Bruce Thornton likens European anti-semitism to another form of ‘dhimmitude’. The Jew is tolerated only when he is a defenceless victim, conscious of his inferiority.
“The position of Jews in the European imagination is similar to their status in the Muslim world. Most Muslims don’t want Jews to disappear, just Israel. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for centuries, but they did so as a subordinated minority whose public behavior and demeanor were always supposed to testify that they were inferior to their Islamic overlords. As possessors of the ultimate divine revelation, Muslims were justified in reminding Jews and Christians, who both rejected that culminating revelation, that they were inferiors allowed to live only by their spiritual superiors’ dispensation, which could be arbitrarily lifted at any time.
This is the contemptuous, conditional forbearance that many today extol as Muslim “tolerance.” It reminds me of the position of blacks in the Jim Crow South. After all, many Southerners who believed in segregation despised the Klu Klux Klan’s terrorism, and sincerely liked black people. These more respectable segregationists didn’t want to kill all the blacks, just to make sure that they lived in a way that publicly testified to their inferiority. Such Southerners believed that given the innate, ineradicable differences between the races, both peoples were better served by maintaining in social and political life the various mechanisms for asserting the superiority of the white race and its natural right to rule. So too with the dhimmi in Muslim societies: they can live and even practice their religion, so long as they demonstrate that they are inferior.
But the existence of Israel upsets all these long-established roles for Jews. Not just because Israel fights — Jews can fight, as they did at Masada and in the Warsaw ghetto. But they’re not supposed to win. To have their own nation, and thus be equal to the world’s other nations, and then to defeat in battle better armed, more numerous enemies, is to violate the image of the Jew established for centuries. It is to make him our equal, and to call forth paranoid fantasies about nefariously influential cabals to explain this disturbing change. For the Jew’s job is to be a victim, and thus perpetually inferior. He is to suffer and die, or else to leech away his Jewish identity and thus not really be a Jew, which is another sort of death.”