phthisis (phthisis) wrote,

Leftist Anti-Semitism: A Quickie

David Rosen, professor of anthropology and law at Farleigh Dickinson University, makes an interesting point while discussing Leftist anti-Semitism during another FrontPage Magazine symposium on the topic.

The central meaning of Anti-Semitism is hatred and discrimination against Jews. It developed as a cultural, social and political force in Europe over the centuries and it now has an increasingly global dimension. As a form of irrational hatred it has expressed itself in many ways. At first, it was mostly religious hatred but by the time of the Spanish Inquisition it had taken on a racial dimension. Nowadays Anti-Semitism’s main expression is political. It is found in actions and ideologies that call for the destruction of the State of Israel or that assert that Zionism per se is racism. Religious Anti-Semitism charges Jews with having committed a terrible original sin -- such as killing Christ or poisoning Mohammed – that justified collective punishment. Racial Anti-Semitism portrays Jews as subhuman, diseased, and parasitical. The narrative of original sin has returned to political anti-Semitism where the “sin” is the dispossession and treatment of the Palestinians."
I think he's wrong about the racial form of anti-Semitism coming out during the Spanish Inquisition, unless he's talking about the tail end of it, which would be around 1800-34. But most of what was important about the Inquisition took place during the 16th Century, and racial anti-Semitism was neither pioneered in Spain, or in any real way during the early 1800s. It was more of a mid-to-late-19th Century brainstorm in and around Germany, although to be sure it had its predecessors earlier in England, Scotland, France and even northern Europe. The best treatment of this topic I've found, which I'm currently reading, is George Mosse's Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism.

Rosen does make an interesting point about the recapitulation of the original sin narrative. That's quite apt, and ominous.
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