If you’re addicted to your own hatred, the below might be not for you yet
Hatred has a bad name. Especially when it’s someone else’s hatred.
But, let’s try for a moment to walk in the footsteps of Marshall Rosenberg, the inventor of Non-Violent Communication. He proposed that judgments that stifle are really tragic expressions of needs. Someone gets praised or scolded but the speaker actually had a certain need that came out crooked and that probably didn’t get across. He strove to say: “Thank you for doing the dishes, I feel so loved now.” But he said: “Good you did the dishes.” Implied are: I hope you’ll often do the dishes. And: I tell you that’s good.
Now, is there another way to deal with Antisemitism than to say: ‘We are good, against Jew-hatred, and those for it are evil’? For many people that’s wise enough a lessen but what about those who’ll be ‘proud to hate Jews’? Just dismiss them as wicked? Isn’t there a constructive approach?
This is especially important as bigotry depicts ‘the other’ as subhuman. Anti-bigotry should have something better to say than: ‘No, you are.’ Remember, there are two kinds of people: people who divide humankind into two groups, and those who don’t. (Compare: There are three groups of people: those who can comprehend math and those who don’t.)
Perhaps, hatred could be a tragic expression of something noble too?
Hatred and love have in common a deep emotional connection. Love and hatred aren’t opposites. Their joint opposite is: to be indifferent. Most of the world is very deeply connected to the Jews, via hatred or love.
It could slightly unsettle people who feel a strong animosity against Jews to learn that their attitude might be seen as a form of close involvement with the Jewish People. That if they really want to be antagonistic to Jews, their only option is to shrug their shoulders about them from now on.
My rabbi taught me that hating in the Torah must mean: ‘not loving fully.’ It is inconceivable that Jacob ‘hated’ Leah. He could have loved her more.
Now, don’t ask Antisemites: ‘Why do you hate Jews?’ Maybe ask: ‘What do you need to do or add to make your love for the Jewish People fuller?’
Suggested answer: Make Jewish friends and listen to them at length.
Most Jews murdered in the Holocaust found their death not because of blatant hatred by extremists but via a lack of interest by the vast majority.
For the perpetrators it could enlighten to distinguish between murdering because of incomplete love or because of a total lack of interest. Yet, for the victims, a philosophy analysis of mass murder is largely academic.
Less is More
I’ve stated many times that a lot of guilt feelings are not helpful. They tend to bring us down instead of up. The only thing needed is a tiny bit of guilt. That shows you are moral and know the difference between good and evil.
In a similar vein, it is good to hate the people we hate a little less. Hatred tends to bring out the worst in us. To remember and reinforce our principles and preferences, we don’t need a burning hatred. A little antipathy will do. Like: “I don’t like him so much,” instead of: “I hate him.”
What may help too is phrased in a Dutch saying derived from the soccer rules: Je moet niet de man maar de bal spelen: Play the ball, not the man. Tackle (pardon the pun) or focus on issues, not people — “no offense.”
And, principles may need 100% adherence. If we sometimes are honest, we aren’t. But people don’t need to be all-round perfect. Only our distant idols and fictive heroes must be perfect saints. The rest may be human.
There is an additional benefit to not divide people into great and lesser ones. It is better to be loyal to truth, ideas, and principles than to blindly follow politicians who might not always be so honest and selfless.
The Love That Isn’t
Muslim Palestinians are told by many people, activists, and heads of State that they are loved. However, often, this supposed love is just hatred against the Jews whom they see as their enemy. They often don’t even have Muslim-Palestinian friends. And the White ones lack Black friends.
In practice, many ‘pro-Palestinian’ activists and States don’t care about the Muslim population of Israel/Palestine at all. In Gaza, in the areas ruled by the Palestinian Authority, and in the whole of the Arab world, they have no rights, suffer police brutality, have no freedom of information, speech, assembly, to stand for election, or to vote, nor equality before the law. The people who declare their ‘loyalty’ to their cause don’t work for them at all. They may send money to the Palestinian juntas or the States that keep them in ‘refugee camps’ which will be used for buying weapons and schoolbooks to keep hatred against Jews going — hardly any welfare if any. They don’t care for them. That’s not hatred. That a lack of any interests.
Love Palestinian Muslims or hate them, but begin to feel for/against them.
When love is too hard, begin with respect. Love will follow automatically.
NB: Loving people is not having warm feelings about them (which is self-cuddling really) but rather giving the other the feeling that you love them!
NB: Typically, we Jews care about Gentiles, even when they hate us. We realize they’ve been brainwashed, and they’re still fellow humans to us.