JERUSALEM — (MinitPress) “Self-Hating Jew” — along with other terms like “traitor, Zhid, Kapo, Nazi, and Little Jew” — are among the epithets used by Zionists to insult Jewish people who oppose or reject Zionism and its racist ideology.
A recent episode of Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro’s podcast “Committing High Reason” recalls the history of Theodor Hertzl, the founder of Zionism and of the Zionist State, and sheds new light on the term “Self-Hating Jew.”
Committing High Reason
Rabbi Shapiro sources all of his claims methodically and when one hears what Hertzl, who was Jewish himself, wrote about Jewish people, the only conclusion is that he was the quintessential “Self-Hating Jew.” There can be no doubt that he hated Jewish people and wanted nothing more than to dissociate himself from the “common” Jew. Furthermore, he was not alone: other Zionist leaders — Vladimir Jabotinsky, Chaim Weizmann, and others — were equally openly hateful of their Jewish brethren.
In 2018, Rabbi Shapiro published a 1,400-page book titled “The Empty Wagon, Zionism’s Journey from Identity Crisis to Identity Theft.” The book outlines the vast differences that exist between Judaism and its main nemesis, Zionism. The book was written for Orthodox Jews and indeed every Orthodox Jewish home I have visited in the last two years had a copy of this massive work. Even though it assumes a great deal of knowledge about Judaism, the book has an unprecedented amount of well-sourced information, so that even those of us who are not well versed in Judaism can learn a great deal from it.
The information presented in this particular episode of Rabbi Shapiro’s podcast can also be found in his book, and it leads to the undeniable fact that the founder of Zionism — and many of his contemporaries — hated everything about Jews and Judaism and hated the fact that they themselves were Jewish. According to Rabbi Shapiro and many other Orthodox rabbis whom he quotes, it was their hatred of Jews and not their desire to save them from anti-Semitism that was the driving force behind the creation of Zionism and the establishment of a Zionist state.
The founder of Zionism not only believed that the anti-Semitic trolls about Jews were true, but also justified them. He claimed only that these racist accusations applied to the “other” Jews, those who were not as secular and “enlightened” as he.
The story of Hertzl, as it is told in Zionist schools both in Israel and around the world, makes him seem like the savior of Jews, a man motivated by the desire to do good. However, a more in-depth look into the man and his motivations reveals that he despised Jewish people and wanted to separate himself from “common” Jews by creating a space, an existence for people like himself who were Jews by birth but despised what it means to be Jewish.
Vladimir Jabotinsky, the father of right-wing Zionism and today’s Israeli Likud Party, was another classic case of the “Self-Hating Jew.” He wrote that “[t]he Jews are very nasty people and their neighbors hate them and they are right.”
Another Zionist spiritual leader, Uri Zvi Greenberg, wrote: “Those loathsome Jews are vomited by any healthy collective and state not because they are Jews but because of their Jewish repulsiveness.”
Zionists worship physical strength while Orthodox Judaism looks down upon it. In a conversation I had once with Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Dovid Feldman of New York, I asked about this. I told him that to people like me, who were raised Zionist, Orthodox Jews look weak and pale and very unattractive. Rabbi Feldman looked straight at me and replied: “You have no idea how hard we work to maintain this look. Being a Jew is a spiritual-religious existence, not a masculine physical one.”
Maushel (or Moishel)
In the October 15, 1897 edition of the Zionist paper Dei Welt, a publication that Hertzl founded, he published an essay, titled “Maushe,” about a Jew who is an anti-Zionist. The focus of the essay was a fictional character, a Jew Hertzl called “Maushel,” which was a derogatory name for Jews used by anti-Semites at the time.
Maushel — or Moishel, depending on one’s accent — is the “common” religious Jew. The article was originally written in German, with an English version published in another Zionist publication called The Maccabean. Here are a few examples of how Hertz depicts the Jews in his essay:
“Maushel is an anti-Zionist. We know him well and long and we always felt disgusted when we saw him.” Hertzl is all the more disgusted and chagrin by being obliged to acknowledge that Maushel is indeed “of our people,” though there is “not the slightest use of being proud of the fact,” which he laments results from “the co-mingling at one dark period of our history of a lower class of people with our nation.” Read more..