Saturday, 3 April 2010

Egg Day

This is the time of year when I used to read the final chapters of the gospels in order to remind myself of their contradictions. No longer! There is really nothing new to say. Nor am I going to remind people of my regret that Christians chose not to use the Babylonian/Hebrew calendar. But I have just read an e-mail about the nasty attack on Obama by Ed Koch, former mayor of New York, accusing him of being like those who failed to denounce Hitler in the 1930s - indeed of being 'anti-Semitic', because of his snub to Netanyahoo.

I personally refuse to use the term 'anti-Semitism', since the Arabs (and most Ethiopians) also speak Semitic languages and claim common descent from Abraham. Judeophobia would be more accurate, though 'phobia' means fear rather than hatred. 'Misojudism' would be better (formed like misogyny, hatred of women).

Anyway, my point is that the essence of Judeophobia is the belief that Jews (racially defined) are and always have been and will be, different from the rest of humanity, and will always be hated. This is the central doctrine of Zionism, which draws the conclusion that they must band together and defend themselves against all comers, even though it means that the Jewish State is exempt from all the norms of international law in its endless struggle against its enemies.

Actually the belief in Jewish exceptionalism was for about 1800 years specifically a Christian belief, based on the theory that they bore eternal guilt for executing Jesus (in accordance with God's Will!!!). In the 19th century, when increasing numbers of Jews were abandoning Judaism and asking to be accepted as equal citizens, some Christians, desperate for reasons to go on hating them, invented the idiotic racist theory. Now that they see what that led to, few Christians are still willing to say anything against Jews, however defined.

The alternative is to believe that Jews are normal human beings with all the normal virtues and vices, subject to the same emotions and the same logic as everyone else, and that the only basis for lasting peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world is the application of the normal conventions on international relations.

Actually, I have to admit that there is something special about post-exilic Judaism, which is at the origin of many of our ideas about universal values of justice and compassion. If I were going to adopt any form of monotheism (which I am not) I might well choose Reform Judaism, as a cousin of mine did.

No comments:

Post a Comment