Self-hating Jew

Self-hating Jew

Self-hating Jew (or self-loathing Jew) is a term used to describe a Jew who feels hatred toward his or her Jewish ancestry or other Jews. Several Jewish writers and activists critical of Israel or Zionism have alleged the phrase being inaccurately used against them, based solely on their political views.


Individuals sometimes use the phrase "self-hating Jew" against a Jew who is considered to be actively working against what they perceive as the interests of the Jewish people. It has been used in this manner against Jewish reformers and anti-Zionist, non-Zionist and post-Zionist Jews. For example, some Jewish writers and activists who are critical of Israel or Zionism have alleged the phrase being used against them solely because of their political views.W. M. L. Finlay, "Pathologizing Dissent: Identity Politics, Zionism and the 'Self-Hating Jew'", "British Journal of Social Psychology", Vol. 44 No. 2, June 2005, pp. 201-222. [ Online summary] .] This usage is hotly disputed by those so labeled, who often come from a differing point of view concerning what is best for the Jewish people. [Ethan Ard, " [ For Ourselves Alone] ", March 1998.]

Mick Finlay of the Psychology Department at the University of Surrey writes that "an accusation that an individual is distancing themselves from the group can be a rhetorical attempt to silence dissent, to cast some possible members as inauthentic, and to represent particular political positions as somehow essential to the categorical identity."Finlay, "Pathologizing Dissent", p. 218.] He also notes that "the concept of the 'self-hating Jew' illustrates the importance of recognizing that psychological concepts often develop in particular political contexts and are used by people to give those projects a supposed legitimacy outside of the political."

Similar terms

"Self-loathing Jew" is used synonymously with "self-hating Jew". "Self-hating Jew" has also been compared to the term "Uncle Tom" as used in the African-American community. [Eugene Kane, " [ A phrase whose time has come and gone] ", "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel", December 10, 2002.] [Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, " [ BLACKS & JEWS: Facilitator Guide] ", 1998.] The term "auto-antisemitism" ( _he. אוטואנטישמיות) is also used in Hebrew to refer to Jewish self-hatred,Cite news
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he icon] and is a charge levied against Post-Zionists and the New Historians by their political opponents.

Historical origins of the term

According to Gilman, the term "self-hating Jew" comes from a disagreement over the validity of the Jewish reform movement between neo-Orthodox Jews of the Breslau seminary in Germany and Reform Jews in the 19th century. Some neo-Orthodox Jews viewed Reform Judaism as "inauthentic Judaism" because they felt that the Reformers identified more closely with German Protestantism and German nationalism than with Judaism. In response, some Reform Jews labeled the neo-Orthodox Jews "self-hating Jews". Today there is still a rift between Orthodoxy and Reform Judaism, but the rhetoric has changed; most Orthodox and Reform Jews do not refer to each other as self-hating Jews.

Controversy over the definition and use of the label "self-hatred"

Michael Desch, [ [,20867,21188162-7583,00.html Critics of Israel deserve a debate, not demonisation] The Australian February 08, 2007] Michael Lerner, [ [ "Healing Israel/Palestine: A Path to Peace and Reconciliation"] , North Atlantic Books, 2003.] and Noam Chomsky [Deborah Solomon, [ The Professorial Provocateur] , "The New York Times", November 2, 2003.] have stated that some pro-Israel advocates define and apply the label in a manner designed to silence or discredit any Jew who disagrees with their politics regarding Israel. On being described as "self-hating", Israel Shahak replied "That is a Nazi expression. The Nazis called Germans who defended Jewish rights self-hating Germans." [Richard H. Curtiss, " [ Personality: Dr. Israel Shahak] ", "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs", June 1989.]

Gilman rejects the notion that all or most Jewish critics of Israel are self-hating. In his view, if a Jew actively opposes the Jewish state out of the belief that Jews, as a group, are unworthy of national self-determination then it would likely be applicableFact|date=August 2008. On the other hand, if a Jew opposes only specific policies and not the existence of Israel "per se", that would not necessarily be self-hatred so long as that person could change his or her position as Israeli and Palestinian policies and actions change. If his or her point of view were fixed, Gilman says that it might be reasonable to apply the label "self-hating."Fact|date=August 2008

See also

* Antisemitism - Neo-Zionism
* Self-hatred
* "The Operated Jew" (1893 book)
* "The Believer" (2001 film)
* Masada2000



Further reading

* Henry Bean, "The Believer: Confronting Jewish Self-Hatred", Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002. ISBN 1-56025-372-X.
* David Biale, "The Stars & Stripes of David", "The Nation", May 4, 1998.
* John Murray Cuddihy, "Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle With Modernity", Beacon Press, 1987. ISBN 0-8070-3609-9.
* Sander L. Gilman, "Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti-Semitism and the Hidden Language of the Jews", Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8018-4063-5.
* Theodor Lessing, “Jewish Self-Hatred”, Nativ (Hebrew: translated from German), 17 (96), 1930/2004, pp. 49-54 (Das Judische Selbsthaas, 1930).
* Kurt Lewin, "Self-Hatred Among Jews", "Contemporary Jewish Record", June 1941. Reprinted in Kurt Lewin, "Resolving Social Conflicts: Selected Papers on Group Dynamics", Harper & Row, 1948.
* David Mamet, "The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-hatred, and the Jews", Schocken Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8052-4207-4.
* Raphael Patai, "The Jewish Mind", Wayne State University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8143-2651-X. Chapter 17, "Jewish Self-Hate".

External links

* Rabbi Levi Brackman, " [,7340,L-3298371,00.html Confronting the self hating Jew] ", Ynetnews, September 1, 2006.
* Rabbi Michael Lerner, " [ Israel's Jewish Critics Aren't 'Self-Hating'] ", "Los Angeles Times", April 28, 2002. Reprinted at Common Dreams NewsCenter.
* Daniel Levitas, " [ Hate and Hypocrisy: What is behind the rare-but-recurring phenomenon of Jewish anti-Semites?] ", Southern Poverty Law Center "Intelligence Report", Winter 2002.
* Jacqueline Rose, " [ The myth of self-hatred] , "The Guardian", February 8, 2007.
* Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, " [ Love, Hate, and Jewish Identity] ", "First Things", November 1997.
* Menachem Wecker, " [ In Defense of ‘Self-Hating’ Jews: Conversations with the Targets of Masada2000’s S.H.I.T. List] ", "Jewish Currents", May 2007.

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