They say if you’re afraid of public speaking, picture the audience in their underwear. I’m afraid of Jew hate, but imagining antisemites in their undies doesn’t help; plus, I’m not sure it’s kosher. So how does one deal with the felt threats against Jews that now are coming fast and furious?
Here in the U.S., we’ve got Congress going negative on Israel; the Palestinian cause spun as the Black cause; an anti-Israel screed appearing in a science magazine; and reliably, Jews themselves doubling down on anti-Israel slander, to name a few. (Oh, and swastikas drawn in faeces.)
It was after musing that the lies about Zionists from media have become so grotesque that the world might as well just go back to saying Jews have horns and tails that a new outlook came to me. It is that anti-Zionism, the modern antisemitism, can be best viewed as an entertainment product; one that is being milked ad nauseam for a global audience.
Entertainment is ethereal and need not have any grounding in facts, logic, or morality any more than crypto currency has the backing of a hard asset; hence no point in flinching and fuming at every new offense. As with other products, all that matters is that many people find value in the commodity and join the market. Also, entertainment arouses diverse passions in different people, but this is of no import. No one will ever get “talked into” loving the New York Yankees or the movie Shrek. Why should “The Conflict” be any different?
I then elaborated to myself the nature of this entertainment product. At first, one thinks that warring parties must be most akin to spectator sports; perhaps like American football, with its body-slamming excitement. Both entail great intensity and team allegiance. Sports fans dress up in team insignias to cheer their side just as “pro-Palestinians” wear keffiyehs as they cheer Palestinians toward the goal lines of river and sea.
But such sports, with their testosterone overload, feel more like right-wing antisemitism, typified by neo-Nazi thugs (no offense to sports fans, although it is statistically true that fans are more often male). Sports also has an ego-identification component: fans root for their school, state, nation, etc.; essentially, themselves. Likewise, right-wing bigots are unabashedly for themselves and against everyone who isn’t themselves. Indeed, Nazi chants can nowadays be heard in sports stadiums.
Left-wing aggression, of which anti-Zionism (antisemitism) is a part, is more oblique, which is probably why it enjoys so much deniability. Rather than simply jousting for self-interested ends – something seen throughout the animal kingdom – left-wing aggression seems to engage uniquely human faculties. There is abstract conceptualization about the conflict likely intermixed with various social motives, such as self-image. The result is a passion expressed for others; indeed, often for those very different from oneself and/or very far away.
At the risk of being crude, these differences in aggression characteristics between the political left and right recall what has been glibly said to be the difference between the two sexes (back when there were two) with respect to the reproductive urge: “women need a reason; men need a place.” Accordingly, the left, energized as it is, more by narrative than by an imminent survival impulse, has something of a “female” flavor to it. The entertainment product that comes to mind here is drama.
In specific, the leftist’s dramatic tale of “The Conflict” is the tried-and-true classic involving Hero, Villain, and Damsel-In-Distress. The Villain is obvious; that’s the Jew, except that instead of a handlebar moustache, it’s a hooked nose. Correctly dubbed a cartoon, the schema requires one-dimensional characters. The audience mustn’t know, for example, that a Villain had a deprived childhood or has a concerning rash, for this would compromise his villainy. Conveniently, in the case of “The Conflict,” this end is easy since most people truly don’t know Jews nor what they’re actually like.
The Damsel role of course goes to the Palestinians. Never mind about the ubiquitous image of Hamas terrorists wearing war masks and brandishing assault rifles; the casting still works. For one thing, the skin tone of our Damsel is correct, being brown (formerly she needed milky white skin). A Damsel must also have no agency, as this makes it extra clear she needs rescuing. In the classic version, the Damsel lacks agency because she is literally unconscious, having either fainted away or been given a potion. Alternatively, though, she might have been bound and gagged and held in a dungeon. This latter scenario works well for the Palestinians: they are considered bound and gagged by Israel, whether in the “open air concentration camp” of Gaza (which, by the way, has a lesser population density than Tel Aviv and Manhattan) or as captives behind the “apartheid prison wall” of Judaea-Samaria.
As for the Hero, who must rescue the Damsel and slay the Villain, she is well played by anti-Zionist Jews, who have established their special bravery/virtue creds by first breaking free from their evil tribe’s chokehold. But anyone helping to take down the Villain can have a piece of the action. The main requirement is a muscular morality; the ability to size up evil at a glance. True heroes don’t investigate and assess; there’s no “so let me see if I understand…” They act, driven by selfless righteousness. To take time to study a situation is to be cowardly and immoral (not to mention un-dramatic).
Turns Out Gender Partisanship is Significant
It was largely with fanciful intent that I posited the foregoing “right-wing/masculine/sports” vs. “left-wing/feminine/drama” as answer to the question “what’s your antisemitic entertainment style?” Yet I subsequently learned that, if nothing else, there really is a marked divide in political affiliation along gender lines, despite it receiving scant attention. Hence the breakout may indeed have relevancy for antisemitism; specifically, insofar as which voters – and how many – find themselves susceptible to each pole’s version of the disease.
Following, some data that surprised me:
Per a 2018 poll:
- American women are “significantly” more likely than men to associate with the Democratic Party (56 percent vs. 44 percent).
- The gender gap exists across racial and ethnic groups.
Per a second 2018 poll:
- Israel support among U.S. men is stronger than among women (50 percent vs. 42 percent).
Per a 2020 article in TheAtlantic.com:
- Gender voting patterns are “one of the most important fault lines in American politics.”
- “Since 1980, a majority of men have never once supported the Democratic candidate for president.”
- American women go to the polls in greater numbers than men. (This is interesting, since one only ever hears about getting out the Black and Hispanic vote; never getting out the male vote.)
- “In each of the last two presidential contests, women have outvoted men by about 10 million ballots. That’s equal to the total number of votes cast in the state of Texas in 2016. From an electoral perspective, the United States of Women is larger than the United States of Men by a full Lone Star State.”
Per a 2020 article in New York Magazine:
- The leftward drift of women is occurring worldwide.
- “It would be a mistake to attribute this year’s gender gap [in U.S. voter preference] entirely to Trump’s personal attributes. After all, women have been trending left, as men trend right, for decades now. And this development is not unique to the United States – rather, it is present across nearly all advanced democracies.”
- “The modern gender gap is (arguably) one of post industrial capitalism’s signature products.”
- Explanations for the phenomenon range from shifts in religiosity, the workforce, and the family to a new emphasis on intangibles such as self-expression in materially secure societies.
Per Why Did Women Vote for Hitler? in TheConversation.com:
- “[women liked] Nazism’s proposed solutions to problems such as poverty rather than the supposed grandeur of Nazi ideology.”
Whatever the cause of the global increase in left-leaning women or the greater turnout of women voters in the U.S. (in the Middle East and elsewhere, it’s the opposite), the trend bodes ill for those of us watching with alarm the left’s increasing antisemitism/anti-Zionism. For it means that ever more women are party to a fairy tale about Israeli villainy, even as they increasingly ascend to political power.
Personally, I have been moving contrariwise from others of my gender. I know too well the left’s cartoon narrative for what it is, and so for sanity’s sake, can only dismiss it as an entertainment product – at least for now; until reality bites.