What is 'self-hatred'?
There is little doubt that psychologically, racism is harmful to its victims. The most profound effect associated with situations of extreme degradation (such as is found under slavery or in concentration camps or in racist states like South Africa) is the acceptance by the oppressed group of the dominant group's definition of the situation. This is the phenomenon of self-hatred found, for example, in cases of Jewish anti-Semitism or in the acceptance by blacks of white aesthetic criteria of having straight hair or a light skin. Self-hatred is often accompanied by symptoms of apathy, anxiety, and depression or by forms of self-destructive escapist reactions such as alcoholism or drug addiction or, in extreme cases, by paranoid, schizophrenic or manic depressive psychoses. In such situations of extreme degradation then, the oppressed group frequently reacts in an 'intropunitive' fashion; that is, it turns its frustrations inwardly against the self or the 'in' group at large.
- from Racism And Its Effects, By Shreya Khatau, Bombay, India -
How is it possible to hate and reject oneself or one's own people?
Beginning with George Herbert Mead's idea of the "looking-glass self," social psychology has assumed that one's self-image derives in large part from how one is viewed by others -- family, school, and the broader society. When those views are negative, people may internalize them, resulting in lower self-esteem -- or self-hatred, as it has been called. This theory was first applied to the experience of Jews, by Sigmund Freud and Bruno Bettelheim, but it was also soon applied to the experience of African-Americans, by Gordon Allport, Frantz Fanon, Kenneth Clark, and others.
- in The Atlantic Monthly, August 1999, "Thin Ice" -
Self-hate arises when the minority-group member, who takes so many of his values from the majority group, learns to think of himself in its terms. Because his group is strange in their eyes, he comes to believe himself strange. Since they look down on him, he begins to look down on himself, particularly on that which differentiates him. So, among Jews it was truly a compliment not to "look Jewish." Similarly, in the black community until recent years, the lighter one's skin, the higher one's social status was likely to be.
- Eugene B. Borowitz, The Mask Jews Wear -- The Self-Deceptions of American Jewry, 1980 -
The term identity rejection is used here to denote a state of psychic imbalance in which an aspect of identity, namely the fact of one's Jewish background, is not fully integrated or accepted by the self. So defined, it may range in occurrence from apathy or total indifference to complete rejection and denial.
- Jerry V. Diller, "Identity Rejection and Reawakening in the Jewish Community", Journal of Psychology and Judaism, Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall/Winter 1980 -
How does one teach Jewish children that at a certain historical juncture their people were considered bacilli and eradicated like so much vermin? Can such a page of history be ingested without lacerating the Jewish self-image? No child willingly accepts membership in a community that has seemingly lost so radically. It is better to be the hero in history.
- Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center Online -
How is the desire to assimilate related to 'self-hatred'?
Hannah Arendt (1970) described the Jews of Germany as having an unrequited love affair with German culture. The tragedy for such Jews was that the culture, which they embraced so passionately, was routinely anti-semitic. The same was true for the German speaking Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Those, who were enthusiastic to be culturally German, adopted many of that culture's prejudices against things Jewish. The bourgeois, assimilating Jews directed these prejudices against the ghetto Jews of the eastern Europe, the Ostjuden, who displayed overt, and shameful, characteristics of Jewishness (Weitzmann, 1987). Jokes about Jewish dress, meanness and unclean habits were common: 'dirty-Jew' jokes were to find their way into Freud's Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious. A brittle and painful constellation of feelings was involved: the desire to be German, the separation from Jewishness, the association of Jewishness with despised traits, and a recognition that the true Germans would still see Jewishness in themselves, despite their all efforts. At its extreme, this constellation formed the basis of what has become known as 'self-hatred'
- from Freud and Dora: repressing an oppressed identity, by Michael Billig, Department of Social Sciences, University of Loughborough. Published in the British Journal of Social Psychology -
The insistence shown by so many Jews in wishing themselves other than they are, in refusing to see the reasons for their common misfortune, and in being blind to the difficult splendour of a Jewish vocation, is an indication of a deep-seated spiritual malaise. These Jews will remain prisoners of the resulting contradictions so long as they refuse to accept themselves for what they are. Self-awareness and political commitment must go hand-in-hand.
...I oppose assimilation as a policy because, contrary to what its champions believe or would have us believe, it in no way brings us nearer the advent of a world-wide republic; rather does it reinforce the ethnocentrism of other peoples to the detriment of the Jews alone. Throughout the ages, and especially since the events of this century, many Jews have dreamt of escaping from the cycle of persecution-toleration. This dream the assimilationist fails to see, or seeing, denies, and remains unmoved by a natural human reaction to an intolerable threat.
- Jacques Givet, "The Anti-Zionist Complex" -
How can we escape our Jewishness if we look Jewish?
"It was the thing to do," said Dr. H. George Brenna, who practices in Southern California. "You had your bat mitzvah and you got your nose done."
...[parents] wanted their own children spared discrimination. And to them, that meant fitting inconspicuously into the Protestant mainstream. "Jewish parents at that time didn't want their children to look Jewish," said Dr. James L. Baker Jr., who practices outside Orlando, Fla.
...The physical characteristic that most set Jews apart was their noses, and so legions of teen-agers, usually girls, had them fixed. The technology was primitive compared to today's and so the results, through the 1970s, had a cookie-cutter similarity -- littl ski-jump noses with the bony bridge scooped away.
But that was O.K. with the patients. "Everybody wanted to look like a shiksa," said Dr. Thomas D. Rees, a retired plastic surgeon who trained many of the high-priced doctors at work today along Park Ave.
The leading practitioner back then was Dr. Howard Diamond of Manhattan, renowned for standardizing what had been a hit-or-miss operation. "Every girl on Long Island had a Diamond nose," said Dr. George J. Beraka, who said he can still pick them out on women now deep into middle age.
- from As Ethnic Pride Rises, Rhinoplasty Takes a Nose Dive, by Jane Gross, New York Times -
Jacques Joseph, a surgeon trained in Leipzig and Berlin at the end of the nineteenth century, and the author of the textbook on rhinoplasty mentioned above, was dismissed in 1896 by his (Jewish) supervisor for performing an operation that was purely cosmetic; vanity, he was told, was not sufficient grounds for surgery. In Joseph's eyes, however, such surgery was an act of mercy. For patients of limited means who "suffered from a 'Jewish nose'" he is said to have provided his services pro bono.
- from Beauty Under the Knife, by Holly Brubach in The Atlantic Monthly, Feb 2000 -
In his earlier study of aesthetic surgery, Creating Beauty to Cure the Soul,1 Professor Sander L. Gilman gave a fascinating account of the origins of these ideas, tracing them back to Enlightenment philosophers' understanding of a beautiful body as the visible expression of human virtue. Conversely, ugly bodies signified unhealthy spirits. Follow through this argument and the Jew's nose comes to represent the Jew's permanently sick soul.
...In Creating Beauty to Cure the Soul Gilman concentrates on the complex relationship between aesthetic surgery and psychoanalysis in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which offered parallel possibilities of transformation, one of the body, the other of the mind...
...Central to Gilman's thesis is the notion of "passing." The reason for the popularity of plastic surgery (over 1.9 million operations in 1996 in the US alone) has been the way it helps people to "pass" into the social group with which they identify emotionally.
...New surgery was developed to turn noses regarded as racially inferior into socially desirable features.
- By FIONA MACCARTHY, in a book review of Making the body beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery, by Sander L. Gilman -
What if I don't want surgery? How can I shed my Jewish skin and become more acceptable to my peers, and myself?
Marry a blond shiksa, convert to their faith, become an anti-Zionist, deny the Holocaust, change your name to Noam Chomsky.
Why would certain Jews ally themselves with forces that openly express a hatred for the Jewish people, and act on that hatred.
I cannot imagine why a Jew would seek methods to push his nation over the cliff but, our history is replete with the sick, the aberrant, the suicidal. Perhaps, every so often we are cursed with an erratic gene which produces a twisted small child who becomes a sick twisted small adult. The Jewish people may need a gigantic Freudian couch on which to cure their distorted self esteem which has been engendered by the unremitting hostility and genocide committed by many nations of the world. They hated the people who accepted the Word of the one G-d. Even as Jews are being attacked daily by bullets, bombs and boulders, Israel's leaders buy another package of deceit from Arafat to cease his violence. How sad to see what could have been a great contributing nation march toward oblivion singing the praises of the man and his people who hate Israel with such a powerful killing passion.
- Emanuel A. Winston - Middle East Analyst & Commentator -
While moderate anti-Zionists can invoke the universal character of Judaism, Jews who join forces with the PLO in abominating everything to do with Israel - PLO fellow-travelers - have nothing similar to fall back on. They illustrate a form of self-negation and self-abasement fequently encountered among long persecuted minorities.
...The behavior of anti-Zionist Jews clearly reveals a rejection of themselves as Jews and an unconscious acquiescence to the image which their enemies seek to project of them. The process is psychologically understandable, but is a form of political defeatism. For if all oppressed peoples reacted in the same perverse way, seeking to identify themselves with a supposedly inflexible oppressor, national emancipation would be an imposibility.
...The anti-Zionists fail to understand that national liberation implies legitimate self-defence and the defence of Judaism. The vicissitudes of the Diaspora have brought about a state of affairs in which many marginal Jews are interested in neither the one nor the other. Some lose their sense of identity and any residual loyalty they might owe to other Jews and proclaim a shocking solidarity with those who bring death to their brethren. ...[T]o invite us to follow the lead of Jews such as these, who admit to being Jews onlly so that they may the more effectively oppose any expression of a national will, is like holding up strike-breakers as models for the working class.
...On the whole, historical ignorance and over-simplification are as much a characteristic of the extreme anti-Zionist as psychological tortuousness is of the moderate.
...It is nothing less than pathetic that Jews who have transferred their allegiance to the other camp believe that in attacking Israel and seeking to encompass its destruction they are, in their own fashion, combatting anti-Semitism - as if it were possible to advance the cause of freedom by choosing to remain unfree. Persecuted themselves, the would-be persecutors of others, they find their enemies, not in their self-styled well-wishers, but in those they are willing to betray.
It is pathetic that Israel, relentlessly criticized by these people, should in the long run be their only shield and refuge and, paradoxically, the only real guarantee of their right to speak out, even though what they say runs counter to their own interests.
Finally, it is pathetic (but Jewish history is full of such pathos) that these persons, whether they like it or not, and whether I like it or not (and God knows how earnestly, at times, I wish it were no so), remain my bretthren.
- Jacques Givet, "The Anti-Zionist Complex" -
Are 'Progressive Jews' indifferent to the fate of the Jewish people?
"No member of the Jewish race can renounce the incontestable and fundamental right of his people, without at the same time denying the history of the Jews and his own ancestors...[I therefore accuse the] so-called progressive Jews of indifference to the fate of the Jewish people; for whenever a project for the restoration of the Jewish state is being considered, they display towards it a naivete that neither does credit to their reasoning power nor to their heart. The explanations offered by them on such occasions are inadmissible both from a moral and from a political point of view."
- Ernest Laharanne, The New Eastern Question, France, 1852 -
Are 'Progressive Jews' ashamed of their Nationality?
"Judaism... is misconceived by our enlightened Jews. These legal and religious precepts and commandments, which permeate the whole life of the Jew, are condemned and mocked at by blockheads, who have not the least conception of the patriotic significance of these precepts and who consider themselves progressive only because they have turned their back on the traditions of their people.... The holy spirit, the creative genius of the people, out of which Jewish life and teaching arose, deserted Israel when its children began to feel ashamed of their nationality...."
- Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem, 1862 -
"I ask students what they are. If someone gets up and says, I'm a Catholic, I know that's a Catholic. If someone says, I'm a Protestant, I know that's a Protestant. If someone gets up and says, I'm just a human being, I know that's a Jew."
- Shlomo Carlebach, after a lifetime of visiting American university campuses, quoted in Love, Hate, and Jewish Identity, by Jonathan Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth -
Do 'Progressive Jews' wish to escape from their Jewishness?
The simple truth is that under the facade of their "progressiveness" there is always a subconsciously hidden attempt to escape from their Jewishness. They use beautiful words and convincing arguments to prove the necessity of fighting for somebody else's abstract rights instead of proudly defending their own. They say that they ennoble the world community by defending the interests of other nations, while disregarding the fate of their brethren. They rush to a cosmopolitan universe, where all the uniqueness of the nations disappears and where they can call themselves citizens of the universe. In his recently published book Rubber Bullets one of the leading "Peace Now" Israeli intellectuals, professor of political science Yaron Ezrahi wrote about his visit to the Grand Canyon in Colorado: "I must have sought a retreat from Jewish history, a place where rocks and geological time humble us, not as Jews but simply as human beings." This involuntary confession explains a lot. The "progressive" Jews do not want to be Jews. They are Israelis, they say, therefore, there should not be difference between the Jewish and the Arab Israelis. They want a democratic, not a Jewish state; if they could choose, they would pick a democratic one. They believe that universal human values are preferable to Jewish values, not realizing that the former were derived from the later ones. Leah Rabin declared that, given the choice, she would prefer that her children be Arabs, rather than Orthodox Jews.
- Boris Shusteff -
Universalists who recognize the existence of Israel while claiming for themselves the right to hold aloof fail to grasp what recognition implies, namely, secure frontiers (without which such recognition is meaningless) and the right to be different (without which it is artificial). The universalist who is a Jew into the bargain, torn between several options, lacking roots himself - a victim of history - cannot admit that the search for roots is a legitimate activity and becomes hopelessly confused.
...There is clearly a sense in which it is easier to feel an affility with mankind at large than to espouse a particular national cause; indeed, nationalism may be experienced as a straitjacket. To aspire to be a citizen of the world is laudable, but to invoke this aspiration as a pretext for opposing self-determination or to support the continuance of abasement and humiliation demonstrates, if not bad faith, at least a grave political shortsightedness. More especially, to imagine that Jews do not have to follow the same path to freedom as other alienated peoples is an illusion peculiar to rootless Jews. In a world divided into nations, torn between nations, to demand of the Jews alone that they be citizens of the world is to condemn them to extinction. Six million perished because they had no country to give them refuge. They were all, whether they liked it or not, stateless "universalists" - but sufficiently Jewish not to escape a very Jewish fate.
...Treated as less than full citizens in their countries of adoption, vaguely aware of their lack of roots, they prefer to disappear into the mass by virtue of an airy abstraction rather than to reaffirm their Jewishness, an affirmation condemned by universalism as retrograde. Thus, the leaning towards universalism is largely attributable to the Jewish feeling of rootlessness and insecurity within an alien society.
- Jacques Givet, "The Anti-Zionist Complex" -
Who are these self-hating Jews? What are their stories?
History affords us numerous examples of Jewish people confused over their identities and even of those suffering from self-hatred. Perhaps the phenomenon began with those Jews who chose to remain in Babylon rather than return to Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah. Maybe we can trace the origins of this malady to the Jews who accepted Hellenization and worshipped the graven images of the Greek gods.
The historian Flavius Josephus was a Jewish general who chose to join the side of the Romans rather than lay down his life on the side of the Jewish people. He later wrote Jewish history, or more accurately "anti-Jewish history," to please the Romans. Josephus is a "Benedict Arnold" of his generation, and he exemplifies disloyalty to Judaism.
Unfortunately, some of the most vehement self-professed haters of the Jewish people were so-called "converts to Christianity." Johannes Pfefferkorn was allegedly converted to Christianity by the Dominicans in 1504. Only three years later, he began writing anti-Jewish tracts which called for "the suppression of the Talmud; prohibition of usury; forced attendance at sermons to Jews...; expulsion of the Jews from the last German cities which had sizable Jewish communities...The name Pfefferkorn became proverbial for unprincipled denigrators of their own origin and faith."
There were also great Jewish philosophers who suffered from an aggravated confusion over their Jewish identities. Karl Marx is perhaps the most extreme example of this. It is curious to note that both his mother and father were the offspring of rabbis. Marx's father, who became a prominent Russian Jewish lawyer, converted to Protestantism because of an edict prohibiting Jews from being legal advocates. In Marx's own materialistic interpretation of the world, he found no place for a valid Jewish experience. In his essay "Zur Judenfrage" ("About the Jewish Question") he wrote:
What is the secular basis of Judaism?
Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly cult of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money...Out of its entrails bourgeois society continually creates Jews. [Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 11, pp. 1071- 1074]
How ironic that Marx's view of his own Jewish people became a view of Hitler, who boasted of his anti-Communism.
Sigmund Freud also suffered from identity rejection, as Leon Vogel points out:
We can perhaps conclude that Freud, victim of his own inferiority complex, did not completely resolve his conflicts by self-analysis, and was ultimately unable quite to accept his own identity as a Jew. He proved unable to overcome his rejection by the world of German culture, whose spiritual son he was, which gave rise to immense feelings of frustration. It was to resolve that dilemma that Freud wrote his book on Moses and monotheism.[Leon Vogel, "Freud and Judaism: An Analysis in the Light of His Correspondence," Judaism, Issue 94, Vol. 24, No. 2]
In recent times, popular writers such as Philip Roth (Portnoy's Complaint) have parodied Jewishness by depicting Jews with all too human faults, yet with none of the divine nobility or redeeming traits which have characterized Jewish life through the ages. Marie Syrkin writes:
Roth's chief contribution to the Jewish mother routine is the picture of momma threatening her son with a long bread knife to make him eat. To make sure that this maniacal bit is viewed as characteristic of the type rather than as an individual aberration, the Jewish ladies who come to play mah-jongg applaud this technique in child care. [Marie Syrkin, "The Fun of Self-Abuse," Midstream, April 1969]
In order to unravel the psychology of self-deception, Furet makes a close study of the Hungarian philosopher Georg LukAcs. LukAcs was the son of a liberal Jewish businessman, and both his Judaism and his bourgeois origins became, for him, a source of shame. As Furet observes, intellectuals often find escape from self-hatred in the pursuit of the universal. For LukAcs, communism offered the grandest universalism there was, a science of History that would lift him above his Judaism and his bourgeois origins and associate his life with the redemptive and cleansing force of the proletariat.
- The New Republic -
Noam Chomsky intellectual snob, and self deluded darling of the Berkley, Harvard , M .I.T, axis was in Baghdad by the bay(Berkley California) on the weekend of March 16th 1991 surrounded by adoring allocates and other human worshipers who wallow in intellectual graffiti . The sad story of this insane worship as told by Mr. David Armstrong of the San Francisco Examiner is unfolded for all people to see. Like opening a fetid rancid rats nest the clear light of exposure is needed, Herr professor of The holy institute(M.I.T) gets the chance to lay his eggs of lies at the supreme altar of self hatred. There this maven of self pretentious intellect and deceit had the chance to rant and rave at his twin evils of the universe, the United States of America and Israel. There he received the allocades of an audience that revels in the debasement and slander of his crusade. Spouting outright lies and distortions(such the accusation that Israel has murdered hundreds and thousands of Arabs during the intifada), Chomsky fumigated and pouted that the press didn't attack Israel for the crimes of Iraq during the recent gulf war. he said of course Israel caused the gulf war , thereby parroting the butcher of Baghdad's line completely) He also criticized CNN's coverage (which other people thought was an organ for Iraqi propaganda)as being too pro U.S ! .. Wow this was astounding since Mr. Chomsky doesn't have cable T.V. and never even saw CNN's coverage himself !!
But this is consistent with Noamy boys total and regular disregard for facts. Facts are alien for this strange creature of self hatred for all Jewish institutions and ideas. Bronx born Grand concourse and all , this vile mench rebelled against his people early in life. At institutions of the far left he can meet people who appear to live for nothing but hatred for America and Israel. Here the far left meet in a circle with the neo Nazis of the far right. Together the ubber Mench noami can walk hand in hand with and reveal in an intellectual conspiracy theory of a Zionist dominated universe. To call noamy an intellectual is an oxy moron. He specializes in his chosen M.I.T. academic endeavor in something called "linguistics ". Note this is not "languages " as normal people know for it would be a standard to measure intellectual achievement . no noamy boy chose linguistics simply because in fact his specialty is based on LANGUAGES THAT CAN NEVER BE PROVED TO EXIST !! Its about prelanguages that may have existed but no record of which has ever been found. Perfect for a man who doesn't like FACTS getting in his way. This way he can make up his own rules as he goes along . Noamy boy is not stupid. As a former graduate of the renowned Bronx high school of Science he had to be smart. He is extremely clever in getting people to believe pure intellectual manure , of which he is the king of the hill.
- Ruth's Forum, Yuk Award -