Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Jew flu"

An interesting theory advanced by Uzi Silber trying to explain why Jews are more susceptible to hate their kin than other tribes. There are many theories trying to explain this phenomenon, such as the following:

"s Jew Flu a bona-fide illness? Michael Welner, a psychiatrist at New York University, suggests that Jewish Anti-Semitism is akin to a personality disorder, enabling a person to "derive some psychological benefit from this pathological thinking."

What causes Jew Flu? Harvard psychiatrist Kenneth Levin argues for twin culprits: so-called 'Stockholm Syndrome', where "population segments under chronic siege commonly embrace the indictments of their besiegers however bigoted and outrageous", as well as "the psychodynamics of abused children who blame themselves for their situation and believe they could mollify their tormenters if they were 'good'."

Julie Ancis, a psychology professor at Georgia State University says that it isn't "uncommon for a minority group with a history of oppression and persecution to possess internalized self-hatred regarding their cultural/religious identity."

But Silber somewhat cheekily but nonetheless with some scientific validation, has a different take on the root causes:

"David Brooks recently reported in the New York Times on research by a Haifa University team led by Reem Yahya who studied the brains scans of Arabs and Jews while showing them images of hands and feet in painful situations.

Brooks reports that "the two cultures perceived pain differently. The Arabs perceived higher levels of pain over all while the Jews were more sensitive to pain suffered by members of a group other than their own (italics my own.)"

This phenomenon was epitomized by Rosa Luxemburg, a prominent Bolshevik and Jew Flu victim. "I have no room in my heart for Jewish suffering," declared Rosa the Red. "Why do you pester me with Jewish troubles? I feel closer to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations of Putumayo or the Negroes in Africa... I have no separate corner in my heart for the ghetto."

And he tries to pinpoint the prognosis:

"The intriguing research out of Haifa suggests that Jews may very well be inherently altruistic. But while exhibiting more sensitivity to another group's pain is one thing, embracing the goals of people openly committed to one's destruction is a form of madness.

So here's my ultimate theory for the cause of this nefarious virus: Jew Flu is a condition in which being "more sensitive to pain suffered by members of a group other than (one's) own metastasizes into a malignant emotional and moral identification with people committed to (one's) annihilation."


At 4:13 AM EST, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Erm... well... nu... OK. In any case, I am in no way susceptible to this malady. You should see me suffering from a common head cold. No one suffers his own pain like me, at least this is what SWMBO says. She knows, apparently.

At 10:28 PM EST, Blogger socialrepublican said...

Rosa Luxemburg was many things but was never a Bolshevik

At 7:38 PM EST, Blogger ModernityBlog said...

very funny

At 2:24 AM EDT, Blogger bob said...

Came back here via the catfight with Rosa's disciple Molly at TNR. As a bit of a Rosa fan, I thought I'd give a fuller and more correct version of the quote:

"Why do you come with your particular Jewish sorrows? I feel equally close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putumayo, or to the Negroes in Africa with whose bodies the Europeans are playing catch-ball... I have not a separate corner in my heart for the ghetto: I feel at home in the entire world wherever there are cloud and birds and human tears.” Come to me, not pester; equally close, not closer. A nice piece of prose too.

Gustavo Perednik correctly comments: With hindsight, those Jews of the 1916 ghetto would have been happy to exchange their fate with the Putumayo workmen and Black Africans in Africa. As Irving Howe put it “even in the warmest of hearts, there is a cold spot for the Jews.” http://www.zionism-israel.com/his/judeophobia10.htm The full letter (to her friend Mathilde Wurm) is on p.261 here http://tinyurl.com/y2gmqhr , neatly coming after Rahel Varnagen.

And, yes, as SocialRepublican says, and doubtless Irving Howe would also note, not a Bolshevik, but one of their harshest critics.


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