Is self-hatred a psychologically tenable concept? Isn’t self-hatred inconsistent with self-love, surely a most fundamental human instinct? Stated in Freudian terms, self-hatred contradicts the id and the ego, the libido or the pleasure principle.
Why self-hatred cannot exist
If there is such a thing as self-hatred, is it a form of masochism? Masochism was deemed a perversion by the 19th century psychiatrist Baron Richard von Kraft-Ebbing. And so it was classified by psychiatrists for a hundred years. In 1998, however, Anita Phillips wrote A Defense of Masochism, in which she went so far as to argue that “masochism is a healthy part of the human psyche that takes secret pleasure in enduring imagined and real suffering at the hands of another when the subject knows that gratification is the ultimate outcome.”
Perversion or not, psychiatrists generally agree with Havelock Ellis that masochism has little to do with pain and everything to do with the search for emotional pleasure, and this is quite consistent with self-love or egoism. Hence, if self-hatred is a form of masochism, it would appear to be consistent with self-love. But this is absurd. Since self-hatred is not consistent with self-love, it cannot be a form of masochism.
What “Jewish self-hatred” really means
Perhaps the concept of self-hatred is a myth, with no counterpart in reality. If so, this would apply to what is called “Jewish self-hatred.” In that case, Jewish self-hatred is nothing more than hatred of Jews and/or Judaism. It would then be a mistake to say that a Jew who hates Jews and/or Judaism is immersed in Jewish self-hatred. A Jewish anti-Semite does not hate himself, no more than a German who hates Germany hates himself. The Jewish anti-Semite has a self that differs only accidentally and not intrinsically from the self of a Gentile anti-Semite. True, unlike the Gentile anti-Semite, he may be reluctant or even ashamed to be known as Jewish, but so might a German be reluctant or ashamed to be known as German.
Like any ordinary individual, a Jewish anti-Semite seeks pleasure and wants to avoid pain. He does not want to be identified as a Jew because that would clash with his self-love, his desire for pleasure. He does not hate his self, his ego, because he is his self or his ego. The Jewish anti-Semite is not a masochist because he does not seek pain as a means of obtaining gratification. To the contrary, he is more apt to afflict Jews with pain as a means of gratification.
Case in point: Shimon Peres
If we ignore Jewish law, biology, and identity cards, a Jewish anti-Semite is NOT a Jew. Consider the case of Shimon Peres. Mr. Peres revealed his contempt for Jews in this excerpt from an interview with Ha’aretz following his defeat by Benjamin Netanyahu in the May 1996 prime ministerial election:
Interviewer: What happened in these elections?
Peres: We lost.
Interviewer: Who is we?
Peres: We, that is the Israelis.
Interviewer: And who won?
Peres: All those who do not have an Israeli mentality.
Interviewer: And who are they?
Peres: The Jews.
Peres’ conclusion should not be construed as self-hatred. Mr. Peres has a monumental ego, glaringly manifested in his fatuous statement that one can learn nothing from history. His contempt for Jews (and Judaism) is not self-contempt; it is nothing less than unmitigated arrogance. Mr. Peres loves himself, far more than he loves the Jewish state of Israel which he has repeatedly betrayed by praising its greatest enemy since Adolph Hitler—Yasser Arafat.
One last word. The Talmud states that the worst anti-Semite is the anti-Semitic Jewish ignoramus. Such ignoramuses do not hate themselves.☼
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