Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Psychopathology of False Accusations of Anti-Semitism

Katie Miranda's interview with Rich Forer at mondoweiss.net - Understanding the fundamental roots of conflict & suffering: An interview with Rich Forer (11/3/16) - is well worth a read. Forer is the ex-Zionist author of Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion, A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict (2010). Here he is on the subject of false accusations of anti-Semitism:

Katie Miranda: Accusations of anti-Semitism are a common phenomenon in the debate over Israel-Palestine. Can you explain what is going on in the minds of the people who use these accusations even against Jews who are upset with Israel's behaviour?

Rich Forer: Identifying as the victims in this struggle, accusers reject historical fact and allege that criticism of Israel or acknowledging embarrassing facts is motivated by anti-Semitic bigotry. David Ben-Gurion admitted that Israel had 'stolen' the land from the Palestinians. Was he an anti-Semite? Was Yitzhak Rabin an anti-Semite for lamenting that 'ruling over another people has corrupted us'?

Most accusations of anti-Semitism are projections. The actual bigotry occupies the minds of those who are afraid to ask why someone is critical of Israel. Indifferent to the suffering of an entire people and refusing to do honest research to refute or confirm the criticism, these accusers scapegoat anyone who challenges their historical narrative. Abdicating personal responsibility for their feelings, they project onto Israel's critics fear, confusion and anger, all of which are animated by unexamined beliefs and images within their minds.

It is true that a small percentage of critics is anti-Semitic and would like to do to Israel what Israel does to the Palestinians. But most critics simply want Israel to comply with international law. They don't want to harm Israelis. They want to prevent Israelis from harming Palestinians. But even their compassion for Palestinians is conflated with indifference to Jewish lives and judged anti-Semitic. If compassion for Palestinians is bigotry then virtually all Palestinians must be anti-Semites. And if criticism of deliberate violations of international law is bigotry what is turning one's back on the suffering of millions?

Are we to presume that the proof that someone is not an anti-Semite is that they accept Israeli justifications for its contempt for international law and its denial of human rights to non-Jews? If so, doesn't this make a mockery of Judaism and characterize the Jewish people as inhumane? But such a characterization would itself be considered anti-Semitic. This creates an absurdity. The proof that you are not an anti-Semite proves that you are an anti-Semite. This is the dualistic mind infected with existential fear and confusion.

For the most part, accusations of anti-Semitism are moral blackmail and they debase Judaism. Real anti-Semites incite anti-Semitism. I don't know anyone who does that more effectively than the Israeli government and its defenders. And after inciting anti-Semitism, they complain that they are victims of an anti-Semitic world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These hypocritical accusations of anti-Semitism have become so repetitive and routine they have no credibility any more. The accusers are flogging a dead horse. When words are only weapon at your disposal to attempt to silence critics, short of more bombings and murders, the blood soaked Zionist fingers points.

Now they want new laws invoking this tired old epithet without providing any definitive definition of the term.

How about this definition: an anti-Semite is someone Zionists don't like.