The Clare Spark Blog

April 10, 2016

“New York values” (as heard by Iowans?)

new-york-valuesAlthough I have been writing about the subtler forms of antisemitism for years now, it has come as a shock (perhaps) that I suggest that Senator Ted Cruz may have been playing to Midwestern misconceptions about “Jewish” illegitimate power in NYC during this presidential campaign.

This blog does not pretend to know what the (ostentatiously) pro-Israel Cruz “really” meant by his slur, and perhaps I am typically an “oversensitive” Jew in imputing to the Senator views that he does not (consciously) hold. (Perhaps he was thinking of urban crowding in seeking agrarian votes.) But in many subsequent statements, Cruz has claimed to refer to “liberal Democratsor to “pro-abortion” and “gay marriage” elements or to those who inhabit finance (“money”) and “media.” (On the “pro-abortion slur see https://clarespark.com/2016/04/01/70s-feminism-and-its-bizarre-legacy/.)

Some opponents to my suspicions have pointed to Cruz’s pro-Israel stance as proof that he can’t also harbor antisemitic sentiments, and indeed some journalists have promoted “the new antisemitism” to emphasize the overlapping of antisemitic and pro-“Palestinian” sentiments. (For more on this, see https://clarespark.com/2015/01/15/antisemitism-vs-anti-zionism-is-there-a-difference/.)

Have we all forgotten that liberals are supposed by elements of “the Right” to be masked “commie Jews” and traitors, such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? (See https://clarespark.com/2015/04/24/multiculturalism-vs-yid-red-spies-which-agitates-the-right/.) Or that “Wall Street” (in the imagination of populists in general) is held to be generically “Jewish.” Or that “gay marriage” presupposes feminization of one or both partners, and indeed, its passage in NY State was a struggle that was narrowly won? Or that “pro-abortion” views are very close to the blood libel, a long standing accusation leveled against Jews by medieval Christians?

For my umpteen blogs on “the Jewish question” see https://clarespark.com/2012/09/29/index-to-blogs-on-antisemitism/. I will be adding this one to the list, which I commend highly as the product of all my research since 1986 when I was first alerted to the pervasiveness of this so-called “prejudice,” which is more accurately understood as a theory of history.

Saudi cartoon 2008

Saudi cartoon 2008

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January 19, 2016

“New York values”

New-Yorker-NY-Daily-News-side-by-side-CruzWhen presidential aspirant Ted Cruz accused his rival Donald J. Trump of professing “New York values” (ultra-liberal sponsorship of gay marriage and “pro-abortion” sentiments) I immediately took offense, for I recognized the latent antisemitism in that remark. Not so on Fox News Channel, with the notable exception of Geraldo Rivera, whose mother is Jewish.  Last  night (1-18-16) Irish Catholic Bill O’Reilly sharply distanced himself from the Geraldo diagnosis, perhaps  oblivious to his semi-conscious feelings. (As a culture warrior, O’Reilly blames “secular progressives” for assaulting Christmas. His [deicide] guests from that ostensibly atheistic faction have had “Jewish” names, though O’Reilly has not been an obvious antisemite.)

This blog goes over old ground, for since 1986 I have been studying both latent and explicit antisemitism, and I will be very specific.

Cruz’s characterization of “New York values” evokes the rural hostility to “Cain’s cities” that, in the [Iowan] agrarian argot signify violence and decadence. (See https://clarespark.com/2009/11/17/melencolia-i-and-the-apocalypse-1938/.) Moreover, New York has always been a target of politicians for its Jewish population, and it is accurate that “liberal” Jews have, since they were supposedly agents of ferment hostile to WASP America, risen in the socio-economic scale, and arousing fear of “the Jewish vote” (see https://clarespark.com/2011/06/17/the-famed-jewish-vote/).

But consider the two policies specified by Senator Cruz: “pro-abortion” and “gay marriage.” First, no feminist (female or male) is in favor of slaughtering babies. That expression “pro-abortion” evokes the blood libel, an ancient fantasy that Jews murder Christian infants for their matzo-flavoring blood. (Some feminists may refer to “abortion rights” but I prefer the notion of “choice.”)

“Gay marriage” offends some ultra-conservatives, because it evokes androgyny, blurring the sharp separation between male and female that, it is believed, are necessary ingredients for abolishing poverty in the (restored) patriarchal family. Hitler (in Mein Kampf) referred to the “feminized masses” who, in my reading, were oddly both gullible and too curious about the affairs of their betters. Hitler, like many historians, abhorred “mass politics” pandering to the base instincts, unlike the displaced aristocracy.

Caruba/Flickr in Reason.com

Caruba/Flickr in Reason.com

Close reading is necessary to decode propaganda. It is unlikely that Ted Cruz intended to vilify Jews. But when sharp eyed and sensitive students of stereotypes call him out on at least latent name-calling, it behooves him and all politicians and journalists to wise up, as O’Reilly likes to say. (Update: I found the Leipzig postcard under Google images for “mass politics”; i.e., the loss of the “good King” opens the door to the “special interest group” that divides and ultimately conquers “the body politic.”)

German postcard (1906): Leipzig special interest group

German postcard (1906): Leipzig special interest group

 

 

 

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