An Italian journalist belonging to Catholic right-wing circles has published a book denouncing self-hating Jews. Self-hatred, he believes, is expressed when arguments and justifications – in this case of the Jews – are not supported energetically enough, and when others’ views are over-emphasized. The result resembles a blacklist which includes many prominent Jewish intellectuals, artists and journalists.
The issue of exaggerated self-critique obviously exists, and hysterical or excessive criticisms of Israeli governments should be firmly rejected. However, it is essential to maintain a healthy balance and to respect freedom of expression and creativity. Those who want to isolate dissenters cannot be true friends of the Jewish world, and have not understood what Jews represent or why their existence is so important.
This sad book presages a chilling world, which allows no space for constructive debate or culture, but only uniform obedience. A world where being Jewish is not worthwhile, and where Jews themselves – after having been transformed into single-minded foot soldiers – no longer have a reason to exist and have no meaningful future.
*Guido Vitale is the editor-in-chief of Pagine Ebraiche