web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Wicked Son


Media-Monitor-logo

When Dr. Israel Shahak died on July 2, 2001, the Monitor speculated that he “presumably had ample opportunity by now to compare notes with Hitler, Stalin and the other equally distinguished residents of his new, supernaturally heated neighborhood.”

In retrospect, that attempt at morbid humor at Shahak’s expense was probably out of place, because there was nothing at all funny about one of the sickest characters Jewry’s ever produced – and God knows we’ve produced more than our share of sick ones.

It’s a truism that you can tell a man by the company he keeps, and a recent Google search on Jewish anti-Semitism revealed the company that keeps Shahak. Six and a half years after his death, his legacy lives on at countless neo-Nazi and anti-Israel websites, where his writings – with titles like “The Jewish Laundry of Drug Money” and “Israel’s Discriminatory Practices Are Rooted in Jewish Law” – are lavishly praised and lovingly preserved.

To call Shahak a self-hating Jew would be too easy, too trite. Besides, as the writer Sidney Zion observed to the Monitor several years back, such Jews are rarely self-hating at all – to the contrary, they love and adore themselves. It’s other Jews with whom they have a problem.

Going by the large body of writing he left behind, one can accurately describe Shahak as not just a hater of Israel but a hater of Jews, with the exception of those who share his ultra left-wing, militantly anti-religious, passionately pro-Palestinian mindset.

Shahak was a Polish Jew whose family was herded into the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland. He was sent to Bergen-Belsen in 1943 and, upon his liberation two years later, made his way to what was then British Mandate Palestine.

He went on to become a professor of organic chemistry (he taught at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University for 25 years), but it was as a so-called human rights activist that he made a name for himself. This, however, was no garden variety bleeding-heart leftist. Shahak not only came to despise Zionism and consider the establishment of the State of Israel a criminal act; he also set out to expose what he considered the depravities and hypocrisies of rabbinic Judaism – and to do so in as public a manner as possible.

Because he downplayed Jewish suffering in favor of painting Jews and Israelis as serial oppressors, Shahak had little patience with the notion that the Holocaust had a profound impact on either the Israeli psyche or Israeli policy-making. To him, Jews were victimizers, not victims.

“These ‘Holocaust memories’ are a fake,” he wrote in one of his numerous essays popular with the shaved head and tattooed-swastika crowd. In another article, he insisted that “racism and discrimination pervade all walks of life in Israel…. We need to recognize that in Israel the real issue is discrimination not only against the Palestinians … but against all non-Jews.”

It was Shahak who helped popularize the now familiar equating of Israelis with Nazis, declaring in one article that “the Jews of Israel, along with most of the Jews of the world, are at present undergoing a process of Nazification” and in yet another that any Jew who “denies the Palestinians their humanity” is a “Jewish Nazi.”

Just how twisted was Shahak? In his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, he portrayed the notorious Chmielnicki massacres as a righteous rebellion by the downtrodden against their Jewish oppressors, and complained that Jews choose to remember it instead as an unprovoked anti-Jewish atrocity. Here’s how he put it:

“This typical peasant uprising against extreme oppression [italics added] …. has remained emblazoned in the consciousness of east European Jews to this very day – not, however, as a peasant uprising, a revolt of the oppressed, of the real wretched of the earth, nor even as a vengeance visited upon all the servants of the Polish nobility, but as an act of gratuitous anti-Semitism directed against Jews as such.”

Shahak time and again came under fire for his habit of denigrating Judaism by citing references and quoting sources taken wholly out of context, and as far back as 1966 was exposed as an incorrigible liar by the late Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, the then-chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, in an article in the Orthodox publication Tradition.

He was a dangerous mountebank and fraud, and the Passover Haggadah’s wicked son personified.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Wicked Son”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-wicked-son/2008/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: