When Is An Antisemite – An Antisemite?

You’ve all heard the hoary denials – I am not an antisemite, I am simply a critic of Israel’s policies. Or (if they are even slightly honest) – I am not an antisemite, I am anti-Zionist, because Zionism is racism.

I have written, on more than one occasion, about how anti-Zionism is so very often used as a cloak for antisemitism. A person who would deny to the Jewish nation, a right they would grant to any other nation on earth, is, ipso facto, discriminatory and racist. Racism against the Jewish people is antisemitism, whichever way you look at it.

Ah, but what about Jewish anti-Zionists, they will say? How can they be antisemites?

Well, yes, I’m afraid some of them most certainly can.
Throughout history, some of the most vicious enemies of the Jewish people have been those who were, at least, born Jews. In some cases, Jews who converted to other faiths tried to “prove” their loyalty to their new religion by being “holier than the Pope”, informing on fellow Jews, spreading infamous blood libels about their former co-religionists and so on. For others, I can find no logical explanation for their hatred of their own people.

Let me give you a modern day example from a Seattle-based blogger called Richard Silverstein. For those of you who have never heard of him (the majority, I suspect), Silverstein is a self-proclaimed Jew who is so obsessive in his hatred of Israel that he does not hesitate to descend to the use of the most outrageous blood libels, both against the Jewish State and against the Jewish religion. For example, he recently implied  that “halachic norms that are in practice today and endorsed by some rabbinic figures” include “collecting Palestinian foreskins as battle trophies”!!! (I will refrain from giving the link, so as not to drive any more traffic than is absolutely necessary to his pathetic little blog, but I have a screenshot, available on request.) He offers no source or evidence for this outrageous claim and when I tried to comment, in order to demand such proof, I was ignored (or possibly blocked. Dickie dislikes dissent).
By the way, I don’t know about you, but on reading this, I began to wonder.  After all, are the “Palestinians” not, by and large, Muslims? And, as such, are they not circumcised and therefore, ipso facto, foreskinless?

In the past, Silverstein has not hesitated to use all the most common  antisemitic tropes. Expressions such as “Court Jews”, “fat cat Jews”, “yet another wealthy GOP Jew”, trip easily off his tongue, playing up the traditional antisemitic stereotypes of “rich Jews” oppressing “poor Gentiles”. Expressions such as “wealthy Jewish corporate executives”, “the Republican Jewish Coalition…a political country-club for the fat-cat set”, are all calculated to reinforce the idea that a cabal of wealthy Jewish capitalists are pulling the strings behind world government in general and American government in particular. Silverstein cynically harps on the theme, much beloved of antisemites, that American Jews have, at best, divided loyalties and, at worst, are more loyal to Israel than to the United States.

Nor does Silverstein confine his blood libels to those modern-day Jews who support Israel. Not so long ago, I was astounded to read that, according to this supposed Jew, the Jewish festival of Purim celebrates an act of genocide committed by the Jews of the ancient Persian Empire against their non-Jewish neighbours. For those not familiar with the Book of Esther, I will remind you that the Persian Grand Vizier, Haman, schemed to commit genocide against the Jews of the Persian Empire and, to that end, tricked the Persian King, Ahasuarus, into signing an order for their destruction, to be carried out on the 13th day of the month of Adar.  Esther, the Queen, who was herself Jewish, revealed Haman’s evil plan to the King, who found himself in a quandary. Once the King had signed a command, it could not, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, be changed. So the King did the next best thing and signed another command, giving the Jews the right to defend themselves if they were attacked. They did so, and slew several thousand of those who came to slay them. Any honest person would call that self-defence. The Richard Silversteins of this world, however, call that “genocide”.

This is what he writes:

“there’s a dark underlying savagery to this holiday.  That’s because, according to the      Book of Esther, the king’s advisor, Haman, plots the extermination of the Jews of              Persia. He fails and in the process it is his entire family and supporters who are wiped      out on scaffolds erected throughout the kingdom, originally meant for the Jews.
There is no other way to describe this than genocide.”

In short, it is hard to escape the suspicion that Silverstein hates, not only Israel, but the Jewish people and the Jewish religion, since he does not hesitate to defame both.
Is he then, one of those self-hating Jews who lead the clarion calls for the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world?
Personally, I hesitate to call him a self-hating Jew. For one thing, Silverstein doesn’t hate himself. In fact, rarely have I come across a blogger more in love with himself. If you want a definition of “narcissistic”, Silverstein is an almost perfect example.
For another, we only have Silverstein’s word – for what it’s worth – that he is Jewish at all.

So, is Silverstein an antisemite?

Well, let’s put it this way: if something looks like $*** and smells like $***,  it probably is $***.

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About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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14 Responses to When Is An Antisemite – An Antisemite?

  1. Hamama Kabir says:

    You Jews are not even Semites. You are descended from the Khazars.

    • Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard that piece of mythology before.
      Prove it. If I were to claim that the Arabs are all descended from Jack the Ripper, you’d demand proof – or at least some credible evidence. Well, as they say: sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

      However, for the sake of the argument – you can substitute “Jew-hater” for “antisemite” in my article.
      Feel any better?

      And my challenge stands. Let’s see you bring some evidence for a change.

  2. David says:

    Silverstein’s inability to enter into honest debate is well known – as is his inability to remain polite when he is getting a battering. I remember him trying to argue that Israel doesn’t have the right to let Jews live in Israel and that the Law of Return is racist. But this foreskin business sounds like a new low – even for him.

  3. John Ryan says:

    The Purim story is probably a legend anyway, but the story itself entails no genocide. Haman’s “family” means his sons who were reportedly his henchmen in his murderous plot. His “supporters” were not passive spectators, watching from the sidelines. They were active members of his “gang” (for want of a better word). Silverstein’s attempt to reinterpret the legend to demonize the Jews is an obvious display of brazen anti-Semitism. Maybe that’s why Richard Silverstein has been described elsewhere as Kapo Dick.

  4. John Ryan says:

    I think the foreskin saga was the result of a single angry comment made by one Israeli after the brutal murder of three Jewish teenagers. To say that it is “in practice today” is such a barefaced, antisemitic lie that I am amazed how anyone can take Silverstein seriously.

    • Loren Orwell says:

      Well, Silverstein certainly takes himself seriously, and he also has a coterie of groupies (some of them even more antisemitic than he is), who hang on his every word. They are the only people who are allowed to comment freely on his hateful, antisemitic blog. They are even allowed to break his “comment rules”, often without even a reprimand.

  5. Akram Tahrier says:

    As usual you ignore the evidence. There are many rich Jews in America in the media and you run Hollywood. And what about the Jews who destroyed the World Trade Center?

    • Akram, I don’t know why I allow you to continue commenting here after some of the blatantly antisemitic lies you have posted in the past. I suppose I am simply more tolerant of other people’s opinion than the Loony Left PC Brigade.
      There are indeed many rich Jews in America. There are also many rich Gentiles. And poor Jews. The point is, Silverstein uses terms designed to elicit the kneejerk response that “those rich Jews, they control everything”, rather than the more intelligent response, which would be to ask – as I now ask you: if Jews really control the world media, why is so much of the mainstream media, such as CNN, the New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian etc. so virulently anti-Israel?
      As for that crack about the World Trade Center – I suppose you also believe that there are alien reptiles walking among us disguised as humans.

  6. Thomas Equinus says:

    Foreskin Saga? Of all the unmitigated Gallsworthy!!!!!

  7. Carolyn says:

    Shimona, you are exceedingly tolerant of the uninformed idiots who comment here! But of course by leaving their comments, they prove your point!

    You write very clearly! Thanks!

    • “But of course by leaving their comments, they prove your point!”

      That’s why I allow them to do so 😉
      We have a saying in Hebrew which, roughly translated, means: “The work of the just is carried out by others”.

  8. Ian G says:

    Palestinian foreskins? That would be the confusion of the Arab ‘Palestinian’ muslim with the uncircumcised Philistine previously inhabiting the Gaza strip. A pagan and idolatrous people who belonged to the ethnic group as the Greeks, Cretans etc. and collectively known as the ‘sea peoples’. A strange confusion. Why should the desert Arab, monotheist and iconoclastic want to claim kinship with polytheist, idolatrous, seafaring Ancient Greeks? Ignorance or deliberate lie? I think we know the answer.

    • It’s the only way they can claim they were there before the Israelites, I suppose.
      Still, Silverstein is, I am sure, well aware of the difference and to imply that the taking of foreskins is current IDF practice is a blatant lie. Not the first blatant lie Silverstein has propagated.

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