“Don’t speak/I know what you’re saying/So please stop explaining/Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts”

Something Much Darker, Ctd

10 May 2010 02:50 pm

Goldblog discovers a new source of Jew-hatred: the English. Now the resilience of English anti-Semitism is a fact; it is also a fact that in recent years, especially on the left, explicit loathing of Israel has become disgustingly common. But open discussion of the real crisis in Israel and its impact on a global war that increasingly affects the entire West is not anti-Semitism, especially when it is conducted as a way to promote a way for Israel to survive with its values and Jewish identity intact. And the attempt to chill such discourse can surely be the effect of sentences like this one:

Much of “Trials of the Diaspora” describes the deep tradition of English literary anti-Semitism, from Shylock to Fagin to Caryl Churchill, in a summary that leaves you wondering if it is possible for a properly-educated Englishman to avoid harboring certain stereotypical views of Jews, stereotypes and assumptions that manifest themselves in disproportionate hostility whenever Jews behave in ways the English find at all disagreeable.

Translation: “I am not an antisemite, I am not part of that English tradition, so don’t even try to let readers draw that implication. And don’t bring up the traditional British fear of benighted little Jews hurting their society by mentioning the traditional British fear of benighted little Jews bringing the hatred of the Arabs — because discussion of the real crisis in Israel and its impact on a global war that increasingly affects the entire West is not antisemitic. CHILL YOUR DISCOURSE, Goldberg.”

Andrew’s fear seems to be that people will remember that someone’s “disproportionate” hostility toward Israel is still a problem even if he/she pays lip service to the idea of a two-state solution and not “loathing.”

(BTW, it wouldn’t have looked as suspicious if Andrew had only taken umbrage at Goldberg’s “properly-educated Englishman” reference. I would have taken his side in that.)

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