Israel can’t be faulted for anything, thanks to hasbara culture’s narrative of Jewish victimhood


Ethnocentricity has laid waste to Jewish political culture.

Hasbara Handbook cover

Yakov Hirsch writes in Mondoweiss:

My work is focused on hasbara culture: the social construction of alternative reality centering on the victimization of the Jewish people that has little to do with the real world. But despite hasbara culture’s ideas being ahistorical, its concepts and discourse on Jew hatred are now conventional wisdom in Jewish and American political culture. And that has had a myriad of calamitous consequences for the world we live in.

Hasbara is the Israeli word for propaganda, and hasbara culture holds that antisemitism is a unique hatred that is in a different category from other hatreds. And the guardians of the victimhood narrative do whatever it takes to continue to maintain this perspective.

Jeffrey Goldberg perfectly stated the hasbara culture perspective on “eternal” antisemitism in a 2009 NYT op-ed on “Israel’s Fears”: “Antisemitism” is a sui generis hatred, one that is shape-shifting, impervious to logic and eternal.”

It is impossible to understand today’s world without first understanding hasbara culture’s grand struggle against this “sui generis hatred.” Hasbara culture proselytizers point to events in Jewish history to convey the belief that the whole world is obsessed and always has been with the demise of the Jews, right up to today with the existence of the Jewish state.

Yair Rosenberg on Twitter 7 September 2017:  “We Jews are indeed infuriating in our continued insistence on existing.  Thousands of years of frustrated expectations.”

Yair Rosenberg’s victimhood perspective is not a reflection of the real world. As I showed in my last article, Rosenberg’s new series of videos “explaining antisemitism” ascribes an incorrect larger “meaning” to events. Human beings, their individual thoughts and motives is not what hasbara culture uses to interpret the world. Hasbara culture proponents are in constant search for that “larger meaning”.

In his video “Beyond left and right,” Yair Rosenberg argues that antisemitism continues to flourish today because rightwingers and leftwingers only tend to police anti-Jewish bigotry when it comes from their political enemies. The narrator says It’s understandable why this happens.

“It’s a lot harder to speak up when the bigotry is coming from your friends and allies.” Where do you have the power to make changes, he asks, with your friends or with your enemies? In your community or in someone else’s? So, while the right wing calls out antisemitism on the left and the left calls out antisemitism on the right, they don’t condemn their own bigots.

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