A number of readers, and even some editorial staff, have pointed out the rise of anti-Semitism, both in American society, and even here on Op Ed News. To counter that, I went to one of the leading Jewish Pro-Israel Groups, Facts And Logic About the Middle East (FLAME) for another side. As this article has appeared online and in various publications, it is presented here, without further ado:
The Jew Flu: The strange illness of Jewish anti-Semitism
By Uzi Silber , November 11, 2009, HaAretz
The 1930s Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson asked "Is there another People on Earth so emotionally twisted that they consider everything their nation does despicable and hateful, while every murder, rape, robbery committed by their enemies fill their hearts with admiration and awe?"
This is Jew Flu—the virus of Jewish Anti-Semitism, and its Jewish Anti- and Post-Zionist mutations, afflicting a small but inordinately loud minority of Hebrews.
Its modern symptoms are a rejection of Israel's identity as a Jewish state and a dismissal of its right to defend itself militarily, while embracing the goals of its nihilistic Arab enemies. Those infected with the virus wildly inflate Israeli sins real or imagined, while excusing or rationalizing Palestinian anti-Semitism and outrages against Jews.
Those afflicted with Jew Flu often view the notion of Peoplehood as an artifice, which implies a rejection of Jewish national self-determination and acceptance of the 90-year-old Palestinian Arab contention that Jews are not a nation but merely members of a religion, and as such don't merit a national home of their own.
Is Jew Flu a bona-fide illness? Michael Welner, a psychiatrist at New York University, suggests that Jewish Anti-Semitism is akin to a personality disorder, enabling a person to "derive some psychological benefit from this pathological thinking."
What causes Jew Flu? Harvard psychiatrist Kenneth Levin argues for twin culprits: So-called 'Stockholm Syndrome', where "population segments under chronic siege commonly embrace the indictments of their besiegers however bigoted and outrageous", as well as "the psychodynamics of abused children who blame themselves for their situation and believe they could mollify their tormenters if they were 'good'."
Julie Ancis, a psychology professor at Georgia State University says that it isn't "uncommon for a minority group with a history of oppression and persecution to possess internalized self-hatred regarding their cultural/religious identity."
I'm no therapist, but that won't restrain me from proposing my own theory for the ultimate cause of Jew Flu. More on that later.
Since the defamations of Jew Flu victims are propagated across the Internet and are extensively documented and challenged in many fine books and articles, repeating them here would be redundant.
Suffice it to say that Noam Chomsky, Daniel Boyarin, Joel Kovel, Avrum Burg, Ilan Pappe, Steve Quester, Jacqueline Rose, Tony Judt, Naomi Klein, Michael Neumann, Ben Ehrenreich, (the apparently "outed") Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and their ilk, spout pronouncements eerily similar to the propaganda routinely ejaculated by representatives of Fatah, Hamas or Hezbollah.
At the same time, a hearty "shout out" is due those who have made it their business to forcefully rebut the Jewish defamers, including Andrea Levin, Edward Alexander, Alan Dershowitz, David Solway and others. Those interested in a quick and free primer on Jew Flu should download Alvin Rosenfeld's UJA-sponsored brief, "Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism."
Jew Flu, of course, isn't new: It has lurked in our midst for millennia. Jews collaborated with Greeks, Romans and Inquisitors; Bolshevik self loathers displayed savagery towards their brethren; their prophet Karl Marx was described by author Rafael Patai as the "most influential of Jewish self haters", who thought "Israelite faith" most repugnant, and whose rabid anti-Semitism was attributed by the historian Simon Dubnow to "the natural hatred of the renegade for the camp he deserted."