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Dealing with Anti-Semitism from a Jewish Perspective

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125 Jews were massacred and hundreds were wounded by Palestinian suicide murderers that month. Yet unsurprisingly my stricken friend declined comment.

My friend seems to amuse his Arab colleagues: Appearing at a conference some years ago at Cairo's American University, an Egyptian fellow panelist quipped to the audience that our mutual friend was "more pro-Palestinian than me--I am more pro-Israel than him."

Incidentally, this college has since instituted a ban on Israeli academics.

At this point allow me to complicate things: It's easy to assume that those struck with Jew Flu would be contemptuous of Jewish religious observance. They often hold Marxist views, which would imply an atheist outlook.

Yet what one should one make of my friend who performs Kiddush on Friday nights, fasts on Yom Kippur and uses two sets of dishes in his kosher kitchen? Would such Jewish customs be performed by an anti-Semite?

Knesset speaker Avrum Burg is a lifelong modern orthodox Jew, a skull capped davener [one who prays] whose Jew Flu was latent for years but burst out into the open when he took to smearing Israel in Nazi-like browns.

Daniel and Jonathan Boyarin are pleasant, prominent and yarmulked [skull-capped] professors of Jewish history who don tefilin [Jewish phylactery] daily, daven [pray] on Shabbat and holidays and are easily mistaken in appearance for West Bank settlers.

Yet Daniel is comfortable vilifying Israel regularly as a violent outlaw state. And Jonathan admitted to me some years ago during an especially sweaty Simchat Torah "hakafa" on the Lower East Side that his views are identical if not even more radical than Daniel's (if that was possible.)

Actually, it is interesting that the views of such radical yet observant Jews resemble the tenets of Catholic Liberation Theology. But could such a trio be accused of outright anti-Semitism?

The Burgs and Boyarins of this world have long revered another devout Jew, the departed Yishayahu Leibowitz, a renowned scholar, recipient of the Israel Prize, and editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia, a Jerusalemite who habitually referred to drafted Israeli soldiers who happened to be defending his charmed way of life as "Judeo-Nazis."

Was Leibowitz an anti-Semite?

Submitting their pronouncements to the Sharansky test demonstrates that even tefilin wearing, kosher food eating Kiddush reciters can speak and write like an Anti Semite

Prognosis

But back to the elusive cause of Jew Flu: what makes one Jew vulnerable and not another? Wouldn't a far larger proportion of Jews fall prey to Jew Flu if, say, Stockholm syndrome was the culprit? Is there a prime mover, some physiological or neurological smoking gun pointing to a root cause?

There may be. David Brooks recently reported in the New York Times on research by a Haifa University team led by Reem Yahya who studied the brains scans of Arabs and Jews while showing them images of hands and feet in painful situations.

Brooks reports that "the two cultures perceived pain differently. The Arabs perceived higher levels of pain over all while the Jews were more sensitive to pain suffered by members of a group other than their own (italics my own)."

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Scott Baker is a Senior Editor/Economics Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post.
Scott Baker is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist group. He has written dozens of (more...)
 
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The Jewish people have had This Type of Jewaround ... by alan17b0 on Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009 at 5:09:48 PM
Many critics begin by lambasting Israel's evil way... by Jason Paz on Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009 at 5:13:28 PM
that he is a human coprophag and I refer him to my... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009 at 6:04:30 PM
How could it be a personal attack when I basically... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 3:14:04 AM
You can express your opinion about the way we here... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 5:16:54 AM
...objectivity, or balance, then I doubt anyone wo... by Pesty on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:38:26 PM
this is probably the raving of a lunatic. First of... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:58:06 PM
I guess I have Jew Flu too, since I am quite comfo... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009 at 8:27:48 PM
in a billion years or less it will all be sorted o... by shadow dancer on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:35:18 AM
The definition of anti-Semitic is being hostile or... by Peter Wedlund on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 6:38:42 AM
Why "they" hate "you," it would be better to confr... by Dick Thomson on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:11:46 AM
Is the criticism deflector from the grammar school... by Hoss Hoss on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 10:12:29 AM
You say Israel shoudkl be criticized for fighting ... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:21:55 PM
Scott:I think you are wrong about Jews being vilif... by Peter Wedlund on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:42:20 PM
But never mind, I'm reminded of a storyI was worki... by Hoss Hoss on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:07:29 PM
not the people. I guess I would be an anti-America... by Starla Immak on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 10:21:55 AM
The first thing I notice about anti-Semites is the... by Jason Paz on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:01:48 PM
Their "Moral Literacy" doesn't extend beyond thems... by Bia Winter on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 9:49:11 AM
The Holy Bible can be seen as a moral outreach pro... by Jason Paz on Monday, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:34:10 AM
The Holy Bible can be seen as a moral outreach pro... by Jason Paz on Monday, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:40:09 AM
I eagerly clicked on this article, because I thoug... by wagelaborer on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:25:32 PM
That's EXACTLY what we are all expected to do wher... by Bia Winter on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 10:03:02 AM
I have trouble with the title of "Anti-Semitism fr... by Cheryl Biren on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:25:35 PM
But I did say 'A' Jewish Perspective, not 'THE' Je... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:36:41 PM
Thank you Scott Baker, that was helpful. We Jews... by Barry Werner on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 5:05:31 PM
'It's a “flu”, i.e. an illness, for Jews to ha... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 6:34:18 PM
...but it is only Israel whose human rights abuses... by Bia Winter on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 10:10:21 AM
When I saw the headline of this article, I thoug... by Tom Usher on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 1:11:09 PM
To reduce the opinions of Jews opposed to the poli... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Nov 29, 2009 at 3:35:22 PM