Does Diversity Cause Anti-Semitism?

Looking for articles about George F. Will and Zionism, I stumbled across the words of the words of a Holocaust revisionist about anti-Semitism from an interview with the neoconservative columnist:

At one point, and suddenly changing the subject, Will asked me why I think that anti-Semitism exists. I said that this is a complex issue, and that a better way to put it might be to ask why hostility toward Jews has persisted over so many centuries, and in so many different cultures.

I went on to say that I largely agreed with what Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement, had written (in The Jewish State) on this issue. I mentioned that Herzl, along with many others, often referred to the relationship between Jews and non-Jews in society as “the Jewish question.”

Having approached this situation from the opposite direction, namely “what data patterns can we infer that might prevent genocide?,” I found this interesting, and not only because Herzl is one of my heroes. Herzl articulated one of those rare arguments that is not against another race, but against the concept of diversity itself, following in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle.

In Herzl’s view, the cause of anti-Semitism was diversity itself, or the fact that a foreign population within an ethnically-consistent population would stand out and become a scapegoat. He wrote about this after witnessing The Dreyfuss Affair and analyzing the psychology of the crowds, and his ideas led to the formation of modern (post-diaspora) Israel:

Herzl first encountered the anti-Semitism that would shape his life and the fate of the Jews in the twentieth century while studying at the University of Vienna (1882). Later, during his stay in Paris as a journalist, he was brought face-to-face with the problem. At the time, he regarded the Jewish problem as a social issue and wrote a drama, The Ghetto (1894), in which assimilation and conversion are rejected as solutions.

In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was unjustly accused of treason, mainly because of the prevailing anti-Semitic atmosphere. Herzl witnessed mobs shouting “Death to the Jews” in France, the home of the French Revolution, and resolved that there was only one solution: the mass immigration of Jews to a land that they could call their own. Thus, the Dreyfus Case became one of the determinants in the genesis of Political Zionism.

Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor in human society, which assimilation did not solve. He mulled over the idea of Jewish sovereignty, and, despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896). Herzl argued that the essence of the Jewish problem was not individual but national. He declared that the Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they ceased being a national anomaly. The Jews are one people, he said, and their plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state with the consent of the great powers. He saw the Jewish question as an international political question to be dealt with in the arena of international politics.

…Although at the time no one could have imagined it, Zionism led, only fifty years later, to the establishment of the independent State of Israel.

In his book The Jewish State, Herzl expanded on his earliest ideas: conversion and assimilation do not work, so Jews must either exist as (1) an isolated ethnic minority within host states — the condition of the diaspora — or (2) an ethnic group with its own state, a philosophy known as nationalism.

This leads back to the fundamental question: what is the cause of anti-Semitism? Some say that it is ethnic cruelty, others claim it is a legitimate response to the ethnic cruelty of Jews, but as Herzl found out and common sense dictates, people recognize that having a group of Other among them — whoever it is — is a form of slow genocide by outbreeding and therefore eventually lash out, leading to situations where whole villages unite to burn Jews alive in barns.

Diversity causes negative consequences for both host and minority populations and is unpopular with those who experience it while knowing of the alternative. It will lead to the eradication of indigenous peoples, and this makes them withdraw from society entirely, a condition known as atomization.

It is not surprising that as diversity thrashes a society to death, there will be outbursts which as mis-directed at the foreign population instead of diversity itself. Those who find themselves irked by diversity should heed this lesson, and instead of attack the Other, attack the policy of Othering the majority, namely diversity.