I met a racist who wasn’t there…

We are being played for suckers, we know it, and yet we can’t resist the lure. 

It is of course logically impossible for the News empire to simultaneously run a campaign proclaiming that Australia is experiencing a tidal wave of antisemitic racism of unprecedented force – headlined by Josh Frydenberg’s reinvention as the David Attenborough of social anthropology – while also demanding (successfully) that Laura Tingle be flayed alive for suggesting that Australia is a racist country.

Cognitive dissonance, anyone? Everyone can see it, and yet here we are, madly tweeting “Hello? Am I the only one noticing the hypocrisy?” and reaping the reward of a thousand replies from @Aussie2334435328 telling us we’re the real racists.

The desire for sanity drives one back to the safe ground of rationality, where you find yourself wondering whether The Australian and the Liberal Party actually think antisemitism and racism are two different things? It’s true in one sense, if you buy into the Israel lobby’s view that (a) everything Israel does is inherently Jewish, (b) Israel cannot be wrong because “history” and therefore (c) criticism of Israel is a form of intolerable hatred that transcends mere racism and goes to the heart of what it means to be human. Truly, literally, existential.

Okay, it’s a point of view but, if you are prepared to distinguish Netanyahuness from Jewishness, there’s nothing in antisemitism that differs qualitatively from any other racism. Fear and hate don’t change character depending on the attributes of their targets.

There is another explanation for the logical disconnect, which can be located by considering not the victims but the alleged perpetrators of the two forms of racism in question. Tingle accused Australia of being racist, a word which to the ears of the establishment sounds like “white people”.

That is, as we are constantly reminded, unacceptable. White Australians are the least racist people on earth, as we demonstrated by rejecting The Voice because “it would be putting race in our totally not-racist Constitution which was written by not-racist white men who openly recorded their hope and expectation that the First Nations people would die out entirely and included provisions specifically to ensure that Australia could maintain a whites-only immigration policy…because they were not racist”.

On the other hand, who currently stands accused of engendering, perpetrating and propagating the current explosion of antisemitic racism in Australia? Not the neo-Nazis who openly marched in Melbourne waving swastikas and straight-arm salutes. No – it’s the left!

Pro-Palestinian students on uni campuses, who according to the prime minister couldn’t find the Jordan River on a map, and according to Julia Gillard are being brain-washed by social media, egged on by the Green-left bomb-throwing alliance, are the problem.

Has there been more antisemitic victimisation of Jewish people in Australia since October 7? You’d have to think there would be, given how inflamed the situation has been and the depth of hatred on both sides. Hate speech is peaking, no question.

However, to pretend that antisemitism is uniquely a feature of left wing politics is so ahistorical as to be literally hilarious. It goes hand-in-hand with the trope that the Nazis were socialists, too ridiculous to bother answering.

Still, if you put yourself in the shoes of the status quo, and appreciate how it perceives the Western world that it controls, it’s possible to appreciate how what we see as insane illogic could seem to actually make pretty good sense.

Imagine you believe that Australians – by which you mean white Australians – are not inherently racist but the kind-spirited present-day beneficiaries of a benign colonial project that involved some unpleasantness with the previous occupants and then morphed into the most successful multicultural experiment in world history.

In that frame, calling us racist is offensively wrong, so of course we get upset when it’s suggested.

At the same time, we feel our prized “social cohesion” (code for maintenance of the dominant cultural narrative) is threatened if “the Left” gets uppity and starts pointing fingers at any part of the power structure. And, let’s face it, allegiance to Israel is part of our power structure.

Thus, the antisemitism that The Australian is complaining about is not hate directed towards or persecution of Jews in the traditional sense; rather, it’s a re-labelling of a perceived threat to the natural order of things. This is how it can claim, with no sense of self-contradiction, that we are drowning in antisemitism while encountering no racism at all.

Ironic, of course, given that actual antisemitism is and will remain a structural part of white Western culture. However, the irony, like the hypocrisy, is unconscious.


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