Israel, Sweden, and the Modern Face of Anti-Semitism

If events in Sweden are any guide, European anti-Semitism is in the process of reverting from the coded “anti-Israel” version to the full blown “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” version that prevailed in the days before the Third Reich. The “anti-Israel” form of anti-Semitism has been the prevailing flavor on the left for some time. For example, one can usually find artifacts of it in the form of a grotesque double standard on any given day at the BBC’s “news” site. Now, at least one Swedish tabloid has decided to dispense with the mask and promote the “blood libel” version in unvarnished form.

It has been the unfortunate fate of the Jewish people to fit perfectly into the role of an “out-group” for many centuries (see my post on the Amity-Enmity Complex). Obviously, things haven’t changed. Hatred of the Jews, hidden beneath a thin veneer of “anti-Zionist” camouflage for the sake of political correctness, has been a defining characteristic of the ideological left for some time. An interesting expression of this phenomenon has been the wholesale adoption of leftist “anti-imperialist/anti-colonialist” rhetoric by right wing Islamists.

The lesson here is the same one that history has been beating our heads with for millenia, but that we still stubbornly refuse to learn. It is that the spinners of ideological utopias and the authors of the latest “modern morality” will, inevitably, fail as long as they continue to ignore the facts of human nature. Those facts aren’t going to change any time soon. In the meantime, we must understand and accommodate them. Human beings must have out-groups. They must hate. These things are as much a part of their nature as the “good” aspects of their behavior. Our predisposition to hate and despise an “out-group” must and will have an outlet. One can easily confirm this by visiting any political blog or forum on the ideological right or left and reading the comments posted there. Unless we finally accommodate ourselves to what we really are, we will continue to stumble from one holocaust to another, even as we chase after the latest chimerical ideals. Let us finally accept the fact that we must hate, understand the roots of that hate in our nature as a species, and try to find outlets for it that are not self-destructive. If we fail, self-destruction may well be our fate.

One thought on “Israel, Sweden, and the Modern Face of Anti-Semitism”

  1. I agree somewhat with your notion that we must hate. For me, hate is a very strong feeling which I rarely feel. Maybe I’m just an exception or maybe my conscious tries to avoid hate help.
    I agree with you that it is in our nature to gather in groups and often regard the own group as superior to others and defend it in unneccessary ways. It starts with one’s own family, can happen with sport clubs, nationalities, whatever. I think no one is immune to it but it can be fought. I can see this type of behaviour with myself sometimes. I am from Germany and sometimes a person bashes Germany and Germans in general (I know you from David’s Medienkritik, btw., but I’m not talking about you). Even if the criticism is valid my first reaction often is anger at the person bashing Germans. I might actually criticize the same things from time to time but I still get angry, at least if the other person makes what I perceive as generalizations. From watching my own behaviour I can say that these ‘instincts’ are sometimes hard to overcome – but it can be done.

Leave a Reply