8 Comments
author

typo is fixed; thanks to all who pointed it out. these are the perils of not having an editor...

Expand full comment
May 13·edited May 13Liked by Noah Berlatsky

interesting analysis: basically, the contempt for the "weak" jews is being used as an argument to do exactly what the Pogrom--or the Hamas attack--did to the Jews, only now to others. I have from the beginning of this mess wondered how much the horrors of the Holocaust are being used to justify inflicting horrors on someone else. The concept of fixation on "honor" helps answer that question.

Bibi is now saying that even without US bombs that Israel will "fight with their fingernails." What the world keeps asking is "what are your plans for getting a manicure afterwards?" The fact that Hamas is BACK in Gaza city shows that all the devastation didn't actually do much to "eradicate" Hamas. Hamas has to be eradicated POLITICALLY, which might have happened had Israel called on both general international help and the help of the surrounding Arab states to effect such political eradication.

Expand full comment

You are in good company. In his long book, Yakov M. Rabkin, A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, which you seem familiar with, tells the story of the zionist movement founders in the 19th century, as being largely middle-class, anti-secularists who blamed Judaism for their own inability to be included into the upper echelons of their social world.

I don't quite except his idea that religious Jews are not zionist, there is nonetheless, a distaste and pronounced anti-seminism in much of the early zionist writings; and Rabkin's book is really a must-read for any interested in this pesrpective. (The condensed paperback is only 224 pgs compared to 1300 pages of the hardback.)

Expand full comment
author

that's interesting. some religious Jews are non zionist, some are zionist...though a lot of early opposition to zionism was from religious Jews.

Expand full comment
May 18Liked by Noah Berlatsky

Fascinating exegesis of the current similar usages. Thank you for that history.

Of course, it is only one of many examples of how many of the founding Zionists criticized European Jewry as weak, even repeating common anti-Semitic stereotypes about their own brethren.

Expand full comment

This was a really fascinating read. I love the history lesson type articles mixed with deep cultural insight. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Expand full comment

Two wrongs don't make a right. Never have, never will.

Expand full comment

Great analysis, Noah. Thank you for identifying (and analyzing) the source of that quote!

Expand full comment