The One-Sided View of Hate in Hate Studies
By Jay KnottAbstract:
The Journal of Hate Studies asks for "cutting-edge essays, theory, and research that deepen the understanding of the development and expression of hate". The following submission for the 2012 issue of the journal (Call for Papers, Tsai, R.L., 2012) is all of the above. It argues that Zionism generates hate, and that hate studies writers have neglected it. Further, it produces evidence that hate studies researchers have exaggerated the amount of racism in white gentile America. In the process, it examines the methodologies which have led to this miscalculation, and suggests a more balanced approach.
In his paper Hate, Oppression, Repression, and the Apocalyptic Style, (2004), one of the founders of hate studies, Chip Berlet, defines the field as "inquiries into the human capacity to define, and then dehumanize or demonize, an ‘other,’ and the processes which inform and give expression to, or can curtail or combat, that capacity". The current paper argues that Zionism includes examples of the above "human capacity", but that no contributor to hate studies, until now, has noticed them.
Noel Ignatiev's contribution to the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, (2007, pp. 240–244), describes the Zionist state of Israel as a "racial state, where rights are assigned on the basis of ascribed descent or the approval of the superior race". Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (2006), shows how Israel was initiated by the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their homeland, because they were not Jewish. I therefore argue that Zionism is a valid subject of hate studies.
However, a survey of the current publications of hate studies reveals a lack of concern with Zionism, in contrast to an emphasis on anti-Semitism and white racism. I illustrate this below with citations from the major works of hate studies, analyzing examples of alleged hate incidents to suggest a more scientific approach to the evaluation of hate. I cite the recommended works which allege there is an "epidemic" of hate crimes, and the one book currently in print which directly falsifies this hypothesis, Hate Crimes – Criminal Law & Identity Politics (Jacobs, J.B. & Potter, K., 1998). I make use of Steven Pinker's recent work on the decline of violence, including hate crimes, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Pinker, S., 2011), and a number of newspaper and online reports of alleged hate crimes.
II. Inadequate attention to Zionism
The Zionist justification for expelling Palestinians has included expressions of "the human capacity to define, and then dehumanize or demonize, an ‘other,’" (Berlet, C., 2004). When Zionist leaders recognize the Palestinians' existence, they sometimes refer to them as "devil's spawn" (Rachel Abrams' weblog; 2011). Other representative epithets include "drugged cockroaches", "two-legged animals" and "Arab scum" (according to the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, 14 January 2002, citing The New Statesman, June 25, 1982). Some Zionists go so far as to say it would be justified to kill gentile babies "if they would grow up to harm us" – Rabbi Shapira, reported by Roi Sharon in Maariv, 2009. The evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, in a book about self-deception, The Folly of Fools, the logic of deceit and self-deception in human life, (2011), in a section entitled "False Historical Narratives", contrasts the Zionist myth with the reality:
a racialist (and then racist) country was shoehorned into the Middle East, so that Jewish people (half and quarter also) from around the world can immediately claim citizenship to this land but none of those who were so recently expelled could do so. (p. 236).
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