Saturday, January 05, 2008

Amputated Spirits:

"And I have seen. Boys like these,
younger than these,
their arms torn out,
their legs ripped off.
But there isn't nothin'
like the sight of an amputated spirit.
There is no prosthetic for that."
("Scent of a woman")

I've recently visited a couple of Jewish blogs of the most extraordinary freakishness. I really do try to understand the root causes of their violent loathing of their coreligionists. This is a highly fertile source begging for further exploration and research.

As far as I can make out, there are two features which characterize the underlying basis of these positions: First, as I mentioned, the extreme loathing of Israeli Jews and their Jewish supporters elsewhere (that would probably cover, in a very cautious estimate, some 80% of all world Jews). The second is their declarative convictions that they are the only ones who represent the "authentic" Jew, a Jew so virtuous and righteous and filled with Jewish valor and values that he/she have no fear of confronting all those other bad Jews and challenge them over issues of universal ethics.

Here is one example of this position, as expressed by a person named Deborah Fink on one of the blogs I linked to here:

As for Noga.....Her ultimate resorting to using the hackneyed and dishonest term 'self-haters' for critics of Israel, seems to indicate that she has lost the argument. I think it's a projection as Israel's suporters hate Jews who have Jewish values, i.e. wanting justice and loving one's neighbour. Israel is a self-hating nation in the sense that it has contempt for Jewish values.

Here is another example I found on the blog rejoicing of the stirring name: Music Weaver. Music, however, seems to be the least on the blogger's mind. Seems to me he is in the throes of some painfully spasmodic loathing of Jews. I found this quote:

Joe Murphy, the former Vice Chancellor of the City University of New York, used to tell about his Jewish mother. "Joe", he has her saying, "there are two kinds of Jews. One kind has reacted to the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust by vowing that they will do anything to make sure it doesn't happen to our people again. While the other kind of Jews took as their lesson from the same terrible event that they must do whatever they can to make sure it doesn't happen again to any people anywhere. Joe", she went on, "I want you to promise me that you will always be the second kind of Jew". He did, and he was." ...

I strongly suspect that Brian, the putative music weaver, fancies himself a Jew of the second kind. He is a Jew who cares about preventing other people from experiencing the horrors of a holocaust.

Let's take a brief look at the what the Music Weaver is offering: Of the 14 posts available on the blog (it's not a very coherent design so I don't exactly know how to get to earlier posts), 9 are ostensibly about the horrors of Israeli occupation but only in a tangentially relevant way. Most of those posts are about what righteous Jews like the blog's author, are doing about it. The remaining 5 posts are shared between music weaving and more universal concerns about human rights or something like that. Here they are:

*Christopher Hitchens on what you have to believe if you're a Christian.


*Iranian dissident Mina Ahadi wins Secularist of the Year prize

I can't link to each individual post, so you'll have to scroll down in order to find them, if you are interested.

So, 9 posts of anti Zionist agitation, 2 about music, 3 about universal human rights concerns.

So I have to wonder in what way, exactly, does the Music Weaver fit into the second category of Joe's mother's homily to her son. Let me repeat it:

While the other kind of Jews took as their lesson from the same terrible event that they must do whatever they can to make sure it doesn't happen again to any people anywhere.

It occurs to me that the Music Weaver seems to care only ostensibly about the terrible wrongs that occur in the world, like the oppression of women in Iran, or the odious totalitarianism of Saudi Arabia. Someone who would follow Joe's mother advice would surely not fail to mention, repeatedly, Darfur or Gujarat. Unless, of course, the purpose is not to prevent genocides but to parade themselves as if they care for great, holocaust-type injustices. But even in this they fail, since the on-going mass massacres hardly seem to stir the slightest interest in their "good Jewish" hearts. They seem to be unhealthily focused only on Israel, Israel's supporters and their own (pretended) moral superiority.

This is a strange combination of self-delusion, narcissism, self-aggrandisement, and fraternal loathing which is freakishly pathological.

Surely the psychologists dealt with this kind of derangement. I found one possible explanation, here:

Superiority complex refers to a subconscious neurotic mechanism of compensation developed by the individual as a result of feelings of inferiority. The feelings of inferiority in this specific complex are often brought on by social rejection, possibly as a result of the individual's inattentiveness to hygiene, perceived ugliness, or lower intelligence as compared to others....

Those exhibiting the superiority complex commonly project their feelings of inferiority onto others they perceive as beneath them, possibly for the same reasons they themselves may have been ostracized, i.e. viewing most, possibly all others as "ugly" or "stupid", and beneath oneself...

Behaviors related to this mechanism may include an exaggeratedly positive opinion of one’s worth and abilities, unrealistically high expectations in goals and achievements for oneself and others, vanity, extravagant style in dressing (with intent of drawing attention), pride, sentimentalism and affected exaltation, snobbishness, a tendency to discredit other’s opinions, forcefulness...

Social aloofness, daydreaming and isolation could also be associated to the Superiority Complex, as a way to evade the fear of failure related to the feelings of inadequacy to face the real world.

Superiority and inferiority complex are often found together as the different expressions of the same pathology ...

This appears to be a plausible enough delineation of the more pronounced symptoms observed in this group of Jews. And a plausible prognostication.


At 2:42 AM EST, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

"Self hating" is a bad term, Noga. I do not believe that it even begins to describe the people you are talking about. Since I didn't write this:

it is easy for me to extol the virtues of that piece. I do believe I had a post on the subject of this term too no a long time ago.

At 8:19 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I read this piece and linked to it some time ago. I like the introductoty sentence.

You are right about the inadequacy of the the term self-hating Jew. It doesn't begin to scratch the vileness of this phenomenon. There are self-hating blacks, or gypsies, or what have you. None seem so freakish and pathological as its manifestation in Jewish people. There seems to ne an inexorable death wish, a deliberate lust for the ultimate self-destruction. It really is one of the most malignant results of antisemitism.

I'm reminded of the operatic speech of Colonel Slade, a favourite character of mine:

"And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that."

I guess this is how these people should be best viewed. Not reviled but deeply pitied.


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