You don’t have to like the Jews

A pinch of communism
Democracy - Anarchy - Liberty

It is said that five Jews defined our culture:

Moses said:                       the LAW is everything
Jesus said:                          LOVE is everything
Marx said:                          MONEY is everything
Freud said:                         SEX is everything
Then Einstein said:         everything is RELATIVE

A Jewish friend, who does not know much about my past, asked me the other day: are you a philosemite?
Seeing the expression on my face as I was preparing to answer she must have thought that I don’t know what the word means so she started to explain. I had to stop her, reassuring her that I do know. I did not want to give her another “it’s not that simple” answer, so I just said “well, you can say that.”

……. But then, can it be said? Do I really know what it means?
Let me see. My very first best friend in first grade was Jewish. The first girl I kissed was Jewish. My first true love was Jewish. So was the first woman I lived with. The most important group of friends I ever had were so Jewish that I was the only gentile among the around 40 of them. Most of my most respected mentors were Jewish.
Was it only good? Not really. I also had my Shylock moment. I’ve been rejected, screwed, belittled and insulted by Jews. I know some revoltingly arrogant ones. While some people may find the orthodox Jews quaint the way the Amish and the Mennonites are, I find their unveiled racism offensive.
All this means is that I have a history with them.

When I am asked about the Jews, I have to consider whether we are talking about people, the culture or the religion. I am not particularly crazy about the culture. I have the same level of interest in it as I have in any other. The religion?  It has its pros and cons, both only in comparison. Its best aspect is that it does not try to proselytize. I just don’t care much for religion.
The cultural achievements? The Music? The literature? Not really.  Not as long as its only focus is the Jewish culture itself.  Most Jews who achieved greatness did so in a wider culture, representing far more than just their ethnic background. Mises is not about Judaism and neither is Marx. Some Jews embrace their background, some, like Marx or Soros actively reject it.
Jews are all over the intellectual landscape. They invented communism on the one hand while they are the most fervent advocates of freedom on the other (Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Friedman).
Jews are overrepresented on both sides of the political divide between the champions of freedom and the goons of statism.
Do I respect their achievements? How could I not? Jews are one of the most accomplished ethnic groups in the history of mankind. They are also the most prosecuted. People with a complex and often painful history, people with the strength to flourish even under adverse circumstances. These adversities brought the best out of most of them. Does the recognition of these facts make me a philosemite?
Jews, like any other ethnic group, are whatever they are. Understanding their culture, knowing their history may help you to understand them better but it cannot be the foundation of any kind of blanket judgement in any decent person’s mind.

In the end, I am left with the people. But where does that actually leave me? I like and appreciate most of the Jews I know. I respect many of the Jews I know through their work but the fact that they are Jewish is not a factor in my liking of them. The same way my dislike of George Soros, Noam Chomsky or Naomi Klein has nothing to do with the fact that they are Jews.

Jeffrey Goldberg quotes a friend who said that “Philo-Semites are Anti-Semites who like Jews.” It is a smart-ass remark but it has a point. Loving all Jews still sees them primarily as members of an identifiable group.  Philosemitism is akin to affirmative action. It is just another kind of racism.

Why am I telling you all this? Because the question came up in relation to the conflict in Ghaza as I was expressing my outrage over the treatment of the conflict in the mainstream media.

A while back I had a conversation with some other friends, liberals advocating the progressive mantra about the poor Palestinians and their Zionist oppressors. We have some mutual friends who are Jewish. My reaction threw them back a little. They asked if I am Jewish then started some defensive explanations saying that they have Jewish friends too. I am afraid that we ended the conversation with them believing that I am siding with the Israelis because I like the Jews.
But philosemitism has nothing to do with my position.

It has everything to do with my sense of justice, right and wrong. It has everything to do with my nauseating disgust of the intolerant, primitive, sleazy, evil and blood-thirsty barbarism of the Muslim radicals. It has everything to do with my anger about the rising anti-Semitism in the Western world.

Shortly after the question was asked, there were some riots in Calgary where Muslims were beating up Jews and other supporters of Israel. The police was nowhere and if it was not for Ezra Levant’s efforts of shining the light on the atrocity and calling people to action, the Muslim mob would have gotten away with it with impunity.

You may have a personal dislike of the Jews, their culture or their achievements, and I would still expect you to support their right to exist. I would still expect you to take their side because the other side is so clearly in the wrong, so clearly and unrepentantly evil.

My concern here is that what I consider most elementary decency is becoming at odds with the world around me. My concern is the rising anti-Semitism and the cowardly response to it by politicians and the wider culture around us.

Anti-Semites of today use the politics of Israel as an excuse for their racism. But it isn’t that hard to find out what is going on there. It isn’t that hard to find the Hamas charter. The Muslims do not keep their feelings and their goals secret. We do not need special intelligence to find out what their immediate and long term goals are. First kill the Jews then move on to the rest of the infidels. As the Calgarian jihadist said: “We will destroy you.”  Shouldn’t be a sense of self-preservation from all of us to unequivocally support the Jewish cause? To stand behind Israel?

You don’t have to like the Jews to be on their side. You don’t have to be a philosemite to support them on the front-line defending our world against barbarism.

~ ~ ~

…but maybe not like Kerry:


Some references

This is an excellent short history of the conflict.
This is an excellent site addressing just about any question you may have about the conflicts.
I am also particularly fond of the commentaries of Pat Condell, who still did not manage to say anything on any of his subjects that I cannot agree with. (That is a very rare feat)

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5 replies on “You don’t have to like the Jews”

  1. zorkthehun says:

    I don’t like facebook much, especially the fact that most comments to my posts are happening there and not here.
    Here is one Exchange I thought was worth transferring:
    Kyle Ess So Antisemitisim bad, islamiphobia, good. There’s a reason I read Zork’s blog once and never went back.
    12 hrs · Like · 1

    Zork Gábor Hun If the definition of a islamophobia is being concerned about someone threatening your life, beating you up in public, beheading innocent people in front of cameras for the whole world to see, threatening to destroy your world (see the link in my post), opposing any decent value you believe in,being intolerant, misogynistic, hateful primitive barbarians, then I think a lot more of us should develop this strange mental condition.
    Being Jewish, Arab, black or white is an unchangeable fact of life.
    Being a communist, a libertarian, a Muslim is a matter of choice.
    So yes, antisemitism, discriminating against people for something they cannot really do much about is BAD,
    Opposing an intolerant, murderous ideology is good.
    People not being able to see the difference is really, really bad
    9 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

    Kyle Ess People can choose to be a Jew. People can choose to be a Zionist.
    Islamaphobia is applying the traits of those exploiting the Muslim religion to pursue their extremism to all Muslims as your generalizations imply. All the while, ignoring those SAME traits in the side your trying to defend (while poorly trying to appear objective…)

    You’re blindly defending one side, almost like the Islamic extremists and their sympathisers do for their side – hence, you’re no less part of the problem than any of the above.
    9 hrs · Like

    Zork Gábor Hun Way too many objectionable ideas to address in a comment. I may do it sometimes in the future in the blog that you stopped reading after one try.

    …… so how did you get to the second one ??
    8 hrs · Like

    Kyle Ess Nothing you can really refute. And you’re right, technically two times I’ve read two posts. Second time was no better than the first.
    4 hrs · Like

    Zork Gábor Hun I am not into refutations. I am into creative analysis.
    1 hr · Like · 1
    Analyzing the mindset of the Muslim apologists is indeed an interesting question I will try to get to it.

  2. says:

    I think they may have a type of Stockholm or Battered Spouse syndrome. This is the result of 1400 years of Islamic conquest against their neighbours and the European guilt for fighting back.

  3. […] commenting on my post about the Jews  said: “But maybe we don’t have enough personal contact with any […]

  4. EimaiSkorpios says:

    As always, your articles are excellent reading. However, I have just one dangling question, Zork: How can we refer to Jews (or Muslims) as simply an ethnic group? Judaism is a religious belief and Islam is a theocracy–both appeal to people of all races and ethnic origins. So many Jews I have met share almost nothing ethnically with one another–and there are many facets of Judaism, as there are with Christianity. Even Israel is ethnically diverse within just the Jewish faith. This may be one reason we have Jews on both ends of the socio-political spectrum. Islam, as far as I can tell so far, is similar but with fewer versions and less difference between those versions. I have determined that there are peaceful “people” practicing Islam and that the majority simply prefer to remain silent practitioners of this unhappy religion. Herein lies the evil stupidity of the Islamic radicals who call for, “Death to the Jews”. Which Jews are those, dear Hamas and Hezbollah–the ones who are racially the same as you, or the ones from Forest Hill?

  5. zorkthehun says:

    I tried to allude to it David, but I did not want to go too deep. Since you asked here is another story:
    Shortly after I came to Canada, I met a Jewish girl. I was madly in love. She was young, smart and gorgeous, the Barbara Streisand type. Although I know that she liked me, she told me that nothing can happen between us. Her brother married outside the faith and she couldn’t possibly get involved with someone non-Jewish. Her family would disown her. That was the time when I started to think what it means to be Jewish. I would have done anything to get that woman. I concluded that being Jewish has three components: genetics, culture and religion. In order to call yourself Jewish, you must have at least two of those things. It can be any two. Genetics was out in my case and I could not lie about faith. Getting into the Jewish culture and heritage would not have been enough.
    Being Muslim is even more confusing as there are many different ethnicities involved, but that was the whole point of my two posts: that we have to separate these aspects of our and their existence and deal with them separately – as we also should when judging any situation involving them.

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