Rejecting the ‘self-hatred’ label

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 50 Comments

Lillian Rosengarten is due to set out soon on the Jewish boat for Gaza.

Within the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the charge of “self-hating Jew” or “Jewish anti-Semite” can only be understood as an ugly way to strike back at those Jews who speak out in protest against the Israeli government’s continuing and brazen violations of the human rights of the Palestinian population.

The insulting accusation “Self-hating Jew” is intended by intolerant dogmatists to undermine and intimidate those of us who speak and act in defiance of the Zionists’ embrace of nationalism and militarism, and the decades of suppression and hatred toward the Palestinians. Those who invoke the label are desperate to quell opposition to the continuing oppression, and occupation of Palestinian lands. By building a psychological wall against their critics, they hope to justify their policies to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this includes those members of AIPAC and many of those who so far have been unwilling to face the painful truths. But the fact is that extreme Jewish nationalists have shattered the once-beautiful dream of Israel as a beacon of hope and light for the rest of the world to appreciate and admire.

Try to imagine what would have happened if the new state of Israel had reached out to embrace their neighbors in a spirit of peace and conciliation. Can anyone imagine the beauty of Israel if compassion and an open heart had healed the hate and fear that marked the Holocaust years? Instead, it seems to me that today’s Israeli agenda is based on a desire for a Zionist Jewish state that diminishes the aspirations of all other populations who claim any right to the land in which they lived for so long.

But when land is taken and occupied, when populations are under siege, and there is no attempt at genuine reconciliation, there can be no peace, only a perpetuation of hate. From this perspective, it is the accused who becomes righteous and the accuser who is demonized as “Self–hating Jew.”

I ache for Israel and its path of blind destruction. I ache for the displaced and brutalized Palestinians who suffer under the hands of their oppressors. But it is not easy for Jewish dissenters to speak out. They are made outcasts within the Jewish communities. They are not supported even by some progressive Jews, who take a hard line position in support of the Israeli government or are too intimidated to speak out.

My disillusionment has been devastating as I have watched how the scalding memory of the Holocaust is now misused to justify and defend appalling acts of injustice, the occupation, the military might, the prisons, the destruction of homes, the containment of the water supply, the wars against Lebanon and the inhabitants of Gaza, the threats of bombing Iran. How can we accept the loss of the human spirit and of hope for generations of displaced Palestinian families? How can we forget the children, born into hate, living still in crowded camps, breeding grounds for endless terrorism and further conflict.

It was difficult for me to observe the demonization of Judge Richard Goldstone, a jurist and South African proud Jew who set out to investigate human rights and international humanitarian human rights violations during the Gaza conflict last year. He concluded that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes. Here was an opportunity to reflect and discuss, to have debates and engage in further investigations on both sides. Shockingly, his findings were met with labels of “self-hating Jew”.

It is a complicated question, how a hunted people became the hunters, how the victims became the victimizers. It may well be that it is the Israelis who feel the most persecuted; many of them still carry generations of hatred inflicted on them and surely it has shaped the direction of their society. In my view, this hatred has been projected onto the “other”– be it Palestinian or Bedouin, Muslim or dissenting Jew.

In order to change the cycle of endless suffering for Jews and Palestinians, the Israeli powers that be can only benefit from self -examination, and honest and open dialogue which includes the “enemy.” The goal must be mutual commonality and an end to demonizing the other. Left unexamined, the projection of hate onto those with other views and with diverse political persuasions succeeds only in perpetuating endless suffering and further hatred that festers, destroys and grows more virulent with each new generation.

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50 Responses

  1. NormanF
    September 16, 2010, 1:20 pm

    Palestinian intransigence, violence and terrorism is never discussed by their supporters. They don’t want a two state solution. They want to destroy Israel and kill every Jew living there. Any one who denies this is blind to reality. Israel is not a perfect country. But it is an oasis of freedom, progress and enlightenment compared to the savage, ossified and reactionary societies in its neighborhood. Zionism has done a lot of good for the Jews. Israel has made impressive strides in 62 years and with real peace, its development would be even more rapid. But those who hate the country are unwilling to acknowledge it has good people who just want to live like people in other countries around the world do.

    • marc b.
      September 16, 2010, 1:54 pm

      actually, so far as i can tell, the overwhelming majority of palestinians just want to earn a decent living, send their children to school in a clean set of clothes, and spend a couple of weeks a year with the family at the beach on vacation like people in other countries around the world do. and you give yourself away by making the generalized comparison between the blood lusting palestinians and that ‘oasis of freedom.’ but thanks just the same for your contribution dr. peretz.

      • Citizen
        September 16, 2010, 2:36 pm

        NormanF, thanks for sharing your clear view of reality; we here at Mondoweiss have been struggling to reach your wisdom and acute perceptivity, sensitivity. We didn’t know the true meaning of “Never Again!” We were blind, but now we see! We beg you to instruct us further, take the rest of the scales off our yes–precisely why do “They want to destroy Israel and kill every Jew living there.” Birth defect? Organic? Aberrant DNA? Something they ate? Is it viral, catching, like the flue?
        Does it only affect Gentiles, all Gentiles regardless of color or nuture (?), or does Lillian have a dose too? If so, how so? Have you walked in her shoes?

    • eljay
      September 16, 2010, 2:15 pm

      >> But those who hate the country are unwilling to acknowledge it has good people who just want to live like people in other countries around the world do.

      Unfortunately for the good people, they live in a country with bad people who have done and continue to do bad things to the Palestinians. Right the wrongs – with real justice and humanism, not the RW brand of – and things will change. “Stay the course” – keep crapping on the Palestinians and stealing their land and calling it “justice” – and the good people will just have to settle for the blowback.

    • potsherd
      September 16, 2010, 3:14 pm

      And on the other side of the aisle, here we have the Hating Jew.

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2010, 7:30 pm

        Morm baby, you really, really don’t want to talk about “intransigence”. That’s a word that you really, really don’t want to bring up in a discussion about Israel.
        What’s funny is that you probably know the word, as we all do, from the phrase “Israeli intransigence”.

    • Shingo
      September 17, 2010, 6:00 am

      Israeli intransigence, violence and terrorism is never not only discussed by their supporters, but endorsed. They don’t want a two state solution. Netenyahu has stated he does not want one and admitted to sabotaging Oslo.

      Israel has alredy destroyed Palestine and and kills ten times as many Palestinians than Jews. Any one who denies this is blind to reality. Israel is an apartheid, fascist state. But it is an oasis of rascism, ignorancr and religious extremism. Zionism has been a curse for the Jews. Israel has ben coddled and assisted like no other in 62 years. If fears peace, because with real peace, it would be a shell of the militaristic state it is today. There might be good people in Isrela today as there were good people in Nazi Germany, but the sick extremists hold power.

  2. clenchner
    September 16, 2010, 2:00 pm

    NormanF, you’re like a parody of the comments section here.
    More to the point….
    Is there a difference between calling Goldstone a self-hating Jew, and using that term for say, Gilad Atzmon?
    The pro-Israel Jewish community has abused the phrase through over-use, but it’s still useful.
    A very small number of folks who were born Jewish adopt the perspective that somethings are so inherently wrong about the Jewish religion and/or culture that it merits public and vocal opposition, above and beyond calling it on specific policies.
    Such language echoes anti-Semites who see Jews as essentially a problem because of their insistence on tribalism/ancient ways. The language of exceptionalism that exists in Jewish thought is often exaggerated and twisted to imply things that aren’t so, or deprived of context.
    I’ll stand and oppose the misuse of the label ‘self hating Jew’ when applied to opponents of the occupation and anti-Zionists. (I’ve been called that as well.) But start talking about inherent Jewish flaws, and you’re a racist. There are no inherent Jewish flaws, any more than than inherent Asian flaws or inherent Irish flaws.

    • annie
      September 16, 2010, 2:19 pm

      There are no inherent Jewish flaws

      i agree clenchner. people who think races and ethnicities have inherent flaws are racist even if they try not to be. it’s sad. still i don’t like the word hate. accusing people of hatred doesn’t solve anything. it’s a slanderous accusation. racism a learned affliction of a closed mind.

      • Shingo
        September 16, 2010, 2:52 pm

        “There are no inherent Jewish flaws”

        True. Zionism on the other hand, is flawed and repugnant.

    • Citizen
      September 16, 2010, 2:51 pm

      Clenchner, I agree. That settles the nature posit, now….how about the nurture posit?

  3. Shmuel
    September 16, 2010, 2:23 pm

    clenchner,

    Personally, I don’t think the label “self-hating Jew” is ever appropriate (ordinary words like”racist” and “bigot” will do), but otherwise, very well said.

    • marc b.
      September 16, 2010, 2:47 pm

      I don’t think the label “self-hating Jew” is ever appropriate

      it isn’t. ever. i first heard the epithet used to describe chomsky by a friend of a friend who was under the misimpression that i was jewish. it has the same value as ‘race traitor’ and similarly revolting terms.

    • Richard Witty
      September 16, 2010, 4:20 pm

      I disagree.

      I think there are ways that the term is descriptive. I’ve found the challenge of “are you a self-hating Jew?” to be helpful to me.

      No, I am a self-loving Jew. I love my Jewish heritage, my human body, my rational mind and my compassionate heart.

      I find that “self-hating Jew” is descriptive of someone that does not accept themselves, in any of the respects, feeling fundamentally guilty for something.

      The misuse is the in the invocation of loyalty or to enforce conformity. In that case, its a pejorative primarily, most likely an attempt to fight assimilation – Jews interacting intimately with non-Jews.

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2010, 7:32 pm

        Wow, Witty you are so wonderful! Even you say so!

      • Keith
        September 16, 2010, 10:38 pm

        MOOSER- When I first read Witty’s comment, I was going to make a smart-ass comment but thought better of it and passed. However, since you commented, I have to tell you that my first reaction on reading about his “rational mind and my compassionate heart,” was how much that reminded me of Sophie Portnoy complaining that her biggest flaw was that she was too good.

      • Chaos4700
        September 16, 2010, 8:23 pm

        I’ve found the challenge of “are you a self-hating Jew?” to be helpful to me.

        No —-, Witty. You’re a bully shrouded in pseudo-academia.

  4. lareineblanche
    September 16, 2010, 3:18 pm

    This a strange accusation, which, it seems to me, can only logically come about if Zionism is equated with “Jewishness”. I think one of the victories of Zionism has been to do just that in the public mind (co-opting what is considered to be Jewish), so that, if one criticizes Israel’s Zionist policies, in the same breath, one is criticizing “Jewishness”. It’s absurd, and if one thinks about it lucidly for a second, one wonders what reasons a Jew could possibly have for hating him/herself, it’s very twisted. Maybe this goes back psychologically to the Hazi Holocaust, and that some Jews (hardliners) feel that there is a need to “be strong” and affirm themselves, “weakness” being one of the reasons they fell victims to the Shoah in the first place? There is an abusive component I can’t put my finger on.
    I’ve also recently seen the meme “self-hating Westerner” circulating, and it shocked me, but maybe it’s not so new.

    But it is not easy for Jewish dissenters to speak out. They are made outcasts within the Jewish communities. They are not supported even by some progressive Jews, who take a hard line position in support of the Israeli government or are too intimidated to speak out.

    – Some of us non-Jews tend to forget this, that it can be truly difficult for some to break with the ranks, because we aren’t born with this – I think Christians (can only speak for them, as it was in the family) have less of a sense of “belonging” to a common tribe, and there is no plot of land in the desert for them to focus their gazes on – the geographical aspect gives an added ideological component.

  5. Richard Witty
    September 16, 2010, 4:22 pm

    “You are a self-hating Jew.”

    Good, so what.

    • Chaos4700
      September 16, 2010, 8:24 pm

      Talk about the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • marc b.
      September 17, 2010, 2:36 pm

      “You are a self-hating Jew.”

      Good, so what.

      sigh. i missed this gem. you can’t be serious.

      ‘self-hating jew’ implies psychological imbalance and apostasy, barely pitiable sub-humanity, a sin that will forever subject the transgressor to suspicion and the hair-trigger threat of ostracism. if i were jewish and someone called me a ‘self-hating jew’ my initial reaction would be to ****
      their face in. and that’s really the point. the delivery of a visceral, emotional wound. not the opening for a dialogue i would say, the intent being quite the opposite.

  6. AreaMan
    September 16, 2010, 5:00 pm

    “Try to imagine what would have happened if the new state of Israel had reached out to embrace their neighbors in a spirit of peace and conciliation”

    In the Arab riots of 1929, the Arabs murdered medical staff who had been giving them cheap or free care, including medicines.

    As soon as Israel was established in 1948, the Arab armies attacked. Even before the state was established, the city of Jerusalem was under siege from Arabs. These conditions made it hard to be peaceful and conciliatory.

    When Israel decided to accept the Partition plan of 1947, it gave up a lot of the land in Palestine that Israel was entitled to under international law. This was met with war from the Arabs. The partition plan came to nothing.

    My own view is that the people referred to as self-hating Jews don’t hate themselves, they hate something else.

    • Donald
      September 16, 2010, 6:28 pm

      “As soon as Israel was established in 1948, the Arab armies attacked. Even before the state was established, the city of Jerusalem was under siege from Arabs. These conditions made it hard to be peaceful and conciliatory.”

      Who is the intended audience for this nonsense? Was Plan Dalet peaceful and conciliatory? How about Deir Yassin? Both occurred before May 1948.

      Seriously, I don’t get it. You can’t possibly believe what you’re typing and you can’t think anyone here believes it either. Is it just trolling for the fun of it?

      • Avi
        September 16, 2010, 9:24 pm

        The “Arab riots” didn’t come about out of thin air. They were a product of radical religious Zionist fanatics running amuck. Sound familiar?

        In an act of provocation in which group of them led by Zionist leaders like Begin showed up in violation of a long-standing agreement with the Palestinians that the “Temple Mount” area will not be politicized — i.e. controlled by a nationalist (Zionist) entity. They planted the Israeli flag at the wall of the al-Aqsa mosque and declared it sovereign Zionist territory. This, in spite of the aforementioned agreement under which any Jew could freely pray at the Wailing Wall so long as the area wasn’t annexed and taken over by the Zionist movement.

        At the time, these nutjobs were allowed to walk around with their weapons, while the British looked the other way and in many cases even arrested Palestinians while releasing the Zionists, scot free without charges.

        Having seen Britain renege on several agreements it signed with the Palestinians, they, the native Palestinian population was fearful that every inch the Zionists got their hands on would never be returned. And by 1947, that much was true.

        Keep in mind that the Arab states first joined the allied powers in WWI against the Ottoman Empire in an effort to shake off Ottoman rule and achieve independence. That turned out to be a mistake.

      • Shmuel
        September 17, 2010, 12:23 am

        As soon as Israel was established in 1948, the Arab armies attacked

        This myth is dispelled by Rashid Khalidi, in The Iron Cage. He writes that of the seven independent Arab states at the time, Saudi Arabia and Yemen had no regular armies and no means of getting any forces they might have had to Palestine; Lebanese forces never crossed the international border; Iraq and Transjordan “scrupulously refrained from crossing the frontiers of the Jewish state laid down in the United Nations partition plan as per secret Jordanian understandings with both Britain and the Zionist leadership and thus never ‘invaded’ Israel”; and Syria “made only minor inroads across the new Israeli state’s frontiers”. “The only serious and long-standing incursion into the territory of the Jewish state … was that of the Egyptian army. Meanwhile, the fiercest fighting during the 1948 war took place with the Jordanian army during multiple Israeli offensives into areas assigned by the U.N. to the Arab state, or into the U.N. prescribed corpus separatum around Jerusalem”. (Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage [Boston: 2006], Introduction, xxxix)

        As for the “Arab riots” (your intimation of barbarous ingratitude aside – if you are referring to Hebron, the rioters were mostly from outside, while the local population strove to protect their Jewish friends and neighbours), it sure took them an awfully long time to realise that they didn’t like Jews, no matter what they did.

      • marc b.
        September 17, 2010, 11:47 am

        the fiercest fighting during the 1948 war took place with the Jordanian army during multiple Israeli offensives into areas assigned by the U.N. to the Arab state, or into the U.N. prescribed corpus separatum around Jerusalem.

        more self-hatred on display. those weren’t israeli offensives, they were pre-emptive counterattacks. why must you spin everything?

      • Shmuel
        September 17, 2010, 12:19 pm

        Marc,

        It was not the Israelis who launched “pre-emptive counterattacks”, but the Jordanians who engaged in “unprovoked retaliation”. In any event, you raise an important question. If a Jew quotes a non-Jew bad-mouthing Jews (especially Zionists), is it self-hatred or anti-Semitism?

      • Avi
        September 17, 2010, 1:31 pm

        [...] is it self-hatred or anti-Semitism?

        Autoblasphemy?

    • RoHa
      September 17, 2010, 4:17 am

      “When Israel decided to accept the Partition plan of 1947, it gave up a lot of the land in Palestine that Israel was entitled to under international law.”

      What law was that?

    • lyn117
      September 17, 2010, 1:48 pm

      “.. it [Israel] gave up a lot of the land in Palestine that Israel was entitled to under international law. ” NOT. Israel was entitled to none of the land in Palestine under international law. Guess I won’t go into the rest of your historical inaccuracies.

  7. Edward Q
    September 16, 2010, 5:09 pm

    This is standard rhetoric for supremacist movements. The Klu Klux Klan likes to rail against “weak whites” and “race traitors”.

  8. eljay
    September 16, 2010, 5:13 pm

    >> Try to imagine what would have happened if the new state of Israel had reached out to embrace their neighbors in a spirit of peace and conciliation.

    If Israel were to reach out to Palestinians sincerely and in good faith – and NOT with RW’s brand of “justice” and “humanity” – and recognize its wrongs; halt its aggression, occupation and expansion; make amends; and offer to engage in sincere and mutually-beneficial negotiations, I believe that:
    – such a move would severely marginalize the harder-line elements of Palestinian resistance; and
    – the majority of Palestinians would be fully prepared to accept Israel’s penitence and enter into sincere and mutually-beneficial negotiations with it.

    Unfortunately, Israel appears to enjoy crapping on the Palestinians, crowing about its prowess and might while bemoaning its victimhood. And that kind of hate, hypocrisy and supremacism is not in the interests of anyone who wants real justice and real peace.

    • Mooser
      September 16, 2010, 7:38 pm

      “Unfortunately, Israel appears to enjoy crapping on the Palestinians, crowing about its prowess and might while bemoaning its victimhood.”

      eljay, there’s a new generation growing up in Israel. How could the elders in Israel feel if they didn’t leave them a mess? What if a peaceful solution was reached? They can’t have that! Dammit, they know what they owe to their predecessors and the coming generation, and they do their duty.

      • eljay
        September 16, 2010, 8:37 pm

        >> eljay, there’s a new generation growing up in Israel. How could the elders in Israel feel if they didn’t leave them a mess? What if a peaceful solution was reached? They can’t have that! Dammit, they know what they owe to their predecessors and the coming generation, and they do their duty.

        That’s the problem with me not being Jewish: I miss all of these awesome “nuances”. ;-)

    • Shmuel
      September 17, 2010, 12:40 am

      I believe that:
      – such a move would severely marginalize the harder-line elements of Palestinian resistance; and
      – the majority of Palestinians would be fully prepared to accept Israel’s penitence and enter into sincere and mutually-beneficial negotiations with it.

      I agree, eljay. I’ve had this out with some of the commenters here (especially Taxi) before, but I believe Palestinians have an incredible capacity for reconciliation and “getting on with business”. As Omar Barghouti (I know, I know, he’s an intellectual in an ivory tower) put it, if Palestinian rights are upheld, they will be perfectly willing to live side-by-side and cooperate with Israelis (not to be confused with “forgiveness” or “love” [something well-meaning Europeans seem to have a fixation with], which may or may not come later).

      • Richard Witty
        September 17, 2010, 8:54 am

        I believe that MANY Palestinians would live convivially with MANY Israelis.

        At the same time, I believe that many wouldn’t, and that many Zionists would not.

        It depends on where you draw the line as to who is enemy.

        One approach could be to regard any that propose harming the other as excluded from one’s movement. So, that would include unequivocal condemnation of terror as means of dissent. And, it would likely ultimately include rejection of shunning (BDS) as means of dissent.

        Who is “we”? “We” are those that seek to make us all legal and social peers.

        There is another approach which dissent here takes.

        That is the approach of regarding someone that is a Zionist, that desires Jewish self-determination as enemy, that that is where the lines get drawn. “You express sympathy with Israelis and understanding of Israeli behaviors, you are enemy”.

        So, which lines do you want to draw. Is the political definition more important, or the humane definition?

      • Mooser
        September 17, 2010, 11:37 am

        Holy Crap, Witty!! Holy Crap! Do you realise what you just did?
        Shmuel endorses, absolutely endorses your view that a hearts and mind approach will work, and then you immediately move the goalposts!

      • lyn117
        September 17, 2010, 2:00 pm

        Yeah, the Zionists are always trying to sell Zionism as “Jewish self-determination.” Unfortunately, the adherents of so-called “Jewish self-determination” believe it is their right to commit mass murder, terror and ethnic cleansing in order to achieve the form of government they want (Jewish) in land that doesn’t belong to them.

        FYI self-determination is the right of colonized/indigenous/native peoples to have a government by the people. In this case the colonized/indigenous/native people are the Palestinians. Jews cannot be considered indigenous to Palestine except for a small minority, the majority of indigenous “Jews” in Palestine having given up Judaism for Christianity or Islam well over 1000 years ago.

      • Shmuel
        September 17, 2010, 2:02 pm

        Shmuel endorses, absolutely endorses your view that a hearts and mind approach will work

        Nah. I was talking about justice, not fluff. But you’re right that someone suddenly got all militant and ranty on us (with extra fluff on the side).

      • RoHa
        September 18, 2010, 1:03 am

        “a Zionist, that desires Jewish self-determination”

        This is the desire for Jews to self-determine themselves as Irish deconstructionists, is it?

        Nothing to do with the putative right of people in a territory to form a state, right?

      • Psychopathic god
        September 17, 2010, 2:03 pm

        Netanyahu’s speech at Council on Foreign Relations in NYC last July 2010 link to c-spanvideo.org
        addressed two points made in several of the above comments:

        1. The trouble started when Arabs attacked Israel in 1947 or -48 —

        Bibi says the trouble has been going on since 1920, when Arabs first started to hate Jews. It is that hatred that must be eradicated before any settlement can be reached. “The problem is not the Occupation: Arabs had hated Jews in Paelstine for >40 years by the time IDF occupied West Bank & Gaza, so occupation is not the source of the problem.”

        2. re:

        if Palestinian rights are upheld, they will be perfectly willing to live side-by-side and cooperate with Israelis (not to be confused with “forgiveness” or “love” [something well-meaning Europeans seem to have a fixation with], which may or may not come later).

        That’s not good enough for Bibi: until every internal thought toward Jews that is harbored in any Palestinian heart and mind is changed to one of “love and forgiveness,” that is, until the “real” problem that has been festering since 1920 is eradicated, there can be no peace, no settlement. Palestinians must scrub their private thoughts of any negativity toward Jews.

  9. yourstruly
    September 16, 2010, 6:08 pm

    Lilian Rosengarten laments what she believes could, would, should have been a colonial experiment in friendship and goodwill, but which somehow went wrong. Except colonial enterprises of whatever denomination or ideology invariably turn into replicas of one another, with the colonizer oppressing the natives in what amounts to a slave/slaveowner relationship. Invariably, too, the native resists, as the Palestinian have been doing for over a century now. Which raises the question on whose side the Jewish-American, the settler’s (every Israeli Jew except for those who actively participate in the Palestinian liberation struggle) or the native Palestinian’s? As someone who believes that the essence of Judaism is to always side with the slave, never with the slaveowner, even (better, especially) when the slaveowner supposedly is a Jew (supposedly, because one cannot be both a Jew and a slaveowner), I stand up for Palestine, unequivocally and unhesitantly. And what about the self-hating Jew slurs that might (have, do) come my way? One has to realize that the truth is the opposite of what the the settler-state and its Jewish-American supporters are saying, which means they’re the self-haters, not us. After all it’s the settler’s siege of Gaza and slaughter on the Mava Marvara that’s enraging the world, not us Jews who oppose those acts of barbarism, and the settlers (& supporters) who falsely claim that Israel speaks for world Jewry, thereby setting us up for who knows what? And if such behavior isn’t antisemitism of the self-hating type, what is?

  10. Saleema
    September 16, 2010, 7:40 pm

    Christine O’Donnell says that loving yourself is adultery. Colbert has a pretty good solution to the problem. Maybe this video can help some of the so-called self-lovers here.

    link to huffingtonpost.com

    • Kathleen
      September 16, 2010, 9:15 pm

      I spit on the screen. Too funny “marry your hand” thanks for that one

  11. Kathleen
    September 16, 2010, 9:06 pm

    You go Lillian. Rockin with the truth. You go gal!
    “My disillusionment has been devastating as I have watched how the scalding memory of the Holocaust is now misused to justify and defend appalling acts of injustice, the occupation, the military might, the prisons, the destruction of homes, the containment of the water supply, the wars against Lebanon and the inhabitants of Gaza, the threats of bombing Iran. How can we accept the loss of the human spirit and of hope for generations of displaced Palestinian families? How can we forget the children, born into hate, living still in crowded camps, breeding grounds for endless terrorism and further conflict.

    It was difficult for me to observe the demonization of Judge Richard Goldstone, a jurist and South African proud Jew who set out to investigate human rights and international humanitarian human rights violations during the Gaza conflict last year. He concluded that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes. Here was an opportunity to reflect and discuss, to have debates and engage in further investigations on both sides. Shockingly, his findings were met with labels of “self-hating Jew”.

  12. Colin Murray
    September 16, 2010, 11:22 pm

    I’m not even sure exactly what ‘self-hating’ is supposed to mean. I have never heard the label applied to anyone but Jews by other Jews. There is something here that I don’t understand, and have wondered about for some time.

    It’s like those who use the term (for the sake of argument I’ll call them nutters) make the ridiculous assumption that all Jews are raised with some canonical set of identical nutter values and worldviews. Thus a big enough departure by other Jews from the nutter value system must be a repudiation rooted in hatred of rather than a disagreement stemming from different life experiences.

    What do the nutters think is a ‘standard’ value system? How big or what kind of departure from it qualifies one as self-hating? I’ve read the phrase “throwing away one’s inheritance” used by a nutter describing a ‘self-hater’. I’m pretty sure I read that either in a Mondoweiss post or in an article linked from here.

    • MHughes976
      September 17, 2010, 2:33 pm

      There could be self-hatred arising from plain inability to practise one’s ideals – a Christian sense of ‘the evil that I would not, that I do’ – but that doesn’t seem particularly to be the situation of anti-Zionists, Jewish or otherwise.
      There could be a form of self-hatred if someone is in inner conflict and senses both a rejection of a value system and a residual loyalty to the same system. This could be a characteristic of Jewish people who are reluctantly anti-Zio. It could very well, and this is less noticed, also be a characteristic of those Jewish people who continue through gritted teeth to support Zionism despite intense reservations.
      This characteristic, if it arises in some people, may be a painful one but doesn’t show that self-approval and self-love – or group approval and group love – should be practised relentlessly, which rather obviously they should not.
      Unending rehearsal of group grievances is not a rational basis for group-love.

    • eljay
      September 17, 2010, 3:16 pm

      >> I’m not even sure exactly what ’self-hating’ is supposed to mean. I have never heard the label applied to anyone but Jews by other Jews.

      Given that Jews are “a nation”, perhaps its one of those hateful, superficial nationalism-style epithets used by people against their compatriots who don’t blindly support everything their “nation” does.

      Like the idiots who go around labelling perfectly good Americans “traitors” and “America haters” for not supporting America’s aggressive and militaristic foreign policy, if you’re a Jew and you don’t support what your “people” are doing, you must be self-loathing, you must be a traitor.

      I mean, it’s not as though you can possibly have any valid reason to think differently from all the other sheeple…

  13. Kathleen
    September 17, 2010, 9:44 am

    Tony Judt is one of my heroes (may he rest in peace). If you follow his personal evolution from being a dedicated Zionist to a total Humanitarian on all fronts you will learn a great deal. So so sad that he died this summer so young. Makes me shed tears every time I think of this brave, intelligent man. I have tried to read and listen to everything Dr. Judt had to say about the conflict and other issues.

    link to thejewishweek.com
    /tony_judt_zionist_who_became_israel_critic_dies_62

    He was called a self hating Jew. He ripped that claim apart
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    A great panel discussion that Judt participated in
    link to scribemedia.org

  14. lyn117
    September 17, 2010, 5:03 pm

    “If I knew it was possible to save all [Jewish] children of Germany by their transfer to England and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz-Yisrael, I would choose the latter—-because we are faced not only with the accounting of these [Jewish] children but also with the historical accounting of the Jewish People.” – David Ben-Gurion, quoted in http://www.palestineremembered.com

    Now there was a self-hating Jew. Or a Jewish-child-hating Jew.

    Seriously, I’ve heard some Jews say Jewish supremacism is built into the Jewish religion. I don’t believe it myself, although there are some sects I guess that teach that only Jews are fully human – Chabad being one (at least that was on their web site for a while). Every Jew I know personally is pretty much imbued with and promoter of the equal rights/humanity regardless of creed idea ( OK, a lot of them are atheists anyway) So I’ll just assert it isn’t the religion, culture or whatever, it’s what’s taught – like any other religion.

    On the other hand, virtually all avowed Zionists, if you press them or investigate their position, actually are supremacists of one type or another – the “progressive” or “liberal” ones will deny it yet support ethnic cleansing based on creed. I highly recommend Joel Kovel’s book “Overcoming Zionism”

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