Self Hating Jew – Part 2

This is a follow up to a post I did a short time ago called Self Hating Jew? so it might help to read that first.

A couple of days ago, someone wrote to an NZ Jewish email list, stating that they considered an article published in Craccum, the Auckland University student magazine, to be antisemitic. I replied with the following:

Without particularly wanting to get into this argument again, while the article below is anti-Zionist, it most certainly is not antisemitic in any way, shape or form.

A short discussion followed, and my next email to the list was the following (names replaced with **'s):

***, I deny the "right" of the State of Israel to exist. So do an ever-increasing minority of Jews the world over.

Your step from "Israel shouldn't exist" to "kill the Jews" carries a severe logical flaw – many of the people the world over who deny the"right" of Israel to exist as a Jewish state do for for reasons of justice for Palestinians, of anti-statism in general and a number of other reasons, rather than antisemitism. They do not have an issue with Jews in any way, shape or form, but rather with the way Israel was formed and/or the concept of nation states in general.

Of course, a number of people who believe Israel shouldn't exist are antisemitic. That is not in doubt. But seeking to label all anti-Zionists as antisemites is a definitive step down the wrong path. If you see people trying to kill you everywhere you look, chances are you'll make it come true.

All fairly low-key, all quite polite. So, imagine my surprise when I awoke the next morning to find an email in my inbox from a Wellington Jew who has known me, quite literally, for my entire life. This email had been sent off-list, by someone who grew up with my Mother (who died in 2002).

The email read:

Shame on you Asher.

Your Mother would turn over in her grave to read what you have just posted.

This is the sort of shit I have to deal with. Discussion is great, argument is fine. But when someone stoops down to this sort of level, I can only respond with vitriol. The person who sent me this email was also responsible for spreading lies about me at last years Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day, a day when Zionists celebrate the conquering of East Jerusalem in the 6 day war of 1967) event in Wellington. My reply follows:

Fuck you *****.

As if you can even begin to think you have the right to presume what my Mother might have said or thought in any given situation.

My Mother raised me to value my own thoughts and opinions in the knowledge that they were valid. My Mother raised me to be more than merely a reactionary spouting off talking points that I had heard on the news.

When I was young, I remember a certain Wellington Orthodox Rabbi who told me I should question everything anyone told me. Being a cheeky kid, I asked him "even things you tell me, Rabbi?". He answered me swiftly with something I remember and value to this very day. He said, "You should question me most of all, as I'm claiming a position of authority".

17 Responses to Self Hating Jew – Part 2

  1. N says:

    4 years ago yesterday. Hope you’re doing OK Ash. Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. Thinking about you…

  2. azza says:

    well put ash, thinking of you too, A and L.

  3. Michael says:

    Hi Asher – that conquering of East Jerusalem that you claim…… in fact Israelis celebrate the re-entry of Jews to its holiest site, denied to them for decades by cruel Arab-Jordanian rule who turned the site into a urinal. I would never deny a Moslem right to Mecca or Medina or anywhere for that matter, nor would I stop a Christian visit to Rome or Bethlehem or the like. It surprises me that you are against the Jewish right to pray and to protect its holiest site and to pray there.

  4. @ndy says:

    Hey Ash,

    Wow. What an arsehole. That’s low.

    Peace,

    @ndy.

    PS. That Rabbi sounded like a smart bloke.

  5. kakariki says:

    Kia kaha bro

    If it’s any help, you’ve single handedly done more to educate me about Jewish stuff (inluding films!) and to address any unconcious anti-semitism that I might have been dealing with than the entire New Zealand Jewish community combined.

    Keep talking Asher, we’ll heal the world eventually :)

  6. photocam says:

    Ditto what kakriki said :)

  7. Asher says:

    Michael – The day you stop using straw man arguments, I might actually have something to discuss with you…

    @ndy – Yeah, he was. I wish I could remember his name…

    Kaka/Cam – :)

  8. George D says:

    Tautokonui to ya bro. What Kakariki said (…and the things I learn’t when living with another great anarchist I know)

    George

  9. Anti-Flag says:

    It’s good to see somone can make the fair distinction between a Zionist, and a Jew. Criticising Israel for its illegal occupation of Historic Palestine is not being anti-semitic. It’s being a humanitarian. I wrote the article for Craccum, and knew there would be some irrational responses, like the one mentioned. Oh well.

  10. GeniusNZ says:

    Good on you Asher.

  11. Michael says:

    Rather than insult me Asher, I’d like to read your responses to my arguments. I believe in the right of us all to write without personal insult. I know you do too and we can read how insulted you were by persoanl insult.
    Anti-flag – what area do you consider illegally occupied and whther or not you believe that humanitarianism should be an endless right to a people who breach the human rights of their brothers and those of their neighbors?

  12. Asher says:

    Michael – You don’t argue, you slander. You said “It surprises me that you are against the Jewish right to pray and to protect its holiest site and to pray there.”

    This is not an argument, when I have never said anything of the sort. This is slander, written in order to attempt to make me look bad.

  13. Jake says:

    Asher,
    You have not really explained why you are anti-Zionist, yet you talk of rights of the Palestinians. If you suppose that we are not entitled to a state because we are not a people then you have misread the Bible. Jews have never claimed to be a religion. Every reference to “Jews” in the Torah is to an “Um Yisrael” (Nation of Israel) “Bnei or Beit Yisrael” (Children and House of Israel). In fact your designation of yourself as a Jew throws out the religion ides, because no matter what your beliefs are you will always remain a Jew and noone can criticise your beliefs.
    So now that we have established that we are a people, then why as as a people do we not have as much right to a land as other peoples. Especially when this people were forcefully dispersed from a land. This same people have a language, culture and dress completely unique to them. Can you show me another people in the world that spend so much time remembering, calling for and desperately seeking a return to a particular land. We are without doubt an historical anomoly. All those people who dies with the words “Israel” on their lips and we are a spoilt generation who does not even begin to understand what other forefathers did to keep the name of “Israel” in our national consciousness.
    Now when we compare this with the Palestinians we see a people who did not have a seperate identity until less than 40 years ago. In fact less than 50 years ago the latter leader of the PLO claimed the concept of “Palestinians” was a Zionist ploy!!! I will be happy to show you where you can read this quote.
    Now one could argue that it doesn’t matter what a people are called, they were there first. In closer scrutiny of history this is also proven to be largely false. Consider how many Arabs were in the area before the First Aliyah, a minimal amount especially compared with today. Where did they come from? Take an example of the Circassian Arabs, which make up a sizeable portion of the Palestinians….their name even dictates where they come and it is ceratinly not Palestine. Even the term “Arabs” pretty much tells us where these people originally came from.
    How many generations does it take to be indigenous? If the Maori were uprooted from their lands, when would be a suitable time to tell their descendants that they should forget about their land it is in the hands of others? Would that be tolerable up to two generations, five, twenty,etc? We see the Western Saharans being driven from their land by the Morroccans in this present day, what do we tell their descendants? Sorry but the Morroccans are there now so “Finders-Keepers” and all that?!?!?
    So why the Jews who have a historically proven and emotionally exclusive claim to just want to return to the only home they have ever known as a people?
    From my understanding being an anti-Zionist is to be anti the Jewish people to have their own land. If you say the Palestinians deserve a state and the Jewish People don’t that is favouring one people over another. Now when you say the British, the New Zealanders, the Dutch, the Indians,etc all deserve a state except one people and that people are Jews then one must be very close to singling out the Jews and this is dangerously close to anti-Semitism. Note: I do not call you an anti-Semite but I calim that to be an anti-Zionist is dangerously close to being anti-Semitic.
    I think Martin Luther King Jnr said it best,””And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism.”
    I await your answer.

  14. Gvinah says:

    As I understand it Jake, the Anarchist response to your argument is a blanket opposition to all states, whether Jewish, Palestinian, British, Dutch, Indian, or of any nature, for any ethnic group. The reasons for this opposition are too numerous to outline here and there are plenty of solid arguments out there to support it if you want to go hunting for them.

    I think you’re right in another respect which you hint at in your second to last paragraph – that Jewish nation-statism is disproportionately criticised in the light of crimes committed in the name of other nationalist and statist movements. This is possible, and it’s a much more plausible argument to level. This can be a manifestation of anti-Semitism, there are plenty of neo-Nazi anti-Zionists out there…

  15. Michael says:

    Asher my apologies if you felt I was slandering you. I have no intention to do so. As I said, civil discussion would be best.

    I simply read into your apparent cynicism toward Israel’s conquering of East Jerusalem in the ’67 6-Day War – a ‘victory’ that allowed Jews to pray again at their holiest site after this had been denied to them by the Arabs prior to that in addition to the wilful destruction of synagogues across Jerusalem.

    In that respect, the conquering was vital to the Jewish people and its freedom to pray and the like.

    Regards,
    Michael

  16. Mark says:

    yay Asher!
    hey all you zionists, no one cares where you pray or who too. just as long as you let everyone else (especially palestinians) do their own thing.
    You go on about how anti zionists are theoretically denying the right of Isreal to exist, but you forget that right now, Isreal does exist, and it is (very violently) denying the right of the palestinian people to live peacefully in their own homes, so lets deal with that fact before we get onto any hypothetical debates about whter Isreal should or should not exist. Do you Zionists acknowledge that the palestinians have a right to live in palestine and forma state there if they weant?
    I’m an anarchist so I dotn beleive in any states, but you peopel seem to be right into states and statism, so do you think palestinians have that right too, or is your right to have a state a special right just for you and no one else?
    Mark

  17. Apsok says:

    A poll conducted by the Peace Index Project found that 70% of Israeli Jews surveyed support a peace agreement with Palestinians based on the formula of “two states for two peoples.” Compare this to the palestinian stats – A total of 50% wanted a bi-national state on all of “historic Palestine,” or “one Palestinian state,” or an Islamic state, or another solution or no solution at all. There was no material difference in the percentages in Gaza and the West Bank, 54% opposed a permanent settlement with Israel in which there would be any restrictions on refugee return to Israel. In other words, even those who “support” a two-state solution condition it on a “right of return” that would demographically destroy the Jewish state.

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