One upshot to the profusion of online Hitler sympathy this past decade is that it shows how brittle American liberal indoctrination really is, despite its insidiousness. Of course, it also shows that older habits tend to die harder.
To wit: every now and again some earnest little yid blogger pokes his head up on an alt-right podcast and tries to explain that we’re not all that bad—while agreeing that indeed, we are all that bad. It’s a bit like playing dead: contrition itself is supposed to be a point in the Jews’ defense.
Now, if your experience tells you that Jews are oily, pushy, whiny, loud, snide, solipsistic and cheap, well…. Join the club: so does mine (though only a couple of those apply to me). Perhaps you live in a community somewhere back east where the ethnic fault lines are long standing, and over the decades each of the local constituencies has made a certain impression on its neighbors—well and good. If it’s a matter of navigating daily life and real relationships, stereotype away, for all I care. But when we refer here to anti-semitism, what we mean is the full-retard pamphleteering variety, a worldview mediated secondhand, a partial flight of fancy:
Though it exposes me as a third-rate intellectual at best, and although he was a bit of a huckster and a charlatan, I’ll go ahead and quote the late Christopher Hitchens in this connection:
The Nazis thought of Slavs and Gypsies as racial inferiors by all means, but the organizing principle of their racism, the thing that gave it its energy and its consistency was the hatred of the Jew….. Would it be believed by anybody, if it was said that all the Armenians left the World Trade Center before the planes hit, or all the Irish? I don’t think so. It has to be the Jews, it’s not exciting if it’s not. It would be a mere vulgar prejudice; there’s not enough traction and grit and flavor to it, unless it’s the real thing.
Again: if experience recommends wariness of a given human group, then be wary—end of story. Self-defense, after all, is a dish best served cold, and sparingly. And xenophobia is clearly evolutionary—it needs no laborious rationale, no theory, no social approval. But for the full-retard anti-ZOG pamphleteer, there’s no adrenaline in that, no hard-on, no quasi-mystical shivers. For them, the case is so open-and-shut they can never shut up about it.
Henry Kissinger once said that a people that’s been persecuted for 2,000 years is doing something wrong. A certain Luke would beg to differ that being persecuted necessarily means you’re in the wrong, but he didn’t much like Jews, either. In any case, a people that beats those kinds of odds has also got to be doing something right.
All the same, you might think it would be worthwhile for the Jews’ own sake to at least engage with their worst critics and try to learn something from them. But hesitance to fully recognize hostility can only play as sycophancy. Indeed, when you reach out to full-retard anti-semites (lots of those abroad in the world nowadays) what you’re invariably going to find is that the burden of proof falls exclusively upon the semite. Your every overture is taken both as subterfuge and servility. Your every word short of utter self-abnegation amounts to proof of incorrigibility, no matter what you’ve conceded—and so does self-abnegation. There is literally nothing that can be proved to these types. Perhaps you share alt-right or far-left concerns about the complicity of Jews in systems of power you oppose, but that’s never how anti-semites see you, and the only effective way to deal with execration is with a grin, and a middle finger. Full-retard anti-semitism (right or left) is not about opposing systems of power per se; rather, it is the vocation of finding fault with yidden. It’s a manichaean template that confers total absolution from shame, and earnestness is poison when you’re dealing with a shameless interlocutor. As soon as you give him the time of day, you’re taking on all the shame in the equation.
Take, for example, the following aside (~29:00-30:00) from alt-right agitator Mike Enoch on that episode of The Daily Shoah podcast I hyperlinked above (the one with the yiddle-diddle blogger guest interviewee.) Here Enoch’s talking about the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm:
We had this conversation today where we were talking about Larry David, that fucking stupid show where he runs around being Jewish…. and someone [some fellow anti-semite] was like, ‘Oh no, but it’s hilarious because he’s so Jewish [that] he’s fucking over even other Jews.‘ And I’m like, yeah, but at some point I just want to be done with this Jewish psychological shit, I don’t want to be sucked into this world of the Jewish fucking inner turmoil, I just want to be done with it.
Um…. excuse me? You guys are the ones with a three-times weekly podcast called The Daily Shoah (“shoah”=Hebrew for Holocaust) that’s going on its 200th episode at 2+ hours apiece, and in every single one, you discuss Jews at length. No schtick fatigue? I get that plutocrats and media mandarins are disproportionately Jewish, that such power ought to be accessible to satire, and I can at least respect the alt-right for its irreverence, but…. You “want to be done“? The fuck outta here. What would you even do with yourselves at that point?
Someone who claims to have caught a whiff of sulfuric old Beelzebub is liable to be reminded that whoever smelt it dealt it (it’s called negative transference.) Yet the self-flagellating little yid blogger guest on the podcast ends up agreeing with Enoch about yiddishkeit in showbiz: “Right, this is 2% of the population, why is this the thing that’s being constantly put in front of us?” I don’t know, why are there so goddamned many steers in Texas? In the words of the great Marshall McLuhan: if you’re seeing it, it’s for you. Someone got you straightjacketed to a theater seat? Lots of options what to watch nowadays. Last I checked, HBO is premium cable. So I’ve heard a lot of anti-semitic tropes in my day, but as these things go, “wanting to be done with the Jewish inner turmoil” that’s “sucking me in” is revealingly bizarre. Whether it’s only tortured logic, or also tortured, sub-rosa yiddishkeit, what it reveals about anti-semitism is the same.
Back in the mid-aughts I was sitting around one weekend with a friend—also Jewish—smoking something stupid and watching one of the hundreds of conspiracy documentaries then mushrooming on the new-fangled YouTube. Up until that time, my conception of Jewish success was that it confirmed the old stereotype about Jewish brains. But due to events like 9/11, the NSA spying scandals and the 2008 financial crisis it was starting to become painfully clear that the height of success in America is something profoundly dark, and that one’s ethnic group being disproportionately implicated in it can be a very bad thing. At one point during the documentary, my friend turned to me and asked, “How are we supposed to cope with the fact that we come from a race of deceivers?”
You might ascribe that sentiment to the influence of drugs, or to half-baked YouTube documentaries. But would you know who agrees with it? Larry David. Here’s how David treated the Weinstein/#MeToo scandal in the opening monologue of a recent episode of Saturday Night Live he hosted (executive summary here):
What’s awkward about this performance? It isn’t the references to sex, or to genocide. It isn’t the uncouthness, or even David’s openness to discomfort. No, what’s awkward about this performance is its sincerity, its utter lack of irony. It’s a public service announcement concealed behind only the most implausible veneer of comedy. Larry David means exactly what he says: he reflexively feels that allegations against a handful of fellow Jews reflect on him, fundamentally. And what’s ironic about the tenebrous self-awareness he exhibits is not some corollary intellectual benefit, but that it’s avoidable, unnecessary, and entirely self inflicted. A gallery of perennially offended professional Jews squawked a bit online the week after this performance, but that’s because they suffer from the same pathology that David does—they aren’t mad because they disagree with what he said, they’re mad because he said it—they feel that he reflects on them, same as David feels about Weinstein. The assumption of responsibility for another person’s crime speaks to a need to feel rejected in order to feel validated. This is why the vindictive sniveling inherent in so much of Judaism locks Jews into a sadomasochistic relationship with anti-semites—the Purim and (to a lesser extent) Passover holidays are great examples of this. (Only Hanukkah represents a genuine triumph of the will.) So unless you limit your Judaism to a given understanding of the divine, an answer to the need for a certain modicum of ritual, and communion with your ancestors, you’ll always be spinning your wheels in a mud puddle of Talmudic agony like some kind of OCD sufferer. (By the way—I don’t know too much Talmud, but I know there’s at least one volume of it that ought to be as popular as the Gospels or the Tao te Ching. It’s called Pirke Avot. Check it out sometime. Guide for the Perplexed is also very good, for similar reasons.)
Professional Jew Jeffrey Goldberg typifies this masochism. I’ve bagged on him here before, so I hate to do it twice, but he’s just too typical. As a teenager, he served as an MP in the IDF (that part’s atypical), then came back to the US and wrote a stupid memoir about his one-sided friendship with a Palestinian terrorist he guarded in a military jail, entitled Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide. The tone-deafness of the title (equating a gaoler with his charge, conflating people’s religion with their entire being) is bad enough. Per the NY Times review:
Rafiq Hijazi [is] the Muslim of the book’s title. The story of their unusual and complicated friendship is at the core of Prisoners, weaving its way through the narrative like a serpentine question mark. It begins with their meeting in 1991 at Ketziot, the Israeli prison filled with thousands of Palestinians arrested during the first Intifada. Rafiq (Fatah-affiliated and deeply religious) was Goldberg’s ”favorite” prisoner. ”I wanted to make Rafiq my friend,” he says. ”I liked that he had the dispassion of an analytical academic in a place notable for its absence of thought. He also had an open-mindedness that to me was a clear sign of inner benevolence.” After their first conversation—separated by a fence—Goldberg had ”a feeling of connection. It was a strange and traitorous feeling, but it was also a true feeling, and it was accompanied by a satisfying frisson of danger and dissent.”
He could be describing an illicit love affair. Except, more than once, and increasingly so as their relationship is tested against the backdrop of violent political developments, it appears to be a case of unrequited love—Rafiq does not seem to be in need of their friendship. They continued to meet, over many years, in different places: at Rafiq’s parents’ home in Gaza, in Washington, where they both lived with their wives and where Rafiq was completing a Ph.D. in statistics, later in Abu Dhabi. There were also frequent long breaks between their meetings, especially after Rafiq—who, Goldberg tells us, had become a fundamentalist—announced that he would not demonstrate against suicide bombings or when he said that if he had to kill his friend, ”it wouldn’t be personal.”
Goldberg is invariably the one to make the next approach: ”I was raised to search out the familiar in the stranger, on the theory that we are all alike. I looked for the familiar in Rafiq, and found it.” The almost pathetic one-sidedness of this friendship, the need to be accepted, liked and understood not only by Rafiq but by other, less moderate political enemies (”I was fascinated by them”) would be almost moving if it didn’t point so obviously back to the old trauma of the rejection by the anti-Semitic bullies in that Long Island playground. Beneath the physical pain and the humiliation, there was always the perennial Jewish question: Why don’t they like me?
Who gives a shit? Does Rafiq have this problem, this tortured relationship with gods and men? Of course not. Rafiq has a proper respect for his place in the natural order of things. His “analytic academic’s dispassion” is a tool, not a ball-and-chain. But at least Jeffrey Goldberg has a choice about whether and what kind of ball and chain to carry around. Not all Jews have been so lucky.
Mihail Sebastian was a Romanian-Jewish linguist and novelist who kept a diary of life in Romania between 1935 and 1944. The manuscript was smuggled to Israel by his brother in 1961 and eventually published as a book after the Cold War. What’s interesting about it is that many fellow Romanian intellectuals whom the author maintained friendships with were vehemently pro-Nazi. According to a 2001 book review in The Irish Times, Sebastian had a remarkable tendency to make excuses for them:
Sebastian’s friend, the charismatic philosopher and teacher Nae Ionescu, who enthusiastically supported the Iron Guard, agreed to write a preface to one of Sebastian’s novels, but when he did, it turned out to be vigorously anti-Semitic.
Ionescu warned the younger man against imagining that he could become assimilated into the gentile community, asking of him “Are you . . . a human being from Braila on the Danube? No, you are a Jew from Braila on the Danube.” Sebastian, in typical fashion, continued to look upon his friend and mentor with fondness, regarding him indulgently merely as a rogue and an opportunist whose heart nevertheless was in the right place; when Ionescu died prematurely in 1940, Sebastian wept in sorrow.
He even found excuses for his friend the novelist, and fascist, Camil Petrescu. When the private houses of Jews were confiscated by order of the government, Petrescu complained to Sebastian that he would probably not be given one; Sebastian said that surely, under the circumstances, his friend would not accept a house even if it were offered to him, at which Petrescu stared at him in surprise and asked: “Why not?”
The type of person who countenances this kind of treatment today will be a school shooter tomorrow, or a mental patient, or a Great Gatsby, but he’ll never be content. So is there anyone more pathetic than the person who devotes time and energy to authoring broadsides about his unmatched malevolence? Our next installment will be about Kevin MacDonald, and his acolytes.