Blog Post

On Self-hating

Funny, but only recently it was brought to my attention that I am listed in the “Jewish Shit” list, (where Shit stands for self-hating Israel-threatening), by some wacky rightwing organization ( I double clicked only to find myself perversely fascinated by the world I entered.

What struck first me was the size of the list. There are thousands and thousands of us self-haters and threat-posers. Israel must be in great and imminent danger. The main criterion for being shit-listed was not too difficult to figure: if you ever said anything that was even remotely critical of Israel’s policies or of Zionism’s official story, you’re in. Did you realize, for example, that Woody Allen poses a threat to Israel? Are you aware of the danger constituted to the Jewish nation by Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s? And then there is Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the Jewish uprising in Warsaw Ghetto. He too is a dangerous Jew-hater. Edelman, I should note, recently passed away at the age of 90. But don’t even for a second think that by dying he stopped threatening his people.

Another criterion—you may have not guessed it—is sexual orientation. If you have so far underestimated the danger posed to Israel by, say, a “member of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice,” you may want to reconsider. No other information is given on Karen Zelermyer, but for this affiliation and the fact she is openly gay. Feminists, too, are a security concern, and the combination of lesbian and feminist, as in Westfield State College’s “lesbian feminist” history department, home to Prof. Elise Young, is an undisputed red alert.

But of course, the number one criterion for getting blacklisted is being a Jew. Scrolling up and down the endless list of “idiots,” “dumbbells,” “worms,” “stinking lowlifes,” “400 pound cows,” “a-holes,” “scumbags,” and, most popularly, “Judenrats,” and looking at the gallery of highly unflattering photos, with blurry faces, bloodshot eyes, and long noses, it finally dawned on me. This is more than just a childish and particularly distasteful under-the-belt sense of humor. This is anti-Semitism itself, the real shit.

True, the compilers’ hatred is not directed exclusively at Jews. No one tries to hide the loathing for “Palestinians” (always in scare quotes), or, more accurately, for the “two-legged Palestinian animals,” who reside in “Arab butcher centers.”

But to be shit-listed, your typical “cowardly boot-licking, spineless, Muslim-butt-sucking” must be a Zukerman, Weisman, Wasserman, Weinstein, Mizrachi, or Dryfus, not to mention Cohen (there are dozens and dozens of Cohen shits).

If an Arab internet site would have displayed the photo of Amram Mitzna, an Israeli Labor Party politician, with his nose animated to suddenly perturb to monstrous, almost pornographic size, you can only imagine the outcry. If a Palestinian spokesperson would have labeled someone a “disgusting Israeli Jew” – as my friend Dror Etkes is called – you can predict the reaction. But here it is all out in the open: undisguised and unambiguous hatred for Jews.

So, my brothers and sisters who fight for peace and justice wherever you are: keep at it! And next time when someone calls you self-hating, remember: It is often the wolf that cries “wolf.”

Yigal Bronner's picture
Yigal Bronner is an Associate Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in Sanskrit poetry and poetics. He is the author of several books including Self-Surrender, Peace, Compassion, and The Mission of the Goose: Poems and Prayers from South India (NYU Press, 2009, co-authored with David Shulman) and of Extreme Poetry: The South Asian Movement of Simultaneous Narration, Columbia U Press, 2010). Bronner grew up in Israel and spent years struggling against Israeli occupation and for peace. He has authored numerous articles and op-eds on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.