Slamming Stone For Anti-Semitism, Media Mogul's Network Airs Pastor Who Says Rothschilds Rule World
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 05:43:16 PM EST
[Editor: this story has been removed because the information that Univision network broadcasts a John Hagee show is incorrect. The Univision network does not broadcast any regular Hagee content]

Thanks for continuing to expose the religiously bigoted grand conspiracy ideologies of some major religious right wing leaders.

To me, their popularization of these grand conspiracy claims is obviously dangerous.  It frustrates me, as I'm sure it also frustrates you, that their claims are not widely regarded as any kind of threat to anyone.

Two minor complaints, though:

  1. Could we please drop the term "anti-semitism"?  Because Arabs are Semites too, the term "anti-semitism," meaning bigotry against Jews only, is itself a slight to Arabs.  And it's a totally unnecessary slight, because there are plenty of other words or phrases that can be used to refer to bigotry against Jews.  Synonyms include  "Jew-hating," "hatred of Jews," and "Judeophobia," among others.

  2. In addition to bigotry against Jews, "Illuminati" claims typically also entail -- more explicitly -- bigotry against various other non-Christians, including atheists, Pagans, occultists, and Satanists, along with "secular humanists" in general.  I would appreciate it very much if you could point out this more general bigotry, as well as bigotry against Jews, more often when discussing "New World Order"/"Illuminati" paranoia.

by Diane Vera on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:28:02 AM EST
Sadly the word anti-Semitism has lost all meaning and all usefulness in fighting hatred and bigotry.  Tablet Magazine recently ran an article "Mainstreaming Hate: How media companies are using the internet to make anti-Semitism acceptable," complete with pictures of the primary villains - Glenn Greenwald, Philip Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, and Stephen Walt.  If these are anti-Semites, and the Christian Zionists pumping out thousands of pages of "New World Order" grand conspiracy ideology are philo-Semites, then the word anti-Semitism has indeed been neutered and is now totally impotent.

Most tragically, the lessons of history are being lost.  Many no longer seem to realize that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The International Jew, and other major anti-Semitic tomes were filled with grand conspiracy ideology much like the "New World Order" narrative of today.  Some leading dispensationalists of the 1920s, and 30s believed the conspiracy narrative paralleled  and supported their own end times narrative and promoted its dissemination to the public. James M. Gray, head of the historic Moody Bible Institute, argued that the Protocols supported the validity of the dispensational timeline at the same time he claimed to be fighting anti-Semitism.  It should also be noted that these fundamentalists who embraced "The Protocols" felt much more warmly toward Orthodox Jews who still actively anticipated the Messiah, while demonizing "secular" Jews.  This is where the conspiracy narrative merges "secular" Jews, gays, atheists, pagans, freemasons, etc. in a rebellion against God in a conspiracy to destroy Western civilization.

This history is being lost with the redefinition of anti-Semitism and I believe you are right.  It is a growing problem for many groups in society, not just Jews.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 08:26:32 AM EST

I think you misunderstood my objection to the term "anti-semitism."  My objection was not merely that the term has lost all meaning by being over-applied to any and all criticism of the more hawkish parties in Israel -- although that is, indeed, another problem with the term "anti-semitism."  My main objection is that the term itself, even if it were not being abused in this manner, is a slight to Arabs, because Arabs are Semites too, but the term "anti-Semitism" does not refer to bigotry against Arabs (which is a real problem too, as is bigotry against Jews).

by Diane Vera on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 10:49:38 AM EST
This is a minor point, when compared to the major issue this article is raising - but the word "anti-semitism" does not refer to hatred of Arabs. The man who invented the term, Wilhelm Marr, founded a group in 1879 called the "Antisemiten-Liga" ("League of Antisemites"). The term is a pseudo-scientific term for "Jew-hatred," invented in the context of the rise of racially-based Jew hatred in the late 19th century. An "anti-Semite" is one who is against the mythical "race" of "Semites" (a pseudo-scientific term for Jews). "Anti-semitism" is opposition to another mythical entity, "Semitism," the essence of Jewishness.

by Rebecca on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM EST
I'm aware that "anti-Semitic" does not refer to bigotry against Arabs.  However, the term "Semitic" does encompass Arabs as well as Jews.  (See the Wikipedia entry on Semitic.)  That's WHY I say that the term "anti-semitism" is a slight to Arabs.

If we need a term to refer specifically to race-based (as distinct from religion-based) hatred of Jews, I would call it "anti-Jewish racism."  I see no reason why we need to keep using the term "anti-Semitism."

by Diane Vera on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:24:35 PM EST

I've been mulling this over...  I've been aware of (some of) the tortured history of the murky term "anti-Semitism," which I've been using (when I don't use "anti-Jewish") because it's been so heavily branded - people in the Jewish community know what it is, or at least they used to know what it was supposed to refer to. But the term has become so debased and politicized I'd have to agree that it's well nigh time to dispense with it altogether.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful input.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:45:14 PM EST

I didn't know that, and it reinforces Diane's point that the time has come to stop using the term altogether, except to criticize its murky and now hopelessly debased meaning.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 12:42:38 PM EST

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