Antisemitism in the Guise of Humanism

In history, antisemitism has taken various, sometimes even bizarre forms.

There is religious antisemitism, racial, economic (fear of competition), state, popular (mob aggression and pogroms), political, domestic, envy of Jewish achievements, Holocaust denial and silence, blood libels of various kinds, latent, not fully realized, instinctive antisemitism, and auto-antisemitism, that is, Jewish self-hatred caused by fear of identification with one's own, unpopular people.

The American historian Daniel Pipes introduced the concept of "new antisemitism," which extends the definition of antisemitism to hatred of Jewish national aspirations, primarily Zionism and the state of Israel.

Antisemitism has already come in many different outfits, from dirty, vulgar, cringeworthy, and ugly to subtle, refined, philosophical, and ideological.

However, antisemitism has not yet dressed up in the bright clothes of "progress." It has not yet dared to appear in the frock of advanced doctrine, humanism.

But earthly civilization discovers the most diverse forms of presenting ideas. It has learned to transform obscurantism and misanthropy into "progress" and humanity. Open antisemitism is considered obscene and vulgar. Disguised antisemitism can work if you give it a "progressive" form.

Then it spreads globally without fear of being accused of obscurantism and misanthropy. The new form of existence of antisemitism in the garb of humanism is a brilliant invention of "progress."

It was after the Hamas massacre of October 7, 2023, that antisemitism in the form of humanitarianism began to flourish. This variety of antisemitism is expressed by the most "progressive" forces, the "progressives," the champions of human and minority rights, fighters against the "colonialism of white Israelis" (who lived in the region before the Arabs and include Jews of various colors), the pillars of democracy, especially American democracy. Jewish American Protestant writer Andrew Klavan believes that antisemitism is "such a good indicator of the presence of evil in man" that, as he writes, "I am inclined to believe that when God made the Jews the chosen people, he chose them to serve as a kind of 'early detection system' of immorality for everyone else."

"Humanist" antisemitism is an effective new way of dealing with Jews and Israel without the risk of being accused of Judeophobia.

Alexander the Great said, "The best defense is offense," but it turns out that sometimes the best offense is defense. Hamas uses civilian population of Gaza, to attack the Israelis and to effectively defend itself against their strikes, defending itself against Israelies in civilian institutions, mosques, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, residential neighborhoods, cemeteries and ambulances. Hamas's many underground tunnels are not for the protection of Gaza's residents, but for Hamas's terror needs. The policy of using civilians as a means of defense in hostilities results in many casualties among residents of the Gaza strip who are not involved in terror. Gaza's Ministry of Health, in the service of Hamas, regularly reports civilian casualties in the Strip. Like all Hamas-controlled bodies, the ministry reports exaggerated casualties from Israeli attacks and glosses over the number of casualties caused by Hamas' use of Gazans as human shields.

This obvious antihumanism is far less condemnable than the "antihumanism" of the Israelis. 

The best way to attack the Israelis is to provide massive "humanitarian aid" to the people of Gaza. The humanitarian problems in Gaza stem largely from Hamas's aggression against Israel and its disregard for the needs of Gaza's civilian population.

As usual, in all things concerning Israel, "progressive humanity" is particularly sympathetic to those who perpetrate aggression against Israel, and pays increased attention to the "disproportional" and "inhumane" Israeli response to hostile actions against them.

In the case of Gaza, the focus of world public opinion has been on providing "humanitarian aid" to the people of Gaza.  However, beneath the demand for "humanitarian aid" to the Palestinian Arabs often nests poorly concealed antisemitism, legitimizing Judophobia and anti-Zionism. The heightened concern about "humanitarian aid" has become a "cultural" cover for anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli policies.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been murdered by Muslims in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. In all these countries, the humanitarian situation was orders of magnitude worse than in Gaza, but the worldwide protests against these crimes were orders of magnitude weaker than the powerful anti-Israeli demonstrations and accusations of Israeli genocide of Muslims in Gaza.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has grown to monstrous, disproportionate proportions because of Jewish involvement. All other crises are of far less interest to world public opinion and arouse far less desire to fight for "justice," that is, for "humane treatment" of Palestinian Arabs.

Thanks to centuries of antisemitism, Israel has been placed at the center of the problems that make up the world's malaise. This revolution has meant the transformation of Israel into a "collective Jew."

In the twenty-first century, allegories passed off as criticism of Israel are actually based on antisemitic thinking and directed at Jews in general.  They have become the dominant verbal form in which Judeophobic ideas are articulated and disseminated.

At present, accusing Israel of creating a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip and demonizing the Jewish state are a permitted form of traditional Yudophobic stereotypes. "Humanistic" antisemitism is making a triumphant march through the space of "progressive" humanity. 

Image: Jos van Zetten, via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 DEED

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