Anti-Semitism Is a Hatred Unlike Any Other

Ruth R. Wisse
pick
Aug. 10 2021
About Ruth

Ruth R. Wisse is a Mosaic columnist, professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, is out from Wicked Son Press.

In a recent speech that caused much controversy in the Israeli press, Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid equated anti-Semites with the Hutus who slaughtered Tutsis in Rwanda, “those who beat young LGBT people to death,” and other perpetrators of violent discrimination. He went on to argue that “anti-Semitism is racism, so let’s talk to all those who oppose racism. . . . Anti-Semitism is hatred of outsiders, so let’s recruit anyone who was ever an outsider and tell them—this is your fight too.” But to Ruth Wisse, anti-Semitism isn’t just a generic form of bigotry:

Anti-Semitism is a form of hatred, but it’s more than that. People organize against the Jews as part of an ideological struggle. Scapegoating Jews for the suffering of another people provides an explanation for its misery, an outlet for its anger, and a target for its aggression. From its founding in the 1870s to its current American intersectional variant, anti-Semitism has the unique power to build grievance coalitions between Marxists and Muslims, fascists and fundamentalists, atheists and believers, nationalists, internationalists, CEOs, and academics.

Zionists who thought anti-Semitism was directed against them because of their dispersion were surprised to find it was even easier to blame them in their homeland. But a small people with a hugely magnified image proved the perfect foil for any anti-liberal cause. When Representative Rashida Tlaib claims that people working “behind the curtain” to stop a “free Palestine” are “profiting” off Americans, she obviously isn’t talking about Tutsis or gays.

While Israelis have no choice but to repel those who attack them, some Americans and Jews prefer to ignore or justify the aggression. Progressives say: Who, us? We’re anti-fascist, so how can we be Jew-baiters? Ignorant or disingenuous, they ignore that the driving force of anti-Jewish politics since 1945 has been not fascism but the Arab-Muslim war against the Jewish state, supported by Marxist ideology.

More than hate, anti-Semitism deforms all those who organize politics against the Jews.

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Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: Anti-Semitism, Rashida Tlaib, Yair Lapid

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism