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 $***.