The Antisemitic Paradox

Many of the biggest antisemites today truly just want to rid the world of evil, which they see as emanating from the Jews

The IDF last week published a video clip showing an aerial strike on a Hamas outpost, in which one can clearly see Hamas men fleeing seconds before the little missile hits with pinpoint accuracy. The Hamas men didn’t have some sense of premonition. They had received advanced warning of the strike from Israel, which has adopted a strange policy of zero enemy casualties. While zero causalities is not always an attainable goal, Israel persists with what it calls a policy of “containment.”

Following the Human Rights Council session on the “human rights situation in Palestine” that took place on February 25, Sara Hossain, the Bangladeshi representative to the commission, said of Israel that “there can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities.” Hossain was echoing the commission’s recommendation “to exercise criminal jurisdiction and arrest [Israeli] persons alleged to have committed, or who ordered to have committed, the international crimes” in Gaza and “the state of Palestine.”

By any standard, Israel has proved itself to be more “moral” than any other country engaged in armed conflict. And yet, despite its quest for zero casualties, Israel is the only country so scrutinized by those determined to find even the faintest hint of misdeeds that they can then trump as war crimes.

The extraordinary efforts to substantiate outlandish accusations – which run the gamut from genocide to infanticide, from ethnic cleansing to apartheid – have one thing in common: transforming antisemitism into the morally-acceptable position it has always aspired to be.

To further clarifiy this point, consider the words of US-based Jewish commentator Elad Nehorai, who in the wake of US Rep. Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic outbursts wrote on Facebook that Israel, along with the American Jewish lobby, “is seen as … all-powerful, and not just as problematic or even immoral, but as truly evil. A source of the great evils that plague the world. One that as long as it exists, will continue to plague the world. It is why the problems exist in the first place. [Israel has become a] symbol of the insidious influence of the powerful over the vulnerable. One that, as long as it exists, will allow the powerful to keep hurting others. There is no way it can continue to live on, there is nothing it can do to adapt, there is no morality it can adopt that will change this. Because its very existence is the source of evil.”

Nehorai continued: 

“This is why so many people aren’t purposefully anti-Semitic or even bad people. They don’t hate Jews. They want to create a better world. That’s why it’s possible to say anti-Semitic things and still not hate Jews. Or even be Jewish. The hate, at first, is against evil. But the result will always be the same. It will always be anti-Semitism. It will always eventually blame Jews. It will always lead to their suffering. It will always treat them as ‘the evil’. It will always, when it reaches its logical conclusion, call for their elimination. That is why Hitler didn’t describe just an elimination. He described a ‘final solution.’ A messianic description in which evil is finally wiped off the map. But as he taught us so well, what ends up happening when that solution is sought after is true evil itself.”

And that is the antisemitic paradox, one that in the name of good is willing to turn the world into a Jewish graveyard.

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