Jewish anti-Zionism: Continuing a 2,000 year tradition of willful self-erasure

We hear of instances in which major criminals on the lam have their faces surgically altered, their fingerprints removed with acid, and their identities counterfeited in order to evade capture and punishment.

Yet, with one notable exception, one never hears of people – let along significant masses of people — seeking to erase their collective identities in order to become something they are not, or worse yet to become, well, no one.  The recent case of Rachel Dolezal, a 100% Caucasian white woman posing for years as an African-American caused quite the stir not only because of the patent falsehood of her claim, but because of the rare and exotic syndrome of someone insisting on being something they are not.

And yet, since ancient times, the phenomenon of self-erasure has been something that has been a willful strain within a segment of the Jewish People and Jewish communities.  Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, no other People has consistently spawned critical masses of progeny that chose to eschew their heritage and erase any traces of their identity. One never encounters Poles, or Russians, or Irish, or Italians, or Chinese who deny their ethnicity even when they are not particularly proud of the culture from which they hail.

Already in Ancient Rome there were Jews who restored their foreskins, or the semblance thereof, through a surgery called epispasm in order to be able to compete naked in athletic competitions, and blend in with Roman society.

Ever since Christianity became the dominant faith in Europe. There have been Jewish apostates who opted to reject their religion of their forefathers primarily in an attempt to eradicate their Jewish identity and ethnicity in order to win acceptance by the host society.

(While there is no shortage of instances of Jewish conversion to Islam in Muslim societies, these were more often at the point of the sword, and are not in the purview of this thesis)

This trend reached epidemic proportions during the European Enlightenment when Jews in droves cynically marched to the baptismal fonts of Germany, France, England and Holland not in order to become Christians, but rather to become ‘goyim’.  The irony, of course, is that such Christians, even generations after their conversion, were smoked out by the Nazis and were consigned to the same ovens as their non-coreligionists.

Baptism was typically the choice of Jews who had already enjoyed some measure of material success, and felt they could turbocharge that success through a strategic conversion that would allow them to intermarry with, if not the aristocracy, at least with the gentile nouveau riches and bourgeoisie, thereby elevating their social status and material trajectories by a quantum factor.

However in the late 19th Century a new phenomenon emerged, that of the Jew who was not, necessarily, seeking material gain and upward social mobility. This Jew was simply seeking to become other than Jewish. Those who had abandoned their faith in God — any god — saw no value in their traditions, and even less value in Christianity which, after all, shared with Judaism the belief in a God who was rapidly going out of style.

Recognizing the fact that there was no way to become part of another identity, and typically impecunious, these men and women decided to spearhead new ideologies that would render any ethnic or religious identity obsolete, to be replaced by a blanket universalism that recognized no difference between one group and the next. In other words, if others would not welcome them into their club, the club itself would be rendered meaningless and all its identifying features would be scrubbed.

Esperanto, a hybrid language invented by the Polish Jewish physician Dr. Ludwik Zamenhof, was an attempt at universalizing language, thereby erasing languages as a key factor of personal identity, and undoing the Tower of ‘Babble’.

Socialism and Communism, if not invented outright by Jews, were certainly adopted by a critical mass of Jewish intellectuals and given their major boost by way of Jewish intelligentsia and organizational talent.  Back then, the same talent Jews continue to use to build personal fortunes, was deployed for the ostensibly idealistic purpose of eliminating ethnic and cultural distinctions — thereby giving Jews an opportunity to lose themselves as well in the new reality.

In retrospect we understand that these idealisms did little good, at least for the Jews.  Nazism was a socialist ideology, while Communism at first co-opted the eager participation of viciously self-hating Jews in the Yevsektzii, and ultimately dispatched those Jews as well because, well, somehow or other they continued to be recognizable as…Jews.

Interestingly, the Yevesektsii had much in common with certain earlier Jewish apostates — from ancient Rome through the Christian Middle ages in Europe — who rather than deny their Jewish origins, resorted to exploiting their Jewish ‘creds’ as the means to winning acceptance, admiration and wealth. These were the worst of all, as they used their Jewish knowledge to cause untold suffering and death to their former co-religionists. It is doubtful a full-blooded Catholic could ever have been as malevolent as Torquemada whose grandmother was Jewish. But there was no shortage of others; those who fingered crypto-Jews for the Inquisition, and more erudite apostates who enabled Catholic clergy and monarchs to murder their erstwhile co-religionists and censor and burn Jewish texts.


Yevsektsii  (“Hebrew Section”) were the Jewish sections of the Soviet Communist Party. These sections were established in fall of 1918 to carry communist revolution to the Jewish masses.The stated mission of these sections was “destruction of traditional Jewish life, the Zionist movement, and Hebrew culture”.[ The sections were staffed mostly by Jewish ex-members of the Bund, which joined the Soviet Communist Party in 1921. Every Jewish cultural and social organization came under assault. However, main emphasis of Yevsektsii was the assault on Jewish religion. Yevvsektsii organized seizures of synagogues in Gomel, Minsk and Kharkov, which were subsequently converted to clubs or Communist centers.

The Yevsektsii were disbanded in 1929. Many leading members perished in the Great Purge. The Chairman, Semyon Dimanstein was arrested in 1938 and executed.


The foregoing is by way of general background and historical context for what is occurring today.

We live in a curious world, and I am speaking of the Western world, one of post-modern multiculturalism that reviles religion, rejects ethnicity, eschews cultural particularism, elevates moral equivalency and deifies cultural parity. With a twist, of course. It is exclusively Western nationalities, cultures, histories and religions that must be consigned to the cultural crematorium while utmost respect and a free pass must be given to the sworn and mortal enemies of Western societies, namely Muslims. Using the mantra of multiculturalism while paradoxically waving the banner against ‘Islamophobia’, Western society — Europe especially — signs its death warrant. It welcomes an endless flow of Muslim immigrants who, on the one hand must be accepted as their culture is no better or worse than that of the host Swedes, French or Germans, i.e., worthy of erasure into the new disorder; while on the other hand, recognizing implicitly the impossibility of ever effectively assimilating such Muslims into the new Western mishmash (let alone the prior proud native identities). Hence it trumpets the nouveau-horror of Islamophobia in order to feel good about its chosen method of self-destruction.

The fact that post-modern Western Europe is largely hostile to the State of Israel while simultaneously encouraging virulent Islamism is hardly oxymoronic. After all, for Europeans, the Shoah is merely unfinished business. It’s ending was an accidental byproduct of the Nazi’s military defeat. World War II was not fought against the Jews or for the Jews. The Jewish issue was a program distinct from the military objectives of either side. And it was welcomes with open arms even in those countries that hated the German invasion. Prime examples are France and Holland. Rare were the anti-fascist societies who were not at the same time anti-Semitic.  So at least there was one clear benefit to the Nazi invasions — ridding themselves of their Jews.

Not having quite finished the job of the Shoah, there surely lingers an unarticulated hope that somehow the task will one day be completed.  And the obvious agent for this is Islam. This explains the free pass Muslim immigration gets, as well as the otherwise incomprehensible support Europe gives to fiercely retrograde, oppressive, racist, gynophobic and homophobic Arab regimes in their endless war of terror against democratic Israel.  That, ultimately, the agent of Shoah Part II will destroy Europe itself is beside the point.  Unfinished business comes first. Europeans will worry about the consequences later. And since most Europeans are hardly in the business of progeny, why worry about the future altogether. Who cares about the grandchildren one will never have? Why worry about the destruction of the Louvre and the Sistine Chapel when there will be no one around by then to give a hoot?

So far everything is clear.

But how to explain the widespread phenomenon of otherwise intelligent Jews in America and the West who actively militate against Zionism and for the elimination of the State of Israel — using their Jewish identity as the validation for such unfettered hatred of their fellow Jews?

(It is worth mentioning that even many of the most traditional Jews in a country like America live with the duality of hankering to be like everyone else even as they don their tefillin and keep Shabbat.  How else to explain the enormous effort invested by Jewish day schools and Modern Orthodox parents into gaining admission to ivy league universities — despite the clear risks of such as education resulting in the scuttling of the child’s observance) or the virtually idolatrous worship of athletic stars and professional sports teams to the degree that their logos are mblazoned on yarmulkas?  Does one not sense that such parents would prefer their son were a 7 foot black basketball player rather than a diminutive hedge fund manager, if only such an option existed?)

And yet, it all makes sense. After all, today’s anti-Semitism, in the religious vacuum in which it is incubated, claims not to be anti-Semitic at all. It only claims to be anti-Zionist. Why expose oneself to needless, and anachronistic criticism of outright Jew hatred in the wake of Shoah Part I, when there are now six million Jews — half of whom are the children of Survivors — conveniently gathered in one place where their extermination could be effected with vastly greater efficiency?

And what better way, in a post-Christian, post modern, multicultural society to prove one’s bona-fides as an ex-Jew than by taking up the banner of the latest iteration of Jew hatred? Because self-hatred is indeed Jew hatred that follows in an ignoble tradition going back thousands of years. And turning against Israel is far less painful than a nosejob, although either one will most likely result in grandchildren who are strangers to their roots.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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