The Clare Spark Blog

July 21, 2013

Minding antisemitism

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 5:43 pm
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helen-thomas-sculpturejpg-0a917266978723d4_largeToday on Fox News Sunday (7-21-13), Chris Wallace, one of the “moderate” voices of the Fox News Channel, noted that just deceased Helen Thomas, who famously exclaimed that “the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine,” was remembered favorably as a gutsy journalist and path breaking [feminist] who put hard questions to American presidents, notwithstanding that outburst.  (See this news item indicating support from some “Arab Americans” : )

It has been my view that antisemitism and/or hostility to the Jewish state have been consistently underestimated in its effects on politics and on human personalities. For instance, many blacks believe that George Zimmerman, the shooter of the young black man Trayvon Martin, is a Jew. Not much has been made of this astounding belief in the [misnamed] “African-American community,” with the exception of some entries on Facebook. See

To me, the airbrushing of Helen Thomas, plus the canard that George Zimmerman is a Jew (i.e., the enemy of young black males)  suggests that “whiteness studies” or “white skin privilege,” are frequently understood as the rule of the Jews, even though some “whites” deny that Jews are white people. Such are the wages of populism, an ideology that may inhabit every color in the political spectrum.

Here is my index on antisemitism. It has a paragraph at the end that summarizes my view of modern antisemitism. This is the closing paragraph:

It is a misconception to think that a person’s views toward individual Jews tests their antisemitic views one way or another. A-S is above all, a theory of history, most recently a reaction to the “disruptive” effects of modernity, and an identification of the source of Evil. Most or all antisemitism is racist, for no matter how assimilated a person of Jewish descent may be, that person retains mental, physical, and moral attributes attributed to “the Jews” considered as a collective entity. Of these, none is more pernicious than the notion that all “Jews” partake of the Old Testament God as read by non-Jews, most famously by Voltaire (whose admirers were possibly angrier at Christianity, the offshoot of Judaism). That deity is domineering, militaristic, and genocidal, looking out solely for his “Chosen People.” One would think that such a powerful set of misconceptions would be corrected in the schools and in the mass media, but no. For in a highly populated globe, the masses must be controlled, and there is no more potent poison, directing popular anger away from abusive elites, than antisemitism: our innermost desires for truth, for a relatively accurate inventory of our past, is stigmatized as disintegrating to “the family.” So despite occasional hand-wringing over “the Holocaust,” antisemitism is still poorly, even crudely, understood by most, if not all, trained intellectuals. (For a related blog that pits the middle ages against modernity see,)

Code Pink supports Helen Thomas

Code Pink supports Helen Thomas

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