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The “I don’t hate Jews, only Zionists” Chronicles continue at CiF: The vile logic of Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek

The writings of  have all the markings of a communist revolutionary intellectual trying desperately to stay relevant in an age which has rejected such historically lethal, secular millenarian ideologies. That is, the style he employs seems intent on at least trying to hide his explicit message  – one which is viciously hostile to Jews and Israel.

First, here’s a little background which will allow those vexed by his rhetorical obfuscations understand precisely the ideological territory he claims.

Žižek is a philosopher, Leninist, and foe of liberal democracy who who has attributed the attacks of 9/11 to the “antagonisms of global capitalism”, and has argued that Hitler’s greatest sin was that he was “not radical enough” in that he didn’t “dare to disturb the basic structure of the modern capitalist social space”, adding that the Nazi dictator “was not violent enough…not ‘essential’ enough.”

He also can be included in the growing list of CiF columnists who have opined that the Jewish state should not exist.

Writing for British political magazine, The New Statesman, in an essay titled “Israel’s best hope lies in a single state, Žižek opines that the only solution to Israel is not a two-state solution but rather, to ”abolish the apartheid [state] that exists” and replace it with one majority Arab state.

He also characterized the wish of Jews to marry within the faith as a sinister, intolerant, and irrational hatred towards “the other”, meant to maintain racial purityconjuring “[Jewish Israeli] vigilantes [on the] prowl, hunting for Jewish girls who consort with Arab men.”

So, it’s not at all surprising that Žižek, in his CiF commentary ostensibly about the Norwegian terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, focuses so heavily upon the seemingly unrelated issues of Jews and Israel. Indeed,  Žižek’s “The vile logic to Anders Breivik choice of target“, CiF, Aug. 8, uses the words “Israel”, “Zionism”, or “Jew” thirty-five times.

It’s in  Žižek’s characterization of Breivik as anti-Semitic, but pro-Israel – he asks, “He [Breivik] realises the ultimate paradox of a Zionist Nazi: how is this possible? – where the polemical transition to a vicious anti-Zionist screed takes place.

Žižek explains Breivik’s “perverse Zionist-rightist pact” as consistent with the logic of modern Israel – which, he adds, can only survive as an “Apartheid” state:

Zionism itself has paradoxically come to adopt some antisemitic logic in its hatred of Jews who do not fully identify with the politics of the state of Israel. Their target, the figure of the Jew who doubts the Zionist project, is constructed in the same way as the European antisemites constructed the figures of the Jew – he is dangerous because he lives among us, but is not really one of us.” [emphasis mine]

In case Žižek’s line of reasoning, that Zionists represent the new anti-Semites – the new racists, contemporary fascism with merely a philosemitic veneer – is unclear, his concluding paragraph notes:

 [the] implicit line of argument [of Zionists and their supporters] is illustrated by a wonderful cartoon published in July 2008 in the Viennese daily Die Presse: it shows two stocky, Nazi-looking Austrians, one of them holding in his hands a newspaper and commenting to his friend: “Here you can see again how a totally justified antisemitism is being misused for a cheap critique of Israel!” These are today’s allies of the state of Israel. [emphasis mine]

These “Nazi-looking Austriansembody, for Žižek, the modern Zionist ethos.

In The Deadly Jester, Adam Kirsch, in a lengthy review of Žižek’s book, In Defense of Lost Causes, for The New Republic, concludes:

“What makes Nazism repulsive,” [Žižek’ writes], “is not the rhetoric of a final solution as such, but the concrete twist it gives to it.” Perhaps there is supposed to be some reassurance for Jews in that sentence; but perhaps not. For in In Defense of Lost Causes,…paraphrasing Badiou, Žižek writes: “To put it succinctly, the only true solution to the ‘Jewish question’ is the ‘final solution’ (their annihilation), because Jews … are the ultimate obstacle to the ‘final solution’ of History itself, to the overcoming of divisions in all-encompassing unity and flexibility.” I hasten to add that Žižek dissents from Badiou’s vision to this extent: he believes that Jews “resisting identification with the State of Israel,” “the Jews of the Jews themselves,” the “worthy successors to Spinoza,” deserve to be exempted on account of their “fidelity to the Messianic impulse.” [emphasis mine]

When you unpack Žižek’s prose, that’s all your left with: Another CiF commentator who insists it’s not Jews he hates as the enemy of all that is progressive, just and decent.  It’s only Zionists.

30 replies »

  1. The vile logic of Slavoj Žižek

    Indeed. An outrageous article that gets more and more repulsive as it progresses. That penultimate paragraph beggars belief.

    • CiF is finding it increasingly difficult to find ‘contributors’ of good moral standing and so is degenerating to Israel hating far lefties who have lost touch with reality. Delusional is the word I would reach for.

      The comments on the thread, once again, show an increasing number of new commenters who oppose the GWV and are so incensed that they take the trouble to sign-up and comment on the sheer lunacies displayed there.

  2. I suspect that Zizek has been shaken to the core by Norway’s mask slipping.

    How could this this left-wing little Israel-hating paradise have given birth to a son like Breivik?

    Desperate to find a scapegoat, he points the finger at Zionism. Strip away Zizek’s academic credentials and Marxist philosophy, and you are left with a thuggish anti-semitic prick who would feel quite at home in Stormfront or Combat88.

    Fortunately, the majority of commenters weren’t buying this man’s tainted goods.

    • He is basically repeating the White Power American antisemitism which states that the real Jews are arians and the Jews are impostors descending from the murderer Cain.

      He just replaces Cain descendant fake Jews with Zionists that’s all.
      A Leninist Antisemite who’s criticism of Hitler is that he didn’t come after capitalism hard enough.
      A perfect author for the Guardian to pimp. The Guardian which today linked Haredi Jews to the Tottenham riots, in league with the BNP..

    • I have a Google alert set up for articles that mention Žižek. I have to chime in and mention that all of Žižek’s quotes in this article were taken completely out of context. Žižek’s main complaint against Zionists is that they label anyone who criticizes the Israeli government or right-wing Israeli politicians as anti-Semitic. This article seems to prove Žižek right.

      • Žižek’s main complaint against Zionists is that they label anyone who criticizes the Israeli government or right-wing Israeli politicians as anti-Semitic.

        But that’s complete bollocks. If there are Zionists who “label anyone” who critcises Israel as anti-Semites, then they’re only a miniscule minority.

      • I like Zizek too. But this article about the Norwegian terrorist is a bit strange. He should have read the article a couple of times and rewritten some parts before posting it. I think what he is trying to say is that there are two extreme right movements in European politics. One is pro-Israel and anti-Islam. Then there are the nazis, they are anti-Israel and therefore somewhat goes along with the Muslims. But Breivik did not belong to the latter type. He defines himself clearly as pro-Israel and anti-Islam in his manifest. The first type. And Zizek did not make this very clear in his article.

      • “that they label anyone who criticizes the Israeli government or right-wing Israeli politicians as anti-Semitic.”

        There is all the difference in the world between criticism and deligitimisation. No prizes for guessing which Zizec engages in.

        If you are a fan then you are just as evil as Herr Zizec.

      • Žižek isn’t engaging in a critique of any policies of the Israeli government, he isn’t dealing with facts, he is making an ontological argument about Israel and Jews and about how and if they should exist from the privileged position of a European celebrity intellectual with no qualifications in foreign policy.

        He’s doing theology, not political science or journalism.

      • You mean he compares settlers to a Wagner opera?

        Wow how can some see this as antisemitic ….:)

        Then Jews aside, he compared 911 to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        This guy is a disturbed hater of the first order.

        He does like Nazi analogies. He even compared the show 24 to Nazis

        • You mean he compares settlers to a Wagner opera?

          I presume you’re referring to Zizek’s “The illegal settlers sometimes sound like Brunhilde from the last act of Wagner’s Walküre”?

          In fact there’s a poster on the current thread who, like me, queried RedSperanza’s reference to Zionism being based on “German Romanticism”:

          Next thing he”ll come up with is ‘Wagner the ‘Zionist’.

  3. This article plumbed new depths in its convoluted attempt to use the hideous massacre of innocents in Norway as an excuse to attack and demonise Israel. When all the pseudo- intellectual claptrap is stripped away, the only thing left is a blunt and uncompromising antisemitism.

    • This article plumbed new depths in its convoluted attempt to use the hideous massacre of innocents in Norway as an excuse to attack and demonise Israel.

      I agree absolutely. And neither the headline nor the byline gave us any inkling of what the article would ultimately culminate in. When I clicked on the link I actually had the thought: ‘I remember this bloke has said dodgy things about Israel: surely he’s not going to crowbar in that shit here as well?’ Even then I wasn’t expecting this tawdry level of nastiness.

  4. This guy is just another garden-variety antiSemitic jerk, desperately trying to cloak his rather obvious racism in some pseudo-intellectual gibberish. His obsession with Israel and Jews, as evidenced by his repetitive references to the Jewish state when ostensibly describing an event having nothing whatsoever to do with Israel, tells you all you need to know about his real motives.
    But even more disturbing than this mouse-brained clown is the Guardian’s willingness to provide a forum for this completely factually unfounded hatespeech. It never ceases to amaze me how bigoted the Guardian’s agenda is, and how blithely they continue to serve up highly distorted reports in an ostensibly “objective” publication. The people who publish this yellow rag should be ashamed of this disgraceful bigotry.

    Also interesting that in all the media fall-out from the horrible Norway killings, most of the “mainstream” (read: liberal) Western outlets couldn’t wait to blame
    any sources which have had the temerity to describe the incessant worldwide Islamofascist terrorist murders–not the murderers themselves, of course.

    Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of p.c.-think.

    p.s. Adam: minor correction–last paragraph should read “you’re left with…”

  5. Zizek uses the words etc 35 times… yet not even once does he do so in an offensive way. yes he is against Israel’s violent expansionist anti-Palestinian policy, but there is nothing that indicates he is against Jewish people.

    Interesting that you don’t complain that the Jerusalem Post manages to blame the Norway atrocity on muslims,you’re fine with that…

    • A CAT,

      Are you against Islamist violent imperialist, expansionist, supremecist, racist policies?

      Policies that have resulted in:

      – the destruction of the two 1,500 year old Buddahs of Bamiyan Afghanistan?
      – the Mumbai India massacre
      – the 7/7/05 London bus and underground bombings
      – the bombing of passenger plane Pan Am 103
      – the poison gas murder of 5,000 Kurds in Halabja Iraq by Muslim war criminal Sadaam Hussein
      – the 8 year Iraq/Iran war
      – the brainwashing of children to aspire to die for some Islamist fairytale
      – the facial mutiliation of Afghan girls for “dishonoring” their family
      – the governmental calls for genocide by the Islamofascist regime of iran
      – the fatwas calling for the murder of writers like Salman Rushdie
      – the fatwas calling for the murder of cartoonists
      – the practice of slavery in modern day Sudan and Maruitania
      – the Assad crime family use of weapons against their citizens
      – the Islamfascist regime of iran publically hanging gay teens
      – the Taliban murdering fellow Afghanis
      – the Islamic Republic of Pakistan carving itself out of India
      – the near nuclear war between Pakistand and India, a dispute over land – sound familiar

      A CAT, you must be one of those appeasers who believe that the Islamofascist regime of iran only wants nuclear technology for “peaceful uses” – like wiping Israel off the map.

      It’s about Blood for Libyan Oil Contracts.