In the movie based on the mammoth tale by Jean Auel, Clan of Cave Bear, there is a glimpse of the sex life of the Palaeolithic people who roamed the earth some 35,000 years ago. Apparently, whenever a Neanderthal wished to have fun, he didn't need to bring flowers or arrange dinner for two. He would make a certain sign with his hand, and the chosen girl would immediately comply with his desire, without further ado.
The sign to submit is still with us. Whenever people discuss the things done in the name of Jews by, say, Sharon or Abe Foxman, the moment the discussion starts to get out of hand, one of the leaders of the community chants the magic word 'anti-Semitism', and, as if under a spell, we immediately capitulate. It is amazing that grown men and women who have never personally experienced any prejudice in their life, still respond to this spell like the girl, Ayla, in Auel's novel.
The machine of the official Jewish establishment and its Israeli offshoot nauseates many Jews. The Israeli government commits war crimes on a day-to-day basis. It is run by a certified mass murderer. The unprecedented siege, mass starvation and summary executions are now routine. Bombing, strafing and shelling civilians are no longer anything to get worked up about. Many Jews see it, and are ready to say so in a cosy 'entre-nous' environment. They read news from Israel with resignation and disgust, like an English Victorian squire learning of the new exploits of his wild brother in a far away colony.
The American Jewish establishment is not better than Israel's leadership. It provides unconditional support to Israeli and other Jewish criminals, from Sharon to Gusinsky, the Russian media lord. Abe Foxman, the head of ADL, files compromising materials, bugs phone calls and intrudes on the privacy of many Americans. The whining voice of Elie Wiesel and his colleagues traffic in schmaltzy self-righteousness. Conrad Black and others of his ilk take morally unsustainable positions, supporting freaks such as the Chilean torturer, Augusto Pinochet, and Henry Kissinger, the destroyer of Cambodia.
But the moment a word of objection exits our lips, we see the sign of Ayla and give in. If nobody says it, we whisper it to ourselves: "Sh-sh-sh! It will cause anti-Semitism!" We can not help ourselves, it is too deeply engrained. Like a spoilt child, we take any criticism as a sign of hate. We dared to rebel against kings, but we do not dare to fight our self-proclaimed and self-imposed leadership, as "it will cause A-S".
Abe Foxman, besieged for taking a $100,000 check from the Marc Rich Foundation, gave the sign of Ayla in the New York Times (March 21), proclaiming, 'anti-Semitism is a disease, and we have seen a big eruption of that disease in New York'. But it misfired. Rabbi Lapin of Toward Tradition called him 'a guy who's not in close touch with reality', and a 'dealer of the Anti-Semitism Manufacture'. He noted that the ADL gets paid (by contributors) according to how much anti-Semitism it finds.
The Guardian (March 28, 2001), to prove its pluralism, published an op-ed by a Simon Sebag Montefiore, who declared that 'the most energetic media-campaigners against Israel are, in private, virulent anti-Semites'. He pictures the British journalists and public figures as 'dogs besetting the bear'. "Dog" refers to lord Gilmour; "bear" to Conrad Black.
The prejudice to Jews has vanished. You can find a Jew-hater, but there are many more people who hate the Poles or the Irish or have a beef against the WASPs. You are much more likely to encounter an Arab-hater or those who hate blacks or Asians.
He specifically objects to the 'most wicked implication that Israel is replicating German behaviour: this approaches Holocaust denial in its iniquity'. Well, it is a question of standards. Years ago, an Israeli writer noted that the Jews measure their actions by the Nazi stick, and invariably find themselves 'a good and benevolent occupier'. Maybe even this 'generous' standard has been set aside. Yes, the Nazi chapter in Poland was much worse than the thirty-four year Israeli military rule in the occupied territories. But the Nazi occupation of France was probably milder for the French, than the Israeli occupation is for Palestinians, and mercifully it has been much shorter. Daily life under the Vichy government was certainly better than life in the 'autonomous' Gaza strip.
Montefiore calms the Brits as his 'aim is not to launch witch-hunts, just to warn decent people' of the abyss ahead. Another purpose of this op-ed, which was probably sponsored by Black, is to frighten British Jews silly into supporting General Sharon.
This game is not for the right wing only. An Israeli liberal, Amnon Rubinstein, called his compatriots to fight the danger of anti-Semitism. This plague, in his opinion, was manifested by Greece bringing to court a Jewish stock market swindler, a local Milken or Rich. For Rubinstein, Jews must be immune to persecution, and all Jews must support every Jewish rascal. The Israeli peace activist, Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom, called Arabs to fight anti-Semitism, as "anti-Semitism brought one million Russian Jews to Israel". He could say anti-Semitism brought half a million of Chinese guest workers to Israel, as well.
In order to deliver peace to your souls, I will give my personal testimony. An aging baby-boomer, I have travelled the world, lived among Russians and Palestinians, Germans and Swedes, the English and the Japanese, Indians and Africans, and I can tell you, on the basis of my experience, anti-Semitism no longer exists. As a Jew, you can walk freely ,in any city ,of men; you will be safe everywhere, if you come as a friend. The prejudice to Jews has vanished. You can find a Jew-hater, but there are many more people who hate the Poles or the Irish or have a beef against the WASPs. You are much more likely to encounter an Arab-hater or those who hate blacks or Asians.
I met with many people who have been branded with the scarlet letter of the anti-Semite. These so-called anti-Semites object to the policies of the organised Jewish community, of the unholy alliance of Sharon and Abe Foxman, Gusinsky and Mark Rich, Conrad Black and William Safire. I concur with them wholeheartedly, as it is not a question of prejudice.
The professional anti-Semitism fighters know this very well. Their true purpose is not to fight anti-Semitism, but to frighten ordinary Jews into submission. That is why the pillars of the community write them generous checks, and they report every insult, magnifying it by a factor of ten. The Holocaust Industry is but a branch of the Anti-Semitism Manufacture, a two-pronged weapon: it pumps money from Gentiles and forces Jews into obedience to the leaders of the community.
In 1991, when Iraqi Scuds landed in Israel, and the gas warfare alarm sounded, a dozen Israelis suffocated in their gas masks and died. There was no poisonous gas outside, just the fresh and fragrant air of the Judean hills, but they would not breathe it. They thought they would die the moment they took their masks off. Instead, they suffocated in their masks. This is the paradigm of modern Jewish existence in the shadow of fear.
When Noah released the first dove from the ark, it had to return. The second dove, however, brought back an olive branch. The third dove did not come back. He found the deluge was over, and saw no reason to come back to the stifling air of the Arc. I am your third dove. You may take off your masks. The air outside is perfectly good. The deluge has subsided. Step outside to greet the human race, your brothers and sisters.
Jews and Gentiles, we have the same enemies and the same friends. The enemies are those who push us back into a goy-hating ghetto; for a Jew-hater is but a mirror image of a goy-hater. A few generations separate us from the stifling world of traditional Jewish community life. Those who pine for it can take a trip to Brooklyn.
Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli-American journalist, wrote about his childhood: "We lived on the border of Borough Park. Beyond our Brooklyn enclave,.. were Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Scandinavians. They evoked no curiosity in us, only fear. We saw them all as members of the same ethnic group: Jew-haters. Goyim we called them, a Hebrew word that literally means 'the nations' but that we understood to mean the enemy. We lived in a sealed Jewish world.... had it been possible, we would have surrounded Borough park with a moat..... Borough Park's interests were limited to its own borders, and leapt over the Christian neighbourhoods to embrace other Jewish enclaves - as if the only civilized parts of the world were Jew,ish, the rest, being inhabited by rabid creatures capable at any moment of unprovoked violence. 'The world' existed only insofar as it affected Jews. The Jews and 'the world' could never coexist; at best we would endure each other from a distance. Some of our religious laws seemed meant not to bring us closer to God but to separate us from the goyim, and I accepted that estrangement as self-evident.
Keep in mind, he was writing of modern New York with its large Jewish population, not of some medieval town. It is not strange that Halevi, brainwashed in his youth, became an activist of the goy-hating Nazi group, Meyer Kahane's Jewish Defence League. He moved on, but even now, this correspondent for the New Republic in Israel supports settlers, who behave "as if the only civilized parts of Palestine were Jewish, the rest being inhabited by rabid creatures capable at any moment of unprovoked violence". A few generations ago, all the Jews lived in such enclaves, subservient to the Jewish elite of wealth and learning. The rule of the elite was based on patronage and on our fathers' fear of anti-Semitism. The Jewish aristocracy has adapted to new conditions and continues to reinforce this fear in order to control us.
The 'mutual support' of the Jewish community is immoral. If an Irishman or an Italian steals, he goes to jail, and his parish priest might send him a Christmas pie. If an influential Jew steals, be it Vladimir Gusinsky or Mark Rich, the Jewish community demands his impunity. If the Jewish state commits war crimes, the Jewish community supports it without reservations. This is abnormal behaviour for an ethnic community, a shameful remnant of our habit of dealing with the outside world as if we were members of a medieval guild.
Let us help one another to overcome the impulse to surrender. A man should be able to voice objections to the homicidal policies of his leadership without being called a traitor. That was the position of Mark Twain who fought the US intervention in the Philippines. That was the position of Thoreau during the war over Texas. These were the positions of Alexander Solzhenitzyn, Thomas Mann, and Berthold Brecht. It should be easy for Jews to emulate these men, as the self-styled Jewish leadership has no real power over Jews; it can only resort to scare tactics.
The pursuit of the bogey of anti-Semitism leads away from the real problem. During WWII, the brilliant Russian Jewish writer, Iliya Ehrenburg, in a moment of rage called out (on the pages of Pravda) to his countrymen to 'Kill the German vermin'. Marshal Joseph Stalin rebuked him: 'The Nazis come and go, but the German people remain forever'. The German propaganda made a killing out of the hate speech of Ilya Ehrenburg, trying to obscure the fact that the problem was not the anti-German remark of the Jewish writer, but the German war crimes. In the same vein, the problem today is not a mythic anti-Semitism, but Israeli war crimes and US complicity in these crimes.
Anti-Semitism is a weapon of the scoundrel, said Lenin in 1920's echoing the maxim of Samuel Johnson. This sentence, as so many Biblical verses, has retained its validity in a changed context: scoundrels still use anti-Semitism as a weapon, but no,w most of the,se scoundrels are Jewish.
Israel Shamir is an Israeli writer and journalist.