Beware the Jewess
(or "Shana Tova", Guardian style)
Martin in the Margins has blogged about this piece by Guardianista Barbara Ellen in which she asks, with all due incredulity:
"But what on earth was [Paul McCartney] up to with that gig in Tel Aviv?
The only worse kind of atrocity by McCartney would be: "What next - an appearance in bin Laden's next cave video."?
See? Performing to a bunch of Israelis in Tel Aviv is just one step up from entertaining Bin Laden...
In her desperation to figure out what could possibly cause such moral blindness in the British icon, she alights... surprisingly enough, on the first Jew that she can lay her eyes on in his vicinity. Or rather, a more lethal combination... a Jewess:
"Now he has a Jewish girlfriend, the glamorous Nancy Shevell, he's suddenly playing concerts in Israel and 'finding out for myself what the situation is'."?
This whole swollen up carbuncle of a story can only make sense to an antisemitic reader. As anyone with some common sense and moderate knowledge would have to see that Ellen's free associations, which she probably takes to be cute witticisms, tell us more about her own demons than they do about McCartney or Israel.
According to Sartre, antisemitism is not an idea as we usually understand this word to mean. It is not an opinion based upon factual and rational information and understanding, compiled and dispassionately measured against other sets of facts and arguments.
"It is first of all a passion...a deep passion... Some men are suddenly struck with impotence if they learn from the woman with whom they are making love that she is a Jewess. It is an involvement of the mind, but one so deep-seated and complex that it extends to the physio-logical realm, as happens in cases of hysteria."
In Love+Marriage=Death: And Other Essays on Representing Difference, by Sander L. Gilman - 1998
"Non Jewish men are at risk when they are exposed to Jewish women. This, the association of Sarah Bernhardt and the Salome legend is fixed as the history of the Jewess as sexual seductress. She is as dangerous as she is seductive - she is the essential belle Juive".
Well, then, it is encouraging to know that Barbara Ellen is not blazing any new trails here. She just regurgitates old stereotypes and xenophobic hysteria. That she can do so on the pages of the Guardian is also an old cliche by now.
Addendum: Upon closer scrutiny, Shevell is not only Jewish, but also an American, a New Yorker, and an heiress. She is also 47 years old who looks like Carrie, from Sex and the City. Such a multitude of sins might begin to explain, perchance justify, Ellen's hysterical ramblings.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)