Confessions of a former antisemite

Confessions of a former antisemite. By Amir Pars, an Iranian immigrant who grew up in Sweden.

Every new town I moved to — Falkenberg, Mariestad, Hudiksvall and Gothenburg — the first group of friends I made were fellow immigrants from the Middle East.

One thing was consistent, regardless of where I went; We all hated Jews.

In the cultures we grew up in — even when there was very little else in common (Shia v Sunni, Arab vs Persian, Religious vs Atheist, Theocrat vs Monarchist etc) — Jew-hatred is omnipresent. We were born with it, we grew up with it, we were indoctrinated in it. You have Peppa Pig, we have Hate The Jew. It’s in our bone marrow.

In my late teens I, like so many other teenagers, was infatuated with Marxism, which only served to fuel my antisemitism. …

I tell you this to ensure you that my antisemitism credentials were solid. I not only know all the arguments, but I’ve vociferously expressed them loudly and proudly.

So, what happened? How did I go from despising and reviling every Jew, to today defending Israel every way I can, and idolise the Jewish people?

Like most other metamorphoses, it was a process. It started with Sam Harris’ outstanding blog “Why I don’t criticize Israel”. Although I “fought back”, the seeds of moral vivication had been sown.

Harris had posed a challenge I simply could not counter, and which I have been going back to ever since. Its brilliance is in its simplicity:

“What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want. Every time a Palestinian child dies, Israel edges ever closer to becoming an international pariah. So the Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants.

What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could.”

Those two paragraphs, regardless of how much I tried, were insurmountable. And it led me down a path of confronting my bigotry and hatred. …

Do facts destroy prejudice?

Was Israel actually committing genocide? No, the Palestinian population has grown with over 500% since the Yom Kippur War alone.

Was Israel an apartheid state … ? Well, there are over 2 million Arabs living in Israel. They have every right the Jewish population has, without some of the obligation (mandatory conscription). .. They are the freest, most prosperous general Arab population anywhere on earth. This is the antithesis to apartheid.

Gaza is not under occupation and not oppressed:

Israel left Gaza in 2005 unilaterally. .. They removed every single Jew in Gaza, at times by force, and even dug up the graves of long-dead Israelis, to hand the land over to the Arabs. No other nation on earth has gone to such lengths as Israel did, to facilitate something akin to a peace offering.

Since then, Gaza has received more aid per capita than any nation in history, from the UN, US, Egypt and Qatar (not to mention all the funds pumped into Hamas and Hezbollah by Iran). Where has this money gone? To build energy and water plants, investment in agriculture, infrastructure, schools and hospitals?

Of course not. The money has been confiscated by Hamas, who narrowly won the election in 2006, and proceeded to murder all their political opponents in the purge of 2007, and who have been in power ever since without any further elections. It has been used on rockets, which they have deployed in attacking Israel on an almost daily basis, and to build vast, sophisticated tunnel systems which only serve one purpose: Enable their terrorist attacks on Israel.

This, right here, should emphasise the phenomenological difference between the two entities;

One is which, out of a desert land, built the most powerful, thriving, diverse and free society in the Middle East. The other, a genocidal, millennial cult whose raison d’être is the annihilation of a people for the crime of existing as Jews.

So why hate Jews?

Jews are hated for being successful, and hated for not being successful. They are hated for living in other countries, and hated for having their own country. They are hated for being dumb, and hated for being smart.

They could share every value I regarded as sacred, and I would still, instinctively, hate them.

It was never about Palestinians, or Muslims. Far more Muslims have been killed by Assad, by Saddam, in Pakistan and Yemen and China, than have in Israel and I – like all the Leftists and Muslims in the streets of London protesting against Israel – couldn’t care less. They’re just an instrument to sanitise our antisemitism with.

Resentment and jealousy perhaps?

When Ayn Rand was asked of her views on Israel v Palestine in 1979, she said one should side with the Israelis, as they are an advanced, technological society against “…almost totally primitive savages, who have not changed for years, who are racists and who hate Israel because it’s building industry, intelligence and modern technology”.

It was undoubtedly opprobrious — but was it inaccurate?

There are approximately 2 billion Muslims worldwide, constituting over 20% or one fifth of the global population, yet the Islamic world has only ever produced seven Nobel Prize winners (three in Chemistry, three in Literature, and one in Physics, zero in Economics, Physiology or Medicine).

In contrast, look at the percentages of Jewish Nobel Prize winners (from Wikipedia):

Chemistry: 36 (19% of total)

Economics: 38 (41% of total)

Literature: 16 (13% of total)

Physics: 56 (25% of total)

Physiology or Medicine: 59 (26% of total)

This despite the fact that the entire Jewish make up 0.76% of the Muslim — and 0.19% of the global population. …

The truth, whether one wants to admit it or not, is that Islam has nothing of value to offer to the world. It inspires no innovation, produces nothing of value and reduces its ardent adherents to primitive savages.

It is Islam which degrades once remarkable countries like Iran and Lebanon to hellholes for their citizens. It is Islam which inspires doctors and engineers in the West to give up their livelihoods to join an apocalyptic cult in Syria and Iraq, where they proceed to mass rape Yazidi girls, behead kuffars and even slaughter fellow Muslims for not being zealous enough.

It was Islam that galvanised Saïd and Chérif Kouachi to murder cartoonists in Paris. It was Islam that animated Salman Abedi, aided by his brother, Hashem Abedi, to kill 22 innocent concert goers, mostly children, in Manchester. It was Islam that encouraged Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain to detonate bombs in undergrounds and buses in London on the 7th July, 2005. It was Islam that inspired the 19 hijackers to fly planes into buildings on that fateful September morning in New York.

And it was Islam — not “freedom” or “pursuit of self determination” — which motivated the slaughter of 1, 400 innocent lives in Israel on the 7th October, 2023 …

So why hate Jews? Go back to the foundation of Islam, which took off when Mohammed started raiding Jewish merchant caravans. They denigrate their illicit victims, make them out to be subhuman to salve their consciences:

I have read the Quran. I know the Hadiths. I was taught the life of “prophet” Mohammed, and his examples to follow.

What ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Hezbollah do is not antithetical to Islam, as so many Western Liberals so ignorantly claim. It’s the exact opposite –it’s Islam in its truest form.

Why does Iran back Hamas and Hezbollah? Because they hate Jews? Yes, but why?

Iran is the epicentre of Shia Islam. The doctrine of Shia Islam is built around The Twelfth (and final) Imam, al-Mahdi, whom they believe is currently in occultation — alive, but hidden — and will only return once the holy land is rid of the Jews, and the Islamic world is pure, to fulfil his role as the saviour and leader of humanity.

That’s what they actually believe. That’s why no negotiation, no reason, no compassion is even conceivable, despite President Obama’s criminally naïve attempts. …

The Sunni doctrine is no more comforting. Theirs is just as millennial, as apocalyptic, as anti-enlightenment. For a perfect illustration of their ideal society, look at ISIS. …

Civilization versus barbarism — always was, always will be:

How about Israel? They want democracy. They want freedom. They want equal rights. They want advancement. They want liberty. They want to move humanity forward, through science, philosophy, dialogue, trade, partnerships. This is not a “battle of civilisation”. It’s a battle between civilisation and barbarism. Good versus Evil. Truth against Occultism.

hat-tip Stephen Harper