A University of Toronto student named Jennifer Peto recently achieved fame by submitting a thesis called:
The victimhood of the powerful: White Jews, Zionism, and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education
Of course, while only in academia could one maintain respectability by making the morally obscene argument that those who support Holocaust Education are guilty of racism, Peto’s broader narrative, that Jews have become a “privileged” class, (in some form or another) may be more widely accepted than you might originally think. Indeed, her thesis came to mind recently, during the course of an argument I had at a bar in Jerusalem with an Israeli academic.
My interlocutor, who engaged me in a long and heated debate over what she characterized as “Jewish privilege”, struck me as a breathtakingly audacious invective to put it mildly.
The idea that Jews, who (65 years after the Holocaust) now represent a meager 2/10 of 1% of the world’s population, and have but one state to call their own, are now seen as “the powerful” in the diaspora, and the proverbial “Goliath” as a nation-state, is a narrative which shows the moral pathos of the hard left in its purest form.
In this distortion, the mere fact that Jews are relatively successful and capable of defending (or at least advocating for) their own interests, both in the diaspora (with some exceptions) and in Israel, is, in itself, evidence that they’ve lost the mantle of victim and now represent something closer to an oppressor.
Of course, far from being an oppressor, Israel (as this blog continuously documents) has become what’s been called the Jew writ large. That is, the same historical D’s – double standards, demonization, and delegitimization – employed against Jews throughout centuries of oppression has now in some measure been transferred to the Jewish state – as she represents in the minds of many the Jewish collective.
Far from being privileged, Israel is held to standards that no other nation is held to – the definition of bigotry in its broadly understood term – and asked to live up to ideals that no nation in the world could uphold.
Not only aren’t Israelis privileged, something approaching the opposite is closer to the truth.
Here are the advantages (privileges) of waking up in the morning as a citizen of a nation other than Israel – the daily effects of non-Israeli privilege:
1. You can be sure that your country’s very right to exist won’t be questioned.
2. You don’t have your national aspirations characterized as inherently racist.
3. You can be sure that anger over your country’s actions won’t result in attacks against citizens (throughout the the world) who happen to share the majority ethnicity in your state.
4. Your nation’s democratically elected leaders won’t face arrest warrants when entering other countries.
5. Terrorist attacks on citizens of your country won’t be described as “resistance”, or otherwise excused, by commentators in the mainstream media.
6. The United Nations won’t pass an egregiously disproportionate ratio of resolutions against your country condemning you for human rights abuses while ignoring far worse abuses in the rest of the world.
7. Your nation won’t be subject to international calls for boycotts, sanctions, and divestment.
8. You can be sure that even when others criticize your country, it won’t be demonized and even compared to Nazi Germany.
9. When enemies committed to your state’s destruction fire missiles into your civilian territory, you can be positive the international community won’t condemn your nation for retaliating.
10. Your national passport won’t make you persona non grata in neighboring countries.
I’m sure I missed a few, so please feel free to comment on other ways non-Israelis are privileged.