France and Antisemitism
From France, Christopher Jones writes: "The ancient Chinese concept of “the yin and the yang” is present throughout the universe: in life and death; in summer and winter; night and day and the masculine and feminine. Therefore when only one side is presented (the Yin) without a proper critique or counterbalance (the yang) sensible people should start getting uneasy. A one sided argument is the stepping stone for heretics to the stake. So it is with the term “antisemite.” If you are branded an “antisemite,” like German writer Martin Walser was for instance, it becomes a stigmatism that you carry with you until the grave. There is no right of appeal because logical argument has been sacrificed. There is no “yang” to balance against the “yin.” Only the flames can purify the offender of his heresy.
We should note that this is not the case with today’s next to most overused word, terrorism: “terrorism” as the yin has a direct opposite in the form of “freedom fighter” or the romanticized “guerrillero” as the “yang.” This is not the case with “antisemite” -- a term for somebody who discriminates against Jews and calls for acts of violence against their places of worship or generalized violence against Jews based on their ethnicity. I have discovered that there is no accepted term for the opposite of anti-semite: no semite+plus -- or what I would call a Jewish or Zionist supremacist. What could this opposite of antisemitism be?
Classic Zionism, i.e. the survival of the state of Israel and its supremacy over its neighbors in the Middle East, has filled the vacuum. (It reminds me of the preeminence of Hebrew over Yiddish -- Hebrew is the language of Israel, the Zionists say, not Yiddish) There was a problem however: to achieve this supremacy/survival the United States had to continue its unconditional support of the Jewish state. (Note: to admit that Jewish supremacists exist, although many Jews define themselves as supporters of Israel is a taboo and ripe for the “antisemtite” tag.) And, criticism of US unilateralism had to be punished.
Because unconditional support of anything by anybody is a very rare commodity, it became first necessary to nurture the concept that virtually any criticism of Zionism was criticism of Jews in general and consequently pure “antisemitism.” In order to gain that precious American backing, Jewish supremacists had to merge the term”anti-American” with “antisemitic.” The very insularity and parochialism of the United States has made this possible. By controlling images on network news broadcasts and editorial opinion over years (the process began basically in 1932), the Jewish supremacists were able to mould US public opinion into accepting that “anti-American” is also “anti-semitic".
Generally, the more intellectualized soldiers of Jewish supremacy will answer that all this is a terrible exagerration. That there is no such thing as “Jewish supremacists,” (then who is Ed Fagin? And Benny Morris?) However to perfect their weapon-word “antisemitism,” the supremacists have resorted to the ultimate generalization: branding the entire nation of France as antisemitic to the astonishment of the Jewish community leaders there. However, behind the farcical nature of Ariel Sharon’s comments, a nasty reality came into focus: France was the Bush administration’s harshest critic and most vociferous opponent of the war in Iraq. Perceived as “anti-American,” all France had been suddenly become “antisemitic” as well. Finally they had to cement this into American vernacular: and that is why antisemitism has no opposite. As President Bush said, “you’re either with us or against us".”
Ronald Hilton -