Anti-Semitism: A History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred

Anti-Semitism: A History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred

Anti-Semitism: A History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred

Anti-Semitism: A History and Psychoanalysis of Contemporary Hatred

Synopsis

In the summer of 2006, the author received a message that read, Love the Nazis, and KILL THE JEWS DEAD. And that was the trigger that launched internationally known scholar Falk into work on this book. Anti-Semitism has once again become a worldwide phenomenon, growing largely during the last decade of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. Among the spurs for this are the migration of Muslim populations and the ongoing Israeli-Arab wars. In this far-reaching and comprehensive volume, Falk delves deeply into the current events, history, and literature on anti-Semitism, integrating insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and political science. The result is an absorbing exploration of one of the oldest scourges of humanity, spotlighting the irrational and unconscious causes of anti-Semitism.

In the summer of 2006, the author received a message that read, Love the Nazis, and KILL THE JEWS DEAD. And that was the trigger that launched internationally known scholar Avner Falk into work on this book. Anti-Semitism has once again become a worldwide phenomenon, growing largely during the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first. Among the spurs for this are migration of Muslim populations and the ongoing Israeli-Arab wars. In this far-reaching and comprehensive volume, Falk delves deeply into the current events, history and literature on anti-Semitism, integrating insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and political science. The result is an absorbing exploration of one of the oldest scourges of humanity, spotlighting the irrational and unconscious causes of anti-Semitism.

This book also features chapters on the psychodynamics of racism, fascism, Nazism, and the dark, tragic, and unconscious processes, both individual and collective, that led to the Shoah. Holocaust denial and its psychological motives, as well as insights into the physical and psychological survival strategies of Holocaust survivors, are explored in depth. There are also chapters on scientific anti-Semitism including eugenics.

Excerpt

During the second Lebanon war in the summer of 2006, I received a jolting “instant message” on my computer from an obscure Englishman whom I had never heard of before: “Love the Nazis kill the jews dead.” What could have prompted a complete stranger in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to send such a hate-filled message to an Israeli Jew whom he had never met? What could make an unknown Englishman hate the Jews so much that a war between Israel—the tiny Jewish state in the Middle East with its Arab minority—and a fundamentalist Shiite Muslim Lebanese Arab group called Hezbollah (Party of Allah) could make him want to “kill the Jews dead”?

The sender of this hate message was a certain John Anderson of Southampton. Searching the Internet for this gentleman yielded no result. the obscurity of the sender may be a key to our psychological riddle. a person with a healthy selfesteem who has done anything worthwhile does not need to hate whole nations or religious groups. Four centuries earlier, a better-known and more enlightened Englishman lived in Southampton. He was Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton (1573–1624), and for many years he was the patron of the English playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616), whom the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), greatly admired. in the last decade of the sixteenth century, Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice, a drama in which a greedy and cruel Jewish merchant named Shylock wants to carry out his contract with his Christian debtor and cut a pound of flesh from his debtor’s body for nonpayment of his debt, but is foiled by the wise and beautiful Portia, the debtor’s beloved, who defies Shylock to cut his pound of flesh without shedding one drop of blood from his borrower’s body. in this “anti-Jewish” play . . .

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