Alice Walker has joined fellow Hamas flotilla writers, Henning Mankell and Iain Banks in boycotting the Hebrew language and banning their books from being translated into the 4,000-year-old Zionist language. This move has gotten more attention, because, unlike Henning Mankell and Iain Banks, people have actually heard of Walker, if only because they were forced to read her in school.
As punishments go, preventing Israelis from reading The Color Purple seems more like a blessing than a curse. If only Amos Oz and David Grossman could be similarly convinced to follow through on their politics and begin boycotting the Hebrew language, the national IQ would be better for it.
Walker, Mankell and Banks (possibly the world’s worst law firm) have every right to pick up their placards and boycott one of the world’s oldest languages. When Wagner directed the work of Jewish composers, he reportedly immediately discarded the gloves that he wore during the onerous task. Perhaps Walker and the Gaza gang could do likewise, allowing the translation only so long as the laptop and printers that actually transform their words into the cursed Hebraic are swiftly thrown out afterward.
“We have to explain to ourselves the involuntary repellence possessed for us by the nature and personality of the Jews,” Wagner wrote in “Das Judenthum in der Musik,” “so as to vindicate that instinctive dislike which we plainly recognize as stronger and more overpowering than our conscious zeal to rid ourselves thereof.”
Gaza is one of the ways that leftectuals like Walker, Banks and Mankell explain to themselves and their audiences that “involuntary repellence” that emanates for them from the Hebrew language, but not from Chinese, Turkish or Urdu. As committed progressives they may have to practice a conscious zeal to rid themselves of it, but the need of the left to express its Judeophobia is always stronger than its ability to control it.
The boycotts, followed by broken windows in Jewish stores, vapidly self-righteous denunciations, operas and plays like “Seven Jewish Children,” and the entire celebration of the left’s emancipation from self-restraint on the “Jewish Question,” is the rationalization of that bigotry. It explains the bigotry to the bigots as not being bigotry at all. Suddenly smashing Jewish store windows becomes the most unbigoted thing a leftist can possibly do with his spare time.
In a letter to The Guardian, Iain Banks urged the world to impose “moral degradation and ethical isolation” on the Jewish State– familiar terms from both recent and ancient European history.
Sticking Jews in a ghetto, local or global, is not a particularly original idea. If Banks wrote that sort of thing into a novel, it might be considered plagiarism. But being derivative is not a problem when it comes to hating Jews. A novel has to be original, a rant claiming that Jews are inhuman monsters, that a cabal of rich Jews controls foreign policy and that the best thing would be to isolate Jews from the rest of mankind or deprive them of their homeland and send them wandering around the world is greeted with the same applause as it would have been in 1939 or 1339.
Some dub these outbursts of left-wing Judeophobia; “The New Anti-Semitism,” but what exactly is new about it? Like many movie remakes, it’s new only in the sense that some words have been changed around and the whole thing has been given a fresh feel to tap into the emotions of a new generation.
The left’s hostility to Israel derives from its hostility to Jews. The left rejected Jewish nationalism because it rejected the idea that Jews were a separate people with individual rights, rather than mere peasants and workers to be deprived of their religion and heritage, and submerged into the melting pots of a secular post-European Europe and post-Russian Russia. Some Jews went along with the program and became the bully boys of the Soviet Yevsektsia. Others were declared enemies of the revolution and created their own country, which the Socialist Motherland did its best to destroy with massive shipments of planes, tanks and artillery.
The Nazis and the Communists, the far-right and the far-left, both agreed that the Jewish Question, had to be settled by getting rid of the Jew. Their only point of disagreement was on how to best accomplish this. What the Nazis tried to do in a decade, the Communists tried to do in a century, but the fall of Berlin ended both sets of experiments. It did not however end the attitude behind them.