Thursday, April 4, 2024

Portrait of the Anti-Semite

Gaza hasn't produced anti-semitism. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was not written by a Hamas cell. The notion that the war has created a sea change in attitudes towards Jews is delusional. Jews have always, to one extent or another, had to deal with anti-semitism. Were the programs in the Pale of Settlement payback for settlers attempts to annex Cossack territory? Anti-semitism pre-existed Gaza and, if history is prescient, will sorrowfully continue when and if there's a detente between Israelis and Palestinians. That's the nature of the world. Many other minorities face a similar condition of being the Other and of being discriminated against for being different. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote Portrait of the Antisemite. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber wrote Ich und Du. However, neither of these works provide an etiology. Before there was any Israel, you had Emile Zola's famous defense of the Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus, J'Accuse. Was there a reason why there were Marranos. Did Jews do something to provoke the outlawing of their religion in Spain? Did Jews do something to bring about their own annihilation in the Holocaust?  In 1782 the Habsburg emperor Joseph II issued the "Edict of Tolerance." What happened?

read Mark Segal in The East Hampton Star on Hallie Cohen's "Mi Ricordo"

and listen to "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones

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