By Gilad Atzmon
In an interview with Israel Unwired, Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Woolf of Bar Ilan University practically admits that antisemitism has a positive impact on Jewish Life.
The Jewish outlet writes “Just as anti-Semitism existed for thousands of years, it will not be going away today either. Wishing it away, posting on facebook about ‘stopping the hatred’ and even talking about how to stop the hatred won’t help. It just won’t. It is, and always has been, a reality that Jews had to live with both in Christian Europe and in the Muslim Middle East.”
But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing according to Rabbi Woolf. In the interview Woolf refers to his teacher who proclaimed that “the period between 1933-38 was the height of German Jewry…people turned, looked inward and they began to develop themselves as Jews.” Antisemitism happens to unite the Jews, it brings them closer to themselves. The meaning of this is disturbing yet hardly new. As I argue in The Wandering Who, since Jewishness is defined by negation, the experience of being negated or even rejected is essential to Jewish existence. It is hardly a secret that it was the Holocaust that made the phantasmic promise of a ‘Jewish State’ into a troubling reality. It is the ludicrous fear of Corbyn that unites British Jewry and refines their identity crisis. In fact, the fear of the Goy is as old as the Jews. It is an ongoing saga that stretches from the Pharaoh, to Amalek and the book of Ester to White Nationalism, Bannon and Iran.
Israel Unwired produces the Jewish logos: “Now is the time for each and every Jew to learn, read, and better understand what it means to be a Jew. If all these people hate us, we must strengthen our understanding of our own history and identity.”
The above obviously entails a serious problem. Since being hated is essential for Jewish self-understanding or even existence, the so called ‘Jew-hater’ is reduced into a service provider. It is the so called ‘hater’ who induces Jewish self-realisation and collective consciousness.
This points at a very abusive dynamic between the Jew and the rest of humanity. However, it explains why Israel was so quick as well as effective in making itself hated by its neighbours. For Israel to understand itself as ‘the Jewish state,’ it must be hated. Once it is hated it is ‘entitled to defend itself’ killing civilians with impunity, something which induces more hatred. We are witnessing a snowball of vengeance that produces more hate and carnage with no scope of a better future or any harmony to come. This troubling dynamic explains why Jewish organisations are polling anti-Semitic sentiments 24/7. Rather than making Jews loved and accepted, they relentlessly insist on proving how Jews are actually hated.
I guess that Jesus dissected it all a while back. Love your neighbour, turn your other cheek and search for grace were his remedies to tribal gravity. Jesus tried to save his brethren by enlightening their life by means of light. Jesus failed in his mission, but he managed to save humanity instead.
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