No one is antisemitic if you ask them. Not at all!
Certainly not John Galliano, even though you can hear him admiring Hitler in this video. Not Charlie Sheen and not Mel Gibson. These guys were just drunk or stoned and plus, some of their best friends are Jews.
Here is my feeling: Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic. It is frustrating to argue this point. I tried in another post, when a film reviewer praised an actress for not “trying to mask her Jewishness.” Everyone claimed to be bewildered by the premise that this is clearly antisemitic.
If you tell me about your Jewish friends, you are antisemitic, to my ears. The fact that you distinguish some people as Jews – unless they are orthodox Jews whose lifestyle is defined by religion – then you have a problem.
Me, I’m an atheist but I’m a Jew because my parents and their parents were Jews. The world will always define me as different because the world is nuts. Why the world is nuts about Jews, I don’t know. I’ve been reading about it but I’m not a historian. I don’t need to be a historian to know that most of the world hates Jews.
That’s their problem, though, I’m not going to boycott Galliano because he’s antisemitic. I love his designs and I don’t care about his personal problems. Hating Jews is like hating blacks but more insidious: It’s just ignorance and the need to feel superior. It’s stupid, but evidently we can’t cure stupidity.
Last night I watched a great movie called “The Believer” which caused such an uproar when it was previewed to Jewish leaders that it was released under the radar and disappeared quickly. It’s the true story of a self-hating Jewish student in New York who becomes a neo-Nazi.
Ryan Gosling is the anti-hero. His speech to a group of would-be fascists is so maniacal that it has stayed with me over the years. Each time I see the movie and hear the speech, I laugh out loud at its audacity and absurdity – and because its true. Here it is, copied from the script:
DANNY How many of you think of yourselves as anti-Semites? (All the hands go up.) Good. Actually, the term is a bit imprecise since technically Jews are only one of the Semitic peoples.... In fact, Arabs are Semites, as are the Eritreans, the Ethiopians, and so on.... But for our purposes an anti- Semite is someone who hates or is against Jews.... Now, why do we hate them? He looks around. The room is silent. DANNY Let me put it another way. Do we hate them because they push their way in where they don't belong? Or because they're clannish and keep to themselves? Murmurs of "Yeah. Both." But some are confused by this. DANNY ...Because they're tight with money, or because they flash it around? Because they're Bolsheviks or because they're capitalists? Because they have the highest IQs, or because they have the most active sex lives? The audience, confused... DANNY Do you want to know the real reason we hate them?... DANNY ...Because we hate them. (as people exchange puzzled looks) Because they exist. Because it is an axiom of civilization that just as man longs for woman, loves his children and fears death, he hates the Jews. (smiles) There is no reason. If there were, some smart-ass kike would give us an argument, try to prove we were wrong. And of course that would only make us hate them more. In fact we have all the reasons we need in three simple letters: J-E-W. Jew. Say it a million times. It is the only word that never loses its meaning: Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew....