We all took silence yesterday, to remember the Holocaust. Today, I want to share with you the posts of some of the people whose families were touched by this tragedy. Some of them are personal stories, others are a commentary and encouragement, but all know the effect of antisemitism only too well. Please take time to read all their posts, as well as my epilogue.
There were many good words, from good people, on Twitter yesterday. There were also many who denied all this, while spreading the same dangerous antisemitism of the 1930’s. I will not show their posts here, as I do not want to inadvertently give them credence through my publication.
In my encounters with antisemitism, I have come to the conclusion that schools have lied to us…or at least, not given us complete information…about the nature of Jew-hatred. I remember growing up, and being told that racists ‘fear’ Jews. This isn’t exactly true. Some people may feel this way, but fear makes you run away from something, and it dissipates when it is demystified. No, I’m afraid, antisemitism comes from a much darker place.
And if the Jewish people are going to face off against this new challenge, we need to be honest about what antisemitism is, and where it comes from.
In behavioral psychology, scientists have only begun to measure social traits and their characteristics. What we see is that people who are legitimately racist, are also people who have higher levels of disgust. ‘Disgust’ is an evolutionary trait that makes us gag when we see molded bread on the floor, and it exists to keep us from consuming things that are poisonous. So what do you normally do when something disgusts you? You dispose of it, any way possible.
This is why Hitler referenced us as “rats” or “insects” or a “disease”. This is why it was so easy for the Germans to turn on the assimilated Jews who supported their nationalist movements; a rat can not appease a woman in her house. By saying they ‘feared’ us, makes it seem there was something Jews could have done to prevent antisemitism. Truth is, there is nothing that could have been done, except by the will of the Germans themselves. It is this “disgust” reaction to the Jews, and to Israel, that the Jewish people face going forward.
Let us remember then, what drove the Holocaust. The maliciousness of one man to perceive others as a disease. I say, wear it like armor. For those evil enough to look down at us in disgust, there is no appeasement nor mercy. For those evil enough to perceive us as a ‘disease’, the Jewish people will be their cure. Just as Haman was hung by his own gallows, may the anti-Semite be destroyed by his own devices.