Thursday, December 28, 2006

Normalize, not assimilate

Obadiah Shoher

To normalize, a person must be like others. When the Jews lived isolated in their own communities, they were normal: each Jew was culturally like others. In the nineteenth century, superficial liberalism opened outside world for Jews. Gentiles were still contempt of the Jews, but called us their equals. Jews saw the world and its opportunities, and realized that they are not normal – like others. Nineteenth-century German discussion about Jews is instructive: liberals countered anti-Semites by asserting that the Jews could eventually become like other Germans. Gentiles did not imagine that Jews are decent people in their own right. Jews accepted that attitude and rushed to assimilate.

It’s hard, very hard to be different. The Jews wanted to be normal. Israel offers us a chance to normalize without Gentilizing. To be similar to our neighbors, yet different from the world that eats dogs and pigs, engages in incest and homosexuality, and dislikes us at best.

It’s hard, very hard to believe yourself right when the world is against you. And so the Jews suppose that Gentiles are right, their customs are better. That anti-Semites have a point. And the Jews hate their Jewishness, and take it for a stain, and clear it. Deep in their minds they know that their betrayal is bad, that they betray generations of Jews who went up on stakes and died in pogroms to pass on the spark of Judaism. The Jews hate the bug that makes them uneasy. They hate their Jewishness. They hate other Jews because they implicitly remind them that they are not Americans, left, or whatever other group they want to belong to, but Jews. Religious and nationalist Jews that proudly wear their Jewishness are constant reminder to the assimilationist Jews of their moral bankruptcy, of their betrayal. And Gentilized Jews hate the religion, and take pleasure in suppressing it. They brainwash Israeli schoolchildren with stories of Judaism’s borrowing from neighboring religions; the children don’t understand the qualitative differences of superficially similar rites. They ridicule the religious people, their habits and their wardrobe without telling the children that those funny-looking religious guys for centuries stood tall in the face of persecutions, tortures, and murder. They discriminate against Jewish religious schools in the Diaspora and ostracize their sponsors.

Gentiles have religion, culture, empires. Gentilized Jews reject Judaism, Jewishness, and Eretz Israel (oh, they concede to the ghetto-sized Israel). Gentilized rootless Jews realize their inferiority to Gentiles who have the roots. Jews used to be proud of themselves, and the inferiority breaks their mental health. Rootless Jews hate their parents and their compatriots who deceived them about the Jewish pride; as they see it now, Jews have nothing to be proud of. Rootless Jewish leaders hatefully oppress common Jews, sadistically choose the policies detrimental to them, and divert their money to irrelevant and even anti-Judaic causes. Many Jewish families forgo having more children because they cannot pay skyrocketing costs of education, but fat American Jewish organizations refuse to finance Jewish schools to make the education free.

The rush of the Jews to strip themselves of Jewishness confirms Gentiles in their contempt for the Jews. “Even the Jews realize that their ways are wrong,” think the hereditary anti-Semites, “and we’re right to dislike them. Let them become like us, if they could.” Educated and wealthy modern Gentiles are no less anti-Semites than their poor and ignorant ancestors. The difference is, they don’t want the violence. The Germans detested unorganized violence of pogroms; Nazis listened and switched to planned extermination in death camps.