Why can the left never see their own antisemitism?

Jewish exceptionalism drives Jew-haters wild, and even more so on the left


Melanie Phillips
Feb 7
In his new book Jews Don’t Count, David Baddiel observes that people on the left don’t treat the problem of antisemitism on the same level as prejudices over race, sexuality or gender.
I personally started to detect a double standard over antisemitism in the 1980s, when I wrote that antisemitism had become “the prejudice that dare not speak its name”.
This was when the left was calling Israelis “Nazis” for trying to root out from Lebanon the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s terrorist infrastructure. It was when people started saying openly: “Jews make so much money / they’re so clannish / they always stick together against everyone else”.
Merely to mention the word “antisemitism” among left-wingers, though, caused an instant glacial chill, provoked eye-rolls or produced the charge: “You’re using antisemitism to sanitise Israel’s atrocities”.
It wasn’t until the issue so spectacularly blew up in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party that this last accusation was itself finally acknowledged as a form of Jew-hatred. And it was only then, because Corbyn was so left-wing he was deemed beyond the pale, that Jews began to feel it was safe to use the a-word.
So why does the left deny or marginalise the antisemitism amongst it? And why are many Jews still so nervous about provoking a bad reaction if they talk about this on the left other than in the context of the Corbynised Labour Party?
One obvious factor is that, in progressive circles, Marxist assumptions have been absorbed often without their provenance being recognised. Like Marx himself, many left-wingers believe capitalism is evil and white, that capitalism is run by Jews, that money is power and that Jews have so much money and power they run the capitalist world.
Of course, most Jews are neither rich nor powerful. Nor are they all white. But the belief that they are means they can never be considered victims. So rather than being included in the left’s roll-call of the oppressed, Jews are bracketed squarely amongst the privileged.
The left-wing narrative of systematic falsehoods and libels about Israel, that it’s a colonialist state which uprooted the indigenous people of the land and continues to oppress them, plays in turn into these tropes of Jewish power and menace.
Crucially, those on the left believe they stand for unquestionable virtue and the only people who are bad are their opponents. So only the right are antisemitic, while the left can never be so. That’s why for the Labour party, antisemitism in its ranks is a crisis it cannot resolve.
But all these things, significant as they are, don’t provide the whole explanation. We surely have to dive more deeply into the prejudice itself.
At the core of antisemitism lie resentment, jealousy and fear of Jews as different and exceptional. The idea that they believe themselves to be “chosen” merely to bear a unique burden is badly misunderstood as privilege.
The suggestion of Jewish exceptionalism therefore drives antisemites wild. Any reference to the exceptional number of Jewish Nobel laureates, or the exceptional extent of Jewish philanthropy, or the exceptional number of scientific inventions pouring out of Israel for the benefit of humanity, merely reinforces fear and resentment of Jewish “power”.
Too many Jews, aware of the danger to themselves from being viewed as “different,” themselves therefore flinch from acknowledging Jewish exceptionalism. Genuflecting to cultural power, they seek not to offend against left-wing ideology.
And hatred of Jewish exceptionalism feeds into that ideology. Under the mantra of “equality”, this permits no hierarchies of value. It is suspicious of distinctions and differences; it believes that the particulars of any culture must yield to the flattening dogma of universalist values.
But Jewish identity, religion and tradition are founded upon distinctions, differences and moral hierarchies. So Jewish exceptionalism offends against the dogma of the left on every count. And that also includes the exceptionalism of Jewish suffering.
No other people has experienced such determined attempts to exterminate them over so many millennia. Similarly, the Holocaust was different from all other crimes against humanity or even other genocides, because the Shoah was uniquely an attempt to eradicate one people, the Jews, from the face of the earth.
The relativistic left, however, seeks to equalise all suffering. Which is why Holocaust memorialising increasingly ropes in other genocides and crimes against humanity as equivalent to the Shoah, which is thus inescapably downgraded.
That’s why it was a shame that, in his BBC Radio Thought for the Day on Holocaust Memorial Day, Chief Rabbi Mirvis didn’t explain what he meant when he observed that the Holocaust was unique — and indeed, in his reflection on the significance of the Shoah, he didn’t use the word “Jews” at all.
Judaism is unique, the Jewish people are unique, and antisemitism is unique: the most unambiguous, deranged and deadly prejudice in history. But Jewish uniqueness gets in the way of left-wing dogma. That’s why, among the zealots of victim culture, anti-Jewish prejudice doesn’t count.
Jewish Chronicle
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FUREY: Canada made pandemic playbooks — and we’re not following them

Author of the article:Anthony Furey

Publishing date:Feb 06, 2021  

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam holds a press conference during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. PHOTO BY SEAN KILPATRICK /THE CANADIAN PRESS

It’s quite something to look back and see what Canada’s response to a pandemic was supposed to be and then compare it to what we’ve actually being doing to deal with COVID-19.

There’s one recurring theme that comes across when you study the various pandemic preparedness documents that have been put together by different levels of governments in recent years: It’s that they all anticipate a situation worse than the one that is currently unfolding, but they call for less restrictive measures than the ones that have now been enacted.

As an example, let’s take a look at the “high impact” scenario in the federal government’s 2018 pandemic preparedness guidebook. That’s the worst case scenario they outline. It anticipates that 25% to 45% of the population becomes ill and warns that “mass fatalities may overwhelm death care services (e.g. funeral homes, mortuaries).”

What then should be done in such a situation? When it comes to businesses, it simply warns that “high absenteeism (due to illness) would put all sectors and services under extreme pressure.” It certainly doesn’t call to shut all of these workplaces down.

Here’s the most aggressive the recommendations get: “Social distancing measures or strategies may be used to minimize close contact among persons in public places, e.g., pro-active school closures; cancellation or modification of public gatherings; and alternative workplace approaches, such as teleconferences and working from home. Because of their potential societal impact, social distancing measures are most applicable in pandemics of moderate to high impact.”

There’s a more detailed 2010 report by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit — an Ontario region north of Toronto that includes the city of Barrie — that also offers great insights.

(To be clear, these are all influenza pandemic guidebooks. No officials anticipated a coronavirus pandemic.)

Their working assumptions for a worst-case scenario involve the pandemic requiring “170% of ICU beds, and 117% of ventilator supported beds during the peak of influenza activity.” Yet even with these dire predictions — which no Canadian hospital has experienced during COVID-19 — they simply talk about measures required to support the health care system and manage expectations. They don’t talk about shutting down all of society in response to increased hospital volume.

It’s this disconnect between what we’re supposed to be doing and the mistaken path Canada has instead headed down that retired Lt.-Col. David Redman has been sounding the alarm over.

Redman knows what he’s talking about. After 27 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, he went on to become the executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

“Never send healthy people home,” says Redman, in conversation with the Sun. “That’s a ridiculous concept. Every plan that was ever written says you use non-pharmaceutical interventions as the last resort. They really discourage lockdowns.”

Redman points to how the World Health Organization initially didn’t support China plunging the region of Wuhan into the first such widespread lockdown in modern human history.

“We followed the campaign of fear coming out of China and we watched what they did,” says Redman, of the first big misstep made by government officials.

Now, Redman is firing off briefing notes to Canada’s premiers in the hopes that they’ll pivot towards the way emergency planning officials — who the retired military officer says should have played a greater role from the beginning — would deal with the situation.

“We do two things,” Redman says of what he hopes can be a new game plan. “One: We immediately quarantine our long-term care seniors’ homes. Two: We immediately change the rhetoric in the media and we move to confidence — we tell people that our hospital system is not going to collapse because we built surge capacity.”

A conversation with Redman is a bittersweet experience. It’s refreshing to hear an experienced military officer and emergency planner talk about how there is indeed a better way to manage the situation. But it’s sad to think that so much of the damage that’s been caused by lockdowns and poor protection of LTCs could have been averted if we just stayed calm and put the right people in charge.

I’ll leave you with a section from Redman’s latest briefing note that was sent to Canada’s premiers on Wednesday:

“Ignoring our long-established and hard learned pandemic response goals and following a failed lockdown response has caused massive collateral damage in terms of deaths and long-term effects on our population. Collateral damage, largely ignored by mainstream media, includes but is not limited to, massive damage to our social fabric, our mental health, our other severe health conditions, our children’s education, and our economy.”

FUREY: Canada made pandemic playbooks — and we’re not following them | Toronto Sun

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