proof of their nefarious intent to take over Europe?

UPDATE: According to an editorial by Ralph Peters in the New York Post sunni insurgents have made a point of expressing their "love" for Cindy Sheehan and her kind. Imagine that, her son's murderers love her. I bet Casey would be so proud.

17 comments:

truepeers said...

if the young people rioting in France had been Jewish, would people have hesitated to name their race or religion or creed?

-who knows, the name game is getting stranger and stranger!

But these angry gypsies, forgotten by society, left by the wayside, victims of discrimination, have just had their day in the streets. How will Villepin get his mouth around this one? Will Chirac stick his nose out of his palace, shrug his shoulders, wrinkle his forehead, and say, “We weren’t listening. They tried to tell us of their distress, but we did not hear their cry for help. My government will make a priority of aid to our gypsy citoyennes and citoyens...

Watch out for the next demonstration. It seems the pedophile-rapist-murderers think they aren’t getting a square deal in France. They might just decide to tear up the boulevard one day soon and demand égalité pour tous.

truepeers said...

It's always good to keep in my mind that "racism" is not some generic prejudice. Prejudice agains the Jews, AMericans (and, if it happens, a democratic Iraq) is quite unlike prejudice directed against many other groups. THe Jew and American is hated because his people are seen to have done something to step out of line, to gain an advantage, to lead, to aspire to be better than us - in short, to go first. This prejudice of those who choose the responsibilities of freedom at the expense of adhering to some more primitive equality is unlike much prejudice that is focussed on races deemed to be clearly inferior in some shape of form, i.e. those deemed slower, more backwards, primitive, than us.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of truth in what you are saying, however, you must remember the old adage: beware fighting monsters lest you become one. I find it very interesting, and rather horrifying, that in a post against negative stereotyping of an entire class of people you do just that. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on hate, and saying that one side does, seems very close to calling them evil. (A tactic lovingly used by the Nazis and others to denigrate entire populations.) Be careful when engaging in this oversimplified view, for although it may not be society's longest hatred, the hatred that grows from these extreme polar politics will be just as dangerous.

truepeers said...

Anonymous, there is a lot of truth in what you say. BUt there are not simply two sides, and to talk as if there were is to suggest we are all equally wrong/right in some kind of moral relativist equation. There are extremists and then there is the middle. ANd the center today is best exemplified by a kind of pro-AMerican conservativism. Hatred is essentially a resentment of those who occupy the center. And there are many on the left who are full of resentments accordingly. Today, there are fewer right wing extremists, fwiw.

Knucklehead said...

Anonymous,

I find it very interesting, and rather horrifying, that in a post against negative stereotyping of an entire class of people you do just that. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on hate, and saying that one side does, seems very close to calling them evil.

I'm at a loss to see either how this is "a post against negative stereotyping" or where she claims one side has a monopoly on hate. Please point out to me what I am missing.

The post is clearly, it seems to me, one condemning hatred. It mentions hatred against Jews as the oldest hatred.

Terrye didn't say it, but I will. The Left is now, and has been for some time, the more active purveyors of hatred. There is little they don't hate. The Left not only doesn't get their crazy relations off the front porch, they send them forth to preach and raise havoc. They elect them as senators, nominate them for president, make them the head of their party, give them seats of honor at their conventions.

Well, anyway, onward...

TP,

Interesting that you pointed to the OSM post about the Gypsie riots in Paris. I was going to point to the same article. If I thought PJ Media was doing satire I'd believe that article was satire. But I guess it isn't. I guess the new model for demonstrating in France is to burn things. Does the output of the demonstration fires go into their Kyoto quotas?

Terrye,

Now that it magically appeared again I was used our blogroll here to go visit Gates of Vienna where Dymphna starts off a rather long post by pointing us to Guns, Germs, and Moonbats at Rightwingnuthouse.

The reason I bring this up is that there is something primeval about the need to hate the "other". It is, apparently, as old as human history, as old as religion. Rick Moran savages an article by a "journalism professor", one RObert Jansen, wherein Jansen suggests that Thanksgiving be replaced by a "National Day of Atonement" on which we all acknowledge our nation's "original sin".

Not sure what prompted me to call that to your attention.

truepeers said...

Knuck, At first I thought it was satire. Now I'm thinking it is just a sign of the writer's exposure to the depressed, lost, and paranoiac state of mind that seems to rule in France today. As for Kyoto quotas, I wouldn't be surprised if the French have a high one for their long tradition of fires in the streets.

terrye said...

anonymous:

My point is a simple one: extremes meet. Much of the anti war movement from Michael Moore to Cindy Sheehan need hate like they need air.

The KKK is the same way and they even have the same target: neocons and Jews.

terrye said...

Truepeers:

AntiAmericanism existed in Europe long before we were number one in anything. The dogs did not bark in the New World, the people were avaricious and dishonest and had no culture. These stereotypes predate our status as super power.

My point is if the Jews had been the ones rioting, it would have been an automatic reaction or impulse to make an issue of the fact they were Jews. That is all people would have seen. The overwhelming tendency toward politcal correctness we see in the post modern world does not apply to the Jews...they can still be blamed for everthing. Unless of course we are the ones being blamed and if the Iraqis make a success of their country they may well be blamed.

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

Just in case you weren't bummed out enough yet for today, check out THE MARCH OF THE EXTREMISTS in Der Spiegel Online. It is about the growing terrorism in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

terrye said...

knucklehead:

Actually I read that attitudes toward American have improved in Indonesia since the tsunami and attitudes towards Osama have soured.

But it does not take many terrorists to give the impression of mass revolt.

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

The article didn't actually mention attitudes toward Americans. It was about extremists butchering people.

Buddhist monks are being murdered, Christian schoolchildren beheaded and dissenters blown up. Southeast Asia's peaceful co-existence among religions is under siege, from Bangkok to Jakarta. Meanwhile, politicians and military leaders are using Islamic fervor to boost their own power.

is the opening.

truepeers said...

Well Terrye, even before AMerica was an industrial power, it was still first in certain measures of freedom and republican constitutional rule, in ways that pissed off old world aristocrats. But my point is not that people only have prejudice against leaders. It is rather that the prejudices against various peoples are not usefully grouped together under the generic heading of "racism". And so certain arguments that attempt to draw moral equivalencies between one prejudice and another - say between Nazi treatment of the Jews, and American treatment of Muslim terrorists - are highly dubious.

It is possible for someone like Hitler to hate Jews in a highly obsessive manner, with an intensity that he could not have maintained for his hatred of, say, Africans. And this was because the Jew was seen to be skilled, aloof, and secretly working behind the scenes to control the global economy. In contrast, a Hitler type considered Africans to be simply inferior. It is difficult to have a highly resentful hatred for someone who is obviously marginal - one may have other negative emotions, like disgust, but it is a different kind of prejudice - which is why the most virulent, most resentful, hatred of those on the margins happens when they appear to be trying to take a step closer to the center: striking a pose beyond their station, getting too rich, sleeping across race lines, etc.

It is our resentment of those who would seem to alienate us from what we consider our proper share of centrality that brings out our most fierce hatreds.

Why am I going on so? and I hope I am not being pedantic... If we don't understand our prejudices and resentments in terms of their center-periphery structure, we are liable to make arguments in which there are only two sides - with no legitimate center to fiercely defend - and we sink into a moral relativism where both sides are equally guilty in their prejudice towards the other and we don't know where we stand, lest we offend someone. The next step beyond getting lost in such moral relativism is the re-discovery of irrational hatreds, as in the case of the left presently re-discovering antisemitism.

truepeers said...

Terrye, I think you are right about what you say would happen if it were Jews who were rioting. But it is worth mentioning that it is hard to imagine Jews rioting as Jews. Judaism does not lend itself to such behavior. One can imagine a good mix of Jews in, say, a socialist riot, but if Jews were ever rioting, alone, as Jews, it would be so remarkable I'd be quick to discuss it too.

Rick Ballard said...

"Judaism does not lend itself to such behavior."

Hmmm - do you think that the Romans around Jerusalem in 60-70CE would have agreed?

truepeers said...

Maybe not, RIck, but you know, when I was writing that, I was thinking of the Jews fighting the British for Palestine, and I though, hmm, maybe I should qualify with an "unless they are fighting for their homeland..." But economy in writing...

Anyway, my point is that if you think of the Jews and the history of the diaspora, you will not find many if any instances of Jews rioting as Jews. SOmetimes you will find htem fighting in self-defense, to be sure, but not simply acting out violently against the established civil order as a way of communicating their resentment. THe whole point of monotheism is to control our resentment and Judaism does a good job of it, and demands high regard for worldly codes of ethical conduct. It is not as radical as Christianity, with its calls to build the kingdom here and now, nor as tolerant of resentment towards infidels as Islam, I think it's fair to say.

terrye said...

Hitler's obsession can also be traced to a long history of anti semitism in Europe as well as the humiliation of 11/9 and Armistice. The economic times were bad aswell. It took a lot of circumstances to bring about a Hitler, but the hatred based on the seeming alien nature of other human beings is still at its heart.

Luther McLeod said...

"If we don't understand our prejudices and resentments in terms of their center-periphery structure, we are liable to make arguments in which there are only two sides - with no legitimate center to fiercely defend - and we sink into a moral relativism where both sides are equally guilty in their prejudice towards the other and we don't know where we stand, lest we offend someone."

Well put TP. The middle way. Often misconstrued as lacking passion but is actually opposite to that. Composure and clear thinking much more difficult than blood boiling rage.