And Noam Chomsky wrote the foreword to a book denying the Holocaust. This is the same as a black professor writing the foreword to a book by a Ku Klux Klansman.
This self-loathing on the part of Americans and Jews is all the more remarkable when you consider that leftists of every other group strongly affirm their national, cultural and ethnic identities. For example, while American and Jewish leftists ceaselessly attack America and Israel, black and Hispanic leftists ceaselessly defend blacks and Hispanics.
How, then, to explain this anomaly of American and Jewish self-loathing?
I offer four explanations in no order of importance.
First, those Jews and Americans who loathe Israel and America are virtually always on the Left, and the Left around the world hates America and Israel. You can't be a leftist and strongly defend America or Israel. The Left will shun you. And since most of these individuals' primary identity comes from being a leftist, being ostracized from fellow leftists is hell on earth.
Second, many leftists are psychologically adolescents. And one feature of adolescent psychology is anger at a parent who claims very high ideals and turns out to be flawed. Many on the Left are angry at America and Israel for being imperfect and therefore disappointing them.
Third, the words "American" and "Jewish" both represent distinctive value systems, not only national and ethnic identities. And these value systems clash with leftist values. Both American and Jewish identities are rooted in religion and divine chosenness. And the further left one goes, the greater the hostility to religion -- especially to Judaism and Christianity (not to Islam, which the Left often defends, because many Muslims hate Judaism and Christianity as much as the Left does) -- not to mention to any notion of national or religious exceptionalism. When you add to this that America also represents capitalism and holds liberty higher than equality, you can further understand why America elicits so much hatred from its own leftists.
Fourth, since America and Israel are the two most hated countries in the world, and the Jews are the most hated ethnic/religious group, many Americans and Jews would rather identify with the haters than with the hated. That is why, for example, so many American leftists base a large part of their case against George W. Bush on his having increased anti-American sentiments around the world. This makes leftists livid -- again, like adolescents, they yearn to be part of the in-crowd (meaning America- and Israel-haters) and fear being disliked.
There may be other explanations. But what is certain is that American self-hatred and Jewish self-hatred are unique phenomena that play a particularly destructive role in our world.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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