I was reading the comment thread to Jameel’s hilarious post about secular Russians crashing a leftist demonstration in Tel Aviv, carrying signs that were NOT in the spirit of the demonstration as a whole. A few of the early comments actually address the post, but it isn’t long before the comment thread is taken over by a few individuals spewing vicious diatribes against the Jewish people.
I don’t believe there’s a Jew on Planet Earth who hasn’t encountered some sort of anti-Semitism in his or her life. And, like good Jews in the face of criticism (to put it mildly), Jews tend to look inward at their own conduct, their own achievements and failures, and rush to remind the world of their contributions to it. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of videos circulating on the Web proudly stating the life-saving accomplishments of the Jews, our triumphs in the fields of science, literature, art, commerce, finance, philosophy, and every other field we’ve applied ourselves to.
While these are useful for reminding Jews of our own good deeds, they mean nothing to the anti-Semite. Some of the characters leaving comments on Jameel’s post accuse the Jews of inventing polio (hey, they were the ones who came up with the antidote!), withholding a cure for AIDS, controlling the media and the US government, and exercising influence in the country far beyond their deserts. One person promises to come up with a plan to reinstate quotas (2% to reflect the Jewish percentage of the total population). Another promises a new holocaust as payback for the “holocaust” being inflicted by Israel (i.e. the Jews) on the Arabs in Gaza.
This drivel, and more, can be found in what these people write. And contrary to normative Jewish impulse, I believe that the correct response is NOT to remind them of all the good stuff Jews have done in the world. Because the truth is, they already know all the stuff we’ve done for the world. And it makes them hopping mad.
The solution is to put the focus on the angry misfits themselves, and the source of their own peevishness. Because like most anti-Semites, these people are ignorant, lazy, stupid, and constantly on the defensive. Rather than going out and getting an education, or a job, or a life (or therapy, or medication), they would rather dump on the people they see who do everything better than they do. America is the perfect setting for an experiment on how non-Jews do versus the Jews. Putting aside the handicaps Jews had in the beginning (i.e. the quota system), other things being equal, how have they fared? I’d say both have done pretty well. But proportionally, Jews do better. Why? Despite equal opportunity, non-Jews get fewer years of education relative to Jews. This limits opportunities for professional advancement (as does sitting on one’s ass, griping about other people). Jews and non-Jews place unequal emphasis on the importance of literacy and learning, justice, the rule of law, and the value of human life. Non-Jews (Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists) embrace fatalism as part of their religion; Jews believe they have the power to change the world and themselves.
In short, successful people are undaunted by adversity. Rather than giving up or finding someone else to blame, they work harder. Successful people build themselves up through education, experience, and belief in themselves. Successful people don’t need to put others down to succeed. They don’t need to find someone to blame to overcome failure. They don’t need to hate others to love themselves.
In other words, non-Jews and Jews are successful insofar as they embrace the values inherent in Judaism. So perhaps the solution to anti-Semitism is for the Jews to round up all the anti-Semites and … convert them!
One day later…
This was a post about a very tongue-in-cheek solution to the problem of anti-Semitism in the world. In calling anti-Semites ignorant, lazy, and stupid, I really did not expect a small but very vocal posse of anti-Semites to stand up and ask be counted as such in the Comments section. (They also fulfilled the title of the post.) They and other bottom-feeders who troll the Internet looking for places to park their hatred and invective (not necessarily on the subject at hand) may make the Comments section a little nauseating to read. If you have the stomach to see what the current climate accepts for public discourse, read on. If you have a nice dinner planned for later in the evening, you may want to skip that section.