[Marxism] Anti-Semitism is a misnomer
lueko.willms at t-online.de
Tue Aug 1 01:22:01 MDT 2006
On Mon, 31 Jul 2006 16:27:21 +0000, D OC wrote:
> The problem is that many people assume that the
> only Semites are the Jews. Of course, Semites
> include all those who are claimed to descend
> from the biblical character Shem - this includes
> all the Arabic people also.
The term "antisemitism" was coined by the antisemites, and did not
refer to Semitic peoples in general, but to Jews in the capitalist
societies of Europe.
> After the Nazis, the greatest anti-semites
> are the Zionists. They have killed more people
> of semitic origin than any other group.
But there is a difference between general racism, directed towards
"inferior" people, and the antisemitism coming out of the capitalist
society of Europe.
The colonizer has racist contempt for the people he has subjugated to
his will by conquering his land, or by making him a slave.
Antisemitism arose against a body of people who had constitued sort of
a caste in the feudal society, where people had their place because of
being born into it. In the christian-germanic feudal society of Europe,
Jews represented the element of money and capital, forming a separated
but intimately linked people-class, as Abraham Leon explained in his
This caste or guild, being a people-class, somewhat ethincally
distinct, had more problems dissolving into the capitalist class society
than the "regular" guilds of, say, carpenters, shoemakers, smiths,
peasants, etc. This exposed position made them vulnerable for attacks
which were a diversion from the attacks which should have been directed
at the capitalists. Antisemitism has always also a feeling of
inferiority and envy for the superior material or intellectual position
attributed to Jews. One would not find the phantasy that Blacks are in
reality directing society by some secret societies hidden behind the
normal instutions (I once had debated a fool who proclaimed that the US
Federal Reserve system is owned and directed by "the Jews" via the
British Rothschild bank, the US presidency being just a pawn in their
So, while antisemitism is certainly a form of racism -- "they" are
different from "us", and "we" have to push "our" interests against
"them" -- it has its own particular traits which one should be aware of,
and one shold not dilute the fight against antisemitism in a general
struggle against racism.
On the other hand, it is of course nonsense to reproach "antisemitism"
to the resistance against the colonial settler state Israel, even if
some people borrow from European antisemitic phantasies to find an
understanding for what is happening to them.
Antisemitism opposes a phantasy of Jewish power and rule, while the
Arabs in Palestine and beyond are really oppressed.
It is rather antisemitic to claim an identity of interests between the
colonial settler state Israel and Jews. The interests are rather
opposed. Explanation of this fact should be an important part of a fight
against Israeli colonial racism.
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