Category Archives: Yiddishkeit

Reductio ad Iudaeoram: Conclusion

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The world’s foremost problem

(Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here)

In The Forest Passage, Ernst Jünger references Oedipus and the Sphinx to illustrate that what he calls “the void” compels man to interrogate himself. By this he means that we stand confronted by an inner yet simultaneously higher mystery, the fear of which we must overcome if we are to optimize ourselves—just as the forest is at once a refuge, and a place of deep foreboding.

Jünger was a radical individualist, a believer in the ultimate prerogative of the rarified spirit—in some sense intensely Christian, yet also a Nietzschean relativist of sorts—and it occurred to me when reading him that Heidegger, in contrast, by asking “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?” took man’s confrontation with the void in the exact opposite direction—into the desert, as Nietzsche might say. Although his Dasein is conceptually similar to Jünger’s forest, with this suicidally literal-minded question, Heidegger interrogated all of existence, except failed to look within. His approach is analogous to Nazism’s misspent intensity and titanic hubris.

Of course, Heidegger was an enthusiastic party member, while Jünger openly disdained the NSDAP, resigning from his WWI veteran’s association when its Jewish members were expelled.

Because they aren’t the party in power—far from it—I can’t quite take the same attitude toward the multifarious alt-right that Jünger once took to monolithic Nazism. In fact, I basically concur with nearly every alt-right meme—14 (if not 88), anarcho-tyranny, degeneracy, media coordination, biological determinism (to a degree), white genocide—and also realize that a lot of arguments against the alt-right amount to feckless denial, e.g., the assumption that because multiculturalism is inexorable, resistance is futile; or that redpilling precludes judging people on individual merit. Furthermore, although I’m half-Jewish on my father’s side and proud of who I am (as a wayward 21-23 year old, I even served in the Israeli army), I see the Jews for exactly what they are (a topic I’ll address in a forthcoming essay, along with the complicated question of why I choose to remain Jewish.) Still, I’ve had ample occasion to observe and ponder anti-semitism over the course of my life, and there’s just something so goddamned apoplectically cult-like about it. Once the JQ takes on enough importance for your worldview, you just aren’t saying yes to anything.

The following bit of cocksure bleating from the normally incisive Chateau Heartiste provides a good example:

Ted Colt notices,

“One needn’t look further than a Wikipedia article describing NeoConservative history to comprehend the connection between neocons & free trade


If your Alt-Right brand isn’t ‘anti-semitic’ then you’re not alt-right”

I prefer the more accurate term of art “countersemitic”. (The ADL, unsurprisingly, does not.) We are countering the malicious agenda of a hostile minority intent on drowning us in foreign invaders, trite consumerism, backbreaking debt, endless interventionist wars, and basically anything that destroys the historical and cultural bonds of the majority’s community, neighborhood, town, and nation.

Wow. Ted Colt, huh? “Branding,” while bitching on the monetized interwebs about consumerism. “No further than Wikipedia,” indeed. Isn’t that a Jew-run outfit?

It tires me to argue with this middle-school caliber drivel, to rattle off litanies of phenomena that are driving world events, other than a lot of Jews being shitty, disgusting, and politically active; or to point out the very basic-bitch fact that what Zionists are doing in the US is no different than a great many other foreign grifters milling around, raining bukake on the bloated, insensate pudding vagina we have for a system in this country, hoping the next queef will blow their direction. What bears pointing out, however, is that Chateau’s sensibility is cribbed wholly and directly from Kevin MacDonald, the evolutionary psychologist infamous for his thesis that Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy aimed at weakening Gentile host societies.

I’ll leave anyone who’s not familiar with MacDonald to do their own research. I’m also going to leave off rehashing the many criticisms that have been leveled at him. Moldbug, of course, provided a comprehensive alternate theory, though the one essay where he takes up MacDonald’s thesis itself is characteristically Spock-like and peremptorily dismissive. For being at once impishly understated and duly comprehensive, however, Derbyshire’s review is the most direct.

What you might take from MacDonald’s work is that inter-ethnic enmity is a two-way street—especially if you’ve been fire-hosed your entire life with the liberal narrative of perennial white/male/Gentile/hetero guilt. But in fact, MacDonald’s thesis is the exact inverse of that, so the street is still one-way:

With his thousand-year-old mercantile dexterity he is far superior to the still helpless, and above all boundlessly honest, Aryans…. While he seems to overflow with ‘enlightenment,’ ‘progress,’ ‘freedom,’ ‘humanity,’ etc., he himself practices the severest segregation of his race…. His ultimate goal in this stage is the victory of ‘democracy’…. It is most compatible with his requirements; for it excludes the personality and puts in its place the majority characterized by stupidity, incompetence, and last but not least, cowardice….

….und so weiter. I guess a plurality’s better than a full majority. As for boundless honesty, that point can probably best be disputed by the Plains Indians, or anyone who has ever read Thucydides, Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Dale Carnegie. Was PT Barnum of Jewish descent, or just the bearded lady?

The full-retard anti-semite will usually balk at being associated with Hitler, calling it a libel although he agrees with der Führer entirely. But I didn’t just quote Mein Kampf in order to associate Kevin MacDonald with Hitler—there’d be no need for that. Rather, I’m quoting Hitler in order to provide the smidgeon of contrast necessary for pointing out how incredibly innovative and thoughtful a theory like MacDonald’s would be, in spite of every flaw—if it was original. But it isn’t. On the contrary, it’s the best attested theory of history in all of history. Feel free to agree with it, of course, but if you stumbled upon it as if upon a revelation, and felt your scattered erudition suddenly bundle itself tightly into a faggot (or fasces, if you prefer) of clarity and purpose, then you may as well be holding a bouquet of balloons there, luftmensch. 

Judaism is obviously inflected with a snide aloofness that is eminently distasteful. And of course MacDonald’s right about the emotional intensity, the intellectual domineering and the history with money lending. But if you find all this more sinister than it is pathetic, and need three volumes with thousands of footnotes to prove it, then you’d probably rather just point to where they hurt you, because you’re not working with a full pack of crayons.

But MacDonald’s critique is not strictly of Judaism as a belief system—to the extent such a critique is contained in his work it’s just a lot of cherry-picked quotes employed to prop up a misapprehension of the historical context and theological nuance of the Hebrew Bible as egregious as any local rabbi’s. MacDonald has really just authored a prosecutorial brief, thereby updating village scapegoating (negative transference) for an age that demands the pretense of forensics, and that every boogyman archetype conform in flesh and blood to the news cycle and the temporal dimensions of the world-historic stage (e.g., terrorism, racism, the Russians, the patriarchy.) I’m happy to hear out any conspiracy theory, but if your smoking gun is evolutionary psychology, then we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

Not unlike Chateau Heartiste, I’ve argued here before that JQ-pill a la MacDonald is indispensable to alt-right thought. Clearly, it was equally indispensable to historical fascism in interwar Europe, and while I’ll grant that much of what we learn today about that subject in school and mainstream media is highly subjective and de-contextualized, no one seriously denies that the alt-right is neofascist. So if the JQ is one of a handful of wrongthoughts that will get you attacked in mainstream discourse, among the alt-right, there is only one wrongthought sufficient to warrant attacking anybody, and that is insufficient vehemence with regard to yidden, and to yiddishkeit.

It’s true there are a number of mainstream conservative figures who are respected or at least not reviled on the alt-right—e.g., Ann Coulter, Gavin McInnes, Tucker Carlson—and whose utterances are sometimes regarded as indicative of the movement’s effect on the Overton Window, just as there are a handful of alt-right Jews like Nicholas Stix who were plodding in obscurity before there even was an alt-right. But any emergent alt-media personality who avoids the question or gives the wrong answer (e.g., Lauren Southern, Jordan Peterson) is quickly called out in the comments section. Of course, attention whores of Hebrewish provenance courting hard alt-right audiences are rightly viewed as slimy, but while Milo shot more for mainstream appeal, Cernovich, for example, styled himself a pariah from the ill-considered niche of espousing every alt-right view except JQ, and is roundly despised for it.

The utility of this catechism as the proverbial rug that ties the room together is not lost on up-and-coming merch-pimps and aspiring alt-media gadflies. Getting slapped on an ADL hate list is now marketable martyrdom, such that cookie-cutter manifestos and Hitlerian little memoirs of awakening are regularly produced by figures as varied as Roosh V and Squatting Slav. The former, a self-styled manosphere pick-up artist, writes prolifically at a seventh-grade reading level about his sexual encounters on the road in impoverished countries. Undoubtedly by mawwing the requisite JQ-dribblings, he was able to secure a time slot to hustle his fetid self-publishings one year at Richard Spencer’s NPI conference, despite being a patently non-white immigrant with a beady-eyed charlatan’s countenance. Squatting Slav, meanwhile, runs a satirical pan-Slavic FB meme-page that can claim the minor feat of having united a few hundred-thousand former-Yugoslav followers, not only despite their own intractable enmities but in spite of the admin’s unabashed Serb-posting. Apparently unaware of the arming of the Serbs by Israel during the 1990s, and of the singularly barbaric massacres perpetrated against his people by and with the support of the Nazis, even he could not get past the apparent need to clear the air by regurgitating their theories into a handful of v-log tutorials on the subject of international Zionism. (If you’re awaiting his take on the Croat-Vatican-Deutsche Bundesbank nexus, you might not want to hold your breath.)

But these are just two examples. By far the omega exemplar of cynically chasing relevance in this field is Stefan Molyneux, who started out with a predictable Chomskean approach to Israel-Palestine, tinged with Hitchensian dismissal of all things bigoted (like Hitchens, at one point early on he was even claiming some vague Jewish ancestry) but has moved deeper into the JQ-space in accordance with market pressures, always just skirting the line so as not to ward off more risk-averse fellow travelers with larger Twitter followings on the incestuous alt-lite podcast circuit.

But at least Molyneux is inconsistent. The same can’t be said for Red Ice Radio’s wall-eyed Lana Lokteff, whose antipathy to all things yiddish is such that she is able to read rootless cosmopolism into the Hasmonean revolt against the Seleucids, recounting it as an instance of Jewish meddling in the sovereign prerogatives of Gentiles. With logic like this being pervasive on the alt-right, one is entitled to ask whether anti-semitism is the punchbowl, or the turd—which brings us back to Chateau Heartiste, in an essay defending kid-fucking:

Say what you will about Roy Moore, at least his girls agreed to date him (even if they retconned a discomfort 40 years later). The Synagogue of Seediness doesn’t bother with the formality of mutual agreement, they just passive-aggressively jam tongues down throats “to rehearse our lines”.

Of course, Chateau absolutely condones those tactics (that’s what his whole blog is about) unless there’s a semitic element involved—the latter reference being to Al Franken, whose indiscretion was at least perpetrated on a grown woman (and ended at first base.) But if this guy really believes that his hypothetical 14-year old daughter could give Roy Moore consent, then you’ve at least got to commend his intra-Gentile solidarity.

Is all this starting to make sense? Again, if you can’t stand kikes, I get it. But when your answer to everything is “the Jews,” there’s just no feat of mental gymnastics you can’t stoop to. Even the normally staid, rationalistic Steve Sailer gets in on the act from time to time:

[The] most obvious way for Jews to avoid criticism for stereotypically Jewish failings, such as exploiting shiksas as if they were members of a different tribe, is to try to behave better.

Is Roy Moore a Jew now, too? But you’re right, Steve, sexual assault needs to limited to the in-group, that must be why we never hear from you about the clergy, it’s just not the same. I wasn’t aware I’d been exploiting any shiksas, but now that you’ve shown me the way to avoid criticism, I’ll be sure to stop doing it.

Aside from the boomer alt-right at AmRen and VDare being mostly indifferent to the subject (though there are exceptions like Sailer), the one and only alt-right figure I’ve seen get away with expressing an empathetic view of Jews is the thoughtful (if purplishly self-conscious) Andy Nowicki, although Mike Enoch has managed to gain a large alt-right following despite the fact his anti-semitism is so inflected with tortured yiddishkeit it’s clear that if he’s not an agent provocateur he’s nothing more than a lurking little opportunist with a Snow White fetish and a hypertrophied superego. Or both. (His inside-job denial on 9/11 was conspicuously sly—I’m looking for the video to hyperlink it but there are like, a million uploads from those guys and life is short.)

But these exceptions only prove the rule, and the rule is simply that impassioned anti-semitism is a clownworld phenomenon. It’s certainly not the worst clownworld phenomenon—I think I’d rather have another six million murdered coreligionists than a transgender kid, for example. At least it’s grassroots. Then again, so is a lot of stupid shit. But do you know what isn’t stupid, and is grassroots? Crowdsourcing a sea-borne vessel to prevent people-smugglers from making their rendezvous with NGOs off the coast of Libya, or at least bring publicity to the issue. And when have you ever heard so much as a peep of anti-semitism out of Martin Sellner? Or AfD, le Front, Lega Nord, Britain First? At worst their anti-semitism is just business casual. Some leaders in these outfits are even pro-Israel, and of course some aren’t, but none are tainted with neoliberal or neoconservatism.

Like wine, cheese, and healthcare, pro-white activism is something that Europeans do far better than Americans. Perhaps this contrast can be explained by differences in mean IQ: Charlottesville, for example, was a dumpster fire of hilljacks, autists and agents provocateurs that cemented the movement as a webcast-only phenomenon. Whatever you think about white nationalism, Matt Heimbach, David Duke, Christopher Cantwell and Jason Kessler are nth-rate self-abusing creepazoids with nothing interesting to say. And whatever you think about Richard Spencer’s message, all he accomplishes by doing public speaking engagements is expose himself to jeering and tomato throwing at huge cost to municipal resources. He’s nothing more than Milo with street-cred. Pure clownworld.

Meanwhile, not only is Generation Identitaire getting massive exposure by staging flash demonstrations that cleverly go straight to the point—like throwing a burka over the Maria Theresa statue in Vienna—they’re running boxing gyms and paramilitary training camps for European youths to defend themselves from feral invaders. While Spencer condemns violence in a therapeutic lilt as people at his rally die of tidbit-nipply passive aggression gotten out of hand, Tommy Robinson—a truly heroic figure, whatever you think of his Zionism—solo scraps with migrants in Italian parking garages. So I’m sorry, but could you please explain to me again how indispensable vehement JQ-pill is to the salvation of white, western civilization?

Now, you may ask how Tommy Robinson’s criticism of Islam is really any worse than Kevin MacDonald’s criticism of Judaism. I’ll admit, to reply that Robinson isn’t criticizing a race would be a lame argument. Certainly his focus on Islam is overly simplistic: the cultural developments and political forces that drive societal breakdown have proven themselves more destructive over the course of fifty years than Islam was for most of the last thousand. But in direct effect, those are exactly the forces that Tommy Robinson is challenging. To quote Tropic Thunder: “Looks retarded, acts retarded. Not retarded.” Simplicity a la Tommy Robinson is actually exactly what’s called for. Indefatigability, stubbornness, hatefacts and basic-bitch arguments repeated over and over, in public, on camera, in the face of wild opposition. That’s what gets traction, and clearly it scares the powers that be a good deal more than Kevin MacDonald—who is regarded instead as an easily dismissible crank—ever has.

You might reply that MacDonald and his acolytes are focusing on causes while a Tommy Robinson focuses only on effects. If you can’t think of any causes but Jews, then like MacDonald, you’ll never be a real threat to anyone. Be that as it may, where the hatefacts indicate clearly that Jews are disproportionately involved in pushing bad policies and garbage culture (and they do), then I won’t just defend your right to rattle them off, I’ll stand with you while you do it. You’d be correct as well to argue that Jewishness is not incidental to their behavior. But neither does their behavior give a complete picture of Judaism. And Tommy Robinson isn’t claiming, for example, that sexual assault is somehow worse when a Muslim does it, like Chateau Heartiste claims about Jews. He’s claiming it’s just as bad, but deserves greater focus because it’s being enabled and treated with undue leniency as a matter of policy. Kevin MacDonald and his acolytes would certainly interject here that more attention to the JQ is needed for precisely analogous reasons. But in contrast with the likes of Robinson, the thrust of their argument is that Jews in general are bad people, that Judaism is monolithic, immutable, and wicked, and that this alone explains the present state of the world satisfactorily. Not only is that simplistic, it’s three volumes and thousands of footnotes (and now whole blog-roles and YouTube channels) of simplistic. It’s the definition of full-retard.

Never go full retard.



Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. IV


Comes in handy

(Part I here, Part II here, Part III here)

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, that much is already quite obvious, so 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. 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.

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. III

We are all Palestinians

(Part I here, Part II here; Part IV here)

Almost all Palestinians who fink on other Palestinians to the Israeli security services do so in a limited manner under some form of duress. At worst, they do it for money. Mosab Hassan Yousef, on the other hand, is the only Palestinian to have betrayed his people wholesale, and voluntarily. This is typical: most peoples can count their historic traitors on one hand. After all, betraying us won’t make you one of them. It only nullifies you.

Essential human qualities—those that come from before—are intractable. Others define them for us. The best we can do is to live out the verdict with dignity. Do Jews tend to manage this very well? I’d laugh, but there’s a stabbing pain in my ribcage (both sides.)

In our previous installment, we were introduced to one Henry Makow, a Jew who, though he isn’t exactly an apostate, feels anything but warm and fuzzy about his heritage. Mr. Makow runs a conspiracy webzine where he alleges that, because (1) prominent Jews and Jewish interests are complicit in a global Satanic bankers’ conspiracy, (2) conspicuous Jewish opposition to that conspiracy would conciliate anti-semitism. Leaving aside certain glaring matters of detail, for the sake of argument I’ll readily concede the first of his two contentions. What about the second one?

Well, we know for a fact that there is indeed conspicuous Jewish opposition to the planetary managerial class. There are Jewish journalists, activists and academics who denounce the powers that be, in part or in whole. There are mainstream Jewish authors and historians whose research provides excellent fodder for those on the fringes who are willing to draw bolder conclusions. There are Jewish conspiracy theorists of Makow’s ilk. There are even Jews who beat their breasts denouncing Zionism wholesale and condemning Jewishness and Judaism in all its forms but the most prophetical, pusillanimous and pacifistic.

Does any of this ameliorate anti-semitism? Of course not. Anti-semitism is the conviction that Jewishness itself is immutable and fundamentally odious. (Short of that, antipathy toward Jews is just harmless, garden-variety xenophobia.) From that perspective, Jewish opposition to any or all of the powers that be, and even to Zionism, is taken as strategic retreat, controlled opposition or ethnic obfuscation. For full-hilt anti-Semites (not a few of those abroad in the world nowadays) a Jew’s every word short of utter self-abnegation equals dissembling, or proof of incorrigibility—for chrissakes, that’s Internet 101.

In my lifetime, I’ve experienced anti-semitism mostly as a subdued curiosity, lurking in the form of the incorrigible ease with which Jewish culpability can be accepted in various quarters as sufficient explanation for complex and sundry events. But as I grew older and my own material for observation increased, I slowly began to realize that where Jews are disdained it is a continuation, a renewal, a habit, something latent, never a fresh perspective or a novel analysis of events. Granted, I’ve habituated to taking accusations of anti-semitism with a grain of salt, because the ancient prejudice appears to have been so throughly routed of late, and because many Jews can be quite oversensitive. But over the past decade and a half of palpable civilizational decline, the attendant profusion of anti-semitic sentiment has given me an inkling of what it must have been like for my people to weather this execration in overt form, day by day, generation after generation.

It had been many years since I read Sartre’s Anti-Semite and Jew when I saw it quoted recently in an article about the alt-right:

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past. It is not that they are afraid of being convinced. … If then, as we have been able to observe, the anti-Semite is impervious to reason and to experience, it is not because his conviction is strong. Rather his conviction is strong because he has chosen first of all to be impervious.

For a good illustration of this behavior, I’ve dug up an article from an alt-right blog called Aryan Skynet, entitled “Global Rat-Perch: Jewish Misdirection in the Work of Michel Chossudovsky.”

Chossudovsky is an academic and the editor of an anti-war, anti-neoliberal web journal called Global Research. The authors of the article first commend Chossudovsky for his anti-war reporting, but they take him to task for his analysis of Israeli culpability in Western imperialism, which they feel is overly lax toward Israel:

Chossudovsky acknowledges the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its collusion with the U.S.; but, for him, “Tel Aviv is not a prime mover” for intervention against Iran and “does not have a separate and distinct military agenda” from that of the Pentagon. Israel, for Chossudovsky, is only “part of a military alliance” – practically a pawn – that might “be used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of world opinion, a military intervention of the U.S. and NATO with a view to ‘defending Israel’, rather than attacking Iran.”

“Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without Washington’s consent. Hence the importance,” Chossudovsky avers, “of the so-called ‘Green Light’ legislation in the U.S. Congress sponsored by the Republican party under House Resolution 1553, which explicitly supports an Israeli attack on Iran.”

“In practice,” he continues, “the proposed legislation was a ‘green light’ to the White House and the Pentagon rather than to Israel” and “constitutes a rubber stamp to a U.S.-sponsored war on Iran which uses Israel as a…. pretext.”

Of course, if events ever prove this surmise correct, the gentlemen at Aryan Skynet will immediately cease scoffing and promptly develop amnesia. Of course it’s perfectly plausible that the US inner-elite has long term plans involving the removal of the present Iranian regime, that their reasons are different from Israel’s, and that Israel is the junior—and more malleable—party to the partnership. If so, then it’s obvious that Iranian aggression toward Israel will be the most likely pretext for US action. But that’s not what Chossudovsky is alleging.

The authors are correct that Chossudovsky ignores manifest Israeli interests when it comes to Iran—that’s because he doesn’t even credit the Israelis with having their own interests. When a leftist yid doesn’t recognize Jewish power, it’s because he’s not terribly interested in Jewish power. Rather, he’s mired in moralism and victimology:

The real culprits, Chossudovsky alleges, are the “Anglo-American oil giants.”

“The U.S.-led war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region consists in gaining control over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas.” The best the professor can produce in the way of evidence for his claim is a Clinton-era National Security Statement citing the strategic interest of the U.S. in ensuring the security of Middle East oil reserves.

Well, that’s not bad evidence, and if it’s all Chossudovsky cites, it doesn’t mean there’s no additional evidence of long-term US geostrategic designs on the Eurasian landmass and its natural resources, designs to which Israeli concerns would obviously be subordinate. But if the authors of this critique (of Chossudovsky) can’t recognize Gentile powers and the interests of those parties, it’s because they, too are mired in moralism and victimology:

Dr. James Petras and Muhammad Idrees Ahmad have already lain this lamestream liberal canard to rest. “Through its all-out campaign in the U.S. Congress and Administration,” Petras observes in his book The Power of Israel in the United States, “the U.S.-Jewish-Israeli lobby has created a warlike climate which now goes counter to the interests of all the world’s major oil companies including BP, the UK-based gas company, SASOL (South Africa), Royal Dutch Shell, Total of France, and others.” Chossudovsky is not unaware of the work of Dr. Petras; he is simply engaging in racial and ideological obfuscation.

The oil companies—victims of ethnic obfuscation! I guess that’s one industry not controlled by yids.

Clearly, the authors mistake the mere existence of a counter-argument for a refutation. But if they can detect a dearth of evidence behind Chossudovsky’s claims, why can’t they extend the same incredulity to Petras? Anti-semitism is a deeply cultural legacy. Is a scholar of Catholic background less subject to such biases than a Jew like Chossudovsky?

His blood be upon us and upon our children…. 

As for the putatively authoritative role of the U.S. Congress that Chossudovsky cites as evidence of Israel’s lack of agency in America’s foreign policy agenda, that is only a sickening joke in consideration of the fact that those in the know have for decades acknowledged that Israel’s U.S. lobby, AIPAC, grips the House and Senate.

Lemme get this straight: a whore can’t have more than one regular customer? But Chossudovsky doesn’t say Congress is authoritative, he says they gave a rubber stamp.

In any case, Israel’s total GDP was $318.7 billion last year; ExxonMobile’s net worth is $486.4 billion. If the latter’s exertions in lobbying Congress (or those of the aerospace defense industry, or any of the myriad interests behind American imperialism) are less conspicuous than Israel’s, maybe it’s because there’s no ancient, international subculture of intrepid crackpots specializing in publishing salacious broadsides characterizing them as the one sinister key to understanding global politics. But speaking of “lack of agency,” if the US enjoys effective veto power over Israel’s most sensitive defense priorities, and Congress is not authoritative, then Israeli lobbying efforts in Congress indicate a rather desperate negotiating position, and the difference between US leverage over Israel (on the one hand) and Israeli influence on the US (on the other) is the difference between a nutsack and a pubic hair.

Like all hopeless ideologues, the authors of Aryan Skynet are chafing under some inchoate sense of life’s unfairness they were never fully equipped to cope with as children. But if you get your education on YouTube and are readily reeled in by morality tales and faux-esoterica, then the party misdirecting you is not the obscure likes of a Michel Chossudovsky, nor even the Atlantic or the Washington Post—it is you. Reductio ad Iudaeoram is autonomic obscurantism. If you think the JQ is the rug that really ties the room together, you’re easily impressed. And yet, as we have seen, Jews themselves are taken in by this in a remarkably replicable manner. How can yiddishkeit be untangled from its sadomasochistic relationship—from any relationship—with this sub-species of vindictive mediocrity?

I think, perhaps, it can’t.

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. II

Gaydar hyperdrive

(Part I here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here)

I would like to be wealthy, and in better shape. I certainly wouldn’t want to be homeless, or obese.

There are many things that I would like to be, and many things that I would not like to be, but to the extent that there’s anything essential in a human being, something that precedes him, what I want more than anything is to be exactly what I am.

But in the meantime I want to acquaint you, if you aren’t already familiar, with one Henry Makow, the proprietor of a ranty-ravey webzine concerned with exposing the Illuminati conspiracy, particularly its Jewish elements (Mr. Makow is a deeply conflicted Jew). Here is Mr. Makow’s take on anti-semitism:

Well, you cannot be a Christian if you’re involved in a Satanic conspiracy, but we know what Makow means by “Christian”: he means Gentiles. WASPs, to be precise, and probably also some descendants of traditionally Catholic ethnic groups. Once involved in a Satanic conspiracy, these people lose their essential (or vestigial) Christianity. The same cannot be said of Jewishness, of course, because Jews are a race (or an ethnicity, or whatever.) But if no one accuses Makow of being anti-WASP when he condemns the Rockefellers, it’s because Makow doesn’t conclude that the prominent involvement of WASPs in this conspiracy implicates all WASPs—nor does he seem to view anyone but Jews as having a need to redeem their national reputation by opposing it, even though he has said that the vast majority of Jews aren’t involved. Is Makow at least correct in assuming that opposition to it on the part of Jews would mitigate anti-semitism?

Of course he isn’t.

Perhaps another exhibit will illustrate why not.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of a high-level Hamas operative—a high-level Hamas operative who spent decades in Israeli prisons. He spent decades in Israeli prisons because his son ratted him out. You see, Mosab Hassan Yousef is best known for defecting to Israel as an informant, and later immigrating to the United States, converting to Christianity, and authoring a tell-all about his experience, which he has promoted on various television shows.

To give you a very precise idea of where Mr. Yousef stands when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict, here he is speaking before the UN Human Rights Council as they deliberate about one of their monthly or weekly resolutions condemning Israel:

Now, to the extent that I am a Zionist, I badly want to relish what Mr. Yousef is telling the committee—but I can’t.

It isn’t that what he says is not true—most of it is, and the part that is true constitutes a neglected message that needs to be heard loud and clear: the PLO is indeed a retrograde kleptocracy, thuggish even in comparison with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. But it is not “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people,” that’s ridiculous. The greatest enemy of the Palestinian people is Israel, and Mosab Hassan Yousef may be right in every single one of his criticisms of Islam, the Arabs, and the various Palestinian factions. But when all is said and done, this is a man who betrayed his people, his family, his faith, and helped their mortal national adversaries imprison his own father. And now he lets himself be used as a marionette, because there’s no other kind of existence left for him but that of a stool pigeon.

As a Zionist, am I pleased that Yousef helped the Israeli authorities prevent attacks on Jews? Of course I am. I am very pleased by it, I’m even grateful to him. Yet when I look at Mosab Hassan Yousef, I can only feel total revulsion, because what I see is a faggot—and not just because of his textbook gayface. The simple fact is, Mosab Hassan Yousef is a worm, a complete betrayer, the type for whom Dante reserved the lowest circle of hell. We’re not talking about simple political betrayal, either—he’s not a North Korean who defected to the South. This guy betrayed his own blood, not just his family or his people but himself, his heritage, and everything that’s essential about him. To the extent that I identify with Israel, I can absolutely relate to a Palestinian irredentist who’s willing to bleed me bleach-white in the name of his worthy God and his lost homeland. I can respect that, even if I can’t tolerate it. But as much as I want to like him, a Mosab Hassan Yousef is intolerable to my soul. As is a guy like Henry Makow, who is so disproportionately mortified by any misdeed committed by a fellow Jew (as if he’s such a fine specimen himself) that, with the best of intentions and no sense of irony whatsoever, he can bring himself to pen an article entitled, “Anti Semitism is Legitimate Self Defense.” Of course, the whole history of anti-Semitism is one of scarcely discriminate massacre of disarmed, enfeebled people. Would Makow like somebody to murder him, or what? Yet perspectives like his really aren’t uncommon among Jews. What could possibly explain this extraordinary masochism? Can it be cured? On to Part III….

Reductio ad Iudaeoram, Pt. I

Valerie Plame


(Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here)

“What have the Jews not done to prove that they do not stick together?” (Menachem Begin)

This week witnessed media coverage of author and (perhaps, former) CIA agent Valerie Plame, who provoked some controversy when she tweeted an article from Unz Review titled, “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars.” Plame subsequently apologized and resigned in disgrace from a spook-tank called Ploughshares Fund.

A CIA agent pointing fingers about who’s driving America’s wars is pretty rich. Incidentally—uncouth though she may have been—what’s interesting about this little kerfuffle is that Plame did nothing more than express the establishment position. Of course it can be a matter of degrees, but to assert in a major publication or on a university campus that Israel and her US supporters exercise critical, undue influence on US mideast policy has been uncontroversial for quite some time. I even recall an episode of The Simpsons making a joke to this effect as long ago as the late 1990s. (If I ever find the clip, I’ll hyperlink it.)

If, on the other hand, you really want to know what the US is up to in the mideast, it isn’t all that hard to find out. So this idea that, due to Jewish pressure, an otherwise cohesive and sober American elite (or an inept, naïve one) is sticking its neck out for Zionism with no corresponding ROI is pedestrian wisdom masquerading as radical, taboo and esoteric. And the notion that the global power elite is comprised of just so many portfolios being managed out of Tel Aviv by means of seamy Polaroid floppies and Monopoly money may never lose its mystique for the great plurality of intellectual minutemen. But Israeli meddling in US domestic politics, at least, can be explained with simple common sense: i.e., in order to mitigate overbearing US meddling in their affairs, the Israelis are leveraging the labyrinthine inertia of the American system just like other foreign actors—they just require more brainpower, man-hours and connections to accomplish what others can get done less conspicuously. For instance: the US puts personnel in actual harm’s way by the tens of thousands to defend Poland, Saudia and South Korea. Yet no one ever thinks to inquire about these arrangements as if they’re particularly fishy, ulterior, or inexplicable.

In any case, US aid to Israel accounts for about 0.7% of the overall US defense budget ($5 billion versus $640 billion annually). Zionism has less to do with America’s wars than Lutheranism. (If you think I’m being facetious, click the hyperlink.) The question is, why would that be so counter-intuitive for so well-informed an insider as Valerie Plame? She may only be a lackey, but she’s got to know a thing or two about how the system works.

According to her Twitter profile, “Valerie is a wife, mother of twins, author, anti-nuclear activist, and a former covert CIA ops officer.” In other words, she’s a legally blond soccer mom in the big city. But while nothing a CIA agent (former or otherwise) says can be taken at face value, it does seem as though Plame was very deliberate in tweeting the article. For one thing, she didn’t have to, and there was, apparently, personal cost involved—and before you quote Voltaire (i.e., “If you want to know who rules over you, find out who you cannot criticize”) I’ll have you recall that you’re also not exactly allowed to speak impolitely in public about the mentally retarded, or say nigger, or question the sanity of men who claim they need surgical castration in order to self actualize; but no one seriously believes that transgendered niggers with Down Syndrome are running the government.

In tweeting her subsequent mea culpa Plame pled ignorance of the article’s contents:

I skimmed this piece, zeroed in on the neocon criticism, and shared it without seeing and considering the rest. I missed gross undercurrents to this article & didn’t do my homework on the platform this piece came from.

This is not only implausible, but irrelevant. I mean, “undercurrents”? The headline reads “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars.” In the same Twitter thread, Plame tweeted that, “in the past, I have also carelessly retweeted articles from this same site”—clearly she’s well aware of “the platform this piece came from.” Clearly, Plame wants (or wants others) to believe that America’s Jews are driving America’s wars. The question is, why?

Certainly Plame is no innocent lamb when it comes to America’s toxic impact in the world. You don’t even have to be a covert intel operative to know that Congress just proposed a $640 billion defense budget for 2018, a $37 billion increase over the Trump administration’s $603 billion request for the same year and a $57.3 billion increase over the Obama administration’s $582.7 billion defense budget for the prior year. America’s Jews are driving this?

If so, it hardly makes sense that Valerie Plame would condemn them for it, because she can hardly regard the US as anything but a force for good in spite of its all worts. To consider other possibilities would be to confess venality. Ms. Plame, after all, is a product and lifelong servant of the system, and it’s axiomatic in our day that machiavellianism tends to fly under cover of sanctimony. Much more convenient—and well-precedented—to blame the Jews wholesale. But Valerie Plame—neé Plamevotski—is kinda, sorta…. Jewish (not to mention Lutheran.)

What makes so many Jews and partial-Jews denounce their own kind like this? The Christian critique of Jewish moral turpitude has long been aped by Jews, as a way to distance themselves from their execrated identity. Certainly that doesn’t make every criticism false, and it is nowhere clear that Valerie Plame is invested with enough Jewishness to make this true in her case. The question remains, however: what makes anyone settle on clandestine Jewish machinations to explain so comprehensively such diverse and multifarious phenomena? The great, torpid ease with which this is so often done ought to offend the meagrest intelligence. Is there nevertheless something about Jewishness that provokes or exacerbates it? (Of course there is.) Is there a way for Jews to mitigate it, without stentorian public self-flagellation over the Palestine question, or who controls Hollywood? (Of course not.) Either way, how should persons of Jewish provenance orient themselves to it?

Stay tuned for our next installment…..




Crypto-fascist, Crypto-Jew


Bro I wish

Part II of a series in progress….. Part I here, Part III forthcoming


When I was eighteen, I beat up a white power skinhead. My late-adolescent self-seeking had taken a schlocky, Daniel Deronda kind of turn, so any opportunity to defend Jewish honor I felt I had to take, no matter how contrived. I guess I fancied myself a little like the Jewboy Schwartz in Porky’s. 

Anyway, as I was standing with a gaggle of crust punks one weekday afternoon on a downtown corner across from the bus station, a sinewy little guy with a shorn pate and narrow mustache strolled up in boots, braces, beater and bomber, drew one of my punker compadres aside and transacted a drug deal inconspicuously. Then he started back on his way—that is, until I shoved him, hard, from behind. On that day I decided I would simply refuse to accept that neo-Nazis should make themselves visible.

He turned around to face me, breathing through his open mouth, his incisors streaked a scummy, bacterial yellow. He had grimy pores and crusted-over scabs, his fingers were nicotine stained and filthy under the nails. There were little SS lighting bolt runes tattooed on one side of his neck, an iron cross on the other.

I stepped forward and poked him in the chest. Fear flashed momentarily across his eyes but he steadied his gaze, grinning as he reached into his beater and flipped out a brass swastika on a long, thin chain around his neck. That was when I hauled off.

I managed to land a solid several thumps upside his noggin as he flailed, until suddenly he surged into me at chest level, Hail Mary-like—head down, forearms up blocking. He managed to back me up a few steps, grabbing me by the shirt collar as he poked his little radish head up to bite me, square on the nose. The shock of this lent him the further momentum to bare down and take me tumbling to the pavement, back first. I almost rolled him but he bore down hard again, straddling my chest as he tried to strangle me. He overplayed his hand, though: as he wound back to clock me point blank, I availed myself of the empty space between my sternum and his groin, gripped him square in the nether region with one hand and up under an armpit with the other, then pulled him sideways into my chest and flipped him square on his back.

I mounted, I grounded, I pounded. Quite often the toughness of recidivist scumbags has more to do with the capacity to absorb a beating than to mete one out. He struggled, quivering with desperate futility, like a live fish held down for gutting.

Then suddenly I heard a crisp “snap!” I thought the sound was his nose breaking, which it was. Although I didn’t feel the pain immediately, it would also turn out to be the distal metacarpals on my mean right shattering in several places each. The pain settled in a second later, as I looked down and noticed that my opponent, though conscious, had given up, and was bleeding profusely from his nose and mouth.

Just then, someone yelled “cops!”

I looked up to see two peace officers, a man and a woman, sprinting towards us down the sidewalk some fifty yards off. I hopped up, bolted and rounded the nearest corner. Within two blocks I’d completely lost my pursuers and cut through the parking lot of a gated condo complex to a corner hamburger shack on the other side that had a pay phone booth in its back parking lot, out of view of the street. My dad was just getting off work and I called him for a ride.


Awhile after that, once my broken hand had mended, I saw a member of the same local clique of white power skinheads strolling past me on the same downtown block. He was wearing a trucker hat on which he’d stenciled an iconic punk-rock anti-fascist symbol….


Only $12.99 on Angry, Young & Poor LMFAO

….only in his rendition, the stick figure was trashing a Star of David, not a swastika. I was so shocked by this meager display of literacy that I doubted what I had seen until he was well out of sight, but twenty minutes later he came back in the opposite direction with a slice of pizza in one hand.

As he passed by I snorted, ‘Nice hat.’ He turned to see who’d paid him the compliment and I mean-mugged him like I intended to do him harm. He froze, gazing back indecisively, whereupon I decked him in the face with my skateboard, an act I hadn’t planned nor even anticipated from myself. His pizza slice went flying as he dropped, hard, straight back. As soon as he hit the pavement he began seizing violently. I found out later that I had actually cracked his eye socket.

If you go out of your way to seriously insult strangers, you should probably be better prepared for a backlash than this guy was. But then, if you set out to harm everyone who says stuff you don’t like, you’d better know your limits a little better than I knew mine. I’d been reading a lot about the Irgun and Murder, Inc., but imitating them didn’t feel so good. I had beaten people with fists before, but this was the first time I used a weapon. In an instant I had become a more brutal creature than I realized I was, or ever had been. Frozen in shock, staring down at my victim, I experienced the disembodying sensation of a strong compassionate impulse concurrent with the realization that I had now forfeited my right to feel it. When I reemerged into linear time I heard shouting, and glanced up just soon enough to outrun bus station security.

I was less than six months out of high school then, and while I was heavily into pot and earning C grades at the local community college on my Jew-doctor daddy’s dime, my best friend Max (a goy, if you must know, and a profoundly goyische one, at that) was getting heavily into meth. He used to flop at a mutual friend’s apartment, where a female roommate was dating one of the skinheads, who also happened to be meth retailers. They would party there too, and crash on weekend nights. Word got back to me from Max that the White Power crew was looking for me and that their leader, a hardened ex-con by the nom de guerre of ‘Panther,’ had vowed to handle me personally. I didn’t know what Panther looked like, but he sounded fearsome.


At that time I was also running a moderately lucrative sideline in pot (re-upping weekly by the quarter-pound), and one of my occasional customers was a six-and-a-half foot homeless high-yellow, also an ex-con, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Lawrence Fishburne—pockmarks and all—and went by a nom de guerre of his own, ‘The Reverend.’

In some visceral, sub-conscious nether region I understood perfectly well how predatory blacks can be, but at that age the psychic patina of racial pathos and Pavlovian guilt-inculcation at the hands nearly two decades’ worth of Hollywood movies and civics lessons prevented me from metabolizing this information to the full benefit of my survival instincts. If defending Jewish honor was a legacy passion project, evasion of actual danger was a work in progress.

Perhaps intentionally, The Reverend dressed a lot like Morpheus from The Matrix, in a ratty trench coat over an unwashed hoodie, with greasy cargo pants and army boots. His hustle was fortune telling for racially solicitous post-pinko granolas at a card table he used to set up in front of a health food store on the downtown strip, with a purple velvet table cloth where he’d lay out crystals for sale. Obsequious in characteristically downtrodden-black fashion, with that opportunistic malice lurking plainly underneath, The Reverend used to call me ‘Young Buck,’ and I showed my appreciation for his backhanded flattery by over-weighing his twomp sacks by a half-gram. Sometimes I’d smoke a joint with him just to be friendly. I was listening to a lot of rap music at that age.

One day as I was making my rounds on the downtown strip, I passed by The Reverend’s tarot table when he hailed me. I was carrying a bag of fruits and vegetables I’d just purchased from the health food store. He asked if I had any bud for sale, and slid a twenty spot onto the table. I snapped up the bill, slid my backpack down one arm and fished out a half-eighth (about half a gram more than I normally charged twenty for). But The Reverend gave a pensive, dissatisfied grimace and deadpanned, ‘Now why you tryin’ ta short me, homie?’ My balls dropped a bit as it dawned on me exactly what The Reverend took me for—ironically, this Morpheus-lookalike kind of redpilled me that day. As I returned the weed to my backpack and tossed his twenty-spot back onto the table I told him, “Go fuck your mother you shitty fuckin’ nigger.” It was the first (and second to last) time in my life I availed myself of that epithet in the second person.

Well that must not’ve made The Reverend’s day, because no sooner had I made my way half a block up from where he sat than I heard someone murmur, “The fuck you say to me?” and when I looked back over my shoulder, there was The Reverend in hot pursuit. I turned, snarling to face him and he stopped about three feet shy of me.

The Reverend was fairly big. He probably could have fucked me up; he probably could have fucked me. A crowd gathered ’round as we stared each other down, but this didn’t register immediately. All that was going through my head was that fight-or-flight electric slow-mo, and while (relative to his size) I might not have had the ablest fight in me, there was no flight. On that day—in spite of the stifling, kumbaya college-town atmosphere and the gaping hipsters and granolas gathered ’round to spectate—I simply refused to accept that I owed a predatory hustler anything but flagrant contempt.

The Reverend looked around at the assembled throng and decided to go for a half-measure: kicking around the back of my shins in big circular motions, trying to trip me. I jumped, took a step back, and grabbed an apple out of the grocery bag I had dangling from my wrist. My side-hand curve went ‘thwap!’ upside The Reverend’s head and dropped to the sidewalk broken open, dripping juice; then I hurled another, and another, each one landing with a ‘thwap!’ as we danced around in circles like a folk jig, him still trying to trip me, until I was out of apples.

Realizing, I suppose, that this spectacle was liable to cost him business, after a minute or so The Reverend stopped, hung his head sullenly, and skulked back to his tarot table to pack up his things. As I moved on up the strip, the atmosphere around me seemed to inflate with a laden tingling of shame. Had anyone heard me say nigger? Would word get around? Would I now be labelled a racist?

In just a few short months, The Reverend had made himself such a figure in town that at one point, about a month prior, he officiated a well-attended, interactive ‘white privilege’ self-flagellation demo organized by some intrepid sociology students at the university campus. It even got written up in the local weekly. But after our confrontation I never saw him in town again.

But the day of our confrontation, as I tender-hoofed my way up the strip and away from the scene, the strangest thing happened. A lousy, shirtless, sunburned little man with a shorn pate, wearing blue jeans, combat boots and braces came straggling along behind me. When he caught up he blurted out, breathless, ‘Are you having trouble with that nigger?’ Unsure of his intentions and leery of being judged by any proximate third-parties who might’ve seen what just happened, I replied ‘Hey man, that’s some pretty strong language right there.’ But when I glanced over I noticed that he was covered from torso to neck in Nazi tattoos. This dude intended to lend me moral support on the grounds of white solidarity. ‘Man, I hate that fuckin’ nigger. Just out here preyin’ on dumb fucks in this town. You don’t have to take that shit.’

‘I don’t know if you wanna take my part, bro. I’m Jewish.’

‘Well…..’ He paused. ‘I don’t have anything against Jews. I just have a problem with certain Zionists.’ I was taken aback, not at the note of acceptance but at the vocabulary, and not because it was impressive, but because it existed at all.

‘Name’s Panther.’ He extended a hand and we shook. Panther was small enough I could’ve picked him up and tossed him in a trash compactor. ‘Stay out of trouble, brother. Just look at me’—he was pretty haggard—‘it ain’t worth it.’ And off he went into the evening.

The Examined Life: Robin Williams Edition


Quit bein’ so goddamned serious

“You’re just depressed.” But am I wrong?

“You’re overthinking things.” Really? Where’s the limit and who sets it?

“That’s just the way things are, you’re gonna have to get used to it.” am used to it. Is that not a reason to discern, to describe, to investigate? How long are we to maintain one opinion, or none? 

Don’t worry. We’re all here; we all care. We’re all… watching. You’ll get things right, no doubt. After all, there’s just one fix.

You have to be assertive, self-assured, domineering (more spur, more riding crop, more moxy!)


more tactful, sensitive, empathetic (more courteous, more caring, more moral). Nowadays the other man’s sensitivities can be myriad, you know, and you’ve got to anticipate everything.

So while you may not realize it, it isn’t questions you have, it’s a health issue. It’s not your fault. Lots of others have been where you are and come through productive, and carefree. I myself get paid to make these pronouncements.

So productivity is the end-goal of health? Of existence? Productive of what, exactly? And if it doesn’t matter, then why do my feelings? Wherefore uniformity in the things one ought or ought not to care about? Who decides? Do they have a mailing address? IS ANYBODY LISTENING?!?

One God, no Masters


Don’t ever stop throwing punches

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:27)

But the rest of the world they confront with a contempt reserved for enemies.                                   (Tacitus, Histories 5:2-5)

‘Tis the season of Mars retrograde reactionary chic. I have only one horse in this manger and he most assuredly is not the messiah.

The Jewish sojourn lo these past couple millennia is ironic in that it mirrors the Gospel themes of stripes, stigmata, and resurrection. But while many an archetype has been cast in legend or approximated by a given personage in history—and while every nation has its spirits, gods and peculiarities—it’s rare for a literary archetype to be embodied in an entire people.

The alleged inimicality of Judaism or the Semitic spirit, on the one hand, and the Aryan or aristocratic spirit on the other, is a long-established cliché. Nietzsche called it master versus slave morality; Spengler described the Western as opposed to the Magian cultures. Conservative Catholic apologists still ascribe the insurrectionary personality of Barabbas to the Jewish people as a whole—instead prescribing Christ-like meekness (or torture, as necessary—and they’re right. I myself would indubitably have preferred Barabbas). Evola juxtaposed the emphasis on penitence and mortification inherent in primitive Semitic and Babylonian traditions with the crucible of knighthood he identified as embodying their Indo-Aryan counterpart.

But just how far are Judaism and yiddishkeit removed from the “world of Tradition” as Evola conceived it? Are the Jews merely the bearers of a fossilized culture, as Arnold Toynbee suggested? Or are we vectors of dissolutive modernity, its materialism and revolutionary ferment? If it’s the latter, this would be a sort of revenge of the nerds: the intelligentsia are the villains in any good critique of modernity. In The Cherry Tree, Chekhov even gave his ruined old nobles a sendoff by a “Jewish orchestra.”

Well, no one will deny that the Jews are a clever bunch, given to smarting disdainfully under every kind of regime—behavior that can’t be all that incidental to the biblical narrative of slave revolt. And I’ll buy the theory that yiddishkeit has a lot to do with contrarianism (“a stiff-necked people”). But envy, rebellion and cyclical decay of the social order are deeply human universals, so how specifically do the Jews factor into the erosion of the “world of tradition” and the onset of vapid, discombobulated modernity?

According to Nietzsche,

the Jews achieved that miracle of inversion of values thanks to which life on earth has for a couple millennia acquired a new and dangerous fascination—their prophets fused ‘rich’, ‘godless’, ‘evil’, ‘violent’, ‘sensual’ into one and were the first to coin the word ‘world’ as a term of infamy. It is this inversion of values (with which is involved the employment of the word for ‘poor’ as a synonym for ‘holy’ and ‘friend’) that the significance of the Jewish people resides: with them there begins the slave revolt in morals.

But which Jews are these? The Essenes, or the zealots? Of course we know which of these the Romans co-opted, and which they repressed.

When reading Nietzsche it provides crucial context to recall that he contracted his syphilis from a boy hireling. So did the Jews despise hellenistic bacchanalia because they hated life, or because they wanted to live? Did turn-of-the-millennium Jews despise wealth for it’s own sake? Of course not: they were being taxed to starvation by quislings—the Parable of the Ten Minas is not a nod to the poor, the humble or the meek, either it’s a public service reminder to pay your taxes and keep your fucking mouth shut, or it’s incomprehensible garbage.

So there was quite a bit of ressentiment of Judea on the part of Rome, was there not? “It belongs to human nature to hate those whom we have injured,” to quote the noble Roman. Somehow, slave driving just isn’t the portrait of well-being Nietzsche takes it for, and something in his cosmology smacks of reverse victimology. You got taken by slaves? I wouldn’t complain too loud about that if I was you.

As Voltaire said, a sucker plays himself:

We hold the Jews in horror, and we insist that all which has been written by them, and collected by us, bears the stamp of Divinity. There never was so palpable a contradiction.

Indeed. But how is that Harold Abraham’s problem? That I wrote the tune you imbibe to makes me neither an alcoholic nor a barkeep. If your religion of kindness is based around critiquing the moral turpitude of a far-off people fighting yesteryear for its life against debauched aristocrats—a habit Voltaire, in spite of his apostasy, couldn’t resist falling into—then I don’t know what to tell you. Next time, get your own damn fables.

In any case, the Jews inflicted more damage on the Roman military than the efforts of any subjugant people, and they managed this well after the bulk of the defeats that Nietzsche credits with providing the impetus for their supposed inversion of values. When the Jews decided “to be at any cost”, they made one helluva downpayment. How many times does your empire have to be shaken by Judean resistance before you realize the problem is you? What Nietzsche remains insufficient to explain is how so heady a brew of values-inversion as the Hebrew scriptures could have been adopted by such bloodthirsty fishers of men.


Fatherland Über Alles

Say goodnight to the bad guy

Say goodnight to the bad guy

“Military cemeteries in every corner of the world are silent testimony to the failure of national leaders to sanctify human life.” (Yitzhak Rabin)

The light in his heart blinded his sight; the longing for peace deafened his ears. And there’s something depressingly totalitarian in the notion that the sanctification of human life is the responsibility of the men in charge (=”national leaders”). A business like that could get real selective.

But since everywhere it already is and always has been, when it comes to Number One the only explanations for laxity are hubris, subterfuge or infirmity. And when it comes to the country Rabin led, you’re either for it, against it, or indifferent. There’s no moderate position that means anything.

To wit,

If Israel were to relinquish the West Bank, 80 per cent of its population and most of its industry would be within range of light artillery, mortars and even rifles positioned on the high ground of the Samarian and Judean ridges. These ridges cannot be effectively demilitarized or adequately inspected….


Those… who claim that modern military technology has made obsolete the need for… critical terrain…. are simply spouting ignorance. As weapons of war become more sophisticated these factors assume a greater and not a lesser importance…

Air defence radar situated on the [West Bank] affords the Israeli Air Force approximately 15 minutes’ warning time in the event of… air attack. Without these installations, the IAF would only have about four minutes in which to scramble its fighters…

[Furthermore,] no amount of electronic gadgetry could possibly substitute for control of… in-place defences against… guerrilla forces infiltrating across torturous borders. Between 1949 and 1967 the IDF devoted much of its resources against [such] infiltration. That these efforts were essentially not successful is clearly attested by the large number of Jews killed and wounded and property damage sustained during this period.

These are the expert analyses of disinterested military professionals, known to US policymakers since 1967. There’s an obvious inference to be made from them: that the moment Israel accepts a two-state solution, its viability, i.e., the lives of its people, becomes wholly dependent on feckless outside brokerage. How well has that worked out for other US collaborators? For the Jews? Consequently, Israel negotiates only in bad faith; it relinquishes territory only under immense outside pressure.

And so today, a lower-grade, more intractable intifada is upon us, the latest stage in an unresolved 1948 real estate dispute turned bitterly personal. Though Big Brother’s take on the matter rings unmistakably millenarian, machiavellian dispassion is still the best approach to it.

The standard premises run as follows: (1) The Jews are the aggressors whose bad behavior (“the occupation”) provokes these recurrent flare-ups. Redress this bad behavior and the problem solves itself. (2) The Arabs are the aggressors whose bad behavior (“terrorism”) provokes these recurrent flare-ups. Redress this bad behavior and the problem solves itself. (3) Each side has fair claims and unreasonable demands. Empower the reasonable people on each side (“civil society”), disempower the recalcitrants (the electorates), and the problem solves itself.

But all three run into each other, because nobody who has any real power is willing to endorse either of the first two (otherwise the matter would be settled), and the third can be modified to suit the purposes of any of the myriad stakeholders who appear to have real power.

A recent example, this one dressed up in IDF fatigues, appears this month in the Atlantic from the pen of one Jeffery Goldberg—like me, an American of Hebrewish provenance who as a youth served in the Israeli army only to return to the US with his tail between his legs.

Over the years, most of Goldberg’s journalistic efforts have been exerted (with preciously thin impartiality) on behalf of der judenstaat. But as a DC correspondent, a credentialed establishment man, he is innately straight-jacketed by the millenarian paradigm.

Because today this consensus so heavily emphasizes The Occupation and the Despair(TM), Goldberg wants the morally immaculate Atlantic demographic informed that in addition to its anti-colonial aspect, Palestinian nationalism is replete with dehumanization of The Other, based on decades of misapprehending (because Israel was conceived in peace and dedicated to the proposition that peace peace peace) but nonetheless egregiously insensitive sectarian chauvinism that handily predates the Jewish state in all its inadvertent excesses.

Shocking, no? Now that Goldberg has blown this thing open, will the Palestinians’ blood-curdling judenhaas cost them any street-cred? Of course not: the Jews are Franco to Orwell’s Catalonia here, haven’t you read the playbill? Only NPR granolas still think they see Israel anywhere near the progressive fold, and only glorified bloggers like the Atlantic house neocon believe that a death threat is exactly that, when The International Community(TM) is adamant it’s just a cry for help.

The Serbs were laboring under the same unwary naïveté when they went out to battle the unrepentant sons of ustashi and the traveling remnants of Charlie Wilson’s jihad, only to have The Rule of Law(TM) rain bombs on their children and old people. The slightly more sophisticated Goldberg understands that the Frantz Fannon approach to Levantine affairs is sold out, he just hasn’t figured out that there’s no return policy. Ever the sectarian partisan, ever the lamenting liberal, if he wants to keep selling himself as a moderate and conceiving of himself one of the good guys, then neither of his two conflicted faces may blurt out what they’d like, even when they’ve just said it. So he wraps up with this:

There will not be peace between Israelis and Palestinians so long as parties on both sides of the conflict continue to deny the national and religious rights of the other.

Aw, truly. And horses will not fly until they sprout wings. “Parties on both sides of the conflict”=the other guy. What we have here is The People’s Court, Uncle Sam presiding.

Thus the real hangup—of Arab, Jew and Earnest Liberal alike—reveals itself, and it isn’t tribe or talisman. For when we deploy the debate-stopping language of Rights, we whitewash our innate imperatives as creatures, not only to train up a tree in the way it should grow, but to fuck, suck, eat and shit.

Clearly, the Palestine Arabs were there first, minding their own business. They say they have the right to Palestine, to be its sole proprietors and never have this status challenged by covetous interlopers (their leaders sing different, but it’s a show tune). As rights go, this one is self-evident, devolving to the Palestinians in accordance with the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

The only problem is that God doesn’t seem to give a shit. Neither does He seem too terribly anxious to hear we Zionists’ case regarding our putative right to pluck a fig and dig a latrine free from the capricious imperium of crescent and cross, because every time we set to digging, something explodes, and the Supreme Judge of the World admonishes us to exercise restraint. Perhaps it’s God’s silent stinkers alighting this tinderbox year after year, ha-Shem’s way of weeping over our rights and their apparent illusoriness. Though I’m disinclined to blame human foibles on the Creator, I don’t know. I’m not a theologian.

What I can declare self-evident is that the promulgation of sacred liberties, of rights, never seems to involve their simple extension, but their usurpation. It’s the greatest pretext ever devised, not for ceding power but for seizing it.

Al Pacino said it best as Tony Montana, but he may as well have been speaking for Israel:

What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of fuckin’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie….

In the moral lexicon of the Milennium, Israel is a sectarian anachronism, rooted in ethnic cleansing; a gangster state that espouses no principle higher than self-interest, its own and no one else’s.

Not bad for the most neurotic people on the planet!

A year or two back I saw an illustrative exchange on Meet the Press between Andrea Mitchell and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Mitchell played a clip of Israeli border guards kicking the crap out of a supine Arab youth, then primly asked the ambassador, “What do you say to those who cherish Israel, but who see it as potentially losing its soul?” Its soul? You’re looking at it, lady. Were they not beating the kid hard enough?

Zionism is anachronistic because Judaism itself it anachronistic. “Progress” always requires conformity. The tyrants of this world and their hapless minions have always taken it hard that the Jews maintain their insistence on special dispensation from kneeling and groveling before its idols, but at this late stage of the game neither can most Jews stomach the fact that these principles entail risk, and self-preservation requires violence. Hard choices will have to be made, but most diaspora Jews (and many in Israel) will choose not to choose—such that, in fifty years’ time, there will be no more Judaism outside Israel. The distinctive Jewish intellectualism that thrived under the pressure of interstitial cultural spaces will deteriorate in relative isolation. Meanwhile, open discussion of Israel’s dire penchant for indecision is monopolized by messianic nutjobs, while open discussion of the community’s actual responsibility for the historic situation it finds itself in is monopolized by androgynous hipsters and ivory tower moralizers. Benny Morris is the only member of that latter milieu who has faced this dilemma honestly: sometimes you have to steal a loaf of bread to feed your family. It shouldn’t be agonized over, but neither should it be denied.

Israel’s detractors accuse it of being the tip of the Western spear in the Third World’s hide, while Israel-apologists imagine it’s a forward outpost of democracy in Kipling’s orient. But the tide of democracy tends to wash over such outposts (Algeria, Rhodesia), and the whole “Who’s got your six?” gag rings tinny when Uncle Sam’s already got the Confederacy pullin’ fireguard for Pride. The difference between Israel and the West whose back it thinks it has is the difference between Futurism and Flashbacks; between New Soviet Man and 90s Man. Between cowboy morality and midnight cowboy morality, the Milennium and the God of the Copybook Headings.

Look, I’m as tormented by hypertrophied self-awareness as Franz Kafka, as sexually maladjusted as Alan Ginsburg, as gullible as Vassily Grossman, as conflicted in my affinities as Hannah Arendt. And White City Bauhaus is just the bee’s knees. But Israel without reaction (Josef Trumeldor), fascism (Vladimir Jabotinsky), pugilism (Imi Lichtenfeld) and gangsterism (Bugsy Siegel) is no Israel at all.

Of course there’s something deeply romantic about all these shades of grey, but there comes a time to put aside childish things. And the Jewish deficiencies Israel was intended to exorcise—the clannish solipsism, the conniving, the ruthless mercantilism, the sniveling refusal to bear calamity without castigating fortune—though counterbalanced by a robust militarism, these tendencies are rife among Israelis, and after five decades of police action frozen on autopilot, that now bureaucratized militarism has overtaken the gangster volatility and iconoclasm of early 20th century Zionism, until nearly all that’s left is conformity, and spite, and the swaggering, tactless lack of Talmudic scruples typified by Netanyahu. Rabin’s sin couldn’t have been greater: in essence, he acceded to a precipitous valuation of Jewish life. But at least he conducted himself with modesty, and played his cards close to his chest.

An analogous degeneration is taking place among the Arabs, who’ve gone from devout tribes of incorrigible bandits to effete, mealy-mouthed holy-rollers, hogging the airwaves with their tiresome identity crises and felching oversees lucre for their hair-trigger bloodfeuding.

Yet despite our smug superiority, throughout the past century of Arab-Jewish reprisals, from time to time a visceral disconcertion tends to arise among Jews over everything the backward old Levant (our patrimony, which will only and forever be defined by the Arabs no matter how long we persist there, just as their religion will forever be defined by us, no matter how mad our impudence drives them) has to recommend it that Christendom never did and modernity never will. There’s an odd familiarity to the Arabs that transcends the present enmity. If we’re being honest with ourselves, old habits die hard. Even at the cost of an occasional school bus making the acquaintance of an RPG, Bedouin blood feuding’s right up our alley.

So I don’t disparage the Palestinians as terrorists or any other empty epithet. Obviously their more conspicuous tactics (indiscriminate stabbings, shootings and bombings of civilian targets) are rather chickenshit, and my hypothesis would be that this has as much to do with inchoate rage of irrelevant etiology as it does with any tactical desperation born of power asymmetry. But it is also provoked, not by Israel’s putative brutality but by the acrid scent of that congenital Jewish tendency, at this late date unvanquished by Zionist instruction, to panic and duck for shelter. This is what a Rabin embodied and a Netanyahu intrinsically lacks the empathic wiles to compensate for with bravado.

But as far as any possible moral dimension to how an adversary plays the field (“terrorism”) in a zero-sum contest, it isn’t worth my time and isn’t mine to look into. As for the many US Jews who couldn’t care less about Judaism and the welfare of Israel except as an opportunity to virtue signal: that’s their prerogative. They’re no more useless to Israel than my sentiments are, and they don’t owe allegiance to their co-ethnics if they don’t feel any. A true blue Jewish state, with traffic jams and lawsuits and punk kids, kind of takes the piss out of tribal comradery anyway, and to the extent I hew to the ancient faith I do so for personal reasons, as a source of strength, and a form of oriental ancestor worship. If that strikes you as arcane or narrow-minded, well, there’s no accounting for taste. But lean forward too far and you might end up taking a dick (like this poor, dumb bastard—in the words of Milan Kundera, “He wanted the Kingdom of Heaven”). The only reason to sacrifice a thousand-odd women and children on the rancid alter of pretend International Norms(TM) every decade is to avoid the Serbia treatment. Which either tells you who isn’t really running things, or is a piss-poor commentary on the value of intra-ethnic solidarity in the aftermath of the 20th century.

Maimonides is purported to’ve said, “The messiah will come, though he may tarry.” Well, let that sanctimonious cocksucker drag his feet. It’s still more interesting down here without him.

Acute Jew

sic semper tyrannis

sic semper tyrannis


May I recommend the Israeli author Etgar Keret? His work has been widely translated from the Hebrew and he writes occasional columns in the New Yorker and the Guardian. He stands accused by certain reviewers of solipsism and misogyny, but the first is outweighed by likability and the second is guilt-ridden enough to temper its vulgarity. With punk succinctness (the bulk of his oeuvre is novellas) he lays down an incredulous exasperation, twinkling through lurking shades of methodical mental illness and characteristically verbally abusive Jewish impudence. We see these same psychic fistulae in other artists whose work cannot be fully understood without reference to yiddishkeit—Babel, Kafka, Seinfeld. The Jews have the same relationship with senile dementia as the Catholics have with epilepsy. Half Jews like Vladimir Visotsky and JD Salinger belong in a slightly different category—the mold is broken, the hybrid vigor overwhelming. “Justice, justice you shall pursue”….. this contemptuous inflexibility of conscience is everywhere from the Book of Daniel to Lenny Bruce. It’s easy to see why these people are difficult to live with; we can barely live with ourselves. Borderline Personality Disorder might just as accurately be labelled Acute Jew.

What is interesting to observe about Keret, though, isn’t this characteristic Jewishness, but that it seems to subsist without much reference to Gentile influence. To understand Kafka, you have to understand pre-war mitteleuropa; to understand Babel, you need some sense of the Russian arch. You cannot appreciate Seinfeld without first appreciating late-modern America. Keret, on the other hand, presents entirely as a product of Jewish civilization—Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi would be proud, if uncomprehending. He plays entirely on effects that went indissoluble in exile, reemerging in the Levant one fine day to resume their invidious solipsism as if the intervening centuries were nothing but an aberration.

This is an awkward thing to behold. You meet bourgeois, well-travelled Israelis, and oftentimes the most they can tell you about modern Europe is its political orientation toward Jews and Israel, or the skiing, or the prices (especially the prices). The most they can tell you about Americans is that we tend to overpay unreflectively, that we haven’t any good, fresh bread, that we act friendly but we’re just pretending. The most they can tell you about Babel or Kafka or Einstein is that they were Yidden. They smart at any notion that breaches the nationalist programing they received in primary school. It isn’t that they disagree; they can’t fathom such things. They’re in step with the most liberal current ideas about sexuality, abreast of the very latest technology. They insist that their country is on the front line of the West and of modernity in a benighted corner of the globe with a rich, Western heritage that only they, through hard luck and gumption, are suited to defend. Yet with the exception of a handful of times and places in the Western experience where Jews were heavily involved, their upbringing has utterly de-emphasized nearly every benchmark that otherwise lends commonality to the identities and intellectual traditions of the West across dozens of other cultures and languages.

Of course, Keret is of above-average worldliness, which is why I referenced him. The hucksters and harpies who populate his pages make the mundane maddening to an extent no other Israeli writer has achieved. His fiction bears traces of Chekhov’s influence, and it entirely lacks the deadening mimicry of America that one so often finds along the bourgeois cutting edge of other highly modern, marginally Western societies. But the overwhelming sense one gets from his work is the reemergence of an ancient cast of misanthropes who’ve nothing but flagrant disregard for all the rich commotion that has been taking place, aboveground, without them.

And yet, what makes this separatism remarkable is not so much its longevity, but the packing of bags it entailed. Where communism, progressivism and Christianity propose to alter the world for the benefit of various handicapped classes, where other romantic nationalisms proposed to redraw the lines around various peoples, Zionism proposed to redraw the Jew himself.

Anyone who has had their brush with Israeli culture knows this effort has been hit-or-miss. Of course, through Israel, Jews have demonstrated martial prowess, but perhaps all this proves is that the cobwebs needed brushing aside. Animals and men go mad in cages; a long enough litany of military setbacks will turn even a Yule Brenner into a Peter Lorre. Where various empires furnished the bars, the Sages made up the gilding. Modernity did away with both, but it couldn’t digest man’s tendency for tribalism. And while early 20th-century Zionism fixated on altering the Jew, under inescapable American tutelage Zionism today makes its most stringent and irrational demands of the Arab; not only does it invade his home, it demands his acceptance. This is pure insanity—the manic optimism and febrile entitlement of Democratic Man, held up by airport security off somewhere in literal East Jesus.


Contrast this schizoid opportunism with Catholicism and Islam, religions that share a strong emphasis on man’s intrinsic capacity for reason, which each claims to satisfy perfectly and to the exclusion of all other ideas. Though I doubt these claims, I agree that a person’s full, healthy development depends on the opportunity to discern reason from faith, and weigh the two against one another.

A sweet, dim-witted old Adventist once told me something I liked. She told me, “You are the priest of your family.” In Judaism, the nearest approximation of this and other dissenter sects of Christianity is Karaism, whose practitioners are required to draw their own conclusions from scripture (within specified guidelines), rather than defer to experts.

Though an orthodox Rabbinic (i.e., not a Karaite) Jew, my grandfather conducted himself as though he was the priest of our family. He taught my brother, cousin and I (paternal half-breeds, all, and therefore not Jewish under Rabbinic law) basic Hebrew liturgy and scripture, as well as a smattering of Mishnah, and started officiating his own holy day services at home with a small circle of friends and family when he came into political conflict with the local rabbi. He was our last direct link in an unbroken chain of tradition.

Now I am married to an Orthodox Christian. To our marriage she brought along a sweet, gregarious and fair-minded little boy, the product of a previous marriage to a fellow Russian. Our son’s natural father was disdainful of religiosity and my wife, a non-practicing believer, opted not to have him baptized. But I understand it as my duty to furnish my children with faith against which to weigh reason—a method for counting the stars, so-to-speak.

Judaism is nothing if not the self-styling of a racial caste, and to transmit it to my unmistakeably Slavic older son would be to paint over a zebra’s stripes and mark him as a permanent outsider. So with his and my wife’s agreement I had him baptized by the nearest Russian Orthodox priest.

Though the humble little church and the manner of worship conducted within it was beautiful and uplifting, the process of getting our son baptized was somewhat uncomfortable—as a matter of course our family’s religious backgrounds were inquired about beforehand, and although I was welcomed in (which I wouldn’t have been in Russia), there was a palpable discomfort at my presence from the deacon and the arthritic old pater, who made it plain he didn’t want me around once he ascertained that I myself was not interested in converting. At one Sunday service we attended, the elderly deacon, Hungarian-born as it happens, informed me that as a child in the 1930s his parents worked in the Rome office of some German company or other, and that along with a handful of SS-officer embassy attachés, they used to host a Jewish business contact and his wife. He said this just goes to show that my background is a trifling thing because, as Christ teaches, people aren’t so different.

Well that just doesn’t make things very interesting, and of course I beg to differ. I recently bought two children’s bibles for my sons, one Christian (The Golden Book Children’s Bible) the other Jewish (The Book of Adam to Moses). The Christian one leaves out almost all the jealous, avaricious intrigues of the Old Testament. Its Queen of Sheeba is a chaste diplomat (and white!). It omits the Song of Songs (always a source of adolescent wood in the shul pews), and its Proverbs has nothing to say about the advisability of joining a gang, of committing a robbery, or of going whoring. Its illustrations are bright and cheery. In contrast, though it uses ambiguous language, its Jewish counterpart omits none of the original’s salacious and morally disturbing details. Its illustrations are black, white, a bit abstract and dissonant.

Dissonance, for most people, is exasperating, and Judaism is as exasperating as the Jews. The first in a trifecta of characteristically Western theodicies that sacralize mankind’s aspirations against nature’s starkness, it fails to follow through and build upon those ideals, neither with the kind of comfort food Christianity holds out, nor the unambiguous finality of Islam. It contains laws, and hidden meanings, but no ready logic, and no real bedtime stories.

The Coen brothers deal with this omission in their updated Book of Job, A Serious Man. In this film, a decent family-man is hamstrung by egregious, unearned misfortune. At the end of his rope, he consults with a series of feckless, indifferent rabbis, only to be told kitschy allegories and peppered with unactionable platitudes. A meticulously fair (read: neurotic) man who expects the world to at least be fair at bottom, he seeks solace from his faith as his misfortunes multiply unabated.

As it happens, there’s an astute review of this film at the pseudo-highbrow white supremacist web journal, Counter-Currents, whose editors are big into Savitra Devi and the Hidden Hitler (or something). Its design gives the feel of a Rothschild coven; one gets the sense they aren’t big fans of Orwell. Most of the pieces they publish are written in the style and at the level of a college admissions essay, but they’ve also got a good many editorial gems and some excellent crib notes on modern European heavyweights like Heidegger. Among the gems is this Serious Man review, by one Trevor Lynch. Check it out; it’s brisk reading, I promise.

Anyhow, the reviewer concludes from A Serious Man that the Coen Brothers are confirming his revulsion of Jews, by breaking their congenital mold to lambast Judaism’s hollow, compulsivity. It apparently never occurs to him that this is not apostasy so much as self-criticism, and though he pinpoints Judaism’s stultifying verbosity and solipsism, he cannot concede that so thorough and ineluctable a capacity for self-criticism is a virtue, nor that it’s indicative of how large a measure of the insights that Jews like the Coens bring to modern storytelling arises from their grappling with the conceits and deficiencies of character peculiar to our kind. But if Judaism, as the reviewer maintains the Coens are saying, offers “no meat and no marrow for the serious man”, perhaps protagonist Larry Gopnik’s mistake is that he takes Judaism, along with everything else, so goddamned seriously. The goy’s teeth (you’ll have to see the film) represent absurdity, which the rabbi and the dentist greet with apprehension but ultimately wave off with a characteristically Jewish shrug, while Larry Gopnik allows himself to nearly be driven insane by it. Not-so-subtleties like these are as lost on the hapless Professor Gopnik as they are on vindictive and equally serious ideologues like Trevor Lynch.

But far from exemplifying a strictly Jewish penchant for platitude, Job is just the Jewish take on a universal theme. The Coens aren’t recapitulating it, as our Aryan brother presumes. They’re augmenting it out of a peculiarly Jewish inventory. This is the yiddishkeit that’s so despised over at Counter Currents, and it will always elude their steely knives. But no religion, no philosophy, no manner of thought or line of inquiry is going to be more or less adequate than any other when it comes to the really big mysteries. Or, its relative adequacy is going to depend in turn upon the deductions of the source and each recipient’s own proclivities, rather than the peculiar merits of the milieu it emerges from. True, relative to other faiths Judaism tends to exacerbate the tensions the great mysteries provoke, rather than ameliorating them. But for Job and A Serious Man, the message (the reviewer’s “meat and marrow”) is real straightforward: suck it up, and lighten up, respectively. If the good Saxons at Counter Currents prefer Marcus Aurelius, that’s up to them, but don’t go barking up my boabab if the message doesn’t tickle your pickle. Like Rabbi Marshak, I’m thinking. That Judaism is replete with nonsense like any religion goes without saying, but Job isn’t it.

Christianity and Islam may not offer entirely satisfying answers either, but in attempting to, they stop the proverbial buck. In contrast, by positing a chosen caste, Judaism demands a measure of self-confidence that Christianity eschews, and Islam overdoes. And while the Hebrew God’s anthrocentricity innervates millennial Western theodicy, in His capriciousness He remains an Eastern God of Nature, the nature of the political animal in the anthropocine epoch. Western politics have their genesis as much along the colonnades of Athens as they do in the tent camps of recriminating Bedouins. In a democracy, we’re all elders of Chelm. Not even by putting words into God’s mouth have the Christians and the Muslims succeeded in stemming man’s internecine cat-scratching, not within families and not between nations. Not for wont of ventriloquy, the Jews have long been rending and gnashing at His silence. Neurotic? Hell yes. But don’t count it out. Buck-stopping imperial religions can run from this dissonance, but they can’t hide.