Michael van der Galien

The Banality of Anti-Semitism

Posted on May 14 2010 8:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Writing for one of the best conservative news and opinion websites out there, The New Ledger, Benjamin Kerstein reacts to the video we published a few days ago of a fundamentalist Muslim student at UC San Diego telling our Editor-in-Chief David Horowitz that she supports Hamas’ goal to commit a second Holocaust. For those who don’t quite remember what was said:

Horowitz: Okay, I’ll put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?

MSA member: For it.


It is often difficult to convey to people – Jews and non-Jews – how bizarre a phenomenon anti-Semitism actually is. To put it simply, it involves admitting to oneself, at some point, that there many people you have never met, never will meet, and are probably completely unremarkable in any recognizable way, who nonetheless want to kill you and everybody like you. And it is this unremarkable quality, the banality of antisemitism, which is in its own way an expression of the banality of evil, which constitutes its truly dangerous aspect; because it is easy and comfortable for people to see only the banality, and to convince themselves that banality is somehow the opposite of evil, and that the two – by some unknown logic – are incapable of coexisting.

It’s a good point. Evil and banality do not exclude each other. As the conservative commentator puts it a little later:

If they get what they want, everything we are or might be – the people we pass on the street every day, the shops and restaurants, the museums and nightclubs, the farms and the shopping malls, the bankers and the social activists, the believers and the unbelievers – everything will wiped out, destroyed, annihilated. And this annihilation will be carried out by ordinary, calm, polite, determined people much like the student in this video.

Make no mistake about it, this extremist student and people like her – who talk so casually about wiping out an entire people – pose a major threat to Israel and to the West. Perhaps they’re even more dangerous than the ones who go about it screaming and yelling, while holding “Death to Israel!” and “Long live Sharia” signs in their hands.

Please read Kerstein’s whole article.

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