Marxist Humanist Initiative: Beware of Left Anti-Semitism
Beware of Left Anti-Semitism: Jew-Hatred Appears in Conspiracy Theories, Anti-Americanism, Lesser-Evilism, and Single-Issue Thinking
By Marxist Humanist Initiative
We are compelled to denounce the ancient practice of blaming Jewish people for the world’s ills, because anti-Semitism (as prejudice and discrimination against Jews is commonly called) has been rearing its ugly head—within the U.S. Left. The incident we just experienced began August 29, when the administrator of a feminist email list sent around a virulently anti-Semitic video which, in the process of supporting ousted Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, blamed global poverty and injustice on the Rothschild banking family. Only a few of the 100 people on the email list responded, even after we immediately pointed out and denounced the content of the video. Then we were shocked again by the tepid nature of some of the responses.
For centuries, racism against Jews has been integral to the cultures of Europe, many Muslim-majority countries, and the Americas. It waxes and wanes, but is especially strong in times of economic woes, for which Jews are always a convenient scapegoat. They are “outsiders” to the dominant religions, nationalities, and ethnic groups; Jewish merchants make visible targets; and Jewish “cosmopolitans” are portrayed as the agents of capitalism and modernity. For the same reasons, anti-Semitism has been a mainstay of conspiracy theories for centuries––conspiracies in which Jews secretly run the world.
Throughout the racist history of the U.S., Jews have been associated with Afro-Americans and gays for attack. Today, common misconceptions persist that all Jews are rich and that they control the U.S. media and Hollywood. However, overt anti-Semitism is seen infrequently outside the racist Right, at least as compared to the number of physical attacks on Jews and synagogues that occur regularly in France, Germany, Argentina, and elsewhere. And we do not expect the Left to find it acceptable. (For information about Left anti-Semitism today, see http://leftantisemitism.wordpress.com/ and the sources listed there, including http://contested-terrain.net/).
We are well aware that the Left can turn into the Right, as happened in Nazi Germany, and that racism, including anti-Semitism, flourishes in times like these. We urge the Left to expose and oppose anti-Semitism, along with all forms of racism and xenophobia, and to root them out of Left thought, along with the theories that support them.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 3:06 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.