Ever feel like it’s getting harder and harder to understand what constitutes antisemitism? So many people hurling accusations at each other all the time. Endless Twitter threads offering CONCLUSIVE PROOF of disgusting JEW HATE, that on closer inspection can often seem quite flimsy. Tropes everywhere for some, and nowhere for others.
And who can qualify as a perpetrator, or indeed a victim, of antisemitism? And who gets to decide? Life would be so much easier if it was just Jews accusing gentiles of antisemitism. Instead, it seems like half the time it is Jews accusing other Jews, or even gentiles accusing Jews. What is the world coming to?
Part of the problem seems to be that under the current rules (which no-one ever signed up to, of course) Jews somehow cease to be Jews as soon as someone important accuses them of antisemitism. This is nonsense of course. Nothing could be more Jewish than disagreeing with other Jews. But wouldn’t it be helpful if we knew where they were all coming from and what exactly they disagreed about?
Well, now your troubles are over! Below is a handy breakdown of the political typology of British Jews. It will tell you all you need to know about who hates whom and why, and what they shout at each other over the Passover table. The chart is deeply antisemitic of course. Or is it? Well, by the time you’ve consulted it you’ll be well placed to decide.
A quick note on ethnography. There are four broad categories of Jew that we can be bothered to formulate an opinion on. These are the ethno-nationalists, the liberals, the neo-Bundists (*doffs kippah*), and the left hyper-partisan cranks.
Attitudes towards Israel
Ethno-nationalists: Has done no wrong ever
Liberals: Not always great, but represents a project worth fighting for
Neo-Bundists: Shit, because ethno-nationalism will always lead to crappy outcomes including antisemitism
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Deeply, uniquely evil
Attitudes towards the Labour Party’s handling of antisemitism
Ethno-nationalists: Deeply, uniquely evil
Liberals: Shit, because socialism will always lead to crappy outcomes including antisemitism
Neo-Bundists: Not always great, but represents a project worth fighting for
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Has done no wrong ever
Ethno-nationalists: Maccabi beer
Liberals: Aperol spritz
Neo-Bundists: Whatever shots Chabad is pouring
Left hyper-partisan cranks: House red
Attitudes towards Jewish radicalism
Ethno-nationalists: Think it’s an oxymoron because radicals by definition can’t be real Jews
Liberals: Sees it as a teenage phase Jews went through in the 20th Century that we should have grown out of by now
Neo-Bundists: Obsessed with the history of the Bund to cover up their guilt of being a middle class Brit
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Think it’s an oxymoron because Jews by definition can’t be real radicals (except them, of course)
Attitude towards the Shoah
Ethno-nationalists: Think it means Jewish people can do whatever they want and never, ever have to justify anything ever again. “Again, just not for us”
Liberals: Think it’s sacred and that actually analysing it historically/comparatively cheapens it. “How dare you say Never Again about anything else!?!”
Neo-Bundists: See it as a particular, acute form of racist violence that should be studied, both for its own sake and because it helps shed light on other atrocities. “Never Again is now, for everyone”
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Think people talk about it too much, that referring to it distracts from worse or more pressing crimes. “Get over it”
Ethno-nationalists: A product of a dead culture. Am Israel Chai!
Liberals: Some kind of Balkan musical genre
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Some kind of Balkan musical genre
What they were doing in 2003
Ethno-nationalists: Cheer-leading the invasion of Iraq
Liberals: Supporting the invasion of Iraq but like, feeling a little bit bad about it
Neo-Bundists: Taking drugs in squats
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Holding SWP placards
Who they think Moshiach is
Ethno-nationalists: Stephen Pollard
Liberals: J.K. Rowling
Neo-Bundists: The owner of beigel bake
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Chris Williamson
A Jewish political figure they identify with
Ethno-nationalists: Ben Shapiro
Liberals: Yitzhak Rabin
Neo-Bundists: Emma Goldman
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Won’t answer the question as identifying as Jewish is inherently racist (except when defending gentiles accused of antisemitism)
A text they’ve found particularly insightful
Ethno-nationalists: Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus (even though you’re 60 and graduated 40 years ago)
Liberals: All the Harry Potters (even the antisemitic bits), and the IHRA definition of Antisemitism
Neo-Bundists: A beginner’s guide to mushroom foraging, and the Talmud
Left hyper-partisan cranks: The comments section under a Norman Finkelstein youtube video
Attitudes on Jews and Race
Ethno-nationalists: Like white people, but even better!
Liberals: Like a racial minority, but Jews have it a little worse
Neo-Bundists: Like a racial minority, but Jews have it a little better
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Like white people, but even worse!
How they like to fight antisemitism
Ethno-nationalists: Shouting at teenagers online because they’re a little more to the left on Israel than them
Liberals: Asking Palestinians who have lost their homes and family members to Zionism if they could maybe just be a little more sensitive to how Zionism is actually a really complex ideology that encompasses many different opinions on Israel
Neo-Bundists: Punching Nazis
Left hyper-partisan cranks: How can you fight something that doesn’t exist?
Ethno-nationalists: The Kotel
Liberals: Something where you don’t have to stand up for things too much. Maybe Masorti, because it feels like a nice compromise between Orthodox and Reform
Neo-Bundists: Out of the shuls and into the streets comrades
Left hyper-partisan cranks: “Sorry, I don’t speak Hebrew. What is a shul?”
Ethno-nationalists: SOOOOO hetero
Liberals: Bi-curious but will end up marrying hetero
Neo-Bundists: Gay as shit
Left hyper-partisan cranks: Hetero but had a same-sex experience in the 60s